News & Blog


A Message from the PCC

In these challenging times, PCC recognizes the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic and climate change on black and brown communities and cultures around the world. Disproportionate impacts are fueled by systemic racism exemplified by the recent killing of unarmed African Americans in the United States. While recent protests here in Seattle and around the country make such inequities especially apparent now, we realize that these inequities represent the everyday lives of racial minorities now and have for generations. 

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NOAA selects UW to host Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that it has selected the University of Washington to host NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES). The new institute will continue to address research themes that the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) has focused on, as well as expanding. JISAO director and PCC Board member John Horne says, "We’re excited to build on JISAO’s research and education traditions through our regional research consortium. The expanded research and education portfolios will enable us to better serve NOAA’s mission.”

Read more at UW News

Antarctic sea-ice models improve for the next IPCC

Lettie Roach (postdoctoral researcher, UW Atmospheric Sciences) recently led a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, evaluating the newest generation Antarctic sea-ice models. This is one of many reports that were produced to inform the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Roach says, "We’ve been looking at all the new models released, and we are seeing improvements overall. The new simulations compare better to observations than we have seen before. There is a tightening up of model projections between this generation and the previous, and that is very good news.'

Read more at UW Environment News

PCC/JISAO Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship Announcement

The PCC in partnership with JISAO announce a new interdisciplinary graduate fellowship opportunity to begin in fall 2020. This fellowship will support one or more students with a clear passion for working across academic boundaries on projects grounded in climate science broadly considered.  The applicants will submit a written proposal for research that would not be possible without this funding, and that builds collaboration across disciplines.  

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How can communities reduce their carbon footprint? An introduction to Community Choice Aggregation and community science

Here in Seattle, hydropower supplies more than 85% of our electricity. But in Arlington County, Virginia, the dominant utility derives at least 50% of its energy from fossil fuels. This leaves electricity consumers with little power over their carbon footprints—how can communities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while tied to a utility-controlled energy mix? Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) offers an alternative to existing utilities, providing renewable energy options at competitive rates. 

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PCC Updates: May 1, 2020

We are in the place in between.  These last few months have been challenging for instruction, for fieldwork, for just being able to focus with little in-person human interaction.  One challenge now is defining a pathway forward, ways to adapt PCC programming that fosters community in the uncertainty that defines the times.  At the PCC board meeting on April 20, Rebecca Woodgate voiced what many on the board were thinking– that moving our major annual event, the PCC Summer Institute, scheduled for September, online, is the right thing to do.  

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The Program on Climate Change Winter Welcome 2020. In the Time Before.

On 25 February 2020, 80 climate scientists, educators and staff from across campus gathered in person to celebrate much that was new in the community for 2019/2020.  What we did not realize at the time was that this was going to be one of the last face-to-face interactions we could have as a community for months. Two weeks later, on March 9 the University of Washington went to remote operations, finishing the winter quarter online.  

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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!

Read more at UW News
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