River flow changes on timescales ranging from minutes to millennia. These variations influence fundamental functions of ecosystems, including biogeochemical fluxes, aquatic habitat, and human society. Efforts to describe temporal variation in river flow—i.e. flow regime—have resulted in hundreds of unique descriptors, complicating interpretation and identification of global drivers of overall flow regime. In this study, we used three analytical approaches to investigate three related questions: 1. how interrelated are flow regime metrics, 2. what catchment characteristics are most associated with flow regime at different timescales globally, and 3. what hydrological processes could explain these associations? To answer these questions, we analyzed a new global database of river discharge from 3,685 stations with coverage from 1987 to 2016. We calculated and condensed 189 traditional flow metrics via principal components analysis (PCA). We then used wavelet analysis to perform a frequency decomposition of each time series, allowing comparison with the flow metrics and characterization of variation in flow at different timescales across sites. Finally, we used three machine learning algorithms to relate flow regime to catchment properties, including climate, land-use, and ecosystem characteristics. For both the PCA and wavelet analysis, just a few catchment properties (catchment size, precipitation, and temperature) were sufficient to predict most aspects of flow regime across sites. The wavelet analysis revealed that variability in flow at short timescales was negatively correlated with variability at long timescales. We propose a hydrological framework that integrates these dynamics across daily to decadal timescales, which we call the Budyko-Darcy hypothesis.
Projections of future sea-level change are characterized by both quantifiable uncertainty and by ambiguity. Both types of uncertainty are relevant to users of sea-level projections, particularly those making long-term investment and planning decisions with multigenerational consequences. Communicating information about both types is thus a central challenge faced by scientists who generate sea-level projections to support decision-making. Diverse approaches to communicating uncertainty in future sea-level projections have been taken over the last several decades, but the literature evaluating these approaches is limited and not systematic. Here, we review how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has approached uncertainty in sealevel projections in past assessment cycles and how this information has been interpreted by national and subnational assessments, as well as alternative approaches used by recent US subnational assessments. The evidence reviewed here generally supports the explicit approach to communicating both types of uncertainty adopted by the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
The cryptocurrency sector is increasingly integrated into the global financial system. The world’s transition to a digital economy, facilitated by major technological breakthroughs, has several benefits. But as the demand for exchanging and investing in digital currencies is growing , the world must pay careful attention to the hidden and overlooked environmental impacts of this growth. The dramatic increase in the price of Bitcoin (BTC) over the last year and the resulting global race for BTC mining is turning the cryptocurrency market turning into one of the world’s leading polluting sectors. Yet, our knowledge about the environmental footprints of mining BTC is very limited. To address this hap, this study provides the first estimates of the carbon, water and land footprints of BTC mining around the world.
Freeboardelevation of a structure above the base flood elevation (BFE)is a critical component in mitigating or avoiding flood losses. However, the unrevealed benefits and savings of freeboard installation have prevented communities from adopting this approach. To improve decision-making for flood-vulnerable communities and enhance flood risk mitigation strategies, this study presents the methodology underlying a new webtool, FloodSafeHome, that estimates comprehensively the economic benefits and savings of freeboard installation for new construction of residential buildings. Specifically, the proposed evaluation framework has been designed to calculate monthly savings for individual buildings by assessing freeboard cost, insurance savings per year, and expected annual flood loss. This new evaluation method is built into a web-based, decision-making tool for use by the public and community leaders in three southeastern Louisiana parishes, to identify expected future benefits of building residences with freeboard and enhance their decision-making processes with interactive risk/benefit analysis features. For example, results indicate the levels of freeboard that optimize the costbenefit ratio for flood-insured homes in the study area. This approach is expected to improve long-term flood resilience and provide cost-efficient flood mitigation strategies particularly in disaster vulnerable regions.
Health outcomes attributable to wildfire smoke pollution exposure are an increasingly important global health issue especially as wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity with climate change. In this chapter, we present an up-to-date overview of the literature regarding the health consequences of wildfire smoke pollution exposure experienced by adults, identify research gaps, and propose possible areas for future epidemiological studies. We also discuss existing interventions to reduce the negative health outcomes associated with wildfire smoke pollution exposure.
Extreme weather conditions are associated with a variety of water quality issues that can pose harm to humans and aquatic ecosystems. Under dry extremes, contaminants become more concentrated in streams with a greater potential for harmful algal blooms, while wet extremes can cause flooding and broadcast pollution. Developing appropriate interventions to improve water quality in a changing climate requires a better understanding of how extremes affect watershed processes, and which places are most vulnerable. We developed a Soil and Water Assessment Tool model of the Cape Fear River Basin (CFRB) in North Carolina, USA, representing contemporary land use, point and non-point sources, and weather conditions from 1979 to 2019. The CFRB is a large and complex river basin undergoing urbanization and agricultural intensification, with a history of extreme droughts and floods, making it an excellent case study. To identify intervention priorities, we developed a Water Quality Risk Index (WQRI) using the load average and load variability across normal conditions, dry extremes, and wet extremes. We found that the landscape generated the majority of contaminants, including 90.1% of sediment, 85.4% of total nitrogen, and 52.6% of total phosphorus at the City of Wilmington’s drinking water intake. Approximately 16% of the watershed contributed most of the pollutants across conditions—these represent high priority locations for interventions. The WQRI approach considering risks to water quality across different weather conditions can help identify locations where interventions are more likely to improve water quality under climate change.
Earth Observations (EO) systems aim to monitor nearly all aspects of the global Earth environment. Observations of Essential Water Variables (EWVs) together with advanced data assimilation models, could provide the basis for systems that deliver integrated information for operational and policy level decision making that supports the Water-Energy-Food-Nexus (EO4WEF), and concurrently the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Implementing integrated EO for GEO-WEF (EO4WEF) systems requires resolving key questions regarding the selection and standardization of priority variables, the specification of technologically feasible observational requirements, and a template for integrated data sets. This paper presents a concise summary of EWVs adapted from the GEO Global Water Sustainability (GEOGLOWS) Initiative and consolidated EO observational requirements derived from the GEO Water Strategy Report (WSR). The UN-SDGs implicitly incorporate several other Frameworks and Conventions such as The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; and the Aichi Convention on Biological Diversity. Primary and Supplemental EWVs that support WEF Nexus & UN-SDGs, and Climate Change are specified. The EO-based decision-making sectors considered include water resources; water quality; water stress and water use efficiency; urban water management; disaster resilience; food security, sustainable agriculture; clean & renewable energy; climate change adaptation & mitigation; biodiversity & ecosystem sustainability; weather and climate extremes (e.g., floods, droughts, and heat waves); transboundary WEF policy.
A study was conducted in none tilled coffee agroforestry fields of Eastern Uganda to understand the effects of application of inorganic fertilizers on soil nutrient loss in form of gas for mitigation of unsustainable agricultural practices. This study specifically i) assessed the effect of application of inorganic fertilizers on greenhouse gas emissions, ii) determined their effect on microbial carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus and iii) determined their effect on leaf litter decomposition under Albizzia-coffee growing systems of the Mount Elgon. Soil gas emissions were measured with the static chamber method for twelve months in a field experiment with five different fertilizer treatments. The effect of treatments was separated using ANOVA in Genstat discovery version 13. Microbial carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus was separated using Mann-Whitney U test. Results showed that annual emissions ranged from 19.6 to 26.1 (t C/ha/yr), 3.5 to 9 (Kg N/ha/yr) and 6.9 to 9.2 (Kg C/ha/yr) for carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane respectively. Significant effects on soil emissions only occurred for nitrous oxide (P=0.017), microbial carbon (p=0.001) and microbial phosphorus (p<0.001) for the study period. The mixture of NPK fertilizers presented the lowest carbon dioxide loss and application of TSP presented the lowest nitrous oxide emission from soil. This study underscores the need for establishment of long-term experiments across several agro-ecological zones to confirm farmers’ perceptions of their soil fertility levels and ascertain the contribution of farm practices towards the retention of nutrients in the soil with minimal emission, to inform decisions of small holder farmers, policy and development partners for sustainable production.
To integrate temporal and spatial dimensions of seasonal cycles, we combine two conceptual frameworks: ecological calendars and the “3Hs” model of the biocultural ethic. The latter values the vital links between human and other-than-human co-inhabitants, their life habits (e.g., cultural practices of human communities or life cycles of other-than-human species) and the structure, patterns and processes of their shared habitats. This integration enhances an understanding of core links between cultural practices and the life cycles of biocultural keystone species. As a synthesis, we use the term biocultural calendars to emphasize the co-constitutive nature of calendars that result from continuous interactions between dynamic biophysical and cultural processes. We apply biocultural calendars to examine cultural practices and socio-environmental changes in southwestern South America, specifically in Chile, spanning from (1) Cape Horn at the southern of the Americas in sub-Antarctic habitats inhabited by the Yagan indigenous community, (2) artisanal fisher communities in Chiloe; archipelagoes, (3) coastal regions of central-southern Chile inhabited by Lafkenche and Williche indigenous communities, to (4) high Andean habitats in northern Chile co-inhabited by Aymara communities along with domesticated camelids and a rich biodiversity. To illustrate biocultural calendars, we designed analemma diagrams that show the position of the Sun in the sky as seen from a fixed time and location, and linked to continuous renewal of astronomical, biological and cultural, seasonal cycles that sustain life. These biocultural calendars enhance the integration of indigenous and scientific knowledge to confront complex challenges of climate change faced by local communities and global society.
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.
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.
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.
Ocean governance is characterised by social-ecological complexity and divergence in stakeholder values and perspectives. Meeting the challenges set out in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will require transdisciplinary approaches that can embrace multiple ways of knowing to develop shared understandings within interdependent communities of practice and ensure they can be applied in interventions that are adaptive, proactive, socially just, critically reflexive and fit to meet the Decade’s challenges. We present the outcomes of an innovative participatory art process, the Exquisite Corpse Project, with the aim of highlighting multiple perspectives, and developing empathy between participants. We will engage a selected group of researchers from the emerging ‘Ocean Art-Ocean Science’ community to explore the topic of marine heatwaves and their impacts based on data collected in the Northeast Pacific by Ocean Networks Canada and other sources. Through a facilitated process, participants will create three pieces of art that will build on each other and will be exchanged between participants. At the end, all created artworks will be reviewed by the full group to explore emerging insights on marine heatwaves and to surface participants’ underlying values and emotions, which is rarely done in scientific circles where the main mode of discourse employs rational dispassionate exchange. By creating a fun, emotionally-engaging process, we aim to show how the Exquisite Corpse project can strengthen interpersonal bonds, build social cohesion, create opportunities to surface people’s values and perspectives, and develop new transdisciplinary insights in a non-confrontational way. This study is part of an ongoing process exploring transdisciplinary approaches for multidirectional art-science collaborations and developing new research methods for including artistic insight and expression within the scientific discovery process. Instead of the conventional ‘outward looking’ strategy of many art-science projects translating scientific outputs to new formats, our approach is primarily ‘inward looking’. We aim to provide an opportunity for scientists to create art, thus allowing them to explore their own emotions, values and experiences through different ways of knowing.
The spatial and angular emission patterns of artificial and natural light emitted, scattered, and reflected from the Earth at night are far more complex than those for scattered and reflected solar radiation during daytime. Here we demonstrate (through examples) that there is additional information contained in the angular distribution of emitted light. We argue that this information could be used to improve existing remote sensing retrievals based on night lights, and in some cases could make entirely new remote sensing analyses possible. We encourage researchers and funding agencies to pursue further study of how multi-angle views can be analyzed or acquired.
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.
Title: Continental Physical Oceanography and Climatic Effects on Human Lives and Infection Diseases The author watches mechanism shifts caused by climatic influences and active era of seismic energy. Thermal power is stored and released through factors of ocean temperature and evaporation. Those affect human lives and virus vectors in the fields of ocean-atmosphere interaction and seismic oceanography. My presentation includes such research topics: Inundations of max assumed tsunamis and storm surges affect human risks in seashore mega cities SST dipole-effects to global crop production through stomata closing Advection effects from SST anomalies by high potential evaporation causing dry air and losses of human lives as well as houses by forest fires Ocean Impacts to Infection Diseases through Seasonal Climate change: New Applicable fields from Geo-Health linked to continental oceanography comparing to the traditional micro-and-genetic approaches. Ocean impacts to propagation of infection diseases through seasonal climate change such as fundamental air temperature and precipitation for plants and animals Climatic influences on vectors such as mosquito (like malaria, dengue fever, etc.) through blood, virus from breath (COVID-19), and bacteria from mouth, along with the potential risks by fatal viruses of Avian (Bird) Influenza and Classical Swine Fever etc. New recognized other important factors of mega cities by continental bird’s fly-routes, wild animals multiplication and increased travel flows of global human-lives Ecological transitions of deforestation and afforestation in low land or wet-land for wild birds and animals. Satellite sensing and photosynthesis-model mapping for vegetation growth in country-scale, continental, and global watching, by monitoring microbiological diseases through insect habitats, bird’s passages and animal movements. Intensive approaches using data assimilation and synthesizing among meteorological, geophysical, biological, and hydrological factors Related Divisions: Ocean Sciences, Geo-Health, Science and Society, Natural Hazards, Hydrology, BioGeosciences
The total population of Ghana has tripled between 1960 and 2015. During the same period, the urban population, however, grew more than 11 times. Rapid urbanization and large increase in population dramatically changed the land cover of the West African country. For example, agricultural land expanded from occupying 13% in mid-1970s to more than a third of Ghana’s total land area today. In the meantime, forests and savannas face a huge pressure of being converted to agricultural or urban land uses. The Ghana Land Use Project (GALUP) aims at enhancing the country’s capacity in dealing with these challenges. The project engages both institutions and government agencies in Ghana to deliver a series of training workshops focused on remote sensing and geospatial technologies that can facilitate the formulation of sustainable land use plans. In-person workshops were planned initially, but because of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first GALUP workshop—Land-Use Suitability Analysis with QGIS Tools—was conducted online. Such means of capacity building presented an exceptional opportunity to explore novel methods for transferring knowledge while also forging strong partnerships that are easier with in-person meetings. The 3-month long workshop was delivered in a hybrid mode featuring synchronous and asynchronous components. This hybrid mode was unusual for both trainers and the 41 trainees from four organizations including the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA), the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS), the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Agro-Hydrological and Meteorological Centre (AGRHYMET) in Niger. The synchronous component involved weekly meetings and discussion session, and the asynchronous component consisted of a GitHub repository. The repository contained (a) fourteen open-source GIS tools developed for land-use suitability modeling, (b) a discussion channel for Q&A and idea-sharing, and (c) four modules of training materials, each equipped with customized videos and multiple exercises to boost the learning process. The repository has received over 13,000 views since the beginning of the workshop.