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Stanford Earth Matters

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Solutions

Watch Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment's series of discussions about policy, energy, and environmental challenges.

Perspectives

Read commentary and opinions on sustainability, Earth, and environmental science from Stanford experts.

Books

Discover books that can spark curiosity about our planet and conversations about the ways we live, think, and learn.

raindrops over green field

An A.I. solution to climate models’ gravity wave problem

Stanford scientists are among a growing number of researchers harnessing artificial intelligence techniques to bring more realistic representations of ubiquitous atmospheric ripples into global climate models

Yellowstone river - external link

Four questions for Liz Hadly

The Stanford environmental biologist and global change specialist discusses recent flooding in Yellowstone National Park – and what it means for the future of the planet. (Source: Stanford News)

Solar concentrator illustration - external link

New optical device could help solar arrays focus light, even under clouds

Researchers imagined, designed, and tested an elegant lens device that can efficiently gather light from all angles and concentrate it at a fixed output position. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Green book in sunlight

Summer reading: Inspiring curiosity and critical thinking about sustainability

Faculty and scholars associated with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability recommend these 26 books for your summer reading. 

Graphic with batteries

New model offers potential solutions for next-generation battery challenges

A new mathematical model has brought together the physics and chemistry of highly promising lithium-metal batteries, providing researchers with plausible, fresh solutions to a problem known to cause degradation and failure.

Child points to hazy Seattle skyline

Climate change and air pollution impacts on children’s health

Children are more likely than adults to suffer health impacts due to environmental impacts. Kari Nadeau of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research discusses related risks, as well as what caregivers and health care workers can do about them.

road with earthquake damage - external link

Data is transforming our understanding of natural disasters

In this episode of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything, geophysicist Eric Dunham details how new types of data collection and faster computers are helping our knowledge of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes – and how to prepare for them. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Aerial view of coastal mobile home park in Pacifica, Calif.

Researchers reveal add-on benefits of natural defenses against sea-level rise

Researchers modeled how investing in environmental conservation and protection can help San Mateo County adapt to rising seas. The findings provide incentives for policymakers to prioritize nature-based approaches when planning for sea-level rise.

Irrigation canal and wheat field

When will California's San Joaquin Valley stop sinking?

A Stanford University study simulates 65 years of land subsidence, or sinking, caused by groundwater depletion in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The results suggest significant sinking may continue for centuries after water levels stop declining but could slow within a few years if aquifers recover.

Rice fields with karst formations in Guangxi, China

Less air pollution leads to higher crop yields, study shows

New analysis shows crop yields could increase by about 25% in China and up to 10% in other parts of the world if emissions of a common air pollutant decreased by about half. 

Technicians in yellow hazmat suits load an experiment at an Advanced Test Reactor

Small modular reactors produce high levels of nuclear waste

Small modular reactors, long touted as the future of nuclear energy, will actually generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants, according to research from Stanford and the University of British Columbia.

West Texas oil activity

Earthquakes from oil field wastewater

Underground disposal of wastewater from fossil fuel production in the nation’s largest oil field is causing long-dormant faults to slip in a way that could damage wells, according to new analyses of satellite and seismicity data.

Moving samples in lab

Q&A: Tracking COVID infections through wastewater

Researchers have developed a system for monitoring COVID prevalence on campus and collaborated with public health officers on an epidemiology project serving a number of communities across California. (Source: Stanford News)

Smoky sunset over Sierra Nevada - external link

How to fight climate change

Environmental scientist Chris Field explains why taking on climate change will require that we continue to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of increasing temperatures. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Power lines against pink clouds

Electricity imports within U.S. associated with about 700 premature deaths annually, study finds

More than half of the premature deaths associated with electricity use in most of California and the Northwest occur in other western states that supply electricity to the West Coast.

Tractor on a paddy field in Mekong Delta, Vietnam - External link

Saving the Mekong River Delta from drowning

Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Researchers recommend policy solutions including strict regulation of sediment mining, limits on groundwater pumping, and coordination among countries, development agencies and other private and civil society stakeholders. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Coral with sunlight

Understanding how sunscreens damage coral

Stanford researchers reveal a mechanism by which oxybenzone, a common sunscreen component, may damage reefs. The surprising findings could help guide the development and marketing of effective, coral-safe sunscreens.

Generation Dread book cover - external link

Climate grief researcher Britt Wray discusses new book

Planetary Postdoctoral Health Fellow Britt Wray discusses her recently published book about dealing with climate anxiety and her own path to finding purpose in a chaotic time. (Source: Stanford News)

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