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CU-Boulder faculty member elected 2009 American Geophysical Union fellow

University of Colorado at Boulder geological sciences Professor Gifford Miller has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, an international organization made up of about 45,000 member scientists from more than 130 countries. Miller, also a fellow of CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, was honored "for his pioneering work in dating methods as well as his insights into the Quaternary climates and the role of humans in ecological change." The Quaternary period--the last 2.6 million years--includes the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs.

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Global statistics of “mountain” and “alpine” research

Christian Körner uses the Web of Science database to explore the countries and institutions contributing most to scientific research about mountains and alpine environments. The University of Colorado ranks fourth on the list of institutions contributing scientific research; it is the only U.S. university in the top 20.

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New CU-Boulder computer cluster to aid in earth-modeling research

A new University of Colorado at Boulder-based supercomputer will vastly extend the ability of scientists across the globe in modeling and predicting many important aspects of Earth's surface processes, from glacial melting and flooding to coastal erosion and tropical ocean storms. The $750,000 cluster will support the National Science Foundation-funded Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, or CSDMS, a library of computational tools used by scientists worldwide to model and predict natural and human-influenced environmental events. The new computer cluster, funded largely by CU-Boulder, the U.S. Geological Survey and Silicon Graphics of Sunnyvale, Calif., is now the single largest computing facility on campus.

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Arctic heats up more than other places

Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future. As a result, glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea-ice retreat, coastal erosion and sea level rise can be expected to continue. A new comprehensive scientific synthesis of past Arctic climates demonstrates for the first time the pervasive nature of Arctic climate amplification.

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Curbing invasive plant species challenging in face of environmental change, says CU prof

Managing invasive plant species on the Great Plains has become more challenging in recent years in the face of human-caused environmental change, including the positive responses of invaders to altered atmospheric chemistry and longer growing seasons, says a University of Colorado at Boulder professor. According to Professor Timothy Seastedt of CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department, a warmer and longer growing season, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and nitrogen deposition on the Great Plains amplify the ability of weedy species to compete with native plants.

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Warming climate signals big changes for ski areas, says new Colorado study

INSTAAR fellow Mark Williams and Brian Lazar of Stratus Consulting warn that Rocky Mountain ski areas face dramatic changes this century as the climate warms, including best-case scenarios of shortened ski seasons and higher snowlines and worst-case scenarios of bare base areas and winter rains.

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