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  • Analysis: Restoring soil can help address climate change | The Daily Beast
    Thursday, August 15, 2019
    "It's time to take soil seriously. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states with very high confidence in its latest report, land degradation represents 'one of the biggest and most urgent challenges' that humanity faces," writes David Montgomery, professor of Earth and space sciences at the UW. [This article originally appeared in The Conversation] Read More
  • Analysis: Restoring soil can help address climate change | The Conversation
    Tuesday, August 13, 2019
    "It's time to take soil seriously. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states with very high confidence in its latest report, land degradation represents 'one of the biggest and most urgent challenges' that humanity faces," writes David Montgomery, professor of Earth and space sciences at the UW. Read More
  • New study definitively links western Antarctic ice melt to human-caused climate change | New York Daily News
    Tuesday, August 13, 2019
    As scientists watch the world's ice melt away, predict sea level rises, and sound the alarm about climate change, they have been struggled to demonstrate a direct link between that and human activity, at least when it comes to the western Antarctic ice sheets -- until now. Eric Steig, professor of Earth and space sciences at the UW, is quoted. Read More
  • First evidence of human-caused climate change melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
    Monday, August 12, 2019
    white snow and ocean

    An aerial view of Getz ice shelf in West Antarctica taken from a helicopter in January 2018 after using radar on the ice to measure ocean-driven ice shelf melt.Pierre Dutrieux

    A new study reveals the first evidence of a direct link between human-induced global warming and melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A research team led by the British Antarctic Survey that included the University of Washington found that curbing greenhouse gas emissions now could reduce this region’s future contribution to global sea level rise.

    Ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica has increased over the past few decades. Scientists previously found that ice loss in this region is caused by ocean-driven melt, and that varying winds in the region cause transitions between relatively warm and cool ocean conditions around key glaciers. But until now it was unclear how these naturally occurring variations in the winds could cause ongoing ice loss.

    The study by U.S. and U.K. scientists published Aug. 12 in Nature Geoscience finds that in addition to the natural variations, which last about a decade, there has been a longer-term change in the winds that can be linked with human activities. Continued ice loss in this region could cause global oceans to rise tens of inches by the year 2100.

    "These results solve a long-standing puzzle,” said co-author Eric Steig, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. “We have known for some time that varying winds near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet have contributed to the ice loss, but it has not been clear why the ice sheet is changing now.”

    “Our work with ice cores drilled in the Antarctic Ice Sheet have shown, for example, that wind conditions have been similar in the past,” Steig said. “But the ice core data also suggest a subtle long-term trend in the winds. This new work corroborates that evidence and, furthermore, explains why that trend has occurred."

    The researchers combined satellite observations and climate model simulations to understand how winds over the ocean near West Antarctica have changed since the 1920s in response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations. They found that human-induced climate change has caused a long-term change in the winds, and that as a result, warm ocean conditions have gradually become more prevalent.

    white ice shelf in ocean

    A view of Dotson ice shelf in West Antarctica taken in January 2009 aboard the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer after deploying an autonomous underwater vehicle under Pine Island ice shelf.Pierre Dutrieux

    “The impact of human induced climate change on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not simple,” said lead author Paul Holland at the British Antarctic Survey. “This is the first evidence for a direct link between human activities and the loss of ice from West Antarctica. Our results imply that a combination of human activity and natural climate variations have caused ice loss in this region, accounting for around 4.5 centimeters [1.8 inches] of sea level rise per century."

    Previous research from Steig and co-author Pierre Dutrieux, a research assistant professor at Columbia University and former UW research scientist, had established the connection between the ocean currents, winds and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    "We knew this region was affected by natural climate cycles lasting about a decade, but these didn't necessarily explain the ice loss,” Dutrieux said. “Now we have evidence that a century-long change underlies these cycles, and that it is caused by human activities."

    The team also looked at model simulations of future winds, and found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the winds will continue to shift in a way that increases the rate of ice loss. But if greenhouse gas emissions are controlled, the winds remain in their current state and prevent greater warming to the underside of the ice sheet.

    Other co-authors are Thomas Bracegirdle and Adrian Jenkins at the British Antarctic Survey. The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

    ###

    For more information, contact Steig at steig@uw.edu.

    Adapted from a British Antarctic Survey press release.

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  • Soundbites/B-roll: UW hosts student robotics 'moon landing' challenge
    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    For journalists

    Soundbites and b-roll are available for download here.

     

    A robotics challenge July 20th at the UW featured twenty-eight middle and high school teams from Forks to Walla Walla and from Bellingham to Olympia. The event marked a half-century since the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon and two U.S. astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked its surface.

    Each team flew a drone that attempted to drop and retrieve a lunar module designed by the group on a high-resolution map of the moon’s surface. Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots were programmed to explore the surface and retrieve rock samples. The goal is to prepare the next generation of scientists for the “next giant leap”, and broaden the pipeline for future aeronautics careers.

    The Apollo 50 Next Giant Leap Student Challenge, or ANGLeS Challenge, has attracted 4,000 students from across the country since it launched in January. UW is the regional host for Washington state as well as the national hub for 15 similar events taking place this week across the country. The twenty-eight teams from across Washington qualified for the finals.

    The challenge event is the latest outreach effort by NASA’s Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP), which seeks to attract underrepresented students into space careers.

    More information at https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/07/17/uw-hosts-student-robotics-challenge-friday-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-11-moon-landing/

    Kiyomi Taguchi, UW News video producer: ktaguchi@uw.edu

     

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  • Video: UW hosts student robotics 'moon landing' challenge
    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    A robotics challenge July 20th at the UW featured twenty-eight teams of middle and high schoolers from Forks to Walla Walla and from Bellingham to Olympia. The event marked a half-century since the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon and two U.S. astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked its surface.

    Each team flew a drone that attempted to drop and retrieve a lunar module designed by the group on a high-resolution map of the moon’s surface. Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots were programmed to explore the surface and retrieve rock samples. The goal is to prepare the next generation of scientists for the “next giant leap”, and broaden the pipeline for future aeronautics careers.

    The Apollo 50 Next Giant Leap Student Challenge, or ANGLeS Challenge, has attracted 4,000 students from across the country since it launched in January. UW is the regional host for Washington state as well as the national hub for 15 similar events taking place this week across the country. The twenty-eight teams from across Washington qualified for the finals.

    The challenge event is the latest outreach effort by NASA’s Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP), which seeks to attract underrepresented students into space careers.

    More information at https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/07/17/uw-hosts-student-robotics-challenge-friday-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-11-moon-landing/
    Kiyomi Taguchi, UW News video producer: ktaguchi@uw.edu

     

    Read More
  • Soundbites/B-roll: UW hosts student robotics 'moon landing' challenge
    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    For journalists

    Soundbites and b-roll are available for download here.

     

    A robotics challenge July 20th at the UW featured twenty-eight middle and high school teams from Forks to Walla Walla and from Bellingham to Olympia. The event marked a half-century since the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon and two U.S. astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked its surface.

    Each team flew a drone that attempted to drop and retrieve a lunar module designed by the group on a high-resolution map of the moon’s surface. Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots were programmed to explore the surface and retrieve rock samples. The goal is to prepare the next generation of scientists for the “next giant leap”, and broaden the pipeline for future aeronautics careers.

    The Apollo 50 Next Giant Leap Student Challenge, or ANGLeS Challenge, has attracted 4,000 students from across the country since it launched in January. UW is the regional host for Washington state as well as the national hub for 15 similar events taking place this week across the country. The twenty-eight teams from across Washington qualified for the finals.

    The challenge event is the latest outreach effort by NASA’s Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP), which seeks to attract underrepresented students into space careers.

    More information at https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/07/17/uw-hosts-student-robotics-challenge-friday-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-apollo-11-moon-landing/

    Kiyomi Taguchi, UW News video producer: ktaguchi@uw.edu

     

    Read More
  • Kids re-enact moon landing in robot challenge at UW -- and win trips to NASA sites | GeekWire
    Friday, July 26, 2019
    Middle and high school students from across Washington state competed in a robotics challenge last week at the University of Washington to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Robert Winglee, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, is quoted. Read More
  • UW 'M9 Project' has bad news for Seattle, Bellevue | Q13
    Wednesday, July 24, 2019
    The latest study from the M9 Project says many buildings in the Seattle area are at risk when a large earthquake hits nearby. Marc Eberhard, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Erin Wirth, affiliate assistant professor of Earth and spaces sciences, are interviewed. Read More
  • Student robotics competition at UW celebrates Apollo 11 anniversary | KING 5
    Monday, July 22, 2019
    Twenty-eight teams of 5-12th graders from across Washington state converged on the University of Washington Friday to show off their piloting, robotics, coding, and rock identification skills during the Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge. Robert Winglee, professor of Earth and space sciences at the UW, is quoted. Read More