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Earth Systems Science

November 4, 2019

UC Merced Professor Peggy O’Day hopes to improve water quality in the California Delta by studying local wetlands. O’Day is leading a new three-year study of Merced County wetlands that drain into the San Joaquin River and eventually the Delta. “The Delta is sort of the...
Subalpine meadows are among the Sierra Nevada’s most enchantingly picturesque landscapes. These sparsely wooded, grassy expanses are home to plants and animals found nowhere else, and they play an important role in regulating the flow of water from the...
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? This nature-as-polluter scenario might seem far-fetched, but it’s...
When scientists at UC Merced seek to better understand California’s biodiversity, they turn to cutting-edge genomics. They also turn to their neighbors. On a sunny Saturday in April, scientists joined forces with members of the local community to take...
Plant photosynthesis was stable for hundreds of years before the industrial revolution, but grew rapidly in the 20th century, according to new research published today in Nature. “Virtually all life on our planet depends on photosynthesis,” said UC...
“Collecting dust” isn’t usually considered a good thing. But dust from as near as the Central Valley and as far away as the Gobi Desert in Asia provides more nutrients — especially critical phosphorus — than previously thought to sustain the vegetation...
The rapid pace of global change has large impacts on nature, and on the work conservation biologists will have before them, too. From here on out, experts say, the fossil record is going to be critical to guide nature into the future. A new paper in the...
By Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Scientists expect subalpine trees to advance upslope as global temperatures increase, following their climate up the mountains. But new research published Dec. 15 in the journal Global Change Biology...
UC Merced professors Jessica Blois and Justin Yeakel and their graduate students are sifting through time, picking out tiny clues that will give them a mouse’s eye view of the ecosystem that surrounded what is now the La Brea Tar Pits in the middle of...
If fictional scientist Victor Frankenstein had created a mate for his nameless Creature, humans would have gone extinct in about 4,000 years, according to a new study co-authored by a UC Merced professor. Two hundred years ago this year, 18-year-old...

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