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Brenda Ekwurzel

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About the author: Brenda Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist and assistant director of climate research and analysis at UCS. She has expertise on many aspects of climate variability including Arctic Ocean and sea ice, wildfires, groundwater, and coastal erosion. She holds a Ph.D. in isotope geochemistry from Columbia University (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). See Brenda's full bio.

Obama, Kerry and Ministers Meet in Alaska: Why the Arctic Matters

President Obama plans to address ministers and experts from 20 nations at the U.S. State Department conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) at the end of August. According to a White House official, President Obama is the first sitting U.S. President to visit Alaska’s Arctic. In a video about his upcoming trip to Alaska, the President pronounced, “As long as I am President, America will lead the world to meet this threat before it’s too late.”

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Groundbreaking New Report on Geoengineering Tackles Carbon Dioxide Removal Experiments

The scientific body established by a law signed by President Lincoln released two groundbreaking reports today on geoengineering. Read More

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Born after 1976? You’ve Lived Your Entire Life on a Hotter Planet

According to NOAA and NASA, 2014 was the hottest global average surface temperature ever recorded. There have now been 38 consecutive years in a row that global mean surface temperature has been above the twentieth century average.  Read More

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How Much Carbon Dioxide Is in the Atmosphere? A Massive Increase in 2013 Sets a Record

The atmospheric CO2 increase of 2.9 ppm between 2012 and 2013 was the largest year-to-year change over the 1984 to 2013 period of record from the World Meteorological Organization.This is sobering news when it comes to what is arguably the most important statistic in climate science. Read More

Categories: Energy, Global Warming  

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New EPA Power Plant Rule Shows How Gina McCarthy Is Like Thomas Jefferson at the Dawn of America

Gina McCarthy, current U.S. EPA Administrator, released historic words this week in a long draft document about national power plant goals. How do they compare to the goals penned by Thomas Jefferson in a much shorter draft document, the Declaration of Independence? Let’s crunch some numbers to find out.  Read More

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Water, Climate, and You: the 2014 National Climate Assessment

Today we expect to have water flowing at our kitchen sink and our food supplied by farms with sufficient water. The 2014 National Climate Assessment, released today, points to opportunities and challenges with the U.S. water resource infrastructure. Read More

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How Much Did Sea Levels Rise Over the Past 50 Years? A Lot If You Live on the U.S. Gulf or East Coasts

Sea levels are rising so fast along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts that some places have seen a greater increase in the last 50 years than the global average over the past 130 years. Read More

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Severe Texas Drought Exposed in “Years of Living Dangerously”

Don Cheadle talks with a displaced meat-packing plant worker, Nelly Montez, about the punishing multi-year drought in Texas that drastically reduced the cattle herd in the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, which aired April 13 and can be viewed online. A USDA spreadsheet on cattle losses, or a map of the most severe period during the recent drought in Texas, do not do justice in conveying the stories of people demonstrating courage in the face of mighty external forces. This episode has several surprising stories that I will not soon forget.

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Early Wildfire Season in New Mexico Starts as U.S. Considers New Funding Sources to Fight Extreme Wildfires

I experienced very dry conditions in the mountains of northern New Mexico a few weeks back. I spoke with someone who travels to Taos nearly every winter and this was the least snow he could remember. The fire risk sign said “low” in the surrounding forests, but if more snow did not come soon I suspected those signs would start nudging to the yellow and red colors that warn of fire risk. Unfortunately, fires have already erupted in New Mexico this February. Some officials say that if 2014 continues to be the sixth year in a row with drier-than-average conditions on New Mexico’s Rio Grande, this would be the longest dry stretch since before the Rio Grande river gauges existed. Read More

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The Slow Burn Continues: 2013 Ranks in the Top 10 Warmest Years on Record

Even as I sit in the northern hemisphere winter writing this, I am not surprised that 2013 ranked within the top 10 hottest over the 134-year record maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to NOAA, 9 of the top 10 years occurred this century. Read More

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