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Study: Global warming likely to help invasive species gain the upper hand in wetlands

Colorado wetlands

 Meadow Creek wetlands, Frisco, Colorado.

‘Death by a thousand cuts’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Invasive wetlands species are likely to get a boost from climate change, resulting in long-term threats to key native ecosystems, according to new research from Duke University.

“Changing surface-water temperatures, rainfall patterns and river flows will likely give Japanese knotweed, hydrilla, honeysuckle, privet and other noxious invasive species an edge over less adaptable native species,” said Neal E. Flanagan, visiting assistant professor at the Duke Wetland Center, who led the research. Continue reading

Mixed reviews for Lima climate agreement

Climate activists concerned about global equity

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Can the world find a path toward big greenhouse gas cuts?

Staff Report

FRISCO — The results of the COP 20 climate talks in Lima are getting mixed reviews, with some agreement that the session represents a small step forward toward a binding global agreement to try and limit global warming by making big cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

But there’s much more work to be done before finalizing a treaty in Paris next year, according to the Climate Action Network, which said the Lima talks don’t reflect the “growing public support for the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies nor the urgency to accelerate this transition.”

The text of the “Lima Call for Climate Action is online here.

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Morning photo: Sunday set

Flashback …

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A slice of skyline along the shore of Dillon Reservoir in Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — I figured that, before winter really gets rolling would be a good time to clean up the photo archives, which meant going back through the autumn months and trying to keep the number of images to a somewhat manageable size. Plus, looking back at the images of the most recent season is a good reality check for the weather. Our day-to-day memory can play tricks, but photos don’t lie. We enjoyed a spectacular autumn in the Colorado high country, with just a bit of early snow, but generally mild weather through September and especially in late October, when a few weeks with temps running 10 to 15 degrees above normal made many people wonder if winter would ever show up. Continue reading

Grumbling over climate equity as COP 20 closes

Place-holder deal doesn’t satisfy climate activists

Staff Report

FRISCO — Delegates to the Peru climate talks may be working late, but the deal they’re trying to seal may not be enough to help poorer countries adapt and prepare for global warming impacts. Continue reading

Can El Niño save California from the drought?

Last week’s Pacific storm dropped near-record rain

The video was created by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Staff Report

FRISCO — A weekend storm rolling into Colorado won’t have a direct pineapple connection, but if the powder does pile up, it will be due to a big stream of moisture from the subtropical Pacific ocean that is wrapped into the approaching weather front.

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described in a press release, the ‘Pineapple Express’’ happens when warm air and lots of moisture are transported from the Central Pacific, near Hawaii, to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The above animation of satellite imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite showed the stream of clouds associated with that moisture from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, 2014 and brought rain and snow to the western U.S. Continue reading

Research eyes global warming-extreme weather links

Attribution studies still somewhat sketchy

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Does global warming cause extreme weather?

Staff Report

FRISCO — A Stanford University climate researcher says that better modeling, advanced statistical analyses and a more robust set of observational climate data will help scientists under stand whether global warming is leading to more extreme weather events like floods, droughts and heat waves.

Such events appear to happening more frequently around the world, but  because high-quality weather records go back only about 100 years, most scientists have been reluctant to say if global warming affected particular extreme events. Continue reading

Can some Caribbean corals survive global warming?

Coral and other marine resources in the Florida Keys are at risk from an approaching oil plume.

Some corals are less sensitive to ocean acidification than others, according to a new study. Photo via NOAA.

Study say soft Gorgonian coral species can still calcify under elevated CO2 levels

Staff Report

FRISCO — Not all corals are equal when it comes to withstanding the ravages of global warming.

Some Caribbean soft corals, known as gorgonians, may be able to calcify and grow under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Those corals may be more resilient to the ocean acidification levels projected by the end of the 21st century than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Coral Reef. Continue reading

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