Tag Archives: astronomy

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 28 – February 4, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you are having a good weekend and your week went well since we last visited. There’s a lot to go over from this week…and an unusually large amount of articles on science and public policy. For the near future, this will be a dominant topic in the sciences so get ready to see a lot of it in every form of media you can imagine which includes, but isn’t limited to, social media. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Mark your calendars! The March For Science will take place in Washington, D.C. and a host of other cities worldwide on Earth Day, 22 April 2017!

march-for-science2

There are a number of ways you can keep informed on the March For Science. You can visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tension and stress over the transition. That’s a vast understatement. “Fears that Donald Trump’s presidency will suppress climate science at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are causing widespread unease”.

What would happen if the USA withdraws from the Paris climate agreement? While small gains could be made on the local level, the overall effect would be a climate-based diplomatic disaster.

One viewpoint feels that scientists marching on Washington, D.C. would be a bad idea. I beg to differ, but understand where the writer is coming from. Regardless, you can’t retreat from the front lines…we’ve a job to do.

Many scientists in the USA are very concerned about draconian cuts in research funding. In fact, many could be forced out of science altogether.

Don’t be surprised if you see many scientists running for political office in the next few years.

We got a good scare this week when it was reported that a climate change denier would be put in charge of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “But, according to the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, climate change doubter Ken Haapala never met with NOAA leadership and isn’t shaping its future.” So…for the time being…NOAA and the National Weather Service is somewhat safe. But, considering the ongoing Trump administration hostilities toward science, this could change in a most unfortunate way.

At least there’s some good news from our friends in Scandinavia. “Sweden has presented a new climate law designed to ensure all future governments have a “credible climate policy” as well as announcing an ambitious target of achieving a net level of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A citizen scientist has written a very concise book on climate change that fills a niche that has been largely ignored.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out these amazing images from the Cassini mission of Saturn’s rings!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This is quite an amazing video from Hawaii, USA of lava flowing into the ocean.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Renewable energy sources are making headway by leaps and bounds. A single wind turbine in  a 24-hour period produced an amazing 216,000 kWh (which is a LOT of power!) on December 1, 2016 at a testing site near Østerild, Denmark. That’s officially a new world record.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Meteorologists have come a very long way in forecasting winter weather. Here’s a really good read from the Capital Weather Gang on the amazing winter weather forecasting improvements that have taken place since the 1970’s.

For far too long, female broadcast meteorologists have been labeled “weather girls.” The fact of the matter is they are just as highly educated scientists as their male counterparts. The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks” weekly show takes a look at this irritating phenomenon.

Considering the political inclinations that are increasingly hostile towards climate science research, scientists who study our planet are understandably increasingly anxious.

Michael Mann, a well-known climate scientists, has strong opinions on the current USA presidential administration…opinions that reflect the feelings of every scientist I’ve discussed the current science hostile climate (no pun intended) that is ramping up in the Trump administration.

Here’s an interesting read on how a common springtime weather pattern and pollution transported from Asia combines to create unhealthy ozone levels for the USA’s desert southwest.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows improving conditions for California while extreme drought conditions worsen in AR, AL, GA, OK, & much of New England.

drought-monitor-map

 That’s a wrap for this post! A warm 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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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!


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 And More For November 28 – December 5, 2016

Greetings everyone and Happy December to all of you! The beginning of “meteorological winter” is upon us for we who live in the Northern Hemisphere. So far, it’s been warmer than usual and mild…no surprise there…with drought conditions persisting and worsening across the western and southern USA states. As 2016 draws to a close, there’s not a little concern for the future of science in America. I’ve discussed the future years and what we expect..and will demand…with many friends, acquaintances, and colleagues in the scientific community. The consensus of deep concern is unanimous. That is addressed in several links within this post. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Depending on which demographic of the population you ask, scientists aren’t the authority on science.

This article addresses a recent “hot button” topic of fake news and how we, as fallible humans, swallow hook, line, and sinker (so long as it meets ones socio-political agenda) without first resorting to critical thinking, objective research, and scientific analysis. Here’s an excellent “Ten Questions For Fake News Detection” tip sheet that will be of great help. (1 page PDF file). Friendly tip: never get “news” from Facebook…chances are it has as much valid sincerity as a snake oil salesman.

While on the topic of fake news, it begs the question, “If politicians can lie without condemnation, what are scientists to do?” Post-Truth: A Guide For The Perplexed.

As the economic and social impact of the tech world increases, the skills we teach our children for success in a rapidly changing world need to keep pace with technology.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

An unsettling read from the Union of Concerned Scientists on why 2,300 scientists have good reason to be very worried about the future interaction of science and public policy.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Naming stars may sound easy, but it can be a truly daunting task of cosmic proportions.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Over 100 million trees have died recently in California’s drought-stricken forests. With no relief in sight, this is an unfortunate trend that’s likely to worsen.

Nearly every piece of plastic ever manufactured still exists today. In spite of our best efforts in recycling, we’re facing a pollution dilemma with no easy answers.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The “Red River Rivalry” continues…but over a recent topic of discussion. Oklahoma and Texas disagree on how to handle fracking-induced earthquakes and the oil and gas companies responsible for them.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A “must-read” for those living in tornado prone regions of North America from Climate Central. “Outbreaks of tornadoes — where multiple tornadoes form over an area in just a few hours or days — are responsible for most of the devastating destruction caused by severe weather, and a new analysis has reached a worrying conclusion about the worst of these outbreaks.”

Unfortunately, we’ll be seeing more of this in the years to come. Basically, it’s an outright denial of sound evidence that has stood the rigorous test of the scientific method. “Climate scientists have denounced the House committee on science, space and technology after the Republican-held panel promoted a misleading story expressing skepticism that the earth is dangerously warming.”

Recently, the US Senate passed a major bill to improve weather forecasting…and that’s very good news.

Finally, with winter having finally made its arrival across North America, the National Weather Service has an excellent Winter Weather Safety site that addresses many underrated hazards that can inconvenience, injure, or even kill you.

And 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!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For September 26 – October 3, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to your week. For much of North American, there’s a touch of autumn in the air while spring is starting to kick in for the Southern Hemisphere. The big news this week (and for many days to come) is Hurricane Matthew, the first hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic season to achieve major hurricane status and the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic/Caribbean basin in almost a decade. Matthew has provided a consistent forecasting challenge and will continue to do so for several more days. As of today 4 October 2016) evacuations are pending for many areas along the southeastern USA coast. There’s also a severe weather threat in the USA’s central plains today…lots going on weather-wise for much of North America…so lets get started.

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

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

With Hurricane Matthew threat to many areas of the Caribbean (and North America), here’s some helpful information on making your own emergency preparedness kits. “Making a preparedness kit is one important way you can protect yourself and those around you. Remember that there are many types of emergencies – from those caused by illness to natural disasters – and you need different types of kits for a variety of situations.”

Further hurricane safety information…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Do you live in a noisy location? If so, it can affect your quality of life. Here’s a cool citizen science project you can take part in…find out how noisy your location is while supplying data for an important study.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Perhaps we’re not out in the boonies as much as we thought. “It’s tricky to map an entire galaxy when you live in one of its arms. But astronomers have made the clearest map yet of the Milky Way – and it turns out that the arm that hosts our solar system is even bigger than previously thought.”

New research on Pluto suggests that it could have a deep salty ocean.

Check out this spectacular view…the first of its kind…of a billion stars shining in the Milky Way galaxy.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read on why you shouldn’t put all of your trust in a hurricane’s “cone of uncertainty.” Forecasters have a daunting challenge that is often made much worse by the almost unfathomable complexities of our planet’s atmosphere.

The NRDC has an excellent a concise overview on global warming that covers most any question anyone could ever have about this aspect of our changing climate.

A look into climates past. The longest lasting deserts on Earth are approximately 30 million years old and can give us a glimpse into future climate.

An interesting read on a surprising source of greenhouse gases…reservoirs built for many uses, including hydropower, drinking water, farm irrigation, and flood control, etc.

Part climatology, part public health in this read that, while focused on Australia, is applicable to all countries. Many in the medical profession are unsure of how to deal with climate change and its irrevocable connection to our health and well being.

Our planet’s future does depend on your vote. And this year, the stakes are higher than ever.

Speaking of the future, “Dear Tomorrow” is a project where today’s parents are writing letters concerning climate change to children of the future.

Finally, a sobering read that can be summed up by simply saying, “Science, Know Thy Enemy.” How The Attack On Science Is Becoming A Global Contagion.

Sorry to end this post on such a dour note, but unfortunately that is the current political, theological, and cultural climate we live in.

On a lighter note, I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! There are lots of good times ahead.

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For September 19 – 27, 2016

Greetings and happy Autumnal Equinox to folks in the Northern Hemisphere! If you’re south of the equator,  I hope your start to the spring season has gotten off to a grand start. There’s plenty of science news to peruse this week, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter could be going up for sale in the near future. Considering its my primary social media outlet, I’m watching this unfold with great interest and not a little concern.

Here’s an excellent read that you should take very seriously. “66 Ways To Protect Your Privacy Right Now.”

The FBI recommends that you cover up the webcam on your computer…and for a very good reason.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An interesting new perspective. “Scientists Confirm The Universe Has No Direction.”

A very intriguing read on Jupiter’s moon Europa and some of the newest “secrets” discovered.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Here’s an example of recycling at its best! Check out this table made from plastic pollution that’s found in our oceans.

A very concise overview of the causes behind wildfires.

According to recent World Health Organization data, over 90% of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Frustrated by political inaction, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, didn’t mince words as to the immediate climate threat and published an open letter regarding climate change.

While ozone is unhealthy at ground level, it’s presence in our upper atmosphere is crucial. Here’s an excellent read on how and why ozone is measured from space.

A very impressive data set! “Longest historic temperature record stretches back 2 million years.”

Getting priorities straight with bipartisan support at home and cooperation with other countries is the most satisfactory path to dealing with climate change.

Is extreme weather driven by climate change costing USA citizens a lot of money? You bet it is. Current estimates tally a total upwards of $67 Billion US dollars.

Speaking of priorities, science is perhaps the only self-correcting field of study…and climate scientists are giving us fair warning that it’s time to recalculate the math on climate change.

“President Obama signed a presidential memorandum establishing that climate-change impacts must be factored into the development of all national security-related doctrine, policies and plans.” For the USA, this is good news. Like it or not, climate change has become an important part of national and foreign policy.

Here’s important information for folks who are deaf or hard of hearing and need important NOAA Weather Radio watches, warnings, and other important weather information.

The Autumnal Equinox arrived earlier this week for the Northern Hemisphere. Here are answers to the five most common questions regarding this annual event.

A lightning bolt in Oklahoma has been deemed the world’s longest…just under 200 miles in length!

Let’s hope this comes to fruition. “Senate Weather Bill That Supports Forecast Improvement Can Benefit All Americans.”

Can climate change deniers be some of the world’s most efficient contrary contrarians? According to this article, I’d answer that question in the affirmative.

Finally, a spot on info-graphic from Dr. Marshall Shepherd that should help you out when you’re dogged with that sophomoric statement about being “wrong half the time.”

cs9hjuexeaanjgp-jpg-largeI can recall many occasions where the Storm Prediction Center has been absolutely hitting the bull’s eye with severe weather outlooks…but if they’re off a bit (as happened a few weeks ago), you’d think it was the end of western civilization as we know it whilst people are calling for heads to roll. Much of the general public isn’t aware of the intricacies of weather forecasting and doesn’t comprehend the fact that dealing with a three-dimensional fluid that is in a never-ending state of erratic flux is one of the most daunting challenges a meteorologist/climatologist/weather hobbyist/storm chaser faces.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm 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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For September 12 – 19, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking regardless of where you live. Autumn is beginning to make its presence known in parts of North America. As of this post, a very warm spell has settled over much of the southern and central Great Plains of the USA. It’s been a long, hot summer and I’m ready for some cool crisp mornings with a change in fall foliage color. The tropical Atlantic is rather active at this time. Fortunately, none of the systems that are being watched are a current threat to any land masses or populated areas. As usual, there’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A very thought-provoking read where scientists answer twenty questions on the future of humanity.

Speaking of questions, here’s an excellent and very objective read by Lawrence Krauss on twenty questions for this year’s presidential candidates. “The net result? There is something here for everyone, because every view, no matter how inconsistent, is presented somewhere.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very good Psychology Today article from 2014 on the nature of the online troll. Considering recent events, it’s a read worth revisiting.

Do you use WhatsApp? Be prepared to share (unwillingly) a great deal of your private information with Facebook. There’s an opt-out, but personally speaking. I’d recommend you change over to Telegram.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A look at an interesting concept of the possible climate of Mars past…and how it could have led to its present day appearance.

No, Cupid didn’t make the “heart” on Pluto. It was something else far more interesting.

Don’t mess with the Milky Way. “Kamikaze galaxy explodes after diving into the Milky Way.”

From the BBC…from auroras to galaxies… a nice collection of spectacular imagery.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

New scientific ways of monitoring and predicting the affects climate change have on our ecosystems are coming to fruition.

Ghost Forests” are on the increase thanks in no small part to climate change. Unfortunately, this is a trend that will be on the upswing for some time.

Driven by climate change, large masses of trees across the USA are succumbing to diseases, insects, droughts, and wildfires.

Check out this nice “gif” of the USA’s growing use of wind power. Take note that the South has a lot of catching up to do.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) have a tough job with many daunting tasks and challenges. They need all the public and governmental support they can get. Your local National Weather Service office as well as other NWS social media accounts are the definitive source for all-important and potentially life-saving information.

An excellent comic that should put (temporarily) the kibosh on “the climate has always been changing” denier crowd.

Part climate science and part public policy in an interesting read on how climate adaptation can save money and improve the quality of life.

A very good climate read. “Why We Don’t Know If It Will Sunny Next Month But We Know It’ll Be Hot All Year.”

I could talk about this until I’m blue in the face. There is a distinctive difference in weather and climate. Hopefully, this short video will clear up the confusion.

Over a month after the devastating August, 2016 Louisiana floods, environmental and health concerns are growing along with anger among residents in the affected areas.

Flooding of low lying coastal areas in the USA due to sea level rise is no longer a theoretical concept.

And that’s a wrap up for this post! For my new followers in social media, I’d like to extend a warm welcome…I am quite active in other forms of social media and would really enjoy connecting and collaborating with other folks into the sciences.

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 29 – September 6, 2016

Greetings to one and all! It’s been quite a week for the tropical Atlantic and Pacific with several hurricanes, some reaching major intensity, taking the stage front and center. Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 storm and was the first hurricane to hit the “Sunshine State” since 2005. As of this post, Hermine is off the northeast coast of the USA and still poses a threat in spite of having lost its tropical characteristics. In the Pacific, hurricanes Madeline and Lester took swipes at Hawaii and gave us a reminder than those chain of islands are very vulnerable to even the most intense tropical cyclones. This post will be on the brief side since the past week has been exceptionally busy with hurricanes and multi-tasking previous commitments and media requests. As usual, there are many good reads on climate change as well as other dimensions of the atmospheric sciences…so let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Meet the woman who first identified the greenhouse effect in 1856.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read for those of us who communicate science to the non-scientists. “12 Tips For Scientists Writing For The General Public.”

Yes, art and science can co-exist…and even bolster the scientific mind. From personal experience (I’m an electric bass player) I can say from personal experience that this does work.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

We’ve just gotten a good look at Jupiter’s north pole…and it’s unlike anything we’ve yet encountered in our own solar system.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is indeed an amazing and exciting discovery! “Live Thrived On Young Earth. Scientists Discover 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Just after 7:00 AM CDT on 3 September 2016, several midwestern states were shaken by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Pawnee, OK. Damage was reported across a wide area of north-central Oklahoma. This earthquake tied the 5.6 OK earthquake of November, 2011 for the strongest in the Sooner states history. Understandably so, Oklahoma ordered fossil fuel wells shut down after the earthquake. After a relatively quiet period of seismic activity, it’s no accident that the record quake was tied. The question Oklahoma residents must ask themselves now it, “When will another substantial earthquake occur…and will it be an even bigger one?”

Here’s a seismograph from the Leonard, OK station of the earthquake.

OK Earthquake Seismograph 3 September 2016

While on the topic of Oklahoma earthquakes, here’s a good story from NPR on fossil fuel production and it’s relation to the sudden recent increase in seismic activity.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE?RENEWABLES

If there was ever a good reason for creating a drought hardy yard and garden, this is it.

Wind power is really taking off in the USA and is now the number two country in the world in installed wind capacity (after China) and number one in wind electricity generated!

The long-term implications of this are irrevocable. “Natural Gas Is Passing Coal As A Source Of CO2 Emissions In The USA.”

The irrevocable link between our air quality and our health. “Air Pollution Is Sending Tiny Magnetic Particles Into Your Brain.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For sixty years, atmospheric scientists have watched a steady wind pattern in the stratosphere faithfully repeating like clockwork every two years. Without warning and for the first time it’s changed direction.

Here’s a very nice visualization of hurricanes that will help you easily understand the anatomy of these amazing storms.

What were hurricane hunters studying when they flew into Hurricane Hermine? Read this to find out! “Capturing The Genesis Of A Hurricane.”

In the northwest Pacific ocean, which happens to be the world’s hotspot for tropical cyclone activity, a new study reveals the land-falling typhoons have become more intense.

In spite of the cynics, it’s good news that the USA and China have formally committed to the Paris Climate Accord.

They took the words right out of my mouth…

  • For climate activists, the growing trend of climate change denialism in recent years isn’t just frustrating—it’s alarming. We know that the longer we wait to shift our energy sources and increase the efficiency with which we utilize the energy we produce, the more jarring the shift will be. Despite the powerful message that world leaders have sent by coming together in Paris to agree to limit warming to 2 degrees, currently national and global plans are not enough to make that a reality.”

Having said that, here’s the rest of the article on how to effectively communicate with a denier.

That’s a wrap for this post!

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For August 15 – 29, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great start to your week. Due to several previous time-consuming commitments I’ve had to delay publishing a post by one week. The tropical Atlantic has been very busy as of late with (as of 29 August 2016) one hurricane, two tropical depressions, and an interesting tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands. Two back-to-back hurricanes are also between North American and Hawaii. Ultimately, nature has the upper hand and will do things on its own time scale which is the primary reason for preparedness…regardless of whether an immediate threat is present…or not. Having said that, it would behoove us to keep tabs on the tropics…the peak of the season has arrived. On that note, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are the links for this post…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Do you use WhatsApp? I’d recommend you switch to Telegram. Here’s why.

All iPhone users need to get the latest iOS update immediately.

GENERAL SCIENCE

An eye-opening reminder as to why the maps we know and love offer a very distorted view of our humble home.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

There’s a solar eclipse treat on the menu next year for much of the USA and, understandably, many folks are not a little excited.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Summers in the U.S. bring more than just searing, dangerously hot days. When there’s little air circulation and the air becomes stagnant, high levels of air pollution and increases in the level of ozone are triggered by the hot temperatures. The resulting health consequences for millions of Americans is quite significant. The Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Dallas/Fort Worth metros have had at least two “Ozone Alert Days” so far this summer.

Speaking of sizzling summer days, setting in traffic in urban areas has certain air quality hazards. Here’s a good read on how you can reduce your exposure to pollutants.

Here’s some very good renewables news. Wind power is flourishing in the USA. In fact, the first offshore wind farm in the USA is nearing completion. Unfortunately, the comments section on the latter link is exceptionally cynical.

If wind power won’t work for you, check out solar. The price of solar is declining to all-time record lows.

A disconcerting environmental science/climate read. “This year’s melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May. One NASA sea ice scientist describes this as ‘the new normal.'”

This is very exciting…not just for the USA, but the world in general. President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii. It’ll be twice the size of Texas!

Last but not least, the USA’s National Parks just celebrated their 100th anniversary. Here’s a spectacular VR trip through geologic time courtesy of NPR.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A concise overview of the recent deadly floods in Louisiana. By some accounts, the storm system responsible for the heavy rainfall was a “hurricane without the winds.”

This “no name” storm also dumped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina.

Here’s a very good read on the Louisiana flooding by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “5 Reasons Some Were Unaware Of One Of The Biggest Weather Disasters Since Sandy.”

On 24 August 2016, a localized outbreak of tornadoes occurred in parts of Indiana and Ohio. The Storm Prediction Center is now being raked over the coals for having “missed” a forecast. Did the SPC miss a forecast and, more importantly, does it matter? There’s been plenty of sophomoric “Monday morning quarterbacking” over this (the vast majority coming from amateur weather hobbyists) who think they are better qualified. I seriously doubt that. As with the hype over what was known as “Invest #99L,” nature always has the better hand and the ace up its sleeve. Dealing with a 3-D fluid that is in a constant state of change is difficult enough for day-to-day forecasting let alone a regional tornado outbreak that didn’t have all the parameters that would have given even the most seasoned forecasters a “heads up.” I can recall several instances this year alone where the SPC was absolutely spot-on in it’s forecast…but all it takes is one “miss” and the trolling begins.

A perfect example of how imagery is worth a thousand words. Take a look at the hottest weather ever visualized.

Can lightning be predicted in the same way forecasters predict precipitation?

An interesting, and irrevocable, climate science & economics connection. As our climate changes, our economies become more vulnerable. The time for economic adaptation is now.

Communities have traditionally prepared for natural disasters based on past events. Extreme weather events will now force communities to confront new climate patterns and prepare with a focus on the future.

An interesting read on the ocean-weather-climate link. “Pacific Sea Level Predicts Global Temperature Changes.”

The latest US Drought Monitor shows dry conditions persist in the western states while spreading in the southeast.

A spot-on read covering tactical capers of climate change denialists. This is anti-science mindsets at their best.

Speaking of climate change denialists, referring them as “skeptics” is disingenuous to the true meaning of skepticism.

THE QUIXOTIC

A spot 0n yet startling read by Lawrence M. Krauss. “Trump’s Anti-Science Campaign.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to give a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have new folks along with the old friends that have been a part of my online community for several years!

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 5 – 15, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s definitely been an interesting week with plenty of climate related news and, unfortunately, deadly flooding ongoing in parts of Louisiana. Some locations have received over 27 inches of rain. I’ve included an infographic on flash flood safety. On the home front, I’ve had a busy August with several projects that have delayed this post by a few days. On that note, let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The importance of the history of science to STEM students can’t be understated. “Why Science And Engineering Need To Remind Students Of Forgotten Lessons From History.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you using Windows 10? “12 Things You Can Now Do With Windows 10 After The Anniversary Update.”

There’s a dearth of manners in social media. Here’s a very nice read that’s badly needed. “Five Steps To Having Grace On Social Media.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA has just released over 1,000 new images of the surface of Mars and some of them are spectacular!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

A very striking video of changes in Greenland’s glaciers since the 1930’s shows the dramatic effects of climate change.

Though this article focuses somewhat on UK and European cities, it applies to other cities (like Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, et al.) that are prone to ozone and/or air quality issues in the summer months. “Pollutants React In Sunshine To Form More Pollutants.”

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency was way off mark in a recent study that claimed that fracking and safe water sources can coexist in close proximity.

Speaking of air quality, southern California has been a hotbed of bad air quality for decades. Unfortunately, they’re currently having the worst smog since 2009.

Several USA cities are leading the way from fossil fuels to 100% renewable power. Let’s hope many more cities are bold enough to be added to this list…soon.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’re experiencing flooding or simply need a quick read  on flood safety, here’s a nice infographic from the National Weather Service in Norman, OK. If driving, please remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown! (TADD)

Flood Safety Info

Due to climate change, the risk from the Zika virus the mosquitoes that carry it is becoming more than just an obscure annoyance.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to NOAA’s latest and very thorough State Of The Climate report. This is definitely a “must read” for anyone into atmospheric and/or environmental science. (PDF file)

As of July, 2016, the USA is in the midst of its third-hottest year on record according to the latest NOAA data.

Based on NOAA and EPA data, millions of coastal area homes and properties in the USA are at risk of going underwater by the end of the century.

No heat here. This amazing archive of ice cores is literally a look into the climates past of our humble planet.

Here’s an interesting take on what’s apparently a not-so-new rainfall forecasting theory. Scientists using satellite data and statistical techniques have proved that soil and rain are linked in an unexpected way.

As the drought in the western USA continues, another drought is growing at an alarming pace…and almost no one is talking about it.

Time to bring out the cardigans and parkas. Autumn has arrived in parts of Sweden and no, it’s not too early.

In addition to dealing with denialists, climate scientists are also saddled with a segment of the population with climate change apathy…those who think nothing can or should change.

Sorry conspirators. Your “knowledge” of contrails isn’t correct. It’s hard to believe there are people who still buy this rubbish, but then again there are people who believe the earth is flat, ghosts and spirits are real, astrology is a legit science, and the tooth fairy leaves pennies from heaven under your pillow.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun…and learning!

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

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 19 – 29, 2016

Greetings everybody! I hope everyone’s having a good week and, if you’re dealing with the heat wave covering a good portion of North America, you’re staying cool and comfortable. For much of the USA, drought conditions are spreading and even include many northeastern states. For folks into citizen science, there’s news regarding the mPING app. And, as usual, there’s plenty of climate data to keep up with…so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re using an older version of the mPING app, please update so your important weather reports will work with the updated database. If you’re not familiar with mPING, it’s a great way for citizen scientists to report weather events to the National Severe Storms Laboratory to help with their research. The mPING app is free, takes up very little space on your smart phone, and is available for both iOS and Android.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter finally dealt a blow to one if it’s most offensive users. Let’s hope this isn’t a one-time publicity stunt.

Twitter is also regrouping in an effort to attract new users in order to, “help people to understand that Twitter isn’t really a Facebook-like social network where you connect with friends and family (thank goodness for that!) nor a place where you have to show up and tweet every day.” For severe weather information, Twitter is “hands-down” the best social media platform to receive severe weather watch and warning information…so long as you follow official media and National Weather Service accounts.

Trolls are an ever-present irritant in the online world, but there are ways to soundly destroy them…and it’s not that difficult.

An incredible technology and aeronautical achievement has just been completed. A solar-powered aircraft had circled the globe!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An excellent read on why we need to remember the Apollo moon landings.

The red spot storm on Jupiter has been observed for hundreds of years. The air in its thunderstorms boil at temperatures of of at least 2400°F (1300°C).

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Now that the DSCOVR satellite has been orbiting the Earth for over a year, its EPIC camera has finally captured enough images for a year-long time-lapse video of our home.

Thanks to climate change, wildfires in the USA have burned over 2.6 million acres so far this year…and there’s more to come.

California isn’t the only state in the US that is currently ravaged by drought. The northeastern states are in the grips of dry conditions as well.

A novel idea that’s worth looking into. If you’ve got an overabundance of CO2, get more giant trees.

For those who have the daunting task for forecasting flood events, climate change just changed the rules they must play by.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

We all need weather forecasts available on our mobile devices. The National Weather Service has you covered for your summer vacation…and year round.

Weather Ready Graphic

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Do You (Or Your Meteorologist) Understand What 40% Chance Of Rain Means?”

For the next three months (August, September, and October, 2016), NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s outlook is for above average temperatures for the contiguous forty-eight states and Alaska.

We’re only in late July and, according to data from NOAA and NASA, 2016 is already shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures.

With 2016 shaping up to be another record-breaking year for global temperatures, here’s an important look at many USA cities which are bound to set records of their own.

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded.

A very informative read on how climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming.

Part health, part weather…a good read on keeping the human body cool during a heat wave. Your life could depend on it.

While on the topic of heat and the human body, here’s a comprehensive list of seven misconceptions about heat and humidity. Chances are you believe in some of them.

An interesting map of the climate worries that are (most likely) in the USA’s public mind…state-by-state.

An interesting read on one of the more enigmatic lightning related phenomenons in meteorology: ball lightning.

Yet another media-hype unscientific term has infiltrated itself into mass media and the colloquial dictionary. Welcome to the “heat dome.”

Finally, a look at the best arguments that climate change denialists can devise. From the article, “These are the publishing climate scientists who argue that something other than humans is responsible for the majority of global warming, although their explanations are often contradictory and don’t withstand scientific scrutiny.” The flat-earth society is still alive and well.

That’s a wrap for this post!

One last note; due to ongoing commitments to many other projects, this blog post will now be published on Friday. I’d also like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! All of Tornado Quest’s social media links can be found below.

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

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