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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The importance of the atmosphere and ocean in determining the fate of Antarctica

Landsat 9 satellite imagery shows the fractured front of the Crosson Ice Shelf in the Amundsen Sector of West Antarctica. The pace of the ice shelf’s retreat slowed in this region from 2003 to 2015. New research shows that changes in offshore winds brought less warm seawater into contact with the glacier.

An international team of researchers has combined satellite imagery and climate and ocean records to obtain the most detailed understanding yet of how the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — which contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 11 feet, or 3.3 meters — is responding to climate change. The researchers, from the University of Washington, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, found that the pace and extent of ice destabilization along West Antarctica’s coast varies according to differences in regional climate. 

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