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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.
Climate impacts on beer supply
Nature Plants | October 15, 2018

Concurrent drought and heat extremes in the future may cause substantial decreases in barley yields, leading to dramatic regional decreases in beer consumption (e.g., -32%) and increases in beer prices (e.g., +193%) in some years.

Xie et al. 2018

Selected Press: AP, WSJ,WIRED, ArsTechnica, NY Times, SciAm
Without a back-up plan
Nature Sustainability | October 15, 2018

Despite increasing access to electricity, the reliability of electricity remains poor in many developing countries. We explain new research showing the magnitude of economic and environmental costs of electricity outages in sub-Saharan Africa.

Xie et al. 2018


Future climate impacts of Arctic shipping
Geophysical Research Letters | September 12, 2018

In the first study to use a fully-coupled Earth system model to look at the future climatic effects of trans-Arctic shipping, we find that clouds formed in response to shipping emissions may offset ~1°C of the overall warming trend in the Arctic by the end of the century.

Stephenson et al. 2018


Net-zero emissions energy systems
Science | June 29, 2018

Although there are many options for reducing energy-related CO2 emissions, some energy services entail emissions that are much more difficult to eliminate. We review technological opportunities and barriers for eliminating and/or managing difficult-to-decarbonize services, and critical areas for further research, development, demonstration and deployment.

Davis et al. 2018

Selected Press: MIT Tech, InsideClimate, SciAm
Structural decline in China’s CO2 emissions
Nature Geoscience | July 2, 2018

China's emissions decreased between 2013-2016. Our analysis shows the decline was largely due to changes in industrial structure and a decline in the share of coal for energy production. Decreases may persist if nascent industrial and energy system transitions continue.

Guan et al. 2018

Selected Press: Bloomberg, Reuters, ArsTechnica
South-South trade and global CO2 emissions
Nature Communications | May 14, 2018

"South-South" trade among developing countries is increasing, and helping to reduce China’s emissions by shifting energy-intensive production to less developed regions. But this may make climate mitigation more challenging; emissions are spread among more and less-developed countries.

Meng et al. 2018

Selected Press: Wired, Reuters