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…


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.


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.


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.



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