University of California, Irvine  |  Dept. of Earth System Science
Our research is aimed at understanding the complex interactions of human and natural systems in order to assess the causes and magnitude of damages and disruptions now and in the future, and to identify possible solutions.
Long-duration storage reduces costs of
wind-solar-battery systems

Joule | August 6, 2020

Using 39 years of hourly U.S. weather data and a macro-scale energy model, we show that currently available long-duration storage technologies like power-to-gas-to-power lower the cost of solar-wind-battery electricity systems.

Dowling et al. 2020
Research Brief

Radiative effects of aerosols may offset the air quality penalty of climate change in China
Nature Climate Change | August 3, 2020

We show that direct radiative effects of short-lived aerosols may substantially offset the "climate penalty" that prior studies have shown (i.e. that future climate change is likely to worsen air quality and thereby human health in most regions by favoring weather conditions that increase concentrations of air pollution).

Diffenbaugh et al. 2020

Economic impacts of COVID lockdowns
Nature Human Behaviour | June 3, 2020

We show that stricter, shorter COVID lockdowns reduce overall losses relative to weaker but longer ones. But even a lengthy period of moderate restrictions is economically preferable to lifting all restrictions if it can avoid the need for another round of strict lockdowns. Regardless, losses propagate via global supply chains; best case responses are globally coordinated.

Qin et al. 2020

Selected Press: Brookings, India Tribune
Early power plants retirements in climate mitigation scenarios
Environmental Research Letters | May 27, 2020

We show that ambitious climate mitigation scenarios entail drastic, and perhaps un-appreciated, changes in the operating and/or retirement schedules of power infrastructure. For example, in 1.5 or 2°C scenarios, the median age of global coal plants at retirement is <10 years.

Fofrich et al. 2020

Agricultural vulnerability to changing snowmelt
Nature Climate Change | April 20, 2020

Future changes in the fraction of precipitation falling as snow and the timing of snowmelt jeopardize food production in basins where irrigated agriculture relies heavily on snowmelt runoff. We assess the most at-risk basins and crops worldwide, where adaptation of water management and agricultural systems may be especially critical in a changing climate.

Qin et al. 2020

Selected Press: Weather Channel, Yale360
Ozone and climate impacts on California's key crops
Nature Food | March 16, 2020

By analyzing 35 years of temperature, ozone levels, and crop yield data, we estimate the impacts of warming and ozone pollution on perennial fruits and nuts in California. These crops, which represent ~38% of the state's agriculture by value, suffer damages of about $1 billion per year due to ozone in recent years. With 2°C of warming, almond yields will drop by ~10%.

Hong et al. 2020

Selected Press: c&en, Fast Co.