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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.

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)

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)

Schrenkiella parvula - external link

How one ‘extreme’ plant could help biologists engineer climate-resistant crops

Stanford biologist José Dinneny is studying why one plant grows faster in stressful conditions. His results could help scientists engineer food and biofuel crops to survive in harsher environments. (Source: Stanford News)

Soil microbe illustration - external link

How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis

Researchers discover that a spot of molecular glue and a timely twist help a bacterial enzyme convert carbon dioxide into carbon compounds 20 times faster than plant enzymes do during photosynthesis. The results stand to accelerate progress toward converting carbon dioxide into a variety of products. (Source: SLAC)

Aerial view of Golden Gate Park and city of San Francisco - external link

Massive conservation effort

California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Three mosaics of Titan

Scientists model landscape formation on Titan, revealing an Earth-like alien world

A new hypothesis reveals that a global sedimentary cycle driven by seasons could explain the formation of landscapes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The research shows the alien world may be more Earth-like than previously thought.

Hydrogen illustration

Reversible fuel cells can support grid economically

Integrated reversible power-to-gas systems can also convert hydrogen back to electricity as a backup power source surprisingly economically, new research finds.

Graphic of double ridges on Jupiter's moon Europa

Explanation for formation of abundant features on Europa bodes well for search for extraterrestrial life

Ice-penetrating radar data from Greenland suggests that shallow water pockets may be common within Europa’s ice shell, increasing the potential habitability of the Jovian moon’s ice shell.

Chili peppers drying (external link)

Researchers team with smallholder farmers to address 'the dried chilies problem'

Stanford researchers worked with chili farmers in India for more than four years to develop a solar-powered technology to improve the quality, quantity, and profitability of dried agricultural produce. A new study addresses not only technical challenges, but also barriers to adoption. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

Mount Whitney

Stanford's Richard Nevle discusses his new book

Richard Nevle, deputy director of Stanford’s Earth Systems Program, discusses his new collection of essays about the Sierra Nevada mountain range, The Paradise Notebooks.

Child studying by lantern light

Study finds high energy use provides little benefit for health and well-being in richer nations

Analysis of data from 140 countries suggests many rich countries could use less energy per capita without compromising health, happiness or prosperity. Countries struggling with energy poverty may be able to maximize well-being with less energy than previously thought.

The Moon

Why do we see the Man in the Moon?

New research shows how the impact that created the Moon’s South Pole–Aitken basin is linked to the stark contrast in composition and appearance between the two sides of the Moon.

Net-zero concept illustration - external link

Are big companies’ net-zero pledges a well-intentioned shell game?

The world of climate promises and carbon offsets is “like the Wild West, where anything goes,” says Stefan Reichelstein. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)

Oil derrick and wind turbines

Stanford energy expert discusses UN climate report

Energy expert Inês Azevedo, a lead author of the energy chapter in the United Nations’ new report on climate mitigation, discusses the assessment and changes necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Energy technology is ready, she says, but time is short.

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