News & Blog


Can Communicating the Benefits of Novel Ecosystem Restoration Techniques Promote Climate Change Literacy and Action?

Learning about how restoration projects can benefit their communities can inspire people to take more than just the usual, low-effort actions meant to address climate change. Read about my online workshop held in fulfillment of the UW PCC Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. Written by James Lee I’m from a place in the San Francisco Bay Area where ecosystem restoration is talked about a lot. 

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South Pole and East Antarctica were warmer during the last ice age than previously thought, new studies show

Two new research papers, co-authored by PCC participants, show that temperatures in East Antarctica and other locations in the South Pole during the last ice age were several degrees warmer than previously thought. Research previously asserted that during the last ice age temperatures in Antarctica were an average of 9° C below modern values. However, that data did not match estimates from climate models and lacked calibration. The new research resolves these issues. Papers co-authored by TJ Fudge (UW ESS),  Eric Steig (UW ESS and current PCC Governing Board member), Emma Kahle a recent graduate of UW ESS, and Edwin Waddington (UW ESS), along with many other national and international partners used data from borehole thermometry, snowpack accumulation, and the South Pole Ice Core project to show that temperatures across Antarctica were 4-6° C cooler than today. Both studies reconcile observed data with climate model estimations, support the legitimacy of using models to reproduce climatic shifts, and help explain how the Antarctic responds to large-scale changes in climate.

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Lessons Learned: How Can We Connect Middle School Students to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification?

A collaboration between UW students and DNR using local nearshore ecosystems as examples to center a climate change curriculum. A capstone in fulfillment of the UW PCC Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. Written by: Amanda Arnold, Katie Byrnes, and Lizzy Matteri Climate change is so vast and complex, riddled with intricate interactions, making  teaching it to young students daunting. Additionally, while many middle school teachers have training in biology and want to incorporate climate change and biological responses to climate change in their teaching, they often lack formal coursework in climate change. 

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The local economic impact of the “fracking boom” in Ohio

An ACORN Project completed by University of Washington graduate students Logan Arnold (Master’s Student, Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management) and Tyler Cox (PhD Student, Atmospheric Sciences) in collaboration with the Ohio River Valley Institute Technological advancements in the last decade have allowed companies to profit off of the shale gas reserves underlying portions of the U.S. – the so-called “Fracking Boom.” Ohio, in particular, has seen an enormous surge in natural gas production since 2013. 

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How can sea otters help mitigate climate change impacts?

Kelp, urchins, carbon, indigenous participation, and reintroduction are part of the answer. Read about my event of short engaging lightning talks in fulfillment of the UW PCC Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. Written by: Amy Olsen Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are a small mammal in the weasel family. They are a keystone species, which means they have a big impact on keeping their ecosystem balanced. 

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Intersection of climate change and human health: PCC Winter Seminar Series videos now posted

A collection of recordings from the Winter 2021 PCC 586 Seminar Series is now available on our website, and Youtube (attached below). The UW Program on Climate Change (PCC) and Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) organized a seminar series in Winter 2021 that focused on the intersection of climate change and human health. The goal for this series was to bring together researchers in the two communities to discuss how climate change has and will impact human health. 

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Alexander and Hess in "3 Ways Climate Change Affects Your Health"

This past Earth Day (April 22nd) PCC Director Becky Alexander and Dr. Jeremy Hess of UW Medicine were interviewed for “3 Ways Climate Change Affects Your Health” produced by the UW Medicine digital publication, Right As Rain. The article touches on the three things climate is changing; more frequent and extreme weather events, snow and ice melt, ocean acidification and higher sea level, but primarily focuses on how climate change affects our health. 

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Don’t ask officials what they think of global warming — ask if they want a warning

Professor Dale Durran, past chair and current professor for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has recently published an article through the Washington Post, titled “Don’t ask officials what they think of global warming — ask if they want a warning”. The article mainly focuses on the issue of warning the public about events exacerbated by climate change, as our continued use of fossil fuels will only further drastic weather events. 

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UW PCC Stakeholders! Add your voice-by May 3

The UW Program on Climate Change is developing a strategic plan to guide priorities for the next 5 years. Integral to the process is looking back at 20 years of the PCC alongside opportunities moving forward as a new Dean embarks on their journey of defining the College of the Environment. As part of this process we are soliciting input from stakeholder groups to inform discussions that will take place during the month of June. 

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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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