Morning photo: Medley …

Summit vistas

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A short evening hike on the Ptarmigan Peak Trail, in Silverthorne, Colorado, led to this overlook, with late-evening light painting the rock outcrop and the sky over Guyot and Baldy.

FRISCO — In-between light has always been my favorite and right now, in late April, it’s easy to find because it happens at a convenient time of day. In the morning, I can roll out of bed and scoot down to the edge of the wetlands near our neighborhood to capture images like the sunrise scene below. And evening twilight is right at that perfect post-dinner moment, but not so late that the whole day feels like it’s over when it finally gets dark. So roll on, April, and let’s get to May and some spring wildflowers. Visit our online photo gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County nature and landscape images. Continue reading

Global warming stretches Rocky Mountain wildflower season

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In response to global warming, pasque flowers are blooming earlier in the spring in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. bberwyn photo.

Colorado ecosystems will see profound changes

Staff Report

FRISCO — The Rocky Mountain wildflower season is about one month longer than it was just a few decades ago.

That  may be pleasant for hikers and photographers, but the rapid shift in the timing of seasonal blooming will have profound consequences for birds and bugs that depend on the blooms for food.

The 39-year study shows  more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming pattern in response to climate change. Half the flowers start to bloom weeks earlier, more than a third are reaching their peak bloom earlier, and others are producing their last blooms later in the year. Continue reading

Morning photo: Blue & pink

Crepuscular …

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Dawn light over the Continental Divide.

FRISCO — So I’ve done several black and white sets during the past few years, but I’ve never done one that focuses on the almost otherworldly combination of deep blue snowy shadows and sunrise- or sunset-tinged clouds. I usually prefer to wait until there’s just a bit more light on the foreground, or until the snow surface manages to pick up a little sky glow. But more often than not, the strong contrast prevails, cold and warm tones competing for attention. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning Photo: Winter light

All the colors …

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Winter sunrise over the Continental Divide, enhanced by wave clouds.

FRISCO —So it’s been a little gray the past couple of weeks, at least for the most part. And that’s not a bad thing. The snow is staying crisp, and more of it keeps falling from time to time. But since I was missing some of the more vivid colors I took a quick trip through the Summit Voice archives to look for some our all-time favorite winter images. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape scenes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Exquisite April

Springtime in the Rockies

An April sunrise casts brilliant rays over the Continental Divide and Dillon Reservoir.

An April sunrise casts brilliant rays over the Continental Divide and Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —The next edition of our calendar selection set features images shot in Summit County during April. I pulled some shots from both 2012 and 2013 from the archives — what a difference! In 2012, nearly all the snow was gone by April 1 after one of the most stunning meltdowns on record. But this year, near-record snow piled up and it looked more like mid-winter than spring. But that’s the mountains for you, and we’ll take it when we can get it. One of these images will be featured in out 2014 calendar. If you like our daily snapshots, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me

Other times I can barely see …

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Autumn light slants across the Continental Divide in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Sometimes the autumn light in the Colorado Rockies is so intense, you can feel it, like when a shaft of sunrise light slants in from low on the horizon to fill distant valleys, or when snow-covered peaks glow with a life of their own. For the images in this set, I delved back in the archives about a year, to last October. That’s not because there hasn’t been any good light this year; there has. But it turns out that each year is different, spectacular in its own way, but different, and I was looking for scenes that really show the different qualities of light. Visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images featuring the light of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading

Rocky Mountains facing serious global warming impacts

Agency releases draft versions of climate adaptation implementation plans for review and public comment

Looking for unusual tones in that first gleam of morning sunlight along Peru Creek.

The EPA says the Rocky Mountain region is particularly vulnerable to water supply issues as a result of global warming.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The climate in the Rocky Mountains is changing rapidly, outside  the   range  to  which  society  has  adapted  in  the  past, according to the EPA’s draft climate adaptation implementation plan for the agency’s Southwest Region, which covers western Colorado.

Most of the “cascading effects” of global climate change will be felt in the region, including increased air temperature, decreased precipitation in some areas, and more severe storms. Along the West Coast, oceans will become more acidic and warm and sea level will rise. Continue reading

Climate: October temperatures below average across lower 48 states, but Alaska readings reach all-time high

Year-to-date wetter and warmer than average

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The western U.S. was cooler than average in October 2013, with a few pockets of record cold readings. Map courtesy NOAA National Climatic Data Center.

FRISCO — For the first time since last April, the average monthly temperature across the lower 48 states was below average for the month, with the coolest readings across the western U.S. It was the first month of the year with cooler than average readings for most of the West.

By contrast, Alaska reporting its warmest-ever October, breaking the old record by 1.1 degrees.

Across the contiguous states, the average October temperature was 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 0.6 degrees below the 20th century average, and the 37th-coldest October on record, according to the monthly update from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Continue reading

Climate: Are you ready for the heat?

U.S. temps expected to climb 9 degrees by 2100

All around the globe, the land areas show a greater increase in temperature than the surrounding ocean waters. Evaporation of the water helps to keep the ocean surface cool and the deep depths of the ocean have a large capacity to absorb energy before heating up.

FRISCO — After last week’s release of a relatively short summary of global warming science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has now published a full report detailing the science. The report is available at the IPCC website.

It not easy reading, and it’s not easy to swallow the conclusions, but the report makes it clear that this is not the time for denial. The most pronounced warming will be in the northerh hemisphere, and areas like the Rocky Mountains and northern Canada could feel the heat sooner rather than later.

Without drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states is projected to increase by a life-changing 9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Globally, temperatures are expected to climb by 7 degrees.

That warmth will cause sea level to rise by anywhere from 10 to 35 inches by 2100 — and that’s a conservative estimate. Some other studies estimate a 40-inch rise in sea level by 2100.

One crucial area that isn’t comprehensively covered by the IPCC involves the carbon locked into the world’s icy permafrost region. The report estimates huge thawing in permafrost region, but downplays the additional warming effects resulting from the release of that carbon, which could amount to another couple of degrees of temperature increases by 2100.

IPCC atlas of projected changes:

Morning photo: Classic Rocky Mountains

In the canyons …

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Sun seekers.

FRISCO —A set of highly filtered iPhone shots just for fun. It’s a blast being able to shoot straight into the sun, knowing that you’ll be able to mix and match in the Instagram palette to make something eye catching. If you enjoy our Colorado snapshots here on Summit Voice or on Twitter, be sure to visit our online gallery at FineArt America, with a full selection of fine art prints and groovy Colorado greeting cards. Continue reading

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