Tag Archives: History of Science

Tornado Quest Science Links: Week In Review For July 18 – 25, 2017

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. Here in the southern plains of the USA, the summer heat has gotten a firm grip on us with no let-up in sight. The average high temperature is 95F (35C) which is more than enough to make anyone pine for the cooler breezes of autumn. As of this date (25 July 2017), the eastern Pacific is very busy with three tropical cyclones in progress simultaneously. For now, the Atlantic is very quiet, but that will likely change in the weeks to come. On that note, let’s get started on this week’s post.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE/EDUCATION

In this day and age, this is a badly needed look at the irrefutable connection with western civilization and the development of the scientific method.

With all the information available on the internet, one would think the hunger for knowledge is satisfied…but it isn’t. Distribution and consumption are mutually exclusive.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very chilling look at the most ugly elements of online trolling/bullying. “Digital harassment” is now at an all time high. Don’t think for one second that this is limited to Twitter. Facebook, SnapChat, etc. are all riddled with this menace.

Speaking of Twitter, its problems continue in a variety of ways.

PUBLIC HEALTH/WEATHER SAFETY

Since the 1990’s, cases of Lyme disease have skyrocketed across the USA…and climate change has played no small part.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Four Emerging Misconceptions On Social Media About The Upcoming Great American Eclipse.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

An eye-opening video that explains the mind-boggling amount of time it takes for some items to “decompose” in a landfill. Many, if not most, are recyclable or have greener alternatives.

The global deforestation continues. “About 49 million acres of forest disappeared worldwide in 2015, mainly in North America and the tropics, putting the year’s global deforestation level at its second-highest point since data gathering began in 2001.”

Some encouraging news regarding our love affair with automobiles. “Electric Cars Will Dominate The Roads By 2040.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on an extensive amount of NOAA data, the year 2017, only at the halfway point, is already the second warmest year to date.

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NCEI & Climate Central

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of climate change; how it’s literally killing us.

An interesting satellite SNAFU masked true sea-level rise for decades until it was revised and the data showed an increase as our home warms and ice sheets thaw.

Here’s a look at the recent deadly heat wave that helped fuel wildfires and set many climate records across portions of western Europe.

Infographic courtesy Climate Central

Do you ever wonder how tropical cyclones are named and what criteria is used to remove a name from a list? This excellent read from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has all of your answers. Hopefully this will squelch many of the silly rumors (both old and new) regarding the reasoning behind giving tropical cyclones names.

Here’s a very interesting and interactive look at historical hurricane tracks from the NOAA database.

Finally, a combination of weather history and cultural history. “London’s Hot And Busy Summer Of 1858.”

PUBLIC POLICY

An interesting, but not surprising, development. “Hundreds of climate scientists, including many from the United States, have applied to work in France under a €60-million (US$69-million) scheme set up by the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, after his US counterpart Donald Trump rejected the Paris accord on global warming.”

That’s a wrap for this post! A big “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. Stick around for lots of fun. We live in very interestingly challenging times.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For December 27, 2016 – January 3, 2017

Greetings and salutations to everyone! Happy New Year as well! I hope all of you had a great holiday season and the new year is off to a good start. Here’s to 2017 being a year that is everything we want and need. As many of you  are aware of, 2016 was yet another year for the record books in terms of global temperatures with well above normal heat across nearly all continents. On the bright side, it was a ‘slow’ year for tornadoes in the USA. We’ll cover that in detail later in this post. Here’s a select few items to start the new year off with, so let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The history of science has always been an area of study that’s near and dear to my heart. Here’s a particularly inspiring account of how female astronomers at Harvard University accomplished groundbreaking work in classifying stars.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

The dangers of fracking to water contamination (which includes water you use for personal purposes) have been known for years, but the EPA has finally and officially given their ‘seal of approval’ on the hazards. The lack of regulation, something that we Oklahoman’s know about all too well, is abhorrent…and likely to get worse with the new presidential administration.

Here’s some amazingly good renewables news! Sweden has generated more energy from wind power than it ever has before…the equivalent of six nuclear power plants.

The new year should be interesting to watch from an environmental perspective. Here are fifteen environmental trends to watch in 2017.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

2016 has ended with one of the lowest annual tornado totals for the USA since records began in 1954. A preliminary count of 901 could be a record low. At least that’s one bit of good news to come out of last year.

torgraph-big

Here’s a nice compilation of some spectacular tornado videos during 2016. The most important factor to keep in mind while watching these videos is the fact that several individuals involved put themselves in unnecessary danger. No video is worth risking life or limb for fifteen minutes of fame. To be a successful storm chaser or storm spotter, you must have a very detailed and exceptionally informed knowledge of the storm scale environment and accept the possibility that it could change so fast that you may not have time to react for your own well-being. Having chased since March, 1982, this is a lesson I learned very early on and on more than one occasion, it has kept me out of potentially life threatening scenarios.

There’s never a dull moment in Oklahoma weather…and this nice graphic courtesy of the Oklahoma Mesonet shows 2016’s histrionic highlights all across the Sooner State.

ok-mesonet-2016-weather-extremes

With winter comes dangerous wind chills that can result in everything from minor discomfort to permanent frostbite damage to even death. Here’s the best windchill chart available online courtesy of the National Weather Service in Spokane, Washington.

wind-chill-chart

While on the topic of wind chill and the dangers of extreme cold, a recent world-wide study in The Lancet shows that up to seventeen times more people die from cold than heat each year.

From Climate Central, a very important read on how to stay informed on climate change action in 2017. “Here are some of the key issues and places to watch this year as battles are waged against dirty energy, as climate policies are debated and implemented, and as governments abroad move to take over the leadership role that America seems poised to vacate.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. There’s plenty of good things on tap with Tornado Quest in 2017, so I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!


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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For December 5 – 12, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is being good to you regardless of where you live. This week’s post will be on the brief side due to previous commitments and I’ll update it periodically and repost the link on Twitter as needed. For many of us, the holiday season is quite busy and hectic and things in my neck of the woods are no exception. Without further delay, here we go.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

I’m frequently coming across more reasons to justify my search engine preferences of StartPage and DuckDuckGo over Google. Here’s yet another one.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Here’s a fascinating segment from Science Friday on pioneering female astronomers who meticulously analyzed glass negatives.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For those of us with interests in the atmospheric and environmental sciences, the new choice for the USA’s EPA administrator is not a little disturbing. We Oklahoman’s who know his tendencies are very familiar with the potential undoing that could occur in the next few years. His disdain for the EPA and environmental issues in general is no secret.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Interesting study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research on climate change and it’s connection to more intense precipitation events.

With the latest NOAA data taken into consideration, 2016 is well on its way to being the second hottest year on record for the contiguous USA.

12_7_16_andrea_cc_jannovtemps_720_543_s_c1_c_c

How scientific data is communicated to the general public is often just as important as the data itself. “Report Helps Scientists Communicate How Global Warming Is Worsening Natural Disasters.”

Some very daunting times ahead. “Surge In Methane Emissions Threatens Efforts To Slow Climate Change.”

Here’s an excellent infographic from the National Weather Service in Jackson, KY, USA that answers the frequently heard question, “Why do some forecasts ‘bust?'”

czawgi7ucaavxql-jpg-large

While on the topic of ‘busted’ forecasts, here’s an excellent read on why long-term computer model based forecasts should not be trusted. “Now is a good time to remind everyone that forecasts for extreme winter weather events more than about five to seven days into the future are not reliable. I’d add that if your “trusted source” for weather information is hyping an extreme event more than a week out, you consider finding a different trusted source.” That trusted source should always be your local National Weather Service and the local and national broadcast meteorologists of your choice.

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the ATS-1, the first Earth-observing satellite ever placed in geostationary orbit. This was truly a watershed event in weather satellite history.

Speaking of weather satellites, here’s news of a new weather satellite that has exciting possibilities into hurricane prediction.

Not a little disturbing news from Climate Central. “A Climate Denier Is Leading The NASA Transition.”

That’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. The best is yet to come.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 29 – September 6, 2016

Greetings to one and all! It’s been quite a week for the tropical Atlantic and Pacific with several hurricanes, some reaching major intensity, taking the stage front and center. Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 storm and was the first hurricane to hit the “Sunshine State” since 2005. As of this post, Hermine is off the northeast coast of the USA and still poses a threat in spite of having lost its tropical characteristics. In the Pacific, hurricanes Madeline and Lester took swipes at Hawaii and gave us a reminder than those chain of islands are very vulnerable to even the most intense tropical cyclones. This post will be on the brief side since the past week has been exceptionally busy with hurricanes and multi-tasking previous commitments and media requests. As usual, there are many good reads on climate change as well as other dimensions of the atmospheric sciences…so let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Meet the woman who first identified the greenhouse effect in 1856.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read for those of us who communicate science to the non-scientists. “12 Tips For Scientists Writing For The General Public.”

Yes, art and science can co-exist…and even bolster the scientific mind. From personal experience (I’m an electric bass player) I can say from personal experience that this does work.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

We’ve just gotten a good look at Jupiter’s north pole…and it’s unlike anything we’ve yet encountered in our own solar system.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is indeed an amazing and exciting discovery! “Live Thrived On Young Earth. Scientists Discover 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Just after 7:00 AM CDT on 3 September 2016, several midwestern states were shaken by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Pawnee, OK. Damage was reported across a wide area of north-central Oklahoma. This earthquake tied the 5.6 OK earthquake of November, 2011 for the strongest in the Sooner states history. Understandably so, Oklahoma ordered fossil fuel wells shut down after the earthquake. After a relatively quiet period of seismic activity, it’s no accident that the record quake was tied. The question Oklahoma residents must ask themselves now it, “When will another substantial earthquake occur…and will it be an even bigger one?”

Here’s a seismograph from the Leonard, OK station of the earthquake.

OK Earthquake Seismograph 3 September 2016

While on the topic of Oklahoma earthquakes, here’s a good story from NPR on fossil fuel production and it’s relation to the sudden recent increase in seismic activity.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE?RENEWABLES

If there was ever a good reason for creating a drought hardy yard and garden, this is it.

Wind power is really taking off in the USA and is now the number two country in the world in installed wind capacity (after China) and number one in wind electricity generated!

The long-term implications of this are irrevocable. “Natural Gas Is Passing Coal As A Source Of CO2 Emissions In The USA.”

The irrevocable link between our air quality and our health. “Air Pollution Is Sending Tiny Magnetic Particles Into Your Brain.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For sixty years, atmospheric scientists have watched a steady wind pattern in the stratosphere faithfully repeating like clockwork every two years. Without warning and for the first time it’s changed direction.

Here’s a very nice visualization of hurricanes that will help you easily understand the anatomy of these amazing storms.

What were hurricane hunters studying when they flew into Hurricane Hermine? Read this to find out! “Capturing The Genesis Of A Hurricane.”

In the northwest Pacific ocean, which happens to be the world’s hotspot for tropical cyclone activity, a new study reveals the land-falling typhoons have become more intense.

In spite of the cynics, it’s good news that the USA and China have formally committed to the Paris Climate Accord.

They took the words right out of my mouth…

  • For climate activists, the growing trend of climate change denialism in recent years isn’t just frustrating—it’s alarming. We know that the longer we wait to shift our energy sources and increase the efficiency with which we utilize the energy we produce, the more jarring the shift will be. Despite the powerful message that world leaders have sent by coming together in Paris to agree to limit warming to 2 degrees, currently national and global plans are not enough to make that a reality.”

Having said that, here’s the rest of the article on how to effectively communicate with a denier.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

 

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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…

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

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.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For June 28 – July 5, 2015

Greetings to one and all! For those of you who just celebrated the USA’s Independence Day and Canada Day, I hope you had a great holiday weekend! Let us all take a moment and be grateful for the freedom and liberty we so often take for granted.

United States Declaration Of Independence Quote

Happy-independence-day-america-2016

Here’s a nice four-minute video with a concise overview of the USA’s Declaration of Independence. It’s truly an amazing document. Also amazing is the fact that the largest portion of our Declaration of Independence is a twenty-eight count indictment of the late 18th century British monarchy, and specifically King George III.

Summer has a firm grip on much of the plains states across North America. Unfortunately, at least at my location, triple digit head indexes have become the norm several weeks earlier than usual. Otherwise, there’s plenty to check out this week, so let’s get started.

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

EDUCATION

Many universities and employers are just now realizing what many of us  have known for years. Business schools are cranking out robots that are lackluster employees because of a deficit of liberal arts (and specifically science) courses as part of their curriculum.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Until Galileo kick-started modern astronomy in the early 1600s, the record of the sun’s activities was basically blank—or so scientists thought.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The Juno spacecraft has finally reached Jupiter and will begin studying its mysterious atmosphere and what lays underneath.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The 2016 wildfire season in the western USA is just getting underway…and already it’s gotten an unfortunate head start.

When close to a record-breaking 36 million Americans took their holiday road trips this past Independence Day weekend, they were part of what’s quickly becoming our nation’s biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions — transportation.

Would you like to lower your summer utility bills? I’ve tried all of these tips and trust me, they work!

A sobering video on the irrevocable link between air pollution and human health. No one is immune.

While on the topic of air pollution, an overwhelming majority of urban dwellers have concerns over air quality and it’s effects on public health.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An encouraging and thought-provoking read on six steps that we can take now that may help slow the progression of climate change.

Another warning from the “silent killer.” “Heat Waves Could Bring Lots More Deaths To NYC.”

I couldn’t have said this better myself. Top science groups have told climate change deniers in Congress to, “knock it off.”

There’s not been much news as of late regarding our Earth’s ozone layer. Fortunately, it’s been good news.

Nothing personal, but folks who’ve lived in the interior western USA may not fully understand what “air-you-can-wear” humidity is like.

“Defenses against storms and floods, built on past events, will fail unless emergency planners use forward-looking data that account for rapid climate change.”

Congratulations to the Wall Street Journal for demonstrating yet again that their sympathies reside with climate change denialists.

And 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 to have you along and hope that the information you’ll find here is helpful, educational, and useful in many ways. Glad you’re aboard!

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For 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 June 24 – July 4, 2015

If you’re celebrating the United State’s Independence Day at home or abroad, I hope you have a great holiday. As is so often the case, this is prime time across much of North America for heat and more than a few rogue thunderstorms that can throw a wrench into holiday plans. Due to the holiday, this will be a short version of the weekly links post…but I wanted to pass along some information that I hope will be of use and/or interest to you.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A thought-provoking read from The New Yorker: “An Epidemic Of Reason?

A timely read for the Independence Day holiday. “Is The Declaration of Independence A Scientific Paper? Technically…yes.

TECHNOLOGY

A look back and the long, strange trip through advancements in technology within the United States.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project where you can help find out if climate change has made the western USA drought worse than it should be.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement across almost all of the USA…except for California of course.

Finally…if you’re celebrating Independence Day outdoors, NOAA has some heat safety rules that are very important for you and your friends and family.

As I stated earlier…if you’re celebrating…have a safe and happy holiday!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For April 20 – 28, 2015

After several days of active severe weather, the contiguous 48 USA states get a bit of a respite. For the most part, it will be welcome. There’s still plenty of time left to get your emergency kit for home or work in order…and this quiet period is a good time to make sure everything is in check. May is the most active tornado month (from a climatological standpoint) for North America…so we’ve still many weeks of severe weather potential ahead. With the recent spate of severe weather and several crucial deadlines garnering my time and energy, I’ve had to carefully delegate my time…ergo the brevity of this post.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Food for thought. “Can We Trust Scientists Self-Control?” In general, yes.

An excellent essay that hits the spot in “Inoculating Against Science Denial.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A “must-read” for anyone who is online from Ghostery (which I can’t recommend highly enough). Trolls…aka online bullies…don’t just live for the change to make sophomoric comments, some lust for private data too.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

A very comprehensive list of about one hundred books that cover a wide spectrum on the history of science.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The recent devastating Nepal earthquake was, by some accounts, a “nightmare waiting to happen.”

This doesn’t surprise me at all. We’re so good at causing earthquakes, the U.S. Geological Survey wants to start forecasting them.

Oklahomans feel far more earthquakes than Californians do…and the reason isn’t a surprise. Shake, frack, and roll.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

This is the kind of good news I love seeing. “Like Shale Oil, Solar Power Is Shaking Up Global Energy.”

This is Air Quality Awareness Week. For many folks (depending on their local climate patterns) with health issues, this is far more important than even severe weather awareness.

2015 could be a very rough year for wildfires across the contiguous USA…and California in particular.

Our dependency on Amazon rainforests is much greater than we are aware of.

Some surprising survey results of American’s opinions on regulating CO2 and renewable energy research.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Nice overview of the current California drought and its connection to climate change.

California’s drought isn’t the end of the world, but it will change the lifestyles of people who are affected by it. Welcome to a new and permanent way of life.

Are recent extremes in weather events tied to climate change? Some studies say, “yes.”

It’s been almost a decade (October, 2005) since a major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricane has made landfall in the USA. How much longer will our luck hold out?

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “Climate change eats away at the foundation of virtually every issue Americans worry most about today: the economy, national security, good jobs and public health.”

Could seasonal tornado forecasts be on the horizon? If this is feasible, it will be interesting to see how well it works over the long term.

There’s quite a storm brewing over the National Weather Service in Birmingham, AL installing a television studio. Personally, I welcome the concept and think it’s a cracking idea!

Can doppler radar detect birds? Absolutely. It can also detect smoke from wildfires, insects, bats…and much more!

Ft Worth TX NWS GraphicA very informative graphic from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, TX explaining why an impressive velocity couplet on radar doesn’t mean “wedge.” A long-lasting cyclic supercell moved across central TX on 26 April 2015 and produced all modes of severe weather including large hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding. Damage surveys revealed all the tornadoes that occurred were of EF-0 intensity. Evaluation of real-time storm chaser reports also reveal 1) the difficulty in accurately deciphering what chasers are seeing with only lightning to illuminate the storm and 2) the hazards for the general public of getting your warning information from unofficial (non NWS and media outlet) weather information sources.

Ft Worth TX NWS Graphic2Yes, it was a remarkable supercell with impressive fluid dynamics and behavior, but rather normal in the number of and intensity of tornadoes.

FINALLY, THE QUIXOTIC

Can you put a price on the opinion of Pope Francis? Apparently some delusional opportunists think so…which is a shame. Unethical also comes to mind.

And on that note, this is a wrap! See you good folks next time!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links and Much, Much, More for August 10 – 17, 2014

To say this past week has been a busy one for the Pacific tropical cyclone season is almost a vast understatement. For those of us who enjoy watching weather events around the world unfold, there hasn’t been a shortage of tropical storms and hurricanes to keep us occupied. On the flip side, the Atlantic season has been quiet thanks to a significant amount of dry Saharan air from Africa that is hindering formation of tropical cyclones that could threaten the US eastern coast, Gulf region, or the Caribbean. For the lower 48, the latest look back at July from the National Climactic Data Center is out and it was indeed an unusually cool month for much of the plains states while western states dealt with drought conditions and wildfires. With several writing projects on hand, I’ve got a full dance card…so this weeks post will be a bit on the brief side.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A very thought-provoking read on the uncertainty that is inherent in science.

Most contemporary “science” documentaries are a faint copy of anything remotely educational.

A fascinating look into the writings of Issac Newton from Cambridge University.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Fireflies (aka lightning bugs) and citizen science are a perfect match.

If you love weather and want to get involved in citizen science, CoCoRaHS is a great place to start.

The Smithsonian Museum needs citizen science volunteers for a massive digitization project.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the full NCDC overview of the US climate for July, 2014. As you can see, it was an unusual month for much of the country.

In case you missed this, I’m re-posting the link regarding changes to the Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather outlooks. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, this applies to you and is important information that you need to familiarize yourself with.

An interesting look (with reference information) on changes in western USA precipitation patterns.

Speaking of western USA precipitation, could dust ease the relentless California drought?

Forest in Europe (and likely many other regions) are showing the effects of climate change.

This is the 45th anniversary of Hurricane Camille…a rare Category 5 tropical cyclone that made landfall on the central Gulf coast. Here’s a detailed overview and a stunning photo gallery from NOAA of Camille’s aftermath.

ON A SOCIAL MEDIA MANNERS NOTE…

Earlier this week, I posted this article. Being optimistic in sustainability topics comes naturally to me as I’m excited by and very enthused at the prospects. Perhaps the article could have been written or worded differently, but I’m merely passing along information that I hope my followers will find of interest or value. One individual associated with a university took exception to the way the article was written. I’ve no problem with that, but the rebuttal was aimed at me and not the site or its author…both of whom are 100% responsible for the content…content over which I have no control. This is the case with 99% of the information that most of us share in social media. Said individual is entitled to his/her opinion, but the professional and tactful recourse would have been to contact the original creators of the article. This is a classic case of “kill the messenger.”  I try my absolute best to share articles and information that will convey information to the widest audience possible. I also try my best to keep an upbeat online demeanor but you and I well know how challenging that can be. Regardless of our “mood-of-the-day,” one thing I’ve learned from many successful social media people is branding. Not everyone is the life-of-the-party online, but some forethought and manners can go a long way. Also, our online reputation is something to be closely guarded and protected.  It says a lot about you, your friends, and everyone’s employer. Finally, while not the last word, a caveat I recommend to many…and often. I Do No Argue On The Internet.

Now that we’ve gotten that singularly unattractive business out of the way…I hope all of you have a great week and plenty of things to smile about. Life is good…and very short…it ain’t a crime to be good to yourself!

Cheers!

 

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