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Stanford Earth Matters

Science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment

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A roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030

An international group of experts, including Stanford Earth system scientist Rob Jackson, has published a roadmap of the most viable solutions for slashing greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2030. 

Transnational corporations increasingly align business models to support stable planet

Some of the world’s largest transnational corporations are changing their business models to acknowledge their impact on climate and biodiversity. A new analysis indicates a significant shift in corporate values. 

Researchers offer practical guide to planning and achieving green growth

Economic development plans often overlook a crucial detail – ecosystems that provide essential services to people. Stanford experts discuss a new sustainable development approach that balances the needs of people and nature.

Catalyst opens way to sustainable fuels from carbon dioxide

A new way to convert carbon dioxide into the building block for sustainable liquid fuels was very efficient in tests and did not have the reaction that destroys the conventional device.

Cars in traffic

Stanford Law’s Deborah Sivas on proposed rollback of key climate change regulations

Environmental Law expert Professor Deborah Sivas explains how planned deregulations by the Trump Administration will impact climate change.

Drone at a methane leak test site

New ways to find natural gas leaks quickly

Finding natural gas leaks more quickly and at lower cost could reduce methane emissions. Ten promising technologies mounted on drones, trucks and airplanes were tested last year. The results are in.

View from a satellite of smoke caused by a fire in Borneo

Satellite data can reveal fire susceptibility in peatlands

Fires in Southeast Asian peatlands release huge amounts of carbon, along with deadly smoke. Now, new satellite measurements of soil moisture may offer a promising approach to reducing those fires and their widespread haze.

Sengal river with people

Investigating obstacles to disease eradication

The realities of subsistence living in a region of Senegal hard hit by schistosomiasis make reinfection likely, despite mass drug administration. Stanford researchers find that engaging communities in the design of disease control programs could help.

Water

Making California’s water supply resilient

Stanford researchers examine effective strategies to rising water scarcity concerns in the context of climate change.

Vintage film shows Thwaites Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica melting faster than previously observed

Newly available archival film has revealed the eastern ice shelf of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previous estimates, suggesting the shelf may collapse sooner than expected.

Ancient die-off greater than the dinosaur extinction

When significant oxygen entered the atmosphere, ancient life multiplied. But after a few hundred million years, Earth’s oxygen plummeted, resulting in a die-off likely greater than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Wildire

Native approaches to fire management could revitalize communities

In collaboration with tribes in Northern California, researchers examined traditional fire management practices and found that these approaches, if expanded, could strengthen cultures and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

cars at charging stations

New coating developed by Stanford researchers brings lithium metal battery closer to reality

A Stanford-led research team invented a new coating that could finally make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and long lasting, which could usher in the next generation of electric vehicles.

Q&A: Modeling an exoplanet’s atmosphere

New research using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has provided a rare glimpse at the surface of a rocky planet outside our solar system. The planet may be similar to Mercury or Earth’s moon, with little to no atmosphere.

Ocean

The case for managed retreat

Katharine Mach and Miyuki Hino make the case for managed retreat for vulnerable communities in the face of climate change.

Olympic National Park

Researchers explain earthquakes we can’t feel

Researchers have explained mysterious slow-moving earthquakes known as slow slip events with the help of computer simulations. The answer, they learned, is in rocks’ pores.

water drop

Stanford researchers find smart faucets could aid in water conservation

An experiment with a water-saving “smart” faucet shows potential for reducing water use. The catch? Unbeknownst to study participants, the faucet’s smarts came from its human controller.

How much longer will trees absorb carbon dioxide?

By analyzing decades of experiments, researchers mapped the potential of carbon dioxide to increase forest biomass by the end of the century, when atmospheric concentrations of the gas could nearly double. This, in turn, will enable plants and trees to store more carbon.

Cars on highway

Q&A: How the catalytic converters in cars go bad and why it matters

A new way to arrange the hard-working atoms in this part of an exhaust system could lower the cost of curbing pollution from automotive engines.

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