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

Greetings everyone! It’s been a busy weather and science news week with a story on virtually any topic from A to Z. Recent severe weather events, including the 6 August 2017 Tulsa, OK tornado have kept me busy & delayed this post by one day. So…without further delay, let’s get started.

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

 

EDUCATION

This isn’t strictly limited to science education, but is applicable to everyone…regardless of your occupation. “9 Super Successful People Share Their Reading Habits.” As a voracious reader, I can attest to the validity of the information within the article.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into weather and citizen science, one way you can contribute is taking part in the mPING crowdsourcing project. Whether using a desktop or mobile device, you can contribute valuable data year round to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to help weather research. The mobile app is free and available for iOS or Android.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Regardless of where you live and what hazards you may be susceptible to, an emergency kit is essential to any home or workplace. They’re easier to put together than you think too!

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Conveying science to the general public is a daunting challenge. The answer to this challenge is in using less “jargon” and explaining the basic facts.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An interesting look at how the solar energy industry will handle the 21 August 2017 solar eclipse.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

What does the USA’s National Weather Service do? More than you can imagine. Here’s a great overview of a government agency that quite often saves lives in addition to putting together your local forecast.

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor. Dry conditions continue to worsen across the north central states.

Graphic courtesy @DroughtCenter

NOAA has just released an updated 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. There are some substantial changes from the outlook in May. Remember, an outlook is not a forecast. The bottom line, a more active season is now expected.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Caribou, Maine

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report reiterates what many of us have suspected the past few months. 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping.

 

The State Of The Climate map below shows a startling increase in global surface temperatures. From the report, “Aided by the strong El Niño early in the year, the 2016 annual global surface temperature observed record warmth for a third consecutive year, with the 2016 annual global surface temperature surpassing the previous record of 2015.”

Graphic courtesy NOAA National Center For Environmental Information

Climate Central has an excellent read on the recent data on 2016 being a record year for global climate change.

As global temperature trends rise, are we willing to face the role current generations play in the lives of future ones and how climate change will affect their world?

A new analysis with data from NASA shows the vast El Niño weather pattern of 2014–16 caused tropical forests to produce approximately 3 billion tons of carbon. That’s equivalent to nearly 20% of the emissions produced during the same period by making cement and burning fossil fuels.

If you think that heat waves in cities across the USA are longer than in years past, you’d be correct. Extended streaks of heat, most likely in urban areas due to the heat island effect, are becoming more common.

Climate change deniers had a field day with a recent SNAFU within a New York Times story.

After 30 years, the challenge of dealing with the Earth’s ozone problem still remains very elusive.

New Orleans is once again dealing with floods. This city, which largely rests below sea level, will continue to have flooding problems until either a proper infrastructure is in place, or the city no longer exists.

After the Tulsa tornado of 6 August 2017, there was quite an unnecessary backlash and reaction to the “tornado sirens” not being sounded in the city of Tulsa. This was the correct decision. Here’s an infographic on the basis of what these archaic toys are meant for. Opinions vary on the usefulness of these sirens, but they have many faults and are (at best) Cold War era technology that is, at best, minimally useful. My sound advice: forget sirens even exist. There are far more effective means of getting potential life-saving weather warnings.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Tulsa, Oklahoma

PUBLIC POLICY

This should come as no surprise to those of us in Oklahoma who are familiar with our former attorney general’s proclivities. “Scott Pruitt Brushes Off ‘So-Called Settled Science’ On Conservative Radio Show.” Keep in mind that this individual is now the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. He also doesn’t want to “politicize science,” but due to the nature of our rapidly changing society, that can’t be done.

That’s 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!

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