Summer Institute Details and Archive

2018:   “Sources of Uncertainty in Long-Term Climate Projections” led by Kyle Armour (UW Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences) and Aaron Donohoe (UW Polar Science Center/Applied Physics Laboratory).

September 12-14, 2018 at Friday Harbor Labs, Washington.

The workshop will bring together a diverse group of scientists to discuss the primary sources of uncertainty in climate change and its impacts over the coming century.

Motivational Questions:

  • Can we quantify uncertainty in global and regional climate change projections? (e.g., in the spatial structure of warming and hydrologic cycle changes)
  • What are the primary sources of climate change uncertainty? (e.g., from emissions, radiative feedbacks, ocean circulation, carbon cycle feedbacks, etc.)
  • What are the major uncertainties in climate change impacts?
  • What are our prospects for better quantifying and/or narrowing climate change uncertainties?
  • How should decisions be made and climate change be communicated in light of recalcitrant uncertainties?

Confirmed Speakers (updated 8/13/2018)

External speakers: Nikki Lovenduski (CU Boulder), Brian Soden (U Miami), Mark Zelinka (LLNL), Paul Kushner (U Toronto), Gernot Wagner (Harvard), Kelly McCusker (Rhodium Group NEW! 8/13/2018 )
UW speakers: Ann Bostrom (Evans School), Susan Joslyn (Psychology), Adrian Raftery (Statistics), Cristi Proistosescu (JISAO), Abby Swann (Atmos), Gerard Roe (ESS), David Battisti (Atmos).

Posters and Speed Talks

We encourage posters and speed talks on the SI topic or on a topic of interest to the broad climate community (impacts, outreach, education, etc.).  All are invited to contribute.

Please submit your abstracts to in word format. Include a title, authors and affiliations, and abstract. Abstracts will be compiled and made available to all. Speed talkers, you are also invited to simply send a title and authors/affiliations (i.e. no abstract).by SEPT 6.  Scheduling of speed talks TBA.


Wed afternoon:  Poster Session/Welcome Reception

Wed evening: Decision making under uncertainty, communicating uncertainty, economics (Ann Bostrom, Susan Joslyn, Gernot Wagner)

Thurs morning: Global temperature uncertainty with a focus on emissions, feedbacks, carbon cycle, and oceans (Adrian Raftery, Cristi Proistosescu, Mark Zelinka, Nikki Lovenduski)

Thur evening: Hydrologic cycle uncertainty (Gerard Roe, Brian Soden, Abby Swann)

Friday morning: Uncertainty in climate change impacts, Arctic, other topics (Paul Kushner, David Battisti, Kelly McCusker), plus a panel discussion

Paper Discussions (updated 8/2/2018):

Graduate students – to get primed for the Summer Institute it is strongly encouraged that you participate in as many of the three paper discussions as you can.  They will be from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM in Ocean Sciences Building Room 425. Papers and discussion dates are:

Paper Discussion #1 (August 22 — Aaron will lead): Climate feedbacks and uncertainty. Readings: First 12 pages of Roe (2009), and Zelinka et al (2017)
Paper Discussion #2 (August 29 — Aaron and Kyle will lead): Economic costs of climate change. Readings: Wagner and Zeckhauser (2017) and Hsiang et al (2017)
Paper Discussion #3 (September 5 — Kyle will lead): Uncertainty in carbon cycle feedbacks. Readings: Bonan and Doney (2018) and Lovenduski and Bonan (2017)


Last Updated: 4 September 2018

2017: “Climate Change and Population Health” led by LuAnne Thompson (UW Oceanography/PCC Director) and Cecilia Bitz (UW Atmospheric Sciences/PCC Director-Elect).

The annual University of Washington Program on Climate Change Summer Institute took place September 13-15, 2017, in Friday Harbor, WA.  The topic was “Population Health and Climate Change” and brought together climate scientists with social and health sciences to talk about the observed and projected impacts of climate change to population health.  The challenges that climate change brings to food and water security, human health, and population disruption were discussed.


Participant List –  Final

Schedule (9/9/2017)

Abstracts (9/9/2017)

Two paper discussions were scheduled, and were “strongly recommended” for participating students and postdocs.

Thursday August 31, 1:30-3 in OCN 425, Led by LuAnne Thompson, PCC Director and Oceanography faculty

Carleton, T.A. and Hsiang S.M (2016) Social and economic impacts of climate, Science Sep 9; 353
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9837

Tuesday September 5, 1:30-3 in OCN 425, Led by Cecilia Bitz, PCC Director-Elect and Atmospheric Sciences faculty. Two readings are listed below. If the material is new to you, spend more time on the first paper. If you are already familiar with this topic, skim the IPCC document quickly and spend more time on the second paper. Both will be discussed.

IPCC, 2012: Summary for Policymakers. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-19.

Meehl, G.A., C. Tebaldi, and D. Adams-Smith, US daily temperature records past, present, and future, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., vol. 113, pp. 13977-13982, doi:10.1073/pnas.1606117113.

Questions? Contact Miriam at
(updated July 27, 2017)

2016: “The Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean” led by Cecilia Bitz, UW Atmospheric Sciences.

2015: “Terrestrial Ecosystems, Land Surface, and Climate Change” led by Abby Swann, UW Atmospheric Sciences, Biology.

2014: “Climate Variability and Uncertainty” led by Dargan Frierson, UW Atmospheric Sciences.

2013: “Response of Marine Ecosystems to Climate Forcing: Causes and Consequences” led by Julie Keister, UW Oceanography.

2012: “Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Shelf Interactions.” led by Eric Steig (ESS) and Mark Warner (Oceanography).

2011: “The Water Cycle in a Changing Climate” led by Chris Bretheron (ATM S), Eric Steig (ESS), Jessica Lundquist (Civil/Environmental Engineering), & Dargan Frierson (ATM S).

2010: “Climate Feedbacks.” led by Dargan Frierson, UW Atmospheric Sciences.

2009: “Pacific Northwest Climate: Past, Present and Future.” led by Nate Mantua (SAFS).

2008: “Does Ocean Circulation Matter for Climate Change?” led by LuAnne Thompson, Julian Sachs and David Battisti.

2007:”Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry” led by Jim Murray, Oceanography.

2006: “Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions: Projections, Mitigating Technologies and Policies” led by Chris Bretherton (UW Atmospheric Sciences).

2005: “El Nino: Past, Present and Future” led by Jim Murray (Oceanography) and Curtis Deutsch (Oceanography).

2004: “The Year of the Arctic” led by Peter Rhines (UW Oceanography), Cecilia Bitz (APL), Jim Murray (UW Oceanography), & Jamie Morison (APL).

2003: “Rapid Climate Change and Land-Surface Climate Interactions” led by Jim Murray (UW Oceanography).

2002: “Development of PCC Science Themes” led by Jim Murray (UW Oceanography).




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