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9 February 2021

Science Illiteracy and Poor Critical Thinking Skills Really Can be Deadly

I’ve written many times over the years about science illiteracy and the need to teach critical thinking skills to students. Is there any doubt that the last 14 months has emphasised it like nothing else could? Thousands have died because they thought the world’s medical experts were wrong about social distancing/face masks. The politicians who agreed with them and refused to urge their constituents to follow the basic rules during …


11 August 2020

Disease Experts Are Now Getting The Climate Science Treatment

  I have to feel sorry for Dr. Anthony Fauci. He has received several death threats and had to hire security for his family. So have other disease experts and the simple reason is that their science conflicts with the political worldview of some politicians and their supporters. The science does not care about your political party, it cares about what you can test and what you can show. If …


21 April 2020

The most expensive landslide samples of all time? Moon rock

NASA is re-analysing samples of moon rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission. These samples are believed to be from a landslide.


5 April 2020

Questions about Covid19 and Virology? The Doctor is In!

The last straw this week was today’s  BBC story of conspiracy theorists setting fire to mobile phone towers. It seems they think the Covid19 virus is being caused by the upgrade to 5g mobile phone service. While I don’t there is any hope for these folks, if you’re convinced the Moon landing was real and that pro wrestling is a hoax, I think I can help with some reliable info …


14 March 2020

What It’s Like to Nearly Die from Covid-19

There’s a very fascinating video below, but I want to give a pat on the back to the many science communicators in all fields who like me have tried to give good reliable science-based info on social media over the past two weeks. Particularly, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, past President of the AMS, who has done much to explain how to look critically at the information out there. Many people have …


4 March 2020

The Internet Can Be A Source of Good Info on Covid-19. Like This!

It seems to me that everyone on social media with a science background should take the time to stop rumors and pass on good science info. Everyone with a science background should have the skills to identify fact-based information. I have been using my social media platforms to do this and I see others in atmospheric science doing the same. A special hat tip to Dr. Marshall Shepherd past President …


24 February 2020

Looking for Loopholes and Getting Lost On Mount Stupid!

When the famous 1930’s comedian W. C. Fields was dying in a hospital, a friend came to visit him. She was shocked to see the notorious atheist reading a Bible as she walked in. “What are you doing with that?” she asked. W. C. Fields replied “Looking for loopholes!”. This describes a whole group of people on social media whose worldview will not allow that every major scientific body on …


20 June 2019

Climate Stripes on the Solstice

Climate scientist Ed Hawkins at the Uni. of Reading is known for producing some great info-graphics about our warming climate but one of his most popular is now known as the climate stripes. This Friday, on the solstice (1554 GMT) meteorologists around the world are going to display them. They are a powerful visual of how the planet is warming, and this time thanks to the folks at Climate Central …


22 February 2019

Things You Should Probably Stop Saying to Your Meteorologist

Meteorologist Dakota Smith posted the following video. You should check out his YouTube channel as well. Spot on Dakota!


31 January 2019

Note to the Media: Getting Science/Weather Stories Right Matters Just As Much As Any Other

The cold hard scientific truth is that the polar vortex is 6 (plus) kilometers high and located south of Hudson Bay tonight. It never reached the American Midwest, and every story you’ve seen or read about it (except perhaps one or two notable exceptions) have been wrong. Indeed, the Washington Post is not the only one to post “polar vortex” headlines that were dead wrong this week. It’s turned into an …


22 October 2018

The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis is a Must Listen

You really need to listen to The Coming Storm. This Audible short is about big data, deadly storms, and egregious greed, and I’d give it 5 stars even if I were not quoted in it. (The quote is accurate by the way and I stand by it 100%.)  My friend Tim Schmidt (my go-to expert on satellite data) is also quoted and he (and many of my NOAA friends) are …


20 July 2018

A Space and History Lesson on the 49th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

It was 49 years ago today that Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and while I remember it vividly, I often think about those who were born after that event. Can they truly imagine the wonder of it? If you’re under 50, you grew up in a world where people walking on the Moon was a part of our history and I know you appreciate the event, but likely not …


19 April 2018

An April Sizzle in London

It was an April day to remember in old London. The UK Met office reported a temperature in St. James’s Park in central London today of 25.7° C. That is a very warm day for the UK in July or August and this was the hottest April day in London since 1949. Even in North Wales, at Gresford, the temperature reached  25° C (77°F). The reason for the heat is …


21 January 2018

Visitors to Our National Parks Deserve the Unvarnished Truth about History and Science

Note: The following is a guest post by Brian Ettling. It’s from his own blog, and I’m indebted to him for allowing me to share it here. I met Brian briefly at the AGU Science meeting in San Francisco a few years ago, and what he has to say is important. “A man or woman could hardly ask for a better way to make a living than as a seasonal …


18 January 2018

2017 Was Another Year of Amazing Heat. It’s not Natural, and It IS the Greenhouse Gases

NASA and NOAA both announced their global temperature results for 2017 today. NASA says it was the second warmest year on record and NOAA which does the analysis slightly differently came up with the 3rd hottest. Interestingly, if you remove the impacts of El Nino and La Nina, 2017 was THE hottest on record (see below). Forest Vs. Trees There are only three things that affect Earth’s temperature: Incoming radiation …


21 December 2017

The Cosmos Lost Carl Sagan 21 Years Ago Today

His books live on. They inspire new generations of scientists and will for decades to come. If you have not read Demon-Haunted World, then buy it. Buy two more copies and give them to a smart young student for Christmas. Just doing that may change their world. It just might change everyone’s world.


14 November 2017

Attribution Study Shows Hurricane Harvey Floods Becoming Much More Likely

Check out this paper in PNAS today. When the subject of hurricane experts comes up, there are two names that come into the mind of nearly every meteorologist: Kerry Emanuel and Chris Landsea. There are a lot of others, but these two have published a lot of research that gets sourced frequently. Today Kerry Emanuel has what can be called an attribution study on Hurricane Harvey. These studies look at how …


3 November 2017

New Climate Report- Humans Are Warming The Planet; There’s No Convincing Evidence for ANY Other Cause

  The 4th U.S. Climate Assessment is HERE. A summary is here. Here are some key findings. I want to highlight what I think is the key finding: This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no …


14 September 2017

It’s Time for a 21st Century Hurricane Scale

Most folks are familiar with the Saffir Simpson hurricane scale and while it’s very useful, it also has some drawbacks. It’s greatest attribute is that the public understands it, but I’m not alone among meteorologists who think the time has come to replace it. We need a new scale that will better indicate the destructive potential of a tropical cyclone, and there are some good candidates out there. The main …


19 April 2017

Science: “An Exercise in Finding What’s True”

Neil de Grasse Tyson’s video below is a must watch. His quote that “Science in an entire exercise in finding what is true”, is similar to another quote that I’ve often repeated from Richard Feynman: “Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves.” Watch the video and then share it.