News & Events

Research Theme: Land Surface

News

Season of intense melting in Antarctica offers insights into continent’s future

A 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.

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INSTAAR at AGU: Talks, posters, and sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

INSTAAR 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.

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Sustainable Deltas 2015 launches in Rotterdam

Sustainable Deltas 2015 launches in Rotterdam

A 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.

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CWEST: A new partnership between CU and the USGS pushes collaboration, houses Hydro Sciences program

INSTAAR is pleased to announce the establishment of the Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology (CWEST), which will promote increased collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado–Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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“Wicked problems” to be subject of symposium on coupled human–natural systems

Patrick 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.

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INSTAAR at AGU: Talks, posters, and sessions at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

INSTAAR 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.

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INSTAAR-mentored high school student wins Regional Special Award at Intel Science Fair

INSTAAR-mentored high school student wins Regional Special Award at Intel Science Fair

High school junior Monro Obenauer won a special award from the Colorado Geological Survey at last month's prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Mentored by INSTAAR grad student Stephanie Higgins, Obenauer's research was on eroding islands in Bangladesh.

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New geomorphology textbook gets rave reviews

New geomorphology textbook gets rave reviews

Bob and Suzanne Anderson have just published their textbook Geomorphology: The mechanics and chemistry of landscapes with Cambridge Press. The hefty tome represents a decade of work. Early reviews are glowing.

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INSTAAR-led study of Alaskan coastal retreat wins partnering award

INSTAAR-led study of Alaskan coastal retreat wins partnering award

Bob Anderson, Irina Overeem and Cameron Wobus led a research team that won the 2009 partnering award from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).

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Link discovered between carbon, nitrogen may provide new ways to mitigate pollution problems

Phil Taylor and Alan Townsend have discovered that global ratios of nitrogen and carbon in the environment are inexorably linked, a finding that may lead to new strategies to help mitigate regional problems ranging from contaminated waterways to human health. Their new study focused on the growing worldwide problem of nitrogen pollution.

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Portions of Arctic coastline eroding, no end in sight

Portions of Arctic coastline eroding, no end in sight

Researchers have found that the northern coastline of Alaska midway between Point Barrow and Prudhoe Bay is eroding by 30 to 45 feet a year because of a "triple whammy" of declining sea ice, warming seawater and increased wave activity. The 12-foot-high bluffs topple into the Beaufort Sea during the summer months, where the coastal seawater melts them in a matter of days, sweeping the silty material out to sea.

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World’s river deltas sinking due to human activity

James Syvitski, Albert Kettner, Irina Overeem, Eric Hutton and Mark Hannon, along with colleagues from six other institutions, have shown that most of the world's low-lying river deltas are sinking from human activity, making them increasingly vulnerable to flooding from rivers and ocean storms and putting tens of millions of people at risk.

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New supercomputer for earth modeling research

New supercomputer for earth modeling research

James Syvitski led the effort to install a new supercomputer at INSTAAR that will vastly extend the ability of scientists across the globe to model and predict many important aspects of Earth's surface processes, from glacial melting and flooding to coastal erosion and tropical ocean storms. The new computer cluster is the heart of the NSF-funded Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS).

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Video of Alaska’s eroding Arctic coast

Andy 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.

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Formation of deep fjords simpler than previously thought

Researchers used a numerical model of ice-sheet behavior to discover that a single feedback loop explains a long-standing geomorphic enigma: why do fjords often extend to depths well below sea level and cut deeply into continental edges?

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Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory established

A University of Colorado team led by INSTAAR Suzanne Anderson was awarded funding by the National Science Foundation for a five-year project to establish a Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) in the Boulder Creek Watershed.

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James Syvitski to lead new NSF earth-surface modeling effort

Syvitski 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.

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Anderson, Andrews elected fellows of the American Geophysical Union

Anderson, Andrews elected fellows of the American Geophysical Union

Robert S. Anderson was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union for “fundamental and pioneering contributions in quantitative geomorphology, geochronology, hydrology and glaciology." Fellowship is bestowed on only 0.1% of the total AGU membership of about 35,000 in any given year and recognizes scientists who have attained acknowledged eminence in the geophysical sciences.

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Gifford Miller: Recipient of the 2005 Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award

Gifford Miller received the Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) 2005 annual meeting.

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Wildfire erosion effects will show in reservoirs, ecosystems

At least three reservoirs likely will be contaminated by erosion in areas burned by this season's record wildfires, according to INSTAAR research assistant and graduate student John Gartner.

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Science team studying environmental problems on Alaska’s North Slope

James Syvitski, William Manley, Mark Dyurgerov, and Scott Peckham are participating in an extensive research project "Alaska North Slope Climate Impact Assessment." Led by CU-Boulder's Amanda Lynch, the project is designed to better understand, support and enhance local decision-making processes in the face of climate variability and potential environmental disasters.

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High school student with INSTAAR mentor wins science fair

High school student Evan Burgess won the 2001 Colorado State Science Fair (Senior division) for his study of glacier moraines using a Geographic Information System (GIS).

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In The News

Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising–and worrying–results

Washington Post story on two new studies of Greenland that have used sophisticated technologies to map the full measure of Greenland's rapidly changing ice, sediment, topography, and potential contribution to sea level rise.

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Research to study the future of coastal communities

Researchers from UNCW, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Georgia, The Ohio State University, East Carolina University and the University of Colorado, including Eric Hutton from INSTAAR, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate ways public policies will affect both economic decisions and the coastal environment. The researchers will create and investigate computer modeled coastal communities similar to those found along U.S. East and Gulf Coast barrier islands.

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NSF awards $13 million for research on how humans, environment interact

Although deltas make up just 1 percent of the world's land, they're home to more than half a billion people -- and host both fertile ecosystems and economic hotspots. Scientists have found that deltas are disappearing at an increasing rate, however, affecting humans and other species. INSTAAR scientist Kimberly Rogers studies changing deltas and is one of nine recipients of grants made in 2017 by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) program, which supports research that examines the complex interactions between human and natural systems.

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CU Boulder scientists plan to bring fears of “nuclear winter” into focus

Colorado Public Radio interviews lead scientists Brian Toon and Cheryl Harrison about their new study evaluating the human and environmental impacts of potential nuclear wars.

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CU Boulder researcher seeks to extend understanding of nuclear winter

Brian Toon has explored the impacts of ultimate weapons since 1980s. A new study with CU Boulder and Rutgers University researchers calculates the impacts of potential nuclear war scenarios on humans and the environment using new scientific tools.

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Researchers to study environmental, human impacts of nuclear war

Scientists and students led by CU Boulder and Rutgers University are calculating the environmental and human impacts of a potential nuclear wars using the most sophisticated scientific tools available. Led by CU Boulder Professor Brian Toon and Rutgers Professor Alan Robock, the study includes work by Nikki Lovenduski and students on how the oceanic food chain might change in response to the climatic disruption and enhanced ultraviolet radiation from nuclear explosions.

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Events

CWEST Distinguished Seminar: Effects of changing climate on structure & function of northern forest

Wednesday, October 25th at 11:00am

SEEC Sievers Room (S228), 4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder CO

Monday Seminar: High resolution DEMs/imagery

Monday, November 6th at 12:00pm

SEEC room S228 (Sievers room)

View all INSTAAR Land Surface science and research >