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 … [Continue reading]

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

Water-MOOC-video

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 … [Continue reading]

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

iStock_arctic_smaller

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 … [Continue reading]

New report charts Colorado’s climate change
 vulnerabilities

Fire Drop

Sea-level rise may not be eating away at Colorado’s borders, but climate change exposes other critical vulnerabilities in the state, according to a new report. Rising temperatures likely will take a toll on cattle and crops, for example, and could more often leave junior water rights holders with little water and few options. The new report, “The Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study,” was commissioned by the Colorado Energy Office in accordance with the Colorado Legislature’s House … [Continue reading]

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

drought

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 … [Continue reading]

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

climate-tour-2014

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; … [Continue reading]

Top 10 Most Viewed Climate Change Reports of 2014

Climate Change heat map

The following reports published during 2014 have been instrumental in guiding the conversation, planning and actions of communities, governments and institutions that are concerned about climate change. These are the top 10 most-viewed reports for 2014 on the Learn More About Climate SlideShare channel. 1. World Economic Forum: Global Risks 2014 The World Economic Forum lists "failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation" as #5 on its list of Ten Global Risks of Highest Concern in … [Continue reading]

Seven trends spotted at United Nations climate talks

UN-climate-peru

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 … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

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

sahel2 _160x

The full article originally appeared at Colorado.edu. 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 … [Continue reading]