The Slink Fire burning east of Modesto, California, in September 2020. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)

Humans behind almost all fires threatening homes

Sept. 15, 2020

People are starting almost all the wildfires that threaten U.S. homes, according to an innovative new analysis combining housing and wildfire data.

Ash covers rooftops in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.

Volcanic ash may have a bigger impact on the climate than we thought

Sept. 10, 2020

Volcanic ash shuts down air traffic and can sicken people. But a new study suggests it may also be more important for Earth's climate than once thought.

Forest stream

New grant supports interdisciplinary research on ‘the critical zone’ and the future of Western water

Sept. 2, 2020

Three CU Boulder faculty are principal investigators on a new five-year, $6.9 million National Science Foundation grant to study the “critical zone”—from Earth’s bedrock to tree canopy top—in the American West.

Ash and black trunks remain after the Hayman Fire.

Forests scorched by wildfire unlikely to recover, may convert to grasslands

Aug. 25, 2020

A new study of 22 burn areas across 710 square miles found that forests are not recovering from fires as well as they used to, and many regions will be unsuitable for ponderosa pine and Douglas fir in the coming decades.

A panoramic image of the Arctic Sea ice and researchers at night

Into the Polar Night: CU Boulder releases planetarium show about first months of epic expedition

Aug. 19, 2020

Viewers from Baltimore to Berlin can now step out onto an ice floe in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and watch and listen as scientists race the fading light to set up one of the most ambitious international climate collaborations ever, MOSAiC.

Tractor in field

Agriculture replaces fossil fuels as largest human source of sulfur in the environment

Aug. 10, 2020

New research identifies fertilizer and pesticide applications to croplands as the largest source of sulfur in the environment—up to 10 times higher than the peak sulfur load seen in the second half of the 20th century, during the days of acid rain.

A drought-parched landscape

Waning attention to climate change amid pandemic could have lasting effects

Aug. 4, 2020

Attention to climate change has rapidly declined in recent months. That's concerning, say study authors who found that simply directing one's attention to an environmental risk—even briefly and involuntarily—makes people more concerned and willing to take action.

Researchers drilling into Alaskan permafrost

Alaska is getting wetter; that’s bad news for permafrost and the climate

July 31, 2020

Alaska is getting wetter. A new study spells out what that means for the permafrost that underlies about 85 percent of the state, and the consequences for Earth’s global climate.

National Snow and Ice Data Center director Mark Serreze conducted research on the St. Patrick Bay ice caps as a graduate student with the University of Massachusetts in 1982. (Photo credit: Ray Bradley)

Canadian ice caps disappear, confirming 2017 scientific prediction

July 29, 2020

The St. Patrick Bay ice caps on the Hazen Plateau of northeastern Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada, have completely disappeared, according to NASA satellite imagery.

Nares Strait

Increasing Arctic freshwater is driven by climate change

July 29, 2020

New, first-of-its-kind research shows that climate change is driving increasing amounts of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean, which could disrupt ocean currents and affect temperatures in northern Europe.

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