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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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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

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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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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

Greetings everyone! I do hope all of you are having a good week and, if it’s hot in your location, you’re taking it easy & staying cool. There’s plenty to go over for this week though this post, like most others this time of year, is brief due to the North American severe weather season. As time allows, I may add a few more links during the week…so please check back.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA

After over 20 years of daily internet use, I’m still taken aback at the venomous vitriol that exists online. Here’s an informative read on why, behind the “anonymous” facade of a monitor, some people are downright mean. Whether its Facebook or FriendLife or numerous other forums, expressions of hatred flourish…and in expressing that hatred, be warned that it tells you everything about that person.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

For astronomy fans, light pollution is the bane of their existence. Across North America, up to 80% of the population is affected. Worldwide, 30% of the world’s population can’t see the Milky Way.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Norway has just adopted the world’s first zero deforestation policy…but what does that exactly mean?

A new study by the U.S. Forest Service projects a dramatic increase in wildfires for the southeastern region of the USA.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A very thought-provoking read that raises many good points. While storm chasers have been their own worst enemy in recent years, attacking them with unwarranted accusations isn’t productive.

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the past year’s El Niño had thrown in the towel and retired for the time being.

Privatizing many of the roles of the National Weather Service would be nothing less than an unmitigated disaster.

Yes, the recent floods in Europe have a connection to climate change.

In the coming decades, farmers will take a big hit from climate change.

Lightning can result in many things both good and bad. One of the good things is it’s the way it can shape life on our planet.

If May, 2016 seemed warmer than usual, you weren’t imagining things. It was yet another warm month for the record books.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media and thank countless others who have shown loyalty over the years. I appreciate you all a great deal!

Cheers!

___________________________________________________

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 Much More For May 24 – 31, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by. If you’re celebrating Memorial Day in the USA, I hope you had a nice holiday weekend. This past week has been a busy one across the USA’s Great Plains with repeated rounds of severe weather, hence the fact that this post, like most others this time of year, is on the brief side. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A very thought provoking read on gender inequality within the science community. Family or science: women shouldn’t have to choose.

SOCIAL MEDIA

By some accounts, Facebook “may” be a good source of news, but for potentially life-saving severe weather information, Twitter slaughters Facebook hands down.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if content is appropriate for social media. If you have any reason for uncertainty, here are five questions to ask yourself before clicking that “post” button.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The concept of biodegradable plastics may sound good, but the devil’s in the details.

Here’s some very good renewable energy news. “The World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Will Be Operational Next Year.

An excellent read on a decade-long study that shows how air pollution contributes to the frequency of heart disease.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Only time will tell but for now, preliminary NOAA data hints at a near “normal” 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

Got air conditioning? Another NOAA seasonal outlook doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the summer ahead.

A very cool read on NASA scientists and research into creating digital hurricanes.

Given the chance, kids can ask good questions regarding climate change.

Interesting read on meteorologists taking note of climate change and how it’s affecting weather.

Yahoos will be yahoos and haters gonna hate. This article has blessed me with more hilarious ad hominin sophomoric vitriol from storm chasers than any other Twitter post this month. “Are ‘Tornado Selfies’ selfish and tactless?”  The toddler tantrums leveled at me as of  late are absolutely precious.

THE QUIXOTIC

In case you missed the recent “sweatergate” incident, here it is in all it’s glory.

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

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 More For April 11 – 18, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I hope everyone’s having a good start to your week and, if spring is on the menu, the last bits of winter are rapidly fading away. For folks south of the equator, there’s a touch of autumn in the air. Regardless of where you live, I hope the weather is to your liking. This week’s post will be on the brief side due to several severe weather events & previous commitments. On that note, let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many of us (including yours truly) are frequently the subject of histrionic rants from trolls. This past week was a perfect example when a certain individual unleashed a toddler’s temper tantrum of vitriol in an ad hominem attack as a response to a tweet I’d posted.

Twitter Troll Tweet 1 14 April 2016

Unfortunately, this particular tweeter didn’t take the issue directly to the publication and the article’s author in question and justified their action by preferring to, “kill the messenger” instead. The incident brings to mind a New Yorker article that is quite and enlightening read: “The Psychology Of Online Comments.” Oddly enough, said individual waited almost 48 hours after posting his tirade…and also deleted the tweet from his timeline. Funny that. 😉 What’s at stake for this individual, or any troll for that matter, is their online reputation…which is often irreparable when one let’s their emotions get the best of them as they hide behind the “anonymous” safety of a monitor.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

What does a space launch look like from space? Awesome!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Of the many environmental public health hazards, inhaling black carbon is perhaps one of the most underrated.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Apparently the folks at NASA have had their fill of anti-science climate change deniers. Haven’t we all. :-/

While on the topic of deniers, they swarmed well-known scientist Bill Nye’s Facebook page…and NASA showed up in short order to take them down a notch or two.

2016 could be well on its way to setting records world-wide for yet another hotter than normal year.

Before many small island nations are submerged by rising sea levels, they’ll dry out first.

A rather “spot-on” essay on five things only meteorologists really know.

This has been a long-time coming. “New Campaign Enlists Women In Boardrooms To Take Up Climate Issue.”

AccuWeather has decided to extend its highly controversial long-term 45 day forecasts to a whopping 90 days.

The folks at the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas, USA have put together a very nice info-graphic on the difference between a severe weather watch and warning.

Watch and Warning Info Graphic

ON THE (NOT SO) LIGHTER SIDE…

Asking random Swedes for their take on American climate change denial provides no surprising answers…unfortunately. :-/

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers on 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 on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

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

 

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For February 1 – 8, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope all of you have had a nice start to February. It’s hard to imagine that January has gone in a flash. The next thing we know, the seasons will switch places in the hemispheres and the blistering summer heat will settle in for my neck of the woods. El Nino has made quite a bit of news lately. That phenomenon, among others, are covered in this post…so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE & SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

An excellent read by Caren Cooper. “Scientists Should Talk To The Public, But Also Listen.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The demise of Flash, one of the tech banes of my existence, may come sooner than previously thought…which is a few years too late for me.

Twitter has introduced algorithms. Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING can or will come good of this, save for the shrieks of joy from fear-mongers, hypsters, and shills.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Scientists have found evidence of continental collisions in Wyoming’s Teton Range, similar to those in the Himalayas, dating to as early as 2.68 billion years ago.

Would love to see this come to fruition. “U.S. Quake Warning System Could Save Lives When Seconds Count.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A vastly underrated public health hazard. “The Truth About London’s Air Pollution.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Folks living in the United States…did you know your local National Weather Service office has Twitter and Facebook accounts and can provide you with locally tailored forecasts and weather information?

NOAA and NASA have teamed up to study the current El Nino, one of the strongest on record.

Whoever thought that, in the middle of California’s historic drought, a little bit of El Nino induced rain could pose a problem?

It should come as no surprise that southern England’s floods in 2014 were linked to climate change.

Yet another weather event that has been linked to climate change…the Missouri, USA floods of December, 2015.

The drought that has plagued the western USA for some time now is rapidly becoming a new way of life.

At the other end of the rain/drought spectrum, residents in Yorkshire, England are dealing with the brutal aftermath and immense psychological stress of recent flooding.

A “tip-of-the-hat” to Pope Francis for not kowtowing to either special interests or the anti-science crowd and producing this well done video on caring for the only home our species will ever know.

 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!

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 Dec. 6 – 14, 2015

There’s been a wide variety of stories this week, but the big news has been the COP21 Paris Agreement Climate Talks. Though the agreement could have more teeth to it, it’s a start…and the quicker we start being proactive regarding climate change, the better. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Check out this very cool science quiz from the inimitable folks at Science Friday!

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Nothing good can come of this. Twitter is seriously looking into sorting tweets by “presumed relevance” rather than chronological order. The shills would have a field day with this.

Why do people get “unfriended” or “unfollowed” in social media? Here’s an interesting take that focuses on Facebook.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out “Season Spotter” which is a citizen science project that helps identify how climate change effects trees and plants.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Fascinating astronomy read about scientists watching a planet being born.

A “ghost from the past” revisits the early days of the Milky Way.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Air you can cut with a knife and can kill you…literally. Beijing recently issued their first-ever “Red Alert” for horrid air pollution.

Due to the spread of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency improvements, a recent study hints at hope in reducing global CO2 emissions.

One of the most troubling mysteries about sea level rise may have just been solved.

A very sobering yet beautiful view of a glacier’s vanishing act.

It should come as no surprise than a recent undercover Greenpeace investigation, “suggests that fossil fuel companies secretly funnel money into prominent scientists’ pockets to manufacture doubt about mainstream climate change science.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a detailed look at the latest NOAA State Of The Climate report.

Capture 1

The COP21 closing comments by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

A nice info-graphic on key points of COP21.

CWDZYnLUkAEwFrt

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “The opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser (“Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate” Nov. 27, 2015) is riddled with false statements, cherry-picked evidence and misleading assertions about climate science, according to an evaluation by a dozen scientists.”

On a positive note, there are reasons to smile about the Paris climate talks.

Earlier in the Paris climate talks, many wondered what would a strong climate pact look like?

Once ignored, this is a one way street in which backing up is not an option.

Astronauts (past and present) are sending a very clear message about climate change.

The vicious circle of water scarcity and climate change can no longer be ignored.

Speaking of water scarcity, this is what climate change looks like when viewing mountains with little snow.

An excellent read on a not-so-new science. Climatology (the study of climates) has been around for quite some time. So have concerns over global warming and climate change.

The autumn of 2015 will go into the record books as the warmest autumn yet on record for the contiguous USA.

A very important article on building code improvements based on studies done after the Joplin, MO, USA tornado of 22 May 2011.

Do women and men have differing views on climate change? Absolutely.

The two key points about climate change that “skeptics” (aka deniers) always miss.

Why do many United States citizens remain skeptical of climate change in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence? The answer is more within psychology than climatology.

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

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 22 – 29, 2014

Another year is finally drawing to a close. There are a plethora of “year end lists” out there on every topic imaginable. In terms of climate and weather, it’s always interesting to look back for weather geeks like me. For North America, two things are certain. 2014 will go down as one of the years with the lowest tornado count and (fortunately) another year without a devastating major hurricane making landfall. As for climatology, much new climate change research was revealed and reconfirmed. In spite of the naysayers (who so often confuse weather with climate), the atmosphere above us and the inexorably linked biosphere in which we live is changing…and few species are as poorly adapted to deal with the changes as our own. What will 2015 bring? In terms of synoptic or mesoscale meteorology, we will wait and find out. I’ve no idea what the coming severe weather “season” will bring. Certain climactic variable may give us a subtle hint, but I’m not delusional to think that such short-term synoptic scale events can be forecast months in advance. Yes, it’s tempting for many to be drawn to prognostications like a moth to a flame but chances are they’ll just get burned. So if you do indulge, caveat emptor and avoid the fear mongers. And on that note…let us continue.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

An interesting read on the different cultures that exist in various scientific fields.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Could cash, Twitter, and Facebook be sent to Coventry 2015? Maybe.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A look back at some amazing space images of 2014.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s a very informative article on “treecycling” and what to do with your Christmas tree after the holiday winds down.

A Christmas tree made of plastic shopping bags certainly induces one to take pause and think.

The USA could power itself with solar energy about 100 times over. I’d certainly love to see this come to fruition.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A thought provoking long-read. “The Climate In 2015: Everything’s Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart.”

According to data from NOAA, 2014 will go down in the records book as the hottest year yet.

This is a spot-on essay that touches on why we should feel optimistic about our planet’s climate in 2015.

Finally, here’s a non-technical overview of the USA tornadoes of 2014. Overall, it was well below average in most every category.

Happy New Year to all! Let’s get 2015 off to a good start!

Cheers!

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