Environment

Environment

FSI scholars approach their research on the environment from regulatory, economic and societal angles. The Center on Food Security and the Environment weighs the connection between climate change and agriculture; the impact of biofuel expansion on land and food supply; how to increase crop yields without expanding agricultural lands; and the trends in aquaculture. FSE’s research spans the globe – from the potential of smallholder irrigation to reduce hunger and improve development in sub-Saharan Africa to the devastation of drought on Iowa farms. David Lobell, a senior fellow at FSI and a recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, has looked at the impacts of increasing wheat and corn crops in Africa, South Asia, Mexico and the United States; and has studied the effects of extreme heat on the world’s staple crops.

Recent Publications

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Climatic Constraints on Aggregate Economic Output

May 2019

Efficient responses to climate change require accurate estimates of both aggregate damages and where and to whom they occur.

Sustainable development of the palm oil sector in the Congo Basin

May 2019

Key messages:The Congo Basin is rich in biodiversity and stores an estimated 25%-30% of the worlds tropical forest carbon stocks.

Smallholder maize area and yield mapping at national scales with Google Earth Engine

May 2019

Accurate measurements of maize yields at field or subfield scales are useful for guiding agronomic practices and investments and policies for improving food security.

Strengthened scientific support for the Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases

March 2019

We assess scientific evidence that has emerged since the U.S.

Mapping Missing Population in Rural India: A Deep Learning Approach with Satellite Imagery

February 2019

Millions of people worldwide are absent from their country’s census.

Satellite mapping of tillage practices in the North Central US region from 2005 to 2016

February 2019

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

Crop type mapping without field-level labels: Random forest transfer and unsupervised clustering techniques

January 2019

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

Satellite mapping of tillage practices in the North Central US region from 2005 to 2016

December 2018

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

Sustainable and Equitable Increases in Fruit and Vegetable Productivity and Consumption are Needed to Achieve Global Nutrition Security

November 2018

Increased intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is recommended for most populations across the globe.

Increase in crop losses to insect pests in a warming climate

August 2018

Crop responses to climate warming suggest that yields will decrease as growing-season temperatures increase.

Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico

July 2018

Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized, but remain poorly quantified.

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

July 2018

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are anticipated to decrease the zinc and iron concentrations of crops.

Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa

June 2018

Poor air quality is thought to be an important mortality risk factor globally1,2,3, but there is little direct evidence from the developing world on how mortality risk varies with changing exposure...

Deep Transfer Learning for Crop Yield Prediction with Remote Sensing Data

June 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.

Future warming increases probability of globally synchronized maize production shocks

June 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...

Large potential reduction in economic damages under UN mitigation targets

May 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...

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

March 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...

The Elusive Goal of Global Food Security

February 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.

FSE Brochure

February 2018

Download the Center on Food Security and the Environment brochure

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

December 2017

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

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

September 2017

Food security will be increasingly challenged by climate change, natural resource degradation, and population growth.

Impact of a rural solar electrification project on the level and structure of women's empowerment

September 2017

Although development organizations agree that reliable access to energy and energy services—one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals—is likely to have profound and perhaps disproportionate...

Mapping Smallholder Yield Heterogeneity at Multiple Scales in Eastern Africa

September 2017

Accurate measurements of crop production in smallholder farming systems are critical to the understanding of yield constraints and, thus, setting the appropriate agronomic investments and policies...

The shared and unique values of optical, fluorescence, thermal and microwave satellite data for estimating large-scale crop yields

August 2017

Large-scale crop monitoring and yield estimation are important for both scientific research and practical applications.

People

Pamela Matson Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, FSE Affiliated Faculty Professor, Earth Sciences, Senior Fellow, Stanford Woods Institute
Elsa Ordway PhD candidate, Earth System Science
Christopher Seifert PhD student, Earth System Science
Yi Zhao PhD student, Earth System Science
Jennifer Burney Affiliated scholar
Barry Riley Visiting Scholar
George Azzari Affiliated scholar
Wolfram Schlenker Visiting Scholar
Katrina ole-MoiYoi Affiliated scholar
Quentin Grafton Affiliated scholar
David S. Battisti Affiliated scholar
Dane Klinger Affiliated scholar