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Winter
2016
In This Issue

 > Climate

 > Ecosystem Services &
Conservation

 > Food Security

 > Freshwater

 > Oceans

 > Public Health

 > Sustainable Development

 

A Natural Story

Home to the world's oldest and biggest trees, North America's lowest point, and the highest peak in the contiguous U.S., California is a land of superlatives. "Ecosystems of California," a book co-edited by Senior Fellow, Emeritus Hal Mooney (Biology), provides the first-ever encyclopedic overview of the Golden State's rich ecosystems. It is intended to serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, resource managers, students and interested readers. Contributors include Senior Fellows Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science), Chris Field (Biology, Earth System Science) and Elizabeth Hadly (Biology), and Research Associates Becky Chaplin-Kramer (Natural Capital Project) and Lisa Mandle (Natural Capital Project).

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"Ecosystems of California" (book), University of California Press, Jan. 19, 2015

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

 

 
 
 
Climate

Economic Cost of Climate Change Higher Than Expected

A study co-authored by Center Fellow Marshall Burke (Earth System Science) shows that the global economy will take a harder hit from rising temperatures than previously thought, with incomes falling in most countries by the year 2100 if climate change continues unchecked.

Photo credit: NASA

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"Global Non-Linear Effect of Temperature on Economic Production," Nature, Oct. 21, 2015

 

Other Climate Research

"Reaching Peak Emissions," Nature Climate Change, Dec. 7, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Biophysical and Economic Limits to Negative CO2 Emissions," Nature Climate Change, Dec. 7, 2015, Coauthored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Observed and Projected Climate Trends and Hotspots Across the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Regions," Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, December 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science)

"The Potential for Snow to Supply Human Water Demand in the Present and Future," Environmental Research Letters, Nov. 12, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science)

"Quantifying Surface Albedo and Other Direct Biogeophysical Climate Forcings of Forestry Activities: A Review," Global Change Biology, Nov. 3, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute climate research
 
Ecosystem Services

Loss of Large Land Mammals Could Change Landscapes Forever

Large land animals such as elephants, wildebeest and other big plant-eaters are worth preserving in part because their disappearance could have permanent effects on the plants and animals they coexist with, according to an analysis of extinctions co-authored Senior Fellow Elizabeth Hadly (Biology).

Photo credit: Anthony Barnosky

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"Variable Impact of Late-Quaternary Megafaunal Extinction in Causing Ecological State Shifts in North and South America," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct. 26, 2015

 

Other Ecosystem Services and Conservation Research

"From Division of Labor to Collective Behavior," Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Dec. 2, 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated Professor of Biology Deborah Gordon

"Conservation in a Social-Ecological System Experiencing Climate-Induced Tree Mortality," Biological Conservation, December 2015, co-authored by Center Fellow Nicole Ardoin (Education) and Senior Fellow Eric Lambin (Earth System Science)

"Are There Caterpillars on Butterfly Wings?," News of the Lepidoptereists' Society, Winter 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow, by courtesy, Paul Ehrlich (Biology)

"Interactions Increase Forager Availability and Activity in Harvester Ants," PLoS One, Nov. 4, 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated Professor of Biology Deborah Gordon

"Chloroplasts in Anther Endothecium of Zea mays (Poaceae)," American Journal of Botany, Nov. 2, 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated Professor of Biology Virginia Walbot

"Neural Valuation of Environmental Resources," NeuroImage, Nov. 1, 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated Associate Professor of Psychology Brian Knutson

"Extinction Biases in Quaternary Caribbean Lizards," Global Ecology and Biogeography, November 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Elizabeth Hadly (Biology)

"Using the Anthropocene as a Teaching, Communication and Community Engagement Opportunity," Oct. 29, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Elizabeth Hadly (Biology)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute ecosystem services research
 
Food Security

Measuring Crop Yields From Space

As part of an innovative study, researchers including William Wrigley Senior Fellow David Lobell (Earth System Science) are using satellites to detect plant fluorescence. The findings enable better estimates of crop yields and a better understanding of the effects of climate change on agricultural yields.

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"Improving the Monitoring of Crop Productivity Using Spaceborne Solar-Induced Fluorescence," Global Change Biology, Nov. 10, 2015

 

Other Food Security Research

"Contribution of Persistent Factors to Yield Gaps in High-Yield Irrigated Maize," Field Crops Research, Nov. 18, 2015, co-authored by William Wrigley Senior Fellow David Lobell (Earth System Science)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute food security research
 
Fresh Water

World's Freshwater Increasingly Vulnerable

Many nations and regions already facing uncertain political futures must contend with a growing threat to stabilization – freshwater vulnerability – according to a study co-authored by Senior Fellows Steven Gorelick (Earth System Science), Barton "Buzz" Thompson (Law) and Scott Fendorf (Earth System Science). Unlike previous water vulnerability research, the study looks at a range of contributing factors such as regulatory enforcement, corruption, transboundary competition and water transported "virtually" in agricultural products.

Photo credit: GMB Akash

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"Assessment of Human-Natural System Characteristics Influencing Global Freshwater Supply Vulnerability," Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 23, 2015

 

Other Freshwater Research

"The Evolution of Devonian Hydrocarbon Gases in Shallow Aquifers of the Northern Appalachian Basin: Insights From Integrating Noble Gas and Hydrocarbon Geochemistry," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Dec. 1, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Arsenic Release Metabolically Limited to Permanently Water-Saturated Soil in Mekong Delta," Nature Geoscience, Nov. 30, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Scott Fendorf (Earth System)

"Forest Biogeochemistry in Response to Drought," Global Change Biology, Nov. 18, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

"Urban Water Sustainability: An Integrative Framework for Regional Water Management," Hydrology and Earth System Science, Nov. 3, 2015, co-authored by Senior Research Associate Newsha Ajami (Water in the West)

"Elevated Levels of Diesel Range Organic Compounds in Groundwater Near Marcellus Gas Operations are Derived From Surface Activities," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct. 27, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Earth System Science)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute freshwater research
 
Oceans

Better Estuary Management

Managers of estuarine areas often must use estimates rather than evidence to evaluate trade-offs between the services ecosystems provide and the human impacts they endure. A study co-authored by Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Megan Mach (Center for Ocean Solutions) and Senior Research Associate Rebecca Martone (Center for Ocean Solutions) finds that research connecting human activities to changes in ecosystem services would improve science for management.

Read more...

Photo credit: Whitney H., Flickr

"Human Impacts and Ecosystem Services: Insufficient Research for Trade-Off Evaluation," Ecosystem Services. December 2015

 

Other Oceans Research

"What Changes in the Carbonate System, Oxygen, and Temperature Portend for the Northeastern Pacific Ocean: A Physiological Perspective," BioScience, Dec. 16, 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science George Somero

"Three-Dimensional Wave-Coupled Hydrodynamics Modeling in South San Francisco Bay," Computers & Geosciences, December 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellows Jeff Koseff (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Stephen Monismith (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Woods-affiliated Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Oliver Fringer

"Incorporating the Visibility of Coastal Energy Infrastructure Into Multi-Criteria Siting Decisions," Marine Policy, December 2015, co-authored by Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Robert Griffin (Natural Capital Project), Senior Research Associate Anne Guerry (Natural Capital Project) and Consulting Professor Mary Ruckelshaus (Natural Capital Project)

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Marine Reserves for Fishery Yields," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B., Oct. 12, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellows Fiorenza Micheli (Biology) and Giulio De Leo (Biology)

"Filling Historical Data Gaps to Foster Solutions in Marine Conservation," Ocean & Coastal Management, October 2015, co-authored by Larry Crowder (Biology)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute oceans research
 
Public Health

Disease-Carrying Parasite May Have Achilles Heel

Researchers exploring the use of river prawns as a natural solution for a potentially deadly parasite-spread disease have found evidence the crustaceans are more effective than initially thought. The latest research by the team, which includes Senior Fellow Giulio De Leo (Biology), finds that the prawns are twice as likely to devour infected snails as parasite-free snails.

Photo credit: Chelsea Wood, University of Michigan

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"Infection with Schistosome Parasites in Snails Leads to Increased Predation by Prawns: Implications for Human Schistosomiasis Control," Journal of Experimental Biology

 

Other Public Health Research

"Pursuit: A Foraging Simulation Tool for Research and Teaching," Evolutionary Psychology, December 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow James Holland Jones (Anthropology)

"A Theoretical Analysis of the Geography of Schistosomiasis in Burkina Faso Highlights the Roles of Human Mobility and Water Resources Development in Disease Transmission," PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Oct. 29, 2015, co-authored by Giulio De Leo (Biology)

"Effect of a Community-Led Sanitation Intervention on Child Diarrhoea and Child Growth in Rural Mali: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial," The Lancet, Oct. 13, 2015, co-authored by Research Associate Amy Pickering (Water, Health & Development)

"User Perceptions of and Willingness to Pay for Household Container-Based Sanitation Services: Experience From Cap Haitien, Haiti," Environment & Urbanization, Oct. 5, 2015, co-authored by Higgins-Magid Senior Fellow Senior Fellow Jenna Davis (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

"Why Highly Polluting Methods are Used to Manufacture Bricks in Bangladesh," Energy for Sustainable Development, October 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Stephen Luby (Medicine)

"Human Social Behavior and Demography Drive Patterns of Fine-Scale Dengue Transmission in Endemic Areas of Colombia," PLoS ONE, Dec. 14, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow James Holland Jones (Anthropology)

"Microbiological Contamination of Drinking Water Associated with Subsequent Child Diarrhea," The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Oct. 5, 2015, co-authored by Senior Fellow Stephen Luby (Medicine)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute public health research
 
Sustainable Development

Underground Solution for Solar Energy Storage

A common criticism of a total transition to wind, water and solar power is that the U.S. electrical grid can't affordably store enough standby electricity to keep the system stable. A study co-authored by Senior Fellow Mark Jacobson (Civil and Environmental Engineering) outlines a possible solution: inexpensive storage and "demand response," a program in which utilities give customers incentives to control times of peak demand.

Photo credit: geniusksy / Shutterstock

Read more...

"Low-Cost Solution to the Grid Reliability Problem With 100% Penetration of Intermittent Wind, Water, and Solar for all Purposes," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nov. 23, 2015

 

Other Sustainable Development Research

"Using Web and Mobile Technology to Motivate Pro-Environmental Action After a Nature-Based Tourism Experience," Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Dec. 16, 2015, co-authored by Center Fellow Nicole Ardoin (Education) and Senior Fellow William Durham (Anthropology)

 

  More information about Stanford Woods Institute sustainable development research
 
 
 
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