Science

Science
12:16 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Geoengineering: The Technological Fix to Climate Change?

Schematic showing the major geoengineering strategies in the scientific literature. Among those discussed in this piece are aerosols in the stratosphere and iron fertilization of the oceans.
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.

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Science
7:53 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Earth #Photobombed Saturn Last Time. Today, it's a #Selfie.

Earth-moon system as photographed by NASA spacecraft Cassini. "The Day Earth Smiled" was taken from approximately 900 million miles away on July 19, 2013.
Cassini space-probe / NASA

A billion miles from the Roaring Fork Valley, there’s a satellite orbiting Saturn. This afternoon, from that planet’s shadow, the NASA space probe will take a historic photograph of Earth.  It’s the first time people down here will know exactly when the earth is going to get its picture taken... and they can look up at the cosmos and smile. Ellis Robinson has the story.

  UPDATE (July 22, 9:01 AM): The Friday July 19, 2013 photograph of the earth and our moon, taken by Cassini, was released this past weekend.

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Science
8:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

What Can Marmots Teach Us About Plastics?

A yellow-bellied marmot.
Credit John Breitsch / flickr user - breitschbirding

At the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Gothic, just over the Maroon Bells from Aspen, a number of long-term field studies are pumping out reams of scientific data. In part two of our report on the laboratory, science reporter Ellis Robinson looked at a study on marmots that raises questions about the abundance of plastics in human society.

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Science
8:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

The Marmots of RMBL

Marmot scientist and UCLA Ph.D. student Adrianna Maldonado Chaparro sets up marmot traps in "marmot meadow."
Credit Ellis Robinson, Aspen Public Radio

A colony of small mammals lives high above Crested Butte, just on the other side of West Maroon Pass from Aspen.  And, for more than fifty years, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory there has been watching the daily lives of these yellow-bellied marmots.  It’s one of the longest running animal studies in the world.  Our science reporter Ellis Robinson spent several days hanging out with the marmots and the “marmot-teers” who study them.  In the first of two reports, Ellis explores what data the researchers are collecting.

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Science
1:14 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Wildfires Contribute More to Atmospheric Warming, New Study Shows

Scanning electron microscope images revealing soot (bottom left) and tarball particles (top left, bottom right) collected from 2011 Las Conchas fire.
Credit LANL (China, S, Mazzoleni, C, Gorkowski, K, Aiken, AC, Dubey, MK; Nature Communications, 2013)

As the country recovers from the worst wildland firefighting accident in years, there’s more attention on fire crews and the homes they’re trying to protect. But an often invisible result of wildfire can have a big effect on human health and climate... even after the flames die down. Science correspondent Ellis Robinson takes a look at the effects of wildfire smoke on air quality. And that means understanding something called a “tarball.”

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