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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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Geothermal

Lessons from Pohang: Solving geothermal energy's earthquake problem

A geothermal energy project triggered a damaging earthquake in 2017 in South Korea. A new analysis suggests flaws in some of the most common ways of trying to minimize the risk of such quakes when harnessing the Earth’s heat for energy.

Energy

When 100% renewable energy doesn't mean zero carbon

As power grids move away from fossil fuels, companies seeking to cut out carbon emissions will have to go beyond commitments to renewables. The type and timing of renewable energy used can have a big effect on environmental benefits. 

Dry landscape

Domino droughts: How droughts travel across continents

New research finds one drought can amplify or trigger another. Decreased moisture recycling and transport impacts how droughts form and move across continents.

Engine

Can we reduce jet engine pollution while improving fuel efficiency?

A new type of combustion chamber could create a win-win for alternative fuel technologies.

Mouse

In a first, researchers identify reddish coloring in an ancient fossil

X-rays reveal an extinct mouse was dressed in brown to reddish fur on its back and sides and had a tiny white tummy.

Cattle

A counterintuitive climate solution

A relatively simple process for converting one greenhouse gas into another could help turn the tide of climate change while also turning a healthy profit.

Forest

Mapping microbial symbioses in forests

Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveals patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria.

Wheat

A better way to predict Australian wheat yields

New research harnesses machine learning to accurately predict Australian wheat yields using climate and satellite data. The method could be translated to other crops and nations.

Reservoir

Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians

Stanford scientists and water experts discuss how California can secure a safe and reliable water supply.

San Francisco Bay

Can a drone reveal the murky secrets of San Francisco Bay?

Measurements of suspended sediment concentrations reveal a lot about the health of a waterway, but until now such data has been difficult to obtain.

Solar school

What happens when schools go solar?

Rooftop solar projects at schools could reduce harmful air pollution, help the environment and enhance student learning while cutting electricity costs, a new study finds.

Bottles

Reassessing how to 'waste not'

Recycling is becoming harder and more expensive in the U.S. and policymakers are increasingly seeking solutions to mounting trash. Stanford experts are reassessing how we create and dispose of waste.

New Delhi

Climate change has worsened global economic inequality

The gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming, according to new research from Stanford University.

Water

Understanding saltwater intrusion through remote sensing

New research provides insight on a common cause of drinking water contamination in coastal areas: intrusion of ocean saltwater into freshwater aquifers.

Capitol Building

Q&A: The potential for congressional action on climate change

The political landscape has changed, potentially opening a window for meaningful policies to combat global warming. Stanford experts discuss opportunities and prospects for change.

Offshore wind

What will it take for California to meet its climate goals?

A panel of energy experts including former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz discuss investments and innovations that could help California get on track to meet its 2030 and 2050 climate goals.

Tulare

Where will flooded fields best replenish groundwater?

Overpumping in California’s Central Valley has depleted groundwater storage capacity and caused the land to sink. A new model based on remote sensing data could help zero in on where water managers can replenish aqu

Tiger

Conservation clues from scant DNA

The challenges of collecting DNA samples directly from endangered species makes understanding and protecting them harder. A new approach promises cheap, rapid analysis of genetic clues in degraded and left-behind ma

Solar panels

Do solar panels and home batteries save energy?

Thinking about investing in rooftop solar? Probably a good idea environmentally almost anywhere, Stanford researchers find. Eyeing a home battery, too? Think again.

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