#Durango: Acid Mine Nation Day — A #GoldKingMine Spill Retrospective, September 26, 2021

“Back in the Saddle” #BikeToWork Day, September 22, 2021

Longs Peak from Sloans Lake September 22, 2021

I’m working remotely today so I rode to two breakfast stations near my home. First up was the station at 25th and Sheridan in Edgewater, then around Sloans Lake.

On the way home I stopped at the station near Leroy’s Bagels on W. 29th Avenue. I ran into a colleague that works for Denver Water so the conversation moved from Bike to Work, through water demand analysis, and water quality — then back to our bicycles.

I hope you had a chance to celebrate the cool sunny morning on your bicycle. There are many events this afternoon and evening to help get the good bicycle feelings going.

Mount “Named for the governor that ordered the Sand Creek Massacre” Evans from Sloans Lake

Do humans also exert a cooling influence on Earth’s climate? — NOAA

From NOAA:

Yes, humans exert a cooling influence on Earth in several ways. But, overall, these cooling influences are smaller than the warming influence of the heat-trapping gases humans put into the air.

Our greatest cooling influence comes from particulate pollution (aerosols) we produce. We put plumes of aerosols into the air from power plants and industrial smokestacks; smoke and gases from biomass burning; windblown dust from deforested areas, dried wetlands, and crop fields; exhaust from ships’ smokestacks; tailpipe emissions from cars, trucks, buses, and trains; etc. Aerosol particles absorb and reflect the sun’s rays, thereby reducing the amount of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface. They also interact with clouds, in many cases making them brighter and longer-lived, also reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. Learn more.

Aerosols can result from natural processes such as dust storms and lightning-sparked wildfires. Aerosols can also result from human activities, everything from cooking fires to industrial smokestacks. This image, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the NASA Terra satellite on December 6, 2018, shows a natural-color image of smoke hugging the southern face of the Himalaya. Superimposed on the natural-color image is a MODIS measurement of aerosol optical depth (AOD). AOD values over 3 indicate aerosols dense enough to obscure sunlight.

Whereas aerosols linger in the atmosphere from days to a few weeks, heat-trapping gases that we add to the atmosphere linger from decades to centuries. Plus, when scientists discovered that our aerosol emissions were causing other undesired harmful side effects—such as acid rain and human respiratory diseases and deaths—we began to regulate and reduce their emission. Thus, the warming effect of our heat-trapping gases is ultimately winning out over the cooling influence of our particle pollution. Learn more


Myhre, G., D. Shindell, F.-M. Bréon, W. Collins, J. Fuglestvedt, J. Huang, D. Koch, J.-F. Lamarque, D. Lee, B. Mendoza, T. Nakajima, A. Robock, G. Stephens, T. Takemura and H. Zhang (2013). Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. (pdf)

Weak #LaNiña in the forecast: Here’s what it means for ski season in Summit County — The Summit Daily #ENSO #BlueRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

A nice storm blew through last night. The webcam at Black Mountain Lodge shows a little bit of snow up on the hill. Like earlier dustings, this snow won’t last. We have a sunny week forecast, but temperatures won’t be quite as warm. We should see highs in the 50’s and low 60’s. Not quite snowmaking weather yet, but that time isn’t too far away. Photo credit: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

From The Summit Daily (Taylor Sienkiewicz):

As the ski season approaches, everyone wants to know how much snow Summit County will get this year.

Joel Gratz, founding meteorologist of Open Snow, explained that at this point in the year, the only way to have some sort of idea about what the upcoming season will look like is to determine whether it will be an El Nino or a La Nina year and then to look at past weather patterns associated with those climate phenomena. El Nino and La Nina refer to warmer or cooler water temperatures, respectively, in the Pacific Ocean and impact weather worldwide.

“The reason people talk about it now is because El Nino and La Nina is the only factor that we can kind of reliably predict many months in advance,” Gratz said. “All the other things that control storm tracks aren’t able to be predicted more than really a week or two in advance, which is when we’re just tracking each individual storm.”

This year, there’s a 70% to 80% chance that La Nina will arrive this winter, and models are showing that La Nina will be weak to moderate.

So what does this mean for our ski season? Unfortunately, not much.

Gratz explained that the stronger the La Nina or El Nino, the better chance Colorado will get at least average snowfall — if not above average. But a weak La Nina means anything could happen…

Here are the typical outcomes from both El Niño and La Niña for the US. Note each El Niño and La Niña can present differently, these are just the average impacts. Graphic credit: NWS Salt Lake City office

Typically, Gratz said La Nina does well for the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains, meaning it’s likely to be wetter than normal in those areas. On the flip side, El Nino often favors the south in terms of precipitation. However, as Colorado is in the middle of North America, correlation between weather and El Nino and La Nina is weaker. Gratz said El Nino often means some bigger storms are seen on the Front Range, but Summit County is often unaffected.

“Many past seasons with a La Nina have done pretty well in the northern mountains where Summit is. Last season was a La Nina, and it was OK but generally below average,” Gratz said…

To complicate things more, Gratz noted that Colorado’s worst season and its best season in the past 30 years both occurred when there was neither a La Nina nor an El Nino. Overall, Gratz said El Nino and La Nina are general concepts that sometimes work at the local level…

The seven- to 10-days out marker is for when meteorologists have their eye on an incoming storm but don’t have many details, Gratz explained. After that, they’re filling in those details, such as snow accumulation ranges, until the storm hits.

While it’s essentially anyone’s guess what the ski season will look like in terms of powder days, the National Weather Service’s two week forecast isn’t promising. Treste Huse, a senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said that through the end of the month, above normal temperatures are expected. She added that there is a high chance that the remainder of September will be dry.

The latest “The Roundup” newsletter is hot off the presses from @AspenJounalism #EagleRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Contractors for Homestake Partners are drilling test holes for a geotechnical study near Homestake Creek. A proposed project could develop more water from Homestake Creek for Aurora and Colorado Springs, and could also benefit Western Slope entities.

Click here to read the newsletter (Curtis Wackerle). Here’s an excerpt:

The Eagle River Watershed Council on Tuesday hosted a hike for the public in the Homestake Valley, an area receiving increased scrutiny because of a project that proposes to take more water from the Colorado River basin and bring it to the fast-growing Front Range.

The goal of the event — which included presentations from representatives from public-lands conservation group Wilderness Workshop, municipal water provider Aurora Water and other experts — was to provide a broad overview of a complicated issue, according to watershed council executive director Holly Loff.

“We know it’s going to be a long process, but we want to make sure people are engaged in the conversation and look to us as a resource,” Loff said. “We will continue to provide science-based, factual information.”

The watershed council advocates for the health of the upper Colorado and Eagle river watersheds through research, education and projects, according to its website.

Webinar: #Colorado #Water Issues, Local Action — The One World One Water Center

Denver. Photo credit: The One World One Water Center

Click here for the inside skinny and to register:

After learning from Dr. Hanna-Attisha and her work with the Flint, Michigan water crisis, take a dive into local water issues and what water leaders are doing to protect our community.

Virtual panel discussion moderated by: Jerd Smith, Digital Content Editor- Fresh Water News


  • Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director- Colorado People’s Alliance
  • Tom Romero, University of Denver- Sturm College of Law, Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality
  • Alexis Woodrow, Lead Reduction Program Manager- Denver Water
  • Learn more about OWOW here!

    USBR announces five winners that will share $200,000 in Imperfection Detection Challenge

    Finding new, non-destructive methods to inspect carbon fiber-reinforced pipe is the goal of the Imperfection Detection Challenge. Photo credit: USBR

    Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamtion (Peter Soeth):

    The Bureau of Reclamation selected five winning submissions to share $200,000 for phase 1 of the Imperfection Detection Challenge. This prize competition sought new tools to evaluate the condition of fiber-reinforced polymer composite structures non-destructively. These composites are used in pipelines, tanks and other specialized infrastructure components.

    The five winning submissions are:

  • Utilizing Space Tech to Detect FRP Damage on Earth, Brownsville, Texas
  • Low-Terahertz Imaging Radar, Netherlands
  • Ultrasonic SH waves imaging FRP structures, Columbia, Maryland
  • Applied Impact Robotics, Inc, Sterling, Virginia
  • Augmented reality system for low-THz inspection, Romania
  • “Composite structures are increasingly used in constructing pipelines, tanks and other infrastructure,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “We are encouraged by the projects submitted and look forward to further development in the next phase of the prize competition.”

    The five winners now move to phase 2 and have 10 months to develop and demonstrate their prototype’s performance. Up to three of the top-performing teams will receive $10,000 each and move to phase 3.

    In phase 3, finalists deliver their prototypes to be evaluated by Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers and affiliated partners. The winner of this phase receives $50,000.

    Submissions receiving a phase 1 honorable mention for this prize competition are:

  • UAX GO, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
  • Multi-modal Ultrasonic Device (MUD), England
  • Reclamation is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clemson Composites Center, Jesse Garant Metrology, Thompson Pipe Group, NASA Tournament Labs and HeroX on this prize competition. To learn more about this competition, please visit Imperfection Detection Prize Competition Page.

    Prize competitions spur innovation by engaging a non-traditional, problem-solver community. Reclamation supports innovation to target the most persistent science and technology challenges through prize competitions. It has awarded more than $4 million in prizes through 28 competitions in the past six years. Please visit Reclamation’s Water Prize Competition Center to learn more.

    This week’s topsoil moisture short/very short by @usda_oce

    WA saw modest improvement with recent precip (from 100 to 90% very short/short).

    A flash drought signal is apparent in OK and TX, along with a few other states.

    Overall, 50% is short/very short, up 1% from last week.