Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action (32389)

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- Trends in Temperature, Precipitation, Potential Evapotranspiration, and Water Availability across the Teesta River Basin under 1.5 and 2 °C Temperature Rise Scenarios of CMIP6

Read our publications within SDG 13 scope published in 2015–2022.

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15 pages, 481 KiB  
Article
Optimal Residence: Does Air Quality Affect Settlement Decisions of Urban Floating Migrants?
by Tongshan Liu, Guoying Han and Wan Nie
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138042 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
There is a strong association between urban prosperity and human resources. Rapid urbanization and industrialization have caused severe air pollution to the urban cities over the past decades, and permanently moving to locations with clean air has been considered to be one of [...] Read more.
There is a strong association between urban prosperity and human resources. Rapid urbanization and industrialization have caused severe air pollution to the urban cities over the past decades, and permanently moving to locations with clean air has been considered to be one of the most effective strategies to avoid air pollution. However, whether this is in fact still unclear. In order to fill the research gaps, this study combines individual-level data derived from a national survey and city-level data obtained from various sources to empirically exam the effect that air quality has on settlement decisions of urban floating migrants in China. We focus on the target floating migrants who have urban hukou in the origin city and housing in the destination city, and investigate the relationship between air quality and settlement decisions from the move-in and move-out city perspective. In addition, we exam not only the willingness of urban floating migrants to settling in the move-in city, but also their actual migration decision in the reality. The bivariate probit analysis and panel data regression are applied. Results show that poor air quality in the move-out cities has a significant positive impact on urban floating migrants’ willingness to settling in the move-in cities, while bad air quality in the move-in cities has a significant negative impact, indicating that poor air quality does act as a push force to drive floating migrants away but good air quality can be a pulling force for floating migrants to settling down. In addition, the robust tests show good agreement with the main regression results, with almost all relationships reported having the same direction as those indicated by the regression analysis. Our findings can help policy makers and urban planners assess and design interventions to improve the urban air quality aimed at attracting talent, with broader implications for urban sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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19 pages, 2774 KiB  
Article
Leafamine®, a Free Amino Acid-Rich Biostimulant, Promotes Growth Performance of Deficit-Irrigated Lettuce
by Marthe Malécange, Maria-Dolores Pérez-Garcia, Sylvie Citerne, Renaud Sergheraert, Julie Lalande, Béatrice Teulat, Emmanuelle Mounier, Soulaiman Sakr and Jérémy Lothier
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(13), 7338; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137338 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2152
Abstract
Water deficit causes substantial yield losses that climate change is going to make even more problematic. Sustainable agricultural practices are increasingly developed to improve plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. One innovative solution amongst others is the integration of plant biostimulants in agriculture. In [...] Read more.
Water deficit causes substantial yield losses that climate change is going to make even more problematic. Sustainable agricultural practices are increasingly developed to improve plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. One innovative solution amongst others is the integration of plant biostimulants in agriculture. In this work, we investigate for the first time the effects of the biostimulant –Leafamine®–a protein hydrolysate on greenhouse lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown under well-watered and water-deficit conditions. We examined the physiological and metabolomic water deficit responses of lettuce treated with Leafamine® (0.585 g/pot) or not. Root application of Leafamine® increased the shoot fresh biomass of both well-watered (+40%) and deficit-irrigated (+20%) lettuce plants because the projected leaf area increased. Our results also indicate that Leafamine® application could adjust the nitrogen metabolism by enhancing the total nitrogen content, amino acid (proline) contents and the total protein level in lettuce leaves, irrespective of the water condition. Osmolytes such as soluble sugars and polyols, also increased in Leafamine®-treated lettuce. Our findings suggest that the protective effect of Leafamine is a widespread change in plant metabolism and could involve ABA, putrescine and raffinose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Plant Sciences in France)
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15 pages, 4422 KiB  
Article
Winter Potato Water Footprint Response to Climate Change in Egypt
by Amal Mohamed Abdel-Hameed, Mohamed EL-Sayed Abuarab, Nadhir Al-Ansari, Hazem Sayed Mehawed, Mohamed Abdelwahab Kassem, Hongming He, Yeboah Gyasi-Agyei and Ali Mokhtar
Atmosphere 2022, 13(7), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13071052 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
The limited amount of freshwater is the most important challenge facing Egypt due to increasing population and climate change. The objective of this study was to investigate how climatic change affects the winter potato water footprint at the Nile Delta covering 10 governorates [...] Read more.
The limited amount of freshwater is the most important challenge facing Egypt due to increasing population and climate change. The objective of this study was to investigate how climatic change affects the winter potato water footprint at the Nile Delta covering 10 governorates from 1990 to 2016. Winter potato evapotranspiration (ETC) was calculated based on daily climate variables of minimum temperature, maximum temperature, wind speed and relative humidity during the growing season (October–February). The Mann–Kendall test was applied to determine the trend of climatic variables, crop evapotranspiration and water footprint. The results showed that the highest precipitation values were registered in the northwest governorates (Alexandria followed by Kafr El-Sheikh). The potato water footprint decreased from 170 m3 ton−1 in 1990 to 120 m3 ton−1 in 2016. The blue-water footprint contributed more than 75% of the total; the remainder came from the green-water footprint. The findings from this research can help government and policy makers better understand the impact of climate change on potato crop yield and to enhance sustainable water management in Egypt’s major crop-producing regions to alleviate water scarcity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agrometeorology)
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17 pages, 1634 KiB  
Article
Use of Hydrochar Produced by Hydrothermal Carbonization of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Thermal Power Plants in Chile: A Techno-Economic and Environmental Study
by Samuel Carrasco, Ernesto Pino-Cortés, Andrés Barra-Marín, Alejandro Fierro-Gallegos and Marcelo León
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138041 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Hydrothermal carbonization makes it possible to transform lignocellulosic biomass into hydrochar, a carbon-rich material that can be used as fuel. Hydrochar has less calorific value than standard coal but generates less ashes during combustion. This study is a pre-feasibility analysis carried out to [...] Read more.
Hydrothermal carbonization makes it possible to transform lignocellulosic biomass into hydrochar, a carbon-rich material that can be used as fuel. Hydrochar has less calorific value than standard coal but generates less ashes during combustion. This study is a pre-feasibility analysis carried out to evaluate technically-economically and environmentally the use of hydrochar as fuel or co-fuel in thermal power plants in Chile. Until now there are no reports about it. The proposal of this work was to study the replacement of coal with a fuel that uses the same equipment and processes in power generation but with less air emission and with an economically profitable change. The results suggest that a plant with a supply of 104 t/h of bituminous coal could be replaced between 18 and 37 t/h of hydrochar, with a reduction of 8 and 27% in NOx and SO2 emissions, a reduction in 7 to 24% in ashes and a marginal increase in CO2 emission. The proposed use of hydrochar was economically profitable, with internal rates of return of up to 40% and with cash flows that reached USD 22 million. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass for Energy: Challenges, Opportunities and Potential Solutions)
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17 pages, 4252 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Thinning Management on the Carbon Density of the Tree Layers in Larch–Birch Mixed Natural Secondary Forests of the Greater Khingan Range, Northeastern China
by Yongbin Meng, Yuanyuan Zhang, Chunxu Li, Zichun Wang and Yaoxiang Li
Forests 2022, 13(7), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13071035 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Natural secondary forests not only contribute to the total balance of terrestrial carbon, but they also play a major role in the future mitigation of climate change. In China, secondary forests have low productivity and carbon sequestration, which seriously restricts the sustainable development [...] Read more.
Natural secondary forests not only contribute to the total balance of terrestrial carbon, but they also play a major role in the future mitigation of climate change. In China, secondary forests have low productivity and carbon sequestration, which seriously restricts the sustainable development of the forest. Thinning is a core measure of scientific management of forest ecosystems and is a primary natural forest management technique. The carbon density of the tree layer is most affected by thinning. Taking larch–birch mixed natural secondary forests in the Greater Khingan Range, Northeast China, as the research object, we analyzed the changes in tree layer carbon density of secondary forests under different thinning intensities. The results showed that in five thinned groups, when intensity was 49.6%, the diameter at breast height (DBH) and individual tree biomass significantly increased. Thinning had no significant effect on the carbon content of the tree stem, branches and bark, but had significant effects on the carbon content of leaves. Our result showed that the carbon content of birch leaves increased and that of larch decreased. As the thinning intensity increases, the proportion of broad-leaved tree species (birch) increased, yet larch decreased. In the short term, thinning will reduce the total biomass and carbon density of tree layers. However, when the thinning intensity was 49.6%, the carbon accumulation was higher than that of the blank control group (CK group) after thinning for 12 years. This shows that after a long period of time, the carbon density of tree layers will exceed that of the CK group. Reasonable thinning intensity management (49.6% thinning intensity) of natural secondary forests can make trees grow better, and the proportion of broad-leaved trees increases significantly. It can also increase the carbon sequestration rate and lead to more accumulation of biomass and carbon density. This can not only promote the growth of secondary forests, but also shows great potential for creating carbon sinks and coping with climate change. Full article
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15 pages, 1726 KiB  
Article
Warming-Induced Labile Carbon Change Soil Organic Carbon Mineralization and Microbial Abundance in a Northern Peatland
by Lei Jiang, Xiuyan Ma, Yanyu Song, Siqi Gao, Jiusheng Ren, Hao Zhang and Xianwei Wang
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071329 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
Climate warming affects the carbon cycle of northern peatlands through temperature rises and a changing carbon availability. To clarify the effects of elevated temperature and labile carbon addition on SOC mineralization, as well as their microbial driving mechanisms, topsoil (0–10 cm) and subsoil [...] Read more.
Climate warming affects the carbon cycle of northern peatlands through temperature rises and a changing carbon availability. To clarify the effects of elevated temperature and labile carbon addition on SOC mineralization, as well as their microbial driving mechanisms, topsoil (0–10 cm) and subsoil (10–20 cm) were collected from a peatland in the Great Hing’an Mountains and incubated with or without 13C-glucose at 10 °C and 15 °C for 42 days. The results showed that 5 °C warming significantly stimulated SOC mineralization along with NH4+-N and NO3-N content increases, as well as a decrease in invertase and urease activities. Glucose addition triggered a positive priming effect (PE) in the early stage of the incubation but changed to a negative PE in the late stage of the incubation. Glucose likely regulates carbon dynamics by altering fungi: bacteria, soil invertase, and β-glucodase activities, and MBC, DOC, NH4+-N contents. Glucose addition increased fungal abundance in 0–10 cm at 10 °C and 15 °C, and 10–20 cm at 10 °C, respectively, but significantly decreased fungal abundance in 10–20 cm at 15 °C. Glucose addition decreased bacterial abundance in 0–10 cm at 10 °C but increased bacterial abundance in 10–20 cm soil at 10 °C, and in 0–10 and 10–20 cm soils at 15 °C, respectively. Glucose addition significantly decreased the fungi: bacteria ratio in 0–20 cm soils at 15 °C. In addition, Q10 was significantly positively correlated with the changes in soil DOC, NH4+-N contents, invertase, and β-glucosidase activities, while negatively correlated with fungi: bacteria and urease activities after 5 °C of warming, and glucose addition significantly increased the Q10. Labile carbon may decrease carbon losses in northern peatlands that inhibit warming-induced carbon emission increase, thus partially buffering soil carbon content against change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Biotechnology)
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18 pages, 5933 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Synthesis Method on the Local Structure and Electrochemical Properties of Li-Rich/Mn-Rich NMC Cathode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries
by Mylène Hendrickx, Andreas Paulus, Maria A. Kirsanova, Marlies K. Van Bael, Artem M. Abakumov, An Hardy and Joke Hadermann
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(13), 2269; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12132269 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
Electrochemical energy storage plays a vital role in combating global climate change. Nowadays lithium-ion battery technology remains the most prominent technology for rechargeable batteries. A key performance-limiting factor of lithium-ion batteries is the active material of the positive electrode (cathode). Lithium- and manganese-rich [...] Read more.
Electrochemical energy storage plays a vital role in combating global climate change. Nowadays lithium-ion battery technology remains the most prominent technology for rechargeable batteries. A key performance-limiting factor of lithium-ion batteries is the active material of the positive electrode (cathode). Lithium- and manganese-rich nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LMR-NMC) cathode materials for Li-ion batteries are extensively investigated due to their high specific discharge capacities (>280 mAh/g). However, these materials are prone to severe capacity and voltage fade, which deteriorates the electrochemical performance. Capacity and voltage fade are strongly correlated with the particle morphology and nano- and microstructure of LMR-NMCs. By selecting an adequate synthesis strategy, the particle morphology and structure can be controlled, as such steering the electrochemical properties. In this manuscript we comparatively assessed the morphology and nanostructure of LMR-NMC (Li1.2Ni0.13Mn0.54Co0.13O2) prepared via an environmentally friendly aqueous solution-gel and co-precipitation route, respectively. The solution-gel (SG) synthesized material shows a Ni-enriched spinel-type surface layer at the {200} facets, which, based on our post-mortem high-angle annual dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy and selected-area electron diffraction analysis, could partly explain the retarded voltage fade compared to the co-precipitation (CP) synthesized material. In addition, deviations in voltage fade and capacity fade (the latter being larger for the SG material) could also be correlated with the different particle morphology obtained for both materials. Full article
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9 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Energy Consumption Depending on the Durability of Pellets Formed from Sawdust with an Admixture of FFP2 Masks
by Nikola Čajová Kantová, Pavol Belány, Michal Holubčík and Alexander Čaja
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4813; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134813 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
At present, we are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in connection with the huge amount of waste generated. However, the reuse of the produced waste in other processes requires energy consumption. This article deals with the reuse of face masks [...] Read more.
At present, we are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in connection with the huge amount of waste generated. However, the reuse of the produced waste in other processes requires energy consumption. This article deals with the reuse of face masks FFP2, which were added as an admixture to spruce or beech sawdust and then processed into pellets. During the production process of the pellets, energy consumption was measured and further converted to one ton of pellets, and also the consumption was reflected in the price of electricity. After storage, the mechanical durability and dimensions of the individual pellets were measured, and their density was calculated. Based on the results, it can be concluded that spruce pellets with 10% face masks FFP2 (consumption 747.41 kWh; durability 97.53%) and beech pellets with 5% face masks FFP2 (consumption 721.27 kWh; durability 97.38%) achieved higher values of mechanical durability and also consumed more energy than the remaining samples with lower values of durability without considering the sample with spruce sawdust and 5% FFP2 face masks (consumption 872.63 kWh; durability 91.68%). The production of spruce pellets with 5% FFP2 face masks was affected mainly by cold outside weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Applications of Bioenergy and Biomass)
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21 pages, 8459 KiB  
Article
Changes in Phytoplankton Community Composition and Phytoplankton Cell Size in Response to Nitrogen Availability Depend on Temperature
by Veronika Dashkova, Dmitry V. Malashenkov, Assel Baishulakova, Thomas A. Davidson, Ivan A. Vorobjev, Erik Jeppesen and Natasha S. Barteneva
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071322 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2682
Abstract
The climate-driven changes in temperature, in combination with high inputs of nutrients through anthropogenic activities, significantly affect phytoplankton communities in shallow lakes. This study aimed to assess the effect of nutrients on the community composition, size distribution, and diversity of phytoplankton at three [...] Read more.
The climate-driven changes in temperature, in combination with high inputs of nutrients through anthropogenic activities, significantly affect phytoplankton communities in shallow lakes. This study aimed to assess the effect of nutrients on the community composition, size distribution, and diversity of phytoplankton at three contrasting temperature regimes in phosphorus (P)–enriched mesocosms and with different nitrogen (N) availability imitating eutrophic environments. We applied imaging flow cytometry (IFC) to evaluate complex phytoplankton communities changes, particularly size of planktonic cells, biomass, and phytoplankton composition. We found that N enrichment led to the shift in the dominance from the bloom-forming cyanobacteria to the mixed-type blooming by cyanobacteria and green algae. Moreover, the N enrichment stimulated phytoplankton size increase in the high-temperature regime and led to phytoplankton size decrease in lower temperatures. A combination of high temperature and N enrichment resulted in the lowest phytoplankton diversity. Together these findings demonstrate that the net effect of N and P pollution on phytoplankton communities depends on the temperature conditions. These implications are important for forecasting future climate change impacts on the world’s shallow lake ecosystems. Full article
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19 pages, 2610 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Metabolic Potential in Response to Climate Warming Alters the Decomposition Process of Aquatic Plant Litter—In Shallow Lake Mesocosms
by Penglan Shi, Huan Wang, Mingjun Feng, Haowu Cheng, Qian Yang, Yifeng Yan, Jun Xu and Min Zhang
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071327 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1855
Abstract
Increased decomposition rates in shallow lakes with global warming might increase the release of atmospheric greenhouse gases, thereby producing positive feedback for global warming. However, how climate warming affects litter decomposition is still unclear in lake ecosystems. Here, we tested the effects of [...] Read more.
Increased decomposition rates in shallow lakes with global warming might increase the release of atmospheric greenhouse gases, thereby producing positive feedback for global warming. However, how climate warming affects litter decomposition is still unclear in lake ecosystems. Here, we tested the effects of constant and variable warming on the bacterial metabolic potential of typically submerged macrophyte (Potamogeton crispus L.) litters during decomposition in 18 mesocosms (2500 L each). The results showed that warming reduced main chemoheterotrophic metabolic potential but promoted methylotrophy metabolism, which means that further warming may alter methane-cycling microbial metabolism. The nitrate reduction function was inhibited under warming treatments, and nitrogen fixation capability significantly increased under variable warming in summer. The changes in dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, conductivity and ammonium nitrogen driven by warming are the main environmental factors affecting the bacteria’s metabolic potential. The effects of warming and environmental factors on fermentation, nitrate reduction and ammonification capabilities in stem and leaf litter were different, and the bacterial potential in the stem litter were more strongly responsive to environmental factors. These findings suggest that warming may considerably alter bacterial metabolic potential in macrophyte litter, contributing to long-term positive feedback between the C and N cycle and climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
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21 pages, 3943 KiB  
Article
Transfer Characteristics of Embodied Carbon Emissions in Export Trade—Evidence from China
by Hehua Zhao, Hongwen Chen, Ying Fang and Apei Song
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8034; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138034 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
The export trade of China, the factory of the world, promotes economic growth while increasing carbon emissions. This study integrates China’s multi-regional input–output table and the world input–output table to explore the international transfer-in effect and foreign spillover effect of carbon emissions caused [...] Read more.
The export trade of China, the factory of the world, promotes economic growth while increasing carbon emissions. This study integrates China’s multi-regional input–output table and the world input–output table to explore the international transfer-in effect and foreign spillover effect of carbon emissions caused by China’s export trade. A structural decomposition analysis model is also used to identify the influencing factors of carbon emissions caused by China’s export trade of intermediate and final products. Results show that: (1) 45.13–58.87% of the transfer-in carbon emissions resulting from China’s export trade are caused by developed countries and 41.13–54.87% by developing countries; (2) the foreign spillover effect caused by China’s export trade is primarily associated with developing countries, accounting for 63.79–69.61%; (3) carbon emissions caused by the export of intermediate products (final products) in China are primarily caused by the scale effect (industrial linkage). China should adjust the structure of its export trade in accordance with the characteristics of embodied carbon emissions in export trade to achieve low-carbon development. Full article
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11 pages, 2329 KiB  
Article
Experimental Evaluation of Functional and Energy Performance of Pneumatic Oenological Presses for High Quality White Wines
by Claudio Perone, Biagio Bianchi, Filippo Catalano and Michela Orsino
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8033; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138033 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
In this article, experimental tests on two different kinds of pneumatic presses have been carried out in two Apulian wineries to evaluate energy consumption related to yield performance. The presses are employed to process Bombino Nero variety grapes, crushed and transformed in rosé [...] Read more.
In this article, experimental tests on two different kinds of pneumatic presses have been carried out in two Apulian wineries to evaluate energy consumption related to yield performance. The presses are employed to process Bombino Nero variety grapes, crushed and transformed in rosé wine though a pomace less process. The pneumatic pressured press realized a 2 h:48 min long process, with a maximum pressure on the product of 1.4 bar and a must moulding of 69% of extracted must. In regard to the vacuum press, the process duration is 3 h:18 min, with a maximum pressure of 0.9 bar and a must moulding of 58%. During the pressing operation, mean values of must flow rate are comparable: 2.1 L min−1 m−2 for the pressured press and 2.9 L min−1 m−2 for the vacuum press. However, a more detailed analysis gives more insight on the behaviour of the two presses. In regard to the pressured press, a compression phase characterized by few steps and at lowest pressure values has proven particularly effective, especially in the first phase (must moulding of 41% with a must flow rate of 4.6 L min−1 m−2), at the lowest pressure values. On the other hand, by analysing vacuum press process, the phases sequence is much more gradual, must moulding decreases as the extraction proceeds (from 28% to 6%), and in the last three phases a very low amount of must is extracted, with must moulding smaller than 10%. The energy consumption of the pressured press during compression is mainly related to the engine power absorption (one of the two in operation), and it is below 4 kW except during start-up, due to the starting currents. The highest power is reached in the last phase in which the maximum pressure is applied and a great amount of must is extracted. On the other hand, energy consumption in the vacuum press gradually decreases. A similar trend was not observed for the specific energy for either press: while it increases along the whole process for the vacuum press, it reaches a maximum value in the second phase of the pressured one. Results show the need to pursue new studies on single component design and on pressing cycles, especially in high-capacity pneumatic vacuum presses. Several advantages on wine production costs could be achieved, even retaining high quality wines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
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20 pages, 4638 KiB  
Review
Rationalizing Structural Hierarchy in the Design of Fuel Cell Electrode and Electrolyte Materials Derived from Metal-Organic Frameworks
by Aniket Kumar, Prashant Purwar, Sanjiv Sonkaria and Varsha Khare
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(13), 6659; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136659 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are arguably a class of highly tuneable polymer-based materials with wide applicability. The arrangement of chemical components and the bonds they form through specific chemical bond associations are critical determining factors in their functionality. In particular, crystalline porous materials continue [...] Read more.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are arguably a class of highly tuneable polymer-based materials with wide applicability. The arrangement of chemical components and the bonds they form through specific chemical bond associations are critical determining factors in their functionality. In particular, crystalline porous materials continue to inspire their development and advancement towards sustainable and renewable materials for clean energy conversion and storage. An important area of development is the application of MOFs in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and are attractive for efficient low-temperature energy conversion. The practical implementation of fuel cells, however, is faced by performance challenges. To address some of the technical issues, a more critical consideration of key problems is now driving a conceptualised approach to advance the application of PEMFCs. Central to this idea is the emerging field MOF-based systems, which are currently being adopted and proving to be a more efficient and durable means of creating electrodes and electrolytes for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. This review proposes to discuss some of the key advancements in the modification of PEMs and electrodes, which primarily use functionally important MOFs. Further, we propose to correlate MOF-based PEMFC design and the deeper correlation with performance by comparing proton conductivities and catalytic activities for selected works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Science and Technology)
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16 pages, 2797 KiB  
Article
Environmental and Economic Analysis on Sailing from Taiwan through Arctic Passages
by Po-Hung Chen and Ta-Kang Liu
Water 2022, 14(13), 2099; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132099 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2928
Abstract
Maritime transportation is a key means for Taiwan to transport the cargo in the global trade. Global warming has led to two new navigation channels for arctic passages, the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage. Research has increasingly addressed the unknown economic costs of [...] Read more.
Maritime transportation is a key means for Taiwan to transport the cargo in the global trade. Global warming has led to two new navigation channels for arctic passages, the Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage. Research has increasingly addressed the unknown economic costs of these passages, and the increase of navigational activity in the Arctic Ocean has also resulted in CO2 emissions. Taiwan has one of the leading merchant fleets in the world; however, study on this aspect in Taiwan is not available. We use Port of Taipei, Taiwan as the starting place to compare the two arctic shipping routes and developed a model to determine the shipping costs and as well the CO2 emission. The results showed that a voyage from the Port of Taipei to the Port of Rotterdam through the Northeast Passage would be 2107 nautical miles shorter than voyage along the current sea route to Europe but 2% to 3% costlier; CO2 emissions would be 3% lower. Sailing to New York Harbor through the Northwest Passage would shorten voyages by 2459 nautical miles and reduce both costs and CO2 emissions by 7%. Therefore, if tolls were lowered or sailing speeds increased, sailing through the Arctic Passages could be a great opportunity for shipping industries and enable Taiwan to develop its shipping economy while protecting the marine environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Ships and Marine Environment)
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14 pages, 2022 KiB  
Article
Mobile Edge Computing Task Offloading Strategy Based on Parking Cooperation in the Internet of Vehicles
by Xianhao Shen, Zhaozhan Chang and Shaohua Niu
Sensors 2022, 22(13), 4959; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22134959 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Due to the limited computing capacity of onboard devices, they can no longer meet a large number of computing requirements. Therefore, mobile edge computing (MEC) provides more computing and storage capabilities for vehicles. Inspired by a large number of roadside parking vehicles, this [...] Read more.
Due to the limited computing capacity of onboard devices, they can no longer meet a large number of computing requirements. Therefore, mobile edge computing (MEC) provides more computing and storage capabilities for vehicles. Inspired by a large number of roadside parking vehicles, this paper takes the roadside parking vehicles with idle computing resources as the task offloading platform and proposes a mobile edge computing task offloading strategy based on roadside parking cooperation. The resource sharing and mutual utilization among roadside vehicles, roadside units (RSU), and cloud servers (cloud servers) were established, and the collaborative offloading problem of computing tasks was transformed into a constraint problem. The hybrid genetic algorithm (HHGA) with a mountain-climbing operator was used to solve the multi-constraint problem, to reduce the delay and energy consumption of computing tasks. The simulation results show that when the number of tasks is 25, the delay and energy consumption of the HHGA algorithm is improved by 24.1% and 11.9%, respectively, compared with Tradition. When the task size is 1.0 MB, the HHGA algorithm reduces the system overhead by 7.9% compared with Tradition. Therefore, the proposed scheme can effectively reduce the total system cost during task offloading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
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20 pages, 3220 KiB  
Article
Mandatory Policy, Innovations and the Renewable Energy Debate: A Case Study on Building Integrated Photovoltaics
by Daniel Efurosibina Attoye, Kheira Anissa Tabet Aoul and Ahmed Hassan
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070931 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2642
Abstract
Innovations in buildings help to reduce energy consumption and promote environmental protection and as well as the use of renewable energy technology. However, there is a conflict when the need for an innovation clashes with the financial burden and the complex adoption processes. [...] Read more.
Innovations in buildings help to reduce energy consumption and promote environmental protection and as well as the use of renewable energy technology. However, there is a conflict when the need for an innovation clashes with the financial burden and the complex adoption processes. As a result, the negative impacts of buildings remain, and the low adoption of strategic innovations remains unaddressed. This study aims to explore this challenge, the various sides of this debate and provide a practical guide which promotes energy and building-related innovations driven by policy. This paper is an extract from a recent doctoral study conducted using an exploratory qualitative model and interviews with eighty-six residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) was selected as a case study energy innovation and the thematic analysis of the data collected suggests that BIPV adoption is limited by multiple barriers. The debate arising from the findings highlights two opposing viewpoints. One view claims that mandatory policies are necessary to promote innovation adoption. The other view argues that the merits of mandatory policy are lost since multiple barriers significantly discourage adoption in the first place. The study takes a proactive step towards resolving the debate using a systematic approach that recommends specific drivers backed by supporting policies to guide human-centered, stakeholder-driven renewable energy transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ZEMCH—Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Research 2021)
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13 pages, 1094 KiB  
Review
Current Understanding of the Genetics and Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Wood Formation in Plants
by Min-Ha Kim, Eun-Kyung Bae, Hyoshin Lee and Jae-Heung Ko
Genes 2022, 13(7), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13071181 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3065
Abstract
Unlike herbaceous plants, woody plants undergo volumetric growth (a.k.a. secondary growth) through wood formation, during which the secondary xylem (i.e., wood) differentiates from the vascular cambium. Wood is the most abundant biomass on Earth and, by absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, functions as one [...] Read more.
Unlike herbaceous plants, woody plants undergo volumetric growth (a.k.a. secondary growth) through wood formation, during which the secondary xylem (i.e., wood) differentiates from the vascular cambium. Wood is the most abundant biomass on Earth and, by absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, functions as one of the largest carbon sinks. As a sustainable and eco-friendly energy source, lignocellulosic biomass can help address environmental pollution and the global climate crisis. Studies of Arabidopsis and poplar as model plants using various emerging research tools show that the formation and proliferation of the vascular cambium and the differentiation of xylem cells require the modulation of multiple signals, including plant hormones, transcription factors, and signaling peptides. In this review, we summarize the latest knowledge on the molecular mechanism of wood formation, one of the most important biological processes on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers: 'Plant Genetics and Genomics' Section)
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21 pages, 8521 KiB  
Article
Trend Changes of the Vegetation Activity in Northeastern East Asia and the Connections with Extreme Climate Indices
by Zijing Guo, Wei Lou, Cheng Sun and Bin He
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133151 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
In the context of global warming, vegetation activity in northeastern East Asia (40–45°N, 105–130°E) (NEA) shows a significant growth trend on a multidecadal scale, but how vegetation changes on a decadal scale is unclear. In this study, we find a significant trend of [...] Read more.
In the context of global warming, vegetation activity in northeastern East Asia (40–45°N, 105–130°E) (NEA) shows a significant growth trend on a multidecadal scale, but how vegetation changes on a decadal scale is unclear. In this study, we find a significant trend of vegetation greening in northeastern East Asia during 1982–1998 and a slowdown in the greening trend during 1998–2014. Trend analysis of the extreme climate indices reveals that the trends of precipitation-related extreme climate indices are similar to those of vegetation change, and further correlation analysis reveals that precipitation-related extreme climate indices have a strong positive correlation with the NDVI. The results indicate that the vegetation in northeastern East Asia is more sensitive to precipitation changes, especially extreme precipitation, compared with the temperature and related extreme indices. Furthermore, the analysis of large-scale atmospheric circulation changes suggests a role of Northwest Pacific subtropical high (NPSH) in the trend changes of precipitation-related extreme indices. The strengthening of NPSH before 1998 enhances the moisture transport to the NEA, providing abundant water vapor favorable for extreme precipitation events, while after 1998, the NPSH trend is much weakened, corresponding to a decrease in the moisture transport trend. Full article
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21 pages, 4825 KiB  
Article
A Deep Learning-Based Parameter Prediction Method for Coal Slime Blending Circulating Fluidized Bed Units
by Jiyu Chen, Feng Hong and Mingming Gao
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(13), 6652; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136652 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Coal slime blending can effectively improve the utilization rate of fossil fuels and reduce environmental pollution. However, the combustion in the furnace is unstable due to the empty pump phenomenon during the coal slurry transport. The combustion instability affects the material distribution in [...] Read more.
Coal slime blending can effectively improve the utilization rate of fossil fuels and reduce environmental pollution. However, the combustion in the furnace is unstable due to the empty pump phenomenon during the coal slurry transport. The combustion instability affects the material distribution in the furnace and harms the unit operation. The bed pressure in the circulating fluidized bed unit reflects the amount of material in the furnace. An accurate bed pressure prediction model can reflect the future material quantity in the furnace, which helps adjust the operation of the unit in a timely fashion. Thus, a deep learning-based prediction method for bed pressure is proposed in this paper. The Pearson correlation coefficient with time correction was used to screen the input variables. The Gaussian convolution kernels were used to implement the extraction of inertial delay characteristics of the data. Based on the computational theory of the temporal attention layer, the model was trained using the segmented approach. Ablation experiments verified the innovations of the proposed method. Compared with other models, the mean absolute error of the proposed model reached 0.0443 kPa, 0.0931 kPa, and 0.0345 kPa for the three data sets, respectively, which are better than those of the other models. Full article
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24 pages, 9326 KiB  
Article
Evaluating CO2 Desorption Activity of Tri-Solvent MEA + EAE + AMP with Various Commercial Solid Acid Catalysts
by Binbin Zhang, Jiacheng Peng, Ye Li, Huancong Shi, Jing Jin, Jiawei Hu and Shijian Lu
Catalysts 2022, 12(7), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12070723 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
The Paris Agreement and one of its goals, “carbon neutrality,” require intensive studies on CO2 absorption and desorption processes. When searching for ways of reducing the huge energy cost of CO2 desorption in the amine scrubbing process, the combination of blended [...] Read more.
The Paris Agreement and one of its goals, “carbon neutrality,” require intensive studies on CO2 absorption and desorption processes. When searching for ways of reducing the huge energy cost of CO2 desorption in the amine scrubbing process, the combination of blended amine with solid acid catalysts turned out to be a powerful solution in need of further investigation. In this study, the tri-solvent MEA (monoethanolamine) + EAE(2-(ethylamino)ethanol) + AMP(2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol) was prepared at: 0.2 + 2 + 2, 0.5 + 2 + 2, 0.3 + 1.5 + 2.5 and 0.2 + 1 + 3 mol/L. The heterogeneous catalytic CO2 desorptions were tested with five commercial catalysts: blended γ-Al2O3/H-ZSM-5, H-beta, H-mordenite, HND-8 and HND-580. Desorption experiments were conducted via a recirculation process with direct heating at 363 K or using temperature programming method having a range of 303–363 K. Then, the average CO2 desorption rate, heat duty and desorption factors were studied. After comparison, the order of CO2 desorption performance was found to be HND-8 > HND-580 > H-mordenite > Hβ > blended γ-Al2O3/H-ZSM-5 > no catalyst. Among the other combinations, the 0.2 + 1 + 3 mol/L MEA + EAE + AMP with HND-8 had a minimized heat duty (HD) of 589.3 kJ/mol CO2 and the biggest desorption factor (DF) of 0.0277 × (10−3 mol CO2)3/L2 kJ min. This study provided a kind of tri-solvent with catalysts as an energy-efficient solution for CO2 absorption and desorption in industrial CO2 capture pilot plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CO2 Catalytic Conversion and Utilization)
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38 pages, 3135 KiB  
Article
Demand Response Analysis Framework (DRAF): An Open-Source Multi-Objective Decision Support Tool for Decarbonizing Local Multi-Energy Systems
by Markus Fleschutz, Markus Bohlayer, Marco Braun and Michael D. Murphy
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138025 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2725
Abstract
A major barrier to investments in clean and future-proof energy technologies of local multi-energy systems (L-MESs) is the lack of knowledge about their impacts on profitability and carbon footprints due to their complex techno-economic interactions. To reduce this problem, decision support tools should [...] Read more.
A major barrier to investments in clean and future-proof energy technologies of local multi-energy systems (L-MESs) is the lack of knowledge about their impacts on profitability and carbon footprints due to their complex techno-economic interactions. To reduce this problem, decision support tools should integrate various forms of decarbonization measures. This paper proposes the Demand Response Analysis Framework (DRAF), a new open-source Python decision support tool that integrally optimizes the design and operation of energy technologies considering demand-side flexibility, electrification, and renewable energy sources. It quantifies decarbonization and cost reduction potential using multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming and provides decision-makers of L-MESs with optimal scenarios regarding costs, emissions, or Pareto efficiency. DRAF supports all steps of the energy system optimization process from time series analysis to interactive plotting and data export. It comes with several component templates that allow a quick start without limiting the modeling possibilities thanks to a generic model generator. Other key features are the access and preparation of time series, such as dynamic carbon emission factors or wholesale electricity prices; and the generation, handling, and parallel computing of scenarios. We demonstrate DRAF’s capabilities through three case studies on (1) the DR of industrial production processes, (2) the design optimization of battery and photovoltaic systems, and (3) the design optimization and DR of distributed thermal energy resources. Full article
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23 pages, 5435 KiB  
Article
Spatial Planning and Systems Thinking Tools for Climate Risk Reduction: A Case Study of the Andaman Coast, Thailand
by Joanna M. McMillan, Joern Birkmann, Siwaporn Tangwanichagapong and Ali Jamshed
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8022; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138022 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
The impact of climate change and related hazards such as floods, heatwaves, and sea level rise on human lives, cities, and their hinterlands depends not only on the nature of the hazard, but also on urban development, adaptation, and other socioeconomic processes that [...] Read more.
The impact of climate change and related hazards such as floods, heatwaves, and sea level rise on human lives, cities, and their hinterlands depends not only on the nature of the hazard, but also on urban development, adaptation, and other socioeconomic processes that determine vulnerability and exposure. Spatial planning can reduce climate risk not just by influencing the exposure, but also by addressing social vulnerability. This requires that relevant information is available to planners and that plans are implemented and coordinated between sectors. This article is based on a research project in Thailand, particularly on the results of multi-sectoral workshops in the case study region of the Andaman Coast in southern Thailand, and draws upon climate risk, spatial planning, and systems thinking discourses. The article formulates recommendations for planning in the context of Thailand that are relevant for other rapidly growing and urbanizing regions. Among other conclusions, it suggests that systems thinking approaches and cross-sectoral strategies are ways to grasp the interdependencies between and within climate risk and spatial development challenges. Full article
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16 pages, 2714 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of GHG Emissions from Soils Fertilized with Livestock Chain Residues
by Alessandra Lagomarsino, Massimo Valagussa, Carla Scotti, Lamberto Borrelli, Claudia Becagli and Alberto Tosca
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071593 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1559
Abstract
Using livestock residues as alternative fertilizers is a sustainable practice which recycles nutrients that would otherwise be lost. However, organic fertilizers may have a large impact on N2O emissions, offsetting the beneficial effects of C sequestration. After four years from biochar [...] Read more.
Using livestock residues as alternative fertilizers is a sustainable practice which recycles nutrients that would otherwise be lost. However, organic fertilizers may have a large impact on N2O emissions, offsetting the beneficial effects of C sequestration. After four years from biochar application, greenhouse gas fluxes were monitored for two years from a Maize field fertilized with digestate, slurry, or urea, with and without biochar. The objectives of the present study were to assess (i) the climate feedback of using residues from the livestock chain as alternative fertilizers and (ii) the contribution of biochar in mitigating GHGs emissions, while increasing the organic C in soil. Digestate was shown to have the highest impact on CO2 and N2O emissions from soil, with respect to mineral fertilization (+29 and +142%), more than slurry (+21 and −5%), whereas both residues positively affected CH4 uptake (+5 and +14%, respectively). The maximum N2O peaks occurred between 7–20 days after fertilization, accounting for 61% of total emissions, on average. Biochar was effective in reducing N2O emissions derived from mineral fertilization and digestate (−54% and −17%, respectively). An excess of labile organic matter and N induced the highest CO2 emissions and N2O peaks, independent of—or even triggered by—biochar. Mitigation of GHG emissions, from soils fertilized with livestock chain residue, can be obtained using biochar, but with limitations dependent on (i) the quantity of organic matter added, (ii) its quality, and (iii) the time from application: those aspects that deserve further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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13 pages, 606 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Renewable Energy Supply on Economic Growth and Productivity
by Kamil Makieła, Błażej Mazur and Jakub Głowacki
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4808; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134808 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2831
Abstract
The threat of the negative consequences of global warming makes the discussion about the relationship between economic growth, productivity, and increasing renewable energy involvement an important topic. Hence, the aim of this study is to analyze the impact of renewable energy and energy [...] Read more.
The threat of the negative consequences of global warming makes the discussion about the relationship between economic growth, productivity, and increasing renewable energy involvement an important topic. Hence, the aim of this study is to analyze the impact of renewable energy and energy supply on economic growth and productivity at the national level using stochastic frontier analysis and the aggregate production function framework. In doing so, we analyzed a panel of annual data from 133 countries from 2008 to 2014. We apply a generalized stochastic frontier model, which allows us to differentiate between persistent and transient inefficiency, as well as individual effects. Our results indicate a threshold level in terms of a country’s development that needs to be obtained to benefit from increasing renewable energy involvement over time. However, if this threshold level is obtained, productivity gains are evident. We also found that the role of the energy supply in aggregate production is nontrivial. That is, its inclusion changes the relationship between key input factors (capital and labor) by decreasing their overall elasticities and increasing the observed economies of scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Development of Renewable Energies in Poland)
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16 pages, 642 KiB  
Article
Economic Growth Targets and Carbon Emissions: Evidence from China
by Keliang Wang, Bin Zhao, Tianzheng Fan and Jinning Zhang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138053 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2495
Abstract
Carbon emissions have become a new threat to sustainable development in China, and local government actions can play an important role in energy conservation and emission reduction. This paper explores the theoretical mechanisms and transmission paths of economic growth targets affecting carbon emissions [...] Read more.
Carbon emissions have become a new threat to sustainable development in China, and local government actions can play an important role in energy conservation and emission reduction. This paper explores the theoretical mechanisms and transmission paths of economic growth targets affecting carbon emissions from the perspective of economic growth targets and conducts an empirical analysis based on 30 provincial panel data in China from 2003 to 2019. The results show that: economic growth targets are positively correlated with carbon emissions under a series of endogeneity and robustness; there are regional heterogeneity, target heterogeneity and structural heterogeneity in the impact of economic growth targets on carbon emissions; after economic growth targets are set, government actions can influence carbon emissions by affecting resource mismatch and industrial restructuring; It is further found that there is a “U” shaped relationship between economic pressure and carbon emissions. Based on the above findings, this paper further proposes that a high-quality performance assessment mechanism should be developed to bring into play the active role of local governments in achieving carbon reduction goals, and thus contribute to high-quality economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Human Health)
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15 pages, 2858 KiB  
Article
Variation of Net Carbon Emissions from Land Use Change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region during 1990–2020
by Haiming Yan, Xin Guo, Shuqin Zhao and Huicai Yang
Land 2022, 11(7), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11070997 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2154
Abstract
Global increasing carbon emissions have triggered a series of environmental problems and greatly affected the production and living of human beings. This study estimated carbon emissions from land use change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region during 1990–2020 with the carbon emission model and explored [...] Read more.
Global increasing carbon emissions have triggered a series of environmental problems and greatly affected the production and living of human beings. This study estimated carbon emissions from land use change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region during 1990–2020 with the carbon emission model and explored major influencing factors of carbon emissions with the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) model. The results suggested that the cropland decreased most significantly, while the built-up area increased significantly due to accelerated urbanization. The total carbon emissions in the study area increased remarkably from 112.86 million tons in 1990 to 525.30 million tons in 2020, and the built-up area was the main carbon source, of which the carbon emissions increased by 370.37%. Forest land accounted for 83.58–89.56% of the total carbon absorption but still failed to offset the carbon emission of the built-up area. Carbon emissions were influenced by various factors, and the results of this study suggested that the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita contributed most to the increase of carbon emissions in the study area, resulting in a cumulative increase of carbon emissions by 9.48 million tons, followed by the land use structure, carbon emission intensity per unit of land, and population size. By contrast, the land use intensity per unit of GDP had a restraining effect on carbon emissions, making the cumulative carbon emissions decrease by 103.26 million tons. This study accurately revealed the variation of net carbon emissions from land use change and the effects of influencing factors of carbon emissions from land use change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which can provide a firm scientific basis for improving the regional land use planning and for promoting the low-carbon economic development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking the Man-Land Relations in China)
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31 pages, 13307 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Groundwater Quality and the Main Controls on Its Hydrochemistry in a Changing Climate in Morocco (Essaouira Basin)
by Otman El Mountassir, Mohammed Bahir, Abdelghani Chehbouni, Driss Dhiba and Hicham El Jiar
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8012; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138012 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Groundwater is essential for both water supply and environmental conservation, especially in semi-arid and desert areas. Managing groundwater resources requires a thorough understanding of groundwater characteristics and dynamics. The hydrogeochemical properties and evolution of groundwater in the Essaouira synclinal basin in northwest Morocco [...] Read more.
Groundwater is essential for both water supply and environmental conservation, especially in semi-arid and desert areas. Managing groundwater resources requires a thorough understanding of groundwater characteristics and dynamics. The hydrogeochemical properties and evolution of groundwater in the Essaouira synclinal basin in northwest Morocco were studied in this research, with 105 water samples collected in 2009, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The Water Quality Index (WQI) and Irrigation Water Quality Index (IWQI) were developed to determine groundwater quality for consumption and irrigation purposes. The chemical evolution of groundwater is mainly dominated by evaporite, mineral carbonate dissolutions, and cation exchange. Contamination by nitrates is particularly severe in agricultural and tourist areas. The WQI of the 2019 campaign showed that 6.7% of groundwater samples are unsuitable for drinking; 76.7% are poor quality water; and 13.3% are very poor-quality water; while only 3.3% are drinkable. According to IWQI, the total study area has been split into 50% (good), 43.3% (bad), and 6.6% (unfit), respectively, and no excellent groundwater areas have been identified. Therefore, the water is suitable for agriculture but must be treated for drinking. The presence of evaporation and maritime intrusion and the contribution of recent precipitations to aquifer recharging were demonstrated by stable isotope content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Water Management)
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26 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
Achieving Environmental Sustainability in Africa: The Role of Renewable Energy Consumption, Natural Resources, and Government Effectiveness—Evidence from Symmetric and Asymmetric ARDL Models
by Li Yang, Sumaiya Bashiru Danwana and Fadilul-lah Yassaanah Issahaku
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138038 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2837
Abstract
This study investigates the symmetric and asymmetric linkages within environmental sustainability proxied by ecological footprint (EFP), natural resources (NRR), renewable energy consumption (REC), urbanization (URB), human capital (HC), and government effectiveness (GE) in 27 African countries divided into two subgroups (ecological deficit countries [...] Read more.
This study investigates the symmetric and asymmetric linkages within environmental sustainability proxied by ecological footprint (EFP), natural resources (NRR), renewable energy consumption (REC), urbanization (URB), human capital (HC), and government effectiveness (GE) in 27 African countries divided into two subgroups (ecological deficit countries and ecological reserve countries) over the period 1990 to 2018. The study employs the auto-regressive distributed lag (ARDL) model to investigate the symmetric (linear) effect and the nonlinear auto-regressive distributed lag (NARDL) model to study the asymmetric (nonlinear) effects of the variables on EFP. Results of ARDL show that a 1% increase in REC is projected to reduce ecological footprint by 0.17 and 0.2% in ecological deficit and ecological reserve countries. A 1% increase in NRR is estimated to increase ecological footprint by 0.02% in ecological deficit countries but has no impact on the environment in countries with ecological reserves. Similarly, a 1% rise in GE is estimated to increase EFP by 0.04% in Africa but has no impact on the environment in ecological deficit countries. NARDL estimations decomposed REC into positive (negative) shocks, which show that a 1% increase (decrease) in REC is projected to decrease EFP by 0.16% (0.13%) in countries with ecological reserves. Similarly, a positive (negative) shock in NRR is expected to decrease EFP in ecological reserve countries and increase EFP in ecological deficit countries. Results of the Wald tests prove the existence of long-run asymmetry among the variables. The findings indicate that renewable energy consumption enhances environmental quality, while economic growth and natural resource rents reduce environmental quality in Africa over the sampled period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Quality and Stability)
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19 pages, 32279 KiB  
Article
Predicting Current and Future Potential Distributions of Parthenium hysterophorus in Bangladesh Using Maximum Entropy Ecological Niche Modelling
by Sheikh Muhammad Masum, Abdul Halim, Mohammad Shamim Hasan Mandal, Md Asaduzzaman and Steve Adkins
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071592 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2784
Abstract
Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) is among the most noxious invasive alien plant species, which can pose a threat to agro- and native-ecosystems. Despite potential parthenium infestation risks at the south-western regions of the Ganges–Brahmaputra floodplains of Bangladesh, no studies exist that [...] Read more.
Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) is among the most noxious invasive alien plant species, which can pose a threat to agro- and native-ecosystems. Despite potential parthenium infestation risks at the south-western regions of the Ganges–Brahmaputra floodplains of Bangladesh, no studies exist that document parthenium infestation. Using field surveys and a maximum entropy (Maxent) modelling approach, the present study tries to address the problem in the concerned region comprised of five Districts: Jashore, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga, Meherpur, and Khustia. The results revealed high infestation in the Jashore, Jhenaidah, and Chuadanga Districts, mainly along roadsides, in grasslands, and in fallow and cropped fields. The greatest abundance of the weed (ca. 30 plants m−2) occurred at the Indian border area, suggesting cross-border spreading, possibly through the linking road systems. Furthermore, we found that under both low and high emissions scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6 and 8.5), parthenium weed suitability areas were likely to expand, suggesting an increased threat to the agro-ecosystems of Bangladesh. The present study is the first attempt to survey and model potential parthenium weed distribution affecting one of the major hubs of agricultural production in Bangladesh. The findings of this study can help land managers to make judicious decisions towards the future management of these agro-ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pests, Pesticides and Food Safety in a Changing Climate)
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23 pages, 8961 KiB  
Article
Using SWAT Model to Assess the Impacts of Land Use and Climate Changes on Flood in the Upper Weihe River, China
by Yinge Liu, Yuxia Xu, Yaqian Zhao and Yan Long
Water 2022, 14(13), 2098; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132098 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3999
Abstract
Flood disasters have occurred frequently in recent years, but there is no consensus on the mechanism and influencing factors. Taking the upper reaches of Weihe River Basin as a case in Western China, a soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model was established [...] Read more.
Flood disasters have occurred frequently in recent years, but there is no consensus on the mechanism and influencing factors. Taking the upper reaches of Weihe River Basin as a case in Western China, a soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model was established to quantitatively simulate the impact of land use and climate change on runoff changes, while 4 extreme land-use scenarios and 24 temperature and precipitation scenarios assumptions were proposed to simulate the response of runoff to land use and climate changes. The SWAT simulation results showed that the sensitivity parameters affecting the model simulation were the CANMX, CN2, SOL_K, CH_N2, and SOL_AWC. The correlation index R2 and the efficiency coefficient ENS of the upper Weihe River were both in the range of 0.75–0.78, the relative error PS between the simulated results and the measured runoff was below 10%, suggesting the good applicability of the SWAT model in this study area. Using the improved SWAT model to simulate the peak runoff (flood) simulation value is generally smaller than the measured value, and the absolute value of the error is less than 6%. The expansion of wasteland increased the runoff by over 90% on average, the expansion of cultivated land increased the runoff by 8% on average, and the expansion of woodland and grassland increased the surface runoff by 6% on average. When the precipitation decreased by 25% and the temperature increased by 22%, the smallest runoff was obtained in the simulation. Accordingly, when the precipitation increased by 25% and the temperature decreased by 22%, the maximum annual runoff was obtained. By decomposing the contribution rate of human activities and climate change to runoff, it showed that the contribution rate of human activities to the reduction of runoff was greater than that of climate change. This study can provide scientific reference for the simulation and prediction of future floods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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18 pages, 1044 KiB  
Review
Understanding R Gene Evolution in Brassica
by Fangning Zhang, Ting Xiang Neik, Tingting Wu, David Edwards and Jacqueline Batley
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071591 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2426
Abstract
Brassica crop diseases caused by various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, have devastating effects on the plants, leading to significant yield loss. This effect is worsened by the impact of climate change and the pressure to increase cultivation worldwide to feed [...] Read more.
Brassica crop diseases caused by various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and oomycetes, have devastating effects on the plants, leading to significant yield loss. This effect is worsened by the impact of climate change and the pressure to increase cultivation worldwide to feed the burgeoning population. As such, managing Brassica diseases has become a challenge demanding a rapid solution. In this review, we provide a detailed introduction of the plant immune system, discuss the evolutionary pattern of both dominant and recessive disease resistance (R) genes in Brassica and discuss the role of epigenetics in R gene evolution. Reviewing the current findings of how R genes evolve in Brassica spp. provides further insight for the development of creative ideas for crop improvement in relation to breeding sustainable, high quality, disease-resistant Brassica crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Crop Breeding for Stress Tolerance)
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28 pages, 4986 KiB  
Article
Lean Screening for Greener Energy Consumption in Retrofitting a Residential Apartment Unit
by Christina Rousali and George Besseris
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(13), 6631; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136631 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1586
Abstract
Buildings consume a large portion of the global primary energy. They are also key contributors to CO2 emissions. Greener residential buildings are part of the ‘Renovation Wave’ in the European Green Deal. The purpose of this study was to explore the usefulness [...] Read more.
Buildings consume a large portion of the global primary energy. They are also key contributors to CO2 emissions. Greener residential buildings are part of the ‘Renovation Wave’ in the European Green Deal. The purpose of this study was to explore the usefulness of energy consumption screening as a part of seeking retrofitting opportunities in the older residential building stock. The objective was to manage the screening of the electromechanical energy systems for an existing apartment unit. The parametrization was drawn upon inspection items in a comprehensive electronic checklist—part of an official software—in order to incur the energy certification status of a residential building. The extensive empirical parametrization intends to discover retrofitting options while offering a glimpse of the influence of the intervention costs on the final screening outcome. A supersaturated trial planner was implemented to drastically reduce the time and volume of the experiments. Matrix data analysis chart-based sectioning and general linear model regression seamlessly integrate into a simple lean-and-agile solver engine that coordinates the polyfactorial profiling of the joint multiple characteristics. The showcased study employed a 14-run 24-factor supersaturated scheme to organize the data collection of the performance of the energy consumption along with the intervention costs. It was found that the effects that influence the energy consumption may be slightly differentiated if intervention costs are also simultaneously considered. The four strong factors that influenced the energy consumption were the automation type for hot water, the types of heating and cooling systems, and the power of the cooling systems. An energy certification category rating of ‘B’ was achieved; thus, the original status (‘C’) was upgraded. The renovation profiling practically reduced the energy consumption by 47%. The concurrent screening of energy consumption and intervention costs detected five influential effects—the automation type for water heating, the automation control category, the heating systems type, the location of the heating system distribution network, and the efficiency of the water heating distribution network. The overall approach was shown to be simpler and even more accurate than other potentially competitive methods. The originality of this work lies in its rareness, worldwide criticality, and impact since it directly deals with the energy modernization of older residential units while promoting greener energy performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Industrial Technologies)
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11 pages, 1614 KiB  
Article
Driving Factors of Heavy Rainfall Causing Flash Floods in the Middle Reaches of the Yellow River: A Case Study in the Wuding River Basin, China
by Pan Zhang, Weiying Sun, Peiqing Xiao, Wenyi Yao and Guobin Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8004; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138004 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1543
Abstract
In the context of climate change, extreme rainfall events have greatly increased the frequency and risk of flash floods in the Yellow River Basin. In this study, the heavy rainfall and flash flood processes were studied as a system. Taking the driving factors [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change, extreme rainfall events have greatly increased the frequency and risk of flash floods in the Yellow River Basin. In this study, the heavy rainfall and flash flood processes were studied as a system. Taking the driving factors of the heavy rainfall causing the flash floods as the main focus, the key factors of the heavy rainfall causing typical flash flood processes were identified, and the driving mechanism by which the heavy rainfall caused flash floods was revealed. Through comparative analysis of the rainfall related to 13 floods with peak discharges of greater than 2000 m3/s since measurements began at Baijiachuan hydrological station, it was found that different rainfall factors played a major driving role in the different flood factors. The factor that had the largest impact on the peak discharge was the average rainfall intensity; the factor that had the largest impact on the flood volume was the rainfall duration; and the factor that had the largest impact on the sediment volume was the maximum 1 h rainfall. The ecological construction of soil and water conservation projects on the Loess Plateau has had obvious peak-cutting and sediment-reducing effects on the flood processes driven by medium- and low-intensity rainfall events, but for high-intensity flash floods, the flood-reducing and sediment-reducing effects of these projects have been smaller. Therefore, despite the background of continuous ecological improvement on the Loess Plateau, the possibility of floods with large sediment loads occurring in the middle reaches of the Yellow River still exists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Water System and Carbon Emission)
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19 pages, 3129 KiB  
Article
Energy-Efficient Electro-Hydraulic Power Source Driven by Variable-Speed Motor
by Zheng Yan, Lei Ge and Long Quan
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4804; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134804 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Hydraulic systems are widely used in industry due to their small size-to-power ratios and their ability to produce very large linear force and torque. In traditional hydraulic systems, a variable pump driven by an electric motor is often used as power source. In [...] Read more.
Hydraulic systems are widely used in industry due to their small size-to-power ratios and their ability to produce very large linear force and torque. In traditional hydraulic systems, a variable pump driven by an electric motor is often used as power source. In these systems, the electro-hydraulic power source always operates at its rated speed, causing lots of noise and low energy consumption, especially in no-load and light-load conditions. These problems can be solved by changing the speed of the electric motor according to the load state of the electro-hydraulic power source. In order to improve the energy efficiency of the electro-hydraulic power source and realize pressure and flow control on the basis of low cost, this paper presents the power-source structure of a variable-displacement pressure-compensated pump driven by a variable-speed electric motor; this controls the flow by adjusting the electric motor speed and controls the pressure with the variable-displacement pressure-compensated pump. However, for the variable-speed system, the starting of the electric motor with a load is relatively slow; this makes it difficult to meet the demand of flow control, and will also have a great impact on the power grid. To address these problems, a hydraulic accumulator is introduced to the inlet port of the hydraulic pump to assist in starting the pump. This method can realize the combined control of pressure, flow and power, and has high energy efficiency. This research uses experiments to verify the feasibility of the scheme, and the results show that the starting periods of the power source can be shortened from 2.8 s to 0.7 s when the load pressure is about 18 MPa. Furthermore, regarding maintaining pressure without flow outputs, the energy consumption of the designed power source can be reduced by almost 30% compared with a pure variable-displacement power source. Full article
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27 pages, 2711 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Influencing Factors on the Carbon Emission Trading Price in China Based on the Improved Gray Relational Analysis Model
by Xiaohua Song, Wen Zhang, Zeqi Ge, Siqi Huang, Yamin Huang and Sijia Xiong
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8002; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138002 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
Carbon emission trading market construction is an important policy tool to promote the realization of China’s “double carbon” goal. However, problems still exist, such as the lack of market trading vitality, the large difference in carbon trading prices between the eight pilot markets [...] Read more.
Carbon emission trading market construction is an important policy tool to promote the realization of China’s “double carbon” goal. However, problems still exist, such as the lack of market trading vitality, the large difference in carbon trading prices between the eight pilot markets and the instability of the prices. In order to explore the key influencing factors on carbon trading prices, 15 factors were selected to study in detail according to the policy, green industry, economy and environment. Taking China’s eight pilot carbon trading markets as research subjects, we explored the correlation degree of each factor by using the improved gray relational analysis model (GRAM) from the two dimensions of space and time. The research results show that from the space dimension, the industrial development level, development degree of low-carbon industries, air pollution degree and green technology maturity are the main factors that affect the carbon trading price in the eight pilot areas. Meanwhile, from the time dimension, the correlation degree between various factors and carbon trading price both showed a downward trend as a whole, and the fluctuation of the correlation degree of individual factors was different from the overall trend. In conclusion, we can put forward recommendations on the pricing mechanism of the carbon trading market after this comprehensive study. Full article
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18 pages, 1837 KiB  
Article
Impact of Information Asymmetry on the Operation of Green Closed-Loop Supply Chain under Government Regulation
by Jianteng Xu, Peng Wang and Qi Xu
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7999; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137999 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1940
Abstract
Recycling subsidy and carbon tax policies are ways to achieve energy and environmental sustainability. The implementation of these policies has changed the operating environment of traditional closed-loop supply chains, while the privacy of relevant information increases the difficulty of decision-making. Under the background, [...] Read more.
Recycling subsidy and carbon tax policies are ways to achieve energy and environmental sustainability. The implementation of these policies has changed the operating environment of traditional closed-loop supply chains, while the privacy of relevant information increases the difficulty of decision-making. Under the background, this paper considers the green closed-loop supply chain (GCLSC) under the hybrid policy of recycling subsidy and carbon tax where the manufacturer is in charge of recycling and the retailer invests in green marketing. Taking green marketing cost coefficient as the retailer’s private information, this paper explores the influence of information asymmetry on optimal decisions and performance of the GCLSC. By constructing game models of information symmetry and asymmetry, the optimal decisions, economic and environmental performance, and social welfare are provided. Combined with numerical analysis, the influence of uncertainty of the manufacturer’s estimation, subsidies and carbon tax on the GCLSC is proposed. The results indicate that the uncertainty in the manufacturer’s estimation can improve the social welfare under certain conditions, but it cannot reduce carbon emissions. Recycling subsidy and carbon tax policies oppositely affect the manufacturer’s optimal decisions and carbon emissions. Information asymmetry is beneficial to the retailer. However, less uncertainty in estimation is not always better for the manufacturer. The manufacturer needs to proactively adopt strategies to stimulate the retailer’s information sharing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Optimization)
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14 pages, 769 KiB  
Protocol
Evaluating the Public Climate School—A School-Based Programme to Promote Climate Awareness and Action in Students: Protocol of a Cluster-Controlled Pilot Study
by Michael Eichinger, Myriam Bechtoldt, Inga Thao My Bui, Julius Grund, Jan Keller, Ashley G. Lau, Shuyan Liu, Michael Neuber, Felix Peter, Carina Pohle, Gerhard Reese, Fabian Schäfer and Stephan Heinzel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138039 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3098
Abstract
Introduction: School-based programmes may promote knowledge and skills required to address climate change and better health and well-being in adolescents, yet evidence of their effectiveness is limited. In preparation for evaluating the Public Climate School, a school-based intervention to promote climate awareness and [...] Read more.
Introduction: School-based programmes may promote knowledge and skills required to address climate change and better health and well-being in adolescents, yet evidence of their effectiveness is limited. In preparation for evaluating the Public Climate School, a school-based intervention to promote climate awareness and action in adolescents, we conduct a pilot study intended to assess procedures for participant recruitment, retention, and data collection, data quality issues and to provide preliminary parameter estimates to guide sample size calculations. Methods and analysis: This unblinded, cluster-controlled pilot study targets students in twelve classes from grades seven to thirteen in German public schools. Seven and five classes were allocated to the intervention and waitlist control arms, respectively. The intervention consisted of (1) live lessons on YouTube, (2) climate-related challenges of the day, (3) workshops and (4) peer exchange sessions. Waitlist control classes participated three weeks later. Measures included the proportion of students completing baseline and follow-up surveys, a comparison of baseline characteristics between students in the retained subsample and those lost to follow-up, proportions of students completing online and paper–pencil-based surveys and problems during data collection based on information reported by teachers. Data quality was assessed as proportions of missing data, associations between missingness and sociodemographic measures using logistic regression models and basic psychometric properties of scales including ceiling effects and internal consistency. Intentions to reduce one’s ecological footprint, the primary outcome, and all secondary outcomes for effect estimation were assessed one week pre- and post-intervention from November to December 2021 using items adapted from internationally used instruments and will be investigated using generalised linear mixed models and intention-to-treat analyses. Conclusions: The pilot study will lay the methodological groundwork for a large-scale cluster-randomised effectiveness and process evaluation of the Public Climate School. If proven effective and rolled out more broadly, the Public Climate School has the potential to contribute meaningfully to national climate mitigation and adaptation efforts by reaching a substantial share of adolescents in public schools, including those traditionally less involved in climate action. Full article
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16 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Drivers of Livelihood Strategies: Evidence from Mexico’s Indigenous Rural Households
by Isael Fierros-González and Jorge Mora-Rivera
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137994 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
Mexico has the largest Indigenous population in the Americas and the most native languages in the region. These Indigenous peoples face a similar set of structural barriers to achieving more sustainable livelihoods, including criminal violence and huge hurdles to accumulating assets, in addition [...] Read more.
Mexico has the largest Indigenous population in the Americas and the most native languages in the region. These Indigenous peoples face a similar set of structural barriers to achieving more sustainable livelihoods, including criminal violence and huge hurdles to accumulating assets, in addition to their poverty. The purpose of this paper is to identify the main drivers of sustainable livelihood strategies in Indigenous households in rural Mexico. Using cluster analysis and a multinomial logit model based on a mixed approach that employs a traditional perspective of development alongside the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA), our results suggest that a significant proportion of Indigenous households engage in livelihoods linked to the environment and nature, while only a small segment of households has been able to accumulate assets and adopt more profitable non-farming livelihoods. Our findings also reveal how the creation of human capital, the provision of basic services, and support to mitigate the effects of extreme weather all contribute to reducing risk for Indigenous households. The findings suggest that public policies must target these specific issues in order to solve structural problems that limit the efficacy with which Indigenous households use their family assets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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20 pages, 4269 KiB  
Article
Model of Demand of Human Settlement Environment for Rural Houses in North China: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
by Bin Chen, Yajing Chen, Yu Chen and Jin Gao
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070926 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
Numerous studies have shown that the technology used to improve the living environment in rural areas often loses its effect in a few years, and farmers return to their familiar and habitual way of life. The failure to consider the basic needs of [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have shown that the technology used to improve the living environment in rural areas often loses its effect in a few years, and farmers return to their familiar and habitual way of life. The failure to consider the basic needs of farmers is an important reason for these problems. Therefore, this study conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses on the factors that influence the demand on the human settlement environment through visits, field measurements, a questionnaire survey (which involved more than 20 households in 14 villages in seven provinces and cities in northern China), and the construction of a structural equation model based on demand. The survey included (amongst other factors) personal attributes, daily living, diet and environmental preferences, living customs and energy consumption, housing construction methods, and the surrounding environment. The results showed that, compared with mental happiness (0.084) and physical health (0.119), socioeconomic status (0.260) had a greater influence on the weight of the overall demand satisfaction among the various demand indicators. Farmers prioritized yard planning (0.135), toilets (0.126), and living rooms (0.095). They also gave importance to the indoor thermal environment (0.088), air quality (0.088), and food problems (0.087). The findings of this study provide a theoretical reference for the inception of technical approaches to improve human settlement environment centered on rural houses in North China, and the realization of sustainable development in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems)
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25 pages, 6748 KiB  
Article
Accurate Recognition of Building Rooftops and Assessment of Long-Term Carbon Emission Reduction from Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Systems Fusing GF-2 and Multi-Source Data
by Shaofu Lin, Chang Zhang, Lei Ding, Jing Zhang, Xiliang Liu, Guihong Chen, Shaohua Wang and Jinchuan Chai
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3144; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133144 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2848
Abstract
Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) retrofitting can greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, thus contributing to carbon neutrality. Effective assessment of carbon emission reduction has become an urgent challenge for the government and for business enterprises. In this study, we propose a method [...] Read more.
Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) retrofitting can greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, thus contributing to carbon neutrality. Effective assessment of carbon emission reduction has become an urgent challenge for the government and for business enterprises. In this study, we propose a method to assess accurately the potential reduction of long-term carbon emission by installing solar PV on rooftops. This is achieved using the joint action of GF-2 satellite images, Point of Interest (POI) data, and meteorological data. Firstly, we introduce a building extraction method that extends the DeepLabv3+ by fusing the contextual information of building rooftops in GF-2 images through multi-sensory fields. Secondly, a ridgeline detection algorithm for rooftop classification is proposed, based on the Hough transform and Canny edge detection. POI semantic information is used to calculate the usable area under different subsidy policies. Finally, a multilayer perceptron (MLP) is constructed for long-term PV electricity generation series with regional meteorological data, and carbon emission reduction is estimated for three scenarios: the best, the general, and the worst. Experiments were conducted with GF-2 satellite images collected in Daxing District, Beijing, China in 2021. Final results showed that: (1) The building rooftop recognition method achieved overall accuracy of 95.56%; (2) The best, the general and the worst amount of annual carbon emission reductions in the study area were 7,705,100 tons, 6,031,400 tons, and 632,300 tons, respectively; (3) Multi-source data, such as POIs and climate factors play an indispensable role for long-term estimation of carbon emission reduction. The method and conclusions provide a feasible approach for quantitative assessment of carbon reduction and policy evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Image and Urban Information Visualization)
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18 pages, 4371 KiB  
Article
Microalgae Indicators of Charophyte Habitats of South and Southeast Kazakhstan
by Elmira Sametova, Gaukhar Jumakhanova, Satbay Nurashov, Sophia Barinova, Aibek Jiyenbekov and Thomas Smith
Diversity 2022, 14(7), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070530 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Charophyte algae is a very sensitive group of organisms occupying Kazakhstan waterbodies. They are distributed throughout the country; however, not enough studies have been conducted, especially in the southern region. Research carried out in 2019–2022 identified 33 habitats of charophyte algae in the [...] Read more.
Charophyte algae is a very sensitive group of organisms occupying Kazakhstan waterbodies. They are distributed throughout the country; however, not enough studies have been conducted, especially in the southern region. Research carried out in 2019–2022 identified 33 habitats of charophyte algae in the south and southeastern regions of Kazakhstan, including 15 new to Kazakhstan. Bioindicators and the statistical analysis of 223 species of nine phyla of microalgae associated with charophytes revealed that the main factors influencing the distribution of algal diversity may be habitat altitude and hydrology. The habitat altitude of about 700 m above sea level was shown to be the boundary between the different diversity distributions. The application of bioindicator methods can expand our knowledge on the ecology of the charophyte species in Kazakhstan. The study of algal diversity in charophyte habitats can serve as a tool for tracking climate change under potential future climate warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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16 pages, 4760 KiB  
Article
Development of Concepts for a Climate-Neutral Chemical–Pharmaceutical Industry in 2045
by Alexander Uhl, Axel Schmidt, Christoph Jensch, Dirk Köster and Jochen Strube
Processes 2022, 10(7), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10071289 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2221
Abstract
Global primary energy consumption has increased tenfold over the course of the 20th Century, the availability of non-renewable energy is becoming scarce, and the burning of fossil fuels is leading to global warming. Climate change has now become tangible. The will to act [...] Read more.
Global primary energy consumption has increased tenfold over the course of the 20th Century, the availability of non-renewable energy is becoming scarce, and the burning of fossil fuels is leading to global warming. Climate change has now become tangible. The will to act against fossil fuels has become apparent in the western world, and in Germany in particular. This poses a particular challenge for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, since, in the future, not only will the energy input, but also the feedstock, have to come from non-fossil sources. They must be replaced by carbon capture and utilization, and the exploitation of a circular economy. Concepts for a climate-neutral chemical–pharmaceutical industry have been developed and evaluated. Due to a high predicted consumption of renewable energies and an insufficient expansion of these, Germany will remain an energy importer in the future. The largest consumer in a climate-neutral chemical–pharmaceutical industry will be electrolysis for hydrogen (up to 81%, 553 TWh/a). This can be circumvented by importing green ammonia and cracking. This will require investments of EUR 155 bn. An additional benefit will be increased independence from fossil resource imports, as green ammonia can be produced in a multitude of nations with strong potential for renewable energies and a diversified set of exporting nations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Autonomous Operation of Biologics and Botanicals)
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15 pages, 1444 KiB  
Article
Quantitative-Genetic Evaluation of Resistances to Five Fungal Diseases in A Large Triticale Diversity Panel (×Triticosecale)
by Thomas Miedaner, Kerstin Flath, Norbert Starck, Sigrid Weißmann and Hans Peter Maurer
Crops 2022, 2(3), 218-232; https://doi.org/10.3390/crops2030016 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
The man-made cereal triticale was fully resistant to the biotrophic diseases powdery mildew, leaf rust, yellow rust, and stem rust from its introduction in Europe in the mid-1970s until about 1990. In the following years, new races that were able to infect at [...] Read more.
The man-made cereal triticale was fully resistant to the biotrophic diseases powdery mildew, leaf rust, yellow rust, and stem rust from its introduction in Europe in the mid-1970s until about 1990. In the following years, new races that were able to infect at least some triticale genotypes developed in all four pathogen populations, and resistance breeding came into focus. Here, we analyzed 656 winter triticale cultivars from 12 countries for resistance to these biotrophic diseases and Fusarium head blight (FHB) at up to 8 location-year combinations (environments). FHB ratings were corrected for plant height and heading stage by comparing three statistical methods. Significant (p < 0.001) genetic variances were found for all resistances with moderate to high entry-mean heritabilities. All traits showed a normal distribution, with the exception of stem rust, where the ratings were skewed towards resistance. There were no substantial correlations among the five disease resistances (r = −0.04 to 0.26). However, several genotypes were detected with multi-disease resistance with a disease rating below average for all five diseases simultaneously. In future, such genotypes must be selected primarily to cope with future challenges of less pesticide use and global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Variability of Crop Pathogens)
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13 pages, 347 KiB  
Review
Climate Change and Effects on Molds and Mycotoxins
by Veronica Zingales, Mercedes Taroncher, Piera Anna Martino, María-José Ruiz and Francesca Caloni
Toxins 2022, 14(7), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14070445 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 4557
Abstract
Earth’s climate is undergoing adverse global changes as an unequivocal result of anthropogenic activity. The occurring environmental changes are slowly shaping the balance between plant growth and related fungal diseases. Climate (temperature, available water, and light quality/quantity; as well as extreme drought, desertification, [...] Read more.
Earth’s climate is undergoing adverse global changes as an unequivocal result of anthropogenic activity. The occurring environmental changes are slowly shaping the balance between plant growth and related fungal diseases. Climate (temperature, available water, and light quality/quantity; as well as extreme drought, desertification, and fluctuations of humid/dry cycles) represents the most important agroecosystem factor influencing the life cycle stages of fungi and their ability to colonize crops, survive, and produce toxins. The ability of mycotoxigenic fungi to respond to Climate Change (CC) may induce a shift in their geographical distribution and in the pattern of mycotoxin occurrence. The present review examines the available evidence on the impact of CC factors on growth and mycotoxin production by the key mycotoxigenic fungi belonging to the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium, which include several species producing mycotoxins of the greatest concern worldwide: aflatoxins (AFs), ochratoxins, and fumonisins (FUMs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins in Feed and Food)
16 pages, 3168 KiB  
Article
The Runoff in the Upper Taohe River Basin and Its Responses to Climate Change
by Lizhen Cheng, Guoning Wan, Meixue Yang, Xuejia Wang and Yongshan Li
Water 2022, 14(13), 2094; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14132094 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Climate change has a significant impact on water resources. Forecasts and simulations of climate runoff processes are essential for assessing the impact of global climate change on runoff variations. This study focuses on the upper Taohe River Basin, which is an important watershed [...] Read more.
Climate change has a significant impact on water resources. Forecasts and simulations of climate runoff processes are essential for assessing the impact of global climate change on runoff variations. This study focuses on the upper Taohe River Basin, which is an important watershed in the semi-arid regions of northwest China. To assess the runoff in the upper Taohe River Basin and the responses to climate change, the SWAT hydrological model was used to analyze future climate change scenarios and their effects on water resources. The results indicate that the minimum temperature would increase gradually in the 21st century and that the minimum temperature change would be more significant than the maximum temperature change, which indicates that minimum temperature changes would make an obvious contribution to future regional warming. Under RCP2.6, the average precipitation would decrease; at the same time, under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, the average precipitation would increase. In the future, under different climate scenarios, the runoff will exhibit droughts and flood disasters. These research results provide scientific support for water resource utilization and management in the Taohe River Basin. Full article
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5 pages, 195 KiB  
Editorial
Linking Climate-Change Impacts on Hydrological Processes and Water Quality to Local Watersheds
by Ying Ouyang, Sudhanshu Sekhar Panda and Gary Feng
Climate 2022, 10(7), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10070096 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2083
Abstract
Estimation of hydrological processes and water quality is central to water resource management, clean water supply, environmental protection, and ecological services [...] Full article
30 pages, 1747 KiB  
Review
Spiking Neural Networks and Their Applications: A Review
by Kashu Yamazaki, Viet-Khoa Vo-Ho, Darshan Bulsara and Ngan Le
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(7), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12070863 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 109 | Viewed by 18901
Abstract
The past decade has witnessed the great success of deep neural networks in various domains. However, deep neural networks are very resource-intensive in terms of energy consumption, data requirements, and high computational costs. With the recent increasing need for the autonomy of machines [...] Read more.
The past decade has witnessed the great success of deep neural networks in various domains. However, deep neural networks are very resource-intensive in terms of energy consumption, data requirements, and high computational costs. With the recent increasing need for the autonomy of machines in the real world, e.g., self-driving vehicles, drones, and collaborative robots, exploitation of deep neural networks in those applications has been actively investigated. In those applications, energy and computational efficiencies are especially important because of the need for real-time responses and the limited energy supply. A promising solution to these previously infeasible applications has recently been given by biologically plausible spiking neural networks. Spiking neural networks aim to bridge the gap between neuroscience and machine learning, using biologically realistic models of neurons to carry out the computation. Due to their functional similarity to the biological neural network, spiking neural networks can embrace the sparsity found in biology and are highly compatible with temporal code. Our contributions in this work are: (i) we give a comprehensive review of theories of biological neurons; (ii) we present various existing spike-based neuron models, which have been studied in neuroscience; (iii) we detail synapse models; (iv) we provide a review of artificial neural networks; (v) we provide detailed guidance on how to train spike-based neuron models; (vi) we revise available spike-based neuron frameworks that have been developed to support implementing spiking neural networks; (vii) finally, we cover existing spiking neural network applications in computer vision and robotics domains. The paper concludes with discussions of future perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neural Engineering, Neuroergonomics and Neurorobotics)
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31 pages, 20630 KiB  
Article
Integrating Trajectory Planning with Kinematic Analysis and Joint Torques Estimation for an Industrial Robot Used in Incremental Forming Operations
by Sever-Gabriel Racz, Mihai Crenganiș, Radu-Eugen Breaz, Alexandru Bârsan, Claudia-Emilia Gîrjob, Cristina-Maria Biriș and Melania Tera
Machines 2022, 10(7), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines10070531 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2626
Abstract
Robot manufacturing involves continuous path control, which is now available for both robotic controllers and CAM software packages. However, CAM solutions are focused on generating the code for the robotic structure to follow the toolpath, without taking into consideration the dynamics and energy [...] Read more.
Robot manufacturing involves continuous path control, which is now available for both robotic controllers and CAM software packages. However, CAM solutions are focused on generating the code for the robotic structure to follow the toolpath, without taking into consideration the dynamics and energy consumption. In this study, robot incremental forming was considered as the manufacturing process, and a simulation model, based upon Matlab-Simulink Simscape Multibody technology, was developed. The proposed model was fed with the trajectory information generated by the CAM program, and using an inverse kinematics function, it was able to generate the commands to drive the robotic structure on the technological toolpaths. The model was also used to study the dynamic behavior of the robot; external experimental data from a 3D force sensor were fed to the model to include the influence of the technological forces which appeared during the incremental forming process. Thus, using the proposed model in conjunction with the external CAM software, the influence of the workpiece position upon the joint torques could be estimated, opening the way for future optimization. The shortcomings of the model, mainly involving inaccurate information with regard to the physical properties of the robotic structure, were addressed by subtracting the dry-run joint torques from those obtained from the technological process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Control of Industrial Robots)
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19 pages, 5803 KiB  
Article
A Backcasting Analysis toward a 100% Renewable Energy Transition by 2040 for Off-Grid Islands
by Khrisydel Rhea M. Supapo, Lorafe Lozano, Ian Dominic F. Tabañag and Edward M. Querikiol
Energies 2022, 15(13), 4794; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15134794 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
The rapid increase in energy consumption results from population growth and technological advancement, while economic growth also relies heavily on the availability of energy. As fossil fuels become scarcer and greenhouse gas emissions increase, renewable energy sources are regarded as practical solutions to [...] Read more.
The rapid increase in energy consumption results from population growth and technological advancement, while economic growth also relies heavily on the availability of energy. As fossil fuels become scarcer and greenhouse gas emissions increase, renewable energy sources are regarded as practical solutions to meet increasing energy demands. This study aims to develop a sustainable energy transition pathway for off-grid island communities in the Philippines. It adopts the concept of backcasting analysis, focusing on the demand and supply side of the energy transition. The transition considers three milestones: business as usual (BAU), minimal transition scenario (MTS), and absolute transition scenario (ATS). The techno-enviro-economic analysis is performed for each milestone to determine the optimal energy resource mix while addressing the three dimensions of the Energy Trilemma: energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability. The approach is implemented in three off-grid island municipalities in Palawan, Philippines: Araceli, Balabac, and Cuyo. The results suggest that the optimal electrification configuration for each island at the MTS is a hybrid system consisting of a diesel generator and solar photovoltaics with batteries, while at the ATS, it is a hybrid system of solar photovoltaics and wind with batteries. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 79.7% in Araceli, 78.7% in Balabac, and 41.2% in Cuyo from the BAU scenario to MTS. The actors involved in said transition are identified. A transitional pathway can be seen as a strategic plan to achieve the desired goal: to have a sustainable energy transition. Full article
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28 pages, 6630 KiB  
Article
Morphological and Genetic Variability in Radix auricularia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Lymnaeidae) of Lake Baikal, Siberia: The Story of an Unfinished Invasion into the Ancient Deepest Lake
by Katrin Schniebs, Tatiana Ya. Sitnikova, Maxim V. Vinarski, Anke Müller, Igor V. Khanaev and Anna K. Hundsdoerfer
Diversity 2022, 14(7), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070527 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
This article aims to reconstruct the invasion of the ear-shaped pond snail, Radix auricularia (Linnaeus, 1758), to Lake Baikal, East Siberia. This species is widely distributed in the Palaearctic and Northern America, and since the early 20th century has formed abundant and sustained [...] Read more.
This article aims to reconstruct the invasion of the ear-shaped pond snail, Radix auricularia (Linnaeus, 1758), to Lake Baikal, East Siberia. This species is widely distributed in the Palaearctic and Northern America, and since the early 20th century has formed abundant and sustained populations in Lake Baikal. The data provided on the morphological and genetic variability of R. auricularia help to better describe and delineate the species. With an integrative approach involving morphological and molecular data, we improved the knowledge of the intraspecific variability of R. auricularia in the most important characteristics used for its determination. Molecular sequences of nuclear spacer fragment ITS-2 and mitochondrial gene fragment cyt–b were obtained from 32 individuals of Radix (including seven outgroup Radix species) collected from various parts of Lake Baikal and adjacent waterbodies and compared with sequences of 32 individuals of R. auricularia from different regions of the Palaearctic as well as with individuals determinated as R. intercisa from Lake Baikal, R. iturupica from the Kurile Islands, R. ussuriensis from the Khabarovsk region, R. narzykulovi from Tajikistan, and R. schubinae from the Amur region. Molecular genetic analyses revealed that all specimens collected from Lake Baikal belong to R. auricularia. There are no genetically distinct groups of snails that would correspond to two morphospecies previously recorded in Lake Baikal (e.g., R. auricularia s. str. and R. intercisa). Variability of the characteristics that are commonly used for species identification (shell morphology, mantle pigmentation, shape and position of the bursa copulatrix, length and position of the bursa duct, length ratio of preputium to penial sheath) were found in individuals analysed with molecular genetics to be broader than recognised in the current literature. Some shells of R. auricularia collected from Lake Baikal resemble shells of another lymnaeid species, R. balthica, and without molecular assessment can be confused with the latter. Geometric morphometric analysis of more than 250 shells revealed no observed hiatus between Baikalian and non-Baikalian R. auricularia. The probable stages and pathways of R. auricularia invasion to Lake Baikal’s ecosystem are outlined and discussed. Factors such as global climate warming and human activity stimulated and facilitated the ongoing dispersal of ear pond snails within Lake Baikal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity in 2022)
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