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The Western U.S. might be seeing its last snowy winters

Because of climate change, the snowpack in the Western U.S. is already 20% less than it was in the 1950s, a volume of water that could fill Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country. By the end of the century, most years in the region could be nearly snowless. Keith Musselman is interviewed.

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Warming permafrost puts key Arctic pipelines, roads at “high risk,” study says

In coming decades, the shifting terrain that accompanies the warming of the permafrost caused by climate change will put most human-made structures in the Arctic at risk. Nearly 70 percent of the infrastructure in the Northern Hemisphere's permafrost regions — including at least 120,000 buildings and nearly 25,000 miles of roads — are located in areas with high potential for thaw of near-surface permafrost by 2050, according to new research in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. Quotes Merritt Turetsky: "I am writing a eulogy for the ecosystem that I love. The permafrost has been there for thousands of years in some places, and it will never come back."

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The great Siberian thaw

Permafrost contains microbes, mammoths, and twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. What happens when it starts to thaw? Merritt Turetsky weighs in.

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Climate scientists grapple with wildfire disaster in their backyard

The wind-whipped firestorm that tore through parts of Boulder County, Colorado, on Thursday struck at the heart of one of America's top climate science and meteorology research hubs. Merritt Turetsky is among those interviewed.

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How climate change primed Colorado for a rare December wildfire

The ground, typically moist from snow this time of year, was dry and flammable as a result of unusually warm temperatures and a lack of precipitation in recent months, said experts including INSTAAR snow hydrologist Keith Musselman.

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Why redpolls look different, despite being the same species

Redpolls, an Arctic-dwelling finch that flies south only sporadically, all share a characteristic red marking on their heads. But some redpolls are white with small bills, while others are larger and have whiter bills. Due to these differences, scientists initially thought that there were three different species of redpoll. However, new genetic research led by CU Boulder and including INSTAAR Scott Taylor has found that these apparently different species are in fact the same, but have a “supergene” that controls differences in morphology and plumage color, making them look different.

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