UW News

climate change


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.


March 27, 2014

Citizen scientists: UW students help state legislator with climate policy

students at table with papers

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


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.


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 29, 2014

Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins

Six penguin chicks stand under shrub

Climate change is killing penguin chicks from the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins, not just indirectly but directly because of drenching rainstorms and heat.


January 2, 2014

El Niño tied to melting of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier

ice and sky

A new study in Science, co-authored by the British Antarctic Survey and UW authors, shows that melting of the floating Pine Island ice shelf is tied to global atmospheric patterns associated with El Niño.


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.


December 10, 2013

What climate change means for federally protected marine species

salmon

As the Endangered Species Act nears its 40th birthday at the end of December, conservation biologists are coming to terms with a danger not foreseen in the 1970s: global climate change.


November 4, 2013

More wildfires, earlier snowmelt, coastal threats top Northwest climate risks

mountain and snow

A new comprehensive report co-authored by the UW’s Climate Impacts Group looks at what climate change will mean for Washington, Oregon and Idaho.


October 29, 2013

Redwood trees reveal history of West Coast rain, fog, ocean conditions

redwoods in fog

Scientists found a way to use coastal redwood trees as a window into historic climate, using oxygen and carbon atoms in the wood to detect fog and rainfall in previous seasons.


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.


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.


August 30, 2013

New ocean forecast could help predict fish habitat six months in advance

school of sardines

UW researchers and federal scientists have developed the first long-term seasonal forecast of conditions for the Northwest ocean ecosystem.


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.


June 25, 2013

Clearing up confusion on future of Colorado River flows

Lake Powell and dam

Leading experts on water issues in the Western U.S. have come together to establish what is known about the future of Colorado River water, and to understand the wide range of estimates for future flows.


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.


May 20, 2013

Amazon River exhales virtually all carbon taken up by rain forest

photo on boat

A study published this week in Nature Geoscience shows that woody plant matter is almost completely digested by bacteria living in the Amazon River, and that this tough stuff plays a major part in fueling the river’s breath.


April 14, 2013

Recent Antarctic climate, glacier changes at the ‘upper bound’ of normal

A sectionof the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide core.

In recent decades the thinning of glaciers at the edge of Antarctica has accelerated, but new UW-led research indicates the changes, though dramatic, cannot be confidently attributed to human-caused global warming.


April 3, 2013

UW group part of national report, meeting on adaptation to climate change

Climate report cover

The UW’s Climate Impacts Group is part of a national report and first-ever national meeting on adapting to the effects of a changing climate.


March 28, 2013

Volunteers use historic U.S. ship logbooks to uncover Arctic climate data

Photo of historic ship and dogs on ice

A volunteer project enlists citizen scientists to transcribe climate observations buried in historic logbooks of U.S. ships that spent time in the Arctic.


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 18, 2013

Mussels cramped by environmental factors

Drawing of wave with menancing face and startled mussels on shore

The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.


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.


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.


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.


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.


September 17, 2012

Shrinking snow depth on Arctic sea ice threatens ringed seal habitat

a ringed seal looks out from its snow cave

Scientists found that the habitat required for ringed seals — animals under consideration for the threatened species list — to rear their young will drastically shrink this century.


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.


August 14, 2012

How do they do it? Predictions are in for Arctic sea ice low point

Sea ice levels 620px Crop

University of Washington researchers used some new techniques this year in hopes of improving the accuracy of their annual prediction of the low point of Arctic sea ice.



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