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Kat Kerlin

Flooding farms in the rain to restore groundwater

The Central Valley sky was a never-ending expanse of gray. Not a single pixel of blue in sight. Under it, UC Davis scientists were flooding a Modesto almond orchard with half a foot of water. On purpose. In the pouring rain. It sounds a bit strange, and on Jan. 19, it looked even stranger. Yet […]

UC Davis pilot finds Porter Ranch methane emissions sky-high

A UC Davis scientist flying in a pollution-detecting airplane provided the first, and so far only, estimates of methane emissions spewing from the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility in Southern California since the leak began on Oct. 23.

Those estimates were provided to the California Air Resources Board in November. Pilot and UCD project scientist Stephen Conley continues to measure emissions from the still-uncontrolled leak, which has displaced thousands of residents in the affluent Porter Ranch neighborhood in northern Los Angeles. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in the community.

To date, Conley estimates that the leak has emitted nearly 80,000 tons of methane, or about 1,000 tons per day.

UCD joins UC Water effort to improve state’s water security

It’s hard to manage what you don’t measure. UC Davis is playing a major role in solving California’s biggest water woes by joining forces across the University of California system. The UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative aims to account for all of California’s water, better understand how and where it flows, and help […]

December 23, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Making the grade: ‘Cleared’ ski runs recover best

What happens to the land when a ski run is abandoned? Not much, if the run was previously graded, according to a study from UC Davis. The study, published online Wednesday in the Journal of Applied Ecology, evaluated six abandoned ski areas in the Northern Sierra region of California and Nevada. It found that runs […]

December 18, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Possible solution found for tumors in Catalina Island foxes

Until recently, endangered foxes on California’s Catalina Island were suffering from one of the highest prevalences of tumors ever documented in a wildlife population, UC Davis scientists found. But treatment of ear mites appears to be helping the wild animals recover. Roughly half of adult foxes examined between 2001 and 2008 had tumors in their […]

December 13, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Air getting better: Feds monitoring nation’s fine particles at UCD

When the U.S. government looks to measure air quality, it looks to UC Davis. The UCD Crocker Nuclear Laboratory is now the prime contractor for both major federal fine-particle air-quality monitoring networks — the National Park Service’s IMPROVE network and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chemical Speciation Network, or CSN, which monitors urban air quality. Together, […]

December 06, 2015 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

More pedal power would make for a much greener world

A dramatic global shift to increased cycling and electric biking, or e-biking, could cut energy use and carbon dioxide emissions from urban transport by up to 10 percent by 2050 compared to current estimates, while saving society nearly $25 trillion. That is according to a report by UC Davis and the New York-based Institute for […]

November 13, 2015 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Rat poison at pot farms is killing forest weasels

The situation is growing worse for fishers being poisoned by rodenticides on illegal marijuana grow sites in California, according to a study by a team of researchers led by UC Davis and the Integral Ecology Research Center, based in Blue Lake. Fishers are midsized weasels that live in isolated forests of California, Oregon and Washington. […]

November 06, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

UCD’s West Village is 82 percent toward zero net energy

UC Davis’ West Village, the nation’s largest planned zero-net-energy community, continues to work toward its goal of producing 100 percent of the energy it uses. A report released Wednesday by UCD and the West Village Community Partnership LLC said the community is 82 percent of its way toward reaching zero net energy, or ZNE. The analysis […]

October 01, 2015 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Common flu virus more likely to emerge in East Asia

Novel strains of influenza A, the most common type of flu virus, are more likely to emerge in East Asia than in North America, according to a global analysis by the One Health Institute at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and EcoHealth Alliance, an organization dedicated to conservation and health. However, a lack […]

October 09, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Winery wastewater is a viable water source for vineyards

Making wine requires water beyond what it takes to grow grapes. There are bottles to wash, barrels to scrub and floors to clean. But what if the water left over from all that cleaning was treated and reused to irrigate vineyards? It sounds like a promising practice, especially during a drought, but would it hurt […]

October 08, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Study: Fish sold at markets contain man-made debris

Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris — plastic or fibrous material — in their guts, according to a study from UC Davis and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia. The study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the first to directly link plastic […]

September 25, 2015 | Posted in UC Davis | Tagged ,

Scientists: It’s time to reform wildfire management

With nearly 9 million acres burned across the nation, 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most destructive wildfire seasons yet in a decade strung with devastating fire seasons. And with drought and climate change, wildfires are only predicted to get worse. In a commentary published Thursday in the journal Science, a team […]

September 20, 2015 | Posted in Local News | Tagged ,

Less algae key to keeping Tahoe blue

Lake Tahoe’s iconic blueness is most strongly related to algae, not clarity, according to research released today by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

In their report, “Tahoe: State of the Lake Report 2015,” researchers found the lower the algal concentration, the bluer the lake.

The report also includes updates related to clarity, climate change, drought and new research at Lake Tahoe.

The assumption that lake clarity is tied to blueness has driven …

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