Oct 22, 2017 / Geology, M9

50 simulations show how a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake could play out

We know the “really big one” is coming. But what exactly is going to happen in cities along the coast?
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Sep 20, 2017 / Geology, M9

Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

Deep below the ocean’s surface, shielded from satellite signals, the gradual movement of the seafloor — including along faults that can unleash deadly earthquakes and tsunamis — goes largely undetected. As a result, we know distressingly little about motion along the fault that lies just off the Pacific Northwest coast.
University of Washington oceanographers are working with a local company to develop a simple new technique that could track seafloor movement in earthquake-prone coastal areas. 
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Sep 10, 2017 / Weather & Climate

Ship exhaust makes oceanic thunderstorms more intense

Thunderstorms directly above two of the world’s busiest shipping lanes are significantly more powerful than storms in areas of the ocean where ships don’t travel, according to new research.
A new study mapping lightning around the globe finds lightning strokes occur nearly twice as often directly above heavily-trafficked shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea than they do in areas of the ocean adjacent to shipping lanes that have similar climates. 
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Sep 10, 2017 / Geology, M9

Land-sea experiment will track earthquakes, volcanoes along Alaska Peninsula

The National Science Foundation is funding the largest marine seismic-monitoring effort yet along the Alaska Peninsula, a region with frequent and diverse earthquake and volcanic activity. Involving aircraft and ships, the new Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment will be led by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with partners at the University of Washington and seven other research institutions.
“This effort will really change the information we have at our disposal for understanding the seismic properties of subduction zones,” said Emily Roland, a UW assistant professor of oceanography and one of nine principal investigators on the project. 
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Aug 31, 2017 / Weather & Climate

Q&A: How Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Yellowstone National Park are confronting climate change

The Northern Rocky Mountain ecosystem includes huge swaths of federal lands, two national parks and some of the most spectacular wild spaces in the country. University of Washington researchers are helping managers of those lands prepare for a shifting climate.
“Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems,” a book published in August, was edited by Jessica Halofsky, a UW research ecologist in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and David Peterson, a senior research biologist with the U.S. 
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Aug 31, 2017 / Weather & Climate

Record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice due to ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions

While winter sea ice in the Arctic is declining so dramatically that ships can now navigate those waters without any icebreaker escort, the scene in the Southern Hemisphere is much different. Sea ice around Antarctica has actually increased slightly during winter — until last year.
About a year ago, a dramatic drop in Antarctic sea ice during spring in the Southern Hemisphere brought its maximum area to its lowest level in 40 years of record keeping. 
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Jul 30, 2017 / Weather & Climate

Earth likely to warm more than 2 degrees this century

Warming of the planet by 2 degrees Celsius is often seen as a “tipping point” that people should try to avoid by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
But the Earth is very likely to exceed that change, according to new University of Washington research. A study from lead-author and Professor of Statistics and Sociology Adrian Raftery and Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Dargan Frierson uses statistical tools to show only a 5 percent chance that Earth will warm 2 degrees or less by the end of this century. 
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Jun 27, 2017 / Geology, Water, M9

Distant earthquakes can cause underwater landslides

New research finds that large earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides thousands of miles away, weeks or months after the quake occurs.
Researchers analyzing data from ocean-bottom seismometers off the Washington-Oregon coast tied a series of underwater landslides on the Cascadia Subduction Zone to a 2012 magnitude-8.6 earthquake in the Indian Ocean — more than 8,000 miles away. These underwater landslides occurred intermittently for nearly four months after the April earthquake. 
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Jun 22, 2017 / Water

Nature spotlights UW geophysicists’ fight to save lives with seafloor sensors

Inventor and entrepreneur Jerry Paros and University of Washington scientists are monitoring undersea faults for movements and signs of the next catastrophic earthquake. A recent Nature article looks at Paros, who has donated $2 million to the UW, and the collaborative project he’s working on with researchers including the School of Oceanography’s Emily Roland and William Wilcock. Over the course of his career, Paros developed an ultra-precise quartz sensor for oil, gas and other industry applications. 
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May 3, 2017 / Geology, M9

UW seismologist John Vidale elected to National Academy of Sciences

John E. Vidale, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences, is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected this week as members of the National Academy of Sciences. Academy members are recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, according to a news release from the academy.
Vidale studies Earth’s interior, including earthquakes and volcanoes. 
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