Tag Archives: evolution

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For February 19 – 26, 2018

Greetings everyone! I hope that the weather is to your liking wherever you are. February has been interesting across much of North America with record highs set in many eastern states. We’ve also seen a small increase in the number of severe weather events. It’s that time of year to prepare for severe weather and review safety precautions. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you love weather and want to get involved in citizen science, the CoCoRaHS precipitation network is an excellent way to collect valuable data.

PALEOBIOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

A fascinating read on the history of our humble home. “Plants Colonized The Earth 100 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought.”

Here’s a fascinating read for my fellow dinosaur fans. “Paleontologists Discovered A Huge Ancient Fossils Trove In Bears Ears National Monument.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Are Americans hitting their breaking point on the environment? It appears that is the case.

Can you reduce or do without plastics in your life? Some have tried…and found it challenging.

Floating wind farms are becoming a major source of power in many locations. With many countries having windy areas relatively close to shore, this is a trend that has fantastic potential.

Why do kids need to climb trees? For any number of positive reasons including getting in touch (literally) with nature…plants, soil, and those amazing clouds that fill our skies.

Take a look at some amazing photos from the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest State Of The Climate Report has been issued. January 2018 was the fifth warmest on record for the globe. The map below is a look at some selected climate anomalies and events for the first month of 2018. The main takeaway…it was a very warm month from a global perspective.

Map courtesy NOAA

For meteorologists, this is BIG news! “Here are five reasons why GOES-S will be such a game-changer for weather forecasts from California to Alaska and beyond.”

Depending on the layout of the city you live in, your urban location has its own weather. The Urban Heat Island Effect plays a bit part in short-term weather and long-term climate data for cities worldwide.

Delaying a reduction in carbon emissions will be nothing short of disastrous. Sea level rise could continue for an estimated 300 years.

Why is studying a continent as remote as Antarctica so important? “What was once thought to be a largely unchanging mass of snow and ice is anything but. Antarctica holds a staggering amount of water.”

According to a new Climate Central analysis, a warming world means our winters will be changing…and we’ll be dealing with less snow and more rain. There’s a good and a bad side to that.

Even though it’s only late February, signs of spring are showing up in  parts of Sweden…including a village where winter never really arrived.

The latest US Drought Portal still shows a significant portion of the southern half of the USA in dry/drought conditions. A detailed look at the drought conditions in a region-by-region format can be found at the US Drought Monitor. Rainfall in many areas has eased the drought conditions temporarily, but the overall trend for much of the Southern Plains is still in Extreme Drought status.

Last but not least…”The publisher of an academic journal beloved by climate science deniers has been revamped to ensure it meets industry standards of peer-review and editorial practice. Its climate science denier editor has also stepped down.” Sometimes you’ve just got to love “karma.”

PUBLIC POLICY

Better late than never. “Republican Lisa Murkowski Says It’s Time For Her Party To Take Climate Change Seriously.”

And that is a wrap for this post! A sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

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Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 19 – 26, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. We’ve just had the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and for some folks, a chill is in the air and foliage is changing to the traditional autumn colors. South of the equator, spring is in the air as their season begins to warm. The big weather story as of late has been the hurricane activity in the Atlantic…we’ll touch on that and a few other topics…so let’s get started.

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

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

A surprising read for my fellow dinosaur enthusiasts. “Plant-eating dinosaurs usually found plenty to eat, but occasionally they went looking for a nutritional boost.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Unlike hurricanes, winter storms, or severe convective weather events, there is no reliable or easy way to predict a significant earthquake.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Hurricanes often bring about or exacerbate bad environmental issues. Hurricane Maria and its effects on Puerto Rico are a good example.

In spite of many naysayers, clean energy is one way to circumnavigate aging and poorly maintained energy infrastructures in the wake of many natural disasters.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The weather forecasting done today is more accurate than ever but by some accounts, the public takes issue with that.

If you live in the USA and love summer, you’re probably enjoying the longer hot spells. Be warned, the details will prove that longer summers aren’t good.

Has the Atlantic hurricane season been active? Yes. Is it the worst hurricane season ever? Hardly. Not even close.

The recovery from Hurricane Maria will take months in Puerto Rico…which has not experienced a major hurricane for almost ninety years.

The current, and long-lasting, effects from Hurricane Maria can best be described as a humanitarian emergency for Puerto Rico.

Very well said in regards to Hurricane Maria. “To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks; it is to deny a truth we have just lived.”

Here’s an exceptionally shocking collection of photos from Puerto Rico that will give you an idea of just how bad the current crisis is.

From Carbon Brief…Factcheck: Climate Models Have Not “Exaggerated” Global Warming.

Truth stranger than fiction. The USA’s EPA has tapped the Heartland Institute for “non-alarmist” climate “experts” for various purposes…similar to having the fox guard the henhouse.

PUBLIC POLICY

The train wreck continues. The unfortunate part is many folks on all points of the political spectrum have sincere and honest environmental concerns. “GOP Runs Roughshod Over Democratic, Environmental Safeguards.”

The current EPA’s Clean Power Plan is due for drastic changes…and nothing good can come of this.

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest’s Science Links Week In Review For August 1 – 8, 2017

Greetings to everyone! This has been an active and interesting weather week across much of North America. Many areas that are normally broiling in temperatures well into the mid to upper 90’s are enjoying cool nights and afternoon highs 10 – 15 degrees cooler. I, for one, am not complaining one bit! A severe weather day for parts of the southern plains brought an EF-2 tornado through parts of midtown Tulsa, OK during the early morning hours of 6 August 2017 resulting in at least 30 injuries. Last but not least, the tropical Atlantic has been more active than in previous weeks…and the peak of the hurricane season is still to come. There’s plenty of other topics to go over, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Here’s an excellent read on communicating science to the general public. “There are too many important issues that science has reached a consensus on that the public has not.”

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This spectacular new dinosaur fossil is bound to bring great enthusiasm to my fellow dinosaur fans.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

This is truly amazing! “Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Based on new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, the USA’s Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone (oxygen-deprived water where fish can’t survive) is the largest since it started measuring in 1985.

Congratulation Miami! You’ve taken a very bold step. Now, who’s the next city with the chutzpah to make this kind of decision? “South Miami this week became the first city outside of California to require all new homes to install solar panels on their roofs.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent interactive map from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tulsa, OK with a detailed survey of the Tulsa tornado of 6 August 2017. The tornado formed from a rapidly moving Quasi Linear Convective System (QLCS) and raced at almost 50 mph across midtown portions of the city. This event should be a start reminder that should be a stark reminder that, in spite of the climatological norms, tornadoes do not follow a calendar. “Tornado Season” in the USA runs from January 1 – December 31…and tornadoes can also occur at any time of the day or night and are not limited to forming under a photogenic supercell.

Check out NOAA’s interactive map of the history of the hottest summer day at thousands of locations across the USA.

A new visualization from Climate Central shows a history of global warming in only 35 seconds.

From Climate Central, a startling, but not surprising, survey. “The World Economic Forum surveyed 750 experts on what the most likely and impactful risks facing humanity are in 2017. They ranked extreme weather as the most likely risk and the second-most impactful, trailing only the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Traveling by commercial aircraft can be challenging enough…but climate change could be introducing a whole new level of inconvenience.

For decades, the urban heat island effect has kept many large cities warmer than surrounding areas. Climate change is poised to make those warmer-than-average urban environments even hotter.

The monsoon season for Arizona, USA residents has been going full throttle in no small part due to the influences of climate change.

The USA isn’t the only country that has histrionic summers. This year has been a rough summer for our friends in Sweden.

I’ve yet to see one of these, but hope to one day…if I can only keep from blinking at the wrong moment! The common but elusive green flash of sunsets.

Truth stranger than fiction. Federal scientists, including those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have published a 543-page report with startling information on climate change. They’re trying to get the word out before the current presidential administration can bury the report.

That’s a wrap for this post! You can also find Tornado Quest on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr at the links below.

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 Science Week In Review For March 4 – 12, 2017

Greetings and welcome to everyone! With severe weather season having gotten off to a good start across parts of North America, I’m going to include a severe weather safety link every week for the next month or so. Considering the recent uptick in severe thunderstorm and tornado activity, now’s the time to make final preparations for your emergency kit and any necessary plans regarding shelter. As usual, there are plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s Severe Weather Safety link is from the Storm Prediction Center. The comprehensive Online Tornado FAQ.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool read on new evidence of a water-rich history on Mars.

LIFE SCIENCE/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is a very interesting new perspective on evolution. “The power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A new report published in the Anthropocene Review has measured the impact humanity has on our humble planet. The results are, as expected, not a little substantial.

A sobering read on the state of our air quality. “Pollution is responsible for one in four deaths among all children under five, according to new World Health Organization reports, with toxic air, unsafe water, and lack of sanitation the leading causes.”

How about a nostalgic visit to the pre-EPA era in the USA. Ah, yes…those were the days.

Let’s end this on a positive note with a visit to a Texas, USA city that is leading the way on renewable energy.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Summer can’t end too soon for Australians…who have just endured one of the worst heat waves in decades with many records broken.

Warmer than usual temperatures are creating an unsettling scenario in the Arctic as its sea ice continues to diminish at an alarming rate.

While on the topic of warming, spring came early for much of the contiguous USA…and climate change played no small part.

A recent survey shows that most Americans feel climate change is a legitimate concern…but only for other countries. In the UK, concern over climate change and its local effects is also growing.

As for the climate change deniers, there’s no other way to describe them other than “deniers.”

Here’s a brilliant “take down” from a noted climate scientist in reply to a well-known cartoonist who, for some reason, seems to enjoy spreading doubt about soundly established science.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back incredible data. One of the new features is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.

Is Moore, OK in the cross-hairs of strong to violent tornadoes? It really depends on how you want to look at past history given humans habit of making “sense” out of random events. Here’s an interesting perspective with input from several notable severe weather meteorologists…from the FiveThirtyEight archive: Tornado Town, USA.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Scientists can no longer nurture an aversion to public engagement. With a war on science gathering momentum, it’s time to make your presence known.

Recent proposed cuts to the NOAA budget could not only put a halt to a great deal of research, but seriously affect data used for keeping folks informed about dangerous weather conditions.

Understandably so, many climate scientists and weather forecasters are infuriated at the latest threats to NOAA form the current presidential administration. Both the EPA and NOAA are part of what has made the USA a great country in recent decades.

The USA’s Clean Water Rule is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, the current administration has it squarely in the cross-hairs for a full on attack.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “It seems like this EPA and this administration broadly seem to view their job as being a support for business as opposed to safeguarding public health.”

Last but definitely not least, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt (who’s well-known to my fellow Oklahomans) actually said something that flies in the face of firmly established climate science. The train wreck continues…

THE QUIXOTIC

Finally, a look at the archaic “daylight saving time” routine that has long lost it’s purpose.

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!


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 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

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 16 – 24. 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good and productive week since we last visited…and here’s to another good week ahead. Speaking of the week ahead, there are several days of severe weather potential across North America on the menu so, as is par for the course, this post will be on the brief side. There are plenty of other topics to touch on this round, so let’s get started.

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

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Here’s some very cool news for my fellow dinosaur buffs. A new species of horned dinosaur has been discovered in the USA state of Utah.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

The legacy you leave behind for future generations is of utmost importance. “Don’t Be Eco-Friendly Just To Do A Good Deed…Make It Your Mark.”

While on the topic of being eco-friendly, many people are compliant at home but do a stellar backsliding job when in the workplace.

Very impressive…Portugal is finding a way to power itself with renewable energy for several days at a time.

The cost of storing renewable energy sources (i.e. solar) has reached a new all-time low.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Recent tornado events in the USA’s central and southern plains…and the resulting “extreme” storm chasing videos have once again proved to us that, in spite of deaths in recent years, storm chasers are stopping at nothing for superficial fame.

Speaking of storm chasing, it takes years of diligent forecasting experience and a dedicated intellect to obtain this kind of spectacular (and exceptionally rare) supercell thunderstorm imagery.

Scientist Bill Nye explains why he’s willing to take on the ostriches. “Why I Choose To Challenge Climate Change Deniers.”

Unfortunately, there’s a 99% chance that 2016 will be a record breaking year for global temperatures.

Recent and abrupt changes in the Atlantic Ocean may have been naturally occurring and not related to climate change.

The El Niño phenomenon that fueled endless weird weather, hot months this past year is on the downswing. If the latest NOAA data is any indicator, La Niña is liquored up and ready to rage.

As hurricane season approaches for the Atlantic basin, it’s very important to identify and have access to reliable sources of valid (and potentially life-saving) information.

Capture 2

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

Folks in my ancestral homeland are celebrating the arrival of the summer midnight sun! Njuta av din sommar och har en stor tid!

That’s a wrap for this post! See you folks next time!

Cheers!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Jan. 25 – Feb. 1, 2016

Happy February everyone! The first month of 2016 has come and gone in a flash. Before we know it, summer heat will be settling in over the Northern Hemisphere. In the meantime, January has been very active weather-wise for parts of North America and the UK. Both regions have experienced significant storms with hurricane force winds, blinding rains, devastating floods, and potentially deadly blizzard conditions. Let’s hope that February will be better behaved but, as is always the case, nature has the better hand and the money is always on the house. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Critical thinking and the scientific method are the key ingredients of sorting through the rubbish of conspiracy mindsets from proven facts.

So sad that in the 21st Century, this kind of retrograde mentality is not only being taken seriously, but flourishing with disturbing frequency.

TECHNOLOGY

Understandably so, Americans from across the political spectrum have become increasingly outraged and outspoken as they have learned more about growing surveillance by governments and corporations.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Could you outrun a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex? Even if you could, I would advice against it. 😉

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA’s Opportunity rover has gone above and beyond the call of duty by now purring smoothly into it’s 12th year of exploration.

This week marked the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. NASA marks the anniversary with a pledge to travel to Mars.

Can’t wait to see this finally in action! “Mirror on the Cosmos: NASA’s Next Big Telescope Takes Shape.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Wind and sunshine could power most of the United States by 2030 without raising electricity prices.

I’m really hoping that this comes to fruition. “By 2030, Renewables Will Be The World’s Primary Power Source.”

Huge hurricane resistant wind power turbines? Sounds like a sound idea to me!

A very sound idea! Denmark is preparing for climate change by building parks that can transform into ponds during heavy rainfall events.

Speaking of Denmark, the beautiful city of Copenhagen is set to divest from fossil fuels.

A sobering read on the increasing amounts of mercury found in rain water over the central and western parts of the USA.

It should come as no surprise that most of the earth’s pollution is created by only a small percentage of polluters.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Many of us, including yours truly, love snow…but is it safe to eat?

An interesting read on the recent USA snowstorm and it’s connection to climate change.

A good climate read. “Study Finds Slim Odds Of Record Heat, But Not As Slim As Reported.”

Using data going back centuries, climate scientists have found that modern-day European summers are the warmest since the height of the Roman empire. For all practical purposed, this will mean a new way of life.

In spite of recent rains and modest improvements, drought conditions persist in parts of California and Oregon where some reservoirs remain well below half of their capacity.

Capture 1

This one day view of our Earth from a satellite is spectacular and a “must see.”

THE QUIXOTIC

Well said! “I hope that by showing how eye-wateringly unlikely some alleged conspiracies are, some people will reconsider their anti-science beliefs.”
Burying one’s head in the sand may feel good for the moment, but it’s not a courageous way to face scientific facts for which there is indisputable evidence.
And that’s a wrap for this post!
I’d like to extend a warm welcome and “Hello” to all my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!
Cheers!
Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch
Tornado Quest on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tornadoquest
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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For January 12 – 19, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope the new year is off to a good start for all of you. So far this year, at least for most of North America, it’s been a relatively tranquil winter. El Nino is still a big player on a larger scale, many of its effects are yet to be seen. There’s plenty of good news on the renewables front with wind power in particular taking a lot of steam out of the fossil fuels.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Of interest to users of the Windows OS. “Windows 8, Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, and 10 (mostly) consigned to the dustbin of history.”

Sometimes going offline is the best way to spend your time. I take regular breaks from the “online” world and highly recommend them!

PHYSICS

This has the potential to be big in the world of physics. “Rumors are rippling through the science world that physicists may have detected gravitational waves, a key element of Einstein’s theory which if confirmed would be one of the biggest discoveries of our time.”

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Say “Hello” to the Titanosaur, a species that may be the largest dinosaur ever discovered.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very nice primer on fracking…explained plain and simple.

This was inevitable, and completely justified. “Oklahoma Residents Sue Earthquake Companies Over Earthquake Damage.”

A look at an underrated health hazard. “Shock figures to reveal deadly toll of global air pollution.”

An interesting look at the geology/climate connection. “Growth rings on rocks give up North American climate secrets.”

Ah, the good old days…they weren’t really all that good.

There are only five countries than can be held responsible for up to sixty percent of the plastic pollution in our oceans.

Here’s some awesome renewables news. “Wind power supplied 97% of electricity needs of Scottish households in 2015.”

Even in an oil state like Texas, wind power is making it’s mark and setting records.

If you live in an urban environment and ever needed a reason to plant a tree or two (or a dozen), here’s your excuse.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A long-awaited upgrade will triple the forecasting computing power of the USA’s National Weather Service.

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on Hurricane Alex, a rare January, 2016 tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean.

Here’s an impressive view of Hurricane Alex from NASA.

Could the ongoing El Nino lead to a below average number of tornadoes across the USA for 2016?

Not so long ago, the ozone hole was the talk of the atmospheric sciences. What happened to it?

There’s a strong correlation between the recent record breaking floods and rains in the UK and climate change.

A list of ten climate related records that you don’t necessarily want to have broken.

JUST FOR FUN

As the saying goes, “When In Rome…” Or, in this case, my beloved Sweden in winter... 🙂

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

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Dec. 14 – 21, 2015

There’s a rather seasonably warm holiday week on tap for much of North America. Normally, many areas would be seeing a white Christmas holiday, but not this year. Still plenty of news on the recent Paris Agreement COP21 is making the rounds and will for some time to come. Often the best thoughts are compiled in hindsight. And, for my followers in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d like to wish you a Happy Winter Solstice!

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A woman with a most daunting task. “Meet America’s Anti-Anti-Science Crusader.”

TECHNOLOGY

Just one more reason to stick with Firefox, et al. “Microsoft Edge has inherited many of Internet Explorer’s security holes.”

ICYMI: A nice review of the best secure mobile messaging apps in 2015.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool NOAA led project on climate research that includes citizen scientists.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Did dinosaurs evolve slowly, or arise in the blink of an eye? Recent research suggests the latter.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

On Christmas Day 2015, we’ll be treated to a full moon…the first to occur on the holiday since 1977.

Views of our humble home are always awe-inspiring. “NASA Captures EPIC Views Of Earth.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This will be of particular interest to folks in Oklahoma. A new technique can tell if earthquakes are natural or man-made.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

This should come as no surprise. “Exposure to nature linked to stronger communities and reduced crime.”

The latest US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement across much of the contiguous USA with (the status quo) of California, Nevada, and Oregon holding tight to drought conditions.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Much of the contiguous USA just had a record-breaking wildfire season. Are there links to climate change?

Speaking of breaking records, 2015 is definitely one for the record books with, according to NOAA data, November, autumn, and year-t0-date all being the hottest on record for Earth.

Fascinating read on weather forecasting and computer model use. “Clouds, computers, and the coming storms.”

A good read from Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “So Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About The Strong Polar Vortex.”

Unfortunately, pollution from planes and ships were left out of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

Depending on who you ask, climate change may or may not be a national security risk for the USA.

The recent Paris Agreement gives out a strong message and not a few signals that climate change deniers are a dying breed.

Take a look at these rare Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds recently photographed in Utah, USA.

Star Wars fans will be interested in this: The Science Of Weather In Star Wars.

THE QUIXOTIC

Well, if this doesn’t beat all (at least this week) for ludicrous paranoia. Some folks in North Carolina have their knickers in a twist over solar energy farms they fear will, “suck all the energy from the sun.” Like a tin-foil hat with that?

That’s a wrap for this post! Again, for those celebrating, have a good holiday!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Nov. 8 – 15, 2015

Fortunately, for the time being, the tropics in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet. Very soon, the Atlantic tropical cyclone season will come to an end. 2015 will be another year in the books with North American not having a landfall from a major hurricane. It’s understandable that many folks in meteorology and emergency management are concerned about public complacency since 2005 was the last year the USA had a major hurricane make landfall.

In spite of the recent horrific events in Paris, the climate talks will commence without disruption…which is the way it should be. Never, ever give in or give up. And if you have an interest in the future of our planet, please keep tabs on the Paris climate talks as they progress.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY

If there was ever a time for a “break up” to occur, this is it. Considering the hostility that has arisen in the past few years, it’s time science moved on to greener pastures.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Your tweets (20 million of them) reveal a great deal about your behavior and real-world situations.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science and your body and health are a good match. Check out these six projects.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

There could be many contenders for this title, but I’d have to agree overall that Darwin’s “Origin Of Species” is a good choice as the most influential academic book.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Intriguing read about one of our solar system neighbors. NASA probe shows how solar burps may have stripped Mars of water.

5,400 MPH winds were discovered blasting around an exoplanet. I wonder what that would be on the EF-Scale?

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A bit of public health and environmental science. The health benefits to spending time in nature are unmistakably good to your health.

A dubious milestone indeed. Our humble home is on track to end 2015 with an average of 1 degree C of warming.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A sobering read on the rising levels of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out with a detailed review of USA significant weather anomalies and events for October, 2015.

Oct 2015 Weather

Here’s a nice map from the Storm Prediction Center of preliminary USA tornado totals for 2015. With severe weather having occurred in the past week and more storms on tap for 16 November, 2015, these numbers will go up.

2015 USA Tornado Count

The states with above normal numbers of documented tornadoes are listed in red. The above average list not only includes traditional “Tornado Alley” states of CO, IL, KS, OK, and TX, but also HI and MA. It’s also interesting to note that many states, such as AR, MS, and TN (located in what’s often referred to as “Dixie Alley”) are having a well below average years. Annual anomalies in tornado occurrence are very common and often the numbers of confirmed tornadoes is or isn’t dependent on population density, topography, and when the tornadoes occurred.

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

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Instagram & Tumblr.

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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