Climate Change in our Backyard

Droughts, extreme storms, rising temperatures, melting of glaciers, and sea level rise. Colorado and the Rocky Mountains are not immune to these global changes. Join us as we explore these changes affecting Colorado and the rest of the West.

CU Boulder students are admitted FREE to our regularly scheduled "Climate Change in our Backyard" shows with valid Buff card. Call 303.492.5002 for more information.


Upcoming Climate Change talks

Is it Weather, Climate Change, or Both? - May 19th 7:00pmThunderstorm

Has global warming changed our weather here in USA? The question is intriguing, but the answer is both complicated and nuanced.  We can't attribute every hot day or every big storm to climate change, but as the world warms, some weather events (like heavy rain) will become more likely, while others (like cold snaps) will become less common.  Scientists at CU Boulder and elsewhere are currently investigating how climate change might impact droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, and hurricanes in the USA. Join Dr. Alex Crawford as he provides an overview of where the science currently stands, and where we still have much learn.

Climate Change in our Cities - June 23rd 8:00pm Climate Change in our Backyard

Climate change is perhaps most visible at our planet's poles and alpine regions where snow and ice are melting, but how is it affecting our population centers? We'll take look at climate records in Boulder and in other cities across the country and talk about what changes are expected in the future. From sea level rise to growing mosquito populations and inland flooding to heat waves, Erika Schreiber will help us examine how our populations are vulnerable to these changes now and into the future.


Past Climate Change talks

Fracking on the Front Range - April 27th 7:00pm

Boulder County's first oil well was drilled and produced in 1901. In the Boulder Oil Field, the McKenzie Well operated from 1902 to 2005, becoming one of the longest operated commercial oil and gas wells in the nation. The first use of timed explosives in oil wells to enhance production, which led to the modern version of fracking, were developed in the Boulder Oil field in the 1920's. Now Boulder County's oil and gas moratorium has come to an end and fracking will return in 2017.

Western, industrialized civilization has been reliant on fossil fuels like oil and natural gas for the past century, but at what costs? Where does the fossil fuels below the Front Range come from and how is it accessed? What is hydraulic fracturing, and what risks could it pose to the water, soil, and air resources of the state? What are the prospects of Colorado's energy future? We'll be hoping to answer these questions and more with data from academic, government, and industry researchers in "Fracking the Front Range."


Is it Weather, Climate Change, or Both? - May 19th 7:00pm

Has global warming changed our weather here in USA? The question is intriguing, but the answer is both complicated and nuanced.  We can't attribute every hot day or every big storm to climate change, but as the world warms, some weather events (like heavy rain) will become more likely, while others (like cold snaps) will become less common.  Scientists at CU Boulder and elsewhere are currently investigating how climate change might impact droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, and hurricanes in the USA. Join Dr. Alex Crawford as he provides an overview of where the science currently stands, and where we still have much learn.


Ice in Colorado's Mountains - November 18th 7:00pm

By: Dr. Bob Anderson (Department of Geological Sciences and INSTAAR)

Only twenty thousand years ago, Colorado’s mountains sported glaciers up to tens of miles long that ornamented its alpine valleys. These large glaciers met their demise as the climate warmed, but smaller glaciers have come and gone more recently. Today Colorado’s mountains are dotted with a few very small glaciers, but also by hundreds of ice bodies called rock glaciers that are more difficult to recognize, but still very important.

We will discuss the history of climate that drives the glaciers, how they work, and the consequences to the landscape.  Alpine valleys have been carved by the repeated glaciation of our mountains and the sediment produced by glacial erosion has been strewn about by the rivers that drain the mountains.