8 news posts from August 2022

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‘Dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ heat stress to become more common by 2100

An image of the sun

Record-breaking heat waves have occurred recently from Delhi to the Pacific Northwest, and the number of these deadly events is expected to increase. New research from the University of Washington and Harvard University gives a range of heat impacts worldwide by the end of this century, depending on future emissions of greenhouse gases. The study was published Aug. 25 in the open-access journal Communications Earth & Environment. 

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Beach trash accumulates in predictable patterns on Washington and Oregon shores

This litter collected at Devil’s Punchbowl on the Oregon coast in December 2012 shows a mix of bottle tops, fishing gear and plastic fragments. Analysis of larger items collected by volunteers from 2017 to 2021 shows that beaches have “sticky zones” where both organic material and litter tends to accumulate.

Citizen scientists recorded trash on Pacific Northwest beaches, from southern Oregon to Anacortes, Washington, to contribute to the growing study of marine trash. A study by the University of Washington analyzed 843 beach surveys and found that certain beaches, and certain areas of a single beach, are “sticky zones” that accumulate litter. The study was published online Aug. 11 in Marine Pollution Bulletin. 

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Annual research trip off Oregon coast gives students once in a lifetime experience at sea

the tommy thompson

Most things that humans build need a little maintenance every now and again. That’s no different for the Regional Cabled Array, a high-tech engineering marvel off the Pacific Northwest coast studded with all kinds of oceanographic equipment that gives humans a real-time, 24/7 look at what’s happening under the sea surface. The lengths that scientists and engineers go to keep the array working and up to snuff is extraordinary, and they are currently at sea providing its annual check-up. 

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An 85-year-old fishing club’s records reveal the secrets of Puget Sound salmon

Few people would consider launching a boat into Seattle’s Elliott Bay on a winter morning. It’s cold, dark, and more often than not, wet. But the steadfast members of Seattle’s Tengu Club, a Japanese American fishing club that held its first annual salmon derby in 1946, can reliably be found doing just that. In the 85 years since it was founded, participants have gathered on the shores of West Seattle each winter to reconnect and fish for resident Puget Sound Chinook salmon, also known as blackmouth because of their dark-colored gums. 

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New UW Photonic Sensing Facility will use fiber-optic cables for seismic sensing, glaciology and more

The fiber-optic cables that travel underground, along the seafloor and into our homes have potential besides transmitting videos, emails and tweets. These signals can also record ground vibrations as small as a nanometer anywhere the cable touches the ground. This unintended use for fiber-optic cables was discovered decades ago and has had limited use in military and commercial applications. A University of Washington pilot project is exploring the use of fiber-optic sensing for seismology, glaciology, and even urban monitoring. 

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