Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder


Melting Glacier Mystery

A CIRES and NASA study examines why many glaciers in the Alps abruptly retreated around 1860, although temperatures at the time were relatively cool.

Bark Beetles and Water

Across North America, mountain pine beetles are infecting and killing forests. CIRES scientists study this outbreak's effects on water resources. 

Terrestrial to Celestial: Earth's impact on the ionosphere

CIRES scientists have found that space weather events don't just come from the sun––they are also caused by terrestrial weather's effect on the ionosphere.  

Unfrozen: Understanding the Arctic's influence on extreme weather.

CIRES scientists investigate how Arctic sea ice loss affects the jet stream, looking for physical links between Arctic sea ice patterns, the jet stream and atmospheric blocking.

Time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide, by CIRES & NOAA

A quick animation from CIRES and NOAA showing the time history of atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Significant Discrepancies: Greater leaks from oil and gas operations than expected

During two days of intensive airborne measurements, CIRES scientists found that oil and gas operations in Colorado's Front Range leaked much more methane and benzene than predicted estimates. 

Bright Lights in the Bakken

CIRES and NOAA scientists are flying over and around the oil-rich Bakken formation in western North Dakota in order to quantifying chemical emissions from the area.

The Big Thaw: Ground-Truthing Permafrost in Alaska

An international team of researchers led by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), part of CIRES, traveled to Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska to study permafrost dynamics and change. 

Nimbus: Recovering the Past

50 years ago, NASA launched Nimbus to study Earth from space. Now, experts at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (part of CIRES), are recovering valuable information from old film and expanding their understanding of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic.