Climate change is the defining challenge of the 21st century
Human activities and resource use are altering Earth’s climate, through emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, and through alteration of the land surface. Climate change, in turn, is affecting other Earth processes. Stanford Earth faculty work across disciplines—and at the interface of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice systems, and human behavior. They characterize climate changes and help develop adaptation strategies that matter to people.
A fossil study from Stanford University finds the diversity of life in the world’s oceans declined time and again over the past 145 million years during periods of extreme warming. Temperatures that make it hard for cold-blooded sea creatures to breathe have likely been among the biggest drivers for shifts in the distribution of marine biodiversity.