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Stanford Earth Matters

Science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment.

oilfield at dusk

Climate impacts of super-giant oilfields go up with age

Neglecting the changing energy requirements of aging oilfields can lead to an underestimate of their true climate impacts.

Lake Okeechobee

Projected precipitation increases are bad news for water quality

Excess nutrient pollution to U.S. waterways increases the likelihood of events that severely impair water quality. 

How vegetation alters climate

Researchers find strong feedbacks between the atmosphere and vegetation that explain up to 30 percent of precipitation and surface radiation variance; study reveals large potential for improving seasonal weather predictions.

Rainforest

Carbon removal from the atmosphere won't be easy

Stanford scientists explain the risks of betting the world’s future on massive-scale deployment of carbon removal technologies.

Organic carbon can resist breakdown in underground environments

A new study reveals that organic matter whose breakdown would yield only minimal energy for hungry microorganisms preferentially builds up in floodplains, illuminating a new mechanism of carbon sequestration.

floodwaters beneath a bridge

When bridges collapse

Studying how and why bridges have collapsed in the past identifies the limitation of current risk assessment approach and demonstrates the value of new perspectives on climate change impact.

Ocean during storm.

Testing the links between extreme weather and climate change

A new four-step “framework” aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.

The 2015 Aliso Canyon methane gas leak in Southern California is shown in this image from an infrared camera.

EPA methane emission policy likely to miss 2025 targets

Stanford research shows plugging methane leaks will cost about a third less than the EPA estimates, further underscoring the cost-effectiveness of emissions mitigation – but the agency will also likely fall short of its 2025 reduction targets.

Let's Stop Talking About Climate Change

Instead of talking about the polarized topic of climate change, Stanford Earth scientist Rob Jackson suggests focusing on the shared benefits of addressing the problem, including job creation, health and safety.

Poor outlook for biodiversity in Antarctica

A comparison of Antarctic biodiversity and its management with global trends finds that it is more similar to the rest of the world than previously believed. 

Map

Heavy California rains par for the course for climate change

Stanford climatologist Noah Diffenbaugh explains why heavy rains during a drought are to be expected for a state in the throes of climate change.

Child wearing mask.

Rob Jackson urges community to convey benefits of climate action

Rather than talk about the negative things, point to the co-benefits of finding climate solutions – from economics and jobs to water and the air we breathe.

Eroded concrete section on Oroville Damn

Q&A with Stanford experts puts Oroville Dam breach in context

As workers rush to repair the spillway at California’s Oroville Dam, Stanford researchers comment on how challenges like climate change and aging infrastructure heighten risks for California.

Cow in a field under a wind farm

Methane from food production could be wildcard in combating climate change

Reports co-authored by Stanford Earth scientist show concentrations of methane approaching an internationally recognized worst-case scenario and highlight opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel use.

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