Stanford University
coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

West Texas oil activity

Earthquakes from oil field wastewater

Underground disposal of wastewater from fossil fuel production in the nation’s largest oil field is causing long-dormant faults to slip in a way that could damage wells, according to new analyses of satellite and seismicity data.

Moving samples in lab

Q&A: Tracking COVID infections through wastewater

Researchers have developed a system for monitoring COVID prevalence on campus and collaborated with public health officers on an epidemiology project serving a number of communities across California. (Source: Stanford News)

Smoky sunset over Sierra Nevada - external link

How to fight climate change

Environmental scientist Chris Field explains why taking on climate change will require that we continue to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of increasing temperatures. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

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)

Coral with sunlight

Understanding how sunscreens damage coral

Stanford researchers reveal a mechanism by which oxybenzone, a common sunscreen component, may damage reefs. The surprising findings could help guide the development and marketing of effective, coral-safe sunscreens.

Generation Dread book cover - external link

Climate grief researcher Britt Wray discusses new book

Planetary Postdoctoral Health Fellow Britt Wray discusses her recently published book about dealing with climate anxiety and her own path to finding purpose in a chaotic time. (Source: Stanford News)

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)

Mount Whitney

Stanford's Richard Nevle discusses his new book

Richard Nevle, deputy director of Stanford’s Earth Systems Program, discusses his new collection of essays about the Sierra Nevada mountain range, The Paradise Notebooks.

Child studying by lantern light

Study finds high energy use provides little benefit for health and well-being in richer nations

Analysis of data from 140 countries suggests many rich countries could use less energy per capita without compromising health, happiness or prosperity. Countries struggling with energy poverty may be able to maximize well-being with less energy than previously thought.

Net-zero concept illustration - external link

Are big companies’ net-zero pledges a well-intentioned shell game?

The world of climate promises and carbon offsets is “like the Wild West, where anything goes,” says Stefan Reichelstein. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)

Aerial view of deforestation (external link)

Detecting modern-day slavery from the sky

Using AI to analyze satellite images, researchers say it’s possible to spot illegal deforestation and forced labor in the Amazon rainforest. (Source: Stanford HAI)

Wolf - external link

In Greater Yellowstone, Wyoming seeks more control to improve hunting and eliminate predators

Officials in Wyoming, a state containing almost all of two national parks, want sole authority to manage species like elk, wolves and grizzlies. Can state agencies ensure conservation when hunters pay the bills and ranchers determine wildlife policy? (Source: The Bill Lane Center for the American West)

Petrochemical plant and orange sky - external link

To meet the climate challenge, philanthropy must challenge itself

Recent rapid growth in climate philanthropy risks redundancy, waste, and friendly fire, according to Laurence Tubiana of the European Climate Foundation and Christie Ulman of the California-based Sequoia Climate Fund. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Aerial view of fishing vessels at a pier (external link)

Mapping risks of labor abuse and illegal fishing

A new modeling approach combines machine learning and human insights to map the regions and ports most at risk for illicit practices, like forced labor or illegal catch, and identifies opportunities for mitigating such risks. (Source: Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions)

Songdo, Korea (external link)

Building smarter

Analysis presents a first-of-its-kind framework to design the most efficient mix of urban buildings along with integrated systems to supply power and water services. The approach could significantly reduce costs and pollution compared to traditional systems. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Electric car plugged in (external link)

How to predict and manage EV charging growth

With a growing fleet of electric vehicles on the road, power grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate demand. Researchers have created a new model framework for long-term planning that captures real drivers’ charging patterns and accounts for uncertainty. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

Dharavi, India at sunset (external link)

A data-driven approach to cooling

A civil engineer is finding ways to model informal settlements in tropical regions, and using these models to help find universal solutions for extreme heat. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Antarctica ice - external link

How fast will Antarctica’s ice sheet melt?

Using autonomous drones and machine-learning models, geophysicist Dustin Schroeder and a multidisciplinary team are working to quickly and efficiently collect ice sheet data that can improve our understanding of melt rates. (Source: Stanford HAI)

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