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How do you solve a problem like Everest?

Crowds of amateur climbers, mountains of waste, climate change, and poor regulation make every Everest season a challenge. This Livemint story exploring the topic quotes INSTAAR Alton Byers.

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Ice-free Arctic summers could hinge on small climate warming range

A range of less than one degree Fahrenheit (or half a degree Celsius) of climate warming over the next century could make all the difference when it comes to the probability of future ice-free summers in the Arctic, new CU Boulder research shows. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, show that limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) would reduce the likelihood of an ice-free Arctic summer to 30 percent by the year 2100, whereas warming by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) would make at least one ice-free summer certain.

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Arctic sea ice at 1.5 and 2 °C

In the Paris Agreement, nations committed to a more ambitious climate policy target, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 °C rather than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Climate models now show that achieving the 1.5 °C goal would make a big difference for Arctic sea ice.

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A quest for old, cold mud

Sediments from frigid lakes on Baffin Island tell the story of climate change over the past 10,000 years, as told by PhD student Sarah Crump and photographed by Zach Montes of Orajin Media.

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Engineers compete to detect methane leaks, a powerful climate pollutant

In their CU Boulder lab, research scientists Dirk Richter and Petter Weibring were busy building lasers to detect gasses when Richter heard about a contest being held by the Environmental Defense Fund. The EDF was looking for ways to detect leaks of invisible, odorless methane gas from things like oil and natural gas wells. The two engineers—Richter is originally from Germany and Weibring from Sweden—formed the company Quanta3 to develop their idea.

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Modeling global change ecology in a high-carbon dioxide world

2016 marked a new stage in modern human history: For the first time, the average carbon dioxide (CO2) measurement at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for every month of the year. Atmospheric CO2 levels are expected to continue to rise, altering processes in terrestrial environments that have additional feedbacks with Earth’s climate. Accurately representing these land-atmosphere interactions in Earth system models is critical to producing reliable projections but remains a challenge. Speakers in the closing Ignite-style session at the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting presented current and emerging research priorities for Earth system modeling—sharing how empirical and modeling approaches can improve model representations of terrestrial ecosystems.

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