UW Today

Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane

Water off Washington’s coast is warming a third of a mile down, where seafloor methane shifts from a frozen solid to a gas. Calculations suggest ocean warming is already releasing significant methane offshore of Alaska to California.

Undergrads use sonar to uncover Lake Union shipwrecks

Undergraduates this week were among the first people to try the latest in seafloor mapping technology — and use it to image a shipwreck on Seattle’s urban lake.

Migrating animals’ pee affects ocean chemistry

Tiny animals migrating from the ocean’s surface to the sunless depths helps shape our oceans. During the daylight hours below the surface the animals release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.

UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

Floating sensors built at the UW will be central to a new $21 million effort to learn how the ocean surrounding Antarctica influences climate.

Predicting when toxic algae will reach Washington and Oregon coasts

Better understanding of how a deadly algae grows offshore and gets carried to Pacific Northwest beaches has led to a computer model that can predict when the unseen threat will hit local beaches.

Research from 1960s shakes up understanding of West Coast earthquakes

A new study used seabed samples collected by UW graduate students in the late 1960s to question current interpretations of earthquake frequency along the West Coast.

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.

A unique lab class: UW students explore nation’s largest dam removal

A spring research apprenticeship course had nine undergraduates living at Friday Harbor Labs and studying what will happen to sediment released by dam removals on the Elwha River.

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