Tag Archives: renewable energy

Tornado Quest Top Science Links For August 15 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking in your location. The big storms across the United States this week has been the solar eclipse, the first significant one for almost a century. The tropical Atlantic has been somewhat more active as of late. The major concern at this date (22 August 2017) is the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey which could bring substantial rainfall totals to much of Texas and possibly Louisiana. There are plenty of other topics to touch on, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The presence of the troll in social media is nothing new. The sad fact is most anyone can (during a momentary lapse of decorum) can become one.

PUBLIC HEALTH

There is a myriad of hazards from weather and climate conditions. Depending on the time of year and location, bugs can be an even greater hazard…many of which spread diseases for which there is no cure.

GENERAL SCIENCE/CRITICAL THINKING

Here’s an essay that’s quite good in reminding us of the fact that science, in its best form, is its harshest critic. It’s all part of how the scientific method works.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

After thousands of years, solar eclipses are still fascinating to scientists…and that’s a very good thing!

If you get the chance to watch another eclipse, please remember to take the necessary safety precautions.

If you missed the 21 August 2017 eclipse, don’t worry. There are several others in the coming years that will pass across North America.

Over the next 50 years, you can travel to a number of locations around the globe to witness an eclipse.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good renewables news. “The increasing presence of wind and solar in the United States helped prevent the premature deaths of up to 12,700 people between 2007 and 2015.”

In consideration of the abundance of bad news, here are some amazingly beautiful images of our incredible home that will offer a visual respite.

 

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For months, several Atlantic hurricane season outlooks have stated that 2017 would be an active year. This still could come to fruition. The most important element to remember; regardless of how many storms form, it only takes one tropical cyclone landfall to make for a major disaster.

Here’s a look at tropical cyclone formation outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center from 23 August to 5 September 2017. An active period is anticipated in portions of both the Pacific and Atlantic.

Graphic courtesy Climate Prediction Center

In California, scientists are taking the reigns of climate research in their own hands. Considering the current hostilities toward climate research, this may be necessary for many other USA states.

It may be August, but for parts of Sweden, it’s time for a touch of snow.

Studying climates of the past (paleoclimatology) is important because it can give us glimpses into the climates of the future.

PUBLIC POLICY

Considering all parties involved, this should come as no surprise to those of us who live in Oklahoma. The Sooner State’s new Attorney General is opposed to the proposed Oklahoma wind farm that could be the largest in the United States.

Nothing good can come from this. “US president Donald Trump’s administration has disbanded a government advisory committee intended to help the country prepare for a changing climate.”

In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence and a global consensus, some of climate change’s most vulnerable victims are the most fervent skeptics of science.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun. Tornado Quest covers a diverse range of topics including environmental issues, climate change, renewable energy sources, and much more. You’ll find much to enjoy, or provoke thought, with our accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

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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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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest’s Science Links Week In Review For August 1 – 8, 2017

Greetings to everyone! This has been an active and interesting weather week across much of North America. Many areas that are normally broiling in temperatures well into the mid to upper 90’s are enjoying cool nights and afternoon highs 10 – 15 degrees cooler. I, for one, am not complaining one bit! A severe weather day for parts of the southern plains brought an EF-2 tornado through parts of midtown Tulsa, OK during the early morning hours of 6 August 2017 resulting in at least 30 injuries. Last but not least, the tropical Atlantic has been more active than in previous weeks…and the peak of the hurricane season is still to come. There’s plenty of other topics to go over, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Here’s an excellent read on communicating science to the general public. “There are too many important issues that science has reached a consensus on that the public has not.”

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This spectacular new dinosaur fossil is bound to bring great enthusiasm to my fellow dinosaur fans.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

This is truly amazing! “Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

Based on new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, the USA’s Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone (oxygen-deprived water where fish can’t survive) is the largest since it started measuring in 1985.

Congratulation Miami! You’ve taken a very bold step. Now, who’s the next city with the chutzpah to make this kind of decision? “South Miami this week became the first city outside of California to require all new homes to install solar panels on their roofs.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent interactive map from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Tulsa, OK with a detailed survey of the Tulsa tornado of 6 August 2017. The tornado formed from a rapidly moving Quasi Linear Convective System (QLCS) and raced at almost 50 mph across midtown portions of the city. This event should be a start reminder that should be a stark reminder that, in spite of the climatological norms, tornadoes do not follow a calendar. “Tornado Season” in the USA runs from January 1 – December 31…and tornadoes can also occur at any time of the day or night and are not limited to forming under a photogenic supercell.

Check out NOAA’s interactive map of the history of the hottest summer day at thousands of locations across the USA.

A new visualization from Climate Central shows a history of global warming in only 35 seconds.

From Climate Central, a startling, but not surprising, survey. “The World Economic Forum surveyed 750 experts on what the most likely and impactful risks facing humanity are in 2017. They ranked extreme weather as the most likely risk and the second-most impactful, trailing only the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

Traveling by commercial aircraft can be challenging enough…but climate change could be introducing a whole new level of inconvenience.

For decades, the urban heat island effect has kept many large cities warmer than surrounding areas. Climate change is poised to make those warmer-than-average urban environments even hotter.

The monsoon season for Arizona, USA residents has been going full throttle in no small part due to the influences of climate change.

The USA isn’t the only country that has histrionic summers. This year has been a rough summer for our friends in Sweden.

I’ve yet to see one of these, but hope to one day…if I can only keep from blinking at the wrong moment! The common but elusive green flash of sunsets.

Truth stranger than fiction. Federal scientists, including those from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have published a 543-page report with startling information on climate change. They’re trying to get the word out before the current presidential administration can bury the report.

That’s a wrap for this post! You can also find Tornado Quest on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr at the links below.

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest’s Science Links Week In Review For July 25 – August 1, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking regardless of where you live. Here in the USA’s Great Plains, we’re enjoying an unseasonably pleasant cool spell, but the summer heat will be back soon enough. For the time being, the tropical Atlantic is relatively quiet…but the peak of the hurricane season is still several weeks away.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Many folks have push notifications turned on for countless apps. For your own sake and sanity, turn them off. I only have text messages and emails going…and I couldn’t be happier.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

If you’re considering a career in the sciences, you’re going to need a thorough background in math. Start early…you won’t regret it.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read from Science Friday on how to view the upcoming solar eclipse safely.

The quote attributed to Carl Sagan that “we are made of star stuff” is emphasized even more so in this good read. “Half The Atoms Inside Your Body Came From Across The Universe.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

This is awesome news for the Sooner State! Oklahoma will soon be home to what could be the largest wind farm in the USA! This is definitely a step in the right direction!

Speaking of wind energy, solar and wind are not “alternative” energy sources anymore. We have got a long way to go to make a dent in climate change, but fortunately, they are already mainstream.

Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” has a new sequel that is not only an update but shows everyday citizens how they can contribute to helping our planet’s environment.

For severe weather and hurricane research, specially equipped aircraft are used. For research into wildfires, the planes used are a different breed of aircraft altogether.

As of late, the western USA has seen a brutal episode of wildfires with almost 5.2 million acres burned from January to late July 2017…and there are several more months left with no let up in sight.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An interesting set of charts from Climate Central on risks to our way of life. As depicted in the first one, climate change and natural disasters supersede every other risk.

Even without an El Niño event (which brings warm ocean water to the surface, temporarily causing average global surface temperatures to rise), 2017 is already setting global temperature records.

If you’re a RadarScope user, you may occasionally notice that a radar is down. Radars, like all other forms of technology, require maintenance and chances are that’s why there’s no data.

Here’s a look at Tornado Warnings issued by the USA’s National Weather Service as of 31 July 2017.

Graphic courtesy Iowa Environmental Mesonet

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 fun. We’re living in interesting times, so hang around for some thought provoking topics.

Cheers!

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

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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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For May 1 – 8. 2017 #HurricaneStrong

Hurricane Preparedness Week #HurricaneStrong has started for the USA. This week’s focus will be on preparing for these powerful storms. If you live in a hurricane prone region, now is the time to prepare. There are numerous websites from the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, and FEMA that have helpful information.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

With the current USA’s Environmental Protection Agency now out of the climate science business, here are some good resources to keep yourself informed.

Here’s some very good renewables news. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a new wind turbine was installed every two and a half hours in the United States during the first quarter of 2017.

Arbor Day may only officially be celebrated once a year, but in reality every day can be arbor day.

In spite of improvements in many countries, air pollution still is a substantial public health issue round the world with developing countries having the most troubles.

The contentious atmosphere (no pun intended) surrounding the current presidential administration, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues with nefarious overtones.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week in the USA from May 7 – 13, 2017. Now is the time to get prepared if you live in a hurricane prone region. The National Weather Service has a comprehensive hurricane preparedness website with all the information you need. On Twitter, you can also follow @NWS along the #hurricanePrep #HurricaneStrong & #ItOnlyTakesOne hashtags for more information.

Here’s a very nice infographic from the National Weather Service with a plethora of information on the WSR-88D weather radars that are an invaluable part of the forecasting and warning process.

NOAA has a very useful tool you can use to find out how climate change will affect your neighborhood.

Taking into consideration the recent changes in the Antarctic ice shelves, a major break could be imminent.

A slower rise in global temperatures from 1998 to 2012 has been hailed by climate change denialists as proof that Earth’s climate isn’t changing and future projections are irrelevant. In fact, new data show that the “hiatus” has no impact on long-term climate change projections.

Big changes in the broadcast meteorology field with the minority finally becoming the majority. Broadcast meteorologists are coming to the inevitable conclusion that they’re not only the only scientists their viewers will ever see on television, but that climate change is now a part of the essential information they must convey to their viewers.

The recent drought in California may be linked to a newly identified climate pattern.

This past week marked the eighteen anniversary of the 3 May 1999 Kansas and Oklahoma tornado outbreak, the largest outbreak to date in the history of Oklahoma. The National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK has a comprehensive retrospective with a wealth of information. And yes, it can and will happen again.

This past week also marked the tenth anniversary of the Greensburg, KS EF-5 tornado. Thanks to fast and effective warnings from the Dodge City, KS National Weather Service and good coverage by broadcast meteorologists, many people had plenty of warning. A few decades ago, a tornado of this magnitude would have resulted in dozens of fatalities.

We’ve not heard the last of this for a long, long time. “New York Times Wants To Offer Diverse Opinions. But On Climate, Facts Are Facts.”

Finally, some helpful lightning safety information courtesy the National Weather Service office in Burlington, VT. Every year approximately thirty people are killed and hundreds injured in the USA alone from lightning. Most if not all of these deaths and injuries are avoidable.

That’s a wrap for this post…see you next time!

Cheers!


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 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!


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 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/

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

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

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 18 – 25, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s been quite a mild winter for much of North America. While some locations have had their fair share of snow and cold temperatures, many locations (including my own) have had very warm winter conditions. Many flowering trees are in full bloom, weeds and early spring flowers are showing their presence, and those unfortunate souls who deal with seasonal allergies are quite miserable. Many high temperature records across the USA have been broken, some of which have stood for the good part of a century. Meanwhile, Australians have had a recent heat wave with lethal temperatures in some locations of 110-115F. This week, there are more than enough science/public policy reads to partake of. For the near term, this is going to be the dominant trend among the scientific community. Scientists from all areas of study have traditionally endeavored to remain apolitical. Those days are gone and, with the war on science gathering steam, it’s time we fight fire with fire. On that note, let’s get started…

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A very thought provoking read that well established what many of us already know…science is an international/global endeavor and it’s time for scientists to stand up to all detractors.

The war for science in the USA is more than a minor difference of opinion. It’s become an all out threat to the USA and, eventually, the entire globe.

While the war on science wages, university officials have very legitimate concerns over scientific research funding that may…or may not…disappear. It’s presence may depend on whether or not it fits within the current presidential administrations agenda.

Ensuring scientific integrity during a time with the anti-science sentiment is at an all time high, will be increasingly difficult in spite of any progress.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and newly sworn-in head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s emails are starting to surface…and they speak for themselves.

The constituents of congressional climate deniers are getting a well-deserved rude awakening at recent town halls. I suppose denying global warming is one way members of Congress are attempting in vain to keep the heat off.

Red states in the USA are giving a small degree of notice to climate change…but only with names that are, at best, watered down euphemisms.

The choice for the current USA’s presidential science advisor is William Happer…and he’s quite interesting to say the least.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Nine Tips For Communicating Science To People Who Are Not Scientists.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is a very thought provoking read that will have you thinking twice about taking your mobile device aboard an international commercial airline flight. Obviously, in spite of the power behind the USA’s Constitution, there are times where our fourth and fifth amendments rights are null and void.

While on the topic of privacy and security, here’s an excellent read on how to encrypt your online life in short order. “Pro Tip: if you insist on enabling thumbprint identification for convenience’s sake, and are ever arrested, immediately power off your phone. When the authorities turn your phone back on, they won’t be able to unlock it without your password. The fifth amendment (against self-incrimination) allows you to keep your password secret. But a court can compel you to unlock your phone with your thumbprint.”

Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy and security, here’s a good read on having grace in social media.

PHYSICS

A fascinating physics read. “Time Crystals – How Scientists Created A New State Of Matter.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some excellent wind power news for the USA. Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on 12 February 2017 for the first time on any North American power grid.

Norway is making major headway in switching over to electric-powered vehicles (EV) and could be one hundred percent EV in as little as eight years.

The sight of four million solar panels from space is quite a sight…and one we can hope will spread across the globe.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Once upon a time, even Benjamin Franklin, lightning rods, and the UK were locked in political sabre rattling over…lightning rods.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows 13.8% of the contiguous USA in drought conditions with intensification noted in the south, mid-Atlantic, and New England.

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Forecasting winter weather events is one of the most daunting challenges that a meteorologist can face. This message from the Twin Cities, MN National Weather Service does an excellent job of explaining to a largely un-weatherwise public the difficulties of doing their job and dealing with a cantankerous segment of the public.

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THE QUIXOTIC

In the 21st century, people are still taking this kind of pseudoscience seriously. Sad but true.

That’s a wrap for this post! As usual, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! We’ve got some wild times ahead, so hang on.

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

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