Tag Archives: volcano

Tornado Quest Science Links Review For November 6 – 13, 2017

Greetings to one and all! I’m glad you stopped by and hope the weather is to your liking whether it’s autumn or spring in your location. As of this post, much of North America is relatively quiet with autumn settling in nicely across most of the continent. Fortunately, the Atlantic tropical cyclone season is winding down quickly…and after such a destructive year, that’s very good. Let’s get started on this week’s selection.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

No, this isn’t “new” news. Yes, we’ve been dealing with it since 2016. But is it any wonder that Instagram and Twitter, having become a morass of shills, hucksters, and “beautiful people” have become very clique-oriented and useless to the average user? This paragraph says it all…

“Remixing the feed will make Instagram less useful as a real-time content feed because the most recent posts won’t necessarily be at the top. Users will have to worry about making their posts good enough to be chosen by the algorithm or their posts could be de-prioritized. And brands might lose the reach of a previously reliable marketing channel, the same way they did with Facebook Pages.” – TechCrunch

All hail the mighty algorithm. If, like me, you wish you understand and then disable the algorithm, you may have to research each individual social media entity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.) since there’s no “one size fits all” solution to this challenge.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Your smart phone is the only tool you’ll need to help this awesome citizen science project that tracks mosquitoes.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Studying an active volcano is obviously dangerous. Fortunately, this is where a drone can “step” in and help.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

The pollution released by recent wildfires across the USA is making Americans sick and undermining decades of progress in cleaning the air.

Trees are good for the environment in so many different ways…and helping to clean the air we breathe is only one.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The latest NOAA State Of The Climate report is out with a look at October 2017 in the USA. “October’s nationally averaged temperature was 55.7 degrees F, 1.6 degrees above average, which placed it among the warmest third of the historical record.”

Infographic courtesy NOAA

Unfortunately, recent data shows that carbon emissions worldwide are still on the rise.

In spite of the frequent dour news we hear regarding climate change, there are some bright lights that are worth looking at.

Long-term forecasts such as this are a bit risky, but interesting nonetheless. “Sweden’s Big Cities Predicted To Have Coldest Winter In Five Years.”

PUBLIC POLICY

In spite of “official” stances…”US states, cities and businesses signed up to ‘America’s pledge’ to combat global warming have a combined economic power equal to the world’s third-biggest economy.”

No further comment needed on this. “The Senate Just Approved Trump’s Pic For NASA Chief. You Can Probably Guess What He Thinks About Climate Change.”

The “pushback” from climate change denialists is getting more desperate by the day.

That’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. You’ll find links to all our social media below…our Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram are the most active accounts. We’d be glad to have you along for the fun!

Cheers!

 

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Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For Nov. 29 – Dec. 6, 2015

Winter precipitation across the USA Great Plains has been one big story this week. While long-term outlooks are somewhat ambivalent as to what the rest of the season holds, the recent short-term has been active with quite a vigorous ice and snow event from Texas and Oklahoma into the Dakotas. Having said that, a significant portion of this and subsequent posts will focus on the United Nations Conference On Climate Change or COP21.

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

TECHNOLOGY

When Apps Talk Behind Your Back.” An unsettling privacy and security read regarding some of Google Play’s most popular apps. There’s a good chance you may use one.

Technology has it’s good and bad sides. Here’s a sobering look at some vital life and social skills that may soon (if not already) seem bizarre and foreign to the “iGens.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

If you like weather, history, and citizen science, here’s the ideal project from NOAA.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Spectacular! “This Timelapse Video Of Radio Observatories Is Just Breathtaking.”

Amazing images! “Fly Over Pluto’s Craters, Mountains, And Plains…at 80 Meters Resolution!”

Fly Over Pluto’s Craters, Mountains, and Plains… at 80 Meters Resolution!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The state of Oklahoma has finally created a website devoted to the recent spate of earthquakes.

After two years of silence, Sicily’s Mount Etna erupted this past week.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RENEWABLES

Renewable energy sources are now becoming less expensive to use than the (inevitably ill-fated) fossil fuels.

Christmas Island may be small, but the amount of environmental data it can give regarding climate change is big.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Hot And Bothered” is a very nice COP21 overview from The Economist (16 page PDF file).

Another very nice concise overview of COP21 from Dr. Marshall Shepherd. “So What Is This Paris Climate Meeting Anyway? The Basics Of COP21.”

Here’s another good read that will clear the air (no pun intended) on translating technical climate and environmental terms for the general public.

One very good question. “Why Are World Leaders Calling Paris A “First Step” After 21 Years Of Climate Negotiations?

Two viewpoints on COP21: Even with a mutually beneficial deal, the earth’s warming will continue regardless.

“In Paris, All Eyes Turn To The Climate Negotiators.” And as of 2 December, 2015, they were behind schedule.

According to some recent polls, most Americans “believe climate change is real, and want the U.S. to take the lead in fighting it.”

Almost 200 nations have agreed on a rough draft for reducing emissions and staring climate change in the face. This good read from NPR has a link to the 48 page draft.

Considering the uptick in online vitriol concerning climate change and COP21, this is a badly needed article from Dr. Marshall Shepherd that is spot on. “3 Reasons Why People Are Loosing Friends Over Climate Change.”

Excellent read on climate change, sustainability, and the public health connection. “A transition to a sustainable society is thus not about sacrifice, but is a prerequisite for maintaining our health and welfare.”

Some very nice interactive maps for exploring climate change.

The ongoing California drought may have a deleterious effect on your grocery shopping.

A good review of the Central Pacific’s busy 2015 hurricane season.

With that vast majority of winter weather ahead for much of the Northern Hemisphere, here’s some handy Winter Weather Safety info from NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Being a female in broadcast meteorology isn’t easy, especially in small markets. Here’s the story of the “viral dress” that tells a lot about what it’s like to be a female TV meteorologist.

THE QUIXOTIC

As I’ve heard (and agreed) with many comments regarding this article, “Is this a third-rate Guardian editorial piece or something the author was too embarrassed to reveal her/his identity on?” Regardless, it’s quite a rich gem.

And that’s a wrap! I’d like to extend a sincere “Welcome” to my new followers on social media! Glad you’re along for the fun!

Cheers!

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY/SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

CITIZEN SCIENCE

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

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

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

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

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

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

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

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

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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

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

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

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

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

Interesting essay with suggestions for dealing with disaster preparedness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much, Much More For March 9 – 16, 2015

With the spring severe weather season around the atmospheric corner, many states are having ‘severe weather awareness’ weeks or events in order to raise public awareness. It may seem ironic after a long winter (at least for the eastern half of the contiguous USA) and spring storms may seem like they’re years away. Unfortunately, they’re not. One of the primary hazards is lightning. Much to the surprise of many, lightning is second only to flash floods in weather related deaths. I’ve included several lightning safety links in this post and hope you’ll find some good information to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Due to time constraints and a very busy schedule, I’ve included a few links this week that didn’t make it into post from the past two previous weeks. Some are from sources that I don’t usually use or have never shared before. Their inclusion in this post is merely to share an opposing opinion, information, and/or make a point…and in no way conveys any degree of endorsement.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY

Google it taking a new view of web site rankings that, overall, is much welcomed. As expected, there’s a backlash that’s quite amusing to observe. Other viewpoints take a different stance.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred—then we encourage myth and prejudice to endure.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Every so often a good primer on citizen science comes along…and this is a good one.

In March and September, 2015, you have a cool opportunity to help measure how our night skies are changing.

SUSTAINABILITY/ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Most everyone’s shower wastes a lot of water and energy. Here’s a good read with tips to help you save water and money.

Making your home greener on a budget is easier than you think.

This can’t come to fruition soon enough. “Wind could power a third of America’s electricity by 2015.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Oklahoma “quakegate” plot thickens. “Under pressure? Do emails tell of earthquake information sharing or state, industry interference?”

Here’s a nice look at Tonga’s newly formed volcanic island. Time to update your world maps.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

A concise overview of recent decisions the IPCC made about its future.

Some climate scientists on both sides of the spectrum are concerned that, “investigations on both sides of the debate tread on the academic freedom of researchers everywhere.” I concur…in spite of my own opinions which are in agreement with the vast majority of climate scientists.

Spin doctors contribute nothing beneficial to the public, but manufacture a great deal of nefarious noise where everyone who disagrees is guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

While on that topic, here’s an interesting look back at what climate change deniers said of the IPCC twenty years ago.

Climate change is giving the term “Baked Alaska” a whole new meaning.

How Many Tornadoes Has Your City Seen Since 1950? The answer may surprise you.

As for the coming severe weather season, here’s an interesting read on an experimental tornado forecasting technique.

Boston set a record with 108.6 inches of snow this year…to date. If you do the math, that’s nine feet (and change) of snow!

LIGHTNING SAFETY

Lightning safety information from the National Weather Service. Top notch info.

An excellent 20 page PDF file from the National Weather Service: “Thunderstorms, Lightning, Tornadoes…Nature’s Most Violent Storms

Personal lightning safety information links from the National Lightning Safety Institute.

NCAA lightning safety information specifically geared towards outdoor sporting events.

Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors website.

THE QUIXOTIC UNDERBELLY

Being a native Oklahoman has its perks…and drawbacks. You’re naturally inclined to have a sense of humor about your state, being an “Okie,” and the never-ending jokes. I only wish this were a joke.

And on that note, that’s a wrap for this post. I’d like to welcome my new followers…glad you’re along for the fun! I’m in this for the long haul and, having just had my 6th anniversary on Twitter, my 17th anniversary of Tornado Quest being online, and my 33rd anniversary of being a storm chaser, am more than a little excited to be working on some nice stuff for weather and science buffs from all walks of life. We are just getting started!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links For Feb. 2 – 9, 2015

Across North America, winter is still in full swing. With the exception of the relentless snowstorm that has been pounding much of the northeastern USA (and New England in particular), the cold season has behaved itself rather well. With several more weeks of cold weather still to come, we’ve plenty of time for more snow and or ice. All across the USA, National Weather Service offices are holding Skywarn spotter training sessions. If you’re planning on becoming a spotter, this training is absolutely essential. It’s also not too early for everyone to start planning for the coming uptick in severe weather activity. If you live in an area that is prone to severe thunderstorms and/or tornadoes, winter is an excellent time to prepare for an emergency.

I’d like to express my appreciation for all of the positive feedback I’ve received about my diversification of topics on Tornado Quest. While the focus will still be on the atmospheric sciences, you can expect much more in citizen science, environmental science, and related public policy topics for the future. Once again…thanks for all your positive feedback! 😎

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

Who better to put on stage and communicate the process of science than scientists themselves.

Are politicians “Oblivious To Oblivion?”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter is finally clamping down on the malevolent guttersnipes that infest so much of social media.

An informative “long-read” on net neutrality that affects everyone who uses the internet. “Don’t call them “utility” rules: The FCC’s net neutrality regime, explained.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Thought this is from a December, 2014 post, we’ve plenty of winter ahead of us in North America to help out in the IceWatch USA project.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Here’s a great primer on sustainability…and more specifically, what it really is. “Can You Afford Not Being Sustainable?”

The first recycled alkaline batteries have hit the market. I’ll gladly give these a try…and hope they live up to their promise. Of course, rechargeable batteries are always a good option as well.

Sobering read from NRDC. “Fast Food Trash Nation? Time To Cut Down On Packaging Waste.”

A shameful waste, not just environmentally, but financially. “Every year in the United States, the paper, aluminum, glass, plastics and other recyclable material we throw away would be worth $11.4 billion if it were recycled.”

Good news on the renewables front. “Six charts that show renewable energy is getting cheaper.”

Here’s the amazing gadget that can help reduce CO2…and you can help out by planting one…or two.

This was inevitable. Post-Sandy New York City subways are showing signs of harboring unknown microbes.

While on the topic of microbes, high school students are discovering drug-resistant bacteria in subway stations. But consider this…those same disgusting microbes are also covering your computer keyboard, cell phone, television remote, home or office desktop, et al…

China has some of the world’s worst air quality…and it’s bad enough to have the potential to kill tens of thousands of people over the next decade.

Check out these amazing images of our home from the ISS. A link to the full collection at Flickr is included.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Tulsa World has some excellent investigative journalism pieces on the recent upswing in Oklahoma earthquakes.

An interesting read on another geological connection to climate: Seafloor Volcano Pulses May Alter Climate: Strikingly Regular Pattern, From Weeks To Eons.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The debate regarding whether 2014 was the hottest ever misses the point, but still it goes on.

Looking into the climates of the past can give scientists clues as to what our future holds.

Speaking of the past, recent history has shown concern over carbon pollution goes back the the 1960’s.

An excellent read on why communicating climate change is so difficult. It’s “The Elephant We’re All Inside Of.”

We targets of vengeful vitriol wonder. “Fear, Ridicule, Danger: Is It Safe to Be a Climate Scientist?”

Though it’s unlikely, there’s no reason why this can’t happen. “What If Sandy’s Surge Swamped Washington D.C.?”

A good read that is part pet department, part weather. “How To Keep Your Pets Safe And Warm During Cold Weather.”

Check out this fantastic video “full screen. “How Airplanes Affect The Atmosphere Around Them.”

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE…

I’m a major league classic film fan…with a very strong inclination toward silent films. If you’ve not seen the restored version of “Nosferatu” (1922), you’re in for a treat.

That’s a wrap for this post!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links And Much More For January 5 – 12, 2015

Hopefully all of you have gotten the new year off to a good start. Over much of North America, the winter weather has been relatively “tranquil” as of late with a minimum of snow and/or ice events. For many National Weather Service offices, Skywarn spotter classes will be starting soon. If you’re considering getting into storm spotting, these classes are mandatory to understanding the severe storm environment. And, now that another year has recently ended, the latest climate overview of last year from NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has been issued with a plethora of data on the weather and climate of the USA for 2014.

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

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Few things can beat hands-on experience, especially for kids. “8 Ways To Nurture Your Children’s Connection To Nature.”

CITIZEN SCIENCE

For citizen science to succeed, persistence is the key. Trying is what is most important and noteworthy.

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

An interesting study done by Pew Research on some of the most popular forms of social media.

Will a renewed emphasis on IT security take place in 2015? Let’s hope so!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Denmark has become the world’s champion in wind power. When will other countries, including the USA, step up to the plate?

The USA (amongst other countries) isn’t the most efficient when it comes to recycling, so recycling goes undone. Unfortunately, the solution is even worse.

A most unpleasant dilemma. The Great Lakes could be full of tiny plastic fibers. You’ll also be surprised where they come from.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

If you’re into weather and climate and not watching Weather Geeks on The Weather Channel, you’re really missing a treat!

A fascinating read on NCAR research into great plains thunderstorms and their relation to ozone production.

The “warming hiatus” that has occurred over the last 15 years (and is the focus of much discussion) has been caused in part by small volcanic eruptions.

We’ve just started a new year…and CO2 is still above the 440 PPM mark.

The National Weather Service has announced a tenfold increase in supercomputer power. This is long overdue and can’t happen soon enough.

“Dark Money” funding climate change denial efforts? Truth is stranger than fiction…and is no surprise either.

A great up to date read on the elusive El Niño which, as of late, has been playing quite the “cat-n-mouse” game.

More information on the unmistakable link between our atmosphere and the biosphere. Climate change is having a substantial effect on Mother Nature.

Here we go again. “The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 114th Congress Edition.”

Having the reputation of a well-known journalist does not necessarily make for an informed (and accurate) stance on science.

THE QUIXOTIC SIDE

Nothing like a little nostalgia to make one appreciate how far we have come with technology.

Not all careers in science are glamorous. In fact, some can be downright disgusting…but folks love them anyway.

Heads up gents. The ladies aren’t as fond of facial hair as we’d like to think they are…i.e. the twenty-something hipster “lumbersexual” look with the high-water pencil leg pants is out.

Have a great week…and if it’s cold where you are, stay warm!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links For Aug. 31 – Sept. 7, 2014

For those of us who dwell in the Northern Hemisphere, meteorological autumn has finally arrived. It won’t be long before some of you will see leaves start to turn vibrant colors as the plant life prepares for another winter. For those of us in the southern plains, don’t grab that cardigan just yet. We’ve several weeks of very warm to hot weather left. When the heat does finally retire, autumn days on the plains can often be the most pleasant weather days of the year with crisp mornings and pleasantly tepid daytime temperatures. As for the rest of the year between the ice storms, blizzards, sauna-like humidity mixed with searing triple digit summer heat and the good ‘ol tornado season with all the severe thunderstorm trimmings, a certain degree of hearty intestinal fortitude is called for.

And for my followers south of the equator, may spring show its colors for you.

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

TECHNOLOGY/PRIVACY/SOCIAL MEDIA

The “cloud” can be a great place to back up important data. It also requires vigilance regarding security that is the responsibility of the user.

Interesting read on online anonymity. Will it be the only kind we have?

Sad, but true. “Study: Young women with sexy social media photos seen as less competent.”

An often asked question: “Why does Twitter feel so angry?” If trolls and the confrontational ilk were void of the safety and anonymity of their monitors to hide behind, this wouldn’t exist.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Nice read on how citizen scientists are helping climate change scientists. Specifically in the relation to bird behavior and climate change.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE/PHYSICS

What time is it in the universe? Well, that depends.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

An amazing image of a swirling 1-kilometre-high tornado of gas emerging from the lava pouring out of a fissure on Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

Farmers in Texas, County, Oklahoma may use a tremendous amount of water, but they’ve taking some admirable steps towards water conservation.

You can never have too much good news on the sustainability front. “UK Offshore Wind Installations Forecast To Soar.”

Happy 50th anniversary to the Wilderness Act…one of the best ideas to come out of the US of A.

What makes wildfires so distinctive compared to other “natural” fires?

This will be interesting to watch. “New York Times Adds Climate Editor After Slashing Environmental Coverage.”

The Gulf of Maine has become the poster child for global warming in the USA.

Taking the road less traveled could help reduce air pollution.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

The drought in the southwestern USA may be around for a while and become a way of life rather than an anomaly. Yes, climate change is playing a major role.

This site from NOAA is on of many that’s an  excellent for one-stop-shopping for all things related to peer-reviewed resources for  managing climate-related risks and opportunities.

This month’s U.N. climate summit is an important event that should be of interest to anyone concerned with the future of our fragile, humble home.

Should climate scientists get involved when their research has social implications? Absolutely. The trick is knowing how.

Is Arctic ice recovering? The to-the-point answer is, “No!”

Read about some pretty exciting new technology that meteorologists will be using on hurricane forecasts.

Meteorological vs. astronomical seasons: Which is more useful? The former. Absolutely. For our everyday world here in planet Earth, it has more immediate multidisciplinary effects.

THE QUIXOTIC

There’s a myth that, as a native Okie, I’ve heard all my life. “You can’t build a house in Oklahoma with a basement.” Rubbish. Yes you can.

That’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Science Links and Much More for August 17 – 24, 2014

Summer heat has settled in across the central and southern plains this week bringing with it seasonably hot temperatures and dewpoints that make the atmosphere “air you wear.” In the tropics, the Pacific has still been active (Hurricane Marie is now a Category 5), but fortunately no land masses are currently threatened. The Atlantic has also remained quiet as of late save for Cristobal which has an erratic future that has spurred not a little hype.

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

TECHNOLOGY

Like it or not, Google Maps can track your every move. Fortunately, you can do something about that.

While on the topic of privacy, here are some good iOS privacy tips.

Regardless of what browser you use, you should be using privacy extensions. Here’s an overview of some of the best. I use many of these myself and can’t recommend them highly enough.

There are chances coming to your Twitter timeline that, in my opinion, are bound to be irritating.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Here’s a very cool citizen science project where you can help scientists identify cities at night and help increase our knowledge of light pollution.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Why does NASA study the ultraviolet sun? Solar weather and public health are just two of many reasons.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

The “cookie-cutter” nature of many new subdivisions and home owner associations are going legal over some residents attempts at installing solar energy equipment.

While on the topic of solar power, here’s a look at the top ten solar energy states in the US.

How about some good news. According to the EPA, progress is being made in reducing urban air toxics in the US.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

The Napa Valley region of California had the strongest earthquake since 1989 in the early morning hours of 24 August, 2014. If you felt it, here are three ways you can report your information.

With the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma taking a dramatic uptick  in recent years (with as many as 20 in one day), many folks have questions. Here’s a good OK Earthquake FAQ from the OK Geological Survey.

The ongoing drought in western states, California in particular, is potent enough to move mountains.

If you need information on Iceland’s #Bárðarbunga volcano, the Iceland Met Office has all the latest information you need.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

For the latest on Cristobal, follow the National Hurricane Center at @NHC_Atlantic on Twitter or their website at this link. Of course, your local and/or national broadcast weather sources of your choice will have good info as well.

When it comes to weather and climate research, three radars are always better than one.

Here’s this week’s US Drought Monitor. Some relief for the southern plains, but much of California is still in the grips of a brutal drought.

The Climate Prediction Center’s drought outlook is out…and there’s no relief in sight for many western states.

The “hurricane hype” from “mediarologists and storm chasers is really nothing new, but a constant irritant that’s frequently seen during tornado warnings, blizzards, derechos, etc. What’s one to do? Remember, only heed warning information from your local National Weather Service office and the broadcast weather sources of your choice. The Weather Channel’s WX Geeks show addresses this in a recent episode. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Thanks to WX Geeks host Dr. Marshall Shepherd for posting all three parts on Twitter.

The heat island effect cooks US cities to the broiling point. Having been born and raised in a large metro area, I can attest to the validity of this.

Being a climate scientist isn’t easy in the current political climate (no pun intended) which tends to put a higher priority on short-term profits over long-term public health of current, and future, generations.

One of this week’s best links…”A Little Love For The Locals, Please?” Being a broadcast meteorologist isn’t the bright lights and glamour many assume it to be.

A LOOK AT THE OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS IN SCIENCE…

Sometimes, evidence based facts can induce vitriol of the worst kind. Teaching people how to think (aka critical thinking) and not what to think can be a most daunting task.

Have a great week…

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For March 11 – 18, 2014

Running a day late in posting this weeks Gee-O-Science links due to a full dance card. Eventually, someone will invent a 36 hour day…and I will fill each extra hour exponentially until a 48 hour day is invented. Now, back to biz…

Spring is finally making it’s presence knows across much of the Northern Hemisphere. While the occasional cool spell will linger for several more weeks, a few severe weather episodes have occurred across the Great Plains of the USA. What will the spring of 2014 bring across tornado-prone areas of North America? Much too early to tell and a great deal of speculation can’t be trusted. The best policy is to have a proper emergency preparedness plan in place and keep tabs on your local forecasts several days in advance. Having said that, let’s get on with this weeks links…

GENERAL SCIENCE

Neil deGrasse Tyson is hosting a new “Cosmos” series and gives his thoughts on how science got cool & why he doesn’t debate deniers.

What is a naturalist? The answer to that question can be as varied as the subjects studied.

A very cool list: “Twelve Amazing Women Who Totally Rocked At Science.”

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Major world-wide brands take on a variety of important progressive topics. Is climate change a “hands-off” topic?

CITIZEN SCIENCE

Are you involved in CoCoRaHS? Even if you’re not, check out the USA National Phenology Network and, as a citizen scientist, document how animals and plants respond to local weather conditions.

Yes, you too could find a planet…or something else equally important! No Ph.D required! Citizen science FTW!

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES

As odd as it may sound, seismic activity can be accompanied by “lightning beneath our feet.”

A drone has filmed a volcano eruption from a bird’s-eye view. This is a little to close for comfort!

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Is the USA’s EPA running out of time to craft carbon emissions standards for industrial polluters beyond power plants?

Interesting read by the Capital Weather Gang: The Misplaced  Emphasis On Extreme Weather In Environmental Threat Communication.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES

NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center has released their State Of The Climate report for February, 2014.

For RadarScope users, here’s an important essay on identifying non-precipitation echoes.

El Nino is making the rounds of atmospheric discussion topics as of late. Bob Henson of NCAR/UCAR writes on the challenges of forecasting El Nino development.

This week marks the 89th anniversary of the Tri-State tornado…the single deadliest tornado event in US history.

The Norman, OK NWS office has put together a nice video on the advanced spotter training topic of severe thunderstorm ingredients.

NOAA has designated March 16-22 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. Here’s some very important and potentially life saving information on the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign.

While on the topic of flooding, the American Red Cross has a new flood safety app!

Here’s some promising research being done at the Univ. of AL/Huntsville on lightning prediction.

Some things never change. In spite of years of mounting evidence, the vitriolic consternation over climate change continues.

Recent Gallup poll indicates that “A Steady 57% in U.S. Blame Humans For Global Warming.”

Here’s a “spot on” must-read essay that addresses one of the most annoying facets of social media and the attention-hungry “social-media-rologists” (whom I would never confuse with citizen scientists).

And that’s a wrap for this week…

Remember, this is Flood Safety Awareness Week. Also, if you’ve not done so, get your emergency preparedness kit in order and buy a good NOAA weather radio ASAP. Your life may depend on it.

Cheers!

Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Feb. 11 – 18, 2014

Winter’s grip on North American has taken a momentary respite, but there’s still many weeks of cold weather and chances for slippery precipitation…so don’t put that heavy coat and your snow shovel away just yet. We do have a taste of the spring severe season coming up Thursday into Friday. Chances are it will be a squall line/linear convection type of event with high winds and large hail as the main hazards, but the threat from tornadoes is not absent. You know the game plan…stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio, local broadcast meteorologists, and outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center for the latest information.

Here’s a look at this week’s links…

CITIZEN SCIENCE

You can join the Citizen Science Association with a free, inaugural membership…but hurry before time runs out! Be sure to fill out the survey too!

Here’s a ‘must read’ if you’re into or interested in citizen science: A Citizen Science Manifesto.

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Volcanoes, including Oregon’s Mt. Hood, can go from dormant to active quickly.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/SUSTAINABILITY

I’d love to see this filled in much more. The USGS had put together a map showing 47,000 online wind turbines in the USA.

Satellite instruments document the transformations wrought both by the human footprint and by natural processes.

If you’re into recycling as much as I am, you’re keenly aware of those numbers inside of the recycling symbol. If not, here’s what those numbers mean.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

NOAA has issued their State Of The Climate report for January, 2014. Some areas were quite cold, some quite warm, and far too many locales were locked in the grip of an ongoing drought.

Denmark is taking the world-wide lead by spearheading climate policy into law.

The effects of climate change are multifaceted and global conflict is not exempt.

A warming planet could mean less ice and snow for Olympic bid cities.

Check out one of this weeks most popular reads I posted on my Twitter account: The NSA and Climate Change Spying: What We Know So Far.

Here’s a very interesting read from a MIT hurricane expert on the role climate change is playing in our society.

The National Weather Service in Norman, OK has put together a nice video retrospective on the El Reno, OK tornado of 31 May 2013.

Dr. Chuck Doswell was spot in his presentation at the 2014 Chaser Convention in Denver, CO.

Some Oklahoma City metro school districts are considering implementing “storm days” with mixed opinions regarding effectiveness.

A relatively rare winter storm affected several southern states this past week. Here’s a look at the aftermath of an ice storm in Augusta, GA.

While much of North America was in the icebox, England was seeing rainfall totals that hadn’t occurred in over 200 years.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…

Here are some final links on important topics…

Sir David Attenborough: Enough With the Creationists and Climate Change Deniers!

Phil Plait’s take on why astrology is nonsensical pseudoscience.

Finally, not one, not two, but three essays that expose the true nature of the internet troll. They’re on thin ice (pun intended) and they know it…otherwise they wouldn’t be persona non grata, desperate for attention, and emotionally and intellectually void of the cognition to act in a civil manner. Bullying is bullying regardless of whether it takes place among teenagers on Facebook or among climate change denialists that live to harass with vitriol round the clock. Such a shame that human potential often goes to malevolent ends.

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Cheers!

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