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How better mineral exploration makes better batteries

Finding and extracting deposits of cobalt, lithium, nickel and other materials used in batteries is expensive and environmentally fraught. Geoscientists are now using artificial intelligence to quickly identify new resources, get the most out of those we already know about and improve refining processes. 

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Pervasive health threats of unregulated battery recycling

A new study in Bangladesh finds that a relatively affordable remediation process can almost entirely remove lead left behind by unregulated battery recycling – and raises troubling questions about how to effectively eliminate the poison from children’s bodies.

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The shifting burden of wildfires in the United States

Wildfire smoke will be one of the most widely felt health impacts of climate change throughout the country, but U.S. clean air regulations are not equipped to deal with it. Stanford experts discuss the causes and impacts of wildfire activity and its rapid acceleration in the American west.

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Climate change has caused billions of dollars in flood damages

Flooding has caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage in the U.S. over the past three decades. Researchers found that 36 percent of the costs of flooding in the U.S. from 1988 to 2017 were a result of intensifying precipitation, consistent with predictions of global warming.

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New insights and discoveries at AGU 2020

From Dec. 7-17, Stanford faculty, students and scholars presented their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), along with fellow scientists and researchers from various disciplines in the Earth and planetary sciences. 

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At Stanford 2020: The year in review

Looking back at what has been a turbulent year, the Stanford community has found new ways to come together to learn and to work, while also advancing research. 

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Editor's picks: Top 10 stories of 2020

Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories and some of our most-read research coverage from a tumultuous year.

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COVID lockdown causes record drop in carbon emissions for 2020

Carbon dioxide emissions from oil, gas and coal this year are predicted to reach approximately 34 billion tons, a 7 percent drop from fossil emission levels in 2019. Emissions from transport account for the largest share of the global decrease.

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New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater

Stanford researchers can predict where and when uranium is released into aquifers and suggest an easy fix to keep this naturally occurring toxin from contaminating water sources.

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What wastewater can reveal about COVID-19

A new wastewater testing approach capable of better detecting viral infection patterns in communities could prove a crucial step toward an informed public health response to diseases like COVID-19.

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Community conservation reserves protect fish diversity in tropical rivers

Freshwater ecosystems across the world have experienced rapid species declines compared to ecosystems on land or in the ocean. New research shows that small, community-based reserves in Thailand’s Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity.

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Images from a fraught year

Stanford Earth’s 2020 photo contest drew 156 photographs from faculty, students, and staff. The images captured experiences coping with COVID-19, as well as close encounters with nature from activities before the pandemic.

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Lessons for handling COVID-19 from another animal virus

Stanford epidemiologist Stephen Luby discusses surprising results of a recent study on Nipah virus, a disease with no vaccine and a mortality rate of up to 70 percent.

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Counting penguins with autonomous drones

A new multi-drone imaging system was put to the test in Antarctica. The task? Documenting a colony of roughly 1 million Adélie penguins.

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Roadmap for carbon capture and storage in California

A new study outlines how capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide from power plants, oil refineries and other facilities could help California meet its climate goals.

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Which mask works? Researchers find confusion over mask use for wildfire, COVID-19 crises

Drawing from studies on human behavior and responses to past epidemics and wildfire smoke, researchers outline recommendations for communicating correct mask use and suggest areas for further research.

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