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Stanford Earth Matters

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Mackerel school

More food from the sea by 2050

If sustainably managed, wild fisheries and mariculture could help meet the rising demand for food in the long term.

Water waves

New way to study ocean life

Insights from an innovative rotating microscope could provide a new window into the secrets of microscopic life in the ocean and their effects on crucial planetary processes, such as carbon fixation.

Flooded road

Bay Area coastal flooding triggers regionwide commute disruptions

Researchers have modeled how coastal flooding will impact commutes in the Bay Area over the next 20 years. Regions with sparse road networks will have some of the worst commute delays, regardless of their distances from the coast.

Logging

Q&A: Upscaling sustainability

Stanford scientists discuss obstacles for large-scale green initiatives and what it takes for sustainability efforts to deliver lasting benefits across borders, sectors and communities.

Blue whale

Studying whales with high-tech tools

With innovative tools and access to some of the most whale-friendly waters in the world, Stanford researchers aim to demystify the lives, biology and behavior of the largest creatures on Earth.

Phytoplankton bloom in the Arctic

'Regime shift' happening in the Arctic Ocean

Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.

Fish in sea

Finding food security underwater

Our growing need for food poses one of the biggest threats to the environment. Stanford ocean and food security experts explain how the ocean could produce dramatically more food while driving sustainable economic growth.

'A bad time to be alive': Study links ocean deoxygenation to ancient die-off

Researchers present new evidence that the deoxygenation of the ocean wiped out biodiversity during one of the “Big Five” mass extinctions in Earth’s history – relevant information as climate change contributes to decreasing oxygen in the oceans today.

Squid

How social squid communicate in the dark

Researchers begin to reveal how social squid communicate in the near-blackness of the deep sea.

Giant clam

Smaller animals faced surprisingly long odds in ancient oceans, Stanford study finds

New fossil research shows extinction for smaller marine animals across most of the past 485 million years was more common than once believed. Why?

Hawksbill sea turtle

Q&A: Making the case for mobile marine protected areas

Ocean sanctuaries whose boundaries can shift can reduce conflicts between humans and marine life and help protect species under climate change.

School of fish

Reimagining ocean conservation

Stanford experts help guide Palau’s initiative to create one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries. The protected area will diversify food options for Palauans while reducing overfishing and protecting marine life amid mounting climate pressures.

2019 text

Editor's picks: Top 10 Stanford Earth Matters stories of 2019

In a roundup that spans energy, geology, geophysics and Earth systems, here are some of the most interesting, high-impact and popular research stories from 2019.

Submarine canyon

Global analysis of submarine canyons may shed light on Martian landscapes

On a map, submarine canyons seem identical to land canyons – so much so that researchers surmised they are shaped by the same physical laws. New research reveals distinct differences for the first time.

Pacific Ocean

Archaea hold clues to ancient ocean temperatures

Scientists at Stanford have identified molecules that tough microbes use to survive in warming waters, opening a window more broadly into studying conditions in ancient seas.

View from the cockpit

Vintage film shows Thwaites Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica melting faster than previously observed

Newly available archival film has revealed the eastern ice shelf of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previous estimates, suggesting the shelf may collapse sooner than expected.

Ocean

The case for managed retreat

Katharine Mach and Miyuki Hino make the case for managed retreat for vulnerable communities in the face of climate change.

Churning seawater

New technology harnesses energy from mixing of freshwater and seawater

A new battery made from affordable and durable materials generates energy from places where salt and fresh waters mingle. The technology could make coastal wastewater treatment plants energy-independent and carbon neutral.

Surface meltwater on Greenland Glacier

Researchers discover more than 50 lakes beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet

Researchers have discovered 56 previously uncharted subglacial lakes beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, contributing to our understanding of how the ice sheet will likely respond dynamically to rising temperatures.

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