Thwaites Glacier figured prominently in an assessment by UCI faculty of ice mass balance in Antarctica that was among the 10 climate research stories from 2018 receiving the most media coverage. Photo courtesy of the National Science Foundation

Carbon Brief, a website devoted to the analysis of energy policy and climate change science, has published a list of the 10 climate research papers in 2018 that received the most global media attention, and two originated at UCI. The rankings are based on scores tabulated by Altmetric, which tracks and measures exposure of academic papers appearing in top journals. Placing third on the list is a study by Steven Davis, UCI associate professor of Earth system science, and Nathan Mueller, UCI assistant professor of Earth system science, as well as others, that was published Oct. 15, 2018, in Nature Plants. It projected that increased heat and drought caused by global climate change would diminish the world’s beer supply. The research garnered significant notice in the news media, resulting in articles by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today and broadcast coverage by local and national outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Fourth on the list is an assessment of the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet by UCI authors Eric Rignot, chair and Donald Bren Professor of Earth System Science, and Isabella Velicogna, professor of Earth system science, as well as others, that was published June 13, 2018, in Nature. The story, which described the accelerated melting of Antarctica’s glaciers and the resulting increase in global sea levels, was covered by hundreds of media outlets around the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and “NBC Nightly News.” These studies and many other projects drawing media attention in 2018 helped solidify the reputation of UCI’s Department of Earth System Science as a world leader in climate research.