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Environments, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2015) – 7 articles , Pages 1-124

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Climate Change on Urban Rainwater Harvesting in Colombo City, Sri Lanka
Environments 2015, 2(1), 105-124; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010105 - 11 Mar 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4466
Abstract
Cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to water-related issues due to rapid urbanization, installation of complex infrastructure and changes in rainfall patterns. This study aims at assessing the impacts of climate change on rainwater harvesting systems (RWH) in the tropical urban city, Colombo, Sri [...] Read more.
Cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to water-related issues due to rapid urbanization, installation of complex infrastructure and changes in rainfall patterns. This study aims at assessing the impacts of climate change on rainwater harvesting systems (RWH) in the tropical urban city, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The future climate change projections are downscaled from global circulation models to the urban catchment scale using the Long Ashton Research Station Weather Generator (LARS-WG), described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), coupled with Inter Comparison Project (CMIP3) model results. Historical rainfall data from 1981–2010 is used to simulate long-term future rainfall data from 2011–2099. The percentage change of the rainfall is calculated. The rainfall patterns are analyzed based on the daily, monthly, seasonal and annual time scales. Water requirements are calculated based on the selected scenario types. Rainfall and water demand data are incorporated into a water balance model. Climate change impacts for the selected RWH scenarios are calculated based on the water security analysis for each scenario. Analysis of the future rainfall data of Colombo reveals that several extreme weather events with very heavy rainfall may occur in the future. However, the frequency of these big events may not occur too often. Most of the selected global circulation models (GCMs) in this study predict that there will be more rainfall towards the end of this century (2080-2099). Residential RWH systems will be more affected than non-residential systems. RWH systems in Colombo should include potential future climate changes in their future design and planning and be prepared for excess runoff and additional measures against potential overflow and urban floods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proton Adsorption Selectivity of Zeolites in Aqueous Media: Effect of Exchangeable Cation Species of Zeolites
Environments 2015, 2(1), 91-104; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010091 - 06 Mar 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
The saturation of negative charges of zeolites by specific cations to modify their physicochemical and catalytic properties has broadened the applications of zeolites. The adsorption behavior of H+ to Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+ and Cs [...] Read more.
The saturation of negative charges of zeolites by specific cations to modify their physicochemical and catalytic properties has broadened the applications of zeolites. The adsorption behavior of H+ to Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+ and Cs+-saturated Linde-type A, Na-P1, mordenite, X type and Y type zeolites was evaluated at different pH-pM, where pH-pM is equal to log {(M+)/(H+)} and M+ represents either Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, or Cs+. In all cases, with decreasing pH-pM, the amounts of alkali metal retention decreased due to the adsorption of H+ via cation exchange reaction. The adsorption selectivity of H+ into the zeolites had a negative correlation with the Si/Al ratio of the zeolites. In each zeolite species, Cs+-saturated zeolite showed the lowest H+ selectivity, and this suggested that Cs+ had the strongest adsorption energy in the alkali metal cations. The adsorption of H+ was strongly affected by diameter and hydration energy of the alkali metal cations, and was also affected by the framework type and Si/Al ratio of the zeolites. The adsorption of H+ into zeolites decreases the amount of cation retention other than with H+ and may cause the elution of Si and Al into aqueous solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Critical Assessment of Land Use Land Cover Dynamics Using Multi-Temporal Satellite Images
Environments 2015, 2(1), 61-90; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010061 - 24 Feb 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3720
Abstract
An attempt has been made to assess the dynamics of land use land cover change (LULCC) in the study area. LANDSAT-5 TM, IRS-1C LISS III, IRS-P6 LISS III images of 1987, 1997 and 2007, respectively, were digitally classified for land use land cover [...] Read more.
An attempt has been made to assess the dynamics of land use land cover change (LULCC) in the study area. LANDSAT-5 TM, IRS-1C LISS III, IRS-P6 LISS III images of 1987, 1997 and 2007, respectively, were digitally classified for land use land cover (LULC) mapping. The dynamics of LULCC critically analyzed for the two time periods 1987–1997 and 1997–2007. The LULCC analyzed in terms of quantity of change and allocation of change. Relative changes; gross gains, gross losses and persistence; net change and swap changes of LULC of the study area examined carefully. The study provided a better understanding of the LULCC pattern. The total change during (1987–1997) was 68.40% and during (1997–2007) was 80.12%. Major exchanges of areas are in between degraded forest and built up land followed by dense forest and degraded forest. Others dominant systematic transitions are: degraded forest to built up land; dense forest to degraded forest; agricultural land to built up; degraded forest to land with or without scrub; land with or without scrub to built up; and in between river and sandy area. The transformation from forest to built up land especially built-up area constitutes a large percentage of the total landscape. The direct beneficiaries of this research will include resource managers and regional planners as well as others scientific community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological Footprint of Biological Resource Consumption in a Typical Area of the Green for Grain Project in Northwestern China
Environments 2015, 2(1), 44-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010044 - 09 Jan 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4094
Abstract
Following the implementation of the Green for Grain Project in 2000 in Guyuan, China, the decrease in cultivated land and subsequent increase in forest and grassland pose substantial challenges for the supply of biological products. Whether the current biologically productive land-use patterns in [...] Read more.
Following the implementation of the Green for Grain Project in 2000 in Guyuan, China, the decrease in cultivated land and subsequent increase in forest and grassland pose substantial challenges for the supply of biological products. Whether the current biologically productive land-use patterns in Guyuan satisfy the biological product requirements for local people is an urgent problem. In this study, the ecological footprints of biological resource consumption in Guyuan were calculated and analyzed based on the ‘City Hectare’ Ecological Footprint (EF) Method. The EFs of different types of biological resource products consumed from different types of biologically productive land were then analyzed. In addition, the EFs of various biological resource products before and after the implementation of the Green for Grain Project (1998 and 2012) were assessed. The actual EF and bio-capacity (BC) were compared, and differences in the EF and BC for different types of biologically productive lands before and after the project were analyzed. The results showed that the EF of Guyuan’s biological resource products was 0.65866 ha/cap, with an EF outflow and EF inflow of 0.2280 ha/cap and 0.0951 ha/cap, respectively. The per capita EF of Guyuan significantly decreased after the project, as did the ecological deficit. Whereas the cultivated land showed a deficit, grasslands were characterized by ecological surplus. The total EF of living resource consumption in Guyuan was 810,941 ha, and the total BC was 768,065 ha. In additional to current biological production areas, approximately 42,876 ha will be needed to satisfy the demands of Guyuan’s people. Cultivated land is the main type of biologically productive land that is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Environments in 2014
Environments 2015, 2(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010043 - 09 Jan 2015
Viewed by 1857
Abstract
The editors of Environments would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Land Use Change on Sediment and Water Yields in Yang Ming Shan National Park, Taiwan
Environments 2015, 2(1), 32-42; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010032 - 07 Jan 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3256
Abstract
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a watershed-based, semi-distributed hydrologic model for simulating hydrological processes at different spatial scales. The SWAT hydrology and erosion/sediment components are first validated after the hydrologic components calibration. The SWAT model also utilizes geographic information system [...] Read more.
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a watershed-based, semi-distributed hydrologic model for simulating hydrological processes at different spatial scales. The SWAT hydrology and erosion/sediment components are first validated after the hydrologic components calibration. The SWAT model also utilizes geographic information system (GIS) and digital elevation model (DEM) to delineate watersheds and extract the stream network. This study applies SWAT model to assess the impacts of land use change on soil and water losses from Yang Ming Shan National Park Watershed in northern Taiwan. Although the government has formulated regulations to limit the development, however, intense human activities, such as farming and building construction, still continue to exist. This study utilized two land-use data periods, one in 1996 and another in 2007, along with the SWAT model to simulate soil and water losses in Yang Ming Shan National Park. Based on the baseline scenario, the SWAT model was also successful in simulating the future scenario. Study results for scenario 2007, as compared to 1996 baseline period indicate that land use change shows forest land decreases about 6.9%, agricultural land increases about 9.5%, and causes sediment yield increase of 0.25 t/ha. Human activities deserve more attention when assessing soil and water losses because of their inevitable impacts. Government needs to modify land development policies and plans for land use change detection using satellite imagery to avoid illegal development activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Conversion Dynamics in the Borana Rangelands of Southern Ethiopia: An Integrated Assessment Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Field Survey Data
Environments 2015, 2(1), 1-31; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments2010001 - 07 Jan 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3970 | Correction
Abstract
Conversion of rangelands into cultivated land is one of the main challenges affecting the management of rangelands in Ethiopia. In order to inform policy makers about trends in land-use conversion, this study examined the drivers, trends, and impacts of land conversions in five [...] Read more.
Conversion of rangelands into cultivated land is one of the main challenges affecting the management of rangelands in Ethiopia. In order to inform policy makers about trends in land-use conversion, this study examined the drivers, trends, and impacts of land conversions in five locations selected in the Borana rangelands of Southern Ethiopia. This study integrated survey interviews from agro-pastoralists, participatory appraisals, rainfall data, and remotely sensed satellite data from Landsat images taken in 1985 and 2011. Results indicate that there is a marked increase in cultivated land in some of the study sites while in the other sites there is a slight reduction. The bare lands increased in some parts of the study sites though there was slight recovery of grassland in some of the degraded areas. Settlement areas with permanent housing increased. Woodland vegetation decreased except on mountain escarpments where there were slight gains. The results further show that, during this period, bushland decreased while at the same time grassland increased. Shrub/grassland with seasonally flooded areas increased in the bottomlands. Inhabitants interviewed in the study areas perceived land use and land cover changes to be driven by interplay of recurrent drought, loss of pasture, food insecurity, and decline in income. Changes in policies that govern natural resources have influence the land use change in this area and the expansion of cultivation. Expansion of cultivation practices upon rangelands has resulting in significant loss of vegetation biomass and soil erosion, thereby precipitating rangeland degradation. The results provide comprehensive insights regarding the influence of internal and external drivers of land conversion that should be considered when making decisions for land use planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
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