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UW atmospheric scientist participating in field campaign to improve Western snowfall, drought forecasts

University of Washington atmospheric scientist Lynn McMurdie has led campaigns to measure rain and snowfall in places ranging from Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to Argentina to the Eastern U.S. Now she’s among the leaders of a field campaign in Colorado to better understand and forecast snowfall in the mountains of the Western U.S. A scientific expedition this coming winter in Colorado’s Yampa Valley will improve forecasts of snowfall and estimates of how climate change will impact snowpack and water availability in mountainous regions of the West. 

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UW-led project to study ozone, atmospheric layers a finalist for next-generation NASA satellite

a photo showing layers of colors of the earth's atmosphere

A project led by the University of Washington to better understand our atmosphere’s complexity is a finalist for NASA’s next generation of Earth-observing satellites. The space agency this week announced the projects that will each receive $5 million to advance to the next stage and conduct a one-year concept study. STRIVE seeks to better understand the troposphere that we inhabit and the stratosphere above it, where the ozone layer is, as well as the interface where these two layers meet. 

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New report, tool suggest how Washington can better protect against extreme heat

UW Heat Report

In June 2021, the “heat dome” that struck the Pacific Northwest sent temperatures in Seattle to an unprecedented 107 degrees Fahrenheit and set 128 all-time high temperature records across the state. The event was partly due to climate change. As the climate continues to warm, these hotter stretches are projected to hit the region with increasing frequency. Two years after that event — the deadliest weather-related disaster in state history — a collaborative effort led by two University of Washington teams, the Climate Impacts Group and the Center for Health and the Global Environment, or CHanGE, has drawn up recommendations for how people and groups across the state could prevent future heat-related illness and save lives. 

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Q&A: County-scale climate mapping tool helps Washington agencies prepare for the future

Map model of a higher future greenhouse gas emissions scenario in Washington State.

Many people are now aware of climate change, the need to curb greenhouse gases and to prepare for coming environmental shifts. But knowing how best to prepare can be a challenge, both for individuals and for local agencies. The University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group has released an interactive tool that lets state agencies and local governments see what climate scientists project for their county and what they might want to consider when developing their districts’ comprehensive plans. 

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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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