Working to keep the West special

The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization is disbanding

RMCO is dissolving as an organization, effective by the end of 2021. See this statement of explanation from our president.

This website will stay up for a year or more, to maintain public access to RMCO's reports and other information about our organization.

RMCO report: climate projections for Colorado mountains

RMCO on August 23, 2021, released new reports detailing our analyses of what the climate models project for locations in two Colorado mountain counties, Eagle County and Summit County. These are the last reports of our work to spread the word about what climate change can mean in the Interior West.

Colorado Communities for Climate Action: Now 40 members strong!

Colorado Communities for Climate Action, initially launched (in 2015) as an RMCO program, has grown to include 40 member local governments that advocate for strong federal and state climate protection actions. CC4CA now is a free-standing organization and will be unaffected by the decision of RMCO to disband. Learn more about CC4CA here.

RMCO report on climate change in Colorado River headwaters

In 2018, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization released a report documenting how climate change may affect the water and snow resources in the headwaters region of the Colorado River. The news release announcing the report is here.

The report, Climate Change in the Headwaters: Water and Snow Impacts, prepared by RMCO for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, summarizes existing information on how climate change puts at risk the water and snow resources of Colorado's mountains and the many economic and social values that depend on them.

RMCO's Stephen Saunders said, “Future climate change will be determined by future levels of heat-trapping emissions. If emissions keep increasing unchecked, the science says there will be major disruptions of the snow and water resources of this headwaters region.”

RMCO report: More extreme heat in Denver metro area

In June 2017, the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the City and County of Denver's Department of Environmental Health released a report on what climate change may mean for the Denver metropolitan area. With continued high heat-trapping emissions, Denver by mid-century is projected to have in a typical year seven days 100° or hotter, more than ever recorded here. But that is nothing compared to the hottest year in mid-century -- projected to have 25 days 100° or hotter.

This analysis of 44 million individual projections from the latest climate models may be the most thorough and detailed analysis yet of climate projections for any single locality in the United States. Details are here.

RMCO report: Projected climate extremes in two Colorado counties

Two earlier, similar RMCO reports on projected climate extremes covered Boulder County and Larimer County, both in Colorado.

Report: Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk

In 2014, the Union of Concerned Scientists and RMCO released a joint report, Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk, detailing how a changing climate is affecting forests in this region, and how further climate change may lead to far greater impacts than those seen before. For this region, the vulnerability of our forests is one of our greatest threats, and one of the best reasons to reduce the extent to which we humans are disrupting the climate.

 

A Special Region

The American West is special. The West is also changing -- more heat, less snow and water, more wildfires.

RMCO's mission has been to keep the West a special place to live, work, and play, by promoting new attitudes and new actions to tackle climate change and its disruptive impacts. We did much of this in partnership with local governments and other institutions that can have the most impact in protecting the climate.

Colorado Communities for Climate Action

Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a new coalition of local governments advocating for state and federal policies to protect our climate, was originally set up as an RMCO program. It now is a freestanding organization and has its own, separate website.

CC4CA effectively took the place of the earlier Colorado Climate Network, which also was a RMCO program.

RMCO reports

One of the key ways in which RMCO spreads the word about climate disruption and its impacts is through our carefully researched, richly detailed, and easily readable reports.

We now have prepared and released 25 reports, most in partnership with other organizations. The reports have been covered by 18 of the 25 largest-circulation newspapers in the nation.

RMCO's Firsts

RMCO was the first nonprofit organization in the nation—and still the only one—to convene a stakeholder panel which developed a statewide agenda for climate action.

The panel's recommended goals for reducing emissions of heat-trapping pollution were adopted by Governor Bill Ritter Jr. as official state policy, and many other recommendations were included in the state's Colorado Climate Action Agenda or enacted by the Colorado General Assembly.

RMCO was the first to call climate change the greatest threat ever to our national parks, which we have documented in several reports on the national park system and particular parks.

RMCO was the first organization to consistently label what humans are doing to the climate as climate disruption. The earlier, more common, phrase, global warming, is instead misleading, as warmth is a word that always has a positive connotation. This is part of how we communicate effectively about the damage we humans have been doing to the climate on which we all depend.

All photos on our website unless indicated otherwise are copyright by and courtesy of John Fielder. One of today's best photographers of the extraordinary landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, he captures what makes this region worthy of protection from climate disruption.