Shadow of earths belt in venus

Celestial phenomena: STEVE, Belt of Venus, Earth's shadow and the Milky Way

Nov. 30, 2020

With dry air and clear skies, people in the west have much greater opportunity to enjoy the light shows at dawn and dusk and celestial phenomena. Following are comments and details, each starting with a question about mechanisms.

Flames approach houses during the Blue Ridge Fire on Oct. 27, 2020 in Chino Hills, California.

We’ll see more fire seasons like 2020 - here’s a strategy for managing our nation’s flammable landscapes

Nov. 12, 2020

New sources ranging from satellites to government records to social media are providing a wealth of opportunities to learn more about wildfire behavior and how it threatens people and affects ecosystems.

East Troublesome fire

Record heat and extreme drought produced our worst fire season

Nov. 11, 2020

Boulder residents were acutely aware of the wildfires, for they had been breathing smoke since the Pine Gulch fire started near Grand Junction on July 31. But the proximity of the CalWood Fire and the sight of roiling smoke rising and forming pyrocumulus clouds at the northern edge of Boulder brought the terrible threat home.

Arctic sea ice levels have been falling for several decades. GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Where’s the sea ice? 3 reasons the Arctic freeze is unseasonably late and why it matters

Oct. 28, 2020

With the setting of the sun and the onset of polar darkness, the Arctic Ocean would normally be crusted with sea ice along the Siberian coast by now. But this year, the water is still open. I’ve watched the region’s transformations since the 1980s as an Arctic climate scientist and,...

Common ringlet spots

The common ringlet's lessons on species boundaries

Oct. 28, 2020

A minimum of 21 subspecies have been described, usually geographically separated but sometimes with geographic ranges sharing a border Butterflies flitted among flowers beside South Boulder Creek, in Boulder's greenbelt near the town of Marshall. Common ringlets, Coenonympha tullia , had caught my attention, and I was stalking one, trying...

Remote church service

COVID-19 has shone a light on the millennia-old balance between public and private worship

Oct. 23, 2020

As religious services went online to protect congregants from the coronavirus, a paradox emerged: Worshipers were connected via the internet to a potentially wide community, but it felt like a more private affair.

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Humans threaten the Antarctic Peninsula’s fragile ecosystem. A marine protected area is long overdue

Oct. 19, 2020

Protecting the peninsula is the most pressing priority due to rising threats Antarctica, the world’s last true wilderness , has been protected by an international treaty for the last 60 years. But the same isn’t true for most of the ocean surrounding it. Just 5% of the Southern Ocean is...

Prickly Poppy Paid

Prickly poppies attract pollinators while deterring herbivores

Oct. 13, 2020

Prickly poppies are distinguished from other species in the genus Argemone by the lack of spines on the upper sides of leaves Prickly poppies, Argemone polyanthemos , were abundant and in full bloom along the Degge Trail in the greenbelt north Boulder. I enjoyed examining the blooms to see the...

Houses, allegedly destroyed by shelling, in Ganja, Nagorno Karabakh. Aziz Karimov/EPA

Nagorno-Karabakh: what do residents of the contested territory want for their future?

Oct. 12, 2020

War and forced displacement has returned with vengeance to Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is engulfed in the flames of war. Half of its population has fled, while the remaining families cower in basements as artillery and drones destroy their houses and cultural institutions. A ceasefire on October 10, agreed after ten hours...

Two people sitting in an auditorium

If you are exhausted, you are not alone

Oct. 7, 2020

My fellow Buffs, we will get through this together. You must be exhausted. I am, and I would like to pause to reflect on how these are times that try our patience, our good humor, and to quote Thomas Paine, our souls. James W.C. White The pandemic constrains daily life...