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Journal Article

Noah Diffenbaugh, Marshall Burke
Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2019

Understanding the causes of economic inequality is critical for achieving equitable economic development. To investigate whether global warming has affected the recent evolution of inequality, we combine counterfactual historical temperature trajectories from a suite of global climate models with extensively replicated empirical evidence of the relationship between historical temperature fluctuations and economic growth. Together, these allow us to generate probabilistic country-level estimates of the influence of anthropogenic climate forcing on historical economic output.

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Journal Article

Philip B. Duffy, Christopher B. Field, Noah Diffenbaugh, Scott C. Doney, Zoe Dutton, Sherri Goodman, Lisa Heinzerling, Solomon Hsiang, David Lobell, Loretta J. Mickley, Samuel Myers, Susan M. Natali, Camille Parmesan, Susan Tierney, A. Park Williams
Science, 2019

We assess scientific evidence that has emerged since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for six well-mixed greenhouse gases and find that this new evidence lends increased support to the conclusion that these gases pose a danger to public health and welfare.

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Working Paper

Wenjie Hu, Jay Harshadbhai Patel, Zoe-Alanah Robert, Paul Novosad, Samuel Asher, Zhongyi Tang, Marshall Burke, David Lobell, Stefano Ermon
AAAI/ACM Conference , 2019

Millions of people worldwide are absent from their country’s census. Accurate, current, and granular population metrics are critical to improving government allocation of resources, to measuring disease control, to responding to natural disasters, and to studying any aspect of human life in these communities. Satellite imagery can provide sufficient information to build a population map without the cost and time of a government census.

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Journal Article

George Azzari, Patricio Grassini, Juan Edreira, Shawn Conley, Spyridon Mourtzinis, David Lobell
Remote Sensing of Environment, 2019

Low-intensity tillage has become more popular among farmers in the United States and many other regions.

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Journal Article

Sherrie Wang, George Azzari, David Lobell
Remote Sensing of Environment, 2019

Crop type mapping at the field level is necessary for a variety of applications in agricultural monitoring and food security.

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Journal Article

Elsa Ordway, Rosamond L. Naylor, Raymond Nkongho, Eric Lambin
Nature, 2019

Oil palm expansion resulted in 2 million hectares (Mha) of forest loss globally in 2000–2010. Despite accounting for 24% (4.5 Mha) of the world’s total oil palm cultivated area, expansion dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa have been overlooked. We show that in Southwest Cameroon, a top producing region of Africa, 67% of oil palm expansion from 2000–2015 occurred at the expense of forest. Contrary to the publicized narrative of industrial-scale expansion, most oil palm expansion and associated deforestation is occurring outside large agro-industrial concessions.

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Journal Article

Rosamond L. Naylor, Matt Higgins, Ryan Edwards, Walter P. Falcon
Ambio, 2019

Indonesia’s oil palm expansion during the last two decades has resulted in widespread environmental and health damages through land clearing by fire and peat conversion, but it has also contributed to rural poverty alleviation. In this paper, we examine the role that decentralization has played in the process of Indonesia’s oil palm development, particularly among independent smallholder producers.

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Journal Article

Curtis A. Deutsch, Joshua J. Tewksbury, Michelle Tigchelaar, David S. Battisti, Scott C. Merrill, Raymond B. Huey, Rosamond L. Naylor
Science, 2018

Our Report draws attention to a complex but understudied issue: How will climate warming alter losses of major food crops to insect pests? Because empirical evidence on plant-insect-climate interactions is scarce and geographically localized, we developed a physiologically based model that incorporates strong and well-established effects of temperature on metabolic rates and on population growth rates.

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Journal Article

George Azzari, Patricio Grassini, Juan Ignaci, Rattalino Edreira, Shawn Conley, Spyridon Mourtzinis, David Lobell
Remote Sensing of Environment, 2018

Low-intensity tillage has become more popular among farmers in the United States and many other regions.

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Working Paper

Rosamond L. Naylor, et al.
Aspen Global Change Institute, 2018

Increased intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is recommended for most populations across the globe. However, the current state of global and regional food systems is such that F&V availability, the production required to sustain them, and consumer food choices are all severely deficient to meet this need.

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Journal Article

Tannis Thorlakson
Business Strategy and Development, 2018

Companies' sustainable sourcing practices play an increasing role in addressing the social and environmental challenges in agricultural supply chains. Yet the approaches companies take to regulate their supply chains continue to evolve. I use the chocolate industry as a critical case to explore how and why companies have changed their approaches to sustainable cocoa sourcing over the last 20 years.

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Journal Article

Curtis A. Deutsch, Joshua J. Tewksbury, Michelle Tigchelaar, David S. Battisti, Scott C. Merrill, Raymond B. Huey, Rosamond L. Naylor
Science, 2018

Crop responses to climate warming suggest that yields will decrease as growing-season temperatures increase. Deutsch et al. show that this effect may be exacerbated by insect pests (see the Perspective by Riegler). Insects already consume 5 to 20% of major grain crops. The authors' models show that for the three most important grain crops—wheat, rice, and maize—yield lost to insects will increase by 10 to 25% per degree Celsius of warming, hitting hardest in the temperate zone.

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Journal Article

Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Zulfiqar A Bhutta,Robert E Black, Marshall Burke, Eran Bendavid
The Lancet, 2018

The extent to which armed conflicts—events such as civil wars, rebellions, and interstate conflicts—are an important driver of child mortality is unclear. While young children are rarely direct combatants in armed conflict, the violent and destructive nature of such events might harm vulnerable populations residing in conflict-affected areas. A 2017 review estimated that deaths of individuals not involved in combat outnumber deaths of those directly involved in the conflict, often more than five to one.

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Journal Article

Quentin Grafton, J. Williams, C. J. Perry, F. Molle, C. Ringler, P. Steduto, B. Udall, S. A. Wheeler, Y. Wang, D. Garrick, R. G. Allen
Science, 2018

Reconciling higher freshwater demands with finite freshwater resources remains one of the great policy dilemmas.

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Journal Article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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