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Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, USGS and partners launch West Coast earthquake early warning system

University of Washington Professor John Vidale at the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning event on April 10, 2017.

The U.S. Geological Survey and university, public and private partners held an event April 10 at the University of Washington to introduce the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning program as a unified, West Coast-wide system. The event also introduced the first pilot uses of the earthquake early warning in Washington and Oregon. The first Pacific Northwest pilot users of the system are Bothell, Wash.-based RH2 Engineering, which will use the alerts to secure municipal water and sewer systems so these structures remain usable after a major quake. 

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UW fisheries, geosciences and oceanography make the top 10 in new subjects ranking

University of Washington took ninth place overall with 45 subjects ranked in the top 10 in the Center for World University Rankings’ inaugural subjects ranking. The ranking features the top global universities in 227 subjects covering all academic disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. This is the highest the UW has placed in a global subject ranking. Three subject areas within the College of the Environment made the list — fisheries (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences), geosciences (Earth and Space Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences) and oceanography (Oceanography). 

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'The blob' of abnormal conditions boosted Western U.S. ozone levels

Researchers use the ski lifts to carry equipment to sample air on the summit. A radon sensor travels to the peak of Mount Bachelor.

An unusually warm patch of seawater off the West Coast in late 2014 and 2015, nicknamed “the blob,” had cascading effects up and down the coast. Its sphere of influence was centered on the marine environment but extended to weather on land. A University of Washington Bothell study now shows that this strong offshore pattern also influenced air quality. The climate pattern increased ozone levels above Washington, Oregon, western Utah and northern California, according to a study published Feb. 

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