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Thursday, June 19,2014

Eco vehicles difficult to integrate

Wait ten years to see signs of zero-emissions vehicle market saturation

By Scott Fromberg
Despite the City of Boulder’s ongoing efforts to install charging stations, zero-emissions vehicles still have a long way to go to catch up with their gas-fueled competitors on the highway of American automobiles. But last year, the Electric Drive Transportation Association reported a 330 percent sales increase in zero-emissions vehicles. Though that’s a boom, we’re still looking at a decade before zero-emissions vehicles make up a significant portion of the cars on the road.
Thursday, June 12,2014

Climate change or global warming?

New Yale study finds that which term we use makes big difference in how we gauge the threat and what actions we take.

By Steven Kreimendahl
More Americans say the term “global warming” is bad news than take that view when the term “climate change” is used instead, according to a recent study from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications.
Thursday, June 5,2014

Will El Nino bring more flooding misery?

Historic climate records suggest a wet summer for Boulder

By Bob Berwyn
Meeting with colder air, the entire mass is nudged into a counter-clockwise swirl, recognizable as a near-spiral cloud band, or a comma-shaped plug, moving toward the west coast of North America in cyclical undulations.
Thursday, May 29,2014

Can the state water plan bridge the gap?

Front Range, West Slope still miles apart on vision for Colorado’s water future

By Bob Berwyn
When Colorado’s earth cracked open in the great drought of 2002, it may have also cracked open a new corner of consciousness about the finite nature of the state’s water supplies.
Thursday, May 22,2014

Round-the-clock solar power arrives

Engineering allows the power of the Sun to keep electricity turbines running both night and day.

The Gemasolar plant near the Spanish city of Seville, built by Torresol Energy, can store enough heat to operate for 18 hours at full capacity without any additional power from the sun. For many Gemasol Solar’s plant produces solar energy in cloudy weather and after sundown.
Thursday, May 22,2014

Poor air quality and health problems could become the summertime norm throughout the US

Scientists predict a 70 percent rise in ground-level ozone — unless action is taken to cut emissions

By Tim Radford
Gabriele Pfister, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmosphere Research (NCAR), and research colleagues report in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres that Americans face a rise of 70 percent in summertime ozone levels by 2050.
Thursday, May 15,2014

Lynx are back in Colorado, but still facing threats

Critical habitat designation still pending as conservation advocates push for more protection

By Bob Berwyn
Like many Colorado skiers, the state’s native lynx must also have enjoyed this past winter. Cruising along on their huge, tufted paws, the wild cats come into their own when the snow piles up soft and deep in high country spruce and fir forests.
Thursday, May 8,2014

Toxic trout for dinner?

Study finds widespread mercury contamination in national parks around the West

By Bob Berwyn
Mercury levels in some fish exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health thresholds for potential impacts to fish, birds and humans, according to National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey scientists. The study sites spanned 21 national parks in 10 western states, including Alaska, including samples from 1,400 fish.
Thursday, May 1,2014

With mud season’s arrival comes questions about mudslides

Researchers work to collect data, provide predictions despite unprecedented conditions

By Christi Turner
Geologists and emergency managers are working to improve our ability to predict and prepare for future mudslides in the Front Range region — an increasingly visible issue after September’s historic flooding led to roughly 1,000 mudslides — but there’s still a long way to go in that area of natural disaster prediction and planning.
Thursday, April 24,2014

Rainbow trout making big comeback in Colorado

New strain of fish resists deadly parasitic disease

By Bob Berwyn
Initial reports from biologists suggested that whirling disease might not be a problem for wild rainbow trout populations, so the Colorado Division of Wildlife continued stocking infected trout for four or five years after they first discovered the disease. By the time they realized their mistake, it was too late. By the early 1990s, rainbow populations had simply collapsed, disappearing entirely from some rivers and lakes, with only a few remnant populations holding on.
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