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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.
Thursday, April 17,2014

Ill winds paint dusty picture for Colorado snowpack

‘Extreme’ dust-on-snow events increasing

By Bob Berwyn
In the past few years, the desert has come to some ski slopes long before those first snowbirds hit the road, in the form of orange desert dust that coats high country peaks with an eerie tint. The dust arrives on strong southwest winds preceding spring snowstorms.
Thursday, April 10,2014

Short film, big message

High school students explore climate change and agriculture in award-winning short film

By Caitlin Rockett
there was more work than time to do it — the students of Damian Tate’s Career Digital Arts program and Heather Riffel’s Urban Agriculture program at Arapahoe Ridge High School had seven weeks, from Jan. 6 to Feb. 21, to make a short film about how climate change affects agriculture.
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