Stanford University
coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

Science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment

Sengal river with people

Investigating obstacles to disease eradication

The realities of subsistence living in a region of Senegal hard hit by schistosomiasis make reinfection likely, despite mass drug administration. Stanford researchers find that engaging communities in the design of disease control programs could help.

Water

Making California’s water supply resilient

Stanford researchers examine effective strategies to rising water scarcity concerns in the context of climate change.

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.

Ancient die-off greater than the dinosaur extinction

When significant oxygen entered the atmosphere, ancient life multiplied. But after a few hundred million years, Earth’s oxygen plummeted, resulting in a die-off likely greater than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Wildire

Native approaches to fire management could revitalize communities

In collaboration with tribes in Northern California, researchers examined traditional fire management practices and found that these approaches, if expanded, could strengthen cultures and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

cars at charging stations

New coating developed by Stanford researchers brings lithium metal battery closer to reality

A Stanford-led research team invented a new coating that could finally make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and long lasting, which could usher in the next generation of electric vehicles.

Q&A: Modeling an exoplanet’s atmosphere

New research using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has provided a rare glimpse at the surface of a rocky planet outside our solar system. The planet may be similar to Mercury or Earth’s moon, with little to no atmosphere.

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.

Olympic National Park

Researchers explain earthquakes we can’t feel

Researchers have explained mysterious slow-moving earthquakes known as slow slip events with the help of computer simulations. The answer, they learned, is in rocks’ pores.

water drop

Stanford researchers find smart faucets could aid in water conservation

An experiment with a water-saving “smart” faucet shows potential for reducing water use. The catch? Unbeknownst to study participants, the faucet’s smarts came from its human controller.

How much longer will trees absorb carbon dioxide?

By analyzing decades of experiments, researchers mapped the potential of carbon dioxide to increase forest biomass by the end of the century, when atmospheric concentrations of the gas could nearly double. This, in turn, will enable plants and trees to store more carbon.

Cars on highway

Q&A: How the catalytic converters in cars go bad and why it matters

A new way to arrange the hard-working atoms in this part of an exhaust system could lower the cost of curbing pollution from automotive engines.

Cigarette smoke

Cigarettes with pro-environment marketing perceived as less harmful, Stanford study finds

A survey of adult former smokers, current smokers and people who have never smoked found that people perceived cigarettes marketed as being environmentally friendly as less harmful to health and the environment.

Nanocrystal illustration

Scientists create artificial catalysts inspired by living enzymes

Stanford researchers have made a significant advance in the development of artificial catalysts for making cleaner chemicals and fuels at an industrial scale.

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.

Downtown Dallas

Many Dallas-Fort Worth area faults have potential to host earthquakes

Researchers have mapped more than 250 faults and found that the majority of faults underlying the Fort Worth Basin are susceptible to earthquakes, some of which extend under highly populated areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

Aerial view of cars

Untangling electric car policies

A recent study analyzes federal and state policies on electric cars and reveals the peculiar relationship between the policies that leads to counterintuitive effects.

What drove the collapse of Mexico’s jumbo squid fishery?

Stanford-led research has identified a perfect storm of warming waters and reduced food to blame in the collapse of the once-lucrative jumbo squid fishery off Baja California.

Wind turbines

Why hydrogen could improve the value of renewable energy

A new study finds that hydrogen could address a major drawback of solar and wind power.

Farm

A new way to grow crops in marginal soils could help feed the world

The discovery of an eco-friendly form of genetic engineering for plants has the potential to open up more farmland for food production.

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