CIRES

Forecasting and explaining bad air days in Utah’s oil and gas fields

January 16, 2015

To accurately forecast wintertime bad air days in Utah’s Uintah Basin, researchers must use real atmospheric measurements to estimate chemical emissions from nearby oil and natural gas fields, a new study in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics has found. When a team of researchers, including those from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fed an air quality model with emissions estimated instead from national and state inventories, they couldn’t reproduce those bad air days “We can accurately simulate these events,” says Stuart McKeen, a CIRES scientist working at NOAA’s Earth... Read more »

New DOE grant involving CU-Boulder aimed at improving wind forecasting

January 12, 2015

A new $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to a coalition of organizations including the University of Colorado Boulder will be used to help improve wind energy forecasting in mountain and valley regions. The grant is led by Vaisala, an international company based in Finland with offices in Louisville, Colorado, that specializes in environmental and industrial measurements. The new research will be targeting ways to improve the wind energy industry’s weather models for short-term wind forecasts. According to CU-Boulder project leader Julie Lundquist, an assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC), better forecasting... Read more »

New study pinpoints major sources of air pollutants from oil and gas operations in Utah

December 30, 2014

Oil and natural gas production fields can emit large amounts of air pollutants that affect climate and air quality—but tackling the issue has been difficult because little is known about what aspects of complex production operations leak what kinds of pollutants, and how much. Now a study led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics sheds light on just that, pinpointing sources of airborne pollutants. CIRES is a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The results have important implications for mitigation strategies... Read more »

Surprising findings in Greenland’s melt dynamics

December 15, 2014

San Francisco, California —A combination of new tools and old photographs are giving scientists a better view of Greenland’s ice, and recent discoveries promise to improve forecasts of the region’s future in a warmer world. Overall, the findings show Greenland's ice is vulnerable to periods of rapid change including vicious cycles of warming promoting further warming. “In the next century, Greenland melt may raise global sea level by one to three feet,” said Mike MacFerrin, a researcher with CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. “As melting increases in Greenland, we’re discovering... Read more »

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

November 26, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal Vaccine. The paper is now available online . In 2013, measles killed 145,700 people, most of them children, according to the World Health Organization . That’s despite the fact that the conventional injectable vaccine against the measles virus is effective. “Delivering vaccines in the conventional way, with needle injections, poses some serious challenges, especially in resource-poor parts of the... Read more »

New study pinpoints major sources of air pollutants from oil and gas operations in Utah

October 24, 2014

Oil and natural gas production fields can emit large amounts of air pollutants that affect climate and air quality—but tackling the issue has been difficult because little is known about what aspects of complex production operations leak what kinds of pollutants, and how much. Now a study led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics sheds light on just that, pinpointing sources of airborne pollutants. CIRES is a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The results have important implications for mitigation strategies... Read more »

CIRES-ATOC Seminar Series Begins August 28

August 27, 2014

Ever wonder what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says? Learn more on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons this fall during a seminar series by IPCC authors and contributors. This fall’s focus is on Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (Working Group I’s contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report). Thursday, Aug. 28, 2 - 3:15 p.m. • CIRES Auditorium (Room 338 CIRES), IPCC Chapter: Policymakers/Technical summaries With Speaker: Jerry Meehl Upcoming and Future Seminars: Tuesdays 2 - 3:15 p.m.• CIRES Auditorium (Room 338 CIRES) Tues, Sept. 2, IPCC Ch. 1: Introduction With Speaker: Linda Mearns Tues, Sept... Read more »

New report highlights how climate change may affect water in Colorado

August 11, 2014

As Colorado’s climate continues to warm, those who manage or use water in the state will likely face significant changes in water supply and demand, according to a new report on state climate change released today by the Western Water Assessment and the Colorado Water Conservation Board . Rising temperatures will tend to reduce the amount of water in many of Colorado’s streams and rivers, melt mountain snowpack earlier in the spring, and increase the water needed by thirsty crops and cities, according to the new report, “Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation,”... Read more »

Drought Parches the West, but Americans Shrug It Off

June 19, 2014

The severe drought parching states in the Southwest and West is undoubtedly causing hardships :The list includes higher prices for food and water, water-use restrictions, blazing wildfires and billions of dollars in lost productivity. But most people seem to be taking it in stride—even within drought states. A recent poll by the Los Angeles Times indicated that only 16 percent of those surveyed in California say it has personally affected them in a measurable way. That's despite the Golden State being in its third year of drought and in a state of emergency since January. Why is there so much... Read more »

Reporters using more ‘hedging’ words in climate change articles, CU-Boulder study finds

June 2, 2014

The amount of “hedging” language—words that suggest room for doubt—used by prominent newspapers in articles about climate change has increased over time, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder. The study, published in the journal Environmental Communication , also found that newspapers in the U.S. use more hedging language in climate stories than their counterparts in Spain. “We were surprised to find newspapers increased their use of hedging language, since the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that humans are contributing to it has substantially strengthened over time,” said Adriana Bailey, a doctoral student... Read more »