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Posted inCalifornia

Stanford researchers identify ‘double-hazard’ zones for wildfire in the West

Some plants and patches of Earth withstand heat and dry spells better than others. A new Stanford University study shows those different coping mechanisms are closely linked to wildfire burn areas, posing increasing risks in an era of climate change. The results, published Feb. 7 in Nature Ecology and Evolution, show swaths of forest and shrublands in […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Climate of chaos: Stanford researchers show why heat may make weather less predictable

A new Stanford University study shows rising temperatures may intensify the unpredictability of weather in Earth’s midlatitudes. The limit of reliable temperature, wind and rainfall forecasts falls by about a day when the atmosphere warms by even a few degrees Celsius. “Our results show the state of the climate in general has implications for how […]

Posted inEnviro

Stanford-led research shows carbon emissions have rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels

November 3, 2021 – Industrial emissions of carbon dioxide have returned close to pre-pandemic levels, according to new research published Nov. 4. Surging consumption of coal and natural gas for power plants and industry is driving the rebound – especially in China – even as transportation emissions remain down and renewable energy use ramps up. […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Stanford researchers find whales are more important ecosystems engineers than previously thought

November 3, 2021 – From 1910 to 1970, humans killed an estimated 1.5 million baleen whales in the frigid water encircling Antarctica. They were hunted for their blubber, baleen – the filtering fringe they have in place of teeth – and meat. One might assume that from the perspective of krill – the tiny shrimp-like […]

Posted inCalifornia

Living near oil and gas wells increases air pollution exposure, according to Stanford research

In a 14-year analysis of air quality across California, Stanford researchers observed higher levels of air pollutants within 2.5 miles of oil and gas wells, likely worsening negative health outcomes for nearby residents. The scientists analyzed local air quality measurements in combination with atmospheric data and found that oil and gas wells are emitting toxic […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Humans drive most of the ups and downs in freshwater storage at Earth’s surface, Stanford study finds

March 4, 2021 – Water levels in the world’s ponds, lakes and human-managed reservoirs rise and fall from season to season. But until now, it has been difficult to parse out exactly how much of that variation is caused by humans as opposed to natural cycles. Analysis of new satellite data published March 3 in Nature shows fully 57 […]

Posted inSci/Tech

More than half of in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 among Black, Hispanic patients, study finds

November 18, 2020 – More than half of all in-hospital deaths due to COVID-19 during the first six months of 2020 were among Black and Hispanic patients, according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine.  The researchers did not find any racial or ethnic differences in mortality […]

Posted inCalifornia

Stanford researchers identify ‘landfalling droughts’ that originate over ocean

September 24, 2020 – Meteorologists track hurricanes over the oceans, forecasting where and when landfall might occur so residents can prepare for disaster before it strikes. What if they could do the same thing for droughts? Stanford scientists have now shown that may be possible in some instances – the researchers have identified a new kind […]

Posted inCalifornia

Stanford researchers discuss wildfire weather

August 27, 2020 – Something unfamiliar to many Californians – an intense thunderstorm with widespread lightning strikes – spawned the all-too-familiar wildfires that have so far burned more than 1 million acres across the state’s north. That contrast may foreshadow a future of increasingly frequent extreme weather that drives natural disasters. Noah Diffenbaugh, the Kara […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Stanford researchers show how forest loss leads to spread of disease

April 8, 2020 – Viruses that jump from animals to people, like the one responsible for COVID-19, will likely become more common as people continue to transform natural habitats into agricultural land, according to a new Stanford study. The analysis, published in Landscape Ecology, reveals how the loss of tropical forests in Uganda puts people at greater […]

Posted inRegional

Stanford researchers forecast longer, more extreme wildfire seasons

April 2, 2020 – In California, a changing climate has made autumn feel more like summer, with hotter, drier weather that increases the risk of longer, more dangerous wildfire seasons, according to a new Stanford-led study. The paper, published in Environmental Research Letters, provides insights that could inform more effective risk mitigation, land management and […]

Posted inRegional

Stanford researchers explain what to expect from wildfire season this year and in the future

June 14, 2019 – The recipe for disaster is simple. Throughout Western North America, millions of people live in high-risk wildfire zones thanks to increasingly dry, hot summers and abundant organic fuel in nearby wildlands. This year, the National Interagency Fire Center is predicting a heavy wildfire season for areas along the West Coast from […]

Posted inWorld

Climate change has worsened global economic inequality

April 24, 2019 – A new Stanford University study shows global warming has increased economic inequality since the 1960s. Temperature changes caused by growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere have enriched cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in warm countries such as India and Nigeria. “Our results show […]

Posted inCalifornia

Stanford study offers a way to map where flooded fields best replenish groundwater

April 10, 2019 – In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state’s most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft has caused land across much of the region to sink like a squeezed out sponge, permanently depleting groundwater storage capacity and damaging infrastructure. The […]