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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.
Probabilistic estimates of drought impacts on agricultural production
GRL | August 5, 2017

Using a multivaritate probabilistic model, we quantify the average annual yields of major rainfed crops in Australia as a function of precipitation and soil moisture indices during the growing season. In the period 1980-2012, yields were 25–45% lower in dry seasons.

Madadgar et al., 2017
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Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar
PNAS | June 19, 2017

Jacobson et al. argue that wind, solar and hydro power alone could meet all U.S. energy demands at "low-cost." Unfortunately, their work contains errors, incorrect and unsupported assumptions, and inappropriate methods. It's possible to get all our energy from renewables, but Jacobson et al. haven't proven it'll be reliable or affordable.

Clack et al., 2017
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Selected Press: NY Times, WaPo, MIT Tech Rev
Increasing probability of mass mortality during Indian heatwaves
Science Advances | June 7, 2017

We show that small increases mean temperatures may lead to big increases in heatwave deaths in India. For example, if summer mean temperatures increase by 0.5 °C, the chances of a heatwave that kills >100 people goes from roughly 1 in every 8 years to 1 in 3 years.

Mazdiyasni et al., 2017
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Future CO2 emissions and electricity generation from proposed coal-fired power plants in India
Earth's Future | April 25, 2017

With its growing population, industrializing economy, and large coal reserves, India represents a critical unknown in global projections of future CO2 emissions. As of mid-2016, proposed coal-fired power plants in India are incompatible with its NDC to reduce carbon intensity 33-35% by 2030.

Shearer et al., 2017
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Selected Press: Carbon Brief, E&E, VICE, E360
Trade affects location of air pollution deaths
Nature | March 30, 2017

In a groundbreaking interdisciplinary analysis, we quantify the global links among consumption of goods and services, production of air pollution, atmospheric transport of that pollution, and human mortality due to the pollution. We find that roughly a quarter of air pollution deaths are related to goods produced in one world region for consumption in another.

Zhang et al., 2017
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Cites:
Selected Press: New Scientist, Guardian, WaPo, Economist