Tag Archives: science communication

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 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.

c5yvcsewaaaitwt-jpg-large

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.

capture-1

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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For December 12 – 20, 2016

Greetings everyone! For those of you across North America, I hope you’re managing to stay warm during the current cold snap. It certainly adds a bit of ‘zing’ to the holiday season. Speaking of the holidays, this post and the following two will be on the brief side. It’s a crazy, busy time of year for many of us and I’m no exception. Still, there are important topics to keep abreast of, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

A wide variety of science fields are covered in this particular retrospective on the twelve key science moments of 2016.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

What’s the best way to communicate scientific concepts that are often very complex to the general public? “It turns out that even in the world of scientific writing, your eighth-grade teacher was right: how you write can matter as much as what you write.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Exciting news for astronomy fans. The world’s largest digital survey of the visible Universe, mapping billions of stars and galaxies, has been publicly released.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

When the air quality in a city is so bad that airline traffic is cancelled, you know it’s air that is literally lethal to breathe.

Here’s an excellent read and infographic on reducing your plastic pollution. The plastics that are part of many life saving items aren’t the problem, it’s the “daily plastics” that aren’t always necessary and so easily discarded that are the challenge.

The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association has released a “fact” sheet on waste water injection/fracking and it’s relation to the recent and dramatic increase of earthquakes in the Sooner State. For reasons that are blatantly obvious, they’re not taking responsibility for their actions. This is public relations cherry-picking at its best.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An unsettling read from Climate Central: Scientists Are Saving Climate Data; This Is Why It Matters. “In recent days, efforts have sprung up to archive climate data on federal sites. They’ve been spurred by fears that the Trump administration could take a hostile stance toward climate science and that budget cuts could make data less accessible.”

A very unsettling essay by climate scientist Michael E. Mann that is a “must read” for anyone interested in the atmospheric sciences. “I’m A Scientist Who Has Gotten Death Threats. I Fear What May Happen Under Trump.”

Here’s a look at NOAA’s global State Of The Climate report for November, 2016. First, let’s take a look at selected climate anomalies and events.

201611Here’s the global temperature trends for November. While much of North America was quite above normal, parts of Europe and Asia were unseasonably cool.

201612

After a very warm November in North America, 2016 had to get one last cold shot in before year’s end. Watching it take place across surface observations (especially the Oklahoma Mesonet) was quite a sight.

Finally, a rather impertinent view of the never-to-be-settled-argument on school closings and winter weather. In this game, you just can’t win, even when erring on the side of justifiable caution.


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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For October 10 – 17, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to  your week and the weather where you live is being kind to you. The big weather story this week is the ongoing flooding in parts of the southeastern USA, North Carolina in particular, that resulted from Hurricane Matthew. In climate science, substantial progress has been made with dozens of countries agreeing on pacts that will have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for every one of us. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A nice overview of the challenge of communicating science to the general public.

A fascinating take on the gender differences that are often perpetuated within the sciences. “Metaphorically Speaking, Men Are Expected To Be Struck By Genius, Women To Nurture It.”

A chilling segment broadcast on Science Friday on 14 October 2016 on the ‘dangers’ involved in scientific research.

A very thought-provoking essay and overview of four new books that, “one way or another, our planet is wilder and weirder than the rules we are used to would predict.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES/RECYCLING

Ozone is beneficial in the upper levels of our atmosphere. The opposite is true at ground level where humans and other life forms exist. While many effects of ozone are understood, more are being researched and, as our planet warms, concern is growing about the public health and environmental impacts of this toxic substance.

A unique solution to a renewable energy challenge. “Scotland region will be 100% powered by kites within a decade.”

You’d think that in this day and age, irresponsibility like this wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. “British Households Fail To Recycle A ‘Staggering’ 16 Million Plastic Bottles A Day.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Ever wonder what it’s like to ride along with hurricane hunters? It’s not for the faint of heart. This video gives you an inside view.

If there’s a good chance of La Nina for North American in the coming months, how will it affect the coming winter?

Are you a storm chaser or have a particular interest in severe weather and tornadoes? Here’s a good read that should spearhead some of your own research into tornado genesis. “Wind Patterns In Lowest Layers Of Supercell Storms Key To Predicting Tornadoes.”

Simply put, this headline is spot on. “If Congress Invests In Seasonal Weather Forecast Research, Everybody Wins.”

Ever feel dismayed about overwhelming evidence on climate change? There’s no need to. Here’s a good viewpoint on how to “make lemonade out of climate change.”

Here’s an excellent Q & A from the Union Of Concerned Scientists regarding drought conditions that plague over 40% of the USA.

This is perhaps the biggest climate change news in quite some time. Over 190 countries have agreed to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change. It’s a very important step that is vital to the world we live in today…and for future generations.

A startling look at the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti with photos and maps.

ONE IMPORTANT LAST MESSAGE…

Please show your support & wear Orange this Wednesday.

UNITY DAY: Together against bullying — united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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

Cheers!


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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For October 3 – 10, 2016

Greetings folks! I hope everyone’s having a good start to their week. Of course, the big story this week has been Hurricane Matthew which left hundreds dead in its wake and an untold amount of destruction. It was a stark reminder than, in spite of a nearly decade long “hurricane drought” for the USA, many areas are still as vulnerable (if not more so) as they ever were. With increasing real estate development and growing populations, hurricane prone areas are still in nature’s cross-hairs. As it is often said, it only takes one…and it doesn’t have to be a major hurricane making landfall over a major population area for significant amounts of damage to personal property, infrastructure, injuries, and deaths to occur. The temptation to flee the snow belt or the extremes of the Great Plains and live in a year round “clement climate” that is warm and conducive to sunbathing in winter is strong, but, depending on where you live, it comes with a price.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

As I’ve discussed with many colleagues as of late, the attack on science isn’t just delegated to a few small regions, but has become a global menace. The challenge of communicating science to the public must be taken up by a science-savvy press and science educators among others.

Public misconceptions about many fields of study are common. Here’s an excellent overview of eight myths about the public’s view of science.

Communicating to the public about scientific topics can be risky, yet it can be done. “How Scientists Can Engage The Public Without Risking Their Careers.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

What’s next for Twitter? One of the biggest movers and shakers in social media is on rocky ground…and whoever buys it will determine its fate.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Americans are increasingly concerned about our environment even though a relatively small percentage of people surveyed are actively taking part in doing what they can to take better care of our humble home.

Well said. “If only we could see the air pollution around us we could identify the culprits and avoid exposure. From an early age we are taught not to drink dirty water or eat moldy food but we have less opportunity to avoid harmful air.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The duties that are required of hurricane hunters are not for the faint of heart. This is a very tough job that often goes without thanks. This excellent video gives you a quick overview of what goes on in those violent storms.

Adding insult to injury. Rising temperatures due to climate change are “loading the dice” for a permanently dry southwestern USA.

A sobering read from Climate Central. “Carbon dioxide just hit its annual minimum at Mauna Loa Observatory and failed to dip below 400 ppm.”

On the brighter side, 191 countries have found a plan to let airlines grow without increasing their significant impact on the environment.

This explains a lot. “The Psychology Behind Climate Change Denial.”

Finally, on a positive note, there are many ways you can receive potentially life-saving weather advisories, watches, and warnings…and that includes all of your mobile devices. Here’s a helpful info-graphic from the National Weather Service with a quick overview.

nws-mobile-device-infographic

For more specific information for your location, go to mobile.weather.gov ~ the good news is that as connected to information sources as we are today, almost everyone can get weather information 24/7.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

Considering this comes from the Drudge report, I’m not at all surprised at its reprehensible, sophomoric rhetoric. Politicizing a weather event such as Hurricane Matthew is indeed, “deplorable.”

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

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 29 – September 6, 2016

Greetings to one and all! It’s been quite a week for the tropical Atlantic and Pacific with several hurricanes, some reaching major intensity, taking the stage front and center. Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a Category 1 storm and was the first hurricane to hit the “Sunshine State” since 2005. As of this post, Hermine is off the northeast coast of the USA and still poses a threat in spite of having lost its tropical characteristics. In the Pacific, hurricanes Madeline and Lester took swipes at Hawaii and gave us a reminder than those chain of islands are very vulnerable to even the most intense tropical cyclones. This post will be on the brief side since the past week has been exceptionally busy with hurricanes and multi-tasking previous commitments and media requests. As usual, there are many good reads on climate change as well as other dimensions of the atmospheric sciences…so let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Meet the woman who first identified the greenhouse effect in 1856.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read for those of us who communicate science to the non-scientists. “12 Tips For Scientists Writing For The General Public.”

Yes, art and science can co-exist…and even bolster the scientific mind. From personal experience (I’m an electric bass player) I can say from personal experience that this does work.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

We’ve just gotten a good look at Jupiter’s north pole…and it’s unlike anything we’ve yet encountered in our own solar system.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

This is indeed an amazing and exciting discovery! “Live Thrived On Young Earth. Scientists Discover 3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Just after 7:00 AM CDT on 3 September 2016, several midwestern states were shaken by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Pawnee, OK. Damage was reported across a wide area of north-central Oklahoma. This earthquake tied the 5.6 OK earthquake of November, 2011 for the strongest in the Sooner states history. Understandably so, Oklahoma ordered fossil fuel wells shut down after the earthquake. After a relatively quiet period of seismic activity, it’s no accident that the record quake was tied. The question Oklahoma residents must ask themselves now it, “When will another substantial earthquake occur…and will it be an even bigger one?”

Here’s a seismograph from the Leonard, OK station of the earthquake.

OK Earthquake Seismograph 3 September 2016

While on the topic of Oklahoma earthquakes, here’s a good story from NPR on fossil fuel production and it’s relation to the sudden recent increase in seismic activity.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE?RENEWABLES

If there was ever a good reason for creating a drought hardy yard and garden, this is it.

Wind power is really taking off in the USA and is now the number two country in the world in installed wind capacity (after China) and number one in wind electricity generated!

The long-term implications of this are irrevocable. “Natural Gas Is Passing Coal As A Source Of CO2 Emissions In The USA.”

The irrevocable link between our air quality and our health. “Air Pollution Is Sending Tiny Magnetic Particles Into Your Brain.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For sixty years, atmospheric scientists have watched a steady wind pattern in the stratosphere faithfully repeating like clockwork every two years. Without warning and for the first time it’s changed direction.

Here’s a very nice visualization of hurricanes that will help you easily understand the anatomy of these amazing storms.

What were hurricane hunters studying when they flew into Hurricane Hermine? Read this to find out! “Capturing The Genesis Of A Hurricane.”

In the northwest Pacific ocean, which happens to be the world’s hotspot for tropical cyclone activity, a new study reveals the land-falling typhoons have become more intense.

In spite of the cynics, it’s good news that the USA and China have formally committed to the Paris Climate Accord.

They took the words right out of my mouth…

  • For climate activists, the growing trend of climate change denialism in recent years isn’t just frustrating—it’s alarming. We know that the longer we wait to shift our energy sources and increase the efficiency with which we utilize the energy we produce, the more jarring the shift will be. Despite the powerful message that world leaders have sent by coming together in Paris to agree to limit warming to 2 degrees, currently national and global plans are not enough to make that a reality.”

Having said that, here’s the rest of the article on how to effectively communicate with a denier.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For May 2 – 9, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope your week is going well. As is the case so often for this time of year, this post will be more brief than usual due to several days of ongoing severe weather across North America. Monday’s (9 May 2016) tornadoes were not without a significant amount of damage and, unfortunately, two fatalities. Severe weather is ongoing across the Ohio valley and in Texas. Another round is on tap for Wednesday, 11 May 2016. Still, there’s plenty of other interesting news going on, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Considering the sub-par coverage of science topics by the mainstream media, a fact-checking crusade initiated by scientists might not be a bad idea.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

People are still freaking out about the planet Mercury in “retrograde.”  Here’s what’s really going on.

A spectacular look at the 12 “craziest” images ever captured by the Hubble Telescope.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

An interesting new study examines wildfires in California and found that human activity explains as much about their frequency and location as climate influences.

A new map from Climate Central backed by data from NOAA shows the United States has more gas flares than any other country in the world.

Here’s some very good news on the renewable energy front. Solar power is catching on exceptionally fast in the Untied States.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a fascinating read (with plenty of links for further research) on rain spawning more rain when it falls on ploughed land.

A very interesting read for my fellow weather geeks. “New Maps Shed Light On The Secret Lives Of Clouds.”

A novel concept…with journal link for further reading. “While hurricanes are a constant source of worry for residents of the southeastern United States, new research suggests that they have a major upside — counteracting global warming.”

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

Cheers!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For February 1 – 8, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope all of you have had a nice start to February. It’s hard to imagine that January has gone in a flash. The next thing we know, the seasons will switch places in the hemispheres and the blistering summer heat will settle in for my neck of the woods. El Nino has made quite a bit of news lately. That phenomenon, among others, are covered in this post…so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE & SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

An excellent read by Caren Cooper. “Scientists Should Talk To The Public, But Also Listen.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The demise of Flash, one of the tech banes of my existence, may come sooner than previously thought…which is a few years too late for me.

Twitter has introduced algorithms. Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING can or will come good of this, save for the shrieks of joy from fear-mongers, hypsters, and shills.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Scientists have found evidence of continental collisions in Wyoming’s Teton Range, similar to those in the Himalayas, dating to as early as 2.68 billion years ago.

Would love to see this come to fruition. “U.S. Quake Warning System Could Save Lives When Seconds Count.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A vastly underrated public health hazard. “The Truth About London’s Air Pollution.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Folks living in the United States…did you know your local National Weather Service office has Twitter and Facebook accounts and can provide you with locally tailored forecasts and weather information?

NOAA and NASA have teamed up to study the current El Nino, one of the strongest on record.

Whoever thought that, in the middle of California’s historic drought, a little bit of El Nino induced rain could pose a problem?

It should come as no surprise that southern England’s floods in 2014 were linked to climate change.

Yet another weather event that has been linked to climate change…the Missouri, USA floods of December, 2015.

The drought that has plagued the western USA for some time now is rapidly becoming a new way of life.

At the other end of the rain/drought spectrum, residents in Yorkshire, England are dealing with the brutal aftermath and immense psychological stress of recent flooding.

A “tip-of-the-hat” to Pope Francis for not kowtowing to either special interests or the anti-science crowd and producing this well done video on caring for the only home our species will ever know.

 That’s a wrap for this post! 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!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For October 7 – 14, 2015

Autumn is certainly in the air across many areas of North American with a plethora of beautiful fall foliage to appeal to your aesthetic senses. If you’re seeing the seasonal change in your area, I hope you’re enjoying the scenery. Here in the southern plains of the USA, it’s been unseasonably warm. Summer is not going away without a fight in my neck of the woods. For the first time in many weeks, the tropical Atlantic and eastern Pacific are rather tranquil…and I’ve no complaints about that.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY/STEM

Most American citizens feel political candidates should have a thorough comprehension of science…hence the immediate uselessness of the “I’m not a scientist” cop-out.

Fascinating read that should offer some encouragement for women to pursue STEM careers. “Margaret Hamilton wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this slide show with amazing images of Pluto. Who would have thought that it was such an incredible place.

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

A very nice read on the history of plate tectonic science.

Some spectacular views of lava flowing on Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) puts Twitter to good use by using the social media outlet as a means to better track earthquakes.

The USGS also has a very nice informative page on earthquake early warnings

In Oklahoma, USGS records show 1,400+ earthquakes to date in 2015 alone. The science behind human-caused earthquakes from is very solid…much to the chagrin of many Oklahoma-based fossil fuel interests.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry, ordered companies on September 18, 2015 to shut or reduce usage of five saltwater disposal wells around the north-central Oklahoma city of Cushing. In an odd coincidence, in the early morning hours of October 10, 2015, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake occurred near Cushing. To date, over 1,400 earthquakes have occurred in Oklahoma during 2015 alone…and the year’s not over yet.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s an excellent article explaining all you need to know about the current global coral reef bleaching.

Small, but nasty. California has become the latest state to ban/restrict microbeads in skin care products.

Sweden, you rock in every way possible! Stockholm aims to be powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A thought-provoking read that’s bound to stir a great deal of discussion. An ex-republican meteorologist has called for the end of partisan divide over climate science.

In the light of climate change, a NASA scientist expresses his concerns over our own planet becoming like other dead worlds.

New research projects a doubling of surface melting of Antarctic ice shelves by 2050 and that by 2100 melting may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse.

It’s not often what you say, but how you say (or write) it. Climate scientists, practicing good science protocol, use tentative wording in discussing or writing about climate change. Denialists, seeing the world in a strict “black-or-white” manner, are quite the opposite.

A sound idea since the science is solid, though I feel it’s most beneficial to implement solutions and continue research simultaneously. “New IPCC chief: Let’s focus on climate change solutions rather than more research.

The recent AP Stylebook recommendation in its climate change section is considered a “big” win for skeptics, a “small” win for denialists, but a bad decision overall.

Finally, feast your eyes on a summer’s worth of monsoons in this wonderful video.

THE QUIXOTIC

When a journalist arrived at the Oklahoma City headquarters of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) hoping for an interview, the congenial IOGCC folks called the Oklahoma City Police. I guess they don’t like their secrecy to come under scrutiny.

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That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to take a moment and send a “welcome” to my new followers on social media. Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2015

Summer is still firmly entrenched across much of North America. In fact, for the southern plains, we’ve just reached the climatological period for peak average high temperatures. The good news is that after the first week in August, there’s a slow decline in high temperatures to look forward to. We’ve many more weeks of hot, humid weather on tap, but hang on. Autumn will be here before we know it. The tropical Atlantic has been quiet so far…but we’re coming to the peak of climatological activity for the hurricane season. This is as good a time as any to make sure you’re prepared before it’s too late. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION

Spot on. “Neil deGrasse Tyson on Q&A calls scientific illiteracy a tragedy of our times.”

A very handy read from American Scientist on the most daunting task science writers (like yours truly) face more often than not…making science comprehensible for the general public.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Check out this amazing image from NASA and the ISS silhouetted against the moon.

Fascinating read on what could be the largest feature in the observable universe: a ring of nine gamma ray bursts — and hence galaxies – 5 billion light years across.

Chances are, you’ve already seen this. If not, take a look. “This animation shows images of the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DISCOVR spacecraft’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth – one million miles away.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Welcome to the club, Sweden! Sincerely, Oklahoma. “Gothenburg rocked by “fairly big” earthquake.”

Speaking of earthquakes, here’s an intriguing story from Aljazeera American on the connection between fracking and Oklahoma earthquakes. Read between the lines…let the coverup begin…or continue as the case may be.

Here are some very nice photos of the Earth’s newest island.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Once again, Sweden shows up top in quality of life by recycling a staggering 99% of its garbage.

Not all states are equal in the new Clean Power Plan. Here’s an explanation why. Critics arguments will inevitably fail since they had the opportunity to do something about it, but blew it off instead.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you think the summer heat is brutal where you are, imagine dealing with “off the charts” head indices that have occurred recently in Iran.

The most recent US Drought Monitor shows vast improvement over most of the USA. Unfortunately, the relentless drought is holding fast in the western states.

Speaking of the western USA drought, here’s a collection of recent links on the topic.

Computer models on climate change are very good at what they do…and more accurate than previously thought.

Part sociology and part atmospheric science. This is a very surprising look at educational background and it’s relation to concerns and beliefs on climate change.

That’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers on social media. There are quite a few of you and I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome!” to all of you. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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