Tag Archives: technology

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For September 12 – 20, 2017

Greetings everyone. Running a day late due to recovery from a medical procedure and keeping tabs on two very potent hurricanes…hence the short post for this week. Obviously, the big stories this week are the tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and the central Mexican earthquake which (as of this post) has killed over 200 people. Tropical cyclones Jose and Maria have been front and center in terms of weather. We’re still in the “peak” of the Atlantic hurricane season, so there are potentially several active weeks ahead. Having said that, let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is an interesting, and disconcerting, read on where a surveyed segment of society gets their news online. Unfortunately, Twitter, which is more up-to-the-minute and accurate, isn’t at the top.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

The Cassini spacecraft will soon have its swan song with a spectacular plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Many areas in and around Houston, TX that were flooded by Hurricane Harvey have an extra hazard to the aftermath…toxic chemicals in the flood waters.

Hurricane Irma left behind an environmental and public health hazard that has a level of disgust all its own.

The recent wildfires in the western USA presented another hazard to those in their paths or downwind from the fires…smoke that can cause serious health problems.

Plastic fibers have been found in water samples from around the world. If that sounds bad, just wait until you find out what it can do to your body when you drink it.

Our changing climate is inevitably going to change our diets.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest information on Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Jose can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s website.

Here’s the latest State Of The Climate report. “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for August 2017 was the third highest for the month of August in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880.”

Graphic courtesy NOAA

This week’s Drought Monitor shows a sustained drought maintaining its hold from the north central plains to the Pacific northwest.

Graphic courtesy US Drought Monitor

The long-term view of climate change is of the utmost importance. Future generations depend on it.

NOAA’s latest La Niña outlook is out.  “There is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of   during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18.” By some accounts, the southern half of the contiguous USA will be warmer than usual. It’s also important to keep in mind that this is only an outlook and NOT a forecast.

Here’s a spot-on read by Eric Holthaus. “Harvey, Irma, Maria: This Is The Hurricane Season Scientists Expected…And Feared. ”

Why don’t more broadcast meteorologists convey information and/or educational information to their viewers regarding climate change? “Part of the problem is that while TV meteorologists may not be climate-change deniers, too many are climate-change ignorers.” It may not be the broadcast meteorologists that have a say in this…but the corporate media powers-that-be.

The social and psychological effects of tropical cyclones (and other significant weather events) always give a sobering reminder of the power of nature.

An excellent post by meteorologist Dan Satterfield. “You And Your Congressman REALLY Need To Read This.”

Severe weather phobias are very real and, for countless people, a major source of stress and anxiety that takes a significant toll on their quality of life.

THE QUIXOTIC

Maybe it was a slow news day. “Newsweek Gives Cato Institute Climate Denier A Platform.”

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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Tornado Quest Top Science Links For August 15 – 22, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking in your location. The big storms across the United States this week has been the solar eclipse, the first significant one for almost a century. The tropical Atlantic has been somewhat more active as of late. The major concern at this date (22 August 2017) is the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey which could bring substantial rainfall totals to much of Texas and possibly Louisiana. There are plenty of other topics to touch on, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The presence of the troll in social media is nothing new. The sad fact is most anyone can (during a momentary lapse of decorum) can become one.

PUBLIC HEALTH

There is a myriad of hazards from weather and climate conditions. Depending on the time of year and location, bugs can be an even greater hazard…many of which spread diseases for which there is no cure.

GENERAL SCIENCE/CRITICAL THINKING

Here’s an essay that’s quite good in reminding us of the fact that science, in its best form, is its harshest critic. It’s all part of how the scientific method works.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

After thousands of years, solar eclipses are still fascinating to scientists…and that’s a very good thing!

If you get the chance to watch another eclipse, please remember to take the necessary safety precautions.

If you missed the 21 August 2017 eclipse, don’t worry. There are several others in the coming years that will pass across North America.

Over the next 50 years, you can travel to a number of locations around the globe to witness an eclipse.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good renewables news. “The increasing presence of wind and solar in the United States helped prevent the premature deaths of up to 12,700 people between 2007 and 2015.”

In consideration of the abundance of bad news, here are some amazingly beautiful images of our incredible home that will offer a visual respite.

 

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For months, several Atlantic hurricane season outlooks have stated that 2017 would be an active year. This still could come to fruition. The most important element to remember; regardless of how many storms form, it only takes one tropical cyclone landfall to make for a major disaster.

Here’s a look at tropical cyclone formation outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center from 23 August to 5 September 2017. An active period is anticipated in portions of both the Pacific and Atlantic.

Graphic courtesy Climate Prediction Center

In California, scientists are taking the reigns of climate research in their own hands. Considering the current hostilities toward climate research, this may be necessary for many other USA states.

It may be August, but for parts of Sweden, it’s time for a touch of snow.

Studying climates of the past (paleoclimatology) is important because it can give us glimpses into the climates of the future.

PUBLIC POLICY

Considering all parties involved, this should come as no surprise to those of us who live in Oklahoma. The Sooner State’s new Attorney General is opposed to the proposed Oklahoma wind farm that could be the largest in the United States.

Nothing good can come from this. “US president Donald Trump’s administration has disbanded a government advisory committee intended to help the country prepare for a changing climate.”

In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence and a global consensus, some of climate change’s most vulnerable victims are the most fervent skeptics of 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. Tornado Quest covers a diverse range of topics including environmental issues, climate change, renewable energy sources, and much more. You’ll find much to enjoy, or provoke thought, with our accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Cheers!

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

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Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest’s Science Links Week In Review For July 25 – August 1, 2017

Greetings everyone! I hope the weather is to your liking regardless of where you live. Here in the USA’s Great Plains, we’re enjoying an unseasonably pleasant cool spell, but the summer heat will be back soon enough. For the time being, the tropical Atlantic is relatively quiet…but the peak of the hurricane season is still several weeks away.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Many folks have push notifications turned on for countless apps. For your own sake and sanity, turn them off. I only have text messages and emails going…and I couldn’t be happier.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

If you’re considering a career in the sciences, you’re going to need a thorough background in math. Start early…you won’t regret it.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Here’s an excellent read from Science Friday on how to view the upcoming solar eclipse safely.

The quote attributed to Carl Sagan that “we are made of star stuff” is emphasized even more so in this good read. “Half The Atoms Inside Your Body Came From Across The Universe.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

This is awesome news for the Sooner State! Oklahoma will soon be home to what could be the largest wind farm in the USA! This is definitely a step in the right direction!

Speaking of wind energy, solar and wind are not “alternative” energy sources anymore. We have got a long way to go to make a dent in climate change, but fortunately, they are already mainstream.

Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” has a new sequel that is not only an update but shows everyday citizens how they can contribute to helping our planet’s environment.

For severe weather and hurricane research, specially equipped aircraft are used. For research into wildfires, the planes used are a different breed of aircraft altogether.

As of late, the western USA has seen a brutal episode of wildfires with almost 5.2 million acres burned from January to late July 2017…and there are several more months left with no let up in sight.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

An interesting set of charts from Climate Central on risks to our way of life. As depicted in the first one, climate change and natural disasters supersede every other risk.

Even without an El Niño event (which brings warm ocean water to the surface, temporarily causing average global surface temperatures to rise), 2017 is already setting global temperature records.

If you’re a RadarScope user, you may occasionally notice that a radar is down. Radars, like all other forms of technology, require maintenance and chances are that’s why there’s no data.

Here’s a look at Tornado Warnings issued by the USA’s National Weather Service as of 31 July 2017.

Graphic courtesy Iowa Environmental Mesonet

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for fun. We’re living in interesting times, so hang around for some thought provoking topics.

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Links: Week In Review For July 18 – 25, 2017

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

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

HISTORY OF SCIENCE/EDUCATION

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

PUBLIC HEALTH/WEATHER SAFETY

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING/RENEWABLES

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NCEI & Climate Central

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

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

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

Infographic courtesy Climate Central

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

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

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

PUBLIC POLICY

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

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

Cheers!

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

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For April 8 – 16, 2017

Greeting’s to everyone! If you’re celebrating the holiday weekend, I hope it’s a good one. For those not celebrating, I hope your spring/autumn is going as well as possible. Here in the USA, the severe weather season is in full swing this week with several days of challenging forecasts. Also, don’t forget the March For Science is coming up on 22 April 2017! This week’s post will be a bit on the brief side due to a developing severe weather setup…so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A disconcerting privacy read. In the process of trying to guard privacy rights, some people are trying to “trash their tracks.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Polluting your web history won’t keep you from having your rights violated by nefarious opportunists.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a good read on spring-time citizen science projects from SciStarter! Why sit on the sidelines when you can take part? Citizen scientists add valuable data to research projects that, in most situations, would be difficult to obtain.

Citizen science and weather go hand-in-hand exceptionally well! Here are four ways you can enjoy citizen science get involved and contribute valuable weather and climate data to data bases and research!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLE ENERGY

It seems as if wind energy gets less expensive month by month…and that’s some very good news!

The drought in California may by “officially” over, but it’s best to not think it won’t happen again.

Speaking of California, here’s some very good renewables news. On one day in March, 2017, California got fifty percent of it’s electricity from solar power.

NASA has a new Night Light Map that shows patterns of human settlement across our humble home.

Challenging times ahead for the EPA. With air quality in the USA still problematic, the health of millions is at stake.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If this past winter seemed short for much of North America, you weren’t imagining things. For the southwestern USA states in particular, spring is coming earlier every year.

This is the kind of record breaking data that doesn’t bring about smiles. We’ve yet another record breaking month for low Arctic sea ice.

Here’s a very informative Science Friday interview with climate scientist Michael Mann on his recent House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology hearing testimony.

Time is running short. “We Must Reach Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, Says Former UN Climate Chief.

Weather balloons carry instrument packages that supply invaluable data for forecasting and observations. Check out this video of a weather balloon exploding at 100,000 feet!

The Heartland Institute is at it again…this time will a well oiled PR campaign based on unfounded accusations sans evidence.

PUBLIC POLICY

NASA continues to be the target of budget cuts that, in the long run, will mean the demise of valuable data that benefits us all.

Now that former Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt is running the USA’s EPA, some climate change denialists are bemoaning that, “he won’t fight.”

While on that topic, the train wreck continues. “Scott Pruitt Calls For An ‘Exit’ From The Paris Accord, Sharpening The Trump White House’s Climate Rift.”

Last but definitely not least, don’t forget the March For Science is only days away on 22 April 2017! Currently, there are over 500 satellite marches that will be taking place the world over!

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! Interesting times ahead.

Cheers!

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

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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 25 – March 4, 2017

Greetings everyone and Happy Meteorological Spring to my friends and followers in the Northern Hemisphere. For many, it’s been an exceptionally warm winter and spring is already throttling up. In the USA, Skywarn spotter classes are ongoing as of this post. Check with your local National Weather Service office to see if there’s a class scheduled near you. And, as has been the case for the last few weeks, science and public policy have been front and center…so let’s get started.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Wind and solar power are gaining major ground in countries across the globe. Considering that change is often difficult, how will the status quo adapt?

Cities around the globe smarten up & go green as 2/3 of world population will live in urban areas by 2030.

Air pollution isn’t just a minor irritation, it’s a major health hazard with lethal implications. Here’s an excellent read on how to deal with and/or avoid potentially deadly poor air quality.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed in the USA, environmental conditions were in a sorry state. It would behoove us to keep that in mind and fight against the threat of retrograding into a new dark age.

While on the topic of air pollution, other countries besides the USA have their share of air quality issues. The problem for USA citizens is their noxious air travels round the globe and eventually reaches us.

Here’s another sobering look at environmental conditions in the USA in the pre-EPA days.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

A new earthquake outlook for 2017 highlights Oklahoma and California as the hot-spots for quake activity…so we’ve been warned.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If it seems like spring has come early this year for much of the Northern Hemisphere, you’re not imagining things.

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back amazing high-resolution images!

For the Northern Hemisphere, the first day of meteorological spring occurred on 1 March 2017. Here’s a look back at an unusually warm winter from Climate Central.

2017winterreview_miami_en_title_lg

Sea surface temperatures and weather/climate are inextricably linked. From the National Weather Service in New Orleans, LA, “The Gulf has remained warm this winter, generally 2-7F above avg now. Pic from the NOAA View Global Data Explorer.”

c53aixlwcaadv9o-jpg-large

For the state of California, it was famine to feast in terms of rainfall. Here’s a look at the “atmospheric rivers” that kept the state dry, then inundated it with dangerous flooding conditions.

Speaking of drought, here’s the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for March, 2017. In spite of recent rains, drought conditions persist or increase across many areas of the plains and southern states.

month_drought

Though the focus of this article is on the recent heat wave in parts of Australia, it applies to other continents as well. “Climate Scientists Say Likelihood Of Extreme Summers Surging Due To Global Warming.”

What do citizens of the USA think about climate change? This interesting read provides some maps and links to answer that question.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-1_22_48-pmPercentage of adults, by state, who think global warming is happening. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication | George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5° Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius) according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Severe Weather Safety Link Of The Week: With the severe weather season well underway across the USA, here’s a very comprehensive yet concise overview of severe weather and it’s hazards from the National Weather Service. “Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, And Lightning. Natures Most Violent Storms.” (20 page PDF file)

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

NOAA is about to take a bit hit from the Trump administration, specifically their satellite division. This is ugly…and it will only get worse. Nefariously draconian comes to mind (considering that much of the life-saving data you benefit from comes from the portion of NOAA that’s under the gun), but that would be to politely generous.

Four Ways NOAA Benefits Your Life Today.” This is a “must-read” by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the irreplaceable benefits that NOAA and the National Weather Service provide to USA citizens.

Do scientists really lose credibility when they become political? Absolutely not. We need all the scientists involved in the current political climate as possible.

Fighting fire with fire is the only way to deal with the building hostilities toward the scientific community.

Things are bad indeed. “Responding to attacks on scientific expertise and threats to public funding, the growing protest of American scientists might also suggest something about the perceived direness of the state of the world under Trump: If the scientists are organizing, then things must be really bad.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stopped collecting important climate and environmental data. No data = no science = no progress.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

A Norwegian news site is on to an excellent way to deal with trolls and/or people who have a “knee-jerk” reaction to a headline and leave hostile and threatening comments. Make them read and article or essay and answer questions about it before they’re allowed to comment. There’s nothing like a little mature, critical thinking to take the place of sophomoric rants.

This disconcerting privacy read will make you think twice about carrying a mobile device in and out of the USA. In case you’re wondering, your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights don’t apply.

Your privacy in the safety of your own home is also a hazard. Chances are, you are your own worst security risk.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to send out a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. We’re in interesting times…so hang on…lots more fun to come.

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 18 – 25, 2016

Greetings to everyone! It’s been quite a mild winter for much of North America. While some locations have had their fair share of snow and cold temperatures, many locations (including my own) have had very warm winter conditions. Many flowering trees are in full bloom, weeds and early spring flowers are showing their presence, and those unfortunate souls who deal with seasonal allergies are quite miserable. Many high temperature records across the USA have been broken, some of which have stood for the good part of a century. Meanwhile, Australians have had a recent heat wave with lethal temperatures in some locations of 110-115F. This week, there are more than enough science/public policy reads to partake of. For the near term, this is going to be the dominant trend among the scientific community. Scientists from all areas of study have traditionally endeavored to remain apolitical. Those days are gone and, with the war on science gathering steam, it’s time we fight fire with fire. On that note, let’s get started…

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A very thought provoking read that well established what many of us already know…science is an international/global endeavor and it’s time for scientists to stand up to all detractors.

The war for science in the USA is more than a minor difference of opinion. It’s become an all out threat to the USA and, eventually, the entire globe.

While the war on science wages, university officials have very legitimate concerns over scientific research funding that may…or may not…disappear. It’s presence may depend on whether or not it fits within the current presidential administrations agenda.

Ensuring scientific integrity during a time with the anti-science sentiment is at an all time high, will be increasingly difficult in spite of any progress.

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and newly sworn-in head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s emails are starting to surface…and they speak for themselves.

The constituents of congressional climate deniers are getting a well-deserved rude awakening at recent town halls. I suppose denying global warming is one way members of Congress are attempting in vain to keep the heat off.

Red states in the USA are giving a small degree of notice to climate change…but only with names that are, at best, watered down euphemisms.

The choice for the current USA’s presidential science advisor is William Happer…and he’s quite interesting to say the least.

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION/EDUCATION

An excellent read by Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “Nine Tips For Communicating Science To People Who Are Not Scientists.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

This is a very thought provoking read that will have you thinking twice about taking your mobile device aboard an international commercial airline flight. Obviously, in spite of the power behind the USA’s Constitution, there are times where our fourth and fifth amendments rights are null and void.

While on the topic of privacy and security, here’s an excellent read on how to encrypt your online life in short order. “Pro Tip: if you insist on enabling thumbprint identification for convenience’s sake, and are ever arrested, immediately power off your phone. When the authorities turn your phone back on, they won’t be able to unlock it without your password. The fifth amendment (against self-incrimination) allows you to keep your password secret. But a court can compel you to unlock your phone with your thumbprint.”

Now that you’ve done your best to protect your privacy and security, here’s a good read on having grace in social media.

PHYSICS

A fascinating physics read. “Time Crystals – How Scientists Created A New State Of Matter.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some excellent wind power news for the USA. Wind briefly powered more than 50 percent of electric demand on 12 February 2017 for the first time on any North American power grid.

Norway is making major headway in switching over to electric-powered vehicles (EV) and could be one hundred percent EV in as little as eight years.

The sight of four million solar panels from space is quite a sight…and one we can hope will spread across the globe.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Once upon a time, even Benjamin Franklin, lightning rods, and the UK were locked in political sabre rattling over…lightning rods.

The latest US Drought Monitor shows 13.8% of the contiguous USA in drought conditions with intensification noted in the south, mid-Atlantic, and New England.

c5yvcsewaaaitwt-jpg-large

Forecasting winter weather events is one of the most daunting challenges that a meteorologist can face. This message from the Twin Cities, MN National Weather Service does an excellent job of explaining to a largely un-weatherwise public the difficulties of doing their job and dealing with a cantankerous segment of the public.

capture-1

THE QUIXOTIC

In the 21st century, people are still taking this kind of pseudoscience seriously. Sad but true.

That’s a wrap for this post! As usual, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun! We’ve got some wild times ahead, so hang on.

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For February 11 – 18, 2017

Greetings to everyone! If it’s winter in your location, you’re probably wondering if we went directly from autumn to early spring. In spite of some heavy snowfalls in the Northeastern USA states, most of the USA and Canada is in the midst of a very mild winter. For many folks, it feels as if spring has already arrived. Speaking of spring, Skywarn spotter training classes are underway across the USA in preparation for the coming severe weather season. And, as expected, science and public policy is front and center again…and will be for some time. On that note, let’s get started.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

A reminder from January’s archives…the reasons behind the March for Science scheduled for 22 April 2017.

Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s a concise overview of what that means for the environment. On a personal note, those of us who live in Oklahoma and have serious concerns for our environment are very familiar with Pruitt’s past. There are daunting challenges ahead for the EPA.

The latest news for this week has focused on the impending dangers to the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.

NASA’s valuable work and research on climate change may be facing significant peril or be altogether obliterated.

TECHNOLOGY

Before it disappears permanently, some ambitious and diehard coders are working non-stop to rescue climate science data.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Would you like to help NASA searching for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space? If so, here are the details!

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Some amazing astronomical eye candy was captured recently in Sweden…and it’s quite a sight.

Recent research into the surface of Mars hints strongly at the presence of water in the not-so-distant past.

Our sun is an amazing star. It also produces very unusual bursts of radiation. NASA now knows why.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

An excellent read on the current state and future growth of renewable energy sources and the inevitable demise of fossil fuels.

Fifty years of environmental protections and a host of earth-friendly pledges are in dire danger of being wiped off the planet by the USA’s current presidential administration.

At the state level, the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under yet another threat from Florida lawmakers.

Bakersfield, CA has what is likely the worst air quality of any USA city. With the potential demise of the Environmental Protection Agency and/or regulations, Bakersfield’s air could be on track to get worse.

In some cities, residents are cautioned to take great care when an air pollution alert is issued. Safety tips for air pollution can be just as important as precautions taken for severe weather.

Here’s some good renewables news. “Wind Briefly Sets Record As Source For Electricity In USA.”

At Texas A&M, the first glow-in-the-dark bike lanes in the USA have been painted. Let’s hope these catch on in as many states as possible.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Based on NOAA and NASA data, January, 2017 was the third warmest on record globally. Here’s a look at global climate anomalies for January, 2017.

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Speaking of a warm winter, if February seems warm, you’re not imagining things. For the contiguous USA, it’s averaged five degrees above normal.

With the peak of North American’s severe weather season fast approaching, now’s the time to get your emergency kit in order.

According to new research and a newly developed a mathematical equation, people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces.

Take a look at NASA’s campaign (which is a world-wide first) to make detailed maps of all the oceans and glaciers around Greenland’s coastline.

In a continent used to very hot weather, even this Australian heat wave is making the most jaded residents take notice. “The heat wave down under is unusual even for Australia – but it may not be so for much longer. The country is in the grip of one of the most ferocious heatwaves on record, and climate change is being held accountable.”

What Do Gorilla Suits and Blowfish Fallacies Have to Do With Climate Change?” Plenty. You’ll find out why in this excellent read on human behavior and the attitudes towards climate science.

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

Cheers!


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

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Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review for February 4 – 11, 2017

Happy weekend everyone! February is moving along just fine with a major heat wave in Australia, significant snowstorms in the northeastern USA states and parts of eastern Europe, and an exceptionally warm winter day in the American southern plains. As of late, I’ve had several inquiries regarding storm spotter training. Across the USA, National Weather Service offices are having their Skywarn spotter training classes. Please check with your local National Weather Service office to see when training is scheduled in your area. This training is imperative to have if you’re to be an effective spotter. Also keep in mind that this is a commitment to your local community. Safety, for the public and yourself, is a non-negotiable priority and the purpose of storm spotting. Sensationalism, hyperbole, and fifteen minutes of fame on social media isn’t.

In other topics, public policy is now a permanent part of the sciences. It actually always has been but, in the interest of neutrality, many scientists have avoided it in spite of their frustrations. For reasons that are painfully obvious, scientists and citizen scientists are now in the politics business. Lock and load…we’re in for several years of a wild ride.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

The USA can’t afford to take part in any international or national cuts in science funding. Any attempts at such action would set us back many years.

Oklahoman’s are more than a little familiar with the new head of the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency and what he is capable of. The agency’s regulatory authority is in peril.

After what seems like a millennium of playing the apolitical “neutral” game, scientists are finally taking a stance politically…and none too soon.

A very thought provoking look at women in scientific research. The most startling statistic: only twenty-eight percent of researchers are women.

This young lady has the kind of fearless chutzpah that you can’t help but admire. “Congressman is righteously booed after dodging a young girl’s simple question about science.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter is finally putting some teeth and anti-harassment  into their policy toward trolls.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

This could also be posted under Atmospheric Science, but due to the potential use by citizen scientists, I’ve posted it here…and it’s very cool too. You can now post mPING reports from your RadarScope app! If you’re a citizen scientist, weather geek, nature enthusiast, or have any kind of interest in the weather and climate, RadarScope is the best mobile device weather radar app available.

GEOGRAPHY

A fascinating look at seven maps that will certainly alter the way you look at the countries around the world.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Considering the impending changes in the current administration, I doubt seriously this will come to fruition. We can only hope that somehow the EPA is still allowed to tell Oklahoma regulators to do more to protect the state from a surge in earthquake activity linked to the underground disposal of oil & gas wastewater.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Here’s some good news from Europe. Approximately ninety percent of new power is from renewable energy sources. The caveat is what will happen after the year 2020.

Fortunately, there’s more good renewables  news this week. “Wind power is making a comeback. One of the earliest energy sources to be harnessed by mankind has now overtaken coal-fired generation in Europe and hydroelectric dams in the U.S.”

Air pollution can kill. You only have to look at the recent horrid conditions across much of China to see the life-threatening effects.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

As I mentioned earlier, it’s time for Skywarn spotter training. With the peak of severe weather season rapidly approaching, it’s time for training.

A much warmer than usual winter for the Arctic is still going full steam. That’s not a little disconcerting.

Here’s a very detailed view of drought conditions across the contiguous USA. For the first time since March, 2011, there are no areas in the USA that are experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions.

In other parts of the world, floods and erosion are problematic. Many of Britain’s significant sites are in critical danger of permanent alteration.

An enlightening read on how the new climate change denial is just like the old-school denial…just a touch of different rhetoric.

One of the more unfortunate stories this week concerns false information that claims the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) falsified climate data. Here’s Carbon Brief’s excellent article on this matter as well as a good read from the New York Times.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. “Climate change has long been the target of so-called fake news and its researchers can offer lessons for the wider society in how to handle deliberate misinformation.” Considering the overabundance of information that many people find difficult to sift through, a concerted effort to help the public discern scientific news conveyed by truth-seeking scientists from sub par propaganda from the interloping riff-raff is badly needed.

The United States isn’t the only country where climate change and policy is being ravaged in terms of short-term profits. Australia has an equally hostile climate as well. Myopic, vested interests have climate science squarely in their cross-hairs.

Last but certainly not least, here’s another reminder of the March for Science which will be taking place in Washington, D. C. and many, many other cities around the globe on Earth Day, 22 April 2017. For more information, please visit the March For Science website for details and how you can participate. One particularly interesting take on the even comes from Forbes magazine. “The March For Science In Washington Is Political Whether You Like It Or Not.”

march-for-science2

And that will be a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

Cheers!


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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

Tornado Quest Science Week In Review For January 23 – 28, 2017

Greetings and salutations one and all! I hope the weather is being good to you wherever you are. There’s a lot to cover this week…and considering recent current events, there’s more than the usual amount of science and public policy topics to cover. Like it or not, the climate of the country is changing in more than one way. We’ve challenging times ahead.

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

SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY

Taking into consideration the inevitability that the next four years in the USA will be challenging for science, many scientists are now planning to run for public office.

From any rational viewpoint, a disturbing event that is unfolding daily. Any way you slice it, facts aren’t political. “What We Actually Lose When The USDA and EPA Can’t Talk To The Public.” (Updated)

Is there more than one way for the USA to pull out of the Paris climate agreement? Unfortunately, yes.

Still in its formative stages, the March For Science is slowly gaining momentum…and will likely be the next big march in Washington, D.C. The organizers have a website and Twitter account where you can stay up-to-date on details.

Starting with only a few texts between friends, “500 Women Scientists” has grown to 14,000 strong and counting.

TECHNOLOGY

A very interesting privacy and security read. “Firefox, Chrome start calling HTTP connections insecure.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Of Mexico oil spill take a heavy toll on the biosphere…and mental health of people who have to deal with the immediate effects and long-term aftermath.

The USA’s Environmental Protection Agency has an uncertain future. To get an idea of how filthy it was before its formation, take a look back at America’s environmental state before 1970.

Here’s some good news on the renewable/wind energy front. The USA’s largest offshore wind farm is coming to Long Island.

And some more good news…the Irish parliament has voted to take on the task of divesting from fossil fuels.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA recently tweeted a page that has been a good source of information on global warming…and it’s probably one of the best FAQ sites on the topic you’ll find online. There’s a plethora of references too…and those are gems for further research.

In recent decades, flooding in the northern countries of Europe has more than doubled.

The latest Drought Monitor shows that for the first time since March, 2011, exceptional drought conditions are not affecting the USA population.

Highlights: Drought conditions have eased a great deal across much of California.

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Extreme Drought conditions (red shading) have spread rapidly in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

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If you’ve ever wondered how a well done tornado path survey is written up by a National Weather Service office, the survey of the Albany, GA tornado of 22 January 2017 by the Tallahassee, FL NWS is a good example. The vast majority of path surveys done by the NWS are exceptionally detailed studies.

And that’s a wrap for this post! As always, I’d like to send a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. It’s nice to have you along for the fun. 🙂

Cheers!

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

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

Tornado Quest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tornadoquest

Tornado Quest on Tumblr: http://tornadoquest.tumblr.com/

Media inquiries: tornadoquest@protonmail.ch

Copyright © 1998 – 2017 Tornado Quest, LLC

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