Monthly Archives: October, 2015

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 14 – 25, 2015

There have been many big weather and climate relates stories this week but the one that was most dominant was Hurricane Patricia. There’s no doubt that Patricia was one for the record books, but the manner in which that was conveyed by mainstream media to the general public has brought about a great deal of discussion. The latest US Drought Monitor shows a startling increase in drought conditions from Texas into Mississippi as the western states drought has become the “status quo.” As for our climate, the latest State Of The Climate report has been issued and, to no one’s surprise, September 2015 was indeed warm…globally.

Shifting gears here a bit at Tornado Quest. Our weekly Science Links And More will now be posted on Sundays. As a result, and due to several other ongoing (but exciting) projects, this post will be on the brief side.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Fight For The Future is worth checking out, especially if you have concerns about privacy rights.

If you use the iOS operating system, there’s 184 new emojis to choose from…including a tornado!

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a list of six cool citizen science projects to help you monitor the environment around you.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Mars has a very unique climate…a bit like Earth’s, and simultaneously a bit “alien.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

No surprise here. In fact, this was quite inevitable. USGS study links earthquakes due to fracking as far back as the 1920’s.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out. One of the most startling (but sadly not unexpected) findings is that during September, 2015, record warmth was documented globally.

The public perception of climate change is finally beginning to change itself and concur with the overwhelming scientific evidence.

This week’s US Drought Monitor (20 October 2015) shows the rapid spread of drought conditions from central Texas into western Mississippi.

Hurricane Patricia was a truly remarkable event in the eastern Pacific. Here’s a very nice overview from NASA with some spectacular imagery.

Near the height of Patricia’s intensity, this is what the Category 5 hurricane looked like from a visible satellite viewpoint at 9:15AM (1415 UTC) on 23 October 2015.

Hurricane Patricia Vis Sat 1 23 Oct 2015 1415 UTC

Finally, a somewhat technical but interesting read on atmospheric chemistry and air pollution in China.

I’d like to send a hearty “welcome” to my new followers on social media! Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For October 7 – 14, 2015

Autumn is certainly in the air across many areas of North American with a plethora of beautiful fall foliage to appeal to your aesthetic senses. If you’re seeing the seasonal change in your area, I hope you’re enjoying the scenery. Here in the southern plains of the USA, it’s been unseasonably warm. Summer is not going away without a fight in my neck of the woods. For the first time in many weeks, the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific are rather tranquil…and I’ve no complaints about that.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY/STEM

Most American citizens feel political candidates should have a thorough comprehension of science…hence the immediate uselessness of the “I’m not a scientist” cop-out.

Fascinating read that should offer some encouragement for women to pursue STEM careers. “Margaret Hamilton wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this slide show with amazing images of Pluto. Who would have thought that it was such an incredible place.

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

A very nice read on the history of plate tectonic science.

Some spectacular views of lava flowing on Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) puts Twitter to good use by using the social media outlet as a means to better track earthquakes.

The USGS also has a very nice informative page on earthquake early warnings

In Oklahoma, USGS records show 1,400+ earthquakes to date in 2015 alone. The science behind human-caused earthquakes from is very solid…much to the chagrin of many Oklahoma-based fossil fuel interests.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, ordered companies on September 18, 2015 to shut or reduce usage of five saltwater disposal wells around the north-central Oklahoma city of Cushing. In an odd coincidence, in the early morning hours of October 10, 2015, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake occurred near Cushing. To date, over 1,400 earthquakes have occurred in Oklahoma during 2015 alone…and the year’s not over yet.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s an excellent article explaining all you need to know about the current global coral reef bleaching.

Small, but nasty. California has become the latest state to ban/restrict microbeads in skin care products.

Sweden, you rock in every way possible! Stockholm aims to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A thought-provoking read that’s bound to stir a great deal of discussion. An ex-republican meteorologist has called for the end of partisan divide over climate science.

In the light of climate change, a NASA scientist expresses his concerns over our own planet becoming like other dead worlds.

New research projects a doubling of surface melting of Antarctic ice shelves by 2050 and that by 2100 melting may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse.

It’s not often what you say, but how you say (or write) it. Climate scientists, practicing good science protocol, use tentative wording in discussing or writing about climate change. Denialists, seeing the world in a strict “black-or-white” manner, are quite the opposite.

A sound idea since the science is solid, though I feel it’s most beneficial to implement solutions and continue research simultaneously. “New IPCC chief: Let’s focus on climate change solutions rather than more research.

The recent AP Stylebook recommendation in its climate change section is considered a “big” win for skeptics, a “small” win for denialists, but a bad decision overall.

Finally, feast your eyes on a summer’s worth of monsoons in this wonderful video.

THE QUIXOTIC

When a journalist arrived at the Oklahoma City headquarters of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) hoping for an interview, the congenial IOGCC folks called the Oklahoma City Police. I guess they don’t like their secrecy to come under scrutiny.

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That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to take a moment and send a “welcome” to my new followers on social media. Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

Cheers!

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Media Inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Tumblr (Obligatory Caveat: Not a science-based blog and occasionally NSFW. You’ve been warned.)

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For September 30 – October 7, 2015

Two big stories have dominated the North American weather news this week. The first event is Hurricane Joaquin which, as of this post, is still an ongoing event. Joaquin peaked in intensity on 3 October 2015 when it briefly reached maximum sustained winds just under the Category 5 threshold making it the most intense tropical cyclone of the Atlantic 2015 season to date. The other big story, which could have been made worse if Joaquin had made landfall on the eastern USA coast, is the historic flooding in North and South Carolina. The Charleston, South Carolina region was hit particularly hard. While flooding often doesn’t appear as “devastating” as substantial wind damage, it can be just as (if not more) deadly and force residents into years of recovery and rebuilding. One only has to look at areas of New Orleans, Louisiana to see this. Some areas of the “Big Easy” have yet to recover a full decade after Katrina slammed ashore in 2005. The deadliest natural disaster in the history of Tulsa, Oklahoma is not a tornado, but the Memorial Day flash flooding event of May, 1984 in which 14 fatalities occurred. Flooding kills more people every year than all other weather related phenomenon combined. Unfortunately, its dangers are highly underrated by much of the general public until they meet it head on. Only then does the stark realization occur that floods can be just as devastating to life and property as a major hurricane or violent tornado. On the brighter side, this week is the National Weather Service’s “Did You Know” week which is going on to help inform the general public about the many facets and benefits the NWS provides to our quality of life. You’ll likely see many posts on Twitter from your local NWS office with the hashtag #NWSDYK.

For your consideration, here are this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

An excellent essay on the benefits of citizen science. “Science Of The People, By The People, And For The People.”

A reminder to download the free mPING weather app you can use year round regardless of where you live and contribute to weather research. “The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is collecting public weather reports through a free app available for smart phones or mobile devices. The app is called “mPING,” for Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground.” This app also has a very, very small “footprint” so it won’t be gobbling up a ton of space on your smart phone.

If you’re into citizen science and astronomy, you need to check out this new collaboration.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

New high-resolution photos of Pluto’s moon Charon show that it’s so ugly, it’s positively beautiful.

NASA has just released over 8,400 Apollo moon mission photos online…and they are spectacular.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

Perhaps the most cynical and imprimatur hyperbole on recycling I’ve ever read. “The Reign of Recycling.” When short-term profits supersede long-term environmental benefits, we’ve made no progress…and the author and New York Times have no problem with condoning such irresponsibility. Fortunately here’s a spot-on rebuttal that slays the arguments put forth in the NYT article.

Robots could (and should) make sorting recycling materials safer.

Indoor air quality is just as important as the air we breathe outside. Here’s some handy tips on how to improve indoor air quality on a budget.

The USA is gaining ground in the use of renewable energy but in some respects, has a great deal of catching up to do.

There’s a surprisingly cold “blob” of water in the north Atlantic. What’s causing that?

It happened once, it  can happen again. “Scientists say an ancient mega-tsunami hurled boulders nearly as high as the Eiffel Tower.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’ve not checked out the National Weather Service’s Enhanced Data Display, you should take a peek. It’s a fantastic source of weather information for the general public, pilots, emergency managers, and more.

NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory has a very cool way to view weather conditions worldwide in an interactive site that’s well worth checking out.

This article, written early in the life cycle of Hurricane Joaquin, poignantly expresses the frustrating forecasting scenarios that so often plague meteorologists.

During Hurricane Joaquin’s early stages, the European forecast model was more accurate at one stage than the American model. What does that mean for weather forecasting?

What caused the recent record-setting rainfall in South Carolina? Here’s a nice overview that explains everything you need to know.

My fellow weather geeks will enjoy this NPR story. “What’s At The Edge Of A Cloud?”

Fortunately, there’s a reason or two for feeling optimistic about the upcoming Paris climate change summit.

While some recent documented gains in Antarctic ice may offset losses, there’s no reason to celebrate. The deniers will likely jump on this story, but their own workplace climate is changing.

There’s no “grey’s” or uncertainties about this. “No Doubt About it: People Who Mislead The Public About Climate Change Are Deniers.”

Speaking of melting ice and glaciers, the Mont Blanc glacier in the French alps isn’t what it used to be and is France’s most visible symbol of climate change.

The high price of reckless disregard for solid climate science. “The Cost Of Doing Nothing Hit $400 Trillion.”

THE QUIXOTIC

When public servants run out of constructive projects to benefit society and the quality of life, they do what they do best…especially if they’re threatened by science. Start a witch-hunt.

That’s a wrap for this post!

A quick “Thank You” and “Welcome” to my new followers on social media. It’s nice to have you here. I’m in this for the long haul, so the fun is just getting started.

Cheers!

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

 

 

 

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