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Journal Article

Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions

Jonathan Proctor, Solomon Hsiang, Jennifer Burney, Marshall Burke, Wolfram Schlenker
Nature , 2018

Solar radiation management is increasingly considered to be an option for managing global temperatures

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Journal Article

Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico

Marshall Burke, Felipe González, Patrick Baylis, Sam Heft-Neal, Ceren Baysan, Sanjay Basu, and Solomon Hsiang
Nature Climate Change , 2018

Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized, but remain poorly quantified. In particular, it is unknown whether the rate of suicide, a leading cause of death globally, is systematically affected by climatic conditions. Using comprehensive data from multiple decades for both the United States and Mexico, we find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature. This effect is similar in hotter versus cooler regions and has not diminished over time, indicating limited historical adaptation.

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Journal Article

Anticipated burden and mitigation of carbon-dioxide-induced nutritional deficiencies and related diseases: A simulation modeling study

Christopher Weyant, Margaret L. Brandeau, Marshall Burke, David Lobell, Eran Bendavid, Sanjay Basu
PLOS Medicine , 2018

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are anticipated to decrease the zinc and iron concentrations of crops. The associated disease burden and optimal mitigation strategies remain unknown. We sought to understand where and to what extent increasing carbon dioxide concentrations may increase the global burden of nutritional deficiencies through changes in crop nutrient concentrations, and the effects of potential mitigation strategies.

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Journal Article

Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa

Sam Heft-Neal, Jennifer Burney, Eran Bendavid, Marshall Burke (198750)
Nature , 2018

Poor air quality is thought to be an important mortality risk factor globally

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Journal Article

Hierarchical Modeling of Seed Variety Yields and Decision Making for Future Planting Plans

Huaiyang Zhong, Xiaocheng Li, David Lobell, Stefano Ermon, Margaret Brandeau
Environment Systems and Decisions , 2018

Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is a key development goal of the twenty first century. This paper addresses the problem of optimally identifying seed varieties to reliably increase crop yield within a risk-sensitive decision making framework. Specifically, a novel hierarchical machine learning mechanism for predicting crop yield (the yield of different seed varieties of the same crop) is introduced.

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Working Paper

Deep Transfer Learning for Crop Yield Prediction with Remote Sensing Data

Anna Wang, Caelin Tran, Nikhil Desai, David Lobell, Stefano Ermon
COMPASS '18 Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies , 2018

Accurate prediction of crop yields in developing countries in advance of harvest time is central to preventing famine, improving food security, and sustainable development of agriculture. Existing techniques are expensive and difficult to scale as they require locally collected survey data. Approaches utilizing remotely sensed data, such as satellite imagery, potentially provide a cheap, equally effective alternative. Our work shows promising results in predicting soybean crop yields in Argentina using deep learning techniques.

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Journal Article

The important but weakening maize yield benefit of grain filling prolongation in the US Midwest

Peng Zhu, Zhenong Jin, Qianlai Zhuang, Philippe Ciais, Carl Bernacchi, Xuhui Wang, David Makowski, David Lobell
Global Change Biology , 2018

A better understanding of recent crop yield trends is necessary for improving the yield and maintaining food security. Several possible mechanisms have been investigated recently in order to explain the steady growth in maize yield over the US Corn‐Belt, but a substantial fraction of the increasing trend remains elusive. In this study, trends in grain filling period (GFP) were identified and their relations with maize yield increase were further analyzed.

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Journal Article

Satellite detection of cover crops and their effects on crop yield in the Midwestern United States

Christopher Seifert, George Azzari, David Lobell
Environmental Research Letters , 2018

The practice of planting winter cover crops has seen renewed interest as a solution to environmental issues with the modern maize- and soybean-dominated row crop production system of the US Midwest. We examine whether cover cropping patterns can be assessed at scale using publicly available satellite data, creating a classifier with 91.5% accuracy (.68 kappa).

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Journal Article

Future warming increases probability of globally synchronized maize production shocks

Michelle Tigchelaar, David S. Battisti, Rosamond L. Naylor, Deepak K. Ray
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 2018

Climate-induced shocks in grain production are a major contributor to global market volatility, which creates uncertainty for cereal farmers and agribusiness and reduces food access for poor consumers when production falls and prices spike.

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Journal Article

Large potential reduction in economic damages under UN mitigation targets

Marshall Burke, W. Matt Davis, Noah Diffenbaugh
Nature , 2018

International climate change agreements typically specify global warming thresholds as policy targets, but the relative economic benefits of achieving these temperature targets remain poorly underst

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Journal Article

The effects of intensive aquaculture on nutrient residence time and transport in a coastal embayment

Bing Wang, Ling Cao, Fiorenza Micheli, Rosamond L. Naylor, Oliver B. Fringer
Environmental Fluid Mechanics , 2018

Aquaculture in many countries around the world has become the biggest source of seafood for human consumption. While it alleviates the pressure on wild capture fisheries, the long-term impacts of large-scale, intensive aquaculture on natural coastal systems need to be better understood. In particular, aquaculture may alter habitat and exceed the carrying capacity of coastal marine ecosystems.

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Journal Article

Unprecedented rates of land-use transformation in modelled climate change mitigation pathways

P. A. Turner, Christopher B. Field, David Lobell, D. L. Sanchez, K. J. Mach
Nature Sustainability , 2018

Integrated assessment models generate climate change mitigation scenarios consistent with global temperature targets.

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Working Paper

Sell Low and Buy High: Arbitrage and Local Price Effects in Kenyan Markets

Marshall Burke, Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Edward Miguel
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH , 2018

Large and regular seasonal price fluctuations in local grain markets appear to offer African farmers substantial inter-temporal arbitrage opportunities, but these opportunities remain largely unexploited: small-scale farmers are commonly observed to "sell low and buy high" rather than the reverse. In a field experiment in Kenya, we show that credit market imperfections limit farmers' abilities to move grain inter-temporally.

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Journal Article

Differences, or lack thereof, in wheat and maize yields under three low-warming scenarios

Claudia Tebaldi, David Lobell
Environmental Research Letters , 2018

The availability of climate model experiments under three alternative scenarios stabilizing at warming targets inspired by the COP21 agreements (a 1.5 ºC not exceed, a 1.5 ºC with overshoot and a 2.0ºC) makes it possible to assess future expected changes in global yields for two staple crops, wheat and maize.

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Working Paper

Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground : assessing satellite- and ground-based approaches to crop yield measurement and analysis in Uganda

David Lobell, George Azzari, Marshall Burke, Gourlay,Sydney, Zhenong Jin, Kilic,Talip, Murray,Siobhan
World Bank Group , 2018

Crop yields in smallholder systems are traditionally assessed using farmer-reported information in surveys, occasionally by crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer's plot, and rarely using full-plot harvests. Accuracy and cost vary dramatically across methods. In parallel, satellite data is improving in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution needed to discern performance on smallholder plots.

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Journal Article

Assessing Hazard Vulnerability, Habitat Conservation and Restoration for the Enhancement of China’s Coastal Resilience

Ling Cao, Muhammad Sajjad, Yangfan Li, Zhenghong Tang, Ling Cao, Xiaoping Liu
Earth's Future , 2018

Worldwide, humans are facing high risks from natural hazards, especially in coastal regions with high population densities. Rising sea levels due to global warming are making coastal communities’ infrastructure vulnerable to natural disasters.

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Journal Article

The Elusive Goal of Global Food Security

Rosamond L. Naylor
2018

Ending world hunger is a universal goal, yet progress and social awareness of the issue waxes and wanes in the course of broader political and economic developments. The massive famine in China under Chairman Mao’s 1958–62 Great Leap Forward, a succession of severe droughts and associated famines in India in 1965–66, and the political violence that accompanied regime change in Indonesia in 1964–67 left tens of millions of people starving and drew global attention to the threat of food insecurity.

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Journal Article

Feed conversion efficiency in aquaculture: do we measure it correctly?

Jillian Fry, Nicholas Mailloux, David Love, Michael Milli, Ling Cao
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 13, Number 2 , 2018

Globally, demand for food animal products is rising. At the same time, we face mounting, related pressures including limited natural resources, negative environmental externalities, climate disruption, and population growth.

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Journal Article

Improving environmental practices in agricultural supply chains: The role of company-led standards

Tannis Thorlakson, Jens Hainmueller, Eric Lambin
Global Environmental Change , 2017

Food retailers and manufacturers are increasingly committing to address agricultural sustainability issues in their supply chains. In place of using established eco-certifications, many companies define their own supply chain sustainability standards.

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Journal Article

Improving the accuracy of satellite-based high-resolution yield estimation: A test of multiple scalable approaches

Zhenong Jin, George Azzari, David Lobell
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology , 2017

Fast, accurate and inexpensive estimates of crop yields at the field scale are useful for many applications.

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Journal Article

The rise in global biodiesel production: Implications for food security

Rosamond L. Naylor, Matt Higgins
Global Food Security , 2017

Policies that promote biofuels in major agricultural economies raise important questions for food prices and food security at local to global scales. Global biofuel output rose from 38 billion liters to 131 billion liters between 2005 and 2015, boosting the demand for annual- and perennial-crop feedstocks such as maize, sugar, soy, rapeseed, and palm oil. Although ethanol volume was three times that of biodiesel in 2015, the share of biodiesel in total biofuel output rose from 10% to almost 25% over the course of the decade (EIA, n.d.; REN21, 2016).

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Journal Article

Historical effects of CO2 and climate trends on global crop water demand

Daniel W. Urban, Justin Sheffield, David Lobell
Nature Climate Change , 2017

A critical question for agricultural production and food security is how water demand for staple crops will respond to climate and carbon dioxide (CO

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Journal Article

Oil palm expansion in Cameroon: Insights into sustainability opportunities and challenges in Africa

Elsa Ordway, Rosamond L. Naylor, Raymond N. Nkongho, Eric Lambin
Global Environmental Change , 2017

Oil palm production expanded 1.2 million hectares in sub-Saharan Africa since 1990, with expansion accelerating in several heavily forested countries since 2000.

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Journal Article

Increasing drought and diminishing benefits of elevated carbon dioxide for soybean yields across the US Midwest

Zhenong Jin, Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, Andrew D. B. Leakey, David Lobell
Global Change Biology , 2017
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Journal Article

Using satellite data to identify the causes of and potential solutions for yield gaps in India's Wheat Belt

Meha Jain, Balwinder Singh, A A K Srivastava, R K Malik, A J McDonald, David Lobell
Environmental Research Letters , 2017

Food security will be increasingly challenged by climate change, natural resource degradation, and population growth. Wheat yields, in particular, have already stagnated in many regions and will be further affected by warming temperatures. Despite these challenges, wheat yields can be increased by improving management practices in regions with existing yield gaps.

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