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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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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Storm clouds

The effects of climate change on suicide rates

In warmer temperatures suicide rates increase, leading to concerns about an uptick in suicides as the globe continues to warm. But researchers offer some hope if greenhouse gases get under control.

Greenery with globe graphic

Green New Deal: The science behind the politics

The sweeping plan to overhaul transportation, energy and other sectors failed a recent U.S. Senate vote, but remains a political lightning rod. Stanford experts discuss the science behind the politics.

Jordan

The effects of climate change on water shortages

If global temperatures continue to rise, rainfall will increasingly become a beast of extremes. As a way of exploring the future risk of water shortage in a complex environment, scientists have made a case study of Jordan, one of the most water-poor nations in the world.

Agriculture

What does climate change mean for world hunger?

As more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, leading to climate change, crops might carry fewer nutrients, like zinc and iron. Stanford researchers explored this trend and regions most likely to be hurt by it.

Mosquito

How does climate change affect disease?

As the globe warms, mosquitoes will roam beyond their current habitats, shifting the burden of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya and West Nile virus. Researchers forecast different scenarios depending on the extent of climate change.

Wind energy

Costa Rica: A 'decarbonization lab' for the world?

In a speech at Stanford, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada described a vision for the Central American country to phase out all carbon emissions by the year 2050. 

Dhaka

A better brick

Inside a quest to save lives by cleaning up production of a ubiquitous building material.

Vegetation

Know Your Planet: How do plants affect weather?

A major component of climate change unknowns stems from interactions between changes in climate and changes in ecosystems. Stanford hydrologist Alexandra Konings explains how plants shape weather patterns and influence climate.

Seedling

Natural climate solutions aren't enough

Protecting carbon sinks, such as forests and wetlands, is key to slowing climate change, but only part of the puzzle, Stanford researchers say. Reducing emissions is still essential for meeting global climate goals.

Annapolis flood

What rising seas mean for local economies

High-tide flooding resulting from climate change is already disrupting the economy of Annapolis, Maryland. As sea levels rise, the impacts are expected to get worse for coastal communities.

Fork and knife

Q&A: Meat, health and the environment

A Stanford nutrition expert discusses the connections between meat consumption, carbon emissions, water needs and health.

Frozen Lake Michigan

Polar vortex: The science behind the cold

Atmospheric scientist Aditi Sheshadri discusses how the polar vortex works, what drives its behavior and why it seems to bring storms and bitter cold more frequently than in past decades.  

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