Explore major developments in environmental science and policy with Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.
Read commentary and opinions on sustainability, Earth and environmental science from Stanford experts.
Discover books that can spark curiosity about our planet and conversations about the ways we live, think and learn.
Natural gas stoves release methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and other pollutants through leaks and incomplete combustion. Stanford researchers estimate that methane leaking from stoves inside U.S. homes has the same climate impact as about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and the stoves can expose people to respiratory disease-triggering pollutants. VIDEO
Geologists have long assumed that the evolution of land plants enabled rivers to form snakelike meanders, but a review of recent research overturns that classic theory – and it calls for a reinterpretation of the rock record.
Despite persistent efforts by the U.S. government to eradicate Indigenous farming and ranching practices, they are regaining currency in an American West stressed by drought, diminishing resources and climate change. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)
New modeling suggests giant, cool blobs of titanium-rich rocks sinking down to the ancient Moon’s hot core could have produced intermittently strong magnetic fields for the first billion years of the Moon’s history.
Read an excerpt from Settling Climate Accounts on the emerging practice of Net Zero finance. The new book is an edited volume of essays by Stanford researchers that offers technical analysis wrapped in narrative accounts of climate action past, present, and future. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)
Islands of inactive lithium creep like worms to reconnect with their electrodes, restoring a battery’s capacity and lifespan. (Source: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories and some of our most read research coverage from a year of uncertainty, adaptation and discovery.
New research shows that physics measurements of just a small portion of reef can be used to assess the health of an entire reef system. The findings may help scientists grasp how these important ecosystems will respond to a changing climate.
A Stanford University study shows chaos reigns earlier in midlatitude weather models as temperatures rise. The result? Climate change could be shifting the limits of weather predictability and pushing reliable 10-day forecasts out of reach.
A team of researchers argues that AI enables a form of congestion pricing that could reduce traffic jams and minimize wealth inequality through refunds.
In a series of recent papers, Stanford Graduate School of Business accounting professor emeritus Stefan Reichelstein and colleagues have argued that we should require corporations to disclose their CO2 emissions in their annual reports. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)
With feet and legs like a peregrine falcon, engineers have created a robot that can perch and carry objects like a bird. Possible applications include search and rescue, wildfire monitoring and environmental research.
Decarbonizing global transportation requires building a huge quantity of batteries so fleets can convert to electric power. This will mean more mining to supply the lightweight metal lithium. So far, most lithium has come from Australia, South America, and China, but eyes are turning to deposits in the United States. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)
Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, can be captured and transformed into protein-rich feed for farmed fish – an increasingly important food sector. A new analysis shows how to make the approach more cost-effective than current fish feeds.
Water resources could be pushed beyond recovery in a region that provides about a quarter of the U.S. food supply.
"Climate’s impact on health allows us to put our arms around a problem," says Michele Barry, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health. "When you bring health into the equation, all of a sudden, people can focus on the impact – the very real impact – on their lives." (Source: Stanford Medicine)
As climate conditions change, tree species are shifting their ranges. Wildfire is accelerating this process, likely by reducing competition from established species – a finding that raises questions about how to manage land in an era of shifting ecosystems.
Key ideas and proposals from an agreement between the hydropower industry and environmental community, facilitated through a Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Uncommon Dialogue, have been included in the $1 trillion infrastructure package adopted by the U.S. Senate. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)