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

Fires, Flooding, Heat Waves, and Drought...What Does It All Mean? November 30th at 7:00pm

Join us to explore the link between extreme weather and climate change. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have brought national attention to the link between extreme weather events and climate change. Wildfires across the west have also made national news and made the local air quality potentially dangerous for a week this past September. Has climate change actually contributed to these events? Are they becoming more frequent? Heat waves, droughts, cold snaps, and floods - Erika Schreiber will talk about the mechanisms through which these events can be influenced by climate change and what we can expect to see in the future.

Erika Schreiber received her bachelor's degree in Science of Earth Systems from Cornell University in 2012 and her Master's in Geography from the University of Delaware in 2015. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography at CU Boulder, conducting research at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Her research focuses on the influence of storms on Arctic sea ice. She is working to understand the intricacies of this relationship and examine how it may be changing with climate change.


Past Climate Change talks

Fracking on the Front Range - August 10th 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."

Colorado's Changing Heartbeat - July 28th at 8:00pm

The progression of the seasons throughout the year defines the heartbeat of the planet. Organisms have evolved to take advantage of its regular pulse: plants flower and snow melts with the beginning of spring, insects emerge when their host plants begin to bloom, and birds and fish lay their eggs to hatch when insects first become available to feed their young. We rely on the predictability for planning our farming cycles, recreational seasons, and combating pests and disease. This heartbeat, known as phenology, drives the internal clocks and rhythms that make the entire food chain thrive.

What can we expect if that heartbeat begins to shift, moves faster or slower, or skips a beat? Join Tasha Snow in exploring the seasons and the role they play in forming the environment we know and enjoy in Colorado. As the climate shifts, inevitably the regular heartbeat we have grown accustomed to in our own backyard, changes. We will delve into how these changes have already begun to reshape Colorado life and what we might expect for the future.

Climate Change in our Cities - June 23rd 8pm

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 air pollution to heat waves, Erika Schreiber will help us examine how our populations are vulnerable to these changes now and into the future.

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

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.

Fracking on the Front Range - April 27th 7pm

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.

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

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. Dr. Bob Anderson, from the Department of Geological Sciences and INSTAAR 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.