Climate change

Natural Resources & Energy
11:34 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Hundreds Pack EPA Hearings On Proposed Carbon Rules

About 400 people are expected to provide feedback on the EPA's proposed carbon rules this week in Denver alone.
Credit Dan Boyce

Mark Fix has been ranching outside of Miles City, Montana since the mid-1980s, raising cattle, alfalfa and grain on his 9,700 acre plot of land. But severe weather events have been stacking up in recent years: a tornado tore through his barn, flooding stranded his cows. It’s impacting his bottom line, and he’s convinced it’s from human-caused climate change.

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Open Spaces
4:41 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Floods On Rise: Earlier Run-Offs Present Challenge To Water Storage

Rawlins' neighbors used a boat to reach their car.
Melodie Edwards

This spring, rivers were overflowing banks all over the state.  Some rivers saw record—or near-record—flood stages.  The Laramie River hit its second highest flood level on record, and that’s only four years after its highest on record in 2010.  But floods aren’t all sandbagging and property damage: they also mean plenty of water for the long dry summer ahead. 

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Open Spaces
4:13 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Shift To Carbon Use Marks New Frontier In Fight Against Climate Change

Scientists at the Western Research Institute in Laramie, Wyoming are looking for new ways to use carbon dioxide.
Stephanie Joyce

The Obama administration wants states to cutback on carbon emissions, but doing that has always been a thorny problem. While carbon is a byproduct of almost everything we do, capturing and storing it is expensive. For years, the goal has been to figure out how to make that process cheaper, but more recent efforts take a different approach, with the focus shifting from storing carbon to using it.

On a recent spring morning, Karen Wawrousek led a tour of her lab at the Western Research Institute, on the outskirts of Laramie.

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Open Spaces
3:56 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Climate Change Effects On Wyoming Agriculture


In the next half century, scientists are predicting more extreme weather for Wyoming with bigger winter storms and hotter, dryer summers.  That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment out this month. Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers are skeptical about climate change, but some of them have been forced to adjust their methods of production. 

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Natural Resources & Energy
11:14 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Mead Urges Support For Carbon Capture Innovation

It’s time to stop looking at carbon as a liability and time to start figuring out ways to turn into an asset, Governor Matt Mead told attendees at the Wyoming Business Report’s Energy Summit Monday. He said carbon capture and utilization technology is not ready for prime-time, but that innovation is possible if the government and others invest in it.

“Everything is crazy until you figure it out. And this issue on coal in particular is an issue that I think we can figure out, and that we need to figure out,” Mead said.

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Open Spaces
5:14 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Wyo. Lawmakers Reject New Climate Change Report


The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation - including here at home - if action isn’t taken to combat climate change. But Matt Laslo reports from Washington that Wyoming’s Republican senators still aren’t buying it.

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Natural Resources & Energy
10:28 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Mead Urges Shift In Conversation About Carbon

Governor Matt Mead speaking at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority meeting on May 14, 2014.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

Governor Matt Mead says it’s time to move past the argument over climate change, and start finding solutions that will allow the continued use of fossil fuels, including coal. Answering questions after a speech at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority board meeting Wednesday the governor reiterated that he remains skeptical about the science behind climate change, but said that’s besides the point.

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Topic of the Week
9:20 am
Mon May 12, 2014

What are your thoughts on recent discussions about Climate Change?

What are your thoughts on recent discussions about Climate Change? 

WPM/NPR Community Discussion Rules

A link to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can be found on this page:

A link to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan can be found on this page: .

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Natural Resources & Energy
9:30 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Report Says Wyoming Is Getting Hotter And Drier

Wyoming is getting hotter and drier, according to the latest National Climate Assessment. The report says by mid-century, the number of extremely hot days Wyoming experiences will increase considerably.

Mark Shafer is with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and was one of the lead authors of the report. He said that the impacts will be wide-ranging, from changes in growing seasons to stress on the region’s water supply.

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Natural Resources & Energy
5:24 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Wyoming Utilities Diverge In Response To Climate Change

The Jim Bridger Power Plant, one of Rocky Mountain Power's generation sources.

The National Climate Assessment says Wyoming’s energy sector could find itself squeezed for water in the future. Both energy production and generation consume large amounts of water, but changes in precipitation patterns mean there will be less of it to go around. The report points out that across the nation, water shortages already threaten power generation for more than a million homes. That's expected to increase.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Jeff Hymas says climate change is definitely something the utility takes into account when planning for the future.

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Natural Resources & Energy
6:22 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Scientists Launch Campaign To Sway Climate Change Debate

The country’s largest scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is launching a public awareness campaign about climate change.

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7:54 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Study Finds Forest Growth Dictated By Bedrock, Not Just Climate

A study by UW scientists finds that bedrock plays as big of a role as climate in determining how much vegetation grows in an area.

Bedrock is the layer of rock beneath the soil.

Lead author Jesse Hahm says he did the research because he was puzzled by the patchiness of forest cover.

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7:47 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Mead Says Wyoming's Energy Future Must Balance Economy And Environment

Governor Matt Mead

Governor Matt Mead and other elected officials made the case during a Jackson forum Wednesday that Wyoming's future depends on energy. They said that tapping state's energy resources, from coal to natural gas, is what pays the bills when it comes to building schools and other vital infrastructure.

But the governor said that doesn't mean producing energy should come at the cost of the environment. And that impressed Paul Hansen, who moderated
the forum.

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Open Spaces
4:04 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Skiing faces challenges in warming world

Skiing has been a popular pastime in the West for decades, but with climate change, the future of the sport is in question.

Porter Fox is the features editor at Powder magazine and the author of DEEP: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow. Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce spoke with Fox about his new book, and what’s in store for Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
2:04 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Wyoming lawmakers outraged at Obama’s climate plan

This week President Obama announced he's going to attempt to combat climate change from the Oval Office. Wyoming's three Republicans in Congress are none too happy with his plan. As Matt Laslo reports, they say it could cripple the state's economy and hit your pocket. 

MATT LASLO: Climate change wasn't really a part of the 20-12 election, so the president surprised many when he promised to deal with global warming in his second inaugural address. Now he's coming out swinging again...charging Republicans with being deaf to the scientific community. 

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oil recovery
6:33 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute to host CO2 conference

Credit (Photo by hitchhacking via Creative Commons)

The University of Wyoming is hosting a conference to help energy companies use enhanced oil recovery to increase their yields. That’s a technique in which carbon dioxide is pumped underground to help extract oil.

  Glen Murrell is the Associate Director of UW’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute. He says this year’s conference is putting a major emphasis on helping small operators.

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4:35 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Champion athletes ask President Obama to save winters

Credit Kit DesLauriers

Last month, a non-profit group comprising athletes who make a living through winter sports sent a letter to President Obama asking him to take action on climate change.

Two-time world freestyle ski champion and Jackson resident, Kit DesLauriers is part of the group, called Protect Our Winters. She says she has been skiing for over 30 years, including down the highest peaks of every continent, and that the changes she has seen are alarming.

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10:48 am
Wed December 26, 2012

UW researchers say gradual climate change affected human population numbers

A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by UW researchers Bob Kelly, Todd Surovell, Bryan Shuman, and one-time UW graduate student Geoff Smith looks at climate change in the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming and how it affected the population living there over thousands of years. Archaeologist Todd Surovell and geologist Bryan Shuman came in to talk about their work with Wyoming Public Radio's Irina Zhorov.

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7:08 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Study says ecosystems help climate change

Credit Bob Beck

A new study estimates that ecosystems in the western U.S. absorb and contain nearly 100 million tons of atmospheric carbon each year.
     The Interior Department said Thursday that's nearly 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, ecosystems in the West help to offset the air pollution that contributes to climate change.
     The study authored by U.S. Geological Survey scientists is part of a congressionally mandated national assessment of how ecosystems capture and contain carbon from the atmosphere.

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5:11 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

UW symposium to examine climate change in National Parks

The University of Wyoming will host a panel discussion Thursday on how climate change can impact planning and management at national parks. 

Researchers from around the world will discuss how environmental changes can impact tourism.   UW Professor Patricia Taylor is one of the organizers.  She says it’s important that those in running parks consider how stakeholders are impacted by decisions park managers make on topics concerning climate. 

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4:19 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Yellowstone to host climate change workshop for teachers

Yellowstone National Park will host a climate change educational workshop for teachers this month.

During the four-day workshop, a representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will explain how climate change works, and rangers will talk with teachers about where Yellowstone is seeing impacts, including increased wildfire activity and threats to pika habitat.

Katherine Chesson worked with the parks Climate Challenge, which runs similar programs in parks around the country.

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6:40 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Scientists Study Climate Cores For Hints Of Climate Change

The Bighorn Mountains

An international team of scientists are studying earth core samples from the Bighorn Mountains to better understand climate change. Traces of natural substances leave hints about ancient climates in the rock.

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