Eleanor Burke

Eleanor is a Climate extremes scientist and evaluates drought and projections of changes in drought in the future.

Areas of expertise:

  • Drought

  • Land surface processes

Current activities

Eleanor uses a variety of drought metrics to define drought and to understand the mechanisms causing drought events. She assesses the ability of the Met Office Hadley Centre climate models to replicate these events and their causes. In addition, Eleanor makes projections of drought occurrence in the future.

Projections of drought are highly uncertain. They depend on many factors including the definition of the drought metric; the climate model assessed; and the emissions scenario chosen. Globally, projections generally show an increase in drought in the future. However, regionally, drought can either increase or decrease depending on location.

Career background

Prior to joining the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2004, Eleanor worked at the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona in the USA. During this time she carried out research into the utility of remotely sensed data in modelling of land surface processes.

Before moving to the USA, she spent 2 years at CEH Wallingford where she continued working on passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture, a subject she studied for her PhD at the Environmental Systems Science Centre at Reading University. As an undergraduate Eleanor studied Physics at Oxford University and also has an MSc in Oceanography from Southampton University.

Last updated: 29 July 2014