Research begins into climate change’s effect on Rocky Mountain water

By on December 12, 2012
Grays and Torreys peaks of Colorado's Front Range (Credit: Daidipya, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scientists at Colorado State University and the U.S. Forest Service are investigating changes drinking water from the Rockies may undergo due to climate change, according to a release from Colorado State University. The research is made possible by a $125,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The collaborative research will apply analytical techniques to determine what vegetation changes in the Rockies means for water coming from its Front Range. One of those is ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry, which will be used to evaluate forests in the area using biological markers from major vegetation types.

The biomarkers will be used as a tracing tool for vegetation in surrounding soils and waters to assess the significance of vegetation change. The scientists will also look at natural organic matter released from forests as it enters headwaters and travels into sources of drinking water.

Image: Grays and Torreys peaks of Colorado’s Front Range (Credit: Daidipya, via Wikimedia Commons)

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