UW Today

January 20, 2015

Scientists drilling first deep ice core at the South Pole

photo of person in tent bending over ice core

A UW researcher is chief scientist this month on a project to drill the first deep ice core at the South Pole, to understand the climate history in that section of Antarctica.

January 15, 2015

Seismologists analyze last week’s game, prepare for more stadium shaking

UW seismologists (and everyone else in the region) got their wish: The Seahawks won last Saturday, and will play another hometown game in front of a cheering crowd that can rock the stadium. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network’s post-game seismic analysis of the Jan. 10 game shows 197,000 page requests, almost twice as many as…

January 8, 2015

Epic survey finds regional patterns of soot and dirt on North American snow

person cutting snow

University of Washington scientists published the first large-scale survey of impurities in North American snow. An almost 10,000-mile road trip showed that disturbed soil often mattered as much as air pollution for the whiteness of the snow.

January 7, 2015

Long, strange trip samples the continent’s snow

A survey of pollution and other impurities in North American snow required researchers to find sites with undisturbed snow far from any city or major road – in other words, a recipe for getting stranded by the side of a cold, lonely road. During the campaign that went from late January to late March 2013,…

How the ‘Beast Quake’ is helping scientists track real earthquakes


Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will install instruments this Thursday to provide real-time monitoring of the stadium’s movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs. It’s a valuable test of their newest seismic technology.

December 18, 2014

Oceanography undergrads blog from Vancouver Island

Twenty-four UW oceanography students are aboard the UW’s large research vessel, the Thomas G. Thompson, taking measurements off Canada’s west coast for their senior-level research projects. They left Thursday, Dec. 11 and will get back Sunday, Dec. 21. The trip takes them to Nootka Sound, a complex inlet off the west coast of Vancouver Island….

December 17, 2014

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

road in water

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods involve heavy rains and melting snow, and UW hydrology experts are using the physics of these events to better predict the risks.

December 10, 2014

Art exhibit on polar field research opens Friday

Marine mammal expert Kristin Laidre, a polar scientist at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, studies Arctic mammals in their native habitat. She focuses on polar bears and narwhals, an Arctic whale with a distinctive spiral tusk. In spring 2013 she invited Seattle watercolor artist Maria Coryell-Martin…

December 9, 2014

Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane

graphic of bubbles

Water off Washington’s coast is warming a third of a mile down, where seafloor methane shifts from a frozen solid to a gas. Calculations suggest ocean warming is already releasing significant methane offshore of Alaska to California.

December 3, 2014

Join a Google+ hangout on Southern Ocean climate

Join some of the world’s leading experts on the Southern Ocean for a webinar on Thursday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to noon Seattle time. Viewers can log on here with a Google account, or watch on YouTube. “UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean” UW Today | Sept. 11, 2014 The Southern Ocean Carbon…

November 21, 2014

UW-made tool displays West Coast ocean acidification data

hands holding oysters

A new tool developed at the UW displays real-time ocean acidification data for the open ocean and protected bays, helping shellfish growers and scientists see changes in water chemistry.

November 12, 2014

UW statistician, philosopher win prize for detecting bias in peer review

In the wake of a 2011 study that found black applicants for National Institutes of Health grants were significantly less likely to receive funding than their equally qualified white counterparts, the health agency began to look at ways to uncover and address bias in how it awards research funding. The agency launched a contest last…

November 10, 2014

UW’s Ian Joughin one of Seattle Mag’s ‘Most Influential People’ of 2014

The November issue of Seattle Magazine includes a list of 51 local people who made 2014 what it was. Along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Seahawks team’s “12th man” fans, it includes UW glaciologist Ian Joughin, whom the magazine dubs the “ice breaker.” The magazine notes: “In the face of global warming, it’s…

Global warming not just a blanket – in the long run, it’s more like tanning oil

sun and earth

Instead of carbon dioxide, or CO2, creating a blanket that slowly warms the planet, long-term warming happens because a darker surface and more moist air can absorb more of the incoming rays.

November 7, 2014

Undergrads use sonar to uncover Lake Union shipwrecks

ship image on screen

Undergraduates this week were among the first people to try the latest in seafloor mapping technology — and use it to image a shipwreck on Seattle’s urban lake.

October 29, 2014

Fires and floods: North Cascades federal lands prepare for climate change

mountain lake

UW scientists worked with managers of federal parks and forests to come up with a strategy to address warmer temperatures, increased wildfires and more flooding in the North Cascades region.

October 24, 2014

U.S. Navy awards $8 million to develop wave, tidal energy technology

students on boat

The UW has an $8 million, four-year contract to develop technologies that can harness waves, tides and currents to power naval facilities worldwide.

October 17, 2014

Watch John Delaney’s talks on ocean science, culture and art on UWTV

Fifth and final lecture: Summer 2014 Expedition Thursday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Kane Hall 110 Tickets, $20, available here If you missed the UW Alumni Association’s lecture series last spring, “The Global Ocean & Human Culture: Past, Present & Future,” you can now watch the talks on UWTV. John Delaney, a UW professor of oceanography,…

October 14, 2014

Orphanage care linked to thinner brain tissue in regions related to ADHD

brain scan image

Psychological studies of children who began life in Romanian orphanages shows that institutionalization is linked to physical changes in brain structure. The thinning of the cortex leaves a lasting legacy that can explain impulsivity and inattention years later.

October 13, 2014

Pronto cycle share launches in Seattle

The new Pronto Cycle Share system launched Monday around the U-District, downtown, South Lake Union and Capitol Hill. Pronto is Seattle’s cycle-sharing system featuring 500 bikes at 50 stations, with bikes available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Check out the station map to see all the Seattle locations. Campus stations are at the IMA, the…

October 9, 2014

Migrating animals’ pee affects ocean chemistry

school of fish

Tiny animals migrating from the ocean’s surface to the sunless depths helps shape our oceans. During the daylight hours below the surface the animals release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.

September 19, 2014

Join expedition online: UW students help install cabled deep-sea observatory

octopus near instrument

UW students have had a unique experience off the coast of Washington and Oregon helping scientists and engineers complete construction of the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory.

September 18, 2014

World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100

graph of world population and each continent

A study by the UW and the United Nations finds that the number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates.

September 11, 2014

UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

person with float

Floating sensors built at the UW will be central to a new $21 million effort to learn how the ocean surrounding Antarctica influences climate.

September 4, 2014

Predicting when toxic algae will reach Washington and Oregon coasts

animation of currents

Better understanding of how a deadly algae grows offshore and gets carried to Pacific Northwest beaches has led to a computer model that can predict when the unseen threat will hit local beaches.

August 28, 2014

David Battisti, Qiang Fu elected AGU fellows

AGU logo

UW atmospheric scientists David Battisti and Qiang Fu have been elected fellows of the American Geophysical Union.

August 21, 2014

Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean

graph of global temperatures and ocean heat

Observations show that the heat absent from the Earth’s surface is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and is part of a slow, naturally recurring cycle.

August 15, 2014

Research from 1960s shakes up understanding of West Coast earthquakes

people placing corer on boat

A new study used seabed samples collected by UW graduate students in the late 1960s to question current interpretations of earthquake frequency along the West Coast.

August 13, 2014

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

person walking on snow

Historic observations and NASA airborne data provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning.

August 8, 2014

Ancient shellfish remains rewrite 10,000-year history of El Niño cycles

person with shell

Piles of ancient shells provide the first reliable long-term record for the powerful driver of year-to-year climate changes. Results show that the El Niños 10,000 years ago were as strong and frequent as they are today.

August 7, 2014

Ocean’s most oxygen-deprived zones to shrink under climate change


Predictions that the lowest-oxygen environments in the ocean will get worse may not come to pass. UW research shows climate change, by weakening the trade winds, will shrink these extremely low-oxygen waters.

August 1, 2014

A unique lab class: UW students explore nation’s largest dam removal

students walking on sand

A spring research apprenticeship course had nine undergraduates living at Friday Harbor Labs and studying what will happen to sediment released by dam removals on the Elwha River.

July 29, 2014

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

water and ice

The first measurements of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean recorded house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm. More sensors are going out this summer to study waves in newly ice-free Arctic waters.

July 16, 2014

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

person on ice

An international team has placed sensors on and under Arctic sea ice to monitor this season’s retreat. Scientists hope to understand the physics of the ice edge in order to predict summer conditions in the Arctic Ocean.

July 10, 2014

Students calculate future sea-level rise in Olympia

Aerial view of Olympia

Students in a UW statistics course did a case study on sea-level rise in Olympia. All are co-authors on a new paper that looks at the uncertainties around estimates of rising seas.

June 16, 2014

Ferries for science: Instrument will monitor flow in Puget Sound

graphic of boat and hump

The UW, the state Department of Ecology and Washington State Ferries are working together to get a better understanding of water circulation in Puget Sound.

June 6, 2014

Ocean technology course ends spring quarter with a splash

students on dock

A University of Washington undergraduate class has students design, build and test their own Internet-connected oceanographic sensors. The students are getting their feet wet, literally, in a new type of oceanography.

May 12, 2014

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way


The collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun, according to computer models using detailed topographic maps. The fast-moving Thwaites Glacier will likely disappear in a matter of centuries, researchers say, raising sea level by nearly 2 feet.

May 7, 2014

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

A canyon in the Greenland ice sheet filled with melt water in summer 2010.

Up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and surrounding areas may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet. Still, at least half the warming remains attributable to global warming caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions.

May 6, 2014

UW scientist a lead author on third National Climate Assessment

report cover

University of Washington climate scientist Amy Snover is one of two lead authors for the Northwest chapter of the newly published National Climate Assessment.

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