Tornado Quest Science Links Review For October 11 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re having good weather wherever you are. Here across much of North America, we’re getting a touch of autumn…some areas are enjoying the spectacular fall foliage, others are still reeling from devastating hurricanes and wildfires. There’s plenty to look over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

The US state of New Mexico has reversed course (somewhat) on a recent public education issue with startling changes to proposed science standards. In the 21st century, it’s hard to believe that any of these changes were even proposed.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

One underrated hazard from natural disasters is the prevalence of PTSD which, all too often, can be permanently disabling.

A little social science combined with technology. “Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

An excellent video summary from the BBC on why the California wildfires are so deadly.

There’s a definite connection between climate change and the California wildfires. Here’s what is know so far.

As of 20 October 2017, California wildfires have caused over one billion US dollars in damages.

This is an excellent perspective on the California wildfires. “Promoting the right kind of fire—and smarter development—is safer and more cost-effective than fighting a losing battle.”

While part of the recent California wildfires can be attributed to climate change and natural causes, humans must be willing to accept responsibility for our part.

Using plastics is almost unavoidable…and can be precarious. Here’s an excellent guide on what kinds of plastics to chose and which ones to avoid altogether.

Why are scientists so bad at recycling? Unfortunately, many laboratory scenarios have certain challenges…but zero waste can be achieved.

In Europe, the 2014 death toll from air pollution is estimated to have been as high as 500,000 early deaths.

The potential for wind energy worldwide is immense…and now’s the time to start harnessing this renewable source of clean energy.

A small town in the very Red state of Texas is the perfect example of what an American eco-friendly city of the future looks like.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been remarkable. 2017 became the first year in more than a century and only the fourth on record with 10 consecutive Atlantic storms reached hurricane strength.

Read how and why Ophelia was the strongest storm to hit Ireland in almost half a century.

An interesting read from Climate Central on the effect climate change is having on fall foliage.

The watch and waiting game for La Niña continues. “The October ENSO forecast says La Niña conditions are favored during the fall and winter 2017-18, but at press time the ocean-atmosphere system didn’t quite meet the criteria for a La Niña Advisory.”

Here’s a look at this week’s USA Drought Monitor. Here’s a detailed region-by-region look at current drought conditions.

The road to recovery for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria is going to be a long one that will take years.

PUBLIC POLICY

No words to describe this continuation of the train wreck. “In announcing his abandonment of the Clean Power Plan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt boasted, “The war on coal is over.” That means the war on children has begun.”

Here’s another “head scratcher” that isn’t really surprising. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has scrubbed their website of references to ‘climate change.’

This is an interestingly disconcerting development. “Trump Pics Weather Company Chief to Lead NOAA.”


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