Tag Archives: science education

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For October 11 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re having good weather wherever you are. Here across much of North America, we’re getting a touch of autumn…some areas are enjoying the spectacular fall foliage, others are still reeling from devastating hurricanes and wildfires. There’s plenty to look over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

The US state of New Mexico has reversed course (somewhat) on a recent public education issue with startling changes to proposed science standards. In the 21st century, it’s hard to believe that any of these changes were even proposed.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

One underrated hazard from natural disasters is the prevalence of PTSD which, all too often, can be permanently disabling.

A little social science combined with technology. “Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

An excellent video summary from the BBC on why the California wildfires are so deadly.

There’s a definite connection between climate change and the California wildfires. Here’s what is know so far.

As of 20 October 2017, California wildfires have caused over one billion US dollars in damages.

This is an excellent perspective on the California wildfires. “Promoting the right kind of fire—and smarter development—is safer and more cost-effective than fighting a losing battle.”

While part of the recent California wildfires can be attributed to climate change and natural causes, humans must be willing to accept responsibility for our part.

Using plastics is almost unavoidable…and can be precarious. Here’s an excellent guide on what kinds of plastics to chose and which ones to avoid altogether.

Why are scientists so bad at recycling? Unfortunately, many laboratory scenarios have certain challenges…but zero waste can be achieved.

In Europe, the 2014 death toll from air pollution is estimated to have been as high as 500,000 early deaths.

The potential for wind energy worldwide is immense…and now’s the time to start harnessing this renewable source of clean energy.

A small town in the very Red state of Texas is the perfect example of what an American eco-friendly city of the future looks like.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been remarkable. 2017 became the first year in more than a century and only the fourth on record with 10 consecutive Atlantic storms reached hurricane strength.

Read how and why Ophelia was the strongest storm to hit Ireland in almost half a century.

An interesting read from Climate Central on the effect climate change is having on fall foliage.

The watch and waiting game for La Niña continues. “The October ENSO forecast says La Niña conditions are favored during the fall and winter 2017-18, but at press time the ocean-atmosphere system didn’t quite meet the criteria for a La Niña Advisory.”

Here’s a look at this week’s USA Drought Monitor. Here’s a detailed region-by-region look at current drought conditions.

The road to recovery for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria is going to be a long one that will take years.

PUBLIC POLICY

No words to describe this continuation of the train wreck. “In announcing his abandonment of the Clean Power Plan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt boasted, “The war on coal is over.” That means the war on children has begun.”

Here’s another “head scratcher” that isn’t really surprising. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has scrubbed their website of references to ‘climate change.’

This is an interestingly disconcerting development. “Trump Pics Weather Company Chief to Lead NOAA.”


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Tornado Quest Science Links In Review For October 4 – 11, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you are. This has been another wild week across North America. As Hurricane Nate made landfall on the Gulf Coast, devastating wildfires in the western USA destroyed thousands of structures. Just for good measure, we’ve had a few episodes of severe weather in the Great Plains as well. There are plenty of other topics, including Earth Science Week, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE EDUCATION/CITIZEN SCIENCE

Earth Science Week is in progress! This year’s Earth Science Week is from October 8-14, 2017 and has the theme “Earth and Human Activity.”

The free mPING app is a great way for you to send a wide variety of weather information to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Your report helps with weather research!

SOCIAL SCIENCE

After a natural disaster, dealing with the physical and psychological fatigue and PTSD can be overwhelming. Rest assured, if you’ve ever endured that, you’re not alone.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Here’s a good read on the daunting challenges that exist with recycling and dealing with litter.

Kicking our addiction to plastic is a crucial environmental issue. Up to one-third of all plastic packaging produced winds up in the oceans of our planet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report for January to September 2017 from NOAA. Among the findings…every state across the contiguous USA had above average temperatures for the first nine months of 2017.

Graphics courtesy NOAA

Recent temperatures have been sweltering in Australia. And yes, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) links it to climate change. Here is the full 29 page (PDF file) report from the Australia BoM.

Graphic courtesy Australia BoM

September 2017 was a very active time for the Atlantic hurricane season. “The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for September 2017 set a new record for any month over the North Atlantic basin.”

With climate change comes many facets of our atmosphere that will be quite different from the past. One of those will be air travel.

Many people in countries other than the USA take climate change very seriously. Why do Americans have such a cavalier attitude towards such a critical crisis?

Not all Americans take a careless attitude towards climate change. The US Defense Department takes it very, very seriously.

Interesting read on climate change and it’s connection to the recent and ongoing North American wildfires. “Droughts And Wildfires: How Global Warming Is Drying Up The North American Monsoon.”

The time for discussions regarding hurricanes and their effects on populated areas is now. “In A Time Of Hurricanes, We Must Talk About Environmental Conservation.”

Speaking of hurricanes, one of the USA’s most vulnerable cities, New Orleans, has a disastrous history of dealing with the inevitable flooding that so often comes with tropical cyclones.

The builders of this house say it can withstand a powerful tornado or hurricane. The real proof would be if one were actually exposed to EF-5 winds and the heavy debris field that would accompany such a tornado as it moved through a densely populated area.

While not all are weather-related, many of these amazing images are related to the changes of the seasons and the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

PUBLIC POLICY

A major setback for the USA’s environmental policy. “EPA Announces Repeal Of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule.”

THE AFTERMATH

Consider this is only one batch. Ripe with floodwaters (and accompanying bacteria, mold, etc.) from Hurricane Harvey…a bevy of vehicles stored in Texas. There are at least two more with just as many vehicles that were flooded.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. We live in very interesting times and I’m glad we’re going through this together.

Cheers!

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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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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: Week In Review For July 18 – 25, 2017

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

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE/EDUCATION

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

PUBLIC HEALTH/WEATHER SAFETY

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NCEI & Climate Central

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

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

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

Infographic courtesy Climate Central

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

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

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

PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

Cheers!

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links: Week In Review For July 3 – 10, 2017

Greetings again to one and all!  I hope the weather is to your liking wherever you live. Here in the Great Plains of the USA, the summer heat has settled in. It’s not unusual, but this weather geek never gets used to it. There’s plenty to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

A very thought provoking essay on concerns with how science is taught in our classrooms.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Would you like some citizen science to go along with your sun, sand, and surf? You’ve got it…right here!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Many had hopes that life could exist on Mars. Those hopes were dashed as the surface of the “red planet” is more than a little uninhabitable.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

We are forced to adapt and confront the fact that the largest expanse of coral reefs in the world is dying before our eyes.

While challenging and forcing you to face old habits, becoming plastic free as possible is not that difficult.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

June 2017 was another warm month for the planet in general and specifically in parts of the southwestern USA, western Europe, and Siberia.

Global surface air temperature anomaly for June 2017 relative to the June average for the period 1981-2010. Source: ERA-Interim. (Credit: ECMWF, Copernicus Climate Change Service)

A look at mean temperature percentile for the contiguous USA for June 2017. (Credit: NOAA National Centers For Environmental Information)

A chunk of ice about the size of the state of Delaware is about to break off in Antarctica. When it does break off, it will be one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

There are many ideas regarding ice loss in Antarctica (which is normal for properly conducted science) and that can seem overwhelming to the lay public. Here’s a good overview on what to believe about the Antarctic ice loss.

Speaking of Antarctica, its ice-free areas are predicted to reach proportions that will affect the unique animal life and terrestrial plant life that exists there.

While a great deal of attention is given to Antarctica, Greenland is going though an equally disturbing amount of melting directly linked to climate change.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows drought conditions spreading rapidly in the Dakotas and Montana. Moderate drought continues in parts of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

A great read from meteorologist Dan Satterfield: Yet Another Climate Myth Is Gone.

How hot could your city get by the year 2100? Taking heat island effects into consideration, far hotter than you’ll want your grandchildren to endure.

Last but not least, a quick reminder of summer Heat Safety. Deaths from summer heat are preventable with a few simple steps.

PUBLIC POLICY

A particularly disturbing read…especially in the context that this has been done in a deliberately clandestine manner. “Trump’s Alarming Environmental Rollback: What’s Been Scrapped So Far.”

EPA head Scott Pruitt feels climate science is broken and needs to be fixed. That’s rich.

Here’s an excellent essay on how climate change denialism has turned into something far darker and more dangerous than previously thought. “Their goal is to sow uncertainty in the public mind about what the science shows.” These nefarious interests are, when it comes down to brass tacks, trying to convey a sense of confusion amongst the general public.

In spite of the fact that a vast majority of earth scientists feel we are on the brink of sinking into the abyss of a new Dark Age, a few are standing up and fighting back.

The G20 summit has ended on a very dour note…which could have been avoided altogether if the USA had an administration capable of comprehending science and diplomacy. “Our world has never been so divided.” “Centrifugal forces have never been so powerful. Our common goods have never been so threatened.” – French President Emmanuel Macron

A former Republican congressman and noted climate change denialist has been picked to be the head of the infamous Heartland Institute. Surprised?

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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

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

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PUBLIC POLICY

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

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


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Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For 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.

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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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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

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

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/CRITICAL THINKING

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEATHER SAFETY

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!


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 And More For January 3 – 13, 2017

Greetings everyone! This has been a wild weather week across much of the western USA with California getting tons of snow, more than enough rainfall to put a dent in much of the drought stricken areas, and even an EF-0 tornado near Sacramento. Much of the midwest is bracing for an ice storm and, as of this date (13 January 2017) Ice Storm Warnings are in effect from the northeast Texas panhandle across Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and even into west-central Illinois. As usual, there’s a plethora of other topics to cover. On a personal level, it’s been a “full dance card” week for me with many projects that led me to delay this week’s post. On that note, let’s get started…

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Excellent read from American Scientist magazine on nurturing scientific literacy among the general public. What is meant by ‘scientific literacy?’

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a fascinating story of a man who, in search of a quiet existence in a remote area, inadvertently had a significant effect on climate change science.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

A very cool astronomy read about researchers getting the first look at a very rare kind of galaxy.

A recent study found evidence that the Earth’s moon is older than scientists thought…millions of years earlier than previously believed.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

An idea that, for the sake of our future generations, should come to fruition. “How To Save $23 Trillion Per Year: 100% Renewable Energy For The World.”

Good advice to get the new year started off right. “All too often environmentalism is about stopping doing something, but maybe it’s time to be more active and start doing something instead?”

As of late, the air pollution in China has literally become lethal in nature. This article explains why their air pollution is on the rise again.

China isn’t the only country struggling with severe air pollution problems. Just five days into 2017, London has breached its annual air pollution limit.

Those of us in Oklahoma know all too well what Trump’s EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is capable of. Now, the rest of the country has the chance to find out for themselves.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An interesting read on a study that says the frequency of large-scale tornado outbreaks is increasing in the USA, particularly when it comes to the most extreme events. A link to the original study is included.

Tornadoes in California? You bet. On 10 January 2017, the Sacramento area was visited by an EF-0 tornado.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows over 20% of the contiguous USA is experiencing drought conditions. Recent rain and snowfall throughout the southern states should provide relief that will be evident on the next Drought Monitor.

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There’s often a great deal of confusion about winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings. This NWS infographic has got you covered.

winter-weather-watch-warning-advisory-infographic

Are you prepared for an ice storm? If you’re in the areas under an Ice Storm Warning, all the preparations in this info-graphic (courtesy of the St. Louis, MO National Weather Service) should be rushed to completion.

are-you-prepared-for-an-ice-storm

While it may sound bizarre, you can have a blizzard even when it’s not snowing.

In 2016, a total of 121 flood related deaths occurred in the USA. This map from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center gives a state-by-state breakdown. High death tolls in West Virginia were due to June floods, Texas deaths from flooding in late May.

2016-usa-flood-deaths-map

Just when you thought the new year couldn’t get off to a more bizarre start. “House Science Committee’s Twitter Account Is Now Just Another Climate Science Denial Troll.”

While not necessarily representative of the whole of American society, this survey gives an informative ‘snapshot’ of the daunting challenges atmospheric scientists are up against when trying to convey climate science to the general public.

Another challenge is conveying the risk of climate change to the public. A recent World Economic Forum report ranks climate change and associated environmental factors as the greatest risk facing humanity.

Here’s a disconcerting ‘must-read’ on the anti-science crusade that continues to build steam in the USA. “The Congressional Attack On Science.”

A concise overview from the Capital Weather Gang of ten extreme weather events outside of the USA that killed thousands and cost untold billions during 2016.

In the Antarctic, an ice shelf is breaking up from the inside out. The ice shelf is bigger than New York’s Long Island and when it breaks off, it could result in global sea level rise that threatens many large cities close to the world’s coasts.

THOUGHT PROVOKING

Last but not least, when asked about death and the ‘afterlife,’ astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gives a spot on answer that is particularly enlightening.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to welcome all 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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