Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences



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Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

The Potential For Positive Feedback Between West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Deglaciation, Decompression-melt-induced Volcanism, And Resultant Sea-level Rise

by Dr. John Behrendt

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) flows through the volcanically active West Antarctic Rift System (WARS); subglacial  heat flow is high beneath the WAIS. Aeromagnetic surveys over WAIS have revealed >1000 high-amplitude, shallow source magnetic anomalies indicative of the late Cenozoic – recent age volcanic rocks in the WARS.  Satellite altimetry shows rapid retreat of ice shelves bordering WAIS.  GRACE satellite data indicate accelerating mass loss from WAIS, reducing basal pressure. Increased volcanic activity resulting from decompression mantle melting beneath a thinning WAIS may serve as a heretofore unexplored positive feedback mechanism that could further destabilize WAIS.  In both Iceland, and on midoceanic ridges, dated volcanism suggests that decompression melting of mantle associated with reductions in either ice or water loads can drive significant volcanism. Acceleration of volcanic activity could enhance the rate of loss of WAIS ice, with concomitant rates of rise of global sea level. 

date

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm

location

RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155
2017-03-01
 
Social hour at Cheba Hut

Social hour at Cheba Hut

CGA monthly happy hour! We will be meeting at Cheba Hut (1313 College Ave) again. Come along and meet fellow CIRES graduate students and post-docs. We hope to see you there!

date

Thursday, March 2, 2017
5:00pm to 7:00pm

Event Type

CGA
2017-03-02
 
 
 
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Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

 Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Atmospheric Oxidation of Isoprene: Implications for Air Quality, Climate and Public Health, by Jason Surratt, UNC Chapel Hill 

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

Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Atmospheric Oxidation of Isoprene: Implications for Air Quality, Climate and Public Health

Abstract:
"Atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) plays a key role in climate and is associated with adverse effects on air quality and human health. The largest mass fraction of PM 2.5 is organic, which is mostly derived from secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formed by the atmospheric oxidation of hydrocarbons. Atmospheric oxidation of isoprene (2-methyl- 1,3-butadiene), the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbon emitted into the atmosphere, is now recognized as one of the largest contributors to PM 2.5 . Despite its abundance, the exact manner in which isoprene- derived SOA is formed has been recently examined through the combination of synthetic organic and analytical chemistry with flow reactor, smog chamber, and field studies. Through these recent studies, we have identified reactive epoxides and hydroperoxides produced from the atmospheric oxidation of isoprene under low-nitric oxide (NO) conditions that are crucial to the formation of ambient SOA. Notably, certain isoprene-derived SOA constituents have been recently observed in cloud water samples and shown to contribute to light-absorbing aerosol, indicating that isoprene-derived SOA may be important for aerosol climate effects. We have found that anthropogenic pollutants, such as acidic sulfate aerosol, significantly enhance isoprene SOA. This is of great public health importance since isoprene is primarily emitted from terrestrial vegetation, and thus, is not controllable, whereas anthropogenic emissions are controllable. Whether SOA derived from this source contributes to the adverse health effects induced by exposure to ambient PM 2.5 reported in epidemiological studies is largely unknown. Using an in vitro model of human airway epithelial cells (BEAS-2B), we have also evaluated the potential early biological effects induced by exposure to isoprene-derived epoxides and hydroperoxides and their resultant SOA constituents. Exposure induced cytotoxicity and expression of oxidative stress and inflammation-associated genes have been assessed. Our initial findings suggest that isoprene-derived epoxides, hydroperoxides and the resultant SOA constituents induce altered oxidative stress and inflammation-associated gene expression in human lung cells under non-cytotoxic conditions. These recent findings highlight the importance of future work aimed at linking PM 2.5 source, composition, exposure biomarkers and health outcomes."

date

Monday, March 6, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

Ekeley S274, University of Colorado, Boulder

resources

Event Type

Seminar
2017-03-06
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Emerging Biotechnologies and Public Engagement: Reflections on the NASEM Report on Gene Drives

by Jason Delborne
Science, Policy, and Society, North Carolina State

Abstract: In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report entitled, Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values. The report was motivated by the rapid pace of investigation made possible by CRISPR-based gene drives; laboratory proofs of concept in fruit flies, yeast, and mosquitoes; as well as the ambitious agenda under consideration for the possible deployment of gene drives. Whether imagined as a tool to end malaria, a new mechanism to control agricultural pests, or a means to eradicate invasive species, gene drives represent an emerging biotechnology that would persist and spread in the environment in ways that traditional GMOs have not. Such characteristics challenge notions of scientific responsibility, regulatory oversight, the management of risk, and the incorporation of public values in governance. Jason Delborne, Associate Professor of Science, Policy, and Society at North Carolina State University, served on the committee that authored the report and specializes in conceptualizing and conducting public engagement in science and technology. His talk will reflect on the NASEM report’s findings, with particular focus on its recommendations for sustained community, stakeholder, and public engagement.

 

Biography: Jason Delborne is Associate Professor of Science, Policy, and Society at North Carolina State University. Hired in 2013 in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program to join the Genetic Engineering and Society cluster, his tenure home is in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources in the College of Natural Resources. Dr. Delborne’s research, which draws on the interdisciplinary field of Science, Technology, and Society (STS), explores highly politicized scientific controversies with particular attention to interactions among policymakers, scientists, and the public. Currently, he leads a collaborative NSF grant to study the genetically modified American chestnut tree, designed to restore the functionally extinct species, and potentially the first GMO to be released that is intended to persist and spread in the environment. Dr. Delborne received an A.B. in Human Biology from Stanford University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he joined the faculty at Colorado School of Mines in 2008 in the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies, which provided many opportunities to interact with CSTPR community of faculty and students.

date

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
12:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room

resources

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-03-08
 
Open Forum on the Role of Scientists in a Changing Political Climate

Open Forum on the Role of Scientists in a Changing Political Climate

With the recent change in administration, many of us have been caught off-guard and are unsure of what roles we will play as scientists, both personally and professionally, in the new political climate. The Open Forum on the Role of Scientists in a Changing Political Climate will provide an opportunity for us to explore those concerns and our own levels of involvement across the spectrum of activism, advocacy, and non-partisan objectivity. We have invited Ursula Rick (Center for Science & Technology Policy Research) and Jack Waldorf (CU Office of Government Relations), who have considerable experience working in science policy, to help guide the discussion.

When: Thursday, March 9th, 2017, 3:30-5:00 pm
Where: CIRES Fellows' Room (Ekeley S274)

Moderators:
Ursula Rick, CIRES Research Scientist, Western Water Assessment Program Manager, former AAAS
Fellow
Jack Waldorf, Assistant Vice President of Federal Relations & Outreach, CU Boulder/Denver

Coffee and treats provided

date

Thursday, March 9, 2017
3:30pm to 5:00pm

location

CIRES S274

Event Type

CGA

Amenities

Refreshments provided

contact

Jeffery Thompson (Jeffery.A.Thompson@colorado.edu)
2017-03-09
 
 
 
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Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Federico San Martini

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Federico San Martini

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

Science Diplomacy: Lessons from recent updates to the Montreal Protocol

Dr. Federico San Martini,
Secretariat for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

Abstract:

"On 15 October 2016, after 7 years of consultations, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted an amendment in Kigali, Rwanda that added hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to the list of substances controlled under the Protocol. Under the Amendment, countries committed to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by more than 80 percent, and agreed to provisions to control HFC-23 by-product emissions. Implementation of the Amendment will avoid more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050. The Montreal Protocol has been called the most successful environmental treaty to date, and the Kigali Amendment the single largest contribution to date towards keeping global temperature rise below 2 oC. Why is the Montreal Protocol considered so successful, how will the amendment contribute to climate protection efforts, and how did science inform the policy process? This talk will explore how science informed policy in the Montreal Protocol, and what lessons could be applied to other fora. Time permitting, we will also discuss international air quality monitoring efforts at diplomatic facilities."

Dr. San Martini has worked for many years on science-policy issues related to air quality, short-lived climate forcers and stratospheric ozone protection. He obtained his PhD with Prof. McRae at MIT, and postdoced with Prof Mario Molina working in Air Pollution in Mexico City, before taking a position with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology at the National Academies. He moved to the State Department as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, first working on water resources, and then on air quality, short-lived climate forcers and stratospheric ozone protection. While at the State Department Ico was instrumental in establishing the air quality monitoring network at U.S. diplomatic facilities and ensuring that air quality data is publicly available to researchers. More recently he joined the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund Secretariat where he works on projects related to ozone- and climate-protection.

date

Monday, March 13, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

Ekeley S274

Event Type

Seminar
2017-03-13
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar:

CSTPR Noontime Seminar:

Climate Change Politics and Machine Learning

by Justin Farrell
Yale University

Abstract: Drawing on large-scale computational data and methods, this research demonstrates how polarization efforts are influenced by a patterned network of political and financial actors. These dynamics, which have been notoriously difficult to quantify, are illustrated here with a computational analysis of climate change politics in the United States. The comprehensive data include all individual and organizational actors in the climate change countermovement (164 organizations), as well as all written and verbal texts produced by this network between 1993–2013 (40,785 texts, more than 39 million words). Two main findings emerge. First, that organizations with corporate funding were more likely to have written and disseminated texts meant to polarize the climate change issue. Second, and more importantly, that corporate funding influences the actual thematic content of these polarization efforts, and the discursive prevalence of that thematic content over time. These findings provide new, and comprehensive, confirmation of dynamics long thought to be at the root of climate change politics and discourse. Beyond the specifics of climate change, this paper has important implications for understanding ideological polarization more generally, and the increasing role of private funding in determining why certain polarizing themes are created and amplified. Lastly, the paper suggests that future studies build on the novel approach taken here that integrates largescale textual analysis with social networks.

Biography: Justin Farrell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University. He studies culture, environment, and social movements using a mixture of methods from large-scale computational text analysis, qualitative fieldwork, network science, and machine learning.

date

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room

resources

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-03-15
 
Impact of changes in the Arctic Ocean freshwater budgets on AMOC strength

Impact of changes in the Arctic Ocean freshwater budgets on AMOC strength

Dr. Alexandra Jahn

INSTAAR and ATOC
University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract:

The Arctic is changing rapidly, but what do these changes mean for the global climate? One way that Arctic changes can potentially impact global climate is through changes in the amount and phase of freshwater exported from the Arctic to the North Atlantic. There it can impact the deep water formation in the North Atlantic, and ultimately the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). In this talk, I will show how simulated changes in the Arctic freshwater budget impact AMOC strength, in climate simulations for the 21st to 23rd century and for a previous warm period, the Pliocene, which occurred 3 million years ago. In particular, I will show that in simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) for the 21st to 23rd century, the maximum strength of the AMOC decreases proportionally to the applied CO2 forcing (Jahn and Holland, 2013). This weakening of the overturning is caused by a reduction or shut down of North Atlantic deep convection due to a surface freshening originating in the Arctic Ocean. For the Pliocene, I will show how changes in the representation of three small Arctic gateways to the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean (Bering Strait, Northwest Passage, Nares Strait) change the magnitude and phase of the simulated Arctic freshwater export in the CESM, which leads to changes in the AMOC strength (Otto-Bliesner et al., 2016). By closing all of the small gateways, in agreement with a recent new PRISM4 reconstruction, the Arctic freshwater export decreases and the AMOC strength increases. This improves the agreement of the simulated Pliocene climate in the North Atlantic with proxy reconstructions.

Dr. Alexandra Jahn

INSTAAR and ATOC
University of Colorado Boulder

References:          

•Jahn, A., and M. M. Holland (2013), Implications of Arctic sea ice changes for North Atlantic deep convection and the meridional overturning circulation in CCSM4-CMIP5 simulations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 1206–1211, doi:10.1002/grl.50183.

•Otto-Bliesner, B. L., A. Jahn, R. Feng,E. C. Brady, A. Hu, and M. Löfverström (2016), Amplified North Atlantic warming in the late Pliocene by changes in Arctic gateways, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/2016GL071805.

date

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
11:00am

location

East Campus, RL-2, room 155

Event Type

Seminar
2017-03-15
 
 
Stand Up for Climate Change: An Experiment With Creative Climate Comedy

Stand Up for Climate Change: An Experiment With Creative Climate Comedy

Stand Up for Climate Change: An Experiment With Creative Climate Comedy

Old Main Auditorium
University of Colorado Boulder

View Flyer

Humor is a tool underutilized, and comedy has the power to effectively connect with people about climate change issues. Our event is associated with the Spring 2017 ‘Creative Climate Communication' course (ENVS3173/THTR4173) and the larger 'Inside the Greenhouse' project.

date

Friday, March 17, 2017
7:00pm

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-03-17
 
 
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Atmospheric Organics: the Cubism of Atmospheric Chemistry

Atmospheric Organics: the Cubism of Atmospheric Chemistry

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

*Please note that there will be no food provided, and no food is allowed in the auditorium
University of Colorado, Boulder

Atmospheric Organics: the Cubism of Atmospheric Chemistry

Abstract:
"Reactive organic carbon (ROC) is the fuel of atmospheric chemistry: the oxidation of these species leads to the formation of ozone, aerosols, and CO2, with both air quality and climate impacts. Organic aerosol is an important, often dominant, contributor to atmospheric aerosol, and yet the complexity of its formation and evolution in the atmosphere preclude a good understanding of its impacts. In this talk I will highlight some recent work from my group on tropospheric organics, including: (1) the global budget of reactive organic carbon (2) the deposition of organic carbon and potential constraints on the lifecycle of ROC, and (3) the decadal trend in organic aerosol over the United States."

date

Monday, March 20, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CIRES Auditorium

resources

Event Type

Seminar
2017-03-20
 
Citizen Science TV Series Preview and Discussion

Citizen Science TV Series Preview and Discussion

A public television series premiering in early April, THE CROWD & THE CLOUD, takes viewers on a global tour of citizen science projects and people on the front lines of this disruptive transformation of how science is done. The series, hosted by CU Boulder’s Waleed Abdalati, shows how citizen scientists are helping professional scientists advance knowledge in public health, environmental science, wildlife conservation and more. And it deals with emerging challenges, too, such as questions about data quality and privacy. Please join Abdalati, producer Geoff Haines-Stiles (COSMOS) and executive producer Erna Akuginow, and a panel of citizen science leaders from across Colorado for a sneak peek at the series March 21, 6:30 p.m., in Old Main. Registration requested. Families welcome. Non-alcoholic refreshments will follow, in the CIRES Atrium. This free event is supported by the office of the CU Boulder Research and Innovation Office. Missed the presentation, watch it here 

date

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
6:30pm to 8:00pm
2017-03-21
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Machine Learning, Social Learning and the Governance of Self-Driving Cars

by Jack Stilgoe
Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London

Abstract: Self-driving cars, a quintessentially ‘smart’ technology, are not born smart. In the algorithms that control their movements and the connections they make with their surroundings, they are learning as they emerge, in organised and haphazard ways. As well as a test of the powers of machine learning, they are an important test case for social learning in the technology governance. In this talk, I reframe responsible innovation as social experiment, with the key question being ‘who learns what?’ Focussing on the successes and failures of social learning around a much-publicised crash in 2016, I argue that trajectories and rhetorics of machine learning in transport pose a substantial governance challenge. ‘Self-driving’ or ‘autonomous’ cars are misnamed. As with other technologies, they are shaped by assumptions about social needs, solvable problems and economic opportunities. Governing self-driving cars in the public interest means challenging this discourse of autonomy and appreciating the ways in which self-driving cars will be entangled in their environments. I will conclude with some options for governance that should enable greater social learning.

Bio: Jack Stilgoe is senior lecturer at the department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London. His teaching and research interests are in science and innovation policy and the governance of emerging technologies. Among other publications, he is the author of Experiment Earth: Responsible Innovation in Geoengineering (Routledge 2015).

date

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room

resources

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-03-22
 
Lens on Climate Change Screening

Lens on Climate Change Screening

Come join us for a lunchtime film screening! The Lens on Climate Change helps middle and high school students explore the effects of climatic changes on their lives and communities through film production. The short films in our showcase are developed and filmed entirely by students with the help of mentors from CU and the Colorado Film School. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served prior to the screening.

date

Thursday, March 23, 2017
12:00pm to 1:30pm

location

Old Main Chapel

Amenities

Refreshments provided

contact

Erin Leckey
2017-03-23
 
 
 
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