Fearsome Sharks of Today Evolved When Ancient Oceans Got Hot

UCR biologists Tim Higham and Phil Sternes conducted research showing that when the ocean got very hot approximately 122 million years ago, some sharks abandoned their habitat on the seafloor and moved up into the open ocean. That ascent may have altered their fin and body structure, which led to changes in their size and ability to swim.
The New York Times | July 8, 2024

Ancient Californian tree that has lived for 13,000 years and survived the Ice Age is now in grave danger due to modern-day crisis

UCR's Andy Sanders shares his thoughts on an ancient Californian tree that has lived for 13,000 years and survived the Ice Age.
The Daily Mail UK | July 7, 2024

How Science Is Helping Us Understand Human Sacrifice

UCR anthropologist Nawa Sugiyama weighs in on a new study that considers ancient human sacrifice among the Maya of Central America.
The Wall Street Journal | July 3, 2024

Stunning trilobite fossils include soft tissues never seen before

Says Nigel Hughes about exquisitely preserved trilobite fossils, “The clarity of the preservation is astonishing and is of fundamental importance.”
Science News | June 27, 2024

Greenhouse gases can help us find advanced alien civilisations, scientists say

UCR astrobiologist Eddie Schwieterman led a study showing how scientists could use certain artificial greenhouse gases to identify a faraway planet inhabited by intelligent life. 
The Independent UK | June 26, 2024

Why Is It So Hard to Get a Basic Question Answered About My IUD?

Resarch by Chikako Takeshita, associate professor with the Department of Society, Environment, and Health Equity, is included in this Slate article about the IUD.
Slate | June 26, 2024

Bizarre alien activity could now be spotted by James Webb telescope

Our search for extraterrestrial life might have just got a whole lot easier. Now, if aliens so much as modify a planet in their solar system to make it warmer, we would be able to tell. That's thanks to a new study led by UCR astrobiologist Eddie Schwieterman, which has identified the artificial greenhouse gases that would be obvious giveaways of a terraformed planet (one that has been artificially modified to be hospitable for life).
BBC Science Focus | June 25, 2024

Iowa’s water needs protection from aquifer raiders

Article cites University of California-Riverside researcher Shaolei Ren, who estimates that ChatGPT uses up to 500 milliliters of water (about a 16-ounce water bottle) every time it’s asked a series of five-50 prompts or questions. That’s a lot of water down the drain.

Experts: Nation needs to prepare for next pandemic, even if it's not bird flu

Brandon Brown, a professor of public health at UCR's School of Medicine, says that although much of society has moved on from the most recent pandemic, COVID-19 is still here and new variants may emerge.
Yahoo News via UPI | June 18, 2024

How AI Is Fueling a Boom in Data Centers and Energy Demand

Shaolei Ren led a team of UC Riverside researchers who estimated that global AI demand could cause data centers to consume over 1 trillion gallons of fresh water by 2027. 
Time | June 12, 2024

Could applying medical nanotech to crops revolutionise farming?

UCR's Juan Pablo Giraldo, and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, argue that applying nanotechnology to agriculture may help growers meet increasing global food demands.
New Food Magazine | June 10, 2024

After Jan. 6, Twitter banned 70,000 right-wing accounts. Lies plummeted.

In the week after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, Twitter suspended some 70,000 accounts, citing their role in spreading misinformation that was fueling real-world violence. A new study led by UCR's Kevin Esterling finds the move had an immediate and widespread impact on the overall spread of bogus information on the social media site.
Washington Post | June 6, 2024

Coming to grips with a climate paradox: Less air pollution spurs more wildfires

It’s hard to fathom that there’s an upside to air pollution. But it’s becoming clear that, paradoxically, cleaning up tailpipes and smokestacks comes with a price for the planet. A study led by UCR climate scientist Robert Allen shows that as we cut polluting emissions of aerosols such as sulfur dioxide, scientists are uncovering the myriad ways these tiny, sunlight-reflecting particles have been taking some of the sting out of global warming.
Anthropocene Magazine | June 5, 2024

Reducing aerosol pollution causes more wildfires in an ironic twist of fate

A study led by UCR climatologist Robert Allen reveals a startling paradox: reducing air pollution could lead to an increase in forest fires, particularly in the vast boreal forests of the northern hemisphere.
Earth.com | June 4, 2024

How sharks survived a major spike in Earth's temperature

The sharks we know today as the open ocean's top predators evolved from stubby bottom dwellers during a dramatic episode of global warming millions of years ago, according to a new study led by UCR doctoral candidate Phillip Sternes and Professor Tim Higham.
MSN / Phys.org | June 3, 2024

Who Wants to Have Children in a Warming World?

UCR environmental scientist Jade Sasser’s new book focuses on the racial dimensions of eco-anxiety. Among her findings: Women of color are likelier to say climate change will make them have fewer children than they want.  
Wired | June 1, 2024

Invasive insect continues its spread across SoCal, killing more than 80,000 oak trees so far

Joelene Tamm, a graduate student at UC Riverside, estimates that back in 2013 there were about 20,000 to 30,000 oak trees in Southern California killed by the goldspotted oak borer. She said that number has now jumped to more than 80,000 dead oak trees as the invasive pest marches to the north.
ABC7 Eyewitness News | May 29, 2024

Most AAPI adults think the history of racism should be taught in schools, an AP-NORC poll finds

A new poll shows most Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders believe U.S. schools should teach about issues related to race. The results indicate that efforts to politicize education through culture war issues have not gained strong inroads in Asian American communities, said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a public policy professor at UCR, and founder of AAPI Data.
Associated Press | May 29, 2024

Eliminating This Common Pollutant Could Actually Lead to More Forest Fires

Reducing aerosol pollution, without simultaneously cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions, could lead to more and worse wildfires across the Northern Hemisphere, according to research led by UCR climatologist Robert Allen. Using an intricate climate model, the study researchers found that imposing strict air quality standards, while continuing to pump out carbon dioxide and methane, could significantly boost boreal fire activity in Canada, Russia, Alaska, and parts of Europe.  
Inverse | May 29, 2024

Tree-killing beetle is on a death march through Southern California’s oaks. Can it be stopped?

Joelene Tamm, a graduate student in entomology who studies the goldspotted oak borer, says the beetle could spread all the way through California and into Oregon.
The Los Angeles Times | May 28, 2024