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Experts see hope despite grim climate projections

INSTAAR and NOAA scientists join panel discussion following Boulder screening of Ice on Fire, an HBO documentary focused on climate solutions.

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In the mountains, climate change is disrupting everything from how water flows to when plants flower

The melting of glaciers and loss of snow has a cascading effect for ecosystems, agriculture and billions of people downstream. Story in Inside Climate News by Bob Berwyn quotes Tsegay Wolde-Georgis and Heidi Steltzer.

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An India-Pakistan nuclear war could kill millions, threaten global starvation

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could, over the span of less than a week, kill 50-125 million people—more than the death toll during all six years of World War II, according to new research. A new study conducted by researchers from CU Boulder and Rutgers University examines how such a hypothetical future conflict would have consequences that could ripple across the globe.

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World’s major deltas threatened by climate change - and also by how we develop hydropower

Our warming planet poses an existential threat to deltas, a reality made clear in the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, released this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC report states with “high confidence” that deltas will face “high to very high risks” in the future from rising sea levels, even under scenarios where the world rapidly reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and minimizes the rise in global temperatures and the subsequent melting of ice sheets and glaciers. But the report also identifies other threats to deltas, including the loss of the sediment needed to replenish them and keep them above the rising seas. This Forbes story links to a paper by Syvitski, et al., about sinking deltas.

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Researchers partner with Native Alaskan, Yukon communities to study climate impacts on rivers, fish

Researchers at CU Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) have been awarded $3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the changing climate and rivers of Alaska and western Canada. Arctic temperatures are warming faster than nearly anywhere on Earth. It is not known how the rapid warming will impact river conditions, ice cover and fish, but the topic carries tremendous significance for native communities impacted by the changes. The researchers will work closely with native communities to examine the possible impacts of climate change on rivers, fisheries and water availability. The five-year project funded through the NSF’s “Navigating the New Arctic” program will result in improved monitoring and computer modeling of present and future river conditions in northern regions.

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Pushing Boundaries: USDA fellowship funds study of Front Range grasslands

Against the backdrop of the Flatirons, graduate student Julie Larson and undergraduate Emily Koke gather information on how the vegetation is responding to rainfall and grazing manipulations on city of Boulder grasslands. Koke is one of six undergraduates assisting Larson with her project this summer. Working closely with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), Larson seeks to understand how to keep rangeland ecosystems working in the face of climate uncertainty.

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