Posted on September 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
So turns the celestial wheel
Balanced perfectly, picking out bugs and sipping raindrops – a perfect way to welcome fall!
FRISCO — It’s been feeling like fall for several weeks in Summit County, with a few dustings of snow already on the high peaks and the annual procession of colors in local forests. But today is the real deal, folks. The autumnal equinox marks the first “official” day of fall and it means soon we’ll be enjoying crisp days, frost on the ground, and, hopefully, snow. On this rainy morning, a flock of small birds decided to hang out in the aspens around our house, busily hopping amongst the branches, finding food and water. It’s pretty amazing how just a small clump of three or four trees can feel like a big forest ecosystem when you look close up. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: autumn, Colorado, Equinox, fall colors, photography, Summit County, warblers | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Some species growing up 70 percent faster than 50 years ago
FRISCO — Some trees are growing up to 70 percent faster than just a half century ago, as global warming supercharges their metabolism, German researchers report in a new study published in Nature Communications.
Three decades ago, forest dieback was a hot topic, with the very survival of large forest ecosystems seemingly in doubt. But instead of a collapse, the latest studies indicate that forests have actually been growing at a faster rate. The new data from the Technische Universität München comes from forest plots that have been closely monitored since 1870. The forested areas are also representative of the typical climate and environmental conditions found in Central Europe. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, Forest health, forests, global warming | Tagged: beech trees, climate change, global warming, Technische Universität München, tree growth | 5 Comments »
Posted on September 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Alpine country warming faster than global average
A map showing the changing climate suitability for different varieties of grapes suggests how the country’s climate is going to warm in coming decades.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Austria is one of Europe’s climate change hotspots, scientists said last week as they released a comprehensive climate assessment showing that temperatures in the alpine country are climbing much faster than the global average.
“Already by now, Austria has warmed by 2 degrees Celsius in contrast to the rest of the world, with 0.85 degrees Celsius,” said project leader Nebojsa Nakicenovic, deputy director of the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Not surprisingly, the warming has also lead to a big jump in the average temperatures of Austria’s lakes and rivers, which since the 1980s, warmed by 1.5 degrees in summer and 0.7 degrees Celsius in winter, according to the assessment. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: Austria, Austrian Assessment Report, climate change, global warming, IIASA | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 18, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
2014 on track to be one of the warmest years ever
August 2014 was record warm.
FRISCO — Planet Earth was record warm in August 2014, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists said Thursday, explaining that warm oceans continue to drive temperatures around the world to the highest levels seen since observations started more than 100 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: August 2014 global temperatures, August record warm, climate change, global warming, NOAA | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 18, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — As if knowing that there are a couple of drab months ahead, Colorado’s aspen trees burst into full color this week in a magical transformation that never fails to amaze. In some cases, entire hillsides change over in just a day or two; in other areas, the shift takes a little longer, but the end result is the same. And with relatively calm and sunny weather forecast for the next few days, the show should continue, at least until a big windstorm or the first real snowfall of autumn (at valley elevations) starts to sweep the leaves off the trees. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: aspens, Colorado, fall colors, Summit County photography | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Coral growth is slowing dramatically along parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Will the world’s coral reefs simply dissolve as oceans become more acidic?
FRISCO — Scientists monitoring the Great Barrier Reef said they’ve tracked a “perilous” 40 percent slowdown in coral growth rates since the 1970s.
The trend may be linked with increasing ocean acidification, according to the new study led by researchers with the Carnegie Institution for Science.
The researchers compared current measurements of the growth rate of a section of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with similar measurements taken more than 30 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate change, CO2, coral reefs, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification | 1 Comment »