Science

Science news

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.

Glenda Greenwald, founder Aspen Brain Forum and Kevin Ward, president of Aspen Strategy Center on the Aspen Brain Lab: Explore your Creative, Healthy, Impaired and Future Brain featuring 15 experts, Saturday August 10 from 8:30am-4:30pm at the Aspen Institute.

www.aspenbrainlab.com

The Water Delivery Man Problem

Aug 6, 2013
Bill Cook / In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman

There is a problem that has vexed mathematicians for the greater part of the past century. Currently, there is no solution, and nobody knows for certain whether or not one exists. But cracking the code would be a huge breakthrough both in theoretical mathematics and practical everyday applications. Ellis Robinson brings the story, starting with a description of the problem from physicist Eddie Farhi.

Study: River Forecasting in Rockies Needs Dusting

Aug 1, 2013
NASA

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.  

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.

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.

What Can Marmots Teach Us About Plastics?

Jul 18, 2013
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.

The Marmots of RMBL

Jul 18, 2013
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.

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.”

Study Gives "Tree of Life" New Meaning

Jul 3, 2013
John Hritz / Flickr (user jhritz)

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.

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