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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 25 – March 4, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Meteorological Spring to my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it’s been an exceptionally warm winter and spring is already throttling up. In the USA, Skywarn spotter classes are ongoing as of this post. Check with your local National Weather Service office to see if there’s a class scheduled near you. And, as has been the case for the last few weeks, science and public policy have been front and center…so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Wind and solar power are gaining major ground in countries across the globe. Considering that change is often difficult, how will the status quo adapt?

Cities around the globe smarten up & go green as 2/3 of world population will live in urban areas by 2030.

Air pollution isn’t just a minor irritation, it’s a major health hazard with lethal implications. Here’s an excellent read on how to deal with and/or avoid potentially deadly poor air quality.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in the USA, environmental conditions were in a sorry state. It would behoove us to keep that in mind and fight against the threat of retrograding into a new dark age.

While on the topic of air pollution, other countries besides the USA have their share of air quality issues. The problem for USA citizens is their noxious air travels round the globe and eventually reaches us.

Here’s another sobering look at environmental conditions in the USA in the pre-EPA days.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new earthquake outlook for 2017 highlights Oklahoma and California as the hot-spots for quake activity…so we’ve been warned.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If it seems like spring has come early this year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, you’re not imagining things.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back amazing high-resolution images!

For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of meteorological spring occurred on 1 March 2017. Here’s a look back at an unusually warm winter from Climate Central.

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

Sea surface temperatures and weather/climate are inextricably linked. From the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA, “The Gulf has remained warm this winter, generally 2-7F above avg now. Pic from the NOAA View Global Data Explorer.”

c53aixlwcaadv9o-jpg-large

For the state of California, it was famine to feast in terms of rainfall. Here’s a look at the “atmospheric rivers” that kept the state dry, then inundated it with dangerous flooding conditions.

Speaking of drought, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for March, 2017. In spite of recent rains, drought conditions persist or increase across many areas of the plains and southern states.

month_drought

Though the focus of this article is on the recent heat wave in parts of Australia, it applies to other continents as well. “Climate Scientists Say Likelihood Of Extreme Summers Surging Due To Global Warming.”

What do citizens of the USA think about climate change? This interesting read provides some maps and links to answer that question.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1_22_48-pmPercentage of adults, by state, who think global warming is happening. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Severe Weather Safety Link Of The Week: With the severe weather season well underway across the USA, here’s a very comprehensive yet concise overview of severe weather and it’s hazards from the National Weather Service. “Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, And Lightning. Natures Most Violent Storms.” (20 page PDF file)

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

NOAA is about to take a bit hit from the Trump administration, specifically their satellite division. This is ugly…and it will only get worse. Nefariously draconian comes to mind (considering that much of the life-saving data you benefit from comes from the portion of NOAA that’s under the gun), but that would be to politely generous.

Four Ways NOAA Benefits Your Life Today.” This is a “must-read” by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the irreplaceable benefits that NOAA and the National Weather Service provide to USA citizens.

Do scientists really lose credibility when they become political? Absolutely not. We need all the scientists involved in the current political climate as possible.

Fighting fire with fire is the only way to deal with the building hostilities toward the scientific community.

Things are bad indeed. “Responding to attacks on scientific expertise and threats to public funding, the growing protest of American scientists might also suggest something about the perceived direness of the state of the world under Trump: If the scientists are organizing, then things must be really bad.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped collecting important climate and environmental data. No data = no science = no progress.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A Norwegian news site is on to an excellent way to deal with trolls and/or people who have a “knee-jerk” reaction to a headline and leave hostile and threatening comments. Make them read and article or essay and answer questions about it before they’re allowed to comment. There’s nothing like a little mature, critical thinking to take the place of sophomoric rants.

This disconcerting privacy read will make you think twice about carrying a mobile device in and out of the USA. In case you’re wondering, your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights don’t apply.

Your privacy in the safety of your own home is also a hazard. Chances are, you are your own worst security risk.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send out a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. We’re in interesting times…so hang on…lots more fun to come.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links For February 15 – 22, 2016

Greetings all! I hope everyone’s having a great week. The weather across much of North America has been relatively tranquil this week with unseasonably warm temperatures across much of the southern plains. As of today (22 February 2016) a busy severe weather day is on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday (23 & 24 February 2016) from Texas to the east coast states. Speaking of severe weather, all across the United States the National Weather Service offices are holding Skywarn spotting training classes. If you’re interested in severe weather and contributing to your community, I’d strongly recommend you take one of these courses and spend two (if not more) seasons as an “intern” with a seasoned spotter. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Fortunately, the United States citizenry has a satisfactory of support for science.

In spite of the optimism expressed in the previous link, there’s still putrid bounty of anxiety and antagonism towards science within the US of A.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Sweden, you are amazing in every way! “Sweden To Go Carbon Neutral By 2045.”

Some great tips here! “17 Sustainable Ways To Be A Better Person To Yourself And To Others.”

Four billion people are facing a life-threatening water shortage…and no, the USA is not exempt.

Very interesting, and not surprising, infographic on the world’s most polluted cities.

You know the air in parts of China is bad when ventilation “corridors” are being built so people don’t have to breathe the outdoor air.

Of great interest to many here in Oklahoma. “Does Living Near An Oil Or Natural Gas Well Affect Your Drinking Water?”

Another read for folks in Oklahoma who are constantly barraged with shake, frack, and roll. “Sierra Club Sues Over Oil Company Earthquakes.”

Climate change + drought = a continent-wide volatile scenario. “Mother Africa On Fire.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Interesting interactive chart showing temperature trends for over 3,100 cities in 2015.

The UK’s Met Office habit of naming storms is likely little more than misguided hype.

Some nice videos of climate scientists briefly discussing climate change.

A very important read from Climate Central. “What Scalia’s Death Means For Climate Change.” Like it or not, climate change has become as much a foreign & domestic policy issue as much as it is science.

A good read by Chris Mooney on where our Earth’s the most vulnerable regions to big swings in climate.

Two years ago, a large, inexplicable hot patch of water appeared in the Pacific Ocean, and stayed right through the seasons—until now. Referred to as “the Blob,” it’s gone away, taken by El Niño. Will it return?

Speaking of El Niño, it has passed its peak strength but impacts will continue according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

 My fellow lightning aficionados will enjoy this read. Lightning-produced ozone has been detected…and this could be important to air quality assessment and prediction in the future.

The University of Miami just opened a new research facility that, by creating a “hurricane in a box,” can help us prepare for dangerous and potentially cataclysmic storms.

An amazing view of ice shattering like plates of glass on North American’s Lake Superior.

THE QUIXOTIC

“Hairy Panic,” a fast growing tumbleweed with a name straight out of a third-rate horror flick rolls into an Australian city.

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 Much More For Jan. 26 – Feb. 2, 2015

This past week across North American has been active, not only in weather, but in robust discussions of how the “blizzard of 2015” should have been handled. To say that the opinions expressed (particularly the ones critical of the National Weather Service) were as powerful as the blizzard itself is a vast understatement. The chasm between the general public and forecasters isn’t going to narrow anytime soon. As we’ll see in a few links below, the rift between a certain demographic (unfamiliar with the methodology of science) and scientists (including citizen scientists) is as strong as ever. Taking into consideration the current political divisiveness which includes not at little anti-science hyperbole, we haven’t heard the end of this yet.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very thought-provoking article with a scientist who’s near the top of my “most admired” list…the inimitable E.O. Wilson.

Here are three articles on the division between the general public and science.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

I was thrilled to take part in the first #CitSciChat, sponsored by SciStarter on Twitter. Caren Cooper has a very nice recap. Be sure to join us again on February 25th!

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Thank you Verizon! Customers can now opt out of ID tracking. For those of us who are privacy conscious, this is good news.

Smart Keyboard Gets A Charge Out Of You.” I’d gladly give one of these a spin!

A spot-on essay. “Don’t Be On Social Just To Be On Social.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The connection between population, environmental science, and climate is laying the groundwork for challenges that have no easy solutions.

Why do zebras have stripes? Believe it or not, temperature plays a part.

Oklahoma, you are slowly but surely getting on the right track! The Sooner state now ranks fourth nationally in wind power.

Some good news on the solar front. Thousands of U.S. schools are running on solar.

I’d love to see this spread far and wide. “Spain reveals plans for first ever public street light system powered by wind and sun.”

It would behoove us, for the benefit of future generations, to mind the problematic challenge of “drowning in plastic.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

How do snowflakes form? Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike? Here’s a good essay with answers.

Speaking of snow, many folks considered the January, 2015 blizzard to be a underachiever.” To the contrary, it was anything but that. Still, the fallout was strong and widespread.

Are you interested in becoming a Skywarn spotter but can’t attend a National Weather Service spotter training session? The National Weather Service in Norman, OK will have three free online webinars during February and March. Though the focus may be geared towards parts of Oklahoma and Texas, there will be valuable information that is absolutely essential to know before taking on the responsibility of community service.

The preliminary agenda for this year’s ChaserCon is now online…and it’s a great lineup!

While ozone is beneficial in the upper atmosphere, at ground level it can cause serious health problems. Oddly enough, thunderstorms aren’t helping.

Nice video, but “microburst” is the correct meteorological term and they’re not that rare.

I can’t wait to see the data from NASA’s new SMAP observatory which will measure soil moisture just beneath ground level.

A very cool read from Climate Central. “Climate Calculator Lets You Create A New World.”

Climactic rivalry? “The U.S. Is A Country Divided By Seasons And Warming.”

The urban heat island effect is nothing new to this urbanite as heat waves are becoming more prominent in urban areas.

A geological connection to climate change. Iceland is rising as its glaciers melt.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map has changed very, very little from last week as the relentless drought continues for many areas…CA, NV, OK, & TX in particular.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

As a veteran target for the “Serengeti Strategy,” I can attest to the validity of this essay…which I’m passing along for the benefit of others who are victims. Bullying and intimidation isn’t segregated to the schoolyard. It’s alive and well in the “adult” world.

Egads…and just when I thought the “chemtrail” conspiratists took the cake, I (misguidedly) came across this.

Ending on a more positive note…I’d like to pass along a quick reminder that Tornado Quest is not only on WordPress, but also on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. You can easily find links to all of these social media sites on the Tornado Quest About Me page! Also, I’d like to send a sincere “thank you” to all my followers. Each and every one of you are appreciated and never taken for granted. Social media, from my perspective, has never been about numbers, shilling, or a popularity contest. It truly is a perfect example of quality over quantity.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

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