Monthly Archives: December, 2016

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For December 20 – 27, 2016

Holiday greetings to one and all! If you were celebrating the holiday, I hope it was a good one for your family, friends, and you. This week’s post will be on the brief side while I take a few days off during the holiday season and attend to the typical yuletide routine. There’s plenty to read over in spite of the holidays…so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If Twitter seems to be losing it’s luster, you can thank a substantial decrease in civility and meaningful interaction along with, “harassment, abuse, bullying, intimidation, threats — a ceaseless flickering hum of low-level emotional violence.” From my own personal observations, many accounts (especially politically derived ones) are disturbingly combative. Others are strictly about self promotion and shilling. The decline of Twitter has been predicted for years, yet it still hangs on. Time will tell whether or not it will last the rest of this decade.

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY

As is often the unfortunate case, politicians are routinely untruthful. That begs the question, “If politicians can lie without condemnation, what are scientists to do?”

There’s a very important lesson scientists could learn from President-Elect Trump’s victory…and now more than ever, the experts need to closely listen to the public.

Speaking of an election, “Canadian Scientists Warn USA Colleagues: Act Now To Protect Science Under Trump.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

An excellent read by Caren Cooper. “Quality And Quantity With Citizen Science.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

A Normandy village is home to the world’s first solar panel road.

The USA’s EPA has released a revised report on fracking…and this time the writing is done with a bit more caution.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Why do some people think that climate change is not happening? Sometimes it’s more than just politics or peer pressure…it’s a misunderstanding and mistaking local weather events as being the same as global climate trends.

An excellent climate change read for weather geeks and environmental interest folks by Katharine Hayhoe: Why Climate Change Should Matter to You.

Never underestimate the power of a grassroots movement. “Mothers Unleash Their Organizing Power On Climate.”

Here’s a very concise overview of the climate change reasons behind the current warm Arctic winter. “For the Arctic, like the globe as a whole, 2016 has been exceptionally warm. For much of the year, Arctic temperatures have been much higher than normal, and sea ice concentrations have been at record low levels.”

Speaking of a warm winter, it’s almost certain that 2016 will be yet another record-breaking warm winter for the USA.

THE QUIXOTIC

Oh my…there are some good times ahead in the USA. With people of this ilk in an presidential advisory position, who needs circus clowns?

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

Cheers!


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For December 12 – 20, 2016

Greetings everyone! For those of you across North America, I hope you’re managing to stay warm during the current cold snap. It certainly adds a bit of ‘zing’ to the holiday season. Speaking of the holidays, this post and the following two will be on the brief side. It’s a crazy, busy time of year for many of us and I’m no exception. Still, there are important topics to keep abreast of, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A wide variety of science fields are covered in this particular retrospective on the twelve key science moments of 2016.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

What’s the best way to communicate scientific concepts that are often very complex to the general public? “It turns out that even in the world of scientific writing, your eighth-grade teacher was right: how you write can matter as much as what you write.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Exciting news for astronomy fans. The world’s largest digital survey of the visible Universe, mapping billions of stars and galaxies, has been publicly released.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

When the air quality in a city is so bad that airline traffic is cancelled, you know it’s air that is literally lethal to breathe.

Here’s an excellent read and infographic on reducing your plastic pollution. The plastics that are part of many life saving items aren’t the problem, it’s the “daily plastics” that aren’t always necessary and so easily discarded that are the challenge.

The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association has released a “fact” sheet on waste water injection/fracking and it’s relation to the recent and dramatic increase of earthquakes in the Sooner State. For reasons that are blatantly obvious, they’re not taking responsibility for their actions. This is public relations cherry-picking at its best.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An unsettling read from Climate Central: Scientists Are Saving Climate Data; This Is Why It Matters. “In recent days, efforts have sprung up to archive climate data on federal sites. They’ve been spurred by fears that the Trump administration could take a hostile stance toward climate science and that budget cuts could make data less accessible.”

A very unsettling essay by climate scientist Michael E. Mann that is a “must read” for anyone interested in the atmospheric sciences. “I’m A Scientist Who Has Gotten Death Threats. I Fear What May Happen Under Trump.”

Here’s a look at NOAA’s global State Of The Climate report for November, 2016. First, let’s take a look at selected climate anomalies and events.

201611Here’s the global temperature trends for November. While much of North America was quite above normal, parts of Europe and Asia were unseasonably cool.

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After a very warm November in North America, 2016 had to get one last cold shot in before year’s end. Watching it take place across surface observations (especially the Oklahoma Mesonet) was quite a sight.

Finally, a rather impertinent view of the never-to-be-settled-argument on school closings and winter weather. In this game, you just can’t win, even when erring on the side of justifiable caution.


Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For December 5 – 12, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is being good to you regardless of where you live. This week’s post will be on the brief side due to previous commitments and I’ll update it periodically and repost the link on Twitter as needed. For many of us, the holiday season is quite busy and hectic and things in my neck of the woods are no exception. Without further delay, here we go.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

I’m frequently coming across more reasons to justify my search engine preferences of StartPage and DuckDuckGo over Google. Here’s yet another one.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Here’s a fascinating segment from Science Friday on pioneering female astronomers who meticulously analyzed glass negatives.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For those of us with interests in the atmospheric and environmental sciences, the new choice for the USA’s EPA administrator is not a little disturbing. We Oklahoman’s who know his tendencies are very familiar with the potential undoing that could occur in the next few years. His disdain for the EPA and environmental issues in general is no secret.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Interesting study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research on climate change and it’s connection to more intense precipitation events.

With the latest NOAA data taken into consideration, 2016 is well on its way to being the second hottest year on record for the contiguous USA.

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How scientific data is communicated to the general public is often just as important as the data itself. “Report Helps Scientists Communicate How Global Warming Is Worsening Natural Disasters.”

Some very daunting times ahead. “Surge In Methane Emissions Threatens Efforts To Slow Climate Change.”

Here’s an excellent infographic from the National Weather Service in Jackson, KY, USA that answers the frequently heard question, “Why do some forecasts ‘bust?'”

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While on the topic of ‘busted’ forecasts, here’s an excellent read on why long-term computer model based forecasts should not be trusted. “Now is a good time to remind everyone that forecasts for extreme winter weather events more than about five to seven days into the future are not reliable. I’d add that if your “trusted source” for weather information is hyping an extreme event more than a week out, you consider finding a different trusted source.” That trusted source should always be your local National Weather Service and the local and national broadcast meteorologists of your choice.

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the ATS-1, the first Earth-observing satellite ever placed in geostationary orbit. This was truly a watershed event in weather satellite history.

Speaking of weather satellites, here’s news of a new weather satellite that has exciting possibilities into hurricane prediction.

Not a little disturbing news from Climate Central. “A Climate Denier Is Leading The NASA Transition.”

That’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. The best is yet to come.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For November 28 – December 5, 2016

Greetings everyone and Happy December to all of you! The beginning of “meteorological winter” is upon us for we who live in the Northern Hemisphere. So far, it’s been warmer than usual and mild…no surprise there…with drought conditions persisting and worsening across the western and southern USA states. As 2016 draws to a close, there’s not a little concern for the future of science in America. I’ve discussed the future years and what we expect..and will demand…with many friends, acquaintances, and colleagues in the scientific community. The consensus of deep concern is unanimous. That is addressed in several links within this post. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Depending on which demographic of the population you ask, scientists aren’t the authority on science.

This article addresses a recent “hot button” topic of fake news and how we, as fallible humans, swallow hook, line, and sinker (so long as it meets ones socio-political agenda) without first resorting to critical thinking, objective research, and scientific analysis. Here’s an excellent “Ten Questions For Fake News Detection” tip sheet that will be of great help. (1 page PDF file). Friendly tip: never get “news” from Facebook…chances are it has as much valid sincerity as a snake oil salesman.

While on the topic of fake news, it begs the question, “If politicians can lie without condemnation, what are scientists to do?” Post-Truth: A Guide For The Perplexed.

As the economic and social impact of the tech world increases, the skills we teach our children for success in a rapidly changing world need to keep pace with technology.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

An unsettling read from the Union of Concerned Scientists on why 2,300 scientists have good reason to be very worried about the future interaction of science and public policy.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Naming stars may sound easy, but it can be a truly daunting task of cosmic proportions.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Over 100 million trees have died recently in California’s drought-stricken forests. With no relief in sight, this is an unfortunate trend that’s likely to worsen.

Nearly every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists today. In spite of our best efforts in recycling, we’re facing a pollution dilemma with no easy answers.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The “Red River Rivalry” continues…but over a recent topic of discussion. Oklahoma and Texas disagree on how to handle fracking-induced earthquakes and the oil and gas companies responsible for them.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A “must-read” for those living in tornado prone regions of North America from Climate Central. “Outbreaks of tornadoes — where multiple tornadoes form over an area in just a few hours or days — are responsible for most of the devastating destruction caused by severe weather, and a new analysis has reached a worrying conclusion about the worst of these outbreaks.”

Unfortunately, we’ll be seeing more of this in the years to come. Basically, it’s an outright denial of sound evidence that has stood the rigorous test of the scientific method. “Climate scientists have denounced the House committee on science, space and technology after the Republican-held panel promoted a misleading story expressing skepticism that the earth is dangerously warming.”

Recently, the US Senate passed a major bill to improve weather forecasting…and that’s very good news.

Finally, with winter having finally made its arrival across North America, the National Weather Service has an excellent Winter Weather Safety site that addresses many underrated hazards that can inconvenience, injure, or even kill you.

And that’s a wrap for this post! A big “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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