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Climate News

  • Aug 30 - Good news: atolls not doomed by Sea Level Rise
    P. Kench (NZ) and Peter Cowell (Aus) found that during high seas episodes, storm waves can raise the elevation of the atoll by depositing sand at the rate of 10-15mm years, faster than the expected rate of SLR in the 21st century.
    Still, areas already prone to flooding during storms will have to be abandoned and freshwater lenses may be compromised at least temporarily. "Pictures of flooding you see on the news have more to do with poor shoreline management and people settling on marginal land than with sea level rise", Says S. Donner from UBC.

    PR article in Science: August 2014 issue. C. Pala. Warming may not swamp islands. Science 345(6196):496-7.
  • Aug 27 - Icesheets metling fast
    The rate of ice loss from Earth’s two largest ice sheets has doubled since 2009, and has now reached an annual rate of 500 cubic kilometers (120 cubic miles) based on new research using data from the CryoSat-2 satellite. The ice sheet in Greenland is losing 375 cubic kilometers (90 cubic miles) of ice per year, while the Antarctica ice sheet is losing 125 cubic kilometers (30 cubic miles) of ice per year.
    Lost Arctic ice reduces reflectivity at the pole, increasing heat absorption in the ocean and enhancing warming.This is one of the major tipping points scientists have been warning us about.

    News article:

    Source: Helm, V., Humbert, A., and Miller, H.: Elevation and elevation change of Greenland and Antarctica derived from CryoSat-2, The Cryosphere, 8, 1539-1559, doi:10.5194/tc-8-1539-2014, 2014.
  • Aug 16 - Warming may help or hurt invasives depending on how they interact with enemies and competitors
  • Jul 23 - Sensitivity of Indigenous community health to climate change impacts on Salish Sea shorelines
  • Jul 23 - Rainfall and winter temperature drive bird distribution

Climate Change Datasets

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Global Freshwater Crisis

Freshwater systems around the globe are currently experiencing various levels of stress due to human activities such that nearly 80% of the world’s population is currently vulnerable to water scarcity and associated aquatic biodiversity is threatened. Vörösmarty et al. (2010) studied and mapped 23 stressors that threaten water quality and ...

Amazonian Rainforest

The tropical forests of the Amazon Basin are at risk not only from climate change, but also from interactions between deforestation and alterations in fire regimes. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon closely follows road construction due to the inaccessibility and remoteness of Amazon forests. Associated with deforestation is the human use of fire to ...

Sea Level Rise

The Pacific Northwest coast includes a wide diversity of coastal habitats from including bluffs, sandy beaches, coastal marshes, tidal flats and eelgrass beds, supporting myriad species of fish and wildlife as well as local economies and cultural history. These coastal habitat are threatened by various human activities due to continued population ...

Seasonal Fire Forecasting

One notable aspect of the MC1 Dynamic General Vegetation Model (DGVM) is the process-based fire module which simulates fire events and their impact on vegetation through time at regional to global scales. The module was built to explore the response of fire and its impacts to century-long ...

MC1 Dynamic Global Vegetation Model
[ MC1 ]( is a widely used dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) that has been used to simulate potential vegetation shifts in California and Alaska, all of North America, and over the entire globe under various climate change scenarios. However, past simulations were run at a scale that is too coarse (e.g., 10km x 10km for the