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Climate Change

Climate Change Influencing Freshwater Mountain Runoff, Research Shows

As the climate warms, sources of the water so critical to life everywhere on Earth are drying up.

By the end of this century, communities dependent on freshwater from mountain-fed rivers could see significantly less water, according to a new climate model recently released by University of California researchers.

For example, people who get freshwater from the Kings River could see a 26 percent decrease in river flow.

UC Cooperative Extension Positions to Connect Research, Community

Two UC Cooperative Extension specialists are being deployed to UC Merced to take advantage of its location at the center of California agriculture and build on ongoing research into agriculturally significant matters related to climate, food security and nutrition.

The two UCCE specialists, from the UC Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, will help further connect campus research with local farmers and residents.

New Center Seeks Better Ways to Communicate Climate Issues

Climate change is creating two problems. One is understanding and addressing its impact on the world. The other is convincing large swaths of the public that it is, in fact, a reality.

In an effort to spur people to take action to prevent ecological disaster, researchers with the new UC Merced Center for Climate Communications are studying the best ways to spread the message.

NSF Early Career Award Honors Professor’s Research and Potential

The National Science Foundation is honoring UC Merced Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe with a Faculty Early Career Development Award to support her examination of how soil helps regulate the climate.

The awards are given to junior faculty members who “who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations,” the NSF said.

Professor’s Passion for Monkey Flower Leads to Genetic Discoveries

The environment affects the way genetic populations move, and similar environments likely play a bigger role in how a species develops than does geographic distance.

Those are just two of the discoveries Professor Jason Sexton has made while studying the monkey flower, a California native that is practically in his back yard, now that he has joined UC Merced.

Professor’s Paper in Nature Communications Indicates Deep Sea Changes

Large, naturally occurring low-oxygen zones in the Pacific appear to be expanding, and there is a sharp change in the number of bacteria that produce and consume different forms of toxic sulfur, according to a UC Merced researcher’s latest paper in Nature Communications.

These expanding deoxygenated zones could also contribute to climate change, which, in turn, appears to contribute to their growth.

Natural Reserve Earns Regents’ Approval

The protected land adjoining the northeast corner of campus is officially part of the UC Natural Reserve System now that the UC Board of Regents gave the proposed reserve final approval today at its January meeting.  

The Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is the 39th reserve in the statewide system, adding more than 6,500 acres to the more than 750,000 acres already being conserved and studied. UC Merced’s reserve, though, is the first one in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first one in the heart of the greater Central Valley.

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