Francesco Laio

Francesco Laio
Politecnico di Torino | polito · DIATI - Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering

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240
Publications
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Publications

Publications (240)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the dynamics of food trade, which involves a corresponding virtual trade in environmental resources, is relevant for its effects on the environment. Among the socioeconomic factors driving the international food market, trade agreements play a significant yet poorly understood role in facilitating access to worldwide trade. Focusing o...
Article
Centrality metrics aim to identify the most relevant nodes in a network. In the literature, a broad set of metrics exists, measuring either local or global centrality characteristics. Nevertheless, when networks exhibit a high spectral gap, the usual global centrality measures typically do not add significant information with respect to the degree,...
Article
Full-text available
The EAT–Lancet Commission has proposed a global benchmark diet to guide the shift towards healthy and sustainable dietary patterns. Yet it is unclear whether consumers’ choices are convergent with those guidelines. Applying an advanced statistical analysis, we mapped the diet gap of 15 essential foods in 172 countries from 1961 to 2018. We found th...
Article
Full-text available
The virtual water (VW) trade associated to food is composed by the quantity of water utilized for the production of the crops exchanged on the global market. In assessing a country’s water abundance or scarcity when entering the international VW trade, scholars consider only physical water availability, neglecting economic water scarcity, which ind...
Article
Clean water scarcity plagues several hundred million people worldwide, representing a major global problem. Nearly half of the total population lacking access to safe and drinkable water lives in Africa. Nonetheless, the African continent has a remarkable yet untapped potential in terms of renewable energy production, which may serve to produce cle...
Article
Full-text available
In 2015, the United Nations established the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, addressing the major challenges the world faces and introducing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How are countries performing in their challenge toward sustainable development? We address this question by treating countries and Goals as a complex bipart...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200639.].
Preprint
Full-text available
The virtual water (VW) trade associated to food is composed by the quantity of water utilized for the production of the crops exchanged on the global market. In assessing a country’s water abundance or scarcity when entering the international VW trade, scholars consider only physical water availability, neglecting economic water scarcity, that indi...
Article
Full-text available
To support national and global assessments of water use in agriculture, we build a comprehensive database of country-specific water footprint and virtual water trade (VWT) data for 370 agricultural goods. The water footprint, indicating the water needed for the production of a good including rainwater and water from surface water and groundwater bo...
Cover Page
Through the international trade of agricultural goods, water resources that are physically used in the country of production are virtually transferred to the country of consumption. Food trade leads to a global redistribution of freshwater resources, thus shaping distant interdependencies among countries. Recent studies have shown how agricultural...
Article
Full-text available
High water availability enhances agricultural performance and food security. However, many countries where water is abundant according to hydrological indicators face difficulties in the utilization of water in agriculture, being in a situation of economic water scarcity (EWS), due to lack of institutional and material means for water management an...
Preprint
Full-text available
To support national and global assessments of water use in agriculture, we build a comprehensive and harmonized database of water footprint and virtual water trade (VWT) data for hundreds of agricultural goods. The water footprint, indicating the water needed for the production of a good, including rainwater and water withdrawals, is expressed as a...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural production exploits about 70% of all water withdrawals around the globe, but to date, it is not clear if and how this water consumption is taken into consideration in the price of the agricultural primary goods. To shed light on this point, we analyze the farm gate prices of twelve representative crops in the period 1991-2016, consider...
Article
Full-text available
Producing more nutritious food with less resources, while preserving the natural ecosystems, is a key challenge of our society. In this paper we propose a macronutrient-based indicator of productivity, the nutrient land productivity (NLP), to measure the amount of calories, proteins, and fats produced per hectare of cropland. Over the period 1961-2...
Article
Full-text available
Summarising the complexity of a country’s economy in a single number is the holy grail for scholars engaging in data-based economics. In a field where the Gross Domestic Product remains the preferred indicator for many, economic complexity measures, aiming at uncovering the productive knowledge of countries, have been stirring the pot in the past f...
Chapter
Agriculture has a long-standing tradition over the Italian territory, and its geography is significantly heterogeneous across regions, due to different hydro-climatic conditions and local practices. This chapter examines the Italian water use in the agricultural sector by considering both the local water use and the reliance on external water resou...
Article
International agricultural trade triggers inter-dependency among distant countries, not only in economic terms but also under an environmental perspective. Agricultural trade has been shown to drive environmental threats pertaining to biodiversity loss and depletion and pollution of freshwater resources. Meanwhile, trade can also encourage producti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Gli eventi di pioggia intensa sono universalmente riconosciuti come la causa scatenante di molti dei più catastrofici disastri naturali. Negli ultimi decenni, numerosi gruppi di ricerca hanno cercato di sfruttare le potenzialità di alcuni open data resi disponibili in tempo reale per sviluppare sistemi di monitoraggio e allerta per piogge intense e...
Article
Full-text available
This study critically assesses the performances of the Gravity Model (GM) and of the RAS algorithm for the bilateral flow intensity estimations and link prediction. The main novelty is the application of these methodologies to reconstruct the network topology with a minimum amount of information. Moreover, we implement a multi-layer analysis to pro...
Article
Full-text available
Human pressures on river systems pose a major threat to the sustainable development of human societies in the twenty-first century. Previous studies showed that a large part of global river systems was already exposed to relevant anthropogenic pressures at the beginning of this century. A relevant question that has never been explained in the liter...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is now unequivocal; however, the type and extent of terrestrial impacts are still widely debated. Among these, the effects on slope stability are receiving a growing attention in recent years, both as terrestrial indicators of climate change and implications for hazard assessment. High-elevation areas are particularly suitable for th...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme rainfall may trigger some of the most catastrophic natural disasters, whose consequences may be exacerbated especially in places where an appropriate network of measurement instruments is not available. A combination of remotely sensed data and weather prediction model outputs can often help to obtain information with a global spatial cover...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flood events represent some of the most catastrophic natural disasters, especially in localities where appropriate measurement instruments and early warning system are not available. Remotely sensed data can often help to obtain near real-time rainfall information with a global spatial coverage without the limitations that characterize other instru...
Article
Full-text available
Flood events represent some of the most catastrophic natural disasters, especially in localities where appropriate measurement instruments and early warning systems are not available. Remotely sensed data can often help to obtain near real-time rainfall information with a global spatial coverage without the limitations that characterize other instr...
Article
Full-text available
Human pressures on river systems pose a major threat to the sustainable development of human societies in the twenty first century, with severe implications for anthropogenic activities and river ecosystems. Previous studies showed that a large part of the global population was exposed to relevant threats to water security already at the beginning...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing global demand for farmland products is placing unprecedented pressure on the global agricultural system and its water resources. Many regions of the world, that are affected by a chronic water scarcity relative to their population, strongly depend on the import of agricultural commodities and associated embodied (or virtual) water. T...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have shown a growing trend in terms of frequency and severity of extreme events. As never before, having tools capable to monitor the amount of rain that reaches the Earth’s surface has become a key point for the identification of areas potentially affected by floods. In order to guarantee an almost global spatial coverage, NASA Global...
Article
Full-text available
Law of one price JEL classification: F12 L15 L66 N50 Q11 Q17 R12 A B S T R A C T Global food prices are typically analysed in a time-series framework. We complement this approach by focusing on the spatial price dispersion of the country-pair bilateral trade in the international food trade network (IFTN), for ten relevant commodities. The main p...
Article
Full-text available
Confounding factors like urbanization and land-use change could introduce uncertainty to the estimation of global temperature trends related to climate change. In this work, we introduce a new way to investigate the nexus between temporal trends of temperature and urbanization data at the global scale in the period from 1992 to 2013. We analyze air...
Article
Full-text available
We quantify the impact of food consumption on local and foreign water resources through an indicator of the environmental value of the riverine water. This indicator takes into account both the local environmental relevance of the fluvial area where water is withdrawn (biodiversity richness, riparian vegetation, sediment transport, etc) and the dow...
Article
Full-text available
Typing “Yesterday” into the search-bar of your browser provides a long list of websites with, in top places, a link to a video by The Beatles. The order your browser shows its search results is a notable example of the use of network centrality. Centrality measures the importance of the nodes in a network and it plays a crucial role in several fiel...
Article
Full-text available
Food Security is a long-standing concern worldwide. The expansion of global food markets brings benefits but also risks, such as shock transmission within the global network of trade relations. We focus on this last issue, from an empirical point of view, by analysing the diffusion of trade shocks—defined as relevant drops in exported quantities—du...
Data
Supplementary figures. See “S4_File.rar”. (RAR)
Preprint
Full-text available
Typing Yesterday into the search-bar of your browser provides a long list of websites with, in top places, a link to a video by The Beatles. The order your browser shows its search results is a notable example of the use of network centrality. Centrality is a measure of the importance of the nodes in a network and it plays a crucial role in a huge...
Article
Full-text available
Rain gauge is the oldest and most accurate instrument for rainfall measurement, able to provide long series of reliable data. However, rain gauge records are often plagued by gaps, spatio-temporal discontinuities and inhomogeneities that could affect their suitability for a statistical assessment of the characteristics of extreme rainfall. Furtherm...
Article
While deterministic age distribution models have been extensively studied and applied in various disciplines, little work has been devoted to understanding the role of stochasticity in birth and mortality terms. In this paper, we analyse a stochastic M'Kendrick-von Foerster equation in which jumps in mortality represent intense losses of population...
Article
World freshwater ecosystems are significantly deteriorating at a faster rate than other ecosystems. Water withdrawals are recognized as one of the main drivers of growing water stress in river basins worldwide. Over the years, much effort has been devoted to quantify water withdrawals at a global scale; however, comparisons are not simple because t...
Article
Full-text available
Planning and verification of hydraulic infrastructures require a design estimate of hydrologic variables, usually provided by frequency analysis, and neglecting hydrologic uncertainty. However, when hydrologic uncertainty is accounted for, the design flood value for a specific return period is no longer a unique value, but is represented by a distr...
Article
Full-text available
Population growth, socio-economic development and climate changes are placing increasing pressure on water resources. Crop water footprint is a key indicator in the quantification of such pressure. It is determined by crop evapotranspiration and crop yield, which can be highly variable in space and time. While the spatial variability of crop water...
Chapter
Food security, and in particular food availability, depends on environmental resources, climatic conditions and agricultural practices, having water resources as a common denominator. There is major concern about food security in countries having limited water resources, due to the large volumes of water that are required to produce food commoditie...
Article
Full-text available
Planning and verification of hydraulic infrastructures demands for a design estimate of hydrologic variables, usually provided by frequency analysis, neglecting hydrologic uncertainty. However, when hydrologic uncertainty is accounted for, the design flood value is no longer a deterministic value, but should be treated as a random variable itself....
Poster
Full-text available
Analysis of the effect of soil anthropization on air temperature in the Mediterranean area based on nightlights data
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is seriously affecting the cryosphere in terms, for example, of permafrost thaw, alteration of rain ∕ snow ratio, and glacier shrinkage. There is concern about the increasing number of rockfalls at high elevation in the last decades. Nevertheless, the exact role of climate parameters in slope instability at high elevation has not bee...
Article
In the international trade network, links express the (temporary) presence of a commercial exchange of goods between any two countries. Given the dynamical behaviour of the trade network, where links are created and dismissed every year, predicting the link activation/deactivation is an open research question. Through the international trade networ...
Article
Regional frequency analysis (RFA) is a well-established methodology to provide an estimate of the flood frequency curve at ungauged (or scarcely gauged) sites. Different RFA approaches exist, depending on the way the information is transferred to the site of interest, but it is not clear in the literature if a specific method systematically outperf...
Article
Full-text available
The flow duration curve (FDC) is a fundamental signature of the hydrological cycle to support water management strategies. Despite many studies on this topic, its estimation in ungauged basins is still a relevant issue as the FDC is controlled by different types of processes at different time-space scales, thus resulting quite sensitive to the spec...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how human settlements and economic activities are distributed with reference to the geographical location of streams and rivers is of fundamental relevance for several issues, such as flood risk management, drought management related to increased water demands by human population, fluvial ecosystem services, water pollution and water...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling the relations between human migrations and water resources is relevant for food security and trade policy in water-scarce countries. It is commonly believed that human migrations are beneficial to the water endowments of origin countries for reducing the pressure on local resources. We show here that such belief is over-simplistic. We...
Data
Scatter plot. Scatter plot between virtual water flows and migration fluxes, in decade 2010. (EPS)
Data
Additional elaborations and results. Methodological and quantitative support to some results mentioned in the paper. (PDF)
Data
Water suitcase of immigrants in 2010. World map of the water suitcase of immigrants in decade 2010, measured in m3 per capita per year. (TIF)
Data
Water relief in decade 2000. World map of the percentage ratio of the water suitcase of emigrants in decade 2000 over the water footprint of inhabitants, measured in m3 per capita per year. (TIF)
Data
Baseline gravity models results. Gravity model results obtained with the ordinary least square (OLS) method considering only links, or directed country pairs, which are active on both VW trade and migration. Variables are explained in the Data section of the paper, “rta” stands for regional trade agreements and “tta” stands for tariff and trade agr...
Data
Dataset for the gravity models. Tab-delimited txt file containing all variables employed in the gravity models for decades 1990, 2000 and 2010. (TXT)