UC Green

By University of California | Blue + Gold = Green. The University of California is devoted to healthy people and a healthy planet. Read about our latest discoveries in sustainability, green living and the future made bold.

New reports detail how to limit global warming, warn of ‘existential’ risk from not acting soon

Two new studies released during the United Nations’ Climate Week find that global temperature increases can be limited to the Paris Agreement goal of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but cutting back carbon dioxide emissions alone will not be sufficient – and the stakes are as high as …

Climate

The Window Is Closing to Avoid Dangerous Global Warming

There's a 50 percent chance that temperatures will rise 4 degrees Celsius under a business-as-usual scenario

Climate

UC Riverside No. 2 systemwide for renewable energy

<b>UC Riverside is serious about its zero carbon footprint goal.</b><p>For the past month UC Riverside has been installing more than 9,600 solar panels in two campus parking lots, a 4.3 megawatt project that puts UC Riverside in the number two spot — at the UC systemwide level — for on-site renewable energy, …

Renewable Energy

What roadkill is costing California

Quick summary• Vehicle collisions with animals cost California $276 million in 2016, up 20 percent<br>• Fencing along the most severe roads would pay for itself within 2 years or less<br>• San Francisco Bay Area roads experience the highest rates of wildlife-vehicle collisions<p><b>Collisions between vehicles and</b> …

UC Davis

Cyborg bacteria turn into tiny, zero-waste solar panels

<b>To help humans capture more of the sun’s energy than natural photosynthesis can, UC Berkeley scientists have taught bacteria to cover themselves in tiny, highly efficient solar panels to produce useful chemical compounds.</b><p>Chemistry professor Peidong Yang and Kelsey Sakimoto, a former graduate …

Clean Energy

UC campuses among the greenest in the country

Sierra 2017 "Cool School" Rankings• UC Irvine — 8<br>• UC Santa Cruz — 23<br>• UC Berkeley — 27<br>• UC Davis — 32<br>• UC Riverside — 35<br>• UC Santa Barbara — 49<br>• UC Merced — 50<p><b>Seven UCs are among the top 50 most sustainable universities in the U.S., according to Sierra Magazine’s newly released 2017 “Cool Schools” list.</b><p>UC …

Sustainability

Why Ecology Needs Natural History

This Article From Issue<p>September-October 2017<p>Volume 105, Number 5<p>Page 290<p>DOI:<p>In March 1908 a remarkable partnership was forged that would affect the …

Ecology

'Cyborg' bacteria deliver green fuel source from sunlight

Environment correspondent<p><b>Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water.</b><p>The so-called "cyborg" bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic.<p>In lab experiments, the …

Clean Energy

New Study Shows How Well We Beat Back Climate Change in the 80s

Now we need to come together and try again.<p>With the current discussion over climate change ranging from dystopian to denial, it's worth remembering that humanity can take actions that over time resolve tough environmental problems. A new study takes a look at the Montreal Protocols, signed in 1987, …

Climate Change

Bitten by the bug, renowned researcher retires from University of California

BERKELEY — When Vernard Lewis was a little boy, he hunted grasshoppers and fed them to harvester ants. When he brought home bugs he’d trapped in …

UC Berkeley

How electric vehicles could take a bite out of the oil market

<b>When will cars powered by gas-guzzling internal combustion engines become obsolete? Not as soon as it seems, even with the latest automotive news out of Europe.</b><p>First, Volvo announced it would begin to phase out the production of cars that run solely on gasoline or diesel by 2019 by only releasing …

Electric Vehicles

Professors swim for science across Tahoe

How to donateGifts made in either of these two ways will go to the Tahoe Environmental Research Center:Use the “Giving” link on the TERC website (please designate your gift “In Honor of Jennifer Teerlink,” for tracking purposes).Contribute to the Trans-Tahoe Swim for Water Research GoFundMe …

UC Berkeley

Why your tuna could have 36 times more pollutants than others

<b>Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego found levels of persistent organic pollutants as much as 36 times higher in the muscle tissue of yellowfin tuna caught in the more industrialized areas of the northeast Pacific Ocean and northeast Atlantic</b> …

Oceans

UCLA study helps Californians save electricity — and money — this summer

<b>Electricity demand fluctuates each day, and consumers who want to unplug during peak times to save money and help the environment now have a new tool at their disposal. Chai Energy, a partner of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, is making real-time energy information a reality for electricity</b> …

UC Berkeley

Study finds that storage prices are falling faster than PV and wind technologies

Energy storage projects may bring the cost per kWh of a lithium-ion battery down from $10,000/kWh in the early 1990’s to $100/kWh in 2019, according …

Elephant seals recognize vocal rhythms to avoid bullies

Caroline Casey records the vocalizations of the alpha male elephant seal at Ano Nuevo State Park, California. Photo by Ari Friedlaender<br>We recognize …

Seals

8.3 billion metric tons of plastic ... and counting

<b>More than 8.3 billion metric tons (9.1 billion tons). That’s the amount of plastic humans have created since the large-scale production of synthetic materials began in the early 1950s. It’s enough to cover the entire country of Argentina, and most of the material now resides in landfills or in the</b> …

Recycling

How a (nearly) zero-carbon conference can be a better conference

<b>A conference wrapped up recently at UC Santa Barbara, but this was not a typical academic conference. There was no mess to clean up at the end: no coffee-stained tablecloths and muffin crumbs. The attendees were from campuses all across California, but no one had to rush to catch a flight home. The</b> …

UC Berkeley

Oldest university-based organic research and education facility turns 50

<b>Middle age has a way of sneaking up on people and programs, so hearing that the experiment in organic gardening that began at UC Santa Cruz in 1967 is now the oldest university-based organic research and education facility in the country is, well, unexpected.</b><p>"It's the people's farm," says Daniel …

Agriculture

California could get wetter this century

<b>Under business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, climate models predict California will get warmer during the rest of the century and most also predict the state will get drier.</b><p>But, new research, published in the journal Nature Communications, predicts that California will actually get wetter. The …

Climate Change

Putting a price tag on nature

<b>Money may not grow on trees, but trees themselves and all that they provide have a dollar value nonetheless.</b><p>At least, that’s the view of those seeking to quantify the myriad ways humankind benefits from nature’s ecosystem services: clean air and water, food, even paper from trees. But it’s …

Ecology

Close to Home: Science and innovation deserve robust funding

TERRY SAWYER IS CO-FOUNDER OF HOG ISLAND OYSTER CO. TESSA HILL IS A PROFESSOR AT THE UC DAVIS BODEGA MARINE LABORATORY. | June 25, 2017<p>At Hog Island …

Plastic Water Bottles Might Have Poisoned Ancient Californians

You've heard the PSA: Recycle that plastic water bottle, or else archaeologists will be digging it up thousands of years from now. What you probably …

Natural History Museums

Off-Grid Devices Draw Drinking Water from Dry Air

Sunlight-powered moisture-absorbing technologies are becoming economical

Water

Sustainable Design of Communities Dramatically Reduces Waste

Moving beyond the green-home level, ambitious projects are attempting to join blocks of buildings into a single sustainable unit

Sustainability

Providing clean water for a growing population

<b>Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have developed a new way to recover almost 100 percent of the water from highly concentrated salt solutions. The system will alleviate water shortages in arid regions and reduce concerns surrounding high salinity brine disposal, such as hydraulic</b> …

UC Berkeley

The good news about mountain lions

<b>"Fraidy cat" isn't the way most people think of mountain lions, but when it comes to encounters with humans, perhaps they should.</b><p>New research into the behavior of these big cats indicates that they don't like encountering humans any more than we like bumping into them on hiking trails. The findings …

UC Berkeley

Indiana Jones meets the sea

<b>Hidden coastlines around the world contain clues about ancient civilizations. The mysteries locked in these coastal sites where human activity once flourished are now submerged under rising seas. A trove of cultural artifacts and environmental data are waiting to be discovered.</b><p>Scripps Institution …

Archaeology

How the Sierra Nevada could become a polluter

<b>What if nature were to become a polluter, discharging millions of tons of planet-warming carbon into the atmosphere in much the same way as diesel-fueled trucks or coal-fired power plants?</b><p>This nature-as-polluter scenario might seem far-fetched, but it’s well on its way to becoming reality, …

Climate Change