News and Events
For people who make their living connected to nature, a favorable environment is critical. For farmers, that means having enough rain to bring a crop to harvest. For ski resort operators, that means having enough snow for a robust ski season. For commercial fishermen, that means having seasonal ocean temperatures that favor the fish they need for market.
The same goes for shellfish growers in Washington, who rely on the Northwest’s historically favorable marine waters to help produce delectable invertebrates, like clams and oysters.
One certainty under climate change is that global ocean levels are rising. A new report led by Washington Sea Grant and the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group provides the clearest picture yet of what to expect in Washington state.
The report includes projections for more than 150 different sites along the Washington coastline, from all marine shorelines in Washington state.
One morning in July, Sierra Campbell awoke in a tent and unzipped the flap to a view of mountain prairie bathed in sunlight. Though she’d been exploring Washington for weeks, the scene touched the UW sophomore from Fife in a way that reinforced her desire to make a difference in the environment.
It was one of many impressions Campbell collected through the summer as she and a diverse group of undergraduates took a crash course in the region’s natural resources.
More carbon dioxide means less goodness from the crops we grow on land and the fish we harvest from the oceans. A new study published by EarthLab’s Kristie Ebi and colleagues in China and Japan found that increased CO2 in the atmosphere reduces the nutritional value of rice, the world’s most plentiful and valuable crop, as well as wheat and many wild plants.Read more
The productive ocean off Washington state’s Olympic Coast supports an abundant web of life including kelp forests, fish, shellfish, seabirds and marine mammals. The harvest and use of these treaty-protected marine resources have been central to the local tribes’ livelihoods, food security and cultural practices for thousands of years. But ocean acidification is changing the chemistry of these waters, putting many coastal species – and the human communities that depend upon them – under threat.Read more
A team of researchers from the University of Washington, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Geological Survey and US Department of Agriculture published new research showing how water temperatures vary in over 7,000 miles of rivers and streams across the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Using high-resolution remotely-sensed water temperature data, this research helps identify potential influences of climate change on the availability of cold water for species like salmon.Read more
Can exposure and access to nature give a boost to human health? That question was front and center at the EarthLab Center for Creative Conservation’s recently convened Northwest Nature and Health Symposium. On tap for the day were leaders in education, planning and conservation — including former secretary of the interior Sally Jewell — all exploring the health benefits that come with being outside.Read more
On the heels of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – otherwise known as Rio +20 – the UN established development goals centered around people, planet and prosperity. Among these is Goal 14, aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The goal calls out addressing the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, among others.Read more
We know that connecting with nature is good for us, but there are still many questions that need to be answered through more credible scientific research: What is the ideal “dose” of nature? What health conditions do these doses actually help with? Does duration and frequency of dose matter? How long do the benefits last? Does who you are and where you live impact how beneficial exposure to nature will be?Read more
Irakli Loladze is a mathematician by training, but he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998, and Loladze was studying for his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Against a backdrop of glass containers glowing with bright green algae, a biologist told Loladze and a half-dozen other graduate students that scientists had discovered something mysterious about zooplankton.Read more