neil berg

Neil Berg

Associate Director, Science

Center for Climate Science

I am an applied climate scientist with the overarching goal of increasing climate resilience and sustainability in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

My recent research and interests focus on changes in the California hydrological cycle — particularly how snowpack, precipitation, and extreme events may change in the future, and the impacts of these changes on the region’s water resources, energy security, and agricultural productivity. This work involves analyzing global climate models and conducting cutting-edge regional climate simulations using supercomputers.

Recognizing that we live in integrated physical and social systems, I am passionate about extending the results of regional climate simulations to practitioners, policy makers, and officials to guide decision-making and planning efforts across LA. I believe that the co-development of climate resilience solutions between scientists and stakeholders is necessary for mitigating and adapting to changing environmental conditions.

I obtained a PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from UCLA and a BS in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Before returning to UCLA in 2017, I spent two years at the RAND Corporation in their Washington, DC, office, where I served as Program Manager for the NOAA Mid-Atlantic RISA program. Although I am an east coast native, I happily enjoy living and working in sunny and vibrant LA.

Projects

ensuring the sustainability of los angeles water management under climate change

Ensuring the Sustainability of Los Angeles Water Management Under Climate Change

In Fall 2018, the UCLA IoES Center for Climate Science kicked off a new five-year project aimed at improving the sustainability of water management operations and planning in Los Angeles County. Our researchers will work closely with key water agencies to ensure that water resources managers take cutting-edge climate science into account.

los angeles regional climate assessment

Los Angeles Regional Climate Assessment

For more than a decade, the State of California has undertaken periodic scientific assessments with the goal of understanding future climate change impacts on the state. For the first three…

the future of extreme precipitation in california

The Future of Extreme Precipitation in California

Our researchers are investigating the effects of climate change on heavy precipitation events in the state. Specifically, we're focusing on atmospheric rivers, moisture-laden filaments of air that move across oceans and produce heavy precipitation when they make landfall. Understanding how atmospheric rivers are affected in a changing climate is key to smart water planning in the future.

developing metrics to evaluate the skill and credibility of downscaling

Developing Metrics to Evaluate the Skill and Credibility of Downscaling

Within the climate science community, a variety of techniques are used to "downscale" information from global climate models and produce fine-scale projections of future climate, but the relative strengths and weaknesses of these techniques are not well-understood. In this project, we are comparing downscaling techniques and establishing best practices.

climate change in the los angeles region

Climate Change in the Los Angeles Region

The most comprehensive study of climate change in LA to date, the Climate Change in the Los Angeles Region Project was conducted by Center for Climate Science Faculty Director Alex Hall and his research group between 2010 and 2015. Dr. Hall and his team developed a novel method for bringing global climate model projections to high spatial resolution, creating neighborhood-by-neighborhood projections of future climate over the greater Los Angeles region under different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions.

climate change in the sierra nevada

Climate Change in the Sierra Nevada

Using an innovative technique to produce high-resolution future climate projections, our team is answering key questions about the fate of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a critical natural resource that not only supports an iconic ecosystem but also provides freshwater to millions of Californians.

Publications