Cesar Nufio picks up the trail of 13,000 dead grasshoppers and what they can tell us about climate change

Cesar Nufio, CU-Boulder

When CU-Boulder entomologist Cesar Nufio discovered a collection of 50-year-old grasshoppers in a CU lab, he knew they woudd be instrumental in assessing the effects of climate change on grasshoppers. Nufio is an adjoint curator in the Entomology Section of the Museum Natural History at CU, and has taught several courses in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. The collection of grasshoppers, along with notebooks cataloging detailed field notes, were the work of Gordon Alexander, former head of CU-Boulder's biology department. Stephanie Paige Ogburn of KUNC.org reports: … [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...]

Energy and water professionals: CU-Boulder offers expanded degree options

CU_Boulder graduation

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Colorado.edu. A new educational partnership at the University of Colorado Boulder will provide expanded degree options for working professionals interested in specialized graduate education focused on energy and water. Beginning this fall, qualified students can earn both a Master of Engineering (ME) degree and a Professional Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy or a Professional Certificate in Water Engineering and Management. The degree and certificates can be earned either via distance education or in campus … [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 climate scientists available to speak on National Climate Assessment (NCA)

US Global Change Research Program

Several University of Colorado Boulder scientists can talk about global climate change as it relates to the new National Climate Assessment (NCA) released May 6, 2014 by the White House This includes two co-authors of the assessment, Kristen Averyt and Mark Serreze. Kristen Averyt, associate director for science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), a joint venture of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and CU-Boulder, can talk about water resources as they relate to a changing climate. She was at the White House for the release of the … [Read more...]

CLEAN Wins Webby Award for Teaching Climate on NOAA’s climate.gov

The Webby Awards

Congratulations to our colleagues at the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)! The Teaching Climate portion of the NOAA climate.gov website, which draws most of its content from the CLEAN collection, won both the juried and People’s Choice awards in the Green category of the 18th Annual Webby Awards. The overall site won in the Government category. Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on 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...]

Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater are climate concern, CU-Boulder study says

Hana Fancher, Philip Taylor methane research palm oil wastewater ponds

In recent years, palm oil production has come under fire from environmentalists concerned about the deforestation of land in the tropics to make way for new palm plantations. Now there is a new reason to be concerned about palm oil’s environmental impact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. An analysis published Feb. 26 in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere. But the researchers also present a possible solution: capturing the … [Read more...]