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.
Is fake meat a real solution? Stanford expert explains
Plant-based and lab-grown meat substitutes are here to stay, but are unlikely to eliminate livestock agriculture’s climate and land use impacts anytime soon, according to Stanford environmental scientist David Lobell. In the meantime, Lobell says we should also focus on reducing emissions of animal-based systems. (Source: Stanford News)
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)
Droughts increase costs for low-income households
According to a recent study, when providers act to curtail water use or invest in new infrastructure because of a drought, bills can rise for low-income households and drop for high-income households. (Source: Stanford News)
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)
Our picks: Top 10 stories of 2022
Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories, and some of our most-read research coverage from a year of new beginnings.
Curious Martian dunes explained
Stanford planetary scientists have uncovered how sandy waves form on our sister planet at a scale that previously seemed incompatible with the physics of how ripples and dunes arise on Earth. (Source: Stanford News)
COP27: How to reduce emissions and still feed the world
Stanford and Princeton co-hosted an official side event at COP27 to present the 2022 Global Carbon Budget, outline approaches to impact at scale at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and discuss the challenges and solutions for decarbonizing agriculture.
The economic impact of expanding electricity access
A new tool that pairs satellite imagery with AI has uncovered some of the strongest evidence yet of the extent to which electrification fuels economic growth. (Source: Stanford News)
Solar panels largely confined to wealthy Americans
Tax rebates for installing residential solar power have done little to spur adoption in low-income communities in the United States, while a less common incentive seems to succeed, according to new research using AI and satellite images. (Source: Stanford News)
The cleanest drinking water is recycled
New research shows treated wastewater can be more dependable and less toxic than common tap water sources including rivers and groundwater. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
There’s room for improvement in a popular climate-smart agricultural practice
Federal subsidies promote planting cover crops to store carbon in agricultural soils, among other benefits, but the approach as currently practiced can reduce yields in the U.S. Corn Belt, researchers find. Their analysis highlights the need to better implement the practice. (Source: Stanford News)
Beavers will become a bigger boon to river water quality as U.S. West warms
American beaver populations are booming in the western United States as conditions grow hotter and drier. New research shows their prolific dam building benefits river water quality so much, it outweighs the damaging influence of climate-driven droughts.
For a longer-lasting battery, make the most of each cell
The secret to long life for rechargeable batteries may lie in an embrace of difference. New modeling of how lithium-ion cells in a pack degrade show a way to tailor charging to each cell’s capacity so EV batteries can handle more charge cycles and stave off failure. (Source: Stanford News)
COP27: Environmental justice and other topics to watch at climate negotiations
International negotiators will meet in Egypt this Sunday for the latest U.N. climate change conference. Stanford experts in a range of fields discuss issues likely to be in the spotlight, including compensation to developing countries for climate change-related damages. (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.
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)
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)
The curious connection between plastic trash and infectious disease
Discarded, undegradable plastic trash is a global breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. (Source: Stanford Engineering)