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Greenhouse gases from food production threaten climate targets

Taking a lunch break during a search for orchids in the Austrian countryside.

Taking a lunch break during a search for orchids in the Austrian countryside.

‘Agricultural practices are not necessarily at fault here – but our choice of food is’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Forget about greenhouse gas pollution from factories and transportation — by 2050 emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from food production alone could exceed targets set to prevent catastrophic global warming, University of Cambridge scientists warn in a new paper.

A major shift in food consumption norms has to be a big part of an overall plan to cut atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping air pollution, especially given the current trend toward meat-heavy Western diets, the authors wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change. Continue reading

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Climate study shows how melting ice is raising sea level around Antarctica

‘The interaction between air, sea and ice in these seas is central to the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and global sea levels’

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A new study tracks global warming impacts around Antarctica. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Global warming is upsetting the delicate balance between Antarctic ice, air and sea, University of Southampton scientists said this week, releasing results of a study showing a rapid rise in sea level around the frozen continent.

Based on an analysis of 19 years worth of satellite data, the researcher said sea level around the coast of Antarctica has climbed 2 centimeters more than the global average, driven almost entirely by an increase in freshwater, which is less dense than saltwater. That can cause localized increases in sea level, said Craig Rye, lead author of the paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Continue reading

Environment: New California fracking report leads to more questions than answers

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A fracking operation in Colorado. bberwyn photo.

Some conclusions flawed by lack of adequate data, environmental advocates say,

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The battle over fracking probably won’t die down until humankind slurps up the last of the planet’s fossil fuel resources, and a new report by a California agency probably will intensify the debate.

The short-term study shows that fracking could threaten California ground water and pose human health risks, but was characterized as incomplete by environmental groups, who said it’s based on just a few months of data with big information gaps resulting from lack of complete reporting by state regulators. Continue reading

Environment: NOAA lists 20 coral species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

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Widespread threats lead to “threatened” listing for 20 coral species under the Endangered Species Act. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Conservation and recovery plans will be crafted in partnership with coastal communities

Staff Report

FRISCO — Twenty types of coral in the Pacific and Caribbean will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, federal officials announced this week, citing declines of up to 90 percent in some species. Continue reading

Sunshine Cafe Supper Club: Learn more about how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

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

 

BUY TICKETS HERE.

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.

 Support Colorado Environmental Reporting!

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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

Climate: Rethinking the Arctic carbon cycle

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Permafrost processes will play a big role in Earth’s climate for decades to comes.

New findings critical to climate calculations

Staff Report

FRISCO — Sunlight is the key factor in the process of converting Arctic permafrost carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide, scientists concluded in a new study that could dramatically change the scientific understanding of the planet’s carbon cycle and the consequences of a permafrost meltdown.

The finding is particularly important because climate change could affect when and how permafrost is thawed, which begins the process of converting the organic carbon into CO2. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and published in the journal Science. Continue reading

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