News & Blog


Thicker-leaved plants may thrive due to climate change, which may help temper climate change’s effects

Work by a team of scientists including Abigail Swann, who serves on the PCC executive board, and Marlies Kovenock, a former PhD student of Swann, looked into how tropical forests may be adapting to changing climate and how these adaptations have the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change. Tropical forests are currently responsible for absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but information on how plants and ecosystems may respond to the rising CO2 levels is not abundant, making this research critically important. 

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A look at the 2021 PCC Annual (virtual) Winter Welcome

During the week of March 15, PCC welcomed 16 new faculty, research scientists, postdocs, and graduate students to the UW climate community and awarded Graduate Certificates in Climate Sciences to four graduate students who completed their capstone projects in the last year. Given the impact that the pandemic-related restrictions have had on us all, it is heartening and inspiring to see all of the progress and milestones that have been achieved over the last year within the PCC community. 

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Standing with Asians and Asian Americans to Advance Justice, Equity, and Inclusion

The recent violence targeting Asians,  Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders reflects the deepening of many of the divisions and increasing acts of violence that have arisen since the pandemic began.  Six of the eight killed in the Atlanta-area shootings were of Asian descent and seven of them were women.   As an organization that promotes and celebrates community and inclusion, the UW Program on Climate Change (UW PCC) stands with the University of Washington and educational institutions across the country to decry recent and racially motivated attacks. 

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Reduce: Experiences & Insights

Written by Billy Henshaw, Graduate Student, UW Atmospheric Sciences I had always wanted to be a part of a startup focusing on “greentech”, innovative technological solutions to adapt to climate change or solve the climate crisis; I am intrigued by climate change as a social and political problem. Thus, I viewed climate solutions with a lot of curiosity and excitement. When I learned that Reduce, a greentech startup hoping to curb unsustainable consumerism, was looking for UW graduate students, I hopped on the opportunity. 

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Human-driven climate change found to increase risk of flooding in the Peruvian Andes, and other glacial lakes

A recent study published by a team of scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Washington shows, for the first time, a direct connection between human-driven climate change and an increased risk of glacial lake flooding. The study focused on Lake Palcacocha, a glacial lake in the Peruvian Andes, and demonstrates how human-induced global warming has increased flood risk, due to the lake's growth as the glacier that formed it continues to retreat. This study will be important evidence in an ongoing court case in which a resident of the town most at risk from increased flooding is suing a German electricity producer for its role in worsening global warming. Additionally, this process can be expanded to other glacial lakes across the world, serving as an instrumental piece in understanding the consequences and risks associated with global warming in affected areas it results in the growth and creation of glacial lakes worldwide. A key researcher in this study was UW professor of Earth and Space Sciences Gerard Roe, whose participation in the study and previous work in creating a method that can determine if an individual glacier's retreat can be directly linked to anthropogenic climate change was instrumental to the study. Roe is also a member of the PCC Executive Board.

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PCC Members at AGU 2020

AGU has begun, and for those of us attending the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting remotely this year, we have compiled a list of presentations by PCC community members at the University of Washington. Visit this spreadsheet for names, dates, titles, and links to presentations (we’ll be keeping this updated throughout the week). Hope to see you all virtually! 

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Congrats to Kyle Armour, recipient of the 2020 James B. Macelwane Medal from AGU!

Kyle Armour, PCC Executive Board member and associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and School of Oceanography, has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The Macelwane Medal is given annually to three to five early-career scientists in recognition of their significant contributions to Earth and space science. Congrats Kyle!  

Read more at UW Atmos News

Going the Distance – First ever virtual GCC organized jointly by UW and MIT students explores climate research through climate policy and DEI lenses

The 14th Annual Graduate Climate Conference (GCC) was held virtually for the first time ever over the weekend of October 30 – November 1, 2020, bringing together graduate students across a wide range of disciplines with ‘climate’ as a research theme. This conference is known across the graduate climate community as a “conference for students, by students.”  A team of volunteer graduate students organizes the conference, which is attended exclusively by graduate students at no cost. 

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The PCC Presents "Climate Science for the Classroom", a new ebook

The Program on Climate Change is excited to announce the publication of a new open-access ebook, Climate Science for the Classroom. The book is a compilation of climate-science focused labs, modules, and games for middle and high school classroom, and represents the work of 17 different past and present PCC graduate students and community members. The ebook was organized and edited by Miriam Bertram and Surabhi Biyani, and is published through UW Libraries. 

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Preparing for the Future of Our Planet: A Look at UW’s Climate Minor

Written by Jordan Winter Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It seems like there are new developments every week—another storm to keep track of, rising levels of greenhouse gases, more species going extinct. With all that is going on in the world, what can I do about it? How can I use my voice and amplify the voices of others? 

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