climate crisis | KUNR

climate crisis

Two Western cities registered the poorest air quality in the world over the last week as smoke from wildfires in northern California turned the skies over the Rocky Mountains into a chalky white abyss. On July 7, Denver’s air was the worst among international cities, according to IQAir.com. Salt Lake City was No. 1 the day prior.

University of Utah atmospheric scientist Derek Mallia says such pollution levels in these Mountain West cities is “unprecedented.”

Two years ago, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries declared a climate emergency. They did so in a report that said scientists have "a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to 'tell it like it is.'"

Now, they say things look even worse.

On Wednesday, an updated version of the report was published in the journal BioScience, and included an additional 2,800 scientists' signatures.

An image of Lake Mead dried up.
James Marvin Phelps / CC BY-NC 2.0

The entire state of Nevada is under some level of drought. Wildfire season is already underway and the Sierra just experienced the second consecutive dry winter.

In honor of Earth Day, Nevada Climatologist Steph McAfee shares the state of Nevada’s climate and where things are headed in this interview with KUNR's Morning Edition Host Noah Glick.

An image of a big meadow with forests surrounding it.
Cody Reed

Researchers have found that it’s not just forests on the landscape that can help mitigate climate change. Meadows also provide an efficient way to keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

Firefighters have long studied how fires behave to figure out where they’re going and how to keep people safe. But wildfires are becoming more unpredictable.


The United States could see tens of thousands more violent crimes per year as climate change causes warmer winters, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Ed Franklin shows one participant how to take a reading on a solar panel, during the Native Waters on Arid Lands 2019 Tribal Summit in Reno, Nev.
DRI / Native Waters on Arid Lands

The climate crisis is threatening traditional ways of life throughout Indian Country. Now, tribal leaders and scientists are working together to help reservations become more climate resilient.

A radical environmental movement that originated in the UK is now going international, with several chapters in the Mountain West.