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Near Zero
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.
Relevance of methodological choices for accounting of land use change carbon fluxes
Global Biogeochemical Cycles | July 21, 2015

We present the results of a new bookkeeping model of land-use change emissions, BLUE, and use the model to show the large effects of different accounting decisions on estimated carbon fluxes.

Hansis 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
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Selected Press: Climate Central, LA Times, CBS, BBC
Bridge or detour?
Natural gas and US CO2 emissions

Environmental Research Letters | September 24, 2014

Leaking methane isn't the only reason natural gas may not reduce GHG emissions: gas also competes against low-carbon renewable energy sources. This paper shows that abundant gas replaces both coal and renewables and in the end has little effect on future US GHG emissions even if there is no leakage. Policy may reduce emissions; cheap gas on its own won't.

Shearer et al., 2015
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video
Selected Press: Science, WaPo, ClimateProgress
Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions
Environmental Research Letters | August 26, 2014

Worldwide, existing power plants represent roughly 300 billion tons of future CO2 emissions if all plants operate for 40 years, and these "committed emissions" in the power sector have been growing at a rate of ~4% per year. This paper proposes tracking these commitments to quantify future emissions implied by current investments.

Shearer et al., 2015
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video
Selected Press: Science, Dot Earth, Newsweek, Guardian