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...]

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 ( 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...]

Is there an upper limit to the greenhouse gas effect?

Greenhouse Effect on Venus

Editor’s Note: Learn More About Climate recently received an interesting question through our Ask A Scientist feature: I have recently heard the claim that "the atmospheric absorption bands for CO2 are already saturated" so the addition of more CO2 to the atmosphere is moot. I trust this is not the whole story, and would like to understand why such a claim is not accepted by the (vast) majority of climate scientists. CU-Boulder second-year graduate student Anondo Mukherjee reached out to his colleagues at the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC). Here is Anondo's … [Read more...]

Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability – IPCC Working Group II Report Now Available

IPCC Working Group II

Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its full contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The report provides the most comprehensive look to date at the worldwide impacts of climate change and the opportunities for response. View and download the report here: IPCC Working Group II: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability - Summary for Policymakers In addition to the final versions of the 30-chapter report, cross-chapter materials, technical summary, and summary for policymakers, this latest release includes … [Read more...]