Ecology & 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.

Links between COVID-19 and air pollution

A proposed change to federal regulations would give less consideration to the health benefits of air pollution rules. Mary Prunicki of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research discusses likely outcomes for poor communities.

Air pollution’s connection to infant mortality

The study of sub-Saharan Africa finds that a relatively small increase in airborne particles significantly increases infant mortality rates. A cost-effective solution may lie in an exotic-sounding proposal.

When planting trees threatens the forest

The first-of-its-kind study reveals that subsidies for the planting of commercially valuable tree plantations in Chile resulted in the loss of biologically valuable natural forests and little, if any, additional carbon sequestration.

Understanding environmental rollback

In a Q&A, environmental law Professor Deborah Sivas discusses a recent executive order that empowers federal agencies to override legal requirements for environmental reviews and community feedback related to major infrastructure projects.

Living near oil and gas wells may increase preterm birth risk

New research shows living near oil and gas development in California is a risk factor for preterm birth, the leading cause of infant death in the United States. About 2.1 million Californians live within one mile of an active oil or gas well.

Accounting for nature in economies

Gross Domestic Product, the standard metric for measuring national economies, doesn’t account for the valuable services provided by nature. A new approach could help fill the gap.

A simple way to reduce mosquito-borne diseases

Stanford researchers working in rural Kenya have identified the most productive breeding habitats for mosquitoes that spread a range of untreatable viruses. Their findings point to more effective health interventions that focus on the purpose of water-holding containers.

Finding food security underwater

Our growing need for food poses one of the biggest threats to the environment. Stanford ocean and food security experts explain how the ocean could produce dramatically more food while driving sustainable economic growth.