Monthly Archives: April, 2017

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 16 – 23, 2017

Greetings to one and all…and a belated Happy Earth Day! While every day should be Earth day, this is the one of the few days during the year that global consciousness on the current state and fragile future of our humble home can be brought to the forefront of public consciousness. To be practical, this is the only home our species and the thousands of other species will ever know. It would behoove is to be good stewards and take a keen interest in the welfare of this amazing orb whirling round our sun. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Abuse it and, well…there are unpleasant ramifications.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

If you thought bad air quality was a moderate health hazard, thing again. It’s much worse.

Many areas of the USA and Canada that are prone to wildfires have residents that are forced into learning how to live with this annual hazard.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest State Of The Climate report from NOAA is out. Here’s a look at the climate conditions and events for March, 2017.

Visual aids are fantastic for conveying information. The impact can be substantial. This graphic that puts global warming into an easily comprehensible perspective is particularly startling.

Antarctic ice melt, previously thought to be progressing but rather slowly, is now much worse and widespread than we thought.

Conveying the importance of climate change to the general public is a never-ending and daunting task. “Why Humans Are So Bad At Thinking About Climate Change.”

From the Royal Meteorological Society, “An international coalition of 33 meteorological and climate societies and institutions have released a Collective Global Climate Statement to coincide with Earth Day on 22nd April, which this year is focused on environmental and climate literacy. The Statement was initiated and coordinated by the Royal Meteorological Society.”

In spite of its frequency, lightning it one of the most enigmatic atmospheric phenomenons. Here’s a fascinating look at some of the forms it can take. Sprites, often seen above strong/severe supercell thunderstorms, are my personal favorite.

Atmospheric aerosols are an essential element of our weather and air quality. Sunlight is responsible for chemical reactions in our lower atmosphere…the atmosphere we live in and breathe.

Some Twitter chatter from those steeped in hyperbole has been carelessly using the word “outbreak” as of late in reference to potential severe weather. What exactly is a tornado outbreak? (Paper courtesy Rick Smith, WCM for NWS Norman, OK.)

Speaking of severe weather and tornadoes, here’s a nice retrospective from US Tornadoes of all the tornado warnings issued in the USA since 2008.

For some people, anxiety and/or phobias regarding weather, specifically severe weather, are a real challenge to their everyday quality of life and no laughing matter. Fortunately, there are resources available to help anyone why suffers with this challenge…and when you live in Tornado Alley, it can be especially stressful.

Infographic courtesy National Weather Service: Norman, OK

Heat is one of the most underrated weather related hazards and is often fatal. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people with no access to air conditioning or forced to work out of doors in heat that is getting worse year by year and is potentially lethal.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The March For Science brought out scientists and those concerned with science in over 500 cities across six continents. Though the March For Science is a success and brought the current anti-science mindset to the public consciousness, we’ve a long, long hard battle ahead…and the march was just the first step.

The new funding crunch on scientific research has the potential to induce desperate measures that could lead to very dangerous and sloppy science.

As of mid April, 2017, NOAA was still without a new administrator who will oversee climate research, weather forecasting, ocean protection and a $5.6 billion budget.

Support for the worldwide March For Science isn’t unanimous. It’s important to hear both sides and the reasons why some will march, and some, while sympathetic to the cause, will not be taking part.

Scott Pruitt, the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator says the USA should abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. “Pruitt’s statement puts him at odds with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, who said during his confirmation hearing that it was important for the U.S. to “maintain its seat at the table.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Interesting times are ahead and I’m glad you’re along for the wild ride.

Cheers!

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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 8 – 16, 2017

Greeting’s to everyone! If you’re celebrating the holiday weekend, I hope it’s a good one. For those not celebrating, I hope your spring/autumn is going as well as possible. Here in the USA, the severe weather season is in full swing this week with several days of challenging forecasts. Also, don’t forget the March For Science is coming up on 22 April 2017! This week’s post will be a bit on the brief side due to a developing severe weather setup…so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A disconcerting privacy read. In the process of trying to guard privacy rights, some people are trying to “trash their tracks.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Polluting your web history won’t keep you from having your rights violated by nefarious opportunists.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a good read on spring-time citizen science projects from SciStarter! Why sit on the sidelines when you can take part? Citizen scientists add valuable data to research projects that, in most situations, would be difficult to obtain.

Citizen science and weather go hand-in-hand exceptionally well! Here are four ways you can enjoy citizen science get involved and contribute valuable weather and climate data to data bases and research!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

It seems as if wind energy gets less expensive month by month…and that’s some very good news!

The drought in California may by “officially” over, but it’s best to not think it won’t happen again.

Speaking of California, here’s some very good renewables news. On one day in March, 2017, California got fifty percent of it’s electricity from solar power.

NASA has a new Night Light Map that shows patterns of human settlement across our humble home.

Challenging times ahead for the EPA. With air quality in the USA still problematic, the health of millions is at stake.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If this past winter seemed short for much of North America, you weren’t imagining things. For the southwestern USA states in particular, spring is coming earlier every year.

This is the kind of record breaking data that doesn’t bring about smiles. We’ve yet another record breaking month for low Arctic sea ice.

Here’s a very informative Science Friday interview with climate scientist Michael Mann on his recent House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology hearing testimony.

Time is running short. “We Must Reach Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, Says Former UN Climate Chief.

Weather balloons carry instrument packages that supply invaluable data for forecasting and observations. Check out this video of a weather balloon exploding at 100,000 feet!

The Heartland Institute is at it again…this time will a well oiled PR campaign based on unfounded accusations sans evidence.

PUBLIC POLICY

NASA continues to be the target of budget cuts that, in the long run, will mean the demise of valuable data that benefits us all.

Now that former Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt is running the USA’s EPA, some climate change denialists are bemoaning that, “he won’t fight.”

While on that topic, the train wreck continues. “Scott Pruitt Calls For An ‘Exit’ From The Paris Accord, Sharpening The Trump White House’s Climate Rift.”

Last but definitely not least, don’t forget the March For Science is only days away on 22 April 2017! Currently, there are over 500 satellite marches that will be taking place the world over!

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media…glad you’re along for the fun! Interesting times ahead.

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

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 1 – 8, 2017

Greetings everyone! It’s been a busy week for severe weather events across the contiguous USA the past few days. One of those days included a rare High Risk in the southeastern states. Perhaps more unusual is the fact that it was the third High Risk for 2017…and we’re still in early April. There’s a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the rest of the “tornado season” will be active. The best action for the general public to take is the necessary preparedness steps. This week’s post will be a bit shorter than usual due to ongoing projects and the severe weather of the past week…so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

A good climate read on the irrevocable link between climate change and its effects on living animals and other parts of the earth’s biosphere.

In spite of its numerous benefits, renewable energy sources are still subject for debate. Here’s a very concise overview over many very contentious renewables topics.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

With the severe weather season in full swing, I’ve compiled a list of safety links that I hope will be helpful to you. Remember, the severe weather season is (from a climatological perspective) just kicking into gear and we have several active months ahead.

If you’re programming your NOAA weather radio, here’s a helpful page with an interactive map that will help you with any coverage questions.

This video is proof positive that a vehicle is no match for even a weak and quite modest tornado.

This past April 3rd was the forty-third anniversary of the tornado “Super-outbreak” of 1974. Here’s a very nice retrospective and even a look at if it were to happen again today, how the amount of damage and potential casualties would be much greater. As we saw with the 27 April 2011 outbreak, events of this magnitude can and will happen again.

From Climate Central, “A never-ending stream of carbon pollution ensures that each year the world continues to break records for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” Unfortunately, 2017 will be no different.

With largely ice-free summers since 2011, the Arctic Ocean is taking on characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean.

PUBLIC POLICY

The campaign to put science and tech leaders in public office is gathering momentum fast…and can’t happen soon enough. In fact, it’s time for scientists to step up with no time to waste.

This short video explains why scientists are mobilizing and taking a stance against the “fear of facts” that is pervasive within the current USA’s presidential administration.

It should come as no surprise that scientists have understood for over a century the way our climate functions…better than the current head of the USA’s EPA.

The role of scientists is to present facts, the future possibilities, and consequences. Unfortunately, the people (often our politicians/lawmakers) are so scientifically illiterate that they can do little more than convey ignorance and make egregiously misguided decisions.

Last but not least, a cartoon that has a bite of truth mixed with humor.

And that’s a wrap for this post! Remember, if you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, make final preparations for your emergency kits and any other necessary arrangements. Until next time…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 March 19 – April 1, 2017

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by! This week’s review was delayed several days by the recent severe weather across many states in the USA. It’s that time of year and when mother nature throws a tantrum, I have to put a few things on the back burner until the scenario calms down. This has been an unusually active severe weather YEAR so far…with even a very rare High Risk in (of all months) January. We’ll see if this pattern holds and it’s a busier than usual severe weather season. In spite of my penchant for taking a look at the big picture and getting a good idea of what the atmosphere is doing globally, it is often difficult to pin down what will transpire more than five or six days in advance…hence my adversity to crying “wolf” just for attention and social media notoriety. There’s plenty to catch up on since my last review, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this posts links…

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

Two important infographics this week…the first one is a concise overview of the Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlook categories.

The second infographic is especially important in explaining the difference between a severe thunderstorm or tornado WATCH and a severe thunderstorm or tornado WARNING. Keep in mind that a watch may be issued several hours before any storms approach your area. Nonetheless, you should stay very “weather aware” even if the sky is blue.

Infographic courtesy National Weather Service: Amarillo, Texas

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Critical thinking is one of the most valuable intellectual resources one can use in making decisions of importance. Fortunately, there are some teaching critical thinking to steer young people against the toxic mindsets rampant in pseudoscience.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is finally showing some signs of wear on it’s wheels. Considering the inhospitable conditions in which it has to operate, it’s simply amazing that the rover has lasted this long.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

At the end of February, 2017, drought was affecting approximately 18.3% of the North American population. Since then, conditions have worsened for many of the affected areas.

Graphic from North American Drought Monitor

Speaking of drought, water is a priceless resource that is essential for life. Why then, on a planet with so much water, is it scarce in some locations? Poor management.

Here’s some very good renewable energy news! “Once largely confined to the sunny Southwest, utility-scale solar power plants are now being built everywhere from Minnesota to Alabama to Maine. Aided by plunging costs and improving technologies, these facilities are expected to provide a big boost to U.S. solar energy production.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The World Meteorological Day was on 23 March 2017. The World Meteorological Organization has updated their cloud atlas. For professionals, educators, weather geeks, and citizen scientists, this is quite a treat. Here are some very nice examples of addition to the cloud atlas. Here’s another exceptional collection of images. Truth be known, atmospheric scientists have been aware of these clouds for eons. They only seem ‘new’ to the general public.

In case you missed this, Science Friday had a recent segment that is a ‘must listen’ regarding the state of the USA’s weather satellites.

NOAA has released their spring 2017 flooding outlook for the USA. Parts of Idaho and North Dakota are currently at the highest risk.

Here’s a very cool interactive map of the warmest and coldest temperatures on the first day of spring in the contiguous USA.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that the seasonal changes in recent years are vastly different from the changes we enjoyed years ago. They’re certainly not what they used to be.

A recent “slowdown” in CO2 emissions is all good and well, but the devil is in the details…and the future trends may be anything but beneficial.

How American’s think about climate change is visualized in six maps. Unfortunately, a common opinion is that it won’t effect them personally. The problem with that mindset is that the atmosphere doesn’t recognize political boundaries.

All of the major television networks virtually ignored the topic of climate change and atmospheric science in 2016. In spite of increasing public concern over climate change, ‘mainstream’ new sources are really dropping the ball. If it’s not high drama or blood and guts, it’s not good for their ratings.

Sweden is proving to be the EU’s climate leader by leaps and bounds.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Sometimes scientists have to force politicians to read the sound science behind climate change in order to get their point across.

The USA’s State Department recently made some substantial changes to its climate change page…and they’re not for the better.

Another USA government department has banned the use of the phrase “climate” altogether.

How to Fight The War On Science And Win…an excellent read by Jonathan Foley and Christine Arena. Critical thinking and objectivity are essential in this crucial campaign.

Speaking of the war on science, I’m sure you’re well familiar with the current presidential administration’s actions regarding science and climate change. To get a clearer idea of what has recently transpired and the future ramifications, here’s a concise overview.

NOAA is slated for some drastic budget cuts…this includes valuable data that is used to help keep the North American Great Lakes clean and environmentally safe.

Here’s a spot-on read by Lawrence Krauss. “Killing Science And Culture Doesn’t Make The Nation Stronger.”

Last but not least, an essential read from the Union Of Concerned Scientists archive that is as relevant today as when it was first published. “Science In An Age Of Scrutiny: How Scientists Can Respond To Criticism And Personal Attacks.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. It’s good to have you 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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