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Impacts of COVID-19 emissions reductions remain murky in the oceans

The COVID-19 pandemic resulting shutdowns resulted in a 9% drop in the greenhouse gas emissions at the root of climate change. Unfortunately, any silver lining from the pandemic remains murky in the oceans. INSTAAR researchers Nicole Lovenduski delved into the data and found no detectable slowing of ocean acidification due to COVID-19 emissions reductions. Even at emissions reductions four times the rate of those in the first half of 2020, the change would be barely noticeable. Lovenduski shared the results Friday, Dec. 11 at the American Geophysical Union 2020 Fall Meeting. The findings will also be submitted to the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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8 CU Boulder faculty members become distinguished professors

With approval in November by the University of Colorado Board of Regents, the University of Colorado has introduced 12 newly designated distinguished professors, eight of whom are affiliated with the CU Boulder campus. INSTAAR researcher Katie Suding is among their number.

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Colorado mountains bouncing back from ‘acid rain’ impacts

A long-term trend of ecological improvement is appearing in the mountains west of Boulder. Researchers from CU Boulder have found that, thanks to vehicle emission regulations, Niwot Ridge is slowly recovering from increased acidity caused by vehicle emissions in Colorado’s Front Range. Their results show that nitric and sulfuric acid levels in the Green Lakes Valley region of Niwot Ridge have generally decreased over the past 30 years, especially since the mid-2000s.

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US methane “hotspot” is snapshot of local pollution

A giant methane cloud caught by satellite in 2014 looming over the U.S. Southwest wasn’t a persistent hotspot, as first thought when it made national news. Instead, the methane cloud was the nightly build-up of polluted air that trapped emissions of the potent greenhouse gas near the ground, according to a new CIRES- and NOAA-led study with INSTAAR participants.

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New research illuminates how glaciers have responded to past climate changes

Current and former INSTAARs Darren Larsen, Sarah Crump, and Aria Blumm analyzed sediment from a glacial lake to learn about glacier fluctuations and climate shifts over the last 10,000 years.

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How trees can track history of supernovas

A 9News interview with Bob Brakenridge, author of a new paper suggesting that supernovas have impacted Earth's atmosphere and climate, leaving traces that can be seen in tree rings.

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