Subscribe to the Research Digest
or Read Online

 
 
Fall
2015
In This Issue

 > Climate

 > Ecosystem Services &
Conservation

 > Food Security

 > Freshwater

 > Oceans

 > Public Health

 > Sustainable Development

 

Follow the Fish

Theres nothing like a good meal to make you feel warm and satisfied. The warmth comes from stomach muscles and digestive organs breaking down your food. Same goes for Bluefin tuna. So, Woods Senior Fellow Barbara Block (Biology) and other researchers used data-logging tags implanted in hundreds of tunas to record the fishes' body temperature and ambient water temperature, as well as locations and diving patterns. Their work is the first to measure how much energy an aquatic animal consumes in the wild. It has allowed the researchers to identify bluefins' favorite dining spots along the North American coastline.

Read more...

"Direct Quantification of Energy Intake in an Apex Marine Predator Suggests Physiology is a Key Driver of Migrations," Science Advances, Sept. 4, 2015

Read on to explore other insights and discoveries on environmental challenges and solutions published by Stanford Woods Institute fellows and affiliated researchers.

 

 
 
 
Climate

Global Warming 'Hiatus' Never Happened

An apparent lull in the recent rate of global warming that has been widely accepted as fact is actually an artifact arising from faulty statistical methods, according to a study led by Woods-affiliated Assistant Professor of Statistics and Environmental Earth System Science Bala Rajaratnam and co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science). The researchers use a novel statistical framework that was developed specifically for studying geophysical processes such as global temperature fluctuations.

Photo credit: Dave Weaver / Shutterstock.com

Read more...

"Debunking the Climate Hiatus," Climatic Change, Sept. 17, 2015

 

Other Climate Research

"Rate and Velocity of Climate Change Caused by Cumulative Carbon Emissions," Environmental Research Letters, September 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science)

"Evaluation of Non-Hydrostatic Simulations of Northeast Pacific Atmospheric Rivers and Comparison to In-Situ Observations," Monthly Weather Review, September 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science)

"Future Property Damage from Flooding: Sensitivities to Economy and Climate Change," Climatic Change, Aug. 9, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science)

"Vulnerabilities and Opportunities at the Nexus of Electricity, Water and Climate,"
Environmental Research Letters, Aug. 4, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Contribution of Changes in Atmospheric Circulation Patterns to Extreme Temperature Trends," Nature, June 25, 2015, co- authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science) and Woods-affiliated Assistant Professor of Statistics and Environmental Earth System Science Bala Rajaratnam

"Quantifying Surface Albedo and Other Direct Biogeophysical Climate Forcings of Forestry Activities: A review," Global Change Biology, June 19, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Two or Three degrees: CO2 Emissions and Global Temperature Impacts," The Bridge, Summer 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute climate research
 
Ecosystem Services

New Conservation Strategy Benefits People and Nature

Unsurprisingly, different approaches to conservation meet different objectives. For example, creating large, isolated nature preserves may protect endangered species, but would not likely benefit farmers with enhanced crop pollination. A study led by Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Daniel Karp (Natural Capital Project) and co-authored by Senior Fellows Gretchen Daily (Biology) and Paul Ehrlich (Biology) outlines an approach to habitat conservation that achieves diverse objectives.

Photo credit: Daniel Karp

Read more...

"Confronting and Resolving Competing Values Behind Conservation Objectives," PNAS, Sept. 1, 2015

 

Other Ecosystem Services and Conservation Research

"Reconciling Predator Conservation with Public Safety," Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, October 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellows Giulio De Leo (Biology) and Fiorenza Micheli (Biology

"Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie: Australia, America and the Environment" (Book), October 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"Biophysical Limits, Women's Rights and the Climate Encyclical," Nature Climate Changes, Sept. 24, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals" (book), September 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"Moderate Land Use Changes Plant Functional Composition Without Loss of Functional Diversity in India's Western Ghats," Ecological Applications, September 2015, co-authored by Research Associate Lisa Mandle (Natural Capital Project)

"A General Consumer-Resource Population Model," Science, Aug. 21, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Giulio De Leo (Biology)

"Food Security Requires a New Revolution," International Journal of Environmental Studies, July 29, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"Nature's Bounties: Reliance on Pollinators for Health," The Lancet, July 15, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Gretchen Daily (Biology) and Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Daniel Karp (Natural Capital Project)

"Pollen Carried By Native and Nonnative Bees in the Large-scale Reforestation of Pastureland in Hawai‘i: Implications for Pollination," Pacific Science, July 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Gretchen Daily (Biology)

"Accelerated Modern Human-Induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction," Science Advances, June 19, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services Informing Decisions: From Promise to Practice," PNAS, June 16, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Gretchen Daily (Biology), Senior Research Associate Anne Guerry (Natural Capital Project), Research Associate Becky Chaplin-Kramer (Natural Capital Project), Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Robert Griffin (Natural Capital Project) and Consulting Professor Mary Ruckelshaus

"Impacts of Conservation and Human Development Policy Across Stakeholders and Scales," PNAS, June 16, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Gretchen Daily (Biology)

"Intermediate Disturbance Promotes Invasive Ant Abundance," Biological Conservation, June 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated professor of biology Deborah Gordon

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute ecosystem services research
 
Food Security

Smarter Fertilizer Use in China

China has depended heavily on reactive nitrogen to increase food production. Overuse and misuse of the fertilizer, combined with industrial emissions, have fouled air and water. A study co-authored by Senior Fellow Peter Vitousek (Biology) evaluates consequences and explores future scenarios. The researchers find there are "reasonable" pathways to reducing nitrogen use, with benefits for human well-being and environmental health.

Read more...

"Integrated Reactive Nitrogen Budgets and Future Trends in China," PNAS, July 14, 2015

 

Other Food Security Research

"Nitrogen Fixation During Decomposition of Sugar Cane (Saccharum officinarum) is an Important Contribution to Nutrient Supply in Traditional Dryland Agricultural Systems of Hawaii," International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Sept. 15, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Peter Vitousek (Biology)

"Grassland Ecology: Complexity of Nutrient Constraints," Nature Plants, July 7, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Peter Vitousek (Biology)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute food security research
 
Fresh Water

Shallow Fracking Raises Questions for Water

Thousands of U.S. oil and gas wells have been hydraulically fractured – a practice involving a rock-cracking pressurized mix of water, sand and chemicals – at shallow depths with high volumes of water, according to a study co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science). This poses a greater potential threat to underground water sources than standard hydraulic fracturing because there is little separation between the chemicals pumped underground and the drinking water above them. Jackson and his co-authors suggest that hydraulic fracturing of shallow wells may warrant special safeguards such as state assessments of necessary safety measures and full disclosure of chemicals used.

Photo credit: Rob Jackson

Read more...

"The Depths of Hydraulic Fracturing and Accompanying Water Use Across the United States," Environmental Science & Technology, July 21 2015

 

Other Freshwater Research

"Reactivity and Speciation of Mineral-Associated Arsenic in Seasonal and Permanent Wetlands of the Mekong Delta," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, September 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Scott Fendorf (Earth System Science)

"Pre-Drilling Background Groundwater Quality in the Deep River Triassic Basin of Central North Carolina, USA," Applied Geochemistry, September 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Geochemical Triggers of Arsenic Mobilization During Managed Aquifer Recharge," Environmental Science & Technology, June 25, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Scott Fendorf (Earth System Science)

"Estimating Aquifer Recharge in Fractured Hard rock: Analysis of the Methodological Challenges and Application to Obtain a Water Balance (Jaisamand Lake Basin, India)", Hydrogeology Journal, July 21, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow David Freyberg (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute freshwater research
 
Oceans

Managing Marine Ecosystems Better

In the face of climate change and increased human use of natural resources, decision-makers are working to avoid and respond to dramatic shifts in ecosystem structure and function that are often costly and hard to reverse. A study co-authored by several Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) researchers distills seven principles to guide effective management in ecosystems with tipping points. The principals are geared toward simplifying and economizing management. The study’s co-authors include Senior Fellow Larry Crowder (Biology), COS Education and Training Manager Ashley Erickson, Visiting Scholar Rod Fujita (COS), Senior Research Associate Rebecca Martone (COS) and Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Megan Mach (COS).

Photo credit: Ed Bierman

Read more...

"Principles for Managing Marine Ecosystems Prone to Tipping Points," Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, July 2015

 

Other Oceans Research

"The Attenuation of Current- and Wave-Driven Flow with Submerged Multispecific Vegetative Canopies," Limnology and Oceanography, Sept. 16, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Jeff Koseff (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

"Transcriptome Sequencing Reveals Both Neutral and Adaptive Genome Dynamics in a Marine Invader," Molecular Ecology, Sept. 1, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology)

"Marine Reserves Help Preserve Genetic Diversity After Impacts Derived from Climate Variability: Lessons from the Pink Abalone in Baja California," Global Ecology and Conservation, July 31, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology)

"Ocean Acidification Research in the 'Post-Genomic' era: Roadmaps From the Purple Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus Purpuratus," Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, July 31, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology)

"Managing Mining of the Deep Seabed," Science, July 10, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Larry Crowder (Biology) 

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute oceans research
 
Public Health

Surprising Level of Tick-Borne Disease Risk

The San Francisco Bay Area's broad swaths of trail-lined open space hold higher risks of tick-borne disease than previously thought, according to a study co-authored by Senior Fellow Eric Lambin (Earth System Science). Among other surprising discoveries, the researchers found that a higher percentage of nymphal ticks were infected with the bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi, a recently discovered human pathogen, than on the East Coast. Nymphal ticks are much smaller than adult ticks, and thus less likely to be discovered on human hosts. The study's authors suggest that locally specific information about exposure risks could help people avoid tick-borne disease.

Photo credit: Kaldari / Creative Commons

Read more...

"Disease Risk & Landscape Attributes of Tick-Borne Borrelia Pathogens in the San Francisco Bay Area, California," PLOS ONE, Aug. 19, 2015

 

Other Public Health Research

"A Pilot Study on Integrating Videography and Environmental Microbial Sampling to Model Fecal Bacterial Exposures in Peri-Urban Tanzania," PLOS ONE, Aug. 21, 2015, co-authored by Research Associate Amy Pickering (Water, Health & Development)

"The Global Health Implications of e-Cigarettes," JAMA, Aug. 18, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Michele Barry (Medicine)

"Measuring Selective Constraint on Fertility in Human Life Histories," PNAS, July 21, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow James Holland Jones (Anthropology)

"Quantification of Human Norovirus GII on Hands of Mothers With Children Under The Age of Five in Bagamoyo, Tanzania," American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, July 6, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellows Alexandria Boehm (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Jenna Davis (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute public health research
 
Sustainable Development

Social Capital as Key to Conservation

Preserving biodiversity while promoting sustainable rural development - the mission of Woods' Osa & Golfito Initiative (INOGO) - depends on relations of reciprocity and trust among local-level institutions, organizations and social networks, according to a study co-authored by Senior Fellow William Durham (Anthropology) and former INOGO researchers. The study points the way to where development-related investments are most likely to bear fruit.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/InderCostaRica

Read more...

"Social Capital in Development: Bonds, Bridges, and Links in Osa and Golfito, Costa Rica," Human Organization, Fall 2015

 

Other Sustainable Development Research

"Neural Valuation of Environmental Resources," NeuroImage, November 2015, co-authored by Brian Knutson Woods-affiliated Associate Professor of Psychology

"Natural Gas Pipeline Replacement Programs Reduce Methane Leaks and Improve Consumer Safety," Environmental Science & Technology, Sept. 9, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Value of Storage for Wind Power Producers in Forward Power Markets," Proceedings of American Control Conference, July 2015 co-authored by Woods-Affiliated Professor of Engineering Andrea Goldsmith

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute sustainable development research
 
 
 
Find Us on the Web

FaceBook Twitter YouTubeLinkedin
 

The Stanford Woods Institute Research Digest is a quarterly report of findings by Woods fellows and affiliated faculty, as well as fellows with the Institute's Leopold Leadership Program. Current and past issues are online.

Contact us to subscribe or provide information about new and forthcoming research.

To learn more about the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, visit our website or email us.

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Jerry Yang & Akiko Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building - MC 4205
473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305