PCC Summer Institute

An annual event where faculty, scientists, graduate students, and invited speakers focus on how climate and our physical and human world interact. Each year a new topic, showcasing emerging knowledge and ways in which disciplines intersect, is examined. Always an opportunity for team building and for full discussion of the alternative ways that research can be brought to focus on the pressing questions of today.


2020 Virtual Summer Institute on Climate Extremes and Climate and Environmental Equity

Organized by Becky Alexander, Director, UW Program on Climate Change, and Professor, UW Atmospheric Sciences,

Dates: September 14-18, 2020

View wrap-up blog post by Becky Alexander here.

#2020PCCSI  @uwpcc (for those who tweet)

This years’ summer institute was a re-imagining of how to engage across disciplines around an important climate issue of the day. We explored climate extremes, as seen in marine and continental heatwaves, precipitation and hydrology, and related equity issues. Registration closed Sept. 1, 2020.

Most days ran from 10:00am to 12:30pm and included

  • (Pre-recorded) Presentations by invited speakers with introductions by faculty and graduate student session leads
  • Break out group conversations
  • Live panel discussion
  • Lightning talks
  • Poster session

Registered participants will be emailed the links to our zoom session and to poster/discussion session breakout rooms the day before each session.  Watch for Monday’s links Sunday afternoon, Sept. 13.

Wed at 4:30 PM “PCC Trivia Night: Equally Trivial and Extreme” While we recognize that nothing could replace the feeling of being together in person together at Friday Harbor,  PCC GSR Greta Shum organized an evening of trivia.

Suggested readings are being compiled for each session.   We encouraged all, but especially graduate students and postdocs, to read and discuss prior to the workshop.

Final Agenda 

Session 1 (Monday Sept. 14): Marine Heatwaves (organized by Greg Johnson and Hillary Scannell)

  1. Marine Heatwaves: Generation Mechanisms & Impacts on Weather and Climate – Nick Bond (UW/JISAO/PMEL). 
  2. Marine Heatwaves: Harmful Algal Blooms, and their Impacts on Marine Ecosystems –Vera Trainer (NOAA/NWFS). 
  3. Marine Heatwaves: Impacts on Fisheries & Future Projections – William Cheung (UBC).

Suggested Readings:

Session 2 (Tuesday Sept. 15): Continental Heatwaves (organized by David Battisti and Lucas Zeppetello)

  1. Continental Heatwaves: Heat stress Steve Sherwood (University of New South Wales)
  2. Continental Heatwaves: Heat extremes Karen McKinnon (UCLA)
  3. Continental Heatwaves: Heat, climate change, and forest ecology Brian Harvey (UW)

Suggested Readings:

  • Sherwood, S. E. and Huber, M. An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress, PNAS, May 25, 2010 107 (21) 9552-9555; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0913352107
  • McKinnon, K. A., A. Rhines, M. P. Tingley, and P. Huybers (2016), The changing shape of Northern Hemisphere summer temperature distributions, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 8849–8868, doi:10.1002/2016JD025292.
  • Spangler, K.R and Wellenius, G. A.  (2020), Spatial patterns of recent US summertime heat trends: Implications for heat sensitivity and health adaptations, Environ. Res. Commun. 2 035002,  doi:10.1088/2515-7620/ab7abb
  • Harvey, B. J., Donato, D.C.  and  Turner, M. G.  (2016),  High and dry: post-fire tree seedling
    establishment in subalpine forests decreases with post-fire drought and large stand-replacing burn patches. Global Ecol. Biogeogr., (2016) 25, 655–669. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/geb.12443
  • Stevens-Rumann, C.S., Kemp, K.B., Higuera, P.E., Harvey, B.J., Rother, M.T., Donato, D.C., Morgan, P. and Veblen, T.T. (2017) Evidence for declining forest resilience to wildfires under climate change. Ecology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12889

Session 3 (Wednesday Sept. 16): Equity (organized by Kristie Ebi and Chris Boyer)

  1. Extremes/equity in the Arctic – Eileen Kazura (UW)
  2. Extremes/equity in the Pacific –Victoria Keener (University of Hawaii)
  3. Extremes/equity/marginalized communities in the U.S. – Cate Mingoya (Director of Capacity Building for Groundwork USA

Suggested Readings :

Session 4 (Thursday Sept. 17): Precipitation (organized by Angie Pendergrass, NCAR/Cornell, Yue Dong, and Pedro Angulo-Umana)

  1. What a new 20-year Global Rainfall Climatology Tells us about High-Impact Weather: from the MJO to Hurricanes Shuyi Chen (UW)
  2. Changes in extreme precipitation with global warming Angie Pendergrass (NCAR / Cornell University)
  3. The role of convective organisation in extreme precipitation Jiawei Bao (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany)

Suggested Readings:

  • Kerns, B. W., & Chen, S. S. (2020). A 20‐year climatology of Madden‐Julian oscillation convection: Large‐scale precipitation tracking from TRMM‐GPM rainfall. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD032142
  • Tan, J., Jakob, C., Rossow, W. et al. Increases in tropical rainfall driven by changes in frequency of organized deep convection. Nature 519, 451–454 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14339
  • Pendergrass, A. What precipitation is extreme? Science 360, Issue 6393, 1072-1073 (2018). https://DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1871

Session 5

(Friday Sept. 18): Hydrology (organized by Bart Nijssen, Valerie Chang and Shelby Ahrendt)

  1. Watershed response to wildfires – Fadji Maina (Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
  2. Climate-resilient floodplain management – Guillaume Mauger (Climate Impacts Group, UW)
  3. Climate impacts on local water resources – Julie Vano (Aspen Global Change Institute)

Suggested Readings:

Fadji Maina
  • Maina, F. Z., E. R. Siirila-Woodburn, M. Newcomer, Z. Xu, and C. Steefel, 2020: Determining the impact of a severe dry to wet transition on watershed hydrodynamics in California, USA with an integrated hydrologic model. J Hydrol580, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.124358.
  • Maina, F. Z., and E. R. Siirila‐Woodburn, 2019: Watersheds dynamics following wildfires: Nonlinear feedbacks and implications on hydrologic responses. Hydrol Process34, 33-50, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13568.

Guillaume Mauger

  • van Valkengoed, A. M., and L. Steg, 2019: Meta-analyses of factors motivating climate change adaptation behaviour. Nat Clim Change9, 158-163, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0371-y
  • Salathé, E. P., A. F. Hamlet, C. F. Mass, S.-Y. Lee, M. Stumbaugh, and R. Steed, 2014: Estimates of Twenty-First-Century Flood Risk in the Pacific Northwest Based on Regional Climate Model Simulations. Journal of Hydrometeorology15, 1881-1899, https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-13-0137.1.
  • Interagency Floodplain Management Review Committee, 1994: Sharing the Challenge: Floodplain Management into the 21st Century, [Available online at https://fas.org/irp/agency/dhs/fema/sharing.pdf.]

Julie Vano

  • Vano, J. A., M. D. Dettinger, R. Cifelli, D. Curtis, A. Dufour, K. Miller, J. R. Olsen, and A. M. Wilson, 2019: Hydroclimatic Extremes as Challenges for the Water Management Community: Lessons from Oroville Dam and Hurricane Harvey. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society100, S9-S14, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0219.1.
  • Vano, J. A., J. R. Arnold, B. Nijssen, M. P. Clark, A. W. Wood, E. D. Gutmann, N. Addor, J. Hamman, and F. Lehner, 2018: DOs and DON’Ts for using climate change information for water resource planning and management: guidelines for study design. Climate Services12, 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cliser.2018.07.002.

While the PCC community, including alumni, and invited speakers and their affiliates, are our primary audience, others were welcome.

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