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Sustainable Systems Analysis Group
Since 2016, a team of University of California scientists has been working on an NSF/USDA-funded project whose goal is to comprehensively assess the interactions of food-energy-water systems and use the results to model future scenarios for California. (NSF:EAR-1639318, USDA-NIFA:12225279)
Global and regional drivers of land-use emissions
Nature | January 27, 2021

We estimate country-, process-, GHG- and product-specific land-use emissions 1961-2017. Total emissions have increased to 14.6 GtCO2-eq in 2017 (~25% of anthropogenic GHG emissions). Our results may help prioritize mitigation efforts, but suggest drastic reductions in emissions will require similarly drastic changes in agricultural production and/or practices.

Hong et al. 2021
Research Brief

Adaptive benefits of agricultural water markets
Environmental Research Letters | January 21, 2021

PhD student Gonzales and coauthors estimate the value of irrigation water in California and compare the agricultural costs of water shortages under both the existing water rights framework and an alternate system that allows for trading of water and could reduce the costs of water shortages by $390 million per year (4.6% of California's net agricultural revenue).

Gonzales et al. 2021



Agricultural and health benefits of coal-to-gas fuel switching in the U.S. power sector
Nature Sustainability | January 6, 2020

Between 2005 and 2016, Co-PI Burney estimates that decommissioning of coal-fired units in the U.S. saved roughly 23,000 lives and 329  million bushels of corn and also altered regional atmospheric reflectivity, raising average top of atmosphere instantaneous radiative forcing by 0.50 W m-2.

Shearer et al. 2020


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.
How do non-carbon priorities affect zero-carbon electricity systems?
Applied Energy | May 1, 2020

Project scientist Tarroja analyzes the relationship between in-state freshwater consumption and levelized cost of electricity for four electricity mix scenarios designed to achieve zero-carbon electricity in California by 2045.

Tarroja et al. 2020


Flexibility and intensity of global water use
Nature Sustainability | June 3, 2019

Some water uses are more or less flexible than others due to larger curtailment costs or social impacts. We construct and present a new water stress index that integrates water scarcity, flexibility, and variability, and use it to evaluate the most-stressed basins worldwide.

Qin et al. 2019

Selected Press: Nature