sustainability

Research and policy in a changing Arctic

Stanford University scholars discuss the Biden administration’s early actions on environmental issues in the Arctic and how the U.S. government can address threats to ecosystems, people and infrastructure in the fastest-warming place on Earth.

The future of America’s drinking water

Naming priorities such as better land management, an evolved portfolio of 21st-century solutions and more funding for research and development, Stanford experts highlight areas central to success as the Biden-Harris administration aims its sights on safeguarding U.S. drinking water.

Lessons from Fukushima disaster 10 years later

A decade after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan, Stanford experts discuss revelations about radiation from the disaster, advances in earthquake science related to the event and how its devastating impact has influenced strategies for tsunami defense and local warning systems.

How much do humans influence Earth’s water levels?

A new study provides the first global accounting of fluctuations in lake and reservoir water levels. The research shows 57 percent of the variability occurs in dammed reservoirs and other bodies of water managed by people, highlighting the dominant role humans now play in Earth’s water cycle.

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.

Controlling chemistry with sculpted light

Using state-of-the-art fabrication and imaging, researchers watched the consequences of adding sculpted light to a catalyst during a chemical transformation. This work could inform more efficient – and potentially new – forms of catalysis.

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.

Climate change caused one-third of historical 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.