Environment

The Genetics of Drought Tolerance in Bioenergy Poplar Trees

August 23, 2019

Bioenergy crops are central to climate mitigation strategies. This includes their use in BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) and biomass supplied for heat, power, liquid fuels and in the future, biorefining to chemicals. It has been predicted that bioenergy will be the fastest developing renewable resource over coming decades, but at the same time, land use for bioenergy production can be controversial if it has negative impacts on land for food, or is detrimental to a wide array of ecosystem services.

Compost Key to Sequestering Carbon in the Soil

August 21, 2019
Study Dug Deep to Uncover Which Agricultural Systems Store the Most Carbon

By moving beyond the surface level and literally digging deep, scientists at the University of California, Davis, found that compost is a key to storing carbon in semi-arid cropland soils, a strategy for offsetting CO2emissions.

Chancellor Backs Climate and Innovation Efforts

August 09, 2019

Chancellor Gary S. May recently signed higher education’s “Climate Emergency Letter” and took up his duties on the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers.

●︎ Climate Emergency Letter — As of today (Aug. 9), the letter had been signed by 138 institutions representing approximately 2.3 million students, and 41 higher education networks representing nearly 8,300 institutions. The signatories include all 10 UC campuses as well as UC system as a whole.

California Roadkill Report Maps Costs, Hot Spots and Solutions

August 08, 2019
Wildlife-Vehicle Conflicts Impact Drivers and Animals

California drivers lost about $232 million to costs associated with wildlife-vehicle conflicts in 2018 and over $1 billion since 2015, according to the sixth annual Wildlife Vehicle Conflict report from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

Wildlife-vehicle conflict hot spots mapped according to density and statistical significance in California. Red are areas of high density or statistically significant clustering of WVC incidents. (UC Davis Road Ecology Center)

Climate Change Could Shrink Oyster Habitat in California

August 05, 2019
Ocean Acidification Just One of Several Climate-Related Threats for Shellfish

Ocean acidification is bad news for shellfish, making it harder for them to form their calcium-based shells. But several other factors related to climate change could also make California bays less hospitable to shelled organisms like oysters, which are a key part of the food web.

It Pays to Explore in Times of Uncertainty

July 29, 2019
To Explore or Exploit? Fishing Vessel Records Show Trade-offs

When making choices, people tend either to go with what they know or try something new. We experience this trade-off every day, whether choosing a route to work or buying breakfast cereal. But does one strategy have an advantage over another? Researchers decided to examine this question by looking at fishing boat captains, who face this choice again and again when deciding where to fish.

Do Marine Protected Areas Work?

July 18, 2019
Study Identifies How to Verify Whether MPAs are Effective

Marine protected areas, or MPAs, are an increasingly common way of protecting marine ecosystems by prohibiting fishing in specific locations. However, many people remain skeptical that MPAs actually benefit fish populations, and there has not yet been a way to demonstrate whether or not they are effective. Until now.

20 Overlooked Benefits of Distributed Solar Energy

July 12, 2019
Study Outlines Advantages of Solar on Rooftops, Other Developed Areas

A study released today provides the most complete list yet of the advantages of solar energy — from carbon sequestration to improvements for pollinator habitat. The paper offers a new framework for analyzing solar projects to better understand the full suite of benefits.

Thinning Forests, Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss

May 29, 2019
Treatments May Reduce Loss in Future Droughts and Bark Beetle Epidemics

Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis.