<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:39:51 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Study: Livestock grazing can benefit struggling bird species]]> http://gazette.com/study-livestock-grazing-can-benefit-struggling-bird-species/article/feed/451771?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/study-livestock-grazing-can-benefit-struggling-bird-species/article/feed/451771?custom_click=rss BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A new study disputes a widely-held view that livestock grazing is largely incompatible with a ground-dwelling bird that has suffered a dramatic population decline across its 11-state range in the U.S. West.

Researchers said some grazing, particularly later in the growing season, could actually benefit the chicken-sized greater sage grouse.

Late-season grazing leaves in place for longer the grasses and other vegetation that sage grouse nest in, increasing their breeding success, researchers concluded. It also can stimulate the growth of vegetation that sage grouse eat, according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado State University and Utah State University.

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]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:44:36 -0600 <![CDATA[Ancient rock carvings depicting masked people discovered in Egypt]]> http://gazette.com/ancient-rock-carvings-depicting-masked-people-discovered-in-egypt/article/1599713?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ancient-rock-carvings-depicting-masked-people-discovered-in-egypt/article/1599713?custom_click=rss

Before King Tut, Hatshepsut or Ramesses I — in fact, before there were any pharaohs at all — someone pecked an image of a hunter and a dancer wearing an ostrich mask into a rock on a hill along the Nile River.

The image, discovered recently by archaeologists, provides a tantalizing glimpse of Egypt’s Neolithic period, or Stone Age. It likely dates back to the latter half of the fourth millennium B.C., said Ludwig Morenz, an Egyptologist at the University of Bonn in Germany. The depiction of a masked dancer in this era is particularly fascinating, Morenz told Live Science.

“[In] ancient Egyptian culture, we know many, many masks, but they are basically all masks for the dead,” Morenz said.

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Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:04:34 -0600
<![CDATA[Earth Hour 2017: 'There's never been a more critical moment in the fight']]> http://gazette.com/earth-hour-2017-theres-never-been-a-more-critical-moment-in-the-fight/article/1599704?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/earth-hour-2017-theres-never-been-a-more-critical-moment-in-the-fight/article/1599704?custom_click=rss

Many parts of the world will go dark for an hour Saturday night in more than 170 countries and territories in a show of support for protecting the planet.

Millions of people will participate as homes, cities, hotels, universities and businesses turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time for Earth Hour — a demonstration of commitment to fight climate change now in its 11th year.

Among the places going dark this year: the Empire State Building, the Space Needle, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Colosseum in Rome, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.

"There's never been a more critical moment in the fight," said Terry Macko, senior vice president of marketing and communications at

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Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:26:02 -0600
<![CDATA[Committee moves 1,000-foot oil & gas buffer to school boundaries, not school entrance]]> http://gazette.com/committee-moves-1000-foot-oil-gas-buffer-to-school-boundaries-not-school-entrance/article/1599617?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/committee-moves-1000-foot-oil-gas-buffer-to-school-boundaries-not-school-entrance/article/1599617?custom_click=rss

Rep. Mike Foote showed the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee a video simulation of how close drilling happens to school playgrounds and athletic fields and still meet the letter of the Colorado's setback law.

After almost seven hours of testimony, the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee passed House Bill 1256 to apply a setback of at least 1,000 feet from the campus property line, not the front door. It passed on a party-line vote.

A campus property line - near playgrounds and athletic fields - can be within a few feet of drills, tanks and vents, Foote pointed out.

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Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:54:45 -0600
<![CDATA[Reassurances fail to convince some neighbors El Paso County wind farm is safe]]> http://gazette.com/reassurances-fail-to-convince-some-neighbors-el-paso-county-wind-farm-is-safe/article/1599581?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/reassurances-fail-to-convince-some-neighbors-el-paso-county-wind-farm-is-safe/article/1599581?custom_click=rss

Residents living by a wind farm near Calhan say the turbines are affecting their health and harming animals, despite reassurances from experts at this week's El Paso County commissioners' meeting.

Jeff Wolfe, who lives close to NextEra Energy's Golden West wind farm, said he's experienced nausea, dizziness and migraines since it began operating in fall 2015. He attributes the symptoms to the low-frequency sound waves, known as infrasound, emitted by the 145 windmills.

"This is poisoning people. It's poisoning animals," said Wolfe, who has lived at his home between Yoder and Calhan for 20 years. He also blames the turbines for the cardiovascular problems his wife has begun to experience and the death of seven of their

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Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:21:49 -0600
<![CDATA[New study shakes up the dinosaur family tree]]> http://gazette.com/new-study-shakes-up-the-dinosaur-family-tree/article/1599524?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-study-shakes-up-the-dinosaur-family-tree/article/1599524?custom_click=rss

You may want to forget everything you learned during your childhood obsession with the Tyrannosaurus Rex. A review of thousands of fossils and a new theory announced Wednesday may topple a 130-year-old family tree of dinosaur relations.

Since 1888, paleontologists labored under a classification system that divided the prehistory species into two distinct categories based on the structure of their pelvic bones: the bird-hipped vegetation eaters known as Ornithischia and the reptile-hipped Saurischia, which included both carnivores and herbivores.

Now, a revolutionary new hypothesis says the relationships between the major groups of dinosaurs need radical reorganization.

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:43:04 -0600
<![CDATA[Aspen-area officials send climate message to Trump children]]> http://gazette.com/aspen-area-officials-send-climate-message-to-trump-children/article/1599479?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/aspen-area-officials-send-climate-message-to-trump-children/article/1599479?custom_click=rss

ASPEN — Aspen-area lawmakers sent a message about climate change to the children of President Donald Trump during their visit to the ski resort town.

The Pitkin County commissioners placed full-page ads in both of Aspen's newspapers Tuesday that included a letter signed by commission chairman George Newman welcoming them to the area and focusing on the negative effects of climate change.

It asked them to use their influence to steer the president's policies in a climate-friendly direction.

The Trump family's visit has been low-profile, but Eric Trump and his wife, Lara, have posted some photos on social media, including one on the slopes with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:36:01 -0600
<![CDATA[The Arctic sets record for low levels of sea ice]]> http://gazette.com/the-arctic-sets-record-for-low-levels-of-sea-ice/article/1599477?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/the-arctic-sets-record-for-low-levels-of-sea-ice/article/1599477?custom_click=rss

Floating sea ice at the top of the world has set another troubling record for its low spatial extent, shattering a prior record set just two years ago for this key component of the planet's climate system.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the sheet of Arctic sea ice, which expands and contracts in an annual cycle, probably reached its maximum size this year on March 7, when it spanned 14.42 million square kilometers or 5.57 million square miles atop the Arctic ocean. That's an enormous area, but it's also the smallest winter maximum extent ever observed in records dating back to the year 1979.

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Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:50:21 -0600
<![CDATA[Global warming shrank animals in the past. Scientists say it could happen again]]> http://gazette.com/global-warming-shrank-animals-in-the-past.-scientists-say-it-could-happen-again/article/1599233?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/global-warming-shrank-animals-in-the-past.-scientists-say-it-could-happen-again/article/1599233?custom_click=rss

ASHINGTON — Global warming shrank certain animals in the ancient past, and scientists worry it could happen again.

Warm-blooded animals got smaller at least twice in Earth's history when carbon dioxide levels soared and temperatures spiked as part of a natural warming, a new study says.

University of New Hampshire researcher Abigail D'Ambrosia warned that mammals — but not people — could shrivel in the future under even faster man-made warming.

"It's something we need to keep an eye out for," said D'Ambrosia, who led the new work. "The question is how fast are we going to see these changes."

Three different species shrank noticeably about 54 million years ago when the planet suddenly

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Sat, 18 Mar 2017 19:39:19 -0600
<![CDATA[Residents' concerns about wind farm to be addressed at next El Paso County commissioners' meeting]]> http://gazette.com/residents-concerns-about-wind-farm-to-be-addressed-at-next-el-paso-county-commissioners-meeting/article/1599166?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/residents-concerns-about-wind-farm-to-be-addressed-at-next-el-paso-county-commissioners-meeting/article/1599166?custom_click=rss

A meeting next week will give locals the chance to learn more about a controversial wind farm near Calhan.

At the El Paso County Board of Commissioners' regular meeting on Thursday, officials will provide an update on NextEra Energy's Golden West wind farm, which was completed in the fall of 2015.

Representatives from the Florida-based energy company are expected to provide information on the sound levels of the 145 windmills and detail the wind farm's compliance with local regulations, according to a county news release. Data will also be provided on shadow flicker, which occurs when sunlight shines through the turbines' rotating blades.

El Paso County Assessor Steve Schleiker will outline a report on property sales

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Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:17:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump admin halts Obama-era rule on fracking on public land]]> http://gazette.com/trump-admin-halts-obama-era-rule-on-fracking-on-public-land/article/1599054?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-admin-halts-obama-era-rule-on-fracking-on-public-land/article/1599054?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama administration rule requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

The administration said in court papers Wednesday that it is withdrawing from a lawsuit challenging the Obama-era rule and will begin a new rule-making process later this year.

The Interior Department issued the rule in March 2015, the first major federal regulation of fracking, the controversial drilling technique that has sparked an ongoing boom in natural gas production but raised widespread concerns about possible groundwater contamination and even earthquakes.

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Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:38:35 -0600
<![CDATA[Chevron cleaning up 4,800-gallon Colorado oil spill]]> http://gazette.com/chevron-cleaning-up-4800-gallon-colorado-oil-spill/article/1598908?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/chevron-cleaning-up-4800-gallon-colorado-oil-spill/article/1598908?custom_click=rss

RANGELY — Chevron Corp. says its crews are cleaning up about 4,800 gallons of oil that spilled from a failed pipeline into an intermittent stream on public land in northwestern Colorado.

State officials said Tuesday that the oil travelled about 2 miles downstream along an unnamed tributary of Stinking Water Creek in Rio Blanco County.

Officials say two ducks covered in oil were found at the spill site. There were conflicting reports on whether the animals survived.

The pipeline break was discovered March 5 by a Chevron consultant.

It was earlier reported to involve 50,000 gallons of oil. Chevron spokeswoman Erika Conner says that figure was erroneous and included water from melting snow.

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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 17:53:20 -0600
<![CDATA[Scientists race to prevent wipeout of world's coral reefs]]> http://gazette.com/scientists-race-to-prevent-wipeout-of-worlds-coral-reefs/article/1598911?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/scientists-race-to-prevent-wipeout-of-worlds-coral-reefs/article/1598911?custom_click=rss

SOUTH ARI ATOLL, Maldives — There were startling colors here just a year ago, a dazzling array of life beneath the waves. Now this Maldivian reef is dead, killed by the stress of rising ocean temperatures. What's left is a haunting expanse of gray, a scene repeated in reefs across the globe in what has fast become a full-blown ecological catastrophe.

The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Scientists are now scrambling to ensure that at least a fraction of these unique ecosystems survives beyond the next three decades. The health of the planet depends on it: Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world.

"This isn't something

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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:44:45 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump answers auto industry call for review of $33 billion rules]]> http://gazette.com/trump-answers-auto-industry-call-for-review-of-33-billion-rules/article/1598878?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-answers-auto-industry-call-for-review-of-33-billion-rules/article/1598878?custom_click=rss

When President Donald Trump visits the Detroit area this week, he'll come bearing a gift: a first step toward relaxing rules that could cost automakers about $33 billion.

Trump will announce as part of a visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Wednesday that his administration will begin re-examining fuel-economy standards set by the Obama administration, according to two people familiar with the plans. He'll speak with workers and executives at carmakers that have sought to relax the rules, which the Environmental Protection Agency tried to solidify during the final days of Barack Obama's presidency.

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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:36:02 -0600
<![CDATA[Trump tax cut may save oil drillers $10 billion, boost drilling]]> http://gazette.com/trump-tax-cut-may-save-oil-drillers-10-billion-boost-drilling/article/1598869?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-tax-cut-may-save-oil-drillers-10-billion-boost-drilling/article/1598869?custom_click=rss

The Trump administration's plan to slash corporate tax rates could free up more than $10 billion a year for U.S. oil explorers, opening new opportunities to boost drilling at a time of uncertainty in the marketplace.

Crude prices in New York have fallen 10 percent since the end of 2016 as added drilling in America's shale fields offset an OPEC-led drive to raise prices by cutting production. The U.S. push has spurred concern that another price rout could be just around the corner, following a two-year decline that saw prices fall as low as $26.05 a barrel in February 2016.

Republicans led by President Donald Trump have said they want to cut the top corporate rate to 15 or 20 percent, from 35 percent now.

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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:35:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Gorsuch's record involving environmental groups is mixed bag]]> http://gazette.com/gorsuchs-record-involving-environmental-groups-is-mixed-bag/article/1598309?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/gorsuchs-record-involving-environmental-groups-is-mixed-bag/article/1598309?custom_click=rss

On the federal appeals court in Denver, Judge Neil Gorsuch tends to see environmental groups in lawsuits as more of a problem than part of the solution.

The Associated Press reviewed and analyzed Gorsuch's decisions involving public lands during his decade on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, hearing cases from Colorado and five other Western states.

Gorsuch has shown a willingness to limit the participation of environmental groups in lawsuits involving public lands, writing in one case that allowing conservationists to intervene could complicate and slow down the judicial process.

In public lands cases in which he sought to limit environmental groups' participation, Gorsuch at times has favored the position of federal

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Sun, 12 Mar 2017 07:21:49 -0600