News & Blog


Updates from the PCC Graduate Student Steering Committee (P-GraSC)

The PCC Graduate Student Steering Committee (P-GraSC) is about to have it’s third meeting of the 2018-19 academic year. In the fall, we welcomed new members and said goodbye to those who finished their terms. PCC Assistant Director Miriam Bertram attended the first meeting and PCC Director Cecilia Bitz attended our second meeting to lead discussions of current PCC initiatives. This year, P-GraSC is coordinating a wide range of outreach and education efforts, which include augmenting the Slide Database on the PCC website and supporting a monthly, local event called ‘Climate Science on Tap’. 

Read more

Early spring rain boosts methane from thawing permafrost by 30 percent

As permafrost thaws, wetlands form, from which methane is released into the atmosphere due to microbial and plant processes. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with atmospheric warming abilities that can be up to 32 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide. A new study led by Dr. Rebecca Neumann, an associate professor in the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, was recently published in Geophysical Research Letters examining the impact that spring rainfall has on permafrost thaw and wetland methane emissions.

Read more at UW News

Between snow storms PCC gathers to welcome and congratulate

On 6 February 2019, nestled in time between two major snow events (#SnowMageddon2019) was the PCC Winter Welcome (#PCCWinterWelcome).  The event attracted a cozy crowd who gathered to reconnect around food and drink with friends and colleagues from across campus. This event is an opportunity to introduce and welcome the first year graduate students who received PCC fellowships, postdocs working on climate from across campus, GCeCS awardees and new PCC board members.  

Read more

Ann Bostrom elected to Board of Directors for the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Ann Bostrom, Weyerhaeuser Endowed Professor in Environmental Policy, was elected to the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." Congratulations, Ann!

Learn more about the AAAS 2018 elections

Generating Hope: Washington State Ferries Plans To Decarbonize Their Fleet by Switching To Electric Power

Alexandra Stote details the long range plans for electrifying Washington State Ferries, at a time when the federal government is falling short on climate policy and action, in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) Student Blog.  Alex is a SMEA graduate student and member of the Program on Climate Change Graduate Student Steering Committee (P-GraSC).

Read the article in SMEA"s CURRENTS: A STUDENT BLOG

2018 Graduate Climate Conference, hosted by UW PCC students, is largest yet

The Graduate Climate Conference (GCC), now in its twelfth year, represents a rich tradition tied to the history of the PCC. First held in 2006, the GCC has grown and evolved while remaining true to its core mission of highlighting student-led work at a conference run by graduate students for graduate students. Hosting responsibilities have alternated each year between students in the PCC at UW and students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Program on Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate. 

Read more

80% Ice Covered, Greenland is 100% Worth the Visit

Stepping on the tarmac of Greenland’s lone international airport in Kangerlussuaq, it’s difficult to anticipate what awaits in this remote, cold, and isolated place. Yet, this territory covered in over 1,700,000 square km of ice and a population of just under 60,000 is filled to the brim with stories and excitement. Even more amazing than the sights were the professors and students who accompanied me on the UW Greenland Exploration Seminar, providing a diverse array of perspectives that allowed me to understand such a foreign place. 

Read more

Permian Mass Extinction caused by Global Warming

A newly published paper in Science proves that the Permian mass extinction, which is the largest extinction in Earth's history, was caused by global warming that raised ocean temperatures and lowered the amount of oxygen the ocean could hold, making it difficult for marine organisms to survive. Justin Penn, a doctoral student in Oceanography, and Curtis Deutsch, an assistant professor of Oceanography, along with Stanford researchers, modeled climate conditions during the Permian and used published lab measurements and the fossil record to analyze the effects of the changing climate on marine organisms. This study's results, that mass extinction is an effect of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulting in a warmer ocean, are important considering our climate now. Penn said, "This study highlights the potential for a mass extinction arising from a similar mechanism under anthropogenic climate change.”

Read more at UW News

Teaching Climate Science Using a Local Phenomenon: Harmful Algal Blooms

Climate science is inherently interdisciplinary and complex. Physical processes at a molecular level cascade upward to drive global-scale events. Decisions at a local level impact the health of the global population. How can we effectively teach a topic as complicated as climate science to middle-school students? We did by focusing on a local phenomenon that they themselves can experience, see, touch, and feel. 

Read more

Responding to the National Climate Assessment Report

When paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould heard from his doctor that he had a rare and serious stomach cancer, he went straight to the medical library and devoured the scientific literature on his condition. He tells this story in his essay The Median Isn’t the Message.  “The literature,”  he writes, “couldn’t have been more brutally clear: mesothelioma is incurable, with a median mortality of only eight months after discovery.” The prognosis, the science, and the statistics helped Gould understand the nature of the disease, but after sitting in shock with the information, his realized that the most statistically likely life expectancy wasn’t up to chance alone.   

Read more
Back to Top