Strengthening Climate Resilience

A Nudge Toward Greener Flying

Air travel now accounts for about 3% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and the sector’s emissions are rising: Global air travel more than doubled from 2004 to 2019. This is literally a first-world problem — most people on Earth fly rarely, if ever. By some estimates, the 1% of humans who fly most often are responsible for half of all air travel emissions.

Back Forty: Hard truths about California’s water future

Last month, Jay Lund, a Distinguished Professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis, wrapped up a lecture on California’s drought with a slide titled “Resistance is Futile.” It included a list of his predictions about the state’s water crisis, some of which bordered on apocalyptic. As climate change fuels extreme drought, heat and flooding, Lund explained, some of California’s native species will become unsustainable in the wild. Farmers, government agencies and environmental groups will continue to fight over dwindling water supplies.

Keith Bein: Chasing Wildfire

Bein is an associate professional researcher at UC Davis’ Air Quality Research Center. His work is helping us better understand the impacts of wildfire smoke on air quality and health. When a megafire takes hold in California, he loads up his mobile research lab and heads to the smoke, entering what can be at times the planet’s worst air quality, so he can sample it.

How Mansions Can Intensify Wildfires

Michele Barbato, a professor of structural engineering and structural mechanics at the University of California at Davis, said the size of large suburban dwellings like the Coronado Pointe homes likely contributed to the extent of the destruction in climate-driven blazes.

“Fungi to save the world”

Mycelium, the white filament-like root structure of mushrooms, might be an important building block of a more sustainable world. By growing mycelium with a biomass—anything from coffee grounds to leftover agricultural waste—researchers at UC Davis are creating sustainable structures that can be turned into everything from biodegradable plastics and circuit boards to filters that remove harmful antibiotic and pesticide residues from water.