Climate Change in the Media

Media coverage of climate change fluctuates from month to month and researchers at CU Boulder are keeping track. The Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO), based at the CU Boulder Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, monitors global climate reporting and creates a monthly summary of the amount of coverage, as well as the themes related to climate change that are covered. They monitor fifty-two sources across twenty-eight countries in seven different regions around the word.   Sign up for their Ogmius Newsletter to receive monthly summary updates, or check … [Read more...]

Colorado’s wildfire-stricken forests showing limited recovery

Colorado forests stricken by wildfire are not regenerating as well as expected and may partially transform into grasslands and shrublands in coming decades, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.  The paper, published in the journal Ecosphere by former doctoral student Monica Rother and geography professor Thomas Veblen, examined the sites of six low-elevation ponderosa pine forest fires which collectively burned 162,000 acres along the Colorado Front Range between 1996 and 2003. Eight to 15 years after the fires, the researchers expected – based on historical patterns … [Read more...]

Beyond Boulder: Students video polar bears to teach about climate change

Graduate student Barbara MacFerrin had never seen a bear in the wild in Colorado. In November, she went to the Arctic and saw a dozen polar bears.  As part of a team led by Jennifer Kay, assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at CU Boulder, they spent a week on the Arctic tundra making educational videos to help teach students about climate science. MacFerrin, who is working toward a master’s degree in the ATLAS Institute’s Technology, Media and Society program, was the team’s videographer. Seeing polar bears in their habitat was a highlight … [Read more...]

Study Finds Fossil Fuel Methane Emissions Greater than Previously Estimated

Methane emissions from fossil fuel development around the world are up to 60 percent greater than estimated by previous studies, according to new research led by scientists from CIRES and NOAA. The study found that fossil fuel activities contribute between 132 million and 165 million tons of the 623 million tons of methane emitted by all sources every year. That’s about 20 to 25 percent of total global methane emissions, and 20 to 60 percent more than previous studies estimated. However, the findings also confirm other work by NOAA scientists that conclude fossil fuel facilities are not … [Read more...]

CU Boulder ice experts report: Arctic sea ice at lowest maximum for second consecutive year

Arctic sea ice was at a record low maximum extent for the second straight year, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NASA. "I've never see such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “The heat was relentless." Air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean for the months of December, January, and February were 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in nearly every region. Sea ice extent over the Arctic Ocean averaged 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million … [Read more...]

The People Behind the Science: CU Researchers Featured on More Than Scientists

More Than Scientists is a series of films that highlights the personal lives, concerns, and motivations of climate scientists. Several of CU Boulder's climate scientists including Jim White, Ted Scambos, Phil Taylor, Mike MacFerrin, Bill Bowman, Tyler Jones and Eve Hinckley are featured on the More Than Scientists website. These videos were filmed and edited by CU undergraduate and graduate students who are part of the Inside The Greenhouse project. Jim White reflects on the world he’s leaving his grandchildren and how climate change is about ethics and morals: A first hand report as … [Read more...]

Climate and Colorado’s Water Future Workshop March 11

What is the impact of climate change on Colorado's water future? Experts from CU Boulder, CSU, NCAR, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the Center for ReSource Conservation will prepare you to think critically about the intersection of climate science and water resource issues. The workshop, hosted by the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, will be hosted at the new CU Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex. Workshop attendees will get to tour the INSTAAR Stable Isotope Lab, where you will learn how scientists extract data from ice core samples taken in polar … [Read more...]

Colorado’s Water Future: A Dr. Seuss-like Tale

In this five-minute video, the University of Colorado Boulder's Jeff Lukas channels Dr. Seuss to describe the importance of water resources and the state of Colorado's water future projections from the report Climate in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaption. “The state was concerned with the weather getting hotter. What might climate change do to our water?” reads Lukas, associate scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences’ Western Water Assessment. “So we put together a most thorough report, even longer than the last … [Read more...]

Mountains Warming Faster than Expected as Climate Changes, Scientists Report

An international team of scientists is calling for urgent and rigorous monitoring of temperature patterns in mountain regions after compiling evidence that high elevations could be warming faster than previously thought. Without substantially better information, people risk underestimating the severity of a number of already looming environmental challenges, including water shortages and the possible extinction of some alpine flora and fauna, according to the research team, which includes Henry Diaz and Imtiaz Rangwala from CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental … [Read more...]

New study connects climate’s rising temps to armed conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa

The full article originally appeared at Colorado.edu. CU-Boulder Professor John O’Loughlin led a research team that assessed more than 78,000 armed conflicts between 1980 and 2012 in the Sahel region of Africa – a semi-arid belt just south of the Saharan Desert that spans about 3,000 miles and more than a dozen countries from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans. The team was looking for links between armed conflicts and temperature and rainfall anomalies, as well as assessing other causes of violence in the Sahel. “We found a clear signal that higher temperatures in the Sahel over time … [Read more...]