Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment

International Meeting 40 years of the 1980 Azores Earthquake, 6th - 7th October 2020 - Conference Report

Joao Fontiela, Mourad Bezzeghoud, Carlos Sousa Oliveira, Mónica Amaral Ferreira, Joao Carlos Nunes

Published: 2020-11-16
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Geophysics and Seismology, Other Civil and Environmental Engineering

The main goal of the International Meeting “40 Years of the 1980 Azores Earthquake” was promoting a reflection of the earthquake of January 1st, 1980, and the advances since them on topics like seismology, seismic hazard, and risk, building rehabilitation and public policies. Nevertheless, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the organizing committee decided that the meeting should be online and [...]

Socio-technical multi-criteria evaluation of nuclear waste management strategies: Introducing the method

François Diaz-Maurin, Jerold Yu, Rodney C. Ewing

Published: 2020-11-07
Subjects: Environmental Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other Environmental Sciences, Risk Analysis, Sustainability

In the absence of a federal geologic repository or consolidated, interim storage in the United States, commercial spent fuel will remain stranded at some 75 sites across the country. Currently, these include 18 “orphaned sites” where spent fuel has been left at decommissioned reactor sites. In this context, local communities living close to decommissioned nuclear power plants are increasingly [...]

Socio-technical evaluation of long-term spent nuclear fuel management options: The case of San Onofre, California

François Diaz-Maurin, Rodney C. Ewing

Published: 2020-11-06
Subjects: Environmental Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other Environmental Sciences, Sustainability

In the absence of a federal geologic repository or consolidated, interim storage in the United States, commercial spent fuel will remain stranded at some 75 sites across the country. Currently, these include 18 “orphaned sites” where spent fuel has been left at decommissioned reactor sites. In this context, local communities living close to decommissioned nuclear power plants are increasingly [...]

Closing the gap: Explaining persistent underestimation by US oil and natural gas production-segment methane inventories

Jeffrey S Rutherford, Evan D Sherwin, Arvind P Ravikumar, Garvin A Heath, Jacob Englander, Daniel Cooley, David Lyon, Mark Omara, Quinn Langfitt, Adam R Brandt

Published: 2020-11-03
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Oil, Gas, and Energy

Methane (CH4) emissions from oil and natural gas (O&NG) systems are an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States (US), recent synthesis studies of field measurements of CH4 emissions at different spatial scales are ~1.5x-2x greater compared to official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas inventory (GHGI) estimates. Site-level field studies have [...]

A comprehensive study to understand the relationship of urbanization and population density with GRACE ΔTWS for selected study regions in India during 2003-2017

Amritendu Mukherjee, Parthasarathy Ramachandran

Published: 2020-10-24
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Planetary Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Sustainability, Water Resource Management

For the time period of January'2003 to January'2017, this pan-India study investigates the relationship of urbanization and population density with Ground Water Storage (GWS) indicated by Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) derived terrestrial water storage changes (

Unequal anthropogenic enrichment of mercury in Earth’s northern and southern hemispheres

Chuxian Li, Jeroen E Sonke, Gael Le Roux, Natalia Piotrowska, Nathalie Van der Putten, Stephen J Roberts, Tim Daley, Emma Rice, Roland Gehrels, Maxime Enrico

Published: 2020-08-17
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Remote northern (NH) and southern hemisphere (SH) lake sediment and peat records of mercury (Hg) deposition show a ×3 to ×5 Hg enrichment since pre-industrial times (<1880AD), leading to the common perception that global atmospheric Hg enrichment is moderate and uniform. Anthropogenic Hg emission in the NH is, however, approximately four times higher than in the SH. Here we reconstruct [...]

GeospatialVR: A Web-based Virtual Reality Framework for Collaborative Environmental Simulations

Yusuf Sermet, Ibrahim Demir

Published: 2020-08-09
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Sciences, Databases and Information Systems, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Graphics and Human Computer Interfaces, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

This research introduces GeospatialVR, an open-source collaborative virtual reality framework to dynamically create 3D real-world environments that can be served on any web platform and accessed via desktop and mobile devices and virtual reality headsets. The framework can generate realistic simulations of desired locations entailing the terrain, elevation model, infrastructures, dynamic [...]

Framework for consequential life cycle assessment of pyrolysis biorefineries: A case study for the conversion of primary forestry residues

Patrick Brassard, Stéphane Godbout, Lorie Hamelin

Published: 2020-07-27
Subjects: Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability

The development of bioeconomy needs to accelerate in order to get rid of fossil fuels and products. The production of bio-based products and renewable energy sources from the thermochemical conversion of biomass can be a sustainable alternative. Pyrolysis is one of the thermochemical processes that can convert biomass into liquid (bio-oil), solid (biochar) and gaseous (non-condensable gases) [...]

How Extreme Weather Events Are Attributed to Anthropogenic Global Warming

Kevin Korb

Published: 2020-07-20
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Many politicians and media personalities continue to cast doubt on the idea that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – the primary driver of current global climate change – could possibly be behind the growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events – the droughts, heatwaves, flooding, etc. that are every year breaking 100 year or greater historical records. This takes the form not just [...]

Climate has contrasting direct and indirect effects on armed conflicts

David Helman, Ben Zaitchik, Chris Funk

Published: 2020-07-08
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, Human Geography, International and Area Studies, Library and Information Science, Life Sciences, Nature and Society Relations, Physical and Environmental Geography, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Remote Sensing, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Statistics and Probability

There is an active debate regarding the influence that climate has on the risk of armed conflict, which stems from challenges in assembling unbiased datasets, competing hypotheses on the mechanisms of climate influence, and the difficulty of disentangling direct and indirect climate effects. We use gridded historical non-state conflict records, satellite data, and land surface models in a [...]

Surprising increase in aerosol amid widespread decline in pollution over India during the COVID19 Lockdown

Satyndera Kumar Pandey, Vinoj V

Published: 2020-07-06
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences, Climate, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Using ground-based and satellite observation along with aerosol reanalysis products, we show a widespread reduction in aerosol loading over the Indian subcontinent during the COVID19 lockdown. In terms of aerosol optical depth (AOD), loading has reduced up to 40 % over the most populated region of India. However, the central part of India shows an unexpected increase (~+20 %) in aerosol optical [...]

Methane concentrations in streams reveal gas leak discharges in regions of oil, gas, and coal development

Josh Woda, Tao Wen, Jacob Lemon, Virginia Marcon, Charles M. Keeports, Fred Zelt, Luanne Y. Steffy, Susan L. Brantley

Published: 2020-06-18
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Geochemistry, Oil, Gas, and Energy, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Water Resource Management

As natural gas has grown in importance as a global energy source, leakage of methane (CH4) from wells has sometimes been noted. Leakage of this greenhouse gas is important because it affects groundwater quality and, when emitted to the atmosphere, climate. We hypothesized that streams might be most contaminated by CH4 in the northern Appalachian Basin in regions with the longest history of [...]

The social-ecological dimensions of changing global freshwater availability

Xander Huggins, Tom Gleeson, Matti Kummu, Samuel C Zipper, Tara Troy, Yoshihide Wada, Jay Famiglietti

Published: 2020-06-18
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Quantifying physical water security at the global scale remains hampered by a lack of systematically produced observational data. Here we combine the observed trends in global freshwater availability from the recently completed Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite mission1 with more than a dozen other global datasets and provide the missing observational basis to numerous existing [...]

Is Net Zero by 2050 Possible?

John Deutch

Published: 2020-06-10
Subjects: Climate, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Achieving Net Zero 2050 does not assure complying with a global warming temperature ceiling. The U.S. might achieve NZ(2050); the world almost certainly will not. For the U.S. to achieve NZ(2050) requires a massive transition of the economy, which is extremely unlikely.

A framework to quantify the human footprint in Africa using supply and demand of net primary production

Abdulhakim M Abdi

Published: 2020-05-29
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Nature and Society Relations, Physical and Environmental Geography, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Remote Sensing, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Spatial Science, Sustainability

The human-environment connection in the mostly rural drylands of Africa forms a complex, interlinked system that provides ecosystem services. This system is susceptible to climatic variability that impacts the supply of its products, and high population growth, which impacts the demand for these products. When plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis, [...]

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