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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 March 7 – 14, 2016

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 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

A Badly Needed Social Media Vacation And Sacking Windows 10

After several weeks of marathon late nights on various social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.) it was painfully obvious that I needed a social media break. Let’s keep this short, sweet, and to the point. I highly recommend everyone take a social media vacation every so often if for no other reason than to recharge your batteries. It’s also a good time to reflect and take a retrospective view of your own social media presence and where you want it to go. It’s also time to realize certain outlets/platforms (Twitter being a good example) are in a bit of an instability mode at the present time. Google+, in spite of my best hopes, is all but cratered…no thanks to Facebook. Social media takes work, an appreciation of diversity, non-conventional/traditional viewpoints, and sharing information because you care about your audience…not because one is a shill or flapping the wings to get attention and followers. Time away from social media gives me a change to recharge, reevaluate, and re-inspire myself to the very serious (and often daunting) task of commitment to an online presence even when there’s not much going on. Now that I’m refreshed, I’m ready for renewed vigor and plenty of things to share. Soon, I’ll be starting my seventh year on Twitter and have no plans of slowing down. For my other social media accounts, some of which have existed for at least five years, the best is yet to come. Taking that “social media vacation” was just the right elixir in just the right amount. I highly recommend it to all.

The best is NOT yet to come for Windows 10. I downloaded the “latest and greatest” when it was first available. Fortunately, this was on an older machine that I was using as the “guinea pig” for this escapade. I’ll not bore you with several articles regarding privacy issues (there are dozens of them addressing the same issues) so we can pass over that. My main issue with Windows 10 is the overall instability that exists with the operating system at this time. From my perspective, this is Microsoft’s last-ditch attempt to keep a desktop OS alive…which is a real shame since I prefer the desktop environment over all others. Most of my monitors (even the one I use with my Dell laptop) are in the 24″ – 27″ range. In laptops, I won’t consider anything under 15″. For the general consumer who checks email and posts the occasional social media post, a tablet may be just grand, but manufacturers of both hardware and OS will be overlooking a large segment of their consumer base if they think everyone’s going to use nothing else than an 8″ tablet. If you absolutely must have Windows 10, by all means knock yourself out. Happy with Windows 7 or 8.1? Please keep it. If your experience will be anything like mine, you’ll be much happier. After seventeen days (yes, I know that’s not long) I couldn’t stand watching and tweaking the train wreck anymore and, for this workhorse, went back to Windows 8.1. I know there will be plenty of folks eager to jump in and will have a good user experience. Hopefully that will be the case with most of you. Otherwise, IMHO…proceed with extreme caution.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Aug. 5 – 12, 2015

Greetings to all. I hope your summer (for my Northern Hemisphere followers) is going well and you’re handling the heat as well as possible. It may be the middle of August, but with the amount of daylight decreasing daily along with lowering “average” high temperatures, there are hints that autumn is just around the corner. In fact, for the N. Hemisphere, the meteorological autumn starts on September 1st. Nothing magical happens at the stroke of midnight on September 1st, it’s simply an easier way to “compartmentalize” the months of the year for statistical climatological purposes. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is literally on the doorstep. From this week until late September, the probabilities of Atlantic tropical cyclone formation increase dramatically. For the time being, a combination of dry air over the Atlantic along with wind shear (strong winds increasing in speed and direction with height) are not allowing any storms to organize. This will only be a temporary setup and the current calm scenario can and will change. For those who live in areas vulnerable to Atlantic tropical cyclones, this is an excellent time to make sure your emergency preparedness kits and plans are in place. Are you ready?

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very nice essay on a phenomenon that is one of the biggest irritants of my online experience (aka…adverts & pop-ups). “The Ethics Of Modern Web Ad-Blocking.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

How many American’s are vulnerable to earthquakes? The numbers are surprisingly high.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

How about some awesome renewables news. “The US Wind Energy Boom Couldn’t Come At A Better Time.”

This has to be seen to be believed. “Millions Of ‘Shade Balls” Protect LA’s Water During Drought.” Naturally my first question is, “Are these plastic spheres recyclable and/or reusable?”

This article’s focus is on the UK, but it applies to countless large metro areas around the world.

Why is the USA turning to renewable energy? When it comes to even strictly economics, the answer is obvious.

A desert is a desert is a desert, right? Truth be known, there are several kinds of deserts with vastly different ecosystems.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An excellent read that puts to the trash bin a common misconception. “Corrected Sunspot History Suggests Climate Change Not Due to Natural Solar Trends.”

You’ve probably seen this before, but there’s no time like the present to add this to your bookmarks. NWS Heat Safety Tips.

NOAA is quite confident that this year will be a relatively quiet hurricane season for the tropical Atlantic. But, the caveat is the fact that it only takes one land-falling hurricane to make it seem otherwise.

I can think of far worse places to live than Minneapolis, but by some accounts, the Twin Cities is rated as least desirable in climate ranking. When climate change is added to the equation, cities all across North America will be vastly different from they are now.

If climate change wasn’t bad enough, four of the worst insect pests known to the human species will thrive…unfortunately.

Central and eastern Europe has been roasting in a recent heat wave that can hold its own to anything seen in the USA’s southern plains.

Check out this amazing new series of maps from NOAA. This is the kind of site you can spend far too much time looking at…even if you’re not a weather geek.

This dashcam video from Taiwan is a perfect example of how ANY vehicle can be swept away by even the most modest tornadoes. IMHO, judging by the speed of water vapor in the vortex, the type of debris lofted, and behavior of buildings and vegetation, I’d rate this tornado no stronger than a robust EF-1 or a very weak EF-2…ergo…NO vehicle is safe in ANY tornado.

A bit of weather and engineering…ever wonder how a skyscraper stays intact during a typhoon/hurricane…or any high wind storm for that matter? Me too.

And that’s a wrap for this post! Here’s a hearty “welcome”  to my new followers. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. 🙂

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Twitter.

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For May 19 – 26, 2015

Multiple rounds of severe weather and flash flooding have made for a long and busy week for weather folks, from National Weather Service meteorologists, to broadcast meteorologists, and Skywarn spotters such as yours truly. Documenting the aftermath of storms, data as well as damage, is very time consuming as well…hence the (once again) brief post this week.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

An amazing graphic. “The Trillion Fold Increase In Computing Power, Visualized.”

An interesting read that many should take note of. “Five Things You Should Never Share On Social Media.”

The internet is an incredible place with a wealth of information and beneficial social networking. It’s also fertile ground for the visceral underbelly. Instances of nefarious behavior such as this are one of many reasons Tornado Quest has a very thorough Social Media Policy.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science is incredibly amazing since it can make most anyone a scientist.

Some citizen science and atmospheric science in this article. “Weathernews Inc Acquires Weathermob To Build The Future Of Crowdsourced Forecasts.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Our planet Earth has its own flag…and it’s quite a beauty!

If a proposed ban against a ban isn’t an example of dysfunctional Sooner state government, I don’t know what is. Like some more earthquakes, Oklahoma?

How do you keep wind turbines turning? The key is in careful spacing.

Here’s a very handy and informative guide to recycling household items.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

In consideration of the ongoing and dangerous flash flooding in much of the plains states, here’s the link to NOAA’s Turn Around, Don’t Drown flood safety website.

Latest US Drought Monitor shows significant drought improvement over portions of Oklahoma and Texas, but the status quo continues for California and Nevada.

Here’s some very nice “drone” video of tornado damage done in Broken Arrow, OK on 16 May 2015.

How does climate change stack up against other worst case scenarios? Take a look and consider the alternatives.

Couldn’t have written this better myself. “As Pope Francis prepares to deliver a powerful message on climate change, deniers are beginning to realize they haven’t got a prayer.

The impacts of El Nino are felt worldwide…and some areas suffer more than others.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d like to extend a sincere “welcome” to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Tornado Quest can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Once again…glad you’re here! Stick around…we’re here for the long haul.  🙂

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 30 – April 6, 2015

The severe weather season has kicked into full swing across much of the great plains. So far there have been only a few events, but we’ve still the busiest and most active months ahead. Due to this week’s pending severe weather, this post will be shorter than usual. I’ve also addressed the current severe weather setup for this week in other posts.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/PUBLIC SCIENCE POLICY

A very good…and most timely…read on the hard-hitting realities that exist whether we want to believe them or not. “Why Scientific Truth May Hurt.”

A though-provoking read on what the climate movement must learn from religion.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The CoCoRaHS “Hail Week” runs from April 6 – 11. 2015. Learn how to measure and collect hail…and then report it when it does make an occasional visit to your location.

TECHNOLOGY

A nice article on my favorite search engine which, in the process of competing with Google has also tripled it’s growth.

PHYSICS

After a two-year hiatus, the Large Hadron Collider is back in action and more powerful than before.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

When it hits home, it hits harder. “Poll: Americans Starting to Worry About Climate Change Now That It Affects Their Lawns.”

No surprise here. The California drought is testing the limits of unfettered, unregulated, and endless growth.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a look at the latest US Drought Monitor. Conditions in California have remain steady as mandatory water rationing goes into effect. Extreme/exceptional conditions across Oklahoma and Texas actually worsened.

While on the topic of drought, the California drought saga continues.

This is a climactic “smoking gun” if there ever was one. “Thawing Permafrost Could Be The Worst Climate Threat You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Some good news from the National Weather Service. Impact-based warnings are becoming more commonplace across the nation.

A new technique in flood forecasting could prove beneficial for any populated area near a coastal area.

Emergency management officials are understandably concerned about the growing public complacency towards hurricane hazards.

Here’s a very nice graphic from the National Weather Service in Kansas City via the Oklahoma Mesonet that explains the recent changes to the Storm Prediction Center’s Convective Outlooks.

A very nice retrospective look back at the April 3-4, 1974 tornado Superoutbreak.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d also like to welcome my new followers! Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 29, 2014 – Jan. 6, 2015

By now, most of you have had your fill of “new year wishes” but bear with me and allow me to indulge in one more. To all my loyal followers…old and new…I’d like to wish you a great 2015. In spite of the fact that New Year’s Eve is one of the most overblown “holidays” of the year, let’s learn what we can from our mistakes and/or miscalculations in 2014 and look to the future. It’s my sincere hope that lady luck flies in close to all of us on each perilous mission we take. This year will also be a pivotal one in terms of climate change, sustainable lifestyles, renewable sources of energy, space exploration, and so much more.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’ve got the means, you can take part in the world’s biggest high altitude balloon flight.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Deleting yourself from the internet grid isn’t easy, but here are some tips on how to get started.

When a Google search isn’t enough, there are alternatives.

If you’re browsing in private mode, it may not be as private as you think.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A 3.9 billion year old meteorite from Mars is giving insight into that planet’s history.

How would this rate on the Enhanced Fujita Scale? The Hubble telescope has peered into the depths of our Milky Way galaxy and discovered a point where an eruption drove gases outwards at 2 million miles per hour.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Being a sustainability optimist, I can’t help but share this good essay. “9 Reasons Not To Be Depressed About The Planet.”

Dont’ toss that dried up Christmas tree in the trash. Here are four ways to recycle your tree for wildlife.

Speaking of Christmas, how is it possible to recycle Christmas lights?

Any good news is always welcome on the environmental science front. Here are ten reasons to be encouraged that environmental progress was made in 2014.

On the downside, the news regarding sea levels isn’t good.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

From the fine folks at NCAR/UCAR, a look back at their top ten stories of 2014.

Most of us have always heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Here’s an interesting look at a new perspective on snowflake formation.

As the final data from 2014 comes in, it’s looking more and more likely that last year was the warmest ever for our planet. The Japanese Meteorological Agency has solid data.

The Guardian has their take on the last best chance to reach an agreement on cutting carbon emissions.

Good tips on how to become a climate change activist.

Here’s a “spot-on” read…”18 Scientists And What They Actually Think About Climate Change.”

Sir David Attenborough: Climate change threatens humanity – but those in power deny it. Why? It’s easier (and more profitable) that way.

Not even the Pope is immune to the rants of climate change denialists.

Why isn’t Greenland…green? It’s partially climate, partially geology.

Finally, 2014 will go down as the year Oklahoma had the fewest tornadoes since official records began in 1950. Considering the brutal beatings from tornadoes the Sooner state has taken in the last 15 years, who in their right mind would complain?

That’s a wrap for this post…

Cheers!

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