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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 23 – 28, 2017

Greetings and salutations one and all! I hope the weather is being good to you wherever you are. There’s a lot to cover this week…and considering recent current events, there’s more than the usual amount of science and public policy topics to cover. Like it or not, the climate of the country is changing in more than one way. We’ve challenging times ahead.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Taking into consideration the inevitability that the next four years in the USA will be challenging for science, many scientists are now planning to run for public office.

From any rational viewpoint, a disturbing event that is unfolding daily. Any way you slice it, facts aren’t political. “What We Actually Lose When The USDA and EPA Can’t Talk To The Public.” (Updated)

Is there more than one way for the USA to pull out of the Paris climate agreement? Unfortunately, yes.

Still in its formative stages, the March For Science is slowly gaining momentum…and will likely be the next big march in Washington, D.C. The organizers have a website and Twitter account where you can stay up-to-date on details.

Starting with only a few texts between friends, “500 Women Scientists” has grown to 14,000 strong and counting.

TECHNOLOGY

A very interesting privacy and security read. “Firefox, Chrome start calling HTTP connections insecure.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Of Mexico oil spill take a heavy toll on the biosphere…and mental health of people who have to deal with the immediate effects and long-term aftermath.

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has an uncertain future. To get an idea of how filthy it was before its formation, take a look back at America’s environmental state before 1970.

Here’s some good news on the renewable/wind energy front. The USA’s largest offshore wind farm is coming to Long Island.

And some more good news…the Irish parliament has voted to take on the task of divesting from fossil fuels.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA recently tweeted a page that has been a good source of information on global warming…and it’s probably one of the best FAQ sites on the topic you’ll find online. There’s a plethora of references too…and those are gems for further research.

In recent decades, flooding in the northern countries of Europe has more than doubled.

The latest Drought Monitor shows that for the first time since March, 2011, exceptional drought conditions are not affecting the USA population.

Highlights: Drought conditions have eased a great deal across much of California.

capture-2

Extreme Drought conditions (red shading) have spread rapidly in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

capture-1

If you’ve ever wondered how a well done tornado path survey is written up by a National Weather Service office, the survey of the Albany, GA tornado of 22 January 2017 by the Tallahassee, FL NWS is a good example. The vast majority of path surveys done by the NWS are exceptionally detailed studies.

And that’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. 🙂

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 26 – September 2, 2015

For all my followers in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d like to extend a “Happy Meteorological Autumn” to you. Nothing magically happens on September 1, December 1, etc…it’s simply an easy way to categorize climatological seasons. For many of us in North America, we won’t notice many changes for several more weeks. In fact, the most noticeable change for those of us in the Great Plains are the days with decreasing hours of daylight. That will continue until the Winter Solstice in late December when, once again, the days will slowly get longer in spite of many long winter days ahead. As for the tropical cyclone activity, the Atlantic has behaved quite well. Erika was forecast by many computer models to reach hurricane intensity and threaten Florida and possibly the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, that didn’t come to fruition. On the flip side, Fred ramped up quickly west of the African coast which prompted an unheard of Hurricane Warning for the Cape Verde Islands. The Pacific has been another story. Just this past week for the first time since records have been kept, three major category hurricanes were in progress at the same time and all three visible on the same satellite image. Quite the jaw-dropping sight!

 

vis sat hurricane

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

TECHNOLOGY

A disconcerting read on how an increasing number of wireless users are being tracked by “zombie cookies.”

Google Chrome users have a reason to celebrate. Auto-play Flash ads are now blocked in Chrome.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Fall into Phenology with this very cool citizen science project from Project BudBurst. With autumn just around the corner, now’s the time to get involved!

Here’s an intriguing European citizen science project where smart phone users can collect data on air pollution.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

From the North American Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, large wildfires are becoming increasingly common and more destructive.

Speaking of wildfires, in 2015 alone, more than 8 million acres across the USA have been consumed. That’s an area larger than the state of Maryland.

Wildfires in close proximity can be lethal, but so can the resulting smoke which can travel hundreds of miles.

I’ve read several disturbing stories about this and, unfortunately, it’s likely to only get worse. “Plastic In 99% Of Seabirds By 2050.”

Iceland, you’ve always rocked in my book…and this takes you up a few notches higher. “Iceland turned an old coal plant into a haven for artists and entrepreneurs.”

Pope Francis has courageously stepped up to the plate once again…this time he’s asking the rich and powerful to do their share on behalf of our humble home.

You don’t have to be rich and powerful to do something good. Here’s a good list of eleven tips for saving water…and money.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on why it’s easier to track a hurricane than predict its intensity.

This is a fascinating, but not surprising, study from NASA on the connection of vegetation and the urban heat island effect.

Upon close examination and after ten years, these satellite images from NOAA of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath are still startling.

A very interesting retrospective. One hundred sixty years of hurricanes in one infographic.

Finally, September is National Preparedness Month in the USA. The theme for 2015 is “Dont’ Wait, Communicate.” Check out www.ready.gov for details.

I’d like to extend a hearty “Welcome!” to my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun!

That’s a wrap for this post…the 200th post for me on this particular blog since April, 2009. I’m looking forward to the next 200…and much, much more!

Cheers!

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