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Environmental Studies

wind turbines in field
Summer 2024

Exploring weather extremes

Scorching heat and record cold. Prolonged droughts and flooding from heavy precipitation. Lightning storms that ignite wildfires.

At the Climate Extremes Laboratory at Washington State University Vancouver, Deepti Singh and her students are working to deepen the understanding of extreme weather events—both in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

“As the climate warms, the probability of experiencing these record-breaking weather events increases,” says Singh, assistant professor in the School of the Environment. “They affect our food security, air quality, water supplies, and energy production. And weather-related disasters influence human migration patterns.”

In her early adult years, … » More …

Summer 2024

Feeling the heat

The planet hit new highs in 2023 with its warmest year on record. Evidence suggests that Earth might not have been this warm in 100,000 years.

Temperatures have been going up for years due to climate change, but last year reached unprecedented levels with additional factors such as El Niño, the cyclical climate pattern that is often linked with record-setting heat worldwide.

The Pacific Northwest really started feeling the extreme heat in 2021 when the “heat dome” broke records and buckled roads. Washington State University assistant professor Deepti Singh studies extreme weather events and, in this issue, she assesses the impacts of 2021 and … » More …

Summer 2024

Warming scenarios for Washington counties —interactive maps

Warming Scenarios for Washington State

The Pacific Northwest is hotter than it used to be, and the growth in hot days will continue. Global temperatures are projected to warm by 3.6°F (2°C) over pre-industrial levels by the 2040s to the 2060s, according to recent research. That means more days over 95°F in Washington.

Click on the map below to see how Washington counties will be affected by more days of extreme heat in that projection.

more days above 95 degrees in WA counties if global warming 2˚C» More …

man pointing to wetland feature with boy
Spring 2024

Kitsap County Extension water stewardship programs

Helping people appreciate the beauty and ecological value of beaches, streams, and salmon runs is part of Washington State University’s Kitsap County Extension Program.

Each year, local residents train as beach naturalists, stream stewards, or salmon docents. Nearly 100 people completed one of the trainings in 2022. Volunteers donated more than 3,500 hours for education, stewardship, and community science in Kitsap County during the year, including time donated from past trainees who remain active volunteers.

The training empowers people to take action and become stewards of their local environment, says Anna McClelland, interim water stewardship coordinator for Kitsap Extension.

“It gives me … » More …