Filtering by Subject: Environmental Sciences

How unprecedented was the February 2021 Texas cold snap?

James Doss-Gollin, David J Farnham, Upmanu Lall, Vijay Modi

Published: 2021-02-28
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Risk Analysis

Winter storm Uri brought severe cold to the southern United States in February 2021, causing a cascading failure of interdependent systems in Texas where infrastructure was not adequately prepared for such cold. In particular, the failure of interconnected energy systems reduced electricity supply just as heating demands spiked, leaving millions of Texans without heat or electricity, many for [...]

Temperature variability and extremes both affect economic growth

Christopher Callahan, Justin Mankin

Published: 2021-02-26
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Changes in temperature averages, variability, and extremes may all independently affect economic growth under climate change. Kotz et al. (2021) show that temperature variability reduces growth, but find no significant effect of temperature extremes. Recreating their results, here we show that temperature extremes do indeed affect growth independently from the effects of variability. Our results [...]

Global climate-driven trade-offs between the water retention and cooling benefits of urban greening

Mark Cuthbert, Gabriel Rau, Adam Bates, Marie Ekstrom, Denis O'Carroll

Published: 2021-02-23
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health and Protection, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability, Water Resource Management

Heat-related mortality and flooding are pressing challenges for the >4 billion urban population worldwide, exacerbated by increasing urbanization and climate change. Urban greening, such as green roofs and parks, can potentially help address both problems, but the geographical variation of the relative hydrological and thermal performance benefits of such interventions are unknown. Here we [...]

The True Cost of Field Education is a Barrier to Diversifying Geosciences

Antoinette Abeyta, Anjali M. Fernandes, Robert Clyde Mahon, Travis Eric Swanson

Published: 2021-02-19
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Education, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Higher Education, Outdoor Education, Science and Mathematics Education

Fieldwork is considered critical to developing technical skills in geoscience education, and typical undergraduate degrees require >30 days in the field. Tuition costs of enrolling in field camp are acknowledged as a barrier to participation in geosciences; however, the cost of participation in field activities may also include the cost of personal field gear (hiking boots, backpacks, etc.), [...]

Numerical modeling of Earth's dynamic surface: a community approach

Gregory E Tucker, Eric Hutton, Mark Piper, Benjamin Campforts, Tian Gan, Katherine R Barnhart, Albert Kettner, Irina Overeem, Scott D Peckham, Lynn McCready, Jaia Syvitski

Published: 2021-02-14
Subjects: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Geomorphology, Glaciology, Hydrology, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Other Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology, Soil Science, Stratigraphy

Computational modelling occupies a unique niche in Earth environmental sciences. Models serve not just as scientific technology and infrastructure, but also as digital containers of the scientific community's understanding of the natural world. As this understanding improves, so too must the associated software. This dual nature---models as both infrastructure and hypotheses---means that [...]

Increase data sharing or die? An initial view for natural catastrophe insurance

Paul Timms, John Hillier, Chris Holland

Published: 2021-02-09
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Education, Environmental Sciences, Geography

This article is an illustration of Geography in action, recounting an investigation into an industry's views of data sharing. The insurance sector is fundamentally analytics driven and based on geospatial data. One option for more effective and efficient insurance for natural hazard risks (e.g. flooding, earthquake) is, in theory, to increase the sharing of data between the various [...]

Excessive use of motorized vehicular road transports in megacities such as Delhi and Mumbai (India) and its effects on pollution between the years 2004 and 2011

Jacob John

Published: 2021-02-05
Subjects: Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Sustainability

Effects of the increasing use of motor vehicles are almost unnoticeable in large and congested megacities, urban areas, and metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. Furthermore, a significant source of air pollution in several Indian cities is transportation. With the rapid growth in urbanization, industrialization, and modernization in such cities, alongside an increase in pollution, the [...]

Classification, segmentation and correlation of zoned minerals

Tom Sheldrake, Oliver John Higgins

Published: 2021-02-01
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geochemistry, Geology, Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Statistics and Probability, Volcanology

Minerals exhibit zoning patterns that can be related to changes in the environment in which they grew. Using statistical methods that have been designed to segment optical images, we have developed a procedure to segment zonation within minerals and correlate these zones between multiple crystals using elemental maps. This allows us to quantify the complexity and variability of chemical zoning [...]

Dynamical attribution of North Atlantic interdecadal predictability to oceanic and atmospheric turbulence under realistic and optimal stochastic forcing

Dafydd Stephenson, Florian Sévellec

Published: 2021-02-01
Subjects: Climate, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Unpredictable variations in the ocean originate from both external atmospheric forcing and chaotic processes internal to the ocean itself, and are a crucial sink of predictability on interdecadal timescales. In a global ocean model, we present i.) an optimisation framework to compute the most efficient noise patterns to generate uncertainty and ii.) a uniquely inexpensive, dynamical method for [...]

Temperature and water depth effects on brGDGT distributions in sub-alpine lakes of mid-latitude North America

Ioana Cristina Stefanescu, Bryan N Shuman, Jessica E. Tierney

Published: 2021-01-31
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) in lake sediments are increasingly being used to reconstruct past temperatures. However, recent studies suggest that brGDGT distributions and concentrations vary with lake size and environmental conditions such as seasonality and its effects on water column temperature and chemistry. To test their use as a paleothermometer in high-altitude [...]

Carbon dioxide removal through enhanced weathering of basalt on agricultural land –Assessing the potential in Austria

Thomas Rinder, Christoph von Hagke

Published: 2021-01-22
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences

Enhanced weathering through basalt application on agricultural land represents a proposed strategy for the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It has been shown that enhanced weathering is principally feasible on a global scale, but it remains unclear whether it can be implemented on a local level. This information is however vital, to evaluate, if enhanced weathering should be further [...]

Temporal monitoring of vast sand mining in NW Turkey: Implications on environmental/social impacts

Hilal OKUR, Mehmet Korhan Erturaç

Published: 2021-01-08
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Geomorphology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Sedimentology

Loose sand has a wide variety (over 200) of industrial usage where most of the sand is used in infrastructure. Due to its low cost / high benefit nature and international high demand, worldwide examples of excessive sand mining caused complete destruction of habitats and forcing natives change living practices or even to migrate. Sand mining is one of the most controversial and rapidly growing [...]

NIRvP: a robust structural proxy for sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthesis across scales

Benjamin Dechant, Youngryel Ryu, Grayson Badgley, Philipp Köhler, Uwe Rascher, Mirco Migliavacca, Yongguang Zhang, Giulia Tagliabue, Kaiyu Guan, Micol Rossini, Yves Goulas, Yelu Zeng, Christian Frankenberg, Joseph A. Berry

Published: 2020-12-31
Subjects: Agriculture, Biology, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Plant Sciences

Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a promising new tool for remotely estimating photosynthesis. However, the degree to which incoming sunlight and the structure of the canopy rather than leaf physiology contribute to SIF variations is still not well characterized. Here we demonstrate that the canopy structure-related near-infrared reflectance of vegetation multiplied by incoming [...]

The influence of orbital parameters on the North American Monsoon system during the Last Interglacial Period

Nadja Insel, Max Berkelhammer

Published: 2020-12-17
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences, Climate, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology

The response of summer precipitation in the western U.S. to climate variability remains a subject of uncertainty. For example, paleoclimate records indicate the North American monsoon (NAM) was stronger and spatially more extensive during the Holocene, whereas recent modeling suggests a weakened NAM response to increasing temperatures. These illustrate diverging pictures of the NAM response to [...]

Climate change research and action must look beyond 2100

Christopher Lyon, Erin E Saupe, Christopher J Smith, Daniel J Hill, Andrew P Beckerman, Lindsay C Stringer, Robert Marchant, James McKay, Ariane Burke, Paul O'Higgins, Alexander M Dunhill, Bethany J Allen, Julien Riel-Salvatore, Tracy Aze

Published: 2020-12-16
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, Human Geography, Nature and Society Relations, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical and Environmental Geography, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Anthropogenic activity is changing Earth’s climate and ecosystems in ways that are potentially dangerous and disruptive to humans. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise, ensuring these changes will be felt for centuries beyond 2100, the current benchmark for prediction. Estimating the effects of past, current, and potential future emissions to only 2100 is therefore [...]


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