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Michael Rawlins - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Michael Rawlins Michael Rawlins

Extension Associate Professor and Associate Director, Climate System Research Center | University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA, UNITED STATES

Michael Rawlins seeks to connect and understand water, energy and carbon cycling across the earth's land, atmosphere, and ocean domains.

Expertise (3)

Hydrology of Arctic Environments

Climate

Arctic Science

Biography

Michael Rawlins comments on the impact of climate change on the earth. Most recently he's appeared in print and video discussing evidence he's found that thawing permafrost in northern Alaska is altering the hydrological system of the Arctic, which disrupts the region’s inhabitants and changes the environment into a source of carbon emission.

As associate director of the Climate System Research Center at UMass, he's also often called on to explain how climate change is affecting life in the Northeast United States.

Social Media

Video

Publications:

Documents:

Photos:

Videos:

Climate Report | Connecting Point | May 19, 2014

Audio/Podcasts:

Education (3)

University of New Hampshire: Ph.D., Earth and Environmental Sciences

University of Delaware: M.S., Geography/Climatology

University of Delaware: B.S., Environmental Science

Media Coverage (7)

Massachusetts doesn’t have a state climatologist. Here’s why that matters.

The Boston Globe  print

2022-07-10

"Without a climatologist, there is no clear point of contact for the public, businesses, educators, and policymakers, said Michael Rawlins, associate director of the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst. Rawlins has tried to meet this need by serving as a de facto (and pro bono) climatologist, but there are only so many hours in a day. For example, he’s tried to disseminate weather and climate information to the media, and he did about 20 interviews last year."

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In a record-breaking year of weather, signs of a changed world

The Boston Globe  print

2021-12-29

“Our climate is fundamentally altered from what older generations would recall,” said Michael Rawlins, associate director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

flood

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Carbon Arctic Cycle: Further Insight on How This Element is Transferred Between Land, Atmosphere and Ocean Unveiled

The Science Times  online

2021-10-13

The University of Massachusetts Amherst's geosciences department professor and associate director of the Climate System Research Center Michael Rawlings made substantial gains in filling out the insight of the carbon Arctic cycle, or the manner that carbon is being transferred between the land, atmosphere, and ocean via the recently published papers.

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Welcome to the Climate Apocalypse. (It will get worse.)

The Boston Globe  print

2021-07-24

When it comes to rain, there’s another issue at play too, because a warmer atmosphere holds more water. “The atmosphere can hold 4 percent more water for every 1 degree Fahrenheit of warming,” said Michael Rawlins, of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When you have a storm system with significantly more water in it just sit over one spot, what might have been a rainy day a few decades ago looks more like a tragedy.

climate

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A Region Of Rain: July On Pace To Be One Of The Wettest On Record

New England Public Media  radio

2021-07-20

In a radio interview, Michael Rawlins discusses the recent trend of wet weather and explains what might be happening in the climate to cause such patterns. He says, “to some extent, we can expect an increase in heavy precipitation events as the climate warms.”

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Hazy New England Skies Caused By Wildfires In The West Are 'Astounding And Quite Troubling'

WBUR  radio

2020-09-16

Michael Rawlins discusses climate changes leading to wildfires in the Western U.S. and causing hazy skies over New England. He says climate impacts, including the five-fold increase in wild fires in the West and a record warm summer in Massachusetts, can be expected to continue given the amount of burning of fossil fuels and the limited mitigation being done.

wildfire

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Thawing Permafrost Affecting Northern Alaska's Land-to-Ocean River Flows

Sit News  online

2019-12-28

"Michael Rawlins, associate professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and associate director of its Climate Systems Research Center, says warming is expected to shift the Arctic from a surface water-dominated system to a groundwater-dominated system, with deeper water flow paths through newly thawed soils. 'Our model estimates of permafrost thaw are consistent with the notion that permafrost region ecosystems are shifting from a net sink to a net source of carbon', he says."

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Publications (1)

Why a warming climate can bring bigger snowstorms

The Conversation

Michael Rawlins

2022-02-02

Michael Rawlins writes about the effects of climate change on snowstorms. “The sharp increase in high-impact Northeast winter storms is an expected manifestation of a warming climate,” Rawlins says. “It’s another risk the U.S. will have to prepare for as extreme events become more common with climate change."

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