climate change

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.

Valley Roundup 8-23-2013

Aug 23, 2013

Welcome to Valley Roundup for Friday 8-23-2013, a review of the week’s top news stories in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The big news story of this week came in on pedal power to the upper valley.  Year three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge literally shut the place down on Monday afternoon.  By most accounts the race is a positive event…though it remains a tough sell for some.  We also discuss the big number of homes in Aspen that list their owners as corporations.  And, what would a review of the news be if we didn’t mention marijuana?  The retail sale of recreational marijuana is moving forward in fits and starts.

Also today one severe outlook on climate change sees an end to the global ski industry by century’s end.  We’ll talk with Porter Fox and editor at Powder magazine about his new book on climate change and the ski industry.

Climate Change and Conflict and the Media

Aug 9, 2013
Solomon Hsiang, et al / Science, 2013

ROGER ADAMS, HOST: Global temperatures on are the rise, and scientists predict that that will make for more extreme weather events—things like higher temperature spikes, drought, and more intense storms. And a team of researchers has made headlines by quantifying how much increased violence comes from extreme shifts in climate.

Aspen Public Radio’s science reporter Ellis Robinson, joins us on Valley Roundup. Hey Ellis.

ELLIS ROBINSON, REPORTER: Hey Roger.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist will be speaking in Aspen Thursday. M. Sanjayan also contributes environmental reports to CBS News. In Aspen, he will talk about the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen.

M. Sanjayan is the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy. He’s speaking at Peapcke Auditorium Thursday at 6:30pm. The event is being put on by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Kathleen Smith / Lawrence Livermore National Lab

You may have missed it, but last week national headlines read, “the CIA wants to control the weather.”  Those headlines came on the heels of the media learning the CIA was funding a report on geoengineering. It’s an idea that’s akin to a man-made thermostat for the globe.  Aspen Public Radio’s Science Reporter explains what geoengineering is, why you need to know about it, and why the CIA is involved.

Fear and Hope: Climate Change and Policy Solutions

Few people appreciate just how badly our society will suffer under likely climate change. We are on the verge of unleashing runaway changes, wherein nature’s forces accelerate the impacts of humanity’s emissions, and we get cascading, unstoppable change. This is important to understand, for we will leave an earth a far diminished place, with many parts unrecognizable. Avoiding such a fate is possible, but only with rapid, serious actions. Presenting climate dangers at length, and without an antidote, just leaves depression in the wake. An emerging story is positive: There are new technologies growing at an astounding pace that can reverse CO2 emissions trends. Recent developments in Germany, Denmark, and China and several US states show the potential. This story begins darkly, but transitions to a discovery of solutions that can help build a much more useful conversation on climate change.

Hal Harvey, James Fallows

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79604620@N00/11350061

A bill requiring rural electric cooperatives to use more renewable energy sources is

on its way to the State House. Senate Bill 252 narrowly passed the senate earlier this month, over objections by rural republicans and some cooperatives.

 

The legislation would increase the amount of renewables, like wind and solar, coops must use from the current 10 percent standard to 25 percent. If it passed, these electric groups would have to meet that mark by 2020. Lee Boughey of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says that's a difficult target.

Photo by Elise Thatcher

Most residents in the Roaring Fork Valley probably won’t be surprised to hear

there’s more snow in the mountains. Drought conditions are in the area again this year... but while the snow is helping... it’s cold temperatures that are making the biggest difference.

Wendy Ryan is with the Colorado Climate Center. She says the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is at 87% of what’s normal.

"It’s way better than we had been just a few weeks ago, so April has brought us some really good moisture, mainly along the northern tier of the state."

Aspen Skiing Company

Business leaders, including more than a hundred ski resorts, want Washington to do something about climate change. That’s the message signed by business heavyweights like Nike and Starbucks, as well as Aspen Skiing Company and smaller outfits like Monarch Mountain. And it comes after athletes delivered a letter to the White House with a similar theme.

 

 

"Climate change is the biggest economic opportunity, and it’s the right thing to do."

Marci Krivonen

Last month the Obama Administration laid out a plan to help plants and animals deal with the impacts of climate change. Already, polar bears are losing sea ice and waterfowl are flying south weeks later than decades before. The plan lays out strategies on how to help animals survive these changes.

In Aspen, a group of citizen scientists hope to do the same thing. They’re getting trained on how to recognize and record changes to the environment. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is behind the effort. The group hopes to make it easier to track changes.

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