Erika Spanger-Siegfried

Senior analyst, Climate & Energy

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Erika Spanger-Siegfried, a senior analyst in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, researches, writes and speaks about U.S. climate change impacts and preparedness.She holds a master’s degree in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University and a B.S. in fisheries biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.. See Erika's full bio.

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Scientists in the Arctic observe the Aurora Borealis. Credit: US Department of Defense

The Miraculous Hope of Climate Realists

We’re stepping into a new year in the climate fight. The turning of the year is a milestone both for stoking our resolve, and for noting how deep we now are into climate overtime. In 2018 there was a lot of talk of diminishing odds and despair, and not without reason. So if, like me, you’re heading into 2019 discouraged or even despairing, I have three things to say: you’re not wrong; the fight from here on out is not the one you signed up for; but there’s more to hope, even your own, than meets the eye.

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3 Questions Worth Answering in the Wake of Winter Storm Grayson

Yesterday in Massachusetts we were asking ourselves questions that have rarely, if ever, needed asking.

What happens when half-frozen seawater suddenly floods onto roadways? Can something the consistency of a milkshake and 3 feet deep be plowed? There’s a large dumpster floating down the street… What depth of water is sufficient to do that? What happens if some of this water freezes in place before it retreats (as I write this, the temps have plummeted to 12 degrees F and dropping)? Will those cars now filled with seawater in the snow-emergency parking lot run again? What if the water freezes inside them over the weekend, can that punch out doors? Read more >

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Winter solstice at the Bering Sea. Photo: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Flickr

Good Riddance to that Deadbeat, 2017. And Hopeful Greetings to a Fresh New Year.

Many millions of us are dying for 2017 to be over and for a fresh, if symbolic new start. We’re crawling toward 2018, just waiting to donkey kick the door shut behind us. As we bag up these last 12 months for shipment to Yucca Mountain, I’m trying to take a moment… both to scream into a pillow over what’s gone down and pull it together for what comes next.  Read more >

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A GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma, center, and Hurricane Jose, right, in the Atlantic Ocean, and Hurricane Katia in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Navy (Flickr).

UCS Experts’ View of Risk and Preparedness as the Impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Mount

We’ve witnessed the destruction done by Hurricane Harvey and now, less than two weeks later, with clean-up in Texas and Louisiana scarcely underway, we see the path of Caribbean devastation Hurricane Irma is leaving as it heads toward mainland US. The NHC is warning that Irma will bring dangerous storm surge to coastal Florida, and heavy rain and life-threatening flooding from Florida to North Carolina.

With preparedness efforts being marshalled to the Southeast US and specific risks coming into better focus, we offer a composite of what our team – experts at the intersection of science, policy, and social equity – is seeing.

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An estimated 200,000 people participated in the Peoples Climate March in DC on April 29, 2017. Photo: UCS/Audrey Eyring

What’s Next After the Peoples Climate March? Riding the Momentum and Bringing It Home

An estimated 200,000 people turned out in Washington, DC on April 29 to show their anger and resolve for US climate action. So now what’s next? Read more >

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