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Journal Article

Sujith Ravi, Jordan Macknick, David Lobell, Christopher B. Field, Karthik Ganesan, Rishabh Jain, Michael Elchinger, Blaise Stoltenberg
Applied Energy, 2016
  • We explored the potential to colocate solar installations and agriculture.
  • Water use at solar installations are similar to amounts required for desert plants.
  • Co-located systems are economically viable in some areas.
  • Colocation can maximize land and water use efficiency in drylands.

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Journal Article

Thomas Hertel, David Lobell
Energy Economics, 2016

In this paper we discuss the scope of the adaptation challenge facing world agriculture in the coming decades. Due to rising temperatures throughout the tropics, pressures for adaptation will be greatest in some of the poorest parts of the world where the adaptive capacity is least abundant. We discuss both autonomous (market driven) and planned adaptations, distinguishing: (a) those that can be undertaken with existing technology, (b) those that involve development of new technologies, and (c) those that involve institutional/market and policy reforms.

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Journal Article

Bhupinder S. Farmaha, David Lobell, Katherine E. Boone, Kenneth G. Cassman, Haishun S. Yang, Patricio Grassini
Field Crops Research, 2016

Crop yield gap (Yg) can be disaggregated into two components: (i) one that is consistent across years and is, therefore, attributable to persistent factors that limit yields, and (ii) a second that varies from year to year due to inconsistent constraints on yields. Quantifying relative contributions of persistent and non-persistent factors to overall Yg, and identifying their underpinning causes, can help identify sound interventions to narrow current Yg and estimate magnitude of likely impact.

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Journal Article

Qingfeng Meng, Xinping Chen, David Lobell, Zhenling Cui, Yi Zhang, Haishun Yang, Fusuo Zhang
Scientific Reports, 2016

Climate change can reduce crop yields and thereby threaten food security. The current measures used to adapt to climate change involve avoiding crops yield decrease, however, the limitations of such measures due to water and other resources scarcity have not been well understood. Here, we quantify how the sensitivity of maize to water availability has increased because of the shift toward longer-maturing varieties during last three decades in the Chinese Maize Belt (CMB).

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Journal Article

David Gustafson, Michael Hayes, Emily Janssen, David Lobell, Stephen Long, Gerald C. Nelson, Himadri B. Pakrasi, Peter Raven, G. Philip Robertson, Richard Robertson, Donald Wuebbles
BioScience, 2016

We're being warned of future grain failures—not by the dreams of a biblical Pharaoh, but by modern computer model predictions. Climate science forecasts rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and episodes of increasingly extreme weather, which will harm crop yields at a time when the world's growing population can ill afford declines, especially in its most productive areas, such as the US Midwest.

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Journal Article

David Gustafson, Michael Hayes, Emily Janssen, David Lobell, Stephen Long, Gerald C. Nelson, Himadri B. Pakrasi, Peter Raven, G. Philip Robertson, Richard Robertson, Donald Wuebbles
BioScience, 2015

We're being warned of future grain failures—not by the dreams of a biblical Pharaoh, but by modern computer model predictions. Climate science forecasts rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and episodes of increasingly extreme weather, which will harm crop yields at a time when the world's growing population can ill afford declines, especially in its most productive areas, such as the US Midwest.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, Solomon Hsiang, Edward Miguel
Nature, 2015

Growing evidence demonstrates that climatic conditions can have a profound impact on the functioning of modern human societies, but effects on economic activity appear inconsistent. Fundamental productive elements of modern economies, such as workers and crops, exhibit highly non-linear responses to local temperature even in wealthy countries. In contrast, aggregate macroeconomic productivity of entire wealthy countries is reported not to respond to temperature= while poor countries respond only linearly.

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Journal Article

Kaiyu Guan, Joseph A. Berry, Yongguang Zhang, Joanna Joiner, Grayson Badgley, David Lobell
Global Change Biology, 2015

Large-scale monitoring of crop growth and yield has important value for forecasting food production and prices and ensuring regional food security. A newly emerging satellite retrieval, solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) of chlorophyll, provides for the first time a direct measurement related to plant photosynthetic activity (i.e. electron transport rate). Here, we provide a framework to link SIF retrievals and crop yield, accounting for stoichiometry, photosynthetic pathways, and respiration losses.

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Journal Article

Yi Zhao, XinPing Chen, ZhenLing Cui, David Lobell
Field Crops Research, 2015

Substantial gaps have been reported between the average farmer’s maize yield and yield potential in China, especially the North China Plain (NCP). This maize yield gap as identified by previous studies indicates large opportunities for raising yield by improving agronomy. Agronomic factors are either transient or persistent. Transient factors, which explain yield differences depending on unpredictable weather conditions, can have significantly different optimums from one year to another.

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Journal Article

Claudia Tebaldi, David Lobell
Climatic Change, 2015

We assess the benefits of climate change mitigation for global maize and wheat production over the 21st century by comparing outcomes under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 as simulated by two large initial condition ensembles from NCAR’s Community Earth System Model. We use models of the relation between climate variables, CO2 concentrations, and yields built on observations and then project this relation on the basis of simulated future temperature and precipitation and CO2 trajectories under the two scenarios, for short (2021–2040), medium (2041–2060) and long (2061–2080) time horizons.

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Journal Article

Yvonne K. Nchanji, Raymond N. Nkongho, William A. Mala, Patrice Levang
Agroforestry Systems, 2015

Intercropping oil palm during its immature stage with food crops is usually blamed for its negative impact on the growth and future yields of palms. Agro-industries unanimously condemn such practice. For smallholders on the contrary, intercropping presents numerous advantages as it not only covers the weeding cost but also provides food and revenue while waiting for the palms to come into production.

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Journal Article

Kaiyu Guan, Benjamin Sultan, Michela Biasutti, Christian Baron, David Lobell
Geophysical Research Letters, 2015

Abstract: How rainfall arrives, in terms of its frequency, intensity and the timing and duration of rainy season, may have a large influence on rainfed agriculture. However, a thorough assessment of these effects is largely missing. This study combines a new synthetic rainfall model and two independently-validated crop models (APSIM and SARRA-H) to assess sorghum yield response to possible shifts in seasonal rainfall characteristics in West Africa.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, Solomon Hsiang, Edward Miguel
Annual Review of Economics, 2015

We review the emerging literature on climate and conflict. We consider multiple types of human conflict, including both interpersonal conflict, such as assault and murder, and intergroup conflict, including riots and civil war. We discuss key methodological issues in estimating causal relationships and largely focus on natural experiments that exploit variation in climate over time.

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Journal Article

David Lobell, David Thau, Christopher Seifert, Eric Engel, Bertis Little
Remote Sensing of Environment, 2015
  • A new approach to mapping crop yields is presented.
  • Estimates are made within Google's Earth Engine, allowing broad scale application.
  • Field-level estimates are tested against over 29,000 ground-based records.
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Journal Article

Jennifer K. Carah, Jeanette K. Howard, Sally E. Thompson, Anne G. Short Gianotti, Scott D. Bauer, Stephanie M. Carlson, David N. Dralle, Mourad W. Gabriel, Lisa L. Hulette, Brian J. Johnson, Curtis A. Knight, Sarah J. Kupferberg, Stefanie L. Martin, Rosamond L. Naylor, Mary E. Power
Bioscience, 2015

The liberalization of marijuana policies, including the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, is sweeping the United States and other countries. Marijuana cultivation can have significant negative collateral effects on the environment that are often unknown or overlooked.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, Erick Gong, Kelly Jones
The Economic Journal, 2015

We examine how variation in local economic conditions has shaped the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Using data from over 200,000 individuals across 19 countries, we match biomarker data on individuals' serostatus to information on local rainfall shocks, a large source of income variation for rural households. We estimate infection rates in HIV-endemic rural areas increase by 11% for every recent drought, an effect that is statistically and economically significant.

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Journal Article

Shraddhanand Shukla, Mohammad Safeeq, Amir AghaKouchak, Kaiyu Guan, Chris Funk
Geophysical Research Letters, 2015

California is experiencing one of the worst droughts on record. We use a hydrological model and risk assessment framework to understand the influence of temperature on the water year (WY) 2014 drought in California and examine the probability that this drought would have been less severe if temperatures resembled the historical climatology. Our results indicate that temperature played an important role in exacerbating the WY 2014 drought severity.

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Journal Article

Marshall Burke, John Dykema, David Lobell, Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath
The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2015

Quantitative estimates of the impacts of climate change on economic outcomes are important for public policy. We show that the vast majority of estimates fail to account for well-established uncertainty in future temperature and rainfall changes, leading to potentially misleading projections. We reexamine seven well-cited studies and show that accounting for climate uncertainty leads to a much larger range of projected climate impacts and a greater likelihood of worst-case outcomes, an important policy parameter.

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Journal Article

Derek Byerlee, Ximena Rueda
Forests, 2015

Abstract: Globalization and commodity exports have a long history in affecting land use changes and land rights on the tropical forest frontier. This paper reviews a century of social and environmental discourse around land issues for four commodities grown in the humid tropics—rubber, cocoa, oil palm and bananas.

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Journal Article

Raymond N. Nkongho, Thomas E. Ndjogui, Patrice Levang
Oilseeds and fats, Crops and Lipids, 2015

The present article explores the origin and changes in partnership agreements established between agro-industries and oil palm smallholders in Cameroon. The different forms of partnership which have existed over the years in the oil palm sector until now are assessed, notably the FONADER-sponsored smallholder scheme (1978 to 1991) and more recently the Afriland First Bank sponsored project of Socapalm Eseka (2007/2008 to present).

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Journal Article

Joanne Gaskell
Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 2015

Indonesia produces more palm oil and consumes more palm oil per capita than any country in the world. This article examines the processes through which Indonesia has promoted palm-oil consumption and some of the consequences of that promotion. Partial equilibrium modelling shows that Indonesia's remarkable increase in palm-oil consumption since 1985 is not largely attributable to population and income growth.

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Journal Article

Kaiyu Guan, et al.
Nature Geoscience, 2015

The response of tropical forests to droughts is highly uncertain. During the dry season, canopy photosynthesis of some tropical forests can decline, whereas in others it can be maintained at the same or a higher level than during the wet season. However, it remains uncertain to what extent water availability is responsible for productivity declines of tropical forests during the dry season.

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Journal Article

Dan Urban, Michael J. Roberts, Wolfram Schlenker, David Lobell
Climatic Change, 2015

Short durations of very high spring soil moisture can influence crop yields in many ways, including delaying planting and damaging young crops. The central United States has seen a significant upward trend in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation in the 20th century, potentially leading to more frequent occurrences of saturated or nearly saturated fields during the planting season, yet the impacts of these changes on crop yields are not known. Here we investigate the yield response to excess spring moisture for both maize and soybean in the U.S.

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