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No matter what happens on Groundhog Day, winters are getting shorter

CIG researcher, Heidi Roop, was quoted in a recent Grist article about winter weather in a warming world. “For most of the American West, winter snow is like a savings account for water. That stockpile of winter snow will melt all year, delivering a steady supply of water even into the hot, dry summers. A changing winter climate means more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow. Wet winters and dry summers will put stress on ecosystems, agriculture, hydropower, and the millions of people who rely on snowmelt for drinking water.

“It’s like our tap is on all the time,” Heidi Roop, a research scientist at the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, told me for a story about the National Climate Assessment.” 

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Methow Valley News: What does climate change mean for you?

Amy Snover commented in the Methow Valley News on what climate change means for the region–from increasing temperatures, loss of snowpack and increasing risk of wildfires. “Every single scenario about climate change shows the state and eastern Washington getting hotter, and when it’s hotter we know we’ll have less snow. We really depend on mountain snowpack for our summer and fall drinking and irrigation water and water for fish and all the scenarios show those flows decreasing and rivers getting warmer.” 

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CIG researcher featured on Minnesota Public Radio: Growing acceptance of climate change. Now what?

“Americans are rapidly coming to accept the reality of climate change. According to two studies released late last year, some 73 percent of the public now agrees climate change is happening, an increase of 10 percentage points since a similar survey in 2015. The number of Americans who say global warming matters to them personally jumped even higher — up 9 percentage points since March 2018 — to a new record high of 72 percent overall.

Despite growing acceptance, there is no clear path forward. Close to 70 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t give even $10 a month to the government to fight climate change. 

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How a crumbling dam in the Enchantments could change our understanding of the PNW wilderness

Research led by CIG’s Guillaume Mauger, “Changing Streamflow in Icicle, Peshastin, and Mission Creeks” was cited in a recent article in the Seattle Times. “Climate change can be vexing and complicated, but its effect on the Icicle watershed can be boiled down simply: More rain, less snow, according to a report by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group. The scientists predict more water will flow in winter, and the snowpack won’t last as long in summer. Seasons will likely shift. Drought years, like 2015, could become more common as temperatures rise.” 

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CIG to provide keynote & host community-wide climate conversation at 7th Annual San Juan Agricultural Summit

Dr. Heidi Roop will give a keynote lecture at the San Juan Agricultural Summit on Sunday, February 3rd. Heidi’s keynote address, “From Coastlines to Crops: What Climate Change Means for the Puget Sound,” will highlight the range of climate impacts we expect in the Puget Sound region. She will share the range of climate impacts we expect in the region, and around the world, and discuss climate change communication best practices. Heidi will also host two community conversations on climate change in the Puget Sound. The first, open to the public, will be held prior the Summit Hoedown at Brickworks in Friday Harbor on Saturday, February 2nd. 

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AP-NORC Poll: Disasters Influence Thinking on Climate Change

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that 74 percent of Americans say extreme weather in the past five years — hurricanes, droughts, floods and heat waves — have influenced their opinions about climate change. That includes half of Americans who say these recent events have influenced their thinking a great deal or a lot. CIG’s Lead Scientist for Science Communication, Heidi Roop, was quoted talking about the role of trust and lived experiences as being an important means for helping people connect to the current and future impacts of human-caused climate change. 

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Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions spiked 6 percent in most recent tally

CIG scientist Heidi Roop commented in the Seattle Times on the latest tally of the state’s emissions which show that from 2012-2015 greenhouse gas emissions increased 6.1% in Washington state. “The state sent more than 97 million metric tons of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere in 2015, compared with just 90 million in 1990. Although emissions are rising, the 2015 figure represents progress from the year 2000, when emissions topped out at nearly 109 million metric tons.” Roop’s main take-away is that in light of recent national and international climate assessments, “We all need to be, as states and as a nation, taking a hard look at what we can do to reduce our emissions. 

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Climate Research Centers Falter During Shutdown, While Oil And Gas Permits Hold Steady

Amy Snover, Director of the Climate Impacts Group and University Director of the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC) spoke with Wyoming Public Radio about the impact of the government shutdown on the federally-funded Climate Adaptation Science Center network. 

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UW Grant Opportunity: EarthLab Innovation Grants

EarthLab is seeking applications for its first round of EarthLab Innovation Grants! Awards of up to $50,000 USD will be awarded to project teams undertaking bold, innovative  transdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative activities related to addressing our most pressing environmental challenges. EarthLab is “looking for risky, cool ideas with impact and the ability to motivate change.” UW faculty and employees with PI status are eligible to apply. Applications are due January 30th, 2019. 

Learn More & Apply Today!

UW tools help Pacific Northwest and Western tribes plan for climate change impacts

Our recently-released Tribal Vulnerability Assessment Resources were featured in the Inlander. As the natural world responds to climate change, American Indian tribes across the country are grappling with how to plan for a future that balances inevitable change with protecting the resources vital to their cultural traditions. The Climate Impacts Group and regional tribal partners have developed a collection of resources that may be useful to tribes at any stage in the process of evaluating their vulnerability to climate change. The resources, mainly online, include a climate tool that provides interactive summaries of projected climate change on annual precipitation, stream temperatures, growing season, fire danger and other variables. 

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