News & Blog


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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PCC/GCeCS Information Session

Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS) 2019 Capstone and Outreach Opportunities December 2019 Each fall graduate students interested in learning more about the Program on Climate Change (PCC) and the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS) gather to introduce themselves and learn about capstone opportunities. On 7 Nov 2019 twenty-five students heard directly from three mentors, from fellow students working on capstones, from the PCC Director Becky Alexander, and from GCeCS adviser Miriam Bertram. 

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Climate Change Impacts on 21st Century Food and Water Security

A 2019 Program on Climate Change Summer Institute and Friday Harbor Symposium, 11-13 September 2019 Written by Becky Alexander, PCC Director and Atmospheric Sciences Professor The PCC held another highly successful Summer Institute (SI) at Friday Harbor Labs from September 11-13, 2019 organized by Cecilia Bitz and David Battisti (both Atmospheric Sciences).  The topic of this year’s SI was “Climate Change Impacts on 21st Century Food and Water Security”.  

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After Counting Our Summer Institute Carbon Emissions—Now What?

By Alex Stote The PCC Summer Institute, which brings together UW climate scientists, UW grad students, and several visiting climate scholars for a 3-day conference at Friday Harbor Labs, took a critical look at its own emissions footprint for the first time in its 11-year tenure. The exercise seemed fitting with year’s theme (Climate Change Impacts on Food and Water Security), and with the recent push-back climate scientists have received for their “business-as-usual” practices in their professional lives. 

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Does a Few Degrees C of Global Warming Matter? or Understanding and Using Simple Climate Models, the 2019 Current Climate Change Workshop for High School Teachers, University of Washington, 18 May 2019.

By Miriam Bertram, Workshop Facilitator As global warming continues, and the resultant impacts on the biosphere become increasingly apparent, our young people are taking to the streets to demand political action.  As these young people traverse the educational system, they need coursework and context for understanding and changing the future, for understanding what they are marching to achieve.  To serve our youth, high school science teachers need resources for expanding their knowledge and keeping up with climate as it changes. 

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Congratulations Becky Alexander, our new PCC Director

Welcome to Becky Alexander, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, our new Program on Climate Change Director.  She and her group study how aerosol formation and the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere change in response to both climate change and anthropogenic activities. Thank you to the many members of the PCC community who provided thoughtful input during this selection process.

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How do you solve a problem like (teaching) climate change? Through problem-based learning!

What if we could offset the harms of global warming by spraying particles in the stratosphere or artificially increasing Arctic sea ice? Even if ideas like these were feasible, what might the unintended consequences be? And if there are “winners” and “losers” for a given proposal, who gets to decide what is to be done? Sammamish High School students were asked to tackle difficult questions like these this autumn as part of my Program on Climate Change (GCeCS) capstone project. 

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Mapping climate science needs and networks in the Pacific Northwest through evaluation of a climate science newsletter

“If scientists can’t communicate with the public, with policy makers, with one another, the future is going to be held back. We’re not going to have the future that we could have.” — Alan Alda Knowing and deeply understanding your audience is one of the key elements of effective science communication. It is the primary way to ensure that your science is useful to others. 

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