Friday, February 3, 2017

An Early March? Odds Seem to Favor Another "Fast-Forward Spring"

24 F. maximum temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.
26 F. average high on February 3.
24 F. high temperature on February 3, 2016.

February 4, 1984: The event termed the 'Surprise Blizzard' moves across Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas. Meteorologists were caught off guard with its rapid movement. People described it as a 'wall of white.' Thousands of motorists were stranded in subzero weather. Only a few inches of snow fell, but was whipped by winds up to 80 mph. 16 people died in stranded cars and outside.

Potential For Another "Fast-Foward Spring" Grows

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of spring. I like it best when it the spring.

Lately most Minnesota winters have been sickly; snow sharing the spotlight with ice and rain. Piles of dirty snow and frustrated winter weather enthusiasts. There are exceptions: 3 winters ago brought back memories of the 70s and early 80s. But there's little doubt that winters are trending shorter and milder over time.

As much as I don't miss consecutive weeks below zero I'm sad to see our winters under stress.
Remember when it snowed in late October and (predictable) snow would linger into April? Right.

According to The National Weather Service the first week of February is when we should have the most snow on the ground. Instead of 6-7 inches, the MSP metro has a trace. Models print out a chance of a few inches Tuesday, followed by a couple of cold days, then rapid warming late next week.

A relatively mild, Pacific wind flow overwhelms the pattern across the USA for much of February. GFS guidance hints at 50 F. here two weeks from today.

No, it's not your grandfather's winter anymore.

February temperature outlook above courtesy of NOAA CPC (Climate Prediction Center).

Cold Getting Less Cold. Climate Central takes a look at the larger trends: "For many locations in the U.S., middle-to-late January is climatologically the coldest time of the year. But extreme cold is on the decline as the world warms from increasing greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. This week’s analysis examines the coldest night each year in these cities. Even though we will continue to see cold outbreaks in a warming world, the trend in the vast majority of the cities analyzed shows that these extreme cold nights are happening less often. Conversely, as cold extremes continue to become fewer and less intense, hot extremes become stronger and more frequent..."

"A Warm Streak Without Precedent". Dr. Mark Seeley explains in this week's edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...According to Kenny Blumenfeld of the DNR-State Climatology Office and Michelle Margraf of the NOAA-National Weather Service in Chanhassen the warm temperature anomaly in the Twin Cities from September of 2015 through January of 2017 is without precedent......17 consecutive months of above normal temperature surpasses the streaks of 16 months during 2011-2012, and 15 months during 2005-2006 and 1920-1921...." (Graphic credit: Minnesota DNR).

84-Hour Weather Map. Light snow spreads across the Upper Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes and New England into Sunday; while more sloppy fronts push heavy rain, ice and snow into the west coast with light showers from Texas into the Deep South. Animation: NOAA and

Consistently Above Average Until Further Notice. Keep in mind the average high in the Twin Cities is 26 F, and rising slowly. ECMWF (European) guidance shohws a run of 30s and 40s over the next few weeks, with the exception of a couple of cold days next week. As far as the atmosphere is concerned it's early March, not early February. Graphic: WeatherBell.

Snowfall Potential Next 6 Days. GFS total snowfall predictions through next Friday evening, February 10, show a stripe of plowable snow from Montana and North Dakota into northern Minnesota and Wisconsin and northern New England; the majority of the USA forecast to remain snow-free into mid-February.

The Amazing Improvements in Winter Weather Forecasting Since the 1970s. It's not perfect, it never will be, but the forecast is considerably (measurably) better than it was a generation ago. Here's an excerpt from Capital Weather Gang: "Winter storm forecasting has changed significantly since the 1970s, for the better. Technology and a better fundamental understanding of the atmosphere have been the main drivers behind the improvement, but there’s another reason your favorite meteorologist — on TV or on the web — can nail a winter storm forecast five days out: the Internet. With the click of a mouse, anyone can access the same weather models that in the past were only available to government forecasters. With all of these advances, a winter storm forecast three days out in 2017 is arguably as accurate as one that was around one day away in the 1980s. Meteorologists anywhere can now access weather models that in the past were only available to government employees and TV stations that had special weather data fax machines. Everyone can look at the models, which have come light years in the past two decades..."

Photo credit: "The Presidents’ Day Snowstorm of February 18-19, 1979." (Washington Weather).

Worst NFL Championship Weather Ever? AerisWeather meteorologist Joe Hansel has a terrific post about weather as a factor in big NFL games; here's an excerpt: "...To find the chilliest-most-‘freezingy’ NFL Championship… we have to go back to December 31st, 1967. If you call yourself a BIG football fan… you already know I’m talking about the Ice Bowl. It so happens to be the 50th anniversary of this game. That’s kinda cool… or in this case, extremely cold. Broadcaster Jack Buck when asked, said “it was very cold, Ray.” Beautifully put in its sarcastic simplicity. Commentator Frank Gifford didn’t need to wear a hat though: video HERE. It was the frostiest game in history… but fans still cheered in this video HERE. At historic Lambeau Field. We got 2 historic franchises playing for the NFL Championship prize. Packers vs. Cowboys. Vince Lombardi vs. Tom Landry. This is about as epic as a game gets for back in the day (Also, I don’t think I’m personally old enough to say ‘back in the day’ yet)..."

Photo credit: "They’re having fun!" Source:

20th Anniversary of Minnesota's All-Time Record Low. Who will forget -60 F (air temperature) anytime soon? Minnesota's DNR has a walk down memory lane: "February 2, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the lowest instrument-measured temperature on record for the state of Minnesota. A location in St. Louis County, 3 miles south of Tower, recorded -60 degrees F on February 2, 1996. This value ties Minnesota with North Dakota for the all-time record low for a non-mountainous state. But why Tower? Aside from the deeply cold air mass that had overspread the region, two factors likely contributed to the record-low temperature. First, Tower had 44 inches of snow on the ground. The height of the thermometer is normally about 5 feet above the ground, but with the deep snow, the "ground" was much closer to the thermometer. The coldest air tends to sink to the lowest possible level, which on this morning placed it very close to the thermometer. Additionally, the Tower site is situated in a slight topographic bowl, which allows cold air to drain in from nearby areas. As a result, Tower frequently records some of the lowest temperatures in the state..."

Photo credit: "-60 was Big News in February 1996." Courtesy: St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Extreme Snows Helping To Ease California Drought. TIME reports: "The average snowpack across California hit 173% above average Thursday thanks to eagerly awaited drought relief from several strong storms, according to a report from state water monitors.The news is welcome relief for officials in a state that has spent the last five years combatting the effects of an intense drought. Drought stretched across the entire state at this point last year, according to data from federal drought monitors. New figures released this week show 70% of the state drought free..."

Sorry Phil, 6 More Weeks of Winter May Be a Stretch This Year. Almost all models show a predominately Pacific wind flow into much of February with temperatures above average across most of the USA. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...Phil probably should have phoned in last year’s forecast this morning, because this one was wrong before he even woke up. When a season begins and when it ends tends to be a subjective matter, but there are actual metrics that phenologists (plant scientists!) use to determine when spring has arrived. In parts of the Southeast, green leaves are popping out more than 20 days ahead of schedule, according to the National Phenology Network. In late January, daffodils were reported in Oklahoma, crocuses in Delaware and tulips in Boston..."

Map credit: "Spring leaves are popping out more than 20 days ahead of schedule in parts of the Southeast." (USANPN).

Subscale Glider Could Assist in Weather Studies, Predictions. NASA has an interesting post; here's the intro: "More accurate, immediate and economical information on severe weather phenomenon like hurricanes could one day be available thanks to the Weather Hazard Alert and Awareness Technology Radiation Radiosonde (WHAATRR) Glider. Students and Armstrong staff have been developing the glider based on the Prandtl-M aircraft to fly in the atmosphere of Mars. The vehicle could potentially save the National Weather Service up to $15 million a year compared to current methods and with faster and more reliable data, said project manager Scott Wiley. Employees across the centers agree the idea could take off and voted for it during the NASA Agency Innovation Mission (AIM) Day Nov. 1 for a NASA Innovation Kick Start (NIKS) grant. Also winning a NIKS grant with Armstrong participation was the Agency Legal Enterprise Capability for Knowledge Sharing (ALECKS), the idea of a common NASA legal database including discussions, forums, news and updates..."

Photo credit: "The Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M, flies during a test flight. A new proposal based on the aircraft recently won an agencywide technology grant." Credits: NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes.

January Tornado Count...Yikes. That's one way of putting it - I keep wondering if January's high tornado count is a fluke, or premonition of what's to come later this spring. I suspect America's 6-year tornado drought is coming to an end. Here's an excerpt of a post from Damon Lane at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City: "138 tornadoes (unofficial) making this past January the 2nd busiest on record. #1 was January 1999 when we had well over 200 tornadoes. And yes...1999 was a bad spring. So can we get an idea of how active the spring will be by looking at how bad the winter is ? Yes....and No. First the yes: La Nina years have traditionally lead to an active spring season. In 2008 when we were in a La Nina there were 85 tornadoes in the month of January followed by over 450 tornado in May. Busy indeed..."

A Modern Black Death in Kentucky's Mountains. Black lung disease is getting worse, reports OZY: "...That’s about twice as many as the total reported nationally during the 1990s. The rise is unprecedented in modern history, with one in 20 Appalachian workers now likely to get pneumoconiosis after a career in the mines, according to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and compiled by a Kentucky-based radiologist. “This data shows that the scope of the disease is unprecedented and horrendous,” says Wes Addington, deputy director at the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. He has seen an increase of five to six times the number of black lung complications from 2011 to 2016..."

Why Congress Just Killed a Rule Restricting Coal Companies From Dumping Waste in Streams. Vox reports: "...On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-45 to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule” — using a regulation-killing tool known as the Congressional Review Act. The House took a similar vote yesterday, and if President Trump agrees, the stream protection rule will be dead. Coal companies will now have a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams. Killing this regulation won’t really help Trump fulfill his goal of reversing the coal industry’s decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can. Because the stream protection rule wasn’t finished until very late in 2016, it’s much, much easier to kill than most of the other Obama-era rules around coal pollution. It was an easy target, so long as the GOP acted fast..."

Football Goes Green. A few interesting nuggets at Huffington Post: "...The trend towards sustainability isn’t just a postseason phenomenon. In recent years, the NFL has become an unlikely champion of renewable energy, teaming up with the Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental organizations to monitor its clean energy initiatives. In 2015, nearly one-third of NFL teams played or trained at solar-equipped facilities, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. That figure includes a couple ofstandouts, like Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachucets. The complex boasts some 3,000 solar panels — enough to power office buildings and stadium lights on days without a game. Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field features 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines, the most of any stadium..." (Photo credit: Lincoln Financial Field, DLR Group).

Energy is the New Internet. I happen to agree with Brian LaKamp at "...At heart, the Enernet is the foundation for smart-city tech, including the “Internet of Things,” distributed systems, interconnected backbones and networking technologies, EV-charging services and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. These technologies will drive dramatic change and force us to rethink our cities, municipal services and sectors like transportation, insurance, real estate and financial services. From the Enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an order-of-magnitude smarter, healthier and safer. The new network will also present quantum leaps in energy security and emergency resilience that can stand in the face of superstorms or cyberattacks. Hold on to your seats. We’re at the early stages of something immense..."

Lawmakers Could Find Common Ground on Energy Infrastructure Upgrade. Can Republicans and Democrats find common ground? Here's an excerpt from NexusMedia: "It’s pretty hard to identify any areas of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans right now, but one thing they both agree needs addressing is our nation’s infrastructure. It’s no secret that our many of nation’s roads, highways and power lines are out of date and in many places outright dangerous. America’s infrastructure earned a D+ on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 “Infrastructure Report Card.” The country’s dilapidated infrastructure costs households around $3,400 annually. Crumbling roads slow commutes and aging electricity grids make power bills more expensive. Notably, the nation’s energy system earned a lower grade than its bridges, ports and railways. Modernizing the electricity grid would improve resilience in the face extreme weather and cyber attacks, expand access to clean wind and solar energy, and shrink monthly power pills..." (Image credit: Pexel).

States Expected to Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future. Here's an excerpt of a post at the PEW Charitable Trusts: "...The states have always led the country toward greater reliance on renewable energy sources, and they will continue to do so even if they don’t have the support of the incoming administration, said Gabe Pacyniak, a program manager at the Georgetown Climate Center, which helps states implement clean energy policies. Economic factors, such as the rapidly declining cost of wind and solar production, will help continue that trajectory, Pacyniak said. In the last two months alone, the Republican governors of Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont have announced initiatives or signed bills that will push their states to increase their use of renewable energy. These are well-respected, “card-carrying conservatives who understand the benefits of the clean energy agenda,” said former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado, who is now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University..."

Photo credit: "A worker installs solar panels on a roof in Honolulu. More states will encourage the use of renewable energy this year, seeing the economic benefits the industry brings." © The Associated Press.

Profits? Nice, But For These Investors Conscience Matters More. The New York Times reports: "...Passion investors spurn such accommodations. They are driven by a belief in the primacy of a cause — animal rights, climate change, reducing waste — and try to apply that desire to all investment types. It’s not easy. “I have a conversation about this quite often,” said Mark Doman, chief executive of the Doman Group, an investment adviser. “Clients talk about how their ethics and morality guide their portfolio. I tell them it’s a very slippery slope to find companies that meet their ethical bar while keeping in mind their goal is to grow their assets.” Mr. Doman added, “If you can find me a morally and ethically pure blue-chip company, that’s more the exception than the rule...”

How GPS Found Its Way. Science Friday has a terrific 8-minute audio explainer: here's a preview: "In the early 1970s, the idea for a satellite-based modern navigation system was controversial in the United States Air Force. Many in leadership didn’t want anything to do with the project that would become our now-ubiquitous GPS—they thought the money was better spent on putting more planes in the air. Engineer and former Air Force colonel Brad Parkinson directed the GPS project during that fragile time, and made countless appeals in Washington to get it approved and keep it approved in the years it took to perfect the technology. He’s now receiving the 2016 Marconi Prize for his dedication to ensuring that the first GPS satellites got off the ground. He shares the story of the difficult birth of GPS."

Working on a Cruise Ship is a Good Job - Until It Isn't. Here's an excerpt of a sobering, harrowing story at The California Sunday Magazine: "...Since Regie started his job, the number of cruise employees has more than doubled to nearly a quarter million. Amid the boom, many describe systemic wage theft and 80-hour workweeks with no days off for eight to ten months at a time. Many also say they are pressured to keep working when injured. Dozens of interviews, hundreds of pages of legal documents, and photographic evidence corroborate these claims. Although crew members have lodged complaints against all three of the major cruise companies, employees of Carnival Cruise Line speak of some of the harshest conditions. Most of these allegations, though, are sent to foreign arbitration and hidden from public view..."

Photo credit: Kevin Kunishi.

How to Reset Your Body Clock - And Get Better Sleep - With Hiking Boots and a Tent. Getting outside can help in so many ways, including helping your sleep habits, according to a story at The Los Angeles Times: "...Wright thinks there are two reasons a sojourn in nature can reset our biological clocks, and both have to do with light. His group found that on the winter camping trip participants were exposed to 13 times more light than they usually are when they go about their normal lives. In addition, the winter campers were not allowed to use flashlights or electronic devices during the weeklong camping trip. That meant that when darkness fell, the only light they saw was from their campfires. He said that both the increased light during the day and lack of light during the night played a role in realigning the circadian clocks. “A lot of people think about light at night and recognize it is not the best thing, but our research has shown that the reduction in light we get during the day is equally important,” he said..."

What On Earth is a "Tornado of Tuna"? You learn something every day - this nugget courtesy of Atlas Obscura: "A couple of times a year in the waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, a colossal column of tuna churns slowly in an underwater fish vortex. The tunnel of over 100,000 Jack Tuna, or bigeye trevally, is large enough to cast looming shadows across the ocean floor. The clip above gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s like to be under this huge “tuna tornado.” At the 19-second mark, the camera is swallowed by the swirling silver mass. Each tuna averages over three feet in length.    This fantastic phenomenon is the result of the tuna’s mating behavior..."

TODAY: Cloudy, flurries north - windy and milder. Winds: S 15-25. High: 34

SATURDAY NIGHT: Chance of light snow or flurries, mainly north of MSP. Coating possible. Low: 19

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: More clouds than sun, cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 29

MONDAY: Gray and dry, relatively mild for February.  Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 18. High: 38

TUESDAY: Potential for a few slushy inches, potentially plowable. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 33

WEDNESDAY: Gray with a cold wind and falling temperatures. Feels like -5. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 7. High: 11

THURSDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: -2. High: 17

FRIDAY: Serious weather-whiplash. Windy with a taste of March. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 15. High: 42

Climate Stories...

Pentagon: Arctic Melt Requires Updated U.S. Strategy. Climate Home reports on the jaw-dropping changes in the arctic, and how the military is trying to respond: "...An updated US military strategy for the Arctic says “diminishing ice levels” due to warming temperatures pose a series of security risks to the country. Released this week at the request of Alaska senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican, the 16-page document says the US must boost investment in its military assets around the North Pole. “Diminishing sea ice will give rise to new economic opportunities in the region while simultaneously increasing concerns about human safety and protection of a unique ecosystem that many indigenous communities rely on for subsistence,” reads the Arctic Strategy. “The breaking up of sea ice also threatens existing detection and warning infrastructure by increasing the rate of coastal erosion...”

Photo credit: "US National Guard troops in Utiqiagvik, Alaska." (Pic: Staff Sgt. Balinda O’Neal Dresel/US Army National Guard).

"Watching With Bated Breath": Massive Iceberg Set To Break Off Antarctic Ice Sheet. USA TODAY has the story: "It's the crack that's captivating the world. A 110-mile-long rift in an Antarctic ice shelf promises to eventually shear off and create a massive iceberg larger than Rhode Island. For now, it's fascinating scientists, gamblers and the public worldwide. Everyone wants to know when part of the Larsen C ice shelf will finally break off, fundamentally changing the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. The short answer: It could take days to years. But the iceberg is most likely to break free within the next few months because of the overwhelming weight the 110 miles of already separated ice is placing on the 12 miles that remains connected to the shelf, said Adrian Luckman of Project MIDAS, a British Antarctic research project that's keeping watch on the ever-growing crack..."

Photo credit: "This Nov. 10, 2016, aerial photo released by NASA, shows a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf." (Photo: John Sonntag, AP)

The Lasting Effects of Pope Francis' Climate Change Edict. Here's a clip from Pacific Standard: "...But newly published research suggests the pontiff’s call for taking care of the Earth has had a more subtle impact on American public opinion. It finds brief exposure to a photograph of the pope “increased perceptions of climate change as a moral issue.” What’s more, this shift in how the issue is perceived was particularly strong among Republicans — a group that has traditionally been resistant to acknowledging the fact that humans are affecting the Earth’s climate in dangerous ways..." (File photo: AP).

The EPA Has Started to Remove Obama-Era Information. Climate Central reports: "The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has begun to transform under the Trump administration.  A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that’s been closely watched since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site. A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed and adaptation has been emphasized, indicating an attempt to separate the cause of climate change from the response. Some of the changes — like removing mentions to programs and task forces that have run their course as well as broken links — are housekeeping, according to an agency statement..."

Image credit: "There have been extensive revisions made to the EPA's climate collaboration page, including removing language about carbon pollution." Credit: EDGI.

The March For Science Isn't Partisan or Anti-Trump - It's Pro-Facts. Quartz reports: "...First came the Women’s March. Now comes the March for Science. Given the ongoing protests sweeping the US, one might assume that scientists are organizing to voice their general disagreement with Donald Trump’s policies—or perhaps that they simply want to protect their grants and jobs from federal funding cuts. But what’s at stake is much bigger than funding. It’s true that the US spends more on science than any other country. This long-term commitment has led to the US being awarded more Nobel Prizes than any other nation, with the majority of the 365 prizes being awarded for physics. The US also publishes more scientific papers than any other nation—twice as many as China, which ranks second. But scientists in the US and around the world are not mobilizing to defend themselves. Rather, they are fighting to protect the fundamental role that science plays in society and government..."

Image credit: "When the government starts trying to stifle science, you know the stakes are high."(NASA/Public Domain)

Republicans Try a New Tack on Climate Change. Here's a snippet from The New York Times: "...But the most interesting statements came from Rick Perry, Mr. Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Energy. Under questioning, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, was surprisingly positive about the role the federal government might play in developing advanced clean-energy technology. Many people — Bill Gates among them — see this as the most urgent issue. Renewable energy and greater use of natural gas are helping lower emissions in the short run, but if we do not invest heavily in research and development now, we may not have the technology we will eventually need to get to zero emissions. People like Mr. Gates and the entrepreneur Elon Musk are working on Mr. Trump. If the president’s mind is really open on global warming, as he said after the election, perhaps he could also sit down with a few of our brightest climate scientists..."

"Listen to Evidence": March for Science Plans Washington Rally on Earth Day. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "Within a week of its creation, the March for Science campaign had attracted more than 1.3 million supporters across Facebook and Twitter, cementing itself as a voice for people who are concerned about the future of science under President Trump. Now, hoping to transform that viral success into something approaching the significance of the women’s march last month, the campaign has scheduled its demonstration in Washington for Earth Day, April 22. “Yes, this is a protest, but it’s not a political protest,” said Jonathan Berman, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a lead organizer of the march. “The people making decisions are in Washington, and they are the people we are trying to reach with the message: You should listen to evidence...”

Photo credit: "A women’s march in Fairbanks, Alaska, last month. The movement inspired a group of scientists to organize their own demonstration in Washington." Credit Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, via Associated Press.

Global Warming Threatens Winter Sports. Climate Central reports: "...The number of days below 32°F in the U.S. has been declining. This trend is projected to continue, threatening many of the winter activities that rely on cold conditions, including skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and outdoor ice hockey. These winter recreational activities are an integral part of the economy in many states. Data from 2009-10 show that the ski, snowboard, and snowmobiling industries were directly and indirectly responsible for employing 211,900 people and adding an estimated $12.2 billion in economic value to the U.S. economy. As winter loses its chill, these winter tourism activities will be impacted and with them, people’s livelihoods..."

A New Battle Over Politics and Science is Brewing. And Scientists Are Ready For It. Here's an excerpt from Chris Mooney at The Washington Post: "...Scientist marches on Washington, creation of alternative Twitter accounts, legal defense funds, and much more — these are signs of a much more engaged, and politically realistic, scientific community than the relatively reticent one that existed in George W. Bush’s day. This is the consequence of scientists experimenting for more than a decade with blogging and social media, of their focus on scientific communications to the public, and of their growing awareness of political attacks on science and the need to counter them. In this context, it is far more likely that any scientist who feels the need to speak out will find a ready support structure, both within the community and also in social media — including legal aid if necessary. In other words, researchers have more protections, but they also are better networked and have more social support. Both are crucial..."

Photo credit: "People hold signs as they listen to a group of scientists speak during a rally in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in San Francisco. The rally was to call attention to what scientist believe is unwarranted attacks by the incoming Trump administration against scientists advocating for the issue of climate change and its impact." (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez).

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