Food and agriculture

Clean air boosts crop yields

A Stanford-led study estimates pollution reductions between 1999 and 2019 contributed to about 20 percent of the increase in U.S. corn and soybean yield gains during that period – an amount worth about $5 billion per year.

Finding the ‘sweet spots’ for managed aquifer recharge

Rapidly worsening drought and a mandate to bring aquifer withdrawals and deposits into balance by 2040 have ignited interest in replenishing California groundwater through managed aquifer recharge. Stanford scientists demonstrate a new way to assess sites for this type of project using soil measurements and a geophysical system towed by an all-terrain vehicle.

Aquaculture’s promise and peril

Twenty years ago, a Stanford-led analysis sparked controversy by highlighting fish farming’s damage to ocean fisheries. Now a follow-up study takes stock of the industry’s progress and points to opportunities for sustainable growth.

Plastic ingestion by fish a growing problem

Stanford ecologists have conducted one of the most detailed and comprehensive analyses of plastic ingestion by marine fish and shown that the rate of consumption is increasing. The work also reveals emerging trends about why certain species are at higher risk.

Stanford Earth —

Landscape disruptions threaten Paris climate agreement goals

A new study finds emissions from deforestation, conversion of wild landscapes to agriculture, and other changes in land use worldwide contributed 25 percent of all human-caused emissions between 2001 and 2017.

Linking piped water, health and gender equality

New Stanford research finds installing piped water in rural Zambian homes frees up time in the daily lives of women and girls, while also promoting economic growth and food security – making an argument for piped water infrastructure investments across rural, low-income areas.

U.S. corn crop increasingly sensitive to drought

New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate. However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly, according to a new study that could help identify ways to reverse the trend.

Why laughing gas is a growing climate problem

Stanford scientist Rob Jackson explains why emissions of nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” are rising faster than expected and what it will take to reverse the trend.

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.