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Small device on ice sheet with sun in background

Solar radio signals could be used to monitor melting ice sheets

A new method for seeing through ice sheets using radio signals from the sun could enable cheap, low-power and widespread monitoring of ice sheet evolution and contribution to sea-level rise.

Neighborhood with several feet of flooding

Sea-level rise may worsen existing Bay Area inequities

Researchers examined the number of households unable to pay for damages from coastal flooding to reveal how sea-level rise could threaten the fabric of Bay Area communities over the next 40 years.

Peel River

Longest known continuous record of the Paleozoic discovered in Yukon wilderness

Stanford-led expeditions to a remote area of Yukon, Canada, have uncovered a 120-million-year-long geological record of a time when land plants and complex animals first evolved and ocean oxygen levels began to approach those in the modern world.

Tree roots

Stanford ecologists develop a theory about how plants ‘pay’ their microbes

Combining economics, psychology and studies of fertilizer application, researchers find that plants nearly follow an “equal pay for equal work” rule when giving resources to partner microbes – except when those microbes underperform.

East Troublesome Fire, Colorado

Tips to protect against wildfire smoke

Warnings of another severe wildfire season abound, as do efforts to reduce the risk of ignition. Yet few are taking precautions against the smoke. Stanford experts advise on contending with hazardous air quality.

Cornfield

Using nature's miracle bugs to help feed the world

It takes massive energy to make nitrogen fertilizer. Modified bacteria can do it at room temperature.

Muskrat on lake ice

Stanford research shows muskrats are a bellwether for a drying delta

Downstream of hydroelectric dams and Alberta’s oil sands, one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas is drying out. New Stanford University research suggests long-term drying is making it harder for muskrats to recover from massive die-offs. It’s a sign of threats to come for many other species.

Crops with industry pollution in background

Cleaner air has boosted U.S. corn and soybean yields

The analysis estimates pollution reductions between 1999 and 2019 contributed to about 20 percent of the increase in corn and soybean yield gains during that period – an amount worth about $5 billion per year.

Flooded plants

Floods may be nearly as important as droughts for future carbon accounting

In a 34-year global analysis, researchers found that photosynthesis – an important process for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in soil – was controlled by extreme wet events nearly as often as droughts in certain locations.

Electric vehicle charging stations

Simona Onori: How ready are we for our electric future?

An expert in energy resources engineering says “battery biopsies” are key to a tomorrow filled with electric vehicles. (Source: The Future of Everything)

Venus

Venus mission: Is Earth's twin still geologically active?

Much about Earth’s closest planetary neighbor, Venus, remains a mystery. Algorithms and techniques pioneered by Stanford Professor Howard Zebker’s research group will help to guide a search for active volcanoes and tectonic plate movements as part of a recently announced NASA mission to Venus.

Monarch tagging

A climate change solution: Invest in environmental education

Governments need to double down on investments and innovation in educating youth and communities about the environment if future generations are to be able to respond effectively and with appropriate urgency to the climate emergency, according to Stanford researchers. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Fault rupture

What causes earthquake foreshocks?

Because foreshocks precede larger quakes, they have long presented the tantalizing prospect of warning of potentially damaging earthquakes. But to date, they have only been recognized in hindsight, and scientists for decades have sought to understand the physical processes that drive them. Computer modeling by Stanford geophysicists finds answers in the complex geometry of faults.

Recharge pond

Finding the 'sweet spots' for managed aquifer recharge

Rapidly worsening drought and a mandate to bring aquifer withdrawals and deposits into balance by 2040 have ignited interest in replenishing California groundwater through managed aquifer recharge. Stanford scientists demonstrate a new way to assess sites for this type of project using soil measurements and a geophysical system towed by an all-terrain vehicle.

Cement plant from above

For a low-carbon cement recipe, Stanford scientists look to Earth’s cauldrons

As the most-used building material on the planet and one of the world’s largest industrial contributors to global warming, concrete has long been a target for reinvention. Stanford scientists say replacing one of concrete’s main ingredients with volcanic rock could slash carbon emissions from manufacture of the material by nearly two-thirds.

Social cost of carbon concept

Stanford explainer: The social cost of carbon

In a Q&A, Stanford economists describe what the social cost of carbon is, how it is calculated and used in policymaking, and how it relates to environmental justice. (Source: Stanford News)

Phytoplankton

Fungus creates a fast track for carbon

New research focused on interactions among microbes in water suggests fungal microparasites play a bigger than expected role in aquatic food webs and the global carbon cycle.

Traffic on the Oakland Bridge

Coastal flooding increases Bay Area traffic delays and accidents

Disruptions from sea level rise and coastal flooding events have significant indirect impacts on urban traffic networks and road safety.

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