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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 …

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8 November 2017

Millions Along the Eastern Seaboard Will See Antares Launch Saturday

The Antares rocket will launch from NASA Wallops Island at 7:37 AM Saturday to bring supplies to the International Space Station. The weather will be clear and cold across the entire NE U.S. and the launch should be visible all the way into New England and as far south as South Carolina’s beaches. The low sun angle should light up the vapor trail of the rocket as it climbs into …

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3 November 2017

Twitter is Chem-trail Central

We’ve reached a sad state when this explanation needs to be written at the beginning of a scientific paper: Introduction The story goes like this: tens of thousands of commercial airliners a day are deliberately spraying some kind of mixture of toxic chemicals—either across the United States or possibly globally—in what would amount to one of the largest covert operations ever. The scheme has been going on for years, perhaps …

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30 October 2017

Drawn to Geoscience: Bat Poop Is Helping Scientists Study the Past

Animal poop holds many secrets. Our own JoAnna Wendel shares a comic, and the process behind the creation of the comic, about researchers’ work to identify past wet and dry periods using bat guano.

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4 October 2017

Teaching Kids Science Is Getting Easier

In the past, many people worries that many home-school parents did so because of religious objections to evolution, climate change science and geology. This is still a concern in the science community, but there are nearly 2 million kids being homeschooled now, and I suspect that most just want their kids to be well prepared for college, with high critical thinking skills. I think that’s great. Indeed, the most important aspect …

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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 …

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5 September 2017

Fire and Rain, and a Whole Lot of Wind

Big Trouble Coming Irma has become a real monster today with sustained winds at 185 mph. Only one hurricane is known that was stronger. This storm reminds me of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 with 200 mph wind gusts in the Florida Keys. A reminder, when looking at the NHC track forecasts, you should ignore the center line and focus on the cone, which is based on the average forecast …

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What’s your dream science class?

What’s the class you’ve always wanted to take/teach? Let us know via #scidreamclass!

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7 August 2017

Sharing Science is at ESA 2017!!!

Are you in Portland at ESA2017? So is (part of) Sharing Science!

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3 August 2017

Uncertainty is Not Ignorance

Kate Marvel’s TED Talk is a must watch.

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31 July 2017

The Secret Discoveries Scientist Are Hiding

Every cancer specialist has the cure for cancer in his desk, and every climate scientist has proof that carbon dioxide is not causing global warming. Oh, and every physicist has a paper showing Einstein’s theory of relativity is all wrong, and I need to come clean as well since I’ve been hiding a method of dissipating hurricanes for 35 years.  All these earth shattering, Nobel prize winning, pieces of science …

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21 July 2017

The Cognitive Bias Survival Guide

As a reporter in Tampa was doing a story on an Alligator in the road yesterday, someone drove past and screamed “Fake News!”  I suspect the gator was real, and the story was factual, but this is happening rather frequently. You might ask how people can be so deceived that they will accept news only from those who tell them what they want to hear. Unfortunately, this is the America we …

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19 July 2017

CV’s, resumes, & scicomm?

By Shane M Hanlon I had a discussion the other day with a friend who is in the process of updating her resume as she’s likely to be promoted at her current job. She was lamenting about how time intensive it was and how she couldn’t quite remember everything that she’s accomplished since her last update while also worrying about what to fit into it due to space constraints. I …

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6 July 2017

GOES-16 View of the SAL around Tropical Depression 4.

The image above is from GOES-16 (Ctsy. CIRA) and you can easily see the dry dusty Saharan air to the North and east of Tropical Depression 4. This layer of dusty air is called the SAL for Saharan Air Layer, and it often inhibits tropical cyclones. It’s already impacting TD 4. The new GOES-16 continues to wow we meteorologists. Truly, a new era is underway. Update 12 AM EDT 7 July) …

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3 July 2017

Blogging about diseases – for science! (And fun.)

By Shane M Hanlon I’m a disease ecologist by training. As a graduate student I investigated how agricultural runoff, mainly in the form of pesticides, alters the effects of fungal disease in amphibians. I still collaborate on primarily disease-related projects with my peers. And, as an added bonus, I get to spend three weeks each summer teaching a disease ecology course at Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology (- the place where …

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26 June 2017

A scicommer leaves Washington (temporarily)

By Shane M Hanlon I’m the Senior Specialist in AGU’s Sharing Science program. I giggle to myself on occasion when I hear it said aloud, not because of anything specific with the title or my duties therein, but because I am most comfortable with another title – scientist. I have a PhD in biology with a focus in disease ecology and ecotoxicology. I came into science communication and policy through …

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25 June 2017

Tom Nichols is Spot On

The Death of Expertise “Tom Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College, says America has become a country “obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance.” Americans have always been skeptical of intellectuals and experts. Today, says Nichols, that attitude has mutated into outright hostility. In general, Americans have never been so willing to reject the knowledge of those who actually know something. This …

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19 June 2017

Wait, what’s #scijack & what’s it have to do with #scicomm?

By Shane M Hanlon Over the past month, I have noticed a new type of #scicomm emerging. It’s not through a new technology, rather, it’s exploiting an existing one. Spurred by the Tweets of President Donald Trump, scientists and science-enthusiasts alike have begun to insert science facts, or #scijack, into tweet threads responding to President Trump, as well as other prominent political figures. The idea is this – many, many …

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Fire & Rain, and Heat as Well.

Intense heat, with low humidity has led to a horrible catastrophe in Portugal. The hot and dry weather in Europe led to a firestorm in Portugal that killed at least 60 people. A strong upper level high pressure system will stay over the area tomorrow and little or no rain is in sight. This high pressure is bringing warm weather all the way into the UK with highs tomorrow in …

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13 June 2017

An Anthropogenic Heat Advisory

So, why such a small Heat Advisory? Look at the temps. at 11 PM EDT Monday night: Note the temps. in Central Philadelphia and Wilmington are around 6-10 degrees F. warmer than the surrounding areas. Yes it’s the urban heat island effect, and Philly has a big one.The extra heat pushed Philly beyond the criteria for a Heat Advisory, while areas away from the city were not hot enough. You may …

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