Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences



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Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Brynmor Rees

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Brynmor Rees

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Brynmor Rees - Technology Transfer Office, University of Colorado

Academic research is a creative field in which new ways of thinking often emerge.  It is therefore not surprising that many inventions are born out of research.  How is it that university inventions can best be transformed into real-world solutions, and what processes have been established to facilitate innovation at CU?  Brynmor Rees, a Licensing Manager from CU's Technology Transfer Office (TTO), will lead a discussion about inventions, intellectual property (including patents), and commercialization at CU.  The presentation will include what to do with your invention, information about starting companies, how the patent system works, and real case studies.

location

CIRES Fellows Room - 1665 Central Campus Mall, CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-03
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Meaghan Daly, Eric Lovell, Mara Goldman, and Lisa Dilling

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Meaghan Daly, Eric Lovell, Mara Goldman, and Lisa Dilling

Knowledge Production, Access, and Use for Climate Adaptation at Local Scales in Northern Tanzania

Meaghan Daly, CSTPR and Environmental Studies Program, CU Boulder

Eric Lovell, Geography Department, CU Boulder

Mara J. Goldman, Geography Department and Institute for Behavioral Sciences, CU Boulder

Lisa Dilling, CSTPR and Environmental Studies Program, CU Boulder

Abstract: Adaptation to climate change is a rapidly expanding area of research. Much emphasis has been placed on producing scientific data and tools to support adaptation planning, with less consideration of how such knowledge can actually be linked with local adaptation decision-making. Additionally, the exclusive use of scientific knowledge has often excluded other forms of knowledge (e.g., local, indigenous), which have much to offer toward adaptation decision-making. In response, there have been increased calls to more effectively incorporate multiple forms of knowledge within adaptation planning. However, there are distinct challenges to bringing together different kinds of knowledge, including varying conceptions of what constitutes 'valid' knowledge across epistemologies and scales, as well as uneven power relations among stakeholders. Co-production of knowledge has been offered as a means of addressing these challenges, but questions remain about how best to facilitate processes of co-production. This talk will present a theoretical perspective and methodology, drawing on modified Actor Network Theory and Knowledge System Criteria (Cash et al. 2003), to examine production, access, and use of knowledge for climate adaptation across institutional scales (village, national, and international) and epistemologies in Tanzania. Researchers will share preliminary findings from the first phase of data collection, emphasizing the multiple dimensions of knowledge production, access, and use at local scales in northern Tanzania that must be considered within knowledge co-production efforts.

Bios:

Meaghan Daly is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research explores the dimensions of knowledge production, access, and use within climate adaptation decision-making in East Africa.

Eric Lovell is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder. His focus is on the politics of mapping complex human-environment interactions in savanna ecosystems. Particularly, he is interested in the relationship between land-use planning/mapping and the movement of people, livestock, and wildlife within and across territorial boundaries.

Mara J. Goldman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and a research associate in the Environment and Society Program at the Institute for Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Mara's research lies at on the interface of human-environment relations and critical geographies of conservation and development, with a regional focus in East Africa.

Lisa Dilling is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She studies decision making, the use of information and science policies related to climate change, adaptation, and carbon management. Her current projects examine drought in urban water systems, water governance and climate change, municipal adaptation to hazards, and public lands management in the context of climate change.

location

CSTPR Conference Room - 1333 Grandview Avenue

Event Type

CSTPR
2014-02-05
 
Visualising the Environment by Joanna Bohnert

Visualising the Environment by Joanna Bohnert

A brown bag communications lunch presentation and discussion with Joanna Bohnert (CIRES Visiting Fellow)

This talk will look the ways that images can communicate complex information and support environmental communication, education and interdisciplinary collaborations in a wide variety of situations.

2014-02-06
 
 
 
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Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar: Alton C. Byers

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar: Alton C. Byers

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

An Introduction to the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP)

Alton C. Byers, Ph.D.

Glaciated, high mountain regions of the world play a critical role in providing water and ecosystem services to large human populations living downstream – and climate change impacts are felt first and foremost in relation to water resources in these high altitude regions.  Reduced dry season flows, increasing threats from glacial lake outburst floods, and concerns about climate impacts on high mountain livelihoods and biodiversity provided the motivation for scientists, practitioners, and government officials to create the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership (HiMAP) in March, 2012, the first program of its kind to focus primarily on remote, high altitude mountain ecosystems and communities to develop innovative tools and practices for facilitating adaptation to climate change.  The presentation will provide an overview of HiMAP's experiences over the past two years in Nepal (Mt. Everest region) and Peru (Cordillera Blanca) in helping local people develop climate change adaptation plans; reduce the risk of potentially dangerous glacial lakes; promote a new generation of 'Climber-Scientists' fluent in both laboratory as well as traditional field skills; promote and expands a new HiMAP community of practice; and strengthen institutions and communities to leverage co-financing for adaptation project implementation.  Two short videos showing HiMAP's recent work in Nepal and Peru will accompany the powerpoint presentation by Alton C. Byers and John E. Harlin.

Biographical Sketch

Alton C. Byers, Ph.D., Co-Manager of the High Mountains Adaptation Partnership, is a mountain geographer, conservationist, and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, and integrated conservation and development programs.  He received his doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1987, focusing on landscape change, soil erosion, and vegetation dynamics in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Khumbu, Nepal. He joined The Mountain Institute (TMI) in 1990 as Environmental Advisor, and has since worked as Co-Manager of the Makalu-Barun National Park (Nepal Programs), founder and Director of Andean Programs, Director of Appalachian Programs, and, since 2004, as Director of Science and Exploration.

location

ARC building, rm. 620 - 3100 Marine St. Boulder, CO 80309
2014-02-10
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Kristen Averyt

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Kristen Averyt

The Energy-Water Nexus: Where Climate Adaptation and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies Collide

co-sponsored with Western Water Assessment

by Kristen Averyt, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Western Water Assessment

Abstract: Averaged across the US, water withdrawals by the energy industry are approximately the same as for agriculture. Conversely, moving, pumping and cleaning water requires a significant quantity of energy. The nexus between energy and water elicits conflicts and opportunities between supply and demand regimes that may be significantly altered by climate change. The average lifetime of a power plant is beyond 30 years. With almost 40GW of capacity generated by coal-fired power plants to be retired across the US by 2015, decisions made today regarding electricity futures will have long-term implications for water resources, carbon emissions, and the long-term impacts associated with climate change. This presentation will describe the energy-water nexus in the context of challenges posed by shifting water resources and policies related to carbon management policies.

Biography: Kristen Averyt is the Associate Director for Science at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at theUniversity of Colorado Boulder. She is also Director of the Western Water Assessment, a NOAA program based at CIRES that focuses on connecting climate science with decision making across the Western US. Dr. Averyt a Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University. She is a lead author on the US National Climate Assessment (to be released 2015), and hasearned several awards and honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand (1998), and a NOAA Congressional Fellowship (2005), during which she worked in the US Senate for Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). As the staff scientist for Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2005­–08), she was one of the many scientists who receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Her current research revolves around climate variability and change, with a particular focus on the interplay between climate mitigation and adaptation, including the energy-water nexus.

location

CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue

resources

Event Type

CSTPR

contact

2014-02-12
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Eleanor Browne

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Eleanor Browne

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Chemical Changes to Light Absorbing Carbonaceous Aerosol with Oxidative Aging

Dr. Eleanor Browne, MIT

Light absorbing carbonaceous aerosol (LAC) is one of only two atmospheric components that both degrade air quality and cause climate warming. Due to the short atmospheric lifetime (~days-weeks) of LAC, there has been considerable recent interest in quantifying the climate and health impacts of LAC and developing mitigation strategies that will simultaneously improve climate and human health. Despite this recent interest, large uncertainties in the quantification of LAC's climate impact remain. In part this is due to the poorly characterized influence of 'aging', the complex atmospheric processes that alter the chemical and physical properties of aerosol over their lifetime.

In this talk, I discuss experiments using vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) ionization-high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry to quantify the kinetics and chemical composition changes to LAC (both black and brown carbon) upon oxidation. In brief, I find that heterogeneous oxidation by OH of the aliphatic compounds present on the surface of black carbon particles occurs quickly (lifetime of ~1 day) and produces oxygenated hydrocarbons. I also present results for the aging of brown carbon generated from the smoldering of pine needles. The primary aerosol emitted from smoldering is highly oxygenated and when it ages in the presence of the gaseous smoldering emissions, a chemically distinct secondary organic aerosol component forms. These results show that LAC undergoes substantial chemical changes on the timescale of a day. Since the chemical changes described here likely have important impacts on the climate-relevant properties of LAC (such as light absorption and hygroscopicity), further quantification of these aging mechanisms and timescales is needed in order to accurately estimate the climate effects of LAC.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 1665 Central Campus Mall - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-13
 
 
 
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Special Seminar: An Undercurrent of Change in the Pacific: Climate Dynamics with Ecosystem Impacts

Special Seminar: An Undercurrent of Change in the Pacific: Climate Dynamics with Ecosystem Impacts

Dr. Kristopher Karnauskas received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison and Maryland-College Park, respectively, and carried out a postdoctoral fellowship within the Ocean and Climate Physics group at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Kris is currently an Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, MA. Kris' research aims to understand the dynamics of the tropical ocean and atmosphere as a coupled system, its interaction with ecosystems and with higher latitude regions, how and why the climate system has changed in the past, and how climate will continue to change in the future–both naturally and as driven by human activities. Kris has taught courses on climate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program and at Boston College.


Abstract: Among the countless islands in the Pacific, few are lucky enough to be within a Rossby radius of the equator. For such islands, the local physical and biogeochemical setting is profoundly influenced by large-scale climatic and oceanographic processes. The unique relationship between tropical climate, ocean circulation, and equatorial islands is explored from the perspective of models and observations, including new measurements by underwater gliders (AUVs). Sustained observations reveal significant changes in equatorial ocean circulation during the past century, and IPCC climate models project those changes to continue into the future. Such changes in ocean circulation and the range of possible impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly concerning temperature stress and nutrient supply, are investigated using a combination of in situ measurements, satellite observations, high-resolution ocean models, and IPCC/CMIP global simulations.

location

CIRES Auditorium - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-17
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Prof. Tim Bertram

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Prof. Tim Bertram

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Chemistry at Atmospheric Aqueous Interfaces: In situ Constraints on Halogen Activation at the Air-Sea and Air-Particle Interface

Prof. Tim Bertram
University of California, San Diego

Reactions occurring at atmospheric, aqueous interfaces can serve to catalyze reaction pathways that are energetically unfavorable in the gas phase. The reactive uptake of N2O5, a primary nocturnal nitrogen oxide (NOx) reservoir, serves as both an efficient NOx removal mechanism and regionally significant halogen activation process through the production of photo-labile ClNO2. Both the reaction rate and ClNO2 product yield are a complex function of the chemical composition of the reactive surface. To date, analysis of the impact of N2O5 chemistry on oxidant loadings in the marine boundary layer has been limited to reactions occurring on aerosol particles, with little attention paid to reactions occurring at the air-sea interface. Here, we report the first direct measurements of the air-sea flux of N2O5 and ClNO2 made via eddy covariance in the polluted marine boundary layer. The results are combined with in situ determinations of the N2O5 loss rates to aerosol particles and interpreted within a time-dependent coupled atmosphere- ocean model.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 1665 Central Campus Mall - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-17
 
 
Special Seminar: Understanding the Tropical Pacific Response to Climate Change: Roadblocks, Progress, and Future Challenges

Special Seminar: Understanding the Tropical Pacific Response to Climate Change: Roadblocks, Progress, and Future Challenges

sam.jpgSam Stevenson is a National Science Foundation Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow in the Oceanography Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH). Her primary research interests are tropical Pacific Ocean dynamics, atmosphere/ocean interaction, paleoclimate reconstruction, and impacts of climate variability on natural resources. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the International Pacific Research Center at UH from January 2012 to July 2013, working on the effects of tropical ocean variability on decadal 'megadroughts' in North America. Prior to joining the University of Hawaii, she received her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, where she was funded by a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship to study the response of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to climate change as simulated by coupled climate models. Sam is currently developing an isotope-enabled version of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), to allow direct estimation of the effects of ENSO on the isotopic composition of tropical Pacific corals and aid in validating ENSO physics in coupled models. She is always excited to meet new potential collaborators and would welcome discussions with any interested scientists.


Abstract: Interannual variability in the tropical Pacific strongly influences both ocean ecosystems and worldwide weather patterns: this takes place mainly through the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), an irregular coupled atmosphere/ocean phenomenon which is expected to be extremely sensitive to anthropogenic climate change. Model projections of 21st century ENSO strength vary dramatically, but naturally occurring modulations in ENSO strength make it difficult to completely explain the physical causes of inter-model differences. In this seminar, I will address two methods for gaining better insight into the ENSO dynamical response to climate change: idealized model experiments and comparison with paleoclimate proxy data. Using 1000-year 'control' experiments with the NCAR Community Climate System Model at a variety of fixed atmospheric CO2 concentrations, it can be seen that the interaction between ENSO and the annual cycle takes place primarily via climatological changes in the trade winds, rather than wave reflection off the western boundary of the Pacific Basin. This suggests that improvements to model representation of seasonal winds are an important target for correctly capturing El Nino evolution. Proxy records of ENSO during past epochs can potentially provide a valuable check on model results like these, and the oxygen isotopic composition of tropical coral skeletons are an ideal recorder of past ENSO variability. However, an error analysis shows that in the absence of better conversions between climate variables (temperature/salinity/currents) and seawater oxygen isotopic composition, obtaining sufficiently accurate variance estimates is not possible. Corals are able to capture the observed late-20th century weakening of the Walker circulation with reasonable accuracy, and provide high fidelity longer-term Walker reconstructions as well. More quantitative ENSO studies will require a fully isotope-enabled ocean simulation at multiple spatial scales, which is currently being developed for use during future research.

location

CIRES Auditorium - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-19
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Susan Tegtmeier

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Susan Tegtmeier

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

The Role of Oceanic Halogen and Sulfur Compounds for the Middle Atmosphere

Dr. Susan Tegtmeier 
GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Kiel, Germany

The decline of anthropogenic chlorine in the stratosphere within the 21st century will increase the relative importance of naturally emitted, very short lived halocarbons on stratospheric ozone destruction. Such halocarbons play a significant role in present day ozone depletion, in particular in combination with enhanced stratospheric sulfate aerosol loading. There is a need to better understand how much of the observed stratospheric halogen and sulfur aerosol originates from natural sources, in particular from oceanic emissions, and how this will change and affect the middle atmosphere in a future climate.

In this talk, I will describe recent advances in our understanding of brominated and iodinated halocarbons based on ship campaign data, modelling studies, and aircraft measurements, including current and future halocarbon emission inventories and their contribution to the stratospheric halogen loading. Similarly, dimethylsulphide emissions are used to assess the impact of naturally emitted sulfur on the stratospheric aerosol loading. One focus of the presentation is on the tropical West Pacific, the main source region for stratospheric air, where highly localized halogen sources and a tropospheric OH minimum were identified. The potential of the latter to amplify the impact of oceanic halocarbons and South East Asian SO2 on the stratospheric composition is discussed. Finally, the ozone-depletion potential weighted emissions of halocarbons will be compared to those of other ozone depleting substances to quantify the overall impact of natural halocarbons on the ozone layer for current day conditions and future scenarios.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 1665 Central Campus Mall - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-20
 
 
 
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Special Seminar: The Role of the Ocean in Tropical Pacific Climate Variability and Change

Special Seminar: The Role of the Ocean in Tropical Pacific Climate Variability and Change

dinezio180.jpgI started my research career in 2005 as a sea-­going technician and programmer at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological (AOML) laboratory, where I worked collecting ocean observations and developing estimates of upper ocean heat content from in-­situ and satellite measurements. In 2007, I started graduate school at the Rosenstiel School where I studied the dynamics of tropical climate change under the supervision of Amy Clement. I obtained an M.Sc. In 2009 and a Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography in 2011, and soon after I received the Young Investigator research fellowship from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawaii. At SOEST, I have continued to study the dynamics of tropical climate change, in particular the role of the tropics on glacial cycles. I am currently on a seven month long visit at NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics division, where I am working on two new research projects using the Community Earth System Model (CESM). One aims to determine whether the duration of La Nina events is predictable, along with their effect on North American drought (in collaboration with Clara Deser). The other project has the objective of improving the simulation of tropical rainfall in simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (in collaboration with Better Otto-­‐Bliesner and Brian Mapes).


Abstract: Climate changes in the tropical Pacific exhibiting a weaker east-west gradient in sea-surface temperature are often characterized as El Niño-like; and conversely stronger gradients as La Niña-like. However, below the ocean's surface these changes may not necessarily follow the dynamics of El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In my talk I will explore the role of the ocean in the following climate phenomena that have mischaracterized as ENSO analogues: 1) the response of the equatorial Pacific Ocean to global warming, 2) the climate of the Indo-Pacific warm pool during ice ages, 3) Pacific decadal variability, and 4) the multi-year persistence of modern-day La Niña. The ocean plays a key role in all these climate variations, but the dynamics are strikingly different from the conventional thinking based on ENSO dynamics. To conclude, I will discuss how these mechanisms can be constrained using historical and paleo observations, their implications for predicting climate impacts, as well as strategies for model improvement.

location

CIRES Auditorium - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-24
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Andrew Rollins

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Andrew Rollins

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Chemical and Physical Processes Controlling Organic Aerosols and Tropopause Cirrus: An Observational Perspective

Dr. Andrew Rollins, NOAA Chemical Sciences Division

Condensed mass in the atmosphere in the form of aerosol and cloud particles is a significant driver of climate and heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry. The processes that control the formation of these particles are complex, and understanding them is frequently limited by the ability to accurately measure the gas and particulate species required to test our theories. In this talk I will discuss results from two recent projects where new analytical instrumentation has been developed and used to inform our understanding of gas/particle partitioning processes involving organic aerosols and cirrus clouds. The first study presented exploits high time resolution measurements of organic nitrate aerosols using a laser induced fluorescence based technique. Laboratory and field measurements using this instrument have been used to probe the influence of nitrogen oxide chemistry on the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in the troposphere. Observations during the California Nexus (CalNex) field study demonstrate the significance of nitrate radical initiated SOA formation at night, and important nonlinearities in this chemistry. 

In the second half of the talk I will discuss measurements of water vapor and ice water content in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) using a new tunable diode laser based hygrometer operated on the NASA Global Hawk aircraft. Confidence in the accuracy of these historically challenging measurements is strengthened by use of an in-situ calibration system, and excellent agreement with a separate hygrometer operated in parallel. These measurements have provided evidence for the transport of water in excess of saturation through the TTL and into the stratosphere.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 1665 Central Campus Mall - CIRES - University of Colorado
2014-02-24
 
 
 
Lens on Climate Change

Lens on Climate Change

Student teams from around the state will meet up in Old Main Chapel Thursday, 12:30 pm, to present short videos they produced about climate and environmental changes in their communities. The program, 'Lens on Climate Change,' will also include 'response' videos produced by CU Boulder students (and CSTPR's Inside the Greenhouse project). CIRES Director Waleed Abdalati will welcome the students and the jury.

Lens on Climate Change
Thursday, February 27 at 12:30 pm
Old Main Auditorium, University of Colorado Boulder
View Agenda

Description: Climate change and its societal impacts are widely discussed in the media (Boykoff & Nacu-Schmidt, 2013). However, recent surveys show that neither adults nor teenagers are well equipped to participate in public discussions about these topics due to a lack of knowledge about climate science (Leiserowitz, 2010, 2011). We propose to engage secondary students in learning about climate change through a video-contest. Student groups will select an environmental or climate change topic that affects their community. Teams will then be guided through their research, production, and editing of their videos by project staff and mentors. The participating teams' videos will be screened at the CIRES annual meeting in spring 2014.

Graduate and undergraduate students mentor the secondary student teams throughout their video production. Graduate student science mentors present their own research to the secondary students, and are a general resource for science questions. Graduate students gain valuable teaching experience with in-depth, personal group instruction. In addition, the graduate students receive instruction in photo and video equipment and editing, giving them tools to communicate their own scientific work.

Read Boulder Daily Camera's article 'CIRES video project teaches students about climate change'.

2014-02-27