Author Archive: Tornado Quest

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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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

Severe Weather Safety Links To Keep You And Your Family Safe. #WeatherReady (Updated 7 April 2017)

For Monday, April 3, 2017, the Storm Prediction Center is forecasting numerous severe storms across parts of several southern states. The climatological peak of activity isn’t until May…so we’ve several more weeks of active severe weather episodes that may, or may not, materialize. Regardless, best to be prepared. I hope these links are of assistance to you.

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

SEVERE WEATHER INFORMATION

One caveat about this category. The two links for the SPC and NWS are excellent sources and the starting point for everyone’s information. As for local broadcast meteorologists, I can only suggest that you watch those which are to your liking…which is extremely subjective…and therefore in the interest of fairness and objectivity, I have no recommendations.

INFOGRAPHICS

From the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), a concise explanation of risk categories. (Graphic courtesy SPC)

Do you know the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING? (Graphic courtesy NWS Amarillo, TX)

When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued, there is specific criteria that a thunderstorm must meet to be considered severe. You should be aware of those criteria and recognize them if you see them and what safety precautions to take. (Graphic courtesy NWS Birmingham, AL)

Your mobile device can save your life. Make sure your phones, tablets, et al. are charged at all times. (Graphic courtesy NOAA)

CITIZEN SCIENCE: CONTRIBUTING TO DATA BASES AND RESEARCH DURING/AFTER THE STORM

  • CoCoRaHS: “”Volunteers working together to measure precipitation across the nations.”
  • mPING: “Weather radars cannot “see” at the ground, so mPING reports are used by the NOAA National Weather Service to fine-tune their forecasts. NSSL uses the data in a variety of ways, including to develop new radar and forecasting technologies and techniques.”

Last but not least on the list of links is one that I know pertains to not a few people…a phobia of thunderstorms, tornadoes, lightning and thunder. It may be no consolation, but I have two bits of encouragement for anyone who suffers with these challenges.

  1. The first three (thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning) are obvious hazards, but thunder is harmless. It’s merely the air reacting to the sudden heating caused by the extremely hot lightning bolt. If you’ve ever experienced a static electric shock and heard a small “pop” sound, it’s basically the same thing, only on a larger scale. So let the thunder roar. It is what causes the thunder that you need to be wary of.
  2. Consider where you live or will be during a severe thunderstorm. The chances of the very spot you are in getting the worst of the storm are actually rather small. Let’s say you live in a 2,000 square foot home and a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for your area. The odds of the highest winds, largest hail, and perhaps flash flooding blasting the structure you’re in is quite small. On a map, you’re a mere speck that is barely seen without a magnifying glass. Let’s take it up a notch a bit an consider tornadoes. In spite of what you see on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, the local or national news, etc., tornadoes are an exceptionally rare event. Most tornadoes are also in the EF-0 or EF-1 category with maximum winds of perhaps 110 m.p.h. at peak intensity. Most frame homes and commercial buildings will easily sustain a direct hit from a tornado of this strength. Yes, it’ll leave a mess but if you read the safety rules above and take proper precautions, you’ll be fine. Scared? Yes. That’s normal. Our limbic system in our brain (aka fight or flight) is a wonderful part of hundreds of millions of years of evolution that has evolved to give us adrenaline, increased heart rate and respiration, and a host of other reactions that are there for our benefit. Bottom line: have a disaster/severe weather preparedness kit assembled and at-the-ready year round, know what to do in a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning, avoid any lightning dangers, don’t drive or go into flash flooding areas, keep abreast of weather updates with a NOAA weather radio, your mobile device, and/or the broadcast meteorologists of your choice, and you’ll be just fine. Knowledge is power…and you’ll feel more powerful and less fearful with an increased knowledge of storms and what to do when a watch and warning is issued for your location.

Finally…one last word…

Please keep in mind that only NOAA weather radio, your local National Weather Service office, or reliable media are the best sources of important, timely, and potentially life-saving weather information, watches, and warnings! None of the links on this page should be used for life-&-death decisions or the protection of property!

Stay weather aware…and stay safe!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Legal Disclaimer

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For March 12 – 19, 2017

Greetings to everyone! All across most of North American, spring is in full swing much earlier than usual. The severe weather season has also kicked into gear and the peak of the season (by climate data) is still well over two months away. There’s plenty to cover this week, so let’s get started.

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

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s severe weather safety link is the Tornado Safety page from the Storm Prediction Center’s Roger Edwards. The page starts out with a very appropriate and true warning: There is no such thing as guaranteed safety inside a tornado. Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare, though. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A up-to-date list of citizen science projects is always available from the folks at SciStarter. The City Nature Challenge is just one of many taking place in several USA cities. I’ve been a long-time participant in the CoCoRaHS rain, hail, and snow network. By participating, you will provide meteorologists with valuable precipitation measurements. The CoCoRaHS network also has a free app where you can send in your daily reports…even if you don’t get any precipitation at all!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For those of you familiar with the Scandinavian countries, it should come as no surprise that the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Stockholm is one of the cleanest capital cities on the planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The recent snowstorm in the northeastern parts of the USA has brought more than snow. The usual cries of “foul” are not going unnoticed. Unfortunately, they’re not coming from a segment of the population that understands the daunting task of forecasting winter weather. Here are some badly needed answers from those who know.

Now that spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has put together their Spring 2017 Outlook and these two maps that hint at a warmer-than-usual spring for much of the contiguous USA. As for precipitation, there are equal chances (EC) that much of the country experiencing drought will or will not get any relief.

For #WorldMetDay on 23 March 2017, the World Meteorological Organization has new cloud identification charts!

The new charts cover low, middle, and high level clouds as well as other general cloud information and are available in several languages.

Weather satellites are as essential to the atmospheric sciences as x-rays and CT scans are to the medical profession. Science Friday recently spoke with some folks from NOAA on the current and future nature of weather satellites. Do weather satellites need a repairman? What does the future hold for NOAA’s satellites?

For those who have taken part in a NWS Skywarn storm spotting course, you’ll find some valuable information in this video from storm chaser Skip Talbot called “Storm Spotting Secrets.” Please pay attention to the caution at the beginning of the video. This is NOT a replacement for a NWS Skywarn spotter training course. After having been a storm chaser since March, 1982, I can honestly say that almost every storm environment is different, nature always has the upper hand, and what will get you in trouble is either (1.) the danger that blindsides you that you never see coming or (2.) pushing the safety envelope in order to have more “extreme” videos and/or photographs. Many supercell thunderstorms can intensify at an almost incomprehensible rate and you may not have time to react in a safe and rational matter.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Good for them. Let’s hope the more join the ranks. “In Challenge To Trump, 17 Republicans Join Fight Against Global Warming.”

A sobering read about the current state of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affairs. “A Guide To The EPA Data Under Threat By The Trump Administration.”

The recent proposed “skinny budget” is a very real threat to the EPA, NOAA, NASA, and more. It also potentially puts the general public at risk.

Speaking of budget, if the current USA presidential administration cuts climate science funding, the ramifications could severely hurt the UK’s climate scientists ability to do research. With NOAA in the crosshairs, this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly. Ginned up hype? Contrary to some who are on the defensive, no…this isn’t.

Although science funding makes up only about 1% of the annual USA’s federal budget, much of the future of climate science research funding is in jeopardy.

A very intriguing read. The USA’s new defense secretary cites climate change as a national security issue.

Unfortunate yet somehow not surprising. “Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia.”

THE QUIXOTIC

This is one of those headlines that leaves you a bit gobsmacked. “Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe Says EPA Is ‘Brainwashing’ Out Children.”

That’s a wrap for this week! I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re 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

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For March 4 – 12, 2017

Greetings and welcome to everyone! With severe weather season having gotten off to a good start across parts of North America, I’m going to include a severe weather safety link every week for the next month or so. Considering the recent uptick in severe thunderstorm and tornado activity, now’s the time to make final preparations for your emergency kit and any necessary plans regarding shelter. As usual, there are plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s Severe Weather Safety link is from the Storm Prediction Center. The comprehensive Online Tornado FAQ.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool read on new evidence of a water-rich history on Mars.

LIFE SCIENCE/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is a very interesting new perspective on evolution. “The power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A new report published in the Anthropocene Review has measured the impact humanity has on our humble planet. The results are, as expected, not a little substantial.

A sobering read on the state of our air quality. “Pollution is responsible for one in four deaths among all children under five, according to new World Health Organization reports, with toxic air, unsafe water, and lack of sanitation the leading causes.”

How about a nostalgic visit to the pre-EPA era in the USA. Ah, yes…those were the days.

Let’s end this on a positive note with a visit to a Texas, USA city that is leading the way on renewable energy.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Summer can’t end too soon for Australians…who have just endured one of the worst heat waves in decades with many records broken.

Warmer than usual temperatures are creating an unsettling scenario in the Arctic as its sea ice continues to diminish at an alarming rate.

While on the topic of warming, spring came early for much of the contiguous USA…and climate change played no small part.

A recent survey shows that most Americans feel climate change is a legitimate concern…but only for other countries. In the UK, concern over climate change and its local effects is also growing.

As for the climate change deniers, there’s no other way to describe them other than “deniers.”

Here’s a brilliant “take down” from a noted climate scientist in reply to a well-known cartoonist who, for some reason, seems to enjoy spreading doubt about soundly established science.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back incredible data. One of the new features is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.

Is Moore, OK in the cross-hairs of strong to violent tornadoes? It really depends on how you want to look at past history given humans habit of making “sense” out of random events. Here’s an interesting perspective with input from several notable severe weather meteorologists…from the FiveThirtyEight archive: Tornado Town, USA.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Scientists can no longer nurture an aversion to public engagement. With a war on science gathering momentum, it’s time to make your presence known.

Recent proposed cuts to the NOAA budget could not only put a halt to a great deal of research, but seriously affect data used for keeping folks informed about dangerous weather conditions.

Understandably so, many climate scientists and weather forecasters are infuriated at the latest threats to NOAA form the current presidential administration. Both the EPA and NOAA are part of what has made the USA a great country in recent decades.

The USA’s Clean Water Rule is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, the current administration has it squarely in the cross-hairs for a full on attack.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “It seems like this EPA and this administration broadly seem to view their job as being a support for business as opposed to safeguarding public health.”

Last but definitely not least, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt (who’s well-known to my fellow Oklahomans) actually said something that flies in the face of firmly established climate science. The train wreck continues…

THE QUIXOTIC

Finally, a look at the archaic “daylight saving time” routine that has long lost it’s purpose.

That’s a wrap for this post! A big “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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 25 – March 4, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Meteorological Spring to my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it’s been an exceptionally warm winter and spring is already throttling up. In the USA, Skywarn spotter classes are ongoing as of this post. Check with your local National Weather Service office to see if there’s a class scheduled near you. And, as has been the case for the last few weeks, science and public policy have been front and center…so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Wind and solar power are gaining major ground in countries across the globe. Considering that change is often difficult, how will the status quo adapt?

Cities around the globe smarten up & go green as 2/3 of world population will live in urban areas by 2030.

Air pollution isn’t just a minor irritation, it’s a major health hazard with lethal implications. Here’s an excellent read on how to deal with and/or avoid potentially deadly poor air quality.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in the USA, environmental conditions were in a sorry state. It would behoove us to keep that in mind and fight against the threat of retrograding into a new dark age.

While on the topic of air pollution, other countries besides the USA have their share of air quality issues. The problem for USA citizens is their noxious air travels round the globe and eventually reaches us.

Here’s another sobering look at environmental conditions in the USA in the pre-EPA days.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new earthquake outlook for 2017 highlights Oklahoma and California as the hot-spots for quake activity…so we’ve been warned.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If it seems like spring has come early this year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, you’re not imagining things.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back amazing high-resolution images!

For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of meteorological spring occurred on 1 March 2017. Here’s a look back at an unusually warm winter from Climate Central.

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Sea surface temperatures and weather/climate are inextricably linked. From the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA, “The Gulf has remained warm this winter, generally 2-7F above avg now. Pic from the NOAA View Global Data Explorer.”

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For the state of California, it was famine to feast in terms of rainfall. Here’s a look at the “atmospheric rivers” that kept the state dry, then inundated it with dangerous flooding conditions.

Speaking of drought, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for March, 2017. In spite of recent rains, drought conditions persist or increase across many areas of the plains and southern states.

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Though the focus of this article is on the recent heat wave in parts of Australia, it applies to other continents as well. “Climate Scientists Say Likelihood Of Extreme Summers Surging Due To Global Warming.”

What do citizens of the USA think about climate change? This interesting read provides some maps and links to answer that question.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1_22_48-pmPercentage of adults, by state, who think global warming is happening. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Severe Weather Safety Link Of The Week: With the severe weather season well underway across the USA, here’s a very comprehensive yet concise overview of severe weather and it’s hazards from the National Weather Service. “Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, And Lightning. Natures Most Violent Storms.” (20 page PDF file)

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

NOAA is about to take a bit hit from the Trump administration, specifically their satellite division. This is ugly…and it will only get worse. Nefariously draconian comes to mind (considering that much of the life-saving data you benefit from comes from the portion of NOAA that’s under the gun), but that would be to politely generous.

Four Ways NOAA Benefits Your Life Today.” This is a “must-read” by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the irreplaceable benefits that NOAA and the National Weather Service provide to USA citizens.

Do scientists really lose credibility when they become political? Absolutely not. We need all the scientists involved in the current political climate as possible.

Fighting fire with fire is the only way to deal with the building hostilities toward the scientific community.

Things are bad indeed. “Responding to attacks on scientific expertise and threats to public funding, the growing protest of American scientists might also suggest something about the perceived direness of the state of the world under Trump: If the scientists are organizing, then things must be really bad.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped collecting important climate and environmental data. No data = no science = no progress.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A Norwegian news site is on to an excellent way to deal with trolls and/or people who have a “knee-jerk” reaction to a headline and leave hostile and threatening comments. Make them read and article or essay and answer questions about it before they’re allowed to comment. There’s nothing like a little mature, critical thinking to take the place of sophomoric rants.

This disconcerting privacy read will make you think twice about carrying a mobile device in and out of the USA. In case you’re wondering, your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights don’t apply.

Your privacy in the safety of your own home is also a hazard. Chances are, you are your own worst security risk.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send out a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. We’re in interesting times…so hang on…lots more fun to come.

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 February 18 – 25, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s been quite a mild winter for much of North America. While some locations have had their fair share of snow and cold temperatures, many locations (including my own) have had very warm winter conditions. Many flowering trees are in full bloom, weeds and early spring flowers are showing their presence, and those unfortunate souls who deal with seasonal allergies are quite miserable. Many high temperature records across the USA have been broken, some of which have stood for the good part of a century. Meanwhile, Australians have had a recent heat wave with lethal temperatures in some locations of 110-115F. This week, there are more than enough science/public policy reads to partake of. For the near term, this is going to be the dominant trend among the scientific community. Scientists from all areas of study have traditionally endeavored to remain apolitical. Those days are gone and, with the war on science gathering steam, it’s time we fight fire with fire. On that note, let’s get started…

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A very thought provoking read that well established what many of us already know…science is an international/global endeavor and it’s time for scientists to stand up to all detractors.

The war for science in the USA is more than a minor difference of opinion. It’s become an all out threat to the USA and, eventually, the entire globe.

While the war on science wages, university officials have very legitimate concerns over scientific research funding that may…or may not…disappear. It’s presence may depend on whether or not it fits within the current presidential administrations agenda.

Ensuring scientific integrity during a time with the anti-science sentiment is at an all time high, will be increasingly difficult in spite of any progress.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and newly sworn-in head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s emails are starting to surface…and they speak for themselves.

The constituents of congressional climate deniers are getting a well-deserved rude awakening at recent town halls. I suppose denying global warming is one way members of Congress are attempting in vain to keep the heat off.

Red states in the USA are giving a small degree of notice to climate change…but only with names that are, at best, watered down euphemisms.

The choice for the current USA’s presidential science advisor is William Happer…and he’s quite interesting to say the least.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Nine Tips For Communicating Science To People Who Are Not Scientists.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is a very thought provoking read that will have you thinking twice about taking your mobile device aboard an international commercial airline flight. Obviously, in spite of the power behind the USA’s Constitution, there are times where our fourth and fifth amendments rights are null and void.

While on the topic of privacy and security, here’s an excellent read on how to encrypt your online life in short order. “Pro Tip: if you insist on enabling thumbprint identification for convenience’s sake, and are ever arrested, immediately power off your phone. When the authorities turn your phone back on, they won’t be able to unlock it without your password. The fifth amendment (against self-incrimination) allows you to keep your password secret. But a court can compel you to unlock your phone with your thumbprint.”

Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy and security, here’s a good read on having grace in social media.

PHYSICS

A fascinating physics read. “Time Crystals – How Scientists Created A New State Of Matter.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some excellent wind power news for the USA. Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on 12 February 2017 for the first time on any North American power grid.

Norway is making major headway in switching over to electric-powered vehicles (EV) and could be one hundred percent EV in as little as eight years.

The sight of four million solar panels from space is quite a sight…and one we can hope will spread across the globe.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Once upon a time, even Benjamin Franklin, lightning rods, and the UK were locked in political sabre rattling over…lightning rods.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows 13.8% of the contiguous USA in drought conditions with intensification noted in the south, mid-Atlantic, and New England.

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Forecasting winter weather events is one of the most daunting challenges that a meteorologist can face. This message from the Twin Cities, MN National Weather Service does an excellent job of explaining to a largely un-weatherwise public the difficulties of doing their job and dealing with a cantankerous segment of the public.

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THE QUIXOTIC

In the 21st century, people are still taking this kind of pseudoscience seriously. Sad but true.

That’s a wrap for this post! As usual, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! We’ve got some wild times ahead, so hang on.

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 February 11 – 18, 2017

Greetings to everyone! If it’s winter in your location, you’re probably wondering if we went directly from autumn to early spring. In spite of some heavy snowfalls in the Northeastern USA states, most of the USA and Canada is in the midst of a very mild winter. For many folks, it feels as if spring has already arrived. Speaking of spring, Skywarn spotter training classes are underway across the USA in preparation for the coming severe weather season. And, as expected, science and public policy is front and center again…and will be for some time. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A reminder from January’s archives…the reasons behind the March for Science scheduled for 22 April 2017.

Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s a concise overview of what that means for the environment. On a personal note, those of us who live in Oklahoma and have serious concerns for our environment are very familiar with Pruitt’s past. There are daunting challenges ahead for the EPA.

The latest news for this week has focused on the impending dangers to the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

NASA’s valuable work and research on climate change may be facing significant peril or be altogether obliterated.

TECHNOLOGY

Before it disappears permanently, some ambitious and diehard coders are working non-stop to rescue climate science data.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Would you like to help NASA searching for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space? If so, here are the details!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Some amazing astronomical eye candy was captured recently in Sweden…and it’s quite a sight.

Recent research into the surface of Mars hints strongly at the presence of water in the not-so-distant past.

Our sun is an amazing star. It also produces very unusual bursts of radiation. NASA now knows why.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An excellent read on the current state and future growth of renewable energy sources and the inevitable demise of fossil fuels.

Fifty years of environmental protections and a host of earth-friendly pledges are in dire danger of being wiped off the planet by the USA’s current presidential administration.

At the state level, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under yet another threat from Florida lawmakers.

Bakersfield, CA has what is likely the worst air quality of any USA city. With the potential demise of the Environmental Protection Agency and/or regulations, Bakersfield’s air could be on track to get worse.

In some cities, residents are cautioned to take great care when an air pollution alert is issued. Safety tips for air pollution can be just as important as precautions taken for severe weather.

Here’s some good renewables news. “Wind Briefly Sets Record As Source For Electricity In USA.”

At Texas A&M, the first glow-in-the-dark bike lanes in the USA have been painted. Let’s hope these catch on in as many states as possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on NOAA and NASA data, January, 2017 was the third warmest on record globally. Here’s a look at global climate anomalies for January, 2017.

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Speaking of a warm winter, if February seems warm, you’re not imagining things. For the contiguous USA, it’s averaged five degrees above normal.

With the peak of North American’s severe weather season fast approaching, now’s the time to get your emergency kit in order.

According to new research and a newly developed a mathematical equation, people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

Take a look at NASA’s campaign (which is a world-wide first) to make detailed maps of all the oceans and glaciers around Greenland’s coastline.

In a continent used to very hot weather, even this Australian heat wave is making the most jaded residents take notice. “The heat wave down under is unusual even for Australia – but it may not be so for much longer. The country is in the grip of one of the most ferocious heatwaves on record, and climate change is being held accountable.”

What Do Gorilla Suits and Blowfish Fallacies Have to Do With Climate Change?” Plenty. You’ll find out why in this excellent read on human behavior and the attitudes towards climate science.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re 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 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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