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82 posts in In the News

Human-driven climate change found to increase risk of flooding in the Peruvian Andes, and other glacial lakes

A recent study published by a team of scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Washington shows, for the first time, a direct connection between human-driven climate change and an increased risk of glacial lake flooding. The study focused on Lake Palcacocha, a glacial lake in the Peruvian Andes, and demonstrates how human-induced global warming has increased flood risk, due to the lake's growth as the glacier that formed it continues to retreat. This study will be important evidence in an ongoing court case in which a resident of the town most at risk from increased flooding is suing a German electricity producer for its role in worsening global warming. Additionally, this process can be expanded to other glacial lakes across the world, serving as an instrumental piece in understanding the consequences and risks associated with global warming in affected areas it results in the growth and creation of glacial lakes worldwide. A key researcher in this study was UW professor of Earth and Space Sciences Gerard Roe, whose participation in the study and previous work in creating a method that can determine if an individual glacier's retreat can be directly linked to anthropogenic climate change was instrumental to the study. Roe is also a member of the PCC Executive Board.

Read more at UW News

Congrats to Kyle Armour, recipient of the 2020 James B. Macelwane Medal from AGU!

Kyle Armour, PCC Executive Board member and associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and School of Oceanography, has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The Macelwane Medal is given annually to three to five early-career scientists in recognition of their significant contributions to Earth and space science. Congrats Kyle!  

Read more at UW Atmos News

Introducing ACORN Projects

We often refer to an “academic bubble” filled with researchers, professors, and students, like ourselves, who are isolated from the broader communities they inhabit. Importantly, academic research objectives don’t always align with the immediate, actionable priorities of these wider communities. While the extent to which “academic bubbles” exist can be debated, there is undoubtedly room for improvement in conducting meaningful engagement and research in partnership with communities. 

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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

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

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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