Tag Archives: Niwot Ridge

Fly Over Niwot Ridge with Google Earth!

Check out the landscape where some of the finest scientists from all over the U.S. and world come to study alpine ecosytems and climate change. Niwot Ridge is also a great place to hike … if its not hunting season. It’s located near Brainard Lake Recreation Area, and just like Brainard it can be extremely windy. But if you make it past midget pine trees and ice covered lakes to the rocky top, you’ll hear the shrill sounds of pikas and likely see some mountain chickadees!Here is the video:

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Climate Change Impacts Colorado Ecosytems

"Ice Pattern on Lake Tahoe"

"Ice Pattern on Lake Tahoe" Photo Credit: the_tahoe_guy

High above Boulder at the Niwot Ridge research center scientists have been monitoring the way climate change impacts the local ecosystems.  They have found an increase in rain over the past 50 years.

“This increase has affected the physical processes of alpine lakes; lake-ice thickness measured in late March over a 20-year interval shows a marked decline, while temperatures over this interval have remained statistically unchanged,” the center found in its study available here: http://www.lternet.edu/currentfindings/nwt.html

Ice thickness on lakes has waned during winter months and more nitrogen has been introduced into the system.

Based on historic findings the researchs new model, “suggests that high-elevation lakes and tree line, which functions as a windbreak and collects snow, particulates, and nutrients, may be the locations that experience the first negative impacts of a variety of anthropogenic materials,” in this area.

Have you lived in Boulder or an alpine region in Colorado for awhile and noticed climate change or no change? Let me know in the comments section below.