Stanford Earth Matters covers insights, discoveries, and solutions from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.
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‘Two-Eyed Seeing’ off the California coast
A new research partnership will combine Indigenous and scientific knowledge to monitor marine life in a sacred tribal region that may be a bellwether of how native species will fare in the face of climate change.
Q&A: Willow oil project and Arctic drilling limits
Stanford experts explain why the recently approved Willow oil drilling project in Alaska has sparked controversy, discuss the significance of new limits on oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, and describe the complicated nature of energy transformation in the fastest-warming place on Earth.
Why whales need to be big
Scientists studied a unique group of Antarctic minke whales and found that these gigantic mammals actually represent the smallest possible body size required for their style of feeding. (Source: Stanford News)
A Burning Issue: Stanford scholar testifies on rising costs of wildfire
Stanford climate and energy policy expert Michael Wara addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget about the economic risks of climate-fueled wildfire. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Testing the winds
Anna-Katharina von Krauland’s research on potential wind farm development in the US and India could help ease the transition to renewable energy. (Source: Stanford King Center on Global Development)
Q&A: How to incorporate meaningful climate actions into your life
Stanford alumna and visiting scholar Kim Nicholas discusses obstacles and strategies for what she calls “everyday climate action.” (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Researchers created maps showing where warmer weather has left trees in conditions that don’t suit them, making them more prone to being replaced by other species. The findings could help inform long-term wildfire and ecosystem management in these “zombie forests.” (Source: Stanford News)
A new chance to protect wetlands
New analysis shows the U.S. has accounted for more wetland conversion and degradation than any other country. Its findings help better explain the causes and impacts of such losses and inform protection and restoration of wetlands. (Source: Stanford News)
Better biodiversity policies
Our health and economic stability depend on biodiversity, but our governing policies often fail to address it coherently. An analysis of the world’s second most biodiverse country, Colombia, highlights how policies that span sectors and actors can fit together to govern biodiversity more effectively. (Source: Stanford News)
AI predicts global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees in 2030s
Artificial intelligence provides new evidence our planet will cross the global warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius within 10 to 15 years. Even with low emissions, we could see 2 C of warming. But a future with less warming remains within reach. (Source: Stanford News)
Whiplash weather: What we can learn from California’s deadly storms
Stanford and local experts discuss ways to mitigate risk to communities and infrastructure amid dramatic swings between flood and drought.
Is fake meat a real solution? Stanford expert explains
Plant-based and lab-grown meat substitutes are here to stay, but are unlikely to eliminate livestock agriculture’s climate and land use impacts anytime soon, according to Stanford environmental scientist David Lobell. In the meantime, Lobell says we should also focus on reducing emissions of animal-based systems. (Source: Stanford News)
Droughts increase costs for low-income households
According to a recent study, when providers act to curtail water use or invest in new infrastructure because of a drought, bills can rise for low-income households and drop for high-income households. (Source: Stanford News)
Our picks: Top 10 stories of 2022
Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories, and some of our most-read research coverage from a year of new beginnings.
COP27: How to reduce emissions and still feed the world
Stanford and Princeton co-hosted an official side event at COP27 to present the 2022 Global Carbon Budget, outline approaches to impact at scale at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and discuss the challenges and solutions for decarbonizing agriculture.
There’s room for improvement in a popular climate-smart agricultural practice
Federal subsidies promote planting cover crops to store carbon in agricultural soils, among other benefits, but the approach as currently practiced can reduce yields in the U.S. Corn Belt, researchers find. Their analysis highlights the need to better implement the practice. (Source: Stanford News)
Beavers will become a bigger boon to river water quality as U.S. West warms
American beaver populations are booming in the western United States as conditions grow hotter and drier. New research shows their prolific dam building benefits river water quality so much, it outweighs the damaging influence of climate-driven droughts.
COP27: Environmental justice and other topics to watch at climate negotiations
International negotiators will meet in Egypt this Sunday for the latest U.N. climate change conference. Stanford experts in a range of fields discuss issues likely to be in the spotlight, including compensation to developing countries for climate change-related damages. (Source: Stanford News)
Building resilience in the era of megafire
Climate change and decades of fire suppression have fueled increasingly destructive wildfires across the western U.S. and Canada. Stanford scholars and wildfire experts outline how a path forward requires responsive management, risk reduction, and Indigenous stewardship.