Bioenergy Writings

Bioenergy Publications in Academic Journals and Books

Searchinger T. et al. 2018, Assessing the Carbon Efficiency of Land Use Change, Nature (accepted, in press)

Searchinger T, et al., 2018, Europe’s Renewable Energy Directive Poised to Harm Global Forests, Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06175-4

Kanter, D & Searchinger T., (accepted, in press) A Technology-Forcing Approach to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution Nature Sustainability (accepted  review)

Zheng et al., "Unexpected Highland Cropland Expansion and Forest Loss in Southeast Asia in the 21st Century,” Nature Geoscience (in review)

Goetz, A. et al. 2018.  Reply to Commentary on the Special Issue Scaling up Biofuels?  A Criticial Look at Expectations, Performance and Governance, 118:658-665


Searchinger T. et al., 2017, “Does the World Have Bioenergy from the Dedicated Use of Land,” Energy Policy 110:434-446

German L. et al., “Sine Qua Nons of Sustainable Biofuels:  Distilling Implications of Underperformance for National Biofuel Programs,” Energy Policy 110:806-817

Searchinger et al., “EU must not burn the world’s forests for ‘renewable energy,” The Guardian (December 14, 2017)


Ranganathan J. (2016). Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future (World Resources Institute,

Washington, DC)

Phung, L.D. et al. (2016), Intensive Beef Cattle Production System in Giang Province, Vietnam,

Số tạp chí 46:1-7

Estes, Searchinger et al. (2016) Reconciling Agriculture, Carbon and Biodiversity in a Savannah Transformation Frontier, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 371(1703):20150316 (co-corresponding author)

Searchinger, T., Edwards R., Mulligan D., Wright B. (in final prep.), “Seeing Through the Confusion on the Impacts of Biofuels on Food Prices and Consumption”

Haberl H. et al. (2013), “Bioenergy, How Much Can We Expect for 2050,” Env. Res. Lttrs. 8 031004 (Searchinger co-author)

Krausmann F. et al.  (2013), “Global Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production Doubled in the 20th Century,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., published online before print June 3, 2013  (last author)

Searchinger, T. (2012), “The Global Consequences of the Bioenergy Accounting Error,” in Inderwildi, O. (ed), Energy, Transport and the Environment (Springer, London)

Smith K. & Searchinger T (2012), “Crop-based biofuels and associated environmental concerns,” Glob. Ch. Biol. Bioenergy 4:479-484

Haberl, H. et al. (2012), "Correcting a fundamental error in greenhouse gas accounting related to bioenergy,” Energy Policy 45:18-23 

Searchinger, T., (2010) “Bioenergy and the Need for Additional Carbon,” Env. Res. Lett. 5, 024007 

Searchinger, T., et. al, (2010), “Carbon Calculations to Consider – Response,” Science 327:781  

Searchinger T, et al (2010), “Bioenergy – Counting on Incentives - Response,” Science 327:1200-1201

Searchinger T, et al. (2010), “Challenges for Bioenergy Emissions Accounting – Response,” Science e-letter,

Searchinger, T. et al. (2009) “Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error,” Science 326:527-528 Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error

(The above is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science (Vol. 326, October 23, 2009, DOIA: 10, 1126/Science. 1178797);

Searchinger t. et al. (2009), "Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error, Supporting Information, Science 326:527-528 - Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error - Supporting Materials

Tilman, D. et al. (2009), “Response—Biofuels,” Science 326:1346 (2009) (Searchinger, co-author)

Tilman D. et al (2009).“Beneficial Biofuels—The Food, Energy and Environmental Trilemma,” Science 325:270-271 (Searchinger, co-author), Link to article

Searchinger, T. (2009), “Government Policies and Drivers of World Biofuels, Sustainability Criteria, Certification Proposals and Their Limitations,” pp. 37 - 52 in R.W. Howarth and S. Bringezu (eds) Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use (Cornell University, Ithaca NY)

M.M.C. Bustamante et al. (2009), “What are the Final Land Limits,” pp. 271-291 in R.W. Howarth and S. Bringezu (eds) Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use (Cornell University, Ithaca) (Searchinger co-author)

Searchinger T., R. Heimlich (2009), “Likely Impacts of Biofuel Expansion on Midwest Land and Water Resources,” Int’l J. Biotech 11:127-149  

Searchinger, T. (2008), “Biofuels:  Effects on Land and Fire: Exchange,” Science 321:200

Searchinger T., Response to Wang Science E-Letter

Searchinger T., Heimlich R. (2008), “Estimating greenhouse gas emissions from Soy-Based Biodiesel When Factoring in Emissions from Land Use Change,” in Outlaw J. & Ernstes D (eds), The Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Biofuels (Farm Foundation) pp. 35-45. Link to full article:   

Searchinger, T., R.A. Houghton (2008), “Biofuels Clarifying Assumptions: Exchange,” Science 322:372-374

T. Searchinger, R. Heimlich, R.A. Houghton, F. Dong, A. Elobeid, J. Fabiosa, S. Tokgoz, D. Hayes, T. Yu (2008) "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increased Greenhouse Gases Through Land Use Change," Science 313:1238-1240

T. Searchinger, R. Heimlich, R.A. Houghton, F. Dong, A. Elobeid, J. Fabiosa, S. Tokgoz, D. Hayes, T. Yu (2008), "Supporting Materials for 'Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change,'" Science 313:1238-1240 

Analytical, Informally Published Bioenergy Papers

Searchinger T. (2013), Understanding the Biofuel Trade-offs Between Indirect Land Use Change, Food Prices and Hunger (FOE, Brussels)

High Level Panel on Food Security (2013), Biofuels and Food Security  (FAO, Rome) (original drafter of two chapters) link:

Searchinger T. (2013), Invited Peer Review Comments on the Bioenergy Appendix of the Third Assessment of the IPCC

Searchinger T. (2012), Comments on the GTAP Land Function (for California Air Resources Board)

Comments of Eight Researchers on Timing of Emissions to the Advisory Panel on Biogenic Emissions for the U.S. EPA (2012)

Searchinger T. (2012), Potential clarifications to the UK Climate Committee bioenergy review

Searchinger T. (2012), Sound principles and an important inconsistency in the 2012 UK Bioenergy Strategy

Searchinger T. (2012), Letter to Bernard Bulkin (UK Department of Climate Change)

Searchinger T. (2012), A Time Horizon for Counting Bioenergy Emissions, Discussion Paper  (Clean Air Task Force)

Searchinger, T. (2011), “A Quick Fix to the Food Crisis,” Scientific American

Searchinger T. (2010), Response to EPA Call for Information on Biomass Accounting

Searchinger T. (2010), A reply to Econometrica Searchinger reply to Ecometrica (July 24, 2010) 

(Econometrica critique of Biofuels and Additional Carbon can be found here):   

Searchinger, T. (2009) Peer Review Evaluation of Lifecycle Analysis of Biofuels for the Environmental Protection Agency (2009)

The National Fuels Association and two analysts with the U.S. Department of Energy  released public criticisms of  on the land use effects of biofuels.  This paper provides a response."

Searchinger, T. (2011), “How Biofuels Contribute to the Food Crisis,” Washington Post; op-ed; graphic of biofuel role in demand for food demand for food 

Searchinger, T. (2009), Evaluating Biofuels:  The Consequences of Using Land to Make Fuel, (German Marshall Fund, Washington, DC)

Searchinger T. (2009), Why uncertainty in modeling indirect land use change from biofuels cannot justify ignoring it (GMF, Washington, DC)

Searchinger T. (2009), Questions and Answers on Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error (GMF, Washington, DC) Questions and Answers - Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error

T. Searchinger (2008), The Impact of Biofuels on Greenhouse Gases, How Land Use Change Alters the Equation (German Marshall Fund, Washington, DC)

Searchinger T. (2009), Summaries of Analyses in 2008 of Biofuels Policies by International and European Technical Agencies (GMF, Washington DC) GMF Policy Brief - Summary of Technical Studies Regarding Biofuels in 2008 


Other Biofuels Materials

Letter from Ten Scientists to President Bush Regarding Biofuels (Feb. 7, 2008)