Land Use

2021
Zeng, Z. & et al., Deforestation-induced warming over tropical mountain regions regulated by elevation. Nature Geoscience 14, 23–29 (2021).
2019
Zeng, Z., et al. A reversal in global terrestrial stilling and its implications for wind energy production . Nature Climate Change 9, 979–985 (2019).
World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050
Searchinger, T., Waite, R., Hanson, C. & Ranganathan, J. World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050. (World Resources Institute: Washington, DC, 2019).Abstract

The full, 566 page report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future:  A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050 is now available. The report, of which I was lead author, explores how to meet food needs in 2050 while protecting ecosystems and reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emisisons to acceptable levels, and in ways that could help to reduce poverty and not exacerbate water challenges. The report was prepared by the World Resources Institute in collaboration with the World Bank, UN Environment, the UN Development Programme, and with technical contributions from INRA and CIRAD.

Some articles about the synthesis of the report appear in the New York Times, the Guardian, and Forbes.  

2018
Searchinger, T.D., Wirsenius, S., Beringer, T. & Dumas, P. Assessing the efficiency of changes in land use for mitigating climate change. Nature 564, 249–253 (2018).Abstract
When land shifts from producing corn to soybeans to kumquats, or from cropland to grazing land or bioenergy, or back to forest, does that help or hurt the world’s potential to mitigate climate change? This paper finds that typical methods used by policymakers and researchers to answer this question have not properly focused on the need to increase the efficiency of land to meet growing demands for both food and carbon storage. This limitation is particularly important because climate strategies require storing more carbon in forests and other native vegetation even as the world must produce 50 percent or more additional food per year. The paper provides a new method, called the Carbon Benefits Index, for making this evaluation, and includes a new spreadsheet tool that people can use to evaluate the climate conseuqneces of different changes in land use or production methods for specific hectares or parcels of land.  The World Resources Institute will keep that tool and its updates and will be available here. For a more thorough explanation of the new paper and its significance, please read this explanation.
searchinger_et_al-2018-nature.pdf
2017
Lerner, A.M. Sustainable Cattle Ranching in Practice: Moving from Theory to Planning in Colombia's Livestock Sector . Environ. Management 60, 2, 176-184 (2017).
Fetzel, T., et al. Quantification of uncertainties in global grazing systems assessment. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 31, 7, 1089-1102 (2017).
Searchinger, T.D., Beringer, T. & Strong, A. Does the world have low-carbon bioenergy potential from the dedicated use of land?. Energy Policy 110, 434-446 (2017).
2016
Estes, L.D., et al. Reconciling agriculture, carbon and biodiversity in a savannah transformation frontier . Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371, 1703, (2016).
2013
Searchinger, T., et al. The Great Balancing Act. Creating a Sustainable Food Future (World Resources Institute: Washington, DC, 2013). searchinger-wri-great_balancing_act-2013.pdf
2011
Searchinger, T.D. The Food Forest and Carbon Challenge. (National Wildlife Federation: Washington, DC, 2011).
2009
Searchinger, T. & Heimlich, R. Likely impacts of biofuel expansion on Midwest land and water resources. International Journal of Biotechnology 11, 127-149 (2009).
Bustamente, M.M.C., et al. Chapter 16: What are the Final Land Limits? . Biofuels: Environmental Consequences and Interactions with Changing Land Use 271-291 (2009).
2008
Searchinger, T.D. & Heimlich, R.E. Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Soy-based US Biodiesel when Factoring in Emissions from Land Use Change. The Lifecycle Carbon Footprint of Biofuels 35-45 (2008).
Kline, K.L., et al. Biofuels: Effects on Land and Fire . Science 321, 5886, 199-201 (2008).