Request for Applications: AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network Grants

Air Water Gas - Sustainability Research Network logo

The AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network (SRN) at the University of Colorado Boulder (www.airwatergas.org) is seeking grant applicants for local projects that work to improve understanding around the risks and benefits of oil and gas development. Projects should focus on impacts in your community to air quality, water quality and quantity, economic effects, or other factors. Projects can be citizen science initiatives, project-based learning, the interface of science and policy issues, or other energy-related topics that have relevance for your school, organization, and/or … [Read more...]

NSIDC recovers rescued data and reveals sea ice secrets (video)

Garrett Campel

50 years ago, NASA launched Nimbus to study Earth from space. Now, experts at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (part of CIRES), are recovering valuable data and images from old, long-lost film, and expanding their understanding of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. When NASA launched Nimbus-1 50 years ago, the agency’s key goals were to test instruments that could capture images of clouds and other meteorological features. The Nimbus satellites made such excellent observations, NASA eventually handed over key technologies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration … [Read more...]

New report highlights how climate change may affect water in Colorado

Report: Climate Change in Colorado

As Colorado’s climate continues to warm, those who manage or use water in the state will likely face significant changes in water supply and demand, according to a new report on state climate change released today by the Western Water Assessment and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Rising temperatures will tend to reduce the amount of water in many of Colorado’s streams and rivers, melt mountain snowpack earlier in the spring, and increase the water needed by thirsty crops and cities, according to the new report, “Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources … [Read more...]

Ozone gardens at CU-Boulder and NCAR reveal harmful effects of pollution

Ozone Garden

Most people have heard about the harmful effects of pollution on human and plant health, but until recently, visualizing such effects took some imagination. Now, new “ozone gardens” at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Museum of Natural History and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Laboratory make the evidence startlingly clear. Visits to the gardens are free and open to the public. Scientists at CU-Boulder and NCAR are growing plants that develop brown and black spots on their leaves when exposed to harmful air pollution. The ozone gardens feature particular … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder and NCAR researchers seek to reduce deadly air pollution from cooking emissions

cookstoves

A $1.5 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will help researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Center for Atmospheric Research measure pollution from residential cooking and better understand a problem that kills millions of women and children each year in the developing world. According to the EPA, more than 3 billion people worldwide rely on the burning of wood, plant matter, coal and waste for cooking or heating. Exposure to cookstove emissions, particularly indoor exposure, ranks as one of the five worst overall health risk factors in poor … [Read more...]

Crowdfunding to fight climate change with CO2 conversion project

Crowdfunding CO2 conversion

As part of a new crowdfunding initiative at University of Colorado Boulder, students Chern-Hooi Lim, Yu-Ching Kuo, Alan Aguirre with project advisor Professor Charles Musgravee are working to raise $10,000 to build a photocatalyst which will convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel. Crowdfunding is the practice of sourcing small contributions from a large number of people to provide funding for a particular project or campaign. The CO2 "recycling" project is one of eight projects in a pilot online fundraising platform that allows CU-Boulder individuals and organizations to create and … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder teams up with Mesa County to make snow-depth data free to water managers, farmers, public

Mesa County GPS Network

New from Colorado.edu: A University of Colorado Boulder professor who developed a clever method to measure snow depth using GPS signals is collaborating with Western Slope officials to make the data freely available to a variety of users on a daily basis. CU-Boulder aerospace engineering sciences Professor Kristine Larson and her colleagues discovered in 2009 that GPS signals that bounce off Earth’s surface before hitting the receivers, once considered bothersome “noise,” could be used to measure snow depth, soil moisture and even vegetation moisture. Larson also is a pioneer in the … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder researchers find common factors behind Greenland melt episodes in 2012, 1889

Atmospheric river events 2012. Credit: Don Murray, CIRES/NOAA

New from Colorado.EDU: In 2012, temperatures at the summit of Greenland rose above freezing for the first time since 1889, raising questions about what led to the unusual melt episode. Now, a new analysis led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that some of the same weather and climate factors were at play in both 1889 and 2012: heat waves thousands of miles upwind in North America, higher-than-average ocean surface temperatures south of Greenland and atmospheric rivers of warm, moist air that streamed toward … [Read more...]

Seasonal Arctic summer ice extent still hard to forecast, NSIDC study says

Arctic sea ice

The following is an excerpt from the National Snow & Ice Data Center. Read the entire press release at http://nsidc.org/news/press/2014_seasonalseaice_PR.html. Will next year’s summer Arctic ice extent be high or low? Can ship captains plan on navigating the famed Northwest Passage—a direct shipping route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean—to save on time and fuel? A new study says year-to-year forecasts of the Arctic’s summer ice extent are not yet reliable. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University College London, University of New Hampshire and … [Read more...]

Amazonian drought conditions add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

Amazon River through the rainforest

This article originally appeared on the University of Colorado Boulder website. As climates change, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb, according to a new study published Feb. 6 in Nature. An international team of scientists found that the amount of yearly rainfall was the driving factor behind the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) taken up and released from Amazonia in 2010 and 2011. During a wet year, the Amazon forests were roughly carbon-neutral: Forests “inhaled” more carbon … [Read more...]