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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Jan. 4 – 12, 2016

If the December, 2015 holiday season seemed tepid in the Northern Hemisphere, you weren’t imagining things. It was an unusually warm December across much of North America with heavy rains and even deadly tornadoes making their appearance late in the month. But, the USA wasn’t the only area effected by significant weather events as 2015 drew to a close. Many parts of the UK were dealt a hefty blow by devastating floods. On the brighter side, with COP21 having wrapped up, the countries of our humble home now have a template to go by in regards to climate change. On that note, let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Astronomy fans will love this amazing image of the universe that captures its often difficult to comprehend immensity.

For those with big egos and/or think that our human populated Earth is the center of mythological monotheism, here are seven incredible facts about our universe that are worth serious consideration.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE/

Was the Christian Science Monitor trying for an interesting headline or are they seriously doubting overwhelming scientific evidence?

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Check out these amazing satellite imagery of our humble home during December, 2015.

The 2015 USA wildfire season set a very ominous record.

This horrible mess on a beach in England has to be seen to be believed.

Recycling is always the way to go, but there can be challenging tasks that go with it.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A spot on read that calls the bluff of many an attention hungry “mediarologists. “Don’t Trust An Internet Snowstorm Forecast More Than A Week Into The Future.”

The climate and biosphere of Antarctica aren’t easy to study. Here’s an interesting read on the mystery of Antarctica’s clouds.

Clouds play a bigger role in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet than was previously assumed.

While on the subject of ice, giant icebergs have shown to be effective at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

If December, 2015 seemed unusually warm for many of you in the USA, you weren’t imagining things.

According to Met Office data, December, 2015 was the wettest month on record for the UK.

The current El Nino may have peaked in some respects, but it’s far from over.

In spite of conclusive and overwhelming evidence, the climate change denial machine ticks on. “The conservative thinktanks under the microscope are the main cog in the machinery of climate science denial across the globe, pushing a constant stream of material into the public domain.”

THE QUIXOTIC

Sound scientific evidence be damned! When a nefarious opportunist has enough money and clout to throw their weight around, they can afford to say, “The laws of the land don’t apply to me.”

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!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Dec. 29, 2015 – Jan 4, 2015

First and foremost, I’d like to wish all of my followers and readers a very Happy New Year! I hope the coming year brings you a wealth of new knowledge, good health, and a plethora of good times!

There’s a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year. In spite of ongoing obstacles, I’ve a strong intuitive sense that the best is yet to come for our generation and future ones.

This week’s post will have a few retrospective links taking a look back at various science stories of 2015…so on that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

From the American Association For The Advancement Of Science, a nice look back at their “best of 2015” science stories.

It’s hard to believe in 2016 that this is still and issue, but sadly it is. “Gender Equality In Science Will Require A Cultural Shift.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter has a new policy to ban hateful conduct, specifically terrorist groups.

A very disconcerting privacy and security read. “Recently Bought A Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Had Your Encryption Key.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Nice read on the Hubble telescope viewing the merger of two galaxies.

A fascinating retrospective. “‘Forgotten’ 19th Century Images of Eclipses, Stars, & Planets Found.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The “Quakegate” saga continues. Oklahoma State Rep on oil companies and earthquakes: “No one is taking this issue seriously.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

In spite of some negatives, there were many positive environmental events during 2015.

A spectacular array of the top fifteen images of Earth from NASA taken during 2015.

More amazing NASA imagery of reading the English alphabet from space.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Hurricane Patricia is Climate Central’s image of the year. Considering the intensity of Patricia, it’s a sound choice!

A nice retrospective from Climate Central of their picks for the seven most interesting climate findings of 2015.

From Climate Reality, their take on the top climate moments of 2015.

Will 2016 be as warm as 2015? If the trend continues, the chances are good it will be as warm if not warmer.

A very thought-provoking read on four myths about how to deal with climate change.

El Nino may be responsible for havoc in some locations, but the folks in California see a positive side.

From Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a nice read on satellite vs. “ground” temperature readings.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

For my fellow silent film fanatics…”The Most Risque Moments In Silent Cinema.”

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

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 15 – 22, 2015

Greetings to all! I hope you’ve had a great week. The weather across North America, and parts of the southern states in particular, had a very active severe weather episode this week. Monday, 16 November 2015 was particularly busy with numerous tornadic supercells across Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The nature of the storm behavior, proliferation of storms, and visual characteristics of many tornadoes was more reminiscent of April or May outbreaks. There’s been very little activity in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic tropics as the tropical cyclone season for those areas starts to wind down. On a note geared more towards public policy, the Paris climate (COP21) talks are underway and are the most important international discussion on climate change in years. We’ll touch on that and many more topics later.

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

TECHNOLOGY

As Windows turns 30, here’s a nice retrospective of its various versions since day one.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating look at images of a planet in the making.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The fact that “biodegradable” plastics are harmful to our oceans should come as no surprise to anyone.

In the early morning hours of 19 November 2015, Oklahoma had a 4.7 earthquake centered near the small town of Cherokee. It was the strongest Oklahoma earthquake since the 5.7 in November, 2011. Shake, frack, and roll.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a very nice concise overview of the Paris climate talks and why they matter. If you need a good primer as to why COP21 is so important, this is the place to start.

Rime ice is a fascinating winter phenomenon that, under the right conditions, can create some spectacular natural sculptures.

Is passing a key CO2 important? Yes, it is. Several climate scientists explain why.

A very thought provoking and timely read. “Why A Climate Deal Is The Best Hope For Peace.”

It’s not too early to get your Winter Weather Safety Preparedness kit and plan in order. Here’s some great (and potentially life-saving) information from NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows significant improvement in the southern plains and southeastern states. The status quo for the drought-plagued western US states continues.

THE QUIXOTIC

In spite of overwhelming evidence that has held up to the rigors of the scientific method, some opportunists will stop at nothing to force their viewpoints on an often unsuspecting (and vulnerable) general public. What’s just as unfortunate is the fact that the denialists are giving the rest of the populace they claim to represent a bad name.

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. There are some very cool things on the planning book for Tornado Quest in the coming new year and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Until next time…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2015

It’s been a relatively quiet week across much of North America the past week. Heavy rains, partially due to the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, caused dramatic and deadly flash flooding in parts of Texas. The only good part of the rains were the fact that it put a dent into an ongoing drought that’s existed for several weeks across parts of the south-central states. For those of us who dealt with the “daylight saving time” change on November 1st, remember to not only check your smoke detector & carbon monoxide detectors, but the batteries in your NOAA weather radio. Just like the other detectors, someday it could save your life.

Due to a “full dance card,” this week’s post will be brief. In fact, due to some very cool projects (many involving Tornado Quest), this week’s post will once again be on the brief side.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

“All aspects of meteorology are based upon a world-wide 24-hour clock called Zulu time (Z), more commonly called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)” Here’s how to convert UTC/Zulu to your local time. Speaking of which, this nonsense of turning clocks back and forth twice a year is, in the 21st Century, just that…nonsense.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The history of science, and medicine in particular, has fascinated me for years. Here’s a somewhat grisly look at surgical-related illustrations from the 19th century.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

“Can Civil Comments Kill The Internet Troll?” It’s worth a try…but the last thing one should ever do is give in to nefarious interlopers.

There’s a perfectly good and rational reason the iOS Siri’s voice is female.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

A sobering write-up on the trials and tribulations of adult friendship.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The water woes of the western USA states have taken on an unfortunate, yet inevitable, social taboo dimension.

Floridians are having quite a row over keeping the state frack-free. It would be in their best interest to stay that way.

Air pollution has been placed in the top ten health risks faced by human beings globally. Delhi has the, “dubious accolade of being regularly cited as the most polluted city in the world.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The United States may be in the middle of a “hurricane drought,” but it would behoove folks in hurricane prone regions to not become complacent

Hurricane Patricia was one of the most powerful hurricanes in the eastern Pacific since records have been kept. Compared to other hurricanes of equal intensity, why did Patricia kill so few people?

Did the USA’s Dust Bowl come to an end in the 1940’s? Absolutely not.

Some very nice work by Phil Plait. “If Global Warming Is A Hoax…

THE QUIXOTIC

A gem of cynical climate change denialism from one of Oklahoma’s largest newspapers. “We’re Sure To Hear Plenty About Climate Change In The Weeks Ahead.”

And 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!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 14 – 25, 2015

There have been many big weather and climate relates stories this week but the one that was most dominant was Hurricane Patricia. There’s no doubt that Patricia was one for the record books, but the manner in which that was conveyed by mainstream media to the general public has brought about a great deal of discussion. The latest US Drought Monitor shows a startling increase in drought conditions from Texas into Mississippi as the western states drought has become the “status quo.” As for our climate, the latest State Of The Climate report has been issued and, to no one’s surprise, September 2015 was indeed warm…globally.

Shifting gears here a bit at Tornado Quest. Our weekly Science Links And More will now be posted on Sundays. As a result, and due to several other ongoing (but exciting) projects, this post will be on the brief side.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Fight For The Future is worth checking out, especially if you have concerns about privacy rights.

If you use the iOS operating system, there’s 184 new emojis to choose from…including a tornado!

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a list of six cool citizen science projects to help you monitor the environment around you.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Mars has a very unique climate…a bit like Earth’s, and simultaneously a bit “alien.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

No surprise here. In fact, this was quite inevitable. USGS study links earthquakes due to fracking as far back as the 1920’s.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out. One of the most startling (but sadly not unexpected) findings is that during September, 2015, record warmth was documented globally.

The public perception of climate change is finally beginning to change itself and concur with the overwhelming scientific evidence.

This week’s US Drought Monitor (20 October 2015) shows the rapid spread of drought conditions from central Texas into western Mississippi.

Hurricane Patricia was a truly remarkable event in the eastern Pacific. Here’s a very nice overview from NASA with some spectacular imagery.

Near the height of Patricia’s intensity, this is what the Category 5 hurricane looked like from a visible satellite viewpoint at 9:15AM (1415 UTC) on 23 October 2015.

Hurricane Patricia Vis Sat 1 23 Oct 2015 1415 UTC

Finally, a somewhat technical but interesting read on atmospheric chemistry and air pollution in China.

I’d like to send a hearty “welcome” to my new followers on social media! Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For October 7 – 14, 2015

Autumn is certainly in the air across many areas of North American with a plethora of beautiful fall foliage to appeal to your aesthetic senses. If you’re seeing the seasonal change in your area, I hope you’re enjoying the scenery. Here in the southern plains of the USA, it’s been unseasonably warm. Summer is not going away without a fight in my neck of the woods. For the first time in many weeks, the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific are rather tranquil…and I’ve no complaints about that.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY/STEM

Most American citizens feel political candidates should have a thorough comprehension of science…hence the immediate uselessness of the “I’m not a scientist” cop-out.

Fascinating read that should offer some encouragement for women to pursue STEM careers. “Margaret Hamilton wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this slide show with amazing images of Pluto. Who would have thought that it was such an incredible place.

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

A very nice read on the history of plate tectonic science.

Some spectacular views of lava flowing on Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) puts Twitter to good use by using the social media outlet as a means to better track earthquakes.

The USGS also has a very nice informative page on earthquake early warnings

In Oklahoma, USGS records show 1,400+ earthquakes to date in 2015 alone. The science behind human-caused earthquakes from is very solid…much to the chagrin of many Oklahoma-based fossil fuel interests.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, ordered companies on September 18, 2015 to shut or reduce usage of five saltwater disposal wells around the north-central Oklahoma city of Cushing. In an odd coincidence, in the early morning hours of October 10, 2015, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake occurred near Cushing. To date, over 1,400 earthquakes have occurred in Oklahoma during 2015 alone…and the year’s not over yet.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s an excellent article explaining all you need to know about the current global coral reef bleaching.

Small, but nasty. California has become the latest state to ban/restrict microbeads in skin care products.

Sweden, you rock in every way possible! Stockholm aims to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A thought-provoking read that’s bound to stir a great deal of discussion. An ex-republican meteorologist has called for the end of partisan divide over climate science.

In the light of climate change, a NASA scientist expresses his concerns over our own planet becoming like other dead worlds.

New research projects a doubling of surface melting of Antarctic ice shelves by 2050 and that by 2100 melting may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse.

It’s not often what you say, but how you say (or write) it. Climate scientists, practicing good science protocol, use tentative wording in discussing or writing about climate change. Denialists, seeing the world in a strict “black-or-white” manner, are quite the opposite.

A sound idea since the science is solid, though I feel it’s most beneficial to implement solutions and continue research simultaneously. “New IPCC chief: Let’s focus on climate change solutions rather than more research.

The recent AP Stylebook recommendation in its climate change section is considered a “big” win for skeptics, a “small” win for denialists, but a bad decision overall.

Finally, feast your eyes on a summer’s worth of monsoons in this wonderful video.

THE QUIXOTIC

When a journalist arrived at the Oklahoma City headquarters of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) hoping for an interview, the congenial IOGCC folks called the Oklahoma City Police. I guess they don’t like their secrecy to come under scrutiny.

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That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to take a moment and send a “welcome” to my new followers on social media. Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

Cheers!

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Media Inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Tumblr (Obligatory Caveat: Not a science-based blog and occasionally NSFW. You’ve been warned.)

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Sept. 2 – 9, 2015

For much of the contiguous USA plains states, summer heat has been holding on with a vengeance. Fortunately, there are changes underway as we speak and before long, autumn will “show its colors” (no pun intended). It’s also common for an uptick in severe weather to occur across Tornado Alley during the fall months. In the tropical cyclone realm, the Pacific has been very busy this year. The Atlantic has been relatively well-behaved in spite of some noble attempts at hurricane formation. Considering the alternative, I don’t really think anyone in hurricane prone regions is complaining. The downside is the fact that it’s been a decade since a significant hurricane made landfall in the USA. Complacency can breed carelessness. Therefore, this is a good time for us to remind ourselves that September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2015 is “Don’t Wait, Communicate” and the time to prepare for natural disasters of all kinds is now…when things are quiet…and you have the time and presence of mind to make calm, rational decisions. Those who have prepared ahead of time and experienced a disaster have told me many times that the time, effort, and resources used to “prep” were well worth it and, in some cases, life saving “preventative medicine.” It doesn’t matter where you live, even if the annual weather events are rather uneventful. Everyone is vulnerable.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/STEM

If you have a daughter interested in a science career, have her check out the Women In STEM career videos from GotScience.org.

Check out this nice infographic on how essential earth and space science is to all of us. It involves saving lives…every day.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many people have serious privacy concerns over Windows 10. To add insult to injury, concerns are now raised over Windows 7 and 8.

If you’re concerned about online security, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense information. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

A very interesting and telling read from the Pew Research Center. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.”

I very, very rarely recommend apps (especially weather apps) since the quality and accuracy of data is so unpredictable. But, in addition to the apps that you feel serve you best, I’d add the American Red Cross app. It’s very customizable and highly informative.

If, like me, you’re a user of many Apple products, here’s a quick overview of the September 9, 2015 Apple product event. For weather folks (including storm chasers), the new and larger iPad Pro would be an excellent addition in the field for radar products and/or model runs…and any improvement on iPhone processor and camera capabilities is a “must have.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project just in time for autumn. Kids, parents, and teachers can learn the “hows and whys” of leaves changing color during fall.

Speaking of plant-based citizen science for kids, here’s an excellent resource from Project BudBurst for K-4 educators.

Caren Cooper has written and excellent essay on the importance of the role citizen science plays in our children’s science education.

This is a project that should be taking place across North America. “European Citizens Measure Air Pollution With Their Smartphones.”

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

What is Geologic time? A very, very, very long time.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The recent wildfires in the northwest USA have done more than burn vegetation, they’ve endangered wildlife.

Yes, school recycling competitions are for real…and I’d like to see more of these everywhere.

Just follow the money. “Back to School: “Frackademia” Alive and Well at U.S. Universities, Says New Report.”

An interesting read on the irrevocable climate-biosphere link and how crucial food chain bacteria is altered by climate change.

A UK study that would without a doubt be valid worldwide. Trees in urban areas are valuable in dispersing air pollution (and improve the quality of the air you and I breathe).

Awesome is an understatement! “The Netherlands plans to have a 100% wind-powered railway system by 2018.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past week was the 115th anniversary of the deadliest weather disaster in the history of the USA: the 1900 Galveston, TX hurricane. There’s no exact death toll, but varying estimates range from a very, very conservative 6,000 to as high as 10,000. If you’ve not read “Issac’s Storm,” you should. It’s an excellent account of events and even an enlightening glimpse into the history of the science of early forecasting.

A very nice side-by-side comparison of 1997 and 2015 El Ninos from Climate Central.

While on the topic of El Nino, here’s a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers that has everything you ever wanted to know about this climate phenomenon and more.

According to new research, droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past.

An interesting read on how climate change would mean the death of one world and the birth of another.

If you live in the western contiguous 48 USA and thought August was hot, you were right. It was well above average in temperatures.

Many of us, including your’s truly, have watched The Weather Channel since it first aired in 1982. There are some big changes on tap and, personally speaking, I think they’re beneficial in the long-term.

“Cherry-picking” research is common among climate change denialists. In spite of the overwhelming worldwide consensus, research of dubious integrity continues.

QUIXOTIC HUMOR

If there was ever a country that has a fascinating cornucopia of dialects, it’s the USA. “Welcome To The United Slang Of America.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “welcome” to my new followers. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Instagram

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2015

Summer is still firmly entrenched across much of North America. In fact, for the southern plains, we’ve just reached the climatological period for peak average high temperatures. The good news is that after the first week in August, there’s a slow decline in high temperatures to look forward to. We’ve many more weeks of hot, humid weather on tap, but hang on. Autumn will be here before we know it. The tropical Atlantic has been quiet so far…but we’re coming to the peak of climatological activity for the hurricane season. This is as good a time as any to make sure you’re prepared before it’s too late. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Spot on. “Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A calls scientific illiteracy a tragedy of our times.”

A very handy read from American Scientist on the most daunting task science writers (like yours truly) face more often than not…making science comprehensible for the general public.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this amazing image from NASA and the ISS silhouetted against the moon.

Fascinating read on what could be the largest feature in the observable universe: a ring of nine gamma ray bursts — and hence galaxies – 5 billion light years across.

Chances are, you’ve already seen this. If not, take a look. “This animation shows images of the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DISCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Welcome to the club, Sweden! Sincerely, Oklahoma. “Gothenburg rocked by “fairly big” earthquake.”

Speaking of earthquakes, here’s an intriguing story from Aljazeera American on the connection between fracking and Oklahoma earthquakes. Read between the lines…let the coverup begin…or continue as the case may be.

Here are some very nice photos of the Earth’s newest island.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Once again, Sweden shows up top in quality of life by recycling a staggering 99% of its garbage.

Not all states are equal in the new Clean Power Plan. Here’s an explanation why. Critics arguments will inevitably fail since they had the opportunity to do something about it, but blew it off instead.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you think the summer heat is brutal where you are, imagine dealing with “off the charts” head indices that have occurred recently in Iran.

The most recent US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement over most of the USA. Unfortunately, the relentless drought is holding fast in the western states.

Speaking of the western USA drought, here’s a collection of recent links on the topic.

Computer models on climate change are very good at what they do…and more accurate than previously thought.

Part sociology and part atmospheric science. This is a very surprising look at educational background and it’s relation to concerns and beliefs on climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers on social media. There are quite a few of you and I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome!” to all of you. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Instagram

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 22 – 29, 2015

For much of North America, it’s been summer as usual. One notable exception is the ridge of high pressure that has parked itself over the southern plains and, for the time being, has no intentions of moving. With a rich supply of Gulf moisture, the dew points combined with temperatures in the upper 90’sF have created potentially dangerous heat indexes near or above 110F. In conditions like that, the body can easily be overcome by heat…even in people who are in the best of physical condition. As for the tropics, the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet for the time being. But, it’s still very early in the hurricane season. We’re nowhere close to reaching the climatological peak. While the tropics are quiet, this is an excellent time to make sure your emergency kit is in order.

Here’s a big “thank you” to all the folks who’ve given me positive feedback about this blog and my decision (for the time being) to make it a more concise post. Like many of you, I’ve many simultaneous projects in progress, each with its own unique demands, requirements, and deadlines. On that note…

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson explain literally everything in the universe…and, in under 8 minutes!

BIOLOGICAL/MEDICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating read on a brutal fact of injuries suffered in the 22 May 2011 Joplin, MO tornado: Soil Dwelling Fungus Rode Joplin Tornado To Unexpected Human Home.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very interesting and eye-opening look at many modes of social media and/or messaging from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. To no one’s surprise, many of the most popular items are to be trusted the least.

One of the most annoying facts of online culture is the tendency of website designers to block password managers. “Websites, Pleas Stop Blocking Password Managers. It’s 2015.” Trust me, if there’s anything that will induce me to not revisit your site, it’s the blocking of password managers.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

When the storm has passed and it becomes yesterday’s news, most of the populace assumed things are back the normal. If anything, the contrary to that delusion is the long-term truth. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, et al. all have the same brutal psychological effects on many of the people dealing with the aftermath.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Oklahoma has a new claim to fame…and it’s nothing to do with tornadoes. Shake, frack, and roll!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very good read from the USGS: “How Much Water Is There On, In, And Above The Earth?” Interesting to note that, “The vast majority of water on the Earth’s surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This was quite a popular story this past week, but the phenomenon isn’t uncommon. In fact, bugs, bats, birds, smoke, cold fronts, outflow boundaries, etc. are easily picked up on doppler radar and, depending on the time of day and season, is quite commonly seen.

If you missed the Tornado Forecasting Workshop this spring with Rich Thompson, you can watch them on YouTube here.

Is asking “How much rain will it take to end the drought?” too simplistic? Quite often it is.

Tornadoes occur round the world on many continents. They’re no stranger to Sweden, but it’s very rare for the Lapland region to see tornadoes in a region this far north.

Finally, I’d like to welcome my new followers…I’m really glad you’re along for the fun. Tornado Quest covers a plethora of geoscience topics that will be of interest to many. We’re here for the long haul too…so stick around for some very cool things we have in the works.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For June 9 – 16, 2015

Much of the contiguous Great Plains of the USA is in store for more rain this week. While always welcome, it’s been too much of a good thing as of late. A great deal of the rain will come from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. Meanwhile in California, the drought scenario has reached a boiling point as residents are forced to face a fact they refuse to accept: they live in largely a dry climate. Recent severe weather activity across North America has shifted to the central and northern plains to the northeast. While not unusual, it seems to have done so earlier this year than the climatological norm. There’s plenty of other good topics out there, so let’s dive in.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If this article won’t make you appreciate your laptop, nothing else will.

Another good move by Twitter increases the power of the people over social media trolls.

Hashtags are a mixed blessing. Used correctly and efficiently, they are effecting in disseminating information. Otherwise, they can be annoying #andmakenosensejustlikethiseone.

Social media, when used correctly by official sources, is an excellent source of information and communication during and after disasters.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent primer on one of astronomy’s most unusual enigmas…the black hole.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Can the recent heavy rains in the USA trigger a busy wildfire season? Yes, they can.

Money talks…and some Californian’s with more than enough think they’re exempt from water restrictions during the current ongoing drought. What they fail to understand is the climate they reside in…and that climate is largely a dry one.

As wind energy becomes more popular, the technology naturally advances to more efficient (and quieter) modes of operation.

Savor these spectacular views from the ISS of our humble home.

A fascinating read on the connection between our planet’s forests and climate.

The USA EPA did a recent study that showed no links between fracking and water contamination. In spite of the comprehensive nature of the 1,000 page report, what was left out was the fact that we know so little about unknown (or ignored) risks.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Is the world off course to prevent two degrees C of warming? Apparently so.

Good read with links to further information. “NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change through the year 2100 because of growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.”

This tantrum was inevitable. “USA climate change deniers lambast the Pope over his environmental encyclical.”

For those of us who are urbanites, the urban heat effect can make summer nights as miserable as the afternoon heat. Fortunately, there are options that can help.

Finally, part climatology, social science, and public relations…could some of the Pope’s quotes regarding climate change be game-changers in the debate? Time will tell.

If you’re in the states with pending flooding issues, stay safe and remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun.

Cheers!

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