Tag Archives: public policy

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!


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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

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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

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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!


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

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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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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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

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

Greeting’s to everyone! If you’re celebrating the holiday weekend, I hope it’s a good one. For those not celebrating, I hope your spring/autumn is going as well as possible. Here in the USA, the severe weather season is in full swing this week with several days of challenging forecasts. Also, don’t forget the March For Science is coming up on 22 April 2017! This week’s post will be a bit on the brief side due to a developing severe weather setup…so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A disconcerting privacy read. In the process of trying to guard privacy rights, some people are trying to “trash their tracks.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Polluting your web history won’t keep you from having your rights violated by nefarious opportunists.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a good read on spring-time citizen science projects from SciStarter! Why sit on the sidelines when you can take part? Citizen scientists add valuable data to research projects that, in most situations, would be difficult to obtain.

Citizen science and weather go hand-in-hand exceptionally well! Here are four ways you can enjoy citizen science get involved and contribute valuable weather and climate data to data bases and research!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

It seems as if wind energy gets less expensive month by month…and that’s some very good news!

The drought in California may by “officially” over, but it’s best to not think it won’t happen again.

Speaking of California, here’s some very good renewables news. On one day in March, 2017, California got fifty percent of it’s electricity from solar power.

NASA has a new Night Light Map that shows patterns of human settlement across our humble home.

Challenging times ahead for the EPA. With air quality in the USA still problematic, the health of millions is at stake.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If this past winter seemed short for much of North America, you weren’t imagining things. For the southwestern USA states in particular, spring is coming earlier every year.

This is the kind of record breaking data that doesn’t bring about smiles. We’ve yet another record breaking month for low Arctic sea ice.

Here’s a very informative Science Friday interview with climate scientist Michael Mann on his recent House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology hearing testimony.

Time is running short. “We Must Reach Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, Says Former UN Climate Chief.

Weather balloons carry instrument packages that supply invaluable data for forecasting and observations. Check out this video of a weather balloon exploding at 100,000 feet!

The Heartland Institute is at it again…this time will a well oiled PR campaign based on unfounded accusations sans evidence.

PUBLIC POLICY

NASA continues to be the target of budget cuts that, in the long run, will mean the demise of valuable data that benefits us all.

Now that former Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt is running the USA’s EPA, some climate change denialists are bemoaning that, “he won’t fight.”

While on that topic, the train wreck continues. “Scott Pruitt Calls For An ‘Exit’ From The Paris Accord, Sharpening The Trump White House’s Climate Rift.”

Last but definitely not least, don’t forget the March For Science is only days away on 22 April 2017! Currently, there are over 500 satellite marches that will be taking place the world over!

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media…glad you’re along for the fun! Interesting times ahead.

Cheers!

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

Tornado Quest on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 1 – 8, 2017

Greetings everyone! It’s been a busy week for severe weather events across the contiguous USA the past few days. One of those days included a rare High Risk in the southeastern states. Perhaps more unusual is the fact that it was the third High Risk for 2017…and we’re still in early April. There’s a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the rest of the “tornado season” will be active. The best action for the general public to take is the necessary preparedness steps. This week’s post will be a bit shorter than usual due to ongoing projects and the severe weather of the past week…so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

A good climate read on the irrevocable link between climate change and its effects on living animals and other parts of the earth’s biosphere.

In spite of its numerous benefits, renewable energy sources are still subject for debate. Here’s a very concise overview over many very contentious renewables topics.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

With the severe weather season in full swing, I’ve compiled a list of safety links that I hope will be helpful to you. Remember, the severe weather season is (from a climatological perspective) just kicking into gear and we have several active months ahead.

If you’re programming your NOAA weather radio, here’s a helpful page with an interactive map that will help you with any coverage questions.

This video is proof positive that a vehicle is no match for even a weak and quite modest tornado.

This past April 3rd was the forty-third anniversary of the tornado “Super-outbreak” of 1974. Here’s a very nice retrospective and even a look at if it were to happen again today, how the amount of damage and potential casualties would be much greater. As we saw with the 27 April 2011 outbreak, events of this magnitude can and will happen again.

From Climate Central, “A never-ending stream of carbon pollution ensures that each year the world continues to break records for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” Unfortunately, 2017 will be no different.

With largely ice-free summers since 2011, the Arctic Ocean is taking on characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean.

PUBLIC POLICY

The campaign to put science and tech leaders in public office is gathering momentum fast…and can’t happen soon enough. In fact, it’s time for scientists to step up with no time to waste.

This short video explains why scientists are mobilizing and taking a stance against the “fear of facts” that is pervasive within the current USA’s presidential administration.

It should come as no surprise that scientists have understood for over a century the way our climate functions…better than the current head of the USA’s EPA.

The role of scientists is to present facts, the future possibilities, and consequences. Unfortunately, the people (often our politicians/lawmakers) are so scientifically illiterate that they can do little more than convey ignorance and make egregiously misguided decisions.

Last but not least, a cartoon that has a bite of truth mixed with humor.

And that’s a wrap for this post! Remember, if you live in an area that is prone to severe weather, make final preparations for your emergency kits and any other necessary arrangements. Until next time…Cheers!


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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For March 12 – 19, 2017

Greetings to everyone! All across most of North American, spring is in full swing much earlier than usual. The severe weather season has also kicked into gear and the peak of the season (by climate data) is still well over two months away. There’s plenty to cover this week, so let’s get started.

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

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s severe weather safety link is the Tornado Safety page from the Storm Prediction Center’s Roger Edwards. The page starts out with a very appropriate and true warning: There is no such thing as guaranteed safety inside a tornado. Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare, though. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A up-to-date list of citizen science projects is always available from the folks at SciStarter. The City Nature Challenge is just one of many taking place in several USA cities. I’ve been a long-time participant in the CoCoRaHS rain, hail, and snow network. By participating, you will provide meteorologists with valuable precipitation measurements. The CoCoRaHS network also has a free app where you can send in your daily reports…even if you don’t get any precipitation at all!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

For those of you familiar with the Scandinavian countries, it should come as no surprise that the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Stockholm is one of the cleanest capital cities on the planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The recent snowstorm in the northeastern parts of the USA has brought more than snow. The usual cries of “foul” are not going unnoticed. Unfortunately, they’re not coming from a segment of the population that understands the daunting task of forecasting winter weather. Here are some badly needed answers from those who know.

Now that spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has put together their Spring 2017 Outlook and these two maps that hint at a warmer-than-usual spring for much of the contiguous USA. As for precipitation, there are equal chances (EC) that much of the country experiencing drought will or will not get any relief.

For #WorldMetDay on 23 March 2017, the World Meteorological Organization has new cloud identification charts!

The new charts cover low, middle, and high level clouds as well as other general cloud information and are available in several languages.

Weather satellites are as essential to the atmospheric sciences as x-rays and CT scans are to the medical profession. Science Friday recently spoke with some folks from NOAA on the current and future nature of weather satellites. Do weather satellites need a repairman? What does the future hold for NOAA’s satellites?

For those who have taken part in a NWS Skywarn storm spotting course, you’ll find some valuable information in this video from storm chaser Skip Talbot called “Storm Spotting Secrets.” Please pay attention to the caution at the beginning of the video. This is NOT a replacement for a NWS Skywarn spotter training course. After having been a storm chaser since March, 1982, I can honestly say that almost every storm environment is different, nature always has the upper hand, and what will get you in trouble is either (1.) the danger that blindsides you that you never see coming or (2.) pushing the safety envelope in order to have more “extreme” videos and/or photographs. Many supercell thunderstorms can intensify at an almost incomprehensible rate and you may not have time to react in a safe and rational matter.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Good for them. Let’s hope the more join the ranks. “In Challenge To Trump, 17 Republicans Join Fight Against Global Warming.”

A sobering read about the current state of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affairs. “A Guide To The EPA Data Under Threat By The Trump Administration.”

The recent proposed “skinny budget” is a very real threat to the EPA, NOAA, NASA, and more. It also potentially puts the general public at risk.

Speaking of budget, if the current USA presidential administration cuts climate science funding, the ramifications could severely hurt the UK’s climate scientists ability to do research. With NOAA in the crosshairs, this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly. Ginned up hype? Contrary to some who are on the defensive, no…this isn’t.

Although science funding makes up only about 1% of the annual USA’s federal budget, much of the future of climate science research funding is in jeopardy.

A very intriguing read. The USA’s new defense secretary cites climate change as a national security issue.

Unfortunate yet somehow not surprising. “Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia.”

THE QUIXOTIC

This is one of those headlines that leaves you a bit gobsmacked. “Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe Says EPA Is ‘Brainwashing’ Out Children.”

That’s a wrap for this week! I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest 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 Week In Review For March 4 – 12, 2017

Greetings and welcome to everyone! With severe weather season having gotten off to a good start across parts of North America, I’m going to include a severe weather safety link every week for the next month or so. Considering the recent uptick in severe thunderstorm and tornado activity, now’s the time to make final preparations for your emergency kit and any necessary plans regarding shelter. As usual, there are plenty of other topics to cover, so let’s get started.

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

SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY

This week’s Severe Weather Safety link is from the Storm Prediction Center. The comprehensive Online Tornado FAQ.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool read on new evidence of a water-rich history on Mars.

LIFE SCIENCE/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is a very interesting new perspective on evolution. “The power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A new report published in the Anthropocene Review has measured the impact humanity has on our humble planet. The results are, as expected, not a little substantial.

A sobering read on the state of our air quality. “Pollution is responsible for one in four deaths among all children under five, according to new World Health Organization reports, with toxic air, unsafe water, and lack of sanitation the leading causes.”

How about a nostalgic visit to the pre-EPA era in the USA. Ah, yes…those were the days.

Let’s end this on a positive note with a visit to a Texas, USA city that is leading the way on renewable energy.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Summer can’t end too soon for Australians…who have just endured one of the worst heat waves in decades with many records broken.

Warmer than usual temperatures are creating an unsettling scenario in the Arctic as its sea ice continues to diminish at an alarming rate.

While on the topic of warming, spring came early for much of the contiguous USA…and climate change played no small part.

A recent survey shows that most Americans feel climate change is a legitimate concern…but only for other countries. In the UK, concern over climate change and its local effects is also growing.

As for the climate change deniers, there’s no other way to describe them other than “deniers.”

Here’s a brilliant “take down” from a noted climate scientist in reply to a well-known cartoonist who, for some reason, seems to enjoy spreading doubt about soundly established science.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back incredible data. One of the new features is the Geostationary Lightning Mapper.

Is Moore, OK in the cross-hairs of strong to violent tornadoes? It really depends on how you want to look at past history given humans habit of making “sense” out of random events. Here’s an interesting perspective with input from several notable severe weather meteorologists…from the FiveThirtyEight archive: Tornado Town, USA.

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Scientists can no longer nurture an aversion to public engagement. With a war on science gathering momentum, it’s time to make your presence known.

Recent proposed cuts to the NOAA budget could not only put a halt to a great deal of research, but seriously affect data used for keeping folks informed about dangerous weather conditions.

Understandably so, many climate scientists and weather forecasters are infuriated at the latest threats to NOAA form the current presidential administration. Both the EPA and NOAA are part of what has made the USA a great country in recent decades.

The USA’s Clean Water Rule is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, the current administration has it squarely in the cross-hairs for a full on attack.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “It seems like this EPA and this administration broadly seem to view their job as being a support for business as opposed to safeguarding public health.”

Last but definitely not least, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt (who’s well-known to my fellow Oklahomans) actually said something that flies in the face of firmly established climate science. The train wreck continues…

THE QUIXOTIC

Finally, a look at the archaic “daylight saving time” routine that has long lost it’s purpose.

That’s a wrap for this post! A big “welcome” to my new followers in social media. 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

 

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