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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For August 15 – 29, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great start to your week. Due to several previous time-consuming commitments I’ve had to delay publishing a post by one week. The tropical Atlantic has been very busy as of late with (as of 29 August 2016) one hurricane, two tropical depressions, and an interesting tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands. Two back-to-back hurricanes are also between North American and Hawaii. Ultimately, nature has the upper hand and will do things on its own time scale which is the primary reason for preparedness…regardless of whether an immediate threat is present…or not. Having said that, it would behoove us to keep tabs on the tropics…the peak of the season has arrived. On that note, let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are the links for this post…

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Do you use WhatsApp? I’d recommend you switch to Telegram. Here’s why.

All iPhone users need to get the latest iOS update immediately.

GENERAL SCIENCE

An eye-opening reminder as to why the maps we know and love offer a very distorted view of our humble home.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

There’s a solar eclipse treat on the menu next year for much of the USA and, understandably, many folks are not a little excited.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Summers in the U.S. bring more than just searing, dangerously hot days. When there’s little air circulation and the air becomes stagnant, high levels of air pollution and increases in the level of ozone are triggered by the hot temperatures. The resulting health consequences for millions of Americans is quite significant. The Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Dallas/Fort Worth metros have had at least two “Ozone Alert Days” so far this summer.

Speaking of sizzling summer days, setting in traffic in urban areas has certain air quality hazards. Here’s a good read on how you can reduce your exposure to pollutants.

Here’s some very good renewables news. Wind power is flourishing in the USA. In fact, the first offshore wind farm in the USA is nearing completion. Unfortunately, the comments section on the latter link is exceptionally cynical.

If wind power won’t work for you, check out solar. The price of solar is declining to all-time record lows.

A disconcerting environmental science/climate read. “This year’s melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May. One NASA sea ice scientist describes this as ‘the new normal.'”

This is very exciting…not just for the USA, but the world in general. President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii. It’ll be twice the size of Texas!

Last but not least, the USA’s National Parks just celebrated their 100th anniversary. Here’s a spectacular VR trip through geologic time courtesy of NPR.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A concise overview of the recent deadly floods in Louisiana. By some accounts, the storm system responsible for the heavy rainfall was a “hurricane without the winds.”

This “no name” storm also dumped three times as much rain on Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina.

Here’s a very good read on the Louisiana flooding by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “5 Reasons Some Were Unaware Of One Of The Biggest Weather Disasters Since Sandy.”

On 24 August 2016, a localized outbreak of tornadoes occurred in parts of Indiana and Ohio. The Storm Prediction Center is now being raked over the coals for having “missed” a forecast. Did the SPC miss a forecast and, more importantly, does it matter? There’s been plenty of sophomoric “Monday morning quarterbacking” over this (the vast majority coming from amateur weather hobbyists) who think they are better qualified. I seriously doubt that. As with the hype over what was known as “Invest #99L,” nature always has the better hand and the ace up its sleeve. Dealing with a 3-D fluid that is in a constant state of change is difficult enough for day-to-day forecasting let alone a regional tornado outbreak that didn’t have all the parameters that would have given even the most seasoned forecasters a “heads up.” I can recall several instances this year alone where the SPC was absolutely spot-on in it’s forecast…but all it takes is one “miss” and the trolling begins.

A perfect example of how imagery is worth a thousand words. Take a look at the hottest weather ever visualized.

Can lightning be predicted in the same way forecasters predict precipitation?

An interesting, and irrevocable, climate science & economics connection. As our climate changes, our economies become more vulnerable. The time for economic adaptation is now.

Communities have traditionally prepared for natural disasters based on past events. Extreme weather events will now force communities to confront new climate patterns and prepare with a focus on the future.

An interesting read on the ocean-weather-climate link. “Pacific Sea Level Predicts Global Temperature Changes.”

The latest US Drought Monitor shows dry conditions persist in the western states while spreading in the southeast.

A spot-on read covering tactical capers of climate change denialists. This is anti-science mindsets at their best.

Speaking of climate change denialists, referring them as “skeptics” is disingenuous to the true meaning of skepticism.

THE QUIXOTIC

A spot 0n yet startling read by Lawrence M. Krauss. “Trump’s Anti-Science Campaign.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to give a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have new folks along with the old friends that have been a part of my online community for several years!

Cheers!

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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

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