Monthly Archives: November, 2015

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 22 – 29, 2015

Greetings to all! I hope you had a great week. If you celebrated Thanksgiving this past Thursday, I hope you had a great holiday. As the end of the 2015 Atlantic tropical cyclone draws to an official close, we can take note that it’s been another year without a significant landfall on the contiguous US states. Save for Sandra, an intense late season hurricane, the Eastern Pacific has fallen silent as well. Our attention, for those who care about the future of our planet, will turn to the United Nations Conference On Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, France in the coming week. Lots of news to keep on on…and plentiful links of good info within this post…so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Finding a secure mobile messaging app can be a daunting task. This article should help you easily narrow down your choices.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

You only have to step out of your back door to take part in this citizen science project. “Collecting Meteorites In Your Own Back Yard.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this amazing 46 billion pixel map of a small part of our Milky Way galaxy.

This nice retrospective puts NASA’s Apollo program in a new light.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

“The Great Pacific garbage patch is one of the world’s least talked about environmental disasters.” It’s plastic in paradise.

A new satellite program called FireSat, has the potential to be invaluable in a world where, due to climate change, large fires have become more common.

A slight rise in US carbon emissions was noted in 2014. Thought it was less than 1%, it’s still far too much and in the wrong direction.

This amazing animation from NASA gives us an idea of our planet’s yearly plant cycle.

A very interesting question! “Why Are Autumn Leaves Mostly Yellow In Europe And Red In North America?”

This very nice interactive map unveils the mystery of wind turbines.

What can the world learn from Europe’s self-styled greenest city? A lot!

Once again, Sweden is leading the way by challenging the world to go fossil fuel-free.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a very nice overview of the 2015 Atlantic tropical cyclone season. Joaquin was the most intense hurricane this year…reaching Category 4 status.

Recent discussions of a climate change “hiatus” have proven to be as unsound as the use of the word itself.

A good read from the World Meteorological Organization. “2015 Likely To Be Warmest On Record, 2011-2015 Warmest Five Year Period.”

One of the most sparsely populated states in the USA is also one of the leaders in the per capita CO2 production.

Do you think you’re up to taking the “hardest climate change quiz ever?”

The most unusual weather story I’ve seen in some time. “D.C. Weather Balloon Falls On Car In Philadelphia And Is Mistaken For A Bomb.”

Will be interesting to see how well this works out. “New National Weather Service Outlook Will Tell You About The Next Snowmageddon Up To A Week In Advance.”

A very informative read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Four Odd Facts About Rain.”

A nice paleoclimatology read. “Scientists discover 308-million-year-old tropical forest in the Arctic.”

THE QUIXOTIC

Sadly, a vast majority of our elected public servants in Washington, DC are out of step with sound scientific evidence and the American public.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new social media followers! Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 15 – 22, 2015

Greetings to all! I hope you’ve had a great week. The weather across North America, and parts of the southern states in particular, had a very active severe weather episode this week. Monday, 16 November 2015 was particularly busy with numerous tornadic supercells across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The nature of the storm behavior, proliferation of storms, and visual characteristics of many tornadoes was more reminiscent of April or May outbreaks. There’s been very little activity in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic tropics as the tropical cyclone season for those areas starts to wind down. On a note geared more towards public policy, the Paris climate (COP21) talks are underway and are the most important international discussion on climate change in years. We’ll touch on that and many more topics later.

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

TECHNOLOGY

As Windows turns 30, here’s a nice retrospective of its various versions since day one.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating look at images of a planet in the making.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The fact that “biodegradable” plastics are harmful to our oceans should come as no surprise to anyone.

In the early morning hours of 19 November 2015, Oklahoma had a 4.7 earthquake centered near the small town of Cherokee. It was the strongest Oklahoma earthquake since the 5.7 in November, 2011. Shake, frack, and roll.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a very nice concise overview of the Paris climate talks and why they matter. If you need a good primer as to why COP21 is so important, this is the place to start.

Rime ice is a fascinating winter phenomenon that, under the right conditions, can create some spectacular natural sculptures.

Is passing a key CO2 important? Yes, it is. Several climate scientists explain why.

A very thought provoking and timely read. “Why A Climate Deal Is The Best Hope For Peace.”

It’s not too early to get your Winter Weather Safety Preparedness kit and plan in order. Here’s some great (and potentially life-saving) information from NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows significant improvement in the southern plains and southeastern states. The status quo for the drought-plagued western US states continues.

THE QUIXOTIC

In spite of overwhelming evidence that has held up to the rigors of the scientific method, some opportunists will stop at nothing to force their viewpoints on an often unsuspecting (and vulnerable) general public. What’s just as unfortunate is the fact that the denialists are giving the rest of the populace they claim to represent a bad name.

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. There are some very cool things on the planning book for Tornado Quest in the coming new year and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Until next time…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Nov. 8 – 15, 2015

Fortunately, for the time being, the tropics in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet. Very soon, the Atlantic tropical cyclone season will come to an end. 2015 will be another year in the books with North American not having a landfall from a major hurricane. It’s understandable that many folks in meteorology and emergency management are concerned about public complacency since 2005 was the last year the USA had a major hurricane make landfall.

In spite of the recent horrific events in Paris, the climate talks will commence without disruption…which is the way it should be. Never, ever give in or give up. And if you have an interest in the future of our planet, please keep tabs on the Paris climate talks as they progress.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY

If there was ever a time for a “break up” to occur, this is it. Considering the hostility that has arisen in the past few years, it’s time science moved on to greener pastures.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Your tweets (20 million of them) reveal a great deal about your behavior and real-world situations.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science and your body and health are a good match. Check out these six projects.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

There could be many contenders for this title, but I’d have to agree overall that Darwin’s “Origin Of Species” is a good choice as the most influential academic book.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Intriguing read about one of our solar system neighbors. NASA probe shows how solar burps may have stripped Mars of water.

5,400 MPH winds were discovered blasting around an exoplanet. I wonder what that would be on the EF-Scale?

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A bit of public health and environmental science. The health benefits to spending time in nature are unmistakably good to your health.

A dubious milestone indeed. Our humble home is on track to end 2015 with an average of 1 degree C of warming.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A sobering read on the rising levels of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out with a detailed review of USA significant weather anomalies and events for October, 2015.

Oct 2015 Weather

Here’s a nice map from the Storm Prediction Center of preliminary USA tornado totals for 2015. With severe weather having occurred in the past week and more storms on tap for 16 November, 2015, these numbers will go up.

2015 USA Tornado Count

The states with above normal numbers of documented tornadoes are listed in red. The above average list not only includes traditional “Tornado Alley” states of CO, IL, KS, OK, and TX, but also HI and MA. It’s also interesting to note that many states, such as AR, MS, and TN (located in what’s often referred to as “Dixie Alley”) are having a well below average years. Annual anomalies in tornado occurrence are very common and often the numbers of confirmed tornadoes is or isn’t dependent on population density, topography, and when the tornadoes occurred.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Instagram & Tumblr.

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 1 – Nov. 8, 2015

Overall, it’s been a relatively quiet weather week across most of North America. A taste of autumn severe weather activity on Thursday, November 5 was one of the few highlights. Much of the southern states received beneficial rainfall. Unfortunately for the western states, the ongoing drought has stayed the course.Β  Due to several ongoing projects, this week’s post will be brief.

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY

Clicking that “Do Not Track” box may do you no good after all.

The next time a new “flavor-of-the-month” app rears its head and the developer describes it as a “game changer,” think twice about installing it. Chances are they’re playing a “game” with your private data.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An under-reported story. Indonesia’s devastating (and deadly) forest fires are man-made.

Here’s some very encouraging renewables news. Sweden is aiming to be the world’s first country free of fossil fuels by 2050!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Tornadoes in North America aren’t limited to the spring months. In fact, the autumn is historically noted as a very active severe weather season.

Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective” is a fascinating read published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The lasting legacy of climate change will be heat.” Indeed, a true statement as the long-term affects of climate change become more clearly defined with increasing research.

An interesting read on paleoclimatology research. Tree rings are being used to get a retrospective of Europe’s climate going back 2,000 years.

Quite often, the process is as important as the content when conveying knowledge. “How To Explain Climate Change To Teens.”

A mixed bag of results, many disconcerting yet some encouraging, in this Pew Research Center overview of global concern about climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere “welcome” to my new social media followers! I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

 

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2015

It’s been a relatively quiet week across much of North America the past week. Heavy rains, partially due to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, caused dramatic and deadly flash flooding in parts of Texas. The only good part of the rains were the fact that it put a dent into an ongoing drought that’s existed for several weeks across parts of the south-central states. For those of us who dealt with the “daylight saving time” change on November 1st, remember to not only check your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detectors, but the batteries in your NOAA weather radio. Just like the other detectors, someday it could save your life.

Due to a “full dance card,” this week’s post will be brief. In fact, due to some very cool projects (many involving Tornado Quest), this week’s post will once again be on the brief side.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

“All aspects of meteorology are based upon a world-wide 24-hour clock called Zulu time (Z), more commonly called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)” Here’s how to convert UTC/Zulu to your local time. Speaking of which, this nonsense of turning clocks back and forth twice a year is, in the 21st Century, just that…nonsense.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The history of science, and medicine in particular, has fascinated me for years. Here’s a somewhat grisly look at surgical-related illustrations from the 19th century.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

“Can Civil Comments Kill The Internet Troll?” It’s worth a try…but the last thing one should ever do is give in to nefarious interlopers.

There’s a perfectly good and rational reason the iOS Siri’s voice is female.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

A sobering write-up on the trials and tribulations of adult friendship.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The water woes of the western USA states have taken on an unfortunate, yet inevitable, social taboo dimension.

Floridians are having quite a row over keeping the state frack-free. It would be in their best interest to stay that way.

Air pollution has been placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally. Delhi has the, “dubious accolade of being regularly cited as the most polluted city in the world.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The United States may be in the middle of a “hurricane drought,” but it would behoove folks in hurricane prone regions to not become complacent

Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful hurricanes in the eastern Pacific since records have been kept. Compared to other hurricanes of equal intensity, why did Patricia kill so few people?

Did the USA’s Dust Bowl come to an end in the 1940’s? Absolutely not.

Some very nice work by Phil Plait. “If Global Warming Is A Hoax…

THE QUIXOTIC

A gem of cynical climate change denialism from one of Oklahoma’s largest newspapers. “We’re Sure To Hear Plenty About Climate Change In The Weeks Ahead.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

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