Does it make sense to talk about air with high values of potential temperature or equivalent potential temperature as warm or cold? I don’t think so, so I recommend talking about “air with higher or lower potential temperature” instead. Although it is wordier than warm or cold, the meaning is precise.
3 month thesis by James Hayton has a free guide that you can sign up to receive called “The Short Guide to Writing Fast.” Inside I found this concise quote about when you should cite a paper (p. 20): You should only cite a paper… • To support one of your arguments • To provide … read more
If you are giving a scientific talk at a conference (e.g., one that lasts 10 minutes), do you really need an outline slide? Do you really think the audience needs to know what the basic content of your scientific presentation is going to be? Even in longer talks, is such a slide really needed? When … read more
Russ Schumacher and I have been discussing the current online battle between those who advocate one space between sentences and two spaces. The debate started with Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, then was picked up by The Atlantic, citing Tom Lee. I have to admit that my typing instructor in seventh grade taught us to use two … read more
Dave Mechem (University of Kansas) and my Manchester colleagues have been telling me about a new term that has been adopted from geology into atmospheric science: upsidence. My understanding of upsidence is that the term means ascent in an environment with otherwise large-scale descent. The term is used to refer to an “upsidence wave”, a … read more
This section is published in the October 2010 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 91, p. 1416.
I think people use quotation marks too often in scientific manuscripts. Be brave. Boldly define your term and use it sans quotation marks. It’s good to know that someone else thinks like me. Let me introduce you to The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.
Happy 129th birthday (11 October 1881) to Lewis Fry Richardson, who pioneered the first numerical weather prediction and for whom the Richardson number is named. Jim Matthew of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society lent me a copy of his biography Prophet or Professor? by Oliver Ashford. As I was reading it today, I came across the … read more
One of the features of Eloquent Science is the “Ask the Experts” columns. (The idea for these sections came from a discussion with Prof. Tracey Holloway, University of Wisconsin.) I don’t say much about who these people are in the book, but you may be interested to know a little more. Y. Hancock is a … read more
This month’s issue of the Annals of Improbable Research answers the question of whether a tree falling in the forest will make a sound if no one is around to hear it. The answer is yes (Melchior 2010). Moreover, the bigger the tree, the louder the sound. What I like about this article is that … read more