Environment

a firefighter extinguishing a blaze in California

New era of western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems

April 17, 2017

Current wildfire policy can’t adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons, new CU Boulder research has found.Read more »
a river in the Yukon Territory, Canada

Yukon glacier retreat triggers 'river piracy'

April 17, 2017

The retreat of a massive Yukon glacier a mile up its valley has redirected meltwater from one river basin to another in the first modern case of "river piracy," according to a new analysis co-authored by CU Boulder researchers.Read more »
collage of fish tropical fish species

Q&A: Colwell on cracking the biodiversity code

April 12, 2017

Robert Colwell, adjoint curator in entomology at the Museum of Natural History on campus, has a paper published today in Methods in Ecology and Evolution on using novel mathematical approaches to estimate the number of fish species on coral reefs. We caught up with him to discuss his lifelong fascination with the Earth’s biodiversity, and his latest research, which could be applied to any species.Read more »
A bee on a flower

Local efforts appear to be helping bumblebee populations

April 12, 2017

None of the 22 native species of bumblebees in Boulder County showed declines over a recent five-year period, according to a new CU Boulder study. Two species previously believed to be disappearing were present in several locations. "It shows that Boulder County is doing something right," the study authors say.Read more »
an illustration of arctic sea ice cover

Arctic sea ice maximum at record low for third straight year

March 22, 2017

Arctic sea ice was at a record low maximum extent for the third straight year, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA.Read more »
Gifford Miller at Barnes Ice Cap

Last remnant of North American ice sheet on track to vanish

March 20, 2017

A new study on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic shows that the Barnes Ice Cap, the last remnant of the ice sheet that once blanketed much of North America, will disappear in a few hundred years.Read more »
an oil well in Colorado

Older oil and gas wells at higher risk of causing groundwater contamination

March 1, 2017

Older vertical oil and gas wells are more likely to cause groundwater contamination than newer wells, new CU Boulder research shows.Read more »
the Soberanes fire in California

Humans have dramatically increased extent, duration of wildfire season

Feb. 27, 2017

Humans have dramatically increased the spatial and seasonal extent of wildfires across the U.S. in recent decades and ignited more than 840,000 blazes over a 21-year period, according to new University of Colorado Boulder-led research.Read more »
Three research collect data on a snowy Niwot Ridge.

Long-term ecological study to continue at very special site, Niwot Ridge

Feb. 22, 2017

Thanks to a six-year $6.8 million renewal grant, decades-long data collection will continue on Niwot Ridge. It is the only site of its kind on the continent comprising alpine and sub-alpine environments, and CU Boulder researchers sometimes brave harsh weather conditions to get there.Read more »
Collecting spectral reflectance measurements of surface snow with corresponding snow samples in Northern Svalbard

Coal mine dust hastens Arctic snow melt

Feb. 1, 2017

Dust released by an active coal mine in Svalbard, Norway, reduced the spectral reflectance of nearby snow and ice by up to 84 percent, according to new University of Colorado Boulder-led research.Read more »

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