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19 April 2015

Welcome To Oklahoma, The State of Denial

  Just as I started putting together this post tonight, I had an instant message from my daughter in Oklahoma City. It said one word  “EARTHQUAKE”. This has become the standard practice, where she messages me, and I let her know within a few minutes where the quake was, and what the magnitude was. We have our own intensity scale that ranges from “I barely felt it” to “It felt …

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14 April 2015

Climate Denial Disappearing Among TV Weathercasters

A new study by George Mason University shows something that a lot of us who work in broadcast meteorology have noticed- the rapid disappearance of climate change deniers among TV weathercasters. I’m not the only one who has noticed it, because I frequently hear talk about it from colleagues at various conferences. It’s very rare to hear ridiculous pronouncements about climate change from TV weathercasters these days, but it was far different …

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5 April 2015

We Must Defend Science if We Want a Prosperous Future

Originally published on The Conversation. It definitely applies as much (and likely more) to America as Australia. Barry Jones, University of Melbourne Today’s Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, judgement, capacity to analyse and even simple curiosity, except about immediate personal …

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20 March 2015

Everything You Thought You Knew About the First Day of Spring is Probably Wrong

  The Vernal Equinox (for 2015) occurs at 2245 GMT Friday, and there’s a good chance that just about everything else you were taught about it is wrong. Don’t say it’s the first day of spring, because that’s true only in a traditional sense, and most certainly not a scientific one, and if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it’s wrong on both accounts! The quarter of the year between …

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3 March 2015

Back to Back with Mr. Spock: An Appreciation of Leonard Nimoy

Back to Back with Mr. Spock: An Appreciation of Leonard Nimoy

Guest post by Kendrick Frazier I am finding myself surprisingly affected by the death of Leonard Nimoy Friday (Feb. 27). The character of Mr. Spock he brought to life on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry, was one of the most memorable in television, perhaps even in modern fiction generally. He certainly was original and thought-provoking. Something about Spock’s half-Vulcan, half-human self illuminated for us all some of what it …

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27 February 2015

Oklahoma Senator Illustrates Dunning-Kruger Effect

I wrote about the Dunning Kruger effect last week and a U.S.Senator took the floor of the Senate today to illustrate why you do not want to be a victim of this disease. In case you’re wondering about how the winter of 2015 is shaping up in the U.S. and around the world. Read this post from last week as well.Then there is also this research being published in the …

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6 February 2015

The Peak Of Anti-Science?

Just when you think that basic denial of science could not get any more ridiculous, we have a week when a U.S. Senator questions hand washing laws in restaurants, and life saving vaccinations becomes a campaign issue among presidential candidates. We can only hope that this era of anti-science is at its peak and will get better soon. I’ve been interested in the psychology of this type of behavior for …

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25 January 2015

East Coast Blizzard Brewing?

  There are increasing signs this early Sunday morning that the winter of 2015 is about to go into high gear. A major nor’easter is likely to develop Monday and move NE to off the New England coast by Tuesday evening. A word of warning here- there is still a lot of uncertainty in the strength and track of this low and that will play a big role in how …

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12 January 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Vaccine Against Pseudoscience

What does alternative math have in common with alternative physics, and alternative medicine? None of them work! This is a sample of an excellent edition of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk podcast about pseudoscience. It’s this kind of plain reasoning that make Neil Tyson the hero of college educated millennials, and science lovers everywhere. In the episode, the wiki list of cognitive biases is mentioned, and you can read it here. …

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6 December 2014

What You Missed In Science This Week

Unfalsifiable Belief- The Dark Side of Reason This piece on a recently published paper (in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000018) is a must read. Click the image to read it. Could this explain the faulty reasoning of those who refuse to accept the truth that greenhouse gases are warming the atmosphere, and those white lines behind jet aircraft are not government mind control chemicals? What do …

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29 November 2014

Using Your Smartphone to Improve Weather Forecasts and Warnings

You need to download an app called mPing. mPing is a free app developed by scientists at the University of Oklahoma (My alma mater!) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, and it’s aim is to improve forecasts and weather models by letting everyone know what type of precipitation is falling on you right now. You might say, that we have radar for that, but in reality, radar …

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23 November 2014

Funny, Scary, Fascinating, and Geeky. What You Missed in Science This Week.

I am going to start doing a weekend post here with links and images from the world of geek that caught my eye this week. First up is Will Marshall and the TED talk below. Data is the fuel that science runs on, and he has figured out a way to harvest a LOT of it.   Guess what body of water is the 4th fastest warming on Earth? This …

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6 November 2014

Some Sciency Stuff You Ought To Read

“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.” – Doctor Who  NPR has a great piece about a clock that is accurate to 5,000 million years, and why this is a real PROBLEM! Will we see more pieces like this after they axed their climate and …

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4 November 2014

Did You See This Space Picture??

You are on that blue and white ball in the left corner of the image. A rare pic of the Earth and Moon showing the backside of the Moon!

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17 October 2014

Another Well Written Defense of Science

Jonathan Bines is a staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel and he has a piece in Huff Post that is superb- it deserves sharing and widely. In this memorable October, a lot of virologists (and disease experts) are getting a taste of what evolutionary biologists, and climate scientists have experienced. A quote from Bines: “Science cannot be refuted by appeals to intuition or personal experience, attacks on the character or motivations …

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13 October 2014

The New A-380 Airbus Is Indeed Amazing

I’ve been rather quiet here for over a week for good reason: I’ve been on holiday in the UK, and Cornwall in particular. I’ll have some more to write about in the week ahead, but I thought I would share a few comments about the new A-380 airbus. It’s the biggest passenger plane in the World and British Airways just put it into service. I was lucky enough to fly …

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17 September 2014

If The Scientific Truth Is Inconvenient, Publish your Own Truth!

A fellow meteorologist pointed me to a web-site today about a new scientific society called the Open Atmospheric Society (OAS), which is apparently in the process of organizing. They have a fancy logo, and a list of membership requirements that look very similar to that of other scientific societies, until you start looking closely. When you do, things begin to look a rather strange. One of the options to full …

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21 July 2014

The Only Thing More Amazing Than The Moonwalk 45 years Ago Tonight

Exactly 45 years ago tonight, everyone who could see a TV, was in front of one. The clip below is the actual coverage from CBS News that evening. You can actually watch all of the Moonwalk online, and if you were not born yet, I highly recommend you do so. A lot of folks do not realize that when the camera came on (and a lot of folks doubted it …

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19 July 2014

State Of The Climate 2013

Tom Karl NOAA NCDC Director: “The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization.”  (to CBS News ) Entire report here. The ABSTRACT: and this one sidebar is particularly interesting:  

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2 July 2014

Arthur’s Ripples

  You may need to click on the image above to really see the ripples across the top of Arthur, so do that first, before I tell you why they are there. You are looking at gravity waves, but a better way of understanding it is to compare it to the ripples you see after you throw a rock into a still pond. The rock disturbs the water and makes …

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