Climate Change News (CCN)- Autumn 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.

2013/2014 Academic Year-- A Quick Look

We take this opportunity, the Autumn PCC newsletter, to highlight climate related activities of the summer and take a look at those in the upcoming academic year.

We spent a few days at Friday Harbor Labs for our summer institute focusing on "Climate Forcing of Marine Ecosystems: Causes and Consequences", synopsis below. We are also hosting a fall PCC seminar series (ATMS/ESS/OCN 586), which, as did the PCC SI, focuses on Ocean Change, as a collaboration with the UW IGERT on Ocean Change. We kicked off this series on October 1 with a panel discussion of the newly released summary of the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment: The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change (SPM). PCC Director LuAnne Thompson provided highlights of the report, followed by a panel discussion of the IPCC process and new results as well as the communication of the results. Chris Bretherton (ATMS), a lead author of the report was joined by Dargan Frierson (ATMS) and Curtis Deutsch (OCEAN) who answered questions from a nearly capacity crowd in the FSH 102 auditorium. Deutsch and Frierson graciously participated at the last minute, replacing two IPCC contributors from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Labs, Greg Johnson and Chris Sabine. Both expressed deep disappointment at not being able to participate due to the shutdown of the federal government earlier that day.

As we move into 2014 we will also transition to our new theme, focusing PCC activities on "Climate Variability and Uncertainty". Look for announcements of related events in winter quarter. Also look for the date of our annual winter welcome, our "members" meeting where we highlight the year to come. Date and location to be announced.

You may also notice two new UW programs highlighted and linked in the right hand bar--the Freshwater Initiative, which is hosting a seminar series this quarter, and a Future of Ice Lecture Series in winter quarter. Take a look at these exciting new opportunities for channeling your climate science interests.

New Fellows, Faculty and Board Members -- Welcome!

PCC Graduate Fellowships

The PCC awarded three fellowships this year to incoming graduate students. We met two of them at the September Summer Institute, David Lilien from Earth and Space Sciences, and interested in Glaciology, and Shirley Leung, a Physical Oceanographer working with Curtis Deutsch. Maxwell Smith of Atmospheric Sciences is the third, he'll be working with Qiang Fu. We plan to introduce all three at the PCC Winter Welcome, which is in the planning stage for January or February 2014.

New Climate-Related Oceanography Faculty

Two new faculty members arrived over the summer. Please welcome Alex Gagnon and Curtis Deutsch. Alex Gagnon studies calcification in a changing ocean, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab before arriving on campus in June 2013. Curtis Deutsch, who thinks about the interactions between biogeochemical cycles and climate, joined the Oceanography Department here at UW from the Department of Atmosphere and Ocean at UCLA. Some, (many?) will remember Curtis from his time here as a PCC postdoc.

Changes to the PCC Advisory Board

Many thanks to Stu Evans (ATMOS) for his representation of graduate student interests on the PCC Advisory Board in 2012/2013 and please welcome Hilary Palevsky (OCEAN) as the new grad student representative. Additional changes to the advisory board include the temporary departures of Josh Lawler (SEFS), Cecilia Bitz (ATMOS) and Jessica Lundquist (CEE), all of whom are on sabbatical this year. Additions to the board include Curtis Deutsch (OCEAN), Chris Anderson (SAFS) and Erkan Istanbulluoglu (CEE).

A complete list of the PCC Advisory Board can be found here.

2013 PCC Summer Institute Synopsis

Will there be fish to catch in the future? What are the many flavors of ENSO? How predictable are future ecosystem changes? These were among the many big questions asked at this year’s PCC Summer Institute which addressed “Climate Forcing of Marine Ecosystems: Causes and Consequences.” A wide variety of voices from UW and national and international speakers were heard, from predictions of future distributions of fisheries to detailed analysis of the evolution of zooplankton in the Bering Sea where ice grows and melts. Many participating students and faculty who had not been previously involved in the PCC greatly added to the conversation.

Poster session discussions at the opening of the 2013 PCC Summer Institute at Friday Harbor Labs

Following the traditional poster session, the opening talks featured Charles Stock (NOAA GFDL) and William Cheung (U. British Columbia) who inspired lively discussion of large-scale climate effects on plankton and fisheries. On Thursday morning, Antonietta Capotondi (U. Colorado) educated the group on the diversity of ENSO events and their effects on the ocean. Nick Bond (UW JISAO) addressed decadal variability in the North Pacific and Andy Thomas (U. Maine) described chlorophyll variability in the California Current. The final highlight of the morning session was a panel discussion about the economics of fisheries management, policy challenges in the changing Arctic, and the management options for ocean acidification.

Emily Carrington, Ocean Acidification Lab Tour Guide, Friday Harbor Labs, 2013 PCC Summer Institute

Participants had had the afternoon (and beautiful weather!) to tour the Ocean Acidification Labs at Friday Harbor and to explore San Juan Island: some activities included sight-seeing, hiking, and whale watching. They returned for a special afternoon session in which Charles Stock presented a seminar on the use of IPCC-class models to assess the impact of climate on marine populations. Graduate students were then invited to present 5-minute “speed talks” to introduce their research to the group. It was a new component of the Summer Institute that proved popular with the students and faculty.

That evening, Simone Alin (NOAA PMEL) presented the state of our knowledge of the drivers of ocean acidification in the California Current. She was followed by Morgan Kelly (UCSB) who discussed organismal adaptation to ocean acidification. The day ended with a special evening reception for the Friday Harbor Lab donors and a lecture by George Hunt in the Dining Hall titled “Some indications of the effects of climate change on seabirds: three stories.” The talk was well attended; the reception continued well into the night.

The final, Friday morning, session of the SI focused on higher latitude systems. Mike Steele (UW APL) talked about Arctic sea ice retreat, Neil Banas (UW JISAO) discussed plankton communities of the Bering Sea shelf, and Al Hermann (UW JISAO) addressed the question of scale in forming predictions of physical and biophysical variability.

Each aspect of the Summer Institute contributed to the program’s huge success. The PCC particularly thanks Julie Keister who organized the institute, and each of the invited speakers, all of whom presented excellent talks that inspired active conversation among of the participants. We look forward to more discussions about the intersection of climate change, marine ecosystems and fisheries in the future.

See more pictures from the PCC SI on the PCC Facebook Page

A list of participants, the agenda, poster and speed talk abstracts, and more can be found on the 2013 PCC Summer Institute event page.

Insights from the Science Online Climate Conference 2013

Navigating online media in communicating climate science by Chris Terai

With travel support from the PCC I had the opportunity in August to attend the ScienceOnline Climate conference. An offshoot of the popular ScienceOnline conference, ScienceOnline Climate focused on issues at the intersection of climate science, communication, and online media. I attended the conference as a newcomer to online communication. I had taken a couple science communication classes, one in which I learned about the conference, but I was still unsure of how to apply what I learned to the various online tools. The vastness and the invisibility of the online audience also left me uncertain of how best to start finding a voice online. Read more...

by Deirdre Lockwood

ScienceOnline organizers often call the meetings “unconferences” because they emphasize discussion and sharing rather than top-down presentations by experts. Fittingly, I took away a great deal from what participants shared in the ScienceOnline Climate session I moderated, Social Media 201. We focused on how to enhance our climate communication efforts using some of the latest social media networks—including image-rich microblogging platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram, and video-sharing communities like Vimeo and Vine. Members of these communities share original and “found” content, and they are especially popular with teens and young adults. Here are the top five insights I gained from our discussion about creating a presence on these networks to communicate climate. Read more...

PCC Classes and Seminars

Autumn 2013

The Graduate Student Seminar : A seminar series organized by graduate students for graduate students, meeting bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 5:30 sharp in ATG 610 throughout the year. Provides an extremely laid back environment where grad students give 20-30 min presentations on their research followed by a 20 minutes of questions/discussion on the topic. A great opportunity to see what is going on in climate research with your fellow students down the hall or across campus.

  • October 9 Kevin Ford (Biology)
  • October 23: Postdoc / recent postdoc panel! Sam Siedlecki and Sarah Giddings (ocean) and Abby Swann (atmos & biology) will tell their career stories and answer our many queries about The Future.
  • November 6: Karl Lapo (atmos & CEE/hydrology)
  • November 20: Jesse Anderson (phys ocean)
  • December 4: Miguel Jimenez-Urias (phys ocean)

  • Autumn quarter chairs: Spruce (, Jack ( and Sarah (

    Current Research in Climate Science Undergraduate Seminar (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 475)--Instructor: LuAnne Thompson (OCN) and Current Research in Climate Science Graduate Seminar (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 586--Instructor: Jim Murray (OCN). The undergraduate and graduate "Current Research in Climate Science come together for the weekly seminar, and students enrolled meet separately to discuss. The seminar focuses on "Marine Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change", in accordance with the PCC theme for this year. Join us for the seminars, which are listed on the calendar and on the 475/586 seminar page (with readings).
    The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region [PCC 586B/JSIS 582/QUAT 504]--This seminar brings together students and faculty from across the U.W. to explore Arctic challenges and themes from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course is part of the grant project, “Re-imagining Area/International Studies in the 21st Century: The Arctic as an Emerging Global Region” to enable the Canadian Studies Center and other partnering units to build an Arctic academic program at the U.W.
    Fundamentals of Global Warming Science (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 587, formerly 'Climate Dynamics')--Instructor: Dargan Frierson (ATM S).
    Paleoclimatology: Data, Modeling, and Theory (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 589)--Instructor: Eric Steig (ESS).
    Communicating Climate Science: COMPASS Workshop (ATMS/OCEAN/ESS 593)--Instructors: Liz Neeley and Heather Galindo, Compass

    Winter 2014

    The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate (ATM S/OCEAN/ESS 588)--Instructors: Abby Swan (ATM S)

    Communicating Science to the Public Effectively (CENV 500)--Instructors: Juliana Houghton and Jessica Rohde (great way to satisfy the communication seminar requirement of the Grad Climate Science certificate (GCeCS), and you present your research publicly at the Engage Speaker Series at Town Hall!!)

    Spring 2014
    None scheduled.

    A full list of quarterly course offerings can be found here.

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