Climate change

Bureau of Land Management

Ten years ago, when Colorado College first conducted the Conservation in the West Poll, 48 percent of respondents said yes, climate change is a problem requiring action. This year, that number is up to 59 percent.

About one-third of Americans live in areas that regularly have unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new analysis out this week from Environment America, an organization of state-based environmental advocacy groups throughout the country.

Rural economies could get a massive boost under policies meant to decrease carbon emissions, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.

 


It was a dry start to the year for some mountain ranges in the region, but recent storms brought most Mountain West snowpack levels back to normal.

 


The United States could see tens of thousands more violent crimes per year as climate change causes warmer winters, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Trump administration’s latest National Preparedness Report is the first of its kind to completely ignore climate change

Heat pumps offer one of the best ways to cut carbon in homes and commercial buildings, energy and climate experts say in a new report.

United Nations

For the last couple of weeks, world leaders have been convening in Madrid, Spain for the United Nations' summit on climate change. Among them was a delegation of Indigenous youth. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards caught up with one of the delegates who is there representing the Wind River Reservation. Micah (Big Wind) Lott addressed over 500,000 people on a stage with renowned activist Greta Thunberg, and when the delegation protested at the U.S. Embassy, they were among 75 Indigenous activists, some who were arrested by Spanish police. 

Big Wind begins with an introduction in Arapaho.

The West’s water security is wrapped up in snow. When it melts, it becomes drinking and irrigation water for millions throughout the region. A high snowpack lets farmers, skiers and water managers breathe a sigh of relief, while a low one can spell long-term trouble.

Micah Lott

This week, nations are gathering in Madrid for the 25th United Nations summit on climate change and among them is a delegation of Indigenous youth. Northern Arapaho member Micah Lott, who goes by Big Wind, is among them. Over the next week, Big Wind will participate in panels describing how climate change is affecting their life back home.

Maggie Mullen


One day last June, Susannah Roberts and her boyfriend, Reilly Davis, drove out to Leazenby Lake, just outside of Laramie, Wyoming. They had their black lab Teton with them, and they fished in the clear water.

Agriculture, forestry and other land uses are responsible for about a quarter of human-caused greenhouse gases. That “land sector” holds huge potential to cultivate climate solutions, too, according to a new study.

Joe Giersch

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pointed to impacts from climate change in its November 21 listing of two stonefly species. The meltwater lednian and the western glacier stonefly were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Both primarily inhabit Glacier National Park, but the western glacier stonefly also has populations in Grand Teton National Park.

As an increasing number of states focus on renewable energy, batteries are becoming more of a necessity. And according to a new report, battery costs are dropping—but not enough to compete with fossil fuels.

The report comes from Climate Central, a nonprofit organization that studies the impacts of climate change. In it, the authors state that batteries and renewable energy sources are becoming cheaper by the year.

Wyoming is one of the states with the most surviving glaciers in the lower 48 states. And trapped in the layers of all that ice is an intricate history of life on earth. During a visit to the University of Wyoming this week, Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down to talk with geoscientist Richard Alley about what this history tells us about climate change. Alley shared a Nobel Peace Prize for his work and participated in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As the Trump administration begins the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, three states in the Mountain West pledge to follow the tenets of the accord anyway.

The climate crisis is threatening traditional ways of life throughout Indian Country. Now, tribal leaders and scientists are working together to help reservations become more climate resilient.

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. 

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

Buffalo Bill Center Of The West

What will the future forests of Yellowstone National Park look like? That's what Dr. Monica Turner of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is trying to figure out by creating models for possible ways the Yellowstone ecosystem could react to hotter and dryer weather. Dr. Turner was awarded the Camp Monaco Prize to do just that and then use those scenarios to create pictures of potential future landscape. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska asked Dr. Turner how the model can project the future landscape of Yellowstone.

Wyoming Department of Health

So far this year, the Wyoming Department of Health has issued algae bloom advisories for 16 lakes and reservoirs across the state, a spike that mirrors the record number potentially toxic blooms across the country in 2019, as counted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

A study published this week in the journal Science found that the bird population in the U.S. and Canada has fallen by nearly 30%, or 3 billion birds, over the past 48 years.

 


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.

Researchers say the fungus behind a disease called Valley fever may spread in the Mountain West as rain and temperature patterns change.

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. 

Using Drones To Fight Climate Change

Sep 13, 2019

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. That’s got researchers in our region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones.

CC0 / Public Domain

This weekend six lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives' Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition took a two-day climate change tour of Yellowstone National Park. The tour resulted with three of the representatives proposing legislation to ban non-reusable plastic water bottles in national parks.

NYC Parks

Do you think planting trees is an efficient option to help reduce carbon? Why or why not?

By contributing your comment, you consent to the possibility of having it read on the air. 

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

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.

Pages