Climate Change

Emanuele Biggi via Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about some pretty scary things. 

Foundation for Economic Education

This week on UnDisciplined, we're gathering the gang for another science news round-up. 

As we talk about some of the biggest stories in science over the past few weeks, we'll be joined by a biomedical researcher, a wildland ecologist and an experimental psychologist. 

Herald Journal

Former Utah State University football star Torrey Green is sentenced to 26-years-to-life in prison for sexual assaults. Sen.

Twitter: @BrendaEkwurzel

Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel is Director of Climate Science for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She will be in Utah later this week for events in Salt Lake City and Ogden. She says we can adapt to and reduce risks from changing weather patterns and other consequences of releasing heat-trapping emissions to the atmosphere, and that we can switch to a lower emissions trajectory. Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel will give us specific examples for Utah on the program today.

Amazon

In their new book “Breakpoint: Reckoning with America's Environmental Crises,” eminent ecologist Jeremy B. C. Jackson and award-winning journalist Steve Chapple examine the looming threats from recent hurricanes and fires, industrial agriculture, river mismanagement, extreme weather events, drought, and rising sea levels that, they say, are pushing the country toward the breaking point of ecological and economic collapse.

 

Yale Environment 360

A recent article in the online magazine Yale Environment 360 is headlined “The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits: Will the Colorado Run Dry?” And the sub-headline: “As the Southwest faces rapid growth and unrelenting drought, the Colorado River is in crisis, with too many demands on its diminishing flow. Now those who depend on the river must confront the hard reality that their supply of Colorado water may be cut off.”

Daphne Zaras / NSSL

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about climate, but at two very different scales. 

Amazon

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

The independent

An event titled the “Southern Utah Clean Air Forum” was held recently in St. George. It was billed as “a discussion of proposed federal, state & local legislation focused on reducing energy emissions to improve our health and our children’s futures.” As we head toward the opening of the Utah Legislature next week, we’ll talk about clean air and the climate with three of the panelists from the forum on Thursday’s Access Utah.

National Parks Service

A change of habitat by a small mammal is having an impact on our mountain ecosystems, and the pika is being used to help understand high elevation mountain ecosystems. 

Background trees and tropical bushes. Small pond with two Hyrachyus, similar to tapir and rhino.
University of Utah

Millions of years ago there were diverse and large populations of mega-herbivores, but today there are only a few mega-herbivore species. New research reveals a new theory about the extinction of these ancient mega-herbivore species. 

Shannon Tushingham / Washington State University

This week on UnDisciplined, we talked to a researcher whose discoveries have changed the way we understand the history of tobacco in North America. Then we chatted with a scientist who is trying to change the way we think about cryptocurrencies. 

Wikipedia

At a recent Climate Change Town Hall in Logan, USU physicist and climate researcher Dr. Rob Davies invited audience members to share their stories of environmental change and activism. He encouraged brainstorming possible solutions to climate change and acknowledged the power of an individual to effect change in the world, even though “often we’re paralyzed, we’re passive because we don’t see the whole path to the finish line.”

University of Utah

Clement Chow studies how—and why—two people can get the same disease and have very different outcomes. Josh Tewksbury's research team has developed a model indicating how human-caused climate change stands to make insects much hungrier. Together, we'll try and build some bridges between those two very different areas of research.

Pink and blue clouds float over Utah Lake with the mountains in the background.
Utah Lake Commission

Clouds are an important part of predicting day-to-day weather but, even with cloud cover being a critical piece in climate prediction models, it’s often missing. But a few specific physics equations could make predicting future cloud cover easier.  

Adult mountain lion, beige and brown in color stands on top of a rock with a forested background.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Satellite imagery gathered by NASA from outer space is being used to help predict where and how many mule deer and mountain lions could be migrating near urban areas, increasing the potential for wildlife-human interactions.

Firefighter battles California wildfire.
npr.org

  The Trump administration is pledging to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires and fight those choking California and other western states.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says officials are targeting wide swaths of land — including cutting down small trees and underbrush and setting controlled fires — to reduce the frequency and severity of fires now burning across the western United States.

HarperCollins Publishers

Earl Swift began writing for a living in his teens. In the years since, the Virginia-based journalist has penned seven books and hundreds of major features for newspapers and magazines, and has earned a reputation for fast-moving narrative and scrupulous reporting. His editors have nominated his work for the National Book Award, the National Magazine Award, and six times for a Pulitzer Prize.

Mitt Romney
uselectionatlas.org

Mitt Romney is calling for a high-tech early detection system and more logging to prevent wildfires ravaging the U.S. West.

The U.S. Senate candidate in Utah said in an essay Tuesday the government can do more to prevent fires there and other places like California, which is fighting its largest wildfire in state history.

Salt Lake City, UT
fedoraproject.org

A group of Utah teenagers convinced state lawmakers to adopt a resolution that recognizes the consequences of climate change and encourages the reduction of emissions.

Seven of the students met with Republican Gov. Gary Herbert on Wednesday for a ceremonial signing of the resolution.

Sunlight peeking between rocky craigs, reflecting off the Unita Mountain snow pack.
NOAA Research

According to new research out of Utah State University, perceiving local weather as warmer or colder than normal is strongly connected to our pre-existing beliefs in climate change. 

Voice of Scouting

 An invasive plant makes the jump from Salt Lake City gardens to the surrounding foothills. Deer ticks carrying lyme disease rear their heads more frequently in Utah due to climate change. And after more than a century, The LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America begin to part ways. 

 

At a February legislative town hall in Logan, Wes Carter and Kai Torrens were two of the youngest people in the room. They’re both Logan High School students and members of the Logan Environmental Action Force, or LEAF club.

Deseret News

The latest attempt to strengthen Utah's hate crime laws at the State Legislature dies without even getting a hearing. Although science points to the burning of fossil fuels as a driver of climate change, Utah lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the concept. And Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who advocated for a reduction to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, failed to disclose that he owned land within the monument. 

Treasure Valley Trees Fighting Climate Change

Feb 8, 2018

Forests in Idaho's Treasure Valley are fighting climate change, according to a new report. 

In the report, The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and Ecosystem Sciences Foundation's Treasure Valley Forest Carbon Assessment looked at how much carbon dioxide trees in the region have been able to store. 

Idaho National Laboratory/Flickr

Idaho lawmakers are holding public hearings Thursday and Friday on proposed science standards for Idaho public schools. 

At issue: how, or whether, those standards should address climate change. 

PEHart via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Last Saturday 3 intrepid young families joined us for a morning with the Stokes Nature Center slipping and sliding along a canyon trail to discover animal and plant adaptations to survive the winter. 

Audubon.org

On December 19th, I will have joined several others for an exciting day of counting bird species and numbers in our lovely, snowy valley. Our numbers will be entered on a database that will be shared with the world. 

Garth Lenz


  

  Hurricane Harvey and Irma broke storm records in the U.S. A USU Physics professor who studies climate change is joining with a northern Utah string quartet to encourage public discourse about the connections between recent natural disasters and sustainability.

photos.utah.gov

Over 200 pages long, Utah’s 50-year water strategy -- presented to the Governor on Wednesday -- aims to direct Utah business and government leaders on water management for the foreseeable future.

Noted as one of the most daunting challenges facing the state, Governor Gary Herbert addressed two certainties during the water strategy presentation.

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