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Steven J. Davis
University of California, Irvine  |  Dept. of Earth System Science
Satisfying global demand for energy, food, and goods without emitting CO2 to the atmosphere is a central challenge of the 21st century.  My research is aimed at understanding the scale of that challenge and finding ways to meet it.
Simulating the Earth system response to negative emissions
Environmental Research Letters | September 20, 2016

Earth system models suggest significant weakening, even potential reversal, of the ocean and land carbon sinks under future negative emission scenarios. Weakening of natural carbon sinks will hinder the effectiveness of negative emissions technologies and therefore increase their required deployment to achieve a given climate stabilisation target.

Jones et al., 2016
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Global climate forcing of aerosols embodied in international trade
Nature Geoscience | September 9, 2016

In recent years, international trade has displaced radiative forcing related to aerosols such as black carbon, sulfate, nitrate and ammonium from developed, net-importing nations like the U.S. to emerging, net-exporting nations like China. We quantify this shift and discuss its policy implications.

Lin et al., 2016
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Cites:
Selected Press: CTV, South China Morning Post
Carbon lock-in: Types, causes, and policy implications
Annual Review of Envt. and Resources | August 25, 2016

Existing technologies, institutions, and behavioral norms together constrain the rate and magnitude of carbon emissions reductions in the coming decades. We review recent research on "carbon lock-in," the implications for decarbonization efforts, and propose a research agenda that can help bridge the gaps between science, knowledge and policy-making.

Seto et al., 2016
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Quantifying expert consensus against the existence of a 'chemtrails' conspiracy
Environmental Research Letters | August 10, 2016

76 of the 77 (98.7%) scientists we surveyed had not encountered evidence of a secret, large-scale atmospheric spraying program, and said that purported evidence are more easily explained by well-understood physics and chemistry associated with aircraft contrails and atmospheric aerosols.

Shearer et al., 2016
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Cites:
Selected Press: NY Times, Forbes, Vice, Slate, Science
Dislocated interests and climate change
Environmental Research Letters | May 31, 2016

The benefits and costs of CO2 emissions are commonly dislocated across space, time, and organizational level. When beneficiaries have greater political influence than those impacted, the result will be tragically suboptimal. Appeals to conscience and the responsibility of beneficiaries will not solve the problem; so long as interests are dislocated, use of fossil energy must be curtailed by effective policy

Smith et al., 2015
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Biophysical and economic limits to negative CO2 emissions
Nature Climate Change | December 7, 2015

Most scenarios that avoid 2°C of global warming require large-scale deployment of negative emissions technologies. We review the impacts and resource demands of such deployment, and conclude that it's cheaper, easier and less risky to tackle global warming before fossil CO2 is in the atmosphere.

Smith et al., 2015
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Cites:
Selected Press: Climate Central, WaPo