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Stanford Earth Matters

Stanford Earth Matters covers insights, discoveries, and solutions from the organizations forming the new Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

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About 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.

Building windows with air conditioning units

How can we harness wind and improve airflow to benefit society?

A scholar looks at how wind affects the sustainability and resiliency of buildings and cities, and how we can improve ventilation in homes and other structures. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Young students sit at a table with a teacher in a classroom near sunlit windows

Wildfire smoke exposure hurts learning outcomes

Pollution from wildfires is linked to lower test scores and possibly lower future earnings for kids growing up with more smoke days at school, a new study finds. Impacts of smoke exposure on earnings are disproportionately borne by economically disadvantaged communities of color.

A fire crew conducts a prescribed burn in California’s Lassen National Forest.

Empowering private landowners to prevent wildfires

Controlled burning has proven effective at reducing wildfire risks, but a lack of insurance has dissuaded private landowners from implementing the practice. Policy expert Michael Wara discusses soon-to-be-enacted legislation that would pay for fire damages to neighboring properties in California. (Source: Stanford News)

A barefoot man in shorts and a T-shirt holds the charger for a black electric vehicle parked in a driveway

Charging cars at home at night is not the way to go, Stanford study finds

The move to electric vehicles will result in large costs for generating, transmitting, and storing more power. Shifting current EV charging from home to work and night to day could cut costs and help the grid, according to a new Stanford study. (Source: Stanford News)

Yellow wildfire smoke pollution over a residential neighborhood

Wildfire smoke is unraveling decades of air quality gains

Stanford researchers have developed an AI model for predicting dangerous particle pollution to help track the American West’s rapidly worsening wildfire smoke. The detailed results show millions of Americans are routinely exposed to pollution at levels rarely seen just a decade ago.

A glacier rises from calm seawater against a cloudy sky

A scientist uses radar technology to map the insides of ice sheets

The technique helps us understand ice sheets right here on Earth -- and whether there could be life far, far beyond. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Cars are partially submerged in brown floodwaters on a residential street in New Brunswick, NJ

Stanford researchers discuss equity in storm planning and response

Hurricanes and severe storms exacerbate inequalities. Ahead of a Sept. 21 webinar on the subject, Stanford experts discussed how to ensure equity in planning and response for such extreme weather events, economic benefits of nature-based storm defenses, and related issues. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Illustration of a blue planet encircled by three green rings against a sky blue background

Will AI help or perpetuate the climate crisis?

Panelists in the Advancing Technology for a Sustainable Planet workshop detailed AI’s energy and regulatory challenges. (Source: Stanford HAI)

Glacier next to ocean

Are we missing a crucial component of sea-level rise?

Across Antarctica, some parts of the base of the ice sheet are frozen, while others are thawed. Scientists show that if some currently frozen areas were also to thaw, it could increase ice loss from glaciers that are not currently major sea-level contributors.

Costa Rican naturalist and Stanford research collaborator Dunia Villalobos examines a river in Las Cruces, Costa Rica

Riverfront forest restoration can deliver outsized benefits

Analysis reveals how restoring relatively narrow forest buffers could substantially improve regional water quality and carbon storage in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Such changes could have outsized benefits for vulnerable populations that rely on rivers for their water supply. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Colorado River, Canyonlands National Park

As Colorado River wanes, water supplies and ecosystems hang in the balance

A study analyzes water transactions that leave water in the river, and shows how they could be scaled up to avert cuts for major water users while supporting imperiled ecosystems. (Source: Water in the West)

Scientists in a boat tag a tiger shark in turquoise water

Scientists take a deep dive into how sharks use the ocean

Researchers compiled the largest set of biologging data revealing how 38 species of sharks, rays, and skates move vertically in oceans around the world. (Source: Stanford News)

A beaver chews on vegetation in a beaver pond

Q&A: Harnessing the power of nature to address water and climate challenges

A Stanford water policy expert discusses how investments in nature could simultaneously help states bolster water supplies and achieve their climate goals. (Source: Stanford News)

Rough cut diamond with red and blue light against a black background

Capturing high pressures in diamond capsules

Scientists have created diamond capsules that can entrap other phases and preserve high pressure conditions even after returning the capsules to low pressure. The technique mimics the process in nature where diamonds can have inclusions that are only stable at high pressure.

Sea turtle

Bioindicators for monitoring plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean

Key marine species can serve as bioindicators to measure how much plastic exists in different ocean regions. (Source: Stanford News)

Gloved hand holds a single battery cell

Deep-dive into the science of batteries

Stanford researchers are working to understand battery degradation, reveal the true toll of their production and disposal, and make next-generation batteries better. (Source: Stanford News)

Photographer near Fagradalsfjall volcano in 2021

Four questions for Paul Segall on the Iceland volcano

Stanford geophysicist Paul Segall discusses the Fagradalsfjall volcano currently erupting 20 miles southwest of Reykjavík, Iceland. (Source: Stanford News)

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