Environment

Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Mega-Genomes Sequenced

April 23, 2019
Sequencing Brings Modern Tools to Redwood Conservation Efforts

Scientists have successfully sequenced the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes, completing the first major milestone of a five-year project to develop the tools necessary to study these forests’ genomic diversity. The research partners, composed of the University of California, Davis, Johns Hopkins University and the Save the Redwoods League, are making the data publicly available today.   

Clams and Water Pumping Explain Phytoplankton Decline in San Francisco Estuary

April 09, 2019
Timing Could Make a Difference to Ease the Double Punch of Clams and Pumps

A combination of invasive clams and water pumping explains the drastic suppression of phytoplankton in the San Francisco Estuary, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.  

Previous studies linked fish declines in the estuary in part to a limited supply of phytoplankton. These tiny microscopic algae make up the base of the food web: Fish eat zooplankton, which eat phytoplankton.  

Tweets Tell Scientists How Quickly We Normalize Unusual Weather

February 25, 2019
Study: ‘Remarkable’ Weather Becomes Normal Within a Few Years

What kinds of weather do people find remarkable, when does that change, and what does that say about the public’s perception of climate change? A study led by the University of California, Davis, examined those questions through the lens of more than 2 billion U.S. Twitter posts.  

$4.7M to Study Storing Greenhouse Gases in Soil

January 16, 2019
Muir Institute Leads UC Project to Find Shovel-Ready Solutions for Carbon Sequestration

California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but reductions alone will not be enough to reach the targets set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement. To do that, greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the atmosphere on a monumental scale.

How Climate Change Is Affecting Small Sierra Nevada Lakes

December 19, 2018
Spring Snowpack a Bigger Predictor of Lake Warming Than Air Temperature

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, are taking the temperature — and other measurements — of lakes of all sizes and shapes throughout the mountains of California to see how climate change is affecting them and what, perhaps, can be done about it.

Report: Changing manure management would significantly reduce dairy methane emissions


October 18, 2018

New research published in the Journal of Dairy Science finds that changing the way manure is stored and handled is key to meeting California’s 40 percent dairy manure methane reduction goal and combating climate change. 

With financial support from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and cooperation from the Dairy Cares coalition, leading scientists worked together to produce the most thorough, detailed measurements of “whole-dairy” methane emissions in California to date.

Change on the Range

October 17, 2018
First-generation ranchers help preserve California rangelands

A new breed of ranchers is bringing diverse demographics and unique needs to rangeland management in California. These first-generation “ranchers” are often young, female and less likely to, in fact, own a ranch. But like more traditional rangeland managers, this new generation holds a deep love for the lifestyle and landscapes that provide a wealth of public benefit to California and the world.

Lichens Are Losing to Wildfire, Years After Flames Are Gone

August 09, 2018

As increasingly hot and severe wildfires scorch the West, some lichen communities integral to conifer forests aren’t returning, even years after the flames have been extinguished, according to a study from scientists at the University of California, Davis.

Grasslands More Reliable Carbon Sink Than Trees

July 11, 2018
In Wildfire-Prone California, Grasslands a Less Vulnerable Carbon Offset Than Forests

Forests have long served as a critical carbon sink, consuming about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution produced by humans worldwide. But decades of fire suppression, warming temperatures and drought have increased wildfire risks — turning California’s forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources.

Closing the loop on sustainable aquaculture

May 29, 2018

Inside the world’s first caviar farm that uses fish waste to grow vegetables

On a farm just outside of Sacramento, hundreds of prehistoric-looking fish swim around in 50-foot diameter tanks. These are white sturgeon, the largest freshwater fish in North America. They’ve been around since dinosaurs, can grow more than 7 feet long and lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time. The roe of these sturgeon are harvested for a boutique food producer regally named Tsar Nicoulai Caviar.