ResearchPad - Pollution https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Stereoscopic optimization of industrial structure of the equipment manufacturing industry from the perspective of collaborative emissions reduction: Evidence from China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nbe165fed-3c05-4b65-8891-344b36e27456

Equipment manufacturing industry is one of the major industries of the Chinese economy. Previous researches have revealed that the industry has dilemmas of unreasonable industrial structure and high pollution. Using the data of 30 provinces in 2006-2015 in China, this study calculated a comprehensive pollution indicator when estimating the possible pollution reduction brought by the optimization of industrial structure and then evaluated the reasonable level of capital allocation of provinces and industries by using the methods of nonlinear programming and stochastic frontier method. Under the target of collaborative emission reduction, the results show that the optimized output of China’s equipment manufacturing industry could be increased by 5.42%, the energy intensity could be reduced by about 10.4%, and the comprehensive emission intensity could be reduced by about 7.47%. Due to the industry heterogeneity and regional heterogeneity, industrial capacity should be transferred between industries and regions. Since the capital investment in the equipment manufacturing industry is significantly mismatched between industries and regions, the capital allocation of provincial industries in China needs to be adjusted properly. This study provides theoretically and practically reference for collaborative pollution reduction, industry restructure, spatial layout and capital investment, which contributes to achieving the stereoscopic optimization of equipment manufacturing industry.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Air Pollution and Other Environmental Exposures on Estimates of Severe Influenza Illness, Washington, USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N9c6ec5a1-e195-484f-aae7-aa4aa0f641b2

Ecologic models of influenza burden may be confounded by other exposures that share winter seasonality. We evaluated the effects of air pollution and other environmental exposures in ecologic models estimating influenza-associated hospitalizations. We linked hospitalization data, viral surveillance, and environmental data, including temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and fine particulate matter for 3 counties in Washington, USA, for 2001–2012. We used negative binomial regression models to estimate the incidence of influenza-associated respiratory and circulatory (RC) hospitalizations and to assess the effect of adjusting for environmental exposures on RC hospitalization estimates. The modeled overall incidence rate of influenza-associated RC hospitalizations was 31/100,000 person-years. The environmental parameters were statistically associated with RC hospitalizations but did not appreciably affect the event rate estimates. Modeled influenza-associated RC hospitalization rates were similar to published estimates, and inclusion of environmental covariates in the model did not have a clinically important effect on severe influenza estimates.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a novel archaea virus, detected in hydrocarbon polluted Hungarian and Canadian samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5489318a-3499-4862-9afc-2378cea7eecb

Metagenomics is a helpful tool for the analysis of unculturable organisms and viruses. Viruses that target bacteria and archaea play important roles in the microbial diversity of various ecosystems. Here we show that Methanosarcina virus MV (MetMV), the second Methanosarcina sp. virus with a completely determined genome, is characteristic of hydrocarbon pollution in environmental (soil and water) samples. It was highly abundant in Hungarian hydrocarbon polluted samples and its genome was also present in the NCBI SRA database containing reads from hydrocarbon polluted samples collected in Canada, indicating the stability of its niche and the marker feature of this virus. MetMV, as the only currently identified marker virus for pollution in environmental samples, could contribute to the understanding of the complicated network of prokaryotes and their viruses driving the decomposition of environmental pollutants.

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<![CDATA[New Approaches to Identifying and Reducing the Global Burden of Disease From Pollution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nbf7723dd-5647-4f8e-be7f-e9600ebe8e30

Abstract

Pollution from multiple sources causes significant disease and death worldwide. Some sources are legacy, such as heavy metals accumulated in soils, and some are current, such as particulate matter. Because the global burden of disease from pollution is so high, it is important to identify legacy and current sources and to develop and implement effective techniques to reduce human exposure. But many limitations exist in our understanding of the distribution and transport processes of pollutants themselves, as well as the complicated overprint of human behavior and susceptibility.

New approaches are being developed to identify and eliminate pollution in multiple environments. Community‐scale detection of geogenic arsenic and fluoride in Bangladesh is helping to map the distribution of these harmful elements in drinking water. Biosensors such as bees and their honey are being used to measure heavy metal contamination in cities such as Vancouver and Sydney. Drone‐based remote sensors are being used to map metal hot spots in soils from former mining regions in Zambia and Mozambique. The explosion of low‐cost air monitors has allowed researchers to build dense air quality sensing networks to capture ephemeral and local releases of harmful materials, building on other developments in personal exposure sensing. And citizen science is helping communities without adequate resources measure their own environments and in this way gain agency in controlling local pollution exposure sources and/or alerting authorities to environmental hazards. The future of GeoHealth will depend on building on these developments and others to protect a growing population from multiple pollution exposure risks.

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<![CDATA[Half‐Century Ammonia Emissions From Agricultural Systems in Southern Asia: Magnitude, Spatiotemporal Patterns, and Implications for Human Health]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6ce220af-6a1d-4bf2-8e7a-31de41e56df3

Abstract

Much concern has been raised about the increasing threat to air quality and human health due to ammonia (NH3) emissions from agricultural systems, which is associated with the enrichment of reactive nitrogen (N) in southern Asia (SA), home of more than 60% the world's population (i.e., the people of West, central, East, South, and Southeast Asia). Southern Asia consumed more than half of the global synthetic N fertilizer and was the dominant region for livestock waste production since 2004. Excessive N application could lead to a rapid increase of NH3 in the atmosphere, resulting in severe air and water pollution in this region. However, there is still a lack of accurate estimates of NH3 emissions from agricultural systems. In this study, we simulated the agricultural NH3 fluxes in SA by coupling the Bidirectional NH3 exchange module (Bi‐NH3) from the Community Multi‐scale Air Quality model with the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model. Our results indicated that NH3 emissions were 21.3 ± 3.9 Tg N yr−1 from SA agricultural systems with a rapidly increasing rate of ~0.3 Tg N yr−2 during 1961−2014. Among the emission sources, 10.8 Tg N yr−1 was released from synthetic N fertilizer use, and 10.4 ± 3.9 Tg N yr−1 was released from manure production in 2014. Ammonia emissions from China and India together accounted for 64% of the total amount in SA during 2000−2014. Our results imply that the increased NH3 emissions associated with high N inputs to croplands would likely be a significant threat to the environment and human health unless mitigation efforts are applied to reduce these emissions.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Deadly Dust Storms (May 2018) on Air Quality, Meteorological, and Atmospheric Parameters Over the Northern Parts of India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N8387ef6b-b75b-4aaa-bb39-241535d00866

Abstract

The northern part of India, adjoining the Himalaya, is considered as one of the global hot spots of pollution because of various natural and anthropogenic factors. Throughout the year, the region is affected by pollution from various sources like dust, biomass burning, industrial and vehicular pollution, and myriad other anthropogenic emissions. These sources affect the air quality and health of millions of people who live in the Indo‐Gangetic Plains. The dust storms that occur during the premonsoon months of March–June every year are one of the principal sources of pollution and originate from the source region of Arabian Peninsula and the Thar desert located in north‐western India. In the year 2018, month of May, three back‐to‐back major dust storms occurred that caused massive damage, loss of human lives, and loss to property and had an impact on air quality and human health. In this paper, we combine observations from ground stations, satellites, and radiosonde networks to assess the impact of dust events in the month of May 2018, on meteorological parameters, aerosol properties, and air quality. We observed widespread changes associated with aerosol loadings, humidity, and vertical advection patterns with displacements of major trace and greenhouse gasses. We also notice drastic changes in suspended particulate matter concentrations, all of which can have significant ramifications in terms of human health and changes in weather pattern.

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<![CDATA[WRF 1960–2014 Winter Season Simulations of Particulate Matter in the Sahel: Implications for Air Quality and Respiratory Health]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N4dbdd16f-7dfe-4144-8d3d-a37f1cc7a940

Abstract

We use the Weather Research and Forecast model using the Goddard Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) dust module (WRF‐CHEM) to simulate the particulate matter (PM) variations in the Sahel during the winter seasons (January–March) of 1960–2014. Two simulations are undertaken where the direct aerosol feedback is turned off, and only transport is considered and where the direct aerosol feedback is turned on. We find that simulated Sahelian PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations were lower in the 1960s and after 2003 and higher during the period between 1988 and 2002. Higher Sahelian PM10 concentrations are due to stronger winds between the surface and 925 hPa over the Sahara, which transport dust into the Sahel. Negative PM10 concentration anomalies are found over the Bodele Depression and associated with weaker 925 wind anomalies after 1997 through 2014. Further west, positive PM10 concentration anomalies are found across the Adrar Plateau in the Sahara and responsible for dust transport to the Western Sahel. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is positively correlated to Sahelian dust concentrations especially during the periods of 1960–1970 and 1988–2002. The temporal/spatial patterns of PM10 concentrations have significant respiratory health implications for inhabitants of the Sahel.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence and Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin‐Resistant Staphylococcus aureus on Public Recreational Beaches in Northeast Ohio]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nc2cf7d05-879f-4ce2-8ce7-439c7751833c

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus can cause severe life‐threatening illnesses such as sepsis and endocarditis. Although S. aureus has been isolated from marine water and intertidal beach sand, only a few studies have been conducted to assess prevalence of S. aureus at freshwater recreational beaches. As such, we aimed to determine prevalence and molecular characteristics of S. aureus in water and sand at 10 freshwater recreational beaches in Northeast Ohio, USA. Samples were analyzed using standard microbiology methods, and resulting isolates were typed by spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. The overall prevalence of S. aureus in sand and water samples was 22.8% (64/280). The prevalence of methicillin‐resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was 8.2% (23/280). The highest prevalence was observed in summer (45.8%; 55/120) compared to fall (4.2%; 5/120) and spring (10.0%; 4/40). The overall prevalence of Panton‐Valentine leukocidin genes among S. aureus isolates was 21.4% (15/70), and 27 different spa types were identified. The results of this study indicate that beach sand and freshwater of Northeast Ohio were contaminated with S. aureus, including MRSA. The high prevalence of S. aureus in summer months and presence of human‐associated strains may indicate the possibility of role of human activity in S. aureus contamination of beach water and sand. While there are several possible routes for S. aureus contamination, S. aureus prevalence was higher in sites with wastewater treatment plants proximal to the beaches.

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<![CDATA[Hybrid Mass Balance/4D‐Var Joint Inversion of NO x and SO 2 Emissions in East Asia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ne104e45a-33d7-45d3-b79c-9974fe345cef

Abstract

Accurate estimates of NOx and SO2 emissions are important for air quality modeling and management. To incorporate chemical interactions of the two species in emission estimates, we develop a joint hybrid inversion framework to estimate their emissions in China and India (2005–2012). Pseudo observation tests and posterior evaluation with surface measurements demonstrate that joint assimilation of SO2 and NO2 can provide more accurate constraints on emissions than single‐species inversions. This occurs through synergistic change of O3 and OH concentrations, particularly in conditions where satellite retrievals of the species being optimized have large uncertainties. The percentage changes of joint posterior emissions from the single‐species posterior emissions go up to 242% at grid scales, although the national average of monthly emissions, seasonality, and interannual variations are similar. In China and India, the annual budget of joint posterior SO2 emissions is lower, but joint NOx posterior emissions are higher, because NOx emissions increase to increase SO2 concentration and better match Ozone Monitoring Instrument SO2 observations in high‐NOx regions. Joint SO2 posterior emissions decrease by 16.5% from 2008 to 2012, while NOx posterior emissions increase by 24.9% from 2005 to 2011 in China—trends which are consistent with the MEIC inventory. Joint NOx and SO2 posterior emissions in India increase by 15.9% and 19.2% from 2005 to 2012, smaller than the 59.9% and 76.2% growth rate using anthropogenic emissions from EDGARv4.3.2. This work shows the benefit and limitation of joint assimilation in emission estimates and provides an efficient framework to perform the inversion.

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<![CDATA[SO 2 Emission Estimates Using OMI SO 2 Retrievals for 2005–2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6a783255-8e13-48df-b62e-7af6e7554ff5

Abstract

SO2 column densities from Ozone Monitoring Instrument provide important information on emission trends and missing sources, but there are discrepancies between different retrieval products. We employ three Ozone Monitoring Instrument SO2 retrieval products (National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) standard (SP), NASA prototype, and BIRA) to study the magnitude and trend of SO2 emissions. SO2 column densities from these retrievals are most consistent when viewing angles and solar zenith angles are small, suggesting more robust emission estimates in summer and at low latitudes. We then apply a hybrid 4D‐Var/mass balance emission inversion to derive monthly SO2 emissions from the NASA SP and BIRA products. Compared to HTAPv2 emissions in 2010, both posterior emission estimates are lower in United States, India, and Southeast China, but show different changes of emissions in North China Plain. The discrepancies between monthly NASA and BIRA posterior emissions in 2010 are less than or equal to 17% in China and 34% in India. SO2 emissions increase from 2005 to 2016 by 35% (NASA)–48% (BIRA) in India, but decrease in China by 23% (NASA)–33% (BIRA) since 2008. Compared to in situ measurements, the posterior GEOS‐Chem surface SO2 concentrations have reduced NMB in China, the United States, and India but not in South Korea in 2010. BIRA posteriors have better consistency with the annual growth rate of surface SO2 measurement in China and spatial variability of SO2 concentration in China, South Korea, and India, whereas NASA SP posteriors have better seasonality. These evaluations demonstrate the capability to recover SO2 emissions using Ozone Monitoring Instrument observations.

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<![CDATA[Sediment potentially controls in-lake phosphorus cycling and harmful cyanobacteria in shallow, eutrophic Utah Lake]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6f1536d5eed0c48467aed8

Lakes worldwide are impacted by eutrophication and harmful algal or cyanobacteria blooms (HABs) due to excessive nutrients, including legacy P released from sediments in shallow lakes. Utah Lake (northern Utah, USA) is a shallow lake with urban development primarily on the east side of the watershed, providing an opportunity to evaluate HABs in relation to a gradient of legacy sediment P. In this study, we investigated sediment composition and P concentrations in sediment, pore water, and the water column in relation to blooms of harmful cyanobacteria species. Sediments on the east side of the lake had P concentrations up to 1710 mg/kg, corresponding to elevated P concentrations in pore water (up to 10.8 mg/L) and overlying water column (up to 1.7 mg/L). Sediment P concentrations were positively correlated with Fe2O3, CaO, and organic matter abundance, and inversely correlated with SiO2, demonstrating the importance of sediment composition for P sorption and mineral precipitation. Although the sediment contained <3% Fe2O3 by weight, approximately half of the sediment P was associated with redox-sensitive Fe oxide/hydroxide minerals that could be released to the water column under reducing conditions. Cyanobacteria cell counts indicate that blooms of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Dolichospermum flosaquae species tend to occur on the east side of Utah Lake, corresponding to areas with elevated P concentrations in the sediment, pore water, and water column. Our findings suggest that shallow lake eutrophication may be a function of P in legacy sediments that contribute to observed HABs in specific locations of shallow lakes.

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<![CDATA[Microplastics in Mediterranean Sea: A protocol to robustly assess contamination characteristics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6b267ad5eed0c484289b52

The study of microplastic pollution involves multidisciplinary analyses on a large number of microplastics. Therefore, providing an overview of plastic pollution is time consuming and, despite high throughput analyses, remains a major challenge. The objective of this study is to propose a protocol to determine how many microplastics must be analyzed to give a representative view of the particle size distribution and chemical nature, and calculate the associated margin error. Based on microplastic data from Tara Mediterranean campaign, this approach is explained through different examples. In this particular case, the results show that only 3% of the collected microplastics need to be analyzed to give a precise view on the scale of the North West Mediterranean Basin (error <5%), and 17.7% to give an overview manta per manta (error <10%). This approach could be an important practical contribution to microplastic studies.

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<![CDATA[An ecologically constrained procedure for sensitivity analysis of Artificial Neural Networks and other empirical models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b5252d5eed0c4842bc656

Sensitivity analysis applied to Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) as well as to other types of empirical ecological models allows assessing the importance of environmental predictive variables in affecting species distribution or other target variables. However, approaches that only consider values of the environmental variables that are likely to be observed in real-world conditions, given the underlying ecological relationships with other variables, have not yet been proposed. Here, a constrained sensitivity analysis procedure is presented, which evaluates the importance of the environmental variables considering only their plausible changes, thereby exploring only ecological meaningful scenarios. To demonstrate the procedure, we applied it to an ANN model predicting fish species richness, as identifying relationships between environmental variables and fish species occurrence in river ecosystems is a recurring topic in freshwater ecology. Results showed that several environmental variables played a less relevant role in driving the model output when that sensitivity analysis allowed them to vary only within an ecologically meaningful range of values, i.e. avoiding values that the model would never handle in its practical applications. By comparing percent changes in MSE between constrained and unconstrained sensitivity analysis, the relative importance of environmental variables was found to be different, with habitat descriptors and urbanization factors that played a more relevant role according to the constrained procedure. The ecologically constrained procedure can be applied to any sensitivity analysis method for ANNs, but obviously it can also be applied to other types of empirical ecological models.

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<![CDATA[Association between temperature variability and daily hospital admissions for cause-specific cardiovascular disease in urban China: A national time-series study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c58d669d5eed0c484031dbb

Background

Epidemiological studies have provided compelling evidence of associations between ambient temperature and cardiovascular disease. However, evidence of effects of daily temperature variability on cardiovascular disease is scarce and mixed. We aimed to examine short-term associations between temperature variability and hospital admissions for cause-specific cardiovascular disease in urban China.

Methods and findings

We conducted a national time-series analysis in 184 cities in China between 2014 and 2017. Data on daily hospital admissions for ischemic heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, and ischemic stroke were obtained from the database of Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) including 0.28 billion enrollees. Temperature data were acquired from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service Center. Temperature variability was calculated from the standard deviation (SD) of daily minimum and maximum temperatures over exposure days. City-specific associations between temperature variability and cardiovascular disease were examined with overdispersed Poisson models controlling for calendar time, day of the week, public holiday, and daily mean temperature and relative humidity. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to obtain national and regional average associations. We also plotted exposure-response relationship curve using a natural cubic spline of temperature variability. There were 8.0 million hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease during the study period. At the national-average level, a 1-°C increase in temperature variability at 0–1 days (TV0–1) was associated with a 0.44% (0.32%–0.55%), 0.31% (0.20%–0.43%), 0.48% (0.01%–0.96%), 0.34% (0.01%–0.67%), and 0.82% (0.59%–1.05%) increase in hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, and ischemic stroke, respectively. The estimates decreased but remained significant when controlling for ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5), NO2, and SO2 pollution. The main limitation of the present study was the unavailability of data on individual exposure to temperature variability.

Conclusions

Our findings suggested that short-term temperature variability exposure could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which may provide new insights into the health effects of climate change.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of displacement ventilation systems in airborne infection risk in hospital rooms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b5260d5eed0c4842bc715

Efficient ventilation in hospital airborne isolation rooms is important vis-à-vis decreasing the risk of cross infection and reducing energy consumption. This paper analyses the suitability of using a displacement ventilation strategy in airborne infection isolation rooms, focusing on health care worker exposure to pathogens exhaled by infected patients. The analysis is mainly based on numerical simulation results obtained with the support of a 3-D transient numerical model validated using experimental data. A thermal breathing manikin lying on a bed represents the source patient and another thermal breathing manikin represents the exposed individual standing beside the bed and facing the patient. A radiant wall represents an external wall exposed to solar radiation. The air change efficiency index and contaminant removal effectiveness indices and inhalation by the health care worker of contaminants exhaled by the patient are considered in a typical airborne infection isolation room set up with three air renewal rates (6 h-1, 9 h-1 and 12 h-1), two exhaust opening positions and two health care worker positions. Results show that the radiant wall significantly affects the air flow pattern and contaminant dispersion. The lockup phenomenon occurs at the inhalation height of the standing manikin. Displacement ventilation renews the air of the airborne isolation room and eliminates the exhaled pollutants efficiently, but is at a disadvantage compared to other ventilation strategies when the risk of exposure is taken into account.

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<![CDATA[Ecologically relevant biomarkers reveal that chronic effects of nitrate depend on sex and life stage in the invasive fish Gambusia holbrooki]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c58d619d5eed0c484031602

Agricultural intensification and shifts in precipitation regimes due to global climate change are expected to increase nutrient concentrations in aquatic ecosystems. However, the direct effects of nutrients widely present in wastewaters, such as nitrate, are poorly studied. Here, we use multiple indicators of fish health to experimentally test the effects of three ecologically relevant nitrate concentrations (<10, 50 and 250 mg NO3-/l) on wild-collected mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), a species widely introduced for mosquito biocontrol in often eutrophic waters. Overall, biomarkers (histopathology, feeding assays, growth and caloric content and stable isotopes as indicators of energy content) did not detect overt signs of serious disease in juveniles, males or females of mosquitofish. However, males reduced food intake at the highest nitrate concentration compared to the controls and females. Similarly, juveniles reduced energy reserves without significant changes in growth or food intake. Calorimetry was positively associated with the number of perivisceral fat cells in juveniles, and the growth rate of females was negatively associated with δ15N signature in muscle. This study shows that females are more tolerant to nitrate than males and juveniles and illustrates the advantages of combing short- and long-term biomarkers in environmental risk assessment, including when testing for the adequacy of legal thresholds for pollutants.

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<![CDATA[Anthropogenic Aerosol Indirect Effects in Cirrus Clouds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c75659bd5eed0c484cbe366

Abstract

We have implemented a parameterization for forming ice in large‐scale cirrus clouds that accounts for the changes in updrafts associated with a spectrum of waves acting within each time step in the model. This allows us to account for the frequency of homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing events that occur within each time step of the model and helps to determine more realistic ice number concentrations as well as changes to ice number concentrations. The model is able to fit observations of ice number at the lowest temperatures in the tropical tropopause but is still somewhat high in tropical latitudes with temperatures between 195°K and 215°K. The climate forcings associated with different representations of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN or INPs) are primarily negative unless large additions of IN are made, such as when we assumed that all aircraft soot acts as an IN. However, they can be close to zero if it is assumed that all background dust can act as an INP irrespective of how much sulfate is deposited on these particles. Our best estimate for the forcing of anthropogenic aircraft soot in this model is −0.2 ± 0.06 W/m2, while that from anthropogenic fossil/biofuel soot is −0.093 ± 0.033 W/m2. Natural and anthropogenic open biomass burning leads to a net forcing of −0.057 ± 0.05 W/m2.

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<![CDATA[Adsorption of Pb2+ by ameliorated alum plasma in water and soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6448d7d5eed0c484c2efe8

Four methods, including hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment, calcination treatment and sulfhydrylation treatment, were applied to activate alum plasma in order to obtain new Pb2+ adsorbents. The corresponding adsorption isotherm satisfies the Langmuir equation, and the maximum adsorption of the alum plasma after hot acid treatment, hot alkali treatment and high-temperature calcination were 18.9, 57.3 and 10.9 mg·g−1, respectively, and in the range of 1.23–6.57 times greater than the adsorption capacity of the original alum plasma. The soil culture experiments indicated that the effective Pb content in the soils treated with hot alkali ameliorated alum plasma was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than those treated with the other three types of alum plasma. For example, if the additive content is 5.0%, after a storage period of 16 weeks, the effective Pb content becomes 19.87 mg·kg−1, which corresponds to a reduction of 60.9% in comparison with the control sample. In addition, Specific surface area (BET), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FIR) were used to characterize the microstructure of alum plasma before and after amelioration. It was evident that hot alkali treatment of alum plasma resulted in smaller particles, a significantly higher specific area and lower mineral crystallinity, which improved the adsorption performance of Pb2+. In conclusion, hot alkali treatment of alum plasma indicates relatively good Pb2+ adsorption ability, and is a promising novel adsorbents that could ameliorate soils that have been polluted by heavy metal Pb.

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<![CDATA[Efficiency and performance tests of the sorptive building materials that reduce indoor formaldehyde concentrations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c536afdd5eed0c484a47d76

The adsorption of volatile organic compounds by building materials reduces the pollutant concentrations in indoor air. We collected three interior building materials with adsorption potentials—latex paint, micro-carbonized plywood, and moisture-buffering siding—used the sorptive building materials test (SBMT) to determine how much they reduced indoor formaldehyde (HCHO) concentrations, and then assessed the consequent reduction in human cancer risk from HCHO inhalation. Adsorption of HCHO by building materials significantly improved the effective ventilation efficiency. For example, the equivalent ventilation rate for Celite siding—used for humidity control—was 1.44 m3/(m2·h) at 25°C, 50% relative humidity (RH); the loading factor (L) was 0.4 m2/m3, and the HCHO concentration was 0.2 ppm; this effect is equivalent to a higher ventilation rate of approximately 0.6 air changes per hour in a typical Taiwanese dwelling. There was also a substantial reduction of risk in Case MCP-2 (Cin,te: 245 μg/m3, 30°C, 50% RH): males: down 5.73 × 10−4; females: down 4.84 × 10−4). The selection of adsorptive building materials for interior surfaces, therefore, significantly reduces human inhalation of HCHO. Our findings should encourage developing and using innovative building materials that help improve indoor air quality and thus provide building occupants with healthier working and living environments.

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<![CDATA[How freshmen perceive Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c466555d5eed0c484518a85

Concepts of 464 university freshmen towards Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) were analyzed. Responses were classified into seven main categories: ‘ecological aspects’, ‘ecological problems’, ‘economical aspects’, ‘social aspects’, ‘environmental attitudes’, ‘environmental behavior’ and ‘education’. Analyses of sustainability concepts show a large discrepancy between EE and ESD, whereby the latter includes an additional sub-group: ‘the next generation aspect’. Labeling individual sources of EE in a retrospective assessment identified the family as the most important source of knowledge, followed by media, school and outreach. Further differences were detected between students’ self-perception and their ideal conception of environmental behavior, by using the scale Inclusion of Nature in Self (INS). Only some EE statements produced higher (unfulfilled) expectations ‘economic aspects’, ‘environmental behavior’ and ‘ecological problems’. In contrast fewer (unfulfilled) expectations were observed in the categories of ‘education’ and ‘ecological aspects’.

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