News & Blog

Changes in the Madden-Julian Oscillation affect global precipitation

UW Atmospheric Sciences professor Daehyun Kim studies tropical weather patterns, and contributed to a recent paper in Nature which suggests that trends in decreased rainfall here in the Pacific Northwest may be linked to warming in the Western Pacific Ocean, near Indonesia. The warming ocean affects weather patterns, increasing rainfall in the Amazon, southwest Africa and northern Australia, and reducing it in parts of Asia and Western North America.

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Congratulations to Kyle Armour, 2020 Sloan Fellow for Early Career Research

Kyle Armour is an assistant professor in the School of Oceanography and Department of Atmospheric Sciences. He is studying the role of the ocean in climate change using a combination of oceanographic and atmospheric observations, numerical climate model simulations and theory, and is a lead author on the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report. Kyle currently serves on the PCC Board and has been an active member of the PCC community since he was a graduate student at UW. Congratulations Kyle!

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Lucas Vargas Zeppetello on staying one step ahead of climate skeptics

"If I could go back and rewrite the abstract of my group’s paper, I would include a sentence that points out why a feedback between surface temperatures and downwelling longwave radiation does not preclude the existence of the greenhouse effect." Lucas Vargas Zeppetello, graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences at the UW writes about his responses, both emotional and practical, to the misrepresentation of his discussion of radiation balance as published in his first research paper. "Don’t @ Me: What Happened When Climate Skeptics Misused My Work"

Read Lucas' EOS Opinion piece

Connecting ice-core data with climate models: An interdisciplinary project to examine glacial-interglacial changes in Antarctica

Which of the following is a more effective tool for learning about past changes in Earth’s climate: measurements from paleoclimate records or outputs from climate model simulations? Depending on who you ask, you will probably get a different answer to this question. Through my research on climate in Antarctica, I’ve been convinced that both tools are equally important. In fact, both tools are necessary in order to maximize understanding of the Earth’s climate system. 

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Making a Real Connection: Using a Computer Game to Communicate about Climate Change and National Parks 

Do you like playing games? I’m talking about board games, cooperative team challenges, outdoor sports… If you’re a fan of getting your game on, you are not alone! Engaging in creative play provides captivating experiences that appeal to many people in ways that other types of experiences simply can’t match. Not only do games entertain, but they can also provide effective tools for learning, particularly about topics that are difficult to communicate about. 

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Closing the Gap Between Science and Use: New Interactive Data Visualizations of Washington’s Sea Level Rise Projections Using Tableau

Want your science to be used by planners or decision makers? Interactive data visualizations are a great way to make your information more accessible and usable. Providing users with easy “soundbites” to take away from your tool helps too. Scaling climate projections to local, policy-relevant scales is difficult. Trying to take these results andpackage them in an accessible way for decision makers can be even more challenging. 

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Congratulations to Eric Steig, named AAAS fellow

Eric Steig uses ice cores to study climate variability, and has been an active voice on the board of the UW Program on Climate since it was founded. Eric regularly teaches courses central to the Climate Minor (ESS 201, Earth's Climate System) and the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (ATMS/ESS/OCN 589 Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling, and Theory), educational programs central to the Program on Climate Change. Congratulations Eric!

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UW Climate Scientists Contribute to Multi-Institute Hackathon to Understand New Climate Model Data

by Robert Jnglin Wills Modeling centers around the world are now releasing data from simulations with the next generation of climate models, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). For three days in October, thirty UW climate science graduate students and postdocs got together to see what they could learn about future climate change from these new simulations. We combined efforts with CMIP6 hackathons at two other institutes, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. 

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PCC Updates: December 2019

Welcome to new Program on Climate Change Director Becky Alexander and PCC Board Members. In case you missed it, the PCC has a new director, Becky Alexander (Atmospheric Sciences). Read more in her welcome letter.  Thank you to Cecilia Bitz for her leadership as PCC Director from 2017 to 2019. Welcome Nives Dolsak (SMEA), Aaron Donohoe (APL), Alex Gagnon (OCN), Soo-Hyung Kim (SEFS), and Greta Shum (ATMOS) to the 2019-2020 PCC Governing Board. 

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