Tag Archives: Greenland

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 5 – 15, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s definitely been an interesting week with plenty of climate related news and, unfortunately, deadly flooding ongoing in parts of Louisiana. Some locations have received over 27 inches of rain. I’ve included an infographic on flash flood safety. On the home front, I’ve had a busy August with several projects that have delayed this post by a few days. On that note, let’s get started.

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


The importance of the history of science to STEM students can’t be understated. “Why Science And Engineering Need To Remind Students Of Forgotten Lessons From History.”


Are you using Windows 10? “12 Things You Can Now Do With Windows 10 After The Anniversary Update.”

There’s a dearth of manners in social media. Here’s a very nice read that’s badly needed. “Five Steps To Having Grace On Social Media.”


NASA has just released over 1,000 new images of the surface of Mars and some of them are spectacular!


A very striking video of changes in Greenland’s glaciers since the 1930’s shows the dramatic effects of climate change.

Though this article focuses somewhat on UK and European cities, it applies to other cities (like Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, et al.) that are prone to ozone and/or air quality issues in the summer months. “Pollutants React In Sunshine To Form More Pollutants.”

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency was way off mark in a recent study that claimed that fracking and safe water sources can coexist in close proximity.

Speaking of air quality, southern California has been a hotbed of bad air quality for decades. Unfortunately, they’re currently having the worst smog since 2009.

Several USA cities are leading the way from fossil fuels to 100% renewable power. Let’s hope many more cities are bold enough to be added to this list…soon.


If you’re experiencing flooding or simply need a quick read  on flood safety, here’s a nice infographic from the National Weather Service in Norman, OK. If driving, please remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown! (TADD)

Flood Safety Info

Due to climate change, the risk from the Zika virus the mosquitoes that carry it is becoming more than just an obscure annoyance.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to NOAA’s latest and very thorough State Of The Climate report. This is definitely a “must read” for anyone into atmospheric and/or environmental science. (PDF file)

As of July, 2016, the USA is in the midst of its third-hottest year on record according to the latest NOAA data.

Based on NOAA and EPA data, millions of coastal area homes and properties in the USA are at risk of going underwater by the end of the century.

No heat here. This amazing archive of ice cores is literally a look into the climates past of our humble planet.

Here’s an interesting take on what’s apparently a not-so-new rainfall forecasting theory. Scientists using satellite data and statistical techniques have proved that soil and rain are linked in an unexpected way.

As the drought in the western USA continues, another drought is growing at an alarming pace…and almost no one is talking about it.

Time to bring out the cardigans and parkas. Autumn has arrived in parts of Sweden and no, it’s not too early.

In addition to dealing with denialists, climate scientists are also saddled with a segment of the population with climate change apathy…those who think nothing can or should change.

Sorry conspirators. Your “knowledge” of contrails isn’t correct. It’s hard to believe there are people who still buy this rubbish, but then again there are people who believe the earth is flat, ghosts and spirits are real, astrology is a legit science, and the tooth fairy leaves pennies from heaven under your pillow.

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…and learning!



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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope the weather’s being good to you no matter where you live. The most responses this week have come from the article on the current “hurricane drought” in the USA. Complacency could breed a nightmare scenario. There’s plenty of other interesting topics to explore out there, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this weeks links…


A nice essay on how anyone (yes, that includes you) can be a part of citizen science. It’s easy, often costs little to nothing, and covers a myriad of interests.


This has been a long time coming. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally realized that jet aircraft exhaust is not good for our planet.

A sobering graphic that shows the almost unbelievable growth of garbage dumps across the United States in the past century.

Here’s some good renewables news! The world’s largest floating wind farm is set to open in 2021 off the coast of California.


2015 was without a doubt the warmest year on record for Earth. Here’s a look at the ten most startling facts about yet another record year for climate change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released a 300-page State Of The Climate report documenting the historic warmth of 2015 as well as scores of other aspects of last year’s climate.

The hefty report, State of the Climate in 2015, was produced by more than 450 scientists from 62 countries around the world — more than any previous edition.

What this amazing video of a lightning bold obliterating a telephone pole…then watch it again in slow motion.

Check out these amazing images. “180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice.”

The USA hasn’t seen landfall from a hurricane since 2015. That could induce complacency…and a potentially deadly scenario. It’s only a matter of time before this “hurricane drought” and our luck runs out.

Being an atmospheric scientist and studying climate often involves working in extreme weather conditions. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Check this out.

Thanks to climate change, a new public health hazard can’t be ignored. “Hot and humid summer weather across the U.S. brings with it the rise of the mosquito season, and this year the threat of the Zika virus makes that more than a minor nuisance.”

The “fingerprints” of climate change can be found on every corner of the globe.

A very thought-provoking essay on a infrequently discussed but irrevocable climate and global economies link.

NBC’s new storm chasing vehicles sporting doppler radars are quite interesting…and more likely a gimmick than of scientific value.


Senator Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) granddaughter gets science and wants to know why, unlike 64 percent of the American population which have climate change concerns, Inhofe does not understand the science.

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!



Tornado Quest media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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/

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…


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.


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


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.


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.”


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!


Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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

Updated 15 July 2014: Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For July 6 – 13, 2014

It’s been another busy weather week across North America with everything from tornadoes in Canada to a visit from Hurricane Arthur to the NC coast. Arthur peaked at Category 2 intensity, but the damage seemed minimal compared to what could have occurred.

Before getting to this week’s links, the Tornado Quest Twitter account (@TornadoQuest) was either the victim of a malicious (and illegal) cyber-attack or an unexplainable “glitch” in the Twitter cyber-sphere. Sometime in the early morning hours of Saturday, 12 July 2014, hundreds of accounts that I was following (some I’d followed for several years) were unfollowed. If you’ve been unfollowed, it was not intentional, you will be followed back, and please accept my apologies. I have some people who are quite good at computer forensics (think of Sherlock Holmes for technology…locating and tracking down people) looking into the matter. Again, my sincere apologies and I appreciate those of you who have expressed concern and patience.  Also, this week’s blog will be very short. As time allows, I’ll likely add a few links this week.

Update: 15 July 2014. Thanks to some help from folks who know much more about internet “glitches,” the situation with the Tornado Quest Twitter account seems to have been solved. We’re going to monitor this for quite some time. Again, my apologies if you were mistakenly unfollowed during this “cyber-mess.” 

Without any further delay, lets dive right into this week’s links…


A spot-on article by Chris Mooney worth revisiting: Neil deGrasse Tyson on “Cosmos,” How Science Got Cool, and Why He Doesn’t Debate Deniers. Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Sustainability science requires the freedom to observe and understand our planet. Indeed it does.

A zero-energy house of the future could be lurking in your neighborhood. Our cities desperately need more of these.

Some good news on the sustainability front: Global Solar Module Prices Just Reached A Record Low.

NASA will soon be using  a high-flying laser altimeter to check out summer sea ice…and more.

Groundwater levels across Texas have been declining for decades. Some contributing factors have finally been identified.

Helsinki is taking a bold step with plans on having a car-free city within ten years.

The ongoing great plains drought and a poor KS wheat harvest are bound to have a domino effect that will be felt far outside of the wheat belt.


I’m often asked, “What makes a thunderstorm severe?” The answer is quite simple, but frequently misunderstood. And no, heavy rain and frequent lightning don’t make for a severe thunderstorm.

Interesting read on west Antarctica ice sheet research and why it’s so important to climate change research.

Looking into the past is often very productive in getting a glimpse into the future. Greenland melt may have pushed sea level six meters higher in the past.

A thought provoking read on two challenges regarding climate change. 1) How bad will it get and 2) how to combat the changes.

To date, 2014 has been relatively quiet for tornado activity. There are several months (including a normally active autumn) left in the year…so don’t let your guard down.

I’ve gotten a few inquiries regarding El Nino and it’s relation to ENSO. Here’s a good primer from NOAA.

NOAA”s new storm surge maps helped USA east coast residents prepare better for Hurricane Arthur.

An interesting take on the “urban heat island effect” that we urbanites are so familiar with.

Much of the eastern 2/3 of the contiguous 48 states will get an unseasonably nice cool down for mid July. Polar-vortex? Yes? No? Maybe?

Northern Sweden is sizzling in summer temps to 83F…the hottest it’s been in 90 years.

I rarely endorse specific products, but have to give a “tip-0f-the-hat” to RadarScope. If you’re on the go, or mobile, it’s top notch in terms of data…including a host of new dual-pol products.


Don’t look now…but those with too much time and too little civility and intelligence have discovered yet another way to reach an all-time new low.

Now, back to deciphering the technical difficulties.


Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Feb. 4 – 11, 2013

Much of North America may be getting a short-term respite from the extreme cold, but not before a major winter weather event with all the trimmings takes a shot at many southern states in the USA that are not accustomed to this kind of weather. As it stands now, winter weather advisories and/or warnings extend from Texas into New England. Most worrisome is the potential ice storm and it’s effects across parts of Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. Folks in these areas should rush to completion any preparations they need to make and prepare for the possibility of loosing power for several days.

Let’s take a look at this weeks links…


Communicating science to the general public can be a very daunting task, but it’s an important talent to refine.

The challenges of communicating science include publications. Choosing the right title can make or break an article.

From a variety of disciplines, take a look at some of the best science visualizations of the year.


Check out this cool citizen science project that requires only a simple camera and an eye for landscape.

Read about  five easy ways to become a freelance scientist…who, contrary to popular opinion, can offer a great deal to the professionals.


If you’re a fan of Google, it looks like they’ve got a full dance card of goodies on tap.

Can Big Brother peek into your home? You bet they can.

Part technology (the tools used) and part social science (a study of bullying and trolls in the online world) in this interesting read: Outing A Pseudonymous Blogger.


Dimetrodon, a carnivorous dinosaur that walked on land between 298 million and 272 million years ago, was the first terrestrial vertebrate to develop serrated teeth.


This should be a ‘no-brainer’ for contractors, roofing companies, and home owners alike…white roofs are better than green roofs and anything is better than black.


A (belated) Happy Birthday to the National Weather Service which was established on February 9, 1870.

Here’s some interesting info from the folks at the National Severe Storms Laboratory on FACETs and it’s fantastic potential for public safety.

Here’s a look at preliminary tornado statistics for 2013 from the Storm Prediction Center.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2013 was among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850.

Speaking of 2013, here’s a nice 8 minute video with commentary showing our planet in all its atmospheric glory.

There’s nothing in the United States, or the world for that matter, like the Oklahoma Mesonet. Here’s a nice article from a Oklahoma newspaper about the OK Mesonet’s 20th anniversary

If you’ve not read about NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed in Norman, OK, check it out here.

CA is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. If this current trend continues, they’ll get worse and last longer.

Trade winds are having an effect on climate change. Here’s an interesting read on another piece of the climate puzzle.

Like some more pieces to the climate puzzle? Read about the cascade of uncertainty in climate projections.

Greenland’s changing climate is a key player in the study of our atmosphere.

If it’s so cold, why do we hear so much about climate change and global warming? Because we need to observe the climate on our planet as a whole, not just what’s going on in one’s backyard.

While on the topic of cold, many folks are ready for spring. The earlier, the better. But, that may not be what you really should hope for.

Few people often agree on the best weather forecast models. Here’s an interesting take on a recent evaluation.

And that’s a wrap for this week!



Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Jan. 27 – Feb. 4, 2014

Winter certainly has not loosened its grip on the contiguous 48 United States. As of this post, one of several rounds of snow, sleet, and freezing rain were making a path from OK, KS, & TX to southern  ME. On the home front, I was invited by the folks at Kestrel Meters to write a guest post for their blog! So, let’s get started on this week’s links…


Sublime magazine takes a look at the inherent uncertainties that will always be a part of all fields of science…and why so many people find that distressing.

A thought-provoking long-read that touches on so many topics; history, climatology, sociology, and much more.


Conveying complex scientific information to the layperson can be incredibly frustrating. Here are some helpful tips that could ease the pain.


There’s plenty of snow to be measured while contributing to citizen science!


What do swirling patterns on bubbles and hurricanes, tornadoes, and other atmospheric vortexes have in common?


Was January cold in Alaska? Well, “cool” might be a better description since the USA’s largest state had record warmth.

How much snow does it take to cancel school? Here’s an interesting map that gives a general idea. Note: please see the links within the article with the writer’s caveats as to the map’s accuracy.

Weather can not only close schools, but take a toll on our roads.

The inimitable Chuck Doswell writes eloquently on the forecasters frustrations with specific relation to the recent winter storm that cripples much of the southern US.

Here’s a more personal, subjective viewpoint on the southern storm, “Why The South Fell Apart In The Snow.”

Can glaciers move fast? Yes they can…and the world’s fastest is located in Greenland.

Some very cool new technology from NASA will enable scientists to measure depth of sea ice and glaciers.

Why is there more methane in the Earth’s atmosphere? The sources are numerous.

Personally, I feel it’s time to reassess the Enhanced Fujita scale and the impact that remote sensing/portable high-resolution doppler radars can have on tornado intensity ratings.

Here’s a “spot-on” essay from meteorologist Dan Satterfield that cuts through the rubbish and exposes “The Great Facebook Blizzard – Storms and Rumors of Storms.”

Last, but definitely not least, I’m pleased to present a blog essay I’ve written for the awesome folks at Kestrel Meters. They were kind enough to invite me to write on the topic of becoming a storm spotter. Many folks are interested, but there’s a lot that you should be aware of. My feature, “A Beginner’s Guide To Skywarn Severe Weather Spotting” touches on a few topics that I hope are of value to you if you’re considering becoming a Skywarn spotter.  I’m also a big fan of Kestrel products and have used their 3000 and 4000 for many years and can’t recommend their line of products highly enough. Give them a visit…try one of their great meters out…and tell them I sent you. You won’t regret using a Kestrel. In terms of hand-held weather meters, they’re state-of-the-art…and made in the USA!

Have a great week everybody…stay warm and drive carefully!


Gee-O-Science Links For April, 2013

There’s been a lot going on in the science world and the sheer mass of cool info (specifically in atmospheric and environmental studies) has been time-consuming, but fun, to sort through. Due to multi-tasking on far too many projects, I accidentally posted a draft copy of the April, 2013 science links a few days ago. This month’s Gee-O-Science post is complete & the “missing links” that I originally intended to include with the draft are presented here. In addition, I’ve gotten a few emails wondering if I’ll be reviving the Tornado Quest website. The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes!”…but it may be a while and I can’t give a specific time frame. In the meantime, I’ll be using this WordPress blog as my primary online “base of operations.”  So, without further delay, let’s get started!


New Guidelines Call For Changes In Science Education.

What lives at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? More than you might think.

Millions of bird watchers are taking note of avian behavior…and it’s behavior induced by climate change.

Earth Day is celebrated world wide on April 22…and NOAA has a very cool site with tons of good info.

Check out the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere which just went operational in Australia.

Here are several pieces of writing by Steven Pinker, one of my favorite social scientists.

A tragic event like the terrorist bombing in Boston, MA can give social scientists in interesting view into human behavior in a crisis.

If you’re ever in a crisis situation (tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, etc.) it’s always better to text than call on your phone. Always.

Crisis situations almost always test our resilience. The American Psychological Association has some very useful & informative information on this important topic.

We recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, paper, et al. in vast amounts. Why not clothes? North Face has spearheaded a project…and it would behoove other major retailers to follow suit.

Plastic bags. They’re not good, but they’re not the worst either.

One journalists interesting experience on covering the Exxon oil spill in Mayflower, AR.

A “must-watch” video: Dawkins, Nye, Tyson, & Stephenson discuss science & storytelling.

How’s your science & technology IQ? The Pew Research Center has a quick quiz where you can find out.

Here’s a very cool list of “Mathy Ladies To Follow On Twitter.”

Developing a social media presence can be a daunting task. Here’s a good overview of the basics for scientists, but  can apply to many other fields as well.


A nice article on browser extensions that protect your privacy. I use many of these and strongly suggest you do the same.

Privacy Awareness Week is April 28 – May 4, 2013. If you’re online in any way, you need to take this seriously.

Take a look back at these computer videos from 1994. How far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.


Something that I’ve long believed existed in evolution is apparently true. Adaptation neither stops nor makes value judgements.


Here’s a look back (22 years ago this month) at the Plains Tornado Outbreak of April 26, 1991 which included several violent tornado events (Andover, Winfield in KS & Billings/Red Rock, Terlton, Oolagah in OK).

Sandy was not only a significant weather event, but a seismic one as well.

Speaking of Sandy, that name has been retired under the authority of the World Meteorological Organization. Ever wonder how & why tropical cyclones are named? Read on.

And finally, Sandy was a watershed event for the National Hurricane Center. Read here about warning and product changes made to tropical weather products.

Are you a teacher or student  looking for learning resources on our atmosphere? The folks at NCAR/UCAR have a great page to get you started.

Do you follow your local National Weather Service office on Twitter? If not, the Tallahassee NWS has a comprehensive list.

NOAA’s Ocean Today has a very cool video on waterspouts!

Climate data from the Nat’l Climactic Data Center is being used in a very cool way to further our understanding of cicadas.

The American Lung Association has released their State Of The Air report with interesting data on air quality for many U.S cites.

Bumpy flights are no fun for anyone, especially the pilots. This study suggests they may become more common with time.

Like so many people, I love the smell of rain. Ever wonder why is smells so good?

Read about the amateur (aka citizen scientist) who made a groundbreaking discovery in climate change 75 years ago.

Antarctic warming a tale of two ice cores…each with a different story to tell.

A recent NOAA/university study explains how thin, low Arctic clouds played an important role in the massive 2012 Greenland ice melt.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has updated its estimates concerning the impact of climate change & rising sea levels on the Finnish coast.

Climatologists are using old weather date to prove a point: climate change is real.

According to Andrew Revkin, fear may be out greatest obstacle in our quest to deal with our changing climate.

If you think a great plains summer is sizzling in today’s society, try out a hot spell 270 million years ago.

Some new thoughts in paleoclimatology on the relationship between the earliest accumulation of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor for April, 2013 has been released. Many areas from TX to NE are still in extreme to exceptional conditions.

Check out this very cool image from NASA showing ice flow on Antarctica.

Fluid dynamics is an incredibly complex, yet fascinating, part of atmospheric physics…and a vital part of understanding why you want to be a “storm chaser.”

Lightning is one of the most enigmatic atmospheric phenomenon. “Dark lightning” could be the unseen energy of thunderstorms.

A keen understanding of fluid dynamics is imperative to comprehending the complexity of tornadoes. Research meteorologists have developed another small piece of the vast puzzle of understanding this most enigmatic of atmospheric phenomenon.

Wrapping up the atmospheric sciences section is an interesting op-ed, “Can Just Anyone Claim To Be A TV Meteorologist?”


The Curmudgeon’s guide to understanding creationists. One would think that in 2013, such a topic wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly, it is.

The free market is founded on, “if you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time.” Unless, it’s money from the “wrong” kind of people.

Well, now this just solves it all. Toss out decades of peer reviewed science research & lets sink into the abyss of a new dark age.

Here’s yet another U.S. “lawmaker” (and I use that term very loosely) who has little regard for peer review…and scientists in general, regardless of their particular field of study.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll “pass” on passing gas research, but pass this along to you. You’re welcome!

Ending on a philosophically positive note, I’ve always been somewhat of an Epicurean hedonist at heart. Here’s a good primer on one of my favorite philosophers.

And on that note, another month passes. I hope it’s been a good one for folks out there who are trying to maintain a sense of sanity in this topsy-turvy world of ours!

See you in the Twitterverse…



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