212 news posts related to Climate

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Wildfires west of the Cascades: rare, but large and severe

Most of us think of wildfire in Washington state as something that happens east of the mountains. There’s a reason for that: more than 99 percent of wildfires in the last 40 years have been east of the Cascade Crest. But forest fires are a natural, though rare, occurrence on the west side of the mountains as well. These verdant forests don’t immediately seem like burnable material. 

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First evidence of human-caused climate change melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

A Seaglider, with the Getz Ice Shelf in the background, being prepared for deployment in January 2018 under the neighboring Dotson Ice Shelf.

A new study reveals the first evidence of a direct link between human-induced global warming and melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A research team led by the British Antarctic Survey that included the University of Washington found that curbing greenhouse gas emissions now could reduce this region’s future contribution to global sea level rise. Ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica has increased over the past few decades. 

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More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships’ logbooks

Ship log from 1955

Our knowledge of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean comes mostly through satellites, which since 1979 have imaged the dwindling extent of sea ice from above. The University of Washington’s Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean and Modeling System, or PIOMAS, is a leading tool for gauging the thickness of that ice. Until now that system has gone back only as far as 1979. 

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How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.

Paw print in mud cracks in the Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona.

The Southwest has always faced periods of drought. Most recently, from late 2011 to 2017, California experienced years of lower-than-normal rainfall. El Niño is known to influence rain in the Southwest, but it’s not a perfect match. New research from the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores what conditions in the ocean and in the atmosphere prolong droughts in the Southwestern U.S. 

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Atmospheric Sciences' Qiang Fu awarded AMS Jule Charney Medal

Qiang Fu

Congratulations to Atmospheric Sciences‘ Professor Qiang Fu, who was recently awarded the Jule G. Charney Medal from the American Meteorological Society. This top honor is granted to individuals in recognition of highly significant research or development achievement in the atmospheric or hydrologic sciences. The citation will read, “For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of atmospheric radiative transfer and its critical linkages to climate and climate change.” On a nice summer day, clouds can look soft and fluffy and benign, or wispy and thin. 

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