Brenda Ekwurzel

Senior climate scientist

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Brenda Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist and the director of climate science at UCS. She has expertise on many aspects of climate variability, including the 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.

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Brenda's Latest Posts

Dangerous Heat Wave to Grip the US: Top 10 Lessons to Survive Extreme Heat

The US National Weather Service heat index forecast for June 18, 2016 looks scary.  It indicates a dangerous situation that everyone who lives in the red areas in the map below should take steps to prepare for. I am not kidding. Extreme heat can be life threatening if not taken seriously. Read more >

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omega-block-jetstream-example
An image from the NOAA National Weather Service illustrates an omega block. You can see the high pressure in the central part of the image with the low pressure on either side. The jet stream line traces a shape similar to the Greek letter omega. Photo: Weather.gov

The “Omega Block” – Torrential Rains Linked to Extreme Jet Stream Pattern

Amplified change in the Arctic is so strong I refer to is as the “Arctic tail that wags the global climate.” Read more >

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El Niño vs. the Arctic: Which Will Dominate This Year’s Winter Weather?

This past week, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2015 annual meeting was abuzz with discussion of El Niño 3.4 and the Arctic Oscillation. No wonder. These indicators are clues to how major competing factors may play out this winter in the northern hemisphere. Read more >

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What Is—and Is Not—Considered Settled with Climate Science?

I was reminded this week, by an exchange of words between Senator Ted Cruz and Sierra Club President Aaron Mair, that at hearings on policy, the discussion can go off on a tangent toward climate science and what is or is not settled. Spoiler alert: settled is as close as scientists get to knowing that a scientific finding has been a widely accepted explanation or law for which no credible alternative exists. For some concepts, like gravity or the fact that carbon dioxide traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, the science has been widely accepted for over a century or longer. Read more >

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U.S. Braced for Historic Inland Flooding and Coastal Storm Surge Even As Joaquin Blew Out to Sea

Hurricane Joaquin, while a category 4, unleashed torrential rain over the Bahamas, uprooting trees, disrupting power and ripping rooftops. Joaquin lingered in the tropics, shedding vast amounts of moisture that became part of a complex mix of weather systems in the eastern U.S., creating soggy conditions even before Joaquin shifted northeastward from the tropics offshore of the U.S., giving a one-two punch for the eastern states. Punch one was life-threatening inland flooding, and punch two was storm surge along coastal areas. Read more >

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