Research Group
Curriculum Vitae
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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.
The rise of South-South trade and its effect of 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
Infrastructure shapes differences in the carbon intensities of Chinese cities
ES&T | April 25, 2018

Differences in Chinese cities’ carbon intensity are largely due to disparities in economic structure that can in turn be traced to past investment-led growth. Related carbon lock-in may hinder China’s efforts to reduce emissions from activities in urban areas.

Zheng et al. 2018

Predicting unpredictability in the U.S. energy sector
Nature Energy | March 26, 2018

Analysts and markets have struggled to predict a number of phenomena in U.S. energy markets over the last decade or so, such as the rise of natural gas. I explain new research that shows this may be a result of the industry--and consequently the market--becoming increasingly volatile.

Davis 2018
Selected Press: NPR
Geophysical constraints on reliability of U.S. solar and wind power
Energy & Environmental Science | February 27, 2018

Analysis of hourly weather data shows that meeting >80% of U.S. electricity demand with only solar and wind would require days' or weeks' worth of energy storage--even assuming a continental-scale transmission grid. Today this would be very costly.

Shaner et al., 2018
Selected Press: MIT Tech Rev, VICE