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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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Coachella Valley

Who owns the aquifer?

A Stanford study reveals the changing scope of Native American groundwater rights – and opportunities for better freshwater management.

Adriatic

Trawling ban did not hurt fishing communities

New research shows fishers who complied with a moratorium in the Adriatic Sea maintained catch levels by fishing in other areas. The findings help justify extending regional protection and provide insight for ocean management elsewhere.

water

New technique brings clean hydrogen fuel one step closer

A new method could pave the way to producing hydrogen fuel in large quantities at dramatically lower costs compared to current processes that rely on platinum.

Bighorn sheep

How would a border wall affect wildlife?

Federal plans to complete a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico boundary would threaten the existence of numerous plant and animal species. Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo look at the region’s unique natural ecosystems, and what they have to lose.

Drinking water

Natural chromium sources threaten California groundwater

A study shows natural sources of hexavalent chromium are affecting more people and wells in California than industrial sources. But groundwater pumping may accelerate release of this carcinogen.

Parched Earth

Warming temperatures could increase suicides

By comparing historical temperature and suicide data, researchers found a strong correlation between warm weather and increased suicides.

Solar panels and wind turbines.

A new, cheaper way to store energy from wind and solar

A new type of flow battery that involves a liquid metal more than doubled the maximum voltage of conventional flow batteries and could lead to affordable storage of renewable power.

Children march for climate justice.

Public support for climate policy remains strong

A new study shows Americans support renewable energy and want global warming reduced. But Americans often don’t realize how many others share their beliefs.

Strawberries

Strawberry fields forever? Baja turning to seawater to grow lucrative crop

In an arid region south of Tijuana, strawberries grown for export have become so valuable, farmers keep trying to grow more, and are allowed to use more groundwater than nature replenishes.

Arctic

Finding the pulse of the polar vortex

A new analysis of how air moves between two layers of Earth’s atmosphere reveals a deep system that could enable long-term weather forecasts and better climate models.

Fishing boat

Expanding social responsibility in fisheries

Egregious human rights abuses in the global fishing industry gained international attention two years ago. Where do we stand now? And what will it take to prioritize human wellbeing as much as environmental responsibility in sustainable seafood?

Nuclear cooling tower

The steep costs of nuclear waste in the U.S.

Expert Rodney C. Ewing discusses how failure to implement a permanent solution for nuclear waste storage and disposal is costing Americans billions of dollars per year. 

Mount Sinabung

Learning through sound

The audible world contains vast amounts of information about the world around us. Scholars from across Stanford are exploring this invisible landscape as a research tool and as a way of understanding each other.

Wind energy

Q&A: Getting to Net-Zero Emissions

Stanford researchers discuss what it will take to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, including technology development and political barriers to overcome.

Florida beach

Unintended consequences in a new era for U.S. ocean policies

The federal government rescinded the Obama-era National Ocean Policy and replaced it with new policies intended to promote jobs and national security. Stanford experts examine potential unintended implications.

traffic

Are driverless cars bad for the environment?

Four experts at the 2018 Silicon Valley Energy Summit debated whether autonomous vehicles will hurt the natural and human environment.

Seaside book

Summer reading: Illuminating our relationship with the planet

Faculty at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recommend these 31 books for your summer reading. 

Lagos

Air pollution a major cause of infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa

Satellite measurements of air quality across sub-Saharan Africa revealed small improvements in air quality could be one of the most effective interventions to curb infant mortality rates.

Port Arthur

Bracing for sea level rise to boost national security

Storm season is upon us, the federal flood insurance plan is broken and sea level rise continues unabated. Stanford climate and policy experts Alice Hill and Katharine Mach look at issues related to rising seas with an eye toward increasing resilience and security.

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