PASADENA, Calif. – Scientists at Cal Tech have been working on creating a more sustainable world for years. Now thanks to a large monetary donation, they can start significant research to combat climate change.

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Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of the Wonderful Company, donated $750 million to climate change research. It’s the largest gift in Cal Tech history, and second-largest gift to a U.S. academic institution.

Chemists are already in the lab at the Resnick Sustainability Institute working on solutions. Dr. Jonas Peters says global minds are needed for this global problem.

“The threat of climate change is unequivocal,” Dr. Peters said. “There is no question that mankind is contributing to climate change.”

Thanks to the money, scientists can focus on four core research areas:  

  • Sunlight to Everything; which will focus on building smarter electricity infrastructure and converting the sun's energy into fuels and other chemicals.
  • Climate Science; which will advance efforts in measurement and modeling meant to identify the largest effects of climate change, and efforts in mitigation and adaptation to offset some of the impact of carbon emissions.
  • Water Resources; which will ensure that this vital resource is managed most effectively through the mapping and monitoring of surface and sub-surface water, together with improvements in water treatment and reuse.
  • Global Ecology and Biosphere Engineering; which will consider the biosphere and its response to climate change, engineering ways in which microbes may help plants adapt to the changing climate and how best to use biological tools to improve water and nutrient use.

They’ll have their hands full, making a more sustainable world for us all.