Monthly Archives: February, 2018

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For February 19 – 26, 2018

Greetings everyone! I hope that the weather is to your liking wherever you are. February has been interesting across much of North America with record highs set in many eastern states. We’ve also seen a small increase in the number of severe weather events. It’s that time of year to prepare for severe weather and review safety precautions. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you love weather and want to get involved in citizen science, the CoCoRaHS precipitation network is an excellent way to collect valuable data.

PALEOBIOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

A fascinating read on the history of our humble home. “Plants Colonized The Earth 100 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought.”

Here’s a fascinating read for my fellow dinosaur fans. “Paleontologists Discovered A Huge Ancient Fossils Trove In Bears Ears National Monument.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Are Americans hitting their breaking point on the environment? It appears that is the case.

Can you reduce or do without plastics in your life? Some have tried…and found it challenging.

Floating wind farms are becoming a major source of power in many locations. With many countries having windy areas relatively close to shore, this is a trend that has fantastic potential.

Why do kids need to climb trees? For any number of positive reasons including getting in touch (literally) with nature…plants, soil, and those amazing clouds that fill our skies.

Take a look at some amazing photos from the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest State Of The Climate Report has been issued. January 2018 was the fifth warmest on record for the globe. The map below is a look at some selected climate anomalies and events for the first month of 2018. The main takeaway…it was a very warm month from a global perspective.

Map courtesy NOAA

For meteorologists, this is BIG news! “Here are five reasons why GOES-S will be such a game-changer for weather forecasts from California to Alaska and beyond.”

Depending on the layout of the city you live in, your urban location has its own weather. The Urban Heat Island Effect plays a bit part in short-term weather and long-term climate data for cities worldwide.

Delaying a reduction in carbon emissions will be nothing short of disastrous. Sea level rise could continue for an estimated 300 years.

Why is studying a continent as remote as Antarctica so important? “What was once thought to be a largely unchanging mass of snow and ice is anything but. Antarctica holds a staggering amount of water.”

According to a new Climate Central analysis, a warming world means our winters will be changing…and we’ll be dealing with less snow and more rain. There’s a good and a bad side to that.

Even though it’s only late February, signs of spring are showing up in  parts of Sweden…including a village where winter never really arrived.

The latest US Drought Portal still shows a significant portion of the southern half of the USA in dry/drought conditions. A detailed look at the drought conditions in a region-by-region format can be found at the US Drought Monitor. Rainfall in many areas has eased the drought conditions temporarily, but the overall trend for much of the Southern Plains is still in Extreme Drought status.

Last but not least…”The publisher of an academic journal beloved by climate science deniers has been revamped to ensure it meets industry standards of peer-review and editorial practice. Its climate science denier editor has also stepped down.” Sometimes you’ve just got to love “karma.”

PUBLIC POLICY

Better late than never. “Republican Lisa Murkowski Says It’s Time For Her Party To Take Climate Change Seriously.”

And that is a wrap for this post! A sincere welcome to 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 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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Tornado Quest Science Links In Review For February 12 – 19, 2018

Greetings to everyone! There’s a little bit of everything to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into weather, citizen science, and would like to contribute to weather research, check out the mPING project where you can send in year round weather reports from the USA and Canada. The app is free, is a very small download, and is available for iOS and Android. Reports can also be sent online from a desktop or laptop computer.

PHYSICS/ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

What came before the Big Bang? There are several theories…and it’s a topic that never gets dull to discuss.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

How do you build a healthy city? It should come as no surprise than a Scandinavian country has the figured out. Take a look at Copenhagen and what Denmark has done for its citizens.

Those of us who take the challenges of living a green lifestyle seriously get our share of strange look and names…but it’s becoming less “weird.”

Speaking of green lifestyles, here’s some food for though on indoor air quality and many of the cleaning products we use every day.

Contrary to the skeptics, wind farms are not the “bird killers” that runs wild in the gossip mills. Such irony that fossil fuel interests that have little interest in environmental and wildlife protection are suddenly wringing their hands over a few birds. Bottom line: wind farms are a threat to their monopoly.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest USA Drought Portal shows that 30.4% and 77.4 million people in the USA are being affected by dry/drought conditions. The most up-t0-date data from the USA Drought Monitor has information on specific regions.

Graphic courtesy US Drought Monitor

Here’s a fascinating look at how powerful hurricanes can have an effect on the Gulf Stream.

A new study shows that you can’t blame hurricanes for most big storm surges that affect the northeastern parts of the USA.

Extreme weather events ranging from heat waves to floods are very likely to increase worldwide if Paris climate agreements are not met.

By some accounts, Americans have a long way to go when it comes to a full comprehension of climate change, but it’s very fortunate that they are increasingly getting their information from climate scientists and ignoring hyperbole via polemics.

PUBLIC POLICY

The current presidential administration has proposed a budget that would target NASA, NOAA, EPA, and much more. That also includes satellites, education programs and science centers.

Power has its privileges…and not a few of us are calling “BS” on EPA head Scott Pruitt’s demand to fly first class when he travels.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media…and a thanks to all the folks who have been with me for years. Glad to have you along!

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 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For February 5 – 12, 2018

Greetings everyone! Regardless of where you live, I hope the weather is to your liking. Here across much of the Great Plains of the USA, drought conditions persist. Not a few of us, including yours truly, are more than ready for spring…and the beneficial rains that are usually the norm. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project you can participate in from just about anywhere. The Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled from 16-19 February 2018.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Happy International Darwin Day! Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809. Darwin Day celebrates his birthday and, “the achievements of humanity as represented in the acquisition of verifiable scientific knowledge.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently took the most distant photograph ever…and it’s amazing.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Why is a big utility company embracing wind and solar? In parts of the USA, “wind and solar plants built from scratch now offer the cheapest power available, even counting old coal, which was long seen as unbeatable.”

Part of a monster “fatberg” has gone on display in a London museum. This is the disgustingly ugly side of “out of sight, out of mind” that tells a great deal about how we live. There have been plenty of these in USA cities too.

Speaking of waste, electronic waste (aka E-Waste) is a growing problem with up to 80% not being properly recycled or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Not only is the Arctic permafrost melting at an alarming rate due to climate change, but the permafrost holds a dangerous amount of mercury.

These images of rare species from unexplored area of Antarctic seabed “highlight need to protect life in one of the most remote places on the planet.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA has just released a detailed report on January 2018 in the USA. The first month of the new year brought (among other things) the largest drought footprint in nearly four years to the USA.

Below is a NOAA map of significant climate anomalies and events for January 2018.

Here’s an excellent essay on the complexities of climate change. The most important takeaway is the fact that our planet, and its climate, is not a “black-and-white” issue.

What causes someone to go from being a climate change denialist to someone who is sincerely alarmed about the changes we’re seeing? Read this and find out.

By some government accounts, no decline in the USA’s carbon emissions is expected by 2050. If there was ever a reason to motivate action, this should be it. We’ve no other choice.

Critical thinking is one of the most useful tools one can use to spot false claims, especially in the realm of science. Here’s how it can be beneficial when dealing with climate change denialists.

Spectacular Swedish view at -22C! To get a halo like this, you need just the right amount of everything at the right time.

PUBLIC SAFETY & SOCIAL SCIENCE

When given an evacuation order, many people choose to stay in spite of life-threatening conditions. Here’s an interesting look at a study that gives insight as to why some people don’t follow evacuation orders when presented with the risk of wildfires.

THE QUIXOTIC PUBLIC POLICY

Apparently, global warming will help the human species to flourish. It takes a special level of ignorance to back such a statement…but then again we’re talking about EPA head Scott Pruitt.

Backpedaling at its best. At least it is going in the correct direction. “The Trump Administration Brought A Climate Change Policy Back From The Dead.”

Last but not least, this should come as no surprise. “Fines Against Polluters Drop Sharply Under Trump EPA.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media and a big “thank you” to the folks who have been following for some time. I’m glad you’re all along for the ride! More fun to come!

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 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For January 29 – February 5, 2018

Greetings everyone! I hope those of you that are in winter are handling the cold well. For our friends in Australia, they’re dealing with quite the heat wave. I’m hoping this isn’t an omen for the coming summer. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Leave it to the Swedes to come up with a great idea like this. Let’s hope that “plogging” catches on in other countries as well.

It’s unfortunate that in the 21st century, air pollution is still a major public health concern. Even more disconcerting that certain members of our society are more vulnerable than others.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Straight from the USA’s Department of Defense is a new Pentagon report that says climate change threatens half of America’s military bases worldwide.

Could global warming be behind this winter’s histrionic behavior? “A very new and “hot topic” in climate change research is the notion that rapid warming and wholesale melting of the Arctic may be playing a role in causing persistent cold spells.”

Blue shading on this map shows how far south some Arctic air spread spread in recent weeks. Map courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

 

The latest USA Drought Monitor shows a drastic increase in dry/drought conditions spreading from CA to the Southern Plains (OK & TX are particularly hard hit) and extending east to the Gulf Coast states. Here is a region by region summary with specific details for your location.

From Climate Central, a global temperature review of the past year. 2017 was yet another year of climate records with each continent except Antarctica having set warming records.

January 2018 has gotten off to a very warm start for New Zealand with that month being the hottest month ever recorded.

The earth’s oceans can provide somewhat of a ‘buffer’ on carbon emissions, but it comes at a price to their detriment.

Last but not least, today (5 February 2018) is National Weatherperson’s Day. I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without the professional atmospheric scientists who work so diligently around the clock and every day of the year keeping and eye on weather, climate, and compiling valuable information for research, public safety, et al. Dr Marshall Shepherd has written as excellent essay on imagining our lives with out meteorologists. For me, it’s impossible.

THE QUIXOTIC

No, it isn’t alright that this has become the norm, but it’s the unfortunate truth that won’t be changing anytime soon.

People that buy followers on Twitter are a dime a dozen…and from now on, there’s a heavy price to pay for that kind of foolishness.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. Nice to have you along for the fun!

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 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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