UW Today

Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean

September 29, 2016

Ocean conditions contributed to unprecedented 2015 toxic algal bloom

map with animal icons

A study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration connects the unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom of 2015 to the unusually warm ocean conditions — nicknamed “the blob” — in winter and spring of that year.

September 12, 2016

UW scientist helping direct NASA field study of clouds off Namibia

plane on tarmac

UW atmospheric scientists are part of a month-long NASA effort to learn how smoke and clouds interact.

June 22, 2016

Ocean forecast offers seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters

colored maps of Pacific Northwest coast

A new study evaluates the performance of a seasonal forecast, developed by researchers at the UW and NOAA, that predicts conditions over the coming months in the Pacific Northwest marine environment.

May 10, 2016

UW part of NOAA-led cruise to study West Coast ocean acidification

colored map shwoing the 16 stops

University of Washington students, faculty and staff are part of the fifth West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise that will investigate changes to ocean chemistry from Baja to British Columbia. The ship left Thursday from San Diego to begin sampling on Mexico’s northern coast. It will stop May 21 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Pier, then travel…

March 9, 2016

Darkening of Greenland ice sheet due mainly to older, melting snow

ice with dark patches

A study by the UW and others finds that the darkening of the Greenland ice sheet is not due to an increase in wildfires, but is a side effect of a warming climate.

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…

January 6, 2016

UW climate scientists to give free talks at Mt. Baker Ski Area

poster with mountains and speakers' photos

UW scientists will give free talks on climate change for three consecutive Saturdays at Mt. Baker Ski Area.

December 3, 2015

Citizen-science climate project adds logs from historic Arctic whaling ships

handwritten pages with whale sketches

A citizen science project that asks volunteers to transcribe historic ships’ logbooks to uncover data about past Arctic climate has added logbooks from hundreds of whaling ships. The hunters’ handwritten logs will provide new clues about the history of Arctic climate and sea ice.

July 8, 2015

Seafloor hot springs a significant source of iron in the oceans

seafloor topography with colored water above

A two-month voyage tracking a deep current flowing from one of the most active underwater volcanoes proves that iron released from hydrothermal vents travels thousands of miles, providing a significant source of iron to support life in the broader oceans.

April 9, 2015

‘Warm blob’ in Pacific Ocean linked to weird weather across the U.S.

colored map

A patch of warm water off the West Coast, nicknamed “the blob” by a UW scientist, is part of a larger shift in the Pacific Ocean that may be responsible for widespread weather changes.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

July 19, 2013

Nighttime heat waves quadruple in Pacific Northwest

Downtown Seattle at night

Nighttime heat waves — events where the nighttime low is unusually hot for at least three days in a row — are becoming more common in western Washington and Oregon.

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.

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.

June 11, 2012

New research to help scientists better predict underwater volcanic eruptions

A snow blower vent at the Axial Seamount released microorganisms that are believed to bloom after an eruption.

Axial Seamount, an undersea volcano, gave warning signals hours before its eruption, scientists say in three papers published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.