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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.
Emissions from federal lands
Nature Climate Change | January 28, 2019

New research from the USGS shows that fossil fuels produced on federal lands accounted for over 20% of U.S. emissions in recent years. Yet there are numerous ways in which federal lands might instead lead decarbonization.

Ratledge et al. 2019


Human carbon cycle feedbacks
PNAS | December 17, 2018

Climate change impacts on the biosphere tend to increase carbon emissions (a postive feedback). Meanwhile, the impacts on human activities may reduce carbon emissions by a similar amount (a negative feedback). Bad news for both nature and humans, but the feedbacks may largely offset each other.

Woodard et al. 2018

Selected Press: ArsTechnica
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
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
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