Tag Archives: geological science

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 28 – June 4, 2018

Greetings everyone! With the beginning of June, the official Atlantic hurricane season has started. Oddly enough, it hasn’t been quiet. We’ve already had Tropical Storm Alberto make landfall on the Florida Panhandle spreading flooding rains across several states. As is the case with most hurricanes (at least in North America), inland flooding and not wind is the deadliest factor. I’ll start off this week’s post with several links to help you prepare for the season that’s already started with one storm. There’s also plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

HURRICANE SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS

NOAA Hurricane Preparedness

CDC Hurricane Preparedness

American Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

Preparing Your Pets For Disasters and Emergencies

10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina approaching the USA Gulf Coast in August, 2005. Image courtesy NOAA.

NOAA Predicts 2018 Hurricane Season Could Be Above-Normal ...

This is NOAA’s list of names for 2018’s Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. As of 4 June 2018, Beryl will be our next named storm. Let’s hope we don’t make it to William.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into flowers, especially exotic ones, and have an interest in citizen science, here’s a project involving both of those interests that you can do from home on your computer.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Mount Kilauea has been erupting for over 30 days. With no end in sight, it’s activity has given volcanologists an excellent opportunity to study its behavior.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

This is a sound environmental policy that needs widespread implementation. “Throwaway plastic products including cotton buds, cutlery and straws could be banned across much of Europe under a proposal put forward by the EU.”

Speaking of disposable products, this essay takes a look at some of the bizarre things that can be found on the world’s beaches.

Could renewable energy sources have helped Puerto Rico get their infrastructure whipped back into shape? Yes, but unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Here’s how and why.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Anxiety, phobias, and PTSD related to storms is a very real challenge for many people. Here’s an excellent source of information from the NWS Norman that I hope will be of help to anyone dealing with this very difficult situation. It reminds me of an essay I read in the mid 1980’s from StormTrack founder David Hoadley. To put it concisely, he said that storm chasers should, when within earshot of the general public, would be wise to temper their enthusiasm for severe weather or their “big catch” of their latest chase. Not everyone who is privy to your interest has a similar fascination with weather. For some, an encounter with a hurricane, flood, tornado, et al. has been a life altering experience.

This past 31 May 2018 marked the 5th anniversary of the El Reno tornado which was, in many ways, a tragic landmark event in USA weather history. Much could and should have been learned by the storm chasing community considering what transpired. But was a lasting lesson really learned? This though-provoking essay from the Capital Weather Gang has several viewpoints. From my own observations in the field, chasers are taking risks now more so than ever. With the irresistible appeal of adrenaline, social media fame, and opportunities to get footage on television, few that have pushed the limit and lived to tell the tale will back off in spite of the odds and risks involved. Unfortunately for some, a repeat of the El Reno tragedy is inevitable.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/El_Reno%2C_OK_EF-5_Tornado_2013-05-31.jpg

El Reno, Oklahoma tornado near peak intensity on 31 May 2018. Photo via Wikipedia & CC BY-SA 3.0

As for the 2018 tornado season across the USA, it’s been relatively tranquil…so far. Let’s hope this trend continues for the rest of the year.

Does climate change and/or global warming increase the intensity of tropical cyclones? This interesting read covers that topic. Often it matters what data set is used and how it is compiled.

Dr Marshall Shepherd takes a fascinating look at why hurricane outlook experts changed their forecasts about the 2018 activity.

While on the topic of hurricane activity, it’s not too late to prepare for the hurricane you hope you never have to experience. NOAA has an excellent site that will help you get ready.

The official death toll from Atlantic Hurricane Maria is 64. Truth be known, it’s probably in the thousands. Just as with Hurricane Katrina or the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the exact death toll may never be known. We must come to terms with the fact that, even though this is the 21st century, nature (and every possible way it impacts humans) will always have the upper hand.

NPR has broadcast special programming on the death toll in Puerto Rico that really brings to light the severity of the situation. Sadly, the fact that this story has been largely ignored by much of mainstream media in favor of trivial topics says much about how we are force-fed a diet of sophomoric “news” that’s designed to stir up hyperbole and histrionics.

This is a very telling article. The bottom line: Most Americans feel the federal government is doing much too little to address the challenges of climate change and the environment in general.

Summer heat has settled in with a vengeance across much of North America very early this year. Unfortunately, that also means that people will leave children, vulnerable adults, and pets in vehicles. That can prove deadly in short order. Heat safety should be practiced in temperatures as low as the mid 70’s regardless of where you live.

The latest US Drought Monitor is out. While some improvement has taken place, tens of millions of Americans still face drought conditions with little to no relief in sight.

Last but not least, these amazing GOES-17 weather satellite images are just the beginning of an exciting new era in forecasting and observing our incredible planet.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media and send a big “Thank You” to the folks who have followed me for years. I’m glad you’re all along for the fun!

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 21 – 28, 2018

Greetings to everyone! If you’re in the USA, I hope you get a chance to take a moment to remember those who, in serving our country, paid the ultimate sacrifice. We have a wild weather setup that’s ongoing as of this post for the Memorial Day holiday. Alberto, the first named tropical cyclone of the 2018 Atlantic season, is ready to make landfall on the Florida panhandle coast. We’ve also had catastrophic flash flooding in the Mid-Atlantic region, severe weather in the central plains with more forecast for today and tomorrow, an ongoing drought for much of the southwest, a heat wave that is bringing triple digit head indices as far north as Minnesota, and Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is still in the news. And…this is only the end of May.

There’s plenty to review this week, so let’s get started.

Summer heat is making an early appearance across much of the contiguous USA. Sad to say that there have been fatalities due to people leaving children in cars during hot days. These deaths are totally preventable and should never happen. Heat stroke and heat fatalities can occur in temperatures as low as 80F.

Infographic courtesty NOAA

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project that’s part history, part climatology. “Citizen Scientists Are Unearthing Climate Data From Old Ships’ Logs.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been expanding as of late. Along with that is a new hazard, a toxic gas called “laze.”

Speaking of Kilauea expanding, a third lava flow has reached the ocean. This Hawaiian volcano has been very active since 3 May 2018.

In spite of the fact that we don’t hear about volcanoes often, they’re actually quite common around the globe. Here’s an excellent essay on 7 facts about volcanoes you should know.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

While the focus of this article is on protecting yourself from ticks this summer (see the Summer Weather Safety section for more info), there’s definitely an environment/climate connection.

We all know that clean air is essential for good health. Truth be known, clean air is also good for the economy.

Many of us had an idea that this was true, but reading this article still knocks the wind out of me. “Humans Just 0.01% Of All Life But Have Destroyed 83% Of Wild Mammals.”

The sheer mass of plastic pollution in our oceans is mind-boggling. In some images, these pieces of our lives take on the appearance of sea life.

Here’s a collection of more startling images of plastic pollution and wildlife. The National Geographic cover certainly hits the bullseye on this very disturbing scenario.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA issued their outlook for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane seasonThere are other outlooks as well from a variety of sources. They don’t all agree and variable are unavoidable. The most important factor to remember is these are outlooks, not forecasts.

While on the topic of hurricanes, here’s a fascinating study on 34 years of tropical cyclone eye location and size and it’s connection to other characteristics of these amazing storms.

New research on the connection of climate change and hurricanes indicates that these devastating tropical cyclones will become more intense in a myriad of ways in the coming decades.

The latest US Drought Portal has been issued. More specifically, the Drought Monitor shows some relief in the contiguous USA, but there’s no hint at long-term relief in sight for the hardest hit areas.

As of this post, the tornado “season” across the USA has been relatively tranquil with only three intense tornadoes documented. Considering the alternative, no one is complaining. Here’s an excellent read on why this year has seen less tornado activity compared to other years.

Meanwhile in Sweden, a recent heat wave brought not a little discomfort. Temperatures to 30C (86F) are rare in this part of the world. Wish I could say the same for Oklahoma. Additionally, heatwaves in many northern countries are becoming more common at a disturbingly frequent rate.

SUMMER WEATHER SAFETY

With the Memorial Day holiday having taken place in the USA, the “unofficial” start to summer has arrived. All across the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting longer…and the sun’s rays more intense. With that comes a variety of hazards and the links below cover heat safety and UV protection. As with all weather hazards, a few simple precautions can prevent a ton of trouble.

Heat: A Major Killer

Summer Weather Safety & Survival: The Heat Index

Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation Awareness & Safety Info

World Health Organization: UV & Sun Protection

That’s a wrap for this post! For those of you who are new followers, I’d like to send a sincere “Thank You” and “Welcome” your way. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. For the folks who have been around a while, I’m glad you’ve stuck around for the fun. You know better than anyone that we can never tell what’s around the corner in this joint. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 14 – 21, 2018

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. We’ve had some recent spells of severe weather in the USA, but the rest of May looks unusually quiet. Considering the alternative, I’m not complaining. Speaking of severe weather, here’s a quick reminder to check your NOAA weather radio as we navigate our way through the peak of the North American severe weather season and prepare for the beginning of the Atlantic tropical cyclone season.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Only time will tell if this works. “Twitter Changes Strategy In Battle Against Internet Trolls.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

At least the largest of these will fall in desolate areas. “Large boulders 2 metres across and weighing 10 tonnes could soon begin blasting out from Kilauea, the erupting volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.”

Kilauea is a major volcanic event. In spite of that, “the largest possible explosive event from Kilauea would still be tiny compared to other volcanoes around the world, from Krakatoa to Mount St. Helens to Vesuvius.”

Property damage isn’t the only victim of Kilauea’s activity. Public health is an ongoing issue that need more media coverage than property damage.

In retrospect, here’s a look at the 18 May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Article originally published in 2014.)

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Here’s an interesting read on combining renewable energy and collecting NOAA environmental data. “Adaptable And Driven By Renewable Energy, Saildrones Voyage Into Remote Waters.”

The challenges on how to handle plastic pollution are not easy to sort out. Here’s one perspective on how solutions could be worse than the current situation.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest US Drought Monitor is out. There’s little to no relief in sight for drought ravaged regions in the Extreme/Exceptional areas from the southwest into Oklahoma and Texas.

Sample of U.S. Drought Monitor

A wider perspective on the current USA drought conditions can be found at the US Drought Portal page.

The dismal snow pack in many western USA states isn’t a good sign for the summer heat and wildfires that often occur in this mountainous region.

There has been some discussion recently on the topic of heat bursts. They’re a common phenomenon, especially in the USA’s great plains. Here’s a good read on a fascinating weather event.

Hurricane Harvey was a powerful hurricane on its own. The record heat in the Gulf of Mexico just added more fuel to the fire. Unfortunately, this also means that tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin could pack more of a powerful punch than people in their path are capable of dealing with.

In a new report released on 17 May 2018, NOAA confirmed that April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of warmer-than-average global temperatures. “The year-to-date (January-April) global temperature was the fifth warmest such period in the 139-year record.”

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/april-2018-global-significant-events-map.png

Infographic courtesy NOAA

New studies hint at climate change and its ramifications could be far worse than we anticipate.

PUBLIC POLICY

Becoming a politically engaged scientist has become less of an option and more of a requirement in today’s politically volatile climate.

The plot thickens as the train wreck continues. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been engaged in some unscientific actions as of late…and that’s putting it politely.

An interesting tale of a USA government sea level rise report finally being released after charges of censorship. “Although National Park Service officials say the report was handled properly, the study’s lead author says the administrative review process has morphed from a “rubber stamp” into a tool for the government to suppress inconvenient science. “Censorship is a good word for that,” said Maria Caffrey, the University of Colorado, Boulder, researcher who led the study.” There’s no shortage of censorship and twisting facts when it comes to climate change denialists.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. Stay safe and keep your eyes on the sky!

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 7 – 14, 2018

Greetings everyone! In spite of the relatively quiet spring severe weather season in the USA, it’s a good idea to stay on our toes and not let complacency set in. All it takes is one regional outbreak to change the statistics for the year. Here’s an important reminder on the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. More information can be found in the Weather Safety portion of this week’s post. There’s plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

You’ll find more information in the Weather Safety portion of this post.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This study has some disconcerting findings regarding the spread of false information across social media. If anything, it drives home the point that you should always rely on official National Weather Service and broadcast meteorologists for weather information, severe weather in particular. “During disasters, active Twitter users are likely to spread falsehoods. That’s according to new research that examined false tweets from Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing. Researchers found that 86 to 91 percent of active Twitter users spread misinformation, and that nearly as many did nothing to correct it.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The USA does have its share of volcanoes. Some like Kilauea are quite active. In spite of its menacing appearance, the red hot lava isn’t how most people die from a volcano. Take a look at how volcanoes kill people.

Here are some spectacular images of Kilauea along with an interesting perspective on what residents of Hawaii see and its contrast with the viewpoints of geoscientists. “Both geoscientists and native Hawaiians agree that Hawaii’s lava is special. But they have different ways of talking about why that is—and different ways of seeing the substance that defines their profession or gives them a home.”

The visual impact of Kilauea can’t be denied when you look at this selection of images that go back to 5 May 2018.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Wildfires alone carry their own potentially deadly threat, but the smoke can have very serious health consequences to some people miles away from the fires.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Can the sounds made by a tornado give a warning to a community? This novel idea in research seems to think so.

Here’s an interesting look at tornado activity and a state-by-state examination of distribution, monthly activity, etc. You’ll find some surprising data here

This is a nice piece with Rick Smith of NWS Norman, OK discussing the daunting challenges of forecasting weather in the world’s bullseye for tornado activity.

With the Atlantic hurricane season only weeks away, take a look at how supercomputers are revolutionizing one of the most daunting tasks a meteorologist can face…forecasting tropical cyclones.

The political bent of climate change and the contention that arises from it is quite absent in many other countries…except for the USA.

This may not be official White House policy, but the head of the USA’s Coast Guard isn’t afraid to discuss climate change. After all, rising sea levels are critical to their operations.

There’s been a lot of hyperbole as of late about air travel being a horrendous demon when it comes to CO2 emissions and it playing a major role in climate change. That makes for good headlines and, perhaps most oddly, some people swearing off air travel. The truth is that the real problem is what people do when they get where they’re going…even if they get there via a banana boat.

The latest State Of The Climate report for April 2018 is out…and one common thread is that is was quite dry in the plains and southwest and unusually cool for much of the contiguous USA.

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/april-2018-us-significant-events-map.png

WEATHER SAFETY

I’ve included again this week links regarding severe weather safety. This list is just a partial example of the information that is available to keep your loved ones and you safe as we are now well into the North American severe weather season. The peak of severe weather activity, including tornadoes, is well underway.

Tornadoes, Lightning, & Thunderstorms: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters (Slide Presentation)

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

The Weather Channel: Prepare Your Pets For Emergencies

Last but not least…if you missed any safety information during National Hurricane Preparedness Week you can catch up at this link from the National Weather Service.

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

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For April 30 – May 7, 2018

Greetings everyone! It’s been an active severe weather week across much of the USA. Oddly enough, Oklahoma went the entire month of April without a single tornado. That came to an end in the first week  of May when multiple rounds of severe weather added several tornadoes to the count. We’re also just weeks away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st) and May 6 – 12, 2018 is National Hurricane Preparedness week. Even though the peak of hurricane activity isn’t for several months, now it the time to prepare. Check out the link below in Weather Safety for more comprehensive information from the National Weather Service. As usual, there’s plenty to go over, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Becoming a citizen scientist is easy (no Ph.D required) and gives you an opportunity to contribute valuable data year round. Check out “Easy Ways To Become A Citizen Scientist.” If you’re into weather, the CoCoRaHS network and the mPING project are two ways to collect valuable data for climate data banks and severe storm and radar research.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re not to enthralled about the recent happenings with Facebook, there are plenty of good alternatives.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has been very active lately…and that has volcanologists very nervous.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC HEALTH

Ticks are always a hazard to humans with the ability to spread a myriad of life altering diseases. The USA’s Center For Disease Control (CDC) has expressed concern over the matter, but has been cautious in expressing a connection to climate change in this public health hazard.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A recent dust storm in India killed over 100 people. There were many weather elements involved, including violent thunderstorms with damaging straight line winds.

Part 2 of this essay should be very telling and not a little interesting. “The 1970’s Global Cooling Zombie Myth And The Tricks Some People Used To Keep It Alive: Part 1.”

One of the biggest challenges for our society to comprehend current CO2 levels is because when they were at current levels in the past, humans didn’t exist.

Arctic sea ice is already at record low levels. A recent spike in winter temperatures has happened on consecutive years is making a bad situation even worse.

Climate change means big health issues for those with seasonal allergies. Growing seasons are getting longer and that means a longer pollen season.

Residents of California are getting use to a new weather and climate norm that’s not a little troubling. “Turbulent California faces a future of parched croplands and then flooded townships. Climate scientists call such things whiplash events.”

This past week marked the 19th anniversary of the 3 May 1999 Kansas & Oklahoma tornado outbreak. It was the largest outbreak in the history of Oklahoma, had the 1st billion dollar tornado which was also the 1st time the NWS issued a Tornado Emergency, & had four OK tornadoes in progress simultaneously at the height of the event.

This is the wording used by the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service when they issued the first ever Tornado Emergency…the highest level of Tornado Warning that can be issued and is, according to the NWS, “An exceedingly rare tornado warning issued when there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from an imminent or ongoing tornado. This tornado warning is reserved for situations when a reliable source confirms a tornado, or there is clear radar evidence of the existence of a damaging tornado, such as the observation of debris.”

WEATHER SAFETY

I’ve included again this week links regarding severe weather safety. This list is just a partial example of the information that is available to keep your loved ones and you safe as we are now well into the North American severe weather season. The peak of severe weather activity, including tornadoes, has arrived.

Tornadoes, Lightning, & Thunderstorms: Nature’s Most Violent Storms (PDF file)

Tornado Safety Rules from the Storm Prediction Center

Highway Overpasses As Tornado Shelters (Slide Presentation)

The Online Tornado FAQ

Facts About Derechos

American Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Information

Flash Flooding: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

NOAA Weather Radio

Interactive NOAA Weather Radio Coverage Map

Ready.gov Basic Disaster Supply Kit Info

The Weather Channel: Prepare Your Pets For Emergencies

Good infographics with severe weather safety information that’s specific to tornadoes.

Once you’re in a structure, there are specific places you need to go for the best protection

Infographics courtesy NOAA & NWS Norman, OK

National Hurricane Preparedness week runs from May 6 – 12, 2018. The National Weather Service has an excellent hurricane preparedness page that covers most everything you need to know. The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) also has a very informative page.

Remember, your mobile device can be your best friend in a weather emergency, whether it’s a tornado or a hurricane.

 

THE QUIXOTIC

This writer visited a Flat Earth Convention (yes, there is such a thing) and learned a great deal about not only the group in question, but insight into certain dimensions of human behavior.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media and a hearty thanks to my long time followers. It’s nice to have all of you along for the fun.

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For January 20 – 29, 2018

Greetings to everyone! While winter has many weeks to go in the Northern Hemisphere, our friends south of the equator in Australia have been baking in one of the worst heat waves in quite some time. This post will begin being published on Monday as of today…so let’s get started.

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

PUBLIC POLICY

The USA is quickly loosing its grip as a worldwide leader in science and technology. “China’s Breathtaking Transformation Into A Scientific Superpower.”

Any government shutdown affects National Weather Service employees. “How A Government Shutdown Affects Your Weather Forecasts Today And In The Future.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Whether you’re into weather, citizen science, or both, the mPING project is a fantastic way for you to send in real-time reports to help in very important weather research.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very handy guide to all of the full moons you hear about.

There’s quite a spectacle on tap for 31 January 2018 when our moon is going to put on quite a show. Here’s to hoping you have a good view!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Tsunamis are one of the most devastating effects of earthquakes. A new real-time tsunami warning system could save many, many lives in the future.

The National Weather Service has an excellent Tsunami Safety Home Page that has potentially life-saving information if you live in a tsunami prone region.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

There’s nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It’s no secret that our current presidential administration’s tariffs on solar panels will cost the USA’s solar industry thousands of jobs.

At least there’s some good news on the renewables front. Last year, the state of Texas got 18% of its energy from solar and wind power.

And here’s some more good news. “Natural Gas Killed Coal – Now Renewables And Batteries Are Taking Over.”

Here’s a step in the right direction for England addressing the problem of plastic waste. “Network Of Water Refill Points Aims To Tackle Problem.”

Plastic pollution, which is something that can be found all over our planet…even in the middle of oceans…is finally getting some badly needed attention.

This is a bit of a long-read on air quality but a very important one. Air quality is currently the leading threat to public health on a global scale. “The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health. The tenth EPI report ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest US Drought Portal and Drought Monitor shows dry/drought conditions spreading rapidly across much of the USA’s southern plains. As of 17 – 23 January 2018, 76.8 million people in the U.S. and 76.8 in the lower 48 states were experiencing varying degrees of dry conditions.

A very informative and interactive look at USA temperature trends since 1970 from Climate Central.

In this article from Scientific American, climate experts chime on the myth that climate change and rising levels of CO2 would benefit plants.

An excellent read with Katharine Hayhoe. “The True Threat Is The Delusion That Our Opinion Of Science Somehow Alters Its Reality.”

Speaking of altered reality, there are publishers of dubious integrity who are more than glad to publish papers from climate change deniers that are supposedly based on “science.”

There is a new wave of mini low-cost satellites that could vastly improve climate research in general and specifically predictions of weather and climate change.

WINTER SAFETY

Reminder on safety when shoveling snow…there’s a right way to do it with the right tools.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to thank my followers for being a part of this and welcome the new folks. I’m glad you’re along. Remember that the publishing day for this post has now shifted to every Monday afternoon with re-posts on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. It will also be posted on Tornado Quest’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Tumblr blog.

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2018 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For November 6 – 13, 2017

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by and hope the weather is to your liking whether it’s autumn or spring in your location. As of this post, much of North America is relatively quiet with autumn settling in nicely across most of the continent. Fortunately, the Atlantic tropical cyclone season is winding down quickly…and after such a destructive year, that’s very good. Let’s get started on this week’s selection.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

No, this isn’t “new” news. Yes, we’ve been dealing with it since 2016. But is it any wonder that Instagram and Twitter, having become a morass of shills, hucksters, and “beautiful people” have become very clique-oriented and useless to the average user? This paragraph says it all…

“Remixing the feed will make Instagram less useful as a real-time content feed because the most recent posts won’t necessarily be at the top. Users will have to worry about making their posts good enough to be chosen by the algorithm or their posts could be de-prioritized. And brands might lose the reach of a previously reliable marketing channel, the same way they did with Facebook Pages.” – TechCrunch

All hail the mighty algorithm. If, like me, you wish you understand and then disable the algorithm, you may have to research each individual social media entity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.) since there’s no “one size fits all” solution to this challenge.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Your smart phone is the only tool you’ll need to help this awesome citizen science project that tracks mosquitoes.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Studying an active volcano is obviously dangerous. Fortunately, this is where a drone can “step” in and help.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The pollution released by recent wildfires across the USA is making Americans sick and undermining decades of progress in cleaning the air.

Trees are good for the environment in so many different ways…and helping to clean the air we breathe is only one.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out with a look at October 2017 in the USA. “October’s nationally averaged temperature was 55.7 degrees F, 1.6 degrees above average, which placed it among the warmest third of the historical record.”

Infographic courtesy NOAA

Unfortunately, recent data shows that carbon emissions worldwide are still on the rise.

In spite of the frequent dour news we hear regarding climate change, there are some bright lights that are worth looking at.

Long-term forecasts such as this are a bit risky, but interesting nonetheless. “Sweden’s Big Cities Predicted To Have Coldest Winter In Five Years.”

PUBLIC POLICY

In spite of “official” stances…”US states, cities and businesses signed up to ‘America’s pledge’ to combat global warming have a combined economic power equal to the world’s third-biggest economy.”

No further comment needed on this. “The Senate Just Approved Trump’s Pic For NASA Chief. You Can Probably Guess What He Thinks About Climate Change.”

The “pushback” from climate change denialists is getting more desperate by the day.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. You’ll find links to all our social media below…our Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram are the most active accounts. We’d be glad to have you 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

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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!

————————————————————————————-

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

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

c53aixlwcaadv9o-jpg-large

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

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

month_drought

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

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

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

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

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

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

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

————————————————————————————–

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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!

————————————————————————————-

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

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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