Ice cores show even dormant volcanoes leak abundant sulfur into the atmosphere

Sulfurous plumes in Laugavegur, Iceland

Volcanoes draw plenty of attention when they erupt. But new research led by the University of Washington shows that volcanoes leak a surprisingly high amount of their atmosphere- and climate-changing gases in their quiet phases. A Greenland ice core shows that volcanoes quietly release at least three times as much sulfur into the Arctic atmosphere than estimated by current climate models. 

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College of the Environment researcher John Marzluff named 2002 AAAS Fellow

John Marzluff

Four University of Washington researchers have been named AAAS Fellows, according to a Jan. 31 announcement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 506 new fellows from around the world elected in 2022, who are recognized for their “scientifically and socially distinguished achievements” in science and engineering. John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, is honored for advances in our understanding of how humans impact birds, and for communicating the importance of birds to the public. 

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Sea Change

A diver next to the Seattle waterfront sea wall.

Seattle is reimagining and creating a living urban waterfront — building a healthy future for the city’s people, wildlife, culture and economy. The UW has been part of the project from the start. Seattle’s waterfront renewal is one of the region’s most ambitious and innovative undertakings since the Seattle World’s Fair transformed the city in 1962. Finally reconnecting Seattle’s waterfront to its downtown, this $750 million renovation and restoration will create a network of public parks, cultural celebration spaces and an expanded aquarium — while building a sophisticated, seismically sound, salmon-friendly new seawall. 

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Warming oceans have decimated marine parasites — but that’s not a good thing

A researcher holds open a preserved fish specimen that has been inspected for parasites.

More than a century of preserved fish specimens offer a rare glimpse into long-term trends in parasite populations. New research from the University of Washington shows that fish parasites plummeted from 1880 to 2019, a 140-year stretch when Puget Sound — their habitat and the second largest estuary in the mainland U.S. — warmed significantly. The study, published the week of Jan. 

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Signals from the ionosphere could improve tsunami forecasts

NASA satellite image of the Hunga Ha'apai eruption.

Research from the University of Washington shows that signals from the upper atmosphere could improve tsunami forecasting and, someday, help track ash plumes and other impacts after a volcanic eruption. A new study analyzed the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption in the South Pacific earlier this year. The Jan. 15, 2022, volcanic eruption was the largest to be recorded by modern equipment. 

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