Climate Change News (CCN)- Spring 2013

Climate Change News (CCN), offered fall, winter and spring, is designed to keep you up-to-date on PCC activities and to help create an integrated, interdisciplinary community of students, faculty and researchers working on issues related to climate.

Greg Johnson, NOAA/PMEL Climate Scientist receives Georg-Wüst award at EGU

Congratulations to PCC Participant Gregory Johnson (UW Oceanography/NOAA-PMEL), who was awarded the Georg Wüst Prize at this year’s European Geophysical Union (EGU) General Assembly. The award is jointly awarded every two years by the German Society for Marine Research and the Journal Ocean Dynamics biennially to “honor scientists who have made a significant contribution to marine research.” Dr. Johnson recently traveled to Prague to deliver a keynote lecture on “Warming, Contraction, and Freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water since the 1990s, with a Potential Ice-Sheet Melt Feedback” at EGU and to receive the award.

The research highlighted in his lecture was also the subject of a paper recently published in the Journal of Climate, co-authored by PCC Graduate Student and UW Ocean graduate student Sarah Purkey. The study examines the freshening of Antarctic Bottom Water from 1980-2012, using previous measurements of Southern Ocean temperature and salinity. These data showed a clear freshening within the Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean, and stronger freshening close to the sources of Antarctic Bottom Water. A nice overview of the paper can be found in Nature Geoscience.

Jörg Wolff presents Greg with the Georg-Wüst award at the European Geophysical Union meeting in March 2013

PCC's Annual Summer Institute at Friday Harbor Labs

Once again we are fortunate to have been accepted as a Friday Harbor Laboratories symposium, and together we will be working to bring you our annual PCC Summer Institute, September 11-13, 2013. The theme this year is "Response of Marine Ecosystems to climate forcing: causes and consequences", also joint with the IGERT Program on Ocean Change. Julie Keister(Oceanography) is taking the lead on organizing the 3-day institute, and is currently working on developing the agenda and inviting outside speakers. We encourage all to consider participating in the poster session on the first afternoon/evening.

Look for additional information and a link to the registration page, as details unfold, at the Summer Institute Information and Registration Link.

Ocean chemist and Walker-Ames Scholar, Peter Brewer to speak on the impacts of ocean warming

Peter Brewer is an ocean chemist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). His current research interests include the geochemistry of gas hydrates, bio-geochemical impacts of the growing oceanic fossil fuel CO2 signal and the multiple impacts of ocean acidification.

Lecture Title: "Common sense chemistry and a true tipping point for climate right off our shores"
When: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Auditorium, Seattle Campus

Cost: Free and open to the public.

More information and advance registration.

PCC Graduate Fellowships-Update

ESS, ATMS and Ocean each awarded 1 fellowship to incoming graduate students, so there will be no at-large fellowship this year. We'll introduce these students in the fall newsletter.

The Program on Climate Change has partnered with the Jackson School for International Affairs on two grants to reinvision international affairs. In both of the projects there will be opportunities for graduate students in climate to work with those in international affairs to bring climate change into policy analysis.

The first is "New Conceptualizations of Global Regions: Building a U.W. Arctic Academic Program - A Joint College Initiative". This will focus on bridging policy/natural science in projects focused on the changing landscape in the Arctic.

The second is "Climate Change, Global Health, Vulnerability and Resilience : Towards an Area Studies of Risk" with plans for a multidisciplinary symposium on new ways of thinking about risk and vulnerability in resource poor regions in a changing climate.

Look for announcements of these opportunities in the near future.

Graduate Certificate in Climate Science --three updates

The Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS) was created to provide an interdisciplinary training in methods, research issues, and communication of climate science that enhances the scientific breadth and professional employability of GCeCS awardees. The certificate combines the PCC courses, specifically designed to address the cross-linkages in the earth system that disciplinary curricula are not able to do, with a capstone project in Communicating Climate Science. Details here.

Update 1: Communications requirement may be satisfied by doing a Weekend Compass Course with Journalists, designed for iPOC/PCC graduate students. October. Contact Miriam for details, 1 credit awarded for OCN/ATMS/ESS 593.

Update 2: Climate Dynamics--two options available to satisfy this requirement: ATMS/ESS/OCN 587, which covers the broad topic of Climate Dynamics, offered by Dargan Frierson, and Climate Feedbacks, a course for advanced students offered this fall by David Battisti and Gerard Roe.

Update 3: Interested in developing a lab on climate for with high school teachers to teach to their students? and getting credit for your capstone project in the process? Our NASA funding to develop a UWHS ATMS 211 course may be ending, but there are teachers eager to learn and find new content for their 9-12 classrooms. email for more information.

2013 Graduate Climate Conference at MIT

Applications are now open for participation in the 2013 Graduate Climate Conference! Invitations to participate will be awarded on a competitive basis, as will limited travel funding. The application is open to graduate students, and to undergrads who will be in their junior or senior year as of Fall 2013. Applications will remain open through June 7.

"This is an all-student, no-faculty-allowed climate research conference run by a group of MIT grad students in the physical climate sciences. It is always a really good time and you should apply!" -Jack Scheff, PCC graduate student and co-organizer of the 2012 GCC

Apply Now!

Graduate Student ONLY Seminars - Spring

The spring quarter of the GSS* started with a special showing of the documentary Thin Ice - The Inside Story of Climate Science (Trailer) on Wednesday April 24th.

The GSS will continue every other Wednesday at 5 pm in OSB 425.

April 24: Thin Ice - ATG 610
May 8: Noel Pelland (Ocean)- OSB 425
May 22: Spruce Schoenemann (ESS) - OSB 425
June 5th: Elizabeth Maroon (Atmos) - OSB 425

Contact Sarah Purkey ( ASAP if you are interested in giving a talk--several spots are still available.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series, (GSS) it is organized by graduate students for graduate students (only) and provides a relaxed environment where grad students give 25-35 min presentations on their research followed by 20 minutes of questions/discussion on the topic. It's a great opportunity to see what is going on in climate research with your fellow students down the hall or across campus. It is also a great chance to show off some of your own research and receive feedback. Presentations should be geared toward a general scientific audience (of graduate students) with ample background information so everyone can follow.

Schedule updates and additional detail.

2013/2014 "PCC" Courses

FALL 2013

  • OCN/ATMS/ESS 586/475 (Seminar for grads and climate minor capstone) on Ocean and Climate Change Theme. Jim Murray is organizing 586 and LuAnne Thompson is teaching the 475 course designed as the integrative capstone experience for undergraduates in the climate minor.
  • ATMS/OCN/ESS 587 Climate Dynamics taught by Dargan Frierson
  • ATMS/OCN/ESS 589 Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling and Theory taught by Eric Steig
  • ATMS/OCN/ESS 593 Communicating Climate Science taught by Liz Neeley/COMPASS, priority given to IGERT Program on Ocean Change and those enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS). Contact for information.

  • WINTER 2014

  • ATMS/OCN/ESS 588 Global Carbon Cycle and Climate taught by Abigail Swann

  • SPRING 2014

  • ATMS/OCN/ESS 554 Paleoclimate Proxies (tentative, taught by Julian Sachs)

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    We also have an active climate outreach group; if you'd like to be contacted when we get speaker or other climate-related requests, send an e-mail to Miriam at

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