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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For February 1 – 8, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope all of you have had a nice start to February. It’s hard to imagine that January has gone in a flash. The next thing we know, the seasons will switch places in the hemispheres and the blistering summer heat will settle in for my neck of the woods. El Nino has made quite a bit of news lately. That phenomenon, among others, are covered in this post…so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE & SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

An excellent read by Caren Cooper. “Scientists Should Talk To The Public, But Also Listen.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The demise of Flash, one of the tech banes of my existence, may come sooner than previously thought…which is a few years too late for me.

Twitter has introduced algorithms. Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING can or will come good of this, save for the shrieks of joy from fear-mongers, hypsters, and shills.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Scientists have found evidence of continental collisions in Wyoming’s Teton Range, similar to those in the Himalayas, dating to as early as 2.68 billion years ago.

Would love to see this come to fruition. “U.S. Quake Warning System Could Save Lives When Seconds Count.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A vastly underrated public health hazard. “The Truth About London’s Air Pollution.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Folks living in the United States…did you know your local National Weather Service office has Twitter and Facebook accounts and can provide you with locally tailored forecasts and weather information?

NOAA and NASA have teamed up to study the current El Nino, one of the strongest on record.

Whoever thought that, in the middle of California’s historic drought, a little bit of El Nino induced rain could pose a problem?

It should come as no surprise that southern England’s floods in 2014 were linked to climate change.

Yet another weather event that has been linked to climate change…the Missouri, USA floods of December, 2015.

The drought that has plagued the western USA for some time now is rapidly becoming a new way of life.

At the other end of the rain/drought spectrum, residents in Yorkshire, England are dealing with the brutal aftermath and immense psychological stress of recent flooding.

A “tip-of-the-hat” to Pope Francis for not kowtowing to either special interests or the anti-science crowd and producing this well done video on caring for the only home our species will ever know.

 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 fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 6 – 14, 2015

There’s been a wide variety of stories this week, but the big news has been the COP21 Paris Agreement Climate Talks. Though the agreement could have more teeth to it, it’s a start…and the quicker we start being proactive regarding climate change, the better. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Check out this very cool science quiz from the inimitable folks at Science Friday!

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Nothing good can come of this. Twitter is seriously looking into sorting tweets by “presumed relevance” rather than chronological order. The shills would have a field day with this.

Why do people get “unfriended” or “unfollowed” in social media? Here’s an interesting take that focuses on Facebook.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out “Season Spotter” which is a citizen science project that helps identify how climate change effects trees and plants.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Fascinating astronomy read about scientists watching a planet being born.

A “ghost from the past” revisits the early days of the Milky Way.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Air you can cut with a knife and can kill you…literally. Beijing recently issued their first-ever “Red Alert” for horrid air pollution.

Due to the spread of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency improvements, a recent study hints at hope in reducing global CO2 emissions.

One of the most troubling mysteries about sea level rise may have just been solved.

A very sobering yet beautiful view of a glacier’s vanishing act.

It should come as no surprise than a recent undercover Greenpeace investigation, “suggests that fossil fuel companies secretly funnel money into prominent scientists’ pockets to manufacture doubt about mainstream climate change science.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a detailed look at the latest NOAA State Of The Climate report.

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The COP21 closing comments by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

A nice info-graphic on key points of COP21.

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I couldn’t have said this better myself. “The opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser (“Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate” Nov. 27, 2015) is riddled with false statements, cherry-picked evidence and misleading assertions about climate science, according to an evaluation by a dozen scientists.”

On a positive note, there are reasons to smile about the Paris climate talks.

Earlier in the Paris climate talks, many wondered what would a strong climate pact look like?

Once ignored, this is a one way street in which backing up is not an option.

Astronauts (past and present) are sending a very clear message about climate change.

The vicious circle of water scarcity and climate change can no longer be ignored.

Speaking of water scarcity, this is what climate change looks like when viewing mountains with little snow.

An excellent read on a not-so-new science. Climatology (the study of climates) has been around for quite some time. So have concerns over global warming and climate change.

The autumn of 2015 will go into the record books as the warmest autumn yet on record for the contiguous USA.

A very important article on building code improvements based on studies done after the Joplin, MO, USA tornado of 22 May 2011.

Do women and men have differing views on climate change? Absolutely.

The two key points about climate change that “skeptics” (aka deniers) always miss.

Why do many United States citizens remain skeptical of climate change in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence? The answer is more within psychology than climatology.

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@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/

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 22 – 29, 2015

For much of North America, it’s been summer as usual. One notable exception is the ridge of high pressure that has parked itself over the southern plains and, for the time being, has no intentions of moving. With a rich supply of Gulf moisture, the dew points combined with temperatures in the upper 90’sF have created potentially dangerous heat indexes near or above 110F. In conditions like that, the body can easily be overcome by heat…even in people who are in the best of physical condition. As for the tropics, the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet for the time being. But, it’s still very early in the hurricane season. We’re nowhere close to reaching the climatological peak. While the tropics are quiet, this is an excellent time to make sure your emergency kit is in order.

Here’s a big “thank you” to all the folks who’ve given me positive feedback about this blog and my decision (for the time being) to make it a more concise post. Like many of you, I’ve many simultaneous projects in progress, each with its own unique demands, requirements, and deadlines. On that note…

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson explain literally everything in the universe…and, in under 8 minutes!

BIOLOGICAL/MEDICAL SCIENCE

A fascinating read on a brutal fact of injuries suffered in the 22 May 2011 Joplin, MO tornado: Soil Dwelling Fungus Rode Joplin Tornado To Unexpected Human Home.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very interesting and eye-opening look at many modes of social media and/or messaging from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. To no one’s surprise, many of the most popular items are to be trusted the least.

One of the most annoying facts of online culture is the tendency of website designers to block password managers. “Websites, Pleas Stop Blocking Password Managers. It’s 2015.” Trust me, if there’s anything that will induce me to not revisit your site, it’s the blocking of password managers.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

When the storm has passed and it becomes yesterday’s news, most of the populace assumed things are back the normal. If anything, the contrary to that delusion is the long-term truth. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, et al. all have the same brutal psychological effects on many of the people dealing with the aftermath.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Oklahoma has a new claim to fame…and it’s nothing to do with tornadoes. Shake, frack, and roll!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A very good read from the USGS: “How Much Water Is There On, In, And Above The Earth?” Interesting to note that, “The vast majority of water on the Earth’s surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This was quite a popular story this past week, but the phenomenon isn’t uncommon. In fact, bugs, bats, birds, smoke, cold fronts, outflow boundaries, etc. are easily picked up on doppler radar and, depending on the time of day and season, is quite commonly seen.

If you missed the Tornado Forecasting Workshop this spring with Rich Thompson, you can watch them on YouTube here.

Is asking “How much rain will it take to end the drought?” too simplistic? Quite often it is.

Tornadoes occur round the world on many continents. They’re no stranger to Sweden, but it’s very rare for the Lapland region to see tornadoes in a region this far north.

Finally, I’d like to welcome my new followers…I’m really glad you’re along for the fun. Tornado Quest covers a plethora of geoscience topics that will be of interest to many. We’re here for the long haul too…so stick around for some very cool things we have in the works.

Cheers!

National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Technical Investigation of Joplin, MO Tornado (492 page PDF File) #mowx

There’s no doubt that the Joplin, MO tornado of 22 May 2011 was a watershed event in 21st century USA weather history. A triple digit death toll had not been seen in the USA since 1953. Since then, spotter networks, improvements in radar and warning technology had reduced the overall death tolls dramatically. In light of the 3 May 1999 Bridge Creek/Moore/OKC tornado, much speculation was generated about the potential death tolls that could result from a violent, long-track EF-4 or EF-5 moving through a large metropolitan area such as Dallas/Ft. Worth. Many people, including yours truly, assumed it would take a direct hit for a triple digit death toll to occur in contemporary society. Only then, the death tolls could possibly top 100 or more. The Joplin, MO event was a dramatic wake up call that it didn’t take a large metropolitan area suffering a direct hit from a violent tornado for a 100+ fatality death toll to occur. The Joplin metro has a population of roughly 50,000 yet had a death toll of 161 from a violent EF-5 that moved through the city during a late Sunday afternoon.

The NIST has released a technical investigation of the Joplin tornado event. While rather technical, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the atmospheric or earth sciences. A word of caution; this is a large 492 page PDF file. The download time, depending on your internet connection and computer, may take some time. Regardless, it’s a worthwhile read with a wealth of information.

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