119 news posts related to Natural Hazards

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Student’s augmented reality game takes players to UW campus under altered climate scenarios

University of Washington Bothell’s Andrew McDonald, a student in the interactive media design program, has long been passionate about video game design. Then he heard about EarthGames, a group of researchers, game developers and students based at UW who create games to inspire climate action and accountability. “I had done some work with augmented reality before, but had never worked with it to EarthGames’ scale,” McDonald said. 

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Warmer climate will dramatically increase the volatility of global corn crops

Corn field under a blue sky.

New research led by the University of Washington looks at what climate change will mean for global yields of corn, or maize — the most widely grown crop in the world. Used in food, cooking oil, industrialized foods, livestock feed and even automobile fuel, the crop is one that all people, rich and poor, reply upon. Published June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the results show that warmer temperatures by the end of this century will reduce yields throughout the world, confirming previous research. 

Read more at UW Today »

Q&A with UW Environment volcano and magma expert George Bergantz

Atmospheric Sciences' George Bergantz

The University of Washington’s College of the Environment and its faculty members are no strangers to ground-breaking and important research on volcanoes and magma—from a land-sea experiment tracking earthquakes and volcanoes along the Alaska Peninsula to publishing an atlas of seafloor volcanoes and deep-ocean life. George Bergantz, a professor in the College’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, is a geologist who studies the physics of magma. 

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Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast

This August 2016 aerial photo of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California shows widespread tree loss. The new study shows changes here can affect plant growth across the country.

Large swaths of U.S. forests are vulnerable to drought, forest fires and disease. Many local impacts of forest loss are well known: drier soils, stronger winds, increased erosion, and loss of shade and habitat. But if a whole forest disappears, new research shows, this has ricocheting effects in the atmosphere that can affect vegetation on the other side of the country. 

Read more at UW Today »

UW researchers will survey Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier as part of major international effort

Reconnaissance flight over Thwaites Glacier, which is thought to act as a buttress on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The National Science Foundation and the U.K.’s Natural Environmental Research Council this month announced a joint 5-year, $25 million effort to study Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier. Nicknamed the “world’s most dangerous glacier,” Thwaites Glacier already is contributing to rising seas; if it collapsed it would raise global sea level by about three feet. The glacier may also act as a linchpin on the whole West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which could raise sea level by much more. 

Read more at UW Today »