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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For January 3 – 13, 2017

Greetings everyone! This has been a wild weather week across much of the western USA with California getting tons of snow, more than enough rainfall to put a dent in much of the drought stricken areas, and even an EF-0 tornado near Sacramento. Much of the midwest is bracing for an ice storm and, as of this date (13 January 2017) Ice Storm Warnings are in effect from the northeast Texas panhandle across Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and even into west-central Illinois. As usual, there’s a plethora of other topics to cover. On a personal level, it’s been a “full dance card” week for me with many projects that led me to delay this week’s post. On that note, let’s get started…

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Excellent read from American Scientist magazine on nurturing scientific literacy among the general public. What is meant by ‘scientific literacy?’

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a fascinating story of a man who, in search of a quiet existence in a remote area, inadvertently had a significant effect on climate change science.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read about researchers getting the first look at a very rare kind of galaxy.

A recent study found evidence that the Earth’s moon is older than scientists thought…millions of years earlier than previously believed.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

An idea that, for the sake of our future generations, should come to fruition. “How To Save $23 Trillion Per Year: 100% Renewable Energy For The World.”

Good advice to get the new year started off right. “All too often environmentalism is about stopping doing something, but maybe it’s time to be more active and start doing something instead?”

As of late, the air pollution in China has literally become lethal in nature. This article explains why their air pollution is on the rise again.

China isn’t the only country struggling with severe air pollution problems. Just five days into 2017, London has breached its annual air pollution limit.

Those of us in Oklahoma know all too well what Trump’s EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is capable of. Now, the rest of the country has the chance to find out for themselves.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An interesting read on a study that says the frequency of large-scale tornado outbreaks is increasing in the USA, particularly when it comes to the most extreme events. A link to the original study is included.

Tornadoes in California? You bet. On 10 January 2017, the Sacramento area was visited by an EF-0 tornado.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows over 20% of the contiguous USA is experiencing drought conditions. Recent rain and snowfall throughout the southern states should provide relief that will be evident on the next Drought Monitor.

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There’s often a great deal of confusion about winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings. This NWS infographic has got you covered.

winter-weather-watch-warning-advisory-infographic

Are you prepared for an ice storm? If you’re in the areas under an Ice Storm Warning, all the preparations in this info-graphic (courtesy of the St. Louis, MO National Weather Service) should be rushed to completion.

are-you-prepared-for-an-ice-storm

While it may sound bizarre, you can have a blizzard even when it’s not snowing.

In 2016, a total of 121 flood related deaths occurred in the USA. This map from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center gives a state-by-state breakdown. High death tolls in West Virginia were due to June floods, Texas deaths from flooding in late May.

2016-usa-flood-deaths-map

Just when you thought the new year couldn’t get off to a more bizarre start. “House Science Committee’s Twitter Account Is Now Just Another Climate Science Denial Troll.”

While not necessarily representative of the whole of American society, this survey gives an informative ‘snapshot’ of the daunting challenges atmospheric scientists are up against when trying to convey climate science to the general public.

Another challenge is conveying the risk of climate change to the public. A recent World Economic Forum report ranks climate change and associated environmental factors as the greatest risk facing humanity.

Here’s a disconcerting ‘must-read’ on the anti-science crusade that continues to build steam in the USA. “The Congressional Attack On Science.”

A concise overview from the Capital Weather Gang of ten extreme weather events outside of the USA that killed thousands and cost untold billions during 2016.

In the Antarctic, an ice shelf is breaking up from the inside out. The ice shelf is bigger than New York’s Long Island and when it breaks off, it could result in global sea level rise that threatens many large cities close to the world’s coasts.

THOUGHT PROVOKING

Last but not least, when asked about death and the ‘afterlife,’ astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gives a spot on answer that is particularly enlightening.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome all 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 More For September 19 – 27, 2016

Greetings and happy Autumnal Equinox to folks in the Northern Hemisphere! If you’re south of the equator,  I hope your start to the spring season has gotten off to a grand start. There’s plenty of science news to peruse this week, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter could be going up for sale in the near future. Considering its my primary social media outlet, I’m watching this unfold with great interest and not a little concern.

Here’s an excellent read that you should take very seriously. “66 Ways To Protect Your Privacy Right Now.”

The FBI recommends that you cover up the webcam on your computer…and for a very good reason.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An interesting new perspective. “Scientists Confirm The Universe Has No Direction.”

A very intriguing read on Jupiter’s moon Europa and some of the newest “secrets” discovered.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Here’s an example of recycling at its best! Check out this table made from plastic pollution that’s found in our oceans.

A very concise overview of the causes behind wildfires.

According to recent World Health Organization data, over 90% of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Frustrated by political inaction, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, didn’t mince words as to the immediate climate threat and published an open letter regarding climate change.

While ozone is unhealthy at ground level, it’s presence in our upper atmosphere is crucial. Here’s an excellent read on how and why ozone is measured from space.

A very impressive data set! “Longest historic temperature record stretches back 2 million years.”

Getting priorities straight with bipartisan support at home and cooperation with other countries is the most satisfactory path to dealing with climate change.

Is extreme weather driven by climate change costing USA citizens a lot of money? You bet it is. Current estimates tally a total upwards of $67 Billion US dollars.

Speaking of priorities, science is perhaps the only self-correcting field of study…and climate scientists are giving us fair warning that it’s time to recalculate the math on climate change.

“President Obama signed a presidential memorandum establishing that climate-change impacts must be factored into the development of all national security-related doctrine, policies and plans.” For the USA, this is good news. Like it or not, climate change has become an important part of national and foreign policy.

Here’s important information for folks who are deaf or hard of hearing and need important NOAA Weather Radio watches, warnings, and other important weather information.

The Autumnal Equinox arrived earlier this week for the Northern Hemisphere. Here are answers to the five most common questions regarding this annual event.

A lightning bolt in Oklahoma has been deemed the world’s longest…just under 200 miles in length!

Let’s hope this comes to fruition. “Senate Weather Bill That Supports Forecast Improvement Can Benefit All Americans.”

Can climate change deniers be some of the world’s most efficient contrary contrarians? According to this article, I’d answer that question in the affirmative.

Finally, a spot on info-graphic from Dr. Marshall Shepherd that should help you out when you’re dogged with that sophomoric statement about being “wrong half the time.”

cs9hjuexeaanjgp-jpg-largeI can recall many occasions where the Storm Prediction Center has been absolutely hitting the bull’s eye with severe weather outlooks…but if they’re off a bit (as happened a few weeks ago), you’d think it was the end of western civilization as we know it whilst people are calling for heads to roll. Much of the general public isn’t aware of the intricacies of weather forecasting and doesn’t comprehend the fact that dealing with a three-dimensional fluid that is in a never-ending state of erratic flux is one of the most daunting challenges a meteorologist/climatologist/weather hobbyist/storm chaser faces.

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!

Cheers!

————————————————————————————

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For Dec. 14 – 21, 2015

There’s a rather seasonably warm holiday week on tap for much of North America. Normally, many areas would be seeing a white Christmas holiday, but not this year. Still plenty of news on the recent Paris Agreement COP21 is making the rounds and will for some time to come. Often the best thoughts are compiled in hindsight. And, for my followers in the Northern Hemisphere, I’d like to wish you a Happy Winter Solstice!

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A woman with a most daunting task. “Meet America’s Anti-Anti-Science Crusader.”

TECHNOLOGY

Just one more reason to stick with Firefox, et al. “Microsoft Edge has inherited many of Internet Explorer’s security holes.”

ICYMI: A nice review of the best secure mobile messaging apps in 2015.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool NOAA led project on climate research that includes citizen scientists.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

Did dinosaurs evolve slowly, or arise in the blink of an eye? Recent research suggests the latter.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

On Christmas Day 2015, we’ll be treated to a full moon…the first to occur on the holiday since 1977.

Views of our humble home are always awe-inspiring. “NASA Captures EPIC Views Of Earth.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

This will be of particular interest to folks in Oklahoma. A new technique can tell if earthquakes are natural or man-made.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

This should come as no surprise. “Exposure to nature linked to stronger communities and reduced crime.”

The latest US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement across much of the contiguous USA with (the status quo) of California, Nevada, and Oregon holding tight to drought conditions.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Much of the contiguous USA just had a record-breaking wildfire season. Are there links to climate change?

Speaking of breaking records, 2015 is definitely one for the record books with, according to NOAA data, November, autumn, and year-t0-date all being the hottest on record for Earth.

Fascinating read on weather forecasting and computer model use. “Clouds, computers, and the coming storms.”

A good read from Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “So Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About The Strong Polar Vortex.”

Unfortunately, pollution from planes and ships were left out of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

Depending on who you ask, climate change may or may not be a national security risk for the USA.

The recent Paris Agreement gives out a strong message and not a few signals that climate change deniers are a dying breed.

Take a look at these rare Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds recently photographed in Utah, USA.

Star Wars fans will be interested in this: The Science Of Weather In Star Wars.

THE QUIXOTIC

Well, if this doesn’t beat all (at least this week) for ludicrous paranoia. Some folks in North Carolina have their knickers in a twist over solar energy farms they fear will, “suck all the energy from the sun.” Like a tin-foil hat with that?

That’s a wrap for this post! Again, for those celebrating, have a good holiday!

Cheers!

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

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For September 30 – October 7, 2015

Two big stories have dominated the North American weather news this week. The first event is Hurricane Joaquin which, as of this post, is still an ongoing event. Joaquin peaked in intensity on 3 October 2015 when it briefly reached maximum sustained winds just under the Category 5 threshold making it the most intense tropical cyclone of the Atlantic 2015 season to date. The other big story, which could have been made worse if Joaquin had made landfall on the eastern USA coast, is the historic flooding in North and South Carolina. The Charleston, South Carolina region was hit particularly hard. While flooding often doesn’t appear as “devastating” as substantial wind damage, it can be just as (if not more) deadly and force residents into years of recovery and rebuilding. One only has to look at areas of New Orleans, Louisiana to see this. Some areas of the “Big Easy” have yet to recover a full decade after Katrina slammed ashore in 2005. The deadliest natural disaster in the history of Tulsa, Oklahoma is not a tornado, but the Memorial Day flash flooding event of May, 1984 in which 14 fatalities occurred. Flooding kills more people every year than all other weather related phenomenon combined. Unfortunately, its dangers are highly underrated by much of the general public until they meet it head on. Only then does the stark realization occur that floods can be just as devastating to life and property as a major hurricane or violent tornado. On the brighter side, this week is the National Weather Service’s “Did You Know” week which is going on to help inform the general public about the many facets and benefits the NWS provides to our quality of life. You’ll likely see many posts on Twitter from your local NWS office with the hashtag #NWSDYK.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

An excellent essay on the benefits of citizen science. “Science Of The People, By The People, And For The People.”

A reminder to download the free mPING weather app you can use year round regardless of where you live and contribute to weather research. “The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory is collecting public weather reports through a free app available for smart phones or mobile devices. The app is called “mPING,” for Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground.” This app also has a very, very small “footprint” so it won’t be gobbling up a ton of space on your smart phone.

If you’re into citizen science and astronomy, you need to check out this new collaboration.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

New high-resolution photos of Pluto’s moon Charon show that it’s so ugly, it’s positively beautiful.

NASA has just released over 8,400 Apollo moon mission photos online…and they are spectacular.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

Perhaps the most cynical and imprimatur hyperbole on recycling I’ve ever read. “The Reign of Recycling.” When short-term profits supersede long-term environmental benefits, we’ve made no progress…and the author and New York Times have no problem with condoning such irresponsibility. Fortunately here’s a spot-on rebuttal that slays the arguments put forth in the NYT article.

Robots could (and should) make sorting recycling materials safer.

Indoor air quality is just as important as the air we breathe outside. Here’s some handy tips on how to improve indoor air quality on a budget.

The USA is gaining ground in the use of renewable energy but in some respects, has a great deal of catching up to do.

There’s a surprisingly cold “blob” of water in the north Atlantic. What’s causing that?

It happened once, it  can happen again. “Scientists say an ancient mega-tsunami hurled boulders nearly as high as the Eiffel Tower.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’ve not checked out the National Weather Service’s Enhanced Data Display, you should take a peek. It’s a fantastic source of weather information for the general public, pilots, emergency managers, and more.

NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory has a very cool way to view weather conditions worldwide in an interactive site that’s well worth checking out.

This article, written early in the life cycle of Hurricane Joaquin, poignantly expresses the frustrating forecasting scenarios that so often plague meteorologists.

During Hurricane Joaquin’s early stages, the European forecast model was more accurate at one stage than the American model. What does that mean for weather forecasting?

What caused the recent record-setting rainfall in South Carolina? Here’s a nice overview that explains everything you need to know.

My fellow weather geeks will enjoy this NPR story. “What’s At The Edge Of A Cloud?”

Fortunately, there’s a reason or two for feeling optimistic about the upcoming Paris climate change summit.

While some recent documented gains in Antarctic ice may offset losses, there’s no reason to celebrate. The deniers will likely jump on this story, but their own workplace climate is changing.

There’s no “grey’s” or uncertainties about this. “No Doubt About it: People Who Mislead The Public About Climate Change Are Deniers.”

Speaking of melting ice and glaciers, the Mont Blanc glacier in the French alps isn’t what it used to be and is France’s most visible symbol of climate change.

The high price of reckless disregard for solid climate science. “The Cost Of Doing Nothing Hit $400 Trillion.”

THE QUIXOTIC

When public servants run out of constructive projects to benefit society and the quality of life, they do what they do best…especially if they’re threatened by science. Start a witch-hunt.

That’s a wrap for this post!

A quick “Thank You” and “Welcome” to my new followers on social media. It’s nice to have you here. I’m in this for the long haul, so the fun is just getting started.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest on Instagram

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

 

 

 

Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2015

Summer is still firmly entrenched across much of North America. In fact, for the southern plains, we’ve just reached the climatological period for peak average high temperatures. The good news is that after the first week in August, there’s a slow decline in high temperatures to look forward to. We’ve many more weeks of hot, humid weather on tap, but hang on. Autumn will be here before we know it. The tropical Atlantic has been quiet so far…but we’re coming to the peak of climatological activity for the hurricane season. This is as good a time as any to make sure you’re prepared before it’s too late. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Spot on. “Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A calls scientific illiteracy a tragedy of our times.”

A very handy read from American Scientist on the most daunting task science writers (like yours truly) face more often than not…making science comprehensible for the general public.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this amazing image from NASA and the ISS silhouetted against the moon.

Fascinating read on what could be the largest feature in the observable universe: a ring of nine gamma ray bursts — and hence galaxies – 5 billion light years across.

Chances are, you’ve already seen this. If not, take a look. “This animation shows images of the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DISCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Welcome to the club, Sweden! Sincerely, Oklahoma. “Gothenburg rocked by “fairly big” earthquake.”

Speaking of earthquakes, here’s an intriguing story from Aljazeera American on the connection between fracking and Oklahoma earthquakes. Read between the lines…let the coverup begin…or continue as the case may be.

Here are some very nice photos of the Earth’s newest island.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Once again, Sweden shows up top in quality of life by recycling a staggering 99% of its garbage.

Not all states are equal in the new Clean Power Plan. Here’s an explanation why. Critics arguments will inevitably fail since they had the opportunity to do something about it, but blew it off instead.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you think the summer heat is brutal where you are, imagine dealing with “off the charts” head indices that have occurred recently in Iran.

The most recent US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement over most of the USA. Unfortunately, the relentless drought is holding fast in the western states.

Speaking of the western USA drought, here’s a collection of recent links on the topic.

Computer models on climate change are very good at what they do…and more accurate than previously thought.

Part sociology and part atmospheric science. This is a very surprising look at educational background and it’s relation to concerns and beliefs on climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers on social media. There are quite a few of you and I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome!” to all of you. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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