Hilal ERDOGAN1*, Pelin OZMEN 2, Hayrun Nisa BULBUL31 Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Endodontics, Nevsehir, Turkiye. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-46932 Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Basic Sciences, Department of Medical Microbiology, Nevsehir, Turkiye. ORCID: 0000-0001-9496-30323 Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Institute of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Nevsehir, Turkiye. ORCID: 0000-0001-6843-417x* Corresponding authorCorrespondence author: Hilal ERDOGANNevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Endodontics, 2000 Evler Mah. Zübeyde Hanım Cad. 50300, Nevşehir/Turkiye. Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: +90 (384) 228 10 00-22009ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5219-4693Acknowledgments: The authors deny any conflicts of interestFunding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.All authors have contributed significantly, and all authors are in agreement with the manuscript.
Extreme heat waves beset western North America during 2021, including a 46.7°C (116°F) observation in Portland, Oregon, an astonishing 5°C above the previous record. Using Portland as an example we provide evidence for a latent risk of extreme heat waves in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and along the west coast of the United States where a maritime climate and its intrinsic variations yield a positive skewness in summertime daily maximum temperatures. A generalized Pareto extreme value analysis yields a heavy tailed distribution with a return period of 300-1000 years, indicating that, while rare, the event was possible, contrary to prior claims that the event was “virtually impossible”. We demonstrate that the extreme temperatures can be explained by the coincident extreme values of geopotential heights, and that the relationship between heights and extreme temperatures has not materially changed over the observational record. The dynamical nature of the event along with recent developments in stochastic theory justifies the use of skewed and heavy-tailed distributions which may provide the basis for a more proactive approach to managing the risk of future events.
Biomass burning has shaped many of the ecosystems of the planet and for millennia humans have used it as a tool to manage the environment. When widespread fires occur, the health and daily lives of millions of people can be affected by the smoke, often at unhealthy to hazardous levels leading to a range of short-term and long-term health consequences such as respiratory issues, cardiovascular issues, and mortality. It is critical to adequately represent and include smoke and its consequences in atmospheric modeling systems to meet needs such as addressing the global climate carbon budget and informing and protecting the public during smoke episodes. Many scientific and technical challenges are associated with modeling the complex phenomenon of smoke. Variability in fire emissions estimates has an order of magnitude level of uncertainty, depending upon vegetation type, natural fuel heterogeneity, and fuel combustion processes. Quantifying fire emissions also vary from ground/vegetation-based methods to those based on remotely sensed fire radiative power data. These emission estimates are input into dispersion and air quality modeling systems, where their vertical allocation associated with plume rise, and temporal release parameterizations influence transport patterns, and, in turn affect chemical transformation and interaction with other sources. These processes lend another order of magnitude of variability to the downwind estimates of trace gases and aerosol concentrations. This chapter profiles many of the global and regional smoke prediction systems currently operational or quasi-operational in real time or near-real time. It is not an exhaustive list of systems, but rather is a profile of many of the systems in use to give examples of the creativity and complexity needed to simulate the phenomenon of smoke. This chapter, and the systems described, reflect the needs of different agencies and regions, where the various systems are tailored to the best available science to address challenges of a region. Smoke forecasting requirements range from warning and informing the public about potential smoke impacts to planning burn activities for hazard reduction or resource benefit. Different agencies also have different mandates, and the lines blur between the missions of quasi-operational organizations (e.g. research institutions) and agencies with operational mandates. The global smoke prediction systems are advanced, and many are self-organizing into a powerful ensemble, as discussed in section 2. Regional and national systems are being developed independently and are discussed in sections 3-5 for Europe (11 systems), North America (7 systems), and Australia (3 systems). Finally, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) effort (section 6) is bringing together global and regional systems and building the Vegetation Fire and Smoke Pollution Advisory and Assessment Systems (VFSP-WAS) to support countries with smoke issues and who lack resources.
Lebanon’s natural water resources are facing serious problems and approaches exhaustion. One of these issues is deteriorating performance, which is linked to unregulated resource planning and rising demand. There are many different types of consumption, such as residential, industrial, and irrigation. Surface and groundwater are both referred to designate water resources. However, due to the obvious accessibility of exploitation, surface water resources such as rivers, lakes, and basins are primarily used. The Ras El-Ain basin is 6 km far south of Tyr, Lebanon. The Lebanese state dedicated it, along with other reservoirs, to supply potable water for Tyr and the surrounding villages. Today, these basins’ water quality has deteriorated significantly because of unrestricted liquid and soil waste dumping. As a result, contaminants develop in the basin water. Aside from laboratory testing for water quality, contamination can be seen through direct observations, odors, watercolors, and patterns. The purpose of this study is to assess the level of pollution in the Ras El-Ain basin. This basin has been progressively subjected to a variety of quality degradation characteristics. This includes the most important physiochemical properties. As a result, the physicochemical and microbiological water characteristics of five selected samples from each basin were tested. These tests were performed in accordance with European Standard Methods and World Health Organization guidelines (WHO). The effect of pollutant disposal in the Ras El-Ain basin was studied using multivariate approaches. The obtained results were used to evaluate the pollution degree in various regions of the basin.
Air-pollution monitoring is sparse across most of the United States, so geostatistical models are important for reconstructing concentrations of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) for use in health studies. We present XGBoost-IDW Synthesis (XIS), a daily high-resolution PM2.5 machine-learning model covering the contiguous US from 2003 through 2021. XIS uses aerosol optical depth from satellites and a parsimonious set of additional predictors to make predictions at arbitrary points, capturing near-roadway gradients and allowing the estimation of address-level exposures. We built XIS with a computationally tractable workflow for extensibility to future years, and we used weighted evaluation to fairly assess performance in sparsely monitored regions. Averaging across all years in site-level cross-validation, the weighted mean absolute error of predictions (MAE) was 2.13 μg/m3, a substantial improvement over the mean absolute deviation from the median, which was 4.23 μg/m3. Comparing XIS to a leading product from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Fused Air Quality Surface Using Downscaling (FAQSD), we obtained a 22% reduction in MAE. We also found a stronger relationship between PM2.5 and social vulnerability with XIS than with the FAQSD. Thus, XIS has potential for reconstructing environmental exposures, and its predictions have applications in environmental justice and human health.
Environmental justice and equity should include access to clean water for all. It is expensive to drill borehole wells, typically over $10,000 US dollars, and so organizations working to provide wells in developing countries have typically installed community wells at some common gathering place. This requires that many users must walk long distances to access these water sources. This limits the quantity of water available to a family, and also creates vulnerabilities for the family member, usually a woman or child, sent for the water since the journey is often made early in the morning or at night in the dark. I have been drilling wells with a Kenyan team since 2010 using a simple, manual percussion hydraulic method developed by WaterForAllinternational.org whereby we can install a well generally for less than $200 US dollars excluding labor. Through their own participation in the drilling process, this low-cost enables families to pay for and drill their own well. In this way, they gain access to a much larger supply of water at or close to home, and eliminate the need and vulnerability associated with walking long distances to procure water for their family. Both the drilling apparatus and the cased well, including the pump, is constructed from materials available off-the-shelf at local hardware stores. Over the years I have made several modifications to the pump design, other infrastructure, and manufacturing process to improve the longevity, simplicity, and interchangeability of the final product. The drilling method is primarily applicable to aquifers lying above bedrock and it is feasible to drill wells to a depth of several hundred feet. The greatest challenge in the endeavor is earning the trust and cultivating the participation of the local community. This presentation will address the drilling process, the well infrastructure, and some socio-cultural aspects of the project.
Albeit slow and not without its challenges, lead (Pb) emissions and sources in the United States (U.S.) have decreased immensely over the past several decades. Despite the prevalence of childhood Pb poisoning throughout the 20th century, most U.S. children born in the last two decades are significantly better off than their predecessors in regards to Pb exposure. However, this is not equal across demographic groups and challenges remain. Modern atmospheric emissions of Pb in the U.S. are nearly negligible since the banning of leaded gasoline in vehicles and regulatory controls on Pb smelting plants and refineries. This is evident in the rapid decrease of atmospheric Pb concentrations across the U.S over the last four decades. One of the most significant remaining contributors to air Pb is aviation gasoline (avgas), which is minor compared to former Pb emissions. However, continual exposure risks to Pb exist in older homes and urban centers, where leaded paint and/or historically contaminated soils+dusts can still harm children. Thus, while effective in eliminating nearly all primary sources of Pb in the environment, the slow rate of U.S. Pb regulation has led to legacy, secondary sources of Pb in the environment. More proactive planning, communication, and research of commonly used emerging contaminants of concern that can persist in the environment long after their initial use (i.e., PFAS) should be prioritized so that the same mistakes are not made again.
The COVID-19 global pandemic and associated government lockdowns dramatically altered human activity, providing a window into how changes in individual behavior, enacted en masse, impact atmospheric composition. The resulting reductions in anthropogenic activity represent an unprecedented event that yields a glimpse into a future where emissions to the atmosphere are reduced. While air pollutants and greenhouse gases share many common anthropogenic sources, there is a sharp difference in the response of their atmospheric concentrations to COVID-19 emissions changes due in large part to their different lifetimes. Here, we discuss two key takeaways from modeling and observational studies. First, despite dramatic declines in mobility and associated vehicular emissions, the atmospheric growth rates of greenhouse gases were not slowed. Second, it demonstrated empirically that the response of atmospheric composition to emissions changes is heavily modulated by factors including carbon cycle feedbacks to CH4 and CO2, background pollutant levels, the timing and location of emissions changes, and climate feedbacks on air quality.
Public health risks resulting from urban heat in cities are increasing due to rapid urbanisation and climate change, motivating closer attention to urban heat mitigation and adaptation strategies that enable climate-sensitive urban design and development. These strategies incorporate four key factors influencing heat stress in cities: the urban form (morphology of vegetated and built surfaces), urban fabric, urban function (including human activities), and background climate and regional geographic settings (e.g. topography and distance to water bodies). The first two factors can be modified and redesigned as urban heat mitigation strategies (e.g. changing the albedo of surfaces, replacing hard surfaces with pervious vegetated surfaces, or increasing canopy cover). Regional geographical settings of cities, on the other hand, cannot be modified and while human activities can be modified, it often requires holistic behavioural and policy modifications and the impacts of these can be difficult to quantify. When evaluating the effectiveness of urban heat mitigation strategies in observational or traditional modelling studies, it can be difficult to separate the impacts of modifications to the built and natural forms from the interactions of the geographic influences, limiting the universality of results. To address this, we introduce a new methodology to determine the influence of urban form and fabric on thermal comfort, by utilising a comprehensive combination of possible urban forms, an urban morphology data source, and micro-climate modelling. We perform 9814 simulations covering a wide range of realistic built and natural forms (building, roads, grass, and tree densities as well as building and tree heights) to determine their importance and influence on thermal environments in urban canyons without geographical influences. We show that higher daytime air temperatures and thermal comfort indices are strongly driven by increased street fractions, with maximum air temperatures increases of up to 10 and 15◦C as street fractions increase from 10% (very narrow street canyons and/or extensive vegetation cover) to 80 and 90% (wide street canyons). Up to 5◦C reductions in daytime air temperatures are seen with increasing grass and tree fractions from zero (fully urban) to complete (fully natural) coverage. Similar patterns are seen with the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), with increasing street fractions of 80% and 90% driving increases of 6 and 12◦C, respectively. We then apply the results at a city-wide scale, generating heat maps of several Australian cities showing the impacts of present day urban form and fabric. The resulting method allows mitigation strategies to be tested on modifiable urban form factors isolated from geography, topography, and local weather conditions, factors that cannot easily be modified.
Urban overheating, driven by global climate change and urban development, is a major contemporary challenge which substantially impacts urban livability and sustainability. Overheating represents a multi-faceted threat to well-being, performance, and health of individuals as well as the energy efficiency and economy of cities, and it is influenced by complex interactions between building, city, and global scale climates. In recent decades, extensive discipline-specific research has characterized urban heat and assessed its implications on human life, including ongoing efforts to bridge neighboring disciplines. The research horizon now encompasses complex problems involving a wide range of disciplines, and therefore comprehensive and integrated assessments are needed that address such interdisciplinarity. Here, the objective is to go beyond a review of existing literature and provide a broad overview and future outlook for integrated assessments of urban overheating, defining holistic pathways for addressing the impacts on human life. We (i) detail the characterization of heat exposure across different scales and in various disciplines, (ii) identify individual sensitivities to urban overheating that increase vulnerability and cause adverse impacts in different populations, (iii) elaborate on adaptive capacities that individuals and cities can adopt, (iv) document the impacts of urban overheating on health and energy, and (v) discuss frontiers of theoretical and applied urban climatology, built environment design, and governance toward reduction of heat exposure and vulnerability at various scales. The most critical challenges in future research and application are identified, targeting both the gaps and the need for greater integration in overheating assessments.
Lead (Pb) is a neurotoxicant that particularly harms young children. Urban environments are often plagued with elevated Pb in soils and dusts, posing a health exposure risk from inhalation and ingestion of these contaminated media. Thus, a better understanding of where to prioritize risk screening and intervention is paramount from a public health perspective. We have synthesized a large national dataset of Pb concentrations in household dusts from across the United States (U.S.), part of a community science initiative called “DustSafe.” Using these results, we have developed a straightforward logistic regression model that correctly predicts whether Pb is elevated (> 80 ppm) or low (< 80 ppm) in household dusts 75% of the time. Additionally, our model estimated 18% false negatives for elevated Pb, displaying that there was a low probability of elevated Pb in homes being misclassified. Our model uses only variables of approximate housing age and whether there is peeling paint in the interior of the home, illustrating how a simple and successful Pb predictive model can be generated if researchers ask the right screening questions. Scanning electron microscopy supports a common presence of Pb paint in several dust samples with elevated bulk Pb concentrations, which explains the predictive power of housing age and peeling paint in the model. This model was also implemented into an interactive mobile app that aims to increase community-wide participation with Pb household screening. The app will hopefully provide greater awareness of Pb risks and a highly efficient way to begin mitigation.
Climate mitigation can bring health co-benefits by improving air quality. Yet, whether mitigation will widen or narrow current health disparities remains unclear. Here we use a coupled climate-energy-health model to assess the effects of a global carbon price on the distribution of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure and associated health risks across an ensemble of nearly 30,000 future scenarios. We find that pricing carbon consistently lowers the PM2.5-attributable death rates in lower-income countries by reducing fossil fuel burning (e.g., China and India). Since these countries are projected to have large ageing populations, the greatest reduction in global average PM2.5-attributable death rate is found in elderly populations, which are more vulnerable to air pollution than the other age groups. In contrast, the health effects in higher-income countries are more complex, because pricing carbon can increase the emissions from bioenergy use and land-use changes, counteracting the mortality decrease from reduced fossil fuel burning. Mitigation technology choices and complex interactions between age structures, energy use, and land use all influence the distribution of health effects. Our results highlight the importance of an improved understanding of regional characteristics and cross-sector dynamics for addressing the interconnected challenges of climate, health, and social inequalities.
Covid- 19 dominantly impacted the Indian agricultural sector. During the period of COVID-19 the southwest monsoon covered a major part of the country, thus resulting in an increase of 9 percent coverage in rainfall than the usual average period. Due to the good amount of rainfall the area under cultivation during the kharif season stood above 4.8% than the previous year. During, the initial lockdown period the agriculture has not been much affected and an increase in migration resulted an increase in people employed in agriculture. Through regression analysis the relationship between the yield and rainfall has been determined. The R2 values have been calculated and the spatial relationship between them has been established. Regions with higher R2 values have been found to be more dominantly affected by Covid-19, though in certain areas strong R2 has shown a weaker spatial relationship owing to certain other factors and policies taken by the Government. Therefore, regression analysis can be used as a suitable method to study the relationship of rainfall and agricultural yield during Covid-19. Keywords: Agriculture, Regression Analysis, Spatial relationship, Rainfall, Covid-19.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas accounting for approximately one in ten lung cancer deaths, with substantially higher death rates in sub-Arctic communities. Radon transport is significantly reduced in permafrost, but permafrost is now thawing due to climate change. The effect of permafrost thawing on domestic radon exposure is unknown. Here we present results from radon transport modeling through soil, permafrost and model buildings either with basements or built on piles. We find that permafrost acts as an effective radon barrier, reducing radiation exposure to a tenth of the background level, while producing a ten-fold increase in the radon activity behind the barrier. When we model thawing of the permafrost barrier, we find no increase in radon to the background level for buildings on piles. However, for buildings with basements the radon increases to over one hundred times its initial value and can remain above the 200 Bq/m3 threshold for up to seven years depending on the depth of the permafrost and the speed of thawing. When thawing speed is taken into account, radiations remains higher than the threshold for all scenarios where 40% thawing occurs within 15 years. This new information suggests that a significant sub-Arctic population could be exposed to radon levels dangerous to health as a result of climate change thawing of permafrost, with implications for health provision, building codes and ventilation advice.
Several bills moving through Congress are likely to provide significant funding for expanding research and results in climate change solutions (CCS). This is also a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will be expected to distribute and manage much of this funding through its grant processes. Effective solutions require both a continuation and expansion of research on climate change–to understand and thus plan for potential impacts locally to globally and to continually assess solutions against a changing climate–and rapid adoption and implementation of this science with society at all levels. NSF asked AGU to convene its community to help provide guidance and recommendations for enabling significant and impactful CCS outcomes by 1 June. AGU was asked in particular to address the following: 1. Identify the biggest, more important interdisciplinary/convergent challenges in climate change that can be addressed in the next 2 to 3 years 2. Create 2-year and 3-year roadmaps to address the identified challenges. Indicate partnerships required to deliver on the promise. 3. Provide ideas on the creation of an aggressive outreach/communications plan to inform the public and decision makers on the critical importance of geoscience. 4. Identify information, training, and other resources needed to embed a culture of innovation, entrepreneurialism, and translational research in the geosciences. Given the short time frame for this report, AGU reached out to key leaders, including Council members, members of several committees, journal editors, early career scientists, and also included additional stakeholders from sectors relevant to CCS, including community leaders, planners and architects, business leaders, NGO representatives, and others. Participants were provided a form to submit ideas, and also invited to two workshops. The first was aimed at ideation around broad efforts and activities needed for impactful CCS; the second was aimed at in depth development of several broad efforts at scale. Overall, about 125 people participated; 78 responded to the survey, 82 attended the first workshop, and 28 attended the more-focused second workshop (see contributor list). This report provides a high-level summary of these inputs and recommendations, focusing on guiding principles and several ideas that received broader support at the workshops and post-workshop review. These guiding principles and ideas cover a range of activities and were viewed as having high importance for realizing impactful CCS at the scale of funding anticipated. These cover the major areas of the charge, including research and solutions, education, communication, and training. The participants and full list of ideas and suggestions are provided as an appendix. Many contributed directly to this report; the listed authors are the steering committee.
The future uncertainty and complexity of alternative socioeconomic and climatic scenarios challenge the model-based analysis of sustainable development. Obtaining robust insights requires a systematic processing of uncertainty and complexity not only in input assumptions, but also in the diversity of model structures that simulates the multisectoral dynamics of human and Earth system interactions. Here, we implement the global change scenarios, i.e., the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and the Representative Concentration Pathways, in a feedback-rich, integrated assessment model of human-Earth system dynamics, called FeliX, to serve two aims: (1) to provide modellers with well-defined steps for the adoption of established scenarios in new integrated assessment models; (2) to explore the impacts of model uncertainty and its structural complexity on the projection of these scenarios for sustainable development. Our modelling shows internally consistent scenario storylines across sectors, yet with quantitatively different realisations of these scenarios compared to other integrated assessment models due to the new model’s structural complexity. The results highlight the importance of enumerating global change scenarios and their uncertainty exploration with a diversity of models of different input assumptions and structures to capture a wider variety of future possibilities and sustainability indicators.
In the present work, the sensitivity of near-surface air temperature and building energy consumption to different rooftop mitigation strategies in the urban environment is evaluated by means of numerical simulations in idealized urban areas, covering a large spectra of possible urban structures, for typical summer and winter conditions. Rooftop mitigation stategies considered include cool roofs, green roofs and rooftop photovoltaic panels. In particular, the latter two rooftop technologies are simulated using two novel parameterization schemes, incorporated in the mesoscale model Weather Research and Fore-5 casting (WRF), coupled with a multilayer urban canopy parameterization and a building energy model (BEP+BEM). Results indicate that near-surface air temperature within the city is reduced by all the RMSs during the summer period: cool roofs are the most efficient in decreasing air temperature (up to 1°C on average), followed by irrigated green roofs with grass vegetation and photovoltaic panels. Green roofs reveal to be the most efficient strategy in reducing the energy consumption by air conditioning systems, up to 45%, because of their waterproof insulating layer, while electricity produced by photovoltaic 10 panels overcomes energy demand by air conditioning systems. During wintertime, green roofs maintain a higher near-surface air temperature than standard roofs, because of their higher thermal capacity and the consequent release of sensible heat during nighttime. On the other hand, photovoltaic panels (during nighttime) and cool roofs (during daytime) reduce near-surface air temperature, resulting in a reduced thermal comfort. Green roofs are the most efficient rooftop mitigation strategy in reducing energy consumption by heating, and are able to reduce the energy demand up to 40% for low rise buildings, while cool roofs 15 always increase consumption due to the decreased temperature. The results presented here show that the novel parameterization schemes implemented in the WRF model can be a valuable tool to evaluate the effects of mitigation strategies in the urban environment. Moreover, this study demonstrates that all rooftop technologies present multiple benefits for the urban environment , showing that green roofs are the most efficient in increasing thermal comfort and diminish energy consumption, while photovoltaic panels can reduce the dependence on fossil fuel consumption through electricity generation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on public health resources around the world. From adversity opportunities have arisen to measure the state and dynamics of human disease at a scale not seen before. Early in the COVID-19 epidemic scientists and engineers demonstrated the use of wastewater as a medium by which the virus could be monitored both temporally and spatially. In the United Kingdom this evidence prompted the development of National wastewater surveillance programmes involving UK Government agencies academics and private companies. In terms of speed and scale the programmes have proven to be unique in its efforts to deliver measures of virus dynamics across a large proportion of the populations in all four regions of the country. This success has demonstrated that wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) can be a critical component in public health protection at regional and national levels and looking beyond COVID-19 is likely to be a core tool in monitoring and informing on a range of biological and chemical markers of human health; some established (e.g. pharmaceutical usage) and some emerging (e.g. metabolites of stress). We present here a discussion of uncertainty and variation associated with surveillance of wastewater focusing on lessons-learned from the UK programmes monitoring COVID-19 but addressing the areas that can broadly be applied to WBE more generally. Through discussion and the use of case studies we highlight that sources of uncertainty and variability that can impact measurement quality and importantly interpretation of data for public health decision-making are varied and complex. While some factors remain poorly understood and require dedicated research we present approaches taken by the UK programmes to manage and mitigate the more tractable components. This work provides a platform to integrate uncertainty management through data analysis quality assurance and modelling into the inevitable expansion of WBE activities as part of One Health initiatives.