Tag Archives: Alaska

Tornado Quest’s Science Week In Review For January 13 – 23, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to the week and the weather is being kind to you no matter where you are. We’ve just had a three day round of severe weather in the southeastern states of the USA including a High Risk on 22 January 2017. A High Risk is very rare, and even more so in January which is a month that’s not known for severe weather or tornadoes. Unfortunately, there’s a considerable amount of damage from Mississippi to Georgia with a number of fatalities. Simultaneously, the northeastern states dealt with a ‘nor’easter’ and California had an unusual amount of rain. It eased the drought conditions that have plagued that state for years, but won’t help much on the long run. This week’s review was delayed several days by the severe weather events and other projects. My next review will be published this Saturday, 28 January 2017. There’s quite a bit to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Who will lead NOAA and, ultimately the National Weather Service, during the Trump administration? This is something to watch very, very carefully.

Due to the lack of American lawmakers who have a sound scientific literacy, it has become increasingly important that scientists become more involved in the political process.

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Pseudoscience is as rampant as ever in our modern day culture and, due to the proliferation of social media, is now more easily distributed to an unwary general public. To put it more succinctly…”This means that just because something catches our attention, or is easy to remember, it does not mean it is useful for understanding a new thing we want to learn.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this very cool citizen science project that anyone can take part in. The awesome folks at Science Friday have a nice overview of how folks just like you can help out in year-long bird counts.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

How we process information (and where we get it) has much to do with how we interpret the validity of news…and decide on its validity…even if it’s fake and/or of dubious integrity.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read on how the universe could contain ten time more galaxies than previously thought.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Is the USA state of Wyoming trying to outlaw clean energy? If so, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read on severe weather High Risks and associated tornadoes that puts this past week’s severe weather into a historical perspective.

Speaking of tornadoes, is it really that cold inside a tornado? A new study on the tornado vortex says it is cold…very cold.

Since satellite monitoring of sea ice began in the 1970’s, the area of oceans covered by sea ice is at an all time low. Chances are good it’s the lowest it has been for many a millennia.

global-sea-ice-extent-2016The dark burgundy colored line in this NSIDC data graph represents sea ice in 2016. Note how it is far below other lines going back to 1978. Also note that the red line on the far left, representing 2017 to date, is even lower than 2016.

While on the subject of sea ice, take a few minutes and watch this fascinating and well produced video on climate change and its effects on glaciers in Alaska, USA.

Here’s a very good and thought-provoking read from meteorologist Brad Panovich. “It’s Time We Move On From A 0% & 100% Climate Change Debate.”

In case you missed it, “At the exact hour when the presidency transferred hands, the Obama administration’s climate and energy web pages became some of the first casualties of the new Trump administration.”

If the new presidential administration ignores climate change, China is more than willing to step up to the plate and become the world’s leader in climate science.

From a global perspective, some are of the opinion that we’ve almost lost any chance to stave off the effects of climate change. Personally speaking, I’m more optimistic, but we’ve no time to waste on getting the job started…and not letting any one industry or government…get in the way of science.

Fortunately, scientists are reminding citizens of the USA that science has been and always will be a major cornerstone of a civilized, intelligent, educated, and technologically advanced society.

WEATHER SAFETY

Here’s a great read from the American Red Cross on safety travel tips for cold weather conditions.

In light of the recent severe weather events and tornadoes, here’s a quick reminder from the National Weather Service on the difference between a Tornado Watch & a Tornado Warning.

difference-between-tornado-watch-and-warning.

Last but not least, some good news. NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite is fully functional and is sending back some amazing high-resolution images of the Earth. This is truly a watershed event in the atmospheric sciences!

That’s a wrap for this review! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Have a great week everybody…see you Saturday!

Cheers!


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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 31 – June 7, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope that all of you are having a great week and, if it’s warm where you live, you’re preparing for the onslaught of summer heat. Here in the USA’s Great Plains, we’ll be flirting with 90F in many locations this week. Summer is fraught with its own hazards and the heat that goes with it is an underrated hazard. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SOCIAL SCIENCE

An interesting read that challenges traditional opinions. “Our Level Of Wisdom Varies Depending On The Situation.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating look at the weather on another planet as astronomers explore the complex atmosphere of the planet Jupiter.

Astronomers have known for some time that our universe is expanding. New research shows it’s expanding at a faster rate than previously believed.

All life on Earth and the atoms in our bodies were created in the furnace of now-long-dead stars.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico have found that contaminants (aka ‘Dirty Blizzard’) from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill lingered in the subsurface water for months after oil on the surface had been swept up or dispersed.

Plastic bag bans may like a good idea, but is it truly good for the environment?

Living in a sustainable manner sounds good, but many are not quite sure what “living sustainably” means.

A combination of operational meteorology and renewable energy sources that can benefit in a “win/win” situation.

You go Norway! This Scandinavian country has just become the world’s first country to commit to zero deforestation.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

A stark reminder on the dangers of lightning…which is a clear and present danger even in the most “benign” of thunderstorms. If you can hear thunder, even just a distant rumble, you’re in danger of being struck.

These houses, by design and construction, handle hurricanes better than traditional design homes.

A thorough read on what’s causing the recent deadly floods in France and Germany. Unfortunately, it’s something they may have to get used to.

A good read from Climate Central on how the recent increase in Alaska wildfires is worsening global warming.

An interesting look at the trials and tribulations of riding along on a Great Plains storm chasing tour. Welcome to Oklahoma!

Yes, temperatures in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit are quite warm in Sweden. Here in Oklahoma, we should be so lucky.

I had to do a double take when I read this story’s title whilst thinking, “Surely you jest!” “Arabic Weather Term ‘Haboob’ is apparently troubling for some Texans.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers here on WordPress & my other social media outlets. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For March 7 – 14, 2016

Greetings everyone! Hope everyone’s having a good week and, if spring has sprung in your locale, I hope you’ve been enjoying the change of seasons. There’s plenty to cover this week, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.” I couldn’t agree more.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

National Citizen Science Day is coming up soon in the USA! SciStarter has a page where you can find local citizen science events.

Check out this read about Aurorasaurus, a very cool citizen science project that helps NASA researchers understand auroras.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Good things come to those who wait until May, 2018. And I can’t wait to see the kind of awesome data NASA’s InSight mission collects on Mars.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

It’s hard to imagine that this is still a public health & quality of life issue in the 21st century.

The effects of climate change run far, wide, and include detrimental impacts on agriculture.

Interesting read on recent advances on making renewable plastics from plants and carbon dioxide.

Today’s youth are a priceless resource…and much of the future of our planet depends on science educational opportunities, environmental science in particular.

Mass media “cherry picking” is a common occurrence,  especially when it comes to communicating science stories to non-scientists.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

There are 122 National Weather Service offices across the USA. They’re all engaged in social media; Facebook, YouTube, and (most importantly) Twitter. In addition to media weather outlets of your choice, it would behoove you to follow them.

The contiguous USA has nothing on Alaskan winters. “By Alaskan Standards, 29 Below Equals A Warm Winter.”

Meanwhile in Finland…”In its latest official reading of local weather patterns, the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI declared that in the future spring will arrive in Finland progressively earlier.”

In spite of the plethora of knowledge about El Niño, forecasting the event and it’s effects can be a daunting challenge.

An excellent Op-Ed by Climate Central’s Heidi Cullen: “The Climate And Weather.”

A fascinating look at climate data from the mid 20th century. Human induced climate change has existed much longer than previously thought.

A thought-provoking read (with plentiful links for more info) on a recent study claiming that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of flood events.

By some accounts, weather events are this years most under-reported stories.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “Welcome” to my new followers on social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 9 – 16, 2015

With the spring severe weather season around the atmospheric corner, many states are having ‘severe weather awareness’ weeks or events in order to raise public awareness. It may seem ironic after a long winter (at least for the eastern half of the contiguous USA) and spring storms may seem like they’re years away. Unfortunately, they’re not. One of the primary hazards is lightning. Much to the surprise of many, lightning is second only to flash floods in weather related deaths. I’ve included several lightning safety links in this post and hope you’ll find some good information to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Due to time constraints and a very busy schedule, I’ve included a few links this week that didn’t make it into post from the past two previous weeks. Some are from sources that I don’t usually use or have never shared before. Their inclusion in this post is merely to share an opposing opinion, information, and/or make a point…and in no way conveys any degree of endorsement.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY

Google it taking a new view of web site rankings that, overall, is much welcomed. As expected, there’s a backlash that’s quite amusing to observe. Other viewpoints take a different stance.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred—then we encourage myth and prejudice to endure.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Every so often a good primer on citizen science comes along…and this is a good one.

In March and September, 2015, you have a cool opportunity to help measure how our night skies are changing.

SUSTAINABILITY/ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Most everyone’s shower wastes a lot of water and energy. Here’s a good read with tips to help you save water and money.

Making your home greener on a budget is easier than you think.

This can’t come to fruition soon enough. “Wind could power a third of America’s electricity by 2015.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Oklahoma “quakegate” plot thickens. “Under pressure? Do emails tell of earthquake information sharing or state, industry interference?”

Here’s a nice look at Tonga’s newly formed volcanic island. Time to update your world maps.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A concise overview of recent decisions the IPCC made about its future.

Some climate scientists on both sides of the spectrum are concerned that, “investigations on both sides of the debate tread on the academic freedom of researchers everywhere.” I concur…in spite of my own opinions which are in agreement with the vast majority of climate scientists.

Spin doctors contribute nothing beneficial to the public, but manufacture a great deal of nefarious noise where everyone who disagrees is guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

While on that topic, here’s an interesting look back at what climate change deniers said of the IPCC twenty years ago.

Climate change is giving the term “Baked Alaska” a whole new meaning.

How Many Tornadoes Has Your City Seen Since 1950? The answer may surprise you.

As for the coming severe weather season, here’s an interesting read on an experimental tornado forecasting technique.

Boston set a record with 108.6 inches of snow this year…to date. If you do the math, that’s nine feet (and change) of snow!

LIGHTNING SAFETY

Lightning safety information from the National Weather Service. Top notch info.

An excellent 20 page PDF file from the National Weather Service: “Thunderstorms, Lightning, Tornadoes…Nature’s Most Violent Storms

Personal lightning safety information links from the National Lightning Safety Institute.

NCAA lightning safety information specifically geared towards outdoor sporting events.

Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors website.

THE QUIXOTIC UNDERBELLY

Being a native Oklahoman has its perks…and drawbacks. You’re naturally inclined to have a sense of humor about your state, being an “Okie,” and the never-ending jokes. I only wish this were a joke.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun! I’m in this for the long haul and, having just had my 6th anniversary on Twitter, my 17th anniversary of Tornado Quest being online, and my 33rd anniversary of being a storm chaser, am more than a little excited to be working on some nice stuff for weather and science buffs from all walks of life. We are just getting started!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links For Dec. 15 – 22, 2014

The Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere is finally upon us. If you’ve been aggravated by the lack of sunlight, take heart. From now until late June, the amount of daylight will increase every day. Obviously we have a great deal of wintery weather ahead…so don’t put the long-johns away just yet.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A recent episode of Science Friday had a very good segment that’s worth a listen…and discussion. “Scientists Speak Out About Attacks On Science

Sadly, no shortage of these as this year draws to a close. The worst anti-science stories of 2014.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Good food for thought. “10 Ways We’re Being Rude In Social Media And Don’t Even Know It.”

Online privacy is something far too many take with far too little a grain of salt.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

From SciStarter: 12 Days Of Christmas: Citizen Science Edition!

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

A very cool time-lapse video of the world’s most complete Stegosarus skeleton being assembled.

A fascinating read on genetics confirming the relationship between fins and hands

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

A lofty goal, but very worth one in my book. Austin, TX to get 55% of its power from renewables by2025.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

There are countless colloquial and/or provincial weather terms that need to be put to rest. Among them are “twister,” “thunderhead,” “snowpocalypse,” “snOMG”…and “superstorm.”

Here’s the latest USA Drought Monitor. In spite of recent heavy rains, the surface was barely scratched (for long-term benefit) in CA, NV, OK, TX.

If you live in an area prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, there are some recent changes in the Storm Prediction Center’s Day 4-8 Outlooks that you should be aware of.

Living in much of Alaska is tough enough, but this village will give us insight as to how it’s residents…and the rest of us…are unprepared for climate change.

At this year’s conference of the American Geophysical Union, a great deal of climate change research was shared. Communicating that important data to a largely apathetic public is something else.

An interesting read from NOAA on changes in the Arctic due to rising air and sea temperatures.

And that’s a wrap for this post. If you’re celebrating the holiday, my best wishes to you and yours. Have fun and God Jul!

Cheers!

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