Will global warming increase salmonella outbreaks?

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Global warming may increase risk of salmonella outbreaks.

Coastal areas at highest risk

Staff Report

FRISCO — Public health researchers at the University of Maryland say a 10-year study shows a clear link between salmonella outbreaks and episodes of extreme heat and precipitation events.

With those conditions expected to increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change, the researchers say their findings can help guide public health strategies.

The study is the first to provide empirical evidence that Salmonella infections related to extreme weather events are disproportionately impacting those living in the coastal areas of Maryland. Continue reading

Climate: Coral reefs taking a big hit this year

A diverse coral reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands. PHOTO BY CAROLINE ROGERS/USGS.

Coral reefs in the Caribbean, like this one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, are at risk of bleaching as global warming heats up the world’s oceans. Photo by Caroline Rogers/USGS.

Warm oceans leading to widespread reef bleaching

Staff Report

FRISCO — Ocean researchers have updated their warnings of potential coral reef bleaching based on unusually warm ocean temperatures across the north Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and western Atlantic oceans this summer.

Scientists with NOAA’s coral reef watch say they expect  bleaching of corals on Northern Hemisphere reefs through October, potentially leading to the death of corals over a wide area and affecting the long-term supply of fish and shellfish.

“The bleaching that started in June 2014 has been really bad for corals in the western Pacific,” said Mark Eakin, NOAA Coral Reef Watch coordinator. “We are worried that bleaching will spread to the western Atlantic and again into Hawaii.” Continue reading

Morning photo: View hunting

Can you feel it?

FRISCO —You don’t have to go far in Summit County to find a good view. Sure, it’s great to get out for a long hike deep into the backcountry, but sometimes all you have to do is pull of the road in the right spot to enjoy the beauty of the Colorado high country. All the images in this set were taken within a quarter mile of local highways and byways, including one image that was taken right alongside Interstate 70 from a scenic overlook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for daily photo updates and visit our online Fine Art America gallery for more Colorado landscape photography.

Losing ground: Coastal erosion seen as big threat in Alaska

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A NASA Earth Observatory image shows part of Alaska’s coast.

New USGS study measures North Slope shoreline losses

Staff Report

FRISCO — In the eternal battle between land and sea, the sea appears to be winning in northern Alaska, where much of the coastline is retreating at a rate of more than three feet per year, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The region has some of the highest shoreline erosion rates in the world, according to the research, which analyzed more than 50 years worth of measurements.

“Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast of Alaska is threatening Native Alaskan villages, sensitive ecosystems, energy and defense related infrastructure, and large tracts of Native Alaskan, State, and Federally managed land,” said Suzette Kimball, acting director of the USGS. Continue reading

NTSB report: Automakers lagging on life-saving collision-avoidance technology

Can new laws help ease I-70 congestion?

Can new laws help ease I-70 congestion?

Lack of incentives, limited public awareness has stunted the wide adoption of collision avoidance technology

Staff Report

FRISCO — Federal safety officials blasted the U.S. auto industry in a new report for failing to make progress on using life-saving collision avoidance systems in new cars.

The National Transportation Safety Board report says rear-end crashes kill about 1,700 people every year and injure half a million more. More than 80 percent of those deaths and injuries might have been mitigated had the vehicles been equipped with a collision avoidance system.

“You don’t pay extra for your seatbelt,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether.” Continue reading

Feds release draft polar bear recovery plan

Polar bears catch a bit of break, as sampling in one area shows a drop in levels of toxic PCBs. PHOTO COURTESY USGS.

Polar bears will have a hard time surviving unless there are big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Photo courtesy USGS.

‘Polar bear conservation requires a global commitment to curb the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — The only thing that will save polar bears in the long run is a big cut in global greenhouse gas emissions, federal biologists said last week as the rolled out a draft recovery plan for the Arctic predators.

Polar bears were the first species to be listed as endangered because of the direct threat of global warming. As Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, bear populations will decline, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Continue reading

Climate: National Parks face huge sea level threats

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Can the National Park Service protect coastal assets from rising sea levels? Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.

Study says $40 billion in park assets at risk

Staff Report

FRISCO — Researchers are only a third of the way through their efforts to catalog how rising sea level threatens national parks, but they’ve already documented risks to more than $40 billion worth of park assets.

“Many coastal parks already deal with threats from sea level rise and from storms that damage roads, bridges, docks, water systems and parking lots,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a prepared statement. “This infrastructure is essential to day-to-day park operations, but the historical and cultural resources such as lighthouses, fortifications and archaeological sites that visitors come to see are also at risk of damage or loss.” Continue reading

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