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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 More For November 17 – 29, 2016

Greetings everyone! Thanks for stopping by. For those in the USA who celebrated the holiday, I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I took advantage of the rare opportunity for some R&R time for myself, so this week’s post will be a bit shorter than usual, but still full of thought-provoking ideas. There’s plenty to catch up on, especially on the front lines of climate change. On that note, let’s get started.

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

GENERAL SCIENCE

If you celebrated the USA’s Thanksgiving holiday, be thankful for many things, including science. There’s a myriad of topics to discuss and inspire a sense of wonder.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

A reminder that even though winter may be settling in across North America, your mPING and CoCoRaHS reports are still important. They’re not just for severe thunderstorms. Every single report counts!

GEOGRAPHY

The Mercator maps that so many of us are familiar with give a very distorted view of the world. How distorted? This article with an interactive map with show you.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

Interesting news on Mars. “Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what’s in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes.”

GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Oklahomans are suing frackers over earthquakes. I sincerely wish them luck in their pursuit of justice. Their defendants are capriciously deviant and very wealthy.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

People in urban areas are at risk of air pollution induced health problems with around 85% exposed to levels deemed harmful by the World Health Organization. These particles are too small to see or smell, but have a devastating impact.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

What scientists are seeing happening to the Arctic ice is both surprising and not a little alarming. Another spot-on and apt description is that the current scenario is, “seriously weird.”

The first decade of the 21st century set the pace. From Climate Central: USA Record Highs Will Far Outpace Lows With Warming.

Perilous times ahead in the USA regarding climate science & renewable energy. “The world is waiting to hear what President-elect Donald Trump has in mind for governing the U.S. Among the biggest questions is what will happen to the budget for climate and energy-related activities.”

An ominous note to what lays ahead in the world wide theater. In early 2017, the USA is poised to begin a potentially disastrous retreat from climate science leadership. China is more than happy to step up, don the crown and seat themselves in the throne. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

The new GOES-R weather satellite is the most advanced one launched to date. It will not only provide amazing data, but could save your life someday.

As expected, Trump intends to dump the Paris climate accord, but at least 71 percent of the American public support it.

chart_paris-agreement-survey_718x361

It’s been a very quiet year in the USA for tornadoes. As of November 21, 2016, 830 preliminary tornado reports so far which is well below the statistical average.

cx5qmmouaaaryfw-jpg-largeThat’s a wrap for this post! I’d like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers in social media. I’m glad you’re along for the fun.

Cheers!

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Tornado Quest Science Links And More For September 19 – 27, 2016

Greetings and happy Autumnal Equinox to folks in the Northern Hemisphere! If you’re south of the equator,  I hope your start to the spring season has gotten off to a grand start. There’s plenty of science news to peruse this week, so let’s get started.

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

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter could be going up for sale in the near future. Considering its my primary social media outlet, I’m watching this unfold with great interest and not a little concern.

Here’s an excellent read that you should take very seriously. “66 Ways To Protect Your Privacy Right Now.”

The FBI recommends that you cover up the webcam on your computer…and for a very good reason.

ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCE

An interesting new perspective. “Scientists Confirm The Universe Has No Direction.”

A very intriguing read on Jupiter’s moon Europa and some of the newest “secrets” discovered.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/RECYCLING

Here’s an example of recycling at its best! Check out this table made from plastic pollution that’s found in our oceans.

A very concise overview of the causes behind wildfires.

According to recent World Health Organization data, over 90% of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air.

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Frustrated by political inaction, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, didn’t mince words as to the immediate climate threat and published an open letter regarding climate change.

While ozone is unhealthy at ground level, it’s presence in our upper atmosphere is crucial. Here’s an excellent read on how and why ozone is measured from space.

A very impressive data set! “Longest historic temperature record stretches back 2 million years.”

Getting priorities straight with bipartisan support at home and cooperation with other countries is the most satisfactory path to dealing with climate change.

Is extreme weather driven by climate change costing USA citizens a lot of money? You bet it is. Current estimates tally a total upwards of $67 Billion US dollars.

Speaking of priorities, science is perhaps the only self-correcting field of study…and climate scientists are giving us fair warning that it’s time to recalculate the math on climate change.

“President Obama signed a presidential memorandum establishing that climate-change impacts must be factored into the development of all national security-related doctrine, policies and plans.” For the USA, this is good news. Like it or not, climate change has become an important part of national and foreign policy.

Here’s important information for folks who are deaf or hard of hearing and need important NOAA Weather Radio watches, warnings, and other important weather information.

The Autumnal Equinox arrived earlier this week for the Northern Hemisphere. Here are answers to the five most common questions regarding this annual event.

A lightning bolt in Oklahoma has been deemed the world’s longest…just under 200 miles in length!

Let’s hope this comes to fruition. “Senate Weather Bill That Supports Forecast Improvement Can Benefit All Americans.”

Can climate change deniers be some of the world’s most efficient contrary contrarians? According to this article, I’d answer that question in the affirmative.

Finally, a spot on info-graphic from Dr. Marshall Shepherd that should help you out when you’re dogged with that sophomoric statement about being “wrong half the time.”

cs9hjuexeaanjgp-jpg-largeI can recall many occasions where the Storm Prediction Center has been absolutely hitting the bull’s eye with severe weather outlooks…but if they’re off a bit (as happened a few weeks ago), you’d think it was the end of western civilization as we know it whilst people are calling for heads to roll. Much of the general public isn’t aware of the intricacies of weather forecasting and doesn’t comprehend the fact that dealing with a three-dimensional fluid that is in a never-ending state of erratic flux is one of the most daunting challenges a meteorologist/climatologist/weather hobbyist/storm chaser faces.

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

Cheers!

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

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