Stanford Earth Matters covers insights, discoveries, and solutions from the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.
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‘Two-Eyed Seeing’ off the California coast
A new research partnership will combine Indigenous and scientific knowledge to monitor marine life in a sacred tribal region that may be a bellwether of how native species will fare in the face of climate change.
Q&A: Willow oil project and Arctic drilling limits
Stanford experts explain why the recently approved Willow oil drilling project in Alaska has sparked controversy, discuss the significance of new limits on oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, and describe the complicated nature of energy transformation in the fastest-warming place on Earth.
Why whales need to be big
Scientists studied a unique group of Antarctic minke whales and found that these gigantic mammals actually represent the smallest possible body size required for their style of feeding. (Source: Stanford News)
Aquatic food benefits
Leveraging blue foods can help policymakers address multiple global challenges, a new analysis shows. (Source: Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions)
Trawlers intermix with whale ‘supergroup’ in Southern Ocean
Scientists observed close to 1,000 fin whales foraging near Antarctica, while fishing vessels trawled for krill in their midst. Without action, such encounters are likely to become more common as this endangered species recovers and krill harvesting intensifies in the Southern Ocean. (Source: Stanford News)
Oil spills and coastal resilience
Two Stanford scientists found hope and lessons for improving disaster response after oil spills hit close to home.
You're stuck with your same old genome, but corals aren't
A new study of tropical reef building corals shows these very long-lived animals are constantly changing and testing their genes – and some of these changes make it into the next generation. In this way a centuries-old coral might be a cauldron of genetic innovation, and it might help prepare them for climate change. (Source: Hopkins Marine Station)
Whales eat colossal amounts of microplastics
Analysis of ocean plastic pollution and whale foraging behavior tracked with noninvasive tags shows whales are ingesting tiny specks of plastic in far bigger quantities than previously thought, and nearly all of it comes from the animals they eat – not the water they gulp. (Source: Stanford News)
Managing aquaculture for human and planetary health
With demand for fish on the rise, Stanford food security expert Roz Naylor offers a perspective calling attention to the need for greater oversight of growing antimicrobial use that impacts the health of fish, ecosystems, and humans. (Source: Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health)
Scientists take a deep dive into how sharks use the ocean
Researchers compiled the largest set of biologging data revealing how 38 species of sharks, rays, and skates move vertically in oceans around the world. (Source: Stanford News)
Bioindicators for monitoring plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean
Key marine species can serve as bioindicators to measure how much plastic exists in different ocean regions. (Source: Stanford News)
Researchers reveal add-on benefits of natural defenses against sea-level rise
Researchers modeled how investing in environmental conservation and protection can help San Mateo County adapt to rising seas. The findings provide incentives for policymakers to prioritize nature-based approaches when planning for sea-level rise.
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.
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)
Researchers investigate squid found far from home
California market squid are typically found between Baja California and Monterey Bay. New research details how climate change has likely ushered the creatures north.
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)
'Predation at the largest scale': Understanding orca whales as apex predators
Stanford whale biologist Jeremy Goldbogen discusses recent documentation of orcas teaming up to take down an adult blue whale – “arguably one of the most dramatic and intense predator-prey interactions on the planet.” (Source: Stanford News)
Researchers test physics of coral as an indicator of reef health
New research shows that physics measurements of just a small portion of reef can be used to assess the health of an entire reef system. The findings may help scientists grasp how these important ecosystems will respond to a changing climate.
Researchers find whales eat more than expected
Research on whale feeding highlights how the precipitous decline of large marine mammals has negatively impacted the health and productivity of ocean ecosystems.