At Stanford, Mark Z. Jacobson uses numerical models to study the effects of energy systems and vehicles on climate and air pollution, and to analyze renewable energy resources.
Mark Z. Jacobson's research looks at the causes and effects of vastly complex processes -- the physics and chemistry of our atmosphere. He and his team at Stanford have pioneered new atmospheric research and analysis techniques that give a picture of the current state of our atmosphere, show what pollution from aerosols, ethanol, agriculture, and ultraviolet radiation are doing to it, and predict how these might affect the climate.
Jacobson developed the first interactive model showing the combined effects of gas, aerosols and radiative air-pollution on weather systems. He also discovered that black carbon -- the main component of soot particles -- may be the second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide.
Jacobson's group developed the world's first wind map based on data at the height of modern wind turbines -- serving as the scientific justification for major wind farm proposals in recent years.
"A large-scale wind, water and solar energy system can reliably supply the world’s needs, significantly benefiting climate, air quality, water quality, ecology and energy security ... [T]he obstacles are primarily political, not technical."Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, in Scientific American
“To power the entire world with 50 percent wind [energy], you would need about one percent of world land.”
“You can power the entire U.S. vehicle fleet with 73,000 to 145,000 five-megawatt wind turbines. That would take between one and three square kilometers of footprint on the ground.”