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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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About Stanford Earth Matters

Q&A: 30 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake

Reflecting on the 30th anniversary of Loma Prieta this week, earthquake experts recently shared their perspectives on how the event impacted them, the Bay Area and the research community at large.

Are we underestimating the benefits of investing in renewable energy?

Scientists have estimated the emissions intensity of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants from a major electricity distributor and highlighted key consequences – essential information for policymakers shaping decisions to reduce electricity system emissions.

Cartoon of people on phones

How does uncertainty in scientific predictions affect credibility?

The ways climate scientists explain their predictions about the impact of global warming can either promote or limit their persuasiveness. 

Submarine canyon

Global analysis of submarine canyons may shed light on Martian landscapes

On a map, submarine canyons seem identical to land canyons – so much so that researchers surmised they are shaped by the same physical laws. New research reveals distinct differences for the first time.

Pacific Ocean

Archaea hold clues to ancient ocean temperatures

Scientists at Stanford have identified molecules that tough microbes use to survive in warming waters, opening a window more broadly into studying conditions in ancient seas.

Wheat field

How can microsatellite data impact agricultural interventions?

New research finds small satellites can help increase food production in a low-cost and sustainable way.

Satellite view of the Earth

Could machine learning put impoverished communities back on the map?

By discerning patterns in satellite imagery, researchers hope to help national leaders and international agencies assist poverty-stricken regions.

Under pressure: Viewing how hydrogen transforms

Researchers have determined how hydrogen molecules are packed at extremely high pressures. Their work solves the long-standing mystery of the structure of the dense form of hydrogen, called phase IV. 

Eagle

Stanford researchers discuss changes to Endangered Species Act

America’s signature legislation for saving species faces a major overhaul. Conservation and legal experts examine likely impacts of the new rules and legal options for challenging them.

Turmeric

Finding lead in turmeric

Some spice processors in Bangladesh use an industrial lead chromate pigment to imbue turmeric with a bright yellow color prized for curries and other traditional dishes, elevating blood lead levels in Bangladeshis.

River between mountains

Why are mountains so high?

Researchers have analyzed mountain ranges worldwide to show that a theory relating erosion and mountain height doesn’t always add up.

Greenery with globe graphic

A roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030

An international group of experts, including Stanford Earth system scientist Rob Jackson, has published a roadmap of the most viable solutions for slashing greenhouse gas emissions globally by 2030. 

How much does air pollution cost the U.S.?

Damages from air pollution have fallen dramatically in the U.S. in recent years, shows new research. But how different sectors of the economy have contributed to that decline is highly uneven.

Transnational corporations increasingly align business models to support stable planet

Some of the world’s largest transnational corporations are changing their business models to acknowledge their impact on climate and biodiversity. A new analysis indicates a significant shift in corporate values. 

A practical guide to planning and achieving green growth

Economic development plans often overlook a crucial detail – ecosystems that provide essential services to people. Stanford experts discuss a new sustainable development approach that balances the needs of people and nature.

Catalyst opens way to sustainable fuels from carbon dioxide

A new way to convert carbon dioxide into the building block for sustainable liquid fuels was very efficient in tests and did not have the reaction that destroys the conventional device.

Cars in traffic

Stanford Law’s Deborah Sivas on proposed rollback of key climate change regulations

Environmental Law expert Professor Deborah Sivas explains how planned deregulations by the Trump Administration will impact climate change.

Drone at a methane leak test site

New ways to find natural gas leaks quickly

Finding natural gas leaks more quickly and at lower cost could reduce methane emissions. Ten promising technologies mounted on drones, trucks and airplanes were tested last year. The results are in.

View from a satellite of smoke caused by a fire in Borneo

Satellite data can reveal fire susceptibility in peatlands

Fires in Southeast Asian peatlands release huge amounts of carbon, along with deadly smoke. Now, new satellite measurements of soil moisture may offer a promising approach to reducing those fires and their widespread haze.

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