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...]

Join the Colorado Biology Teachers’ Association Symposium at CU-Boulder on April 11

CBTA workshop

Wondering how to teach the science of climate change? Need new ways to engage students in the effects of climate change? Register now for the Colorado Biology Teachers’ Association’s Spring Symposium on Climate Change and spend a day with some of the leading climate scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder. Open to educators in every discipline, this day-long workshop offers opportunities to: talk with climate scientists; practice hands-on, classroom-ready lessons; view online lessons; and earn recertification or graduate credit. Date:  Saturday, April 11 Time:  8 a.m. – 4 … [Read more...]

Study: Western Forests Decimated by Pine Beetles Not More Likely to Burn

High Park Fire, Colorado 2012, Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Western U.S. forests killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic are no more at risk to burn than healthy Western forests, according to new findings by the University of Colorado Boulder that fly in the face of both public perception and policy. The CU-Boulder study authors looked at the three peak years of Western wildfires since 2002, using maps produced by federal land management agencies. The researchers superimposed maps of areas burned in the West in 2006, 2007 and 2012 on maps of areas identified as infested by mountain pine beetles, according to a CU-Boulder news release. The … [Read more...]

Free Online Course Offers in Depth Look at Water in the West


Why is water at the heart of so much conflict in the American West? How have major cities and extensive agricultural systems been able to thrive despite most of the region being either a desert or semi-desert environment? How will a warming climate affect the availability and use of water in a region populated by tens of millions of people? Join “Water in the Western United States,” a free, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) featuring leading University of Colorado Boulder scientists who will provide an overview of the science behind water and climate. In addition, they will discuss the … [Read more...]

Arctic Sea Ice Loss 
Expected to be Bumpy in the Short Term


Arctic sea ice extent plunged precipitously from 2001 to 2007, then it barely budged between 2007 and 2013. Even in a warming world, researchers can expect such unusual periods of no change—and rapid change—at the world’s northern reaches, according to a new paper. “Human-caused global warming is melting Arctic sea ice over the long term, but the Arctic is a variable place, said Jennifer Kay, a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of the new analysis in Nature Climate Change. Natural ups and downs … [Read more...]

Teachers Invited to Climate Change Impacts in the Southwest Workshop Feb. 18


Join us for a free NASA-sponsored workshop about climate impacts in the Southwest. Take part in a Q&A with local climate scientists and educators followed by an interactive presentation by Dr. Fred Lipschultz, from the US Global Change Research Program, and an exploration of teaching and citizen-science resources by Dr. Minda Berbeco, from the National Center for Science Education. When:  Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 5-6:45 p.m. (MST) Where:  University of Colorado Boulder, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Auditorium Room 338 (map) > Register … [Read more...]

Register for the Climate and Colorado’s Water Future Workshop, Tour the National Ice Core Laboratory


Learn about how climate data is extracted from the polar regions and how climate impacts water resources and the environment. Join the Colorado Foundation for Water Education on Friday, March 13 for the annual Climate and Colorado's Water Future workshop, including a tour of the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver. Learn about how researchers use ice cores to understand the composition and temperature of Earth's atmosphere; explore drought, climate change, the water cycle and ecosystem; and come away with new tools to better teach and communicate about climate. Teachers can earn … [Read more...]

Seven trends spotted at United Nations climate talks


Need help making sense of the 20th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference? Lauren Gifford, a CU-Boulder doctoral student, was at the Conference of the Parties that took place in Lima, Peru on Dec. 1-14. Gifford and fellow PhD student Jonas Bruun, from the University of Manchester, were part of the Institute for Policy Studies delegation at the talks. They called the conference a “dress rehearsal” for talks that should conclude with a new international climate agreement in 2015. With several strands of negotiations between governments and hundreds of events held in parallel, Gifford … [Read more...]

White House highlights CU-Boulder webinar-turned-MOOC in national climate literacy program

The White House

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently featured the University of Colorado Boulder’s new massive open online course (MOOC) about water resources as part of its newly launched Climate Education and Literacy Initiative. The initiative is part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to “lift America’s game in climate education, literacy, and training” according to the White House. The MOOC, “Water in the Western United States,” begins April 2015. The free four-week course will discuss the importance of water to society and the changing physical, … [Read more...]

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

sahel2 _160x

The full article originally appeared at 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...]