Colorado’s wildfire-stricken forests showing limited recovery

Colorado forests stricken by wildfire are not regenerating as well as expected and may partially transform into grasslands and shrublands in coming decades, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.  The paper, published in the journal Ecosphere by former doctoral student Monica Rother and geography professor Thomas Veblen, examined the sites of six low-elevation ponderosa pine forest fires which collectively burned 162,000 acres along the Colorado Front Range between 1996 and 2003. Eight to 15 years after the fires, the researchers expected – based on historical patterns … [Read more...]

Environmental Justice and Advocacy — 5 Questions for Phaedra C. Pezzullo

Professor Phaedra C. Pezzullo is a dedicated social and environmental justice advocate. Her areas of focus include the mobilization of resistance to toxic pollution, and the communication of resilience in what she calls “the late age of fossil fuels.” She answered some of our questions about her work and environmental advocacy in the current age. What got you interested in studying environmental communication? I started off after high school earning a B.S. in Natural Resources, but quickly discovered that the sciences knew a lot with little success of convincing others to listen. So, … [Read more...]

Comedy & Climate Change Video Competition

Standing Up for Climate: An Experiment with Creative Climate Comedy (co-sponsored by The Center of the American West) 1st place: $400 prize 2nd place: $250 3rd place: $100 Competition Details Humor is a tool underutilized in the area of climate change; yet comedy has power to effectively connect people, information, ideas, and new ways of thinking/acting. In this call, we seek to harness the powers of climate comedy through compelling, resonant and meaningful VIDEOS – up to 3 minutes in length – to meet people where they are, and open them up to new and creative engagement. We … [Read more...]

Beyond Boulder: Students video polar bears to teach about climate change

Graduate student Barbara MacFerrin had never seen a bear in the wild in Colorado. In November, she went to the Arctic and saw a dozen polar bears.  As part of a team led by Jennifer Kay, assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at CU Boulder, they spent a week on the Arctic tundra making educational videos to help teach students about climate science. MacFerrin, who is working toward a master’s degree in the ATLAS Institute’s Technology, Media and Society program, was the team’s videographer. Seeing polar bears in their habitat was a highlight … [Read more...]

Study Finds Fossil Fuel Methane Emissions Greater than Previously Estimated

Methane emissions from fossil fuel development around the world are up to 60 percent greater than estimated by previous studies, according to new research led by scientists from CIRES and NOAA. The study found that fossil fuel activities contribute between 132 million and 165 million tons of the 623 million tons of methane emitted by all sources every year. That’s about 20 to 25 percent of total global methane emissions, and 20 to 60 percent more than previous studies estimated. However, the findings also confirm other work by NOAA scientists that conclude fossil fuel facilities are not … [Read more...]

CU Boulder ice experts report: Arctic sea ice at lowest maximum for second consecutive year

Arctic sea ice was at a record low maximum extent for the second straight year, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NASA. "I've never see such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “The heat was relentless." Air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean for the months of December, January, and February were 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in nearly every region. Sea ice extent over the Arctic Ocean averaged 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million … [Read more...]

Teaching Climate Change Conference June 14-15 at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

The National Park Service and the Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds, Inc. are hosting a 2-day climate change seminar based out of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument June 14-15, 2016.  A world renowned fossil deposit, the Florissant Fossil Beds are 35 miles west of Colorado Springs. Featured speakers include Dr. Dena Smith and Dr. Cesar Nufio, who will present on Biological Climate Change topics. Dr. Dena Smith is Professor of Geological Sciences at CU Boulder and executive director of STEPPE (Sedimentary Geology, Time, Environment, Paleontology, Paleoclimatology, Energy).  Dr. Cesar … [Read more...]

The People Behind the Science: CU Researchers Featured on More Than Scientists

More Than Scientists is a series of films that highlights the personal lives, concerns, and motivations of climate scientists. Several of CU Boulder's climate scientists including Jim White, Ted Scambos, Phil Taylor, Mike MacFerrin, Bill Bowman, Tyler Jones and Eve Hinckley are featured on the More Than Scientists website. These videos were filmed and edited by CU undergraduate and graduate students who are part of the Inside The Greenhouse project. Jim White reflects on the world he’s leaving his grandchildren and how climate change is about ethics and morals: A first hand report as … [Read more...]

New Video Explores Arctic Sea Ice, Variability, and Climate Models

The heartbeat of the arctic impacts climate worldwide. Join Jen Kay, CU-Boulder assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences fellow, to learn about the “heartbeat”— or melt cycles of the arctic — climate modeling, and climate change in the new video, Arctic Sea Ice, Variability, and Climate Models: Kay studies cloud processes, polar climate, recent and projected Arctic sea ice loss, and evaluation and improvement of climate models. In this video she briefly explains how climate models work and the important role … [Read more...]

Interested in a Research Experience at RMBL this Summer?

Want to spend a summer doing ecology research in Crested Butte? Participate in a research project with scientists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, a historic mining town just up the road from Crested Butte. RMBL is seeking K-12 teachers for a summer 2016 Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program funded by the National Science Foundation. Teachers will work on research topics such as pollination, changing climate, and high-altitude ecosystems. To learn more, email Ian Billick. … [Read more...]