Tag Archives: public policy

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For August 8 – 16, 2017

Greetings everyone! It’s been a busy weather and science news week with a story on virtually any topic from A to Z. Recent severe weather events, including the 6 August 2017 Tulsa, OK tornado have kept me busy & delayed this post by one day. So…without further delay, let’s get started.

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

 

EDUCATION

This isn’t strictly limited to science education, but is applicable to everyone…regardless of your occupation. “9 Super Successful People Share Their Reading Habits.” As a voracious reader, I can attest to the validity of the information within the article.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into weather and citizen science, one way you can contribute is taking part in the mPING crowdsourcing project. Whether using a desktop or mobile device, you can contribute valuable data year round to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to help weather research. The mobile app is free and available for iOS or Android.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Regardless of where you live and what hazards you may be susceptible to, an emergency kit is essential to any home or workplace. They’re easier to put together than you think too!

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Conveying science to the general public is a daunting challenge. The answer to this challenge is in using less “jargon” and explaining the basic facts.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An interesting look at how the solar energy industry will handle the 21 August 2017 solar eclipse.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

What does the USA’s National Weather Service do? More than you can imagine. Here’s a great overview of a government agency that quite often saves lives in addition to putting together your local forecast.

Here’s the latest US Drought Monitor. Dry conditions continue to worsen across the north central states.

Graphic courtesy @DroughtCenter

NOAA has just released an updated 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. There are some substantial changes from the outlook in May. Remember, an outlook is not a forecast. The bottom line, a more active season is now expected.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Caribou, Maine

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report reiterates what many of us have suspected the past few months. 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of record keeping.

 

The State Of The Climate map below shows a startling increase in global surface temperatures. From the report, “Aided by the strong El Niño early in the year, the 2016 annual global surface temperature observed record warmth for a third consecutive year, with the 2016 annual global surface temperature surpassing the previous record of 2015.”

Graphic courtesy NOAA National Center For Environmental Information

Climate Central has an excellent read on the recent data on 2016 being a record year for global climate change.

As global temperature trends rise, are we willing to face the role current generations play in the lives of future ones and how climate change will affect their world?

A new analysis with data from NASA shows the vast El Niño weather pattern of 2014–16 caused tropical forests to produce approximately 3 billion tons of carbon. That’s equivalent to nearly 20% of the emissions produced during the same period by making cement and burning fossil fuels.

If you think that heat waves in cities across the USA are longer than in years past, you’d be correct. Extended streaks of heat, most likely in urban areas due to the heat island effect, are becoming more common.

Climate change deniers had a field day with a recent SNAFU within a New York Times story.

After 30 years, the challenge of dealing with the Earth’s ozone problem still remains very elusive.

New Orleans is once again dealing with floods. This city, which largely rests below sea level, will continue to have flooding problems until either a proper infrastructure is in place, or the city no longer exists.

After the Tulsa tornado of 6 August 2017, there was quite an unnecessary backlash and reaction to the “tornado sirens” not being sounded in the city of Tulsa. This was the correct decision. Here’s an infographic on the basis of what these archaic toys are meant for. Opinions vary on the usefulness of these sirens, but they have many faults and are (at best) Cold War era technology that is, at best, minimally useful. My sound advice: forget sirens even exist. There are far more effective means of getting potential life-saving weather warnings.

Graphic courtesy National Weather Service Tulsa, Oklahoma

PUBLIC POLICY

This should come as no surprise to those of us in Oklahoma who are familiar with our former attorney general’s proclivities. “Scott Pruitt Brushes Off ‘So-Called Settled Science’ On Conservative Radio Show.” Keep in mind that this individual is now the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. He also doesn’t want to “politicize science,” but due to the nature of our rapidly changing society, that can’t be done.

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 ride!

Cheers!

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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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links: Week In Review For July 18 – 25, 2017

Greetings to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. Here in the southern plains of the USA, the summer heat has gotten a firm grip on us with no let-up in sight. The average high temperature is 95F (35C) which is more than enough to make anyone pine for the cooler breezes of autumn. As of this date (25 July 2017), the eastern Pacific is very busy with three tropical cyclones in progress simultaneously. For now, the Atlantic is very quiet, but that will likely change in the weeks to come. On that note, let’s get started on this week’s post.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE/EDUCATION

In this day and age, this is a badly needed look at the irrefutable connection with western civilization and the development of the scientific method.

With all the information available on the internet, one would think the hunger for knowledge is satisfied…but it isn’t. Distribution and consumption are mutually exclusive.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A very chilling look at the most ugly elements of online trolling/bullying. “Digital harassment” is now at an all time high. Don’t think for one second that this is limited to Twitter. Facebook, SnapChat, etc. are all riddled with this menace.

Speaking of Twitter, its problems continue in a variety of ways.

PUBLIC HEALTH/WEATHER SAFETY

Since the 1990’s, cases of Lyme disease have skyrocketed across the USA…and climate change has played no small part.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Four Emerging Misconceptions On Social Media About The Upcoming Great American Eclipse.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

An eye-opening video that explains the mind-boggling amount of time it takes for some items to “decompose” in a landfill. Many, if not most, are recyclable or have greener alternatives.

The global deforestation continues. “About 49 million acres of forest disappeared worldwide in 2015, mainly in North America and the tropics, putting the year’s global deforestation level at its second-highest point since data gathering began in 2001.”

Some encouraging news regarding our love affair with automobiles. “Electric Cars Will Dominate The Roads By 2040.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on an extensive amount of NOAA data, the year 2017, only at the halfway point, is already the second warmest year to date.

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NCEI & Climate Central

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of climate change; how it’s literally killing us.

An interesting satellite SNAFU masked true sea-level rise for decades until it was revised and the data showed an increase as our home warms and ice sheets thaw.

Here’s a look at the recent deadly heat wave that helped fuel wildfires and set many climate records across portions of western Europe.

Infographic courtesy Climate Central

Do you ever wonder how tropical cyclones are named and what criteria is used to remove a name from a list? This excellent read from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has all of your answers. Hopefully this will squelch many of the silly rumors (both old and new) regarding the reasoning behind giving tropical cyclones names.

Here’s a very interesting and interactive look at historical hurricane tracks from the NOAA database.

Finally, a combination of weather history and cultural history. “London’s Hot And Busy Summer Of 1858.”

PUBLIC POLICY

An interesting, but not surprising, development. “Hundreds of climate scientists, including many from the United States, have applied to work in France under a €60-million (US$69-million) scheme set up by the country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, after his US counterpart Donald Trump rejected the Paris accord on global warming.”

That’s a wrap for this post! A big “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. Stick around for lots of fun. We live in very interestingly challenging times.

Cheers!

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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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For July 10 – 18, 2017

Greetings once again to one and all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. We get visitors from all over the world…and for some of you, it’s winter. For those of us in North America, it is incredibly hot across much of the continent with no let-up in sight. One would think they’d get used to this kind of wretched heat, but that’s not the case…at least for me. Stay safe if you’ve got to be out in the heat. As for tropical cyclone activity, the eastern Pacific and Atlantic are active for the moment, but fortunately none of the ongoing areas of concern as of this date are of any significant threat. Then again, this is only July and the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is still several weeks away. There’s plenty to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re looking for an excellent citizen science project for home, work, or school, check out the CoCoRaHS project!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

We’re getting some spectacular images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot…a massive storm that has been in progress for hundreds of years.

Space isn’t empty…and it certainly isn’t a quiet place.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Though this study linking ozone pollution and cardiovascular health was done on Chinese adults, it most certainly applies to cities all over the globe.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A new and important National Oceanographic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report has just been issued. Our humble home had its second warmest year to date and its third warmest June on record.

Some recent severe weather research has had some interesting results in Oklahoma. An experimental model predicted the path of a Oklahoma tornado a few hours before it formed.

Here’s a look at the latest US Drought Monitor. Severe and Extreme conditions continue to worsen in Montana and the Dakotas.

Conveying climate change information to the general public is a daunting task. Moving beyond doomsday reporting is essential if atmospheric scientists are to gain the public trust.

Certain locations in the USA will be affected by climate change much earlier than others. Here’s a look at some particularly vulnerable coastal areas.

Many people wonder if their individual actions can make a difference in climate change. Fortunately, I can answer in the affirmative. There are many things you can do to make a difference.

Now that you know what you can do, check out how old you are in CO2.

Eighteen military installations vital to the protection and security of the USA are endangered by climate change.

From a global perspective, the extreme heat that is felt with increasing frequency could become the climatological norm.

Interesting video of one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs you can meet. “Richard Branson, the founder and chair of the Virgin Group speaks during a panel discussion in New York and says the threat of climate change actually offers ‘one of the great opportunities for this world’.”

This is an old story that has been raised from the dead…most likely for hyperbole since it’s been a non-issue issue from the get go. “Female-named hurricanes are most likely not deadlier than male hurricanes.”

PUBLIC POLICY

Understandably so, many countries are expressing well-deserved dismay on the USA’s threat to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

This should come as no surprise to Oklahomans who know him so very well. “Scott Pruitt Pretty Much Just Confirmed He’s Out To Dismantle The EPA.”

Socioeconomic ramifications of climate change are significant and require far more attention than they’re presently getting. Recent studies show that, “the pain of climate change will fall more heavily on America’s poorest bits than on its richest areas.”

If you want to help make the world a better place, collective action is much more effective than ineffectual individualism. As the saying goes, “there is power in numbers.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media and invite you to check out Tornado Quest’s other social media outlets listed below. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! Interesting times ahead…so stick around for the fray!

Cheers!

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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/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For June 19 – 27, 2017

Greetings everyone and welcome! I hope your summer (or winter for Southern Hemisphere folks) is going well. Here in North America, it’s certainly been warming up right on schedule. The Atlantic tropical season got off to an early start with a tropical storm making landfall in early June near the Texas and Louisiana coastal border region. As of this date (27 June 2017), Tropical Storm Dora is moving along the Mexico coast and dumped copious amounts of rainfall. Due to several ongoing projects, I had to delay publishing this post by one day…so let’s get started on this week’s topics.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you have a smart phone, an interest in weather, and would like to be a part of citizen science while contributing to National Severe Storm Laboratory weather research, the free mPING app is for you! It’s a very small app (so it won’t take up a lot of space on any smart phone…iOS or Android) is super easy to use, and can be used by you year round from all across North America. You can read more about the mPING project here.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

As those of us in the Great Plains of the USA well know, wildfires used to be an uncommon phenomenon. As of late, that has changed…and many plains states have seen year after year of devastating fires.

If any country can accomplish this, Sweden can. “Sweden Commits To Becoming Carbon Neutral By 2045 With New Law.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

From the American Meteorological Society: TV Weathercasters’ Views Of Climate Change Appear To Be Rapidly Evolving.

It’s a difficult conversation, but having a heart-to-heart talk with kids about climate change is absolutely essential.

Though the focus on this article is the UK, it applies to any country that deals with heatwaves. To call them a national emergency is not an overreaction. Annually, heat kills more people than floods, lightning, tornadoes, high wind events, etc. combined.

A new study looks ahead several decades at what a warmer world would be like for humans. By the end of this century, the picture isn’t pretty.

While still on the topic of increasing global heat, here are two interesting reads on increasing high temperatures, first from Climate Central – ” Days Above 100F: Projections.” and the New York Times – “95-Degree Days: How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across The World.”

A look at seven climate change hotspots around the world. Yes, one of them is right here in the USA…New York state.

If you fly often, climate change may have an affect on the way you travel as well as the availability of flights.

We’ve just had the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s a nice concise summer solstice article that tells you everything you need to know.

PUBLIC POLICY

Some very courageous USA cities are teaming up to post climate data taken down by the current presidential administration.

When politicians distort science and “cherry pick” false data in their traditional opportunistic fashion, scientists and academics are shocked and often sit on the sidelines. That has got to come to a stop…now.

The USA’s Interior Department is planning on dismissing employees by the thousands as environmental protection and concerns are dismissed as frivolous by the current presidential administration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is marching lockstep with the same intent.

Finally, “Rick Got Rolled” but somehow I have a feeling that Rick Perry doesn’t get it nor cares. Nevertheless, the American Meteorological Society has had their fill of climate change denialism amongst politicians, media pundits, etc. and they’re sharpening their swords.

That’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to take a moment and welcome with thanks my new followers in social media. As of late, the social media landscape has taken on perilous dimensions. Like it or not, to make a difference and make our voices heard, it would behoove us to diversify our topics of interest…hence the fact that Tornado Quest has never been a “one note drone” that goes dormant save for severe weather events. I am involved in and feel strongly about many environmental issues, climate and weather of all kinds, our rapidly changing technology (especially the growth of renewable energy), and much more.

Cheers!

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/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Science Links In Review For June 12 – 19, 2017

Greetings to all! There’s plenty of topics to go over this week and with all eyes on the Atlantic/Caribbean region, much of the focus is on early season tropical activity. With that in mind, let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some really great news on the renewables front! Wind and solar power met over ten percent of USA’s March 2017 electric power demand.

Meanwhile in Germany, they’ve broken their own renewable energy record by getting eighty-five percent of its energy needs from renewable sources in April 2017.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

With the current tropical activity in the Atlantic hurricane basin, here’s the comprehensive National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Safety Homepage. Regardless of what this year’s season brings to North America, even a tropical storm can have devastating effects. Remember, it only takes one storm to make a major disaster.

Here’s a look at the summer outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center for the period of July through September. First, let’s look at temperature which shows above average for most of the contiguous USA and Alaska.

Here’s a look at the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for precipitation for the same time period. Only small parts of the contiguous USA and western Alaska are indicated to have slightly above average precipitation.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are outlooks and not forecasts and are based on different data sets, statistics, and other information than forecasts.

According to recently released NASA data, May 2017 was the second-warmest May on record. It’s yet another data set and reminder of the continuing climate change trend that’s occurring globally.

Considering the location, height above sea level, climate change, and vulnerability to tropical cyclones, Houston area residents are understandably concerned over catastrophic flooding.

This past summer in Antarctica had widespread ice melt. El Nino did play one major part.

Speaking of Antarctica, a large portion of an ice shelf in Antarctica will break off and collapse into the ocean. The ramifications can extend to global effects.

Here are some very good graphics from Climate Central explaining how small changes in climactic averages add up to big changes in climate and weather extremes.

Understanding the complexities of climate science required paying very close attention to details even if they seem unrelated.

Fascinating and thought provoking read. “New Research May Resolve A Climate ‘Conundrum’ Across The History Of Human Civilization.”

Taking a look back to get a good perspective on future climate. “Revisiting A Climate Data Viz Icon.”

Climate science denialists are quite the piece of work. “Editor Of New ‘Sham Journal’ Is Climate Science Denier With Ties To Heartland Institute.”

Here’s a new term for your atmospheric science glossary: Ice Lollies.

PUBLIC POLICY

Should we be surprised by this? No. “The Energy Department is closing an office that works with other countries to develop clean energy technology, another sign of the Trump administration’s retreat on climate-related activities after its withdrawal from the Paris agreement this month.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media and let you know that I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!


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/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For June 5 – 12, 2017

Greetings to one and all! For those of us in North American, summer is in full swing with sizzling temperatures expected for the next several days. Summer heat is a highly underrated weather hazard and I’ve got some outstanding information from the National Weather Service in this week’s post. As for severe weather, it’s going to be a very quiet period for much of the Great Plains the next few days. Overall, May 2017 was quieter than usual across the contiguous USA with the number of tornadoes, high wind, and hail reports being below normal. And, of course, the big news of the past few days has been the USA’s decision to discontinue commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Fortunately, at the state and local level, there’s a groundswell gathering momentum that will hold to the commitment and do the right thing. There’s plenty to go over, so let’s begin.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re looking for a way to help out weather research with crowdsourcing citizen science, the mPING project is for you. The free app is easy to use and you can send reports year round for a variety of weather conditions.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

We’ve just observed World Oceans Day. Considering that approximately 75% of the surface of the earth is covered by water, it behooves us all to have a thorough understanding of how our oceans work and how important they are to our forms of life.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a look back at severe weather activity in the USA for May, 2017. Of note are two events recorded in Oklahoma…a 104mph non-tornadic gust reported at the Walters, OK Oklahoma Mesonet station and a 4.25″ hailstone that was documented in Okfuskee County, OK. The number of tornadoes nationwide was 290…only slightly higher than the statistical average of 276. Overall, it was a below normal month in severe weather activity.

Infographic courtesty NOAA Storm Prediction Center

This week marks the anniversary of the June 8, 1974 Great Plains tornado outbreak. While not one of the larger outbreaks of recent years, long-time residents remember this event well. The Tulsa, OK metro was hit by three tornadoes with up to EF-3 damage in some areas. The deadliest tornado was the Drumright, OK EF-4 which killed fourteen people along a thirty mile long path. Here’s a overview of the events across several great plains states.

This is also the anniversary of the Barneveld, Wisconsin EF-5 tornado. The Milwaukee, WI National Weather Service has a comprehensive overview.

Here’s a look at the dangers of sea level rise in the USA according to new data from NOAA.

Many American residents who don’t have a good understanding of hour weather and climate work are prime targets for climate change denialists who prey on their lack of earth science knowledge.

While on the topic of the American public, Dr. Marshall Shepherd has written and excellent essay on fifteen suggestions for broadcast meteorologists on conveying weather information to their viewers.

Flooding in the USA kills more people annually than tornadoes, lightning, high winds, and hurricanes combined. It would behoove those of us in America to take the threat of climate change induced flooding very, very seriously.

Summer heat is settling in across much of North America. By observing heat safety tips, heat illnesses and deaths can be prevented.

Infographic courtesy NOAA

PUBLIC POLICY

One of the most thought-provoking articles I’ve read as of late. The subtitle says it all and it right on the mark. “For too long, liberals have been treating climate change as a third or fourth tier issue. As the US exits the Paris Climate Accord, it’s time for liberals to re-evaluate an issue that subsumes all others.”

In some form of media, climate change denial, both scientific and political, is nurtured in a variety of ways. Most of it goes unchallenged. It’s time to change that and call the denialists out. This will also require some introspection on the part of those of us who accept the overwhelming evidence of climate change science.

A disturbingly unsettling read on six ways budget cuts will hamper NOAA’s weather forecasting capabilities. Yes, this will affect you in more ways than you can imagine.

As of this post, thirteen states in the USA are continuing on with their commitment to the Paris Agreement. Let’s hope that in short order many other states join their ranks.

While on the topic of dedication to commitment, here’s another good read from Climate Central on how the USA can hold to its promise for the Paris Agreement.

Asking public officials if they “believe” in climate change is the wrong way to attempt an initiation of a productive dialogue.

Last but not least, is there a way that individual Americans can still follow the Paris Climate Agreement? Absolutely. Here’s how.

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 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/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 30 – June 5, 2017

Greetings to everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. Summer is settling in over much of North America and the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has officially started. For the time being, it’ll be rather quiet in terms of severe weather activity for North America. Obviously, the big news this week is the announcement of the USA’s pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. This is a major story with international implications and we’ll cover numerous links on that topic. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you’re into citizen science and weather, check out CoCoRaHS…a very popular network of people across North America, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, & USA Virgin Islands that send in valuable weather information every day!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For many residents of coastal Louisiana, USA, watching the coastline change due to climate change is more than an environmental crisis, but an economic one as well.

Pittsburg, PA is spearheading a revolution by planning to transition to 100% renewable-energy sources, like solar and wind, by 2035.

Our planet’s oceans are so vital to our very survival. Here’s a good list of ten things that you can do on land to help save the Earth’s oceans.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past May 31st marked the fourth anniversary of the El Reno, OK tornado. Of all the significant tornadoes I can recall over 45+ years, few have stirred as much contentious discussion as this event. The National Weather Service in Norman, OK has an excellent video overview of this exceptionally dangerous storm. Storm chaser Skip Talbot’s “Safety Lessons from El Reno” video is one of the most thorough reviews of this watershed event.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has officially begun. NOAA is anticipating an above-average year in the number of tropical cyclones.

Here’s a quick list of five important hurricane preparedness factors to take into consideration. Number five is perhaps the most important. No matter how many tropical cyclones form, it takes only one to make a life and death situation hit home with you.

The National Weather Service also has a comprehensive website covering almost everything you need to know about hurricane preparedness.

With hurricane season starting, both NOAA and FEMA are without anyone at the helm. That should be very worrisome to all of us.

Summer heat is settling in over many areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s some very important summer weather safety information from the National Weather Service. As with all weather hazards, a little preparation goes a long way. This not only covers summer heat, but severe weather, air pollution, and pet safety.

Summer is also in full gear for Scandinavia in spite of the fact that parts of Sweden got snowfall in June. Truth be known, this is not unusual for their climate.

Based on NOAA data for May 2017, carbon dioxide set another record on our planet…and we’ve no one to blame but ourselves.

PUBLIC POLICY

Here’s a statement from the European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner on the USA’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. “Today is a sad day for the global community, as a key partner turns its back on the fight against climate change. The EU deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

Many scientists, including meteorologists and climatologists, had plenty to say regarding the decision of the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

The inimitable Chuck Doswell has shared his own views on this event and, in his own unique style, has written a spot-on essay.

For any country to leave the Paris Climate Accord is to take on the responsibility and burden of increasing the risk to their county’s public health…both physical and mental.

The Atlantic published this story on 9 May 2017 regarding the EPA’s dismissal of half its scientific board. It’s hard to not believe that it could be related (i.e. preparation) for the Trump administration, specifically EPA head Scott Pruitt, to break the USA’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.

This rejection of the Paris Agreement could have handed climate change deniers a very small “victory” that will only be sweet in a most temporary manner.

On the change that there’s a bright side to this unfortunate political gaffe, it’s the fact that other countries as well as USA states and cities can carry on their vows to meet our Paris commitment.

If Trumps climate speech of 1 June 2017 seemed FUBAR to you in regards to facts, you’re not alone.

““A lot of people portray evangelicals as anti-science. Evangelicals accept a lot of science, just not the parts that conflict their faith.” As a life-long resident of the bible belt, I can assure you that this is true. Cherry-picking is the modus operandi for evangelicals…and climate change is no exception.

Last but not least, this is always worth re-sharing…

That’s a wrap for this post! A sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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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/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

 

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For May 22 – 30, 2017

Greetings to everyone! If you celebrated the Memorial Day holiday, I hope the weather was to your liking and you were able to enjoy a long weekend. It’s a very special holiday for many as we take time to reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. In an unofficial sense, it also marks the “beginning” of summer for many people. This past week also saw some robust severe weather events across North America. In addition, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st. There’s plenty to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The atmosphere on the planet Jupiter is amazing with cyclonic storms the size of planets.

GEOGRAPHIC SCIENCE

Interesting new data from the USA Census Bureau. “The South Is Home To 10 Of The 15 Fastest-Growing Large Cities.” It’s also important to note that eleven (subjective opinion) of these cities live in areas that are vulnerable to tornado or hurricane activity.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Some very good renewables news from our friends in the UK. Solar power has just broken a UK record thanks to sunny weather!

Satellites aren’t just used for communications and weather data. There’s a wide variety of scientific disciplines that finds satellite data invaluable. Some possible changes in the future of satellites is somewhat disconcerting while being mildly encouraging.

Unless greenhouse gases are reduced dramatically in the near future, coral bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef will accelerate rapidly.

The 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) World Heritage-listed reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record last year due to warming during March and April.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The National Hurricane Center has released its outlook for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. As of now, an above average year is expected. Keep in mind that many of these tropical cyclones will stay well out to sea and pose no threat to land, but that doesn’t mean anyone living in a hurricane prone region can take a lackadaisical attitude towards being in the path of a tropical storm or hurricane. Prepare now.

An interesting look behind-the-scenes at Colorado State University while they prepare their own predictions for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Here’s an excellent data base of tropical cyclones from NOAA with information going back to the 1850’s.

The GOES-16 weather satellite will be positioned as the GOES East in November 2017. Here’s a good page to take a look at some of the amazing satellite imagery loops available.

There’s been considerable improvement across the contiguous USA for drought conditions save for many parts of Florida and Georgia where extreme drought conditions persist.

One of the most underrated hazards of a thunderstorm is lightning. Every year, hundreds are killed and thousands injured (often permanently) by lightning strikes. What’s it like to be stuck and survive? Read this account to find out.

Many of you are aware of steps you can take to reduce your part of climate change. This list has dozens more and most of us can help. “100 Ways To Reverse Climate Change.”

What will our planet look like with 4 degrees Celsius warmer? Not pleasant.

There are some who don’t believe that our planet could become 4 degrees Celsius warmer and have the war chest to promote their propaganda. Fortunately, the National Center For Science Education (NCSE) has stepped in with educational materials that are firmly based in sound climate science.

PUBLIC POLICY

The awareness of the G7 countries of the hazards of climate change goes back to 2005. To weaken the USA’s position on the global scientific consensus would be politically and scientifically disastrous.

The USA’s Interior Department (in the current American presidential administration) removed (or censored) mention of climate change from a release on coastal flooding because, “It didn’t add anything.” How convenient.

If you have any remote interest in accurate weather forecasting for the USA, you’d better sit down for this one. “White House budget aims to “slow” gains in weather prediction, shocking forecasters.”

Climactically speaking, I couldn’t have said it better myself. “The world is in a mess. It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris Agreement.”

The current USA president has released a revised budget plan that would cut science programmes across the federal government in 2018. Biomedical, public-health, environmental, climate, and weather research would all be headed to the proverbial garbage disposal. The targets of this revised budget is a veritable “who’s who” in science research and development.

THE QUIXOTIC

By one account, apparently physics is “oppressive.” It’s not a little obvious that some people have far too much time on their hands.

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! This entire endeavor is run on a “shoe-string-budget” and has been a labor of love for me since 1998. Although the primary focus is on atmospheric science, I would be greatly remiss to not share information regarding other fields of science, especially those in the environmental areas as well as renewable energy and related public policy. Ultimately, they’re all connected in various facets.

Cheers!


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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links Of The Week In Review For May 15 – 22, 2017

Greetings to all! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are! It’s been a very busy week across much of the USA plains states this past week with several days of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. The beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season is also right around the corner. If you live in a hurricane prone region, this is the ideal time of year to prepare for the storm that we hope you won’t see. This week’s post is a bit on the brief side due to several active days of severe weather but still has plenty of topics of interest…so let’s get started.

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Frequently, I will get inquiries as to how people can get involved in citizen science. SciStarter is a great place to begin with something for everyone.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

An interesting read on focusing on the “bigger picture” instead of minutiae details in improving STEM student learning and comprehension.

For science teachers, here’s a very good read from meteorologist Dan Satterfield with a very nice Teacher’s Guide To Climate Change. The link in the article will take you to a FREE copy of the guide.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Fortunately no seeds were lost, but the irreplaceable stronghold of the world’s seeds was flooded by conditions attributed to climate change.

If you need some “eye candy,” look no further than the amazing planet we live on. Here’s a gallery of fifty-one amazing images of our humble home.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

With the North American severe weather season in full swing and the hurricane season just around the corner, now’s the time to double check your NOAA weather radio to make sure it’s in proper working order and, among other preparations, make a good emergency communication plan. If you’re wondering about the NOAA weather radio coverage for your area, check out this map for more information.

Are “High Risk” areas in Storm Prediction Center outlooks becoming more common? Actually, no…but the forecasting is becoming far more accurate.

What are the calendar dates with the most and fewest tornadoes? US Tornadoes takes a look at some very interesting tornado data.

Less than a year after previous one, the Pacific Ocean is possibly going with another El Niño event.

Globally, April 2017 was the second highest for the month of April going back to 1880. The 2017 year-to-date global temperature was also the second warmest on record.

The World Meteorological Organization has compiled a list of world records for the highest reported historical death tolls from hail storms, tornadoes, lightning, tropical cyclones.

Check out these amazing views of thunderstorms captured by a pilot. You don’t get views like this on every flight.

Having been a storm chaser since March, 1982, I have seen the avocation turn from a small community of perhaps 200 nationwide to a free-for-all circus. This article on the chaser traffic jam (and traffic jam is being much too polite) is a good starting point on addressing the challenges.

PUBLIC POLICY

The uncertainty of this scenario is exceptionally disturbing. Considering the current political trends in the USA, it should come as no surprise. “Will The Government Help Farmers Adapt To A Changing Climate?

There were impressive numbers for world-wide attendance on the April 2017 March For Science.


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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 16 – 23, 2017

Greetings to one and all…and a belated Happy Earth Day! While every day should be Earth day, this is the one of the few days during the year that global consciousness on the current state and fragile future of our humble home can be brought to the forefront of public consciousness. To be practical, this is the only home our species and the thousands of other species will ever know. It would behoove is to be good stewards and take a keen interest in the welfare of this amazing orb whirling round our sun. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Abuse it and, well…there are unpleasant ramifications.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

If you thought bad air quality was a moderate health hazard, thing again. It’s much worse.

Many areas of the USA and Canada that are prone to wildfires have residents that are forced into learning how to live with this annual hazard.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest State Of The Climate report from NOAA is out. Here’s a look at the climate conditions and events for March, 2017.

Visual aids are fantastic for conveying information. The impact can be substantial. This graphic that puts global warming into an easily comprehensible perspective is particularly startling.

Antarctic ice melt, previously thought to be progressing but rather slowly, is now much worse and widespread than we thought.

Conveying the importance of climate change to the general public is a never-ending and daunting task. “Why Humans Are So Bad At Thinking About Climate Change.”

From the Royal Meteorological Society, “An international coalition of 33 meteorological and climate societies and institutions have released a Collective Global Climate Statement to coincide with Earth Day on 22nd April, which this year is focused on environmental and climate literacy. The Statement was initiated and coordinated by the Royal Meteorological Society.”

In spite of its frequency, lightning it one of the most enigmatic atmospheric phenomenons. Here’s a fascinating look at some of the forms it can take. Sprites, often seen above strong/severe supercell thunderstorms, are my personal favorite.

Atmospheric aerosols are an essential element of our weather and air quality. Sunlight is responsible for chemical reactions in our lower atmosphere…the atmosphere we live in and breathe.

Some Twitter chatter from those steeped in hyperbole has been carelessly using the word “outbreak” as of late in reference to potential severe weather. What exactly is a tornado outbreak? (Paper courtesy Rick Smith, WCM for NWS Norman, OK.)

Speaking of severe weather and tornadoes, here’s a nice retrospective from US Tornadoes of all the tornado warnings issued in the USA since 2008.

For some people, anxiety and/or phobias regarding weather, specifically severe weather, are a real challenge to their everyday quality of life and no laughing matter. Fortunately, there are resources available to help anyone why suffers with this challenge…and when you live in Tornado Alley, it can be especially stressful.

Infographic courtesy National Weather Service: Norman, OK

Heat is one of the most underrated weather related hazards and is often fatal. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people with no access to air conditioning or forced to work out of doors in heat that is getting worse year by year and is potentially lethal.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The March For Science brought out scientists and those concerned with science in over 500 cities across six continents. Though the March For Science is a success and brought the current anti-science mindset to the public consciousness, we’ve a long, long hard battle ahead…and the march was just the first step.

The new funding crunch on scientific research has the potential to induce desperate measures that could lead to very dangerous and sloppy science.

As of mid April, 2017, NOAA was still without a new administrator who will oversee climate research, weather forecasting, ocean protection and a $5.6 billion budget.

Support for the worldwide March For Science isn’t unanimous. It’s important to hear both sides and the reasons why some will march, and some, while sympathetic to the cause, will not be taking part.

Scott Pruitt, the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator says the USA should abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. “Pruitt’s statement puts him at odds with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, who said during his confirmation hearing that it was important for the U.S. to “maintain its seat at the table.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Interesting times are ahead and I’m glad you’re along for the wild ride.

Cheers!

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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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