Tag Archives: sociology

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For March 12 – 20, 2018

Greetings to one and all! Due to yesterday’s severe weather episode across several southern states, I thought it would be best to delay today’s post by one day. Several southern states, Alabama in particular, took quite a beating from early severe weather season storms. It’s the time of year and it would behoove all of us who live in tornado prone regions to have our severe weather preparations and plans in place or close to completion. There’s plenty to go over this week, so let’s get started.

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


Here’s one of the most thought provoking essay/interviews I’ve read in some time. Cosmic Thinker Worries About Ends Of Science And Humanity.” Cosmologist Martin Rees holds forth on multiverses, biothreats, AI, utopia, God and “posthuman” science.


The CoCoRaHS project is a great way for citizen scientists to get involved in collaborating in collecting valuable precipitation data.


Many broadcast meteorologists are getting some very creative and productive ideas to help them convey the importance of climate change to their viewers. “We are as close to a scientist as most Americans will ever get. People invite us into their living rooms. We have a responsibility to educate them on the facts.”

There are many misconceptions about meteorology that never seem to disappear. Dr. Marshall Shepherd addresses several in this excellent essay.

If the shoe fits, wear it…even if it takes a laugh to work! “Humor Can Get Young People Fired Up About Climate Change.”

It’s still a controversial idea, but the concept that warm spells in the Arctic has links to winter weather events in the eastern USA is gaining ground with new research. The study includes more than 60 years of data on U.S. weather and Arctic climate conditions, from 1950 to 2016.

Today, 20 March 2018, is the first day of “spring” in the Northern Hemisphere. What is the difference between meteorological and astronomical spring?

If you’re a cloud geek like me, you’ll get pretty excited about this! “The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released its new, long-awaited, digitized International Cloud Atlas – the global reference for observing and identifying clouds, which are an essential part of weather, the climate system and the water cycle. It was released for the World Meteorological Day on 23rd March.”

The outlook for spring 2018 is out from NOAA for the USA. At the current time, it looks like much of the country could be above normal in temperatures. Keep in mind this is an outlook and not a forecast.

Map courtesy NOAA

The latest US Drought Portal shows 26.4% of the USA is experiencing dry/drought conditions as of March 7 – 13, 2018.  The latest US Drought Monitor shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions in the southern plains and four corners region. Parts of Oklahoma are particularly hard hit with Exceptional Drought conditions affecting some areas that have seen little to no rain in several months.

Map courtesy NOAA/US Drought Monitor

This past week marks the anniversary of the Tri-State Tornado…the deadliest tornado in USA history.

That’s a wrap for this post! Happy Spring for my followers in the Northern Hemisphere and for folks south of the equator, Happy Autumn!


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Tornado Quest Science Links For May 9 – 16, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have had a good start to your week. There have been multiple rounds of severe weather across North America in the past few days, unfortunately it also includes fatalities which occurred during tornadoes in Oklahoma. Due to reviews of recent severe weather events and the pending severe weather today across the Southern Plains, this post will be another brief one. Having said that, let’s get started.

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


An interesting read on those “Eureka” moments that many of us have every so often.


Check out these amazing images from the Hubble telescope of the planet Mars.

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two spiral galaxies are alike.


A very important question for current and future generations. Can cities be sustainable?

In many of the world’s most polluted cities, driving bans or restrictions are becoming commonplace.

Since the Paris climate agreement, cities and companies have pledged to fight climate change. What’s next?

On the positive side, more cities are becoming greener with renewable energy sources soaring through the roof.

Details on the commitments of the U.S. and the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) on further climate action after the Paris Agreement.


Take a look at a very compelling climate change visualization that speaks volumes.

When studying the atmosphere, there’s more to it than the adrenaline rush of severe thunderstorms. Here’s an excellent read on the important study of the link between the Earth’s atmosphere and biodiversity.

A fascinating read on pinpointing the timing of when oxygen first appeared in the earth’s atmosphere.

2016 continues to break global temperature records with April being the seventh hot month in a row.

As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, the National Hurricane Center has released it’s list of names for the 2016 Tropical Cyclone season.  Capture 1


Somehow I strongly suspect that if the genders were switched, this wouldn’t have been an issue. “Reporter forced to cover up on live TV because her dress was too revealing.”

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “Welcome” to my new followers in social media. Glad you’re along for the fun!



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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For August 12 – 19, 2015

As of this post, the tropical Atlantic just got interesting. The National Hurricane Center has just named an area of low pressure “Danny” which, as of today, is tropical storm forecast to reach hurricane status. The ongoing drought in the USA’s western states continues on a steady course. Any rain received will offer little help. We’ll take a quick look at those topics and more this week…so let’s get started.

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


Is there elegance in science? Indeed there is! From the microscopic to the atmospheric to the vastness of the cosmos, few other areas of study have such amazingly inimitable beauty as science.


A most disturbing privacy related read on the AT&T and NSA partnership.


The increase in popularity of citizen science is amazing and something that I strongly support and advocate. In spite of the good points, concerns do exists…especially with those who have an ax to grind. Objectivity is not only paramount, but good scientific ethics.


Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the social and psychological scars are still very deep, fresh, and won’t go away in spite of any rebuilding and infrastructure rejuvenation.


If you’ve not seen Google’s Earth View, you should check it out. It has a plethora of amazing satellite images from around the world.

Rain will be welcome in drought-ravaged California. What will happen when heavy rains arrive will be another story.

A not-so-good read for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. “Nitrogen dioxide air pollution increases allergenicity (aka potency) in ragweed pollen.”

An interesting recycling concept: taking old shoes and using them for an energy source.


Tropical cyclone Danny is currently at tropical storm status. According to the current National Hurricane Center forecasts, it should become a hurricane by Friday, August 20, 2015. Obviously, all of this is tentative and subject to change…so please follow the National Hurricane Center for the latest updates and forecast information.

Intriguing read on the relation of Amazon fire risk and its possible links to tropical cyclone/hurricane formation.

If you thought July, 2015 was hot in the USA, you were right. In fact, 2015 may well surpass 2014 as the hottest year on planet Earth since records have been kept.

An interesting read from Climate Central on the importance of the Antarctic ice sheets and their relation to sea level rise.

This week is the 46th anniversary of Hurricane Camille…one of only three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the USA. Here’s a fascinating National Hurricane Center report from September, 1969 on this major weather event. (64 page PDF file)

The Old Farmer’s almanac is indeed popular…but take any weather forecast contained in any issued with a very large grain of salt.

That’s a wrap for this post!

I’d like to extend a hearty “welcome” to my new followers. I’m really glad you’re along for the fun.


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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For April 28 – May 5, 2015

After several days of respite from episodes of severe weather, an active week is underway with much of the Great Plains forecast to have multiple rounds of thunderstorms, some of which will be severe. Like many other posts for this time of year, this week will be somewhat brief. Between Skywarn spotting duties, storm chasing, and several writing projects, I’ve got a full dance card. Nevertheless, there are plenty of good science stories for our enjoyment.

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


Mind the apps you download from Google Play…or iTunes for that matter. Many popular ones, without your permission, are collecting a great deal of private data. For you and me, it’s simply a matter of common sense when choosing apps.

Snarks, trolls, & nefarious interlopers run amok in social media. It can be tough enough for adults who are targets but for our youth, much of the anonymous abuse can be particularly brutal. “Young people think friends more at risk of cyberbullying.


Can Instagram be used by citizen scientists to track climate change? You bet! Here’s how.

Here’s a very cool segment on the Diane Rehm show: The Environmental Outlook: Citizen Scientists.


The MESSENGER spacecraft exceeded all expectations before snapping one final image shortly before crashing into the surface of the planet Mercury.

An amazing look at the vastness of space…specifically within our own solar system.


The Oklahoma earthquake and link to fracking gets more interesting by the week. Observing it from the perspective of a native Oklahoman, it’s like watching a slow motion train wreck.

Here’s a spectacular video from the United States Geological Survey of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano putting on quite a show.


Desperate times mean desperate measures. California is tapping into water reserves that are 20,000 years old to help take the edge off their brutal drought.

Tulsa has always had a problem with ozone for as far back as I can remember. As a result, it was no surprise that the former “oil capital” was ranked the 12th worst city in the USA for ozone levels.

A very good read! “The Next Step In Saving The Planet: E.O. Wilson And Sean Carroll In Conversation.”


If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you have many reasons to hate pollen with a passion. Here’s another reason…it may mess with your weather.

Interesting essay with suggestions for dealing with disaster preparedness.

Speaking of disaster preparedness, the USA has been in somewhat of a hurricane “drought” for several years. It’s simply a matter of good luck that we’ve been this fortunate, but it won’t last forever.

Social science (sociology and psychology) and operational meteorology aren’t mutually exclusive. “Troubled Forecasters Seek Way To Improve Tornado Warnings.”

As glaciers in Antarctica retreat, the future results will not be pleasant to deal with.

A very nice interview with Heidi Cullen of Climate Central on the role of oceans in climate change.

An informative, and fun, infographic on five characteristics of science and/or climate change denial.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’ll be writing some posts with subjective analysis of this week’s severe weather setups for the Great Plains, Wednesday and Saturday in particular. If you’re in an area that will be under the gun for severe weather this week, remember to stay in touch with reliable media outlets of your choice, keep your NOAA weather radio handy, and follow your local National Weather Service office and the Storm Prediction Center for the latest severe weather information.


Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 16 – 24, 2015

A belated happy spring to one and all! The vernal equinox took place on 20 March 2015 and (astronomically) ushered in spring for the Northern Hemisphere. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a day with an equal number of hours of sunlight and darkness, here’s your chance. It only happens twice a year. For the time being, winter is still keeping a chill in the air over much of North America, but the warmth of spring is making itself felt in many other regions. Just a quick reminder that the spring severe weather season is upon us and before it gets too busy, now’s the time to prepare your emergency kit, have a plan of action at home or work, and reliable, official sources of severe weather warning information: a NOAA weather radio, a high-quality smart phone warning app, the broadcast meteorologists of your choice, and your local National Weather Service offices in social media. This will come in handy for many across the central USA plains this week as severe weather is forecast by the Storm Prediction Center. This post was delayed by one day so I could share some “up-to-date” information regarding the severe weather potential. I’ll also give a quick overview at the end of this post on what you can expect…and how to get the most timely weather information.

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


A brilliant spot-on essay by Lawrence Krauss, who is one of many on my ‘most admired’ list. “Teaching Doubt.” “Informed doubt is the very essence of science.”


A little sociology, psychology, and geographic demography wrapped into one very interesting read; How Different Groups Think About Scientific Issues.

Good news for introverts such as myself. We are winning quiet victories.


Citizen science FTW! Two new species of flowering plants have been discovered in South Africa.

Citizen scientists can pitch in on collecting climate data for this spring!


NASA’s Messenger spacecraft is set to plunge to its death on April 30, 2015…but since 2011, Messenger has been doing some amazing work including capturing the most spectacular images of Mercury to date.

NASA tells Congress to take a hike. I couldn’t agree more.


One of the many great things about paleontology is the ever-changing nature of its discoveries. And this newest one is not a little amazing.


Wind, like water, can sculpt the Earth’s landscapes in some amazing ways.


A very good read on the connection between our urban biosphere and atmosphere. It’s also a good excuse for you to plant a tree!

As of late, the UK has been dealing with air pollution that warrants health warnings.

What smog-eating buildings lack in aesthetics is made up for in clean air.

Of note to seasonal allergy sufferers; Air pollutants could boost the potency of the very things that make you feel miserable.

Love to see this come to fruition. “Solar could meet CA energy demand 3 to 5 times over.”

Speaking of CA, solar plants produced 5% of the state’s electricity last year.

This gives a new meaning to “waste” not, want not. “This Public Bus Runs Entirely On Human Poop Converted Into Fuel.”

New roofs in France must be covered in plants or solar panels. I’ve no problem with that. Not only will it be a good renewables/sustainability move, anything…and I do mean anything…is more aesthetically appealing than a black tar and gravel roof.


Happy World Meteorological Day to all the atmospheric scientists, citizen scientists, and devoted weather hobbyists out there! Here’s a look at work the World Meteorological Organization is doing regarding climate change. “The WMO is working more broadly to better disseminate weather and climate information to those on the ground who need it to make informed decisions, including farmers, health workers and emergency managers.”

The latest State Of The Climate report has been released by NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center. The full report can be read here. A concise summary can be found here. Bottom line: global average temperatures for both February, 2015 and December, 2014 – February 2015 were above average across the board for land and sea surface temperatures. I highly recommend that those interested, regardless of your position, read the full report carefully.

This week’s US Drought Monitor shows a sliver of improvement, but otherwise the extreme/exceptional conditions persist from CA, NV, & OR to OK & TX.

As California’s drought worsens, a relief plan has been proposed. Water rationing may very well become a way of life while reserves of water up to 20,000 years old are being tapped. Desperate measures for desperate times indeed.

Arctic sea ice, which scientists knew was shrinking rapidly, has just hit a new low.

Merchants Of Doubt” will be showing in a few select cities. If you’re living in one where it will be showing, I’d take it in. There are plenty of folks who don’t think you should.

Waterspouts may appear graceful, benign, and even almost harmless, but they are as potentially deadly as any Great Plains tornado. Here’s an interesting video of a recent waterspout in Brazil.

Interesting concept that’s certainly worth a try. “Experimental Forecast Projects #Tornado Season.”

Intriguing read about weather’s second deadliest killer. “Morning is the time for powerful lightning.”

Here’s a very interesting read on severe weather and how it affects animal behavior.

The individual who compiled this data isn’t doing his reputation any favors. Besides, as the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” Regardless, here’s said individual’s take on the “dreariest” cities in the USA.


This blatant violation of the 1st Amendment can only get worse from here. “Florida’s Climate Change Gag Order Claims Its First Victim.”

Someone please tell me this is a joke…right? “Solar eclipse: schoolchildren banned from watching on ‘religious and cultural’ grounds.”


Updated 2:25 PM (1925 UTC) 24 March 2015: As of this post, an Elevated and Slight Risk of severe thunderstorms exists for Tuesday (from OK to MO) and Wednesday (TX northeast into IL/KY). As is always the case with Storm Prediction Center (SPC) severe weather outlooks, changes in status are inevitable. This video from the SPC will show you how severe weather forecasts are made. These forecasts are made by some of the top-notch atmospheric scientists in the USA and should be the primary severe weather outlooks you use. The SPC also issues all severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and mesoscale discussions (technical but informative products regarding the status of severe weather potential or ongoing storms). Now that we’ve covered that, here’s my subjective take on this week’s severe weather potential. The primary threats will be high winds and hail. Tornadoes will likely be far and few between if any are able to form. This isn’t the kind of “recipe” for a major severe weather outbreak, so there’s no reason to panic or worry unnecessarily. I’ll also spare you all the “geek-speak” that will no doubt flood social media and blogs since that is not the intended audience for this section of this post.

While you still have a day or so to prepare, look over your emergency kit to make sure it’s in order, your NOAA weather radio is function properly, follow the SPC, your local National Weather Service office, and the broadcast meteorologists of your choice on Twitter, and (if this applies to you) double-check your smart phone severe weather warning app. Though this only scratches the surface and I could go on for page after page on preparedness, it’s my intention to give you some helpful hints and give some peace of mind to those who tend to have strong feelings of anxiety or worry if and when severe weather is possible. One thing you can do that will most certainly alleviate any unnecessary discomfort on your part is to avoid the fear mongers, hype-sters, and over zealous “media-rologists.” It’s true that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, freedom of speech, and (as long as TOS are observed) can run their own social media accounts as they wish. On the other hand, the public (and possibly law enforcement) won’t take kindly to someone screaming “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. You’re free to follow whomever you wish in social media, but caveat emptor please. Just as one would never go to a homeopathic hobbyist for a severe medical condition, one should exercise extreme caution regarding severe weather warnings. As for the information I share on any of the social media outlets from Tornado Quest, I only share severe thunderstorm or tornado watch information for the southern plains from the SPC once all the information is online. I also enjoy sharing mesoscale discussions relevant to Oklahoma and surrounding states to give folks a “behind the scenes” look into what SPC forecasters are thinking. This is merely for convenience since (1.) I have a high concentration of followers in the southern plains and (2.) I try my best to make folks aware of official sources of information. If I comment or post a radar image of a particularly strong or tornadic storm, it’s more from a scientific or weather geek perspective. I do not and never will post warning information. Under no circumstances should any of the information I share on Tornado Quest be used for the safety of life and/or property. If you’ve read this far, it’s become obvious that this portion of the post is less about this week’s severe weather potential than how you can best get reliable and timely warnings from the best responsible sources. I’ve addressed this issue for years and, not unexpectedly, my opinions aren’t popular…but I stand behind every word.

And on that note, I’d like to welcome my new followers…I appreciate all of you a great deal. Stay weather aware folks! See you next time!


Tornado Quest Science Links and Much More for Jan. 12 – 19, 2015

Save for a few bouts of wintry weather, it’s been a relatively quiet weather week across most of North America. Drought conditions still persist across parts of CA, NV, OK, and TX with little relief in sight. The big news is the final analysis of global climate for 2014. Since records have been kept, 2014 was the warmest year on our planet. As is often the case, burning the candles at both ends with a full dance card chasing after me…so this will be a short post for this week.

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


Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is taking submissions for their 2015 launch! “The journal will provide a central space for cross-disciplinary scholarly exchanges that are aimed at advancing the field of citizen science.”

Need some citizen science project ideas to get involved in? SciStarter has a great list to start with!

Here’s a very cool list of awesome outdoor apps for kids…or those who are young at heart AND interested in the wonders of nature.


A stark reminder on the importance of basic science research.


If you’re a user and fan of Firefox, there’s a critical security update that you need to address ASAP.


The world’s first solar bike path has been unveiled in the Netherlands.

New York City’s newest recycling center is a state-of-the art facility. Such a shame these aren’t as common as landfills.

If you’re traveling to Beijing, you’d better bring your own oxygen supply. Their toxic air is literally off the charts.

An amazing array of images from NASA that reveal how much climate change has transformed our Earth.

A thought-provoking essay that, indirectly, proves the superior value of the scientific method. “The Danger The Planet Faces Because Human Instinct Overpowers Human Reason.”


There’s been little change in this week’s USA Drought Monitor with extreme to exceptional conditions persisting for parts of CA, NV, OK, and TX. With no relief in sight, the stress of dealing with the drought is taking its toll as the dry conditions become a way of life.

Considering the ongoing drought in California, there are many questions pertaining to atmospheric conditions that bring rain to that region. This study will answer many of them.

How much will climate change cost us? More than we think.

When words alone aren’t enough. Five charts that help explain why 2014 was so warm on our humble home. Here are some very cool animations that further drive the point home.

And lastly, a little meteorology, a little sociology. “Weather May Influence Institutional Investors’ Stock Decisions.”


For the record, I have no problem with selfie-sticks. But, I will go on record for hoping that this doesn’t become the next social media fad.

That’s a wrap for this post…


Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For Sept. 14 – Oct. 1, 2014

Due to varying complicating factors which seem to creep up on us in life at the least opportune moments, I’m running a couple of weeks behind on weekly Tornado Quest Science Links posts. Add to that a personal illness…and things slow to a crawl and priorities change. Having said that, here’s a small selection of links for this post.


Here’s a very cool meteorology citizen science project for Earth Science Week (Oct. 12 – 18, 2014) from NASA!

Just because winter’s coming to the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t mean it’s time to put your rain gauge in hibernation. CoCoRaHS needs citizen science weather observers year round!


I saw this tweet on hand washing in my Twitter feed the other day. Flabbergasted. I can’t believe we still have to drum proper personal sanitation and hand-washing into people’s heads in the 21st Century.


As social scientists well know, how a message is delivered is as important as it’s content. Here’s another good article in the same vein.


Sweden FTW!!! Read about the world’s first garment made entirely from recycled cotton.


On Sept. 30, 2014, the HRRR forecast model officially went operational with NOAA. It’ been in use in an experimental stage for some time. I’ve enjoyed using it and think it will be a great asset.

If you’re keeping track of this year’s El Nino, histrionic is an apt understatement.

In a rush to rebuild after the tornado of May 20, 2013, many Moore, OK homes have been rebuilt with a lot left to desire.

The California drought is only getting worse with no sight of relief in sight.

Like to give yourself a nice refresher course on some meteorology and climate topics? Here’s a good place to start.

And that’s a wrap for this week. In addition to this WordPress blog, Tornado Quest can also be found on About MeTumblr and Instagram.

Have a great week…cheers! Continue reading →

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Jan. 20 – 27, 2014

It’s been an active week in science news from many areas of study. Weather wise, a severe drought continues across parts of the contiguous USA from OK and TX westward to CA. As of this post, many southern states are taking a shellacking from a rare and robust winter storm. While it may look laughable, keep in mind that southern winter storms often have freezing rain (aka a  layer if ice) below just a couple of inches of snow…ergo, the gridlock that’s paralyzing many metro areas. As a veteran of many devastating ice storms in OK, I’ll take 18″ of powdery snow any day over 1/2″ of ice.

Let’s take a look at this week’s links…


Citizen scientists can not only gather data for scientists, but increase the quality of research.

Here’s a very nice interview with biologist Caren Cooper, “How Rise of Citizen Science Is Democratizing Research.”

Are you a teacher? Ever wonder if citizen science benefits your students? Good news…yes it does!


There’s something to be said for “snow days” and this article renews my belief in them.


Considering the tinderbox conditions that are plaguing much of the USA, here are some tips on conserving water.

I’m looking forward to some good info from a new journal from the American Geophysical Union called Earth’s Future.

The EU has taken on an ambitious quest to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.


The USA’s Grand Canyon is old…but new studies show it may have formed more recently than previously though.

Read how a virtual earthquake generator shows that Los Angeles would experience stronger-than-expected ground motions.


A new NASA satellite will be launched in February, 2014 and do something pretty amazing…measure precipitation from space.

Part climatology, part business: “Industry Awakens To Threat Of Climate Change

Was there a recent hiatus in global warming? Simply put, no.

Arctic sea ice is melting rapidly…freefall style.

If you’ve not seen this wind map, take a look and have fun interacting.

The big Superbowl game is coming soon. UCAR/NCAR takes a look at forecasting the big game: 1967 vs. 2014.

While a rare winter snow storm gives Dixie a southern shellacking, Alaska basked in record January warmth.


Considering the abundance of vitriol spreading from nefarious trolls that’s aimed at the scientific community, here are several items worth reading. Most of the titles speak for themselves.This is as much a sociological and/or psychological look into a certain element of human behavior as it is a documentation of a plethora of anti-science elements in media…both broadcast, print, or social media.  I’m offering for your consideration the following articles under the spirit of, “know thy enemy.”

I’ve been described as being “polite to a fault” by an evangelical Christian minister no less. Are scientists (both professional and citizen) too polite?

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science.

Targets of climate hate mail rally to support one another.

Why conservatives can’t resist “snow trolling.”

Climate and vaccine deniers are the same: Beyond Persuasion.

As for the trolls…why we can’t ignore Twitter abuse: a guest post by a police officer.

Speaking of trolls, they are often two-faced. Critical of the trolling in person while anonymously engaging in the behavior behind the safety of their monitors. They often lead two lives.

Normally, I try to “tweet with a smile” but this is not often the best policy to adhere to for every single tweet or post…especially in an increasingly hostile social media environment. Your perceptions of the information I pass along are your responsibility regardless of whether you agree with me or not. Having said that, it’s my intention to leave the world a better place for our children and the many generations to follow. We owe it to them.

And on that note, it’s a wrap…


Gee-O-Science Links For April, 2013

There’s been a lot going on in the science world and the sheer mass of cool info (specifically in atmospheric and environmental studies) has been time-consuming, but fun, to sort through. Due to multi-tasking on far too many projects, I accidentally posted a draft copy of the April, 2013 science links a few days ago. This month’s Gee-O-Science post is complete & the “missing links” that I originally intended to include with the draft are presented here. In addition, I’ve gotten a few emails wondering if I’ll be reviving the Tornado Quest website. The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes!”…but it may be a while and I can’t give a specific time frame. In the meantime, I’ll be using this WordPress blog as my primary online “base of operations.”  So, without further delay, let’s get started!


New Guidelines Call For Changes In Science Education.

What lives at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? More than you might think.

Millions of bird watchers are taking note of avian behavior…and it’s behavior induced by climate change.

Earth Day is celebrated world wide on April 22…and NOAA has a very cool site with tons of good info.

Check out the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere which just went operational in Australia.

Here are several pieces of writing by Steven Pinker, one of my favorite social scientists.

A tragic event like the terrorist bombing in Boston, MA can give social scientists in interesting view into human behavior in a crisis.

If you’re ever in a crisis situation (tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, etc.) it’s always better to text than call on your phone. Always.

Crisis situations almost always test our resilience. The American Psychological Association has some very useful & informative information on this important topic.

We recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, paper, et al. in vast amounts. Why not clothes? North Face has spearheaded a project…and it would behoove other major retailers to follow suit.

Plastic bags. They’re not good, but they’re not the worst either.

One journalists interesting experience on covering the Exxon oil spill in Mayflower, AR.

A “must-watch” video: Dawkins, Nye, Tyson, & Stephenson discuss science & storytelling.

How’s your science & technology IQ? The Pew Research Center has a quick quiz where you can find out.

Here’s a very cool list of “Mathy Ladies To Follow On Twitter.”

Developing a social media presence can be a daunting task. Here’s a good overview of the basics for scientists, but  can apply to many other fields as well.


A nice article on browser extensions that protect your privacy. I use many of these and strongly suggest you do the same.

Privacy Awareness Week is April 28 – May 4, 2013. If you’re online in any way, you need to take this seriously.

Take a look back at these computer videos from 1994. How far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.


Something that I’ve long believed existed in evolution is apparently true. Adaptation neither stops nor makes value judgements.


Here’s a look back (22 years ago this month) at the Plains Tornado Outbreak of April 26, 1991 which included several violent tornado events (Andover, Winfield in KS & Billings/Red Rock, Terlton, Oolagah in OK).

Sandy was not only a significant weather event, but a seismic one as well.

Speaking of Sandy, that name has been retired under the authority of the World Meteorological Organization. Ever wonder how & why tropical cyclones are named? Read on.

And finally, Sandy was a watershed event for the National Hurricane Center. Read here about warning and product changes made to tropical weather products.

Are you a teacher or student  looking for learning resources on our atmosphere? The folks at NCAR/UCAR have a great page to get you started.

Do you follow your local National Weather Service office on Twitter? If not, the Tallahassee NWS has a comprehensive list.

NOAA’s Ocean Today has a very cool video on waterspouts!

Climate data from the Nat’l Climactic Data Center is being used in a very cool way to further our understanding of cicadas.

The American Lung Association has released their State Of The Air report with interesting data on air quality for many U.S cites.

Bumpy flights are no fun for anyone, especially the pilots. This study suggests they may become more common with time.

Like so many people, I love the smell of rain. Ever wonder why is smells so good?

Read about the amateur (aka citizen scientist) who made a groundbreaking discovery in climate change 75 years ago.

Antarctic warming a tale of two ice cores…each with a different story to tell.

A recent NOAA/university study explains how thin, low Arctic clouds played an important role in the massive 2012 Greenland ice melt.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has updated its estimates concerning the impact of climate change & rising sea levels on the Finnish coast.

Climatologists are using old weather date to prove a point: climate change is real.

According to Andrew Revkin, fear may be out greatest obstacle in our quest to deal with our changing climate.

If you think a great plains summer is sizzling in today’s society, try out a hot spell 270 million years ago.

Some new thoughts in paleoclimatology on the relationship between the earliest accumulation of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor for April, 2013 has been released. Many areas from TX to NE are still in extreme to exceptional conditions.

Check out this very cool image from NASA showing ice flow on Antarctica.

Fluid dynamics is an incredibly complex, yet fascinating, part of atmospheric physics…and a vital part of understanding why you want to be a “storm chaser.”

Lightning is one of the most enigmatic atmospheric phenomenon. “Dark lightning” could be the unseen energy of thunderstorms.

A keen understanding of fluid dynamics is imperative to comprehending the complexity of tornadoes. Research meteorologists have developed another small piece of the vast puzzle of understanding this most enigmatic of atmospheric phenomenon.

Wrapping up the atmospheric sciences section is an interesting op-ed, “Can Just Anyone Claim To Be A TV Meteorologist?”


The Curmudgeon’s guide to understanding creationists. One would think that in 2013, such a topic wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly, it is.

The free market is founded on, “if you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time.” Unless, it’s money from the “wrong” kind of people.

Well, now this just solves it all. Toss out decades of peer reviewed science research & lets sink into the abyss of a new dark age.

Here’s yet another U.S. “lawmaker” (and I use that term very loosely) who has little regard for peer review…and scientists in general, regardless of their particular field of study.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll “pass” on passing gas research, but pass this along to you. You’re welcome!

Ending on a philosophically positive note, I’ve always been somewhat of an Epicurean hedonist at heart. Here’s a good primer on one of my favorite philosophers.

And on that note, another month passes. I hope it’s been a good one for folks out there who are trying to maintain a sense of sanity in this topsy-turvy world of ours!

See you in the Twitterverse…



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