Stanford University
coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

Schrenkiella parvula

How one ‘extreme’ plant could help biologists engineer climate-resistant crops

Stanford biologist José Dinneny is studying why one plant grows faster in stressful conditions. His results could help scientists engineer food and biofuel crops to survive in harsher environments. 

Soil microbe illustration - external link

How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis

Researchers discover that a spot of molecular glue and a timely twist help a bacterial enzyme convert carbon dioxide into carbon compounds 20 times faster than plant enzymes do during photosynthesis. The results stand to accelerate progress toward converting carbon dioxide into a variety of products. (Source: SLAC)

Aerial view of Golden Gate Park and city of San Francisco - external link

Massive conservation effort

California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Three mosaics of Titan

Scientists model landscape formation on Titan, revealing an Earth-like alien world

A new hypothesis reveals that a global sedimentary cycle driven by seasons could explain the formation of landscapes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The research shows the alien world may be more Earth-like than previously thought.

Hydrogen illustration

Reversible fuel cells can support grid economically

Integrated reversible power-to-gas systems can also convert hydrogen back to electricity as a backup power source surprisingly economically, new research finds.

Graphic of double ridges on Jupiter's moon Europa

Explanation for formation of abundant features on Europa bodes well for search for extraterrestrial life

Ice-penetrating radar data from Greenland suggests that shallow water pockets may be common within Europa’s ice shell, increasing the potential habitability of the Jovian moon’s ice shell.

Chili peppers drying (external link)

Researchers team with smallholder farmers to address 'the dried chilies problem'

Stanford researchers worked with chili farmers in India for more than four years to develop a solar-powered technology to improve the quality, quantity, and profitability of dried agricultural produce. A new study addresses not only technical challenges, but also barriers to adoption. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

Mount Whitney

Stanford's Richard Nevle discusses his new book

Richard Nevle, deputy director of Stanford’s Earth Systems Program, discusses his new collection of essays about the Sierra Nevada mountain range, The Paradise Notebooks.

Child studying by lantern light

Study finds high energy use provides little benefit for health and well-being in richer nations

Analysis of data from 140 countries suggests many rich countries could use less energy per capita without compromising health, happiness or prosperity. Countries struggling with energy poverty may be able to maximize well-being with less energy than previously thought.

The Moon

Why do we see the Man in the Moon?

New research shows how the impact that created the Moon’s South Pole–Aitken basin is linked to the stark contrast in composition and appearance between the two sides of the Moon.

Net-zero concept illustration - external link

Are big companies’ net-zero pledges a well-intentioned shell game?

The world of climate promises and carbon offsets is “like the Wild West, where anything goes,” says Stefan Reichelstein. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)

Oil derrick and wind turbines

Stanford energy expert discusses UN climate report

Energy expert Inês Azevedo, a lead author of the energy chapter in the United Nations’ new report on climate mitigation, discusses the assessment and changes necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Energy technology is ready, she says, but time is short.

Aerial view of deforestation (external link)

Detecting modern-day slavery from the sky

Using AI to analyze satellite images, researchers say it’s possible to spot illegal deforestation and forced labor in the Amazon rainforest. (Source: Stanford HAI)

Wolf - external link

In Greater Yellowstone, Wyoming seeks more control to improve hunting and eliminate predators

Officials in Wyoming, a state containing almost all of two national parks, want sole authority to manage species like elk, wolves and grizzlies. Can state agencies ensure conservation when hunters pay the bills and ranchers determine wildlife policy? (Source: The Bill Lane Center for the American West)

Petrochemical plant and orange sky - external link

To meet the climate challenge, philanthropy must challenge itself

Recent rapid growth in climate philanthropy risks redundancy, waste, and friendly fire, according to Laurence Tubiana of the European Climate Foundation and Christie Ulman of the California-based Sequoia Climate Fund. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Aerial view of fishing vessels at a pier (external link)

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)

Songdo, Korea (external link)

Building smarter

Analysis presents a first-of-its-kind framework to design the most efficient mix of urban buildings along with integrated systems to supply power and water services. The approach could significantly reduce costs and pollution compared to traditional systems. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Sierra Nevada range viewed from Mammoth Mountain summit

Snowpack changes how a California volcano 'breathes'

A Stanford University study suggests the weight of snow and ice atop the Sierra Nevada affects a California volcano’s carbon dioxide emissions, one of the main signs of volcanic unrest.

Sensor flying over the Permian Basin

Methane leaks are far worse than estimates, at least in New Mexico, but there’s hope

The amount of methane leaking from a huge U.S. oil and gas producing region is several times greater than the federal government estimates, according to a new study led by Stanford University. 

Electric car plugged in (external link)

How to predict and manage EV charging growth

With a growing fleet of electric vehicles on the road, power grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate demand. Researchers have created a new model framework for long-term planning that captures real drivers’ charging patterns and accounts for uncertainty. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

IconsList of icons used on the sitemaillinkedindouble carrot leftarrow leftdouble carrotplayerinstagramclosecarrotquotefacebooktwitterplusminussearchmenuarrowcloudclock