Tag Archives: State Of The Climate

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 November 1 – 10, 2016

Greetings to one and all! It’s been a very busy week especially for those of us in the USA. On an international level, the UN Climate Summit is underway and the Paris Climate Accord had officially gone into effect. The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report has been issued and, to no ones surprise, October, 2016 was a warm and dry month for much of the contiguous USA. I’m running a couple of days behind due to some ongoing commitments, so let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY

Success, especially in the sciences, doesn’t often come at a “young” age. In fact, many of the greatest have made their mark  with, “a combination of personality, persistence and pure luck, as well as intelligence, that leads to high-impact success — at any age.”

Well said. “Climate change may be humanity’s greatest challenge in this century and far beyond. And the temporal scale on which it will play out is dangerously out of sync with the extremely short time horizon that characterizes our politics.”

This actually can be applied to many scientific fields. “Why Are There So Few Women Mathematicians?”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

If your skies are clear on the night of November 14th, take a look at the “supermoon.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

In the fifth year of a severe drought, some California residents are going back to water-thirsty landscaping as the social stigma against using water is taking a break…for now.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Shake, frack, and roll. This past week, Oklahoma had another earthquake, this one centered near the town of Cushing and registered 5.0 on the Richter Scale.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out. The USA had its third warmest October and second warmest year to date. Here’s a map of significant climate anomalies for the month.

state-of-the-climate-infographic-oct-2016In addition to the temperature increase, the drought conditions are spreading across a vast area from the south central states to New England.

Arctic ice is on the increase, but at a frightfully slow pace.

If you’ve not seen “Before The Flood” yet, it’s available on YouTube…you can watch it here. It’s well worth your time.

Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist. And she’s on a mission to persuade skeptics that humans are frying the planet and time is running out to stop it. She has a daunting task ahead of her as do all of us who try our best to objectively inform the public about climate change and the science behind it while keeping the information we share at an easily comprehensible level.

You’re probably already aware that the Paris Climate Accord is officially in effect, but far more strict reductions in emissions are needed for the long run.

During the next two weeks, critical issues will be discussed at the UN Climate Summit. These will have far-reaching implications on whether or not we can curb the ravages of global warming.

An interesting study on the connection between sunshine…and it’s connection to our psychological state of mind.

Superstorm Sandy certainly could happen again. Read how New York City is preparing for the next storm that could rival or exceed Sandy’s level of destruction.

A new study to help the individual realize how each one of us contributes to Arctic ice sea melt.

An excellent resource. “Individuals, businesses, and communities can respond to the challenges of our changing climate. This framework can guide you through the process of planning and implementing resilience-building projects.”

Finally, a nice infographic on dressing for winter weather.

dressing-for-cold-weather

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 5 – 15, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s definitely been an interesting week with plenty of climate related news and, unfortunately, deadly flooding ongoing in parts of Louisiana. Some locations have received over 27 inches of rain. I’ve included an infographic on flash flood safety. On the home front, I’ve had a busy August with several projects that have delayed this post by a few days. On that note, let’s get started.

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

The importance of the history of science to STEM students can’t be understated. “Why Science And Engineering Need To Remind Students Of Forgotten Lessons From History.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you using Windows 10? “12 Things You Can Now Do With Windows 10 After The Anniversary Update.”

There’s a dearth of manners in social media. Here’s a very nice read that’s badly needed. “Five Steps To Having Grace On Social Media.”

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA has just released over 1,000 new images of the surface of Mars and some of them are spectacular!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

A very striking video of changes in Greenland’s glaciers since the 1930’s shows the dramatic effects of climate change.

Though this article focuses somewhat on UK and European cities, it applies to other cities (like Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas, et al.) that are prone to ozone and/or air quality issues in the summer months. “Pollutants React In Sunshine To Form More Pollutants.”

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency was way off mark in a recent study that claimed that fracking and safe water sources can coexist in close proximity.

Speaking of air quality, southern California has been a hotbed of bad air quality for decades. Unfortunately, they’re currently having the worst smog since 2009.

Several USA cities are leading the way from fossil fuels to 100% renewable power. Let’s hope many more cities are bold enough to be added to this list…soon.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’re experiencing flooding or simply need a quick read  on flood safety, here’s a nice infographic from the National Weather Service in Norman, OK. If driving, please remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown! (TADD)

Flood Safety Info

Due to climate change, the risk from the Zika virus the mosquitoes that carry it is becoming more than just an obscure annoyance.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to NOAA’s latest and very thorough State Of The Climate report. This is definitely a “must read” for anyone into atmospheric and/or environmental science. (PDF file)

As of July, 2016, the USA is in the midst of its third-hottest year on record according to the latest NOAA data.

Based on NOAA and EPA data, millions of coastal area homes and properties in the USA are at risk of going underwater by the end of the century.

No heat here. This amazing archive of ice cores is literally a look into the climates past of our humble planet.

Here’s an interesting take on what’s apparently a not-so-new rainfall forecasting theory. Scientists using satellite data and statistical techniques have proved that soil and rain are linked in an unexpected way.

As the drought in the western USA continues, another drought is growing at an alarming pace…and almost no one is talking about it.

Time to bring out the cardigans and parkas. Autumn has arrived in parts of Sweden and no, it’s not too early.

In addition to dealing with denialists, climate scientists are also saddled with a segment of the population with climate change apathy…those who think nothing can or should change.

Sorry conspirators. Your “knowledge” of contrails isn’t correct. It’s hard to believe there are people who still buy this rubbish, but then again there are people who believe the earth is flat, ghosts and spirits are real, astrology is a legit science, and the tooth fairy leaves pennies from heaven under your pillow.

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…and learning!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For July 29 – August 5, 2016

Greetings to everyone! I hope the weather’s being good to you no matter where you live. The most responses this week have come from the article on the current “hurricane drought” in the USA. Complacency could breed a nightmare scenario. There’s plenty of other interesting topics to explore out there, so let’s get started.

For your consideration, here are this weeks links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A nice essay on how anyone (yes, that includes you) can be a part of citizen science. It’s easy, often costs little to nothing, and covers a myriad of interests.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

This has been a long time coming. The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally realized that jet aircraft exhaust is not good for our planet.

A sobering graphic that shows the almost unbelievable growth of garbage dumps across the United States in the past century.

Here’s some good renewables news! The world’s largest floating wind farm is set to open in 2021 off the coast of California.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

2015 was without a doubt the warmest year on record for Earth. Here’s a look at the ten most startling facts about yet another record year for climate change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released a 300-page State Of The Climate report documenting the historic warmth of 2015 as well as scores of other aspects of last year’s climate.

The hefty report, State of the Climate in 2015, was produced by more than 450 scientists from 62 countries around the world — more than any previous edition.

What this amazing video of a lightning bold obliterating a telephone pole…then watch it again in slow motion.

Check out these amazing images. “180,000 forgotten photos reveal the future of Greenland’s ice.”

The USA hasn’t seen landfall from a hurricane since 2015. That could induce complacency…and a potentially deadly scenario. It’s only a matter of time before this “hurricane drought” and our luck runs out.

Being an atmospheric scientist and studying climate often involves working in extreme weather conditions. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Check this out.

Thanks to climate change, a new public health hazard can’t be ignored. “Hot and humid summer weather across the U.S. brings with it the rise of the mosquito season, and this year the threat of the Zika virus makes that more than a minor nuisance.”

The “fingerprints” of climate change can be found on every corner of the globe.

A very thought-provoking essay on a infrequently discussed but irrevocable climate and global economies link.

NBC’s new storm chasing vehicles sporting doppler radars are quite interesting…and more likely a gimmick than of scientific value.

THE QUIXOTIC

Senator Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) granddaughter gets science and wants to know why, unlike 64 percent of the American population which have climate change concerns, Inhofe does not understand the science.

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

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Dec. 6 – 14, 2015

There’s been a wide variety of stories this week, but the big news has been the COP21 Paris Agreement Climate Talks. Though the agreement could have more teeth to it, it’s a start…and the quicker we start being proactive regarding climate change, the better. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Check out this very cool science quiz from the inimitable folks at Science Friday!

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Nothing good can come of this. Twitter is seriously looking into sorting tweets by “presumed relevance” rather than chronological order. The shills would have a field day with this.

Why do people get “unfriended” or “unfollowed” in social media? Here’s an interesting take that focuses on Facebook.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Check out “Season Spotter” which is a citizen science project that helps identify how climate change effects trees and plants.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Fascinating astronomy read about scientists watching a planet being born.

A “ghost from the past” revisits the early days of the Milky Way.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Air you can cut with a knife and can kill you…literally. Beijing recently issued their first-ever “Red Alert” for horrid air pollution.

Due to the spread of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency improvements, a recent study hints at hope in reducing global CO2 emissions.

One of the most troubling mysteries about sea level rise may have just been solved.

A very sobering yet beautiful view of a glacier’s vanishing act.

It should come as no surprise than a recent undercover Greenpeace investigation, “suggests that fossil fuel companies secretly funnel money into prominent scientists’ pockets to manufacture doubt about mainstream climate change science.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Here’s a detailed look at the latest NOAA State Of The Climate report.

Capture 1

The COP21 closing comments by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

A nice info-graphic on key points of COP21.

CWDZYnLUkAEwFrt

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “The opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser (“Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate” Nov. 27, 2015) is riddled with false statements, cherry-picked evidence and misleading assertions about climate science, according to an evaluation by a dozen scientists.”

On a positive note, there are reasons to smile about the Paris climate talks.

Earlier in the Paris climate talks, many wondered what would a strong climate pact look like?

Once ignored, this is a one way street in which backing up is not an option.

Astronauts (past and present) are sending a very clear message about climate change.

The vicious circle of water scarcity and climate change can no longer be ignored.

Speaking of water scarcity, this is what climate change looks like when viewing mountains with little snow.

An excellent read on a not-so-new science. Climatology (the study of climates) has been around for quite some time. So have concerns over global warming and climate change.

The autumn of 2015 will go into the record books as the warmest autumn yet on record for the contiguous USA.

A very important article on building code improvements based on studies done after the Joplin, MO, USA tornado of 22 May 2011.

Do women and men have differing views on climate change? Absolutely.

The two key points about climate change that “skeptics” (aka deniers) always miss.

Why do many United States citizens remain skeptical of climate change in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence? The answer is more within psychology than climatology.

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 More For Nov. 8 – 15, 2015

Fortunately, for the time being, the tropics in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific are quiet. Very soon, the Atlantic tropical cyclone season will come to an end. 2015 will be another year in the books with North American not having a landfall from a major hurricane. It’s understandable that many folks in meteorology and emergency management are concerned about public complacency since 2005 was the last year the USA had a major hurricane make landfall.

In spite of the recent horrific events in Paris, the climate talks will commence without disruption…which is the way it should be. Never, ever give in or give up. And if you have an interest in the future of our planet, please keep tabs on the Paris climate talks as they progress.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY

If there was ever a time for a “break up” to occur, this is it. Considering the hostility that has arisen in the past few years, it’s time science moved on to greener pastures.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Your tweets (20 million of them) reveal a great deal about your behavior and real-world situations.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Citizen science and your body and health are a good match. Check out these six projects.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

There could be many contenders for this title, but I’d have to agree overall that Darwin’s “Origin Of Species” is a good choice as the most influential academic book.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Intriguing read about one of our solar system neighbors. NASA probe shows how solar burps may have stripped Mars of water.

5,400 MPH winds were discovered blasting around an exoplanet. I wonder what that would be on the EF-Scale?

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A bit of public health and environmental science. The health benefits to spending time in nature are unmistakably good to your health.

A dubious milestone indeed. Our humble home is on track to end 2015 with an average of 1 degree C of warming.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A sobering read on the rising levels of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out with a detailed review of USA significant weather anomalies and events for October, 2015.

Oct 2015 Weather

Here’s a nice map from the Storm Prediction Center of preliminary USA tornado totals for 2015. With severe weather having occurred in the past week and more storms on tap for 16 November, 2015, these numbers will go up.

2015 USA Tornado Count

The states with above normal numbers of documented tornadoes are listed in red. The above average list not only includes traditional “Tornado Alley” states of CO, IL, KS, OK, and TX, but also HI and MA. It’s also interesting to note that many states, such as AR, MS, and TN (located in what’s often referred to as “Dixie Alley”) are having a well below average years. Annual anomalies in tornado occurrence are very common and often the numbers of confirmed tornadoes is or isn’t dependent on population density, topography, and when the tornadoes occurred.

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!

Tornado Quest on Instagram & Tumblr.

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Oct. 14 – 25, 2015

There have been many big weather and climate relates stories this week but the one that was most dominant was Hurricane Patricia. There’s no doubt that Patricia was one for the record books, but the manner in which that was conveyed by mainstream media to the general public has brought about a great deal of discussion. The latest US Drought Monitor shows a startling increase in drought conditions from Texas into Mississippi as the western states drought has become the “status quo.” As for our climate, the latest State Of The Climate report has been issued and, to no one’s surprise, September 2015 was indeed warm…globally.

Shifting gears here a bit at Tornado Quest. Our weekly Science Links And More will now be posted on Sundays. As a result, and due to several other ongoing (but exciting) projects, this post will be on the brief side.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Fight For The Future is worth checking out, especially if you have concerns about privacy rights.

If you use the iOS operating system, there’s 184 new emojis to choose from…including a tornado!

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a list of six cool citizen science projects to help you monitor the environment around you.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Mars has a very unique climate…a bit like Earth’s, and simultaneously a bit “alien.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

No surprise here. In fact, this was quite inevitable. USGS study links earthquakes due to fracking as far back as the 1920’s.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out. One of the most startling (but sadly not unexpected) findings is that during September, 2015, record warmth was documented globally.

The public perception of climate change is finally beginning to change itself and concur with the overwhelming scientific evidence.

This week’s US Drought Monitor (20 October 2015) shows the rapid spread of drought conditions from central Texas into western Mississippi.

Hurricane Patricia was a truly remarkable event in the eastern Pacific. Here’s a very nice overview from NASA with some spectacular imagery.

Near the height of Patricia’s intensity, this is what the Category 5 hurricane looked like from a visible satellite viewpoint at 9:15AM (1415 UTC) on 23 October 2015.

Hurricane Patricia Vis Sat 1 23 Oct 2015 1415 UTC

Finally, a somewhat technical but interesting read on atmospheric chemistry and air pollution in China.

I’d like to send a hearty “welcome” to my new followers on social media! Glad you’re along for the fun! 😎

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Tornado Quest on Twitter

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For July 15 – 22, 2015

If it’s sizzling hot with summer heat where you are, I hope you’ve been able to keep your cool. For much of North America, a ridge of high pressure (often referred to colloquially by storm chasers as the “death ridge”) has dominated much of the mid-summer weather. Temperatures in the mid to upper 90F combined with dew points in the 70’s has created a torrid sauna that only the most staunch fans of summer can love. For those (like yours truly) who prefer a more temperate summer, hang tight. In a matter of week’s the heat will pass swiftly and the seasons will change.

This week’s post, for the sake of dealing with a myriad of time constraints, will be rather brief. In fact, I may experiment with a more concise format for a period of time. Having had several in-depth conversations on the social psychology behind social media with people who, in a professional capacity, are engaged public relations has been very enlightening. In general, most people like you and me prefer to digest as much information in shorter segments rather than long-winded accounts. Having said that, let’s not waste any more time.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

As I explained in this week’s introduction, much evidence shows that brevity is key in social media success…i.e. the ideal Twitter tweet is between 70-100 characters.

A startling look at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s fourth annual “Who Has Your Back” report on the tech sector’s customer privacy practices. Though this report is from May, 2014, all indications are that little (if anything has) changed.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

SciStarter and NASA are enlisting citizen scientists for a nationwide research project that will examine water availability and soil moisture conditions.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

NASA has released a new photograph of our humble home that is true to its description. Epic!

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The biggest news this week in weather and climate was NOAA’s latest State Of The Climate Report. The bottom line; 2014 was the warmest year on record for planet Earth.

The latest US Drought Monitor showed a great deal of improvement…except, of course, for the drought plagued western states. The newest report will be issued tomorrow and, in spite of recent California rains, will likely show little change.

In spite of a recent rebound, the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice continues.

Are heat advisories and/or excessive heat warnings “over-the-top hype” or are they beneficial to the public? Personally, I believe it’s the latter, but many strongly disagree.

Last but definitely not least is a “shout out” to “This Week In Science” (TWIS) with Kirsten Sanford, PhD, Justin Jackson, and Blair Bazdarich providing the web’s most entertaining and informative look into a wide spectrum of science topics. If you’ve not seen an episode, you should check it out.

That’s a wrap for this week’s post! I’d like to welcome my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun. Stick around folks, there are some very cool things in the works for Tornado Quest.

Cheers!

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…

SCIENCE EDUCATION AND THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

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.”

SOCIAL 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

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!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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.

PALEONTOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

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.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES/SUSTAINABILITY

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.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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.

THE VISCERAL UNDERBELLY

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.”

THIS WEEK’S SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL…AND SOME HELPFUL HINTS

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!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 2 – 9, 2015

After the last winter storm which brought significant snowfall from west Texas to the east coast, we’ve finally gotten a temporary respite across the contiguous 48 states. The sedate weather we’re enjoying now is the quiet before the storm…literally. The spring severe weather season is, for all practical matters, already upon us. This would be an excellent time to make sure your emergency kit is in order, your NOAA weather radio is fully functional, and you know how to get timely severe weather watch and warning information from your local National Weather Service office and the broadcast meteorologists of your choice. On the home front, it’s been another week with a full dance card. This post will, as many are during the spring and early summer, on the brief side. Preparing for the severe weather season often takes a bit of time, especially when doing double duty as a Skywarn spotter and double checking the “to do” list for storm chasing.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Daylight Saving Time is archaic and anachronistic at best…and that’s the nicest thing I can say about such old school nonsense. Adding insult to injury, it also costs you money.

The problem isn’t “scienceyness” but the tendency for mainstream media to water down science stories for the general public. “John/Jane Q Public” isn’t as scientific illiterate as many think.

SOCIAL MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY

A very good essay on over two dozen social media rules…which ones you can break, which ones you can’t, and which ones will cost you followers.

I’ve been giving the beta version of the Vivaldi browser a spin…and it could be a competitor to be reckoned with if it’s done right.

Google may begin rating website rankings on facts rather than links. If this comes to fruition, hopefully it’ll keep the shills and hype-mongers at bay.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY/RENEWABLES/RECYCLING

The K-Cups are convenient, but they are (no pun intended) a brewing problem.

Shortages of fresh water in the future could lead to some very unpleasant patterns in human behavior.

The plot thickens in Oklahoma as “quakegate” gets more interesting by the week. “Emails describe meetings between oil industry, earthquake researchers.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

To describe February across the contiguous 48 USA as fire and ice would be an understatement. While the west basked in warmth, the east shivered under record breaking snowfalls. The NOAA National Climactic Data Center’s State Of The Climate report has all the details.

According to this study, a revision of Tornado Watches based on the likelihood of tornadoes could help with public safety.

Speaking of tornado watches, spring, and the severe weather trimmings, is on our doorstep. Are you ready?

A spot-on must read by Marshall Shepherd and Chuck Doswell…”Standing Up For Meteorologists.”

A very thought-provoking read by Bill McKibben: “Climate fight won’t wait for Paris: vive la résistance.”

Will the Paris climate summit accomplish enough? Time will tell. Many aren’t optimistic.

Semantics do matter. “Call Them Climate Deniers, Not Skeptics.”

Considering the fact that everyone on planet Earth shares the same atmosphere, it’s no surprise that China’s pollution could have ties to the USA’s cold, snowy winters.

Those snowy winters result in many challenges…including a downturn in the local economies.

El Nino finally made an appearance, but not in time to help the ongoing drought in many parts of the western USA.

And that’s a wrap for this post…see you good folks next time!

Cheers!

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