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Recent News

1/7/2016: Research by Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus is featured in the January 2016 issue of National Geographic, “Extreme Research Shows How Arctic Ice Is Dwindling”. The rapidly warming Arctic might be affecting weather outside of polar regions, through changing atmospheric circulation patterns that favor more persistent and extreme weather.

12/9/2015: CCR has released it's 2015 newsletter highlighting the events of the past year. Read the CCR 2015 Newsletter.

11/25/2015: In an Opinion article in EOS: Earth and Space News, Professor Galen McKinley of CCR and AOS and co-authors discuss what we know and don’t know about the carbon cycle and calls for new investments in carbon cycle science to support climate change mitigation policy.

11/9/2015: CCR scientist Feng He is the coauthor on a recent paper in Nature Geoscience exploring the spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal, a cooling episode in the Southern Hemisphere that coincided with the abrupt warming in the Northern Hemisphere ~14,000 years ago. The study shows how past abrupt climatic changes in the North Atlantic propagated globally and provides evidence from ice-core data and paleoclimate modeling that both oceanic and atmospheric transport played important roles during abrupt climate changes. See the full article at Nature Geoscience

10/19/2014: CCR Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus talks about how spring could arrive three weeks earlier due to climate change The Nelson Institute article can be found at:

9/22/2015: Prof. Ankur Desai will receive the AMS Clarence Meisinger Award "For innovative contributions toward improving the observation and modeling of biosphere-atmosphere exchanges across a range of spatial and temporal scales."

9/17/2015: WORT community radio in Madison presented interviews on September 17 and 24, 2015 of Drs. Vimont and Notaro of CCR and Dr. Patz of SAGE regarding climate change, natural variability, and resulting health impacts. The recordings can be found here:

9/1/2015: Dr. Michael Notaro presented "Climate Change in Wisconsin, With Gardening Implications" to the Mount Horeb Gardening Club on September 1, 2015. He gave an overview of the greenhouse effect, global and local historical trends in climate, future climate projections for Wisconsin, and implications to gardening in our state.

8/25/2015: With forecasters predicting that the developing El Niño could rival the strongest on record, associate professor Dan Vimont of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research was asked to explain the weather phenomenon and its potential effects.

8/21/2015: Feng He and Zhengyu Liu are coauthors on a recent paper in Nature Communications investigating the mechanisms for the global scale glacier retreat during the last deglaciation. The study shows while insolation, ice sheets and ocean circulation modulated glacier responses regionally, global scale glacier retreat is most likely related to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations during the last ice age termination, which implies that the current worldwide glaciers are prone to melting away due to anthropogenic carbon emissions.
See the full article at Nature Communications

8/13/2015: Former CCR scientist Bette Otto-Bliesner was one of three scientists who were recently named Fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for advancing Earth science and related fields.

6/10/2015: Students of Ankur Desai are spending the summer using the Northwoods to work on a study and become better scientists.

5/20/2015: Dr. Michael Notaro was awarded a 2014 Editors' Citations for Excellence in Refereeing Award from the American Geophysical Union, specific to the Journal of Climate. To see the full list of awardees, go to:

5/12/2015: CCR Graduate Student Megan Kirchmeier-Young was awarded the "Best Graduate Student Poster" from the work she presented at the fifth annual AOSS Community Poster Reception. Her project was titled, "Verification of Extremes from Probabilistic Downscaling with an Emphasis on User-Minded Metrics."

5/5/2015: Anne Sophie Daloz, part of a group studying Himalayan climate and agriculture, wins the 2015 WARF Discovery Challenge Research Symposium. The team also recently received a CPEP Seed Grant through the Nelson Institute’s Center for Climatic Research, which is awarded annually to support innovative climate research. See more at:

5/4/2015: CCR Director Jack Williams and PhD student Sam Munoz have a paper just out in PNAS that links the rise and decline of Cahokia (the largest Native American settlement north of Mexico) to shifts in flood regime on the Mississippi River. The paper documents at least 8 large (>10m) floods on the Mississippi over the last 1800 years. Cahokia grew and flourished during a period of regional aridity and few large floods on the Mississippi River (600 to 1200 AD).
PNAS article (on-line early release):
Nature News:

4/22/2015: Yan Yu successfully completed her PhD preliminary exams for the AOS program. Her research focuses on ocean-land-atmosphere interactions across North Africa.

4/20/2015: CCR sponsored two sessions at the April 2015 Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference, "Climate Adaptation in Wisconsin and the Midwest: Implications from the National Climate Assessment" and "Insuring Future Resilience: Risk Management Strategies in a Changing Climate".​ Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed two of the panel members from the former session, as found here:

4/1/2015: Ankur Desai is featured in a University article about a paper on wetlands that he co-wrote. Read the full article at
Read the paper at:

3/20/2015: Dr. Michael Notaro was granted permanent Principal Investigator status by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The complete list of the 50 academic staff at UW-Madison who have been awarded this status can be found here:

3/19/2015: Ankur Desai is featured in a UW news article about his work on northern ecosystems and how his work with local students exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea. Read the full article at

3/18/2015: CCR's interactive mapping website for the Great Lakes Region has been expanded to include 4 CMIP5 global climate models, which have been dynamically downscaled using RegCM4 coupled to a one-dimensional lake model. The site allows you to map projected changes in dozens of variables by the mid- and late 21st century, according to the RCP8.5 emission scenario. Feel free to contact Dr. Michael Notaro ( with any questions. The site can be found here:

3/16/2015: CCR scientist Feng He is the coauthor on a recent paper in Nature Climate Change exploring the Antarctica¹s contribution to global mean sea level rise under global warming. The study provides evidence from ice-core data and paleoclimate modeling that there is a quasi-linear relationship between warming and accumulation changes over the Antarctica. In addition, the study shows that the derived relationship agrees with the latest generation of GCM simulations from CMIP5 archive and high-resolution simulation by a regional atmospheric model. See the full article at Nature Climate Change (

3/5/2015: On March 5th and 6th, CCR hosted the first UW Climate Change Symposium, featuring speakers from various campus departments and keynote lectures by Professor Steve Long of the University of Illinois. The symposium included a panel discussion on climate change and agriculture, as well as a student poster session showcasing UW undergraduate and graduate climate research. Approximately 200 visitors attended the symposium, which was co-sponsored by seven other departments and centers across campus.

3/12/2015: Dr. Michael Notaro and collaborator, Dr. Michael Schummer, presented initial results from their Northeast Climate Science Center project and related projects in a webinar on March 12, 2015, which was co-sponsored by the Northeast Climate Science Center and Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Dr. Schummer's talk was on the topic of "A Weather Severity Index for estimating influences on climatic variability on waterfowl populations, waterfowl habitat, and hunter opportunity demographics." Dr. Notaro's talk was on the topic of "Application of dynamical downscaling to generate projections of winter severity, with implications for waterfowl migration and deer survival." The webinar had 125 participants. The powerpoint slides and recording of the webinar are found on these sites:

2/18/2015: CCR Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus talks about our brutal winters and Arctic storms in Scientific American and in an interview with the Nelson Institute. Read both of the articles:

2/9/2015: Congratulations to CCR Scientist Feng He, who was selected to receive the prestigious Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NOAA Climate Program Office ( The overarching purpose of the NOAA C&GC fellowship program is to help create and train the next generation of leading researchers needed for climate studies. The fellowship will enable Dr. He to collaborate with Prof. Peter Clark of the Oregon State University to investigate the relationship between climate forcing and responses through paleoclimate modeling.

2/5/2015: A recent article published in The Why Files talks about climate change and who a climate scientist really is. It features a number of CCR faculty and researches. Read the full article:

1/12/2015: The research of Drs. Michael Notaro, Steve Vavrus, and Yafang Zhong on the mechanism for the observed rapid warming of the Laurentian Great Lakes, as presented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting in December 2014, was summarized by a radio piece from the German Public Radio science program, Forschung Aktuell. The link to the text (translation available) and sound clip is:

12/18/2014: A press release by the Department of the Interior and news story on the UW-Madison Nelson Institute website have announced new grants from the Northeast Climate Science Center, including one by Dr. Michael Notaro to develop projections of snow and winter severity for the Great Lakes region and impacts on wildlife. Please see the following articles:

12/18/2014: Weatherwise magazine featured an article on Wisconsin weather by our own Ed Hopkins, assistant Wisconsin State Climatologist at UW-Madison and co-author H. Michael Mogil, consulting meteorologist, in its Nov/Dec issue, saying "The Weather and Climate of Wisconsin: It's More Than Frozen Tundra." Courtesy of the publisher, the full article is available here to the first 50 visitors, thereafter you'll be directed to the article's abstract page:

12/7/2014: An article in the Syracuse Post-Standard summarized the results of a recently accepted study by Drs. Michael Notaro, Val Bennington, and Steve Vavrus on projected changes in lake-effect snow in the Great Lakes Basin, using dynamical downscaling. The article can be read at: The research paper can be found at:

12/5/2014: Zhengyu Liu and Feng He are co-authors on a recent paper in Science (Dec. 5th) examining hydrological changes across the North and East Africa during the last deglaciation (about 20,000 to 10,000 years ago). They compared their simulation in state of art climate models with proxy observations and suggest that humid climate started across the Northern and Eastern Africa coherently in spite very different insolation regimes. This coherent change is caused by a systematic climate response across the northern and eastern North Africa in response to an increase of atmospheric CO2 and the meltwater forced response of Atlantic thermohaline circulation. This work has important implications for our prediction of future hydroclimate change across Africa.

11/27/2014: Prof. Zhengyu Liu is the lead author of a recent paper in Nature (Nov. 27th) on the modeling and mechanisms of the evolution of El Nino over the past 21000 years. In collaboration with an international research group of experts, Professor Liu found that El Nino has intensified in the last 6000 years. They further found that El Nino changed in response to different forcing mechanisms in different periods. However, the paleoclimatic data currently available are too sparse to confirm other features of the El Nino change. Their work presents a major benchmark of past El Nino evolution study and has important implications to our prediction of El Nino in the future.

11/12/2014: Historic US-China accord on CO2: Implications for Wisconsin.

9/20/2014: A new report is available from the Forest Service, "Forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis for northern Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan: A report from the Northwoods Climate Change Response Framework." The lead author is Dr. Maria Janowiak, a scientist in Climate Change Adaptation and Carbon Management in the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. Dr. Michael Notaro, CCR associate director, served as an author on the report. The report can be downloaded here and a press release regarding the report can be found here.

9/15/2014: Ray Steventon, one of CCR's founding members, passed away on September 15, 2014. Ray Steventon joined CCR in 1964, within a year of it’s founding by Prof. Reid Bryson. CCR’s early years were notable for a strong emphasis on field research and technical measurements of aspects of earth’s climate – in the state, nation, and world. Ray’s technical expertise was crucial to the early success of these CCR field research projects. Ray retired from the University in 1989, after 25 years of service to CCR and the University. Ray’s contributions to the early and continuing success of CCR, now having passed its 50th year as a UW-Madison research center, are a tribute to his skill and his devotion to the University, and to his team spirit – always helping, always encouraging, always contributing, always gaining satisfaction in seeing others accomplish their goals.

9/5/2014: An international research team, including CCR scientist Feng He and professor Zhengyu Liu, published new results in Science exploring the response of Greenland temperature to climate forcing during the last deglaciation. Using independent reconstructions from three ice cores and simulations with a IPCC-type coupled global climate model, the research team found that the Greenland temperatures 12,000 years ago during the Younger Dryas period near the end of the ice age was almost 5 oC warmer than the last glacial maximum as a result of increased carbon dioxide forcing and summer insolation. See the full article at Science and read the article from the Nelson Institue:

8/20/2014: A new study published in Nature Climate Change calculates the combined velocities of future climate and land use change in the coterminous US. This work was led by Bryson CPEP fellow Alejandro Ordonez, with colleagues CCR Director Jack Williams and Volker Radeloff and Sebastian Martinuzzi in CALS/Forest Ecology & Wildlife. The study reports that overall, speeds of climate change are higher than land use change, with the upper Midwest and eastern Great Plains as an area of expected to experience high combined climate and land use change.
UW Press Release:

8/11/2014: Professor Zhengyu Liu was interviewed by the University regarding global warming and contradictions being made. The entire Holocene temperature conundrum abstract can be found at

7/26/2014: Dr. Michael Notaro was interviewed by middle school student, Juliana Castillo, in a summer journalism class from the Wisconsin Center for AcademicallyTalented Youth (WCATY) Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP). The interview addressed the reality of climate change, role of greenhouse gases, impacts on Wisconsin's climate change on ecosystems and human health, and lake effect snow. The interview led to a newspaper article in the STEP Summer Sentinel, available here.

7/17/2014: The 2014 G-WOW Institute was held in Ashland, Wisconsin in July 2014. G-WOW stands for Gikinoo'wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) Changing Climate, Changing Culture. G-WOW aims to increase awareness of how climate change is affecting Lake Superior's coastal environment, people, cultures, and economies. The institute attracted roughly 30 elementary through high school educators in the Great Lakes region.

Dr. Michael Notaro provided 3 1/2 hours of training to the educators through three seminars: "Climate Change 101", "Tips and Tools for Educating about Climate Change and Taking Action", and "Addressing the Climate Change Controversy." For more information on G-WOW, see, or for more information on the connection between G-WOW and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, see

6/25/2014: On June 25, 2014, Dr. Notaro served on a panel on climate downscaling for the Great Lakes Basin at the GLAA-C Adaptation in the Great Lakes Region Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Representing CCR and WICCI, he summarized ongoing research on dynamical downscaling of lake-effect snow projections and addressed questions on downscaling methods and applications.

6/12/2014: The collaboration among Dr. Michael Notaro of CCR, Dr. Michael Schummer of Long Point Waterfowl and SUNY Oswego, and Dr. Chris Hoving of Michigan DNR, and their recently published study on snow and winter severity projections for central-eastern North America with wildlife implications, are the focus of a news story by the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC.

5/20/2014: Jack Williams was featured in a UW Article titled Next wave of research: Ecology, super-sized.

5/8/2014: CCR Director Jack Williams has been honored with a Romnes Faculty Fellowship. The Romnes award recognizes exceptional faculty members who have earned tenure within the last six years.

5/6/2014: University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, including many affiliated with the Nelson Institute, contributed to the third U.S. National Climate Assessment released by the White House on May 6.

4/25/2014: Samuel Munoz and Jack Williams were featured in an news story and paper regarding the mysterious abandonment of one of North America's first big cities that may be linked to a massive Mississippi River flood 1,800 years ago. The news story can be found here. The paper that they wrote about this can be found here.

4/23/2014: Climate Quest is a competition that will award significant grant opportunities to teams with practical, high-impact solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change. Climate Quest is led by the UW–Madison Office of Sustainability in partnership with the Global Health Institute, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and Wisconsin Energy Institute. Go to to see how you can participate.

4/22/2014: The Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research held its fourth annual Reid Bryson Scholarship competition on April 22, 2014, as part of the Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference. There were 28 student applicants from a diverse set of departments and centers across campus. The winner of the 2014 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $1,000 was Vijay Limaye for his presentation, "Climate change impacts on air quality and human health in the eastern U.S.” The winners of the 2014 Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarships were Marian Mateling and Sonia Petty. Marian’s research was on "Assessing cloud and sea ice effects on the Arctic radiation budget in the CMIP5 models,” and Sonia presented on "Effects of climate change and land cover on the subnivium, a seasonal refuge beneath the snow.”

4/22/2014: At the Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference on April 22, 2014, there was a session held on "Climate Change Impacts in the Great Lakes Region".  The session explored the observed and potential impacts of climate change on the region's forests, wildlife, winters, and the Great Lakes themselves.  It was moderated by Professor Dan Vimont, with presentations and a panel discussion by Dr. Val Bennington, Dr. Michael Notaro, Dr. Ben Zuckerberg, and Dr. Chris Swanston.  Wisconsin Public Radio covered the session through a report on ice and lake level projections for the Great Lakes Basin, interviewing Drs. Bennington and Notaro.  The story and radio broadcast can be found at

4/8/2014: Michael Mann, creator of the well-known "hockey stick" graph depicting a sharp recent increase in our planet's temperature, will deliver the fifth annual Len Robock Lecture on Thursday, April 17 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. See the full deatails of the event at

4/8/2014: Dr. Feng He was interviewed for a news story for Nelson Institute on how early agriculture drove pre-industrial climate change, published in a recent article in Geophysical Research Letters with Steve Vavrus, John Kutzbach and co-authors. Read the full article at:

4/1/14: On April 1, 2014, a panel of experts discussed how Wisconsin's hunting and fishing will be impacted by climate change at Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in Stevens Point, Wisconsin to an audience of 115 people. The panel included CCR scientist, Dr. Michael Notaro; CCR affiliate, Dr. Ben Zuckerberg; Dr. Matt Mitro of Wisconsin DNR; and George Meyer of Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. The news release can be found at: The importance of the subnivium to wildlife, as discussed by the panel, is presented here. The event was also summarized by the UW-Stevens Point The Pointer.

3/14/2014: CCR Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus talks about how more extreme Arctic cyclones are a symptom of climate change. His interview with the Nelson Institute can be found at:

3/9/2014: CCR Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus was recently interviewed in the Cap Times on observations from this past winter. Read the full interview here.

3/4/2014: Former CCR student Mike Alexander was featured in NOAA Research News about a new web portal that maps climate change effects in oceans. The new web portal that he created is helping NOAA Fisheries Service with its new process to assess how vulnerable fish stocks are to climate change.

3/4/2014: The University Faculty Senate Committee recognizes Reid Bryson at their meeting. On page 3 & 4 there is the Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the Death of Professor Emeritus Reid Bryson written by John Kutzbach, John Young, Zhengyu Liu, and Grant Petty.

2/22/2014: Dr. Notaro's research, based on developing mid and late 21st century snow and winter severity projections, was the focus of a UW-Madison news release, an interview by WKOW-TV, an interview by the Public News Service, and an interview by NBC-15 News.

2/16/2014: An early member of the Center for Climatic Research, Professor Wayne Wendland passed away on Sunday, 16 February 2014, in Urbana, Illinois. Wayne, a native of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, was one of Reid Bryson’s PhD graduates, receiving his degree in 1971. Working in CCR, he completed his thesis entitled "Dating the Temporal Limits of Climatic Episodes During the Holocene." Earlier, he received his master’s degree in meteorology, with a thesis titled "Aerial survey of Hudson Bay surface temperatures." From 1970 through 1976, he served as assistant professor with joint appointments in the meteorology and geography departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1976, he became a faculty member in the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, reaching the rank of associate professor by 1979. Wayne became the Illinois State Climatologist at the Illinois State Water Survey at Champaign from 1980 until his retirement in 1996. During his career he had over 75 published professional papers. Earlier, Wayne had served on active duty with the US Air Force from 1956 through 1964, at duty stations in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Newfoundland and Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Betty Willis Wendland of Mahomet, IL, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Thanks go to Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, who provided additional details.
Prepared by Ed Hopkins and John Young, Wisconsin State Climatology Office.

2/14/2014: CCR Senior Scientist Steve Vavrus was recently interviewed on BBC World Service (6:05-8:48) and Radio New Zealand for his opinions on the spate of extreme weather events around the world. This winter has been unusual not only around Wisconsin and the much of the United States, but internationally as well, with record rainfalls in England, a crippling snowstorm in Japan, and deadly flooding in Burundi and Zimbabwe. Understanding the underlying causes and whether they are related to climate change requires a systematic documentation of these extreme events, rather than the anecdotal evidence often used to make assessments.

2/17/2014: The Center for Climatic Research will co-sponsor this year’s UW-Madison Sustainability Forum with the Office of Sustainability on Thursday, February 27 at the H.F. DeLuca Forum in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. This year’s theme will be, “Climate Change in Wisconsin: Where do we go from here?” Discussion topics will include the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin residents and how human actions, adaptation, and innovation can chart a new course forward.
Download the event flier here.
Register for the event here.

2/5/2014: Dr. Feng He was interviewed for a news story for LiveScience, related to pre-industrial global temperature increase from early agriculture, published in a recent article in Geophysical Research Letters with Steve Vavrus, John Kutzbach and co-authors.

2/4/2014: Dr. Steve Vavrus’ Geophysical Research Letters paper "Extreme Arctic Cyclones in CMIP5 Historical Simulations” was selected as an American Geophysical Union Research Spotlight, appearing in both the on-line edition of Geophysical Research Letters as well as in a column for EOS, the weekly AGU magazine. In his paper, Dr. Vavrus writes, "Winter in the Arctic is not only cold and the dark—it is also storm season…”

1/2/2014: Dr. Michael Notaro was interviewed for a news story for the Nelson Institute website, related to projected changes in Midwestern winters, including snow cover and lake-effect snow.

12/12/2013: Dan Vimont talks about working with other organizations on climate change.
Initiative reaches out to state residents on climate change

12/11/2013: Galen McKinley and Dan Vimont spoke at an informational forum: “Climate Change: What it Means for Wisconsin’s Economy and Natural Resources," hosted by Representatives Fred Clark (D) and Jeff Mursau (R) of the Wisconsin Legislature and co-hosted by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters. The forum agenda stated, “The purpose of the forum [was] to begin the discussion of how a changing climate affects Wisconsin’s many natural resources and, consequently, Wisconsin’s business practitioners that depend on these natural resources.”

11/14/2013: Dr. Michael Notaro presented on the topic of "21st Century Projections of Ameliorated Winter Conditions, Yet More Intense Snowstorms, Across the Central-Eastern North American Landscape Conservation Cooperatives" in a webinar in November 2013 for the Science Team for Climate Change and Forests. The video may be viewed at:

10/18/2013: On October 18th, 2013, CCR celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was an extremely successful and well attended event hosted at the Fluno Center. A sample of some of the pictures from the event can be found here. More details of the the event and all of the pictures from the event can be found on the 50th Anniversary website.

10/2013: In October 2013, Dr. Notaro taught at a climate data workshop at The Wildlife Society Workshop, in which he presented the use of 4 softwares (ncview, NCO, ncdump, and NCL) for manipulating netcdf data, particularly focused on the recently-developed statistical downscaling product for the central-eastern North American LCCs (Landscape Conservation Cooperatives). The powerpoint file can be downloaded here: 2013 Workshop Climate Data.

10/2013: In October 2013, Dr. Notaro spoke at The Wildlife Society Conference in Milwaukee on the topic of North American snowfall projections and implications to wildlife, particularly dabbling ducks and white-tailed deer. He was interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio, as available on this website:

06/05/2013: Jack Williams is featured in Discover Magazine about the spring break fieldwork in St Paul Island.
Hunting for Clues to Why the Last Mammoths Disappeared

5/25/2013: CCR scientists Jessica Blois and Jack Williams article in PNAS use global climate models and fossil pollen data from the last deglaciation to test a fundamental assumption in biodiversity modeling: that the spatial relationships between biodiversity and climate relationships can be used to predict climate-driven changes in biodiversity over time. Good news: it can, at least for the recent past, with space-for-time models achieving 72% predictive skill.
UW press release can be found here:
PNAS abstract and PDF can be found here:

5/17/2013: CCR contributes to exhibit at the Oregon Area Historical Society Museum. Former CCR member Dr. Marjorie Winkler's PhD thesis on the Hook Lake Study is part of the display. Photos and other material were provided by Dr. Samantha Kaplan and Dr. Patricia Sanford. Another former CCR member, Melanie Woodworth, now volunteers and serves as the Museum Coordinator for the OAHS Museum

5/14/2013: Steve Vavrus is featured in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) discussing how humans have probably been transforming land cover on a global scale far earlier in time than is commonly believed. The full article can be found here.

5/13/2013: Congratulations to Katie Holman who successfully defended her dissertation on May 13, 2013. Her research explored atmosphere-lake interactions in the Great Lakes Basin, including the connection between Lake Superior precipitation and transient Rossby waves.

4/25/2013: Two UW-Madison students have been awarded Reid Bryson scholarships for 2013 from the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. Read all about the event at

4/22/2013: The La Crosse Tribune printed an article on April 22, 2013, investigating the question, "Is our extreme weather linked to climate change?" Dr. Michael Notaro was interviewed regarding climatic extremes in Wisconsin and their potential link to anthropogenic climate change. The article can be found at:

4/3/2013: Nelson Institute talks about Earth Day featuring interviews with several CCR Researchers.

3/28/2013: CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, was interviewed by host Shelley Ryan for Wisconsin Public Television's "Wisconsin Gardener" show on the topic of Wisconsin climate change and its impact on gardening. It will be broadcasted on May 23, 2013. For an early view, go to this website:

3/27/2013: Steve Vavrus talks about how ice loss in the polar north may deliver a frigid spring in the temperate zone. The full article can be found at

3/22/2013: The Winter/Spring issue of In Common Magazine has a special feature on CCR, its 50 years of excellence in climate research, and its evolving role in a rapidly changing world. The In Common issue can be downloaded at

2/6/2013: Feng He, Anders Carlson, Zhengyu Liu and John Kutzbach publish new results in Nature exploring the drivers of last deglaciation. Read the full article at, or at the website.

1/22/2013: Ankur Desai talks about time management for the new year. Read the full article at

1/20/2013: Dan Vimont was featured in the Capital Times on the effects of climate change in Wisconsin.
Q&A: Climate change will bring dramatic effects to Wisconsin

1/18/2013: Check out the new Interactive Climate Change Mapping Website for the Central-Eastern North American Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). The website is: On this website, you can plot future projected trends in climate over central-eastern North America using downscaled climate data from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The statistical downscaling was performed by CCR Associate Scientist, Dr. David Lorenz, and the mapping was developed by CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro. Funding came from (1) the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through an EPA grant with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, (2) Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and (3) Wisconsin Focus on Energy.

1/7/2013: Congratulations to Dr. Feng He who has been promoted to the position of assistant research scientist.

December, 2012: Final report for Focus on Energy published: Climatic Analogs, climate velocity, and potential shifts in vegetation structure and biomass for Wisconsin under 21st-century climate-change scenarios. This work was supported by the Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program and is a collaboration between the Nelson Center for Climatic Research (CCR) and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).

11/26/2012: Local news station talks to Jack Williams about climate debate.
2012 expected to be warmest year on record, brings up climate debate

11/7/2012: Congratulations to Dr. Val Bennington who has been promoted to the position of assistant research scientist.

10/2/2012: Ankur Desai partners with the College of Menominee Nation to bring students into the field as climate researchers. Read the full article at

9/21/2012: Steve Vavrus talks about how the record loss of arctic ice could impact Wisconsin. Read the full article at

9/18/2012: Dan Vimont will be presenting a webinar from 11:00am to 12:00pm on September 18, 2012.

9/17/12: E&R MS student Jennifer Phillips was selected as a 2013 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. Following completion of her MS in Fall 2012, she will spend from January to December 2013 working with Federal Agencies in Washington DC. Her MS thesis outlines the likely path and potential impacts of CO2 acidification of the Great Lakes. Her advisor was Professor Galen McKinley, a CCR faculty member.

8/27/2012: Northern Hemisphere ice sheets have behaved in two distinct ways during past deglaciations. Land-based ice sheets have responded immediately to climate warming but then retreated relatively slowly. In contrast, marine-based ice sheets have shown a lagged response to climate warming and subsequently abruptly collapsed. Both of these observations raise concern over Earth's remaining ice sheets. The present retreat of the land-based Greenland ice sheet is likely a response to global warming whereas there is prehistoric precedent for an abrupt collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet in response to human-induced climate change.
Nature Geoscience Article Nature Geoscience PDF

8/13/2012 - 8/18/2012: Jack Williams co-led and co-taught at Camp PalEON, an interdisciplinary summer short course held in the WI/MI Northwoods for paleoecologists, ecological statisticians, and ecosystem modelers. This first-ever course presented an integrated curriculum in the collection, analysis, and modeling of long-term ecological data, with an emphasis on Bayesian methods for assessing uncertainty in paleoecological data and methods for assimilating it with terrestrial ecosystem models.
Course Description    Course Photos

7/23/2012: Professor Dan Vimont attended the Kavli Indonesian-American Frontiers of Science Symposium, held July 11-15 in Solo, Indonesia. He was featured in a UW News article talking about it which can be found here.

7/23/2012: CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, was interviewed for a Clean Wisconsin blog article regarding the mild 2011-2012 winter in Wisconsin. The blog can be found at:

7/5/2012: Dan Vimont and Jack Williams are two co-PIs on a newly funded $3 million NSF IGERT with a variety of ecology faculty across campus (led by Volker Radeloff in Forest Ecology) to provide interdisciplinary graduate training on rapid change and biodiversity. Read the full article at

7/5/2012: Steve Vavrus talks about the recent extreme heat and how it relates to climate changes. Read the full article at

6/25/2012: Anders Carlson is featured in an article about Greenland Ice.
Greenland ice may exaggerate magnitude of 13,000-year-old deep freeze.

6/14/2012: The Capital Times interviewed Jack Williams regarding a recent nature paper on ecological tipping points that he co-authored. The Capital Times article can be found here.
The original article can be found here.

6/6/2012: On June 6, 2012, Dr. Michael Notaro led a 1 1/2 hour seminar on "Wisconsin Climate Change" as part of the 50th Annual College Days event at UW-Madison. College Days offers an opportunity for individuals of all ages to experience college life, stay in the university dorms, and attend seminars taught by UW-Madison and UW-Extension faculty, staff, and community experts.

4/26/2012: Nature magazine has highlighted a recent article by Dr. Steve Vavrus and his collaborator, Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University: "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes". The paper describes how recent Arctic warming may be affecting weather in middle latitudes and is featured in Nature as a "Community Choice" for being among the most highly viewed scientific papers recently. Go to Nature Research Highlights.

4/24/2012: CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, was interviewed by the Badger Herald in April 2012 for the article, "Report: Wis. needs to implement climate change plans". In the interview, Dr. Notaro discussed climate change in Wisconsin and the need to develop adaptation strategies. The article can be found here.

4/21/2012: During the weekend of April 21-22, 2012, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center had the grand opening for its new climate change exhibit. CCR associate director, Dr. Michael Notaro, and CCR professor, Dr. Galen McKinley, volunteered as experts at the grand opening. For more information on this exciting exhibit, go here.

4/19/2012: On April 19, 2012, CCR Associate Directory, Dr. Michael Notaro, spoke on the topic of Wisconsin climate change at the State Capitol for the Wisconsin Climate Change and Jobs Forum, organized by State Representative Brett Hulsey. His presentation can be seen online here.

4/4/2012: A news release from Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility of Oak Ridge National Laboratory has highlighted the research of CCR postdoc, Dr. Feng He and professor Zhengyu Liu, based on the recent Nature article. This research study demonstrates the IPCC-type model to predict climate’s future can reproduce its past.

1/12/2012: The Monroe Times printed an article, "Snow finally on its way", which included an interview with CCR Associate Director Dr. Michael Notaro. Dr. Notaro discussed observed and projected snowfall trends and the seasonal outlook for Wisconsin and the Midwest. The article can be found here.

1/12/2012: The Australian website, The Conversation, posted an article called, "How aboriginal burning changed Australia's climate," found here. The article discusses the research of CCR affiliate Professor Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll, CCR associate director Dr. Michael Notaro, and CCR postdoc Dr. Guangshan Chen, as found in their 2011 article in Geophysical Research Letters, found here They investigated the influence of burning practices on the landscape and consequences to the Australian summer monsoon.

12/19/2011: CCR Director, Professor Jack Williams, was interviewed by The Atlantic about what can be learned about climate change from the historical record, the importance of coalition research, and the methods of extracting ancient DNA to understand the response of plant and animal species to climate change. The interview can be found here.

12/6/2011: A UW-Madison press release has highlighted the research of CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, based on his December 2011 presentation at the American Geophysical Union conference. His research study relates antecedent snowpack in the Rockies Mountains to the strength of the subsequent summer monsoon in the Southwest United States.

11/25/2011:CCR Scientist, Dr. Steve Vavrus, was quoted in an article in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding the increase in precipitation in Milwaukee during the past 60 years and why one should expect greater precipitation in a warming climate.

10/27/2011: CCR Director, Professor Jack Williams, and Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, were cited in a "Why Files" report regarding the record-breaking drought and heat in Texas during the summer of 211 and whether these are indications of climate change. The article can be found here.

10/20/2011: The University of Wisconsin-Madison website is featuring a slide show that highlights some of the research preformed by Professor Ankur Desai's research group in the northwoods of Wisconsin, available here. Professor Desai is using flux towers to measure the fluxes of carbon dioxide in and out of plants, water, and soil.

10/10/2011:CCR Associate Director, Dr. Michael Notaro, was quoted in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding Wisconsin's autumn leaf color and climate change. The article can be found here.

10/4/2011: Professor Zhengyu Liu was selected as a new Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He and the other new Fellows will be inducted at a ceremony at the AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans on January 22, 2012. Congratulations Professor Liu!

8/05/2011: CCR Professor Zhengyu Liu was interviewed by Science Magazine for his research on glacial cycles and the response of the Indian summer monsoon. The Science article can be found here, as well as a complimentary article by the Nelson Institute here.

For past news and information, please visit our News Archive.