Earth Sciences

COVID-19 opportunities

The researchers hypothesize outcomes of the pandemic’s unprecedented socioeconomic disruption, and outline research priorities for advancing our understanding of humans’ impact on the environment.

Methane emissions climb

The pandemic has tugged carbon emissions down, temporarily. But levels of the powerful heat-trapping gas methane continue to climb, dragging the world further away from a path that skirts the worst effects of global warming.

‘Regime shift’ happening in the Arctic Ocean

Stanford scientists find the growth of phytoplankton in the Arctic Ocean has increased 57 percent over just two decades, enhancing its ability to soak up carbon dioxide. While once linked to melting sea ice, the increase is now propelled by rising concentrations of tiny algae.

Rethinking tsunami defense

Careful engineering of low, plant-covered hills along shorelines can mitigate tsunami risks with less disruption of coastal life and lower costs compared to seawalls.

Stanford Earth —

Fact or fiction? The science of “Star Wars“

How did those planets form? Could they exist in our universe? Could “Star Wars” really happen? Stanford Earth experts on planetary formation, processes and habitability discuss the science behind the fictional saga.

Stanford Earth —

Q&A: 30 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake

Reflecting on the 30th anniversary of Loma Prieta, earthquake experts share their perspectives on how the event affected them, the Bay Area and the research community at large.

Where can flooded fields help replenish groundwater?

Overpumping in California’s Central Valley has depleted groundwater storage capacity and caused the land to sink. A new model could help zero in on where water managers can replenish aquifers by flooding fields.