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Using drones to study glaciers

Understanding the nature of glacial changes has become increasingly important as anthropogenic climate change alters their pace and extent. A new study shows how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, can be used to do this in a relatively cheap, safe and accurate way. The study represents the first time a drone has been used to study a high-altitude tropical Andean glacier, offering insight into melt rates and glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) hazards in Peru.

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Long-term fate of tropical forests may not be so dire

Tropical rainforests are often described as the “lungs of the earth,” able to essentially inhale carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exhale oxygen in return. The faster they grow, the more they mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide. This role has made them a hot research topic, as scientists question what will happen to this vital carbon sink long-term as temperatures rise and rainfall increases. Conventional wisdom has held that forest growth will dramatically slow with high levels of rainfall. But CU Boulder researchers this month turned that assumption on its head with an unprecedented review of data from 150 forests that concluded just the opposite.

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New era of western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems, says CU Boulder study

Current wildfire policy can’t adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons climate change is causing, according to a new paper led by CU Boulder. Efforts to extinguish every blaze and reduce the buildup of dead wood and forest undergrowth are becoming increasingly inadequate on their own. Instead, the authors—a team of wildfire experts—urge policymakers and communities to embrace policy reform that will promote adaptation to increasing wildfire and warming.

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The mountains are calling and we must act

On John Muir's birthday, biogeochemist Eve-Lyn Hinckley reminds us of his legacy: the knowledge that our public lands are not commodities to be bought and sold. They feed our souls, bond our families, and open our hearts. We must commit to taking the long view and protect public lands, open and free.

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CU Boulder study: Federally-funded labs and institutions have $2.6 billion annual impact in Colorado

Federally funded science is a $2.6 billion driver for the Colorado economy, supporting 17,600 generally well-paying jobs and generating spinoffs and tech transfer.

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Last remnant of North American ice sheet on track to vanish

The last piece of the ice sheet that once blanketed much of North America is doomed to disappear in the next several centuries, says a new study by researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and the University of Colorado Boulder.

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