Environment

Environment
9:55 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Drought Linked to Spruce Beetle Outbreaks in Colorado's Northern Mountains

Forests like this one in Colorado's northern mountains have been hit hard by the Spruce Beetle. Now researchers are finding a link between drought and the beetle outbreaks.
Credit CU Boulder

Large swathes of spruce forests in the Northern Colorado mountains are dying due to the Spruce Beetle. Now, researchers are linking these massive beetle outbreaks to drought. The beetles’ impact on forests has the potential to be more devastating in Colorado than the mountain pine beetle. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Sarah Hart, the lead author of the study. She says her team went over 300 years of drought data.

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Environment
9:53 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Dust in Colorado Helps Solve European Glacier Mystery

Alps, summer 2012.
Peter Holy/University of Michigan

For several years, researcher Tom Painter has been examining what happens when dust gets on snow. At the same time, on a much larger scientific level, there research on European glaciers… and why they started melting in the mid 1800’s.

Tom Painter: “It’s funny on public television I heard somebody talking about the end of the little ice age in the Alps around 1850 and that’s when temperatures started going up. And I was yelling at the television ‘NO! That’s not when temperatures were going up!’ ”

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Front Range Floods
5:11 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

State Climatologist: Heavy Rains Over Multiple Areas at Once is Rare

The rain storms that brought deadly flooding to the Front Range are not normal for this time of year. In mid-September, summer thunderstorms typically give way to clear skies.
Credit Flickr (Creative Commons)/Nurpu

In most years, summertime thunderstorms in Colorado give way to clear skies in mid-September. But, not this year. Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken says one of the unique parts of the torrential rains that flooded the Front Range last week is the pattern. Storms bringing heavy rain simultaneously over multiple places. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with him about the storms.

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Environment
9:59 am
Mon September 9, 2013

More Bumblebees Spotted on Front Range

A western bumblebee.
Credit Stephen Ausmus / US Department of Agriculture

Bees around the world have been having a rough time for several years. Populations are going down, even completely disappearing in some places. Researchers haven’t fully figured out what’s wrong; pesticides are among one of the possible culprits. 

Now some good news from the Front Range about what’s called the Western Bumblebee. More and more are showing up in a multi-year study near Boulder. CU Boulder Professor Carol Kearns says it’s easy to spot them, because they have, well, white “butts,” or part of their abdomen. Kearns talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher.

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Moose
10:09 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Moose Population Healthier Than Ever in Colorado

Colorado's moose population is growing faster than biologists expected. The first transplants of moose into Colorado were in the 1970's.
Credit Anda Rojs Smalls

Unlike other Western states, Colorado’s moose population is growing. It’s healthier than ever with an estimated 2300 moose across the state. While other states are grappling with why their herds are shrinking, Colorado is studying the population’s fast growth. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

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