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  • Glaciers, streamflow changes are focus of new Columbia River study | UW Today
    streamflow predictions for Bonneville Power Administration the U S Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation which jointly commissioned this study The Bonneville Power Administration s Technology Innovation Office Oregon State University and the UW are funding the study which leverages glacier model developments from a NASA funded interdisciplinary science project Hopefully this study will be able to better bracket the uncertainty that exists methodologically between all these climate and hydrology models If we want to be able to plan ahead on a 20 to 50 year timescale we need to know what range of uncertainty to expect Nijssen said The impact that declining glaciers could have on the basin hasn t fully been studied by U S scientists until now though Canadian researchers recently started to look at their role Glaciers are receding across the region and as temperatures warm they will continue to melt and erode In 2005 glaciers covered about 420 square miles in the upper reaches of the Canadian Columbia Basin or roughly 5 percent of that area Twenty years before glaciers covered 490 square miles Kevin Wingert Bonneville Power Administration The Columbia River Melting glaciers put more water into the river system and boost its flow but only for a period This short term boost could actually benefit the river especially during low flow periods in the drier summer months but only in the short term As the glaciers eventually disappear perhaps as early as 2100 this added water will also disappear and further reduce already low summer flows researchers say But the river s yearly flows depend mostly on melting snowpack Cooler spring and early summer temperatures can preserve mountain snowpack until the drier months when water from melting snow is important to keep river flows high enough for migrating fish As the climate warms though the timing of when that crucial snow melts and discharges into the river also is likely to change The hydrology of the Columbia River basin is really driven by winter snow accumulation and melting in the spring and summer months When it warms up you change that balance Lettenmaier said The UW s data could have policy implications for the Columbia River Since 1964 a treaty between the U S and Canada has governed the river for hydropower production and flood control But starting in 2014 each country can notify the other of an intent to terminate or modify this treaty Changes to the treaty could be implemented as early as 2024 We want to have the best scientific information possible to help federal agencies and other regional stakeholders in long range decision making said Erik Pytlak manager of the weather and streamflow forecasting for the Bonneville Power Administration With or without a treaty climate change is coming It will be beneficial for all of our partners and customers in the region to have an updated understanding of what climate change is doing to the region The UW s streamflow predictions will be publically available after

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/01/15/glaciers-streamflow-changes-are-focus-of-new-columbia-river-study/ (2014-06-24)
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  • Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins | UW Today
    and 2010 D Boersma U of Washington Parents can only do so much to protect chicks this big and still covered with down when it starts to rain or the sun is too hot We re going to see years where almost no chicks survive if climate change makes storms bigger and more frequent during vulnerable times of the breeding season as climatologists predict Rebstock said Magellanics are medium sized penguins standing about 15 inches tall and weighing about 10 pounds Males of the species sound like braying donkeys when they vocalize Of the Earth s 17 species of penguins 10 including Magellanics breed where there is no snow it is relatively dry and temperatures can be temperate Punta Tombo is so arid that it gets an average of only 4 inches 100 mm of rain during the six month breeding season and sometimes no rain falls at all Rain is a problem and kills down covered chicks ages 9 to 23 days if they can t warm up and dry off after heavy storms in November and December when temperatures are likely to dip If chicks can live 25 days or more most have enough juvenile plumage to protect them Once chicks die parents do not lay additional eggs that season The findings are based on weather information collected at the regional airport and by researchers in the field as well as from penguin counts During the breeding season researchers visit nests once or twice a day to see what is happening and record the contents of the nest often hunting for chicks when they move around as they get older When chicks disappear or are found dead the researchers turn into detectives looking for evidence of starvation predators or other causes of death such as being pecked or beaten by other penguins Dee Boersma U of Washington Chicks at ease Chicks in their downy plumage seek company and shade under a shrub as they wait for their parents to return and feed them Just back from two months in the field Boersma said heat this season took a greater toll on chicks than storms Such variability between years is the reason why the number of chicks dying from climate change is not a tidy ever increasing figure each year Over time however the researchers expect climate change will be an increasingly important cause of death Also contributing to increasing deaths from climate change is the fact that over 27 years penguin parents have arrived to the breeding site later and later in the year probably because the fish they eat also are arriving later Boersma said The later in the year chicks hatch the more likely they ll still be in their down covered stage when storms typically pick up in November and December Besides the coast of Argentina Magellanic penguins also breed on the Chile side of South America and in the Falkland Malvinas Islands breeding ranges they share with some 60 other seabird species These species

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/01/29/deaths-attributed-directly-to-climate-change-cast-pall-over-penguins/ (2014-06-24)
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  • UW experts part of technical team investigating Snohomish County mudslide | UW Today
    about how that landslide occurred in the landscape itself Wartman said Ultimately we want to learn from these disasters so we can prevent reoccurrence of future catastrophes Local team members including Wartman and UW geomorphologist David Montgomery are hoping to visit the landslide site this week followed by a visit next week from the entire reconnaissance team of six experts from universities government agencies and industry The Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association is a National Science Foundation funded group of experts that responds quickly when a geologic disaster happens The association tries to collect technical data within days of a disaster to inform future long term investigations Some of its disaster investigations include the Colorado floods in 2013 Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and recent catastrophic earthquakes in Chile Haiti Japan and New Zealand The investigators aim to piece together what happened in the Western Washington disaster by collecting field measurements and gathering details from people who witnessed the landslide It s not intended to be a long term investigation but rather a quick turnaround initiative that could help guide future investigations Wartman said The team plans to document the mudslide by taking photos talking with witnesses measuring parts of the landslide and looking at satellite imagery from various points on the landscape Data collection will be quick and the team plans to post its observations and findings within a month on the association s website The group appears to be the only one currently collecting technical data on the mudslide though other experts have been involved in making sure the area is safe for rescuers The team will not be involved with rescue and recovery work and hopes to strike a balance between not interfering in those efforts while making sure to document the disaster before evidence is lost Wartman said We will be collecting perishable important technical data that will soon disappear he said We hope to directly observe and record the effects of this landslide on the community As a nation we don t have a lot of information about the human and capital losses of a landslide disaster For more information contact Wartman at wartman uw edu or 206 685 4806 Share this Facebook Twitter Email Print Tagged with David Montgomery Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Earth and space sciences Joseph Wartman Office of News Information Browse Articles Contact Us Community Photos UW Classifieds University Photography UW Experts Search UW Today Search Browse Categories Select Category Administrative Affairs Archive Arts and Entertainment Buildings and Grounds Education Engineering Environment For UW Employees Health and Medicine Honors and Awards Learning News Releases News Roundups Politics and Government Profiles Research Science Social Science Technology UW and the Community Latest Stories Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues 5 hours ago Zippy electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research 8 hours ago UW students electric hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition 3 days ago Global issues at play in book of study abroad student letters 5 days ago

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/03/31/uw-experts-part-of-technical-team-investigating-snohomish-county-mudslide/ (2014-06-24)
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  • Chris Chickadel | UW Today
    Hannah Hickey April 4 2014 UW researchers made some of the first aerial surveys over the Oso mudslide using radar technology to map the condition immediately after the slide Environment Research Science Technology Office of News Information Browse Articles Contact Us Community Photos UW Classifieds University Photography UW Experts Search UW Today Search Browse Categories Select Category Administrative Affairs Archive Arts and Entertainment Buildings and Grounds Education Engineering Environment For UW Employees Health and Medicine Honors and Awards Learning News Releases News Roundups Politics and Government Profiles Research Science Social Science Technology UW and the Community Latest Stories Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues 5 hours ago Zippy electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research 8 hours ago UW students electric hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition 3 days ago Global issues at play in book of study abroad student letters 5 days ago Related Stories UW experts part of technical team investigating Snohomish County mudslide March 31 2014 West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way May 12 2014 Study Quake triggered landslides a significant hazard in Seattle October 22 2013 Explore the UW Admissions Undergraduates Graduates UW Online Paying for college Husky Promise Financial aid estimator Continuing Education Summer quarter Academics Academic calendar Colleges Schools Departments Undergraduate learning Graduate School Course catalog Undergraduate majors Evening degree program English language programs Study abroad Graduation requirements Libraries Campus Life Husky Card Dining Student housing Student groups The HUB Husky sports IMA Diversity Hall Health Counseling Center University Book Store Computing support UW Police Holidays Leadership Board of Regents President s office Provost s office Vice presidents Vice provosts Deans and chancellors Futures Committee Government Relations Faculty Senate ASUW GPSS RHSA Portals Business Industry Diversity Educational Excellence Global Affairs Research UW Foundation Visit the UW Planning a visit

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/tag/chris-chickadel/ (2014-06-24)
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  • landslide | UW Today
    Hannah Hickey April 4 2014 UW researchers made some of the first aerial surveys over the Oso mudslide using radar technology to map the condition immediately after the slide Environment Research Science Technology Office of News Information Browse Articles Contact Us Community Photos UW Classifieds University Photography UW Experts Search UW Today Search Browse Categories Select Category Administrative Affairs Archive Arts and Entertainment Buildings and Grounds Education Engineering Environment For UW Employees Health and Medicine Honors and Awards Learning News Releases News Roundups Politics and Government Profiles Research Science Social Science Technology UW and the Community Latest Stories Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues 5 hours ago Zippy electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research 8 hours ago UW students electric hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition 3 days ago Global issues at play in book of study abroad student letters 5 days ago Related Stories UW experts part of technical team investigating Snohomish County mudslide March 31 2014 West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way May 12 2014 Study Quake triggered landslides a significant hazard in Seattle October 22 2013 Explore the UW Admissions Undergraduates Graduates UW Online Paying for college Husky Promise Financial aid estimator Continuing Education Summer quarter Academics Academic calendar Colleges Schools Departments Undergraduate learning Graduate School Course catalog Undergraduate majors Evening degree program English language programs Study abroad Graduation requirements Libraries Campus Life Husky Card Dining Student housing Student groups The HUB Husky sports IMA Diversity Hall Health Counseling Center University Book Store Computing support UW Police Holidays Leadership Board of Regents President s office Provost s office Vice presidents Vice provosts Deans and chancellors Futures Committee Government Relations Faculty Senate ASUW GPSS RHSA Portals Business Industry Diversity Educational Excellence Global Affairs Research UW Foundation Visit the UW Planning a visit

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/tag/landslide/ (2014-06-24)
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  • West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way | UW Today
    Science Foundation to image through the thick ice and map the topography of the underlying bedrock whose shape controls the ice sheet s long term stability The mapping was done as part of NASA s Operation IceBridge and included other instruments to measure the height of the ice sheet s rapidly thinning surface In some places Thwaites Glacier has been losing tens of feet or several meters of elevation per year UW researchers combined that data with their own satellite measurements of ice surface speeds Their computer model was able to reproduce the glacier s ice loss during the past 18 years and they ran the model forward under different amounts of ocean driven melting David Shean UW A high resolution map of Thwaites Glacier s thinning ice shelf Warm circumpolar deep water is melting the underside of this floating shelf leading to an ongoing speedup of Thwaites Glacier This glacier now appears to be in the early stages of collapse with full collapse potentially occurring within a few centuries Collapse of this glacier would raise global sea level by several tens of centimeters with a total rise by up to a few meters if it causes a broader collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet The place where the glacier meets land the grounding line now sits on a shallower ridge with a depth of about 2 000 feet 600 meters Results show that as the ice edge retreats into the deeper part of the bay the ice face will become steeper and like a towering pile of sand the fluid glacier will become less stable and collapse out toward the sea Once it really gets past this shallow part it s going to start to lose ice very rapidly Joughin said The study considered future scenarios using faster or slower melt rates depending on the amount of future warming The fastest melt rate led to the early stages lasting 200 years after which the rapid stage collapse began The slowest melt rate kept most of the ice for more than a millennium before the onset of rapid collapse The most likely scenarios may be between 200 and 500 years Joughin said All of our simulations show it will retreat at less than a millimeter of sea level rise per year for a couple of hundred years and then boom it just starts to really go Joughin said Researchers did not model the more chaotic rapid collapse but the remaining ice is expected to disappear within a few decades The thinning of the ice in recent decades is most likely related to climate change Joughin said More emissions would lead to more melting and faster collapse but other factors make it hard to predict how much time we could buy under different scenarios The other co authors are Benjamin Smith at the UW and Brooke Medley who did her doctorate at the UW and is now at NASA s Goddard Space Flight Center The research was funded by the

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/2014/05/12/west-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-is-under-way/ (2014-06-24)
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  • Study: Quake-triggered landslides a significant hazard in Seattle | UW Today
    have documented that it triggered giant landslides that caused large tracts of forest land to slide to the bottom of Lake Washington The Seattle Basin that underlies much of the city amplifies ground motion and generates strong seismic waves that tend to increase the duration of the shaking Allstadt said the hazard of landslides triggered by earthquakes is very high and warrants greater attention in Seattle and in other areas prone to the phenomenon This finding is strongly supported by some recent earthquakes such as the Wenchuan earthquake in China in 2008 where thousands were killed by landsliding including an entire school filled with children she said Another significant finding is how much ground motion governed the extent and distribution of landslides In the case of Seattle ground motion would be amplified by the sedimentary basin beneath the city and in the shallow soils near the surface and energy would be focused in the direction that the fault breaks For the study the researchers divided the city into a grid of 210 meter cells and simulated ground motion for a magnitude 7 Seattle fault earthquake Then they subdivided the area into 5 meter cells applying anticipated amplification of shaking because of shallow soil layers I was surprised to find that a third of the landslides triggered in our simulation were outside of areas currently defined as being prone to landsliding Allstadt said That is because existing landslide hazard zones are defined primarily by considering only landslides triggered by water the most important factor when analyzing the potential landslide impact However it is also important to look at the details of amplified surface ground motion since that is the second most important factor Allstadt said The new research suggests more studies are needed to fully understand the hazards from landslides triggered by ground motion The authors note their work is just one randomized earthquake scenario of many that could strike the city The results do not show which areas of the city might be most affected by a Seattle fault earthquake but they do illustrate the extent of landsliding that could be expected The study suggests the southern half of the city and the coastal bluffs many of which are developed would be hardest hit Depending upon the water saturation level of the soil at the time of the earthquake several hundred to thousands of buildings could be affected citywide The analysis suggests landslides could also affect some inland slopes threatening key transit routes and impeding recovery efforts There s a kind of haunting precedence that tells us that we should pay attention to a large earthquake on this fault because it happened in the past said Allstadt This story is adapted from a news release by Nan Broadbent of the Seismological Society of America Share this Facebook Twitter Email Print Office of News Information Browse Articles Contact Us Community Photos UW Classifieds University Photography UW Experts Search UW Today Search Browse Categories Select Category Administrative Affairs Archive Arts and Entertainment

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/10/22/study-quake-triggered-landslides-a-significant-hazard-in-seattle/ (2014-06-24)
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  • biology | UW Today
    browsing biology Shrub growth decreases as winter temps warm up By Doree Armstrong May 20 2014 Many have assumed that warmer winters as a result of climate change would increase the growth of trees and shrubs because the growing season would be longer But shrubs achieve less yearly growth when cold winter temperatures are interrupted by temperatures warm enough to trigger growth Environment News Releases Research Science Piranha kin wielded dental weaponry even T rex would have admired with video By Sandra Hines December 26 2012 Taking into consideration size an ancient relative of piranhas weighing about 20 pounds delivered a bite with more force than prehistoric whale eating sharks or even Tyrannosaurus rex Environment News Releases Research Science Moths wired two ways to take advantage of floral potluck By Sandra Hines December 6 2012 Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator s buffet of flowers because of two distinct channels in their brains scientists have discovered Environment News Releases Research Science Scientists find oldest dinosaur or closest relative yet By Sandra Hines December 4 2012 Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur a creature the size of a Labrador retriever but with a five foot long tail that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs News Releases Research Science Office of News Information Browse Articles Contact Us Community Photos UW Classifieds University Photography UW Experts Search UW Today Search Browse Categories Select Category Administrative Affairs Archive Arts and Entertainment Buildings and Grounds Education Engineering Environment For UW Employees Health and Medicine Honors and Awards Learning News Releases News Roundups Politics and Government Profiles Research Science Social Science Technology UW and the Community Latest Stories Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues 5 hours ago Zippy electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research 8 hours ago UW students electric hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition 3 days ago Global issues at play in book of study abroad student letters 5 days ago Related Stories Embarking on geoengineering then stopping would speed up global warming February 18 2014 Deaths attributed directly to climate change cast pall over penguins January 29 2014 Stronger winds explain puzzling growth of sea ice in Antarctica September 17 2013 Explore the UW Admissions Undergraduates Graduates UW Online Paying for college Husky Promise Financial aid estimator Continuing Education Summer quarter Academics Academic calendar Colleges Schools Departments Undergraduate learning Graduate School Course catalog Undergraduate majors Evening degree program English language programs Study abroad Graduation requirements Libraries Campus Life Husky Card Dining Student housing Student groups The HUB Husky sports IMA Diversity Hall Health Counseling Center University Book Store Computing support UW Police Holidays Leadership Board of Regents President s office Provost s office Vice presidents Vice provosts Deans and chancellors Futures Committee Government Relations Faculty Senate ASUW GPSS RHSA Portals Business Industry Diversity Educational Excellence Global Affairs Research UW Foundation Visit the UW Planning a visit Things to do Tours Connect with us Facebook YouTube Instagram Twitter m UW LinkedIn

    Original URL path: http://www.washington.edu/news/tag/biology/ (2014-06-24)
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