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.

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 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, 12:05AM<p>At …

National Science Foundation

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

Harvesting Clean Water from Air

Billions of people lack access to clean water for all or part of the year or must travel far to gather it. Extracting water directly from the air …

Clean Energy

Sustainable Design of Communities

In the past decade, the construction and retrofitting of individual homes to reduce energy and water use has grown explosively. Yet applying green …

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> …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Using seaweed to kill California's least favorite ant

<b>Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have developed an inexpensive, biodegradable, seaweed-based ant bait that can help homeowners and farmers control invasive Argentine ant populations.</b><p>The researchers found the “hydrogel” baits, which look like liquid gel pills but have a …

How climate change makes us all lose sleep

<b>Climate change may keep you awake — and not just metaphorically. Nights that are warmer than normal can harm human sleep, researchers show in a new paper, with the poor and elderly most affected. According to their findings, if climate change is not addressed, temperatures in 2050 could cost people</b> …

The work ethic of birds

<b>Humans are not the only species to show a strong work ethic and scruples. UC Berkeley researchers have found evidence of conscientiousness in insects, reptiles, birds, fish and other critters.</b><p>Tailorbirds gather leaf edges, plant fibers and spiderwebs to construct a sturdy nest.<p>In reviewing nearly …

Scientists kill invasive ants with seaweed

Scientists in California have developed an eco-friendly way to battle invasive ants. The new ant bait is made from a seaweed-based hydrogel.

Insects

In Napa Valley, Vineyards and Conservationists Battle for the Hills

Kellie Anderson stands in the understory of a century-old forest in eastern Napa County, about 70 miles north of San Francisco. To her left is a …

Wine

Making batteries from waste glass bottles

<b>Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will extend the range of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid</b> …

Common U.S. pesticide makes bees 'drunk'

<b>Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, have demonstrated for the first time that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly, raising concerns about how pesticides affect their capacity to pollinate and the long-term effects on</b> …

Going green shouldn’t be this hard

How we can have our cake and solve climate change too.<p>Lauren Singer lives a nearly waste-free life. How near? Her total trash for the past four years fits into a single Mason jar.<p>If that makes you sputter with disbelief, you’re not alone. Singer’s lifestyle provokes strong reactions: Some people …

Climate

Climate Lab

Follow conservation scientist and UCLA visiting researcher M. Sanjayan as he explores surprising ways to change how we think and act about climate change. Produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox.

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles

UCR researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics<p>RIVERSIDE, Calif. …

University of California

How do we kick ourselves into action around climate change when all we want to do is change the subject?<p>We’ve partnered with Vox on a six-part video …

Where do greenhouse gas emissions come from?

<b>If someone asked you to list the major sources of greenhouse gases around the world, what would you say?</b><p>“A lot of places — it’s complicated,” is a perfectly reasonable answer, so it’s understandable that most people don’t have this info at their fingertips. One 2014 study found that people tend to …

UC Irvine to save 50 million gallons in drinkable water annually

<b>Aiming to greatly expand its use of recycled water, the University of California, Irvine is partnering with the Irvine Ranch Water District to convert the school’s central cooling plant to an environmentally friendly system that will conserve more than 50 million gallons of drinkable water per year.</b><p>…

Renewable energy has robust future in much of Africa

<b>As Africa gears up for a tripling of electricity demand by 2030, a new Berkeley study maps out a viable strategy for developing wind and solar power while simultaneously reducing the continent’s reliance on fossil fuels and lowering power plant construction costs.</b><p>Using resource mapping tools, a UC …

How a daughter of immigrants became a leader in ocean and climate science