Research Group
Curriculum Vitae
Near Zero
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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.
Targeted emission reductions from global super-polluting power plant units
Nature Sustainability | January 8, 2018

We assess fuel- and region-specific opportunities for reducing undesirable air pollutant emissions using a newly developed emission dataset at the level of individual generating units. Retiring or installing emission control technologies on units representing 0.8% of the global coal-fired power plant capacity could reduce levels of PM2.5 emissions by 8–14%.

Tong et al., 2017

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

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
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