Environment

Increasing Temperatures Led to Better-Tasting Wine Grapes, but for How Long?

Warming temperatures over the past 60 years have led to increased wine quality, but a new study looking at sugar and color content in grapes indicates the industry may be facing trouble if trends continue, according to collaborative research out of the University of California, Davis, and University of Bordeaux. 

“Quality has increased steadily up to now,” said lead author Kaan Kurtural, a professor of viticulture and enology and an extension specialist at UC Davis. “We just don’t know the tipping point.” 

Spreading native plant seeds for the future of urban landscapes

There might be more native California poppies, lupines and sunflowers popping up along streets and sidewalks in the region. The UC Davis Department of Human Ecology has teamed up with local nonprofit Miridae Living Labs, which uses native plants and insects as tools for education and research, to launch the “Seed Pile Project,” a community initiative that aims to find out which native plant seeds are best at dispersing in cities, roadsides, alley ways and other places they may naturally fall.

UC Davis professor appointed to lead national team tasked with developing report on climate change

Eric Chu, assistant professor in human ecology, has spent years studying how local governments and communities plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Chu was recently chosen by the U.S. Global Change Research Program to help prepare the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), a congressionally mandated report on the science of climate change and its impacts on the country.

UC Davis professor earns grant to study how liquid aerosols impact climate

The Department of Energy awarded UC Davis Environmental Toxicology Professor Qi Zhang a nearly $560,000 grant to study secondary organic aerosols to further understand how pollution affects the atmosphere.

Zhang’s research over the course of three years will examine how organic aerosols formed through reactions in atmospheric liquid water, such as cloud droplets, affect global climate.

Dams Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation

Dams poorly mimic the temperature patterns California streams require to support the state’s native salmon and trout — more than three-quarters of which risk extinction. Bold actions are needed to reverse extinction trends and protect cold-water streams that are resilient to climate warming, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE by the University of California, Davis.