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...]

Turning down the heat on controversial topics like Climate Change – Dr. Waleed Abdalati at TEDx

Dr. Waleed Abdalati, CIRES

At the September 2014 TedxMileHigh event in Denver, Dr. Waleed Abdalati shared his insights on creating meaningful conversations about difficult, divisive topics. This 15-minute talk will change the way you engage in conversation about controversial topics like climate change. Dr. Abdaltai describes the tools of communication: Words - set the tone and convey your opinion. They put the person you’re speaking to in a particular posture. Attitude - More than what you say, your audience is going to remember how you make them feel. Clarity of Purpose – you need to be clear on your … [Read more...]

NSIDC recovers rescued data and reveals sea ice secrets (video)

Garrett Campel

50 years ago, NASA launched Nimbus to study Earth from space. Now, experts at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (part of CIRES), are recovering valuable data and images from old, long-lost film, and expanding their understanding of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. When NASA launched Nimbus-1 50 years ago, the agency’s key goals were to test instruments that could capture images of clouds and other meteorological features. The Nimbus satellites made such excellent observations, NASA eventually handed over key technologies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration … [Read more...]

New report highlights how climate change may affect water in Colorado

Report: Climate Change in Colorado

As Colorado’s climate continues to warm, those who manage or use water in the state will likely face significant changes in water supply and demand, according to a new report on state climate change released today by the Western Water Assessment and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Rising temperatures will tend to reduce the amount of water in many of Colorado’s streams and rivers, melt mountain snowpack earlier in the spring, and increase the water needed by thirsty crops and cities, according to the new report, “Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources … [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...]

Amazonian drought conditions add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

Amazon River through the rainforest

This article originally appeared on the University of Colorado Boulder website. As climates change, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb, according to a new study published Feb. 6 in Nature. An international team of scientists found that the amount of yearly rainfall was the driving factor behind the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) taken up and released from Amazonia in 2010 and 2011. During a wet year, the Amazon forests were roughly carbon-neutral: Forests “inhaled” more carbon … [Read more...]

Keeping up with CU-Boulder Researchers in Antarctica

CU-Boulder researchers in Antarctica

The University of Colorado Boulder has multiple research projects going on in Antarctica every year. Here's a look at what teams from the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Sciences and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research are up to this season. The McMurdo Dry Valleys--the largest relatively ice-free zone on the Antarctic continent--has been studied as part of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Network since 1993. The principal investigator on the project is Outreach Award recipient Diane McKnight, a fellow at CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and … [Read more...]

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...]

New study: Dust, warming portend dry future for the Colorado River

dust

Reducing the amount of desert dust swept onto snowy Rocky Mountain peaks could help Western water managers deal with the challenges of a warmer future, according to a new study led by researchers at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the CU - Boulder. With support from the CIRES Western Water Assessment (WWA) and NASA’s Interdisciplinary Science program, CIRES’ Jeffrey Deems and his colleagues examined the combined effects of regional warming and dust on the Colorado River, which is fed primarily by snowmelt. During recent years, desert dust … [Read more...]

Replays of webinar series: “Climate Change for Educators”

CU Boulder climate-water webinar

Video replays of the "Climate Change For Educators" webinars are now available. Watch and download the video replays of the webinars which feature climate scientists and water experts from University of Colorado Boulder and USGS. You'll also find the slidedecks from each of the webinars on our SlideShare channel. Two more webinars in Spring 2014 will cover extreme weather attribution and preparedness. We'll be posting details here and in our monthly newsletter so stay tuned! … [Read more...]