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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Strongest Arctic cyclone on record led to surprising loss of sea ice

A ship-based view of the Arctic Ocean where the ocean surface is starting to freeze.

A warming climate is causing a decline in sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, where loss of sea ice has important ecological, economic and climate impacts. On top of this long-term shift due to climate change are weather events that affect the sea ice from week to week. The strongest Arctic cyclone ever observed poleward of 70 degrees north latitude struck in January 2022 northeast of Greenland. 

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Two College of the Environment faculty recognized by American Geophysical Union

University of Washington

University of Washington School of Oceanography Professor Ginger Armbrust and Department of Atmospheric Sciences Professor Dennis Hartmann will be honored at the 2022 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December. Armbrust has been named a 2022 AGU Fellow in recognition of her outstanding contributions to ocean sciences and for embodying AGU’s values by fostering equity, integrity, diversity and open science; by mentoring; through public engagement; and in her communications. 

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Study suggests La Niña winters could keep on coming

February 2021 snowfall in Seattle’s Volunteer Park.

Forecasters are predicting a “three-peat La Niña” this year. This will be the third winter in a row that the Pacific Ocean has been in a La Niña cycle, something that’s happened only twice before in records going back to 1950. New research led by the University of Washington offers a possible explanation. The study, recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that climate change is, in the short term, favoring La Niñas. 

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