News & Blog


PCC-IGERT students write New York Times article to advise state policy makers

By Katherine Crosman (Evans School of Public Policy and Governance), Leah Johnson (Applied Physics Laboratory & School of Oceanography), Eleni Petrou (School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences), and Hillary Scannell (School of Oceanography) Feverish conditions in the Pacific Ocean in recent years sparked a global conversation on the impacts of a changing climate on coastal ecosystems and communities. In response, The New York Times (NYT) published an article, which became the focus of a Pacific-wide competition. 

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Earth likely to warm more than 2 degrees this century says Dr. Frierson

A recent paper published in Nature Climate Change by a group of UW researchers, including Dr. Dargan Frierson, explains just how critical climate action is. The authors use a fully statistical approach based on country-specific variables to forecast CO2 emissions and temperature change to the year 2100. The study is based on the already implemented emission mitigation policies seen today and finds that it is unlikely that the increase in global temperature will stay under the 2°C mark, and that a change between 2°C and 4.9°C globally is more likely.

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Bridging science and economics in the study of contemporary Arctic issues

by Michelle Dvorak 25 June 2017 I am a 24-year old and recent graduate from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. I came to University somewhat reluctantly, after finishing my Bachelor’s in chemistry and spending four months abroad on an extended skiing and climbing vacation. I was born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, and a big part of me lives to experience the mountains – it was difficult to return to academia with this kind of appetite for lofty adventure. 

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Stephanie Rushley summarizes her interdisciplinary fellowship research "Examination of intraseasonal coral luminescence peaks during the Mid-Holocene"

In this project, Dr. Daehyun Kim (Dept. Atmospheric Sciences) and I partnered with Dr. Julian Sachs (Dept. Oceanography) to examine a hypothesis presented by Lough et al. (2014).  The authors examined streamflow and rainfall in the current and mid-Holocene climates using coral luminescence and found that there was an increase in the number of peaks in coral luminescence, hence heavy rain events, per year during the mid-Holocene, indicating an increase in intraseasonal variability of precipitation.  In the modern climate, more than one annual peak of luminescence is rare.  Lough et al. (2014) hypothesized that the increase in intraseasonal peaks in the mid-Holocene were driven by a stronger Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which is the dominant source of intraseasonal precipitation variability in the tropics. This fellowship project opened many doors to me that I would have never experienced.  Through Dr. Sachs I was introduced to Dr. Janice Lough, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, who not only shared her monthly coral data from the modern period and mid-Holocene period from three different sites in the Great Barrier Reef, but also took the time to help me understand how to correctly use the data by answering numerous questions.  For example, Dr. Lough highlighted some possible errors that can cause unrealistic trends in the coral data that are caused by decay in skeletal density.  Dr. Lough has been extremely helpful and I am very grateful to have gotten connected with her during the course of this project.  Working with experts in very different areas I found a way to connect my work with the MJO to streamflow and coral proxy which I had never worked with before and find interesting results. One of the most interesting results we found was related to the seasonal cycle of the coral luminescence.

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Teachings kids about climate change where most parents are skeptics

A partner with the PCC and the UW in the High Schools Program, Jamie Esler, was recently featured in The Washington Post. Jamie was a part of the PCC Education's Climate Science for the Classroom and has been allowing students to understand the meaning of climate change on their own terms. The course allows students to actively investigate the most current scientific research behind the nature of Earth's global climate system, and the factors influencing this system. His actions represents a greater struggle to teach climate change in high schools.

Read more at The Washington Post

Climate Science on Tap!

The Climate Science on Tap panel discussed sea level rise, its causes and impacts around Puget Sound, and what is being done to prepare and respond in the future. LuAnne Thompson, Director of the UW Program on the Climate Change, was a part of the panel discussing last week.

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PCC Funding for mini symposia is available

The PCC is pleased to welcome proposals for mini symposia held at University of Washington or nearby for the PCC community and visitors. Symposia should be planned to occur before the end of 2018 on topics grounded in climate science broadly considered and must clearly meet the mission of the PCC. The PCC can provide financial support up to $5,000 to pay for a venue, food and travel for a few visitors for up to 2 symposia. 

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