Start the New Year with Climate Change Workshops and Events

Workshops and webinars for educators

Have you set your professional development goals for 2014? Here are some great workshops and events to start the year: Exploring the Aurora through Art and Writing Come learn about Space Weather and how it relates to Earth’s climate! This one-day workshop for elementary teachers and educators will explore the Sun-Earth connection, the role Earth’s magnetic field plays, and how space weather influences our planet in very real ways. This workshop will draw upon the Dancing Lights suite of standards-based activities. Materials for your classroom will be provided along with information about … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder engineer win NSF’s CAREER award for research to make solar panels more efficient

Prashant Nagpal of CU-Boulder

Prashant Nagpal is one of two faculty members in the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science who have been honored with the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER award. Nagpal, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, is being awarded $499,077 over five years to work on improving the amount of energy from the sun that photovoltaic panels can convert into electricity. His work focuses on using “hot carriers” in quantum-confined semiconductor nanostructures to capture the waste energy that cannot be captured by the bulk … [Read more...]

New Report on Abrupt Climate Change Calls for Increased Monitoring and Early Warning System

West Antarctica Ice Sheet

A new National Academy of Science report on climate change has just been made available from its National Research Council, chaired by Professor James White of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. A video replay of the press briefing webcast is now available. Read or download a pdf of the the complete report or view the summary here: Summary: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change The report, “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,” draws upon recent research to adjust the timeframe within which certain climate change impacts may happen. It emphasizes … [Read more...]

Like butter: CIRES study explains surprising acceleration of Greenland’s inland ice

Surface meltwater draining through cracks in an ice sheet can warm the sheet from the inside, softening the ice and letting it flow faster, according to a new study by scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. During the last decade, researchers have captured compelling evidence of accelerating ice flow at terminal regions, or “snouts,” of Greenland glaciers as they flow into the ocean along the western coast. The new CIRES research now shows that the interior regions also are flowing much faster … [Read more...]

A new paper by researchers at Univ. of Washington, CIRES, and NOAA summarizes what is known about the future of the Colorado River

The Colorado River provides water for more than 30 million people in the U.S. West, so water managers have been eager to understand how climate change will affect the river’s flow. But scientific studies have produced an unsettling range of estimates, from a modest decrease of 6 percent by 2050 to a steep drop of 45 percent by then. A new paper by researchers at the University of Washington (UW), CIRES, NOAA and other institutions across the West investigates and explains why those estimates differ and summarizes what is known about the future of this iconic Western river—key … [Read more...]

Water isotopes leave fingerprints for CU climate scientists

University of Colorado meteorologist David Noone and his team are working to understand how water moves around the planet. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project team observes and analyzes the stable isotope composition of water vapor and precipitation, primarily at the 300-m (984-foot) Boulder Atmospheric Observatory tower. The measurements are made using an optical measurement technology which has only recently become available, and which allows continuous in situ observations to be made on a practical basis. The ratio of heavier to lighter isotopes in water … [Read more...]

Researchers take new look at future Colorado River flows

The Colorado River provides water for more than 30 million people in the U.S. West, so water managers have been eager to understand how climate change will affect the river’s flow. But scientific studies have produced an unsettling range of estimates, from a modest decrease of 6 percent by 2050 to a steep drop of 45 percent by then. A new paper by researchers at the University of Washington (UW), CIRES, NOAA and other institutions across the West investigates and explains why those estimates differ and summarizes what is known about the future of this iconic Western river—key … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder video nominated for Emmy

We are thrilled that “Water: A Zero Sum Game” has been nominated by the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for an Emmy Award in the “Environment: Program/Feature” category! In the nominated five-minute video, CU-Boulder professor Mark Williams explains how Colorado’s snowpack affects its water supply. Read the press release: At Learn More About Climate, our goal is to provide educators, policy makers and citizens with the most up-to-date climate science research. We present this information in a user-friendly way in order to … [Read more...]

CIRES, NOAA team leads investigation of Southeast air quality, climate questions

Many photographs of the Southeast's Smoky Mountains show layers of tall hills, shading to purples and grays in the distance. Tiny particles in the atmosphere help create the effect, which makes for stunning pictures. But human-caused enhancements of those fine particles also contribute to poor air quality in the Southeastern U.S., and may help explain why the region has not warmed like the rest of the nation. So this summer, scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, NOAA and colleagues from dozens of other … [Read more...]

In Ancient Ice, Clues That Scientists Are Underestimating Future Sea Levels

The skies do strange things at the NEEM camp, a remote ice-drilling and research facility on the northern Greenland ice sheet. Midnight sunshine. Low clouds of sparkling ice crystals known as "diamond dust." But when rain fell instead of snow last summer, complete with a rainbow arcing over the camp, the NEEM scientists couldn't believe it. "I've been all over that ice sheet, and to have it rain that far north—that's a shock," says James White, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado who led the American team working alongside those from 13 other countries at … [Read more...]