Pacific Ocean’s response to greenhouse gases extends California’s drought

Alison Hewitt

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today’s increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries, according to a study led by UCLA professor Glen MacDonald. The study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long and even…



Students’ pop-song video parodies teach real science

Pedro Ramirez

It’s also hard to imagine the rapper Macklemore ever reshaping his parody “Thrift Shop” into an ode to the Coriolis effect. But those are two of the entertaining student-made music videos that have appeared over the years in UCLA professor Aradhna Tripati’s classroom film festivals in “Intro to Oceanography.” With thumping bass and catchy hooks,…



Methane and microbes—making life happen

Belinda Waymouth

But it’s the interaction between the two that truly made life possible—and it may even hold solutions for climate change. As far as greenhouse gases measure up, methane is a heavyweight—25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But life as we know it wouldn’t exist without methane and the microbes that eat it. Earth’s entire…



College kids: What will their lives be like?

Peter Kareiva

I just finished my first year at UCLA, where I got to know eight graduating seniors quite well. I now feel that “youth as our hope” platitudes have merit. That begs a question: What might their lives be like? We all know there is angst among our graduates about jobs, and about the uncertain economic…



Environmental lobbying’s clean little secret

David Colgan

The public perception is that lobbyists fight for lax regulations, saving businesses money by allowing more pollution—often at great cost to public health and natural resources. That’s only one side of the story. Green firms lobby, too. And they’re spending nearly as much as the biggest polluters, according to a recent study from UCLA’s Institute…



Earth Day: then and now

Peter Kareiva

The first Earth Day was covered for ten hours by The Today Show in 1970—a time when there was no cable television and network coverage meant a lot more than it does now. Nobody counted the exact numbers, but it is estimated there were at least 35,000 teach-ins around the United States. Congress took April…