Stanford Earth Matters covers insights, discoveries, and solutions from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.
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New approach estimates long-term coastal cliff loss
A new method for estimating cliff loss over thousands of years in Del Mar, California, may help reveal some of the long-term drivers of coastal cliff loss in the state. (Source: Stanford News)
Oil-sand wastewater triggered large Alberta earthquake
New research reveals wastewater injected underground by fossil fuel operators caused a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in November 2022 in the Peace River area of Alberta’s oil sands region. This is the first study to link seismicity in the area to human activity. (Source: Stanford News)
A Burning Issue: Stanford scholar testifies on rising costs of wildfire
Stanford climate and energy policy expert Michael Wara addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget about the economic risks of climate-fueled wildfire. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Researchers created maps showing where warmer weather has left trees in conditions that don’t suit them, making them more prone to being replaced by other species. The findings could help inform long-term wildfire and ecosystem management in these “zombie forests.” (Source: Stanford News)
Whiplash weather: What we can learn from California’s deadly storms
Stanford and local experts discuss ways to mitigate risk to communities and infrastructure amid dramatic swings between flood and drought.
What’s Earth cooking? Stanford’s Ayla Pamukçu wants to know
As a young adult, Ayla Pamukçu found herself at a crossroads between college and culinary school. Thanks in part to an influential box of rocks, she chose a research path that eventually led to a career studying the inner workings of the Earth. (Source: Stanford News)
Building resilience in the era of megafire
Climate change and decades of fire suppression have fueled increasingly destructive wildfires across the western U.S. and Canada. Stanford scholars and wildfire experts outline how a path forward requires responsive management, risk reduction, and Indigenous stewardship.
Plant processes may be key to predicting drought development
Based on new analyses of satellite data, scientists have found that hydrologic conditions that increase flash drought risk occur more often than current models predict. The research also shows that incorporating how plants change soil structures can improve Earth system models.
Years after Hurricane Katrina altered his life’s course, Elliott White Jr. set out to understand what drives coastal wetland loss as a way to help lessen harm from future climate impacts for vulnerable coastal communities. (Source: Stanford News)
Wildfire smoke exposure hurts learning outcomes
Pollution from wildfires is linked to lower test scores and possibly lower future earnings for kids growing up with more smoke days at school, a new study finds. Impacts of smoke exposure on earnings are disproportionately borne by economically disadvantaged communities of color.
Empowering private landowners to prevent wildfires
Controlled burning has proven effective at reducing wildfire risks, but a lack of insurance has dissuaded private landowners from implementing the practice. Policy expert Michael Wara discusses soon-to-be-enacted legislation that would pay for fire damages to neighboring properties in California. (Source: Stanford News)
Wildfire smoke is unraveling decades of air quality gains
Stanford researchers have developed an AI model for predicting dangerous particle pollution to help track the American West’s rapidly worsening wildfire smoke. The detailed results show millions of Americans are routinely exposed to pollution at levels rarely seen just a decade ago.
Stanford researchers discuss equity in storm planning and response
Hurricanes and severe storms exacerbate inequalities. Ahead of a Sept. 21 webinar on the subject, Stanford experts discussed how to ensure equity in planning and response for such extreme weather events, economic benefits of nature-based storm defenses, and related issues. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Are we missing a crucial component of sea-level rise?
Across Antarctica, some parts of the base of the ice sheet are frozen, while others are thawed. Scientists show that if some currently frozen areas were also to thaw, it could increase ice loss from glaciers that are not currently major sea-level contributors.
Four questions for Paul Segall on the Iceland volcano
Stanford geophysicist Paul Segall discusses the Fagradalsfjall volcano currently erupting 20 miles southwest of Reykjavík, Iceland. (Source: Stanford News)
U.S. isn’t ready for the next wildfire smoke wave. Here’s what needs to change
Most government policies for mitigating public health risks from wildfire smoke aim to educate citizens to protect themselves by staying indoors, closing windows, and using air filters. Stanford research shows why that approach fails for Americans across all income groups and points to solutions.
An AI solution to climate models’ gravity wave problem
Stanford scientists are among a growing number of researchers harnessing artificial intelligence techniques to bring more realistic representations of ubiquitous atmospheric ripples into global climate models
Four questions for Liz Hadly
The Stanford environmental biologist and global change specialist discusses recent flooding in Yellowstone National Park – and what it means for the future of the planet. (Source: Stanford News)
Data is transforming our understanding of natural disasters
In this episode of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything, geophysicist Eric Dunham details how new types of data collection and faster computers are helping our knowledge of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes – and how to prepare for them. (Source: Stanford Engineering)