UW Today

Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean

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.

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

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

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

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.

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.

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea 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.

Students calculate future sea-level rise in 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.

Shrub growth decreases as winter temps warm up

Many have assumed that warmer winters as a result of climate change would increase the growth of trees and shrubs because the growing season would be longer. But shrubs achieve less yearly growth when cold winter temperatures are interrupted by temperatures warm enough to trigger growth.

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.

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

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.

Citizen scientists: UW students help state legislator with climate policy

Four graduate students were part of a year-long legislative process in Olympia working to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in Washington state.

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