It is now the end of summer for what has been a milestone year for my wife and me. This essay, itself a mini-milestone, is the fifth annual report from our farm. As readers of prior Almanac postings will know, my day job is as professor of international agricultural policy at Stanford University; however, we also own a medium-sized farm in east central Iowa that produces corn, soybeans, alfalfa and beef from a cow-calf herd. Our friends laughingly refer to our operation as a corn-California crop rotation.
One of the biggest challenges in providing relief to people living in poverty is locating them. The availability of accurate and reliable information on the location of impoverished zones is surprisingly lacking for much of the world, particularly on the African continent. Aid groups and other international organizations often fill in the gaps with door-to-door surveys, but these can be expensive and time-consuming to conduct.
Scientists have made huge strides in understanding the physical and biological dimensions of climate change, from deciphering why climate has changed in the past to predicting how it might change in the future.
As the body of knowledge on the physical science of climate grows, a missing link is emerging: What are the economic and social consequences of changes in the climate and efforts to control emissions of greenhouse gases?
When thousands of scientists, economists and policymakers meet in Paris this December to negotiate an international climate treaty, one question will dominate conversations: what is the climate worth?
FSE director Roz Naylor will give the opening plenary lecture at the 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security on October 12, 2015 at Cornell University. Naylor is William Wrigley Professor in Earth System Science, and senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.
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It is the end of summer and time for another Iowa report. My wife and I own a medium-sized farm in East Central Iowa that produces corn and soybeans, and beef from a cow/calf herd. My day job is as Professor of International Agricultural Policy at Stanford University, typically working on hunger problems in Asia. The summer keeps me in direct contact with rural life in the Midwest.
Four FSE affiliates are among the recipients of new Environmental Venture Projects (EVP) research grants from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The Stanford Woods Institute's EVP seed grant program has spurred cross-disciplinary faculty collaborations that have addressed global environmental and sustainability challenges since 2004.
In a new study in the journal BioScience, a team of researchers including Stanford professor Roz Naylor links marijuana cultivation to widespread environmental damage in California and calls for greater regulation of the crop’s impact on natural ecosystems.
Bad weather in sub-Saharan Africa increases the spread of HIV, according to a study published in the June 2015 issue of the Economic Journal, co-authored by Stanford professor and FSE fellow Marshall Burke.
A research team led by FSE director Rosamond Naylor has won a $400,000 multi-year grant to study how to create sustainable palm oil supply chains that promote economic growth and environmental sustainability in Indonesia and West Africa.
FSE deputy director David Lobell has been named the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). Lobell is also an Associate Professor in Earth System Science.
Governments must do more to diversify the types of crops grown throughout the world. If they don’t, climate change may jeopardize the global food supply, a leading agriculture researcher told a Stanford audience.
FSE director Roz Naylor has been selected to deliver the 6th annual Ned Ames Honorary Lecture at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY on Friday, April 24. Her lecture on "Feeding the World in the 21st Century," is free and open to the public, and a video recording of the event will be available on the Cary Institute's website shortly after the talk.
Tannis Thorlakson, a first-year PhD candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) in Stanford's School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Science, has won a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to support coursework and research on the palm oil industry in Indonesia. Thorlakson's proposed project, "Is Certification Enough?
A chance course at Stanford and a study-abroad trip to Nepal changed the trajectory of Marshall Burke's career, leading him to a human-focused approach studying climate change. His latest work deals with the link between rising temperatures and human violence.
A July 2014 research paper co-authored by FSE deputy director David Lobell is one of 25 articles selected by the editors of the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters to be featured in the journal's Highlights of 2014 collection. The Editorial Board also recognized the paper as 'Highly Commended' during the vote for ERL's 'Best Article' for 2014.
The European Union led the world in wheat production and exports in 2014-15. Yet Europe is also the region where productivity has slowed the most. Yields of major crops have not increased as much as would be expected over the past 20 years, based on past productivity increases and innovations in agriculture.
Finding the causes of that stagnation is key to understanding the trajectory of the global food supply.
In a lecture to the Stanford community Tuesday night, Professor Sir Gordon Conway argued that sustainably intensifying agriculture, especially in Africa, is the only way to feed a growing global population without greatly expanding the amount of land used for farming. Sir Gordon is an agricultural ecologist and was an early pioneer of sustainable agriculture while working in Malaysia in the 1960s.
In a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters, Stanford PhD student Christopher Seifert and professor David Lobell find that between 1988 and 2012, the area of farmland in the United States on which farmers were able to harvest two crops per year on the same plot of land grew by as much as 28 percent as a result of warmer temperatures and later fall freezes.
To predict how agriculture will be affected by future climate change, scientists often rely on a single crop model – a computer simulation of how a specific crop’s yield responds to temperature changes. By combining 30 such models into a single study, and comparing each model against data from existing experimental wheat fields around the world, a team of researchers including Stanford professor David Lobell have developed a more powerful and accurate way to predict future wheat yields.