These stories offer a glimpse of the many ways in which faculty and students are addressing some of today's greatest challenges in the Earth and environmental sciences.
Massive amounts of greenhouse gases trapped below thawing permafrost will likely seep into the air over the next several decades, accelerating and amplifying global warming, scientists warn.
Researcher Jennifer Wilcox, of Stanford University, quoted in Mongabay: "Direct air capture sounds great in theory. In reality though a lot of energy is required. Using fossil-based energy sources to capture and regenerate the carbon dioxide could readily result in more carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere than is captured. For direct air capture to be feasible, carbon-free energy, such as solar or wind, is required. But that carbon-free energy would be used more effectively to replace CO2-emitting power plants... Ultimately, society needs to move completely away from carbon-based energy resources."
A study by Adam Brandt at Stanford University, California, found there was some uncertainty, but greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands production were "significantly different enough from conventional oil emissions that regulatory frameworks should address this discrepancy".
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) recently honored Dr. Curtis Hays Whitson, Founder & CTO at Petrostreamz, and BS Stanford, '78, with the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference.
Zhouyuan (Zee) Zhu took first place in the PhD Division and Guenther Glatz placed second.
The economic pressures to develop the oil sands are enormous. Much of the world’s “easy” conventional oil has been found, and OPEC and the former Soviet Union hold most of what is left.
Seven Stanford faculty teams have been awarded Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grants for research that tackles global sustainability challenges.
How could it happen? The details of the Deepwater Horizon disaster will be thrashed out in a public talk Tuesday evening by three Stanford experts: geophysicist Mark Zoback, Law School lecturer Meg Caldwell and energy engineer Roland Horne.