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82 posts in CIG Science

Surging snowpack can have positive impact on salmon, slow start to wildfire season

Powerful winter storms this season have made for terrible pass travel and avalanche danger. However, scientists say this surging snowpack will do wonders for our environment. Dr. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, is quoted. 

Read the article from KOMO News

NW CASC Paper Calls for Transforming Science Training to Build Capacity for Actionable Climate Adaptation Science

How can we mobilize science to support the transformational global action required by climate change? By creating a new type of scientist. A new open-access paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters emphasizes the need for science training that builds collaborative science skills at different career stages to develop a strong community of practice around actionable climate science. The paper, Building capacity for societally engaged climate science by transforming science training (Rozance et al. 2020), draws from the experiences at the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center and the University of Arizona Climate Assessment for the Southwest, to offer a perspective on a path for the academy to better develop, train and support scientists to conduct societally-relevant research. 

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CIG Project Finalist for International Competition Honoring Science Breakthroughs

A project led by Dr. Heidi Roop, formerly the strategic communications lead at the Climate Impacts Group and now assistant professor of climate science at the University of Minnesota, is a finalist for Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year. The project combines data visualizations and virtual reality to illustrate the impacts of sea level rise in South Seattle. Heidi started the project, which was funded by an EarthLab Innovation Grant, while working for the Climate Impacts Group.

As a finalist for “Falling Walls,” Heidi created a five-minute video describing her project and its impact. The video features Heidi responding to prompts ranging from: “Introduce your science engagement initiative in one sentence” and “How does society benefit from your initiative?” to “What did you want to become as a child?” The video guest stars Heidi’s eight-month-old daughter. 

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Washington Commissioner’s Climate Summit Highlighted Area, Global Vulnerabilities

“The insurance buying public wants to know that insurance is going to be available and affordable to them when they need it.” That was the take-home message from Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who hosted a half-day virtual summit on climate change on Wednesday. Dr. Amy Snover, who spoke at the summit, is quoted.  

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Healthy Planet, Healthy People

Five experts in climate science and low-carbon infrastructure at the University of Washington wrote about how we can recover from a climate crisis during a health crisis. Amy Snover is one of the five featured experts. 

“Rebuilding our collective lives post-pandemic requires attending to all of the intertwined systems that we depend on. Responses to COVID-19 must incorporate solutions for climate change and racial justice. Recovery investments must accelerate decarbonization, not pause it — and advance preparation for rising climate stresses, not punt on it. In a world of compound risks, we must insist on compound solutions. We don’t have enough time, money or planet to do it any other way.” – Amy Snover  

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America’s Year of Fire and Tempests Means the Climate Crisis Just Got Very Real

Record-breaking wildfires and hurricanes were just the most high-profile effects of global heating — and this is only the start. 

“All of the systems that society depends on were designed to function in the climate of the past,” Snover, Climate Impacts Group director, told the Guardian. “But we no longer live in the climate of the past. The climate disruption brought by warming, changes in precipitation, changes in storms and changes in sea level is destabilizing the foundation of all these systems at once.”  

Read the article in the Guardian

How Climate Change Affects Wildfires, Like Those in the West, and Makes Them Worse

The consequences climate scientists have long been warning about are coming to fruition in the increased intensity of natural disasters around the globe, recently in the form of devastating wildfires that ravaged the western states and enshrouded areas not plagued with flames under hazes of smoke. 

“These are not unprecedented events,” Dr. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation scientist, told ABC News. “Scientists know these types of fires burned in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but it’s the frequency at which they are now burning that has become a concern.”  

Read the article from ABC News

Burnt, Like I Am: After Fires Burn Through Colville Reservation, Efforts Underway to Recover, Adapt

Siblings Jimmy Timentwa and Elaine Timentwa Emerson describe the fires that burned through the Colville Reservation. Dr. Crystal Raymond is quoted. A brief on climate change, created for the Colville Tribes, is referenced.  

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Case Studies Illustrate How Water Utilities May Adapt to Climate Change

Changing climate has far-reaching impacts, and is testing parts of society’s ability to continue doing business-as-usual.  Among these are water utilities, the entities responsible for delivering clean, fresh water to our nation’s households and managing wastewater and stormwater. The UW Climate Impacts Group in partnership with the Water Utility Climate Alliance is currently helping meet that need by assisting water managers and water utilities understand how climate change will impact their systems and what measures they can adopt now to be proactive in preparing for the future. 

Read the story from UW College of the Environment

CIG Research on Climate-Resilient Design for Fish Passages is Part of Effort Winning 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award

Research conducted by Climate Impacts Group scientists on climate-resilient design for culvert and fish habitat restoration projects in Washington is part of a larger effort by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife that recently won a 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. This award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes outstanding leadership to advance climate resilience of America’s natural resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them.

The climate-resilient culverts project was initiated by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to help inform Washington State’s current investments in repairing fish passage barriers that hinder the recovery of imperiled salmon stocks. 

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