Stanford University
coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

Farmworkers harvesting and shouldering crates of red produce

Extreme heat's impact on labor

Few regulations exist to protect laborers from increasingly frequent extreme heat events. Stanford experts explain extreme heat’s impacts on workplace risks, marginalized communities, and the economy. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Gustavo Cezar standing in front of cows in a dairy barn

A day in the life of an electricity and cool cow engineer

Gustavo Cezar wears two colorful hats as an engineer with SLAC’s GISMo lab. (Source: SLAC)

Irrigation canal and wheat field

When will California's San Joaquin Valley stop sinking?

A Stanford University study simulates 65 years of land subsidence, or sinking, caused by groundwater depletion in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The results suggest significant sinking may continue for centuries after water levels stop declining but could slow within a few years if aquifers recover.

Rice fields with karst formations in Guangxi, China

Less air pollution leads to higher crop yields, study shows

New analysis shows crop yields could increase by about 25% in China and up to 10% in other parts of the world if emissions of a common air pollutant decreased by about half. 

Tractor on a paddy field in Mekong Delta, Vietnam - External link

Saving the Mekong River Delta from drowning

Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Researchers recommend policy solutions including strict regulation of sediment mining, limits on groundwater pumping, and coordination among countries, development agencies and other private and civil society stakeholders. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Schrenkiella parvula

How one ‘extreme’ plant could help biologists engineer climate-resistant crops

Stanford biologist José Dinneny is studying why one plant grows faster in stressful conditions. His results could help scientists engineer food and biofuel crops to survive in harsher environments. 

Aerial view of Golden Gate Park and city of San Francisco - external link

Massive conservation effort

California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Chili peppers drying (external link)

Researchers team with smallholder farmers to address 'the dried chilies problem'

Stanford researchers worked with chili farmers in India for more than four years to develop a solar-powered technology to improve the quality, quantity, and profitability of dried agricultural produce. A new study addresses not only technical challenges, but also barriers to adoption. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

Variety of vegetables

Could going vegan help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Phasing out animal agriculture represents “our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change,” according to a new model developed by scientists from Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.

Plants in soil

Can we engineer crops to withstand climate change?

By changing the genome of both commercial crops and soil bacteria, a bioengineer thinks it may be possible to help plants survive droughts by retaining more water during a dry spell, or growing deeper roots to reach soil that hasn’t dried out yet. (Source: Stanford Engineering Magazine)

“Three Sisters” plantings at the Washoe community garden

Native agriculture never went away. Now it is on the rise.

Despite persistent efforts by the U.S. government to eradicate Indigenous farming and ranching practices, they are regaining currency in an American West stressed by drought, diminishing resources and climate change. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)

Aquaculture with video icon

The economics of making fish feed with 'stranded' methane

Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, can be captured and transformed into protein-rich feed for farmed fish – an increasingly important food sector. A new analysis shows how to make the approach more cost-effective than current fish feeds.

Deforestation

COP26: Promise and limits of vows to rein in methane and protect forests

Stanford experts discuss strengths and weaknesses of major pledges at the UN climate summit that target methane emissions and deforestation.

Gas flares in North Dakota

Methane and climate change

Nations around the world are joining a pledge to curb emissions of methane, and the Biden administration is proposing stricter regulation of the potent greenhouse gas. Explore Stanford research about methane emissions and promising solutions.

Corn field and play video icon

Growing climate solutions

A bill under debate in Congress would pave the way to verifying and paying for farms’ carbon savings. Stanford scientists explore this and other opportunities for growing climate change solutions on U.S. farms.

Farming seaweed

Blue food revolution

Hunger, malnutrition and obesity affect billions of people. A first-of-its-kind comprehensive review of the so-called blue foods sector reveals challenges and opportunities for creating a healthier, more sustainable, equitable and resilient global food system.

Fish market in Vietnam

Study suggests rising and shifting demand for seafood by 2050

Humanity is likely to consume more fish and shellfish in the coming decades. Preparing for that future requires better data on the types of fish that people eat, sustainable expansion of aquaculture and improved understanding of the local context for the food on our plates.

Farmland during 2012 drought

Global warming increased U.S. crop insurance losses by $27 billion in 27 years

Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.

Fishing boats external link

Mapping conflicts over marine resources

Scientists Elizabeth Selig and Colette Wabnitz discuss their efforts to systematically map the patterns and drivers of marine resource conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and how the work may guide more just management and policy solutions. (Source: Center for Ocean Solutions)

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