UW News

Department of Atmospheric Sciences


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.


November 10, 2014

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.


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.


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.


April 11, 2014

Greenland ice cores show industrial record of acid rain, success of U.S. Clean Air Act

person with ice core

Detailed ice core measurements show smog-related ratios leveling off in 1970, and suggests these deposits are sensitive to the same chemicals that cause acid rain.


February 26, 2014

Pine forest particles appear out of thin air, influence climate

Trees in snow

German, Finnish and U.S. scientists have discovered how gas wafting from coniferous trees creates particles that can reflect sunlight or promote formation of clouds.


February 18, 2014

Embarking on geoengineering, then stopping, would speed up global warming

Sun rays

Carrying out geoengineering for several decades and then stopping would cause warming at a rate more than double that expected due to global warming.


December 17, 2013

Hack the planet? Geoengineering research, ethics, governance explored

ship that sprays clouds

A special interdisciplinary issue of the journal Climatic Change includes the most detailed description yet of the proposed Oxford Principles to govern geoengineering research, and surveys the technical hurdles, ethics and regulatory issues related to deliberately manipulating the planet’s climate.


November 4, 2013

UW Bothell prof, students present crowd-funded study of coal train emissions

The undergraduate student team (l-r): Jeffrey Thayer,  Justin Putz (UW Bothell), Greg Hof and Sofya Malashanka.

Atmospheric scientist Dan Jaffe tonight will present the first results of a crowd-funded study of train emissions, conducted with four undergraduates from the Seattle and Bothell campuses and funded by public donations.


October 20, 2013

Global ocean currents explain why Northern Hemisphere is the soggier one

World precipitation map

A new study in Nature Geoscience explains a major feature of global precipitation, and shows how a current originating from the poles influences tropical rainfall in Africa and southern India.


September 30, 2013

UW researchers helped draft international assessment of climate change

Graphic of IPCC report depicts temperatures at the end of the 21st century.

UW faculty members were among international researchers who compiled the fifth climate-change assessment report. The UW will host a seminar Tuesday, Oct. 1 with some of the Seattle-area authors.


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 9, 2013

Hazy days of summer: Southeast U.S. field work measures mercury, smog

airplane

Dozens of atmospheric scientists, including three University of Washington faculty members, are taking part in what’s being described as one of the largest atmospheric field campaigns in decades.


June 6, 2013

Pollution in Northern Hemisphere helped cause 1980s African drought

smokestacks

Air pollution in the Northern Hemisphere in the mid-20th century cooled the upper half of the planet and pushed rain bands south, contributing to the prolonged and worsening drought in Africa’s Sahel region. Clean air legislation in the 1980s reversed the trend and the drought lessened.


April 25, 2013

Keeping beverages cool in summer: It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity

Sweat on a can of Miller beer.

Drops forming on the outside of your drink don’t just make the can slippery. Experiments show that in hot, humid weather, condensation heats a drink more than the surrounding air.


March 11, 2013

Remote clouds responsible for climate models’ glitch in tropical rainfall

photo of cloudy sea

One of the most persistent biases in global climate models is due to poor simulation of cloud cover thousands of miles to the south.


February 28, 2013

Changes in cloud distribution explain some weather patterns

A cumulonimbus cloud formation.

Regional cloud changes may be as important for climate change as the overall amount of cloud cover.


February 6, 2013

Smartphones, tablets help UW researchers improve storm forecasts

pressurenet_barometer

Atmospheric scientists are using pressure readings from some new smartphones and tablet computers to improve short-term thunderstorm forecasts. A weather station in every pocket would offer an unprecedented wealth of data.


January 15, 2013

International study: Where there’s smoke or smog, there’s climate change

Scientists taking snow samples in Greenland.

A new international assessment found that soot, or black carbon, is a major contributor to global warming — second only to carbon dioxide.


December 31, 2012

In rain and snow at home, Seahawks much more likely to win

SeahawksRain TILE

The Seahawks win four times as many home games as they lose when the weather is inclement, compared to less than two to one when it’s not.


December 17, 2012

Plumes across the Pacific deliver thousands of microbial species to West Coast

Mount Bachelor observatory.

Microorganisms – 99 percent more kinds than had been reported in findings published just four months ago – are hitching rides in the upper troposphere from Asia.


October 2, 2012

UW scientists team with Coast Guard to explore ice-free Arctic Ocean

first year ice

UW scientists are teaming with the U.S. Coast Guard to study the new frontier in the Arctic Ocean opened up with the melting ice.


August 20, 2012

Experiment would test cloud geoengineering as way to slow warming

unusual water craft with three large sprayers shooting water into the sky

A University of Washington scientist has proposed an experiment to test cloud brightening, a geoengineering concept that alters clouds in an effort to counter global warming.



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