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

A car ventures out in the polar vortex on January 30, 2019. Photo: Down Dickerson/Flickr

US Winter 2018-2019: Bomb Cyclones, Arctic Outbreaks, Abundant Snowfall, Flooding, and an Unseasonably Warm Alaska

Winter is still very much a part of a warming world and this past season was characterized by the changing behavior of the most unwelcome parts of any season: extreme weather. Read more >

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Graphic: ClimateReanalyzer.org

Winter Storm Jayden, the Polar Vortex, and Climate Change: 3 Factors that Matter

Temperatures are predicted to plummet across the Eastern US as one of the coldest air masses in decades settles into these regions. So zip up and cinch your scarves. Stay safe. And remember that despite this bitter chill, the planet is still heating up. Read more >

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Photo: Bob Dass/Flickr

Winds and Wildfires in California: 4 Factors to Watch that Increase Danger

Santa Ana influenced fires, which occur between October and April, are different from the warm and dry season fires, that typically occur between June and September. Scientists have found the main reasons why Santa Ana influenced fires contribute the vast majority of cumulative economic losses in California compared to other wildfires that typically occur in the summer.  From 1990-2009, Santa Ana influenced fires spread three times faster, occurred closer to urban areas, and burned into areas with greater housing values. Over the same years, other fires often occurred in higher elevation forests, were more sensitive to how old the vegetation was, lasted for extended periods, and accounted for 70% of total suppression costs.  In other words, other fires burned in remote forests, often with plenty of mature vegetation or ‘fuel’ for long-lasting wildfires. Whereas Santa Ana influenced fires scorched with greater speed through areas that were typically closer to more people. Read more >

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Photo: Brenda Ekwurzel

Yes, ExxonMobil and Chevron are Still Distorting Climate Science

If you look at headlines from the last year, ExxonMobil, Chevron and other major fossil fuel companies have seemingly turned a new page on climate change. But, as I and my colleagues have analyzed, this “support” is a PR distraction when these companies are keeping up business-as-usual. Today UCS released a scorecard,which analyzed what eight major fossil fuel companies are saying they’re doing about climate change, and just how much these companies are doing to drastically lower their emissions. Read more >

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View of Denali. Credit: NPS Photo / Ken Conger

Pathways to 1.5C: Carbon Budget in the IPCC Special Report

The historic Paris Climate Agreement generated a request of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to prepare a Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius increase above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientists and government representatives are in the final stretch assessing that every word of the summary for policymakers (SPM) accurately conveys evidence presented in the report.  Policymakers, business leaders, and energy system planners will be paying close attention to what the SPM says about the carbon budget remaining to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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IPCC AR5 WG1 Technical Summary
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