Special Issue "Environmental Risk and Climate Change"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jason K. Levy

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, University of Hawaii, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: disaster risk governance; sustainable hazard mitigation; emergency management decision making; natural–technologic (na–tech) crises; health-related emergencies; fluvial and marine disasters; global climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The historic 2016 climate change pact at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris, France illustrates the growing concern about how climate change will increase environmental risk and societal welfare. The complexity of climate change requires a cross-cutting interdisciplinary systems approach to manage environmental risk, including strategies to lower greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the extent of climate change, and adapt to global temperature rise. This Special Issue is seeking original, unpublished papers that describe recent advances in various environmental risk issues in relation to climate shifts. While a technical perspective is welcome, an interdisciplinary, systems approach is encouraged to promote state-of-the-art solutions that can address climate change risk at local, national, or global scales.

Dr. Jason K. Levy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Case studies on climate change

  • Climate change and sustainability, resilience, and vulnerability

  • Environmental risk

  • Trade-offs between development and environmental integrity

  • Land use change and climate change, societal change, or policy change as a driver

  • Climate change and poverty, marginality, and gender

  • Models and analytical tools for modeling climate change

  • Environmental management and sustainability

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Adaptation to Climate Change in Panchase Mountain Ecological Regions of Nepal
Environments 2018, 5(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5030042
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rural mountain communities in developing countries are considered particularly vulnerable to environmental change, including climate change. Forests and agriculture provide numerous ecosystem goods and services (EGS) to local communities and can help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is however [...] Read more.
Rural mountain communities in developing countries are considered particularly vulnerable to environmental change, including climate change. Forests and agriculture provide numerous ecosystem goods and services (EGS) to local communities and can help people adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is however poor documentation on the role of EGS in people’s livelihood and adaptation practices. This study in the rural Panchase Mountain Ecological Region of Nepal identifies practices being used to adapt to a changing environment through key informant interviews and focus group discussions. At the household level, livelihood diversification, changes in cropping patterns and farming practices, use of multipurpose plant species and income-generation activities were identified as adaptation strategies. Among major strategies at the community level were community forestry-based climate adaptation plans of action for forest and water resource management. Landscape-level adaptation strategies were large-scale collaborative projects and programs, such as Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Chitwan Annapurna Landscape conservation; which had implications at both the local and landscape-level. A proper blending and integration of adaptation strategies from individual households through to the community and to the landscape level is needed for implementing effective adaptation in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Riverine Water Quality Response to Precipitation and Its Change
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Surface waters are prone to the influences from both natural condition and anthropogenic activities. The aim of this paper was to study the impacts of one natural variable, precipitation, and its change posed by a changing climate on water quality of three rivers [...] Read more.
Surface waters are prone to the influences from both natural condition and anthropogenic activities. The aim of this paper was to study the impacts of one natural variable, precipitation, and its change posed by a changing climate on water quality of three rivers in Alberta, Canada. Eleven water quality parameters monitored during the time period of 1988–2014 were used to investigate the impact of precipitation. The results showed the significant dependence of most water quality parameters as well as river flow on the cumulative antecedent precipitation. Water quality parameters however had different associations with precipitation; and thus they would respond to climate change qualitatively and quantitatively differently in the rivers and at the stations of each river. In general, some water quality parameters such as turbidity and total phosphorus would increase; whereas other parameters would decrease or show no appreciable change under the projected increase of precipitation under the median climate change scenario for the river basins. On all three rivers, the maximum increase (17.20%) and decrease (−1.53%) were projected for turbidity and chloride, respectively, in the 2050s; while the maximum increase (29.68%) and decrease (−2.45%) were calculated for turbidity and chloride, respectively, in the 2080s. The results imply the need to manage riverine water quality considering precipitation and its change under a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Ambient Temperature and Mental Health in the USA
Environments 2017, 4(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4040071
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 8 October 2017
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Abstract
Climatic variables such as temperature have been shown to correlate with demand for mental health services in other countries. An attempt by the present study to replicate this correlation using existing USA treatment data on mental health was not substantiated. Using annual state-level [...] Read more.
Climatic variables such as temperature have been shown to correlate with demand for mental health services in other countries. An attempt by the present study to replicate this correlation using existing USA treatment data on mental health was not substantiated. Using annual state-level data from 2007 through 2015, the rate of mental health service utilization per 1000 population was correlated with average temperature and precipitation, while adjusting for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment, and urbanization. No statistically significant correlation was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
So Close Yet So Far Apart: Contrasting Climate Change Perceptions in Two “Neighboring” Coastal Communities on Aotearoa New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula
Environments 2017, 4(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4030065
Received: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Coastal hazard risk, compounded by climate change, is escalating. Efforts to address this challenge are fraught and ‘success’ is elusive. We focus on this impasse and recommend ways to improve understanding, reduce risk and enable adaptation. Two Aotearoa New Zealand coastal communities, Mercury [...] Read more.
Coastal hazard risk, compounded by climate change, is escalating. Efforts to address this challenge are fraught and ‘success’ is elusive. We focus on this impasse and recommend ways to improve understanding, reduce risk and enable adaptation. Two Aotearoa New Zealand coastal communities, Mercury Bay and Kennedy Bay, on the Coromandel Peninsula, serve as case studies. Ethnographic fieldwork underpins this analysis. Despite close proximity, local perceptions are ‘worlds apart’. Poor understanding of climate change, and preoccupation with everyday issues, is commonplace. Moreover, there are countervailing community narratives. In Kennedy Bay, which is undeveloped and Māori, climate change is not a manifest concern. Local narratives are rooted in Māori culture and under the shadow of colonization, which shapes contemporary perceptions, practices and prospects. In Mercury Bay, a rapidly developing resort town, seashore property owners demand protection works—ignoring sea-level rise and privileging short-term private interests. Despite laudable regulatory provisions, static responses to dynamic risks prevail and proactive adaptation is absent. Recommendations are made to improve understanding about local cultural-social-ecological characteristics, climate change and adaption. Enabling leadership and capability-building are needed to institutionalize proactive adaptation. Strengthening Māori self-determination (rangatiratanga) and guardianship (kaitiakitanga), and local democracy, are key to mobilizing and sustaining community-based adaptation governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Living with the Risks of Cyclone Disasters in the South-Western Coastal Region of Bangladesh
Environments 2017, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4010013
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Cyclone disasters that affect millions of people, destroy homesteads and livelihoods, and trigger migration are common in the coastal region of Bangladesh. The aim of this article is to understand how [...] Read more.
Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Cyclone disasters that affect millions of people, destroy homesteads and livelihoods, and trigger migration are common in the coastal region of Bangladesh. The aim of this article is to understand how the coastal communities in Bangladesh deal with the continuous threats of cyclones. As a case study, this study investigates communities that were affected by the Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and Cyclone Aila in 2009, covering 1555 households from 45 coastal villages in the southwestern region of Bangladesh. The survey method incorporated household based questionnaire techniques and community based focus group discussions. The pre-event situation highlights that the affected communities were physically vulnerable due to the strategic locations of the cyclone shelters nearer to those with social supreme status and the location of their houses in relatively low-lying lands. The victims were also socio-economically vulnerable considering the high rate of illiteracy, larger family size, no ownership of land, and extreme poverty. They were mostly day labourers, farmers, and fishermen. Post-event situation reveals that the victims’ houses and livelihoods were severely damaged or destroyed. Most victims were forced to shift their occupations (e.g., from farmers to fishermen), and many became unemployed. They also became heavily dependent on micro-credits and other forms of loans. A significant number of people were displaced and migrated to large urban agglomerations in search of livelihoods to maintain their families back in the affected villages. Migration was primarily undertaken as an adaptation strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential Reduction of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions from Gas Flaring in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry through Alternative Productive Use
Environments 2016, 3(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments3040031
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Globally, climate change and its adverse effects on the human population and the environment has necessitated significant research on the sustainable use of natural resources. Gas flaring in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry causes environmental and health hazards and to a large extent, [...] Read more.
Globally, climate change and its adverse effects on the human population and the environment has necessitated significant research on the sustainable use of natural resources. Gas flaring in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry causes environmental and health hazards and to a large extent, culminates in yearly loss of the Nation’s revenue. The aim of the study is to highlight the potentials of converting flared gas from the Nigerian oil and gas industry to compressed natural gas (CNG) which could be an alternative fuel for the 220 Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT-Lite) while reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, the study provided an overview of gas flaring in the oil and gas industry and energy utilisation in some selected sectors in the country. The Long-range Energy Alternative Planning System (LEAP) software was employed to model the energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions from the BRT-Lite by creating a current scenario and projections to the year 2030. The use of CNG as an alternative fuel for Lagos BRT-Lite will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. Other utilization options for flared gas from this industry includes: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and power generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Potential of CO2 Capture and Storage Technology in South Africa’s Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants
Environments 2016, 3(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments3030024
Received: 10 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The global atmospheric concentration of anthropogenic gases, such as carbon dioxide, has increased substantially over the past few decades due to the high level of industrialization and urbanization that is occurring in developing countries, like South Africa. This has escalated the challenges of [...] Read more.
The global atmospheric concentration of anthropogenic gases, such as carbon dioxide, has increased substantially over the past few decades due to the high level of industrialization and urbanization that is occurring in developing countries, like South Africa. This has escalated the challenges of global warming. In South Africa, carbon capture and storage (CCS) from coal-fired power plants is attracting increasing attention as an alternative approach towards the mitigation of carbon dioxide emission. Therefore, innovative strategies and process optimization of CCS systems is essential in order to improve the process efficiency of this technology in South Africa. This review assesses the potential of CCS as an alternative approach to reducing the amount CO2 emitted from the South African coal-fired power plants. It examines the various CCS processes that could be used for capturing the emitted CO2. Finally, it proposes the use of new adsorbents that could be incorporated towards the improvement of CCS technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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Other

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Open AccessEssay
Climate Change and Food In/Security: A Critical Nexus
Environments 2017, 4(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4020038
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on [...] Read more.
The issue of climate change has been gaining widespread attention and concern as it has the ability to directly/indirectly affect our standard of living and quality of life. It has often been postulated that changes in climate would have a vast effect on food production systems and that food security might be threatened due to increasing climate change. However, it seems that research on climate change and food in/security has often been one-sided; with climate change being identified as the cause of food insecurity and not how the systems in place to ensure food security have exacerbated the issue of climate change. This paper thus seeks to give a more balanced view and thus understanding of the complex relationship between climate change and food security by critically examining both systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk and Climate Change)
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