Environment

Finding Hope in Rangeland Restoration

June 26, 2020

Spring is the perfect season to explore rangeland ecology in California. The grasslands are green, the skies are blue, and bright yellow monkey flowers dance in the breeze. Even metaphorically, spring is a good fit. Rangeland restoration brings new life.

Roadkill Declines as COVID-19 Continues

June 25, 2020
Thousands of Large Animals Spared Under Shelter in Place, Finds Report on Three States

Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, finds a study on three states from the University of California, Davis.

Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early March to mid-April, following government stay-at-home orders.

Half the Earth Relatively Intact From Global Human Influence

June 12, 2020
Study Presents Clear Opportunities to Conserve What Remains

Roughly half of Earth’s ice-free land remains without significant human influence, according to a study from a team of international researchers led by the National Geographic Society and the University of California, Davis.

California’s Climate Refugia: Mapping the Stable Places

June 08, 2020
Which Lands Stand the Best Chance for Conservation and Wildfire Restoration?

Some landscapes can hold their own against climate change better than others. A study from the University of California, Davis, maps these places, called “climate refugia,” where existing vegetation is most likely to buffer the impacts of climate change through the end of the century.

Cold Air Rises. What That Means for Earth’s Climate.

May 06, 2020
The Lightness of Water Vapor Buffers Climate Warming in the Tropics

Conventional knowledge has it that warm air rises while cold air sinks. But a study from the University of California, Davis, found that in the tropical atmosphere, cold air rises due to an overlooked effect — the lightness of water vapor. This effect helps to stabilize tropical climates and buffer some of the impacts of a warming climate.

As Americans Shelter in Place, Traffic, Emissions and Fuel-Tax Revenues Decline Dramatically

May 01, 2020
COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts Could Put U.S. on Track to Meet Paris Climate Accord Goals

Americans drove drastically less, saved millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases, and, in some states, lost millions in fuel-tax revenue since COVID-19 mitigation efforts took effect in early March. That is according to the latest special report from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

California COVID-19 Traffic Report Finds Silver Lining

April 16, 2020
Crashes and Traffic Are Down by Half, Saving State $40 Million Per Day During Shelter-In-Place

Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day — about $1 billion over the time period — according to an updated special report released this week from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

Almond Orchard Recycling a Climate-Smart Strategy

April 01, 2020
The Practice Can Create Healthier Soils, Save Water and Yield More Almonds

Recycling trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California’s irrigated almond orchards, finds a study from the University of California, Davis.

Whole orchard recycling is when old orchard trees are ground, chipped and turned back into the soil before new almond trees are planted.

Wildfire Perceptions Largely Positive After Hiking in a Burned Landscape

March 26, 2020
Post-Fire Surveys at Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve Describe ‘Awe-Inspiring’ Experience

 

When hikers returned to UC Davis Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve in 2016, a year after a wildfire swept through its expanse of oak trees and chaparral in Northern California, half of them expected to see a devastated landscape. But pre- and post-hike surveys conducted by the University of California, Davis, reveal that roughly a third returned energized, awed and excited about the changes they saw.

Concrete Solutions That Lower Both Emissions and Air Pollution

March 23, 2020
Air Quality and Climate Change Intertwine in Unexpected Ways. A Concrete Example.

 

Sometimes, fixing one problem can create another.

Concrete production contributes 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, and demand continues to rise as populations and incomes grow. Yet some commonly discussed strategies to reduce the sector’s global GHG emissions could, under some scenarios, increase local air pollution and related health damages, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.