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Office of the Washington State Climatologist June newsletter is released

The OWSC Newsletter contains information on the current state of Washington’s climate, including the current outlook and a review of notable climate and weather events. Topics covered in the June issue include: a May and spring climate summary; spring trends versus recent springs; a note to CoCoRaHS observers; snowpack and drought update; the temperature and precipitation outlook. The newsletter is produced monthly and will be available on the OWSC website or by e-mail subscription. 

Read More on the OWSC website

For the PNW, how costly is climate change? Experts weigh in

The success of The Seattle Times LiveWire event series continued with “Endangered Economy: The high cost of climate change,” an enlightening forum about the impact of climate change on the Pacific Northwest economy. A panel of local and national experts, including CIG’s Deputy Director – Joe Casola, discussed how our region can take steps to protect a sustainable future for marine life, forestry, agriculture and the billion dollar industries that depend on their growth. 

Read more at The Seattle Times

Upcoming Webinar: How will Forests Affect Mountain Snow Storage in a Warming Climate?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 | 12:00 PM PDT

In this webinar, Susan E. Dickerson-Lange will present on Northwest Climate Science Center supported research that led to the creation of a conceptual model that paired relevant spatial datasets for considering the combined impacts of forest and climate change across the Pacific Northwest, USA. Predicting the effects of forest on snow storage depends on drivers that vary across locations, such as winter temperature, wind speed, cloudiness, and solar radiation. The net result is that management actions, such as timber harvesting, can have unintended effects on snow storage and duration depending on location. Join the webinar to learn more about how to use maps of key climate and physical features across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to optimize snow storage in forest management decisions. 

Learn more about the webinar & register

Upcoming webinar featuring CIG work: Integrating Climate Change into Culvert Design

Wednesday, May 18th, 10:30-11:30am (Pacific)

Viable, self-sustaining salmon populations depend upon unobstructed passage to and from spawning and rearing habitats.  When culvert size relative to stream size is too small, the result is often a barrier to fish movement.  Climate change models project significant increases in stream flows in much of Washington but climate change information is rarely incorporated into culvert design. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has regulatory authority over most culvert and bridge projects in Washington State. Currently, WDFW’s design guidelines do not incorporate future climate-related changes and impacts.

This project translates projected future changes in regional climate to stream width, a key parameter for fish passage culvert design and sizing.  

Learn more about the webinar & register

Edward L. Miles – Scholar, Humanitarian, Bon Vivant, Teacher, Mentor and Friend (1939-2016)

The world has lost an extraordinary scholar in marine affairs, climate impacts, and environmental management. We – members and alumni of the Climate Impacts Group – have lost our founder, director emeritus, colleague, mentor and, above all, dear friend.

Edward Lancelot Miles died at his home in Seattle, Washington on May 7, 2016, from complications of Lewy Body Dementia. He was 76.

Ed’s impact is wide-ranging, both personally and professionally. He had an unstoppable curiosity and powerful intellect, which he aimed at understanding and addressing some of the world’s most complex science, technology and environmental management challenges. Ed’s exuberant spirit elevated everyone around him, and his remarkable leadership skills were critical in bridging some of the serious chasms that too often exist between the realms of science and public policy. 

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Upcoming Forum: “Endangered Economy: The high cost of climate change”

The Seattle Times LiveWire is an event series that features meaningful discussions about vital issues impacting our region and its people. The events bring together local and national experts for provocative conversations on key topics moderated by a Seattle Times journalist. Endangered Economy: The High Cost of Climate Change will feature a panel of local and national experts, including Joe Casola-CIG’s Deputy Director, who will discuss how climate change will affect Pacific Northwest marine life, agriculture, forestry and the billion dollar industries that depend upon their growth. 

Learn more about the forum

CIG research incorporated as part of Seattle Time’s Newspapers in Education series

The Climate Impacts Group and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to develop an interactive insert as part of the Seattle Time’s Newspapers in Education Series. Newspapers In Education promotes learning and literacy by providing electronic newspapers with sponsored curriculum to teachers and students throughout Washington state and beyond. This interactive insert features information presented in the Climate Impact Group’s 2015 report, State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound. Specifically, the insert addresses how the local climate is projected to change, and how these changes will affect habitats, species, and human health throughout the Puget Sound region. 

Read the Insert

New report | Adapting to Change: Climate Impacts and Innovation in Puget Sound

The Climate Impacts Group and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to develop a new report, ‘Adapting to Change: Climate Impacts and Innovation in Puget Sound.’ This report offers a brief introduction to the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group’s 2015 State of Knowledge report about climate change and its effects in the Puget Sound region. Our shared goal is to use this science to improve understanding of the observed and projected changes in the region, and to catalyze actions and solutions. 

Read the Report

White House releases scientific assessment on impact of climate change to human health

Developed over three years by approximately one hundred experts in climate-change science and public health, the Climate and Health Assessment reinforces that climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people not just in the future but right now. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges, and impacting more people in more places. From children to the elderly, every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, now and in the future. 

Read more about the assessment

Climate model predicts west Antarctic ice sheet could melt rapidly

The west Antarctic ice sheet is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur. Now, new research suggests this scenario could play out much sooner. Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century. 

Read more at NY Times
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