European satellite confirms UW numbers: Arctic Ocean is on thin ice

The September 2012 record low in Arctic sea-ice extent was big news, but a missing piece of the puzzle was lurking below the ocean’s surface. What volume of ice floats on Arctic waters? And how does that compare to previous summers? These are difficult but important questions, because how much ice actually remains suggests how vulnerable the ice pack will be to more warming.

UW professor studies global warming

In the face of rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases, one UW professor is part of a Greenland ice-drilling project that aims to better understand future global warming.

Edwin Waddington, UW professor of earth and space sciences, is one of 133 members involved in the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project, working with project leader Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Greenland ice core shows Antarctica vulnerable to warming

An international study indicates the last interglacial period more than 100,000 years ago could be a good indicator of where the planet is heading in the face of increasing greenhouse gases and warming temperatures globally.

The new results from the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project, led by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, shows that during the Eemian interglacial period 130,000 to 115,000 years ago the climate in North Greenland was about 8 degrees Celsius (14.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it is now.

International study: Where there’s smoke or smog, there’s climate change

January 15, 2013

In addition to causing smoggy skies and chronic coughs, soot – or black carbon – turns out to be the number two contributor to global warming. It’s second only to carbon dioxide, according to a four-year assessment by an international panel.

The new study concludes that black carbon, the soot particles in smoke and smog, contributes about twice as much to global warming as previously estimated, even by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Op-ed: Climate change poses a public-health threat

HERE’S a riddle: What do the Oklahoma dust bowl, smoke in Wenatchee, mold on Long Island and Washington’s oyster industry have in common?

And why would a doctor, like me, care?

The common link is climate change. We must act now to stop it.

Ken Burns’s PBS documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” recounts how reckless land management, combined with severe heat waves and drought during the 1930s, triggered a catastrophe — loss of soil, destruction of farms, displacement of people.

Op-ed: Maintain state’s transportation network with a carbon tax

WE have a transportation problem. The governor’s Connecting Washington report identified a maintenance shortfall of almost $800 million per year over the next 10 years just to keep roads, bridges and ferries in safe working order.

We have a climate problem. Carbon concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise, and the scientific consensus about the risks of global warming continues to build.

With climate change, winter isn't what it used to be

At 3:12 a.m. Friday, winter arrived in Seattle.

The winter solstice marks the season of rest and renewal, a quiet, dark time in which nature catches its breath.

Scientists are only now realizing, though, how climate change unleashes a cascade of effects on this season.

Here, and elsewhere around the country, while winter weather can still be ferocious — witness the storm hammering the Midwest — the long-term trend, or climate, shows winter isn't what it used to be. And more change is ahead.

Greenland ice sheet carries evidence of increased atmospheric acidity

Research has shown a decrease in levels of the isotope nitrogen-15 in core samples from Greenland ice starting around the time of the Industrial Revolution. The decrease has been attributed to a corresponding increase in nitrates associated with the burning of fossil fuels.

However, new University of Washington research suggests that the decline in nitrogen-15 is more directly related to increased acidity in the atmosphere.

International study provides more solid measure of shrinking in polar ice sheets

The planet’s two largest ice sheets have been losing ice faster during the past decade, causing widespread confusion and concern. A new international study provides a firmer read on the state of continental ice sheets and how much they are contributing to sea-level rise.

Dozens of climate scientists have reconciled their measurements of ice sheet changes in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades. The results, published Nov. 29 in the journal Science, roughly halve the uncertainty and discard some conflicting observations.