Climate change

There's an effort afoot to better identify heat waves – like the one gripping much of the American West right now.

J. David Ake/AP


A new analysis by the Great Plains Institute and the University of Wyoming describes possible steps that industries in the U.S. can take to lower their carbon dioxide emissions. They propose using carbon capture technology and transportation infrastructure that moves the carbon dioxide to storage locations underground.

K Kendall

Most of the West has been experiencing drought this year. Bart Miller, with the environmental group Western Resource Advocates, said that the water levels we are seeing this year are nothing new.

United States Drought Monitor / National Drought Mitigation Center

A new report shows extreme drought throughout the Bighorn Mountains.

The latest data from the University of Nebraska's National Drought Mitigation Center shows most of Wyoming is experiencing some level of drought. That ranges from moderate drought in the south and some eastern parts of the state to severe drought in the central region.

Alan Wilson

Polar bears have been endangered for years, but a new study finds that without a decrease in greenhouse gas emission, almost all polar bears will die by 2100.

Elizabeth Abramson, Dane McFarlane, Jeff Brown

The Great Plains Institute and the University of Wyoming have published a new analysis on carbon capture and storage.

Micha de Vries

A new study finds that rural westerners care about the environment just as much as people in cities.

Photos courtesy of DEQ

As the summer season ramps up, so does the possibility of Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs). Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in many bodies of water worldwide. They're normally harmless, but when their growth explodes and forms a bloom, they can release toxic chemicals into the water around them. They can cause symptoms in people ranging from skin irritation to liver damage, and they can be deadly to animals.

As the country turned its attention toward the pandemic, something else was creeping into the Mountain West: drought conditions.

Mitch Tobin/waterdesk.org

The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities.

Two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should be doing more to reduce the impacts of climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.


Greg Nickerson, Wyoming Migration Initiative

A new study by the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming found mule deer migration is negatively impacted by global warming induced droughts.

Ellen Currano

University of Wyoming's paleobotany professor Ellen Currano contributed to a PBS documentary airing this summer. The documentary, "Prehistoric Road Trip," explores fossils throughout the Great Plains.

A recent study shows that humans have been living in a specific temperature "niche" for at least 6,000 years, but climate change could force billions of people to live in areas outside of the niche by 2070. That could be intolerably hot, even lethal, for many of them.  

This image is a work of a Federal Emergency Management Agency employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As works of the U.S. federal government, all FEMA images are in the public domain in the United States.

Coronavirus hasn't just upended most of our lives - the global pandemic has upended entire industries. And the oil and gas sector is getting pummeled from multiple fronts: Besides losing workers to quarantining and some who've contracted the virus, the industry's had to watch the price of its products plummet because Saudi Arabia and Russia were locked in a high stakes game of chicken over the price of oil. But to be fair prices have also fallen because fewer people are on the roads or in the skies. Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso says they're bracing.

In much of the West, snowpack levels have historically been one of the more reliable ways to determine whether a drought was coming. But a new study says climate change could soon make snowpack data much less reliable.

A new study in the journal Science says that human-driven climate change is pushing the American West into a megadrought, and into its driest period in more than 400 years.

 


Princeton University Press

Compared to elsewhere in the country, the disparity between the rich and the poor is widest in Teton County, and a new book takes a sociological look at the problem.

Researchers in our region are arguing for new models to better plan for a recent climate phenomenon: flash droughts. According to a new paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, these events present new challenges for climate predictors.

Melodie Edwards

The Holy Grail in the fight to stop climate change is reaching a bipartisan solution. To reach that end, the group Citizen Climate Lobby sent their regional director Bill Barron around Wyoming this month to engage in community conversation.

At his stop in Laramie, Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with Barron to hear about the proposal his organization says is already drawing consensus from many sides: a bipartisan bill proposing a carbon fee and dividend plan. The group is putting together action teams in the state too. You can learn more at their website

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.

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