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Two people push a car through floodwaters

Finding “glocal” solutions to flooding problems (Eos)

Feb. 3, 2021

Scientists call for joint efforts to combine real-time global rainfall data with high-resolution local hydrology to better forecast floods.

Woman using a hose to water a vegetable field, Vietnam

Our place in the food security chain (Eos)

Jan. 27, 2021

Food insecurity is a growing threat in many places around the world. This situation is exacerbated by two events that many geoscientists are tasked to study: natural hazards and our changing climate. The February issue of Eos, organized by Ben Zaitchik and Merritt Turetsky, looks at how geoscientists are using their research to help create resilient communities around the world that can always be sure of food in their pantries.

The Calwood fire burns through grass and trees along a ridge, releasing a large smoke plume

2020 rivals hottest year on record, pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold (Washington Post)

Jan. 15, 2021

The year 2020, which witnessed terrifying blazes from California to Siberia and a record number of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, rivaled and possibly even equaled the hottest year on record, according to multiple scientific announcements Thursday. Experts said that another year as hot as 2016 coming so soon suggests a swift step up the climate escalator. And it implies that a momentous new temperature record - breaching the critical 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold for the first time - could occur as soon as later this decade.

A bearded Bruce Vaughn in a very furry parka and sunglasses

Xmas Special 2020: Studying Climate Change at the North Pole with Bruce Vaughn (Nice to Know podcast)

Dec. 22, 2020

Climate change - we all know that it's happening, but how do we actually know this scientifically? Bruce Vaughn studies glaciers up at the North Pole, looking at ice cores to study how our climate has changed over the Earth's history. We talk about how this is done, and also how we are now entering uncharted territory of atmospheric CO2, warming, and what we as a species can do about it.

Cassandra Brooks

Marine protection falls short of the 2020 target to safeguard 10% of the world’s oceans. A UN treaty and lessons from Antarctica could help (The Conversation)

Dec. 13, 2020

These international waters, known as the high seas, harbor a plethora of natural resources and millions of unique marine species. But they are being damaged irretrievably. Research shows unsustainable fisheries are one of the greatest threats to marine biodiversity in the high seas.

Photo of Katharine Suding

8 CU Boulder faculty members become distinguished professors (CU Boulder Today)

Dec. 10, 2020

With approval in November by the University of Colorado Board of Regents, the University of Colorado has introduced 12 newly designated distinguished professors, eight of whom are affiliated with the CU Boulder campus. INSTAAR researcher Katie Suding is among their number.

Photo of Mette Bendixen

Mette Bendixen receives the AGU Science for Solutions Award

Nov. 11, 2020

The American Geophysical Union has announced that INSTAAR postdoctoral scholar Mette Bendixen is the recipient of their 2020 Science for Solutions Award. The award follows Bendixen’s out-of-the-box work on an overlooked global challenge: the scarcity of sand resources.

Steep mountains climb out of a glacial lake in the Kangchenjunga region in eastern Nepal

A new Cold War in the Himalaya: Asia’s water tower as a climate and geopolitical hotspot (Nepali Times)

Nov. 6, 2020

Updates from last week's virtual conference, "The Himalayas: Geopolitics and Ecology of Melting Mountains," that brought together academics and researchers from around the world, including INSTAAR Alton Byers.

A satellite view of the Yukon River watershed in Alaska

Arctic communities planning for abrupt permafrost thaw

Oct. 21, 2020

A new INSTAAR-led project will engage Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to better understand abrupt permafrost change in Alaska. The National Science Foundation selected the project as part of its Navigating the New Arctic funding area, one of ten “Big Ideas” that NSF is investing in as an area of profound national challenge and opportunity. The research project brings Alaskan communities together with social and natural scientists to examine changes in permafrost thaw lake environments, including associated effects on villages in the Yukon River watershed.

Scottish bog with highland mountains, clouds, and rain

For the love of peat (99 Percent Invisible)

Oct. 13, 2020

Trees versus peat as carbon sequesters: an example from Scotland. Listen to the 40 minute podcast episode.

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