UW experts offer hot takes on El Niño, weather and ocean temperatures

A map of the earth showing average sea surface temperatures

Ocean temperatures and their connections to weather trends have been making news. Five UW College of the Environment experts offer their perspectives on the current El Niño — a climate pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean that affects weather worldwide. UW researchers comment on the current El Niño, its effect on weather in the Pacific Northwest, as well as on regional and global ocean temperature trends. 

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Five UW faculty members elected as AGU Fellows, plus more honors

David Catling, Jody Deming, Eric Steig, Becky Alexander, Brendan Crowell, Baptiste Journaux, and Nicholas Ward

The American Geophysical Union announced Sept. 13 that five University of Washington faculty members, including several from the College of the Environment, have been elected as new fellows, representing the departments of astronomy, Earth and space sciences, oceanography, global health and environmental and occupational health sciences. The Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences through a breakthrough, discovery or innovation in their field. 

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Study connects greenhouse gas emissions to polar bear population declines, enabling greater protections under Endangered Species Act

A polar bear looks into the camera lens

New research from the University of Washington and Polar Bears International in Bozeman, Montana, quantifies the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and the survival of polar bear populations. The paper, published online Aug. 31 in Science, combines past research and new analysis to provide a quantitative link between greenhouse gas emissions and polar bear survival rates. A warming Arctic is limiting polar bears’ access to sea ice, which the bears use as a hunting platform. 

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The art and science of Dale Durran

Bassoon rods illuminated by LED lights in random patterns against a metal backdrop

While most of his days are spent unraveling the intricacies of weather patterns and atmospheric dynamics, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Dale Durran has embraced metal work to express his passion for the natural world. With a curiosity that reaches far beyond the confines of the laboratory, Durran crafts works that infuse the interplay of science and creativity into each unique piece. 

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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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