Deinococcus radiodurans has been reported to show remarkable resistance to ionizing radiation, desiccation, oxidizing compounds, UV radiation and mutagens. Since the 1960s, several exposure tests on diverse bacteria in space have been conducted to study the possibility of interplanetary life transfer and this bacterium pertains to a distinct gram-negative eubacterial lineage that is considered to be most closely related to the genus Thermus. The chemical reaction of D. radiodurans after exposure to space-related radiation and vacuum was studied in the concerned research that extends the application of the Tanpopo mission conducted by Japan. Certain tests like Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that irradiated cell shape and cellular integrity were unaffected, whereas combined proteome and metabolomic research revealed significant molecular modifications in metabolic and stress response pathways. Taking this into account reinforced with simulation studies, we propose fabrication of a wearable radiation-shielding bio-spacesuit to protect the astronauts and prevent the onset of acute radiation damage. The main focus of this study is on the idea of incorporating the organism's composition mechanisms either into the five layers of mylar or aerogel of spacesuit in order to prevent damaging radiation in space.
Heatwaves cause excess mortality and physiological impacts on humans throughout the world, and climate change will intensify and increase the frequency of heat events. Many adaptation and mitigation studies use spatial distribution of highly vulnerable local populations to inform heat reduction and response plans. However, most available heat vulnerability studies focus on urban areas with high heat intensification by Urban Heat Islands (UHIs). Rural areas encompass different environmental and socioeconomic issues that require alternative analyses of vulnerability. We categorized Nebraska census tracts into four urbanization levels, then conducted factor analyses on each group and captured different patterns of socioeconomic vulnerabilities among resulted Heat Vulnerability Indices (HVIs). While disability is the major component of HVI in two urbanized classes, lower education and races other than white have higher contributions in HVI for the two rural classes. To account for environmental vulnerability of HVI, we considered different land type combinations for each urban class based on their percentage areas and their differences in heat intensifications. Our results demonstrate different combination of initial variables in heat vulnerability among urban classes of Nebraska and clustering of high and low heat vulnerable areas within the highest urbanized section. Less urbanized areas show no spatial clustering of HVI. More studies with separation on urbanization level of residence can give insights into different socioeconomic vulnerability patterns in rural and urban areas, while also identifying changes in environmental variables that better capture heat intensification in rural settings.
Lots of works aim to reveal the driving factors of COVID-19 pandemic trajectory yet ignore the confidence of utilized trajectory data, making consequent results suspicious. Hereby, we proposed a pandemic metric with confidence (PMC) model in the hypothesis of Bernoulli Distribution of nine trajectories reported from 113 countries. Results exhibit the average confidence of trajectories across the global not in excess of 12.1% with the error threshold configuration of 1E-5. In contrast, the 95% high confidence setting also failed to predict the trajectory containing the acceptable error not beyond 1E-3. Thus, a proposed trade-off strategy between two contradictory expections (>50% confidence, <1E-3 error) supports 61% of investigated countries to predict the varying trajectory with confidence beyond 50%. Moreover, PMC model recommend the remanent 39% countries to extend the proportion of populaces in COVID-19 detecting-pool to a suggested-value (>1% of populations), ensuing the average confidence up to 70%.
Sexual harassment in STEM continues to be a pervasive barrier to women’s full participation in the sciences. Many studies conclude that workplace culture and lack of clear policies and practices exacerbate the risks of sexual harassment. Remote research environments, such as field stations and ocean platforms, bring additional risk to researchers. Participants already face acute safety concerns related to the remoteness of the field station or oceanographic vessels, fewer and less clear policies and enforcement regulations are in place, and multiple institutions bear responsibility, leading to a challenging environment for preventing and handling incidents. This workshop explored the factors that permit sexual harassment in remote research, and aimed to develop practices to prevent and respond to harassment in the field. The California State University Desert Studies Center and the Center for Ocean Leadership convened workshop in March, 2021 to address sexual harassment in field science. Over three days, field and ocean science leadership and practitioners came together with leadership from professional societies and academia, and experts in sociology, policy, and social justice. The goals were to: 1) open a dialogue between sexual harassment experts and the field research community to develop best practices and recommendations; 2) build coordination and consistency in policy setting and enforcement across field stations and oceanographic platforms; 3) develop processes to monitor the reporting of sexual harassment instances occurring at remote field locations; and 4) promote a safe culture for scientists conducting research at remote field stations and on oceanographic vessels. The workshop compiled and developed best practices and recommendations in four key areas: 1) culture change, 2) policy, 3) accountability, and 4) reporting. These recommendations were targeted at all facets of field and ocean sciences, from academic and research institutions, professional societies, and funding agencies, to departments and field research crews. Here we will give an overview of the workshop findings, with particular focus on the recommendations for research leadership.
At least 37 studies demonstrate some degree of short-term influence of CO2 on human cognition, broadly considered, at CO2 concentrations frequently observed in buildings (>1000ppm). Ambient concentrations of CO2 in some cities can exceed global average values by several hundred ppm due to multiple large sources and idiosyncrasies of atmospheric transport, diffusion, and dispersion. In those few cities with extensive CO2 monitoring systems, local variations exceed 50ppm along transport corridors or close to point sources such as power plants. Scenarios of future CO2 concentrations project global average values up to 950ppm by 2100. Combining these various influences suggests that some locations in cities may regularly experience CO2 concentrations of 1300ppm by 2100. In occupied enclosed spaces such as schoolrooms, CO2 concentrations can rise several thousand ppm above ambient values. ASHRAE sets indoor air standards relative to ambient levels, not as absolute levels. Highly energy efficient buildings reduce air leakage and may have lower ventilation air exchange rates to reduce energy loss. LEED standards do not address effects of certification standards on CO2 concentrations. Cabs of vehicles and other enclosed spaces in the transport sector also can be several thousand ppm above ambient levels. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 at these levels has not been studied in humans but limited studies of mouse models demonstrate respiratory impairments after three-month exposure to 890ppm CO2 for newborn mice. We are unaware of any studies of health impacts of CO2 on mice or humans that use pre-industrial concentrations of CO2 as baseline values. Thus, experimental methodologies must be reformed and standardized before we can fully appreciate how living in an elevated CO2 world is already affecting human health. Connecting the dots between these various influences suggests that exposure (particularly long-term exposure) to CO2 concentrations that affect cognition may vary significantly depending upon distance from active sources (power plants, roadways) and occupation (e.g. truck driver), such effects will grow to serious levels, may already exert a toll on human cognitive outcomes, and could implicate environmental justice concerns.
Skillful forecasts of weather phenomena in numerical models begin with the most accurate set of initial conditions achievable from observational datasets. The process of combining observations with numerical model predictions is called data assimilation. This chapter describes the types of observations available for data assimilation in models that predict the transport, fate, and impacts of smoke pollution. Observation properties needed for effective data assimilation are identified based on experiences with a variety of observation types in data assimilation experiments, compiled from the published literature. The second half of the chapter surveys the data assimilation methodologies that have been applied to smoke aerosols, and describes specific problems associated with the smoke observations that require innovative techniques in data assimilation. The chapter concludes by providing an outlook for future research and development in data assimilation for smoke prediction models. Data assimilation for prediction of smoke is an emerging area of development that promises to greatly improve forecast skill as new datasets and techniques are applied.
High-school students tested soil, paint, and water for lead (Pb) in a total of 80 houses in their town of Pelham, New York, where blood-Pb data indicate relatively high levels of child exposure. All the samples were tested in the laboratory using established procedures but this was preceded by testing of soil and paint in the field with a kit by the students. The total Pb content of 32 of the 159 soil samples that were collected exceeded 400 ppm, the EPA standard for bare soil in areas where children play. Only 4 of the 118 tap water samples that were collected contained over 15 ppb Pb, with the data showing that flushing for 2 min clearly lowered Pb concentration further across the board. The highest risk of child exposure may be posed by old Pb-paint, however, which was detected in 9 of the 48 samples that were tested. Unfortunately, residents were also the least willing to let the students test or sample their paint. High-school students could help reduce exposure in the many towns where child blood-Pb levels remain high today while doing so learning about environmental science and measurement from this hands-on experience.
Global seismicity on all three solar system’s bodies with in situ measurements — Earth, Moon, and Mars — is due mainly to Rieger resonance (RR) of the solar wind’s macroscopic flapping, driven by the well-known PRg=~154-days Rieger period and detected commonly in most heliophysical data types and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Thus, spectra of InSight B/C-quality marsquakes rates revealed PRg as the only 99%-significant spectral peak in the 1–6 months (385.8–64.3-nHz) band of highest planetary energies. While a very high (>>12) fidelity Φ=2.8·10^6 characterizes PRg at Mars, modular 1/2PRg and 1/3PRg Rieger-type periodicities are co-driving Martian seismicity, at 89%–67% significance, and Φ>>12. A longer (v.9) release of InSight raw data revealed the entire RR, excluding a tectonically active Mars. Previous marsquakes studies showed a preference for higher frequencies, localization, temporal (dusktime) clustering, and annual variation — features that, taken together, are typical of a forced resonator. For check, I analyze rates of Oct 2015–Feb 2019, Mw5.6+ earthquakes, and all the Apollo moonquakes. To decouple magnetosphere and IMF effects, I analyze Earth and Moon seismicity during traversals of the Earth magnetotail vs. IMF separately. As shown with 99–67% confidence and Φ>>12, an unspecified majority of Mw5.6+ earthquakes and moonquakes also recur at RR periodicities, while about half of the spectral peaks split — but also into clusters that average to RR components, where magnetotail reconnecting clears the signal. The repeating of the Mars result for Earth and Moon means the solar wind co-drives geophysics, selenophysics, and areophysics. Without getting into causal mechanisms in detail, previous claims on solar wind/plasma dynamics being seismogenic are confirmed. This result calls for a reinterpretation of the seismicity phenomenon and reliance on global magnitude scales. Predictability of the solar wind threat is beneficial for physics-based seismic prediction and forecasting, and for the safety of space missions and solar system installations.
The human health risk assessment (HHRA) of groundwater system in the vicinity of Chandigarh dumping site was conducted, assuming oral ingestion and dermal contact exposure scenarios. Observed data of lead (Pb) concentration in the leachate was used to compute cancer risk (CR) by integrating unsaturated 1-D leaching model with probabilistic HHRA framework. The 99 percentile and maximum value of lead (Pb) concentration at the water table was estimated as 0.089 mg/L and 0.506 mg/L, respectively, for pre-monsoon season, higher than the safe limit of 0.050 mg/L. In contrast, for the post-monsoon season, only the maximum value of Pb concentration exceeded the safe limit. Results from 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations showed that the 99 percentile and maximum value of CR for all the sub-populations during pre-monsoon exceeded the safe limit (>10 ) via oral ingestion exposure to Pb-contaminated groundwater. The 95 percentile value of CR for adult sub-population was estimated as 1.05 x 10 for premonsoon; however, for the post-monsoon season, only maximum values of CR exceeded the safe limit. The cancer risk estimates for the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons via skin dermal contact exposure were found to be lower than the safe level, posing no danger to human health. Among sub-populations, the order of posing CR was found to be in the order as adults (>18 years) > child I (1-5 years) > teen (11-18 years) > child II (6-10 years). Uncertainty analysis showed that the lead concentration (>95% variance contribution), as a major contributor towards uncertainty in the risk estimates, while event duration (t ), exposure duration (ED), and ingestion rate (IR) were observed as minor contributors. The approach presented in this study considered the uncertainty in the unsaturated leaching model parameters along with uncertainty in the exposure model parameters, thus can help decision-makers in estimating risk from open dumping sites with minimal data availability.
Mosquitoes in recent years have increased greatly in numbers due to the rapidly changing climate and rising temperatures. With this change comes suitable habitats for mosquitoes which are the most efficient killers in all of the animal kingdom due to the number of death from mosquito-borne diseases. If we were able to pinpoint the certain areas that mosquitoes are most attracted to we could in theory slow or even prevent the spread of mosquitoes. In our project, the research was conducted to find a correlation between the color and size of the traps to the amount of mosquitos that are present. With our findings, we were able to conclude that the bigger the traps, the faster the mosquitoes would be attracted to that area. We also found that the different traps would hold similar densities of mosquito larvae per square inch.
Preparedness is important for reducing potential losses from various disasters. There are limited studies that investigated the concrete reasons for not adopting a specific preparedness action. This paper fills such a gap using representative national survey data from China. Seven disaster preparedness actions, namely “preparing food and water at home,” “pay attention to disaster-related information,” “making emergency plans,” “being aware of nearest shelters,” “being aware of building code,” “participating in exercise or drills” and “being a volunteer for emergencies” are used as the measure of preparedness behaviors. Overall, the public has adopted more material-related preparedness actions, equipped with fewer awareness activities, and had the least community participation-related preparedness behaviors. The primary reasons for not adopting these actions are “not aware,” “don’t know where to buy or where to reach,” and “the action is not useful, there is no necessary,” while “costly,” “need special knowledge,” “don’t have time,” “need collaboration with others,” “energy-consuming” and “not my responsibility” are the less chose reasons. Besides, trust in government, relocation due to disasters, living in urban areas, and a higher degree of socioeconomic status are positively correlated with higher probabilities of adopting all the seven preparedness activities. These findings highlight the importance of community outreach from emergency management professionals to increase the public’s awareness of preparing for potential disasters. It is necessary to let the general public know the existence of these preparedness actions, and these actions can reduce losses.
With wildfires increasing in activity in the Western United States and around the world, there is an immediate need to understand the toxic effects of the smoke. This chapter will provide a background of toxicology and apply principle concepts such as dose, duration and frequency to help define the potential effects of smoke exposure. Characteristics that influence toxicity will be discussed, which include particle size, source and temperature and the mixture of chemical constituents. An overview of the routes of exposure, mechanisms of action, toxicokinetics and the role of the immune system will all be covered. The importance and mutual benefits of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies will be discussed. Finally, the chapter concludes by outlining knowledge gaps and research needs.
NO2 is a mainly anthropogenic gas that affects population health and its exposure is associated with several respiratory diseases. Its tropospheric concentration is associated with vehicle emissions. During 2020, COVID-19 lockdowns have impeded population's mobility, hence constructing an almost ideal situation to study their relationship with tropospheric NO2 concentration. We used TROPOMI satellite images, Google mobility reports and vehicule count in order to study these relationships in six big Latin American metropolitan areas. In all of them, tropospheric NO2 concentration decreased during 2020 compared to 2019, particularly during April 2020. The daily vehicle count in Buenos Aires was a significantly important variable in order to explain NO2 concentration variations. This study strengthens previous research findings about NO2 concentration reduction during COVID-19 lockdowns and shows the relationship between human mobility and air pollution in the particular context of Latin America big cities.
GeoHealth represents the critical intersection between the Earth and environmental sciences, and agricultural and health sciences. Following a specific request from the National Science Foundation (NSF) this report provides a series of recommendations aimed at empowering research, building fundamental workforce capacity, and improving communication around GeoHealth to the public and policy makers. This development is critical as a robust GeoHealth research enterprise is essential to global health, human and ecosystem well-being, and sustainability. The AGU community along with those from several allied societies provided the recommendations in this report; these were developed for a detailed survey and two workshops. The survey and other input revealed several broad challenges and needs, including highly siloed funding and support for researchers across institutions and societies, the inability to access or combine key datasets, and in particular the lack of clear career trajectories and support. The recommendations consist of: (i) six programmatic areas where significant attention to building a GeoHealth research enterprise is needed; (ii) approaches and concepts for four specific challenges in GeoHealth for which significant results could be enabled rapidly, within 2-3 years; (iii) ideas for developing an education/career path and for outreach; (iv) larger “moonshot” ideas that might yield very significant impacts over ca. 10 years. All of these have several common elements and themes: they leverage many directorates within NSF, including all within the GEO division; can build off of existing initiatives; are best developed through partnerships with other agencies and communities; and rely on open and FAIR data sets. Although the focus of these recommendations is toward and for the NSF, the suggestions are more general and hopefully will be considered by other funding agencies and other parts of the research enterprise in the U.S. and internationally.
Dust is a meteorological phenomenon that has a strong impact on the environment, air quality, and human health. In the USA one of the most widely used databases of information on dust events is the Storm Events Database (SED). This project aims to examine the reliability and usefulness of the SED as a source for documenting the climatology of dust storms (DS) across the USA. While SED provides information potentially useful for understanding the frequency, distribution, and importance of DS across the USA, our analysis of DS from 2000 to 2020 shows that many DS were missing while some recorded events of less severe blowing dust (BLDU) in the SED were incorrectly reported as DS. Although the dust records from SED have been widely utilized to study dust related physical and societal issues, the limitations found in this study need to be taken into consideration in future studies.
Drought is probably the most complex among natural hazards to assess its effects. While most drought indicators and risk assessments are developed around agricultural or water shortages effects of drought, its effect on human health is highly understudied because of its unclear and complicated path towards physical and mental health effects. This study assesses the health risk of the latest decadal drought over the US counties by spatially superimposing several proxy variables of counties’ health vulnerabilities over their drought levels. We have used different variations of Local Moran’s I statistics to assess the spatial distribution of drought-vulnerability in two five-year study periods (2010-2014 and 2015-2019) and their differences. Our results show large clusters of significant risk increase in the west due to increases in both vulnerability and hazard indicators in the second study period. Since the used vulnerability variables include indicators of agriculture, drinking water, and socioeconomic prosperities, the results of this study can help researchers and policymakers in these areas to distinguish areas in need of higher attention for interdisciplinary study and planning in national or regional scales.
In recent decades, there is a broad consensus in the literature that heat-related mortality overall has declined relative to the magnitude of the heat event. This said, as society is aging and the climate is warming, it is uncertain that this trajectory can be sustained moving forward, particularly as historically rare events become more common. To explore more recent trends, using a recently extended data set, we explored trends in anomalous mortality associated with extreme heat event days for the period 1975-2018 across the largest 107 metropolitan areas of the United States. We defined heat using an excess heat factor, and once events were identified, used a distributed-lag nonlinear model (DLNM) to assess mortality response over a cumulative 10-day period. In addition to total mortality, we also assessed subsets of those 65+ and 45-64, each of which were subdivided by sex. Results indicate that, overall, heat-related mortality associated with any given heat event day is decreasing. The most substantive decreases in mortality are those 65 and older, which may be associated with greater awareness as well as that population being the target of most intervention systems. Indeed, in many locations heat-related mortality among women 65 and older is no longer statistically significant. In contrast, while overall rates are lower, such trends are not seen in those aged 45-64. In particular, there is an increase in mortality among men 45–64 of 11.3 deaths per year across the US, most concentrated in southern and southwestern US cities. Overall, however, the general decreases in heat related mortality are being offset somewhat by the increase in heat event days, particularly since 2010. Given the impacts of the heat events since 2018 over the US West in particular, it is clear that heat-related mortality is not something confined to the past.