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We must take action now for a healthy Puget Sound

An Op-Ed in the Seattle Times, stimulated by a Climate Impact Group’s report, discusses current and projected climate-related effects to Puget Sound region, and addresses local resources that can be used to increase resilience to a changing environment. The piece also discusses adaptation efforts that are currently underway in the Puget Sound region, such as a polluted site in Bellingham Bay, which is being redeveloped to serve as a community hub even as sea level in the Puget Sound region rises. 

Read more at Seattle Times

Interstate 5 under water? UW scientists’ app shows dramatic potential of climate change

Guillaume Mauger discusses some of CIG’s latest research, which developed models and interactive maps to better understand flooding in the Snohomish River. These models incorporate the effects of climate change and increasing temperatures, river streamflow, historical flooding, landscape morphology, and added predictions about rising sea levels to build a more complete image of what could happen in local rivers. Sea level rise was included in these predictions because when the seas rise higher, flooding near river deltas could increase as the saltwater prevents floodwaters from receding. 

Read more at GeekWire

The ‘blob’ of warm ocean waters along the West Coast is beaten, but not yet broken

Strong winds blowing south from Alaska toward California dominated the West Coast through much of November, bringing cold air and some new upwelling of deep, cold water that weakened the warm patches that had long made up the blob, said Nathan Mantua, leader of the Landscape Ecology Team at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. Patches of ocean that had been as much as 2 to 3 degrees C warmer than average in October have now dropped sharply to around 0.5 to 1.5 degrees C above average. Some areas along the Northern California Coast have even dropped to slightly below average temperatures for this time of year, he said. 

Read more at NOAA

OWSC’s December newsletter highlights Puget Sound State of Knowledge Report

The latest edition of OWCS’s newsletter provides a November climate summary, snowpack and drought update, a temperature and precipitation outlook, and a note on the new Puget Sound State of Knowledge report developed by the Climate Impacts Group. 

Read more at OWSC

New report on climate change in Puget Sound

A new report from the Climate Impacts Group, State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound, provides a comprehensive synthesis of relevant research on the likely effects of climate change on the Puget Sound region. 

Read more about the report

New study looks at climate change and marine vertebrates

A new paper co-authored by Sarah Ann Thompson, a visiting scientist with the Climate Impacts Group, examines marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discusses their potential for adaptation. The paper is part of a special issue in Science on oceans and climate change. 

Read more at Science

Climate Impacts Group welcomes new deputy director

The Climate Impacts Group welcomes Joe Casola as its new Deputy Director, effective July 22. He comes to the Climate Impacts Group with experience that fits well within their scope, and will also help them grow into new arenas surrounding climate change. 

Read more at The College of the Environment

Washington’s shellfish industry is working to address ocean acidification

This article tells the story of how the shellfish industry, scientists, and politicians are working together to address the problem of ocean acidification. 

Read More at Climate Progress

How will climate change affect migration to the Puget Sound region?

This report responds to the interests of Climate Impacts Group and its stakeholders in the claim that climate change will cause an unanticipated surge of newcomers to move to the Puget Sound region.This systematic literature review of media coverage, peer-reviewed social science research, and agency reports assesses this “climate refugee hypothesis” in light of what is known about both the influence of climate change upon migration and the nature of Puget Sound’s existing migration system. 

Read the Report

Increasing temperatures threaten snowpack in the Cascades

Guillaume Mauger, a research scientist with the Climate Impacts Group, thinks of this year as a dress rehearsal for the future. It wasn’t a lack of precipitation that caused the barren slopes; it was the warmth. And that’s exactly what climate models predict over the next century in the Pacific Northwest: pretty stable levels of precipitation and gradually warming temperatures. 

Read More at Seattle Weekly
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