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Home / Articles / Boulderganic / Eco-Briefs /  eco-briefs
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Thursday, June 19,2014

eco-briefs

BIKE TO WORK DAY IS JUNE 25TH 

June is Boulder’s Walk and Bike Month, a celebration of Boulder’s bicycling and pedestrian culture. Bike to Work Day, the main event of the month, takes place Wednesday, June 25th. Bike to Work Day was started in 1977 and is now in its 38th year.

The event consists of approximately 50 breakfast stations around the city, according to the Bike to Work Day website, serving free food and drinks to participants.

Some locations will also have mechanics on-site to provide light tune-ups for bikers.

The breakfast stations will be open from 6:30 to 9 a.m.

Organizers expect 7,000 riders and pedestrians will participate in this years’ event, according to a press release.

Boulder B-cycle will be hosting a caravan ride, starting at their offices at 3601 Arapahoe Ave., #D179 at 7 a.m. and ending at 13th and Spruce at 9 a.m.

Participants in this ride who use B-cycle bicycles will have their usage fees waived. Boulder B-cycle has also waived the 24-hour access free for bicycles through out the day.

The event is coordinated by Community Cycles, a nonprofit that educates and advocates for the safe use of bicycles as an affordable, viable and sustainable means of transportation and personal enjoyment.

Walk & Bike Month is also sponsored by GO Boulder, a segment of the city transportation department focused on reducing single car usage.

— Steven Kreimendahl

MAJOR WEST ANTARCTIC GLACIER MELTING FROM BELOW 

The Thwaites Glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting away from sides, and if it fully melts, that could cause an increase of global sea levels between one and two meters.

A recent study from the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin reveals that geothermal heat is melting the glacier from below. This heat under the glacier might be a key factor in the ice sheet’s ability to slide, which impacts the glacier’s stability as a whole.

The geothermal heat is thought to be caused by the movement of magma and volcanic activity along a rift in the Earth’s crust under the glacier.

The study also found that the release of heat is different in different locations, something always assumed to be uniformed, changing all current computer models of the glacier melt.

“It’s the most complex thermal environment you might imagine,” co-author Don Blankenship, a senior research scientist at UTIG, said in a press release. “And then you plop the most critical dynamically unstable ice sheet on planet Earth in the middle of this thing, and then you try to model it. It’s virtually impossible.”

Being able to model the way the glacier melts is important, according to the study, to more accurately predict the glacier’s response to a warming ocean.

The glacier, the size of the Florida and up to 4,000 meters thick, is one of the major unknowns of projected global sea level rise.

— Steven Kreimendahl

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