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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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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.

Tulare

Where will flooded fields best replenish groundwater?

Overpumping in California’s Central Valley has depleted groundwater storage capacity and caused the land to sink. A new model based on remote sensing data could help zero in on where water managers can replenish aquifers by flooding fields.

 

Forest

Farming for natural profits in China

Expanding monoculture threatens valuable services from land, such as flood control, water purification and climate stabilization. A new approach promises to protect these benefits, while improving biodiversity and human livelihoods in rural areas around the world.

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.

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.

Pacific yellowfin tuna

Tunas, sharks and ships at sea

Researchers combine maps of marine predator habitats with satellite tracks of fishing fleets to identify regions where they overlap – a step toward more effective wildlife management on the high seas.

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.

Baiae

Volcanoes, archaeology and the secrets of Roman concrete

Geophysical processes have shaped Pozzuoli, Italy, like few other places in the world. Stanford students applied modern tools to understand those links and what it means to live with natural hazards as both threat and inspiration.

Spiral Jetty

What's likely to cause human extinction – and how can we avoid it?

Stanford epidemiologist Stephen Luby sees three potential outcomes for humanity by 2100: extinction, the collapse of civilization with limited survival, or a thriving society. 

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.

Road lights

Why batteries with extra lithium ions fail

Why does stuffing more lithium into battery cathodes lead to their failure? New research illuminating this phenomenon could pave the way to electric cars that can drive longer distances between charges.

Çatalhöyük

Our 2.5-million-year obsession with stuff

When early humans first started using tools to make things, they kicked off a cycle of people depending on objects and the materials needed to make them – with ripple effects for the global climate today.

Solar panels

Envisioning an energy future with less fear, more cooperation

SunRun CEO Lynn Jurich argued at Stanford Energy Week that cooperation between utilities and solar providers will be key to building a cleaner, more nimble and cost-effective energy system.

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