News | Research

INSTAAR research is featured in thousands of news stories and more than 10,000 social media posts per year. Outlets include the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio, and as well as more regional news outlets like High Country News, 9News, and the Denver Post. Selected highlights are listed below. Additional stories are noted @INSTAAR on Twitter.

On a calm sunny day, a large polar bear jumps from one sea ice floe to another

The Arctic could become ‘ice-free’ within a decade (CU Boulder Today)

March 5, 2024

The Arctic could see summer days with practically no sea ice as early as the next couple of years, according to a new study led by Alexandra Jahn. The findings suggest that the first ice-free day in the Arctic could occur over 10 years earlier than previous projections.

A researcher's hand gently clasps a mountain chickadee fledgling by its feet.

Students may learn ecology (and much else) in the wild (Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine)

Feb. 29, 2024

CU Boulder’s Mountain Research Station is offering six field courses this summer, giving students the opportunity to study a wide range of disciplines in nature

On a fall day, Lauren Magliozzi, in knit hat and overalls, holds up large drawings of common diatoms of Coal Creek in Colorado

New research on wildfire contaminants in water (CBC's Daybreak South with Chris Walker)

Feb. 20, 2024

In a podcast with CBC/Radio-Canada, grad student Lauren Magliozzi (CEAE/INSTAAR) speaks with host Chris Walker about her new paper on fires in the wildland-urban interface and how they jeopardize aquatic ecosystems and water resources. Listen to their 9-minute segment.

Climbers in a dense line walk up a slope on Mt Everest. Up to 60,000 tourists visit the National Park each year.

Mount Everest is turning into the world's highest garbage dump (Daily Mail)

Feb. 19, 2024

Alton Byers is quoted in this article on the problem of waste left behind on Mount Everest and the surrounding Sagamartha National Park in Nepal.

An iceberg in the Southern Ocean. Photo by Cara Nissen.

Colorado Matters: Feb. 7, 2024: Climate change and ocean acidity (CPR)

Feb. 13, 2024

Research by Cara Nissen and Nikki Lovenduski, on how climate change is changing the acidity of the Antarctic Ocean, is part of the Colorado Matters podcast.

An iceberg floats in the acifying waters of the Southern Ocean. Photo by Cara Nissen.

The Antarctic Ocean plays a critical role in regulating the world’s climate. Warming temps are throwing it off balance (CPR News)

Feb. 9, 2024

The acidity of the Antarctic, or Southern, Ocean could double by the end of the century, finds a study led by INSTAAR Cara Nissen. This could have detrimental effects on the icy ecosystem’s smallest inhabitants, like plankton and krill, that are the base of the food web in the ocean.

Chico State students John Machado and Sean Berriman collect samples from within the immediate disaster zone of the Camp Fire. Photo by Sandrine Matiasek.

Research in the aftermath of the Camp Fire reveals the threat of wildfires on water quality (Chico State)

Feb. 8, 2024

A groundbreaking multi-year research initiative launched at Chico State in the aftermath of the Camp Fire examined the presence of contaminants, including metals, in nearby watersheds. Joined by researchers from CU Boulder and the USGS, the research, recently published in the prestigious Journal of Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, sheds light on the alarming impact of wildfires on stormwater runoff.

Ice floats at the surface of a cold ocean. The camera is half-submerged, showing both above and under water.

Acidic waters around Antarctica could spell doom for marine life (9News)

Feb. 2, 2024

Nikki Lovenduski is featured in this two-minute video, discussing how the Antarctic Ocean could become too acidic for many animals to survive by the end of the century without drastic measures to curb emissions from fossil fuels. She references a recent publication led by Cara Nissen and including herself and Cassandra Brooks as well as three colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute.

Tim Higgins hikes across a rope bridge in the rainforest in Nyungwe National Park after the conclusion of the conference.

Aiken Fellowship report – Tim Higgins

Feb. 1, 2024

Tim Higgins, a PhD candidate in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, is investigating the impacts of climate change on atmospheric rivers and extreme precipitation events that affect the western United States. With his fellowship funds, Higgins traveled to the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Open Science Conference in Kigali, Rwanda to present his research.

An iceberg, eroded with arches and cracks, floats in the Southern Ocean.

Acidity of Antarctic waters could double by century’s end, threatening biodiversity (CU Boulder Today)

Jan. 10, 2024

The acidity of Antarctica’s coastal waters could double by the end of the century, threatening plankton and all marine life that inhabits the Southern Ocean, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. Cara Nissen is first author of the study. Coauthors include additional INSTAARs Nikki Lovenduski and Cassandra Brooks as well as three colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute.