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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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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. 

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. 

Researchers offer 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.

Vintage film shows Thwaites Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica melting faster than previously observed

Newly available archival film has revealed the eastern ice shelf of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previous estimates, suggesting the shelf may collapse sooner than expected.

Ocean

The case for managed retreat

Katharine Mach and Miyuki Hino make the case for managed retreat for vulnerable communities in the face of climate change.

How much longer will trees absorb carbon dioxide?

By analyzing decades of experiments, researchers mapped the potential of carbon dioxide to increase forest biomass by the end of the century, when atmospheric concentrations of the gas could nearly double. This, in turn, will enable plants and trees to store more carbon.

Wind turbines

Why hydrogen could improve the value of renewable energy

A new study finds that hydrogen could address a major drawback of solar and wind power.

Surface meltwater on Greenland Glacier

Researchers discover more than 50 lakes beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet

Researchers have discovered 56 previously uncharted subglacial lakes beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, contributing to our understanding of how the ice sheet will likely respond dynamically to rising temperatures.

Computer image of Earth's layers

Modeling Earth’s chemistry: Making the invisible visible

Kate Maher discusses how researchers use computer modeling to better understand the chemical reactions in Earth’s subsurface that impact water supplies, energy waste storage, climate change and more.

Woolsey wildfire in 2018

What to expect from wildfire season this year and in the future

The new normal for Western wildfires is abnormal, with increasingly bigger and more destructive blazes. Understanding the risks can help communities avert disaster.

Does climate change cause armed conflict?

As global temperatures climb, the risk of armed conflict is expected to increase substantially. Extreme weather and related disasters can damage economies, lower farming production and intensify inequality.

Drone

Finding and fixing natural gas leaks quickly and economically

Natural gas leaks claim lives, damage the climate and waste money. Research teams at Stanford are working on better ways to find and fix gas leaks quickly and inexpensively.

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 envir

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.

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