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Applied Physics Laboratory


June 1, 2016

UW researchers attend sea ice conference — above the Arctic Circle

three people in blue coats

University of Washington polar scientists are on Alaska’s North Slope this week for the 2016 Barrow Sea Ice Camp. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the event brings together U.S.-based sea ice observers, satellite experts and modelers at various career stages to collect data and discuss issues related to measuring and modeling sea ice. The…


May 25, 2016

UW, NOAA deploy ocean robot to monitor harmful algal blooms off Washington coast

The box surround by purple contains an automated laboratory that will analyze seawater for algal species and toxin. Researchers deployed it May 23 about 13 miles off Washington's coast.

Oceanographers from the UW and NOAA deployed a new tool that will automatically test for harmful algal blooms and help warn of when they could hit local beaches.


March 1, 2016

Ice cores, polar bears and whale sounds at 11th Polar Science Weekend

poster showing helicopter on ice

Investigate a real ice core from Greenland, survey microbes from the coldest parts of the world, explore an Arctic ice camp and meet with polar scientists – many of whom are from the University of Washington. It’s all part of Polar Science Weekend, returning to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center March 4-6. The three-day event features…


February 11, 2016

Bellingham Bay buoy an opportunity to observe marine waters for Northwest Indian College, world

Preparing to launch the new buoy, named Se’lhaem, in Bellingham Bay.

The Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction, through its education partner the University of Washington, is deploying an oceanographic observing buoy in Bellingham Bay this week that will allow Northwest Indian College students both hands-on experience with the technology as well as the ability to study the data from their computers, through the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, NANOOS.


January 11, 2016

Northwest winter weather: El Niño, coastal effects, no more ‘blob’

Map showing precipitation forecasts

What some have called the “Godzilla El Niño” is now lumbering ashore, right on schedule. El Niño tends to influence North American weather after the first of January, and indeed, we’re seeing warm temperatures in Alaska and much-needed rain in California. University of Washington researchers are tracking what the season will deliver to the Pacific…


March 17, 2015

First global review on the status, future of Arctic marine mammals

closeup of polar bear

A University of Washington scientist is lead author on the first census of all Arctic marine mammals, including whales, walruses, seals and polar bears. The multinational report assesses the current status of these populations and makes recommendations for conservation of these species under climate change.


March 3, 2015

On thin ice: Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss

submarine poking through ice and people disembarking

Historic submarine and modern satellite records show that ice thickness in the central Arctic Ocean dropped by 65 percent from 1975 to 2012. September ice thickness, when the ice cover is at a minimum, dropped by 85 percent.


February 5, 2015

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

From left to right: UW researchers Ben Rush, Nick Michel-Hart, James Joslin and Paul Gibbs prepare to test the monitoring device underwater in a tank on campus.

A robot developed at the University of Washington will deploy instruments to gather information in unprecedented detail about how marine life interacts with underwater equipment used to harvest wave and tidal energy.


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.


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.


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.


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.


June 23, 2014

Zippy, electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research

Micro electric cars.

The University of Washington is one of four institutions receiving four Innova Dash all-electric micro vehicles this summer. They will be able to communicate data such as position, speed and battery charge directly to the UW’s network, which will provide the information to various research projects.


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.


May 12, 2014

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way

ice

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.


April 29, 2014

Benjamin Hall, Eric D’Asaro elected to National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences logo

Benjamin Hall and Eric D’Asaro are among the 84 new members elected fellows the National Academy of Sciences.


April 14, 2014

Puget Sound’s rich waters supplied by deep, turbulent canyon

map of canyon

UW oceanographers found fast-flowing water and intense mixing in a submarine canyon just off the Washington coast.


April 7, 2014

UW startup creates underwater robotics with a human touch

Undergraduates students work on instrumentation with the BluHaptics team.

A team of University of Washington scientists and engineers working at the Applied Physics Laboratory is creating a control system for underwater remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs. Researchers will demonstrate the technology at the SmartAmerica Challenge in Washington, D.C. in June.


April 4, 2014

UW researchers, radar company conduct aerial surveys of Oso site

Black and white image of slide

UW researchers made some of the first aerial surveys over the Oso mudslide, using radar technology to map the condition immediately after the slide.


March 13, 2014

Tethered robots tested for Internet-connected ocean observatory

people on boat deploying instrument

The UW this fall will complete installation of a huge high-tech ocean observatory. Dozens of instruments will connect to power and Internet cables on the seafloor, but the observatory also includes a new generation of ocean explorers: robots that will zoom up and down through almost two miles of ocean to monitor the water conditions and marine life above.


March 4, 2014

Polar science this weekend at Pacific Science Center

event poster

The 9th annual Polar Science Weekend will bring polar research, art and an actual ice core to the Pacific Science Center.


February 26, 2014

Whales, ships more common through Bering Strait

whale

A three-year survey of whales in the Bering Strait reveals that many species of whales are using the narrow waterway, while shipping and commercial traffic also increase.


February 3, 2014

Greenland’s fastest glacier sets new speed record

floating iceberg

Observations of Jakobshavn Glacier from 2012 and 2013 show the fast-moving glacier has set new records for the speed of ice flowing toward the ocean.


January 10, 2014

Trial to test using ultrasound to move kidney stones

ultrasound image

A clinical trial in Seattle is testing a technique developed at the UW that uses low-power ultrasound to reposition kidney stones.


January 6, 2014

‘Future of Ice’ initiative marks new era for UW polar research

FutureofIce

The UW’s new “Future of Ice” initiative includes several new research hires, a new minor in Arctic studies and a free winter lecture series.


November 18, 2013

Post-shutdown, UW Arctic research flights resume

researchers in plane

UW researchers this month are on missions to fly above the Arctic Ocean to measure glacier melt, polar storms and Arctic sea ice.


October 8, 2013

UW, local company building innovative deep-sea manned submarine

Image of submersible

The UW, Boeing and an Everett company are building a carbon-fiber submersible that will carry five passengers almost 2 miles deep.


September 17, 2013

Stronger winds explain puzzling growth of sea ice in Antarctica

sea ice

Despite warming temperatures, Antarctic sea ice is on track to hit a record high. A new study suggests stronger polar winds can explain the recent increase in Southern Hemisphere sea ice.


September 9, 2013

Breaking deep-sea waves reveal mechanism for global ocean mixing

wave

Oceanographers for the first time recorded an enormous wave breaking miles below the surface in a key bottleneck for global ocean circulation.


August 8, 2013

Ocean acidification center another example of state leading the nation

Two barncle-covered oysters in seawater

Washington’s governor and state legislators in the last session created a hub at the University of Washington to coordinate research and monitoring of ocean acidification and its effects on local sea life such as oysters, clams and fish.


August 1, 2013

Scientists review the ecological effects of sea ice loss

caribou

A UW atmospheric scientist is co-author of a review paper, published this week in the journal Science, looking at the ecological consequences of sea ice decline.


July 30, 2013

Santa’s workshop not flooded – but lots of melting in the Arctic

pool of water

Widespread media reports of a lake at the North Pole don’t hold water — but scientists who deployed the monitoring buoys are watching closely as Arctic sea ice approaches its yearly minimum.


April 15, 2013

Preparing to install the world’s largest underwater observatory

Applied Physics Laboratory engineer Mike Harrington leads development of the science junction boxes for the underwater laboratory..

Engineers at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory are under pressure to build and test parts for installation this summer in the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory off the Washington and Oregon coasts.


February 27, 2013

Bundle up for Polar Science Weekend at Pacific Science Center

Polar Science Weekend poster

The annual Polar Science Weekend, featuring many UW students and faculty, takes place tomorrow through Sunday at Pacific Science Center.


February 13, 2013

European satellite confirms UW numbers: Arctic Ocean is on thin ice

Chuchki Sea ice

New satellite observations confirm a University of Washington analysis that for the past three years found accelerated declines in the volume of Arctic sea ice.


January 31, 2013

Cyclone did not cause 2012 record low for Arctic sea ice

Satellite image of Arctic cyclone

A huge Arctic cyclone in August was not responsible for the historic minimum seen soon after in Arctic sea-ice extent.


November 29, 2012

International study provides more solid measure of shrinking in polar ice sheets

Channel through glacier

Climatologists have reconciled their measurements of ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades. A second article looks at how to monitor and understand accelerating losses from the planet’s two largest continental ice sheets.


June 12, 2012

Novel scientific equipment will unlock ocean secrets for decades — with slide show

The shallow profiler will float to the surface and get pulled back down to the floating platform by a winch.

University of Washington engineers and scientists are one step closer to deploying sophisticated equipment that will collect important information about ocean properties like currents and temperature and send the information via the Internet in real time to scientists around the world.


May 3, 2012

Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level

These icebergs recently calved from the front of the north branch of Jakobshavn Isbrae, a large outlet glacier that drains 6.5 percent of the Greenland ice sheet. The fact that they are upright, indicated by their dirty and crevassed surfaces, suggests they calved from the floating end of a glacier.

Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland’s contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.



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