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Climate change clues unearthed

Mar 13, 2017

Researchers check a soil measuring station.
Credit Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County officials are digging deep to learn more about local impacts of climate change.


The Aspen Global Change Institute has been monitoring soil and ecosystem conditions at nine stations across the Roaring Fork Valley since 2012. The goal is to understand both how local ecosystems are changing as the climate warms and what that means for how we manage public lands.

“Short term example might be something like understanding fire risk,” said Elise Osenga with the Aspen Global Change Institute. “A long term might be something along the lines of how is vegetation moving and how is vegetation responding.”

Gary Tennenbaum with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails said data from sites like the one at Sky Mountain Park will inform management decisions, like what to do about an aspen grove near that location that appears to be in decline.