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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.

Canadian tar Sands Lobby Muddies CO2 Impact
Submitted on Dec 8 2012

The initial extraction is three to five times more carbon emitting than conventional crude recovery, according to a study by Stanford University's Adam Brandt.

Stanford scientists subject rocks to hellish conditions to combat global warming
Submitted on Dec 6 2011

A team of Earth scientists at Stanford University is subjecting chunks of rock to hellish conditions in the laboratory – all in the name of curbing climate change.

Study: Thawing Permafrost Will Worsen Global Warming
Submitted on Dec 5 2011

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.

Financial, Energy Costs of Scrubbing CO2 Directly From Atmosphere Grossly Underestimated
Submitted on Dec 12 2011

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."

The EU clash with Canada over oil from tar sands
Submitted on Nov 22 2011

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".

Curtis Hays Whitson Receives Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal from SPE/AIME
Submitted on

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.

SPE International Student Paper Contest 2011
Submitted on

Zhouyuan (Zee) Zhu took first place in the PhD Division and Guenther Glatz placed second.

Are Oil Pipelines Safer Now?
Submitted on Oct 3 2011

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.

More on Tar, Oil, Pipelines and Presidents
Submitted on Sep 8 2011

Adam Brandt, a Stanford University researcher focused on oil and alternative fuels:

Stanford's Woods Institute awards 2011 round of Environmental Venture Projects
Submitted on Jun 24 2011

Seven Stanford faculty teams have been awarded Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grants for research that tackles global sustainability challenges.