The eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, a finger of the southern polar continent that juts toward South America, has experienced summer warming of perhaps a half-degree per decade – a greater rate than possibly anywhere else on Earth – in the last 50 years, and that warming is largely attributed to human causes.
The king tides that swamped Alki last winter might be a harbinger of the effects of climate change on Seattle. Diminished snowpack in the Cascades could mean less drinking water and less cheap hydroelectricity. A 3-meter rise in sea level could swamp the Duwamish Waterway, the working port, Sodo and its industrial lands.
While steps Seattle takes to reduce emissions would have little effect on the global climate and those potential threats, they could demonstrate what one city can do to dramatically reduce its own sources of greenhouse gases, said City Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
In the last few decades, glaciers at the edge of the icy continent of Antarctica have been thinning, and research has shown the rate of thinning has accelerated and contributed significantly to sea level rise.
New ice core research suggests that, while the changes are dramatic, they cannot be attributed with confidence to human-caused global warming, said Eric Steig, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences.
A string of record-breaking summers and a massive storm in New York City have brought new attention to the effects of climate change and prompted discussions about how to safeguard cities and crops. A University of Washington group that has focused on this question for almost two decades is part of a new report and first-ever national meeting on adapting to the effects of a changing climate.
Citizen-scientists around the world are poring through digital versions of 19th century logbooks of mariners who sailed from Pacific Northwest and California ports to explore the Arctic and chart the newly acquired Alaskan territories.
Regional cloud changes, such as those that result in less rain during monsoons in India and those that indicate a widening of the tropics, may be as important to watch as the overall amount of cloud cover, new University of Washington research indicates.
Authors of the paper, led by Ryan Eastman, a UW research scientist in atmospheric sciences, set out to examine observations collected from weather stations around the world as a way to study the distribution of clouds. The research was recently published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.
The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored – in spite of waves that sometimes pound the shore with a force equivalent to a jet liner flying at 600 miles per hour – are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.