Colorado firefighters speak out on climate change

Short documentary film explores links between global warming and growing wildfire danger

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado firefighters who have battled some of the state’s biggest blazes are speaking up about the risks of climate change in a new short documentary film that premiers in Denver this week.

The film links the increase in the number and intensity of Colorado wildfires with climate change. The 7 p.m. showing at the Sie FilmCenter (2510 East Colfax Ave.) is open to the public. Free tickets can be reserved at

The screening is presented by The Story Group and Working Films.

In the movie, Rod Moraga, a fire behavior analyst with 26 years of experience, recounts directing firefighting efforts at the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire when he realized his own house was threatened. Continue reading

Conservation groups challenge Utah coal mining plan


Coal mining in Utah’s Carbon County. Photo courtesy Utah Division of State History.

Activists say feds are making reckless decisions with regard to carbon pollution

Staff Report

FRISCO — King Coal’s robes may be fraying at the edges, but that news hasn’t yet reached federal agencies, which continues to make decisions that are in conflict with the Obama administration’s stated intention of reducing heat-trapping pollution.

In Utah, the federal government recently proposed auctioning leases for millions of tons of coal that will drive CO2 pollution to even higher levels. The coal leases beneath national forest lands in central Utah have been challenged by conservation groups under a formal objection process and could also face a lawsuit. Continue reading

Study: Global warming slowdown just a ‘distraction’



‘Greenhouse gases will eventually overwhelm this natural fluctuation’

Staff Report

FRISCO — The rate of global warming may fluctuate from year to year, and even on a decadal scale, but in the long run, Earth is still on course to heat up to dangerous levels, Australian researchers said in a new study.

By the end of this century, the planet will have warmed by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut drastically during the next few years. Continue reading

Climate: World’s highest mountain areas warming swiftly

North Tenmile Creek trail, Frisco Colorado

Global warming will have profound impacts on mountain ecosystems, @bberwyn photo.

Scientists say there’s an urgent need for more widespread data collection and observations from high elevations

Staff Report

FRISCO — After one of the mildest winters on record in the Colorado high country, it may come as no surprise to hear that the world’s highest mountains may be warming much faster than than the global average — and faster than previously thought.

Most of all, an international team of scientists said this week that more monitoring and observations of mountain temperature patterns are needed to assess the high-elevation changes.

Absent that data, there’s a risk of underestimating  looming environmental challenges, including water shortages and the possible extinction of some alpine flora and fauna, the scientists reported in their new study. Continue reading

Can massive plankton blooms speed global warming?


Biological feedback loop may accelerate global warming.

‘The increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Scientists already know that melting sea ice in the Arctic is speeding up global warming in the region because darker-colored water absorbs more heat than reflective ice.

But a new study says there’s another factor to consider. Increasing amounts of open water for longer periods of time means there’s more plankton, and that may amplify Arctic warming by another 20 percent. Continue reading

Hey, Colorado – how about a climate challenge?


Got climate?

Paonia event focuses on solutions for western Colorado

Staff Report

FRISCO — Everybody is talking about climate change, but that palaver doesn’t always translate into action. Not so in Paonia, though, where community and climate activists will gather May 1-3 for the Western Colorado Climate Challenge & Solar Fair.

The three-day event features exhibits, presentations, and hands-on breakout sessions aimed at resolving Colorado’s climate crisis. Click this link for the full schedule. The Climate Colorado event site is here and you can also stay in touch with the event on Facebook. Continue reading

‘Earth League’ scientists call for moral leadership on climate

‘The window of opportunity is closing fast …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — Some of the world’s leading scientists say it’s time to get serious and take bold action now to ensure completion of an effective climate treaty this year.

Banding together as the Earth League, the scientists released a statement spelling out what’s needed to give the world a good chance of avoiding dangerous climate change. The first essential element is a commitment to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, which requires transition to a zero-carbon society by mid-century.

“The window of opportunity is closing fast. We are on a trajectory that will leave our world irrevocably changed, far exceeding the 2 degrees Celsius mark,” said Johan Rockström, Chair of the Earth League, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and board member of the Global Challenges Foundation. Continue reading


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