Shakespeare might have been right when he wrote “what’s past is prologue,” but not when it comes to modeling climate change.
Many species of trees and plants have begun migrating as the climate changes, but some, like California’s giant coastal redwoods, can’t just pick up and move.
The proximity of the ocean, which has unique effects on temperature and climate, makes it challenging to predict what the redwoods’ habitat will look like in the future. By using California’s historical climate data, UC Merced researchers have developed near-term predictions about the coastal habitat for the archetypal redwoods.
The trees will need to move north to keep up with the shifting climate.
The University of California aims to lead the way to a sustainable future in the face of global warming, and UC Merced professors have contributed to a report that offers practical steps to help get there.
Note: This story originally ran in the Fall 2015 issue of UC Merced Magazine.
By Joel Patenaude
California, long envied by the rest of the country for its climate, beauty and natural resources, is four years into a drought and in the midst of a water crisis a century in the making.
With Gov. Jerry Brown imposing mandatory water restrictions on residents, the state’s staggeringly complex water woes have taken the sheen off at least some of the California dream.
The summer might mean an extended break for some in the campus community, but UC Merced researchers are busier than ever. Whether here or abroad, many professors and students are taking advantage of the time off to pursue important research projects.
Climate scientist Emmanuel Vincent noticed climate change discussions in Europe had become somewhat politically polarized before he left France a few years ago, and found the same situation on a larger scale when he came to America.
UC Merced Professor Carolin Frank is helping figure out how a certain bacteria helps promote healthy tree growth by studying the bacteria’s genome sequence.