Abstract: Over the last fifty years there has been a continual reduction in horticultural and agricultural biodiversity of nutritionally important plants, including those of the Solanaceae family. To add to this, the broad range of traditional crops, previously grown on a sustainable scale in some parts of the world, has been replaced by a narrow range of major crops grown as large-scale monocultures. In order to counteract this trend, and to help maintain a broad wealth of genetic resources, conservation is essential. This, in turn, helps to safeguard food security. A taxonomic inventory, covering the diversity of species in a plant group, is an important first step in conservation. The Solanaceae is one of the major plant families providing food species. A survey of the biodiversity, ethnobotany and taxonomy of subfamily Solanoideae was undertaken and is presented here as an inventory of food species. Fifteen genera provide species that are utilised for food across the world. Of these, only four genera contain economically significant cultivated food cropspecies. The majority of these are in the genus Solanum, whilst Capsicum, Physalis and Lycium contribute the remainder of cultivated crop species. These genera and others also comprise species that are semi-cultivated, tolerated as useful weeds, or gathered from the wild.
Abstract: This investigation studies desalination powered by wind and solar energy, including a study of a configuration using PVT solar panels. First, a water treatment was developed to estimate the power requirement for brackish groundwater reverse-osmosis (BWRO) desalination. Next, an energy model was designed to (1) size a wind farm based on this power requirement and (2) size a solar farm to preheat water before reverse osmosis treatment. Finally, an integrated model was developed that combines results from the water treatment and energy models. The integrated model optimizes performances of the proposed facility to maximize daily operational profits. Results indicate that integrated facility can reduce grid-purchased electricity costs by 88% during summer months and 89% during winter when compared to a stand-alone desalination plant. Additionally, the model suggests that the integrated configuration can generate $574 during summer and $252 during winter from sales of wind- and solar-generated electricity to supplement revenue from water production. These results indicate that an integrated facility combining desalination, wind power, and solar power can potentially reduce reliance on grid-purchased electricity and advance the use of renewable power.
Abstract: An extensive literature on climate change modeling points to future changes in wind climates. Some areas are projected to gain wind resources, while others are projected to lose wind resources. Oklahoma is presently wind rich with this resource extensively exploited for power generation. Our work examined the wind power implications under the IPCC’s A2 scenario for the decades 2040–2049, 2050–2059 and 2060–2069 as compared to model reanalysis and Oklahoma Mesonetwork observations for the base decade of 1990–1999. Using two western Oklahoma wind farms as examples, we used North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) modeling outputs to calculate changes in wind power generation. The results show both wind farms to gain in output for all decades as compared to 1990–1999. Yet, the results are uneven by seasons and with some decades exhibiting decreases in the fall. These results are of interest in that it is clear that investors cannot count on wind studies of the present to adequately characterize future productivity. If our results are validated over time, Oklahoma stands to gain wind resources through the next several decades.
Abstract: Due to the finite nature of non-renewable mineral and energy resources such as coal, resource extraction is inherently unsustainable; however, mining and related activities can contribute to sustainable development. Indeed, the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) require that mine operators design and conduct their activities in ways that provide for net positive impacts on surrounding communities and environments. In Central Appalachia, there appears to be a particularly ripe opportunity for the coal industry to put CSR to work: participation in sustainable solutions to the long-standing problem of inadequately treated wastewater discharges—which not only represent a potential human health hazard, but also contribute to the relatively high incidence of bacterial impairments in surface waters in the region. In this paper, we outline the underlying factors of this problem and the advantages of industry-aided solutions in a region where limited economic and technical resources are not always aligned with social and environmental needs. We also suggest a framework for problem-solving, which necessarily involves all interested stakeholders, and identify the primary challenges that must be overcome in pursuit of sustainable solutions.
Abstract: In 1938, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado signed the Rio Grande Compact, establishing terms of apportionment for some of the water from the Rio Grande for the three states. Following congressional approval in 1939, this compact governs water allocation in a region with a variable climate and frequent drought conditions and established the Rio Grande Compact Commission, comprised of a commissioner from each state and one from the federal government, to enforce the compact. With an increasing population and declining surface water supply, the Compact has been tested among the parties and within the states themselves. In a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado (2013), Texas claims New Mexico is violating the Compact and Rio Grande Project Act by using water in excess of its apportionment through its allowance of diversions of surface and groundwater. The issue is further compounded by disputes within Texas over separate legal regimes for groundwater and surface water. Combined with growing scarcity issues, the allocation of water in the Lower Rio Grande presents a timely natural resource challenge. This review explores legal issues involved in the case as well as growing challenges of population growth, agricultural development needs, and water shortages.
Abstract: In the coming years the geographical distribution of wind farms in Great Britain is expected to change significantly. Following the development of the “round 3” wind zones (circa 2025), most of the installed capacity will be located in large offshore wind farms. However, the impact of this change in wind-farm distribution on the characteristics of national wind generation is largely unknown. This study uses a 34-year reanalysis dataset (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (NASA-GMAO)) to produce a synthetic hourly time series of GB-aggregated wind generation based on: (1) the “current” wind farm distribution; and (2) a “future” wind farm distribution scenario. The derived data are used to estimate a climatology of extreme wind power events in Great Britain for each wind farm distribution. The impact of the changing wind farm distribution on the wind-power statistics is significant. The annual mean capacity factor increased from 32.7% for the current wind farm distribution to 39.7% for the future distribution. In addition, there are fewer periods of prolonged low generation and more periods of prolonged high generation. Finally, the frequency and magnitude of ramping in the nationally aggregated capacity factor remains largely unchanged. However, due to the increased capacity of the future distribution, in terms of power output, the magnitude of the ramping increases by a factor of 5.