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Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D.
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Entries by Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D.

Taking Stock of the Summer of Extremes: 2011

(6) Comments | Posted October 12, 2011 | 3:06 PM

Unbearable heat and humidity over six days in late July caused considerable losses of livestock on farms in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Heat indexes soared, with temperatures in some parts of the region feeling like 120 degrees -- and even as high as 131 degrees in Iowa....

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Confirming the Link: Warming Temperatures Drive up Pollen Production and Allergies

(1) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 4:00 PM

We can all name things in life that we want more of -- more dessert, more vacation time, and more laughter, for instance. But a longer pollen season? That's not likely to be at the top of anyone's list.

But in North America tree pollen is emerging on average...

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Curious Observers Lend a Hand

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2011 | 6:05 PM

Citizen scientists broaden the scope of climate-change research and public understanding

It's hard to think of a citizen-based science project that doesn't have a catchy name: Nature's Notebook, Christmas Bird Count, eBird, iNaturalist, Project BudBurst, to name a few. But don't let the cheery-sounding monikers fool you. These projects broaden...

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Talking About Global Warming on the First Day of Winter

(75) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 9:24 AM

Dear Brenda,

I know our fingerprints are all over global climate change. I know the science is clear that it's happening now and that it's caused by all the human activities that emit heat-trapping gases. And I know that people, countries, and natural systems are at risk from global warming....

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Want to Stand Up for Climate Science? We're Doing It

(25) Comments | Posted November 15, 2010 | 1:07 PM

The Los Angeles Times created a minor firestorm in the science blogosphere this week when it reported that 700 members of the American Geophysical Union plan to aggressively take on climate skeptics, including members of Congress.

The AGU -- the world's largest body of Earth scientists --...

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Climate Change and Mental Health: Extreme Weather Takes a Toll

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2010 | 1:05 PM

This past summer's wild weather is just a warm-up for the increasingly frequent instances of extreme weather expected to occur with further climate change. Wide-scale flooding in Pakistan; landslides in China; heat, drought, and wildfires in Russia; and record-setting floods and heat waves in the U.S. have left behind death,...

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Small Creatures and Climate Change: How Warming Can "Shuffle the Deck" of Creatures That Thrive

(3) Comments | Posted June 30, 2010 | 5:34 PM

Climate change is messing with mammals. Among other things, it is shifting their geographical ranges, changing their behavior (or, as scientists call it, their phenology), and causing disruptions up and down the food chain. Researchers often look to ancient times for information about the ways species weathered earlier periods of...

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Preparing for Global Warming's Rising Tides

(13) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 3:50 PM

People who live near the coast know a thing or two about environmental hazards. They know, for instance, the risks of hurricanes and those of storm-surge damage from other powerful storms. But now, coastal communities are at growing risk from the effects of climate change, most notably the accelerated rise...

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Certainty Vs. Uncertainty: Understanding Scientific Terms About Climate Change

(109) Comments | Posted June 3, 2010 | 10:49 AM

Uncertainty is ubiquitous in our daily lives. We are uncertain about where to go to college, when and if to get married, who will play in the World Series, and so on.

To most of us, uncertainty means not knowing. To scientists, however, uncertainty is how well something is...

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Understanding the Urgency of Climate Change

(20) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 9:56 AM

Many circumstances require immediate action: consider a full bladder or a red traffic light. We usually address such circumstances without delay, because the consequences of inaction--physical discomfort or legal troubles--are clear.

When it comes to climate change, the urgency of the problem may not seem so obvious, since it...

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