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Fires, Floods, Destruction: Washington Copes With Worsening Climate Change

CIG researcher, Guillaume Mauger, is featured in this comprehensive article outlining what climate change means for the Pacific Northwest. 

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The Greenland ice sheet is melting and you should be concerned

CIG research consultant, Harriet Morgan, recently spoke with the The Daily at UW about the new Washington state sea level rise projections produced by the Climate Impacts Group, Washington Sea Grant and other regional partners as part of the Washington Coastal Resilience Project

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Tribes Use Western and Indigenous Science to Prepare for Climate Change

CIG’s Tribal Vulnerability Assessment Resources and Tribal Climate Tool were featured in Hakai Magazine. This story includes comment from project lead, Meade Krosby. 

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Assessing riverside corridors — the ‘escape routes’ for animals under climate change — in the Northwest

Under climate change, plants and animals will shift their habitats to track the conditions they are adapted for. As they do, the lands surrounding rivers and streams offer natural migration routes that will take on a new importance as temperatures rise. An open-access study led by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group’s Meade Krosby pinpoints which riverside routes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana will be the most important for animals trying to navigate a changing climate. The study was published this fall in PLOS One.

“This corridor network is already there, and it’s already important for animal movement,” said lead author Meade Krosby, “Under climate change these will become ‘superhighways’ for animals that are seeking new places to live. 

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New CIG Brief Available: No Time to Waste

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, describing the expected impacts of 1.5°C and 2°C of warming and outlining global greenhouse gas emission reduction pathways that could limit warming to those levels. This brief summarizes the Special Report (SR15) and related consequences for Washington state.

It addresses these questions: 

How much warming has already occurred, compared to the 1.5°C threshold?
What are the anticipated global consequences of additional warming?
What are the implications for Washington state?
How much more warming is likely to occur, given current emissions patterns and policies?

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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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