Category Archives: Tornado Quest Science Links

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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For January 20 – 29, 2018

Greetings to everyone! While winter has many weeks to go in the Northern Hemisphere, our friends south of the equator in Australia have been baking in one of the worst heat waves in quite some time. This post will begin being published on Monday as of today…so let’s get started.

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

PUBLIC POLICY

The USA is quickly loosing its grip as a worldwide leader in science and technology. “China’s Breathtaking Transformation Into A Scientific Superpower.”

Any government shutdown affects National Weather Service employees. “How A Government Shutdown Affects Your Weather Forecasts Today And In The Future.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Whether you’re into weather, citizen science, or both, the mPING project is a fantastic way for you to send in real-time reports to help in very important weather research.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very handy guide to all of the full moons you hear about.

There’s quite a spectacle on tap for 31 January 2018 when our moon is going to put on quite a show. Here’s to hoping you have a good view!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Tsunamis are one of the most devastating effects of earthquakes. A new real-time tsunami warning system could save many, many lives in the future.

The National Weather Service has an excellent Tsunami Safety Home Page that has potentially life-saving information if you live in a tsunami prone region.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

There’s nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It’s no secret that our current presidential administration’s tariffs on solar panels will cost the USA’s solar industry thousands of jobs.

At least there’s some good news on the renewables front. Last year, the state of Texas got 18% of its energy from solar and wind power.

And here’s some more good news. “Natural Gas Killed Coal – Now Renewables And Batteries Are Taking Over.”

Here’s a step in the right direction for England addressing the problem of plastic waste. “Network Of Water Refill Points Aims To Tackle Problem.”

Plastic pollution, which is something that can be found all over our planet…even in the middle of oceans…is finally getting some badly needed attention.

This is a bit of a long-read on air quality but a very important one. Air quality is currently the leading threat to public health on a global scale. “The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health. The tenth EPI report ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest US Drought Portal and Drought Monitor shows dry/drought conditions spreading rapidly across much of the USA’s southern plains. As of 17 – 23 January 2018, 76.8 million people in the U.S. and 76.8 in the lower 48 states were experiencing varying degrees of dry conditions.

A very informative and interactive look at USA temperature trends since 1970 from Climate Central.

In this article from Scientific American, climate experts chime on the myth that climate change and rising levels of CO2 would benefit plants.

An excellent read with Katharine Hayhoe. “The True Threat Is The Delusion That Our Opinion Of Science Somehow Alters Its Reality.”

Speaking of altered reality, there are publishers of dubious integrity who are more than glad to publish papers from climate change deniers that are supposedly based on “science.”

There is a new wave of mini low-cost satellites that could vastly improve climate research in general and specifically predictions of weather and climate change.

WINTER SAFETY

Reminder on safety when shoveling snow…there’s a right way to do it with the right tools.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to thank my followers for being a part of this and welcome the new folks. I’m glad you’re along. Remember that the publishing day for this post has now shifted to every Monday afternoon with re-posts on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. It will also be posted on Tornado Quest’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Tumblr blog.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For January 13 – 20, 2018

Greetings to everyone! If you’re struggling to get through the current cold snap that is affecting much of North America, hang in there. Many locations have passed their climate “peak” of winter cold and are on the path to a slow but steady warmup. In contrast, folks in Australia are dealing with a brutal heat wave. There are plenty of other topics to review, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re looking for good search engine alternatives to the most popular ones, here’s a good read with several excellent privacy-oriented suggestions.

Is social media making us dumber? Here’s an interesting viewpoint on the hap-hazards of what could be the most contentious aspect of the online world. One caveat, it should be read with critical thinking skills in top gear.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into citizen science and weather, here’s a great project you can participate in…the mPING project that helps weather research. “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.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Check out this spectacular view of an active volcano from the viewpoint of a drone.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

This is an important topic that has ramifications for many continents. Air quality is a crucial public health issue worldwide. “A Europe That Protects Cannot Sit By As 400,000 Europeans Die From Poor Air Quality Every Year.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The seasonal NOAA drought outlook valid until 30 April 2018 for the USA shows increasing dry/drought conditions from Arizona & Utah eastward to the southern plains. More sporadic dry/drought conditions on the outlook for the southern states and eastern seaboard.

Graphic: NOAA

International Falls, MN, USA has been known for years as the “icebox of the nation.” Recently, two other towns are vying for that title as the coldest joint in the contiguous USA.

Handling snow, even where it’s an annual event, is challenging. “Why Cities Where It Definitely Snows Continue To Act Like They’ve Never Seen Snow.”

This is a fantastic idea on teaching children about weather…and fortunately the focus is on getting them to go outside! “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather” is a Scandinavian mom’s guide to raising kids.

Speaking of weather education, it’s not to early to take a “refresher” course on severe weather. The National Severe Storms Laboratory has a nice Severe Weather 101 page to get you started for the coming severe weather season across North America.

WEATHER SAFETY

Shoveling snow can be an arduous task, especially if you’re not used to doing it every year. Here’s an excellent read on how to shovel snow properly and the best tools for the job.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send a welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. Links to our other social media sites can be found below. See you there!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For January 6 – 13, 2018

Greetings to one and all! I hope that everyone in North America is handling the current cold snap well and you’re staying warm. There are at least two different viewpoints regarding this cold weather that will make for good reading. Let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Recent evaluation of these amazing images of Mars shows the existence of huge water reserves.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

This was a long time coming. The UK has finally banned microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products.

In this day and age of bad news and non-stop contentiousness, here’s some good news on the renewable energy front. “USA Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Capacity Could Double By 2020.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA climate report is out…2017 was the third warmest year on record. Even worse, it was the costliest year on record for weather and climate disasters.

Here’s an excellent read on how the recent (and ongoing as of this post date) cold snaps across North America are clearly linked to a warming Arctic region.

A strong polar vortex (left, from December 2013) is centered over the Arctic. A weakened polar vortex (right, from January 2014) allows cold air to dip farther south. Credit: NOAA

In another story, here’s another take on the January 2017 cold snap. Ultimately, it’s up to the reader to weigh the information and, with critical thinking skills, form their own opinion.

The latest Drought Monitor shows dry to drought conditions affecting up to 67 million Americans in the contiguous USA.

NOAA’s GOES-13 weather satellite had been effectively retired. It’s like losing an old friend, but the new generation of satellites coming in the near future will be worth it.

Puerto Rico officials are re-evaluating the death toll from Hurricane Maria. As is the case all too often, it’s unfortunate that many deaths will be unreported and no exact death toll will ever be known.

Adding salt to the wound. After devastating wildfires, parts of California have been dealt another blow with deadly mudslides that have killed over a dozen people.

Here’s an excellent overview from Capital Weather Gang on how the California Thomas fire set the stage for the deadly mudslides.

And that is a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to my followers…old and new…in social media. It’s great to have you along for the fun.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links For December 23 – 30, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a good holiday season regardless of whether you were celebrating or not. This will be a shorter post than usual, but covers many important topics…so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/CRITICAL THINKING

This kind of essay will never go out of style. “How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail.”

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “People are very good at finding ways to believe what we want to believe. Climate change is the perfect example – acceptance of climate science among Americans is strongly related to political ideology. This has exposed humanity’s potentially fatal flaw. Denying an existential threat threatens our existence.” Fortunately, scientists may have a solution to the problem of ideology superseding sound scientific facts.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Unearthed has a thorough collection of their favorite environmental journalism of 2017.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The current cold weather across North America (as of this post on 30 December 2017) is being used by climate change denialists to refute solidly established scientific facts. Here’s an excellent response to that from Dr. Marshall Shepherd.

The latest USA Drought Monitor is out. As of 28 December 2017, 22.1% of the USA and 26.4% of the lower 48 states were experiencing drought conditions.

If you’re looking to stay safe this winter, here’s a good place to start. The National Severe Storms Laboratory has a very comprehensive overview of winter weather safety.

In climate change, many of 2016’s records were surpassed in 2017 with emissions and temperatures rising globally. Here’s a review of 7 climate findings of 2017 from Scientific American.

2017 was an active year across the USA for tornadoes. US Tornadoes has a nice collection of, in their opinion, the top tornado videos of 2017. Of this selection, the best videos are those that show not only the tornado, but storm structure as well. These have what it takes to be worthy of scientific merit rather than “extreme” hyperbole videos that are little more than histrionics.

Finally, here are some links with winter weather safety information. Winter weather hazards should be taken as seriously as threats from severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For December 16 – 23, 2017

Happy Holidays & “astronomical winter” greetings to one and all! If you’re celebrating, I hope your holiday season is going well. Due to the holidays, this will be an abbreviated post, but has some information that I hope will benefit you, especially in understanding winter weather terms. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/CRITICAL THINKING

Here’s a good read in the critical thinking realm that sets the foundation for many a lively (if not contentious) conversations. If you present facts to someone that are contrary to their beliefs, will they change their mind? We’d like to think so, but chances are they won’t.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a very informative info-graphic from the Storm Prediction Center on winter weather conditions, how they form, and what impacts they can have on you.

Info-graphic courtesy Storm Prediction Center

The latest Global Climate Assessment from NOAA shows our planet had its fifth warmest November on record and its third warmest year to date.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

Taking into consideration climate change that will occur in the coming decades, here’s a chilling view of a hypothetical scenario of a major hurricane hitting Miami, Florida in the year 2037.

It’s not likely that the Arctic will ever be the same again. “Using 1,500 years of natural records compiled from lake sediments, ice cores, and tree rings as context, the NOAA report says the Arctic is changing at a rate far beyond what’s occurred in the region for millennia.”

This sounds counter-intuitive, but when you understand why, it makes sense that climate change will increase the amount of snowfall in Alaska.

What is the difference between the meteorological and astronomical seasons? Read this essay to find out!

Here’s an interesting story on looking to the past for clues on how other civilizations that are long gone dealt with climate change and what they can teach us.

PUBLIC POLICY

In recent days, the USA’s CDC received a list of “forbidden” words. At first I thought this must be a sophomoric joke. Sadly enough, it isn’t.

And then there’s this…”More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.” To make matters worse, over 200 of them are scientists…and they’re not being replaced.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” to all my followers and hope, regardless of whether you’re celebrating the holiday season or not, the coming days and new year brings you happiness, good health, and prosperity.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For December 9 – 16, 2017

Greetings all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are and, if you’re celebrating, your holiday season is going well. There’s plenty of topics to cover from this week…so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

There’s something for everyone in Scientific American’s Top 10 Science Stories of 2017.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The most important takeaway from this thought provoking read is the fact that, in times when notoriety and sensationalism are running amok, social media is a digital minefield.

Here’s another interesting TED talk on our online existence. “How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google manipulate our emotions.”

Net neutrality is in the news again…and Dr. Marshall Shepherd has written an excellent essay on how ending net neutrality could harm science.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

While the focus of this “spot on” article is on dinosaurs, it could very easily apply to any science field. “A Psychological Explanation Of Kids’ Love Of Dinosaurs.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

For and avid recycler like yours truly, this is concerning news. “Recycling Chaos In USA As China Bans “Foreign Waste.”

The plastic industry has known for decades that it was polluting the world’s oceans…and continued to fight regulations and deny responsibility.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

There’s more to dressing for winter cold that wearing a single heavy coat. What should be worn depends on wind chill, dew points, and much more. Here’s an excellent National Weather Service Winter Weather Safety website with all the safety info you need to know.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

It’s also important to understand how and why different types of winter precipitation form. Here’s an excellent website from the National Severe Storms Laboratory that explains it in an easy-to-understand way for the general public.

Graphic courtesy NOAA

While on the topic of winter weather safety, here’s a very good read on one of winter’s most underrated hazards…driving on black ice.

I can’t add anymore to this info-graphic other than the fact that it does apply to severe weather (thunderstorms, tornadoes, et al.) as well as winter weather.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Fort Worth, Texas

This is an important read. Research from the American Meteorological Society and NOAA shows a clear connection between recent extreme weather events and climate change.

A recent study shows the warming of the Arctic region is, “unprecedented in the last 1,500 years.”

Personally speaking, I’m somewhat optimistic. In spite of that, we’ve a long road ahead of us in the daunting challenge of dealing with climate change. “‘Losing the battle’: Emmanuel Macron delivers bleak assessment of fight against climate change.”

The causes of the ongoing California wildfires is a double-edged sword…and human driven climate change has to take its share of the blame.

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links In Review For November 27 – December 9, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Holidays! There’s plenty of great topics to review, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re looking to get into citizen science and weather, CoCoRaHS is the perfect place to start. All you need is the approved rain gauge, online access from either a desktop computer of mobile device…and you’re set to send in valuable data that is very important for climate records.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very interesting TED video on why wildfires in the USA have gotten worse and what can be done about it.

Climate change and other variables are easily responsible for the explosive nature of the California wildfires.

NASA has taken photos of the California wildfires that are nothing short of jaw-dropping.

While on the topic of wildfires, there is an unexpected connection between wildfires and winegrowers.

Wildfires not only threaten homes and businesses, but in the case of southern California, priceless works of art are vulnerable as well.

Single-use plastics have become so problematic worldwide that the only way to deal with their proliferation and threat to our environment may be to ban them altogether.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If recent winters across the USA have seemed warmer than usual, you’re not imagining things. The winters are warmer.

As our winters warm, rain is far more likely to become more common in areas that normally see snow. On the flip side, some areas will see more snow.

Can climate change cost us all more money? Absolutely. “As a result, the entire US population is already paying for climate change, whether we accept the science behind it or not. And things will almost certainly get worse.”

How does the USA military, which takes climate change VERY seriously, deal with challenges of the future? Watch this informative TED video and find out.

The Atlantic hurricane season has “officially” come to an end. Here’s a concise review from NOAA.

The topic of atmospheric dust isn’t something often heard, but it’s an important facet of how our weather and climate works.

PUBLIC POLICY

Here’s an example of good leadership that starts at the local level. “In the face of the Trump administration’s continued pullback on environmental and climate action, dozens of U.S. mayors gathering in Chicago pledged to meet or exceed the emission reduction targets set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement, signing on to the “Chicago Climate Charter.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome and good yuletide wishes to my followers…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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For November 20 – 27, 2017

Greetings everyone and thanks for stopping by! If you celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday last week, I hope it was a good one. Winter is slowly settling in across much of the Northern Hemisphere with a mild start for most of North American while parts Scandinavia have had significant early snowfalls. As usual, there are several topics to go over, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this weeks links…

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A disconcerting read on the recent increase of waste-water injection related earthquakes across much of Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

As someone who has strong concerns and opinions regarding the Earth’s environment, I do everything possible to reduce my carbon footprint. Unfortunately, no one can do everything possible. Fortunately, what you can do counts. Don’t stress over perfection…every little action counts.

An excellent read on nature’s response to the recent wildfires in California. “Damage from the Tubbs fire in October now presents a rare opportunity to learn about the behavior of wildfire, its ecological aftermath and how we live with fire.”

Attention wine lovers…which would include me. We don’t yet know all the details regarding the biochemistry of how wildfire smoke contaminates wine. Yes, that is something for wine connoisseurs and wine growers to be concerned about.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Ice Apocalypse” is an excellent essay by Eric Holthaus. The potential flooding dangers from sea level rise and melting glaciers isn’t a passing fad or the “flavor of the month.” This is a proven threat to coastal cities.

The threat to coastal cities from sea level rise has a clear connection to where the ice melts.

The latest Drought Monitor shows approximately 15% of the contiguous USA is experiencing extreme/exceptional drought conditions.

Here’s a look at the latest 2017 tornado statistics from the Storm Prediction Center. Overall…2017 was slightly above “average” year with a preliminary count of just over 1500 tornadoes as of late November 2017.

The map of tornado distribution shows a fairly typical pattern. Tornado reports are often tied to land-falling tropical cyclones, population centers, and localized outbreaks. The dense concentration of tornado reports from eastern Texas into the Southeastern states is a result of the very active Atlantic hurricane season. Many small tornadoes associated with squall lines, isolated storms over sparsely populated/remote areas during darkness, small “gustnadoes” along leading edges of thunderstorms, etc. are never counted and probably add up to 50-200 unreported weak tornadoes annually across the contiguous USA. It’s of interest to note the tornadoes that occurred in the states of Maine, Oregon, et al…states that are not typically associated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes…which is proof that no USA state or Canadian province is completely immune to tornadoes.

Finally, here’s an interesting read on the quandary of politics and climate change by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. In spite of climate science evidence, attitudes were closely linked to party affiliation.

That’s a wrap for this post! Here’s a warm “welcome” to my new followers in social media. We’re certainly living in interesting times…so I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!

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