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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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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Feb. 22 – 29, 2016

Greetings to all! I hope everyone’s had an enjoyable week. Across North America, winter is winding down to a certain degree, but not without a recent spate of severe weather that, unfortunately, left several fatalities from tornadoes from Louisiana to Virginia over a two-day period. In spite of the calendar saying it’s still “winter,” severe weather knows no season…and there’s a plethora of examples of how severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can occur in the United States from January 1st to December 31st. On that note, let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

An excellent read on the hazards of the online world. “Your Virtual Friendships Come With Privacy Risks.”

A very interesting look at ten surprising ways NASA technology has improved our standard of living and life on Earth.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An intriguing read on astronomers narrowing the search for “Planet Nine” in our solar system.

Check out this spectacular NASA video of a year in the life of our Sun.

A spectacular look at the rings of Saturn.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

In North America’s driest place, millions of yellow flowers are blanketing parts of Death Valley.

Which country has the worst air pollution? The answer surprises many people.

Bra gjort, Norge! 🙂 “Norway announces plans for Europe’s largest onshore wind farm

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’ve not seen the new NOAA website, take a look. It’s very, very nice!

Do you have a new NOAA weather radio with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)? Here’s a list of state-by-state SAME codes for you to help with programming.

Interested in becoming a Skywarn spotter for your local National Weather Service? Here’s what you need to know.

Speaking of learning about weather, here’s a nice beginner’s page on reading synoptic weather charts.

A spectacular video of a trio of waterspouts over Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain on 23 February 2016.

Heat waves that were, back in the day a rare occurrence, could become the annual norm.

A look at climates past and present. The ice on Antarctica could be headed for a major meltdown.

Another very interesting look at the comparisons of climates past and present.

As tropical cyclone Winston weakened in the Pacific, NASA took some amazing views of a very potent storm.

Unfortunately, it’s not science that frequently guides acceptance or rejection of climate science.

For many denialists, this is the modus operandi. “What’s the easiest way to show the world isn’t warming? Simple: ignore the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels.”

Another example of climate denialism run amok as West Virginia, USA lawmakers push hard to block new science standards in schools.

Sadly, the climate change denialists that I referred to in the two previous posts will gladly stick their heads in the sand when faced with a case for optimism on climate change.

Last but definitely not least, here’s some potentially life-saving information on flood safety from the National Weather Service. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

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

Cheers!

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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 More For August 19 – 26, 2015

Perhaps the biggest news this week is the tropical cyclone activity in both the Pacific and Atlantic. We’re coming into the statistical “peak” of activity, so expect to hear quite a bit about one, and possibly more, storms in progress. Most eyes in North America are on Erika which, as of this post, is at tropical storm strength and expected to not intensify until sometime during the coming weekend. There are too many “cons” in the mix at the current time. While Erika bears watching, there’s no need for panic, falling victim to hyperbole, or taking anything seriously that’s spread by fear mongers…especially in the social media arena. Perhaps the best message behind the formation of Erika, and other tropical cyclones round the world, is the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit at the ready. Ready.gov has a great place to start with the basics. From there, you can move on to tailor your kit for your specific needs. The time to prepare is now…not when the National Hurricane Center is telling everyone in dire straits that any emergency preparedness actions should be rushed to completion. That’s a nice way of saying, “You’re out of time…and luck.”

With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, much of this week’s post will mostly focus on that event.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

In order to get girls more interested in computer science (or any science field for that matter), the classrooms need to be less “geeky” i.e. more gender neutral.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A very nice Citizen Science Essay on the power of the crowd.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Of the many long-term dimensions of climate change, the increasing risk of wildfires is one of the most daunting.

When firefighters speak out on climate change, it would behoove us to listen up very carefully.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE/HURRICANE KATRINA

If you thought July, 2015 was hot, you were right. Based on NOAA data, it was the warmest month ever for our humble home.

Among many fields of science, it’s time for the health care industry to raise its voice on climate change.

A very telling read on climate change “skepticism” if you will…”Here’s What Happens When You Try To Replicate Climate Contrarian Papers.”

California isn’t the only state plagued by an ongoing drought. Much of Europe has been plagued by drought and heat waves as of late.

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the central USA Gulf Coast. Here’s just one of many essays that ask an essential question. “What have we learned?”

An excellent overview from NASA on the scientific advancements in the last ten years and their relation to Hurricane Katrina.

From a public policy perspective, what has changed since Hurricane Katrina?

A retrospective on Hurricane Katrina from the National Weather Service offices in New Orleans, LA & Mobile, AL.

Here’s a very comprehensive Tropical Cyclone Report from the National Hurricane Center on Katrina. (43 page PDF file)

Is the coastline of the USA becoming more vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes? Absolutely…and it’s getting worse year by year.

Last, but not least, a very good read for anyone, especially storm chasers and/or “social mediarologists” seeking fame & followers by giving your storm images away for free. “Why Giving Permission Is Costing You A Small Fortune…” I see this happening online countless times during the year, with an alarming uptick in frequency during the height of the storm chasing frenzy. The very basis for this essay is also the reason why I stopped posting any images from my storm chasing expeditions back in 1998…and have no plans on sharing any in the future.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this week! Here’s a hearty “welcome” to any and all new followers! Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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