Monthly Archives: February, 2017

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 11 – 18, 2017

Greetings to everyone! If it’s winter in your location, you’re probably wondering if we went directly from autumn to early spring. In spite of some heavy snowfalls in the Northeastern USA states, most of the USA and Canada is in the midst of a very mild winter. For many folks, it feels as if spring has already arrived. Speaking of spring, Skywarn spotter training classes are underway across the USA in preparation for the coming severe weather season. And, as expected, science and public policy is front and center again…and will be for some time. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A reminder from January’s archives…the reasons behind the March for Science scheduled for 22 April 2017.

Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s a concise overview of what that means for the environment. On a personal note, those of us who live in Oklahoma and have serious concerns for our environment are very familiar with Pruitt’s past. There are daunting challenges ahead for the EPA.

The latest news for this week has focused on the impending dangers to the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

NASA’s valuable work and research on climate change may be facing significant peril or be altogether obliterated.

TECHNOLOGY

Before it disappears permanently, some ambitious and diehard coders are working non-stop to rescue climate science data.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Would you like to help NASA searching for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space? If so, here are the details!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Some amazing astronomical eye candy was captured recently in Sweden…and it’s quite a sight.

Recent research into the surface of Mars hints strongly at the presence of water in the not-so-distant past.

Our sun is an amazing star. It also produces very unusual bursts of radiation. NASA now knows why.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An excellent read on the current state and future growth of renewable energy sources and the inevitable demise of fossil fuels.

Fifty years of environmental protections and a host of earth-friendly pledges are in dire danger of being wiped off the planet by the USA’s current presidential administration.

At the state level, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under yet another threat from Florida lawmakers.

Bakersfield, CA has what is likely the worst air quality of any USA city. With the potential demise of the Environmental Protection Agency and/or regulations, Bakersfield’s air could be on track to get worse.

In some cities, residents are cautioned to take great care when an air pollution alert is issued. Safety tips for air pollution can be just as important as precautions taken for severe weather.

Here’s some good renewables news. “Wind Briefly Sets Record As Source For Electricity In USA.”

At Texas A&M, the first glow-in-the-dark bike lanes in the USA have been painted. Let’s hope these catch on in as many states as possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on NOAA and NASA data, January, 2017 was the third warmest on record globally. Here’s a look at global climate anomalies for January, 2017.

c44g0p4waae4pus-jpg-large

Speaking of a warm winter, if February seems warm, you’re not imagining things. For the contiguous USA, it’s averaged five degrees above normal.

With the peak of North American’s severe weather season fast approaching, now’s the time to get your emergency kit in order.

According to new research and a newly developed a mathematical equation, people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

Take a look at NASA’s campaign (which is a world-wide first) to make detailed maps of all the oceans and glaciers around Greenland’s coastline.

In a continent used to very hot weather, even this Australian heat wave is making the most jaded residents take notice. “The heat wave down under is unusual even for Australia – but it may not be so for much longer. The country is in the grip of one of the most ferocious heatwaves on record, and climate change is being held accountable.”

What Do Gorilla Suits and Blowfish Fallacies Have to Do With Climate Change?” Plenty. You’ll find out why in this excellent read on human behavior and the attitudes towards climate science.

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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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review for February 4 – 11, 2017

Happy weekend everyone! February is moving along just fine with a major heat wave in Australia, significant snowstorms in the northeastern USA states and parts of eastern Europe, and an exceptionally warm winter day in the American southern plains. As of late, I’ve had several inquiries regarding storm spotter training. Across the USA, National Weather Service offices are having their Skywarn spotter training classes. Please check with your local National Weather Service office to see when training is scheduled in your area. This training is imperative to have if you’re to be an effective spotter. Also keep in mind that this is a commitment to your local community. Safety, for the public and yourself, is a non-negotiable priority and the purpose of storm spotting. Sensationalism, hyperbole, and fifteen minutes of fame on social media isn’t.

In other topics, public policy is now a permanent part of the sciences. It actually always has been but, in the interest of neutrality, many scientists have avoided it in spite of their frustrations. For reasons that are painfully obvious, scientists and citizen scientists are now in the politics business. Lock and load…we’re in for several years of a wild ride.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The USA can’t afford to take part in any international or national cuts in science funding. Any attempts at such action would set us back many years.

Oklahoman’s are more than a little familiar with the new head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency and what he is capable of. The agency’s regulatory authority is in peril.

After what seems like a millennium of playing the apolitical “neutral” game, scientists are finally taking a stance politically…and none too soon.

A very thought provoking look at women in scientific research. The most startling statistic: only twenty-eight percent of researchers are women.

This young lady has the kind of fearless chutzpah that you can’t help but admire. “Congressman is righteously booed after dodging a young girl’s simple question about science.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter is finally putting some teeth and anti-harassment  into their policy toward trolls.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

This could also be posted under Atmospheric Science, but due to the potential use by citizen scientists, I’ve posted it here…and it’s very cool too. You can now post mPING reports from your RadarScope app! If you’re a citizen scientist, weather geek, nature enthusiast, or have any kind of interest in the weather and climate, RadarScope is the best mobile device weather radar app available.

GEOGRAPHY

A fascinating look at seven maps that will certainly alter the way you look at the countries around the world.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Considering the impending changes in the current administration, I doubt seriously this will come to fruition. We can only hope that somehow the EPA is still allowed to tell Oklahoma regulators to do more to protect the state from a surge in earthquake activity linked to the underground disposal of oil & gas wastewater.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good news from Europe. Approximately ninety percent of new power is from renewable energy sources. The caveat is what will happen after the year 2020.

Fortunately, there’s more good renewables  news this week. “Wind power is making a comeback. One of the earliest energy sources to be harnessed by mankind has now overtaken coal-fired generation in Europe and hydroelectric dams in the U.S.”

Air pollution can kill. You only have to look at the recent horrid conditions across much of China to see the life-threatening effects.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

As I mentioned earlier, it’s time for Skywarn spotter training. With the peak of severe weather season rapidly approaching, it’s time for training.

A much warmer than usual winter for the Arctic is still going full steam. That’s not a little disconcerting.

Here’s a very detailed view of drought conditions across the contiguous USA. For the first time since March, 2011, there are no areas in the USA that are experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions.

In other parts of the world, floods and erosion are problematic. Many of Britain’s significant sites are in critical danger of permanent alteration.

An enlightening read on how the new climate change denial is just like the old-school denial…just a touch of different rhetoric.

One of the more unfortunate stories this week concerns false information that claims the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) falsified climate data. Here’s Carbon Brief’s excellent article on this matter as well as a good read from the New York Times.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “Climate change has long been the target of so-called fake news and its researchers can offer lessons for the wider society in how to handle deliberate misinformation.” Considering the overabundance of information that many people find difficult to sift through, a concerted effort to help the public discern scientific news conveyed by truth-seeking scientists from sub par propaganda from the interloping riff-raff is badly needed.

The United States isn’t the only country where climate change and policy is being ravaged in terms of short-term profits. Australia has an equally hostile climate as well. Myopic, vested interests have climate science squarely in their cross-hairs.

Last but certainly not least, here’s another reminder of the March for Science which will be taking place in Washington, D. C. and many, many other cities around the globe on Earth Day, 22 April 2017. For more information, please visit the March For Science website for details and how you can participate. One particularly interesting take on the even comes from Forbes magazine. “The March For Science In Washington Is Political Whether You Like It Or Not.”

march-for-science2

And that will be a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

Cheers!


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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 28 – February 4, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you are having a good weekend and your week went well since we last visited. There’s a lot to go over from this week…and an unusually large amount of articles on science and public policy. For the near future, this will be a dominant topic in the sciences so get ready to see a lot of it in every form of media you can imagine which includes, but isn’t limited to, social media. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Mark your calendars! The March For Science will take place in Washington, D.C. and a host of other cities worldwide on Earth Day, 22 April 2017!

march-for-science2

There are a number of ways you can keep informed on the March For Science. You can visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tension and stress over the transition. That’s a vast understatement. “Fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will suppress climate science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are causing widespread unease”.

What would happen if the USA withdraws from the Paris climate agreement? While small gains could be made on the local level, the overall effect would be a climate-based diplomatic disaster.

One viewpoint feels that scientists marching on Washington, D.C. would be a bad idea. I beg to differ, but understand where the writer is coming from. Regardless, you can’t retreat from the front lines…we’ve a job to do.

Many scientists in the USA are very concerned about draconian cuts in research funding. In fact, many could be forced out of science altogether.

Don’t be surprised if you see many scientists running for political office in the next few years.

We got a good scare this week when it was reported that a climate change denier would be put in charge of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “But, according to the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, climate change doubter Ken Haapala never met with NOAA leadership and isn’t shaping its future.” So…for the time being…NOAA and the National Weather Service is somewhat safe. But, considering the ongoing Trump administration hostilities toward science, this could change in a most unfortunate way.

At least there’s some good news from our friends in Scandinavia. “Sweden has presented a new climate law designed to ensure all future governments have a “credible climate policy” as well as announcing an ambitious target of achieving a net level of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A citizen scientist has written a very concise book on climate change that fills a niche that has been largely ignored.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out these amazing images from the Cassini mission of Saturn’s rings!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This is quite an amazing video from Hawaii, USA of lava flowing into the ocean.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Renewable energy sources are making headway by leaps and bounds. A single wind turbine in  a 24-hour period produced an amazing 216,000 kWh (which is a LOT of power!) on December 1, 2016 at a testing site near Østerild, Denmark. That’s officially a new world record.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Meteorologists have come a very long way in forecasting winter weather. Here’s a really good read from the Capital Weather Gang on the amazing winter weather forecasting improvements that have taken place since the 1970’s.

For far too long, female broadcast meteorologists have been labeled “weather girls.” The fact of the matter is they are just as highly educated scientists as their male counterparts. The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks” weekly show takes a look at this irritating phenomenon.

Considering the political inclinations that are increasingly hostile towards climate science research, scientists who study our planet are understandably increasingly anxious.

Michael Mann, a well-known climate scientists, has strong opinions on the current USA presidential administration…opinions that reflect the feelings of every scientist I’ve discussed the current science hostile climate (no pun intended) that is ramping up in the Trump administration.

Here’s an interesting read on how a common springtime weather pattern and pollution transported from Asia combines to create unhealthy ozone levels for the USA’s desert southwest.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows improving conditions for California while extreme drought conditions worsen in AR, AL, GA, OK, & much of New England.

drought-monitor-map

 That’s a wrap for this post! A warm 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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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