Publications

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    Policy Brief

    2017
    Using agricultural and economic characteristics in African nations as test cases, new research by David Lobell and Marshall Burke demonstrates the use of satellite data to address the long-standing problem of accurate data collection in developing countries. An often cited challenge in achieving development goals aimed at poverty and hunger reduction is the lack of reliable on-the-ground data.
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    Journal Article

    George Azzari, David Lobell
    Remote Sensing of Environment, 2017

    Satellite-derived land cover maps play an important role in many applications, including monitoring of smallholder-dominated agricultural landscapes.

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    Journal Article

    George Azzari, Meha Jain, David Lobell
    Remote Sensing of Environment, 2017

    One of the greatest challenges in monitoring food security is to provide reliable crop yield information that is temporally consistent and spatially scalable. An ideal yield dataset would not only extend globally and across multiple years, but would also have enough spatial granularity to characterize productivity at the field and subfield level.

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    Journal Article

    Rosamond L. Naylor, Matt Higgins
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017

    Global biodiesel production grew by 23% per annum between 2005 and 2015, leading to a seven-fold expansion of the sector in a single decade. Rapid development in the biodiesel sector corresponded to high crude oil prices, but since mid-2014, oil prices have fallen dramatically.

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    Journal Article

    Halimatou Alaofe, Min Zhu, Jennifer Burney, Rosamond L. Naylor, Taren Douglas
    Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 2017

    Women empowerment (WE) is increasingly viewed as an important strategy to reduce maternal and child undernutrition,13 which continues to be a major health burden in low- and middle-income countries causing 3.5 million preventable maternal and child deaths, 35% of the disease burden in children yo

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    Journal Article

    David Lobell, David Lobell, Yi Zhao
    Field Crops Research, 2017

    The gap between yield potential and average farmers’ yield measures the capacity for yield improvement with current technology. The North China Plain (NCP) is a major maize producing region of China, and improving maize yield of NCP is essential to food security of the country.

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    Journal Article

    Marshall Burke, David Lobell
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2017

    The emergence of satellite sensors that can routinely observe millions of individual smallholder farms raises possibilities for monitoring and understanding agricultural productivity in many regions of the world. Here we demonstrate the potential to track smallholder maize yield variation in western Kenya, using a combination of 1-m Terra Bella imagery and intensive field sampling on thousands of fields over 2 y.

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    Journal Article

    Jennifer Burney, Rosamond L. Naylor, Halimatou Alaofè, Douglas Taren
    Public Health Nutrition, 2017

    Objective: To identify the magnitude of anaemia and deficiencies of Fe (ID) and vitamin A (VAD) and their associated factors among rural women and children.

    Design: Cross-sectional, comprising a household, health and nutrition survey and determination of Hb, biochemical (serum concentrations of ferritin, retinol, C-reactive protein and α1-acid glycoprotein) and anthropometric parameters. Multivariate logistic regression examined associations of various factors with anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies.

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    Journal Article

    Halimatou Alaofè, Jennifer Burney, Rosamond L. Naylor, Douglas Taren
    Public Health Nutrition, 2017

    Recent reviews of dietary intake data from Benin showed that recommended daily intakes of key micronutrients, such as vitamin A and Fe, were not met( – 

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    Journal Article

    Sam Heft-Neal, David Lobell, Marshall Burke
    Environmental Research Letters, 2017

    Temperature data are commonly used to estimate the sensitivity of many societally relevant outcomes, including crop yields, mortality, and economic output, to ongoing climate changes. In many tropical regions, however, temperature measures are often very sparse and unreliable, limiting our ability to understand climate change impacts.

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    Journal Article

    David Lobell, David Lobell, George Azzari
    Environmental Research Letters, 2017

    The future trajectory of crop yields in the United States will influence food supply and land use worldwide. We examine maize and soybean yields for 2000–2015 in the Midwestern U.S. using a new satellite-based dataset on crop yields at 30m resolution.

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    Journal Article

    Ling Cao, Rosamond L. Naylor, Shuanglin Dongd, Arthur Hansone, Bo Huangf, Duncan Leadbitterg, David C. Littleh, Ellen K. Pikitchi, Yongsong Qiuj, Yvonne Sadovy de Mitchesonk, Ussif Rashid Sumailal, Meryl Williamsm, Guifang Xuen, Yimin Yeo, Wenbo Zhangp, Yingqi Zhouq, Ping Zhuangr
    PNAS, 2017

    China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, launched in March 2016, provides a sound policy platform for the protection of marine ecosystems and the restoration of capture fisheries within China’s exclusive economic zone. What distinguishes China among many other countries striving for marine fisheries reform is its size—accounting for almost one-fifth of global catch volume—and the unique cultural context of its economic and resource management.

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    Journal Article

    David Lobell, Senthold Asseng
    Environmental Research Letters, 2017

    The potential impacts of climate change on crop productivity are of widespread interest to those concerned with addressing climate change and improving global food security. Two common approaches to assess these impacts are process-based simulation models, which attempt to represent key dynamic processes affecting crop yields, and statistical models, which estimate functional relationships between historical observations of weather and yields.

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    Book

    Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
    Oxford University Press, 2016

    Over the last two decades global production of soybean and palm oil seeds have increased enormously. Because these tropically rainfed crops are used for food, cooking, animal feed, and biofuels, they have entered the agriculture, food, and energy chains of most nations despite their actual growth being increasingly concentrated in Southeast Asia and South America.

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    Journal Article

    Marshall Burke, Sam Heft-Neal, Eran Bendavid
    The Lancet Global Health, 2016

    The ongoing decline in under-5 mortality ranks among the most significant public and population health successes of the past 30 years.

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    Journal Article

    William J. Burke, Thom. S. Jayne, J. Roy Black
    Agricultural Economics, 2016

    It is widely recognized that an “African green revolution” will require greater use of inorganic fertilizers. Often-made comparisons note that fertilizer use rates in Africa are just 10–20% of those in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

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    Journal Article

    Kaiyu Guan, David B. Lobell, Benjamin Sultan, Michela Biasuttid,, Christian Barone
    Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 2016

    In the coming decades, the already fragile agricultural system in West Africa will face further challenges in meeting food security, both from increasing population and from the impacts of climate change.

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    Journal Article

    Neal Jean, Marshall Burke, Michael Xie, W. Matthew Davis, David B. Lobell, Stefano Ermon
    Science, 2016

    Policy-makers in the world's poorest countries are often forced to make decisions based on limited data. Consider Angola, which recently conducted its first postcolonial census. In the 44 years that elapsed between the prior census and the recent one, the country's population grew from 5.6 million to 24.3 million, and the country experienced a protracted civil war that displaced millions of citizens.

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    Journal Article

    Esha Zaveri, Danielle S Grogan, Karen Fisher-Vanden, Steve Frolking, Richard B Lammers, Douglas H Wrenn, Alexander Prusevich , Robert E Nicholas
    Environmental Research Letters, 2016

    India is one of the world's largest food producers, making the sustainability of its agricultural system of global significance. Groundwater irrigation underpins India's agriculture, currently boosting crop production by enough to feed 170 million people.

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    Journal Article

    Science, 2016

    There have been dramatic advances in understanding the physical science of climate change, facilitated by substantial and reliable research support. The social value of these advances depends on understanding their implications for society, an arena where research support has been more modest and research progress slower. Some advances have been made in understanding and formalizing climate-economy linkages, but knowledge gaps remain [e.g., as discussed in (1, 2)].

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    Journal Article

    Halimatou Alaofe, Jennifer Burney, Rosamond L. Naylor, Douglas Taren
    Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 2016
    In 2007, "solar market gardens" were installed in 2 villages for women’s agricultural groups as a strategy for enhancing food and nutrition security. Data were collected through interviews at installation and 1 year later from all women’s group households (30–35 women/group) and from a random representative sample of 30 households in each village, for both treatment and matched-pair comparison villages. Comparison of baseline and endline data indicated increases in the variety of fruits and vegetables produced and consumed by SMG women’s groups compared to other groups.
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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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