Sustainable Systems Analysis Group
Since 2016, a team of University of California scientists has been working on an NSF/USDA-funded project whose goal is to comprehensively assess the interactions of food-energy-water systems and use the results to model future scenarios for California. (NSF:EAR-1639318, USDA-NIFA:12225279)
Agricultural and health benefits of coal-to-gas fuel switching in the U.S. power sector
Nature Sustainability | January 6, 2020

Between 2005 and 2016, Co-PI Burney estimates that decommissioning of coal-fired units in the U.S. saved roughly 23,000 lives and 329  million bushels of corn and also altered regional atmospheric reflectivity, raising average top of atmosphere instantaneous radiative forcing by 0.50 W m-2.

Shearer et al. 2020

Agricultural vulnerability to changing snowmelt
Nature Climate Change | April 20, 2020

Future changes in the fraction of precipitation falling as snow and the timing of snowmelt jeopardize food production in basins where irrigated agriculture relies heavily on snowmelt runoff. We assess the most at-risk basins and crops worldwide, where adaptation of water management and agricultural systems may be especially critical in a changing climate.

Qin et al. 2020

Ozone and climate impacts on California's key crops
Nature Food | March 16, 2020

By analyzing 35 years of temperature, ozone levels, and crop yield data, we estimate the impacts of warming and ozone pollution on perennial fruits and nuts in California. These crops, which represent ~38% of the state's agriculture by value, suffer damages of about $1 billion per year due to ozone in recent years. With 2°C of warming, almond yields will drop by ~10%.

Hong et al. 2020

Selected Press: c&en, Fast Co.
Climate adaptation by crop migration
Nature Communications | March 6, 2020

We show that shifts in crop areas worldwide 1973-2012 have substantially avoided increases in growing season temperatures that would have otherwise have been experienced by rainfed maize, wheat, rice and soybean. This suggests that crop "migration" has thus far been an important adaptive mechansim.

Sloat et al. 2020

How do non-carbon priorities affect zero-carbon electricity systems?
Applied Energy | May 1, 2020

Project scientist Tarroja analyzes the relationship between in-state freshwater consumption and levelized cost of electricity for four electricity mix scenarios designed to achieve zero-carbon electricity in California by 2045.

Tarroja et al. 2020

Flexibility and intensity of global water use
Nature Sustainability | June 3, 2019

Some water uses are more or less flexible than others due to larger curtailment costs or social impacts. We construct and present a new water stress index that integrates water scarcity, flexibility, and variability, and use it to evaluate the most-stressed basins worldwide.

Qin et al. 2019

Selected Press: Nature