March 18 2013

Rise in Global Temperatures Felt in Colorado

Global Warming Felt in Colorado

Although there seems to be plenty of snow, records show a decrease from the past decade.

While not everyone is on board that climate change is a real issue, the effects are increasingly felt across the globe. From higher ocean levels to warmer temperatures, one cannot argue that the environment has not changed over the years, whether the belief that it is the fault of civilization or not. An article out last week, via CNN, provided evidence that the last decade was the hottest. Although the title is a bit sensationalized, there are some good points to understand: the magnitude of the “heat spike” has never been recorded, a long-range study is necessary, parallel results are seen across a range of studies, etc.

In Buena Vista, Colorado, climate change is an issue as well. As a small, rural town that thrives off tourism, the rise in atmospheric temperatures plays a noticeable difference. The intense winters in the Rockies bring a large amount of snow, which in turn melt during the late spring and run-off into the valleys. Like BV, many surrounding communities need this run-off as a water source – for people and for the Arkansas River. Not only does the run-off play a vital role as a water source for residents, but tourism, as mentioned above, as well. BV is not a snow destination, as much as it is a summer river destination. Kayaking, fishing, and camping are just a few of the summer attractions bringing massive amounts of people to the small town (kayaking especially). Water shortage (run-off from the mountains, especially,) is important, indispensable; the rise in climate temperatures has allotted less snow during the winter and droughts in the summer.

An infographic by Arup, a multi-disciplinary global design firm, examines how cities are addressing climate change. Buena Vista is currently dealing with the effects and promoting sustainability.

Global Warming Felt in Colorado

Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado

The rise in temperatures is not just felt on islands and coasts; Coloradoans are feeling it too. Whether a skeptic or believer, education about the aspects of climate change is vital.

Do you believe climate change to be a real threat? If so, is your community already feeling the effects? For more information on the water relating to Colorado’s issues, click here or here.

Credits: Images by Katie Poppel. Data Linked to sources.

Katie Poppel

Katie Poppel comes to The Grid as a student constantly on the go. Set to graduate from the University of Cincinnati in 2014, she is studying for a bachelor of urban planning with focuses in urban design and sustainability. Her program has allowed her to work for the City of Chicago and the Congress for New Urbanism this past year, as well as study abroad at the University of Amsterdam, College of Social Sciences. In her free time, you can find her exploring cities, playing soccer, or skiing. She has a serious case of wanderlust and enjoys the rush of cities over the countryside. Katie writes from Colorado, as she interns for the small town of Buena Vista south of Denver.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 18th, 2013 at 9:42 am and is filed under Environment, Environmental Design, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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