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Mathematical model explains recurring rainstorms in the tropical Indian & Pacific oceans

University of Washington scientists have published a mathematical model that could help explain and forecast the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a massive cluster of thunderstorms that plays a role in global weather. Better understanding of the MJO would help predict tropical rainstorms and flooding over India, northern Australia, and Pacific islands such as the Maldives and Indonesia. It could also improve medium-range global forecasts, since the MJO can nudge weather patterns that affect the mainland U.S. 

Read more at UW Today

Upcoming Presentation |The challenge of climate change and water management

An upcoming University of Washington presentation by Dr. Han Seung-soo -South Korea’s former Prime Minister and current Special Envoy of the UN-Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Water- will be held on February 11th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm in Architecture Hall room 147. In this presentation, “Air & Water: Are they free goods? The Challenge of Climate Change and Water Management”, Dr Han Seung-soo will be giving a lecture on climate change and water management.


Learn more about the presentation

Climate Impacts Group Brown Bag | Changing fire regimes in eastern Washington

An upcoming Climate Impacts Group brown bag presentation by Susan Prichard will be held on January 27th at noon in Wallace Hall. In this seminar, ‘Changing fire regimes in eastern Washington: recent large wildfire events and implications for dry forest management’, Susan will provide an overview of the changing fire regimes in semi-arid forests of the inland Pacific Northwest, the record-setting wildfire events of 2014 and 2015, and recent research that can help inform dry forest restoration strategies to increase resiliency of forest landscapes to future wildfire events and a warming climate.


Learn more about the presentation

2015 hottest year in recorded history — and not by just a little

NOAA and NASA reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by far, breaking a record set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world. In the NOAA data set, 2015 was 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2014, the largest jump ever over a previous record. 

Read more at Seattle Times

Can climate affect the taste of my beer? How drought conditions could impact beer producers

The availability of certain varieties of hops is not the only way climate can affect the taste of beer. Drought conditions along the U.S. West Coast are also brewing up potential problems for beer producers. This article examines how the record breaking temperatures of 2015 impacted hop growth and beer production in the West. Guillaume Mauger, a research scientist with the Climate Impacts Group, talks about 2015 as an analog for future climate, giving us an idea of what could be in store for beer producers in the future. 


Office of the Washington State Climatologist January 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 January issue include: a December climate summary; A note on new early winter weather and El Niño; Snowpack and drought update; 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

The 1.5 Degrees Series: Leading climate scientists connecting with the Mt. Baker community

On Saturdays (1/9, 1/16, 1/23) at 3:30 pm at the Mt. Baker Ski area there will be free 20 minute climate change presentations by the University of Washington and the Future of Ice Initiative. Presenters include Cecilia Bitz, Daniel Schindler, and Nick Bond. 

Read More on the Mt. Baker Website

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
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