Tag Archives: STEM

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 Much More For March 28 – April 4, 2016

Greetings everyone! I hope all of you are having a great start to the month of April regardless of where you live. Due to several previous commitments, this post will be shorter than usual. I’m running with a full dance card as of late. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/STEM

A very thought-provoking read about the need for more women in the top tiers of science.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A good read on climate change in the USA. “With Climate Change, USA States Routinely Achieving New Levels Of Record Warmth.”

The latest US Drought Monitor released 31 March 2016 shows increasing drought conditions in parts of the southern plains, western drought holding fast.

Capture 13El Nino had managed to bring some temporary relief to the brutal ongoing California drought.

The tide is beginning to turn in a significant amount. Citizens of the USA are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change.

Along with countless other coastal cities worldwide, Florida is in a world of hurt regarding sea-level rise.

NASA’s Earth Observatory has new data on the startling decline in Arctic ice.

A fascinating read about a meteorologist with a very important job…forecasting for Mount Everest.

The Tulsa, OK metro was affected by two tornadoes on the evening of 30 March, 2016. Both have been rated at EF-2. The damage survey from the Tulsa NWS can be found here.

THE QUIXOTIC

Someone tell me this is a joke. GOP Congressman Falsely Claims Study ‘Confirms The Halt In Global Warming.’

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

Cheers!

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

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

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

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

GENERAL SCIENCE/PUBLIC POLICY/STEM

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

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE QUIXOTIC

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

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

Cheers!

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Media Inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

Tornado Quest on Tumblr (Obligatory Caveat: Not a science-based blog and occasionally NSFW. You’ve been warned.)

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

For much of the contiguous USA plains states, summer heat has been holding on with a vengeance. Fortunately, there are changes underway as we speak and before long, autumn will “show its colors” (no pun intended). It’s also common for an uptick in severe weather to occur across Tornado Alley during the fall months. In the tropical cyclone realm, the Pacific has been very busy this year. The Atlantic has been relatively well-behaved in spite of some noble attempts at hurricane formation. Considering the alternative, I don’t really think anyone in hurricane prone regions is complaining. The downside is the fact that it’s been a decade since a significant hurricane made landfall in the USA. Complacency can breed carelessness. Therefore, this is a good time for us to remind ourselves that September is National Preparedness Month. The theme for 2015 is “Don’t Wait, Communicate” and the time to prepare for natural disasters of all kinds is now…when things are quiet…and you have the time and presence of mind to make calm, rational decisions. Those who have prepared ahead of time and experienced a disaster have told me many times that the time, effort, and resources used to “prep” were well worth it and, in some cases, life saving “preventative medicine.” It doesn’t matter where you live, even if the annual weather events are rather uneventful. Everyone is vulnerable.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION/STEM

If you have a daughter interested in a science career, have her check out the Women In STEM career videos from GotScience.org.

Check out this nice infographic on how essential earth and space science is to all of us. It involves saving lives…every day.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Many people have serious privacy concerns over Windows 10. To add insult to injury, concerns are now raised over Windows 7 and 8.

If you’re concerned about online security, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense information. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

A very interesting and telling read from the Pew Research Center. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.”

I very, very rarely recommend apps (especially weather apps) since the quality and accuracy of data is so unpredictable. But, in addition to the apps that you feel serve you best, I’d add the American Red Cross app. It’s very customizable and highly informative.

If, like me, you’re a user of many Apple products, here’s a quick overview of the September 9, 2015 Apple product event. For weather folks (including storm chasers), the new and larger iPad Pro would be an excellent addition in the field for radar products and/or model runs…and any improvement on iPhone processor and camera capabilities is a “must have.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project just in time for autumn. Kids, parents, and teachers can learn the “hows and whys” of leaves changing color during fall.

Speaking of plant-based citizen science for kids, here’s an excellent resource from Project BudBurst for K-4 educators.

Caren Cooper has written and excellent essay on the importance of the role citizen science plays in our children’s science education.

This is a project that should be taking place across North America. “European Citizens Measure Air Pollution With Their Smartphones.”

GEOLOGIC SCIENCE

What is Geologic time? A very, very, very long time.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The recent wildfires in the northwest USA have done more than burn vegetation, they’ve endangered wildlife.

Yes, school recycling competitions are for real…and I’d like to see more of these everywhere.

Just follow the money. “Back to School: “Frackademia” Alive and Well at U.S. Universities, Says New Report.”

An interesting read on the irrevocable climate-biosphere link and how crucial food chain bacteria is altered by climate change.

A UK study that would without a doubt be valid worldwide. Trees in urban areas are valuable in dispersing air pollution (and improve the quality of the air you and I breathe).

Awesome is an understatement! “The Netherlands plans to have a 100% wind-powered railway system by 2018.”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

This past week was the 115th anniversary of the deadliest weather disaster in the history of the USA: the 1900 Galveston, TX hurricane. There’s no exact death toll, but varying estimates range from a very, very conservative 6,000 to as high as 10,000. If you’ve not read “Issac’s Storm,” you should. It’s an excellent account of events and even an enlightening glimpse into the history of the science of early forecasting.

A very nice side-by-side comparison of 1997 and 2015 El Ninos from Climate Central.

While on the topic of El Nino, here’s a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers that has everything you ever wanted to know about this climate phenomenon and more.

According to new research, droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past.

An interesting read on how climate change would mean the death of one world and the birth of another.

If you live in the western contiguous 48 USA and thought August was hot, you were right. It was well above average in temperatures.

Many of us, including your’s truly, have watched The Weather Channel since it first aired in 1982. There are some big changes on tap and, personally speaking, I think they’re beneficial in the long-term.

“Cherry-picking” research is common among climate change denialists. In spite of the overwhelming worldwide consensus, research of dubious integrity continues.

QUIXOTIC HUMOR

If there was ever a country that has a fascinating cornucopia of dialects, it’s the USA. “Welcome To The United Slang Of America.”

And that’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm “welcome” to my new followers. Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@gmail.com

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For August 19 – 26, 2015

Perhaps the biggest news this week is the tropical cyclone activity in both the Pacific and Atlantic. We’re coming into the statistical “peak” of activity, so expect to hear quite a bit about one, and possibly more, storms in progress. Most eyes in North America are on Erika which, as of this post, is at tropical storm strength and expected to not intensify until sometime during the coming weekend. There are too many “cons” in the mix at the current time. While Erika bears watching, there’s no need for panic, falling victim to hyperbole, or taking anything seriously that’s spread by fear mongers…especially in the social media arena. Perhaps the best message behind the formation of Erika, and other tropical cyclones round the world, is the importance of having an emergency preparedness kit at the ready. Ready.gov has a great place to start with the basics. From there, you can move on to tailor your kit for your specific needs. The time to prepare is now…not when the National Hurricane Center is telling everyone in dire straits that any emergency preparedness actions should be rushed to completion. That’s a nice way of saying, “You’re out of time…and luck.”

With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, much of this week’s post will mostly focus on that event.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

In order to get girls more interested in computer science (or any science field for that matter), the classrooms need to be less “geeky” i.e. more gender neutral.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A very nice Citizen Science Essay on the power of the crowd.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Of the many long-term dimensions of climate change, the increasing risk of wildfires is one of the most daunting.

When firefighters speak out on climate change, it would behoove us to listen up very carefully.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE/HURRICANE KATRINA

If you thought July, 2015 was hot, you were right. Based on NOAA data, it was the warmest month ever for our humble home.

Among many fields of science, it’s time for the health care industry to raise its voice on climate change.

A very telling read on climate change “skepticism” if you will…”Here’s What Happens When You Try To Replicate Climate Contrarian Papers.”

California isn’t the only state plagued by an ongoing drought. Much of Europe has been plagued by drought and heat waves as of late.

It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the central USA Gulf Coast. Here’s just one of many essays that ask an essential question. “What have we learned?”

An excellent overview from NASA on the scientific advancements in the last ten years and their relation to Hurricane Katrina.

From a public policy perspective, what has changed since Hurricane Katrina?

A retrospective on Hurricane Katrina from the National Weather Service offices in New Orleans, LA & Mobile, AL.

Here’s a very comprehensive Tropical Cyclone Report from the National Hurricane Center on Katrina. (43 page PDF file)

Is the coastline of the USA becoming more vulnerable to land-falling hurricanes? Absolutely…and it’s getting worse year by year.

Last, but not least, a very good read for anyone, especially storm chasers and/or “social mediarologists” seeking fame & followers by giving your storm images away for free. “Why Giving Permission Is Costing You A Small Fortune…” I see this happening online countless times during the year, with an alarming uptick in frequency during the height of the storm chasing frenzy. The very basis for this essay is also the reason why I stopped posting any images from my storm chasing expeditions back in 1998…and have no plans on sharing any in the future.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this week! Here’s a hearty “welcome” to any and all new followers! Glad you’re along!

Cheers!

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