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Tornado Quest Science Links Week In Review For May 21 – 28, 2018

Greetings to everyone! If you’re in the USA, I hope you get a chance to take a moment to remember those who, in serving our country, paid the ultimate sacrifice. We have a wild weather setup that’s ongoing as of this post for the Memorial Day holiday. Alberto, the first named tropical cyclone of the 2018 Atlantic season, is ready to make landfall on the Florida panhandle coast. We’ve also had catastrophic flash flooding in the Mid-Atlantic region, severe weather in the central plains with more forecast for today and tomorrow, an ongoing drought for much of the southwest, a heat wave that is bringing triple digit head indices as far north as Minnesota, and Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is still in the news. And…this is only the end of May.

There’s plenty to review this week, so let’s get started.

Summer heat is making an early appearance across much of the contiguous USA. Sad to say that there have been fatalities due to people leaving children in cars during hot days. These deaths are totally preventable and should never happen. Heat stroke and heat fatalities can occur in temperatures as low as 80F.

Infographic courtesty NOAA

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project that’s part history, part climatology. “Citizen Scientists Are Unearthing Climate Data From Old Ships’ Logs.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been expanding as of late. Along with that is a new hazard, a toxic gas called “laze.”

Speaking of Kilauea expanding, a third lava flow has reached the ocean. This Hawaiian volcano has been very active since 3 May 2018.

In spite of the fact that we don’t hear about volcanoes often, they’re actually quite common around the globe. Here’s an excellent essay on 7 facts about volcanoes you should know.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

While the focus of this article is on protecting yourself from ticks this summer (see the Summer Weather Safety section for more info), there’s definitely an environment/climate connection.

We all know that clean air is essential for good health. Truth be known, clean air is also good for the economy.

Many of us had an idea that this was true, but reading this article still knocks the wind out of me. “Humans Just 0.01% Of All Life But Have Destroyed 83% Of Wild Mammals.”

The sheer mass of plastic pollution in our oceans is mind-boggling. In some images, these pieces of our lives take on the appearance of sea life.

Here’s a collection of more startling images of plastic pollution and wildlife. The National Geographic cover certainly hits the bullseye on this very disturbing scenario.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA issued their outlook for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane seasonThere are other outlooks as well from a variety of sources. They don’t all agree and variable are unavoidable. The most important factor to remember is these are outlooks, not forecasts.

While on the topic of hurricanes, here’s a fascinating study on 34 years of tropical cyclone eye location and size and it’s connection to other characteristics of these amazing storms.

New research on the connection of climate change and hurricanes indicates that these devastating tropical cyclones will become more intense in a myriad of ways in the coming decades.

The latest US Drought Portal has been issued. More specifically, the Drought Monitor shows some relief in the contiguous USA, but there’s no hint at long-term relief in sight for the hardest hit areas.

As of this post, the tornado “season” across the USA has been relatively tranquil with only three intense tornadoes documented. Considering the alternative, no one is complaining. Here’s an excellent read on why this year has seen less tornado activity compared to other years.

Meanwhile in Sweden, a recent heat wave brought not a little discomfort. Temperatures to 30C (86F) are rare in this part of the world. Wish I could say the same for Oklahoma. Additionally, heatwaves in many northern countries are becoming more common at a disturbingly frequent rate.

SUMMER WEATHER SAFETY

With the Memorial Day holiday having taken place in the USA, the “unofficial” start to summer has arrived. All across the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting longer…and the sun’s rays more intense. With that comes a variety of hazards and the links below cover heat safety and UV protection. As with all weather hazards, a few simple precautions can prevent a ton of trouble.

Heat: A Major Killer

Summer Weather Safety & Survival: The Heat Index

Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation Awareness & Safety Info

World Health Organization: UV & Sun Protection

That’s a wrap for this post! For those of you who are new followers, I’d like to send a sincere “Thank You” and “Welcome” your way. I’m glad you’re along for the fun. For the folks who have been around a while, I’m glad you’ve stuck around for the fun. You know better than anyone that we can never tell what’s around the corner in this joint. I’m glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For June 14 – 22, 2016

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by. This post will be on the brief side due to previous time-consuming commitments and today’s severe weather potential. I’ll post some safety information regarding severe weather in addition to summer heat safety tips. With summer settling in with a vengeance across much of North America, it’s time to take seriously the dangers of this underrated and silent killer. As usual, there’s a bit of environmental and astronomical news as well. On that note, let’s get started.

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

In July 2016, the Juno mission will take a look at Jupiter’s atmosphere and what lays below it.

A very cool video. “Mapping Laniakea, the Milky Way’s Cosmic Home.”

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

A good climate read with this week’s best headline. “California’s Trees Are Thirstier Than A College Kid With A hangover.”

A very nice infographic that answers many questions about sea level rise.

Speaking of the sea, here’s a nice infographic on how deep the Earth’s oceans are in comparison to “above the ground” objects. Note: While 37,000 feet may be deep for our oceans, it’s the height of a very modest cumulonimbus thunderstorm. Supercell thunderstorms across Tornado Alley regularly reach heights of 50,000 – 60,000 feet.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

What would our humble planet be like with a global warming temperature increase of 1.5C? Very, very unpleasant.

Summer heat is a vastly underrated hazard…and killer. Here’s two excellent sources of safety information to keep your family, friends, and you safe.

Today’s (22 June 2016) severe weather outlook includes a possibility of a widespread damaging wind event aka “derecho” or MCS (Mesoscale Convective System) across parts of the lower Great Lakes region and the Ohio valley. What exactly is a derecho?

An interesting read on the irrevocable link between climate and health. “British scientists say they have developed a model that can predict outbreaks of zoonotic diseases — those such as Ebola and Zika that jump from animals to humans — based on changes in climate.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

If there was ever a reason to get your amateur (ham) radio license, this is it.

 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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