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coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

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

 Wadi Rum desert

Jordan faces more frequent long and severe droughts

A new analysis of regional drought and land-use changes in Syria suggests water conditions in downstream Jordan could get significantly worse.

aquaifer recharge

Replenishing aquifers in parched regions

Stanford environmental engineers have developed a planning tool called AquaCharge that helps urban water utilities develop efficient, cost-effective systems to replenish aquifers.

Forest with sun shining through.

Growing Carbon Offsets on Trees

A pioneering California program to sell carbon offsets has surprising environmental benefits – including providing habitat for endangered species – and provides lessons for initiatives under development in other states and countries.

Crater Lake

Supervolcanoes: A key to America’s electric future?

Stanford researchers show that lake sediments preserved within ancient supervolcanoes can host large deposits of lithium, which is critical for modern technology.

Reducing brick kiln pollution

A Stanford team is now combining satellite data and political persuasion to track kilns and incentivize kiln owners to use cleaner technologies.

oilfield at dusk

Climate impacts of super-giant oilfields go up with age

Neglecting the changing energy requirements of aging oilfields can lead to an underestimate of their true climate impacts.

earthquake illustration

Manmade and natural earthquakes not so different after all

New research shows manmade and naturally occurring earthquakes in the central U.S. share the same characteristics, information that will help scientists predict and mitigate damage from future earthquakes.

Lake Okeechobee

Projected precipitation increases are bad news for water quality

Excess nutrient pollution to U.S. waterways increases the likelihood of events that severely impair water quality. 

Jupiter's moon Europa

Alien ice on Earth

A flash of green laser followed by pulses of X-rays, and mere nanoseconds later an extraterrestrial form of ice has formed. The miniature crystal reveals how water solidifies under high pressures, like those expected in icy comets, moons and planets.

Radiated corals of Bikini Atoll may hold insights on cancer

Stanford researchers are exploring how corals that re-colonized Bikini Atoll after nuclear bomb tests 70 years ago have adapted to persistent radiation. Their work is featured in a PBS series.

Wirelessly charging moving vehicles

Stanford scientists have developed a way to wirelessly deliver electricity to moving objects, technology that could one day charge electric vehicles and personal devices like medical implants and cell phones.

Researcher standing near an helicopter

Mapping Groundwater from the Air

Stanford Earth’s Rosemary Knight recently spearheaded a project to map underground freshwater resources and forecast the intrusion of saltwater into aquifers beneath the California coastal town of Marina.

How vegetation alters climate

Researchers find strong feedbacks between the atmosphere and vegetation that explain up to 30 percent of precipitation and surface radiation variance; study reveals large potential for improving seasonal weather predictions.

Dustin Schroeder stands in front of airplane in Antarctica

Frozen secrets: Geophysicist explores glaciers with radar

Stanford Earth’s Dustin Schroeder researches new ways of observing, understanding, and predicting the configuration of ice sheets using ice-penetrating radar data.

High pressure key to lighter, stronger metal alloys

Shocking complex metal mixtures with high pressure could lead to desirable properties such as higher heat resistance and allow power plants and engines to run hotter and more efficiently.

Rainforest

Carbon removal from the atmosphere won't be easy

Stanford scientists explain the risks of betting the world’s future on massive-scale deployment of carbon removal technologies.

mosquito

What a warming planet means for mosquito-borne diseases

A new analysis by Stanford researchers reveals that the ideal temperature for the spread of mosquito-born diseases like dengue, chikungunya and Zika is 29 degrees C. This finding helps predict disease outbreaks in a warming world.

Organic carbon can resist breakdown in underground environments

A new study reveals that organic matter whose breakdown would yield only minimal energy for hungry microorganisms preferentially builds up in floodplains, illuminating a new mechanism of carbon sequestration.

floodwaters beneath a bridge

When bridges collapse

Studying how and why bridges have collapsed in the past identifies the limitation of current risk assessment approach and demonstrates the value of new perspectives on climate change impact.

Ocean during storm.

Testing the links between extreme weather and climate change

A new four-step “framework” aims to test the contribution of climate change to record-setting extreme weather events.

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