Climate change

As we head into the dog days of summer, 2019 is projected to be among the top five hottest years on record. That's according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Cases were assigned to a single category. Blue indicates "pro" cases in favor of climate-related protections and orange indicates "con" cases opposing climate-related protections.
Dena Adler

A new report from Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law finds the Trump administration has yet to score a court victory upholding their efforts to roll back major regulations related to climate change. It shows the administration has failed in court to defend 10 of 12 attempts to delay or roll back climate protections with two still pending an initial court decision on the merits.

Ellen Currano

University of Wyoming researchers are "going back to the future." By studying the climate that existed 50 million years ago, they hope to better understand what the climate might be like in the next century.

Nick Cote for KUNC/LightHawk

The Colorado River is short on water. But you wouldn't know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river's Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Melodie Edwards

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.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks.

Business leaders are seeing climate change as a major risk to their bottom line. And according to a new report, more companies are planning for it.

Worldwide, 72 percent of businesses are preparing for climate risks as part of their overall business strategy. That's true here in the U.S., but that number drops down to 65 percent.

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. 

Lusha Tronstad

Alpine areas are predicted to be one of the areas most affected by climate change and some unique microbes have made their homes in the glacier-fed streams there. The loss of these little critters can have large effects on both the ecosystem around them and on people, says University of Wyoming invertebrate zoologist Lusha Tronstad.

There’s evidence that bee and butterfly populations are in decline, a phenomenon that some have dubbed the “insect apocalypse.” In response, the Colorado Department of Transportation has brought in a bug expert.

UN Photo/Manuel Elias via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

A new United Nation's report compiled from scientific data across the globe predicts that if unchecked, manmade climate change could cost around one million species their very existences. That caught the attention of Democrats and Republicans, but that doesn't mean Wyoming lawmakers are changing their tunes.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

According to a new report, climate change is now the number one concern for North American insurers.

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.

National Park Service

More and more Americans are living in places where the air is dangerous to breath. That's because of smog or smoke from wildfires. A new study says climate change is the culprit.

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.

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. 

CC0, Public Domain

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts a warmer spring than usual in the Mountain West.

aoc.gov Public Domain

Wyoming now has two lawmakers in Washington who are also Republican Party leaders and they're promising to make the progressive Green New Deal on climate change a major part of the debate going forward, even as Democratic Party leaders are trying to change the subject. 

Water leaders from the seven states that make up the Colorado River basin are one step closer to finalizing a drought contingency plan. Representatives from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Arizona met in Phoenix Tuesday to sign a letter to Congress asking for federal approval of the plan.

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.

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.

Forecasters in Colorado are warning of “very destructive” avalanches as heavy snowfall and strong winds are expected Wednesday.

Avalanches have already buried cars, killed skiers and left chunks of forest scattered across highways and even dangling from power lines in what’s considered a historic avalanche season. But Colorado isn’t alone.

Melodie Edwards

On a pond in a top-secret spot on the Laramie plains, I take my first steps out onto the ice behind Fisherman Larry Fioanini. He tells me to walk right behind him, pointing out some open water in the middle where a spring percolates, keeping it from freezing.

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

The Modern West 43: Slippery Slope

Feb 22, 2019
KAMILA KUDELSKA

Ski season is upon us as the sport faces major changes: how climate change is affecting ski resorts and whether downhill skiing is turning into a sport reserved for the wealthy.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Several western states have spent the last five years trying to count the shy and rare wolverine, a high mountain scavenger in the weasel family. Wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Washington, Idaho and Montana set up camera traps and collected hair samples from the alpine scavenger in 183 locations and the findings are gratifying, said Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Nichole Bjornlie.

A new study includes an interactive map that shows how your home will be affected by climate change in the next 50 years. No surprise —Idaho and the Mountain West will get hotter.

 


A recent report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environment Information shows there were 14 severe weather events across the country last year costing a total of $89.4 billion. Five of those affected the Mountain West region.

U.S. Capitol Building
Public Domain

The president's State of the Union address included him laying out his vision for U.S. energy policy, which had Wyoming Senator John Barrasso standing and clapping wildly - in part because he was on the GOP leadership team that spent two years focused on unwinding basically any regulations they could.

States that rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies are currently unable to finish a series of agreements that would keep its biggest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, from dropping to levels not seen since they were filled decades ago.

Five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada — are done. The country of Mexico has also completed its portion. But California and Arizona failed to meet a Jan. 31 federal government deadline to wrap up negotiations and sign a final agreement.

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