Snow in the Upper Colorado River Basin provides water for seven states. Farmers, factories, and families alike depend on this water, and a considerable amount of effort goes into understanding and forecasting how much melt is going to come from the snowpack, and when.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
A sudden loss in the number of trees around you may slightly increase your chances for death. That's what a study from the US Forest Service published earlier this year suggests. Scientists found that areas with mass-tree deaths from beetle infestations had increased numbers of cardiovascular and lower-respiratory related deaths.
Elena Kagan, Eric Lander, Robert McDuffie, Anna Deavere Smith, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Katie Couric, Dick Costolo, Jeffrey Rosen, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, James Fallows, Beth A. Brooke, Eric Cantor, Ramesh Ponnuru
The Aspen Ideas Fest kicked off its second day of heady talks and colloquia on Thursday. Attendees and speakers from all over gathered to discuss the most pressing issues of culture, media, and foreign policy facing us here on earth. But others were turning their backs, literally, on our planet to get a different viewpoint. Science reporter Ellis Robinson explains.