Tag Archives: pseudoscience

Tornado Quest’s Science Week In Review For January 13 – 23, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope you’re having a good start to the week and the weather is being kind to you no matter where you are. We’ve just had a three day round of severe weather in the southeastern states of the USA including a High Risk on 22 January 2017. A High Risk is very rare, and even more so in January which is a month that’s not known for severe weather or tornadoes. Unfortunately, there’s a considerable amount of damage from Mississippi to Georgia with a number of fatalities. Simultaneously, the northeastern states dealt with a ‘nor’easter’ and California had an unusual amount of rain. It eased the drought conditions that have plagued that state for years, but won’t help much on the long run. This week’s review was delayed several days by the severe weather events and other projects. My next review will be published this Saturday, 28 January 2017. There’s quite a bit to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Who will lead NOAA and, ultimately the National Weather Service, during the Trump administration? This is something to watch very, very carefully.

Due to the lack of American lawmakers who have a sound scientific literacy, it has become increasingly important that scientists become more involved in the political process.

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

Pseudoscience is as rampant as ever in our modern day culture and, due to the proliferation of social media, is now more easily distributed to an unwary general public. To put it more succinctly…”This means that just because something catches our attention, or is easy to remember, it does not mean it is useful for understanding a new thing we want to learn.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out this very cool citizen science project that anyone can take part in. The awesome folks at Science Friday have a nice overview of how folks just like you can help out in year-long bird counts.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

How we process information (and where we get it) has much to do with how we interpret the validity of news…and decide on its validity…even if it’s fake and/or of dubious integrity.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read on how the universe could contain ten time more galaxies than previously thought.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Is the USA state of Wyoming trying to outlaw clean energy? If so, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read on severe weather High Risks and associated tornadoes that puts this past week’s severe weather into a historical perspective.

Speaking of tornadoes, is it really that cold inside a tornado? A new study on the tornado vortex says it is cold…very cold.

Since satellite monitoring of sea ice began in the 1970’s, the area of oceans covered by sea ice is at an all time low. Chances are good it’s the lowest it has been for many a millennia.

global-sea-ice-extent-2016The dark burgundy colored line in this NSIDC data graph represents sea ice in 2016. Note how it is far below other lines going back to 1978. Also note that the red line on the far left, representing 2017 to date, is even lower than 2016.

While on the subject of sea ice, take a few minutes and watch this fascinating and well produced video on climate change and its effects on glaciers in Alaska, USA.

Here’s a very good and thought-provoking read from meteorologist Brad Panovich. “It’s Time We Move On From A 0% & 100% Climate Change Debate.”

In case you missed it, “At the exact hour when the presidency transferred hands, the Obama administration’s climate and energy web pages became some of the first casualties of the new Trump administration.”

If the new presidential administration ignores climate change, China is more than willing to step up to the plate and become the world’s leader in climate science.

From a global perspective, some are of the opinion that we’ve almost lost any chance to stave off the effects of climate change. Personally speaking, I’m more optimistic, but we’ve no time to waste on getting the job started…and not letting any one industry or government…get in the way of science.

Fortunately, scientists are reminding citizens of the USA that science has been and always will be a major cornerstone of a civilized, intelligent, educated, and technologically advanced society.

WEATHER SAFETY

Here’s a great read from the American Red Cross on safety travel tips for cold weather conditions.

In light of the recent severe weather events and tornadoes, here’s a quick reminder from the National Weather Service on the difference between a Tornado Watch & a Tornado Warning.

difference-between-tornado-watch-and-warning.

Last but not least, some good news. NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite is fully functional and is sending back some amazing high-resolution images of the Earth. This is truly a watershed event in the atmospheric sciences!

That’s a wrap for this review! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Have a great week everybody…see you Saturday!

Cheers!


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Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Feb. 11 – 18, 2014

Winter’s grip on North American has taken a momentary respite, but there’s still many weeks of cold weather and chances for slippery precipitation…so don’t put that heavy coat and your snow shovel away just yet. We do have a taste of the spring severe season coming up Thursday into Friday. Chances are it will be a squall line/linear convection type of event with high winds and large hail as the main hazards, but the threat from tornadoes is not absent. You know the game plan…stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio, local broadcast meteorologists, and outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center for the latest information.

Here’s a look at this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

You can join the Citizen Science Association with a free, inaugural membership…but hurry before time runs out! Be sure to fill out the survey too!

Here’s a ‘must read’ if you’re into or interested in citizen science: A Citizen Science Manifesto.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Volcanoes, including Oregon’s Mt. Hood, can go from dormant to active quickly.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

I’d love to see this filled in much more. The USGS had put together a map showing 47,000 online wind turbines in the USA.

Satellite instruments document the transformations wrought both by the human footprint and by natural processes.

If you’re into recycling as much as I am, you’re keenly aware of those numbers inside of the recycling symbol. If not, here’s what those numbers mean.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA has issued their State Of The Climate report for January, 2014. Some areas were quite cold, some quite warm, and far too many locales were locked in the grip of an ongoing drought.

Denmark is taking the world-wide lead by spearheading climate policy into law.

The effects of climate change are multifaceted and global conflict is not exempt.

A warming planet could mean less ice and snow for Olympic bid cities.

Check out one of this weeks most popular reads I posted on my Twitter account: The NSA and Climate Change Spying: What We Know So Far.

Here’s a very interesting read from a MIT hurricane expert on the role climate change is playing in our society.

The National Weather Service in Norman, OK has put together a nice video retrospective on the El Reno, OK tornado of 31 May 2013.

Dr. Chuck Doswell was spot in his presentation at the 2014 Chaser Convention in Denver, CO.

Some Oklahoma City metro school districts are considering implementing “storm days” with mixed opinions regarding effectiveness.

A relatively rare winter storm affected several southern states this past week. Here’s a look at the aftermath of an ice storm in Augusta, GA.

While much of North America was in the icebox, England was seeing rainfall totals that hadn’t occurred in over 200 years.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

Here are some final links on important topics…

Sir David Attenborough: Enough With the Creationists and Climate Change Deniers!

Phil Plait’s take on why astrology is nonsensical pseudoscience.

Finally, not one, not two, but three essays that expose the true nature of the internet troll. They’re on thin ice (pun intended) and they know it…otherwise they wouldn’t be persona non grata, desperate for attention, and emotionally and intellectually void of the cognition to act in a civil manner. Bullying is bullying regardless of whether it takes place among teenagers on Facebook or among climate change denialists that live to harass with vitriol round the clock. Such a shame that human potential often goes to malevolent ends.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

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