March 12th, 2019Marine microorganisms in the Southern Ocean may find themselves in a deadly vise grip by century’s end as ocean acidification creates a shallower horizon for life, new INSTAAR-led research finds. The modeling study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, forecasts that at current carbon dioxide emission rates, the depth at which some shelled organisms can survive will shrink from an average of 1,000 meters today to just 83 meters by the year 2100, a drastic reduction in viable habitat. The steep drop, which could happen suddenly over a period as short as one year in localized areas, could impact marine food webs significantly and lead to cascading changes across ocean ecosystems, including disruptions of vital global fisheries.
January 29th, 2019INSTAAR fellow Timothy Seastedt has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Chase Faculty Community Service Award. The award is sponsored by an endowment from the Chase Corporation through the CU Foundation, and given to a full-time CU System faculty member who, in addition to university responsibilities, has provided exceptional educational, humanitarian, civic or other service in the community pro bono.
January 25th, 2019Glacial retreat in the Canadian Arctic has uncovered landscapes that haven’t been ice-free in more than 40,000 years, and the region may be experiencing its warmest century in 115,000 years, new INSTAAR-led research finds. The study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, uses radiocarbon dating to determine the ages of plants collected at the edges of 30 ice caps on Baffin Island, west of Greenland.
September 17th, 2018Act on Climate, a new addition to the University of Colorado Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment Community (SEEC) website, makes it easy to step through the most effective personal actions you can take on climate.
May 1st, 2018A new study led by INSTAAR postdoc Lineke Woelders has found dramatic shifts in the ecosystem of a remote archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in response to recent climate change. The study was published May 1, 2018 in the open-access journal Scientific Reports, doi 10.1038/s41598-018-25148-7.
February 12th, 2018The Dartmouth Flood Observatory has been providing interactive flood maps for natural disaster responders and planners for 20 years. The DFO is developing new ways of combining satellite imagery and geographic information systems to help identify areas prone to flooding in a changing climate.
October 16th, 2017A new study has measured the sediment carried by Greenland’s rivers to the ocean, with implications for marine ecosystems, carbon in the ocean, and dynamics of the coastal zone. Led by INSTAAR researchers and published today in Nature Geoscience, the study is the first to quantify in detail the concentrations of sediment in rivers flowing from Greenland to the sea.
February 21st, 2017Last Month, Michael Gooseff, Principal Investigator for the McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER and his team had the opportunity to host TV personality Anthony Bourdain of CNN’s Parts Unknown. Boudain, most famous for his exotic culinary exploits, sat down with Gooseff and his team to share a pizza in one of the most remote places on earth - Antarctica.
January 26th, 2017Photographer Kerry Koepping is an INSTAAR affiliate and project director of the Arctic Arts Project, an initiative to document environmental and cultural change in the periarctic region over three years.
January 17th, 2017As part of the new year, we took a look at the most talked-about INSTAAR papers in recent months. An Altmetric search showed the top 10 papers with INSTAAR authors that have figured most prominently in the news and in social media conversations.
October 13th, 2016A single season of intense melting that affected Antarctica between 2001 and 2002 offers new insights into the southernmost continent's ecological future and the potential impact of climate change worldwide, according to observations collected in a series of papers and published in the journal BioScience.
August 13th, 2016Thunderstorms are powerful things: their churning circulation can stir gases from the lower atmosphere into the upper atmosphere and even the lower stratosphere. They can also scrub gases out of the air by dissolving them in raindrops, a process known as scavenging. In a new study, INSTAAR scientists in collaboration with other scientists at CU and NCAR found that scavenging is not nearly as effective as previously believed for some soluble and highly reactive trace gases, a result that may change our views of atmospheric chemistry in a warming climate.
April 8th, 2016A look at the complex climate-related tradeoffs of coal-fired electricity vs. natural gas.
March 4th, 2016A new study pinpoints higher than reported emissions of carbon tetrachloride, an ozone-depleting chemical banned for uses that result in it escaping to the atmosphere.
November 2nd, 2015By the 2050s, parts of the Arctic Ocean once covered by sea ice much of the year will see at least 60 days a year of open water, according to a new modeling study led by Katy Barnhart of INSTAAR. Barnhart and her colleagues, including CIRES Fellow Jennifer Kay and INSTAAR Fellow Irina Overeem, set out to investigate the very local impacts of open water expansion patterns in the Arctic. Their work is published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. The researchers used climate model simulations from the National Center for Atmospheric Research-based Community Earth System Model to see how the number of open water, or sea-ice-free, days change from 1850 to 2100 in our planet’s northernmost ocean. They also wanted to understand when open water conditions in specific locations would be completely different from preindustrial conditions.
October 5th, 2015The event Performance, Art and Music for a Resilient Boulder brought together two hundred citizens, students, scientists, and faculty to see creative works in which Boulder youth shared their visions for a resilient community.
January 28th, 2015A unique partnership between Mekelle University, Ethiopia, and the Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), CU-Boulder, is fostering climate leaders in Africa. Mekelle University’s Institute for Climate and Society (ICS) opens multidisciplinary skills in climate change adaptation and resilience to graduate students from Ethiopia and elsewhere in the region.
December 15th, 2014INSTAAR faculty and graduate students will share new research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, 15 to 19 December. They will present new research on abrupt climate change, air quality and fracking, polar climate change, atmospheric chemistry, flood impacts, forests and snow, plants and soils, and past climates.
December 1st, 2014Ecohydrologist Holly Barnard and Matt Findley had a side project: could they build a research-grade field instrument from hobbyist-grade microcontrollers? After some tinkering and testing, PARduino meant the answer was yes.
November 13th, 2014A study involving two INSTAAR researchers takes a new view of glaciers and ice sheets as self-organized critical systems, which may explain why a slight climate change can mean the difference between relatively stable ice and the complete collapse of entire ice shelves.
September 25th, 2014A unique initiative, Sustainable Deltas 2015 (SD2015), launched today at the Deltas in Times of Climate Change II International Conference in Rotterdam. The aim of the initiative is to focus attention and research on the value and vulnerability of deltas worldwide, and enhance international and regional cooperation among scientists, policymakers and other stakeholders.
May 5th, 2014Patrick Bourgeron and Jelena Vukomanovic will convene a special symposium on “wicked problems” in coupled human and natural systems at the 2014 US-IALE Annual Symposium in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 21.
April 4th, 2014Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, of the INSTAAR program Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), is leading a project to introduce the cultivation of apple trees irrigated by water-filled, buried clay pots to the mountainous, dry region of Atebes, a village of 4000 people in northern Ethiopia. Over the last 30 years, land degradation and climate change have exacerbated existing constraints of drought, soil erosion, deforestation, poor food supply consisting entirely of cereal grains, and lack of access to water. The goal of the clay pot project is to improve the resiliency of the community to climate-related hazards through demonstration and capacity building. So far, the project has led not only to the cultivation of high-value fruits and vegetables, but to erosion control and improved water supplies.
March 3rd, 2014An analysis published Feb. 26 in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that the wastewater produced during the processing of palm oil is a significant source of heat-trapping methane in the atmosphere. But the researchers also present a possible solution: capturing the methane and using it as a renewable energy source.
December 5th, 2013INSTAAR faculty and graduate students will share their research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting (http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/) held in San Francisco, 9 to 13 December. They will present new research on abrupt climate change, atmospheric chemistry, geomorphology, rivers and oceans, forests and snow, plants and soils, past climates, flood monitoring, Antarctic volcanoes, coastal erosion, and emissions from energy production.
December 3rd, 2013Both abrupt changes in the physical climate system and steady changes in climate that can trigger abrupt changes in other physical, biological, and human systems present potential threats to nature and society. Abrupt change is already underway in some systems, and large scientific uncertainties about the likelihood of other abrupt changes highlight the need for further research. However, with recent advances in understanding of the climate system, some potential abrupt changes once thought to be imminent threats are now considered unlikely to occur this century. This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on potential abrupt changes to the ocean, atmosphere, ecosystems, and high latitude areas, and identifies key research and monitoring needs. The report calls for action to develop an abrupt change early warning system to help anticipate future abrupt changes and reduce their impacts.
November 20th, 2013The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a team of scientists, including INSTAAR director James White, with the most recent Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award for their work on atmospheric methane.
August 21st, 2013Meet the people behind the science—and art—resulting from INSTAAR research, featured in two recent EARTH Magazine interviews.
August 16th, 2013Meet two undergraduate students working in the alpine environment of the Mountain Research Station, where topics studied range from plant and animal ecology to hydrology and atmospheric science. The undergraduate experience at the station provides students with hands-on training in advanced research techniques at what is widely regarded as the best known site in the world specializing in alpine environmental science.
July 31st, 2013A new study involving Giff Miller, Jim White, and former students and postdocs suggests that an ice-free Arctic Ocean may have amped up temperatures during the Pliocene Epoch. Year-round ice-free conditions across the Arctic Ocean could explain why the Earth was substantially warmer during the Pliocene Epoch than it is today, despite similar concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to the research published online in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
May 16th, 2013While 99 percent of Earth’s land ice is locked up in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the remaining ice in the world’s glaciers contributed just as much to sea rise as the two ice sheets combined from 2003 to 2009, says a new study led by Clark University and involving INSTAAR Fellow Tad Pfeffer.
January 24th, 2013New results from the international NEEM deep ice core drilling project on Greenland, analyzing cores going back in time more than 100,000 years, indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.
October 26th, 2012Chasing Ice, a documentary by director Jeff Orlowski that has won awards at film festivals around the world, is being released nationally in U.S. theaters starting in mid-November. The film follows photographer and INSTAAR affiliate James Balog as he and his team in the Extreme Ice Survey capture stunning time-lapse footage of melting glaciers, despite balky equipment, sideways terrain, terrible weather, and personal injury.
September 10th, 2012A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study that ties forest “greenness” in the western United States to fluctuating year-to-year snowpack indicates mid-elevation mountain ecosystems are most sensitive to rising temperatures and changes in precipitation and snowmelt. Led by CU-Boulder researcher Ernesto Trujillo and Assistant Professor Noah Molotch, the study team identified the threshold where mid-level forests sustained primarily by moisture change to higher-elevation forests sustained primarily by sunlight and temperature. Being able to identify this “tipping point” is important because it is in the mid-level forests--at altitudes from roughly 6,500 to 8,000 feet--where many people live and play in the West and which are associated with increasing wildfires, beetle outbreaks and increased tree mortality.
September 7th, 2012Warmer air temperatures since the 1980s may explain significant increases in zinc and other metal concentrations of ecological concern in a Rocky Mountain watershed, reports a new study led by CU-Boulder and the USGS. Rising concentrations of zinc and other metals in the upper Snake River just west of the Continental Divide near Keystone, Colo., may be the result of falling water tables, melting permafrost and accelerating mineral weathering rates, all driven by warmer air temperatures in the watershed. Researchers observed a fourfold increase in dissolved zinc over the last 30 years during the month of September.
August 29th, 2012Global experts in climate change politics and policy will be in Boulder September 13-15 for the International Conference on Culture, Politics & Climate Change. Participants from over 20 countries will explore intersections between culture, politics and science in an effort to increase understanding of how public policy is (or is not) created to address climate change.
July 31st, 2012In conjunction with the “Discover Earth: A Century of Change” exhibit, Jim White and Mark Williams will lead climate science-focused presentations at the Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Avenue, on Thursday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 16.
April 19th, 2012A team of researchers, led by INSTAAR Fellow Scott Lehman and CIRES Research Associate and NOAA scientist John Miller, has developed a new monitoring system to differentiate natural and man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace gases in the atmosphere, a technique that likely could be used to monitor the effectiveness of measures regulating greenhouse gases.
April 19th, 2012Six papers published this month in the journal BioScience report on ecological changes at 26 research sites, including INSTAAR's Niwot Ridge site, adjacent to the Mountain Research Station west of Boulder. They indicate that ecosystems dependent on seasonal snow and ice are the most sensitive to changes in climate.
February 2nd, 2012Director Jeff Orlowski spent months following photographer James Balog as he struggled with balky equipment, terrible weather, sideways terrain, and personal injury to acquire time-lapse photography of retreating glaciers. The resulting documentary, Chasing Ice, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival January 21. The 75-minute film received standing ovations after each of ten screenings, and Orlowski took home the Excellence in Cinematography Award for Documentary Films.
December 15th, 2011One third of the world's population relies on water from the rivers originating in the high mountain ranges of Asia. USAID has commissioned CU-Boulder researchers to assess snow and glacier contributions to this water supply as part of a comprehensive look at freshwater resources in the area.
December 13th, 2011John Andrews has been elected Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science for 2011. Each year the AAAS Council elects Fellows whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” Andrews, a fellow of INSTAAR and professor emeritus of Geological Sciences, was cited for his leadership and seminal contributions to glacial geology and paleoclimatology in high latitudes for more than 40 years, especially in abrupt climate change and ice sheet dynamics.
December 1st, 2011The Sundance Film Festival announced Wednesday that the film Chasing Ice has been selected for its 2012 slate. The documentary feature, directed by Jeff Orlowski, reveals the work of photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) project. Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, discovers through EIS undeniable evidence of a warming world. Chasing Ice features hauntingly beautiful, multi-year time-lapse videos of vanishing glaciers, while delivering fragile hope to our carbon-powered planet.
June 16th, 2011A $5.9 million grant for alpine ecosystem research will allow INSTAAR to continue for six years its intensive studies of long-term ecological changes in Colorado's high mountains, both natural and human-caused, over decades and centuries. The grant is the largest environmental sciences award in CU-Boulder history.
March 15th, 2011INSTAAR postdoc Vasilii Petrenko was interviewed by Public Radio International (PRI) while helping drill shallow ice cores on the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica. The interview begins with the the eerie pinging sounds created by dropping leftover ice blocks back into a borehole 20 m (70 ft) deep.
January 7th, 2011North Atlantic water flowing into the Arctic Ocean is warmer than it has been in at least 2,000 years, which is likely amplifying global warming in the Arctic, says a new international study involving INSTAAR fellow Tom Marchitto. The team believes that the rapid warming of the Arctic and recent decrease in sea ice extent are tied to the enhanced heat transfer from the North Atlantic Ocean.
December 10th, 2010Caitlin Crouch and Diane McKnight found that rising concentrations of zinc in the Snake River watershed on Colorado's Western Slope may be the result of earlier spring snowmelt. They observed a four-fold increase in dissolved zinc over the last 30 years during September and October, the lowest water flow months. They also noticed that the low flows have become lower - and probably the soil along the stream drier - as air temperatures have risen and snowmelt has begun two to three weeks earlier.
November 10th, 2010A research team led by Tom Marchitto has found evidence supporting an important role for the Sun in regional-scale climate variability. They found that slow variations in solar output have nudged the circulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean toward states resembling El Niño and La Niña.
October 20th, 2010INSTAAR affiliate James Balog is a 2010 recipient of a Heinz Award for his dramatic photography to document the rapid depletion of ancient glaciers around the world associated with global warming. He is acknowledged for his unique techniques and creative ability to capture images for pioneering scientific studies.
July 10th, 2010Bob Anderson, Irina Overeem and Cameron Wobus led a research team that won the 2009 partnering award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).
May 20th, 2010Detlev Helmig, Jacques Hueber, and Brie Van Dam share their stories of working on the Greenland Ice Sheet for a podcast entitled "Of Snow Forts and Frostbite: Learning to Work (and Play) at the Poles."
April 10th, 2010Detlev Helmig led a team from six countries to summarize initial results of a global monitoring network for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although still being built, the global VOC network is already yielding insights into how the complex interactions associated with these organic chemicals influence climate and air quality.
October 19th, 2009A team of researchers discovered that biological and chemical changes occurring at a remote Arctic lake in recent decades are unprecedented over the past 200,000 years and the result of human-caused climate change. Their record of past environments goes back in time 80,000 years before the oldest reliable ice cores from Greenland and captures three interglacial periods, including the Holocene. But changes seen in the sediment cores since about 1950 show that expected natural climate cooling and related changes in the lake environment are being overridden by human activity like greenhouse gas emissions.
September 4th, 2009An international team of scientists have reconstructed past climate in the Arctic over the past 2,000 years in unprecedented detail. The team found that Arctic temperatures have reversed from a long-term cooling trend and are now the warmest they have been in at least 2,000 years, bad news for the world’s coastal cities facing rising seas in the coming decades.
August 26th, 2009A new international research effort on the Greenland ice sheet--with Jim White helping lead the U.S. contribution--set a record for single-season deep ice-core drilling this summer, recovering more than a mile of ice core that is expected to help scientists better assess the risks of abrupt climate change in the future.
July 29th, 2009Jim White is one of several CU-Boulder climate scientists featured in videos and other media for a new website called LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu. The site is designed to engage Colorado citizens in learning about climate and to encourage them to make lifestyle changes.
June 21st, 2009Researchers have produced an exceptionally detailed record of past ice-sheet retreat through a Canadian fjord and, in the process, have provided insight into how present ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica may thin and retreat with continued global warming.
April 23rd, 2009Vasilii Petrenko (INSTAAR postdoc) led a large international team in developing and applying a new technique for analyzing the carbon-14 content of methane in ancient Greenland ice. Their analyses suggest that a spike in the greenhouse gas methane about 11,600 years ago originated from wetlands rather than the ocean floor or from permafrost, a finding that is good news from a global warming standpoint.
March 17th, 2009Gifford Miller was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his "pioneering work in dating methods as well as his insights into Quaternary climates and the role of humans in ecological change." Fellowship is bestowed on no more than 0.1 percent of the total AGU membership of about 45,000 in any given year and recognizes scientists who have attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences.
January 16th, 2009
January 3rd, 2009Tim Seastedt and colleagues have been awarded a $500,000 grant to help reduce invasive plant species in the Boulder region. They will be employing research, modeling and outreach in partnership with Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP). The project will focus on three weed species viewed as threats to the conservation goals of OSMP, including Dalmation toadflax, Canada thistle and cheatgrass.
December 15th, 2008Climate change will lead to substantially shorter ski seasons and less snow on lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains, greatly impacting Colorado's ski industry, INSTAAR scientists find.
September 26th, 2008Andy Revkin has posted a time-lapse video of Alaska’s rapidly eroding Arctic coast by INSTAAR and USGS researchers on his New York Times Dot Earth Blog.
September 25th, 2008The Rockefeller Foundation has given CU-Boulder a $1 million grant to reestablish the Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), directed by Mickey Glantz, to equip scholars and practitioners in developing countries with the knowledge and networks to adapt to climate change.
September 8th, 2008A CU-Boulder team working at 16,400 feet in the Peruvian Andes has discovered how barren soils uncovered by retreating glacier ice can swiftly establish a thriving community of microbes, setting the table for lichens, mosses and alpine plants.
September 4th, 2008Tad Pfeffer and colleagues Joel Harper (U of Montana) and Shad O'Neel (Scripps UCSD, former INSTAAR) have calculated that global sea level rise by the end of this century will be less than six feet.
August 24th, 2008Tad Pfeffer's new book on Alaska's Columbia Glacier represents not only a valuable contribution to the scientific literature, but a history of exploration and a stunningly beautiful photographic record of one of the most studied glaciers on the face of the earth.
August 12th, 2008Jim White, Alan Townsend, and CU colleagues argue for a more formal administrative structure for interdisciplinary environmental education and research at CU-Boulder.
August 12th, 2008Bill Bowman, Diane McKnight, Alan Townsend, and Jim White are participating in "Meeting the Global Energy and Climate Challenge," a series of more than a dozen public lectures and panel discussions focusing on climate change, energy, and the environment.
June 19th, 2008Jim White and Trevor Popp are part of a 17-person international ice-core team who discovered that two huge temperature spikes prior to the close of the last ice age some 11,500 years ago were tied to rapid and fundamental shifts in atmospheric circulation.
January 31st, 2008Tim Seastedt and colleagues investigated ecosystem management studies from the past 12 years in an effort to determine best practices for the future. They propose that biologists and managers focus on making existing ecosystems resilient to further environmental change rather than on attempting to restore them to their original state.
January 30th, 2008Rebecca Anderson, Gifford Miller, Stephen DeVogel, and colleagues have determined that ice caps on the northern plateau of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic are currently smaller than they have been for at least the last 1,600 years, with their extent shrinking by more than 50% since 1958. Even with no additional warming, the ice caps are expected to disappear in 50 years or less.
July 19th, 2007Mark Meier led a team of INSTAAR and Russian scientists who found that Earth's mountain glaciers and small ice caps are contributing more to global sea-level rise than previously anticipated--more than the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets combined.
May 18th, 2007Syvitski will be the executive director of a new NSF initiative, the Community Surface Dynamic Modeling System (CSDMS), which will study how landscapes and seascapes change over time, and how materials like water, sediments and nutrients are transported from one place to another. These studies will allow better predictions about areas at risk to phenomena like deforestation, forest fires, land-use changes and the impacts of climate change.
April 10th, 2007NEON is the largest ecological project ever attempted by the National Science Foundation--the first national ecological measurement and observation system designed both to answer regional- to continental-scale scientific questions and to have the interdisciplinary participation necessary to achieve credible ecological forecasting and prediction.
January 11th, 2007Mark Williams and Brian Lazar presented a study of the potential effects of global warming on Park City to more than 1,000 of the town's 8,500 residents, who crowded into the local auditorium to hear that temperatures are projected to rise 6 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and that the snowpack will likely be substantially reduced by the end of the century.
December 18th, 2006Research by INSTAAR scientists shows that small glaciers and ice caps have been contributing more to rising sea levels in recent years than the large Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.
November 6th, 2006Members of INSTAAR's Atmospheric Resarch Lab have worked with colleagues to obtain the first ship-borne direct measurements of ozone fluxes to the ocean.
June 21st, 2006Cory Cleveland and Alan Townsend have completed a study of tropical forest soils showing that even small changes in nutrients could have a profound impact on the release of CO2.
June 1st, 2006For exceptional scientific research, David Anderson received an award that recognizes excellence in the federal workforce.
March 25th, 2006Gifford Miller was a member of two research teams that combined paleoclimate evidence from the Last Interglacial period with climate and ice sheet modeling to infer that Earth's warming temperatures are on track to melt the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets sooner than previously thought and ultimately lead to a global sea level rise of at least 20 feet.
December 4th, 2005Tad Pfeffer (INSTAAR and CEAE) leads a research group that has documented the rapid tidewater retreat of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska, one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world.
November 5th, 2005Humans have been tinkering with greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere for at least 2,000 years and probably longer, according to a surprising new study of methane trapped in Antarctic ice cores conducted by an international research team.
October 15th, 2005Shelly Sommer created a poster display for the Discovery Science Center, a hands-on science center in Fort Collins, that describes a project, led by Detlev Helmig, to measure ozone fluxes over the oceans.
July 5th, 2005Gifford Miller led an international team to discover that the diet of two flightless birds inhabiting Australia shifted soon after humans arrived ca. 50,000 years ago, coincident with a rapid and dramatic shift in the ecosystem's flora. Their discovery is the best evidence yet that early humans may have altered the continent's interior with fire, changing it from a mosaic of trees, shrubs, and grasses to the desert scrub evident today.
January 25th, 2005Landscape burning by ancient hunters and gatherers may have triggered the failure of the annual Australian Monsoon some 12,000 years ago, resulting in the desertification of the country's interior that is evident today, according to a new study.
January 12th, 2005An intensive University of Colorado at Boulder project charting long-term ecological changes in the high mountains of Colorado will continue for at least six more years as a result of a $4.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
June 1st, 2004INSTAAR graduate student Jocelyn Turnbull spent 8 weeks in Japan working on a carbon cycle research project with the greenhouse gas group at Tohoku University in Sendai.
February 15th, 2004Tim Seastedt, Bill Bowman, Nel Caine, Diane McKnight, Alan Towsend, and Mark Williams (Niwot Ridge LTER PIs) published a key conceptual paper, "The Landscape Continuum: A Model for High-Elevation Ecosystems," in volume 54, no. 2 of Bioscience. Their paper employs a new conceptual model that links terrestrial ecosystems to each other and to aquatic ecosystems.
August 23rd, 2003Vera Markgraf was an invited lecturer at a week-long international summer school concentrating on “Climate Change: Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems.”
August 11th, 2003Researchers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder will receive $1.8 million from NASA to compile an online database of the world's glaciers that combines historical records with measurements from the latest technologies in satellite remote sensing.
January 15th, 2003E. James Dixon recorded an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) in January about the research that he and William Manley are conducting on the archaeological potential of snow and ice.
December 18th, 2002Sarah Spaulding appeared on the Court TV special "Digging for Clues" on December 14, 2002.
November 1st, 2002The Geological Society of America honored John Andrews' tremendous impact on the Quaternary sciences at the annual meeting with two special sessions entitled "Quaternary Sciences from Land to Sea: In Honor of John T. Andrews."
October 30th, 2002The rapid increase of nitrogen falling from the sky as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and crop fertilization, combined with carbon stored in Earth's soils, could change the rate of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, rising into the atmosphere, according to a new study by Alan Townsend and others.
October 2nd, 2002Mark Meier, one of the world's leading glaciologists, has been named the winner of the Goldthwait Polar Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to polar research.
July 24th, 2002Research by David Anderson and colleagues indicates the Asian southwest monsoon, which affects the livelihood of millions of people, appears to have increased in intensity during the last four centuries, perhaps as a result of warming in the Northern Hemisphere.
July 22nd, 2002Mark Meier and Mark Dyurgerov have written a commentary for Science magazine that discusses the contributions of glacier melting in Alaska to global sea level rise.
June 26th, 2002James Dixon, William Manley, and colleagues are generating excitement about the archaeological potential of glaciers and snowfields by using Geographic Information System (GIS) models to predict the locations of well-preserved artifacts exposed by recent melting in Alaska.
In The News
August 14th, 2019Irina Overeem's quote and video illuminate a Rolling Stone story on the record ice melt happening in Greenland this month.
August 12th, 2019The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet, with enormous implications for the future of global climate. This year, CU Boulder researchers will play a leading role in a historic expedition to study one of the Earth’s most remote environments firsthand. The unprecedented Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) will send a German icebreaker into Arctic waters, where it will freeze itself into the winter pack ice to drift for an entire year, allowing around 500 scientists from 17 countries to take detailed measurements of the ice, ocean and air. Heavy aircraft and ships will periodically ferry researchers and supplies to and from the mainland.
August 12th, 2019International authoritative climate report states 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, with several markers such as sea level and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere once again breaking records set just one year prior. INSTAAR scientist Sharon Stammerjohn and NSIDC researcher Ted Scambos co-edited the Antarctic chapter.
August 5th, 2019In an example of local people adapting to the climate crisis with little outside help, the people of Nepal’s Khumbu region are building embankments to protect themselves from increasingly frequent floods coming out of melting glaciers upstream.
July 24th, 2019Climate scientist Joep van Dijk was excited when he received a postdoctoral appointment to the Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research at the University of Colorado Boulder. But the good news also presented a conundrum: Concerned about his personal carbon footprint, he didn’t want to fly from his home in Amsterdam to take up the new job. According to some studies, a round-trip flight from New York to Europe can create a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person, or nearly 16 percent of the average American’s annual carbon output. “I thought, ‘I have three months, let’s see if I can get to Colorado without flying,’” says van Dijk, who specializes in paleo-oceanography and paleoclimatology. He’d soon come up with an ambitious plan: He’d sail across the Atlantic, then bike from his U.S. port of call to Boulder. And that’s just what he did, in 87 days.
July 10th, 2019The forecast for forests in the western U.S. calls for more burnt trees due to increased fire activity and a longer fire season. In addition, droughts stress trees, making them more susceptible to outbreaks of bark beetles and more likely to die. In their death throes, these trees give off chemicals, like ethanol, that are also attractive to some woodboring beetles. More dead trees might seem an obvious boon to woodboring beetles, but research by scientists from The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) and the U.S. Forest Service suggest that the effects of these changing forest conditions on the beetles may not be so straightforward. Their report was published last week in the journal Fire Ecology.
Monday, October 21st at 12:15pm
SEEC room S228 (Sievers Room)
Monday, October 28th at 12:15pm
Monday, January 27th at 12:15pm
SEEC room S228 (Sievers Room)