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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.
Thursday, April 3,2014

Where’s the beef (coming from)?

Panelists discuss the world’s increasingly industrialized food supply at Conference on World Affairs

By Caitlin Rockett
The costs of dishing up mechanized meals by the plateful is on the table for some Conference of World Affairs panelists, whose panel on the industrialization of the food supply is expected to cover the human gains and environmental costs of the changes in how we grow our food.
Thursday, April 3,2014

New Colorado wilderness held hostage in partisan congressional gridlock

New conservation PAC aims to tip the balance

By Bob Berwyn
After the budget battles of the last few years, it’s clear that Congress is fiscally dysfunctional, but our elected lawmakers also face challenges including finding the political will to support public land preservation bills, including several proposals in Colorado, where the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act and the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act are all stalled in the fog of partisan gridlock.
Thursday, March 27,2014

Power cut

Could Colorado’s solar industry lose momentum as incentives ratchet down?

By Haley Gray
As the solar industry continues to boom nationally, Colorado could be falling behind. The National Solar Foundation found Colorado’s solar job growth to have stagnated in 2013, while 90 percent of the country saw solar job growth. The organization’s National Solar Job Census, released in February, dropped Colorado by three ranks in terms of solar jobs, though still claiming the respectable rank of nine.