News & Blog


Translating science into policy: the power of boiling it down

I am not the typical graduate student. Before starting graduate school, I served as a submarine officer in the Navy for seven years. While I was on active duty, I served at a command where scientists frequently briefed us on how their research would impact our work. Sitting in many of these presentations, I noticed that the scientists often spoke exclusively in technical jargon – to the extent that the military-minded decision-makers did not know what questions to ask for clarification. 

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Many students of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences were recognized

Congratulations to PCC graduate student Marysa Lague, who was selected as one of the Husky 100 this year! A couple of PCC graduate students earned student prizes at the recent 2017 American Meteorological Society Annual meeting: (1) Michael Diamond received an honorable mention among entries in the 9aerosol section for his oral presentation on “Entrainment and Mixing of Biomass Burning Aerosol into the Namibian Stratocumulus Cloud Deck”; (2) Karl Lapo won for his oral presentation on “Testing Turbulence Schemes in Land Models During Stable Conditions”; and (3) Stephanie Rushley won among entries in the 5mjo category for her oral presentation on “Examining Changes to the Madden-Julian Oscillation in a Warmer Climate using CMIP5 Models”. 

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Antarctic ice has set an unexpected record...

"...2017 is a year that looks like what we ought to expect on a warming planet based on climate models, said Cecilia Bitz, an expert on sea ice at the University of Washington in Seattle. The confusing thing, she continued, is that other recent years have not matched the expectations created by those models at all...."

Read more in Washington Post

Kristin Laidre awarded 2017 Pew Marine Fellowship

Kristin Laidre was awarded the 2017 Pew Marine Fellowship to study the effects of climate change on polar bears. Laidre's project entails working with researchers and agencies in four Arctic nations to compare data across all studied polar bear populations and compile the most comprehensive assessment to date of population status. Laidre plans to examine the potential this metric has for assessing population status.

Read more at UW Today

UW Glaciologists uncover truths about hidden lakes on West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier

UW Glaciologists, Alexander Huth and Ian Joughin,and Noel Gourmele of the University of Edinburgh used data from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 to study a sudden drainage of large pools below Thwaites Glacier. Thwaites Glacier is one of two fast-moving glaciers at the edge of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The recently published study in The Cryosphere shows four interconnected lakes that drained in eight months. The glacier sped up by about 10 percent during that time, showing that the glacier’s long-term movement is fairly oblivious to trickles at its underside.

Read more at The Cryosphere

GCeCS Capstone Opportunity

Posted January 26, 2017 The Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) has an opportunity for a graduate student to develop a GCeCS capstone project that will help them with their ongoing climate science communication efforts. The NW CSC provides climate science support to managers of our region’s natural resources. The UW office is looking for a student interested in helping improve their communication projects while also working on a capstone project. 

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If I were going to blog ….or guidelines for grad students blogging about their capstone communication

Miriam Bertram, January 23, 2017 You’ve completed your capstone project; maybe you gave a series of presentations on “The Road to Paris: Climate Change Science and Policy” or developed a lab for a high school classroom.  You’ve evaluated what your audience retained or learned, written your capstone report.  Now those Program on Climate Change tyrants want you to write a blog.  

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Dargan Frierson and Judy Twedt create "The Sound of Earth's Fever"

With NASA releasing the 2016 global temperature data, Dargan Frierson and Judy Twedt made quick work of the high temperatures. Using the global temperature data from 1880-2016, they created a song about the Earth's global temperature. Lower notes mean lower temperature, and higher notes are higher temperature. They chose notes from a musical scale and added drums just for effect. Dargan and Judy state that they "pause in 1977, a critical year for climate" because "scientists were confident at this point that heat-trapping gases from fossil fuels were the main way humans were influencing the climate".

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