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23 July 2014

The Great Facebook Blizzard of 2014

At the AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference last month in Lake Tahoe, I presented a talk about widespread rumors on Facebook last January that a paralyzing snowstorm was coming. This is just one example of the love/hate relationship that meteorologists have with Facebook, and I was quoted in an article on TV News Check about this as well a couple of weeks ago. As I told the reporter for TV News …

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27 June 2014

NCDC: Hottest May On Record

  The National Park Service had an interesting post on FLIKR today (as well with this image): FROM NPS: Shrinking Snowpacks A recent snowstorm brought nearly 3 feet of snow near Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, and road crews are still working hard on opening the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Large June snowstorms like this one used to be more common in the northern Rockies, but average snowpacks have been in …

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25 June 2014

Chem-Trail Folks Crash AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology

We came back from lunch for our final session to find that every seat in the room had a DVD, and the same glossy brochure claiming that the government is giving you all kinds of disease from their secret spraying program. For those that may not have heard yet, these people believe that those white lines you see in the sky behind high-flying jet aircraft are actually mind/weather control chemicals. …

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23 June 2014

The Shoshone Road Cut

I know just enough geology to be dangerous, but I highly recommend a trip through Death Valley NP. Make sure you bring a good roadside geology book, and better yet, read it before you go. I took advantage of the drive back to Las Vegas from the AMS weather conference in Lake Tahoe to spend a Sunday in the park, and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve …

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4 June 2014

A Busy Tuesday at the Hazardous Weather Test Bed in Norman,OK

If a thunderstorm has an extremely strong updraft it will push all the way into the stratosphere before weakening. The air actually starts to get warmer in the stratosphere, and a warm bubble of rising air suddenly finds itself colder than the air around it, and will eventually sink back down. So, the higher the updraft penetrates, the stronger it must be. This is why meteorologists are keen to know …

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28 May 2014

You Can’t Pick and Choose What Science You Want To Believe.

I am going to break a rule of mine here and post a segment from a cable news show. I care passionately about science education, and this is just about the only issue that I would break my rule, so please, no comments about MSNBC or any other cable news outlet. The segment  (by Chris Hayes on MSNBC) was called Unscientific America, and is about the rejection of the new …

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27 May 2014

Teachers: Want a Nature/Science Subscription For Your Class?

Oceanographer Robert Grumbine who writes More Grumbine Science is offering to pay for a subscription to Science or Nature for a high school science class, if the teacher will incorporate it into the curriculum. A great way for students to become familiar with cutting edge science. Contact Robert through his blog or on twitter @rgrumbine.

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21 May 2014

Big Picture Lessons from an Unfortunate Tweet

This is a re-post from the blog of Dr. Marshall Shepherd, past president of the American Meteorological Society. (Highlighting is mine)   Just in case someone asks, No, there is not enough rotation and scale to produce the Coriolis Effect by spinning the Wheel of Fortune.Now that we have clarified that, I wanted to use the recent Pat Sajak tweet to turn a negative to a positive.  I don’t know …

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Worth a Read, and Not Just Because I’m Quoted

click to read.  

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19 May 2014

Ohio Teacher Caught Telling Students That Alaska Research Project is Controlling The Weather

Toledo, Ohio Meteorologist Ross Ellet got a real shock while talking to students at Star Academy Charter School last week. He’d been asked to talk to the students about weather and science, but he got a question that left him totally stunned.  One of the students asked him “what kind of job will you get when HAARP is controlling the weather, and you’re no longer needed?”. Now, Ross knew what …

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15 May 2014

Can You Think Like A Forecaster??

  Any ideas?? Pretend you’re a forecaster, and you need to make a short term forecast for the area I have delineated. Will you forecast it to stay clear? I’ll post the answer below tomorrow! Fellow meteorologists, you are NOT allowed to guess! (you should immediately know the answer!).   Answer below, but think about it for a few mins. What could have been happening before. What kindof clouds are …

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3 May 2014

Predicting Weather & Climate- Gavin Schmidt’s TED Talk is A Must See

I use atmospheric models everyday, and without them the forecast you see on TV or online everyday would be worth little beyond about 48 hours (it would not be very accurate within that time period either). These days, a seven-day forecast will verify much better than a three-day outlook was in the 1970′s, and the improvement continues. Unfortunately, some people see these models as untrustworthy black boxes, and have little understanding …

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16 April 2014

Can’t Get Enough of Cosmos? Netflix Has 6 Hours of Neil deGrasse Tyson

I have mentioned the lectures you can buy from the Teaching Company before here, and one of those lecture sets is a six lecture series called The Inexplicable Universe, by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s worth the money IMHO, but before you buy it, Netflix has made available this entire series for its customers. That’s a pretty good deal. Now, this series does not have all the flash bang the COSMOS …

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10 April 2014

The Most Pervasive Scientific Myth

I’ve written before here about how pervasive the myth is that science is divided about the reality of and the threat of man-made interference with our climate system. It truly is the number one science myth out there. Just by writing this post, I’ll get the usual comments with links to the usual rabid political sites (with unflattering pictures of Al Gore) telling me that thousands of scientists disagree, and …

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28 March 2014

Australia’s Hottest Summer Ever Likely Due To Increasing Earth Greenhouse

The WMO has a report out this week about the climate of 2013, and while you can read the whole thing in 20 minutes, a special edition at the end is a must read. You can get the entire report here, but I am reproducing the last section, because it is a short but fascinating discussion of an attribution study. In atmospheric science, an attribution study looks at the causes …

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19 March 2014

Trying to Make Sense of The Big Bang Discovery? This May Help.

The discovery that seems to confirm inflation has made word-wide news and for a good reason. It’s likely to result in some Nobel Prizes as well. NATURE made a good video that explains the basics: (see below:) Want to know more?? Joe Hansen at “It’s OK To be Smart” has a more in-depth summary of why this is such a BIG deal and some links to other posts from some physicists …

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16 March 2014

Severe Travel Restrictions Imposed In Paris as Smog Worsens

Paris just cut the vehicles on Monday’s roads by half in an effort to improve the air quality over the Capital. It also has made all mass transit free, and the BBC has further details here. Motorcycles (most of who have rather dirty engines) are also included. The reason for the bad smog is a temperature inversion, and you have likely heard this before, but I want to explain WHY …

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Cosmos Part Two Tonight- The Things That Molecules Do…

Tonight’s episode talks about the past great extinctions, life, and natural selection. In other words the things that simple molecules can do in 13,000 million years.

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14 March 2014

NWS Use of the Word Haboob Sets off Firestorm In West Texas

A haboob is a type of severe dust storm. The word has been in common use for at least 60 years, and it dates back to the 1920′s in the Sudan. The word itself is Arabic in origin, and the American Meteorological Society atmospheric science dictionary defines it thus: haboob (Many variant spellings, including habbub, habub, haboub, hubbob, hubbub.) A strong wind and sandstorm or duststorm in northern and central Sudan, especially around Khartoum, where the …

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11 March 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lectures CNN on Science & Journalism

Quite a bit of talk about Neil deGrasse Tyson today and not just because Cosmo’s last night was brilliant, and soul inspiring. In an interview on CNN he was very critical of their coverage of science. I wrote about a similar episode a couple of weeks ago when several Sunday morning news shows put scientists up against those who think climate change is a hoax. Somehow they think this is …

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