Climate Change

Photo Courtesy Clark Jones

A recent report from the National Audubon Society says two-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change. That includes half of Colorado’s bird species and our state bird — the lark bunting.

Climate change has been called the new normal. But residents in some parts of the Southwest say after living through the last two years, there’s nothing normal about it. 

Communities in the Four Corners -- where the borders of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet -- have been bouncing between desperately dry and record-breaking moisture since the winter of 2017, forcing people dependent on the reliability and predictability of water to adapt.

Researchers out of Colorado are hoping to map the entire earth with a new type of laser technology, and climate change is driving the effort. 

Extinction Rebellion Denver

A radical environmental movement that originated in the UK is now going international, with several chapters in the Mountain West. 

Vijay S. Limaye, et al.

We know the climate crisis affects public health. But what do those health impacts cost us?

Julia Williams / 350.org

As thousands in Denver strike for climate action this week, they may notice conspicuous red and black dresses hanging up along a couple city blocks, intended to call strikers’ attention to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children.

Amy Gray

For the second time this year, kids around the world are striking from school to demand action around climate change. And it’s happening just before world leaders gather at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City. There were only a handful of strikes in our region last time but this time there are several dozen.

A prominent climate change denier resigned from the White House Friday after he was blocked from establishing a committee questioning the findings of the most recent national climate assessment. 

Bureau of Land Management

The recent court ruling that held the pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, accountable for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis could influence some of the pending lawsuits seeking to hold energy companies accountable for their role in the climate crisis. That includes one case in the Mountain West.

Invasive insects and diseases are killing tree species in forests across the U.S., and in turn, weakening one of the planet's natural ways to fight climate change. That's according to a new report published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons 4.0

A bipartisan bill is moving forward through the Senate. It specifically tackles the impacts of climate change on our nation’s roads and bridges. 

Humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, according to a new report from the United Nations panel on climate change.

The panel of scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use, such as harvesting peat and managing grasslands and wetlands. Together, those activities generate about a third of human greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 40% of methane.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

For the first time ever, a congressional committee held a field hearing on the climate crisis. And it happened this week right here in the Mountain West — in Boulder, Colorado. 

University of Colorado Law School at Boulder

For the first time ever, a congressional committee will hold a field hearing on the climate crisis, and it's happening in Boulder, Colorado, Thursday, August 1.

Viktoriia Radchuk, an evolutionary ecologist at Berlin's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, wanted to know how animals were responding to climate change.

So she scoured the results of more than 10,000 animal studies — on species from frogs to snakes, from insects to birds to mammals — looking for information on how changing environments were affecting animal behavior. Based on the available data, she decided to focus on birds in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Mountain West featured heavily in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Thursday looking into issues of scientific integrity in the Interior Department. 

Evan Barrientos / Audubon Rockies

Some state birds across our region are in peril, according to a new report on the condition of North American Grasslands.

NYC Parks

A recent study shows planting a trillion trees worldwide might be one of our best options for fighting climate change. 

It's late May in Wyoming. It snowed last night, and more snow is predicted. That's why it's good that Big Piney Rancher Chad Espenscheid is behind the wheel of the truck. The roads are sloppy and Middle Piney Creek is running high.

The warnings come with unsettling regularity:

Climate change threatens 1 million plant and animal species.

Warmer oceans could lose one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century.

Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

Twenty-one young Americans, including two from Colorado, are going to court this week for the latest development in their case against the U.S. government over climate change. The case, Juliana v United States, began in 2015. 

Two years ago, Atlanta was widely lauded when it committed to have all homes, businesses and city operations rely largely on renewable energy in coming decades. It was part of a wave of cities responding to more intense flooding, heat and storms, and setting ambitious goals to tackle climate change even as the Trump administration ignores the issue.

cooksr / Creative Commons 2.0

A new report shows that nearly all national parks in the U.S. have poor air quality.

The report from the National Parks Conservation Association says that 96% of our national parks have significant air pollution problems. In fact, it says, 33 of America’s most-visited national parks are as bad as our 20 largest cities.

In a mostly symbolic move, the U.S. House voted Thursday to stop the Trump administration from exiting the Paris Climate Agreement. Meanwhile, many cities and states in the Mountain West are continuing to warm faster than the national average.

A bill that Democratic lawmakers say is needed to fight climate change has cleared its first hurdle at the state Capitol.

House Bill 1261 would set a goal for Colorado to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent before 2030.

It would also give a state board the authority to approve new regulations that would help the state reach that goal.

Michael Duniway / U.S. Geological Survey

Soil erosion in the West is getting worse. And that’s creating more dust – which isn’t good for ecosystems, human health or the economy.

John Knowles / CU Boulder

A recently-published study shows alpine tundra soil high up on Colorado's Rocky Mountains is releasing more carbon dioxide into the air than it is absorbing. 

Liam Neupert

Students went on strike Friday, March 15, in more than 100 countries around the world and every state in the Mountain West region. They want action on climate change.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Haven Coleman perched on the steps of the Colorado state capitol in a puffy jacket and hat. The 12-year-old looked tiny against the gray stone columns rising up at her back. With her mom standing nearby, she held up a simple sign. On it, she had written the words “School Strike for Climate” in big black magic-markered letters.

The Trump administration is assembling a panel to take a second look at recent federal climate change reports.

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