Research Group
Curriculum Vitae
Near Zero
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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.
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

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
Selected Press: Climate Central, WaPo
Targeted opportunities to address the climate-trade dilemma in China
Nature Climate Change | September 28, 2015

China's coal-based energy system and emissions-intensive manufacturing technologies produce drastically more CO2 emissions the same sectors in developed countries. We identify specific industries and provinces where improvements are most needed to reduce the CO2-penalty of trade with China.

Liu et al., 2015
Selected Press: Sinosphere, SciAm, ClimateWire
Rate and velocity of climate change caused by cumulative carbon emissions
Environmental Research Letters | August 28, 2015

Peak warming will be proportional to cumulative CO2 emissions, but the rate and velocity of climate change may be very different under different emissions pathways, even when cumulative emissions are equal. Thus, the ability of ecosystems to adapt or migrate is sensitive to the pathway of emissions.

LoPresti et al., 2015

Drivers of the decline in US CO2 emissions
Nature Communications | July 21, 2015

US CO2 emissions dropped 11% between 2007-2013;            a trend has been widely attributed to the increased use of natural gas over coal. We decompose the drivers of the decline and show that the recent economic downturn and not the gas boom deserves most of the credit for the decrease in emissions.

Feng et al., 2015
Selected Press: Climate Central, LA Times, CBS, SciAm, BBC