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.
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.
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.
CWEST: A new partnership between CU and the USGS pushes collaboration, houses Hydro Sciences program
June 9th, 2014INSTAAR 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.
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.
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.
April 20th, 2013High 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.
August 10th, 2010Bob 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.
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).
June 5th, 2010Phil 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.
December 1st, 2009Researchers 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.
September 20th, 2009James 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.
February 4th, 2009James 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).
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.
May 15th, 2008Researchers 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?
November 26th, 2007A 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.
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.
February 16th, 2006Robert 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.
November 20th, 2005Gifford Miller received the Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award at the Geological Society of America's (GSA) 2005 annual meeting.
July 15th, 2002At 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.
November 7th, 2001James 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.
June 6th, 2001High 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).
In The News
New era of western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems, says CU Boulder study
April 22nd, 2017Current 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.
April 21st, 2017On 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.
February 22nd, 2017Thanks to a $6.8 million renewal grant to CU Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) from the National Science Foundation (NSF), research at the Niwot Ridge study area – one of NSF’s 25 Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites in North America – will continue for another six years.
November 17th, 2016Robert S. Anderson, whose research interests include the mechanics of landscape evolution, modeling of landform development and glaciology, will deliver his talk, titled “Mountains, Gold and Glaciers,” about how glaciers carved the mountains in the region and produced sediment and gold to the rivers below.
April 26th, 2016“If one wants to see evidence of a higher sea, downtown Miami is a good place,” said Daniel Muhs, a United States Geological Survey geologist who has studied limestone from the Eemian Interglacial Period laid down under a shallow sea that is now an outcropping in downtown Miami. Back then, the sea was 20 to 30 feet higher than it is today. For that reason, what happened during the Eemian has drawn intense interest from geologists and climate scientists who have tried to resolve the period’s central mystery: How could temperatures so similar to today’s cause the sea to rise so high? And what does it mean for our own future in a warming climate caused by the burning of fossil fuels?
April 15th, 2016Around a quarter of the land in the Northern hemisphere remains frozen year round, making up an important part of the cryosphere known as permafrost. Permafrost areas store a huge amount of carbon, around twice as much as currently exists in the atmosphere. As the global climate warms these frozen areas of ground begin to thaw, and the trapped carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and methane – both greenhouse gases. A new study by Jafarov and Schaefer, published last month in The Cryosphere, has improved the way frozen organic carbon is represented and simulated in the computer models. This is a step closer to better understanding permafrost carbon release and the factors that effect it.
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