Tag Archives: Australia

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

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

c53aixlwcaadv9o-jpg-large

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

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

month_drought

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

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

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

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

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

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

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest 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 Science Links For February 15 – 22, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great week. The weather across much of North America has been relatively tranquil this week with unseasonably warm temperatures across much of the southern plains. As of today (22 February 2016) a busy severe weather day is on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday (23 & 24 February 2016) from Texas to the east coast states. Speaking of severe weather, all across the United States the National Weather Service offices are holding Skywarn spotting training classes. If you’re interested in severe weather and contributing to your community, I’d strongly recommend you take one of these courses and spend two (if not more) seasons as an “intern” with a seasoned spotter. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Fortunately, the United States citizenry has a satisfactory of support for science.

In spite of the optimism expressed in the previous link, there’s still putrid bounty of anxiety and antagonism towards science within the US of A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sweden, you are amazing in every way! “Sweden To Go Carbon Neutral By 2045.”

Some great tips here! “17 Sustainable Ways To Be A Better Person To Yourself And To Others.”

Four billion people are facing a life-threatening water shortage…and no, the USA is not exempt.

Very interesting, and not surprising, infographic on the world’s most polluted cities.

You know the air in parts of China is bad when ventilation “corridors” are being built so people don’t have to breathe the outdoor air.

Of great interest to many here in Oklahoma. “Does Living Near An Oil Or Natural Gas Well Affect Your Drinking Water?”

Another read for folks in Oklahoma who are constantly barraged with shake, frack, and roll. “Sierra Club Sues Over Oil Company Earthquakes.”

Climate change + drought = a continent-wide volatile scenario. “Mother Africa On Fire.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Interesting interactive chart showing temperature trends for over 3,100 cities in 2015.

The UK’s Met Office habit of naming storms is likely little more than misguided hype.

Some nice videos of climate scientists briefly discussing climate change.

A very important read from Climate Central. “What Scalia’s Death Means For Climate Change.” Like it or not, climate change has become as much a foreign & domestic policy issue as much as it is science.

A good read by Chris Mooney on where our Earth’s the most vulnerable regions to big swings in climate.

Two years ago, a large, inexplicable hot patch of water appeared in the Pacific Ocean, and stayed right through the seasons—until now. Referred to as “the Blob,” it’s gone away, taken by El Niño. Will it return?

Speaking of El Niño, it has passed its peak strength but impacts will continue according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

 My fellow lightning aficionados will enjoy this read. Lightning-produced ozone has been detected…and this could be important to air quality assessment and prediction in the future.

The University of Miami just opened a new research facility that, by creating a “hurricane in a box,” can help us prepare for dangerous and potentially cataclysmic storms.

An amazing view of ice shattering like plates of glass on North American’s Lake Superior.

THE QUIXOTIC

“Hairy Panic,” a fast growing tumbleweed with a name straight out of a third-rate horror flick rolls into an Australian city.

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 Science Links And Much More For Nov. 2 – Nov. 9, 2014

This past week has seen a rather tranquil period of weather across most of North America. Alas, it won’t last. The coldest air of the season is scheduled to make its way across the eastern half of the US and will give many a good taste of winter. Grab those sweaters and put an extra log on the fire. We will need it.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Normally, I’m a very apolitical person. Taking into consideration recent political events, this is a very apt essay.

SOCIAL MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY

It’s about time a tool like this showed up on the internet. Meet WAM. While it is specifically geared towards women being harassed online, it can apply to anyone…male or female, young or old. Individuals engaging in harassment and or trolls had best mind their behavior…online and off.

Scientists are rapidly discovering the benefits of using social media for networking and sharing information.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’ve not checked out the Citizen Science Center’s website, I highly recommend you do. “You Can Do Science Too.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

LED bulb efficiency is pulling ahead of compact fluorescent bulbs…and they’re becoming more price friendly too.

A very interesting and encouraging look at America’s solar boom.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A connection between fracking and earthquakes? Surely you jest.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

I’ve had several inquiries via social media and email from folks wanting to know what the coming winter holds. Hopefully this information from NOAA will clear things up. Keep in mind, this is an outlook and NOT a forecast. There is a difference.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has written a very interesting, but rather technical, nine page PDF document on ENSO and the El Nino outlook for this year.

An interesting read on the connection between climate change and emerging diseases.

“In light of the recent IPCC report, we want to dismiss these fallacies and reiterate the truth.” Very well put.

Waters off the west coast of North America are running quite warm. What could this mean for the coming winter?

This is an amazing and rare “must-see” video of glaciers in action. Taking climate change into consideration, this is likely to become more commonplace.

And that’s a wrap for this post! See you folks again soon!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For June 10 – 18, 2014

A very active period of weather across much of North America this week. Monday saw the most active severe weather and tornado day in quite some time. One NE supercell in particular was very powerful and, at its most intense state, exhibited twin tornadoes. Elsewhere, drought conditions persist across much of the southwest and southern plains.

Here are this week’s links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

In the varied fields of science, there are many terms that are gravely misused and/or misunderstood by the general public. Here’s a list of the top ten…and personally speaking, pay particular attention to 1, 2, 8, and 9.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

USGS iCoast is a cool citizen science project where you can help scientists document changes to coastal areas after major storms.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

How much space junk is orbiting the Earth? A lot…and I do mean a lot.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

What sound did Tyrannosaurus Rex actually make? Very unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a movie.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Earth’s inner core is quite mysterious. A recent finding discovered what could be a massive amount of water.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

How’s my waterway? Learn the condition of local streams, lakes and other waters anywhere in the US… quickly and in plain language from the EPA.

Rocks made of plastic have been found on Hawaiian beaches. Nothing good can come of this.

Good tips on saving time, money, energy, and carbon emissions while drying clothes.

This is how much American spends putting out wildfires. Yes, it’s a lot. Much more that I ever imagined.

Apparently Australia is lagging behind many other countries with an aging and inefficient electricity sector.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center’s review of May, 2014 is out. The ongoing drought and coming El Nino are some highlights.

Speaking of El Nino, here is a look at the potential impacts to the United States from NOAA.

Scientists have discovered a relationship between climate change and ocean currents over the past six million yearsRead more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-06-link-climate-ocean-currents-million.html#jCp

Scientists have discovered a relationship between climate change and ocean currents over the past six million yearsRead more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-06-link-climate-ocean-currents-million.html#jCp

A very timely and spot-on viewpoint from the inimitable Chuck Doswell.

Post-tornado damage survey’s are a daunting task. As a veteran of many over the past 30+ years, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s arduous work.

In a variety of weather related disaster scenarios, these lightweight foldable shelters could be very useful.

Recent research has discovered a link between climate change and ocean currents over six million years.

THE QUIXOTICALLY VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

Just when I’d thought the “flat earth society” and bloodletting were out of style…comes this. Someone please tell me this is a joke.

Another storm chaser has reached an all time low. Gotta get that “money shot” for a financial windfall!

Yes, this definitely qualifies as a contender for the worst academic paper of the decade…or at least the year.

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE…

Rather than end this on a dour note, let me rectify the situation with a hopeful and forward-looking viewpoint. “Why We Should Focus More On Clouds, Trees, And Streams.”  We’re very lucky to be living on a planet that has an abundance of spectacular vistas. Let’s enjoy, nurture, and preserve them in the very brief time our species will exist.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Jan. 6 – 13, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the first month of a new year is half over, but I guess time flies when you’re having fun. I’m running a couple of days late on my weekly post due to previous commitments that took far too much time to complete. At least the journey to the finished product was enjoyable.

Here’s a look at a few links for this week…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revamped its Citizen Science website, “to assist the public in conducting scientific research and collecting data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern.” Information via the SciStarter blog. 

This article from SciStarter looks at the connections between children, citizen science, privacy, and COPPA compliance.

TECHNOLOGY

Net neutrality took a big blow this week.

ASTRONOMY

Ten years of amazing Rover action on Mars…and here’s to many more!

When you can’t measure the wind speed and direction on other planets, just use the sand dunes as “windsocks.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Make no mistake about it. There’s no such thing as “clean” coal. Here’s a thought-provoking read on Australia’s use of the old-hat fossil fuel.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has released their latest State Of The Climate report. Some fascinating data here. It is a must-read.

A very good read that’s more than timely ~ Global Warming: The Conversation We Need To Have

A very thoughtful essay on attacks targeting climate scientists.

While North America froze during the recent “polar vortex” cold snap, Scandinavia basked in unusually mild winter weather.

There are many ways of recording temperature on the Earth. Here’s a good read on utilizing satellites for that purpose.

The Tulsa World has a very nice “behind the scenes” look at the Tulsa, OK National Weather Service including some important food for thought (i.e. the silly myth that Tulsa can’t be hit by a major (EF-4/5) tornado).

And speaking of potential disasters, 2013 was a big year for major disasters of all kinds across all points on the globe.

Finally, “We The Geeks” is an enjoyable video to watch with a host of great guests. And yes, they talked about the much maligned “polar vortex” that so many curmudgeons are dismissing.

Have a great week everybody…

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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