climate change

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah regulators have been preparing more than a year for the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations to cut greenhouse gases from power plants. But the state’s top attorney is demanding that EPA put those new controls on hold.

Dan Bammes

Supporters and critics of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan have only begun to size up what the new carbon-pollution controls might mean in Utah, and their first impressions differ.

Courtesy Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Rocky Mountain Power has committed to reduce emissions and use more clean energy. Its parent company Berkshire Hathaway Energy took part in an Obama Administration climate pledge signed by 13 major companies on Monday.

Courtesy photo

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy used an appearance in Salt Lake City Friday to advocate for the Obama Administration’s proposed clean power plan.

Judy Fahys/KUER

State mining regulators heard arguments for and against the nation’s first oil sands mine, which is being built in eastern Utah.

Dozens of critics turned out to weigh in Tuesday on a proposal to expand the project.

Steve Schmidt / Western Rivers Flyfisher

The group Trout Unlimited says the nation’s trout are in trouble.

Development, invasive species and climate change are threats that have pushed the native trout to just one quarter of the places they used to thrive nationwide. TU’s president and CEO, Chris Wood, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday it’s not just a problem for people who like to fish.

Doc Searls / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government approved a big coal lease in central Utah Friday over the objections of environmental groups.

Judy Fahys/KUER

  Pope Francis lent his voice Thursday to the argument that climate change is a moral problem with the release of his long-awaited encyclical on the issue.

Several groups in Utah are embracing the message.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The fire community is breathing easier about the upcoming wildfire season for now.

Back in winter, fire officials worried that Utah might be headed into a long, harsh one. But rain gauges at the Salt Lake City airport registered more than double the normal rainfall for the month. Now the soil moisture is restored and green grass covers the range.

Per / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study zeroes in on those odd times when bird flocks bypass their usual winter habitats because of the climate.

Pine siskins are small songbirds that settle sometimes outside their normal winter hangouts.

Don Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Western ski towns including Park City are backing a proposal to reform the royalty system for coal mined on federal lands. The reason: Climate change is dragging down their economies, says a coalition called the Mountain Pact.

The group says Park City will lose $120 million dollars in lower output, 1,137 jobs and more than $20 million dollars in paychecks thanks to a shrinking snowpack and less tourism. The Utah ski town has joined ten other mountain communities that want to combat the problem through reforms to federal coal-leasing programs.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Scott Jones steers a snowmobile into the T.W. Daniel Experimental Forest deep in the mountains above Logan. He’s a soils physicist at Utah State University, and he’s studying how forests use and store water.

“Understanding the processes up here will help us anticipate what’s happening in the valleys and streams,” he says.

Jones and a colleague measure water the snowpack’s holding after Utah’s warmest and driest winter on record. Data like this can help water managers plan for the future.

KUED

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s still not sure people have a role in causing climate change.

A reporter asked Utah’s Republican governor on Thursday whether Utah’s lean snowpack and possible water shortages are the result of climate change.

USU and Yale University

Researchers at Utah State University and Yale University have mapped public opinion about global warming across the US. Their study published Monday in Nature Climate Change reveals the diversity of opinions at state and local levels.

Dmitri / Flickr Creative Commons

The end of December may have been bitterly cold, but last year was surprisingly warm overall in Utah, continuing a trend that began three years ago.

AFP-REUTERS-GETTYIMAGES&AP via Flickr

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was in Washington D.C. today presenting the final recommendations of the White House Climate Change Task Force. 

Last November, Mayor Becker and 25 other State, Local and Tribal leaders from across the country were picked to join the task force.  Over the past year, Becker says the group compared notes on how the warming climate is impacting their respective communities.

Maj. D.J. Gibb / Utah Army National Guard

    

The UN climate change panel issued its latest status report this weekend. The group says the world must act swiftly to avert the risks in a rapidly warming planet. IN Utah, local efforts are already underway.

Courtesy: / National Weather Service

October’s been warmer and drier than usual so far in Utah. The warm trend is expected to continue into winter, but forecasters can’t say how much rain and snow will fall in the coming months.

The National Weather Service’s long-term outlook says normal precipitation is just as likely this winter as especially wet -- or dry --weather.  But the state’s had three extra dry years in a row, and that might be the single most important factor ahead.

Garrett / Flickr Creative Commons

Cities are getting hotter thanks to climate change. And the heat in cities is rising faster than rural America. It’s a trend playing out in Utah.

Eric Pardyjak is a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor who studies what are called “heat islands,” which generally make summer nights hotter in cities than in rural communities.

Flickr Creative Commons

    

Utah's energy community met Wednesday at Gov. Gary Herbert’s 3rd annual Energy Development Summit to talk about the state's all-of-the-above approach to powering everyday life.

The Republican governor reminded his audience that energy is one of his administration’s top four priorities. He said energy pumps around $5 billion into Utah’s economy each year.

But Herbert said good jobs and a high standard of living have to be balanced with conserving the environment.

Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency released an ambitious plan Monday to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Several Utahns are already working on next steps.

David Folland, a leader of the grass roots Citizens Climate Lobby in Utah, is pleased to see progress finally being made on the issue.

Brian Grimmett

Climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann was in Utah Wednesday calling attention to the recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment, that predicts dire consequences for Utah if action isn’t taken soon.

Don Cook / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Weather Service’s weekend forecast calls for temperatures to drift closer to normal for this time of year. But, earlier in the year, temperatures nationwide were nothing like normal.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker visited a group of 8th graders at Hillside Middle School Monday to answer questions about climate change in advance of the 44th annual Earth Day.

Students at Hillside Middle School spoke at length about climate issues like melting ice caps; migratory bird habitats and droughts. Becker was a senior in high school the year Earth Day became a national holiday. It was a time he says he knew very little about his own impact on the environment.  

Utah State University

  The world’s leading climate scientists and policymakers met in Japan over the weekend and released their latest assessment of global warming. They agree the climate is heating up because people burn so much fossil fuel.

Here in Utah, leaders are brainstorming about how to deal with the changing climate.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

National Geographic Magazine’s latest cover story asks whether coal energy can be clean energy. It’s an important question for anyone concerned about climate change impacts and for states like Utah that mine coal for power plants.

Ira Block

Fossils tell the story of the world’s past and the next Frontiers of Science lecture will explore what the fossils also say about current times and the future.

U Study: Low-Elevation Pikas Love Moss

Dec 18, 2013
Jo Varner, University of Utah

  Pikas are furry creatures related to rabbits that live in rockslide areas at the tops of mountains in the West.  They’re not often found below about eight thousand feet.  But a new study from the University of Utah has discovered how a population of pikas is thriving close to sea level.  

Energy and Enterprise Initiative

  Bob Inglis is a former Republican member of Congress from South Carolina, a conservative who was defeated by a candidate riding the Tea Party wave in 2010.  He's gone on to lead the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University in Virginia.  It's proposing a solution to the world's climate change problem based on conservative political values, and he'll be explaining that at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

Utah has three independent candidates running for Congress this election.  But most voters haven’t seen a single ad or billboard about their campaigns.  For a candidate with no funds or party support, it’s an uphill battle to get a message out.  This story looks at what it means to be an independent candidate in Utah.

Pages