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Climate: UK study eyes links between global warming, extreme flooding

An extratropical cyclone

An extratropical cyclone spread heavy rain across the UK in February 2014. Visit this NASA website for more.

More coastal damage likely as rising seas fuel storm surges

Staff Report

FRISCO —British scientists aren’t quite ready to say that last winter’s record flooding is linked with human-caused global warming, but in a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, they warned that more coastal flooding is likely as sea level rises. Continue reading

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Biodiversity: Endangered species protection sought for dwindling monarch butterflies

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Can monarch butterflies be saved?

Pesticides, habitat loss and GMO crops seen as main threats

Staff Report

FRISCO —As monarch butterfly populations dwindle to unprecedented low levels, activists say the colorful and far-ranging insects need protection of the Endangered Species Act to survive. In a formal listing petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a coalition of advocacy groups say the widespread use of pesticides and genetically modified crops are the biggest threats to the butterflies. Continue reading

Sunshine Cafe Supper Club: Global warming in the Rockies

ss2b&wflowers3Special Sept. 12 dinner at Sunshine Cafe supports local environmental journalism with a presentation on global warming in the Rockies

By Bob Berwyn

 FRISCO — We are following up on our grassroots fundraising campaign with a Sept. 12 dinner event at the Sunshine Cafe (6 p.m., 250 Summit Place shopping center, Silverthorne, CO)  that you don’t want to miss. First of all, the Sunshine Cafe — under new ownership — rarely opens for dinner, so it’s a chance for you to sample the great cooking that makes this a longtime favorite eatery for locals and visitors.

Proceeds from the dinner and a silent auction will benefit Summit Voice and the Beacon Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger environmental journalism project, which takes an in-depth look at how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains. The suggested donation for tickets is $50 per person for the dinner with a cash bar for beverages.

You can reserve dinner tickets via PayPal, contact bberwyn@comcast.net or call (970) 331-5996.

We’re still in the middle of the reporting project but we’ll give a presentation covering alpine tundra research at Rocky Mountain National Park, and the growing impacts of Southwest dust storms that are tainting the high country snowpack. We also plan to have a special guest speaker talk about climate change and public lands.

We’ll also be asking what kind of local environmental stories you’d like to see covered right here in Summit County. If we reach our fundraising target from the dinner, we’ll dedicate a month to in-depth reporting right here at home.

Check out some of the early stories from the Climate Ranger project at their home on Beacon Reader.

Good environmental journalism isn’t free. I’ve dedicated years to tracking environmental issues in Summit County and the Rocky Mountains and with your support, I’ll continue to bring you new insights into important stories via Summit Voice and other platforms. Please consider buying tickets to our special dinner or just making a direct donation in support of unbiased, independent environmental journalism.

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Food: Fierce battle expected over Colorado GMO labeling ballot initiative

The best breakfast was this plate of biscuits and gravy at the pet-friendly Fountain Inn motel in Newcastle, Wyoming.

What’s in your food?

National consumer advocacy group joins fray

Staff Report

FRISCO — Coloradans this November will have a chance to decide whether they want to know if their food includes genetically manipulated foods via a ballot initiative (Proposition 105) that would require GMO labeling. Continue reading

Study: All kinds of nasty stuff in the water

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The water may not always be as pure as it looks.

USGS takes close look at landfill water pollution

Staff Report

FRISCO — Water quality experts with the U.S. Geological Survey say chemicals from pharmaceuticals and personal-care products are widespread in water that has passed through landfill waste.

The researchers collected samples from water that has passed through landfills, — known as leachates — from 19 sites across the country as part of a national assessment, analyzing the water for 202 chemicals across a wide range of uses, including pharmaceuticals, hygiene products, home-use chemicals, pesticides and plastics. Of those 202 chemicals, 129 were found. Continue reading

Morning photo: Mountain magic

Find it!

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Dusk light in the Meadow Creek wetlands. The light was quite murky and the color images were tinged with scattered blue UV rays, but treating it in B&W helped make them more crisp.

FRISCO — An iPhone set, all images processed in-camera, shows the incredible range of light conditions that can be captured if you’re in the right place at the right time. My favorite shot in this set is the sandstone tower in Glenwood Canyon (third image) which I took standing up through the sunroof of the #climaterangers truck while stuck in traffic on I-70, but the shaft of light in the second image is a close second. Continue reading

Study pinpoints threats to loggerhead sea turtles in Gulf

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Proposed critical habitat designations could help protect dwindling loggerhead sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.

Findings may help protect dwindling population

Staff Report

FRISCO — The beleaguered population of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico feeds in areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and where they are threatened by other human activities.

The feeding areas for 10 turtles overlapped with an area that experienced surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These sites, and others, also overlapped with areas trawled by commercial fishing operations and used for oil and gas extraction, U.S. Geological Survey scientists said after tracking 59 nesting females. That could be about 15 percent of the entire breeding females in the Northern Gulf of Mexico—a small and declining subpopulation of loggerheads that is federally classified as threatened. Continue reading

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