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Climate Change

September 3, 2019

Soil is one of the foundations of life on Earth and could be an important part of the solution to climate change, if only we can stop treating it like dirt. That’s the message Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe shared with a global audience when she became the only current UC Merced...
Professor Jason Sexton, right, works in the field with a graduate student.
California’s drought was hard not to notice — the dry lawns, fallowed fields and hot temperatures were evident across the state. To better understand how the drought affected the natural ecosystem in which we live, biology Professor Jason...
a thermal map of the world
The American media lends too much weight to people who dismiss climate change, giving them legitimacy they haven’t earned, posing serious danger to efforts aimed at raising public awareness and motivating rapid action, a new study shows. While...
Stands of brown, dead trees throughout Sierra Nevada forests
The most extreme drought event in hundreds of years caused a catastrophic die-off of the Sierra Nevada’s mature trees in 2015-2016. A study published today in Nature Geoscience details how UC Merced Professor Roger Bales and his colleague...
pine tree seedlings in a greenhouse
Climate change is bad news for forests, and a new study by UC Merced Professor Emily Moran demonstrates one aspect of that news. Higher summer temperatures hurt tree seedlings’ growth and survival. But whether that is entirely bad depends...
Professor Sora Kim examines a fossilized shark's tooth.
Most people wouldn’t think sharks can teach researchers about the planet’s distant past and its more immediate future. UC Merced paleoecologist Professor Sora Kim isn’t most people. There’s a connection between data in...
Ph.D. students Craig Ennis and Vicky Espinoza visited Sacramento with Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie Zatz to speak with lawmakers about the contribution of graduate research to California's development.
Two UC Merced Ph.D. students took to the State Capitol yesterday with representatives from the other UC campuses to advocate for the importance of the research being done across California. Craig Ennis and Vicky Espinoza were accompanied by Vice...
Waterbirds take flight over a large wetland area along the Pacific Flyway.
Climate change is having a profound effect on the millions of migrating birds that rely on annual stops along the Pacific Flyway as they head from Alaska to Patagonia each year. They are finding less food, saltier water and fewer places to breed and...
Kimber Moreland with the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) instrument. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Livermore National Lab: LLNL-PHOTO-769483.
Under the leadership of Professors Asmeret Berhe and Stephen Hart, three UC Merced Environmental Systems (ES) graduate students have been awarded fellowships from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance their doctoral theses. The DOE...
Leaf-cutter ants in the tropical rain forest of Costa Rica carry cut leaves back to their colony.
It’s estimated that a leaf-cutter ant colony can strip an average tree of its foliage in a day, and that more than 17 percent of leaf production by plants surrounding a colony goes straight into their giant, fungus-growing nests. It’s no...

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