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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Ghost Town Climatology


Ghost Town Climatology

FRED CHAMBERS

This study investigates whether declining populations affect local temperature patterns, creating a reverse urban heat island effect. This reversal has been demonstrated to exist in former Colorado mining towns whose populations have dramatically decreased in the last century. The research is currently being expanded into the "Rust Belt" regions of the U.S., focusing on how declining factory emissions (due to shutdowns) have altered the urban heat island effect.

Atmosphere, Weather, and Baseball: How much farther does the baseball fly at Denver's Coors Field? (Fred Chambers, Brian Page, and Clyde Zaidins, physics) 
It is generally accepted that a baseball should fly approximately 10 percent farther at a mile-high altitude than at sea level. An analysis of four years of fly ball distance data for Coors Field refutes this notion. Instead, it was found that the baseballs only fly an average of 6.5 percent farther than the average at other National League ballparks. Why the discrepancy? It appears as though a persistent summer wind pattern within the Platte River Valley is responsible. Diurnal upslope and downslope winds appear to be channeled by the river valley, resulting in a preponderance of days with the wind flowing in toward home plate, thereby diminishing the supposed mile-high advantage. However, when the winds do blow out of the park... awesome fly ball distances can be (and are) seen!