News & Blog


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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Teaching Outdoor Educators About Climate Change

With the Fourth National Climate Assessment and IPCC’s Special Report both released last year, there is increasing interest from educators and teachers to incorporate climate change into their science curriculum. However, they often lack the training and resources to do so. To address this, the 2018 Washington State Legislature allocated $4 million of the general fund to create ClimeTime, which is essentially a state-level science teacher training program focused on climate science education. 

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Engaging Girls in Climate Science

This is a story of addressing two problems − climate change and the lack of diversity in the sciences − with one “stone.” Climate change is a polarizing topic in our country. People from all walks of life have opposing opinions about whether it is occurring or not, if it is caused by humans, and what, if anything, we should collectively do about it. 

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Co-creating Climate Change Education Materials with Immigrant and Refugee Communities in King County, WA

Imagine a place that experiences warmer temperatures and poorer air quality than other surrounding cities. Within this place, there are neighborhoods that are threatened by coastal flooding from storm surges and higher than average tides that seem to extend to new places than years before. In addition, this place also has residential homes, communities, and businesses that are located within, or close to, a floodplain and are expected to face more frequent river flooding and changes in stream flows as extreme weather events occur more often. 

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Exploring Climate Change through Video Games and Science Fiction: The Cascadia Project

One thing that makes discussing climate change with people difficult is the perception that the worst effects of climate change will happen sometime in the future, possibly after their lifetime. This makes it challenging to promote a sense of urgency to act on climate issues. It can be hard to accept some level of discomfort in our own lives in order to protect the interests of future generations. 

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