Food security expert David Lobell takes us around the world to give us a taste of the global food production system. He discusses the wide range of problems our changing climate will have on agriculture and the prospects for creating a sustainable food system in the future. And whenever you’re a visible figure and dealing with sensitive issues like food and climate change, there’s always a chance you end up getting hate mail… at 7am.
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David Lobell is the Associate Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. His research focuses on identifying opportunities to raise crop yields in major agricultural regions, with a particular emphasis on adaptation to climate change. His current projects span Africa, South Asia, Mexico, and the United States, and involve a range of tools including remote sensing, GIS, and crop and climate models. Lobell’s work is motivated by questions such as: What investments are most effective at raising global crop yields, in order to increase food production without expansion of agricultural lands? Will yield gains be able to keep pace with global demand for crop products, given current levels of investment? And what direct or indirect effects will efforts to raise crop productivity have on other components of the Earth System, such as climate? Answering these requires an understanding of the complex factors that limit crop yields throughout the world, and the links between agriculture and the broader Earth System.
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