Solar energy institute seeks to shine by raising funds

UC Merced is focused on making solar energy more affordable and efficient, and the funds from its sponsors are allowing the institute to thrive.

UC research drives climate change report

A state report on climate change and California's landscape features research from seven UC campuses and laboratories.

A new way to break down bacteria 'castles'

Using a stop-action imaging microscope, UC Berkeley researchers described in detail for first time the 'castles' of bacteria that are often the causes of fatal infections

Lab ensures quality control for climate research

In a fortresslike laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, scientists track subtle changes in ocean chemistry with the kind of precision that can be compared around the globe and across decades.

Climate more sensitive to carbon dioxide now than in past epochs

Many studies of Earth's climate history have documented a strong correlation between global climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide: during warm periods, high concentrations persist, and colder times correspond to relatively low levels. Now, however, researchers at UC Santa Cruz have found an exception to this pattern.

Biodiversity loss ranks with climate change and pollution in terms of impacts to environment

A study published by an international research team at UC Santa Barbara has found that loss of biodiversity impacts the environment as significantly as climate change and pollution.

Researchers offer new ecological model for deep-water oil spills

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform blowout, UC Santa Barbara researchers provided new insight into what happened in the disaster, as well as a guide for how to deal with such events in the future.

Coastal California fog carries toxic mercury, study finds

New research out of UC Santa Cruz shows that the moist fog air carries methylmercury, an especially toxic form of the heavy metal mercury.

Want to understand the fluid dynamics of the oceans and atmosphere?

A film created by UCLA physicists with film students and alumni is believed to be the first comprehensive elementary video on the topic.

Can 'carbon ranching' offset emissions in California?

A UC Berkeley scientist measures greenhouse gases coming up out of the peat-rich soil. She is looking for ways to reduce those gases, and that could create offsets that farmers and ranchers could sell to businesses trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

Looking at new ways to learn math, science

A joint UC San Diego and San Diego State program studies how people learn math and science and then use that research to develop more effective K-12 and college curricula.

Scientists map out the universe

UC Santa Cruz have harnessed the power of a NASA supercomputer to create a detailed vision of galaxies like our Milky Way forming under the mysterious forces of dark matter and dark energy.

UC Davis entomologist discovers predator wasp

On a recent expedition to a remote Indonesian island, a black, insect-eating wasp as long as a pinky finger was discovered.

Scientists fight a deadly oak tree disease

UC Berkeley researchers are part of the largest experiment ever conducted in the wild on a promising preventive treatment for sudden oak death.

Flying ants use legs, butts to steer

A UC Berkeley researcher has been lugging specially designed wind tunnels into the Amazonian rain forest to capture the movements of ants that can fly.

For water researchers, an atmosphere full of questions

A UC San Diego scientist is part of the CalWater project to determine why some clouds give up their moisture and others don't.

Climate change can determine whether species go or stay

UC Berkeley scientists study how precipitation and temperature changes impact birds and other animals. They hope to project how different species will respond to future climate change.

Amphibian species on the increase

Scientists at UC Berkeley have discovered new species of frogs, newts, salamanders, caecilians and are tracking them day by day, while continuing to worry about mass extinction of frogs.

Why will California have higher sea level rise?

UC Santa Cruz director of the Institute of Marine Sciences explains the curious reason why California will see higher than average sea level rise, while the Pacific Northwest will see a lower rise. A major earthquake could make the situation even worse.

Predicting when plants face extinction threat

A UC Riverside graduate student has developed a mathematical model to predict when plants are at risk of losing their pollinators, which could guide decisions that help prevent extinctions of wildflower species.

Plastic trash altering ocean habitats, study shows

A 100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage in the ocean is altering habitats in the marine environment, according to a new study led by a graduate student researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Robots measure flow of Sacramento River

A fleet of 100 robots, developed by UC Berkeley researchers, floated down the Sacramento River to demonstrate their ability to measure the pace of the river's flow and to navigate the delta's water.

Experiments do not adequately predict plant responses to global climate change, researchers say

Plants may be reacting to climate change more than we think, and the uncertainty could leave us ill-prepared for the future effects of global warming, say UC Santa Barbara scientists.

International drilling expedition to probe Japanese fault zone

UC Santa Cruz scientists are involved in an ambitious project to measure properties of the fault that caused the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Mega-quake clusters unlikely, study finds

The global risk of catastrophic earthquakes has not risen in recent years, according to a UC San Diego study.

Scientists find monster black holes

A team led by astronomers at UC Berkeley has found the biggest black holes known to exist, each one 10 billion times the size of our sun.

New seismic inventory identifies potentially unsafe buildings

Understanding what makes a concrete building vulnerable in an earthquake is one of the goals of a UC Berkeley project at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center.

Scientists testing earthquake early warning

UC researchers are among those hoping to build a public warning system similar to the Japanese that has been credited with saving lives last March.

Scientists warn that fires could consume Yellowstone forests

Increasing waves of severe fires fed by climate change could shift much of the iconic forests of Yellowstone to scrub or grasslands by the end of this century, UC Merced scientists say.

California next nightmare

UC researchers predict that there is a 64 percent chance of a catastrophic levee failure in the delta in the next 50 years.

Taking stock of the California Current

Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been methodically measuring the southern waters of the current for 62 years, and their data series is touted as the most extensive of its kind in the world.

A deadly virus identified in snakes

UCSF scientists have uncovered the possible cause of a mysterious disease that causes bacterial infections, neurological problems, anorexia and withering in snakes.

Climate change skeptic changes views

A UC Berkeley physicist now states that the reason for global warming is due to the human emission of carbon monoxide. He argues that the warm-up began with the Industrial Revolution and has accelerated in recent years.

Climate change may spark more wildfires in future

A UC Berkeley study shows that in coming years, the frequency of wildfires will increase because of climate change.

Humans may be forcing an irreversible tipping point for Earth

The study by an international team of scientists, including two from UC Davis, finds severe impact on fisheries, agriculture, clean water and much of what Earth needs to sustain its inhabitants.

Water crisis documentary features UC Irvine hydrologist

UC Irvine global water specialist Jay Famiglietti is the unlikely star of a new documentary, 'Last Call at the Oasis,' directed by Academy Award winner Jessica Yu.

Scientists drill into Clear Lake to see future

Drilling deeply into ancient sediments, UC Berkeley scientists are seeking vital clues to the future of plant and animal life by investigating how changing climates have altered life in the distant past.

Researcher's waste-to-energy technology moves from the lab to the marketplace

Technology invented by a UC Davis researcher that converts solid waste into renewable energy debuted as the first commercially available, high-solid anaerobic digestion system in the U.S.

Gases drawn into smog particles stay there, study reveals

A finding by UC Irvine researchers could explain why air pollution models underestimate organic aerosols.

Universities' solar future illuminated

A group of UC researchers met recently at UC Merced to talk about some of the latest solar research and its potential impact.

UC gets 4,584-acre forestland donation

A land donation will allow UC to nearly double its research forests, conserving a swath of the Northern California watershed and offering academics an expanded laboratory to explore forest ecosystems.

Skeptic's own study finds climate change real

A prominent UC Berkeley physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

Devastating tree-killing pathogen traced to California

A study by UC Berkeley and Italian researchers may have solved a decades-long mystery behind the source of a tree-killing fungus that affected six of the world's seven continents.

Fierce defender of climate change science

UC San Diego historian Naomi Oreskes has become a leading voice in defense of the science underlying global warming and the scientists who are researching it.

Salton Sea poses earthquake threat to Southern California

The sea east of San Diego is a deceptively dangerous backwater, hiding faults that repeatedly produce powerful earthquakes that jolt all of Southern California, says a new study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Groundwater depletion detected from space

Research at UC Irvine is redefining the field of hydrology, which has grown more critical as climate change and population growth draw down fresh water supplies.