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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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broken glass

The impact of climate change on human behavior

Obscured behind the better-known impacts of climate change are a host of potentially more serious effects global leaders have yet to reckon with.

Traffic

Can digital incentives help alleviate traffic?

Researchers are reducing traffic congestion and commute times using networks that gently nudge people toward better travel habits.​

Hollywood Freeway

California's vehicle emissions fight continues a 50-year struggle

California’s resistance to federal plans loosening vehicle emissions standards is nothing new. Over the decades, the state has fought repeatedly to stay in the forefront of pollution controls.

Pig waste

How machine learning can aid environmental monitoring

Cash-strapped environmental regulators have a powerful and cheap new weapon. New research suggests machine learning methods more than double the number of violations detected.

Christchurch

After the Big One: Understanding aftershock risk

Geophysicist Gregory Beroza discusses the culprits behind destructive aftershocks and why scientists are harnessing artificial intelligence to gain new insights into earthquake risks.

Plastic straws

Do plastic straws really make a difference?

Driven by public pressure, governments and corporations are considering eliminating or phasing out single-use plastics such as straws. Stanford experts discuss the limitations of these bans and the potential for meaningful change.

Oil field

Cash, carbon, crude: How to make oil fields bury emissions

A new analysis looks at what it would take for oil companies to start pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into their wells to boost crude production – and what it would mean for the climate.

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence: The science behind the storm

Atmospheric scientist Morgan O’Neill discusses what’s driving Florence, why it’s unusual, and how it could be connected to climate change and other storms brewing in the Atlantic.   

Suburban fire

Q&A: How does climate change affect human health?

Stanford experts discuss the linkages between climate change and health, an area that will be a focus of Stanford-led events at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

Destroyed beach home.

Transparency may improve U.S. home buyout programs

New research finds government buyouts of homes in floodplains have often lacked transparency. This could deter residents from participating in managed retreat, one of the main strategies for adapting to areas becoming more flood-prone, Stanford researcher suggests.

Snake

Drought predictive of decrease in snakebites

Rattlesnake bites, contrary to public opinion, increase after periods of high rainfall, not drought, according to a Stanford-led study that examined 20 years of snakebite history in California.

Northern elephant seal

Tracking migration patterns of marine predators yields geopolitical challenges

Understanding the movements of migratory marine animals through different countries' waters and in the open ocean beyond is vital to their management and conservation.

Wind turbines

Mining the cleantech boom and bust for investment lessons

The boom and bust in clean energy investments starting in 2008 produced some lessons to guide future government policy and investment strategies for the next cycle of investment in a sustainable energy future.

Goat

How Neolithic man adapted to climate change

New research shows early farmers in southern Anatolia, Turkey turned to drought-resistant sheep and goats during a well-documented climate shift 8,200 years ago.

Coachella Valley

Who owns the aquifer?

A Stanford study reveals the changing scope of Native American groundwater rights – and opportunities for better freshwater management.

Adriatic

Trawling ban did not hurt fishing communities

New research shows fishers who complied with a moratorium in the Adriatic Sea maintained catch levels by fishing in other areas. The findings help justify extending regional protection and provide insight for ocean management elsewhere.

Bighorn sheep

How would a border wall affect wildlife?

Federal plans to complete a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico boundary would threaten the existence of numerous plant and animal species. Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo look at the region’s unique natural ecosystems, and what they have to lose.

Parched Earth

Warming temperatures could increase suicides

By comparing historical temperature and suicide data, researchers found a strong correlation between warm weather and increased suicides.

Solar panels and wind turbines.

A new, cheaper way to store energy from wind and solar

A new type of flow battery that involves a liquid metal more than doubled the maximum voltage of conventional flow batteries and could lead to affordable storage of renewable power.

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