Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For September 18 – 25, 2020 #science #weather #meteorology #tornado #hurricane #hurricaneprep #hurricanesafety #disasterprep #climate #climatechange #environment #astronomy #prostatecancer

The past few days have been very busy across the North American continent. Western wildfires have sent large plumes of smoke thousands of miles from their point of origin as an unprecedented wildfire season continues. In the Atlantic tropical basin, a very busy hurricane season has been underway. Of course, there are several other good stories to cover this week including a good read on a shift in tornado occurrence patterns, so lets get started.

  • This is not a little disturbing. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has been growing globally. “Censored: Australian scientists say suppression of environment research is getting worse.”
  • The weather on other planets is always fascinating. In the case of Venus, the clouds are particularly toxic.
  • We not only deal with the variables in weather and climate, but space weather as well. Changes that occur on a regular basis with our Sun have significant effects on our daily lives. NASA and NOAA have compiled data on a new solar cycle and what we can expect here on Earth.
  • Astronomers face many challenges in doing research and looking into deep space from our planet. Here’s an excellent and concise overview of some of those challenges and proposed solutions.
  • Significant public health ramifications with this scenario. “Oregon’s air quality is so far beyond ‘hazardous’ that no one knows what it means for health.”
  • While on the topic of air quality, here’s an excellent read on the importance of indoor air quality which is especially important in the middle of a global pandemic. “Smoke and COVID-19 drove us inside — but the air in there wants to kill you.”
  • This is an essential read on climate and the immediate challenges that we face. “Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Critical.”
  • “Warming temperatures are driving Arctic greening.” This study is the first to measure vegetation changes spanning the entire Arctic tundra using Landsat data from NASA and the USGS.
  • Here’s yet another ‘new normal’ concerning the Arctic. “Arctic sea ice hits second-lowest level on record.”
  • Last but not least, an important read on shifting patterns in tornado occurrence across the USA. In recent years, there’s been a notable shift in tornado frequency from the traditional ‘Tornado Alley’ to the southern states. With that shift has come a significant increase in tornado related deaths.

HURRICANE AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

The Atlantic and central Pacific have become quite active with several tropical cyclones this year. In the central and eastern Pacific, several named storms have taken place. The Atlantic has been unusually active with, as of September 18th, twenty-two named storms having taken place so far in 2020 with several more weeks in the hurricane season left to go. NOAA has a great website to help you get ready with plenty of helpful tips and infographics to help you get the supplies you may need.

This handy checklist from the American Red Cross will help you put together an emergency kit for a variety of weather scenarios. For folks living in regions prone to hurricanes, it’s not too late to assemble your kits for home and your place of work. A kit like this can also be helpful in a variety of other difficult scenarios from wildfires to blizzards to tornadoes.

Graphic courtesy American Red Cross

I would be remiss to not remind folks to stick with trusted and reliable sources for your weather information. A NOAA weather radio is essential and should be as common in homes and workplaces as smoke detectors…regardless of where you live in the USA and its territories. Of course, broadcast meteorologists of your choice are often equipped with sources of important information that is specific to your locale. Bottom line: use discretion very carefully and avoid hypesters, shills, and attention-seekers at all cost…and think before you click.

Graphic courtesy NOAA/NWS

SEPTEMBER IS PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

Prostate cancer has touch my life and, as a result, changed my outlook on life forever. It’s not an ‘old man’s’ disease. Many men in their forties are diagnosed with prostate cancer. For men, it’s the second leading cause of death by cancer. My diagnosis came about as a result of a routine PSA test from my general practitioner. Regardless of your family history, race, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, etc., don’t think it can’t happen to you. If you’re a male over the age of 40, you should discuss getting your PSA tested with your doctor. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is an excellent website with further information. Make sure you educate yourself as much as possible about this disease. You may save your life or the life of a loved one.

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! If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, let’s connect! As for the COVID-19 pandemic, please stay home if possible, practice good personal hygiene, mind your social distancing, sport a spiffy mask, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Cheers…Stay Healthy…and Good Luck!

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