Robert B. Jackson's research while affiliated with Stanford University and other places

Publications (406)

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paragraph Recent studies of plant fine roots have greatly advanced our understanding of their geometric properties and symbiotic relationships, but knowledge of how these roots are spatially distributed across the soil matrix lags far behind. An improved understanding of broad-scale variability in root vertical distribution is critical for understa...
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The methane chemical sink estimated by atmospheric chemistry models (bottom-up method) is significantly larger than estimates based on methyl-chloroform (MCF) inversions (top-down method). The difference is partly attributable to large uncertainties in hydroxyl radical (OH) concentrations simulated by the atmospheric chemistry models used to derive...
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The production of waste as a consequence of human activities is one of the most fundamental challenges facing our society and global ecological systems. Waste generation is rapidly increasing, with corresponding shifts in the structure of our societies where almost all nations are moving from rural agrarian societies to urban and technological ones...
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Wetland CH4 emissions are among the most uncertain components of the global CH4 budget. The complex nature of wetland CH4 processes makes it challenging to identify causal relationships for improving our understanding and predictability of CH4 emissions. In this study, we used the flux measurements of CH4 from eddy covariance towers (30 sites from...
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Day-to-day changes in CO2 emissions from human activities, in particular fossil-fuel combustion and cement production, reflect a complex balance of influences from seasonality, working days, weather and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we provide a daily CO2 emissions dataset for the whole year of 2020, calculated from inventory and nea...
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Reducing methane emissions is essential for mitigating global warming. To attribute methane emissions to their sources, a comprehensive dataset of methane source infrastructure is necessary. Recent advancements with deep learning on remotely sensed imagery have the potential to identify the locations and characteristics of methane sources, but ther...
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Global integrated reporting is essential if the planet is to achieve net-zero emissions. Global integrated reporting is essential if the planet is to achieve net-zero emissions. A gas flare is seen in the centre of the frame at an oil well site A gas flare is seen in the centre of the frame at an oil well site
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Soil is the largest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon and is central for climate change mitigation and carbon-climate feedbacks. Chemical and physical associations of soil carbon with minerals play a critical role in carbon storage, but the amount and global capacity for storage in this form remain unquantified. Here, we produce spatially-res...
Article
As the number of older adults increases, disproportionate impacts of climate change pose great challenges to healthy longevity. These inequities will be compounded in future generations. Large-scale climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies require often unavailable institutional, financial, and technical support. We need to quickly devel...
Article
Livestock contributes approximately one‐third of global anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions. Quantifying the spatial and temporal variations of these emissions is crucial for climate change mitigation. Although country‐level information is reported regularly through national inventories and global databases, spatially‐explicit quantification of c...
Article
International trade separates consumption of goods from related environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change (together referred to as “land-use emissions”). Through use of new emissions estimates and a multiregional input-output model, we evaluated land-use emissions embodied in global trade from 20...
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Increased wealth and per capita energy use have transformed lives and shaped societies, but energy poverty remains a global challenge. Previous research has shown positive relationships among metrics of health and happiness and economic indices such as income and gross domestic product and between energy use and human development. To our knowledge,...
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Experiments show that elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) often enhances plant photosynthesis and productivity, yet this effect varies substantially and may be climate sensitive. Understanding if, where and how water supply regulates CO2 enhancement is critical for projecting terrestrial responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate change. Here,...
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A new special collection in AGU journals will present findings from the Second REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP2) study with a decade of data on greenhouse gas growth.
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Regional land carbon budgets provide insights into the spatial distribution of the land uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide and can be used to evaluate carbon cycle models and to define baselines for land-based additional mitigation efforts. The scientific community has been involved in providing observation-based estimates of regional carbon budg...
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Emission metrics, a crucial tool in setting effective exchange rates between greenhouse gases, currently require an arbitrary choice of time horizon. Here, we propose a novel framework to calculate the time horizon that aligns with scenarios achieving a specific temperature goal. We analyze the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Repo...
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Although the above- and below-ground sizes and shapes of plants strongly influence plant competition, community structure, and plant-environment interactions, plant sizes and shapes remain poorly characterized across climate regimes. We investigated relationships among shoot and root system size and climate. We assembled and analyzed, to our knowl...
Article
Natural gas stoves in >40 million U.S. residences release methane (CH4)─a potent greenhouse gas─through post-meter leaks and incomplete combustion. We quantified methane released in 53 homes during all phases of stove use: steady-state-off (appliance not in use), steady-state-on (during combustion), and transitory periods of ignition and extinguish...
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One paradigm in biogeochemistry is that frequent disturbance tends to deplete carbon (C) in soil organic matter (SOM) by reducing biomass inputs and promoting losses. However, disturbance by fire has challenged this paradigm because soil C responses to frequent and/or intense fires are highly variable, despite observed declines in biomass inputs. H...
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In response to increasing life expectancies and urbanization, initiatives for age-friendly cities seek to facilitate active and healthy aging by strengthening supports and services for older people. While laudable, these efforts typically neglect early-life exposures that influence long-term well-being. With a focus on the urban physical environmen...
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Atmospheric methane removal (e.g. in situ methane oxidation to carbon dioxide) may be needed to offset continued methane release and limit the global warming contribution of this potent greenhouse gas. Because mitigating most anthropogenic emissions of methane is uncertain this century, and sudden methane releases from the Arctic or elsewhere canno...
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Atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations have shown a puzzling resumption of growth since 2007 following a period of stabilization from 2000 to 2006. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain the temporal variations in CH4 growth, which attributes the rise of atmospheric CH4 either to increases in emissions from fossil fuel activities, agri...
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Mitigating soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions is essential for staying below a 2 °C warming threshold. However, accurate assessments of mitigation potential are limited by uncertainty and variability in direct emission factors (EFs). To assess where and why EFs differ, we created high-resolution maps of crop-specific EFs based on 1,507 georeference...
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Time series of wetland methane fluxes measured by eddy covariance require gap-filling to estimate daily, seasonal , and annual emissions. Gap-filling methane fluxes is challenging because of high variability and complex responses to multiple drivers. To date, there is no widely established gap-filling standard for wetland methane fluxes, with regar...
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The storage and cycling of soil organic carbon (SOC) are governed by multiple co-varying factors, including climate, plant productivity, edaphic properties, and disturbance history. Yet, it remains unclear which of these factors are the dominant predictors of observed SOC stocks, globally and within biomes, and how the role of these predictors vari...
Preprint
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The rooting zone water storage capacity (S 0) extends from the soil surface to the weathered bedrock (the Critical Zone) and determines land-atmosphere exchange during dry periods. Despite its importance to land-surface modeling, variations of S 0 across space are largely unknown as they cannot be observed directly. We developed a method to diagnos...
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The ongoing development of the Global Carbon Project (GCP) global methane (CH4) budget shows a continuation of increasing CH4 emissions and CH4 accumulation in the atmosphere over 2000‐2017. Here we decompose the global budget into 19 regions (18 land and one oceanic) and five key source sectors to spatially attribute the observed global trends. A...
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Ecological theory is built on trade-offs, where trait differences among species evolved as adaptations to different environments. Trade-offs are often assumed to be bidirectional, where opposite ends of a gradient in trait values confer advantages in different environments. However, unidirectional benefits could be widespread if extreme trait value...
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Methane (CH4) emissions from natural landscapes constitute roughly half of global CH4 contributions to the atmosphere, yet large uncertainties remain in the absolute magnitude and the seasonality of emission quantities and drivers. Eddy covariance (EC) measurements of CH4 flux are ideal for constraining ecosystem-scale CH4 emissions due to quasi-co...
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Input–output estimates of nitrogen on cropland are essential for improving nitrogen management and better understanding the global nitrogen cycle. Here, we compare 13 nitrogen budget datasets covering 115 countries and regions over 1961–2015. Although most datasets showed similar spatiotemporal patterns, some annual estimates varied widely among th...
Chapter
Concerns about climate-related “collapse” of ecosystems are growing, including the irreversible loss of habitats, species, and critical ecosystem functions. Diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems have experienced collapse-like dynamics throughout the world, particularly over the past decade. This book addresses the over-arching question: “Are we...
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Consensus on carbon accounting approaches at city-level is lacking and analytic frameworks to systematically link carbon mitigation with the Sustainable Development Goals are limited. A new accounting approach anchored upon key physical provisioning systems can help to address these knowledge gaps and facilitate urban transitions.
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While wetlands are the largest natural source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere, they represent a large source of uncertainty in the global CH4 budget due to the complex biogeochemical controls on CH4 dynamics. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first multi‐site synthesis of how predictors of freshwater wetland CH4 fluxes (FCH4) vary across we...
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Orphaned oil and gas wells are abandoned wells for which the cost of environmental impacts usually falls on governments and the general public. Government agencies responsible for well plugging often face funding shortfalls and many orphaned wells remain unplugged. To address this and support the oil and natural gas industry, federal governments ar...
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The impact of shifting disturbance regimes on soil carbon (C) storage is a key uncertainty in global change research. Wildfires in coniferous forests are becoming more frequent in many regions, potentially causing large C emissions. Repeated low‐intensity fires can mitigate wildfire severity, but repeated combustion may decrease soil C unless compe...
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Wetland methane (CH 4 ) emissions ( $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 ) are important in global carbon budgets and climate change assessments. Currently, $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 projections rely on prescribed static temperature sensitivity that varies among biogeochemical models. Meta-analyses have proposed a consistent $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4...
Preprint
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Emission metrics, a crucial tool in setting effective equivalences between greenhouse gases, currently require a subjective, arbitrary choice of time horizon. Here, we propose a novel framework that uses a specific temperature goal to calculate the time horizon that aligns with scenarios satisfying that temperature goal. We analyze the Intergovernm...
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Soil organic carbon formation remains poorly understood despite its importance for human livelihoods. Uncertainties remain for the relative contributions of aboveground, root, and rhizodeposition inputs to particulate (POC) and mineral-associated (MAOC) organic carbon fractions. Combining a novel framework with isotope tracer studies, we quantified...
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Global change has resulted in chronic shifts in fire regimes. Variability in the sensitivity of tree communities to multi-decadal changes in fire regimes is critical to anticipating shifts in ecosystem structure and function, yet remains poorly understood. Here, we address the overall effects of fire on tree communities and the factors controlling...
Preprint
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The diurnal cycle CO$_2$ emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production reflect seasonality, weather conditions, working days, and more recently the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, for the first time we provide a daily CO$_2$ emission dataset for the whole year of 2020 calculated from inventory and near-real-time activity data (...
Article
Extensive development of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing enhanced energy production but raised concerns about drinking-water quality in areas of shale-gas development. One particularly controversial case that has received significant public and scientific attention involves possible contamination of groundwater in the Trinity Aquifer i...
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Sustainable development requires climate change mitigation and thereby a fast energy transition to renewables. However, climate change may affect renewable power outputs by enhancing the weather variability and making extreme conditions more frequent. High temperature or clouds, for example, can lead to poorer photovoltaic (PV) power outputs. Here,...
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Five years after the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, growth in global CO2 emissions has begun to falter. The pervasive disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have radically altered the trajectory of global CO2 emissions. Contradictory effects of the post-COVID-19 investments in fossil fuel-based infrastructure and the recent strengthening...
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Historically, human uses of land have transformed and fragmented ecosystems1,2, degraded biodiversity3,4, disrupted carbon and nitrogen cycles5,6 and added prodigious quantities of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere7,8. However, in contrast to fossil-fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, trends and drivers of GHG emissions from land managemen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Methane (CH4) emissions from natural landscapes constitute roughly half of global CH4 contributions to the atmosphere, yet large uncertainties remain in the absolute magnitude and the seasonality of emission quantities and drivers. Eddy covariance (EC) measurements of CH4 flux are ideal for constraining ecosystem-scale CH4 emissions, including thei...
Book
Human-driven greenhouse emissions are increasing the velocity of climate change and the frequency and intensity of climate extremes far above historical levels. These changes, along with other human-perturbations, are setting the conditions for more rapid and abrupt ecosystem dynamics and collapse. This book presents new evidence on the rapid emerg...
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Non-technical summary: We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakeni...
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Significance Understanding ecosystem carbon-cycling responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment is critical to preserve biodiversity and maintain vital ecosystem services in grasslands impacted by global change. We conducted an 8-y experiment enriching CO 2 concentrations from preindustrial to midtwenty-first century levels on grassland plant communit...
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Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in a changing climate – the “global carbon budget” – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we de...
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The remaining carbon budget represents the total amount of CO2 that can still be emitted in the future while limiting global warming to a given temperature target. Remaining carbon budget estimates range widely, however, and this uncertainty can be used to either trivialize the most ambitious mitigation targets by characterizing them as impossible,...