Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:53 pm
Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state's first ever water plan Wednesday. The goal of the plan - a decade in the making - is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.
"Water is too important for bickering and potential failure. It demands collaborations," said James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which drafted the proposal. "This plan sets the stage for us to take the necessary next steps."
Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:43 am
Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up. That's what happened to Pam Vieira, who lives south of Modesto, Calif. Her water well has slowed to a trickle, and you can see the sand in the tank of her toilet.
"Sometimes we have brown water," Vieira says. "Sometimes we have no water."
Vieira is one of as many as 2 million rural California residents who rely on private domestic wells for drinking water.
Some of those people are among the hardest hit by the state's severe drought, as wells across the state's Central Valley farm belt start to go dry.
Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 4:32 pm
It's not everyday that a world famous climate scientist gets himself arrested in front of the White House. But that's exactly what happened to James Hansen in 2011 as part of a protest against the Keystone Pipeline.
In the 1980s it was Hansen's highly respected work that helped people realize that the climate change we humans were driving was real â€” and really dangerous.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:52 pm
Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" â€” a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.
Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:33 am
People in Maryland love their Baltimore orioles â€” so much so that their Major League Baseball team bears the name of the migrating bird. Yet, by 2080, there may not be any orioles left in Maryland. They migrate each year and, according to a new report, could soon be forced to nest well north of the Mid-Atlantic state.
Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 5:29 pm
The northern arm of the Rocky Mountains is sometimes called "the crown of the continent," and its jewels are glaciers and snowfields that irrigate large parts of North America during spring thaw.
But the region is getting warmer, even faster than the rest of the world. Scientists now say warming is scrambling the complex relationship between water and nature and could threaten some species with extinction as well as bring hardship to ranchers and farmers already suffering from prolonged drought.
In the future, the forests surrounding Aspen will look different. Already, mountain shrubs are replacing some Aspen stands and changing the complexion of the area, likely due to due a warming climate.
Neighboring Pitkin County is now tracking these shifts on open space properties.Â Two local non-profit organizations are helping. The new data is thanks to a pair of towers thatâ€™s tracking things like soil moisture and temperature.
In the wake of the historic Front Range Floods, many climate experts and researchers admit that while theyâ€™ve known of the potential for dangerous flooding in the Boulder area for some time now, hardly anybody couldâ€™ve predicted such a large-scale disaster.
We decided to look into what the floods might tell us about the future of massive storms, and whether the events of last week might change our definitions of "rare" weather events.
Last week, users on the Almanac reported seeing the summer's first sunflowers. One user was surprised to see the flowers were blooming already.Â
University of Maryland Biology Professor David Inouye says the early blooming season probably has to do with the warmer weather as of late. Inouye spends his summers studying flowers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte. His current project involves looking at how the timing of flowering and abundance of flowering at changing.Â
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May 2013 was the third-warmest May on record for the planet, and the earth's temperature has been above its 20th century average for 339 straight months - more than 28 years.Â
Hugh Carson has been fighting fires for more than 40 years, and although heâ€™s retired now, he was in the thick of things last year when he coordinated aircraft to battle the High Park Fire near Fort Collins. Over the years, heâ€™s seen some changes.