News & Blog


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.

Read more at UW News

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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Climate and Environmental Justice Course Development Workshop-Winter 2021

The Program on Climate Change and the Program on the Environment, with additional support from the College of the Environment, are sponsoring a Climate and Environmental Justice course development workshop during winter quarter 2021 led by Dr. Heather Price. The interactive, results-driven workshop will consist of four 1.5-2 hour meetings spread over winter quarter. Faculty participants will have the opportunity to gain both content and pedagogical experience in service of tuning their course(s) towards inclusion of Climate/Environmental Justice topics, with time for feedback and interaction from the instructor and colleagues. 

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2020 PCC SI: Climate Extremes and Climate and Environmental Equity

PCC held its first virtual Summer Institute (SI) over five days from September 14 – 18, 2020. The topic of this year’s SI was “Climate Extremes and Climate and Environmental Equity”  Written by Becky Alexander, Lead Summer Institute Organizer, PCC Director and Atmospheric Sciences Professor The topic was chosen via in-person (pre-COVID) voting at the annual Winter Welcome on February 25, 2020. 

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Introducing ACORN Projects

We often refer to an “academic bubble” filled with researchers, professors, and students, like ourselves, who are isolated from the broader communities they inhabit. Importantly, academic research objectives don’t always align with the immediate, actionable priorities of these wider communities. While the extent to which “academic bubbles” exist can be debated, there is undoubtedly room for improvement in conducting meaningful engagement and research in partnership with communities. 

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