Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural weather assessments

  1. The Joint Agricultural Weather Facility's Operational Assessment Program.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motha, Raymond P.; Heddinghaus, Thomas R.

    1986-09-01

    The Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF), a cooperative effort between the Climate Analysis Center, NMC/NWS/NOAA (National Meteorological Center/National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), focuses on weather anomalies and their effects on the crop-yield potential in major international crop areas. The basic mission is to provide an objective procedure for translating the flow of global weather information into timely and accurate assessments of growing-season conditions which ultimately impact on global agricultural production and trade. Daily monitoring of satellite weather images and meteorological data provides the framework for agricultural weather analysis. Daily. weekly, and seasonal summaries are processed and merged with historical weather and crop data for evaluation of the crop-yield potential. Information is disseminated at routine briefings, in written summaries, and through informal discussions.

  2. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn , Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  3. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2016-07-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  4. CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) for weather impact assessment on global agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gommes, René; Wu, Bingfang; Zhang, Ning; Feng, Xueliang; Zeng, Hongwei; Li, Zhongyuan; Chen, Bo

    2017-02-01

    CropWatch agroclimatic indicators (CWAIs) are a monitoring tool developed by the CropWatch global crop monitoring system in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; http://www.cropwatch.com.cn, Wu et al Int J Digital Earth 7(2):113-137, 2014, Wu et al Remote Sens 7:3907-3933, 2015). Contrary to most other environmental and agroclimatic indicators, they are "agronomic value-added", i.e. they are spatial values averaged over agricultural areas only and they include a weighting that enhances the contribution of the areas with the largest production potential. CWAIs can be computed for any time interval (starting from dekads) and yield one synthetic value per variable over a specific area and time interval, for instance a national annual value. Therefore, they are very compatible with socio-economic and other variables that are usually reported at regular time intervals over administrative units, such as national environmental or agricultural statistics. Two of the CWAIs are satellite-based (RAIN and Photosynthetically Active radiation, PAR) while the third is ground based (TEMP, air temperature); capitals are used when specifically referring to CWAIs rather than the climate variables in general. The paper first provides an overview of some common agroclimatic indicators, describing their procedural, systemic and normative features in subsequent sections, following the terminology of Binder et al Environ Impact Assess Rev 30:71-81 (2010). The discussion focuses on the systemic and normative aspects: the CWAIs are assessed in terms of their coherent description of the agroclimatic crop environment, at different spatial scales (systemic). The final section shows that the CWAIs retain key statistical properties of the underlying climate variables and that they can be compared to a reference value and used as monitoring and early warning variables (normative).

  5. Utilization of Live Localized Weather Information for Sustainable Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, J.; Usher, J.

    2010-09-01

    Authors: Jim Anderson VP, Global Network and Business Development WeatherBug® Professional Jeremy Usher Managing Director, Europe WeatherBug® Professional Localized, real-time weather information is vital for day-to-day agronomic management of all crops. The challenge for agriculture is twofold in that local and timely weather data is not often available for producers and farmers, and it is not integrated into decision-support tools they require. Many of the traditional sources of weather information are not sufficient for agricultural applications because of the long distances between weather stations, meaning the data is not always applicable for on-farm decision making processes. The second constraint with traditional weather information is the timeliness of the data. Most delivery systems are designed on a one-hour time step, whereas many decisions in agriculture are based on minute-by-minute weather conditions. This is especially true for decisions surrounding chemical and fertilizer application and frost events. This presentation will outline how the creation of an agricultural mesonet (weather network) can enable producers and farmers with live, local weather information from weather stations installed in farm/field locations. The live weather information collected from each weather station is integrated into a web-enabled decision support tool, supporting numerous on-farm agronomic activities such as pest management, or dealing with heavy rainfall and frost events. Agronomic models can be used to assess the potential of disease pressure, enhance the farmer's abilities to time pesticide applications, or assess conditions contributing to yield and quality fluctuations. Farmers and industry stakeholders may also view quality-assured historical weather variables at any location. This serves as a record-management tool for viewing previously uncharted agronomic weather events in graph or table form. This set of weather tools is unique and provides a

  6. Weather extremes could affect agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-05-01

    As Earth's climate warms, agricultural producers will need to adapt. Changes, especially increases in extreme events, are already having an impact on food production, according to speakers at a 1 May session on agriculture and food security at the AGU Science Policy Conference. Christopher Field, director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science of Washington, D. C., pointed out the complex factors that come into play in understanding food security, including spatially varying controls and stresses, incomplete models, and the potential for threshold responses. Factors that are likely to cause problems include increasing population; increasing preference for meat, which needs more land and energy inputs to produce; climate change; and increasing use of agricultural lands for biomass energy.

  7. Weather assessment and forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Data management program activities centered around the analyses of selected far-term Office of Applications (OA) objectives, with the intent of determining if significant data-related problems would be encountered and if so what alternative solutions would be possible. Three far-term (1985 and beyond) OA objectives selected for analyses as having potential significant data problems were large-scale weather forecasting, local weather and severe storms forecasting, and global marine weather forecasting. An overview of general weather forecasting activities and their implications upon the ground based data system is provided. Selected topics were specifically oriented to the use of satellites.

  8. Assessing the value of post-processed state-of-the-art long-term weather forecast ensembles for agricultural water management mediated by farmers' behaviours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yu; Giuliani, Matteo; Castelletti, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Recent advances in modelling of coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics significantly improved skills of long-term climate forecast from global circulation models (GCMs). These more accurate weather predictions are supposed to be a valuable support to farmers in optimizing farming operations (e.g. crop choice, cropping and watering time) and for more effectively coping with the adverse impacts of climate variability. Yet, assessing how actually valuable this information can be to a farmer is not straightforward and farmers' response must be taken into consideration. Indeed, in the context of agricultural systems potentially useful forecast information should alter stakeholders' expectation, modify their decisions, and ultimately produce an impact on their performance. Nevertheless, long-term forecast are mostly evaluated in terms of accuracy (i.e., forecast quality) by comparing hindcast and observed values and only few studies investigated the operational value of forecast looking at the gain of utility within the decision-making context, e.g. by considering the derivative of forecast information, such as simulated crop yields or simulated soil moisture, which are essential to farmers' decision-making process. In this study, we contribute a step further in the assessment of the operational value of long-term weather forecasts products by embedding these latter into farmers' behavioral models. This allows a more critical assessment of the forecast value mediated by the end-users' perspective, including farmers' risk attitudes and behavioral patterns. Specifically, we evaluate the operational value of thirteen state-of-the-art long-range forecast products against climatology forecast and empirical prediction (i.e. past year climate and historical average) within an integrated agronomic modeling framework embedding an implicit model of the farmers' decision-making process. Raw ensemble datasets are bias-corrected and downscaled using a stochastic weather generator, in

  9. Quality assurance of weather data for agricultural system model input

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is well known that crop production and hydrologic variation on watersheds is weather related. Rarely, however, is meteorological data quality checks reported for agricultural systems model research. We present quality assurance procedures for agricultural system model weather data input. Problems...

  10. Weather based risks and insurances for agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2015-04-01

    Extreme weather events such as frost, drought, heat waves and rain storms can have devastating effects on cropping systems. According to both the agriculture and finance sectors, a risk assessment of extreme weather events and their impact on cropping systems is needed. The principle of return periods or frequencies of natural hazards is adopted in many countries as the basis of eligibility for the compensation of associated losses. For adequate risk management and eligibility, hazard maps for events with a 20-year return period are often used. Damages due to extreme events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage, soil type and soil conditions. The impact of extreme weather events particularly during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar therefore requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event in the farming calendar. Physically based crop models such as REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) assist in understanding the links between different factors causing crop damage. Subsequent examination of the frequency, magnitude and impacts of frost, drought, heat stress and soil moisture stress in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages allows for risk profiles to be confronted with yields, yield losses and insurance claims. The methodology is demonstrated for arable food crops, bio-energy crops and fruit. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by limited aid received for agricultural damage, an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers and projected intensification of weather extremes with climate change. Though average yields have risen continuously due to technological advances, there is no evidence that relative tolerance to adverse weather events has improved. The research is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Organisation (Belspo) under contract nr SD/RI/03A.

  11. Sources and Uses of Weather Information for Agricultural Decision Makers.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNew, Kevin P.; Mapp, Harry P.; Duchon, Claude E.; Merritt, Earl S.

    1991-04-01

    Numerous studies have examined the importance of weather information to farmers and ranchers across the U.S. This study is focused on the kinds of weather information received by farmers and ranchers, the sources of that information, and its use in production and marketing decisions. Our results are based on a survey of 292 producers from the principal agricultural areas of Oklahoma. Producers were classified into five categories related to their source of income from crop and livestock sales.Among temperature, precipitation, relative humility, and wind speed, temperature information was most widely received. Forecast lengths of highest interest were 24-h and 5-day forecasts. Precipitation information was used by many respondents for planting and harvesting decisions. Weather data and forecasts seem to be of greater value to diversified crop and livestock operators than specialized crop and livestock, perhaps due to more frequent timing decisions. Relative humility and wind information appear to be important especially during specific times of the growing season, for example, at harvest time and time of pesticide application. Television is the primary source of weather information for more than 60% of the producers.It appears that there may be a role for both public and private entities in transforming weather data and forecasts into recommendations to crop and livestock producers. Further research is needed to determine the potential value of weather information for alternative production, marketing and livestock decisions, different categories of producers, and different geographic regions.

  12. Recent weather extremes and impacts on agricultural production and vector-borne disease outbreak patterns.

    PubMed

    Anyamba, Assaf; Small, Jennifer L; Britch, Seth C; Tucker, Compton J; Pak, Edwin W; Reynolds, Curt A; Crutchfield, James; Linthicum, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    We document significant worldwide weather anomalies that affected agriculture and vector-borne disease outbreaks during the 2010-2012 period. We utilized 2000-2012 vegetation index and land surface temperature data from NASA's satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to map the magnitude and extent of these anomalies for diverse regions including the continental United States, Russia, East Africa, Southern Africa, and Australia. We demonstrate that shifts in temperature and/or precipitation have significant impacts on vegetation patterns with attendant consequences for agriculture and public health. Weather extremes resulted in excessive rainfall and flooding as well as severe drought, which caused ∼10 to 80% variation in major agricultural commodity production (including wheat, corn, cotton, sorghum) and created exceptional conditions for extensive mosquito-borne disease outbreaks of dengue, Rift Valley fever, Murray Valley encephalitis, and West Nile virus disease. Analysis of MODIS data provided a standardized method for quantifying the extreme weather anomalies observed during this period. Assessments of land surface conditions from satellite-based systems such as MODIS can be a valuable tool in national, regional, and global weather impact determinations.

  13. Recent Weather Extremes and Impacts on Agricultural Production and Vector-Borne Disease Outbreak Patterns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anyamba, Assaf; Small, Jennifer L.; Britch, Seth C.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pak, Edwin W.; Reynolds, Curt A.; Crutchfield, James; Linthicum, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    We document significant worldwide weather anomalies that affected agriculture and vector-borne disease outbreaks during the 2010-2012 period. We utilized 2000-2012 vegetation index and land surface temperature data from NASA's satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to map the magnitude and extent of these anomalies for diverse regions including the continental United States, Russia, East Africa, Southern Africa, and Australia. We demonstrate that shifts in temperature and/or precipitation have significant impacts on vegetation patterns with attendant consequences for agriculture and public health. Weather extremes resulted in excessive rainfall and flooding as well as severe drought, which caused,10 to 80% variation in major agricultural commodity production (including wheat, corn, cotton, sorghum) and created exceptional conditions for extensive mosquito-borne disease outbreaks of dengue, Rift Valley fever, Murray Valley encephalitis, and West Nile virus disease. Analysis of MODIS data provided a standardized method for quantifying the extreme weather anomalies observed during this period. Assessments of land surface conditions from satellite-based systems such as MODIS can be a valuable tool in national, regional, and global weather impact determinations.

  14. A study of comprehension and use of weather information by various agricultural groups in Wisconsin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, J. L.

    1972-01-01

    An attempt was made to determine whether current techniques are adequate for communicating improved weather forecasts to users. Primary concern was for agricultural users. Efforts were made to learn the preferred source of weather forecasts and the frequency of use. Attempts were also made to measure knowledge of specific terms having to do with weather and comprehension of terms less often used but critical to varying intensities of weather.

  15. [Agricultural biotechnology safety assessment].

    PubMed

    McClain, Scott; Jones, Wendelyn; He, Xiaoyun; Ladics, Gregory; Bartholomaeus, Andrew; Raybould, Alan; Lutter, Petra; Xu, Haibin; Wang, Xue

    2015-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops were first introduced to farmers in 1995 with the intent to provide better crop yield and meet the increasing demand for food and feed. GM crops have evolved to include a thorough safety evaluation for their use in human food and animal feed. Safety considerations begin at the level of DNA whereby the inserted GM DNA is evaluated for its content, position and stability once placed into the crop genome. The safety of the proteins coded by the inserted DNA and potential effects on the crop are considered, and the purpose is to ensure that the transgenic novel proteins are safe from a toxicity, allergy, and environmental perspective. In addition, the grain that provides the processed food or animal feed is also tested to evaluate its nutritional content and identify unintended effects to the plant composition when warranted. To provide a platform for the safety assessment, the GM crop is compared to non-GM comparators in what is typically referred to as composition equivalence testing. New technologies, such as mass spectrometry and well-designed antibody-based methods, allow better analytical measurements of crop composition, including endogenous allergens. Many of the analytical methods and their intended uses are based on regulatory guidance documents, some of which are outlined in globally recognized documents such as Codex Alimentarius. In certain cases, animal models are recommended by some regulatory agencies in specific countries, but there is typically no hypothesis or justification of their use in testing the safety of GM crops. The quality and standardization of testing methods can be supported, in some cases, by employing good laboratory practices (GLP) and is recognized in China as important to ensure quality data. Although the number of recommended, in some cases, required methods for safety testing are increasing in some regulatory agencies, it should be noted that GM crops registered to date have been shown to be

  16. Climatological assessment of recent severe weather events

    SciTech Connect

    Changnon, D.; Changnon, S.A.

    1997-11-01

    A climatological assessment of a series of exceptionally severe and damaging storms during 1991-1994 was pursued to put these events and their frequency and intensity/severity into a temporal perspective. The severe weather events were assessed according to the damage they caused. Insurance-derived measures of property and crop losses due to weather were used in this study; these measures adjust individual storm losses to changing socioeconomic conditions. Two methods were used to assess the events: (1) a comparative analysis of event frequency, losses and intensity with those in the preceding 40 years, and (2) a comparison of temporal variations of the 1949-1994 events with fluctuations in population, cyclonic activity, and temperatures. The results showed that the 1991-1994 property losses ranked high in number and amount of loss. However, storm intensity was found to be higher in the 1950s. The temporal distributions of the catastrophes and crop losses were well related to North American cyclonic activity, and when cyclonic activity, U.S. mean temperatures, and population were combined, they explained 865 of the variability found in the frequency of catastrophes during 1949-1994. The results suggest that, although the severe weather events in 1991-1994 were exceptionally high in frequency and losses, much of the loss was a result of the ever increasing target at risk. 9 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  17. About some aspects of weather related risks in Spanish Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anton, J. M.; Tarquis, A. M.; Grau, J. B.; Saa, A.; Diaz, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    Spain is varied in orography and in climate, and contains different agricultural and forestry systems, in general not rich due mainly to mountains or to aridity, but effective for food products and for a moderate amount of exportations in spite of much uncertain weather, that presents a middle level of possible aggressive effects. The NW or NNW is humid and Atlantic but mountainous, a plateau covers half the surface of the Iberian peninsula, being arid but close to more humid mountains affording the disposal of hydraulic systems including irrigated areas. The levels of rain change much from year to year, and hence agribusinesses have uncertain productions. They are now in an European Agricultural Policy that concerns markets, subventions, and limitations that are lower in 2008 because of low levels of alimentary reserves. Prices compensate sometimes lower production in cases, but are irregular in others such as for potatoes, and in Spain farmers are in general not especially happy with the commerce business that buys products. Meteorological data exist for single regions since about 1855, with dense observatories established after 1947 and with reliable hydraulic data in rivers since 1912. They have put in evidence cycles of 11 years, all quite different. Floods may be aggressive, and for return periods of no more than 100 years simplified methods use rain maps made from data using extreme values law type I schemas where the level of dispersion depends much on region. Special phenomena of "gota fria" or "cold drop" more localized and with much higher dispersion may cause in regions at East rare daily rains of more than 400mm in reduced areas. Some big floods with great return periods of are considered by law catastrophic, meaning that state agencies pay some damages and not insurers, lowering excessive risks for them that otherwise could only be balanced by higher primes and reinsurances. Climate evolved historically, being noticeably colder and with more

  18. Extreme Weather Events and Impacts on Vector-borne Diseases and Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extreme weather events during the period 2010-2012 impacted agriculture and vector-borne disease throughout the world. We evaluated specific weather events with satellite remotely sensed environmental data and evaluated crop production and diseases associated with these events. Significant droughts ...

  19. Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering.

    PubMed

    Robson, T C; Braungardt, C B; Rieuwerts, J; Worsfold, P

    2014-01-01

    The biogeochemistry and bioavailability of cadmium, released during sphalerite weathering in soils, were investigated under contrasting agricultural scenarios to assess health risks associated with sphalerite dust transport to productive soils from mining. Laboratory experiments (365 d) on temperate and sub-tropical soils amended with sphalerite (<63 μm, 0.92 wt.% Cd) showed continuous, slow dissolution (0.6-1.2% y(-1)). Wheat grown in spiked temperate soil accumulated ≈38% (29 μmol kg(-1)) of the liberated Cd, exceeding food safety limits. In contrast, rice grown in flooded sub-tropical soil accumulated far less Cd (0.60 μmol kg(-1)) due to neutral soil pH and Cd bioavailability was possibly also controlled by secondary sulfide formation. The results demonstrate long-term release of Cd to soil porewaters during sphalerite weathering. Under oxic conditions, Cd may be sufficiently bioavailable to contaminate crops destined for human consumption; however flooded rice production limits the impact of sphalerite contamination.

  20. Capturing Weather-related Shocks In Smallholder Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, S.

    2015-12-01

    Rainfed agriculture accounts for 93% of total cultivated area in SSA (FAO, 2002) and smallholder is the predominant form of farm organization (33 million with less than 2 ha, representing 80% of all farms). At the same time, 75% of extreme poor live in rural areas and 90% rely on agriculture. A poor harvest can have significant impact on livelihood and welfare of a household with limited coping mechanisms and little savings.This study aims to shed light on how small farmers are affected by growing conditions in a given season and how well these impacts can be predicted using objective measures derived from time-series of remote-sensing data. We investigate the covariate vs idiosyncratic nature of shocks experienced at the household level, using both community-level and household-level observations. We also test the relative efficiency of different metrics in predicting shocks, acknowledging that both spatial resolution and temporal frequency are likely to be limiting factors in the objective measures. To support this analysis we draw on surveys from the Living Standards Measurement Study Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) project. The LSMS-ISA surveys are georeferenced, multi-topic panel surveys with a strong focus on agriculture, conducted in 7 African countries. We combine the LSMS-ISA data on production and agricultural shocks with objective measures (rainfall deficit/surplus, phenological variables, water requirements satisfaction index) derived from various data sources (CHIRPS, MODIS Land Cover Dynamics, NDVI3g). Objective measures will be considered in both absolute terms as well as deviation from mean in the survey season.

  1. ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTS OF WEATHERIZATION ON RESIDENTIAL RADON LEVELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of an assessment of the effects of weatherization on residential radon levels. For this assessment, time-integrated radon measurements were taken for 30- to 45-day periods both before and after weatherization in 32 Retro-Tech homes, 28 advanced homes, and...

  2. Formative Assessment Probes: Is It Erosion or Weathering?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2016-01-01

    This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. The formative assessment probe in this month's issue can be used as an initial elicitation before students are introduced to the formal concepts of weathering and erosion.

  3. Recent weather extremes and impact agricultural production and vector-borne disease patterns

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We document significant worldwide weather anomalies that affected agriculture and vector-borne disease outbreaks during the 2010-2012 period. We utilized 2000-2012 vegetation index and land surface temperature data from NASA’s satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to ...

  4. Effect of Weather on Agricultural Futures Markets on the Basis of DCCA Cross-Correlation Coefficient Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Guangxi; He, Cuiting; Xu, Wei

    2016-03-01

    This study investigates the correlation between weather and agricultural futures markets on the basis of detrended cross-correlation analysis (DCCA) cross-correlation coefficients and q-dependent cross-correlation coefficients. In addition, detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) is used to measure extreme weather and thus analyze further the effect of this condition on agricultural futures markets. Cross-correlation exists between weather and agricultural futures markets on certain time scales. There are some correlations between temperature and soybean return associated with medium amplitudes. Under extreme weather conditions, weather exerts different influences on different agricultural products; for instance, soybean return is greatly influenced by temperature, and weather variables exhibit no effect on corn return. Based on the detrending moving-average cross-correlation analysis (DMCA) coefficient and DFA regression results are similar to that of DCCA coefficient.

  5. Weather.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruth, Amy, Ed.

    1996-01-01

    This theme issue of "The Goldfinch" focuses on weather in Iowa and weather lore. The bulletin contains historical articles, fiction, activities, and maps. The table of contents lists: (1) "Wild Rosie's Map"; (2) "History Mystery"; (3) "Iowa's Weather History"; (4) "Weather Wonders"; (6)…

  6. National Weatherization Assistance Program Evaluation: Assessment of Refrigerator Energy Use

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, Bruce Edward; Goeltz, Rick

    2015-03-01

    This report assesses the energy consumption characteristics and performance of refrigerators that were monintored as a component of the Indoor Air Quality Study that itself was a component of the retrospective evaluation of the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program.

  7. Assessment of the chestnut production weather dependence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Mário; Caramelo, Liliana; Gouveia, Célia; Gomes-Laranjo, José

    2010-05-01

    The vegetative cycle of chestnut trees is highly dependent on weather. Photosynthesis and pollen germination are mainly conditioned by the air temperature while heavy precipitation and strong wind have significant impacts during the flushing phase period (Gomes-Laranjo et al., 2005, 2006). In Portugal, chestnut tree orchads are located in mountainous areas of the Northeast region of Trás-os-Montes, between 600 and 1000 m of altitude. Topography controls the atmospheric environment and assures adequate conditions for the chestnut production. In the above mentioned context, remote sensing plays an important role because of its ability to monitor and characterise vegetation dynamics. A number of studies, based on remote sensing, have been conducted in Europe to analyse the year-to-year variations in European vegetation greenness as a function of precipitation and temperature (Gouveia et al., 2008). A previous study focusing on the relationship between meteorological variables and chestnut productivity provides indication that simulation models may benefit from the incorporation of such kind of relationships. The aim of the present work is to provide a detailed description of recent developments, in particular of the added value that may be brought by using satellite data. We have relied on regional fields of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset, at 8-km resolution, provided by the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modelling System (GIMMS) group. The data are derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR), and cover the period from 1982 to 2006. Additionally we have used the chestnut productivity dataset, which includes the annual values of chestnut production and area of production provided by INE, the National Institute of Statistics of Portugal and the meteorological dataset which includes values of several variables from different providers (Meteorod, NCEP/NCAR, ECA&D and national Meteorological Institute). Results show that

  8. Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortner, S. K.; Lyons, W. B.; Carey, A. E.; Shipitalo, M. J.; Welch, S. A.; Welch, K. A.

    2012-03-01

    Myriad studies have shown the extent of human alteration to global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is only a limited understanding of the influence that humans have over silicate weathering fluxes; fluxes that have regulated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global climate over geologic timescales. Natural landscapes have been reshaped into agricultural ones to meet food needs for growing world populations. These processes modify soil properties, alter hydrology, affect erosion, and consequently impact water-soil-rock interactions such as chemical weathering. Dissolved silica (DSi), Ca2+, Mg2+, NO3-, and total alkalinity were measured in water samples collected from five small (0.0065 to 0.383 km2) gauged watersheds at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) near Coshocton, Ohio, USA. The sampled watersheds in this unglaciated region include: a forested site (70+ year stand), mixed agricultural use (corn, forest, pasture), an unimproved pasture, tilled corn, and a recently (<3 yr) converted no-till corn field. The first three watersheds had perennial streams, but the two corn watersheds only produced runoff during storms and snowmelt. For the perennial streams, total discharge was an important control of dissolved silicate transport. Median DSi yields (2210-3080 kg km-2 yr-1) were similar to the median of annual averages between 1979-2009 for the much larger Ohio-Tennessee River Basin (2560 kg km-2 yr-1). Corn watersheds, which only had surface runoff, had substantially lower DSi yields (<530 kg km-2 yr-1) than the perennial-flow watersheds. The lack of contributions from Si-enriched groundwater largely explained their much lower DSi yields with respect to sites having baseflow. A significant positive correlation between the molar ratio of (Ca2++Mg2+)/alkalinity to DSi in the tilled corn and the forested site suggested, however, that silicate minerals weathered as alkalinity was lost via enhanced nitrification resulting from fertilizer

  9. Assessing Weather-Yield Relationships in Rice at Local Scale Using Data Mining Approaches.

    PubMed

    Delerce, Sylvain; Dorado, Hugo; Grillon, Alexandre; Rebolledo, Maria Camila; Prager, Steven D; Patiño, Victor Hugo; Garcés Varón, Gabriel; Jiménez, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal and inter-annual climate variability have become important issues for farmers, and climate change has been shown to increase them. Simultaneously farmers and agricultural organizations are increasingly collecting observational data about in situ crop performance. Agriculture thus needs new tools to cope with changing environmental conditions and to take advantage of these data. Data mining techniques make it possible to extract embedded knowledge associated with farmer experiences from these large observational datasets in order to identify best practices for adapting to climate variability. We introduce new approaches through a case study on irrigated and rainfed rice in Colombia. Preexisting observational datasets of commercial harvest records were combined with in situ daily weather series. Using Conditional Inference Forest and clustering techniques, we assessed the relationships between climatic factors and crop yield variability at the local scale for specific cultivars and growth stages. The analysis showed clear relationships in the various location-cultivar combinations, with climatic factors explaining 6 to 46% of spatiotemporal variability in yield, and with crop responses to weather being non-linear and cultivar-specific. Climatic factors affected cultivars differently during each stage of development. For instance, one cultivar was affected by high nighttime temperatures in the reproductive stage but responded positively to accumulated solar radiation during the ripening stage. Another was affected by high nighttime temperatures during both the vegetative and reproductive stages. Clustering of the weather patterns corresponding to individual cropping events revealed different groups of weather patterns for irrigated and rainfed systems with contrasting yield levels. Best-suited cultivars were identified for some weather patterns, making weather-site-specific recommendations possible. This study illustrates the potential of data mining for

  10. Assessing Weather-Yield Relationships in Rice at Local Scale Using Data Mining Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Delerce, Sylvain; Dorado, Hugo; Grillon, Alexandre; Rebolledo, Maria Camila; Prager, Steven D.; Patiño, Victor Hugo; Garcés Varón, Gabriel; Jiménez, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Seasonal and inter-annual climate variability have become important issues for farmers, and climate change has been shown to increase them. Simultaneously farmers and agricultural organizations are increasingly collecting observational data about in situ crop performance. Agriculture thus needs new tools to cope with changing environmental conditions and to take advantage of these data. Data mining techniques make it possible to extract embedded knowledge associated with farmer experiences from these large observational datasets in order to identify best practices for adapting to climate variability. We introduce new approaches through a case study on irrigated and rainfed rice in Colombia. Preexisting observational datasets of commercial harvest records were combined with in situ daily weather series. Using Conditional Inference Forest and clustering techniques, we assessed the relationships between climatic factors and crop yield variability at the local scale for specific cultivars and growth stages. The analysis showed clear relationships in the various location-cultivar combinations, with climatic factors explaining 6 to 46% of spatiotemporal variability in yield, and with crop responses to weather being non-linear and cultivar-specific. Climatic factors affected cultivars differently during each stage of development. For instance, one cultivar was affected by high nighttime temperatures in the reproductive stage but responded positively to accumulated solar radiation during the ripening stage. Another was affected by high nighttime temperatures during both the vegetative and reproductive stages. Clustering of the weather patterns corresponding to individual cropping events revealed different groups of weather patterns for irrigated and rainfed systems with contrasting yield levels. Best-suited cultivars were identified for some weather patterns, making weather-site-specific recommendations possible. This study illustrates the potential of data mining for

  11. Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortner, S. K.; Lyons, W. B.; Carey, A. E.; Shipitalo, M. J.; Welch, S. A.; Welch, K. A.

    2011-09-01

    Myriad studies have shown the extent of human alteration to global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is only a limited understanding of the influence that humans have over silicate weathering fluxes; fluxes that have regulated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global climate over geologic timescales. Natural landscapes have been reshaped into agricultural ones to meet food needs for growing world populations. These processes modify soil properties, alter hydrology, affect erosion, and consequently impact water-soil-rock interactions such as chemical weathering. Dissolved silica (DSi), Ca2+, Mg2+, NO3-, and total alkalinity were measured in water samples collected from five small (0.65 to 38.3 ha) gauged watersheds at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) near Coshocton, Ohio, USA. The sampled watersheds in this unglaciated region include: a forested site (70+ yr stand), mixed agricultural use (corn, forest, pasture), an unimproved pasture, tilled corn, and a recently (<3 yr) converted no-till corn field. The first three watersheds had perennial streams, but the two corn watersheds only produced runoff during storms and snowmelt. For the perennial streams, total discharge was an important control of dissolved silicate transport. Median DSi yields (22.1-30.8 kg ha-1 a-1) were similar to the median of annual averages between 1979-2009 for the much larger Ohio-Tennessee River Basin (25.6 kg ha-1 a-1). Corn watersheds, which only had surface runoff, had substantially lower DSi yields (<5.3 kg ha-1 a-1) than the perennial-flow watersheds. The lack of contributions from Si-enriched groundwater largely explained their much lower DSi yields with respect to sites having baseflow. A significant positive correlation between the molar ratio of (Ca2+ + Mg2)/alkalinity to DSi in the tilled corn and the forested site suggested, however, that silicate minerals weathered as alkalinity was lost via enhanced nitrification resulting from fertilizer additions

  12. Climate change mitigation: potential benefits and pitfalls of enhanced rock weathering in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David P; Lim, Felix; James, Rachael H; Pearce, Christopher R; Scholes, Julie; Freckleton, Robert P; Beerling, David J

    2017-04-01

    Restricting future global temperature increase to 2°C or less requires the adoption of negative emissions technologies for carbon capture and storage. We review the potential for deployment of enhanced weathering (EW), via the application of crushed reactive silicate rocks (such as basalt), on over 680 million hectares of tropical agricultural and tree plantations to offset fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Warm tropical climates and productive crops will substantially enhance weathering rates, with potential co-benefits including decreased soil acidification and increased phosphorus supply promoting higher crop yields sparing forest for conservation, and reduced cultural eutrophication. Potential pitfalls include the impacts of mining operations on deforestation, producing the energy to crush and transport silicates and the erosion of silicates into rivers and coral reefs that increases inorganic turbidity, sedimentation and pH, with unknown impacts for biodiversity. We identify nine priority research areas for untapping the potential of EW in the tropics, including effectiveness of tropical agriculture at EW for major crops in relation to particle sizes and soil types, impacts on human health, and effects on farmland, adjacent forest and stream-water biodiversity.

  13. The National Eclipse Weather Experiment: an assessment of citizen scientist weather observations

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx) was a citizen science project designed to assess the effects of the 20 March 2015 partial solar eclipse on the weather over the United Kingdom (UK). NEWEx had two principal objectives: to provide a spatial network of meteorological observations across the UK to aid the investigation of eclipse-induced weather changes, and to develop a nationwide public engagement activity-based participation of citizen scientists. In total, NEWEx collected 15 606 observations of air temperature, cloudiness and wind speed and direction from 309 locations across the UK, over a 3 h window spanning the eclipse period. The headline results were processed in near real time, immediately published online, and featured in UK national press articles on the day of the eclipse. Here, we describe the technical development of NEWEx and how the observations provided by the citizen scientists were analysed. By comparing the results of the NEWEx analyses with results from other investigations of the same eclipse using different observational networks, including measurements from the University of Reading’s Atmospheric Observatory, we demonstrate that NEWEx provided a fair representation of the change in the UK meteorological conditions throughout the eclipse. Despite the simplicity of the approach adopted, robust reductions in both temperature and wind speed during the eclipse were observed. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse’. PMID:27550767

  14. The National Eclipse Weather Experiment: an assessment of citizen scientist weather observations.

    PubMed

    Barnard, L; Portas, A M; Gray, S L; Harrison, R G

    2016-09-28

    The National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx) was a citizen science project designed to assess the effects of the 20 March 2015 partial solar eclipse on the weather over the United Kingdom (UK). NEWEx had two principal objectives: to provide a spatial network of meteorological observations across the UK to aid the investigation of eclipse-induced weather changes, and to develop a nationwide public engagement activity-based participation of citizen scientists. In total, NEWEx collected 15 606 observations of air temperature, cloudiness and wind speed and direction from 309 locations across the UK, over a 3 h window spanning the eclipse period. The headline results were processed in near real time, immediately published online, and featured in UK national press articles on the day of the eclipse. Here, we describe the technical development of NEWEx and how the observations provided by the citizen scientists were analysed. By comparing the results of the NEWEx analyses with results from other investigations of the same eclipse using different observational networks, including measurements from the University of Reading's Atmospheric Observatory, we demonstrate that NEWEx provided a fair representation of the change in the UK meteorological conditions throughout the eclipse. Despite the simplicity of the approach adopted, robust reductions in both temperature and wind speed during the eclipse were observed.This article is part of the themed issue 'Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse'.

  15. A simple method for assessing available weather data quality for site specific nutrient management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuka, D. R.; Collick, A.; Kleinman, P. J. A.; Sommerlot, A.; Easton, Z. M.

    2014-12-01

    Phosphorous (P) Indices are an assessment tool used to identifying agricultural fields most vulnerable to P losses. In the two decades since its introduction, the P Indexing concept has evolved, and there are now P Indices that serve as Best Management Practice (BMP) selection and targeting. While the use of observed P loss data under various management scenarios is the ideal way to assess the accuracy of the P Indices, water quality data, particularly at the field scale, are not widely available and can require years of costly field research to generate. In place of in-situ water quality measurements, the use of locally relevant and corroborated water quality models is a more expedient option to conduct index assessments in the short time required for new standards. The input forcing data required by these models include precipitation and temperature. Unfortunately obtaining representative meteorological data for watershed-scale hydrological modelling can be difficult and time consuming. Land-based weather stations do not always adequately represent the weather occurring over a watershed because they can be far from the watershed of interest and can have gaps in their data series, or recent data are not available. Fuka et al. (2013) has shown that readily available short term forecasting data can match the accuracy of using traditional weather gauging stations, especially when the closest stations are more than 10km from the watershed. In this study we demonstrate a methodology to ascertain the most representative openly accessible weather forcing data for running water quality models in any location in the US. For this P-Index assessment, nine representative project watersheds from the three regional consortiums--Heartland, Chesapeake Bay, and Southern Regions--are used to demonstrate this method of determining what is the most representative weather forcing data for any location within the regions.

  16. Communicating Climate Change - Weather Forecast Need Assessment and Information Dissemination Mechanism to Farmers in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panthi, J., Sr.

    2014-12-01

    Climate Change is becoming one of the major threats to the fragile Himalayan ecosystem. It is affecting all sectors mainly fresh water, agriculture, forest, biodiversity and species. The subsistence agriculture system of Nepal is mainly rain-fed; therefore, climate change and climate extremes do have direct impacts on it. Weather extremes like droughts, floods and landslides long-lasting fog, hot and cold waves are affecting the agriculture sectors of Nepal. As human-induced climate change has already showing its impacts and it is going to be there for a long time to come, it is paramount importance to move towards the adaptation. Early warning system is an effective way for reducing the impacts of disasters. Forecasting of weather parameters (temperature, precipitation, and wind) helps farmers for their preparedness activities. With consultation with farmers and other relevant institutions, a research project was carried out, for the first time in Nepal, to identify the forecast information need to farmers and their dissemination mechanism. Community consultation workshops, key informant survey, and field observations were the techniques used for this research. Two ecological locations: Bageshwori VDC in Banke (plain) and Dhaibung VDC in Rasuwa (mountain) were taken as the pilot sites for this assessment. People in both the districts are dependent highly on agriculture and the weather extremes like hailstone, untimely rainfall; droughts are affecting their agriculture practices. They do not have confidence in the weather forecast information disseminated by the government of Nepal currently being done because it is a general forecast not done for a smaller domain and the forecast is valid only for 24 hours. The weather forecast need to the farmers in both the sites are: rainfall (intensity, duration and time), drought, and hailstone but in Banke, people wished to have the information of heat and cold waves too as they are affecting their wheat and tomato crops

  17. Stable carbon isotope evidence for nitrogenous fertilizer impact on carbonate weathering in a small agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Brunet, F; Potot, C; Probst, A; Probst, J-L

    2011-10-15

    The isotopic signature of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC), δ(13)C(DIC), has been investigated in the surface waters of a small agricultural catchment on calcareous substratum, Montoussé, located at Auradé (south-west France). The Montoussé catchment is subjected to intense farming (wheat/sunflower rotation) and a moderated application of nitrogenous fertilizers. During the nitrification of the NH(4)(+), supplied by fertilization, nitrate and H(+) ions are produced in the soil. This anthropogenic acidity is combined with the natural acidity due to carbonic acid in weathering processes. From an isotopic point of view, with 'natural weathering', using carbonic acid, δ(13)C(DIC) is intermediate between the δ(13)C of soil CO(2) produced by organic matter oxidation and that of the carbonate rocks, while it has the same value as the carbonates when carbonic acid is substituted by another acid like nitric acid derived from nitrogen fertilizer. The δ(13)C(DIC) values range from -17.1‰ to -10.7‰ in Montoussé stream waters. We also measured the δ(13)C of calcareous molassic deposits (average -7.9‰) and of soil organic carbon (between -24.1‰ and -26‰) to identify the different sources of DIC and to estimate their contribution. The δ(13) C(DIC) value indicates that weathering largely follows the carbonic acid pathway at the springs (sources of the stream). At the outlet of the basin, H(+) ions, produced during the nitrification of N-fertilizer, also contribute to weathering, especially during flood events. This result is illustrated by the relationship between δ(13)C(DIC) and the molar ratio NO(3)(-)/(Ca(2+) + Mg(2+)). Consequently, when the contribution of nitrate increases, the δ(13)C(DIC) increases towards the calcareous end-member. This new isotopic result provides evidence for the direct influence of nitrogen fertilizer inputs on weathering, CO(2) consumption and base cation leaching and confirms previous results obtained using the chemistry of the

  18. Extreme Weather Risk Assessment: The Case of Jiquilisco, El Salvador

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melendez, Karla; Ceppi, Claudia; Molero, Juanjo; Rios Insua, David

    2014-05-01

    All major climate models predict increases in both global and regional mean temperatures throughout this century, under different scenarios concerning future trends in population growth or economic and technological development. This consistency of results across models has strengthened the evidence about global warming. Despite the convincing facts and findings of climate researchers, there is still a great deal of skepticism around climate change. There is somewhat less consensus about some of the consequences of climate change, for example in reference to extreme weather changes, in particular as regards more local scales. However, such changes seem to have already considerable impact in many regions across the world in terms of lives, economic losses, and required changes in lifestyles. This may demand appropriate policy responses both at national and local levels. Our work provides a framework for extreme weather multithreat risk management, based on probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). This may be useful in comparing the effectiveness of different actions to manage risks and inform judgment concerning the appropriate resource allocation to mitigate the risks. The methodology has been applied to the case study of the "El Marillo II" community, located in the municipality of Jiquilisco in El Salvador. There, the main problem related with extreme weather conditions are the frequent floods caused by rainfall, hurricanes , and water increases in the Lempa river nearby located. However, droughts are also very relevant. Based on several sources like SNET, newspapers, field visits to the region and interviews, we have built a detailed database that comprises extreme weather daily data from January 1971 until December 2011. Forecasting models for floods and droughts were built suggesting the need to properly manage the risks. We subsequently obtained the optimal portfolio of countermeasures, given the budget constraints. KEYWORDS: CLIMATE CHANGE, EXTREME WEATHER, RISK

  19. Sea State and Weather Assessment Capability for NASA's Constellation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barbre, B. J.; Keller, V. W.

    2008-01-01

    Marine weather and related parameters such as wind, ocean wave height and period, air temperature, sea surface temperature, visibility, and potential for icing are critical to the design, operation, and safety of crewed space vehicles. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Constellation Program requires detailed assessment of marine weather related parameters that may be encountered during launch, abort, landing, and crew rescue operations for the crewed Ares/Orion space vehicles. This information is required for both space vehicle design and operational purposes. The space vehicles must be designed such that they can withstand the environment they are likely to encounter. The crewed Ares/Orion space vehicles will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida for both International Space Station (ISS) missions with 51.6 o inclination orbits and lunar missions with approximately 28 inclination orbits. Since both missions will fly over the Atlantic Ocean on ascent to orbit and will fly over the Pacific Ocean on descent from orbit, an unlikely but possible emergency abort could require parachuting the Orion capsule and crew into the ocean. This situation could potentially put the crew in an isolated and hazardous environment for several hours while they await rescue. Therefore, abort, landing, and crew rescue elements of the Constellation Program must address weather related parameters on a global scale. This paper describes buoy measurement data, sea surface temperature satellite data, and sea state computer model data that are being utilized by the Constellation Program to address these design and operational issues.

  20. A Century of Monitoring Weather and Crops: The Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heddinghaus, Thomas R.; Le Comte, Douglas M.

    1992-02-01

    Publication of a national weekly weather summary called the Weekly Weather Chronicle began in 1872. This summary was the precursor of today's Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WWCB), a publication that reports global weather and climate conditions relevant to agricultural interests, as well as current national activities and assessments of crop and livestock conditions. The WWCB is produced by the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF), a world agricultural weather information center located in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., and jointly staffed by units of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climats. Analysis Center and USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board and National Agricultural Statistics Service. Besides featuring charts and tables (e.g., temperature and precipitation maps and crop progress and condition tables), the WWCB contains summaries and special stories highlighting significant weather events affecting agriculture, such as droughts, torrential rains, floods, unusual warmth, heat waves, severe freezes, heavy snowfall, blizzards, damaging storms, and hurricanes.

  1. Assessments of Total Lightning Data Utility in Weather Forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buechler, Dennis E.; Goodman, Steve; LaCasse, Katherine; Blakeslee, Richard; Darden, Chris

    2005-01-01

    National Weather Service forecasters in Huntsville, Alabama have had access to total lightning data from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) since 2003. Forecasters can monitor real-time total lightning observations on their AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) workstations. The lightning data is used to supplement other observations such as radar and satellite data. The lightning data is updated every 2 min, providing more timely evidence of storm growth or decay than is available from 5 min radar scans. Total lightning observations have been used to positively impact warning decisions in a number of instances. A number of approaches are being pursued to assess the usefulness of total lightning measurements to the operational forecasting community in the warning decision process. These approaches, which include both qualitative and quantitative assessment methods, will be discussed. submitted to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Conference on Meteorological Applications of Lightning Data to be held in San Diego, CA January 9-13,2005. This will be a presentation and an extended abstract will be published on a CD available from the AMS.

  2. Assessment of bird response to the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative using weather-surveillance radar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sieges, Mason L.; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Randall, Lori A.; Buler, Jeffrey J.

    2014-01-01

    In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in spring 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service implemented the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) to provide temporary wetland habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and other birds along the northern Gulf of Mexico via managed flooding of agricultural lands. We used weather-surveillance radar to conduct broad regional assessments of bird response to MBHI activities within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Across both regions, birds responded positively to MBHI management by exhibiting greater relative bird densities within sites relative to pre-management conditions in prior years and relative to surrounding non-flooded agricultural lands. Bird density at MBHI sites was generally greatest during winter for both regions. Unusually high flooding in the years prior to implementation of the MBHI confounded detection of overall changes in remotely sensed soil wetness across sites. The magnitude of bird response at MBHI sites compared to prior years and to non-flooded agricultural lands was generally related to the surrounding landscape context: proximity to areas of high bird density, amount of forested wetlands, emergent marsh, non-flooded agriculture, or permanent open water. However, these relationships varied in strength and direction between regions and seasons, a finding which we attribute to differences in seasonal bird composition and broad regional differences in landscape configuration and composition. We detected greater increases in relative bird use at sites in closer proximity to areas of high bird density during winter in both regions. Additionally, bird density was greater during winter at sites with more emergent marsh in the surrounding landscape. Thus, bird use of managed wetlands could be maximized by enrolling lands located near areas of known bird concentration and within a mosaic of existing wetlands. Weather-radar observations

  3. Projections of Future Summer Weather in Seoul and Their Impacts on Urban Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S. O.; Kim, J. H.; Yun, J. I.

    2015-12-01

    Climate departure from the past variability was projected to start in 2042 for Seoul. In order to understand the implication of climate departure in Seoul for urban agriculture, we evaluated the daily temperature for the June-September period from 2041 to 2070, which were projected by the RCP8.5 climate scenario. These data were analyzed with respect to climate extremes and their effects on growth of hot pepper (Capsicum annuum), one of the major crops in urban farming. The mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures in 2041-2070 approached to the 90th percentile in the past 30 years (1951- 1980). However, the frequency of extreme events such as heat waves and tropical nights appeared to exceed the past variability. While the departure of mean temperature might begin in or after 2040, the climate departure in the sense of extreme weather events seems already in progress. When the climate scenario data were applied to the growth and development of hot pepper, the departures of both planting date and harvest date are expected to follow those of temperature. However, the maximum duration for hot pepper cultivation, which is the number of days between the first planting and the last harvest, seems to have already deviated from the past variability.

  4. Fuel ethanol and agriculture: an economic assessment. Agricultural economic report

    SciTech Connect

    Grinnell, G.; Gavett, E.

    1986-08-01

    Increased fuel ethanol production through 1995 would raise net farm income, benefiting mainly corn and livestock producers. Production of additional byproduct feeds would depress the price of soybeans. Large ethanol subsidies, which are required to sustain the industry, would offset any savings in agricultural commodity programs. Increased ethanol production would also raise consumer expenditures for food. Any benefits of higher income to farmers would be more than offset by increased Government costs and consumer food expenditures. Direct cash payments to farmers would be more economical than attempting to boost farm income through ethanol subsidies.

  5. Assessment of weather-related risk on chestnut productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, M. G.; Caramelo, L.; Gouveia, C.; Gomes-Laranjo, J.; Magalhães, M.

    2011-10-01

    Due to its economic and nutritional value, the world production of chestnuts is increasing as new stands are being planted in various regions of the world. This work focuses on the relation between weather and annual chestnut production to model the role of weather, to assess the impacts of climate change and to identify appropriate locations for new groves. The exploratory analysis of chestnut production time series and the striking increase of production area have motivated the use for chestnut productivity. A large set of meteorological variables and remote sensing indices were computed and their role on chestnut productivity evaluated with composite and correlation analyses. These results allow for the identification of the variables cluster with a high correlation and impact on chestnut production. Then, different selection methods were used to develop multiple regression models able to explain a considerable fraction of productivity variance: (i) a simulation model (R2-value = 87%) based on the winter and summer temperature and on spring and summer precipitation variables; and, (ii) a model to predict yearly chestnut productivity (R2-value of 63%) with five months in advance, combining meteorological variables and NDVI. Goodness of fit statistic, cross validation and residual analysis demonstrate the model's quality, usefulness and consistency of obtained results.

  6. Fire danger assessment using ECMWF weather prediction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Giuseppe, Francesca; Pappemberger, Florian; Wetterhall, Fredrik

    2015-04-01

    Weather plays a major role in the birth, growth and death of a wildfire wherever there is availability of combustible vegetation and suitable terrain topography. Prolonged dry periods creates favourable conditions for ignitions, wind can then increase the fire spread, while higher relative humidity, and precipitation (rain or snow) may decrease or extinguish it altogether. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), started in 2011 under the lead of the European Joint Research Centre (JRC) to monitor and forecast fire danger and fire behaviour in Europe. In 2012 a collaboration with the European Centre for Medium range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) was established to explore the potential of using state of the art weather forecast systems as driving forcing for the calculations of fire risk indices. From this collaboration in 2013 the EC-fire system was born. It implements the three most commonly used fire danger rating systems (NFDRS, FWI and MARK-5) and it is both initialised and forced by gridded atmospheric fields provided either by ECMWF re-analysis or ECMWF ensemble prediction systems. For consistency invariant fields (i.e fuel maps, vegetation cover, topogarphy) and real-time weather information are all provided on the same grid. Similarly global climatological vegetation stage conditions for each day of the year are provided by remote satellite observations. These climatological static maps substitute the traditional man judgement in an effort to create an automated procedure that can work in places where local observations are not available. The system has been in operation for the last year providing an ensemble of daily forecasts for fire indices with lead-times up to 10 days over Europe and Globally. An important part of the system is provided by its (re)-analysis dataset obtained by using the (re)-analysis forcings as drivers to calculate the fire risk indices. This is a crucial part of the whole chain since these fields are used to establish the

  7. GIM-TEC adaptive ionospheric weather assessment and forecast system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulyaeva, T. L.; Arikan, F.; Hernandez-Pajares, M.; Stanislawska, I.

    2013-09-01

    The Ionospheric Weather Assessment and Forecast (IWAF) system is a computer software package designed to assess and predict the world-wide representation of 3-D electron density profiles from the Global Ionospheric Maps of Total Electron Content (GIM-TEC). The unique system products include daily-hourly numerical global maps of the F2 layer critical frequency (foF2) and the peak height (hmF2) generated with the International Reference Ionosphere extended to the plasmasphere, IRI-Plas, upgraded by importing the daily-hourly GIM-TEC as a new model driving parameter. Since GIM-TEC maps are provided with 1- or 2-days latency, the global maps forecast for 1 day and 2 days ahead are derived using an harmonic analysis applied to the temporal changes of TEC, foF2 and hmF2 at 5112 grid points of a map encapsulated in IONEX format (-87.5°:2.5°:87.5°N in latitude, -180°:5°:180°E in longitude). The system provides online the ionospheric disturbance warnings in the global W-index map establishing categories of the ionospheric weather from the quiet state (W=±1) to intense storm (W=±4) according to the thresholds set for instant TEC perturbations regarding quiet reference median for the preceding 7 days. The accuracy of IWAF system predictions of TEC, foF2 and hmF2 maps is superior to the standard persistence model with prediction equal to the most recent ‘true’ map. The paper presents outcomes of the new service expressed by the global ionospheric foF2, hmF2 and W-index maps demonstrating the process of origin and propagation of positive and negative ionosphere disturbances in space and time and their forecast under different scenarios.

  8. Assessing the weather monitoring capabilities of cellular microwave link networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fencl, Martin; Vrzba, Miroslav; Rieckermann, Jörg; Bareš, Vojtěch

    2016-04-01

    Using of microwave links for rainfall monitoring was suggested already by (Atlas and Ulbrich, 1977). However, this technique attracted broader attention of scientific community only in the recent decade, with the extensive growth of cellular microwave link (CML) networks, which form the backbone of today's cellular telecommunication infrastructure. Several studies have already shown that CMLs can be conveniently used as weather sensors and have potential to provide near-ground path-integrated observations of rainfall but also humidity or fog. However, although research is still focusing on algorithms to improve the weather sensing capabilities (Fencl et al., 2015), it is not clear how to convince cellular operators to provide the power levels of their network. One step in this direction is to show in which regions or municipalities the networks are sufficiently dense to provide/develop good services. In this contribution we suggest a standardized approach to evaluate CML networks in terms of rainfall observation and to identify suitable regions for CML rainfall monitoring. We estimate precision of single CML based on its sensitivity to rainfall, i.e. as a function of frequency, polarization and path length. Capability of a network to capture rainfall spatial patterns is estimated from the CML coverage and path lengths considering that single CML provides path-integrated rain rates. We also search for suitable predictors for regions where no network topologies are available. We test our approach on several European networks and discuss the results. Our results show that CMLs are very dense in urban areas (> 1 CML/km2), but less in rural areas (< 0.02 CML/km2). We found a strong correlation between a population and CML network density (e.g. R2 = 0.97 in Czech Republic), thus population could be a simple proxy to identify suitable regions for CML weather monitoring. To enable a simple and efficient assessment of the CML monitoring potential for any region worldwide

  9. An end-to-end assessment of extreme weather impacts on food security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, Erik; Conway, Gordon; Ghil, Michael; Sadler, Marc

    2015-11-01

    Both governments and the private sector urgently require better estimates of the likely incidence of extreme weather events, their impacts on food crop production and the potential consequent social and economic losses. Current assessments of climate change impacts on agriculture mostly focus on average crop yield vulnerability to climate and adaptation scenarios. Also, although new-generation climate models have improved and there has been an exponential increase in available data, the uncertainties in their projections over years and decades, and at regional and local scale, have not decreased. We need to understand and quantify the non-stationary, annual and decadal climate impacts using simple and communicable risk metrics that will help public and private stakeholders manage the hazards to food security. Here we present an `end-to-end’ methodological construct based on weather indices and machine learning that integrates current understanding of the various interacting systems of climate, crops and the economy to determine short- to long-term risk estimates of crop production loss, in different climate and adaptation scenarios. For provinces north and south of the Yangtze River in China, we have found that risk profiles for crop yields that translate climate into economic variability follow marked regional patterns, shaped by drivers of continental-scale climate. We conclude that to be cost-effective, region-specific policies have to be tailored to optimally combine different categories of risk management instruments.

  10. Long-term manure application effects on phosphorus speciation, kinetics and distribution in highly weathered agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Abdala, Dalton Belchior; da Silva, Ivo Ribeiro; Vergütz, Leonardus; Sparks, Donald Lewis

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) K-edge XANES and Fe K-edge EXAFS spectroscopies along with sequential P chemical fractionation and desorption kinetics experiments, were employed to provide micro- and macro-scale information on the long-term fate of manure application on the solid-state speciation, kinetics and distribution of P in highly weathered agricultural soils of southern Brazil. Soil test P values ranged from 7.3 up to 16.5 times as much higher than the reference soil. A sharp increase in amorphous Fe and Al amounts were observed as an effect of the consecutive application of manures. Whereas our results showed that the P sorption capacity of some manured soils was not significantly affected, P risk assessment indices indicated that P losses should be expected, likely due to the excessive manure rates applied to the soils. The much higher contents of amorphous Fe and Al (hydr)oxides (55% and 80% increase with respect to the reference soil, respectively) in manured soils seem to have counterbalanced the inhibiting effect of soil organic matter on P sorption by creating additional P sorption sites. Accordingly, the newly created P sorbing surfaces were important to prevent an even larger P loss potential. Phosphorus K-edge XANES lent complimentary hints on the loss of crystallinity and transformation of originally present Fe-P minerals into poorly crystalline ones as an effect of manuring, whereas Fe K-edge EXAFS provided insights into the structural changes underwent in the soils upon manure application and soil management.

  11. Multifunctionality assessment of urban agriculture in Beijing City, China.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jian; Liu, Zhicong; Liu, Yanxu; Hu, Xiaoxu; Wang, An

    2015-12-15

    As an important approach to the realization of agricultural sustainable development, multifunctionality has become a hot spot in the field of urban agriculture. Taking 13 agricultural counties of Beijing City as the assessing units, this study selects 10 assessing index from ecological, economic and social aspects, determines the index weight using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, and establishes an index system for the integrated agricultural function. Based on standardized data from agricultural census and remote sensing, the integrated function and multifunctionality of urban agriculture in Beijing City are assessed through the index grade mapping. The results show that agricultural counties with the highest score in ecological, economic, and social function are Yanqing, Changping, and Miyun, respectively; and the greatest disparity among those counties is economic function, followed by social and ecological function. Topography and human disturbance may be the factors that affect integrated agricultural function. The integrated agricultural function of Beijing rises at the beginning then drops later with the increase of mean slope, average altitude, and distance from the city. The whole city behaves balance among ecological, economic, and social functions at the macro level, with 8 out of the 13 counties belonging to ecology-society-economy balanced areas, while no county is dominant in only one of the three functions. On the micro scale, however, different counties have their own functional inclination: Miyun, Yanqing, Mentougou, and Fengtai are ecology-society dominant, and Tongzhou is ecology-economy dominant. The agricultural multifunctionality in Beijing City declines from the north to the south, with Pinggu having the most significant agricultural multifunctionality. The results match up well with the objective condition of Beijing's urban agriculture planning, which has proved the methodological rationality of the assessment to a certain extent.

  12. POLLUTION PREVENTION OPPORTUNITY ASSESSMENT - USDA BELTSVILLE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER

    EPA Science Inventory

    A pollution prevention opportunity assessment (PPOA) was performed during the spring of 1991 which identified areas for waste reduction at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Beltsville, Maryland. he areas selected for this joint E...

  13. Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption within agricultural landscapes, the Ohio-Tennessee River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Myriad studies have shown the extent of human alteration to global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, there is only a limited understanding of the influence that humans have over silicate weathering fluxes; fluxes that have regulated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global climate over geologi...

  14. The potential benefit of improving the dissemination of agricultural weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priddy, K. T.; Marlatt, W. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The potential benefit of improved dissemination of weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer was estimated at $36,000 per 1000 acres. This is 16% of production cost of cotton in 1976. On a statewide basis, the total potential savings exceeds 100 million dollars.

  15. Assessment of climate change impact on Eastern Washington agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An assessment of the potential impact of climate change and the concurrent increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration on eastern Washington State agriculture was conducted. Climate projections from four selected general circulation models (GCM) were chosen, and the assessment included the crops with ...

  16. HARVIST: a system for agricultural and weather studies using advanced statistical methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagstaff, Kiri L.; Mazzoni, Dominic; Sain, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    Remote sensing instruments in Earth orbit provide a rich source of information about current agricultural conditions. Observed over time, patterns emerge that can assist in the prediction of future conditions, such as the yield expected for a given crop at the end of the growing season.

  17. Assessing reference evapotranspiration at regional scale based on remote sensing, weather forecast and GIS tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramírez-Cuesta, J. M.; Cruz-Blanco, M.; Santos, C.; Lorite, I. J.

    2017-03-01

    Reference evapotranspiration (ETo) is a key component in efficient water management, especially in arid and semi-arid environments. However, accurate ETo assessment at the regional scale is complicated by the limited number of weather stations and the strict requirements in terms of their location and surrounding physical conditions for the collection of valid weather data. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, new approaches based on the use of remote sensing techniques and weather forecast tools have been proposed. Use of the Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA SAF) tool and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have allowed the design and development of innovative approaches for ETo assessment, which are especially useful for areas lacking available weather data from weather stations. Thus, by identifying the best-performing interpolation approaches (such as the Thin Plate Splines, TPS) and by developing new approaches (such as the use of data from the most similar weather station, TS, or spatially distributed correction factors, CITS), errors as low as 1.1% were achieved for ETo assessment. Spatial and temporal analyses reveal that the generated errors were smaller during spring and summer as well as in homogenous topographic areas. The proposed approaches not only enabled accurate calculations of seasonal and daily ETo values, but also contributed to the development of a useful methodology for evaluating the optimum number of weather stations to be integrated into a weather station network and the appropriateness of their locations. In addition to ETo, other variables included in weather forecast datasets (such as temperature or rainfall) could be evaluated using the same innovative methodology proposed in this study.

  18. Recent Weather Extremes and Impacts on Agricultural Production and Vector-Borne Disease Outbreak Patterns

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-21

    Agricultural Research Service. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript...emergence or re-emergence of disease vectors and pathogens of global public health relevance such as West Nile virus, malaria , dengue virus, cholera, Murray...comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 21 MAR 2014 2. REPORT TYPE 3

  19. Psychological mechanisms in outdoor place and weather assessment: towards a conceptual model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knez, Igor; Thorsson, Sofia; Eliasson, Ingegärd; Lindberg, Fredrik

    2009-01-01

    The general aim has been to illuminate the psychological mechanisms involved in outdoor place and weather assessment. This reasoning was conceptualized in a model, tentatively proposing direct and indirect links of influence in an outdoor place-human relationship. The model was subsequently tested by an empirical study, performed in a Nordic city, on the impact of weather and personal factors on participants’ perceptual and emotional estimations of outdoor urban places. In line with our predictions, we report significant influences of weather parameters (air temperature, wind, and cloudlessness) and personal factors (environmental attitude and age) on participants’ perceptual and emotional estimations of outdoor urban places. All this is a modest, yet significant, step towards an understanding of the psychology of outdoor place and weather assessment.

  20. Conducting an Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment: Challenges and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Kevin R.; Veal, Matthew W.

    2013-01-01

    Agriculture is a diverse field that produces a wide array of products vital to society. As global populations continue to grow the competition for natural resources will increase pressure on agricultural production of food, fiber, energy, and various high value by-products. With elevated concerns related to environmental impacts associated with the needs of a growing population, a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework can be used to determine areas of greatest impact and compare reduction strategies for agricultural production systems. The LCA methodology was originally developed for industrial operations but has been expanded to a wider range of fields including agriculture. There are various factors that increase the complexity of determining impacts associated with agricultural production including multiple products from a single system, regional and crop specific management techniques, temporal variations (seasonally and annually), spatial variations (multilocation production of end products), and the large quantity of nonpoint emission sources. The lack of consistent methodology of some impacts that are of major concern to agriculture (e.g., land use and water usage) increases the complexity of this analysis. This paper strives to review some of these issues and give perspective to the LCA practitioner in the field of agriculture. PMID:24391463

  1. Development and assessment of road weather information in Seoul

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Sanghoo; Lee, Jonghak; Kim, Mingyu; Choi, Youngjean

    2016-04-01

    Road-based transport is essential for populations operating in large urban environments. Driving conditions are impacted by the intensity of rainfall. However, rainfall is not directly measured on roads. In this study, we evaluated road weather prediction accuracy using representative rainfall days in Seoul, South Korea, during 2013.Data were collected by 190 weather stations, of which 33 were located within 20 meters of a road and were used as model validation sites, while the remaining 157 were used as model fitting sites. Inverse distance weighting (IDW) and ordinary kriging (OK) based on variograms were considered for interpolation. We used the bias, root mean squared error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE), and correlation coefficient (CC) as the prediction performance criteria. The prediction performance of OK was higher than that of IDW. As expected, prediction performance increased when the number of rainfall observations increased. We also simulated road conditions using the accumulated historical rainfall data. Generating road information for the entire urban road network is very expensive; therefore, 177,599 road positions were reproduced from 22,184 road link units. Finally, safe driving speeds were calculated from simulated rainfall, stopping distance, and visibility distance.We hope that the results of this study will provide a basis for the safety information given to road users.

  2. Assessing and modelling ecohydrologic processes at the agricultural field scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basso, Bruno

    2015-04-01

    One of the primary goals of agricultural management is to increase the amount of crop produced per unit of fertilizer and water used. World record corn yields demonstrated that water use efficiency can increase fourfold with improved agronomic management and cultivars able to tolerate high densities. Planting crops with higher plant density can lead to significant yield increases, and increase plant transpiration vs. soil water evaporation. Precision agriculture technologies have been adopted for the last twenty years but seldom have the data collected been converted to information that led farmers to different agronomic management. These methods are intuitively appealing, but yield maps and other spatial layers of data need to be properly analyzed and interpreted to truly become valuable. Current agro-mechanic and geospatial technologies allow us to implement a spatially variable plan for agronomic inputs including seeding rate, cultivars, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and water. Crop models are valuable tools to evaluate the impact of management strategies (e.g., cover crops, tile drains, and genetically-improved cultivars) on yield, soil carbon sequestration, leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. They can help farmers identify adaptation strategies to current and future climate conditions. In this paper I illustrate the key role that precision agriculture technologies (yield mapping technologies, within season soil and crop sensing), crop modeling and weather can play in dealing with the impact of climate variability on soil ecohydrologic processes. Case studies are presented to illustrate this concept.

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF ADME DATA IN AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFETY ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    DEVELOPMENT OF ADME DATA IN AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFETY ASSESSMENTS
    Pastoor, Timothy1, Barton, Hugh2
    1 Syngenta Crop Protection, Greensboro, NC, USA.
    2 EPA, Office of Research and Development-NHEERL, RTP, NC, USA.

    A multi-stakeholder series of discussions d...

  4. Life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact of biochar implementation in conservation agriculture in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Sparrevik, Magnus; Field, John L; Martinsen, Vegard; Breedveld, Gijs D; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2013-02-05

    Biochar amendment to soil is a potential technology for carbon storage and climate change mitigation. It may, in addition, be a valuable soil fertility enhancer for agricultural purposes in sandy and/or weathered soils. A life cycle assessment including ecological, health and resource impacts has been conducted for field sites in Zambia to evaluate the overall impacts of biochar for agricultural use. The life cycle impacts from conservation farming using cultivation growth basins and precision fertilization with and without biochar addition were in the present study compared to conventional agricultural methods. Three different biochar production methods were evaluated: traditional earth-mound kilns, improved retort kilns, and micro top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stoves. The results confirm that the use of biochar in conservation farming is beneficial for climate change mitigation purposes. However, when including health impacts from particle emissions originating from biochar production, conservation farming plus biochar from earth-mound kilns generally results in a larger negative effect over the whole life cycle than conservation farming without biochar addition. The use of cleaner technologies such as retort kilns or TLUDs can overcome this problem, mainly because fewer particles and less volatile organic compounds, methane and carbon monoxide are emitted. These results emphasize the need for a holistic view on biochar use in agricultural systems. Of special importance is the biochar production technique which has to be evaluated from both environmental/climate, health and social perspectives.

  5. Probabilistic assessment of agricultural droughts using graphical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramadas, Meenu; Govindaraju, Rao S.

    2015-07-01

    Agricultural droughts are often characterized by soil moisture in the root zone of the soil, but crop needs are rarely factored into the analysis. Since water needs vary with crops, agricultural drought incidences in a region can be characterized better if crop responses to soil water deficits are also accounted for in the drought index. This study investigates agricultural droughts driven by plant stress due to soil moisture deficits using crop stress functions available in the literature. Crop water stress is assumed to begin at the soil moisture level corresponding to incipient stomatal closure, and reaches its maximum at the crop's wilting point. Using available location-specific crop acreage data, a weighted crop water stress function is computed. A new probabilistic agricultural drought index is then developed within a hidden Markov model (HMM) framework that provides model uncertainty in drought classification and accounts for time dependence between drought states. The proposed index allows probabilistic classification of the drought states and takes due cognizance of the stress experienced by the crop due to soil moisture deficit. The capabilities of HMM model formulations for assessing agricultural droughts are compared to those of current drought indices such as standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (SC-PDSI). The HMM model identified critical drought events and several drought occurrences that are not detected by either SPEI or SC-PDSI, and shows promise as a tool for agricultural drought studies.

  6. Management of Agricultural Weather Risks: traditional procedures and new management strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgaz, F.

    2009-04-01

    Throughout history, agriculture has progressed as an outcome of farmers' efforts to design and apply adaptation strategies aiming to mitigate the impact of adverse meteorological phenomena on their farms' economy. The survival and sustainability of farmholdings, regardless of size or type of production, is directly related to their capacity to withstand the consequences of such phenomena and continue to yield a harvest year after year. While substantial differences can be identified in the intensity and frequency of the damage borne, depending on the country, region and type of production, no farm is exempt from the effects of uncontrollable risks. In this endeavour to mitigate such consequences and successfully manage natural risks, the first protective step must be taken by the farm itself, which must adopt measures that pursue more favourable crop development or a heightened ability to handle risks and their adverse effects. But when the damage inflicted is of an intensity that cannot be accommodated by the farmer, instruments must be deployed that spread or transfer risk to third parties, a process known as risk insurance. Experience shows that of the various such instruments in place, insurance constitutes the most appropriate risk management model and the one that has reached the highest levels of development and acceptance among farmers.

  7. Developing a robust methodology for assessing the value of weather/climate services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krijnen, Justin; Golding, Nicola; Buontempo, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    Increasingly, scientists involved in providing weather and climate services are expected to demonstrate the value of their work for end users in order to justify the costs of developing and delivering these services. This talk will outline different approaches that can be used to assess the socio-economic benefits of weather and climate services, including, among others, willingness to pay and avoided costs. The advantages and limitations of these methods will be discussed and relevant case-studies will be used to illustrate each approach. The choice of valuation method may be influenced by different factors, such as resource and time constraints and the end purposes of the study. In addition, there are important methodological differences which will affect the value assessed. For instance the ultimate value of a weather/climate forecast to a decision-maker will not only depend on forecast accuracy but also on other factors, such as how the forecast is communicated to and consequently interpreted by the end-user. Thus, excluding these additional factors may result in inaccurate socio-economic value estimates. In order to reduce the inaccuracies in this valuation process we propose an approach that assesses how the initial weather/climate forecast information can be incorporated within the value chain of a given sector, taking into account value gains and losses at each stage of the delivery process. By this we aim to more accurately depict the socio-economic benefits of a weather/climate forecast to decision-makers.

  8. Toxicological procedures for assessing the carcinogenic potential of agricultural chemicals.

    PubMed

    Krewski, D; Clayson, D; Collins, B; Munro, I C

    1982-01-01

    Pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are now widely used throughout the world as a means of improving crop yields in order to meet the increasing demands being placed upon the global food supply. In Canada, the use of such chemicals is controlled through government regulations established jointly by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of National Health & Welfare. Such regulations require a detailed evaluation of the toxicological characteristics of the chemical prior to its being cleared for use. In this paper, procedures for assessing the carcinogenic potential of agricultural and other chemicals are discussed. Consideration is given to both the classical long-term in vivo carcinogen bioassay in rodent or other species and the more recently developed short-term in vitro tests based on genetic alterations in bacterial and other test systems.

  9. Impact of weather and climate scenarios on conservation assessment outcomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper reviews selected watershed studies of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) and interprets findings from the perspective of potential climate change impacts on conservation outcomes. Primary foci are runoff, soil erosion, sediment transport, watershed sediment yield, and asso...

  10. Representative Agricultural Pathways and Climate Impact Assessment for Pacific Northwest Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MU, J.; Antle, J. M.; Zhang, H.; Capalbo, S. M.; Eigenbrode, S.; Kruger, C.; Stockle, C.; Wolfhorst, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) are projections of plausible future biophysical and socio-economic conditions used to carry out climate impact assessments for agriculture. The development of RAPs iss motivated by the fact that the various global and regional models used for agricultural climate change impact assessment have been implemented with individualized scenarios using various data and model structures, often without transparent documentation or public availability. These practices have hampered attempts at model inter-comparison, improvement, and synthesis of model results across studies. This paper aims to (1) present RAPs developed for the principal wheat-producing region of the Pacific Northwest, and to (2) combine these RAPs with downscaled climate data, crop model simulations and economic model simulations to assess climate change impacts on winter wheat production and farm income. This research was carried out as part of a project funded by the USDA known as the Regional Approaches to Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest (REACCH). The REACCH study region encompasses the major winter wheat production area in Pacific Northwest and preliminary research shows that farmers producing winter wheat could benefit from future climate change. However, the future world is uncertain in many dimensions, including commodity and input prices, production technology, and policies, as well as increased probability of disturbances (pests and diseases) associated with a changing climate. Many of these factors cannot be modeled, so they are represented in the regional RAPS. The regional RAPS are linked to global agricultural and shared social-economic pathways, and used along with climate change projections to simulate future outcomes for the wheat-based farms in the REACCH region.

  11. Assessing the Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change in Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khresat, Sa'eb; Shraidaeh, Fadi; Maddat, Amer

    2015-04-01

    Climate change represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing Jordan. In particular, the combined effects of climate change and water scarcity threaten to affect food and water resources that are critical for livelihoods in Jordan. This is especially true for those communities who live in the dryland area in the country and who rely wholly on rain-fed agriculture. The exact nature and extent of the impact of climate change on temperature and precipitation distribution pattern remain uncertain and it is the poor and vulnerable who will be the most susceptible to climate change adverse effects. A vulnerability assessment of rain fed agriculture to climate change and variability in semi-arid parts of Jordan was conducted in 2014. The purpose of this study is to assess the vulnerability and resilience of the most vulnerable groups where rainfed and irrigated agriculture is practiced. Also, the study focused on quantifying the impacts on agricultural productivity in response to climate change. This will help policymakers and researchers better understand and anticipate the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture and on vulnerable communities in Jordan. Also, it will provide them with tools to identify and implement appropriate adaptation strategies. The data used includes; Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 adopted by the IPCC for its fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Those pathways were used for climate modeling. A decision support system (DSSAT) for agricultural production was used to assess the impact of climate changes on agricultural production. This approach was used for the Identification of climate change risk and their impacts on Agriculture. Outputs from models are used to assess the vulnerability of farmers and crops to climate and socio-economic change by estimating their sensitivity and capacity to adapt to external factors as a means of identifying what causes the differences in their

  12. METHODS FOR ASSESSMENT OF URBAN WET-WEATHER FLOW IMPACTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    During the past decade, it has become apparent during numerous receiving water assessment studies that no one single approach (e.g., chemical-specific criteria, benthic microorganisms, or habitat surveys) can routinely be used to accurately determine or predict ecosystem health a...

  13. Interactions of physical, chemical, and biological weather calling for an integrated approach to assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality.

    PubMed

    Klein, Thomas; Kukkonen, Jaakko; Dahl, Aslög; Bossioli, Elissavet; Baklanov, Alexander; Vik, Aasmund Fahre; Agnew, Paul; Karatzas, Kostas D; Sofiev, Mikhail

    2012-12-01

    This article reviews interactions and health impacts of physical, chemical, and biological weather. Interactions and synergistic effects between the three types of weather call for integrated assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality. Today's air quality legislation falls short of addressing air quality degradation by biological weather, despite increasing evidence for the feasibility of both mitigation and adaptation policy options. In comparison with the existing capabilities for physical and chemical weather, the monitoring of biological weather is lacking stable operational agreements and resources. Furthermore, integrated effects of physical, chemical, and biological weather suggest a critical review of air quality management practices. Additional research is required to improve the coupled modeling of physical, chemical, and biological weather as well as the assessment and communication of integrated air quality. Findings from several recent COST Actions underline the importance of an increased dialog between scientists from the fields of meteorology, air quality, aerobiology, health, and policy makers.

  14. Real-time assessment of fog-related crashes using airport weather data: a feasibility analysis.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Mohamed M; Abdel-Aty, Mohamed; Lee, Jaeyoung; Yu, Rongjie

    2014-11-01

    The effect of reduction of visibility on crash occurrence has recently been a major concern. Although visibility detection systems can help to mitigate the increased hazard of limited-visibility, such systems are not widely implemented and many locations with no systems are experiencing considerable number of fatal crashes due to reduction in visibility caused by fog and inclement weather. On the other hand, airports' weather stations continuously monitor all climate parameters in real-time, and the gathered data may be utilized to mitigate the increased risk for the adjacent roadways. This study aims to examine the viability of using airport weather information in real-time road crash risk assessment in locations with recurrent fog problems. Bayesian logistic regression was utilized to link six years (2005-2010) of historical crash data to real-time weather information collected from eight airports in the State of Florida, roadway characteristics and aggregate traffic parameters. The results from this research indicate that real-time weather data collected from adjacent airports are good predictors to assess increased risk on highways.

  15. Temporal variability of CO2 and N2O emissions in an agricultural long-term field trial regarding effects of different management practices and extreme weather effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koal, Philipp; Schilling, Rolf; Gerl, Georg; Pritsch, Karin; Munch, Jean Charles

    2016-04-01

    In order to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, modern agronomic management practices need to be established. Therefore, to assess the effect of different farming practices on greenhouse gas emissions, reliable data are required. The experiment covers and compares main aspects of agricultural management for a better implementation of sustainable land use. The focus lies on the determination and interpretation of greenhouse gas emissions, where the effects of diverse tillage systems and fertilisation practices of an integrated farming system as well as the impacts of extreme weather conditions are observed. In addition, with analysis of the alterable biological, physical and chemical soil properties a link between the impact of different management systems on greenhouse gas emissions and the observed cycle of matter in the soil, especially the nitrogen and carbon cycle, is enabled. Measurements have been carried out on long-term field trials at the Research Farm Scheyern located in a Tertiary hilly landscape approximately 40 km north of Munich (South Germany). The long-term integrated farming system trial was started in 1992. Since then parcels of land (each around 0.2-0.4 ha) with a particular interior plot set-up have been conducted with the same crop rotation, tillage and fertilisation practice referring to integrated farming management. Thus, the management impacts on the soil of more than 20 years have been examined. Fluxes of CH4, N2O and CO2 have been monitored since 2007 for the integrated farming system trial using an automated system which consists of chambers (0.4 m2 area) with a motor-driven lid, an automated gas sampling unit, an on-line gas chromatographic analysis system, and a control and data logging unit. Precipitation and temperature data have been observed for the experimental field to include weather effects. The main outcomes are the analysis of temporal and spatial dynamics of greenhouse gas emissions influenced by management

  16. Vulnerability and Risk Assessment of Extreme Weather Events- A Case Study from Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fakhruddin, S.; Mukand, M. S.; Kawasaki, A.; Webster, P. J.

    2013-12-01

    Assessment of hazard, vulnerability and risk of extreme weather are essential in order to inform and implement appropriate adaptation/prevention/mitigation strategies. Due to complex nature and uncertainties in future climate change predictions, it is not feasible to detail assessment of vulnerability at detailed scales for potential hazard and risk. Though different approaches and methods exist for running hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment, but still difficult to address all physical science, engineering, and social science research. In this study, we try to discuss on the human vulnerability and risk assessment approaches, tools and techniques of natural hazard due to extreme weather events (i.e. floods, cyclone). We analyzed different approaches and methods of vulnerability and risk assessment for flood hazard based on medium (1-10 days) and seasonal (1-3 months) ensembles probabilistic forecasts. The multiple weather ensembles (EPS) forecasts of European Center for Medium Range Forecasts (ECMWF) and downscaled Community Climate System Model Version 3 (CCSM3) forecasts data were used to set up hydrological model. Due to high uncertainty in forecasts information, results summarized that data and inherent low resolutions of the information are major constrains for details comprehensive assessment. Risk and vulnerability rises to be based on multi-scale and cross-scale analyses, considering resilience dimensions and provide innovative tools for understanding, assessing and communicating probabilistic information to the users for decision making. The sectoral responses were developed with possible impacts scenarios based on uncertainty ranges to choose the most robust solution.

  17. Assessing impediments to hydrocarbon biodegradation in weathered contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Adetutu, Eric; Weber, John; Aleer, Sam; Dandie, Catherine E; Aburto-Medina, Arturo; Ball, Andrew S; Juhasz, Albert L

    2013-10-15

    In this study, impediments to hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated soils were assessed using chemical and molecular methodologies. Two long-term hydrocarbon contaminated soils were utilised which were similar in physico-chemical properties but differed in the extent of hydrocarbon (C10-C40) contamination (S1: 16.5 g kg(-1); S2: 68.9 g kg(-1)). Under enhanced natural attenuation (ENA) conditions, hydrocarbon biodegradation was observed in S1 microcosms (26.4% reduction in C10-C40 hydrocarbons), however, ENA was unable to stimulate degradation in S2. Although eubacterial communities (PCR-DGGE analysis) were similar for both soils, the alkB bacterial community was less diverse in S2 presumably due to impacts associated with elevated hydrocarbons. When hydrocarbon bioaccessibility was assessed using HP-β-CD extraction, large residual concentrations remained in the soil following the extraction procedure. However, when linear regression models were used to predict the endpoints of hydrocarbon degradation, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) between HP-β-CD predicted and microcosm measured biodegradation endpoints. This data suggested that the lack of hydrocarbon degradation in S2 resulted primarily from limited hydrocarbon bioavailability.

  18. An integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okada, M.; Sakurai, G.; Iizumi, T.; Yokozawa, M.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural production utilizes regional resources (e.g. river water and ground water) as well as local resources (e.g. temperature, rainfall, solar energy). Future climate changes and increasing demand due to population increases and economic developments would intensively affect the availability of water resources for agricultural production. While many studies assessed the impacts of climate change on agriculture, there are few studies that dynamically account for changes in water resources and crop production. This study proposes an integrated model for assessing both crop productivity and agricultural water resources at a large scale. Also, the irrigation management to subseasonal variability in weather and crop response varies for each region and each crop. To deal with such variations, we used the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to quantify regional-specific parameters associated with crop growth and irrigation water estimations. We coupled a large-scale crop model (Sakurai et al. 2012), with a global water resources model, H08 (Hanasaki et al. 2008). The integrated model was consisting of five sub-models for the following processes: land surface, crop growth, river routing, reservoir operation, and anthropogenic water withdrawal. The land surface sub-model was based on a watershed hydrology model, SWAT (Neitsch et al. 2009). Surface and subsurface runoffs simulated by the land surface sub-model were input to the river routing sub-model of the H08 model. A part of regional water resources available for agriculture, simulated by the H08 model, was input as irrigation water to the land surface sub-model. The timing and amount of irrigation water was simulated at a daily step. The integrated model reproduced the observed streamflow in an individual watershed. Additionally, the model accurately reproduced the trends and interannual variations of crop yields. To demonstrate the usefulness of the integrated model, we compared two types of impact assessment of

  19. Assessing Wind Farm Reliability Using Weather Dependent Failure Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, G.; McMillan, D.

    2014-06-01

    Using reliability data comprising of two modern, large scale wind farm sites and wind data from two onsite met masts, a model is developed which calculates wind speed dependant failure rates which are used to populate a Markov Chain. Monte Carlo simulation is then exercised to simulate three wind farms which are subjected to controlled wind speed conditions from three separate potential UK sites. The model then calculates and compares wind farm reliability due to corrective maintenance and component failure rates influenced by the wind speed of each of the sites. Results show that the components affected most by changes in average daily wind speed are the control system and the yaw system. A comparison between this model and a more simple estimation of site yield is undertaken. The model takes into account the effects of the wind speed on the cost of operation and maintenance and also includes the impact of longer periods of downtime in the winter months and shorter periods in the summer. By taking these factors into account a more detailed site assessment can be undertaken. There is significant value to this model for operators and manufacturers.

  20. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  1. Agricultural climate impacts assessment for economic modeling and decision support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, A. M.; Izaurralde, R. C.; Beach, R.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, K.; Monier, E.

    2013-12-01

    A range of approaches can be used in the application of climate change projections to agricultural impacts assessment. Climate projections can be used directly to drive crop models, which in turn can be used to provide inputs for agricultural economic or integrated assessment models. These model applications, and the transfer of information between models, must be guided by the state of the science. But the methodology must also account for the specific needs of stakeholders and the intended use of model results beyond pure scientific inquiry, including meeting the requirements of agencies responsible for designing and assessing policies, programs, and regulations. Here we present methodology and results of two climate impacts studies that applied climate model projections from CMIP3 and from the EPA Climate Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) project in a crop model (EPIC - Environmental Policy Indicator Climate) in order to generate estimates of changes in crop productivity for use in an agricultural economic model for the United States (FASOM - Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model). The FASOM model is a forward-looking dynamic model of the US forest and agricultural sector used to assess market responses to changing productivity of alternative land uses. The first study, focused on climate change impacts on the UDSA crop insurance program, was designed to use available daily climate projections from the CMIP3 archive. The decision to focus on daily data for this application limited the climate model and time period selection significantly; however for the intended purpose of assessing impacts on crop insurance payments, consideration of extreme event frequency was critical for assessing periodic crop failures. In a second, coordinated impacts study designed to assess the relative difference in climate impacts under a no-mitigation policy and different future climate mitigation scenarios, the stakeholder specifically requested an assessment of a

  2. Multifunctional Agriculture: Conducting an Ecosystem Service Assessment for an Agricultural Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wacha, K.; Papanicolaou, T.; Wilson, C. G.

    2012-12-01

    To meet the food production demands on a finite area of land for an exponentially growing, global population, intensive agricultural management practices are being used. The implications of this these practices lead to soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and decreased water quality depending on the level of conservation practices implemented in a watershed. To offset these negative environmental effects, ecosystem services should be analyzed for possible economic valuation to provide incentives for good land stewardship. In this study a Multifunctional Agriculture (MFA) evaluation in a representative agricultural watershed in Iowa was performed by assessing the ecosystem services of water quality, crop/grain production, carbon sequestration, reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and biodiversity for representative land covers (e.g., corn-soybean rotation, alfalfa, oats, and Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP). The services were analyzed using a geo-spatial platform that simulated carbon dynamics with the biogeochemical model, CENTURY, as well as soil erosion/deposition and surface runoff with the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP). Economic values given to the various services were based on current grain prices, water treatment costs, and hypothetical carbon storage credits. Results showed that crop/grain production for the corn-soybean rotations provided the largest service for the study site, followed by alfalfa. CRP provided the largest decrease in surface water runoff and CO2 emissions, while alfalfa provided the largest form of plant species diversity. The largest sequestration of carbon came from the corn-soybean rotation due to large amounts dead plant material being incorporated into the soil through tillage. Overall the MFA assessment can provide a framework for payment of ecosystem services supplied by agroecosystems which promote more sustainable land management practices.

  3. A new approach to assess sediment impairment due to urban wet-weather discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, L.; Fankhauser, R.; Chèvre, N.

    2009-04-01

    Sediment represents an important compartment of surface waters as it constitutes a habitat or spawning site for organisms. It may be impacted by anthropogenic activities, particularly through urban wet-weather discharges. In fact, during rain events a lot of particles accumulated on impervious areas and washed-off by rain (stormwater) or originating from wastewater (combined sewer overflows) end up in receiving waters. Numerous pollutants are attached to these particles (organic matter, heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), biocides, etc) and may generate adverse effects in the receiving waters. In this study, we propose an approach to estimate the risk of urban wet-weather discharge for sediments based on three assessment criteria: a) the clogging of the riverbed, b) the oxygen demand due to organic matter accumulation and c) the accumulation of contaminants on the riverbed (heavy metals, PAHs). These assessment criteria are defined in term of equivalent total suspended solids (TSS), a parameter classically measured in urban wet-weather discharge studies. We have implemented these criteria in a stochastic model in order to calculate TSS behaviour in receiving waters. The processes incorporated in the model are accumulation/sedimentation, transport and erosion of particles. In the stochastic approach, all parameters of the processes are randomly selected in a given distribution for each run (Monte-Carlo approach). As results, a probability curve is generated, giving the probability of exceeding the defined sediment criteria. Impact assessment of urban wet-weather discharges on riverbeds can thus be used as basis for planning efficient urban wet-weather protection measures. This approach, however, should be considered as a screening tool and in situ measurements should confirm the results.

  4. Approaches for assessment of vulnerability of critical infrastructures to weather-related hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eidsvig, Unni; Uzielli, Marco; Vidar Vangelsten, Bjørn

    2016-04-01

    Critical infrastructures are essential components for the modern society to maintain its function, and malfunctioning of one of the critical infrastructure systems may have far-reaching consequences. Climate changes may lead to increase in frequency and intensity of weather-related hazards, creating challenges for the infrastructures. This paper outlines approaches to assess vulnerability posed by weather-related hazards to infrastructures. The approaches assess factors that affect the probability of a malfunctioning of the infrastructure should a weather-related threat occur, as well factors that affect the societal consequences of the infrastructure malfunctioning. Even if vulnerability factors are normally very infrastructure specific and hazard dependent, generic factors could be defined and analyzed. For the vulnerability and resilience of the infrastructure, such factors include e.g. robustness, buffer capacity, protection, quality, age, adaptability and transparency. For the vulnerability of the society in relation to the infrastructure, such factors include e.g. redundancy, substitutes and cascading effects. A semi-quantitative, indicator-based approach is proposed, providing schemes for ranking of the most important vulnerability indicators relevant for weather-related hazards on a relative scale. The application of the indicators in a semi-quantitative risk assessment is also demonstrated. In addition, a quantitative vulnerability model is proposed in terms of vulnerability (representing degree of loss) as a function of intensity, which is adaptable to different types of degree of loss (e.g. fraction of infrastructure users that lose their service, fraction of repair costs to full reconstruction costs). The vulnerability model can be calibrated with empirical data using deterministic calibration or a variety of probabilistic calibration approaches to account for the uncertainties within the model. The research leading to these results has received funding

  5. Sustainability of Italian Agriculture: A Methodological Approach for Assessing Crop Water Footprint at Local Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altobelli, F.; Dalla Marta, A.; Cimino, O.; Orlandini, S.; Natali, F.

    2014-12-01

    In a world where population is rapidly growing and where several planetary boundaries (i.e. climate change, biodiversity loss and nitrogen cycle) have already been crossed, agriculture is called to respond to the needs of food security through a sustainable use of natural resources. In particular, water is one of the main elements of fertility so the agricultural activity, and the whole agro-food chain, is one of the productive sectors more dependent on water resource and it is able to affect, at regional level, its availability for all the other sectors. In this study, we proposed a methodology for assessing the green and blue water footprint of the main Italian crops typical of the different geographical areas (northwest, northeast, center, and south) based on data extracted from Italian Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). FADN is an instrument for evaluating the income of agricultural holdings and the impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy. Crops were selected based on incidence of cultivated area on the total arable land of FADN farms net. Among others, the database contains data on irrigation management (irrigated surface, length of irrigation season, volumes of water, etc.), and crop production. Meteorological data series were obtained by a combination of local weather stations and ECAD E-obs spatialized database. Crop water footprints were evaluated against water availability and risk of desertification maps of Italy. Further, we compared the crop water footprints obtained with our methodology with already existing data from similar studies in order to highlight the effects of spatial scale and level of detail of available data.

  6. Assessing flood damage to agriculture using color infrared aerial photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, William H.

    1977-01-01

    The rationale for using color-infrared (CIR) film to assist in assessing flood damage to agriculture is demonstrated using examples prepared from photographs acquired of the 1975 flood in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota. Information concerning flood inundation boundaries, crop damage, soil erosion, sedimentation, and other similar general features and conditions was obtained through the interpretation of CIR aerial photographs. CIR aerial photographs can be used to help improve the estimates of potential remaining production on a field by field basis, owing to the increased accuracy obtained in determining the area component of crop production as compared to conventional ground sketching methods.

  7. The USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub: Regional agricultural management in the context of weather and climate variability and change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Southern Great Plains of the United States, extremes of weather and climate are the norm. Farmers, ranchers, and foresters rely upon timely and authoritative data and information when making management decisions that are weather- and climate-dependent. In response to the needs of these agricu...

  8. Space Weather Impacts to Conjunction Assessment: A NASA Robotic Orbital Safety Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ghrist, Richard; Ghrist, Richard; DeHart, Russel; Newman, Lauri

    2013-01-01

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recognizes the risk of on-orbit collisions from other satellites and debris objects and has instituted a process to identify and react to close approaches. The charter of the NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis (CARA) task is to protect NASA robotic (unmanned) assets from threats posed by other space objects. Monitoring for potential collisions requires formulating close-approach predictions a week or more in the future to determine analyze, and respond to orbital conjunction events of interest. These predictions require propagation of the latest state vector and covariance assuming a predicted atmospheric density and ballistic coefficient. Any differences between the predicted drag used for propagation and the actual drag experienced by the space objects can potentially affect the conjunction event. Therefore, the space environment itself, in particular how space weather impacts atmospheric drag, is an essential element to understand in order effectively to assess the risk of conjunction events. The focus of this research is to develop a better understanding of the impact of space weather on conjunction assessment activities: both accurately determining the current risk and assessing how that risk may change under dynamic space weather conditions. We are engaged in a data-- ]mining exercise to corroborate whether or not observed changes in a conjunction event's dynamics appear consistent with space weather changes and are interested in developing a framework to respond appropriately to uncertainty in predicted space weather. In particular, we use historical conjunction event data products to search for dynamical effects on satellite orbits from changing atmospheric drag. Increased drag is expected to lower the satellite specific energy and will result in the satellite's being 'later' than expected, which can affect satellite conjunctions in a number of ways depending on the two satellites' orbits

  9. Assessment of bacterial diversity during composting of agricultural byproducts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Composting is microbial decomposition of biodegradable materials and it is governed by physicochemical, physiological and microbiological factors. The importance of microbial communities (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) during composting is well established. However, the microbial diversity during composting may vary with the variety of composting materials and nutrient supplements. Therefore, it is necessary to study the diversity of microorganisms during composting of different agricultural byproducts like wheat bran, rice bran, rice husk, along with grass clippings and bulking agents. Here it has been attempted to assess the diversity of culturable bacteria during composting of agricultural byproducts. Results The culturable bacterial diversity was assessed during the process by isolating the most prominent bacteria. Bacterial population was found to be maximum during the mesophilic phase, but decreased during the thermophilic phase and declined further in the cooling and maturation phase of composting. The bacterial population ranged from 105 to 109 cfu g-1 compost. The predominant bacteria were characterized biochemically, followed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The isolated strains, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative groups belonged to the order Burkholderiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinobacteriales and Bacillales, which includes genera e.g. Staphylococcus, Serratia, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Terribacillus, Lysinibacillus Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas. Genera like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax, Comamonas and some new species of Bacillus were also identified for the first time from the compost made from agricultural byproducts. Conclusion The use of appropriate nitrogen amendments and bulking agents in composting resulted in good quality compost. The culture based strategy enabled us to isolate some novel bacterial isolates like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas first time from agro-byproducts compost

  10. Impact of the agricultural research service watershed assessment studies on the conservation effects assessment project cropland national assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in 2002 to analyze societal and environmental benefits gained from the increased conservation program funding provided in the 2002 Farm Bill. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and...

  11. Holistic view to integrated climate change assessment and extreme weather adaptation in the Lake Victoria Basin East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutua, F.; Koike, T.

    2013-12-01

    Extreme weather events have been the leading cause of disasters and damage all over the world.The primary ingredient to these disasters especially floods is rainfall which over the years, despite advances in modeling, computing power and use of new data and technologies, has proven to be difficult to predict. Also, recent climate projections showed a pattern consistent with increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events in the East African region.We propose a holistic integrated approach to climate change assessment and extreme event adaptation through coupling of analysis techniques, tools and data. The Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) in East Africa supports over three million livelihoods and is a valuable resource to five East African countries as a source of water and means of transport. However, with a Mesoscale weather regime driven by land and lake dynamics,extreme Mesoscale events have been prevalent and the region has been on the receiving end during anomalously wet years in the region. This has resulted in loss of lives, displacements, and food insecurity. In the LVB, the effects of climate change are increasingly being recognized as a significant contributor to poverty, by its linkage to agriculture, food security and water resources. Of particular importance are the likely impacts of climate change in frequency and intensity of extreme events. To tackle this aspect, this study adopted an integrated regional, mesoscale and basin scale approach to climate change assessment. We investigated the projected changes in mean climate over East Africa, diagnosed the signals of climate change in the atmosphere, and transferred this understanding to mesoscale and basin scale. Changes in rainfall were analyzed and similar to the IPCC AR4 report; the selected three General Circulation Models (GCMs) project a wetter East Africa with intermittent dry periods in June-August. Extreme events in the region are projected to increase; with the number of wet days

  12. Assessment of rock mechanical properties and seismic slope stability in variably weathered layered basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, William; Clark, Marin; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Von Voigtlander, Jennifer; Bateman, Julie; Lowe, Katherine; Hirose, Mitsuhito; Anderson, Suzanne; Anderson, Robert; Lynch, Jerome

    2016-04-01

    A field and laboratory experimental study was conducted to assess the influence of weathering on the mechanical properties of basalts in the region of the Kohala volcano on the island of Hawaii. Through the systematic characterization of the weathering profiles developed in different precipitation regimes, we aim to explain the regional pattern of stability of slopes in layered basalts that were observed during the 2006 Mw 6.7 Kiholo Bay earthquake. While deeper weathering profiles on the wet side of the island might be expected to promote more and larger landslides, the distribution of landslides during the Kiholo Bay earthquake did not follow this anticipated trend. Landslide frequency (defined as number of landslides divided by total area) was similar on the steepest slopes (> 50-60) for both the dry and the wet side of the study area suggesting relatively strong ground materials irrespective of weathering. The study location is ideally suited to investigate the role of precipitation, and more broadly of climate, on the mechanical properties of the local rock units because the presence of the Kohala volcano produces a significant precipitation gradient on what are essentially identical basaltic flows. Mean annual precipitation (MAP) varies by more than an order of magnitude, from 200 mm/year on the western side of the volcano to 4000 mm/year in the eastern side. We will present results of measured shear wave velocities using a seismic surface wave methodology. These results were paired with laboratory testing on selected basalt specimens that document the sample-scale shear wave velocity and unconfined compressive strength of the basaltic rocks. Shear wave velocity and unconfined strength of the rocks are correlated and are both significantly lower in weathered rocks near the ground surface than at depth. This weathering-related reduction in shear wave velocity extends to greater depths in areas of high precipitation compared to areas of lower precipitation

  13. Designing of a risk assessment architecture to analyze potential risks from space weather to space and ground based assets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sattar, Erum

    2016-07-01

    Today's world is more vulnerable to space weather due to ever increased advance and costly space technology deployed in space and on ground. The space weather has a natural potential of posing harmful effects on space and ground based assets and on astronaut's life. This global challenge of space weather essentially demands global and regional preparedness to develop its situational awareness, analyzing risks and devise possible mitigation procedures. Considering risk mitigation architecture as inevitable for all scientific missions, this paper focuses to develop a risk assessment architecture for the space environment and to map its utility in identifying and analyzing potential risks to space and ground based assets from space weather in the South Asia region. Different risk assessment tools will be studied and would conclude in the most effective tool or strategy that may help to develop our capability in identifying, protecting and mitigating from the devastating effects of the space weather.

  14. Assessment of a Pesticide Exposure Intensity Algorithm in the Agricultural Health Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    The accuracy of the exposure assessment is a critical factor in epidemiological investigations of pesticide exposures and health in agricultural populations. However, few studies have been conducted to evaluate questionnaire-based exposure metrics. The Agricultural Health Study...

  15. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabraal, A.; Delasanta, D.; Rosen, J.; Nolfi, J.; Ulmer, R.

    1981-11-01

    Agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Phillippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia are extrapolated worldwide. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand alone mode. The major conclusions were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 to 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 to 6 kW of power, due to capital constraints, the private sector market may be restricted to applications requiring less than about 2 kW of power; the ultimate purchase of larger systems will be governments, either through direct purchase or loans from development banks. Though fragmented, a significant agriculture sector market for PV exists; however, the market for PV in telecommunications, signalling, rural services, and TV will be larger. Major market related factors influencing the potential for U.S. PV Sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have government support; and low fuel prices in capital surplus countries. Strategies that may aid in overcoming some of these problems are: setting up of a trade association aimed at overcoming problems due to lack of awareness, innovative financing schemes such as lease arrangements, and designing products to match current user needs as opposed to attempting to change consumer behavior.

  16. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications worldwide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabraal, A.; Delasanta, D.; Rosen, J.; Nolfi, J.; Ulmer, R.

    1981-01-01

    Agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Phillippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia are extrapolated worldwide. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand alone mode. The major conclusions were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 to 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 to 6 kW of power, due to capital constraints, the private sector market may be restricted to applications requiring less than about 2 kW of power; the ultimate purchase of larger systems will be governments, either through direct purchase or loans from development banks. Though fragmented, a significant agriculture sector market for PV exists; however, the market for PV in telecommunications, signalling, rural services, and TV will be larger. Major market related factors influencing the potential for U.S. PV Sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have government support; and low fuel prices in capital surplus countries. Strategies that may aid in overcoming some of these problems are: setting up of a trade association aimed at overcoming problems due to lack of awareness, innovative financing schemes such as lease arrangements, and designing products to match current user needs as opposed to attempting to change consumer behavior.

  17. Bacteria survival experiment for assessment of wastewater reuse in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Smith, Edward; Badawy, Aimen

    2010-01-01

    Growth and survival of a strain of E. coli were investigated in laboratory-scale soil columns under essentially static conditions in three Egyptian agricultural soils. One pore volume of a buffer solution of known cell concentration was applied to a set of identical columns at time zero, and individual columns were analyzed for viable E. coli colony forming units at times ranging from 1 hr to 7 d and at various soil depths. The resulting concentration-depth profiles yielded information that can promote proper application of wastewater reuse in agriculture and the assessment of associated health and environmental risks. Biomass growth in soil occurred over the first 2 to 3 days after application, achieving biomass production 40-70 times the number of cells applied depending on the soil. Culturable populations declined to only a few viable cells at the end of 7 days. E. coli growth rate and total biomass production were well correlated to the soil organic content. Indoor conditions resulted in slower but more prolonged E. coli growth than in outdoor experiments, verifying the determinative roles of climatic factors and soil moisture.

  18. Pesticide risk assessment in free-ranging bees is weather and landscape dependent.

    PubMed

    Henry, Mickaël; Bertrand, Colette; Le Féon, Violette; Requier, Fabrice; Odoux, Jean-François; Aupinel, Pierrick; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Decourtye, Axel

    2014-07-10

    The risk assessment of plant protection products on pollinators is currently based on the evaluation of lethal doses through repeatable lethal toxicity laboratory trials. Recent advances in honeybee toxicology have, however, raised interest on assessing sublethal effects in free-ranging individuals. Here, we show that the sublethal effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide are modified in magnitude by environmental interactions specific to the landscape and time of exposure events. Field sublethal assessment is therefore context dependent and should be addressed in a temporally and spatially explicit way, especially regarding weather and landscape physiognomy. We further develop an analytical Effective Dose (ED) framework to help disentangle context-induced from treatment-induced effects and thus to alleviate uncertainty in field studies. Although the ED framework involves trials at concentrations above the expected field exposure levels, it allows to explicitly delineating the climatic and landscape contexts that should be targeted for in-depth higher tier risk assessment.

  19. Assessing the Agriculture Teacher Workforce in New England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uricchio, Cassandra Kay

    2011-01-01

    High quality teachers are an essential piece of the agricultural education model and directly influence the quality of the total program. However, there has been a steady consolidation and elimination of agricultural education teacher preparation programs in New England. In order to understand how this trend affected agricultural education in this…

  20. Extreme Space Weather Events and Charging Hazard Assessments in Lunar Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minow, Joseph I.; Parker, Linda N.; Blackwell, William C., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    The sunlit lunar surface charges to positive potentials with mean values of a few tens of volts where photoelectron currents dominate the charging process. In contrast, surfaces in darkness may charge to negative potentials on the order of a few hundred volts when the charging process is dominated by hot electron populations in the absence of solar photons. Recently, observations of electron beams measured by instruments on spacecraft in low lunar orbit have been interpreted as evidence for extreme lunar surface potentials exceeding a few kilovolts suggesting that lunar orbital and surface plasma environments may contain charging risks similar to geostationary orbit during extreme space weather conditions. Space system design for successful operation in a wide range of lunar environments will therefore require evaluation of charging hazards during extreme space weather conditions. We present results from a study of space weather environments conducted to obtained credible extreme charging environments for use in charging hazard assessments for lunar missions including extreme conditions encountered when the Moon is in the solar wind, the magnetosheath, and the Earth's magnetotail.

  1. Review and analysis of parameters for assessing transport of environmentally released radionuclides through agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Baes, C.F. III; Sharp, R.D.; Sjoreen, A.L.; Shor, R.W.

    1984-09-01

    Most of the default parameters incorporated into the TERRA computer code are documented including a literature review and systematic analysis of element-specific transfer parameters B/sub v/, B/sub r/, F/sub m/, F/sub f/, and K/sub d/. This review and analysis suggests default values which are consistent with the modeling approaches taken in TERRA and may be acceptable for most assessment applications of the computer code. However, particular applications of the code and additional analysis of elemental transport may require alternative default values. Use of the values reported herein in other computer codes simulating terrestrial transport is not advised without careful interpretation of the limitations and scope these analyses. An approach to determination of vegetation-specific interception fractions is also discussed. The limitations of this approach are many, and its use indicates the need for analysis of deposition, interception, and weathering processes. Judgement must be exercised in interpretation of plant surface concentrations generated. Finally, the location-specific agricultural, climatological, and population parameters in the default SITE data base documented. These parameters are intended as alternatives to average values currently used. Indeed, areas in the United States where intensive crop, milk, or beef production occurs will be reflected in the parameter values as will areas where little agricultural activity occurs. However, the original information sources contained some small error and the interpolation and conversion methods used will add more. Parameters used in TERRA not discussed herein are discussed in the companion report to this one - ORNL-5785. In the companion report the models employed in and the coding of TERRA are discussed. These reports together provide documentation of the TERRA code and its use in assessments. 96 references, 78 figures, 21 tables.

  2. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    2016-01-01

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  3. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  4. Development and application of fuzzy indicator for assessment of agricultural land resources

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With ever increasing demands on agriculture, it is essential that we be able to adequately evaluate agriculture land resources. Recently, efforts have been undertaken to develop methods and tools for the purpose of evaluating agricultural land resources. However, to be successful, assessments need...

  5. A biometeorological procedure for weather forecast to assess the optimal outdoor clothing insulation.

    PubMed

    Morabito, Marco; Crisci, Alfonso; Cecchi, Lorenzo; Modesti, Pietro Amedeo; Maracchi, Giampiero; Gensini, Gian Franco; Orlandini, Simone

    2008-09-01

    Clothing insulation represents an important parameter strongly dependent on climate/weather variability and directly involved in the assessment of the human energy balance. Few studies tried to explore the influence of climate changes on the optimal clothing insulation for outdoor spaces. For this reason, the aim of this work was to investigate mainly the optimal outdoor minimum clothing insulation value required to reach the thermal neutrality (min_clo) related to climate change on a seasonal basis. Subsequently, we developed an example of operational biometeorological procedure to provide 72-hour forecast maps concerning the min_clo. Hourly meteorological data were provided by three Italian weather stations located in Turin, Rome and Palermo, for the period 1951-1995. Environmental variables and subjective characteristics referred to an average adult young male at rest and at a very high metabolic rate were used as input variables to calculate the min_clo by using a thermal index based on the human energy balance. Trends of min_clo were assessed by a non-parametric statistical method. Results showed a lower magnitude of trends in a subject at a very high metabolic rate than at rest. Turin always showed a decrease of min_clo during the study period and prevalently negative trends were also observed in Palermo. On the other hand, an opposite situation was observed in Rome, especially during the morning in all seasons. The development of a daily operational procedure to forecast customized min_clo could provide useful information for the outdoor clothing fitting that might help to reduce the weather-related human health risk.

  6. Assessing communication as one of the drivers of urban resilience to weather extremes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicari, Rosa; Schertzer, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The quality of science and technology communication has become more challenging due to the fact that access to information has hugely increased in terms of variety and quantity. This is a consequence of different factors, among others the development of public relations by research institutes and the pervasive role of digital media (Bucchi 2013; Trench 2008). A key question is how can we objectively assess science and technology communication? Relatively few studies have been dedicated to the definition of pertinent indicators and standards (Neresini and Bucchi 2011). This research aims to understand how communication strategies, addressed to the general public, can optimise the impact of research findings in hydrology for resilient cities and how this can be assessed. Indeed urban resilience to extreme weather events relies both on engineering solutions and increased awareness of urban communities as it was highlighted by the FP7 SMARTesT project and the experiences carried out in the framework of TOMACS (Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convective Studies for Resilient Cities) and CASA (Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptative Sensing of the Atmosphere, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation). Communication assessment should be included in an alternative approach to evaluate urban resilience to weather extremes. Various qualitative and quantitative methods to monitor communication exist. According to this study, resilience indicators shouldn't only consider communication infrastructures but should also assess communication processes and their interactions with other resilience drivers; furthermore quantitative variables are considered as particularly relevant. Last, but not least, interesting inputs are provided by those case studies that exploit resilience assessment campaigns as an opportunity to practice participatory communication. This research is being led in the framework of the Chair Hydrology for Resilient Cities, co-founded by Veolia

  7. Model Development for Risk Assessment of Driving on Freeway under Rainy Weather Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Xiaonan; Wang, Chen; Chen, Shengdi; Lu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Rainy weather conditions could result in significantly negative impacts on driving on freeways. However, due to lack of enough historical data and monitoring facilities, many regions are not able to establish reliable risk assessment models to identify such impacts. Given the situation, this paper provides an alternative solution where the procedure of risk assessment is developed based on drivers’ subjective questionnaire and its performance is validated by using actual crash data. First, an ordered logit model was developed, based on questionnaire data collected from Freeway G15 in China, to estimate the relationship between drivers’ perceived risk and factors, including vehicle type, rain intensity, traffic volume, and location. Then, weighted driving risk for different conditions was obtained by the model, and further divided into four levels of early warning (specified by colors) using a rank order cluster analysis. After that, a risk matrix was established to determine which warning color should be disseminated to drivers, given a specific condition. Finally, to validate the proposed procedure, actual crash data from Freeway G15 were compared with the safety prediction based on the risk matrix. The results show that the risk matrix obtained in the study is able to predict driving risk consistent with actual safety implications, under rainy weather conditions. PMID:26894434

  8. Excavatability Assessment of Weathered Sedimentary Rock Mass Using Seismic Velocity Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bin Mohamad, Edy Tonnizam; Saad, Rosli; Noor, Muhazian Md; Isa, Mohamed Fauzi Bin Md.; Mazlan, Ain Naadia

    2010-12-01

    Seismic refraction method is one of the most popular methods in assessing surface excavation. The main objective of the seismic data acquisition is to delineate the subsurface into velocity profiles as different velocity can be correlated to identify different materials. The physical principal used for the determination of excavatability is that seismic waves travel faster through denser material as compared to less consolidated material. In general, a lower velocity indicates material that is soft and a higher velocity indicates more difficult to be excavated. However, a few researchers have noted that seismic velocity method alone does not correlate well with the excavatability of the material. In this study, a seismic velocity method was used in Nusajaya, Johor to assess the accuracy of this seismic velocity method with excavatability of the weathered sedimentary rock mass. A direct ripping run by monitoring the actual production of ripping has been employed at later stage and compared to the ripper manufacturer's recommendation. This paper presents the findings of the seismic velocity tests in weathered sedimentary area. The reliability of using this method with the actual rippability trials is also presented.

  9. Excavatability Assessment of Weathered Sedimentary Rock Mass Using Seismic Velocity Method

    SciTech Connect

    Bin Mohamad, Edy Tonnizam; Noor, Muhazian Md; Isa, Mohamed Fauzi Bin Md.; Mazlan, Ain Naadia; Saad, Rosli

    2010-12-23

    Seismic refraction method is one of the most popular methods in assessing surface excavation. The main objective of the seismic data acquisition is to delineate the subsurface into velocity profiles as different velocity can be correlated to identify different materials. The physical principal used for the determination of excavatability is that seismic waves travel faster through denser material as compared to less consolidated material. In general, a lower velocity indicates material that is soft and a higher velocity indicates more difficult to be excavated. However, a few researchers have noted that seismic velocity method alone does not correlate well with the excavatability of the material. In this study, a seismic velocity method was used in Nusajaya, Johor to assess the accuracy of this seismic velocity method with excavatability of the weathered sedimentary rock mass. A direct ripping run by monitoring the actual production of ripping has been employed at later stage and compared to the ripper manufacturer's recommendation. This paper presents the findings of the seismic velocity tests in weathered sedimentary area. The reliability of using this method with the actual rippability trials is also presented.

  10. Life cycle assessment of domestic and agricultural rainwater harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Santosh R; Johnston, John M; Ingwersen, Wesley W; Hawkins, Troy R

    2014-04-01

    To further understanding of the environmental implications of rainwater harvesting and its water savings potential relative to conventional U.S. water delivery infrastructure, we present a method to perform life cycle assessment of domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH) and agricultural rainwater harvesting (ARWH) systems. We also summarize the design aspects of DRWH and ARWH systems adapted to the Back Creek watershed, Virginia. The baseline design reveals that the pump and pumping electricity are the main components of DRWH and ARWH impacts. For nonpotable uses, the minimal design of DRWH (with shortened distribution distance and no pump) outperforms municipal drinking water in all environmental impact categories except ecotoxicity. The minimal design of ARWH outperforms well water in all impact categories. In terms of watershed sustainability, the two minimal designs reduced environmental impacts, from 58% to 78% energy use and 67% to 88% human health criteria pollutants, as well as avoiding up to 20% blue water (surface/groundwater) losses, compared to municipal drinking water and well water. We address potential environmental and human health impacts of urban and rural RWH systems in the region. The Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) model-based life cycle inventory data were used for this study.

  11. Biotechnology: An Assessment of Agricultural Science Teachers' Knowledge and Attitudes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mowen, Diana L.; Roberts, T. Grady; Wingenbach, Gary J.; Harlin, Julie F.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore agricultural science teachers' knowledge levels and attitudes toward biotechnology topics. The average agricultural science teacher in this study was a 37-year-old male who had taught for 12 years. He had a bachelor's degree and had lived or worked on a farm or ranch. He had not attended…

  12. Comparison of numerical weather prediction based deterministic and probabilistic wind resource assessment methods

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jie; Draxl, Caroline; Hopson, Thomas; Monache, Luca Delle; Vanvyve, Emilie; Hodge, Bri-Mathias

    2015-10-01

    Numerical weather prediction (NWP) models have been widely used for wind resource assessment. Model runs with higher spatial resolution are generally more accurate, yet extremely computational expensive. An alternative approach is to use data generated by a low resolution NWP model, in conjunction with statistical methods. In order to analyze the accuracy and computational efficiency of different types of NWP-based wind resource assessment methods, this paper performs a comparison of three deterministic and probabilistic NWP-based wind resource assessment methodologies: (i) a coarse resolution (0.5 degrees x 0.67 degrees) global reanalysis data set, the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA); (ii) an analog ensemble methodology based on the MERRA, which provides both deterministic and probabilistic predictions; and (iii) a fine resolution (2-km) NWP data set, the Wind Integration National Dataset (WIND) Toolkit, based on the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Results show that: (i) as expected, the analog ensemble and WIND Toolkit perform significantly better than MERRA confirming their ability to downscale coarse estimates; (ii) the analog ensemble provides the best estimate of the multi-year wind distribution at seven of the nine sites, while the WIND Toolkit is the best at one site; (iii) the WIND Toolkit is more accurate in estimating the distribution of hourly wind speed differences, which characterizes the wind variability, at five of the available sites, with the analog ensemble being best at the remaining four locations; and (iv) the analog ensemble computational cost is negligible, whereas the WIND Toolkit requires large computational resources. Future efforts could focus on the combination of the analog ensemble with intermediate resolution (e.g., 10-15 km) NWP estimates, to considerably reduce the computational burden, while providing accurate deterministic estimates and reliable probabilistic assessments.

  13. Assessing the impact of science communication in the development of resilient cities to extreme weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicari, Rosa; Gires, Auguste; Tchiguirinskaia, Ioulia; Schertzer, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    The combined effects of climate change and increasing urbanisation call for new solutions to achieve urban resiliency to extreme weather. The research projects carried out by the HM&Co team (LEESU & Chair 'Hydrology for Resilient Cities' sponsored by Veolia) need to be supported by communication activities aimed to support community capacity building and cooperation between scientists and their partners and stakeholders. While outreach activities are becoming an integral part of many research projects on climate adaptation, their evaluation is scarce, rather optional, very limited. This work aims to develop quantitative and qualitative evaluation of science communication and to design corresponding assessment tools. It will be examined how evaluation can eventually improve the quality, efficiency and impact of communication activities in enhancing collaboration between scientists, professionals (e.g. water managers, urban planners) and beneficiaries (e.g. concerned citizens, policy makers). The research takes hold on several case studies on projects and programs aiming to increase the resiliency of cities to extreme weather: French projects and programmes such as RadX@IdF and Chair "Hydrology for a resilient city", European projects such as Climate KIC Blue Green Dream and Interreg NWE IVB RainGain and worldwide collaborations (e.g. TOMACS). The evaluation techniques and tools developed in the framework of this work are intended to become a useful support for engineers and researchers involved in projects on urban hydrology where resilience to extreme weather events relies also on effective communication processes between the above mentioned social actors. In particular, one of the purposes of this work is to highlight how auto-evaluation can improve on-going communication activities and create a virtuous circle of planning/implementation/evaluation. This research has links with those on the development of exploration techniques of the unstructured social big data

  14. Impact of nitrogenous fertilizers on carbonate dissolution in small agricultural catchments: Implications for weathering CO 2 uptake at regional and global scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Anne-Sophie; Probst, Anne; Probst, Jean-Luc

    2008-07-01

    The goal of this study was to highlight the occurrence of an additional proton-promoted weathering pathway of carbonate rocks in agricultural areas where N-fertilizers are extensively spread, and to estimate its consequences on riverine alkalinity and uptake of CO 2 by weathering. We surveyed 25 small streams in the calcareous molassic Gascogne area located in the Garonne river basin (south-western France) that drain cultivated or forested catchments for their major element compositions during different hydrologic periods. Among these catchments, the Hay and the Montoussé, two experimental catchments, were monitored on a weekly basis. Studies in the literature from other small carbonate catchments in Europe were dissected in the same way. In areas of intensive agriculture, the molar ratio (Ca + Mg)/HCO 3 in surface waters is significantly higher (0.7 on average) than in areas of low anthropogenic pressure (0.5). This corresponds to a decrease in riverine alkalinity, which can reach 80% during storm events. This relative loss of alkalinity correlates well with the NO3- content in surface waters. In cultivated areas, the contribution of atmospheric/soil CO 2 to the total riverine alkalinity (CO 2 ATM-SOIL/HCO 3) is less than 50% (expected value for carbonate basins), and it decreases when the nitrate concentration increases. This loss of alkalinity can be attributed to the substitution of carbonic acid (natural weathering pathway) by protons produced by nitrification of N-fertilizers (anthropogenic weathering pathway) occurring in soils during carbonate dissolution. As a consequence of these processes, the alkalinity over the last 30 years shows a decreasing trend in the Save river (one of the main Garonne river tributaries, draining an agricultural catchment), while the nitrate and calcium plus magnesium contents are increasing. We estimated that the contribution of atmospheric/soil CO 2 to riverine alkalinity decreased by about 7-17% on average for all the studied

  15. Effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on survival, development, growth and sex ratios of wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles. II: agriculturally relevant exposures to Roundup WeatherMax® and Vision® under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Lanctôt, C; Navarro-Martín, L; Robertson, C; Park, B; Jackman, P; Pauli, B D; Trudeau, V L

    2014-09-01

    Glyphosate-based herbicides are currently the most commonly used herbicides in the world. They have been shown to affect survival, growth, development and sexual differentiation of tadpoles under chronic laboratory exposures but this has not been investigated under more environmentally realistic conditions. The purpose of this study is (1) to determine if an agriculturally relevant exposure to Roundup WeatherMax®, a relatively new and understudied formulation, influences the development of wood frog tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus) through effects on the mRNA levels of genes involved in the control of metamorphosis; (2) to compare results to the well-studied Vision® formulation (containing the isopropylamine salt of glyphosate [IPA] and polyethoxylated tallowamine [POEA] surfactant) and to determine which ingredient(s) in the formulations are responsible for potential effects on development; and (3) to compare results to recent field studies that used a similar experimental design. In the present laboratory study, wood frog tadpoles were exposed to an agriculturally relevant application (i.e., two pulses) of Roundup WeatherMax® and Vision® herbicides as well as the active ingredient (IPA) and the POEA surfactant of Vision®. Survival, development, growth, sex ratios and mRNA levels of genes involved in tadpole metamorphosis were measured. Results show that Roundup WeatherMax® (2.89 mg acid equivalent (a.e.)/L) caused 100% mortality after the first pulse. Tadpoles treated with a lower concentration of Roundup WeatherMax® (0.21 mg a.e./L) as well as Vision® (2.89 mg a.e./L), IPA and POEA had an increased condition factor (based on length and weight measures in the tadpoles) relative to controls at Gosner stage (Gs) 36/38. At Gs42, tadpoles treated with IPA and POEA had a decreased condition factor. Also at Gs42, the effect on condition factor was dependent on the sex of tadpoles and significant treatment effects were only detected in males. In most cases

  16. A support system for assessing local vulnerability to weather and climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coletti, Alex; Howe, Peter D.; Yarnal, Brent; Wood, Nathan J.

    2013-01-01

    The changing number and nature of weather- and climate-related natural hazards is causing more communities to need to assess their vulnerabilities. Vulnerability assessments, however, often require considerable expertise and resources that are not available or too expensive for many communities. To meet the need for an easy-to-use, cost-effective vulnerability assessment tool for communities, a prototype online vulnerability assessment support system was built and tested. This prototype tool guides users through a stakeholder-based vulnerability assessment that breaks the process into four easy-to-implement steps. Data sources are integrated in the online environment so that perceived risks—defined and prioritized qualitatively by users—can be compared and discussed against the impacts that past events have had on the community. The support system is limited in scope, and the locations of the case studies do not provide a sufficiently broad range of sample cases. The addition of more publically available hazard databases combined with future improvements in the support system architecture and software will expand opportunities for testing and fully implementing the support system.

  17. The weather roulette: assessing the economic value of seasonal wind speed predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christel, Isadora; Cortesi, Nicola; Torralba-Fernandez, Veronica; Soret, Albert; Gonzalez-Reviriego, Nube; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Climate prediction is an emerging and highly innovative research area. For the wind energy sector, predicting the future variability of wind resources over the coming weeks or seasons is especially relevant to quantify operation and maintenance logistic costs or to inform energy trading decision with potential cost savings and/or economic benefits. Recent advances in climate predictions have already shown that probabilistic forecasting can improve the current prediction practices, which are based in the use of retrospective climatology and the assumption that what happened in the past is the best estimation of future conditions. Energy decision makers now have this new set of climate services but, are they willing to use them? Our aim is to properly explain the potential economic benefits of adopting probabilistic predictions, compared with the current practice, by using the weather roulette methodology (Hagedorn & Smith, 2009). This methodology is a diagnostic tool created to inform in a more intuitive and relevant way about the skill and usefulness of a forecast in the decision making process, by providing an economic and financial oriented assessment of the benefits of using a particular forecast system. We have selected a region relevant to the energy stakeholders where the predictions of the EUPORIAS climate service prototype for the energy sector (RESILIENCE) are skillful. In this region, we have applied the weather roulette to compare the overall prediction success of RESILIENCE's predictions and climatology illustrating it as an effective interest rate, an economic term that is easier to understand for energy stakeholders.

  18. Integration of agricultural and energy system models for biofuel assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents a coupled modeling framework to capture the dynamic linkages between agricultural and energy markets that have been enhanced through the expansion of biofuel production, as well as the environmental impacts resulting from this expansion. The framework incorpor...

  19. Location of Agricultural Drainage Pipes and Assessment of Agricultural Drainage Pipe Conditions Using Ground Penetrating Radar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methods are needed to not only locate buried agricultural drainage pipe, but to also determine if the pipes are functioning properly with respect to water delivery. The primary focus of this research project was to confirm the ability of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate buried drainage pipe ...

  20. The main pillar: Assessment of space weather observational asset performance supporting nowcasting, forecasting, and research to operations

    PubMed Central

    Posner, A; Hesse, M; St Cyr, O C

    2014-01-01

    Space weather forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore particularly important to understand how existing and newly planned observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. Extreme space weather creates challenging conditions under which instrumentation and spacecraft may be impeded or in which parameters reach values that are outside the nominal observational range. This paper analyzes existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations. A single limitation to the assessment is lack of information provided to us on radiation monitor performance, which caused us not to fully assess (i.e., not assess short term) radiation storm forecasting. The assessment finds that at least two widely spaced coronagraphs including L4 would provide reliability for Earth-bound CMEs. Furthermore, all magnetic field measurements assessed fully meet requirements. However, with current or even with near term new assets in place, in the worst-case scenario there could be a near-complete lack of key near-real-time solar wind plasma data of severe disturbances heading toward and impacting Earth's magnetosphere. Models that attempt to simulate the effects of these disturbances in near real time or with archival data require solar wind plasma observations as input. Moreover, the study finds that near-future observational assets will be less capable of advancing the understanding of extreme geomagnetic disturbances at Earth, which might make the resulting space weather models unsuitable for transition to operations. Key Points Manuscript assesses current and near-future space weather assets Current assets unreliable for forecasting of severe geomagnetic storms Near-future assets will not improve the situation PMID:26213516

  1. Assessment of nitrous oxide and methane emissions for California agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwath, W. R.; Burger, M.; Assa, Y.; Wilson, T. J.

    2012-12-01

    The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) mandates comprehensive strategies to reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions. In agriculture crop production, sources of N2O are related to nitrogen fertilization while CH4 emission is associated with rice production. More than half the GHG emissions from agriculture are attributed to N2O production. Currently, baseline N2O emission data for most cropping systems in the State is lacking. Estimates of CH4 emission in rice have been established from previous studies, but a lack of information exists for its expansion into the San Joaquin Delta to address subsidence issues. The paucity of N2O emission data has hampered biogeochemical modeling efforts. The objectives of this assessment are to (1) measure annual N2O and CH4 emissions for major California crops (vineyards, almonds, tomato, wheat, alfalfa, lettuce, and rice) under typical management practices, (2) characterize the effects of environmental factors on the temporal profile of N2O and CH4 emissions, and (3) determine N2O emission factors. The growth of rice in Delta peat soils produced highly variable CH4 emissions depending on tillage intensity. In 2010, standard tillage produced 184 kg CH4-C/ha while in 2011 after deep plowing placing rice residue deeper into the soil, only 26 kg CH4-C/ha was observed. In processing tomato systems, an average 2.5 kg N2O-N/ha was emitted with standard fertilization (160 kg N / ha), similar to background emissions and those from a drip irrigated system, while 4.0 to 5.8 kg N2O-N /ha y-1 was emitted at fertilizer rates of 225 and 300 kg N /ha (see Fig. 1 for example of temporal sources of emissions). About half the annual emissions were emitted within 3 d after the first seasonal rainfall event. In other tomato studies, estimated losses of fertilizer N as N2O were 0.38 ± 0.03 kg/ha y-1 in a drip irrigated system and 1.79 ± 0.21 kg/ha y-1 in furrow irrigated system, which was equivalent to 0.19% and 0

  2. Assessing the Agricultural Vulnerability for India under Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Tarul; Vardhan Murari, Harsha; Karmakar, Subhankar; Ghosh, Subimal; Singh, Jitendra

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change has proven to show majorly negative impacts for the far future. These negative impacts adversely affect almost all the fields including agriculture, water resources, tourism, and marine ecosystem. Among these, the effects on agriculture are considered to be of prime importance since its regional impacts can directly affect the global food security. Under such lines, it becomes essential to understand how climate change directs agricultural production for a region along with its vulnerability. In India, rice and wheat are considered as major staple diet and hence understanding its production loss/gain due to regional vulnerability to climate change becomes necessary. Here, an attempt has been made to understand the agricultural vulnerability for rice and wheat, considering yield as a function of temperature and precipitation during growing period. In order to accomplish this objective, the ratio of actual to potential evapo-transpiration has been considered which serves as a reliable indicator; with more this ratio towards unity, less vulnerable will be the region. The current objective needs an integration of climatic, hydrological and agricultural parameters; that can be achieved by simulating a climate data driven hydrologic (Variable Infiltration Capacity, VIC) model and a crop (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer, DSSAT) model. The proposed framework is an attempt to derive a crop vulnerability map that can facilitate in strategizing adaption practices which can reduce the adverse impacts of climate change in future.

  3. Modelling Approach to Assess Future Agricultural Water Demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spano, D.; Mancosu, N.; Orang, M.; Sarreshteh, S.; Snyder, R. L.

    2013-12-01

    The combination of long-term climate changes (e.g., warmer average temperatures) and extremes events (e.g., droughts) can have decisive impacts on water demand, with further implications on the ecosystems. In countries already affected by water scarcity, water management problems are becoming increasingly serious. The sustainable management of available water resources at the global, regional, and site-specific level is necessary. In agriculture, the first step is to compute how much water is needed by crops in regards to climate conditions. Modelling approach can be a way to compute crop water requirement (CWR). In this study, the improved version of the SIMETAW model was used. The model is a user friendly soil water balance model, developed by the University of California, Davis, the California Department of Water Resource, and the University of Sassari. The SIMETAW# model assesses CWR and generates hypothetical irrigation scheduling for a wide range of irrigated crops experiencing full, deficit, or no irrigation. The model computes the evapotranspiration of the applied water (ETaw), which is the sum of the net amount of irrigation water needed to match losses due to the crop evapotranspiration (ETc). ETaw is determined by first computing reference evapotranspiration (ETo) using the daily standardized Reference Evapotranspiration equation. ETaw is computed as ETaw = CETc - CEr, where CETc and CE are the cumulative total crop ET and effective rainfall values, respectively. Crop evapotranspiration is estimated as ETc = ETo x Kc, where Kc is the corrected midseason tabular crop coefficient, adjusted for climate conditions. The net irrigation amounts are determined from a daily soil water balance, using an integrated approach that considers soil and crop management information, and the daily ETc estimates. Using input information on irrigation system distribution uniformity and runoff, when appropriate, the model estimates the applied water to the low quarter of the

  4. Assessing Fire Weather Index using statistical downscaling and spatial interpolation techniques in Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karali, Anna; Giannakopoulos, Christos; Frias, Maria Dolores; Hatzaki, Maria; Roussos, Anargyros; Casanueva, Ana

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires have always been present in the Mediterranean ecosystems, thus they constitute a major ecological and socio-economic issue. The last few decades though, the number of forest fires has significantly increased, as well as their severity and impact on the environment. Local fire danger projections are often required when dealing with wild fire research. In the present study the application of statistical downscaling and spatial interpolation methods was performed to the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI), in order to assess forest fire risk in Greece. The FWI is used worldwide (including the Mediterranean basin) to estimate the fire danger in a generalized fuel type, based solely on weather observations. The meteorological inputs to the FWI System are noon values of dry-bulb temperature, air relative humidity, 10m wind speed and precipitation during the previous 24 hours. The statistical downscaling methods are based on a statistical model that takes into account empirical relationships between large scale variables (used as predictors) and local scale variables. In the framework of the current study the statistical downscaling portal developed by the Santander Meteorology Group (https://www.meteo.unican.es/downscaling) in the framework of the EU project CLIMRUN (www.climrun.eu) was used to downscale non standard parameters related to forest fire risk. In this study, two different approaches were adopted. Firstly, the analogue downscaling technique was directly performed to the FWI index values and secondly the same downscaling technique was performed indirectly through the meteorological inputs of the index. In both cases, the statistical downscaling portal was used considering the ERA-Interim reanalysis as predictands due to the lack of observations at noon. Additionally, a three-dimensional (3D) interpolation method of position and elevation, based on Thin Plate Splines (TPS) was used, to interpolate the ERA-Interim data used to calculate the index

  5. Assessing the transfer of risk due to transportation of agricultural products.

    PubMed

    Li, Pei-Chiun; Shih, Hsiu-Ching; Ma, Hwong-Wen

    2015-02-01

    Health risk assessment (HRA) is the process used to estimate adverse health effects on humans. The importance and sensitivity of food chains to HRA have been observed, but the impact of the transportation of food has generally been ignored. This study developed an exposure assessment to demonstrate the significance of the transportation of agricultural products in HRA. The associated case study estimated the health risks derived from various sources of arsenic emissions in Taiwan. Two assessment scenarios, self-sufficiency and transportation of agricultural products, were compared to calculate risk transfer ratios that show the impact of agriculture transportation. The risk transfer ratios found by the study range from 0.22 to 42.10, indicating that the quantity of transportation of agricultural products is the critical factor. High air deposition and high agricultural production are the two main contributors to the effect of the transportation of agricultural products on HRA. Risk reduction measures could be applied to high-pollution areas as well as to areas with high agricultural productivity to reduce ingestion risks to residents. Certain areas that are sensitive to the transportation of agricultural products may incur more risks if emissions increase in agriculturally productive counties.

  6. Assessment of Agricultural Drainage Pipe Conditions Using Ground Penetrating Radar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers and land improvement contractors, especially in the Midwest U.S., need methods to not only locate buried agricultural drainage pipe, but also to determine if the pipes are functioning properly with respect to water delivery. Previous investigations have already demonstrated the feasibility o...

  7. ASSESSING EXPOSURE CLASSIFICATION IN THE AGRICULTURAL HEALTH STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a prospective epidemiologic study examining cancer and non-cancer health outcomes for over 55,000 pesticide applicators and 34,000 spouses in Iowa and North Carolina. Questionnaires were used to collect information about the use of specific ...

  8. UAS remote sensing for precision agriculture: An independent assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are recognized as potentially important remote-sensing platforms for precision agriculture. However, research is required to determine which sensors and data processing methods are required to use sUAS in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Oregon State U...

  9. Sustainable agricultural residue removal for bioenergy: A spatially comprehensive US national assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Muth, David J.; Bryden, Kenneth Mark; Nelson, R. G.

    2012-10-06

    This study provides a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainable agricultural residue removal potential across the United States for bioenergy production. Earlier assessments determining the quantity of agricultural residue that could be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at the regional and national scale faced a number of computational limitations. These limitations included the number of environmental factors, the number of land management scenarios, and the spatial fidelity and spatial extent of the assessment. This study utilizes integrated multi-factor environmental process modeling and high fidelity land use datasets to perform the sustainable agricultural residue removal assessment. Soil type represents the base spatial unit for this study and is modeled using a national soil survey database at the 10–100 m scale. Current crop rotation practices are identified by processing land cover data available from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer database. Land management and residue removal scenarios are identified for each unique crop rotation and crop management zone. Estimates of county averages and state totals of sustainably available agricultural residues are provided. The results of the assessment show that in 2011 over 150 million metric tons of agricultural residues could have been sustainably removed across the United States. Projecting crop yields and land management practices to 2030, the assessment determines that over 207 million metric tons of agricultural residues will be able to be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at that time. This biomass resource has the potential for producing over 68 billion liters of cellulosic biofuels.

  10. Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal for Bioenergy: A Spatially Comprehensive National Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    D. Muth, Jr.; K. M. Bryden; R. G. Nelson

    2013-02-01

    This study provides a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainable agricultural residue removal potential across the United States. Earlier assessments determining the quantity of agricultural residue that could be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at the regional and national scale faced a number of computational limitations. These limitations included the number of environmental factors, the number of land management scenarios, and the spatial fidelity and spatial extent of the assessment. This study utilizes integrated multi-factor environmental process modeling and high fidelity land use datasets to perform a spatially comprehensive assessment of sustainably removable agricultural residues across the conterminous United States. Soil type represents the base spatial unit for this study and is modeled using a national soil survey database at the 10 – 100 m scale. Current crop rotation practices are identified by processing land cover data available from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer database. Land management and residue removal scenarios are identified for each unique crop rotation and crop management zone. Estimates of county averages and state totals of sustainably available agricultural residues are provided. The results of the assessment show that in 2011 over 150 million metric tons of agricultural residues could have been sustainably removed across the United States. Projecting crop yields and land management practices to 2030, the assessment determines that over 207 million metric tons of agricultural residues will be able to be sustainably removed for bioenergy production at that time.

  11. Assessing potential changes of weather-related risk on chestnut productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Mário; Calheiros, Tomas; Pinto, Joaquim; Caramelo, Liliana

    2013-04-01

    Weather conditions play an important role during different phases of the vegetative cycle of the chestnut trees and, consequently, several meteorological parameters seem to be associated chestnut productivity (Heiniger and Conedera, 1992, Cesaraccio et al., 2001, Wilczynski and Podalski, 2007, Gomes-Laranjo et al., 2008, Dinis et al., 2011, Pereira et al., 2011). Observed data from European Climate Assessment and simulated data by COSMO-CLM model for the actual (C20) and future (A1B and B1) climate scenarios were used in this study to: (i) assess the model ability to reproduce weather parameters distribution; and, (ii) to assess future changes in the distribution of meteorological parameters which play an important role in the productivity of chestnut for different future periods. Results points to statistical significant changes in the mean and in variance in the future, more prominent in temperature than in precipitation based parameters. Changes in precipitation will be more significant in Northwestern Iberian Peninsula and France in the end of the 21st century for A1B scenario conditions. As expected, more significant changes will be expected to occur during spring and summer, in the Mediterranean areas and in the later period. The number of days with Tmax<28°C will generally decrease in both scenarios, while the changes in the number of days with 24°C

  12. A 10-Year Assessment of Information and Communication Technology Tasks Required in Undergraduate Agriculture Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edgar, Leslie D.; Johnson, Donald M.; Cox, Casandra

    2012-01-01

    This study sought to assess required information and communication technology (ICT) tasks in selected undergraduate agriculture courses in a land-grant university during a 10-year period. Selected agriculture faculty members in the fall 1999 (n = 63), 2004 (n = 55), and 2009 (n = 64) semesters were surveyed to determine the ICT tasks they required…

  13. Test Item Construction and Validation: Developing a Statewide Assessment for Agricultural Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera, Jennifer E.

    2011-01-01

    The State of New York Agriculture Science Education secondary program is required to have a certification exam for students to assess their agriculture science education experience as a Regent's requirement towards graduation. This paper focuses on the procedure used to develop and validate two content sub-test questions within a…

  14. ASSESSING EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON WILDLIFE HABITAT IN IOWA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    A habitat-change model was used to compare past, present, and future land cover and management practices to assess potential impacts of alternative agricultural practices on wildlife in two agricultural watersheds, Walnut Creek and Buck Creek, in central Iowa, USA. This approach ...

  15. Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, Allison M.; Rosenberg, Norman J.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Brown, Robert A.

    2005-04-01

    Over the next century global warming will lead to changes in weather patterns, affecting many aspects of our environment. In the United States, the one sector of the economy most likely to be directly impacted by the changes in climate is agriculture. We have examined potential changes in dryland agriculture (Part 2) and in water resources necessary for crop production (Part 3). Here we assess to what extent, under a set of climate change scenarios, water supplies will be sufficient to meet the irrigation requirement of major grain crops in the U.S. In addition, we assess the overall impacts of changes in water supply on national grain production. We applied 12 climate change scenarios based on the predictions of General Circulation Models to a water resources model and a crop growth simulator for the conterminous United States. We calculate national production in current crop growing regions by applying irrigation where it is necessary and water is available. Irrigation declines under all climate change scenarios employed in this study. In certain regions and scenarios, precipitation declines so much that water supplies are too limited; in other regions it plentiful enough that little value is derived from irrigation. Total crop production is greater when irrigation is applied, but corn and soybean production declines under most scenarios. Winter wheat production responds significantly to elevated atmospheric CO2 and appears likely to increase under climate change.

  16. Assessment of the phototoxicity of weathered Alaska North Slope crude oil to juvenile pink salmon.

    PubMed

    Barron, Mace G; Carls, Mark G; Short, Jeffrey W; Rice, Stanley D; Heintz, Ron A; Rau, Michelle; Di Giulio, Richard

    2005-06-01

    Petroleum products are known to have greater toxicity to the translucent embryos and larvae of aquatic organisms in the presence of ultraviolet radiation (UV) compared to toxicity determined in tests performed under standard laboratory lighting with minimal UV. This study assessed the acute phototoxicity of the water accommodated fractions of weathered Alaska North Slope crude oil (ANS) to juvenile pink salmon, which are a heavily pigmented life stage. Fish in the highest ANS treatments exhibited melanosis, less mobility, reduced startle response, erratic swimming, and loss of equilibrium. Gills from fish exposed to ANS had elevated levels of hydroperoxides in oil-only, UV-only, and oil+UV treatments compared to control fish, which was indicative of increased lipid peroxidation in gill tissue. Under the test conditions of moderate salinity, low UV and high short-term oil exposure there were no indications of photoenhanced toxicity as assessed by elevation of mortality, behavioral impairment, or gill lipid peroxidation in oil+UV treatments. The results of this study suggest that pink salmon may be at less risk from photoenhanced toxicity compared to the translucent early-life stages of several other Alaska species.

  17. Factors affecting leaching in agricultural areas and an assessment of agricultural chemicals in the ground water of Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, C.A.; Robbins, F.V.; Barnes, P.L.

    1988-01-01

    As assessment of hydrologic factors and agricultural practices that may affect the leaching of agricultural chemicals to groundwater was conducted to evaluate the extent and severity of chemical contamination of groundwater resources in Kansas. The climate of a particular area determines the length of the growing season and the availability of water, at the surface and in the ground, for the growth of plants. Climate, together with surficial geology, soil, and principal aquifers, determines the types of crops to be planted,types of tillage, conservation and irrigation practices, and affects the quantity and method of application of agricultural chemicals. Examination of groundwater nitrate-nitrogen data collected from 766 wells throughout Kansas during 1976-81 indicated that 13 of 14 geohydrologic regions had wells producing samples that exceeded the 10-mg/L drinking water standard determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One or more herbicides were detected in water samples from 11 of 56 wells during 1985-86 located in areas susceptible to agricultural leaching. Atrazine was the most common herbicide that was detected; it was detected in water at 9 of 11 wells. Cyanazine was detected in water at three wells; metolachlor at two wells; and metribuzin, alachlor, simazine, and propazine were detected at one well each. (USGS)

  18. Modeling Agriculture and Land Use in an Integrated Assessment Framework

    SciTech Connect

    Sands, Ronald D.; Leimbach, Marian

    2003-01-01

    The Agriculture and Land Use (AgLU) model is a top-down economic model with just enough structure to simulate global land use change and the resulting carbon emissions over one century. These simulations are done with and without a carbon policy represented by a positive carbon price. Increases in the carbon price create incentives for production of commercial biomass that affect the distribution of other land types and, therefore, carbon emissions from land use change. Commercial biomass provides a link between the agricultural and energy systems. The ICLIPS core model uses AgLU to provide estimates of carbon emissions from land use change as one component of total greenhouse gas emissions.

  19. Sewage sludge composting: quality assessment for agricultural application.

    PubMed

    Nafez, Amir Hossein; Nikaeen, Mahnaz; Kadkhodaie, Safora; Hatamzadeh, Maryam; Moghim, Sharareh

    2015-11-01

    In order to use sewage sludge (SS) composts in agriculture, it is extremely important to estimate the quality of compost products. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of composted SS as a fertilizer and soil amendment especially in semi-arid areas. To determine the quality and agronomic value of the SS compost products, analyses on pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter content, C/N ratio, phytotoxicity, microbial load, and heavy metal content of composted anaerobically digested SS, with different proportions (1:1, 1:2, and 1:3 v/v) of green and dry plant waste, as bulking agents, were performed. The 1:2 and 1:3 mixtures of SS and green/dry plant waste were the most beneficial for composting, with final composts attaining high organic matter degradation and exhibiting low amounts of heavy metals, a relatively high germination index, and significant reduction of pathogens, suggesting the agricultural relevance of composted SS and green/dry plant waste at 1:2 and 1:3 (v/v) proportions. pH and electrical conductivity were also within the permissible limits. With respect to international standards, it appears that composted SS and green/dry plant waste at 1:2 and 1:3 proportions pose no threat to soil or plant quality if used in agriculture or land restoration.

  20. The Main Pillar: Assessment of Space Weather Observational Asset Performance Supporting Nowcasting, Forecasting and Research to Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Posner, Arik; Hesse, Michael; SaintCyr, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Space weather forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore particularly important to understand how existing and newly planned observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. Extreme space weather creates challenging conditions under which instrumentation and spacecraft may be impeded or in which parameters reach values that are outside the nominal observational range. This paper analyzes existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations. A single limitation to the assessment is lack of information provided to us on radiation monitor performance, which caused us not to fully assess (i.e., not assess short term) radiation storm forecasting. The assessment finds that at least two widely spaced coronagraphs including L4 would provide reliability for Earth-bound CMEs. Furthermore, all magnetic field measurements assessed fully meet requirements. However, with current or even with near term new assets in place, in the worst-case scenario there could be a near-complete lack of key near-real-time solar wind plasma data of severe disturbances heading toward and impacting Earth's magnetosphere. Models that attempt to simulate the effects of these disturbances in near real time or with archival data require solar wind plasma observations as input. Moreover, the study finds that near-future observational assets will be less capable of advancing the understanding of extreme geomagnetic disturbances at Earth, which might make the resulting space weather models unsuitable for transition to operations.

  1. The main pillar: Assessment of space weather observational asset performance supporting nowcasting, forecasting, and research to operations.

    PubMed

    Posner, A; Hesse, M; St Cyr, O C

    2014-04-01

    Space weather forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore particularly important to understand how existing and newly planned observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. Extreme space weather creates challenging conditions under which instrumentation and spacecraft may be impeded or in which parameters reach values that are outside the nominal observational range. This paper analyzes existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations. A single limitation to the assessment is lack of information provided to us on radiation monitor performance, which caused us not to fully assess (i.e., not assess short term) radiation storm forecasting. The assessment finds that at least two widely spaced coronagraphs including L4 would provide reliability for Earth-bound CMEs. Furthermore, all magnetic field measurements assessed fully meet requirements. However, with current or even with near term new assets in place, in the worst-case scenario there could be a near-complete lack of key near-real-time solar wind plasma data of severe disturbances heading toward and impacting Earth's magnetosphere. Models that attempt to simulate the effects of these disturbances in near real time or with archival data require solar wind plasma observations as input. Moreover, the study finds that near-future observational assets will be less capable of advancing the understanding of extreme geomagnetic disturbances at Earth, which might make the resulting space weather models unsuitable for transition to operations.

  2. The main pillar: Assessment of space weather observational asset performance supporting nowcasting, forecasting, and research to operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posner, A.; Hesse, M.; St. Cyr, O. C.

    2014-04-01

    Space weather forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore particularly important to understand how existing and newly planned observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. Extreme space weather creates challenging conditions under which instrumentation and spacecraft may be impeded or in which parameters reach values that are outside the nominal observational range. This paper analyzes existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations. A single limitation to the assessment is lack of information provided to us on radiation monitor performance, which caused us not to fully assess (i.e., not assess short term) radiation storm forecasting. The assessment finds that at least two widely spaced coronagraphs including L4 would provide reliability for Earth-bound CMEs. Furthermore, all magnetic field measurements assessed fully meet requirements. However, with current or even with near term new assets in place, in the worst-case scenario there could be a near-complete lack of key near-real-time solar wind plasma data of severe disturbances heading toward and impacting Earth's magnetosphere. Models that attempt to simulate the effects of these disturbances in near real time or with archival data require solar wind plasma observations as input. Moreover, the study finds that near-future observational assets will be less capable of advancing the understanding of extreme geomagnetic disturbances at Earth, which might make the resulting space weather models unsuitable for transition to operations.

  3. PROBABILISTIC ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER VULNERABILITY TO NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents a probabilistic framework for the assessment of groundwater pollution potential by pesticides in two adjacent agricultural watersheds in the Mid-Altantic Coastal Plain. Indices for estimating streams vulnerability to pollutants' load from the surficial aquifer...

  4. AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT: A MULTISECTOR APPROACH TO THE MODERNIZATION OF HUMAN SAFETY REQUIREMENTS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Better understanding of toxicological mechanisms, enhanced testing capabilities, and demands for more sophisticated data for safety and health risk assessment have generated international interest in improving the current testing paradigm for agricultural chemicals. To address th...

  5. Predictable pollution: an assessment of weather balloons and associated impacts on the marine environment--an example for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    O'Shea, Owen R; Hamann, Mark; Smith, Walter; Taylor, Heidi

    2014-02-15

    Efforts to curb pollution in the marine environment are covered by national and international legislation, yet weather balloons are released into the environment with no salvage agenda. Here, we assess impacts associated with weather balloons in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA). We use modeling to assess the probability of ocean endpoints for released weather balloons and predict pathways post-release. In addition, we use 21 months of data from beach cleanup events to validate our results and assess the abundance and frequency of weather balloon fragments in the GBRWHA. We found between 65% and 70% of balloons land in the ocean and ocean currents largely determine final endpoints. Beach cleanup data revealed 2460 weather balloon fragments were recovered from 24 sites within the GBRWHA. This is the first attempt to quantify this problem and these data will add support to a much-needed mitigation strategy for weather balloon waste.

  6. Simulation tests to assess occupational exposure to airborne asbestos from artificially weathered asphalt-based roofing products.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, Patrick; Mowat, Fionna; Weidling, Ryan; Floyd, Mark

    2010-11-01

    Historically, asbestos-containing roof cements and coatings were widely used for patching and repairing leaks. Although fiber releases from these materials when newly applied have been studied, there are virtually no useful data on airborne asbestos fiber concentrations associated with the repair or removal of weathered roof coatings and cements, as most studies involve complete tear-out of old roofs, rather than only limited removal of the roof coating or cement during a repair job. This study was undertaken to estimate potential chrysotile asbestos fiber exposures specific to these types of roofing products following artificially enhanced weathering. Roof panels coated with plastic roof cement and fibered roof coating were subjected to intense solar radiation and daily simulated precipitation events for 1 year and then scraped to remove the weathered materials to assess chrysotile fiber release and potential worker exposures. Analysis of measured fiber concentrations for hand scraping of the weathered products showed 8-h time-weighted average concentrations that were well below the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit for asbestos. There was, however, visibly more dust and a few more fibers collected during the hand scraping of weathered products compared to the cured products previously tested. There was a notable difference between fibers released from weathered and cured roofing products. In weathered samples, a large fraction of chrysotile fibers contained low concentrations of or essentially no magnesium and did not meet the spectral, mineralogical, or morphological definitions of chrysotile asbestos. The extent of magnesium leaching from chrysotile fibers is of interest because several researchers have reported that magnesium-depleted chrysotile fibers are less toxic and produce fewer mesothelial tumors in animal studies than normal chrysotile fibers.

  7. Quality and safety assessment of food and agricultural products by hyperspectral fluorescence imaging.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruoyu; Ying, Yibin; Rao, Xiuqin; Li, Jiangbo

    2012-09-01

    Hyperspectral fluorescence imaging (HSFI) is potentially useful for assessing food and agricultural products, because it combines the merits of both hyperspectral imaging and fluorescence spectroscopy. This paper provides an introduction to HSFI: the principle and components of HSFI, calibration and image processing are described. In addition, recent advances in the application of HSFI to food and agricultural product assessment are reviewed, such as contaminant detection, constituent analysis and quality evaluation. Finally, current limitations and likely future development trends are discussed.

  8. [Climate change and hygienic assessment of weather conditions in Omsk and the Omsk Region].

    PubMed

    Gudinova, Zh V; Akimova, I S; Klochikhina, A V

    2010-01-01

    The paper deals with trends in climate change in the Omsk Region: the increases in average annual air temperatures and rainfall, which are attended by the higher number of abnormal weather events, as shown by the data of the Omsk Regional Board, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring. There is information on weather severity in 2008: there was mild weather in spring and severe weather in winter, in January in particular. A survey of physicians has revealed that medical workers are concerned about climate problems and global warming and ascertained weather events mostly affecting the population's health. People worry most frequently about a drastic temperature drop or rise (as high as 71%), atmospheric pressure change (53%), and "when it is too hot in summer (47%).

  9. The challenges of including impacts on biodiversity in agricultural life cycle assessments.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Vanessa M; Meier, Matthias S; Köpke, Ulrich; Stolze, Matthias

    2016-10-01

    Agriculture is considered to be one of the main drivers for worldwide biodiversity loss but the impacts of agricultural production on biodiversity have not been extensively considered in Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). Recent realisation that biodiversity impact should be included in comprehensive LCAs has led to attempts to develop and implement methods for biodiversity impact assessment. In this review, twenty-two different biodiversity impact assessment methods have been analysed to identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their comprehensiveness in the evaluation of agricultural products. Different criteria, which had to meet the specific requirements of biodiversity research, life cycle assessment methodology, and the evaluation of agricultural products, were selected to investigate the identified methods. Very few of the methods were developed with the specific intention of being used for agricultural LCAs. Furthermore, none of the methods can be applied globally while at the same time being able to differentiate between various agricultural intensities. Global value chains and the increasing awareness of different biodiversity impacts of agricultural production systems demand the development of evaluation methods that are able to overcome these shortcomings. Despite the progress that has already been achieved, there are still unresolved difficulties which need further research and improvement.

  10. Assessing multiregion avian benefits from strategically targeted agricultural buffers.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kristine O; Burger, L Wes; Riffell, Sam; Smith, Mark D

    2014-08-01

    Mounting evidence of wildlife population gains from targeted conservation practices has prompted the need to develop and evaluate practices that are integrated into production agriculture systems and targeted toward specific habitat objectives. However, effectiveness of targeted conservation actions across broader landscapes is poorly understood. We evaluated multiregion, multispecies avian densities on row-crop fields with native grass field margins (i.e., buffers) as part of the first U.S. agricultural conservation practice designed to support habitat and population recovery objectives of a national wildlife conservation initiative. We coordinated breeding season point transect surveys for 6 grassland bird species on 1151 row-crop fields with and without native grass buffers (9-37 m) in 14 U.S. states (10 ecoregions) from 2006 to 2011. In most regions, breeding season densities of 5 of 6 targeted bird species were greater in the 500-m surrounding survey points centered on fields with native grass buffers than in landscapes without buffers. Relative effect sizes were greatest for Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), and Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla) in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and Eastern Tallgrass Prairie regions. Other species (e.g., Eastern Meadowlark [Sturnella magna], Grasshopper Sparrow [Ammodramus savannarum]) exhibited inconsistent relative effect sizes. Bird densities on fields with and without buffers were greatest in the Central Mixed-grass Prairie region. Our results suggest that strategic use of conservation buffers in regions with the greatest potential for relative density increases in target species will elicit greater range-wide population response than diffuse, uninformed, and broadly distributed implementation of buffers. We recommend integrating multiple conservation practices in broader agricultural landscapes to maximize conservation effectiveness for a larger suite of species.

  11. [Eco-fitness of county-level agricultural leading industry structure: assessment and development prediction].

    PubMed

    Wang, Liang; Zhu, Li-Qun; Zhang, Si-Wei; Zhang, Pei-Qi; Xu, Min-Lun; Bian, Xin-Min

    2012-11-01

    Based on the 'three critical points' theory of eco-fitness, and by using dynamic weighting and fitting methods, an assessment system for the eco-fitness of county-level agricultural leading industry structure was constructed, and, taking Zhangqiu of Shandong Province, East China as a case, the eco-fitness of county-level agricultural leading industry structure was assessed and predicted. Due to the limited agro-ecological resources, the comprehensive eco-fitness index of four kinds of agricultural leading industry in Zhangqiu presented an upward trend from 2005 to 2010, but a downward trend from 2011 to 2015. The eco-fitness indices of oil crops and fruits would be negative in 2015. The applied research in Zhangqiu confirmed the validity of the assessment system constructed for the eco-fitness of county-level agriculture leading industry structure and the rationality of the prediction model.

  12. Re-Assessing The Weathering Signature Of Continental Waters: Constraints from Mg and Li isostope ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tipper, E.

    2015-12-01

    Chemical weathering mediates Earth's carbon cycle and hence global climate over geological time-scales. Ca and Mg from silicate minerals are released to the solute phase during dissolution with carbonic acid and subsequenty buried as marine carbonate. This mechanism has provided the climatic feedback that has maintained Earth's climate equable over geological history. Quantitative models of contemporary silicate weathering processes coupled to estimates of modern day carbon fluxes associated with silicate weathering are thus fundamental to understanding the feedbacks between the carbon cycle, climate and chemical weathering. Estimating the Ca and Mg released from silicate weathering is not straightforward because their fluxes are dominated by carbonate weathering. Instead, contemporary silicate weathering fluxes are typically quantified based on Na and K fluxes in river waters because these elements are considered to be derived from silicate weathering. Silicate Ca fluxes are based on the product of the Na flux and an average Ca/Na ratio of silicate rocks. This relies on the assumption that Na and K are predominantly released by silicate mineral dissolution. However, it has been proposed that Na-Ca exchange reactions with clay on mineral surfaces could account for 80% of the Na in rivers waters. At present, none of the methods to estimate silicate weathering fluxes and associated CO2 consumption account for cation-exchange reactions largely because physical and chemical weathering were assumed to be steady state processes implying that cation exchange has no net influence on weathering fluxes. In tandem, there are numerous reports of stable isotope fractionation of the elements Mg and Li that are inferred to be induced by clay minerals. At present it is not clear whether this fractionation is associated with mineral surfaces (exchange) or structural incorporation into the clays. Here we will report Mg and Li isotope analyses on dissolved, exchangeable and

  13. Risk assessment of agricultural water requirement based on a multi-model ensemble framework, southwest of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamani, Reza; Akhond-Ali, Ali-Mohammad; Roozbahani, Abbas; Fattahi, Rouhollah

    2016-06-01

    Water shortage and climate change are the most important issues of sustainable agricultural and water resources development. Given the importance of water availability in crop production, the present study focused on risk assessment of climate change impact on agricultural water requirement in southwest of Iran, under two emission scenarios (A2 and B1) for the future period (2025-2054). A multi-model ensemble framework based on mean observed temperature-precipitation (MOTP) method and a combined probabilistic approach Long Ashton Research Station-Weather Generator (LARS-WG) and change factor (CF) have been used for downscaling to manage the uncertainty of outputs of 14 general circulation models (GCMs). The results showed an increasing temperature in all months and irregular changes of precipitation (either increasing or decreasing) in the future period. In addition, the results of the calculated annual net water requirement for all crops affected by climate change indicated an increase between 4 and 10 %. Furthermore, an increasing process is also expected regarding to the required water demand volume. The most and the least expected increase in the water demand volume is about 13 and 5 % for A2 and B1 scenarios, respectively. Considering the results and the limited water resources in the study area, it is crucial to provide water resources planning in order to reduce the negative effects of climate change. Therefore, the adaptation scenarios with the climate change related to crop pattern and water consumption should be taken into account.

  14. Agriculture and Provincial Reconstruction Teams: Assessing the Effectiveness of Agricultural Advisor Projects in Afghanistan

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-11

    information that inform an MOP or MOE.20 20U.S. Army, Field Manual (FM) 3-07, Stability Operations...Assessment. Washington, DC: USAID, June 2006. U.S. Army. Field Manual (FM) 3-07, Stability Operations. Washington, DC: Department of the Army...9Michael McNerney, “Stabilization and Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Are PRTs a Model or a Muddle?” Parameters (Winter 2005-06): 34. to date it

  15. Life Cycle Assessment of Domestic and Agricultural Rainwater Harvesting Systems

    EPA Science Inventory

    To further understanding of the environmental implications of rainwater harvesting and its water savings potential relative to conventional U.S. water delivery infrastructure, we present a method to perform life cycle assessment of domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH) and agricul...

  16. Baseline Assessment of the Use of Weather Information in Airline Systems Operations Centers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-08-01

    Wsi .--------------Weather.services.international vii ExECUTIvE sUmmAry approximately. 70.%. of. national. airspace. system. (nas...Products Coordinator Manager 4 dispatchers 604 Boeing 777 757 737-800 MD 82/83 A300/600 13,650 4.5h /1h /16h Worldwide Sabre WSI ...Pilotbrief EAG WSI Fusion NEXRAD, Convective SIGMETs, AIRMETs NOAA weather Center Java Tool International Senior Meteorologist

  17. 7 CFR 780.12 - Appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978. 780.12 Section 780.12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department... REGULATIONS § 780.12 Appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978. (a) Requests for appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign...

  18. 7 CFR 780.12 - Appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978. 780.12 Section 780.12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department... REGULATIONS § 780.12 Appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978. (a) Requests for appeals of penalties assessed under the Agricultural Foreign...

  19. A TIERED APPROACH TO LIFE STAGES TESTING FOR AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A proposal has been developed by the Agricultural Chemical Safety Assessment (ACSA) Technical Committee of the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) for an improved approach to assessing the safety of crop protection chemicals. The goal is to ensure that studie...

  20. A TIERED APPROACH TO LIFE STAGES TESTING FOR AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFERY ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A proposal has been developed by the Agricultural Chemical Safety Assessment (ACSA) Technical Committee of the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) for an improved approach to assessing the safety of crop protection chemicals. The goal is to ensure that studie...

  1. A soil quality and metabolic activity assessment after fifty-seven years of agricultural management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil quality assessment is a proactive process for understanding the long-term effects of soil and crop management practices within agricultural watersheds. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of management on the soil quality in fields with 57 yrs of known management history. The f...

  2. Data base of accident and agricultural statistics for transportation risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Saricks, C.L.; Williams, R.G.; Hopf, M.R.

    1989-11-01

    A state-level data base of accident and agricultural statistics has been developed to support risk assessment for transportation of spent nuclear fuels and high-level radioactive wastes. This data base will enhance the modeling capabilities for more route-specific analyses of potential risks associated with transportation of these wastes to a disposal site. The data base and methodology used to develop state-specific accident and agricultural data bases are described, and summaries of accident and agricultural statistics are provided. 27 refs., 9 tabs.

  3. Water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters; a national monitoring network for assessing the effectiveness of national and European manure legislation in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Rozemeijer, J C; Klein, J; Broers, H P; van Tol-Leenders, T P; van der Grift, B

    2014-12-01

    Large nutrient losses to groundwater and surface waters are a major drawback of the highly productive agricultural sector in The Netherlands. The resulting high nutrient concentrations in water resources threaten their ecological, industrial, and recreational functions. To mitigate eutrophication problems, legislation on nutrient application in agriculture was enforced in 1986 in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to evaluate this manure policy by assessing the water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters. We used datasets from 5 agricultural test catchments and from 167 existing monitoring locations in agricultural headwaters. Trend analysis for these locations showed a fast reduction of nutrient concentrations after the enforcement of the manure legislation (median slopes of -0.55 mg/l per decade for total nitrogen (N-tot) and -0.020 mg/l per decade for total phosphorus (P-tot)). Still, up to 76 % of the selected locations currently do not comply with either the environmental quality standards (EQSs) for nitrogen (N-tot) or phosphorus (P-tot). This indicates that further improvement of agricultural water quality is needed. We observed that weather-related variations in nutrient concentrations strongly influence the compliance testing results, both for individual locations and for the aggregated results at the national scale. Another important finding is that testing compliance for nutrients based on summer average concentrations may underestimate the agricultural impact on ecosystem health. The focus on summer concentrations does not account for the environmental impact of high winter loads from agricultural headwaters towards downstream water bodies.

  4. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Nigeria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staples, D.; Steingass, H.; Nolfi, J.

    1981-01-01

    The market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture was studied. Information is presented on technical and economically feasible applications, and assessments of the business, government and financial climate for photovoltaic sales. It is concluded that the market for stand-alone systems will be large because of the availability of captial and the high premium placed on high reliability, low maintenance power systems. Various specific applications are described, mostly related to agriculture.

  5. Occurrences and toxicological risk assessment of eight heavy metals in agricultural soils from Kenya, Eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Mungai, Teresiah Muciku; Owino, Anita Awino; Makokha, Victorine Anyango; Gao, Yan; Yan, Xue; Wang, Jun

    2016-09-01

    The concentration distribution and toxicological assessment of eight heavy metals including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and zinc (Zn) in agricultural soils from Kenya, Eastern Africa, were investigated in this study. The results showed mean concentrations of eight heavy metals of Zn, Pb, Cr, Cu, As, Ni, Hg, and Cd in agricultural soils as 247.39, 26.87, 59.69, 88.59, 8.93, 12.56, 8.06, and 0.42 mg kg(-1), respectively. These mean values of eight heavy metals were close to the toxicity threshold limit of USEPA standard values of agricultural soils, indicating potential toxicological risk to the food chain. Pollution index values revealed that eight heavy metals severely decreased in the order Hg > Cd > As > Cu > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cr and the mean value of the overall pollution index of Hg and Cd was 20.31, indicating severe agriculture ecological risk. Potential pollution sources of eight heavy metals in agricultural soils were mainly from anthropogenic activities and natural dissolution. The intensification of human agricultural activities, the growing industrialization, and the rapid urbanization largely influenced the concentration levels of heavy metals in Kenya, Eastern Africa. Moreover, the lack of agricultural normalization management and poor enforcement of environmental laws and regulations further intensified the widespread pollution of agricultural soils in Kenya.

  6. Assessing Change in Agricultural Productivity Caused by Drought and Conflict in Northern Syria using Landsat Imagery.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girgin, T.; Ozdogan, M.

    2015-12-01

    Until recently, agricultural production in Syria has been an important source of revenue and food security for the country. At its peak, agriculture in Syria accounted for 25 percent of the country's GDP. In 2014, Syrian agriculture accounted for less than 5 percent of the GDP. This decline in agricultural productivity is the cause of a 3-year long drought that started in 2007, followed by a still-ongoing conflict that started in mid-2011. Using remote sensing tools, this paper focuses on the impact that the 2007-2010 drought had on agricultural production, as well as the impact that the ongoing conflict had on the agricultural production in northern Syria. Remote sensing is a powerful and great solution to study regions of the world that are hard-to-reach due to conflict and/or other limitations. It is particularly useful when studying a region that inaccessible due to an ongoing conflict, such as in northern Syria. Using multi-temporal Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images from August 2006, 2010 and 2014 and utilizing the neural networks algorithm, we assessed for agricultural output change in northern Syria. We conclude that the ongoing Syrian conflict has had a bigger impact on the agricultural output in northern Syria than the 3-year long drought.

  7. Considering the normative, systemic and procedural dimensions in indicator-based sustainability assessments in agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Binder, Claudia R.; Feola, Giuseppe; Steinberger, Julia K.

    2010-02-15

    This paper develops a framework for evaluating sustainability assessment methods by separately analyzing their normative, systemic and procedural dimensions as suggested by Wiek and Binder [Wiek, A, Binder, C. Solution spaces for decision-making - a sustainability assessment tool for city-regions. Environ Impact Asses Rev 2005, 25: 589-608.]. The framework is then used to characterize indicator-based sustainability assessment methods in agriculture. For a long time, sustainability assessment in agriculture has focused mostly on environmental and technical issues, thus neglecting the economic and, above all, the social aspects of sustainability, the multi-functionality of agriculture and the applicability of the results. In response to these shortcomings, several integrative sustainability assessment methods have been developed for the agricultural sector. This paper reviews seven of these that represent the diversity of tools developed in this area. The reviewed assessment methods can be categorized into three types: (i) top-down farm assessment methods; (ii) top-down regional assessment methods with some stakeholder participation; (iii) bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods with stakeholder participation throughout the process. The results readily show the trade-offs encountered when selecting an assessment method. A clear, standardized, top-down procedure allows for potentially benchmarking and comparing results across regions and sites. However, this comes at the cost of system specificity. As the top-down methods often have low stakeholder involvement, the application and implementation of the results might be difficult. Our analysis suggests that to include the aspects mentioned above in agricultural sustainability assessment, the bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods are the most suitable ones.

  8. Assessment of farm soil, biochar, compost and weathered pine mulch to mitigate methane emissions.

    PubMed

    Syed, Rashad; Saggar, Surinder; Tate, Kevin; Rehm, Bernd H A

    2016-11-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the effective utility of volcanic pumice soil to mitigate both high and low levels of methane (CH4) emissions through the activity of both γ-proteobacterial (type I) and α-proteobacterial (type II) aerobic methanotrophs. However, the limited availability of volcanic pumice soil necessitates the assessment of other farm soils and potentially suitable, economical and widely available biofilter materials. The potential biofilter materials, viz. farm soil (isolated from a dairy farm effluent pond bank area), pine biochar, garden waste compost and weathered pine bark mulch, were inoculated with a small amount of volcanic pumice soil. Simultaneously, a similar set-up of potential biofilter materials without inoculum was studied to understand the effect of the inoculum on the ability of these materials to oxidise CH4 and their effect on methanotroph growth and activity. These materials were incubated at 25 °C with periodic feeding of CH4, and flasks were aerated with air (O2) to support methanotroph growth and activity by maintaining aerobic conditions. The efficiency of CH4 removal was monitored over 6 months. All materials supported the growth and activity of methanotrophs. However, the efficiency of CH4 removal by all the materials tested fluctuated between no or low removal (0-40 %) and high removal phases (>90 %), indicating biological disturbances rather than physico-chemical changes. Among all the treatments, CH4 removal was consistently high (>80 %) in the inoculated farm soil and inoculated biochar, and these were more resilient to changes in the methanotroph community. The CH4 removal from inoculated farm soil and inoculated biochar was further enhanced (up to 99 %) by the addition of a nutrient solution. Our results showed that (i) farm soil and biochar can be used as a biofilter material by inoculating with an active methanotroph community, (ii) an abundant population of α-proteobacterial methanotrophs is essential

  9. Assessment of potential impacts of climate change on agricultural development in the Lower Benue River Basin.

    PubMed

    Abah, Roland Clement; Petja, Brilliant Mareme

    2016-12-01

    Agriculture in the Lower Benue River Basin faces several challenges which threaten the future of agricultural development. This study was an assessment of potential impacts of climate change on agricultural development in the Lower Benue River Basin. Through analysis of physical and socioeconomic parameters, the study adapted an impact assessment model to rank potential impacts on agricultural development in the study area. Rainfall intensity seemed to be increasing with a gradual reduction in the number of rainy days. The average discharge at Makurdi hydrological station was 3468.24 cubic metres per second (m(3) s(-1)), and the highest peak flow discharge was 16,400 m(3) s(-1). The daily maximum temperature and annual temperature averages for the study area are gradually rising leading to increased heat stress. Physical and chemical analyses showed that the soils are moderately fertile but require effective application of inorganic and organic fertilisers. The main occupational activities in the study area are agricultural based. The identified potential impacts of climate change on agriculture were categorised under atmospheric carbon dioxides and oxides, rainfall intensity, frequency of floods and droughts, temperature intensity and variation, heat stress, surface water trends, and soil quality and fertility. The identified potential impacts related to population dynamics on agriculture were categorised under population growth, rural-urban migration, household income and infectious diseases and HIV and AIDS. Community-level mitigation strategies were proffered. Policy makers are advised to promote irrigation farming, support farmers with farm inputs and credit facilities and establish active agricultural extension services to support the sustainable development of agriculture.

  10. Degradation assessment of natural weathering on low density polyethylene/thermoplastic soya spent powder blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuradibah, M. A.; Sam, S. T.; Noriman, N. Z.; Ragunathan, S.; Ismail, H.

    2015-07-01

    Soya spent powder was blended with low density polyethylene (LDPE) ranging from 5-25 wt%. Glycerol was added to soya spent powder (SSP) for preparation of thermoplastic soya spent powder (TSSP). Then, the blends were exposed to natural weathering for 6 months. The susceptibility of the LDPE/soya spent powder blends based on its tensile, morphological properties and structural changes was measured every three months. The tensile strength of LDPE/TSSP blends after 6 months of weathering was the lowest compared to the other blends whereas LDPE/SSP blends after 6 months of weathering demonstrated the lowest elongation at break (Eb). Large pore can be seen on the surface of 25 wt% of LDPE/SSP blends.

  11. Assessment of the weathering of protective coatings using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, G.R.; Skerry, B.S.

    1993-12-31

    Three fully formulated coatings systems: polyurethane, alkyd and latex, were exposed either outdoors to a natural industrial atmospheric environment or to an accelerated corrosion/weathering test incorporating UV-condensation exposures and wet/dry corrosion cycling or to an RF generated {open_quotes}in-glow{close_quotes} oxygen plasma. Changes in coating surface chemistry as a function of time in each environment were followed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XPS detected changes in the surface composition of all three systems for all three environmentS. Some of the trends in degradation detected on the exterior exposed samples were reproduced by both accelerated tests. The data obtained from this study also suggested that the corrosion/weathering test would benefit from an increase in the amount of UV exposure over that which is currently used. Oxygen plasma etching also appears to have some potential as a tool for accelerated weathering of paint systems.

  12. Probabilistic risk assessment of insecticide concentrations in agricultural surface waters: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed

    Stehle, Sebastian; Knäbel, Anja; Schulz, Ralf

    2013-08-01

    Due to the specific modes of action and application patterns of agricultural insecticides, the insecticide exposure of agricultural surface waters is characterized by infrequent and short-term insecticide concentration peaks of high ecotoxicological relevance with implications for both monitoring and risk assessment. Here, we apply several fixed-interval strategies and an event-based sampling strategy to two generalized and two realistic insecticide exposure patterns for typical agricultural streams derived from FOCUS exposure modeling using Monte Carlo simulations. Sampling based on regular intervals was found to be inadequate for the detection of transient insecticide concentrations, whereas event-triggered sampling successfully detected all exposure incidences at substantially lower analytical costs. Our study proves that probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) concepts in their present forms are not appropriate for a thorough evaluation of insecticide exposure. Despite claims that the PRA approach uses all available data to assess exposure and enhances risk assessment realism, we demonstrate that this concept is severely biased by the amount of insecticide concentrations below detection limits and therefore by the sampling designs. Moreover, actual insecticide exposure is of almost no relevance for PRA threshold level exceedance frequencies and consequential risk assessment outcomes. Therefore, we propose a concept that features a field-relevant ecological risk analysis of agricultural insecticide surface water exposure. Our study quantifies for the first time the environmental and economic consequences of inappropriate monitoring and risk assessment concepts used for the evaluation of short-term peak surface water pollutants such as insecticides.

  13. Assessments of Regional Climate Change and Land-Cover Change Impacts on Fire Weather in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heilman, W. E.; Pei, L.; Tang, Y.; Bian, X.; Zhong, S. S.; Luo, L.; Yu, L.

    2015-12-01

    Wildland fire is recognized as one of the dominant disturbances affecting forests and grasslands throughout the United States (U.S.). The development of long-term wildland fire and fuel management strategies can be aided with an improved understanding of how climate and land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes could potentially affect the occurrence of atmospheric conditions favorable for extreme fire behavior and for prescribed-fire usage as a fuel reduction tactic. Using atmospheric reanalysis data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset, current and projected LULC data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and regional climate simulations performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and a suite of North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) modeling systems, we have examined recent trends and potential future changes in fire-weather patterns driven by regional climate and LULC changes. This presentation highlights some of the key findings of the assessments, including the identification of specific areas in the U.S. where future climate conditions may lead to more extreme wildfire behavior as quantified by an operational fire-weather index. The implications for wildland fire and fuels management in the U.S. are also presented.

  14. How useful are meteorological drought indicators to assess agricultural drought impacts across Europe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bachmair, Sophie; Tanguy, Maliko; Hannaford, Jamie; Stahl, Kerstin

    2016-04-01

    Drought monitoring and early warning (M&EW) is an important component of agricultural and silvicultural risk management. Meteorological indicators such as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) are widely used in operational M&EW systems and for drought hazard assessment. Meteorological drought yet does not necessarily equate to agricultural drought given differences in drought susceptibility, e.g. crop-specific vulnerability, soil water holding capacity, irrigation and other management practices. How useful are meteorological indicators such as SPI to assess agricultural drought? Would the inclusion of vegetation indicators into drought M&EW systems add value for the agricultural sector? To answer these questions, it is necessary to investigate the link between meteorological indicators and agricultural impacts of drought. Crop yield or loss data is one source of information for drought impacts, yet mostly available as aggregated data at the annual scale. Remotely sensed vegetation stress data offer another possibility to directly assess agricultural impacts with high spatial and temporal resolution and are already used by some M&EW systems. At the same time, reduced crop yield and satellite-based vegetation stress potentially suffer from multi-causality. The aim of this study is therefore to investigate the relation between meteorological drought indicators and agricultural drought impacts for Europe, and to intercompare different agricultural impact variables. As drought indicators we used SPI and the Standardized Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI) for different accumulation periods. The focus regarding drought impact variables was on remotely sensed vegetation stress derived from MODIS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and LST (Land Surface Temperature) data, but the analysis was complemented with crop yield data and text-based information from the European Drought Impact report Inventory (EDII) for selected countries. A correlation analysis

  15. Deterioration modeling for condition assessment of flexible pavements considering extreme weather events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashemi Tari, Yasamin; Shahini Shamsabadi, Salar; Birken, Ralf; Wang, Ming

    2015-04-01

    Accurate pavement management systems are essential for states' Department Of Transportation and roadway agencies to plan for cost-effective maintenance and repair (M and R) strategies. Pavement deterioration model is an imperative component of any pavement management system since the future budget and M and R plans would be developed based on the predicted pavement performance measures. It is crucial for the pavement deterioration models to consider the factors that significantly aggravate the pavement condition. While many studies have highlighted the impact of different environmental, load, and pavement's structure on the life cycle of the pavement, effect of extreme weather events such as Floods and Snow Storms have often been overlooked. In this study, a pavement deterioration model is proposed which would consider the effect of traffic loads, climate conditions, and extreme weather events. Climate, load and performance data has been compiled for over twenty years and for eight states using the Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) databases. A stepwise regression approach is undertaken to quantify the effect of the extreme weather events, along with other influential factors on pavement performance in terms of International Roughness Index (IRI). Final results rendered more than 90% correlation with the quantified impact values of extreme weather events.

  16. Preliminary Cost Benefit Assessment of Systems for Detection of Hazardous Weather. Volume II. Appendices,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-07-01

    intensification went undetected. The straight-line winds from the storm, a microburst in Dr. Ted Fujita’s analysis, damaged 65 homes and mobile homes...Science and Technologyy , 95th Congress, No. 32, U.S. GPO, Washington, D.C. 36 U.S. House of Representatives, 1978, Weather Forecasting - Past, Present

  17. Risk assessment and management of occupational exposure to pesticides in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Maroni, M; Fanetti, Anna Clara; Metruccio, Francesca

    2006-01-01

    Nearly 50% of the world labour force is employed in agriculture. Over the last 50 years, agriculture has deeply changed with a massive utilisation of pesticides and fertilisers to enhance crop protection and production, food quality and food preservation. Pesticides are also increasingly employed for public health purposes and for domestic use. Pesticide are unique chemicals as they are intrinsically toxic for several biological targets, are deliberately spread into the environment, and their toxicity has a limited species selectivity. Pesticide toxicity depends on the compound family and is generally greater for the older compounds; in humans, they are responsible for acute poisonings as well as for long term health effects, including cancer and adverse effects on reproduction. Due to their intrinsic toxicity, in most countries a specific and complex legislation prescribes a thorough risk assessment process for pesticides prior to their entrance to the market (pre-marketing risk assessment). The post-marketing risk assessment takes place during the use of pesticides and aims at assessing the risk for exposed operators. The results of the risk assessment are the base for the health surveillance of exposed workers. Occupational exposure to pesticides in agriculture concerns product distributors, mixers and loaders, applicators, bystanders, and rural workers re-entering the fields shortly after treatment. Assessing and managing the occupational health risks posed by the use of pesticides in agriculture is a complex but essential task for occupational health specialists and toxicologists. In spite of the economic and social importance of agriculture, the health protection of agricultural workforce has been overlooked for too many years, causing an heavy tribute paid in terms of avoidable diseases, human sufferance, and economic losses. Particularly in the developing countries, where agricultural work is one of the predominant job, a sustainable model of development

  18. National assessment of capacity in public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories--United States, 2011.

    PubMed

    2013-03-08

    In 2011, the University of Michigan's Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) assessed the workforce and program capacity in U.S. public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratories. During April-August 2011, APHL sent a web-based questionnaire to 105 public health, environmental, and agricultural laboratory directors comprising all 50 state public health laboratories, 41 local public health laboratories, eight environmental laboratories, and six agricultural laboratories. This report summarizes the results of the assessment, which inquired about laboratory capacity, including total number of laboratorians by occupational classification and self-assessed ability to carry out functions in 19 different laboratory program areas. The majority of laboratorians (74%) possessed a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or a high school education or equivalency; 59% of all laboratorians were classified as laboratory scientists. The greatest percentage of laboratories reported no, minimal, or partial program capacity in toxicology (45%), agricultural microbiology (54%), agricultural chemistry (50%), and education and training for their employees (51%). Nearly 50% of laboratories anticipated that more than 15% of their workforce would retire, resign, or be released within 5 years, lower than the anticipated retirement eligibility rate of 27% projected for state public health workers. However, APHL and partners in local, state, and federal public health should collaborate to address gaps in laboratory capacity and rebuild the workforce pipeline to ensure an adequate future supply of public health laboratorians.

  19. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabraal, R. A.; Delasanta, D.; Burrill, G.

    1981-04-01

    The market potential in the Philippines for stand alone photovoltaic (P/V) systems in agriculture was assessed. Applications include: irrigation, postharvest operation, food and fiber processing and storage, and livestock and fisheries operations. Power and energy use profiles for many applications as well as assessments of business, government and financial climate for P/V sales are described. Many characteristics of the Philippine agriculture and energy sector favorably influence the use of P/V systems. However, serious and significant barriers prevent achieving the technically feasible, cost competitive market for P/V systems in the agricultural sector. The reason for the small market is the limited availability capital for financing P/V systems. It is suggested that innovative financing schemes and promotional campaigns should be devised.

  20. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in the Philippines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabraal, R. A.; Delasanta, D.; Burrill, G.

    1981-01-01

    The market potential in the Philippines for stand alone photovoltaic (P/V) systems in agriculture was assessed. Applications include: irrigation, postharvest operation, food and fiber processing and storage, and livestock and fisheries operations. Power and energy use profiles for many applications as well as assessments of business, government and financial climate for P/V sales are described. Many characteristics of the Philippine agriculture and energy sector favorably influence the use of P/V systems. However, serious and significant barriers prevent achieving the technically feasible, cost competitive market for P/V systems in the agricultural sector. The reason for the small market is the limited availability capital for financing P/V systems. It is suggested that innovative financing schemes and promotional campaigns should be devised.

  1. Weather Watch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bratt, Herschell Marvin

    1973-01-01

    Suggests a number of ways in which Federal Aviation Agency weather report printouts can be used in teaching the weather section of meteorology. These weather sequence reports can be obtained free of charge at most major airports. (JR)

  2. Assessment of agricultural drought in rainfed cereal production areas of northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Rui; Tsunekawa, Atsushi; Tsubo, Mitsuru

    2017-02-01

    Agricultural drought assessment is an important tool for water management in water-scarce regions such as Inner Mongolia and northeastern China. Conventional methods have difficulty of clarifying long-term influences of drought on regional agricultural production. To accurately evaluate regional agricultural drought, we assessed the performance of drought indices by constructing a new assessment framework with three components: crop model calibration and validation, drought index calculation, and index assessment (standard period setting, mean value and agreement assessments). The Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model simulated well of county-level wheat and maize yields in the nine investigated counties. We calculated a major crop-specific index yield reduction caused by water stress (WSYR) in the EPIC crop model, by relating potential and rainfed yields. Using 26 agricultural drought cases, we compared WSYR with two meteorological drought indices: precipitation (P) and aridity index (AI). The results showed that WSYR had greater agreement (85 %) than either the precipitation (65 %) or aridity index (68 %). The temporal trend of the indices over the period 1962-2010 was tested using three approaches. The result via WSYR revealed a significant increase in the trend of agricultural drought in drought-prone counties, which could not be shown by the precipitation and aridity indices. Total number of dry year via WSYR from 1990s to 2000s increases more sharply than via P or AI. As shown by WSYR, the number of dry years in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia is generally increasing, particularly after the 2000s, in the western part of the study area. The study reveals the usefulness of the framework for drought index assessment and indicates the potential of WSYR and possible drought cases for drought classification.

  3. Assessment of agricultural drought in rainfed cereal production areas of northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Rui; Tsunekawa, Atsushi; Tsubo, Mitsuru

    2015-10-01

    Agricultural drought assessment is an important tool for water management in water-scarce regions such as Inner Mongolia and northeastern China. Conventional methods have difficulty of clarifying long-term influences of drought on regional agricultural production. To accurately evaluate regional agricultural drought, we assessed the performance of drought indices by constructing a new assessment framework with three components: crop model calibration and validation, drought index calculation, and index assessment (standard period setting, mean value and agreement assessments). The Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model simulated well of county-level wheat and maize yields in the nine investigated counties. We calculated a major crop-specific index yield reduction caused by water stress (WSYR) in the EPIC crop model, by relating potential and rainfed yields. Using 26 agricultural drought cases, we compared WSYR with two meteorological drought indices: precipitation (P) and aridity index (AI). The results showed that WSYR had greater agreement (85 %) than either the precipitation (65 %) or aridity index (68 %). The temporal trend of the indices over the period 1962-2010 was tested using three approaches. The result via WSYR revealed a significant increase in the trend of agricultural drought in drought-prone counties, which could not be shown by the precipitation and aridity indices. Total number of dry year via WSYR from 1990s to 2000s increases more sharply than via P or AI. As shown by WSYR, the number of dry years in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia is generally increasing, particularly after the 2000s, in the western part of the study area. The study reveals the usefulness of the framework for drought index assessment and indicates the potential of WSYR and possible drought cases for drought classification.

  4. Assessment of Professional Training Programmes in International Agricultural Research Institutions: The Case of ICRAF

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wanjiku, Julliet; Mairura, Franklin; Place, Frank

    2010-01-01

    The following survey was undertaken in 2005 to assess the effectiveness of professional training activities in international agricultural research organizations that were undertaken between 1999 and 2002 at ICRAF (International Centre for Research in Agroforestry), now World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi. Trainees were randomly selected from…

  5. Map Analysis and Spatial Statistic: Assessment of Spatial Variability of Agriculture Land Conversion at Urban Fringe Area of Yogyakarta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susilo, Bowo

    2016-11-01

    Urban development has brought various effects, one of which was the marginalization of the agricultural sector. Agricultural land is gradually converted to other type of land uses which considered more profitable. Conversion of agricultural land cannot be avoided but it should be controlled. Early identification on spatial distribution and intensity of agricultural land conversion as well as its related factor is necessary. Objective of the research were (1) to assess the spatial variability of agricultural land conversion, (2) to identify factors that affecting the spatial variability of agricultural land conversion. Research was conducted at urban fringe area of Yogyakarta. Spatial variability of agricultural land conversion was analysed using an index called Relative Conversion Index (RCI). Combined of map analysis and spatial statistical were used to determine the center of agricultural land conversion. Simple regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with the conversion of agricultural land. The result shows that intensity of agricultural land conversion in the study area varies spatially as well as temporally. Intensity of agricultural land conversion in the period 1993-2000, involves three categories which are high, moderate and low. In the period of 2000-2007, the intensity of agricultural land conversion involves two categories which are high and low. Spatial variability of agricultural land conversion in the study area has a significant correlation with three factors: population growth, fragmentation of agricultural land and distance of agricultural land to the city

  6. Evaluation of the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT) and the Collected Data.

    PubMed

    Huff, Andrew G; Hodges, James S; Kennedy, Shaun P; Kircher, Amy

    2015-08-01

    To protect and secure food resources for the United States, it is crucial to have a method to compare food systems' criticality. In 2007, the U.S. government funded development of the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT) to determine which food and agriculture systems were most critical to the nation. FASCAT was developed in a collaborative process involving government officials and food industry subject matter experts (SMEs). After development, data were collected using FASCAT to quantify threats, vulnerabilities, consequences, and the impacts on the United States from failure of evaluated food and agriculture systems. To examine FASCAT's utility, linear regression models were used to determine: (1) which groups of questions posed in FASCAT were better predictors of cumulative criticality scores; (2) whether the items included in FASCAT's criticality method or the smaller subset of FASCAT items included in DHS's risk analysis method predicted similar criticality scores. Akaike's information criterion was used to determine which regression models best described criticality, and a mixed linear model was used to shrink estimates of criticality for individual food and agriculture systems. The results indicated that: (1) some of the questions used in FASCAT strongly predicted food or agriculture system criticality; (2) the FASCAT criticality formula was a stronger predictor of criticality compared to the DHS risk formula; (3) the cumulative criticality formula predicted criticality more strongly than weighted criticality formula; and (4) the mixed linear regression model did not change the rank-order of food and agriculture system criticality to a large degree.

  7. Preliminary Cost Benefit Assessment of Systems for Detection of Hazardous Weather. Volume I,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-07-01

    Connofly 9. Performing Organixation Name and Address 10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS) Sonicraft IS. 11. Contract or Grent No. 4600 Duie St. 22304O-80-Y...value than a non- Doppler scenario. The advantages of deploying allDoppler radars, versus a mix of Doppler and non-Doppler radars, are too close to...weather in terms of loss of life, injury, property loss, disaster relief , federal government loan assistance, and costs to individuals and communities

  8. Army Corps of Engineers: Efforts to Assess the Impact of Extreme Weather Events

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-01

    GAO Did This Study The Corps plans, designs, and constructs water resources infrastructure, such as dams and levees. According to the U.S. Global...years ago and may not be designed to operate within current climate patterns, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Water Resources Reform...and Development Act of 2014 included a provision for GAO to study the Corps’ management of water resources in preparation for extreme weather

  9. Health impact assessment of agriculture and food policies: lessons learnt from the Republic of Slovenia.

    PubMed Central

    Lock, Karen; Gabrijelcic-Blenkus, Mojca; Martuzzi, Marco; Otorepec, Peter; Wallace, Paul; Dora, Carlos; Robertson, Aileen; Zakotnic, Jozica Maucec

    2003-01-01

    The most important public health priority in agricultural policy-making is currently food safety, despite the relatively higher importance of food security, nutrition, and other agricultural-related health issues in terms of global burden of disease. There is limited experience worldwide of using health impact assessment (HIA) during the development of agriculture and food policies, which perhaps reflects the complex nature of this policy sector. This paper presents methods of HIA used in the Republic of Slovenia, which is conducting a HIA of proposed agricultural and food policies due to its accession to the European Union. It is the first time that any government has attempted to assess the health effects of agricultural policy at a national level. The HIA has basically followed a six-stage process: policy analysis; rapid appraisal workshops with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds; review of research evidence relevant to the agricultural policy; analysis of Slovenian data for key health-related indicators; a report on the findings to a key cross-government group; and evaluation. The experience in Slovenia shows that the HIA process has been a useful mechanism for raising broader public health issues on the agricultural policy agenda, and it has already had positive results for policy formation. HIA is one useful approach to more integrated policy-making across sectors, but clearly it is not the only mechanism to achieve this. A comparison of the approach used in Slovenia with HIA methods in other countries and policy contexts shows that there are still many limitations with HIA application at a government level. Lessons can be learnt from these case studies for future development and application of HIA that is more relevant to policy-makers, and assists them in making more healthy policy choices. PMID:12894321

  10. A Synoptic Weather Typing Approach and Its application to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Extreme Weather Events at Local Scale in South-Central Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shouquan Cheng, Chad; Li, Qian; Li, Guilong

    2010-05-01

    The synoptic weather typing approach has become popular in evaluating the impacts of climate change on a variety of environmental problems. One of the reasons is its ability to categorize a complex set of meteorological variables as a coherent index, which can facilitate analyses of local climate change impacts. The weather typing method has been successfully applied in Environment Canada for several research projects to analyze climatic change impacts on a number of extreme weather events, such as freezing rain, heavy rainfall, high-/low-flow events, air pollution, and human health. These studies comprise of three major parts: (1) historical simulation modeling to verify the extreme weather events, (2) statistical downscaling to provide station-scale future hourly/daily climate data, and (3) projections of changes in frequency and intensity of future extreme weather events in this century. To achieve these goals, in addition to synoptic weather typing, the modeling conceptualizations in meteorology and hydrology and a number of linear/nonlinear regression techniques were applied. Furthermore, a formal model result verification process has been built into each of the three parts of the projects. The results of the verification, based on historical observations of the outcome variables predicted by the models, showed very good agreement. The modeled results from these projects found that the frequency and intensity of future extreme weather events are projected to significantly increase under a changing climate in this century. This talk will introduce these research projects and outline the modeling exercise and result verification process. The major findings on future projections from the studies will be summarized in the presentation as well. One of the major conclusions from the studies is that the procedures (including synoptic weather typing) used in the studies are useful for climate change impact analysis on future extreme weather events. The implication of

  11. Establishing standards and assessment criteria for ecological instream flow needs in agricultural regions of Canada.

    PubMed

    Peters, Daniel L; Baird, Donald J; Monk, Wendy A; Armanini, David G

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural land use can place heavy demands on regional water resources, strongly influencing the quantity and timing of water flows needed to sustain natural ecosystems. The effects of agricultural practices on streamflow conditions are multifaceted, as they also contribute to the severity of impacts arising from other stressors within the river ecosystem. Thus, river scientists need to determine the quantity of water required to sustain important aquatic ecosystem components and ecological services, to support wise apportionment of water for agricultural use. It is now apparent that arbitrarily defined minimum flows are inadequate for this task because the complex habitat requirements of the biota, which underpin the structure and function of a river ecosystem, are strongly influenced by predictable temporal variations in flow. We present an alternative framework for establishing a first-level, regional ecological instream flow needs standard based on adoption of the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration/Range of Variability Approach as a broadly applicable hydrological assessment tool, coupling this to the Canadian Ecological Flow Index which assesses ecological responses to hydrological alteration. By explicitly incorporating a new field-based ecological assessment tool for small agricultural streams, we provide a necessary verification of altered hydrology that is broadly applicable within Canada and essential to ensure the continuous feedback between the application of flow management criteria and ecological condition.

  12. Characterizing response of total suspended solids and total phosphorus loading to weather and watershed characteristics for rainfall and snowmelt events in agricultural watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danz, Mari E.; Corsi, Steven; Brooks, Wesley R.; Bannerman, Roger T.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the response of total suspended solids (TSS) and total phosphorus (TP) to influential weather and watershed variables is critical in the development of sediment and nutrient reduction plans. In this study, rainfall and snowmelt event loadings of TSS and TP were analyzed for eight agricultural watersheds in Wisconsin, with areas ranging from 14 to 110 km2 and having four to twelve years of data available. The data showed that a small number of rainfall and snowmelt runoff events accounted for the majority of total event loading. The largest 10% of the loading events for each watershed accounted for 73–97% of the total TSS load and 64–88% of the total TP load. More than half of the total annual TSS load was transported during a single event for each watershed at least one of the monitored years. Rainfall and snowmelt events were both influential contributors of TSS and TP loading. TSS loading contributions were greater from rainfall events at five watersheds, from snowmelt events at two watersheds, and nearly equal at one watershed. The TP loading contributions were greater from rainfall events at three watersheds, from snowmelt events at two watersheds and nearly equal at three watersheds. Stepwise multivariate regression models for TSS and TP event loadings were developed separately for rainfall and snowmelt runoff events for each individual watershed and for all watersheds combined by using a suite of precipitation, melt, temperature, seasonality, and watershed characteristics as predictors. All individual models and the combined model for rainfall events resulted in two common predictors as most influential for TSS and TP. These included rainfall depth and the antecedent baseflow. Using these two predictors alone resulted in an R2 greater than 0.7 in all but three individual models and 0.61 or greater for all individual models. The combined model yielded an R2 of 0.66 for TSS and 0.59 for TP. Neither the individual nor the combined models were

  13. Severe Weather

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forde, Evan B.

    2004-01-01

    Educating the public about safety issues related to severe weather is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mission. This month's insert, Severe Weather, has been created by NOAA to help educate the public about hazardous weather conditions. The four types of severe weather highlighted in this poster are hurricanes,…

  14. Severe Weather

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forde, Evan B.

    2004-01-01

    Educating the public about safety issues related to severe weather is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mission. This article deals with a poster entitled, "Severe Weather," that has been created by NOAA to help educate the public about hazardous weather conditions. The four types of severe weather highlighted in…

  15. Forages and Pastures Symposium: assessing drought vulnerability of agricultural production systems in context of the 2012 drought.

    PubMed

    Kellner, O; Niyogi, D

    2014-07-01

    Weather and climate events and agronomic enterprise are coupled via crop phenology and yield, which is temperature and precipitation dependent. Additional coupling between weather and climate and agronomic enterprise occurs through agricultural practices such as tillage, irrigation, erosion, livestock management, and forage. Thus, the relationship between precipitation, temperature, and yield is coupled to the relationship between temperature, precipitation, and drought. Unraveling the different meteorological and climatological patterns by comparing different growing seasons provides insight into how drought conditions develop and what agricultural producers can do to mitigate and adapt to drought conditions. The 2012 drought in the United States greatly impacted the agricultural sector of the economy. With comparable severity and spatial extent of the droughts of the 1930s, 1950s, and 1980s, the 2012 drought impacted much of the U.S. crop and livestock producers via decreased forage and feed. This brief summary of drought impacts to agricultural production systems includes 1) the basics of drought; 2) the meteorology and climatology involved in forecasting, predicting, and monitoring drought with attribution of the 2012 drought explored in detail; and 3) comparative analysis completed between the 2011 and 2012 growing season. This synthesis highlights the complex nature of drought in agriculture production systems as producers prepare for future climate variability.

  16. The Use of Interactive Graphics Processing in Short-Range Terminal Weather Forecasting: An Initial Assessment.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-03-31

    Southeast Coast, and (f) Inland Cyclone Moves Toward Coast, Redevelops or Intensifies Along the Coast 113 B2. Meridional Trough Cyclogenesis 116 B3...general synoptic situations; midwest cyclones , New England cold fronts, and east coast cyclogenesis, each bringing significant weather changes to New...NL 4 UN L 60 w l au, a ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ - ’j ~ ~ ir~~~ 120 *1 Is Forast maea6hhu 7 0 1 3m N 0’’" UH la ’/ T p UM pj .0\\*1*** ~ 10 09 ’: L&L4 2k4 5 05 • t at

  17. Assessing Silicate Weathering in Permafrost-Dominated Catchments Using Lithium Isotopes: The Lena River, Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, M. J.; Pogge von Strandmann, P.; Porcelli, D.; Katchinoff, J. A.; Moreras Martí, A.; Hirst, C. A.; Andersson, P. S.; Maximov, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    Rising global temperatures have the potential to influence the Earth's climate feedback cycles due to permafrost thawing, altering the freshwater input and trace metal and carbon fluxes into the ocean and atmosphere. Riverine lithium isotope ratios (d7Li) are a tracer of silicate weathering processes, which are key in the removal of atmospheric CO2 over geological timescales. Despite this, little is known about the effects of permafrost thawing on d7Li variations. Strong seasonal changes in the thawed active layer thickness dictate surficial water flow paths, which may influence intra-annual riverine d7Li signatures. We present a study of the dissolved d7Li from the large permafrost-dominated watersheds of the Lena River (Siberia), which drain into the Arctic Ocean. This work comprises a temporal study during the May 2015 spring flood, from ice breakup through peak flooding, thus monitoring changes in water-rock and water-soil interaction, both processes that control weathering and hence Li isotopes. Before riverine ice started to break up, high [Li] are observed as the river signature is governed by winter base flow conditions. As the river ice breaks up, surface runoff flows over the impermeable permafrost, interacting with leaf litter, diluting the [Li]. We compare d7Li over the spring flood period with a greater spatial study conducted over two summer field seasons (2012/2013) of the main Lena River channel and its tributaries, which drain a variety of lithologies/topographies. During the summer, the thawed active layer promotes deeper water flow paths, greater water-rock interaction and enhanced secondary minerals formation which preferentially take up 6Li. Summer riverine d7Li typically fall between +14.5 ‰ to +28.5 ‰, with rivers draining the Central Siberian Plateau typically exhibiting high [Li], but similar δ7Li to rivers draining the Verkhoyansk Mountain Range. Overall, this study demonstrates how Li isotopes respond to weathering in a permafrost

  18. Assessing the sustainability of agriculture: a case of Mae Chaem Catchment, northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Praneetvatakul, S; Janekarnkij, P; Potchanasin, C; Prayoonwong, K

    2001-09-01

    Sustainability is not a new concept but rather a prominent concept at the present time. Researchers have categorized sustainability indicators into economic, social, and ecological aspects. Sustainability of agriculture in the context of development efforts has to meet production efficiency, resilience of ecosystems, appropriate technology, maintenance of the environment, cultural diversity, and satisfaction of the basic needs. The research objective of this study is to determine the critical indicators of agricultural sustainability in the Mae Chaem Catchment, northern Thailand. In assessing sustainability, the authors applied the sustainability indicator analysis developed by FAO. The results of the study show that food sufficiency in the Wat Chan subcatchment is the most sustainable aspect of agriculture. The least sustainable facets of agriculture in the Wat Chan subcatchment are land holding size, land tenure, and water shortage. While expansion of agricultural land in the watershed area is not legally permitted, a practice of agroforestry is recommended. Insecure land tenure may result in reduced incentives to improve land productivity. Thus, official recognition of land ownership is required. As the problem of water shortage is most critical in the lower reaches, increased participation in the allocation scheme by downstream villagers should be encouraged. Finally, the construction of a small-scale water storage in the lower part of the catchment to increase water supply should be considered.

  19. Integrating weather and geotechnical monitoring data for assessing the stability of large scale surface mining operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiakakis, Chrysanthos; Agioutantis, Zacharias; Apostolou, Evangelia; Papavgeri, Georgia; Tripolitsiotis, Achilles

    2016-01-01

    The geotechnical challenges for safe slope design in large scale surface mining operations are enormous. Sometimes one degree of slope inclination can significantly reduce the overburden to ore ratio and therefore dramatically improve the economics of the operation, while large scale slope failures may have a significant impact on human lives. Furthermore, adverse weather conditions, such as high precipitation rates, may unfavorably affect the already delicate balance between operations and safety. Geotechnical, weather and production parameters should be systematically monitored and evaluated in order to safely operate such pits. Appropriate data management, processing and storage are critical to ensure timely and informed decisions. This paper presents an integrated data management system which was developed over a number of years as well as the advantages through a specific application. The presented case study illustrates how the high production slopes of a mine that exceed depths of 100-120 m were successfully mined with an average displacement rate of 10- 20 mm/day, approaching an almost slow to moderate landslide velocity. Monitoring data of the past four years are included in the database and can be analyzed to produce valuable results. Time-series data correlations of movements, precipitation records, etc. are evaluated and presented in this case study. The results can be used to successfully manage mine operations and ensure the safety of the mine and the workforce.

  20. Assessment of the photoenhanced toxicity of a weathered oil to the tidewater silverside

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, Edward E.; Cleveland, Laverne; Calfee, Robin D.; Barron, Mace G.

    2000-01-01

    Studies were conducted to determine the interactive toxicity of a water-accommodated fraction (WAF) of a weathered middle distillate petroleum and solar radiation to an estuarine organism, the tidewater silverside (Menidia beryllina). Juvenile silversides were monitored for survival and growth during a 7-d static renewal exposure to dilutions of WAFs of an environmentally weathered oil collected in the vicinity of an abandoned oil field in California. Ultraviolet (UV) treatments were based on incident sunlight intensity and spectra measured at this site. Exposure to UV alone was not lethal to the fish, and WAF in the absence of UV was toxic at the highest total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentration (3.03 mg/L) after 96 h of exposure. Water-accommodated fractions toxicity increased significantly with increasing UV irradiance and duration of exposure. The 7-d LC50 concentrations for the control, low, medium, and high irradiance were 2.84, 1.27, 0.93, and 0.51 mg/L TPH, respectively. Significant mortality occurred among fish previously exposed to WAF in the absence of irradiance, whereas WAF toxicity was unaffected by UV exposure prior to the toxicity test. Thus, the mode of action is a photosensitization of the accumulated petroleum residue rather than a photoactivation of WAF. Chemical analysis indicates that the WAF contains limited amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) known to be photoenhanced, suggesting that other constituents may be responsible for the observed photoenhanced toxicity.

  1. Use of agricultural land evaluation and site assessment in Linn County, Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huddleston, J. Herbert; Pease, James R.; Forrest, William G.; Hickerson, Hugh J.; Langridge, Russell W.

    1987-07-01

    Oregon state law requires each county in the state to identify agricultural land and enact policies and regulations to protect agricultural land use. State guidelines encourage the preservation of large parcels of agricultural land and discourage partitioning of agricultural land and construction of nonfarm dwellings in agricultural areas. A land evaluation and site assessment (LESA) system was developed in Linn County to aid in the identification of agricultural land and provide assistance to decision makers concerning the relative merits of requests to partition existing parcels of ricultural land and introduce nonagricultural uses. Land evaluation was determined by calculating soil potential ratings for each agricultural soil in the county based on the soil potentials for winter wheat, annual ryegrass, permanent pasture, and irrigated sweet corn. Soil potential ratings were expressed on a scale of 0 to 150 points. The land evaluation score for a parcel consists of the weighted average soil potential rating for all of the soils in the parcel, weighted by the percentage of each soil present in the parcel. Site assessment was based on the size of a parcel and on the amount of existing conflict between agricultural and nonagricultural uses, particularly rural residential uses, both adjacent to and in the vicinity of a parcel. Parcel size refers to both size in relation to a typical field and size in relation to a typical farm unit. Conflict takes into account the number of nonfarm dwellings within 1/4 mile (0.4 km) of a parcel, the amount of the perimeter that adjoins conflicting land uses, and the residential density adjacent to the parcel. Empirical scales were derived for assigning points to each of the site assessment factors. Both parcel size and conflict were worth 75 points in the model. For parcel size, 45 points were allocated to field size and 30 points to farm-unit size. For conflict, 30 points were allocated to nonfarm dwellings within 1/4 mile and 45

  2. A quantitative method for risk assessment of agriculture due to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Zhiqiang; Pan, Zhihua; An, Pingli; Zhang, Jingting; Zhang, Jun; Pan, Yuying; Huang, Lei; Zhao, Hui; Han, Guolin; Wu, Dong; Wang, Jialin; Fan, Dongliang; Gao, Lin; Pan, Xuebiao

    2016-11-01

    Climate change has greatly affected agriculture. Agriculture is facing increasing risks as its sensitivity and vulnerability to climate change. Scientific assessment of climate change-induced agricultural risks could help to actively deal with climate change and ensure food security. However, quantitative assessment of risk is a difficult issue. Here, based on the IPCC assessment reports, a quantitative method for risk assessment of agriculture due to climate change is proposed. Risk is described as the product of the degree of loss and its probability of occurrence. The degree of loss can be expressed by the yield change amplitude. The probability of occurrence can be calculated by the new concept of climate change effect-accumulated frequency (CCEAF). Specific steps of this assessment method are suggested. This method is determined feasible and practical by using the spring wheat in Wuchuan County of Inner Mongolia as a test example. The results show that the fluctuation of spring wheat yield increased with the warming and drying climatic trend in Wuchuan County. The maximum yield decrease and its probability were 3.5 and 64.6%, respectively, for the temperature maximum increase 88.3%, and its risk was 2.2%. The maximum yield decrease and its probability were 14.1 and 56.1%, respectively, for the precipitation maximum decrease 35.2%, and its risk was 7.9%. For the comprehensive impacts of temperature and precipitation, the maximum yield decrease and its probability were 17.6 and 53.4%, respectively, and its risk increased to 9.4%. If we do not adopt appropriate adaptation strategies, the degree of loss from the negative impacts of multiclimatic factors and its probability of occurrence will both increase accordingly, and the risk will also grow obviously.

  3. Annual agricultural pesticide use for Midwest Stream-Quality Assessment, 2012-13

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Stone, Wesley W.

    2014-01-01

    This report provides estimates of annual agricultural use of 190 pesticide compounds for counties and selected watersheds of Midwestern States for 2012 and 2013 compiled for subsequent analysis by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Midwest Stream-Quality Assessment (MSQA). One of the goals of MSQA is to characterize contaminants at perennial-stream sites throughout the Corn Belt. Evaluating pesticide inputs from agricultural sources will aid in that characterization. Crop acres for selected Midwestern crops were obtained from the Cropland Data Layer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and used in conjunction with GfK Kynetec, Inc. proprietary Crop Reporting District-level pesticide-use data to estimate pesticide use for counties and watersheds. Estimated pesticide use (EPest) values were calculated by using both the “EPest-high” and “EPest-low” methods, the distinction being that there are more counties with estimated pesticide use for EPest-high compared to EPest-low, owing to differing assumptions about missing survey data. County-level and watershed-level estimates of annual agricultural pesticide use are provided as downloadable, tab-delimited files for both EPest-high and Epest-low. Summary graphs of MSQA watershed-level pesticide use for selected crops are also provided.

  4. A Needs Assessment to Determine Knowledge and Ability of Egyptian Agricultural Technical School Teachers Related to Supervised Agricultural Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrick, R. Kirby; Roberts, T. Grady; Samy, M. M.; Thoron, Andrew C.; Easterly, R. G., III

    2011-01-01

    This research was conducted approximately one year after Egyptian Agricultural Technical School (ATS) instructors attended workshops on integrating placement Supervised Agricultural Experience as an instructional tool in their programs. Following a year of implementation, the purpose of this study was to determine ATS teacher knowledge and ability…

  5. Weather & Weather Maps. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metro, Peter M.; Green, Rachel E.

    This guide is intended to provide an opportunity for students to work with weather symbols used for reporting weather. Also included are exercises in location of United States cities by latitude and longitude, measurement of distances in miles and kilometers, and prediction of weather associated with various types of weather fronts. (RE)

  6. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe.

  7. [Characterization and soil environmental safety assessment of super absorbent polymers in agricultural application].

    PubMed

    Li, Xi; Liu, Yu-Rong; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; He, Ji-Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Super absorbent polymers (SAPs) are compounds that can absorb a lot of water which can be several folds of their original size and weight. They can increase soil water content and aggregates, promote fertilizer utilization efficiency, and stimulate crop growth. Therefore, SAPs have been widely regarded as a potential agent for water-saving agriculture. In this paper, we reviewed the advances of SAPs in materials, properties and applications in agriculture and pointed out that the absence of influences of SAPs on soil microbial ecology was the main issue in current studies. In regard to the adverse effects on soil environment caused by misuse of SAPs, we should address the systematic safety assessment of SAPs application in the soil, especially the effects on the soil microorganisms, which should be an important part of chemicals risk assessment in the soil application.

  8. [Probabilistic assessment of radionuclide accumulation in agricultural products and permissible levels of soil radioactive contamination].

    PubMed

    Spiridonov, S I; Ivanov, V V

    2013-01-01

    A number of models have been developed to assess the risks of radionuclide accumulation in agricultural products and to determine the permissible levels of soil radioactive contamination. The proposed approach takes into account uncertainties of some parameters that describe the radionuclide content in different links of food chains. The models are implemented in the form of software for on-line computations. The validity of applying the probabilistic methods for assessing the impacts of radioactive fallout as compared with the deterministic ones is demonstrated on some specific examples. A universal nature of the dependence between the risks of radionuclide content in products and the density of soil contamination is shown. Contamination limits of the agricultural land are found to vary significantly as a function of the risk size. Directions for further research are defined within the framework of this research.

  9. Assessment of the natural flow regime in a Mediterranean river impacted from irrigated agriculture.

    PubMed

    Stefanidis, Konstantinos; Panagopoulos, Yiannis; Psomas, Alexandros; Mimikou, Maria

    2016-12-15

    Over the last few decades, the natural flow regime of most rivers has been significantly altered influencing the ecological integrity and functioning of river ecosystems. Especially in the Mediterranean region, irrigated agriculture is considered one of the most important drivers of hydro-morphological modifications in river systems. In this study we employ the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) methodology for the Pinios River and its tributaries, located in a Mediterranean catchment in central Greece, with the purpose to assess the natural flow regime under a simulated no-agriculture scenario and compare with the current situation. The work is based on the use of the SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) model for the simulation of long time series of daily stream flows, which were analyzed under the actual conditions (baseline), and the hypothetical scenario. The key characteristics of the flow regime projected under each model run were assessed through the implementation of the IHA methodology that utilizes a number of indicators to characterize the intra- and inter-annual variability in the hydrologic conditions. The results of this study revealed that without agricultural activities in the catchment, annual and monthly flows would increase, with significant alterations in the flow characteristics of the winter months, and much smaller in summer. However, the analysis showed that the frequency of droughts and low flow summer events would be smaller. The article provides a comprehensive and easy-to-implement methodology that can facilitate the impact assessment of agricultural human activities on river flow variability under the typical Mediterranean conditions, allowing experimentation on setting river flow thresholds required for a good ecological status within the context of the European Water Framework Directive.

  10. High resolution weather data for urban hydrological modelling and impact assessment, ICT requirements and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Veldhuis, Marie-claire; van Riemsdijk, Birna

    2013-04-01

    Hydrological analysis of urban catchments requires high resolution rainfall and catchment information because of the small size of these catchments, high spatial variability of the urban fabric, fast runoff processes and related short response times. Rainfall information available from traditional radar and rain gauge networks does no not meet the relevant scales of urban hydrology. A new type of weather radars, based on X-band frequency and equipped with Doppler and dual polarimetry capabilities, promises to provide more accurate rainfall estimates at the spatial and temporal scales that are required for urban hydrological analysis. Recently, the RAINGAIN project was started to analyse the applicability of this new type of radars in the context of urban hydrological modelling. In this project, meteorologists and hydrologists work closely together in several stages of urban hydrological analysis: from the acquisition procedure of novel and high-end radar products to data acquisition and processing, rainfall data retrieval, hydrological event analysis and forecasting. The project comprises of four pilot locations with various characteristics of weather radar equipment, ground stations, urban hydrological systems, modelling approaches and requirements. Access to data processing and modelling software is handled in different ways in the pilots, depending on ownership and user context. Sharing of data and software among pilots and with the outside world is an ongoing topic of discussion. The availability of high resolution weather data augments requirements with respect to the resolution of hydrological models and input data. This has led to the development of fully distributed hydrological models, the implementation of which remains limited by the unavailability of hydrological input data. On the other hand, if models are to be used in flood forecasting, hydrological models need to be computationally efficient to enable fast responses to extreme event conditions. This

  11. A pragmatic assessment of government support for organic agriculture in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Duram, Leslie A

    2010-01-01

    Drawing on a pragmatic approach, this paper provides an analysis of government support for organic farming in Ireland. Varying levels of encouragement and programmes are provided to farmers in their conversion from conventional to organic production, and in their maintenance of organic production. As support policies vary across regions and are linked to European Union legislation, it is challenging to document the many types of support in place. This paper investigates relevant technical, financial, and policy support available to organic farmers in Ireland. As an exploratory study, it develops an assessment of Ireland within eight key categories of organic agricultural support: policy, leadership, technical support, financial support, research, education and information, marketing and promotion, and future outlook. Information and data from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc), and other government and semi-governmental agencies were utilized to assess the level of support in each category. This assessment provides key findings which will allow policymakers, organizations and citizens to better understand the current situation and set a path for the future development of organic farming in Ireland.

  12. A fuzzy logic approach to assess groundwater pollution levels below agricultural fields.

    PubMed

    Muhammetoglu, Ayse; Yardimci, Ahmet

    2006-07-01

    A fuzzy logic approach has been developed to assess the groundwater pollution levels below agricultural fields. The data collected for Kumluca Plain of Turkey have been utilized to develop the approach. The plain is known with its intensive agricultural activities, which imply excessive application of fertilizers. The characteristics of the soils and underlying groundwater for this plain were monitored during the years 1999 and 2000. Additionally, an extensive field survey related to the types and yields of crops, fertilizer application and irrigation water was carried out. Both the soil and groundwater have exhibited high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and salinity with considerable spatial and temporal variations. The pollution level of groundwater at several established stations within the plain were assessed using Fuzzy Logic. Water Pollution Index (WPI) values are calculated by Fuzzy Logic utilizing the most significant groundwater pollutants in the area namely nitrite, nitrate and orthophosphate together with the groundwater vulnerability to pollution. The results of the calculated WPI and the monitoring study have yielded good agreement. WPI indicated high to moderate water pollution levels at Kumluca plain depending on factors such as agricultural age, depth to groundwater, soil characteristics and vulnerability of groundwater to pollution. Fuzzy Logic approach has shown to be a practical, simple and useful tool to assess groundwater pollution levels.

  13. Model Evaluation and Uncertainty in Agricultural Impacts Assessments: Results and Strategies from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Hatfield, J.; Jones, J. W.; Ruane, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is an international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. AgMIP connects the climate science, crop modeling, and agricultural economic modeling communities to generate probabilistic projections of current and future climate impacts. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. This presentation will describe the general approach of AgMIP, highlight AgMIP efforts to evaluate climate, crop, and economic models, and discuss AgMIP uncertainty assessments. Model evaluation efforts will be outlined using examples from various facets of AgMIP, including climate scenario generation, the wheat crop model intercomparison, and the global agricultural economics model intercomparison being led in collaboration with the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Strategies developed to quantify uncertainty in each component of AgMIP, as well as the propagation of uncertainty through the climate-crop-economic modeling framework, will be detailed and preliminary uncertainty assessments that highlight crucial areas requiring improved models and data collection will be introduced.

  14. Detection and assessment of land use dynamics on Tenerife (Canary Islands): the agricultural development between 1986 and 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günthert, Sebastian; Naumann, Simone; Siegmund, Alexander

    2012-10-01

    Since Spanish colonial times, the Canary Islands and especially Tenerife have always been used for intensive agriculture. Today almost 1/4 of the total area of Tenerife are agriculturally affected, whereas especially mountainous areas with suitable climate conditions are drastically transformed for agricultural use by building of large terraces. In recent years, political and economical developments lead to a further transformation process, especially inducted by an expansive tourism, which caused concentration- and intensification-tendencies of agricultural land use in lower altitudes as well as agricultural set-aside and rural exodus in the hinterland. The overall aim of the research at hand is to address the agricultural land use dynamics of the past decades, to statistically assess the causal reasons for those changes and to model the future agricultural land use dynamics on Tenerife. Therefore, an object-based classification procedure for recent RapidEye data (2010), Spot 4 (1998) as well as SPOT 1 (1986-88) imagery was developed, followed by a post classification comparison (PCC). Older agricultural fallow land or agricultural set-aside with a higher level of natural succession can hardly be acquired in the used medium satellite imagery. Hence, a second detection technique was generated, which allows an exact identification of the total agriculturally affected area on Tenerife, also containing older agricultural fallow land or agricultural set-aside. The method consists of an automatic texture-oriented detection and area-wide extraction of linear agricultural structures (plough furrows and field boundaries of arable land, utilised and non-utilised agricultural terraces) in current orthophotos of Tenerife. Once the change detection analysis is realised, it is necessary to identify the different driving forces which are responsible for the agricultural land use dynamics. The statistical connections between agricultural land use changes and these driving forces

  15. Space Weathering of Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noble, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    Space weathering discussions have generally centered around soils but exposed rocks will also incur the effects of weathering. On the Moon, rocks make up only a very small percentage of the exposed surface and areas where rocks are exposed, like central peaks, are often among the least space weathered regions we find in remote sensing data. However, our studies of weathered Ap 17 rocks 76015 and 76237 show that significant amounts of weathering products can build up on rock surfaces. Because rocks have much longer surface lifetimes than an individual soil grain, and thus record a longer history of exposure, we can study these products to gain a deeper perspective on the weathering process and better assess the relative impo!1ance of various weathering components on the Moon. In contrast to the lunar case, on small asteroids, like Itokowa, rocks make up a large fraction of the exposed surface. Results from the Hayabusa spacecraft at Itokowa suggest that while the low gravity does not allow for the development of a mature regolith, weathering patinas can and do develop on rock surfaces, in fact, the rocky surfaces were seen to be darker and appear spectrally more weathered than regions with finer materials. To explore how weathering of asteroidal rocks may differ from lunar, a set of ordinary chondrite meteorites (H, L, and LL) which have been subjected to artificial space weathering by nanopulse laser were examined by TEM. NpFe(sup 0) bearing glasses were ubiquitous in both the naturally-weathered lunar and the artificially-weathered meteorite samples.

  16. High-Resolution Analysis Products to Support Severe Weather and Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Threat Assessments over Florida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Case, Jonathan; Spratt, Scott; Sharp, David

    2006-01-01

    The Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) located at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC)/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) implemented an operational configuration of the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) Data Analysis System (ADAS), as well as the ARPS numerical weather prediction (NWP) model. Operational, high-resolution ADAS analyses have been produced from this configuration at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, FL (NWS MLB) and the Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) over the past several years. Since that time, ADAS fields have become an integral part of forecast operations at both NWS MLB and SMG. To continue providing additional utility, the AMU has been tasked to implement visualization products to assess the potential for supercell thunderstorms and significant tornadoes, and to improve assessments of short-term cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning potential. This paper and presentation focuses on the visualization products developed by the AMU for the operational high-resolution ADAS and AR.PS at the NWS MLB and SMG. The two severe weather threat graphics implemented within ADAS/ARPS are the Supercell Composite Parameter (SCP) and Significant Tornado Parameter (SIP). The SCP was designed to identify areas with supercell thunderstorm potential through a combination of several instability and shear parameters. The SIP was designed to identify areas that favor supercells producing significant tornadoes (F2 or greater intensity) versus non-tornadic supercells. Both indices were developed by the NOAAINWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and were normalized by key threshold values based on previous studies. The indices apply only to discrete storms, not other convective modes. In a post-analysis mode, the AMU calculated SCP and SIP for graphical output using an ADAS configuration similar to the operational set-ups at NWS MLB and SMG. Graphical images from ADAS were generated every 15 minutes for 13 August 2004, the day that Hurricane Charley approached and

  17. Assessing microbial activities in metal contaminated agricultural volcanic soils--An integrative approach.

    PubMed

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Barreto, M C; Ferreira, N G C; Garcia, P

    2016-07-01

    Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals. Trace metal contaminated soils have significant effects on soil microbial activities and hence on soil quality. The aim of this study is to determine the soil microbial responses to metal contamination in volcanic soils under different agricultural land use practices (conventional, traditional and organic), based on a three-tier approach: Tier 1 - assess soil microbial activities, Tier 2 - link the microbial activity to soil trace metal contamination and, Tier 3 - integrate the microbial activity in an effect-based soil index (Integrative Biological Response) to score soil health status in metal contaminated agricultural soils. Our results showed that microbial biomass C levels and soil enzymes activities were decreased in all agricultural soils. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities, soil basal respiration and microbial biomass C were the most sensitive responses to trace metal soil contamination. The Integrative Biological Response value indicated that soil health was ranked as: organic>traditional>conventional, highlighting the importance of integrative biomarker-based strategies for the development of the trace metal "footprint" in Andosols.

  18. Application of Medium and Seasonal Flood Forecasts for Agriculture Damage Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fakhruddin, Shamsul; Ballio, Francesco; Menoni, Scira

    2015-04-01

    Early warning is a key element for disaster risk reduction. In recent decades, major advancements have been made in medium range and seasonal flood forecasting. This progress provides a great opportunity to reduce agriculture damage and improve advisories for early action and planning for flood hazards. This approach can facilitate proactive rather than reactive management of the adverse consequences of floods. In the agricultural sector, for instance, farmers can take a diversity of options such as changing cropping patterns, applying fertilizer, irrigating and changing planting timing. An experimental medium range (1-10 day) and seasonal (20-25 days) flood forecasting model has been developed for Thailand and Bangladesh. It provides 51 sets of discharge ensemble forecasts of 1-10 days with significant persistence and high certainty and qualitative outlooks for 20-25 days. This type of forecast could assist farmers and other stakeholders for differential preparedness activities. These ensembles probabilistic flood forecasts have been customized based on user-needs for community-level application focused on agriculture system. The vulnerabilities of agriculture system were calculated based on exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Indicators for risk and vulnerability assessment were conducted through community consultations. The forecast lead time requirement, user-needs, impacts and management options for crops were identified through focus group discussions, informal interviews and community surveys. This paper illustrates potential applications of such ensembles for probabilistic medium range and seasonal flood forecasts in a way that is not commonly practiced globally today.

  19. GEOGLAM Crop Assessment Tool: Adapting from global agricultural monitoring to food security monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humber, M. L.; Becker-Reshef, I.; Nordling, J.; Barker, B.; McGaughey, K.

    2014-12-01

    The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's Crop Assessment Tool was released in August 2013 in support of the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor's objective to develop transparent, timely crop condition assessments in primary agricultural production areas, highlighting potential hotspots of stress/bumper crops. The Crop Assessment Tool allows users to view satellite derived products, best available crop masks, and crop calendars (created in collaboration with GEOGLAM Crop Monitor partners), then in turn submit crop assessment entries detailing the crop's condition, drivers, impacts, trends, and other information. Although the Crop Assessment Tool was originally intended to collect data on major crop production at the global scale, the types of data collected are also relevant to the food security and rangelands monitoring communities. In line with the GEOGLAM Countries at Risk philosophy of "foster[ing] the coordination of product delivery and capacity building efforts for national and regional organizations, and the development of harmonized methods and tools", a modified version of the Crop Assessment Tool is being developed for the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). As a member of the Countries at Risk component of GEOGLAM, FEWS NET provides agricultural monitoring, timely food security assessments, and early warnings of potential significant food shortages focusing specifically on countries at risk of food security emergencies. While the FEWS NET adaptation of the Crop Assessment Tool focuses on crop production in the context of food security rather than large scale production, the data collected is nearly identical to the data collected by the Crop Monitor. If combined, the countries monitored by FEWS NET and GEOGLAM Crop Monitor would encompass over 90 countries representing the most important regions for crop production and food security.

  20. Assessing the Impact of a Semester-Long Course in Agricultural Mechanics on Pre-Service Agricultural Education Teachers' Importance, Confidence, and Knowledge of Welding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leiby, Brian L.; Robinson, J. Shane; Key, James P.

    2013-01-01

    This study sought to assess the perceptions of Oklahoma pre-service agricultural education teachers regarding the importance of identified welding skills standards and their confidence to teach them, based on a semester-long course on metals and welding. This study also sought to determine pre-service teachers' knowledge of welding prior to and at…

  1. Assessment of geochemical evolution of groundwater in a mountainous area under agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledesma-Ruiz, Rogelio; Pasten-Zapata, Ernesto; Parra, Roberto; Harter, Thomas; Mahlknecht, Jürgen

    2014-05-01

    Zona Citricola is an important area to Mexico for its citriculture. Situated in a sub-humid to humid climate adjacent to Sierra Madre Occidental, this mountainouos valley hosts an aquifer system which represents sequences of shales, marls, conglomerates, and alluvial deposits. Groundwater flows from mountainous recharge areas to the basin-fill deposits and provides base flow to supply drinking water to an adjacent metropolitan area. The objective of this study was to characterize groundwater chemistry of this area and to assess the evolution. Correlation and principal component analysis were used to decipher various underlying natural and anthropogenic processes creating distinct water classes: (1) dissolution of evaporates, (2) surface organic waste or wastewater, and (3) silicate weathering and clay formation. Hierarchical cluster analysis was employed for partitioning the water samples into four hydrochemical groups: recharge waters (Ca-HCO3), transition zone waters (Ca-HCO3-SO4 to Ca-SO4-HCO3) and discharge waters (Ca-SO4). Inverse geochemical models of these groups were developed using PHREEQC to elucidate the chemical reactions controlling water chemistry between an initial (recharge) and final water. The main responsible reactions were: (1) dissolution of rock salts, (2) release of soil gas carbon dioxide, (3) dedolomitization,(4) albite weathering reactions with corresponding precipitation of silica and clay minerals, and (5) input from animal/human waste and manure, accompanied by denitrification processes. The hydrochemical groups could be related to lithological formations.

  2. Assessing the Impact of Observations on Numerical Weather Forecasts Using the Adjoint Method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gelaro, Ronald

    2012-01-01

    The adjoint of a data assimilation system provides a flexible and efficient tool for estimating observation impacts on short-range weather forecasts. The impacts of any or all observations can be estimated simultaneously based on a single execution of the adjoint system. The results can be easily aggregated according to data type, location, channel, etc., making this technique especially attractive for examining the impacts of new hyper-spectral satellite instruments and for conducting regular, even near-real time, monitoring of the entire observing system. This talk provides a general overview of the adjoint method, including the theoretical basis and practical implementation of the technique. Results are presented from the adjoint-based observation impact monitoring tool in NASA's GEOS-5 global atmospheric data assimilation and forecast system. When performed in conjunction with standard observing system experiments (OSEs), the adjoint results reveal both redundancies and dependencies between observing system impacts as observations are added or removed from the assimilation system. Understanding these dependencies may be important for optimizing the use of the current observational network and defining requirements for future observing systems

  3. An Integrated Model for Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal Limits for Bioenergy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    D. Muth; K. M. Bryden

    2003-12-01

    Agricultural residues have been identified as a significant potential resource for bioenergy production, but serious questions remain about the sustainability of harvesting residues. Agricultural residues play an important role in limiting soil erosion from wind and water and in maintaining soil organic carbon. Because of this, multiple factors must be considered when assessing sustainable residue harvest limits. Validated and accepted modeling tools for assessing these impacts include the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation Version 2 (RUSLE2), the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS), and the Soil Conditioning Index. Currently, these models do not work together as a single integrated model. Rather, use of these models requires manual interaction and data transfer. As a result, it is currently not feasible to use these computational tools to perform detailed sustainable agricultural residue availability assessments across large spatial domains or to consider a broad range of land management practices. This paper presents an integrated modeling strategy that couples existing datasets with the RUSLE2 water erosion, WEPS wind erosion, and Soil Conditioning Index soil carbon modeling tools to create a single integrated residue removal modeling system. This enables the exploration of the detailed sustainable residue harvest scenarios needed to establish sustainable residue availability. Using this computational tool, an assessment study of residue availability for the state of Iowa was performed. This study included all soil types in the state of Iowa, four representative crop rotation schemes, variable crop yields, three tillage management methods, and five residue removal methods. The key conclusions of this study are that under current management practices and crop yields nearly 26.5 million Mg of agricultural residue are sustainably accessible in the state of Iowa, and that through the adoption of no till practices residue removal could sustainably approach 40

  4. Survey of Recipients of WAP Services Assessment of Household Budget and Energy Behaviors Pre to Post Weatherization DOE

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, Bruce Edward; Rose, Erin M.; Hawkins, Beth A.

    2015-10-01

    This report presents results from the national survey of weatherization recipients. This research was one component of the retrospective and Recovery Act evaluations of the U.S. Department of Energy s Weatherization Assistance Program. Survey respondents were randomly selected from a nationally representative sample of weatherization recipients. The respondents and a comparison group were surveyed just prior to receiving their energy audits and then again approximately 18 months post-weatherization. This report focuses on budget issues faced by WAP households pre- and post-weatherization, whether household energy behaviors changed from pre- to post, the effectiveness of approaches to client energy education, and use and knowledge about thermostats.

  5. 25 CFR 162.249 - Will any special fees be assessed on delinquent rent payments due under an agricultural lease?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... payments due under an agricultural lease? 162.249 Section 162.249 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS... Will any special fees be assessed on delinquent rent payments due under an agricultural lease? The... any interest or late payment penalties that must be paid to the Indian landowners under...

  6. Earthworm Comet Assay for Assessing the Risk of Weathered Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils: Need to Look Further than Target Contaminants.

    PubMed

    Ramadass, Kavitha; Palanisami, Thavamani; Smith, Euan; Mayilswami, Srinithi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-11-01

    Earthworm toxicity assays contribute to ecological risk assessment and consequently standard toxicological endpoints, such as mortality and reproduction, are regularly estimated. These endpoints are not enough to better understand the mechanism of toxic pollutants. We employed an additional endpoint in the earthworm Eisenia andrei to estimate the pollutant-induced stress. In this study, comet assay was used as an additional endpoint to evaluate the genotoxicity of weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soils containing 520 to 1450 mg hydrocarbons kg(-1) soil. Results showed that significantly higher DNA damage levels (two to sixfold higher) in earthworms exposed to hydrocarbon impacted soils. Interestingly, hydrocarbons levels in the tested soils were well below site-specific screening guideline values. In order to explore the reasons for observed toxicity, the contaminated soils were leached with rainwater and subjected to earthworm tests, including the comet assay, which showed no DNA damage. Soluble hydrocarbon fractions were not found originally in the soils and hence no hydrocarbons leached out during soil leaching. The soil leachate's Electrical Conductivity (EC) decreased from an average of 1665 ± 147 to 204 ± 20 µS cm(-1). Decreased EC is due to the loss of sodium, magnesium, calcium, and sulphate. The leachate experiment demonstrated that elevated salinity might cause the toxicity and not the weathered hydrocarbons. Soil leaching removed the toxicity, which is substantiated by the comet assay and soil leachate analysis data. The implication is that earthworm comet assay can be included in future eco (geno) toxicology studies to assess accurately the risk of contaminated soils.

  7. A new approach for assessing the future of aquifers supporting irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, James J.; Whittemore, Donald O.; Wilson, Blake B.; Bohling, Geoffrey C.

    2016-03-01

    Aquifers supporting irrigated agriculture are under stress worldwide as a result of large pumping-induced water deficits. To aid in the formulation of more sustainable management plans for such systems, we have developed a water balance approach for assessing the impact of proposed management actions and the prospects for aquifer sustainability. Application to the High Plains aquifer (HPA) in the state of Kansas in the United States reveals that practically achievable reductions in annual pumping (<22%) would have stabilized areally averaged water levels over much of the Kansas HPA from 1996 to 2013. This demonstrates that modest pumping reductions can have a significant impact and highlights the importance of reliable pumping data for determining the net inflow (capture) component of the water balance. The HPA is similar to many aquifers supporting critically needed agricultural production, so the presented approach should prove of value far beyond the area of this initial application.

  8. Assessment of Meteorological and Agriculture Drought Severity in Barani Areas of Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

    Drought is a natural hazard and part of climatic condition for all regions of the world. It is the condition of moisture deficit caused by a certain climatic conditions occurring at a specific location for a specific duration. Stems from the lack of precipitation, precipitation deficiency for a season, a year or longer and is triggered, when water supplies become insufficient to meet the requirements. Pakistan predominantly consists of arid and semiarid regions with a diversified climate where Agriculture sector plays a vital role in countries economy, as it is the largest sector of Pakistan, accounting for over 20.9 percent of GDP. Nearly 62 percent of the country's rural population and is directly or indirectly linked with agriculture for their livelihood. (Pakistan Economic Survey, 2011). Thus, for such type of landscapes where agriculture mainly depends on the amount of precipitation and there is no use of canal irrigation system, so there is a need to make some immediate interventions in the area of drought hazard management & a proactive planning to mitigate its adverse impacts. In this study drought is assessed on its sequential stages, first of all meteorological conditions that include rainfall data and MODIS Satellite NDVI product, having good temporal resolution for drought assessment in order to identify dry spell period. This whole waterless season leads to agricultural drought as crops and vegetation begin to degrade with low production rate. Some more parameters such as Max. Temperature, Humidity, Solar Radiation, Evapotranspiration were incorporated by assigning suitable weights according to their sensitivity for drought. Severity of Agricultural drought was determine by using NDVI anomaly and crop anomaly pattern. Finally, the correlation regression analysis was performed to identify the effect of different dependent variables on their supporting parameters. The combined drought severity map was generated by overlying the agricultural and

  9. Weatherization Works: An interim report of the National Weatherization Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M.A.; Berry, L.G.; Kinney, L.F.

    1993-11-01

    The National Weatherization Evaluation is the first comprehensive evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program since 1984. The evaluation was designed to accomplish the following goals: Estimate energy savings and cost effectiveness; Assess nonenergy impacts; Describe the weatherization network; Characterize the eligible population and resources; and Identify factors influencing outcomes and opportunities for the future. As a national program, weatherization incorporates considerable diversity due to regional differences. Therefore, evaluation results are presented both in aggregate and for three climate regions: cold, moderate and hot.

  10. Value of Probabilistic Weather Forecasts: Assessment by Real-Time Optimization of Irrigation Scheduling

    SciTech Connect

    Cai, Ximing; Hejazi, Mohamad I.; Wang, Dingbao

    2011-09-29

    This paper presents a modeling framework for real-time decision support for irrigation scheduling using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) probabilistic rainfall forecasts. The forecasts and their probability distributions are incorporated into a simulation-optimization modeling framework. In this study, modeling irrigation is determined by a stochastic optimization program based on the simulated soil moisture and crop water-stress status and the forecasted rainfall for the next 1-7 days. The modeling framework is applied to irrigated corn in Mason County, Illinois. It is found that there is ample potential to improve current farmers practices by simply using the proposed simulation-optimization framework, which uses the present soil moisture and crop evapotranspiration information even without any forecasts. It is found that the values of the forecasts vary across dry, normal, and wet years. More significant economic gains are found in normal and wet years than in dry years under the various forecast horizons. To mitigate drought effect on crop yield through irrigation, medium- or long-term climate predictions likely play a more important role than short-term forecasts. NOAA's imperfect 1-week forecast is still valuable in terms of both profit gain and water saving. Compared with the no-rain forecast case, the short-term imperfect forecasts could lead to additional 2.4-8.5% gain in profit and 11.0-26.9% water saving. However, the performance of the imperfect forecast is only slightly better than the ensemble weather forecast based on historical data and slightly inferior to the perfect forecast. It seems that the 1-week forecast horizon is too limited to evaluate the role of the various forecast scenarios for irrigation scheduling, which is actually a seasonal decision issue. For irrigation scheduling, both the forecast quality and the length of forecast time horizon matter. Thus, longer forecasts might be necessary to evaluate the role

  11. Black Carbon in the Arctic: Assessment of and efforts to reduce black carbon emissions from wildfires and agricultural burning in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinder, B.; Hao, W. M.; Larkin, N. K.; McCarty, G.; O'neal, K. J.; Gonzalez, O.; Luxenberg, J.; Rosenblum, M.; Petkov, A.

    2011-12-01

    Black carbon and other short-lived climate forcers exert a warming effect on the climate but remain in the atmosphere for short time periods when compared to carbon dioxide. Black carbon is a significant contributor to increasing temperatures in the Arctic region, which has warmed at twice the global rate over the past 100 years. Black carbon warms the Arctic by absorbing incoming solar radiation while in the atmosphere and, when deposited onto Arctic ice, leading to increased atmospheric temperatures and snow and ice melt. Black carbon remains in the atmosphere for a short time period ranging from days to weeks; therefore, local atmospheric conditions at the time of burning determine the amount of black carbon transport to the Arctic. Most black carbon transport and deposition in the Arctic results from the occurrence of wildfires, prescribed forest fires, and agricultural burning at latitudes greater than 40 degrees north latitude. Wildfire affects some 10-15 million hectares of forest, forest steppe, and grasslands in Russia each year. In addition to wildfire, there is widespread cropland burning in Russia occurring in the fall following harvest and in the spring prior to tilling. Agricultural burning is common practice for crop residue removal as well as suppression of weeds, insects and residue-borne diseases. The goal of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Black Carbon Initiative is to assess black carbon emissions from agricultural burning and wildfires in Russia and explore practical options and opportunities for reducing emissions from these two sources. The emissions assessment combines satellite-derived burned area measurements of forest and agricultural fires, burn severity information, ancillary geospatial data, vegetation and land cover maps, fuels data, fire emissions data, fire/weather relationship information, and smoke transport models to estimate black carbon transport and deposition in the Arctic. The assessment addresses

  12. DOC/WSNSO (Department of Commerce/Weather Service Nuclear Support Office) operational support to Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, P.

    1989-01-01

    The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency of the Department of Commerce. The NWS has hundreds of weather offices throughout the United States. The Weather Service Nuclear Support Office (WSNSO) is a highly specialized unit of NWS that provides direct support to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) underground nuclear testing program. The WSNSO has been associated with the DOE for >33 yr. As a result of the unique relationship with the DOE, all WSNSO emergency response meteorologists and meteorological technicians are allowed access to classified material. Meteorological phenomena play a significant role during a Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC) event, and WSNSO meteorologists provide direct support to ARAC. The marriage of state-of-the-art computer systems together with proven technology provides the on-scene WSNSO meteorologist with essentially a portable fully equipped, fully functional, advanced NWS weather station. The WSNSO's emergency response personnel and hardware are at the ready and can be mobilized within 2 h. WSNSO can provide on-scene weather forecasts and critical weather data collection whenever and wherever necessary.

  13. Probabilistic risk assessment for linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) in sewage sludge used on agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Schowanek, Diederik; David, Helen; Francaviglia, Rosa; Hall, Jeremy; Kirchmann, Holger; Krogh, Paul Henning; Schraepen, Nathalie; Smith, Stephen; Wildemann, Tanja

    2007-12-01

    Deterministic and probabilistic risk assessments were developed for commercial LAS in agricultural soil amended with sewage sludge. The procedure done according to ILSI Europe's Conceptual Framework [Schowanek, D., Carr, R., David, H., Douben, P., Hall, J., Kirchmann, H., Patria, L., Sequi, P., Smith, S., Webb, S.F., 2004. A risk-based methodology for deriving quality standards for organic contaminants in sewage sludge for use in agriculture-conceptual Framework. Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 40 (3), 227-251], consists of three main steps. First, the most sensitive endpoint was determined. This was found to be the chronic ecotoxicity of LAS to soil invertebrates and plants. Additional endpoints, such as potential for plant uptake and transfer in the food chain, leaching to groundwater, surface erosion run-off, human health risk via drinking water, plant consumption and soil ingestion were also systematically evaluated but were all assessed to be of little toxicological significance. In the second step, a back-calculation was conducted from the Predicted No-Effect Concentration in soil (PNECsoil) to a safe level of LAS in sludge (here called 'Sludge Quality Standard'; SQS). The deterministic approach followed the default agricultural soil exposure scenario in the EU-Technical Guidance Document (TGD). The SQS for LAS was calculated as 49 g/kg sludge Dry Matter (DM). In order to assess the potential variability as a result of varying agricultural practices and local environmental conditions, two probabilistic exposure assessment scenarios were also developed. The mean SQS was estimated at 55 and 27.5 g/kg DM for the homogeneous soil mixing and soil injection scenarios, respectively. In the final step, the resulting SQS values were evaluated for consistency and relevance versus available information from agricultural experience and field tests. No build-up, adverse impact on soil fertility, agronomic performance, or animal/human health have been reported for agricultural

  14. Edible safety requirements and assessment standards for agricultural genetically modified organisms.

    PubMed

    Deng, Pingjian; Zhou, Xiangyang; Zhou, Peng; Du, Zhong; Hou, Hongli; Yang, Dongyan; Tan, Jianjun; Wu, Xiaojin; Zhang, Jinzhou; Yang, Yongcun; Liu, Jin; Liu, Guihua; Li, Yonghong; Liu, Jianjun; Yu, Lei; Fang, Shisong; Yang, Xiaoke

    2008-05-01

    This paper describes the background, principles, concepts and methods of framing the technical regulation for edible safety requirement and assessment of agricultural genetically modified organisms (agri-GMOs) for Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in the People's Republic of China. It provides a set of systematic criteria for edible safety requirements and the assessment process for agri-GMOs. First, focusing on the degree of risk and impact of different agri-GMOs, we developed hazard grades for toxicity, allergenicity, anti-nutrition effects, and unintended effects and standards for the impact type of genetic manipulation. Second, for assessing edible safety, we developed indexes and standards for different hazard grades of recipient organisms, for the influence of types of genetic manipulation and hazard grades of agri-GMOs. To evaluate the applicability of these criteria and their congruency with other safety assessment systems for GMOs applied by related organizations all over the world, we selected some agri-GMOs (soybean, maize, potato, capsicum and yeast) as cases to put through our new assessment system, and compared our results with the previous assessments. It turned out that the result of each of the cases was congruent with the original assessment.

  15. Assessment of MODIS spectral indices for determining rice paddy agricultural practices and hydroperiod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tornos, Lucia; Huesca, Margarita; Dominguez, Jose Antonio; Moyano, Maria Carmen; Cicuendez, Victor; Recuero, Laura; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia

    2015-03-01

    Rice agricultural practices and hydroperiod dates must be determined to obtain information on water management practices and their environmental effects. Spectral indices derived from an 8-day MODIS composite allows to identify rice phenometrics at varying degrees of success. The aims of this study were (1) to assess the dynamics of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI(1) and NDWI(2)) and Shortwave Angle Slope Index (SASI) in relation to rice agricultural practices and hydroperiod, and (2) to assess the capability for these indices to detect phenometrics in rice under different flooding regimes. Two rice farming areas in Spain that are governed under different water management practices, the Ebro Delta and Orellana, were studied over a 12-year period (2001-2012). The index time series autocorrelation function was calculated to determine index dynamics in both areas. Secondly, average indices were calculated to identify significant points close to key agricultural and flooding dates, and index behaviors and capacities to identify phenometrics were assessed on a pixel level. The index autocorrelation function produced a regular pattern in both zones, being remarkably homogeneous in the Ebro Delta. It was concluded that a combination of NDVI, NDWI(1), NDWI(2) and SASI may improve the results obtained through each index. NDVI was more effective at detecting the heading date and flooding trends in the Ebro Delta. NDWI(1), NDWI(2) and SASI identified the harvest and the end of environmental flooding in the Delta, and the flooding in Orellana, more effectively. These results may set strong foundations for the development of new strategies in rice monitoring systems, providing useful information to policy makers and environmental studies.

  16. Impact assessment of agricultural driven stressors on benthic macroinvertebrates using simulated data.

    PubMed

    Stefanidis, K; Panagopoulos, Y; Mimikou, M

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural land use poses a significant threat to the ecological integrity of rivers in Europe. Particularly in the Mediterranean, water abstraction and nutrient application are anthropogenic pressures that have a significant impact on aquatic habitats and biodiversity. In this article, we assessed the effects of agricultural management practices on benthic macroinvertebrates in a large river basin of central Greece using simulated data based on the application of SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) model. Physicochemical and hydrological output variables of the model were used as predictors of the ASPT (Average Score Per Taxon) metric based on a correlated component regression analysis (CCR) built on empirical data. The estimation of ASPT was performed for the wet and dry seasons within a 20-year period for a total of 47 subbasins under the baseline conditions and after implementing three management scenarios that reduced: a) irrigation water applied to crops by 30%, b) chemical fertilization applied to crops by 30% and c) both irrigation and fertilization by 30%. The results revealed that application of the reduced irrigation resulted to a slight increase of the simulated dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration (DIN), which in turn decreased the mean ASPT in 21 of the 47 subbasins implying a negative effect on the macroinvertebrate communities. On the contrary, the reduction of fertilization as well as the combined scenario decreased both the simulated DIN and phosphate concentration causing an increase of the mean ASPT for a total of 40 of the 47 subbasins. Based on these results, we suggest that the best management option is a combined practice of deficit irrigation and fertilization reduction since it improved water quality, increased ASPT values and saved a considerable amount of water. Overall, this work demonstrates a simple methodology that can efficiently assess the effects of agricultural management practices on biotic indicators.

  17. Development of a Frost Risk Assessment Tool in Agriculture for a Mediterranean ecosystem Utilizing MODIS satellite observations Geomatics and Surface Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louka, Panagiota; Papanikolaou, Ioannis; Petropoulos, George; Migiros, George; Tsiros, Ioannis

    2014-05-01

    Frost risk in Mediterranean countries is a critical factor in agricultural planning and management. Nowadays, the rapid technological developments in Earth Observation (EO) technology have improved dramatically our ability to map the spatiotemporal distribution of frost conditions over a given area and evaluate its impacts on the environment and society. In this study, a frost risk model for agricultural crops cultivated in a Mediterranean environment has been developed, based primarily on Earth Observation (EO) data from MODIS sensor and ancillary spatial and point data. The ability of the model to predict frost conditions has been validated for selected days on which frost conditions had been observed for a region in Northwestern Greece according to ground observations obtained by the Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA). An extensive evaluation of the frost risk model predictions has been performed herein to evaluate objectively its ability to predict the spatio-temporal distribution of frost risk in the studied region, including comparisons against physiographical factors of the study area. The topographical characteristics that were taken under consideration were latitude, altitude, slope steepness, topographic convergence and the extend of the areas influenced by water bodies (such as lake and sea) existing in the study area. Additional data were also used concerning land use data and vegetation classification (type and density). Our results showed that the model was able to produce reasonably the spatio-temporal distribution of the frost conditions in our study area, following largely explainable patterns in respect to the study site and local weather conditions characteristics. All in all, the methodology implemented herein proved capable in obtaining rapidly and cost-effectively cartography of the frost risk in a Mediterranean environment, making it potentially a very useful tool for agricultural management and planning. The model presented here has

  18. Riverine threat indices to assess watershed condition and identify primary management capacity of agriculture natural resource management agencies.

    PubMed

    Fore, Jeffrey D; Sowa, Scott P; Galat, David L; Annis, Gust M; Diamond, David D; Rewa, Charles

    2014-03-01

    Managers can improve conservation of lotic systems over large geographies if they have tools to assess total watershed conditions for individual stream segments and can identify segments where conservation practices are most likely to be successful (i.e., primary management capacity). The goal of this research was to develop a suite of threat indices to help agriculture resource management agencies select and prioritize watersheds across Missouri River basin in which to implement agriculture conservation practices. We quantified watershed percentages or densities of 17 threat metrics that represent major sources of ecological stress to stream communities into five threat indices: agriculture, urban, point-source pollution, infrastructure, and all non-agriculture threats. We identified stream segments where agriculture management agencies had primary management capacity. Agriculture watershed condition differed by ecoregion and considerable local variation was observed among stream segments in ecoregions of high agriculture threats. Stream segments with high non-agriculture threats were most concentrated near urban areas, but showed high local variability. 60 % of stream segments in the basin were classified as under U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) primary management capacity and most segments were in regions of high agricultural threats. NRCS primary management capacity was locally variable which highlights the importance of assessing total watershed condition for multiple threats. Our threat indices can be used by agriculture resource management agencies to prioritize conservation actions and investments based on: (a) relative severity of all threats, (b) relative severity of agricultural threats, and (c) and degree of primary management capacity.

  19. Life Cycle Assessment of Switchgrass Cellulosic Ethanol Production in the Wisconsin and Michigan Agricultural Contexts

    SciTech Connect

    Sinistore, Julie C.; Reinemann, D. J.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Cronin, Keith R.; Meier, Paul J.; Runge, Troy M.; Zhang, Xuesong

    2015-04-25

    Spatial variability in yields and greenhouse gas emissions from soils has been identified as a key source of variability in life cycle assessments (LCAs) of agricultural products such as cellulosic ethanol. This study aims to conduct an LCA of cellulosic ethanol production from switchgrass in a way that captures this spatial variability and tests results for sensitivity to using spatially averaged results. The Environment Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model was used to calculate switchgrass yields, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and nitrogen and phosphorus emissions from crop production in southern Wisconsin and Michigan at the watershed scale. These data were combined with cellulosic ethanol production data via ammonia fiber expansion and dilute acid pretreatment methods and region-specific electricity production data into an LCA model of eight ethanol production scenarios. Standard deviations from the spatial mean yields and soil emissions were used to test the sensitivity of net energy ratio, global warming potential intensity, and eutrophication and acidification potential metrics to spatial variability. Substantial variation in the eutrophication potential was also observed when nitrogen and phosphorus emissions from soils were varied. This work illustrates the need for spatially explicit agricultural production data in the LCA of biofuels and other agricultural products.

  20. Assessment of the Phototoxicity of Weathered Alaska North Slope Crude Oil to Juvenile Pink Salmon

    EPA Science Inventory

    Petroleum products are known to have greater toxicity to the translucent embryos and larvae of aquatic organisms in the presence of ultraviolet radiation (UV) compared to toxicity determined in tests performed under standard laboratory lighting with minimal UV. This study assesse...

  1. Geospatial approach for assessment of biophysical vulnerability to agricultural drought and its intra-seasonal variations.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Vinay Kumar; Dhakar, Rajkumar

    2016-03-01

    The study presents a methodology to assess and map agricultural drought vulnerability during main kharif crop season at local scale and compare its intra-seasonal variations. A conceptual model of vulnerability based on variables of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity was adopted, and spatial datasets of key biophysical factors contributing to vulnerability were generated using remote sensing and GIS for Rajasthan State of India. Hazard exposure was based on frequency and intensity of gridded standardized precipitation index (SPI). Agricultural sensitivity was based on soil water holding capacity as well as on frequency and intensity of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)-derived trend adjusted vegetation condition index (VCITadj). Percent irrigated area was used as a measure of adaptive capacity. Agricultural drought vulnerability was derived separately for early, mid, late, and whole kharif seasons by composting rating of factors using linear weighting scheme and pairwise comparison of multi-criteria evaluation. The regions showing very low to extreme rating of hazard exposure, drought sensitivity, and agricultural vulnerability were identified at all four time scales. The results indicate that high to extreme vulnerability occurs in more than 50% of net sown area in the state and such areas mostly occur in western, central, and southern parts. The higher vulnerability is on account of non-irrigated croplands, moderate to low water holding capacity of sandy soils, resulting in higher sensitivity, and located in regions with high probability of rainfall deficiency. The mid and late season vulnerability has been found to be much higher than that during early and whole season. Significant correlation of vulnerability rating with food grain productivity, drought recurrence period, crop area damaged in year 2009 and socioeconomic indicator of human development index (HDI) proves the general soundness of methodology. Replication of this methodology

  2. Application of a Fuzzy Verification Technique for Assessment of the Weather Running Estimate-Nowcast (WRE-N) Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

    available for the Staff Weather Officer’s use in providing mission forecasts. Army tactical decision aids (TDAs) ingest these forecasts; they are...providing mission planning and execution forecasts. Tactical decision aids (TDAs) ingest these forecasts. The TDAs fuse information on the...before their outputs can be used by applications such as My Weather Impacts Decision Aid (MyWIDA), developed by Brandt et al. (2013). Weather

  3. Weather and emotional state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spasova, Z.

    2010-09-01

    Introduction Given the proven effects of weather on the human organism, an attempt to examine its effects on a psychic and emotional level has been made. Emotions affect the bio-tonus, working ability and concentration, hence their significance in various domains of economic life, such as health care, education, transportation, tourism, etc. Data and methods The research has been made in Sofia City within a period of 8 months, using 5 psychological methods (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Test for Self-assessment of the emotional state (developed by Wessman and Ricks), Test for evaluation of moods and Test "Self-confidence - Activity - Mood" (developed by the specialists from the Military Academy in Saint Petersburg). The Fiodorov-Chubukov's complex-climatic method was used to characterize meteorological conditions because of the purpose to include in the analysis a maximal number of meteorological elements. 16 weather types are defined in dependence of the meteorological elements values according to this method. Abrupt weather changes from one day to another, defined by the same method, were considered as well. Results and discussions The results obtained by t-test show that the different categories of weather lead to changes in the emotional status, which indicates a character either positive or negative for the organism. The abrupt weather changes, according to expectations, have negative effect on human emotions but only when a transition to the cloudy weather or weather type, classified as "unfavourable" has been realized. The relationship between weather and human emotions is rather complicated since it depends on individual characteristics of people. One of these individual psychological characteristics, marked by the dimension "neuroticism", has a strong effect on emotional reactions in different weather conditions. Emotionally stable individuals are more "protected" to the weather influence on their emotions

  4. An assessment of alternative agricultural management practice impacts on soil carbon in the corn belt

    SciTech Connect

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A.

    1993-12-31

    This impact of alternative management practices on agricultural soil C is estimated by a soil C mass balance modeling study that incorporates policy considerations in the analysis. A literature review of soil C modeling and impacts of management practices has been completed. The models selected for use and/or modification to meet the needs of representing soil C cycles in agroecosystems and impacts of management practices are CENTURY and DNDC. These models share a common ability to examine the impacts of alternative management practices on soil organic C, and are readily accessible. An important aspect of this effort is the development of the modeling framework and methodology that define the agricultural production systems and scenarios (i.e., crop-soil-climate combinations) to be assessed in terms of national policy, the integration of the model needs with available databases, and the operational mechanics of evaluating C sequestration potential with the integrated model/database system. We are working closely with EPA`s Office of Policy and Program Evaluation to define a reasonable set of policy alternatives for this assessment focusing on policy that might be affected through a revised Farm Bill, such as incentives to selectively promote conservation tillage, crop rotations, and/or good stewardship of the conservation reserve. Policy alternatives are translated into basic data for use in soil C models through economic models. These data, including such elements as agricultural practices, fertilization rates, and production levels are used in the soil C models to produce net carbon changes on a per unit area basis. The unit-area emissions are combined with areal-extent data in a GIS to produce an estimate of total carbon and nitrogen changes and thus estimate greenhouse benefits.

  5. Phytotoxic risk assessment of ambient air pollution on agricultural crops in Selangor State, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ishii, S; Bell, J N B; Marshall, F M

    2007-11-01

    The phytotoxic risk of ambient air pollution to local vegetation was assessed in Selangor State, Malaysia. The AOT40 value was calculated by means of the continuously monitored daily maximum concentration and the local diurnal pattern of O3. Together with minor risks associated with the levels of NO2 and SO2, the study found that the monthly AOT40 values in these peri-urban sites were consistently over 1.0 ppm.h, which is well in exceedance of the given European critical level. Linking the O3 level to actual agricultural crop production in Selangor State also indicated that the extent of yield losses could have ranged from 1.6 to 5.0% (by weight) in 2000. Despite a number of uncertainties, the study showed a simple but useful methodological framework for phytotoxic risk assessment with a limited data set, which could contribute to appropriate policy discussion and countermeasures in countries under similar conditions.

  6. Nitrogen inputs from agriculture: towards better assessments of eutrophication status in marine waters.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Jesper H; Fossing, Henrik; Hansen, Jens W; Manscher, Ole H; Murray, Ciarán; Petersen, Ditte L J

    2014-11-01

    Nutrient enrichment of coastal marine waters caused by losses of nitrate (NO(3)(-)) from agriculture is an increasing global problem. In the European Union, the Nitrates Directive (ND) of 1991 was meant to be a cornerstone in reducing eutrophication effects in coastal waters downstream from intensively farmed catchments. Although reductions in losses of nitrate have been attained, very few Member States have yet been able to reduce eutrophication effects caused by inputs of NO(3)(-) from agriculture. We report trends in concentrations of NO(3)(-) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) in Danish coastal and open marine waters during the period from 1996 to 2011 together with an assessment of eutrophication status based on multiple indicators (e.g. nutrient concentrations, Chl-a, submerged aquatic vegetation and benthic macroinvertebrates). Despite decreasing concentrations of both NO(3)(-)and Chl-a, Danish coastal waters are not yet to be classified as 'unaffected by eutrophication'. In order to improve future pan-European evaluations of the effectiveness of the ND, we argue for the added value of including indicators and assessment principles from other European Directives, i.e. the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

  7. Using agricultural practices information for multiscale environmental assessment of phosphorus risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matos Moreira, Mariana; Lemercier, Blandine; Michot, Didier; Dupas, Rémi; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2015-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth. In intensively farmed areas, excessive applications of animal manure and mineral P fertilizers to soils have raised both economic and ecological concerns. P accumulation in agricultural soils leads to increased P losses to surface waterbodies contributing to eutrophication. Increasing soil P content over time in agricultural soils is often correlated with agricultural practices; in Brittany (NW France), an intensive livestock farming region, soil P content is well correlated with animal density (Lemercier et al.,2008). Thus, a better understanding of the factors controlling P distribution is required to enable environmental assessment of P risk. The aim of this study was to understand spatial distribution of extractable (Olsen method) and total P contents and its controlling factors at the catchment scale in order to predict P contents at regional scale (Brittany). Data on soil morphology, soil tests (including P status, particles size, organic carbon…) for 198 punctual positions, crops succession since 20 years, agricultural systems, field and animal manure management were obtained on a well-characterized catchment (ORE Agrhys, 10 km²). A multivariate analysis with mixed quantitative variables and factors and a digital soil mapping approach were performed to identify variables playing a significant role in soil total and extractable P contents and distribution. Spatial analysis was performed by means of the Cubist model, a decision tree-based algorithm. Different scenarios were assessed, considering various panels of predictive variables: soil data, terrain attributes derived from digital elevation model, gamma-ray spectrometry (from airborne geophysical survey) and agricultural practices information. In the research catchment, mean extractable and total P content were 140.0 ± 63.4 mg/kg and 2862.7 ± 773.0 mg/kg, respectively. Organic and mineral P inputs, P balance, soil pH, and Al contents were

  8. Assessing health in agriculture--towards a common research framework for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vieweger, Anja; Döring, Thomas F

    2015-02-01

    In agriculture and food systems, health-related research includes a vast diversity of topics. Nutritional, toxicological, pharmacological, epidemiological, behavioural, sociological, economic and political methods are used to study health in the five domains of soils, plants, livestock, humans and ecosystems. An idea developed in the early founding days of organic agriculture stated that the health of all domains is one and indivisible. Here we show that recent research reveals the existence and complex nature of such health links among domains. However, studies of health aspects in agriculture are often separated by disciplinary boundaries. This restrains the understanding of health in agricultural systems. Therefore we explore the opportunities and limitations of bringing perspectives together from the different domains. We review current approaches to define and assess health in agricultural contexts, comparing the state of the art of commonly used approaches and bringing together the presently disconnected debates in soil science, plant science, veterinary science and human medicine. Based on a qualitative literature analysis, we suggest that many health criteria fall into two paradigms: (1) the Growth Paradigm, where terms are primarily oriented towards continued growth; (2) the Boundary Paradigm, where terms focus on maintaining or coming back to a status quo, recognising system boundaries. Scientific health assessments in agricultural and food systems need to be explicit in terms of their position on the continuum between Growth Paradigm and Boundary Paradigm. Finally, we identify areas and concepts for a future direction of health assessment and research in agricultural and food systems.

  9. Wind Resource Assessment in Complex Terrain with a High-Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruber, Karin; Serafin, Stefano; Grubišić, Vanda; Dorninger, Manfred; Zauner, Rudolf; Fink, Martin

    2014-05-01

    A crucial step in planning new wind farms is the estimation of the amount of wind energy that can be harvested in possible target sites. Wind resource assessment traditionally entails deployment of masts equipped for wind speed measurements at several heights for a reasonably long period of time. Simplified linear models of atmospheric flow are then used for a spatial extrapolation of point measurements to a wide area. While linear models have been successfully applied in the wind resource assessment in plains and offshore, their reliability in complex terrain is generally poor. This represents a major limitation to wind resource assessment in Austria, where high-altitude locations are being considered for new plant sites, given the higher frequency of sustained winds at such sites. The limitations of linear models stem from two key assumptions in their formulation, the neutral stratification and attached boundary-layer flow, both of which often break down in complex terrain. Consequently, an accurate modeling of near-surface flow over mountains requires the adoption of a NWP model with high horizontal and vertical resolution. This study explores the wind potential of a site in Styria in the North-Eastern Alps. The WRF model is used for simulations with a maximum horizontal resolution of 800 m. Three nested computational domains are defined, with the innermost one encompassing a stretch of the relatively broad Enns Valley, flanked by the main crest of the Alps in the south and the Nördliche Kalkalpen of similar height in the north. In addition to the simulation results, we use data from fourteen 10-m wind measurement sites (of which 7 are located within valleys and 5 near mountain tops) and from 2 masts with anemometers at several heights (at hillside locations) in an area of 1600 km2 around the target site. The potential for wind energy production is assessed using the mean wind speed and turbulence intensity at hub height. The capacity factor is also evaluated

  10. Representative Agricultural Pathways and Scenarios for Regional Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation. 5; Chapter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valdivia, Roberto O.; Antle, John M.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Ruane, Alexander C.; Vervoort, Joost; Ashfaq, Muhammad; Hathie, Ibrahima; Tui, Sabine Homann-Kee; Mulwa, Richard; Nhemachena, Charles; Ponnusamy, Paramasivam; Rasnayaka, Herath; Singh, Harbir

    2015-01-01

    The global change research community has recognized that new pathway and scenario concepts are needed to implement impact and vulnerability assessment where precise prediction is not possible, and also that these scenarios need to be logically consistent across local, regional, and global scales. For global climate models, representative concentration pathways (RCPs) have been developed that provide a range of time-series of atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations into the future. For impact and vulnerability assessment, new socio-economic pathway and scenario concepts have also been developed, with leadership from the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC).This chapter presents concepts and methods for development of regional representative agricultural pathways (RAOs) and scenarios that can be used for agricultural model intercomparison, improvement, and impact assessment in a manner consistent with the new global pathways and scenarios. The development of agriculture-specific pathways and scenarios is motivated by the need for a protocol-based approach to climate impact, vulnerability, and adaptation assessment. Until now, the various global and regional models used for agricultural-impact assessment have been implemented with individualized scenarios using various data and model structures, often without transparent documentation, public availability, and consistency across disciplines. These practices have reduced the credibility of assessments, and also hampered the advancement of the science through model intercomparison, improvement, and synthesis of model results across studies. The recognition of the need for better coordination among the agricultural modeling community, including the development of standard reference scenarios with adequate agriculture-specific detail led to the creation of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) in 2010. The development of RAPs is one of the cross-cutting themes in AgMIP's work

  11. Application of Satellite Data for Early Season Assessment of Fallowed Agricultural Lands for Drought Impact Reporting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosevelt, C.; Melton, F. S.; Johnson, L.; Verdin, J. P.; Thenkabail, P. S.; mueller, R.; Zakzeski, A.; Jones, J.

    2013-12-01

    Rapid assessment of drought impacts can aid water managers in assessing mitigation options, and guide decision making with respect to requests for local water transfers, county drought disaster designations, or state emergency proclamations. Satellite remote sensing offers an efficient way to provide quantitative assessments of drought impacts on agricultural production and land fallowing associated with reductions in water supply. A key advantage of satellite-based assessments is that they can provide a measure of land fallowing that is consistent across both space and time. Here we describe an approach for monthly mapping of land fallowing developed as part of a joint effort by USGS, USDA, and NASA to provide timely assessments of land fallowing during drought events. This effort has used the Central Valley of California as a pilot region for development and testing of an operational approach. To provide quantitative measures of fallowed land from satellite data early in the season, we developed a decision tree algorithm and applied it to timeseries of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data from Landsat TM, ETM+, and MODIS. Our effort has been focused on development of leading indicators of drought impacts in the March - June timeframe based on measures of crop development patterns relative to a reference period with average or above average rainfall. This capability complements ongoing work by USDA to produce and publicly release within-season estimates of fallowed acreage from the USDA Cropland Data Layer. To assess the accuracy of the algorithms, monthly ground validation surveys were conducted along transects across the Central Valley at more than 200 fields per month from March - June, 2013. Here we present the algorithm for mapping fallowed acreage early in the season along with results from the accuracy assessment, and discuss potential applications to other regions.

  12. USSR Report Agriculture.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    This is USSR Report for Agriculture. It contains the issues with different topics on Major Crop Progress and Weather Reporting, Livestock, Regional Development , Agro-Economics and Organization, Tilling and Cropping Technology.

  13. Weather Instruments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brantley, L. Reed, Sr.; Demanche, Edna L.; Klemm, E. Barbara; Kyselka, Will; Phillips, Edwin A.; Pottenger, Francis M.; Yamamoto, Karen N.; Young, Donald B.

    This booklet presents some activities to measure various weather phenomena. Directions for constructing a weather station are included. Instruments including rain gauges, thermometers, wind vanes, wind speed devices, humidity devices, barometers, atmospheric observations, a dustfall jar, sticky-tape can, detection of gases in the air, and pH of…

  14. Wacky Weather

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sabarre, Amy; Gulino, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    What do a leaf blower, water hose, fan, and ice cubes have in common? Ask the students who participated in an integrative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (I-STEM) education unit, "Wacky Weather," and they will tell say "fun and severe weather"--words one might not have expected! The purpose of the unit…

  15. Assessing urban strategies for reducing the impacts of extreme weather on infrastructure networks.

    PubMed

    Pregnolato, Maria; Ford, Alistair; Robson, Craig; Glenis, Vassilis; Barr, Stuart; Dawson, Richard

    2016-05-01

    Critical infrastructure networks, including transport, are crucial to the social and economic function of urban areas but are at increasing risk from natural hazards. Minimizing disruption to these networks should form part of a strategy to increase urban resilience. A framework for assessing the disruption from flood events to transport systems is presented that couples a high-resolution urban flood model with transport modelling and network analytics to assess the impacts of extreme rainfall events, and to quantify the resilience value of different adaptation options. A case study in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK shows that both green roof infrastructure and traditional engineering interventions such as culverts or flood walls can reduce transport disruption from flooding. The magnitude of these benefits depends on the flood event and adaptation strategy, but for the scenarios considered here 3-22% improvements in city-wide travel times are achieved. The network metric of betweenness centrality, weighted by travel time, is shown to provide a rapid approach to identify and prioritize the most critical locations for flood risk management intervention. Protecting just the top ranked critical location from flooding provides an 11% reduction in person delays. A city-wide deployment of green roofs achieves a 26% reduction, and although key routes still flood, the benefits of this strategy are more evenly distributed across the transport network as flood depths are reduced across the model domain. Both options should form part of an urban flood risk management strategy, but this method can be used to optimize investment and target limited resources at critical locations, enabling green infrastructure strategies to be gradually implemented over the longer term to provide city-wide benefits. This framework provides a means of prioritizing limited financial resources to improve resilience. This is particularly important as flood management investments must typically exceed

  16. Assessing urban strategies for reducing the impacts of extreme weather on infrastructure networks

    PubMed Central

    Pregnolato, Maria; Ford, Alistair; Robson, Craig; Glenis, Vassilis; Barr, Stuart; Dawson, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Critical infrastructure networks, including transport, are crucial to the social and economic function of urban areas but are at increasing risk from natural hazards. Minimizing disruption to these networks should form part of a strategy to increase urban resilience. A framework for assessing the disruption from flood events to transport systems is presented that couples a high-resolution urban flood model with transport modelling and network analytics to assess the impacts of extreme rainfall events, and to quantify the resilience value of different adaptation options. A case study in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK shows that both green roof infrastructure and traditional engineering interventions such as culverts or flood walls can reduce transport disruption from flooding. The magnitude of these benefits depends on the flood event and adaptation strategy, but for the scenarios considered here 3–22% improvements in city-wide travel times are achieved. The network metric of betweenness centrality, weighted by travel time, is shown to provide a rapid approach to identify and prioritize the most critical locations for flood risk management intervention. Protecting just the top ranked critical location from flooding provides an 11% reduction in person delays. A city-wide deployment of green roofs achieves a 26% reduction, and although key routes still flood, the benefits of this strategy are more evenly distributed across the transport network as flood depths are reduced across the model domain. Both options should form part of an urban flood risk management strategy, but this method can be used to optimize investment and target limited resources at critical locations, enabling green infrastructure strategies to be gradually implemented over the longer term to provide city-wide benefits. This framework provides a means of prioritizing limited financial resources to improve resilience. This is particularly important as flood management investments must typically

  17. Socio-economic and climate change impacts on agriculture: an integrated assessment, 1990–2080

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Günther; Shah, Mahendra; N. Tubiello, Francesco; van Velhuizen, Harrij

    2005-01-01

    A comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems over this century is developed, up to 2080 and at a global level, albeit with significant regional detail. To this end an integrated ecological–economic modelling framework is employed, encompassing climate scenarios, agro-ecological zoning information, socio-economic drivers, as well as world food trade dynamics. Specifically, global simulations are performed using the FAO/IIASA agro-ecological zone model, in conjunction with IIASAs global food system model, using climate variables from five different general circulation models, under four different socio-economic scenarios from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. First, impacts of different scenarios of climate change on bio-physical soil and crop growth determinants of yield are evaluated on a 5′×5′ latitude/longitude global grid; second, the extent of potential agricultural land and related potential crop production is computed. The detailed bio-physical results are then fed into an economic analysis, to assess how climate impacts may interact with alternative development pathways, and key trends expected over this century for food demand and production, and trade, as well as key composite indices such as risk of hunger and malnutrition, are computed. This modelling approach connects the relevant bio-physical and socio-economic variables within a unified and coherent framework to produce a global assessment of food production and security under climate change. The results from the study suggest that critical impact asymmetries due to both climate and socio-economic structures may deepen current production and consumption gaps between developed and developing world; it is suggested that adaptation of agricultural techniques will be central to limit potential damages under climate change. PMID:16433094

  18. Socio-economic and climate change impacts on agriculture: an integrated assessment, 1990-2080.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Günther; Shah, Mahendra; Tubiello, Francesco N; van Velhuizen, Harrij

    2005-11-29

    A comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change on agro-ecosystems over this century is developed, up to 2080 and at a global level, albeit with significant regional detail. To this end an integrated ecological-economic modelling framework is employed, encompassing climate scenarios, agro-ecological zoning information, socio-economic drivers, as well as world food trade dynamics. Specifically, global simulations are performed using the FAO/IIASA agro-ecological zone model, in conjunction with IIASAs global food system model, using climate variables from five different general circulation models, under four different socio-economic scenarios from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. First, impacts of different scenarios of climate change on bio-physical soil and crop growth determinants of yield are evaluated on a 5' X 5' latitude/longitude global grid; second, the extent of potential agricultural land and related potential crop production is computed. The detailed bio-physical results are then fed into an economic analysis, to assess how climate impacts may interact with alternative development pathways, and key trends expected over this century for food demand and production, and trade, as well as key composite indices such as risk of hunger and malnutrition, are computed. This modelling approach connects the relevant bio-physical and socio-economic variables within a unified and coherent framework to produce a global assessment of food production and security under climate change. The results from the study suggest that critical impact asymmetries due to both climate and socio-economic structures may deepen current production and consumption gaps between developed and developing world; it is suggested that adaptation of agricultural techniques will be central to limit potential damages under climate change.

  19. USSR Report, Agriculture.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    obtained from copyright owner, JPRS-UAG-84-021 12 June 1984 USSR REPORT AGRICULTURE CONTENTS MAJOR CROP PROGRESS AND WEATHER REPORTING Details...KHOZYAYSTVA, No 3, Mar 84) - b - MAJOR CROP PROGRESS AND WEATHER REPORTING DETAILS OF SOWING PROGRESS IN ROSTOVSKAYA OBLAST Moscow SEL’SKAYA ZHIZN1...MAJOR CROP PROGRESS AND WEATHER REPORTING SPRING SOWING OPERATIONS IN BELORUSSIAN SSR REVIEWED Minsk SEL’SKAYA GAZETA in Russian 20 Apr 84 p 1

  20. NASA's NI-SAR Observing Strategy and Data Availability for Agricultural Monitoring and Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siqueira, P.; Dubayah, R.; Kellndorfer, J. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Chapman, B. D.

    2014-12-01

    The monitoring and characterization of global crop development by remote sensing is a complex task, in part, because of the time varying nature of the target and the diversity of crop types and agricultural practices that vary worldwide. While some of these difficulties are overcome with the availability of national and market-derived resources (e.g. publication of crop statistics by the USDA and FAO), monitoring by remote sensing has the ability of augmenting those resources to better identify changes over time, and to provide timely assessments for the current year's production. Of the remote sensing techniques that are used for agricultural applications, optical observations of NDVI from Landsat, AVHRR, MODIS and similar sensors have historically provided the majority of data that is used by the community. In addition, radiometer and radar sensors, are often used for estimating soil moisture and structural information for these agricultural regions. The combination of these remote sensing datasets and national resources constitutes the state of the art for crop monitoring and yield forecasts. To help improve these crop monitoring efforts in the future, the joint NASA-ISRO SAR mission known as NI-SAR is being planned for launch in 2020, and will have L- and S-band fully polarimetric radar systems, a fourteen day repeat period, and a swath width on the order of several hundred kilometers. To address the needs of the science and applications communities that NI-SAR will support, the systems observing strategy is currently being planned such that data rate and the system configuration will address the needs of the community. In this presentation, a description of the NI-SAR system will be given along with the currently planned observing strategy and derived products that will be relevant to the overall GEOGLAM initiative.

  1. An integrated assessment of the potential of agricultural and forestry residues for energy production in China

    SciTech Connect

    Gao, Ji; Zhang, Aiping; Lam, Shu Kee; Zhang, Xuesong; Thomson, Allison M.; Lin, Erda; Jiang, Kejun; Clarke, Leon E.; Edmonds, James A.; Kyle, Page G.; Yu, Sha; Zhou, Yuyu; Zhou, Sheng

    2016-01-05

    Biomass has been widely recognized as an important energy source with high potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing environmental pollution. In this study, we employ the Global Change Assessment Model to estimate the potential of agricultural and forestry residue biomass for energy production in China. Potential availability of residue biomass as an energy source was analyzed for the 21st century under different climate policy scenarios. Currently, the amount of total annual residue biomass, averaged over 2003-2007, is around 15519PJ in China, consisting of 10818PJ from agriculture residues (70%) and 4701PJ forestry residues (30%). We estimate that 12693PJ of the total biomass is available for energy production, with 66% derived from agricultural residue and 34% from forestry residue. Most of the available residue is from south central China (3347PJ), east China (2862PJ) and south-west China (2229PJ), which combined exceeds 66% of the total national biomass. Under the reference scenario without carbon tax, the potential availability of residue biomass for energy production is projected to be 3380PJ by 2050 and 4108PJ by 2095, respectively. When carbon tax is imposed, biomass availability increases substantially. For the CCS 450ppm scenario, availability of biomass increases to 9002PJ (2050) and 11524PJ (2095), respectively. For the 450ppm scenario without CCS, 9183 (2050) and 11150PJ (2095) residue biomass, respectively, is projected to be available. Moreover, the implementation of CCS will have a little impact on the supply of residue biomass after 2035. Our results suggest that residue biomass has the potential to be an important component in China's sustainable energy production portfolio. As a low carbon emission energy source, climate change policies that involve carbon tariff and CCS technology promote the use of residue biomass for energy production in a low carbon-constrained world.

  2. An empirical standardized soil moisture index for agricultural drought assessment from remotely sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrão, Hugo; Russo, Simone; Sepulcre-Canto, Guadalupe; Barbosa, Paulo

    2016-06-01

    We propose a simple, spatially invariant and probabilistic year-round Empirical Standardized Soil Moisture Index (ESSMI) that is designed to classify soil moisture anomalies from harmonized multi-satellite surface data into categories of agricultural drought intensity. The ESSMI is computed by fitting a nonparametric empirical probability density function (ePDF) to historical time-series of soil moisture observations and then transforming it into a normal distribution with a mean of zero and standard deviation of one. Negative standard normal values indicate dry soil conditions, whereas positive values indicate wet soil conditions. Drought intensity is defined as the number of negative standard deviations between the observed soil moisture value and the respective normal climatological conditions. To evaluate the performance of the ESSMI, we fitted the ePDF to the Essential Climate Variable Soil Moisture (ECV SM) v02.0 data values collected in the period between January 1981 and December 2010 at South-Central America, and compared the root-mean-square-errors (RMSE) of residuals with those of beta and normal probability density functions (bPDF and nPDF, respectively). Goodness-of-fit results attained with time-series of ECV SM values averaged at monthly, seasonal, half-yearly and yearly timescales suggest that the ePDF provides triggers of agricultural drought onset and intensity that are more accurate and precise than the bPDF and nPDF. Furthermore, by accurately mapping the occurrence of major drought events over the last three decades, the ESSMI proved to be spatio-temporal consistent and the ECV SM data to provide a well calibrated and homogenized soil moisture climatology for the region. Maize, soybean and wheat crop yields in the region are highly correlated (r > 0.82) with cumulative ESSMI values computed during the months of critical crop growing, indicating that the nonparametric index of soil moisture anomalies can be used for agricultural drought

  3. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  4. Teachers' Use of Test-Item Banks for Student Assessment in North Carolina Secondary Agricultural Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Joy Morgan

    2014-01-01

    Higher expectations are on all parties to ensure students successfully perform on standardized tests. Specifically in North Carolina agriculture classes, students are given a CTE Post Assessment to measure knowledge gained and proficiency. Prior to students taking the CTE Post Assessment, teachers have access to a test item bank system that…

  5. 75 FR 6031 - Policy Paper on Revised Risk Assessment Methods for Workers, Children of Workers in Agricultural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-05

    ... AGENCY Policy Paper on Revised Risk Assessment Methods for Workers, Children of Workers in Agricultural...,'' that describes how the Agency plans to use revised methods in conducting risk assessments for pesticide... Register of December 9, 2009, making available for comment a policy paper entitled ``Revised...

  6. A New Paradigm for Assessing the Role of Agriculture in the Climate System and in Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pielke, Roger A., Sr.; Adegoke, Jimmy O.; Chase, Thomas N.; Marshall, Curtis H.; Matsui, Toshihisa; Niyogi, Dev

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses the diverse climate forcings that impact agricultural systems, and contrasts the current paradigm of using global models downscaled to agricultural areas (a top-down approach) with a new paradigm that first assesses the vulnerability of agricultural activities to the spectrum of environmental risk including climate (a bottom-up approach). To illustrate the wide spectrum of climate forcings, regional climate forcings are presented including land-use/land-cover change and the influence of aerosols on radiative and biogeochemical fluxes and cloud/precipitation processes, as well as how these effects can be teleconnected globally. Examples are presented of the vulnerability perspective, along with a small survey of the perceived drought impacts in a local area, in which a wide range of impacts for the same precipitation deficits are found. This example illustrates why agricultural assessments of risk to climate change and variability and of other environmental risks should start with a bottom-up perspective.

  7. Towards an integrated economic assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lotze-Campen, H.; Piontek, F.; Stevanovic, M.; Popp, A.; Bauer, N.; Dietrich, J.; Mueller, C.; Schmitz, C.

    2012-12-01

    For a detailed understanding of the effects of climate change on global agricultural production systems, it is essential to consider the variability of climate change patterns as projected by General Circulation Models (GCMs), their bio-physical impact on crops and the response in land-use patterns and markets. So far, approaches that account for the interaction of bio-physical and economic impacts are largely lacking. We present an integrative analysis by using a soft-coupled system of a biophysical impact model (LPJmL, Bondeau et al. 2007), an economically driven land use model (MAgPIE, Lotze-Campen et al. 2008) and an integrated assessment model (ReMIND-R, Leimbach et al. 2010) to study climate change impacts and economic damages in the agricultural sector. First, the dynamic global vegetation and hydrology model LPJmL is used to derive climate change impacts on crop yields for wheat, maize, soy, rice and other major crops. A range of different climate projections is used, taken from the dataset provided by the Intersectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP, www.isi-mip.org), which bias-corrected the latest CMIP5 climate data (Taylor et al. 2011). Crop yield impacts cover scenarios with and without CO2 fertilization as well as different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and different GCMs. With increasing temperature towards the end of the century yields generally decrease in tropical and subtropical regions, while they tend to benefit in higher latitudes. LPJmL results have been compared to other global crop models in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP, www.agmip.org). Second, changes in crop yields are analysed with the spatially explicit agro-economic model MAgPIE, which covers their interaction with economic development and changes in food demand. Changes in prices as well as welfare changes of producer and consumer surplus are taken as economic indicators. Due to climate-change related reductions in

  8. [Cumulative risk assessment for consumers of agricultural crops polluted with one chemical class pesticide residues (case of triazole fungicides)].

    PubMed

    Koval'chuk, N M; Omel'chuk, S T

    2011-01-01

    Different indices of cumulative risk assessment of combination of residues of pesticides which may simultaneously be present in raw agricultural crops, based on toxic evaluation of such combination have been presented. Risk for population health due to consumption of raw agricultural crops with triazole residues is acceptable on hazard index, point of departure index and cumulative risk index, exceeds allowable level on criterion "total margin of exposure".

  9. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) Initiative: Developing methods and best practices for global agricultural monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, C.; Jarvis, I.; Defourny, P.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, making a 'one size fits all' approach to remote sensing and monitoring of agricultural landscapes problematic. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to bring together the global scientific community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally across an array of diverse agricultural systems. These methods form the research and development component of the Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative to harmonize global monitoring efforts and increase market transparency. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. Each test site works independently as well as together across multiple sites to test methods, sensors and field data collection techniques to derive key agricultural parameters, including crop type, crop condition, crop yield and soil moisture. The outcome of this project will be a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the research and development foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM "system of systems" for global agricultural monitoring. The outcomes of the 2014 JECAM science meeting will be discussed as well as examples of methods being developed by JECAM scientists.

  10. Screening level assessment of agricultural pesticides as a pressure factor on European waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pistocchi, A.

    2009-04-01

    Currently about 400 chemical substances are reported in use as agricultural pesticides in Europe. However, little knowledge is available about their actual use patterns, emission rates, and consequently expected concentrations in the environment. In this contribution, we use a simple screening model for the evaluation of pesticide concentrations in soil and water, and we apply it to a number of pesticides, for which some monitored values of concentration are available and used for comparison with computed concentrations. The model relies on practically attainable information such as reported pesticide usage data, land cover, and pan-european soil organic carbon content, runoff rates and temperature-dependent degradation rates. After validating the model, we apply it to compute environmental risk indicators that aim at depicting the cumulative effect of pesticides in Europe. These indicators are in essence weighted sums of concentrations of the different chemicals, where weights are ratios of threshold concentrations such as LC50 or NOEC. The model implies simple and easy-to-track computations, and only exploits widely available information on pesticide emissions and properties. Indicators can be used for the assessment of pesticides in Europe for a generic year. A comparison between different years is discussed, yielding indications on the current trends in pesticide contamination at the continental scale. This type of analysis helps identifying pressure factors in agricultural catchments, and their spatial and temporal trends, and may support the identification of priority hazardous substances for river basin management planning within the Water Framework Directive.

  11. Spectral diversity area relationships for assessing biodiversity in a wildland-agriculture matrix.

    PubMed

    Dahlin, Kyla Marie

    2016-12-01

    Species-area relationships have long been used to assess patterns of species diversity across scales. Here, this concept is extended to spectral diversity using hyperspectral data collected by NASA's Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) over western Michigan. This mixture of mesic forest and agricultural lands offers two end-points on the local-scale diversity continuum; one set of well-mixed forest patches and one set of highly homogeneous agricultural patches. Using the sum of the first three principal component values and the principal components' convex hull volume, spectral diversity was compared within and among these plots and to null expectations for perfectly random and perfectly patchy landscapes. Overall, the spectral diversity-area relationship confirms the patterns that would be expected for this landscape, but this application suggests that this approach could be extended to less well-understood landscapes and could reveal key insights about the relative importance of different drivers of community assembly, even in the absence of additional data about plant functional traits or species' identities.

  12. Groundwater vulnerability assessment in agricultural areas using a modified DRASTIC model.

    PubMed

    Sadat-Noori, Mahmood; Ebrahimi, Kumars

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater contamination is a major concern for groundwater resource managers worldwide. We evaluated groundwater pollution potential by producing a vulnerability map of an aquifer using a modified Depth to water, Net recharge, Aquifer media, Soil media, Topography, Impact of vadose zone, and Hydraulic conductivity (DRASTIC) model within a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. The proposed modification which incorporated the use of statistical techniques optimizes the rating function of the DRASTIC model parameters, to obtain a more accurate vulnerability map. The new rates were computed using the relationships between the parameters and point data chloride concentrations in groundwater. The model was applied on Saveh-Nobaran plain in central Iran, and results showed that the coefficient of determination (R (2)) between the point data and the relevant vulnerability map increased significantly from 0.52 to 0.78 after modification. As compared to the original DRASTIC model, the modified version produced better vulnerability zonation. Additionally, single-parameter and parameter removal sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the relative importance of each DRASTIC parameter. The results from both analyses revealed that the vadose zone is the most sensitive parameter influencing the variability of the aquifers' vulnerability index. Based on the results, for non-point source pollution in agricultural areas, using the modified DRASTIC model is efficient compared to the original model. The proposed method can be effective for future groundwater assessment and plain-land management where agricultural activities are dominant.

  13. Odour-impact assessment around a landfill site from weather-type classification, complaint inventory and numerical simulation.

    PubMed

    Chemel, C; Riesenmey, C; Batton-Hubert, M; Vaillant, H

    2012-01-01

    Gases released from landfill sites into the atmosphere have the potential to cause olfactory nuisances within the surrounding communities. Landfill sites are often located over complex topography for convenience mainly related to waste disposal and environmental masking. Dispersion of odours is strongly conditioned by local atmospheric dynamics. Assessment of odour impacts needs to take into account the variability of local atmospheric dynamics. In this study, we discuss a method to assess odour impacts around a landfill site located over complex terrain in order to provide information to be used subsequently to identify management strategies to reduce olfactory nuisances in the residential neighbourhoods. A weather-type classification is defined in order to identify meteorological conditions under which olfactory nuisances are to be expected. A non-steady state Gaussian model and a full-physics meteorological model are used to predict olfactory nuisances, for both the winter and summer scenarios that lead to the majority of complaints in neighbourhoods surrounding the landfill site. Simulating representative scenarios rather than full years make a high resolution simulation of local atmospheric dynamics in space and time possible. Results underline the key role of local atmospheric dynamics in driving the dispersion of odours. The odour concentration simulated by the full-physics meteorological model is combined with the density of the population in order to calculate an average population exposure for the two scenarios. Results of this study are expected to provide helpful information to develop technical solutions for an effective management of landfill operations, which would reduce odour impacts within the surrounding communities.

  14. Spatial analysis and modeling to assess and map current vulnerability to extreme weather events in the Grijalva - Usumacinta watershed, México

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López L, D.

    2009-11-01

    One of the major concerns over a potential change in climate is that it will cause an increase in extreme weather events. In Mexico, the exposure factors as well as the vulnerability to the extreme weather events have increased during the last three or four decades. In this study spatial analysis and modeling were used to assess and map settlement and crop systems vulnerability to extreme weather events in the Grijalva - Usumacinta watershed. Sensitivity and coping adaptive capacity maps were constructed using decision models; these maps were then combined to produce vulnerability maps. The most vulnerable area in terms of both settlement and crop systems is the highlands, where the sensitivity is high and the adaptive capacity is low. In lowlands, despite the very high sensitivity, the higher adaptive capacity produces only moderate vulnerability. I conclude that spatial analysis and modeling are powerful tools to assess and map vulnerability. These preliminary results can guide the formulation of adaptation policies to an increasing risk of extreme weather events.

  15. The AgMIP Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruane, A. C.; Rosenzweig, C.; Antle, J. M.; Elliott, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has been working since 2010 to construct a protocol-based framework enabling regional assessments (led by regional experts and modelers) that can provide consistent inputs to global economic and integrated assessment models. These global models can then relay important global-level information that drive regional decision-making and outcomes throughout an interconnected agricultural system. AgMIP's community of nearly 800 climate, crop, livestock, economics, and IT experts has improved the state-of-the-art through model intercomparisons, validation exercises, regional integrated assessments, and the launch of AgMIP programs on all six arable continents. AgMIP is now launching Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of climate change impacts on agriculture and food security to link global and regional crop and economic models using a protocol-based framework. The CGRA protocols are being developed to utilize historical observations, climate projections, and RCPs/SSPs from CMIP5 (and potentially CMIP6), and will examine stakeholder-driven agricultural development and adaptation scenarios to provide cutting-edge assessments of climate change's impact on agriculture and food security. These protocols will build on the foundation of established protocols from AgMIP's 30+ activities, and will emphasize the use of multiple models, scenarios, and scales to enable an accurate assessment of related uncertainties. The CGRA is also designed to provide the outputs necessary to feed into integrated assessment models (IAMs), nutrition and food security assessments, nitrogen and carbon cycle models, and additional impact-sector assessments (e.g., water resources, land-use, biomes, urban areas). This presentation will describe the current status of CGRA planning and initial prototype experiments to demonstrate key aspects of the protocols before wider implementation ahead of the IPCC Sixth Assessment

  16. The AgMIP Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Food Security

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruane, Alex; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Elliott, Joshua; Antle, John

    2015-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has been working since 2010 to construct a protocol-based framework enabling regional assessments (led by regional experts and modelers) that can provide consistent inputs to global economic and integrated assessment models. These global models can then relay important global-level information that drive regional decision-making and outcomes throughout an interconnected agricultural system. AgMIPs community of nearly 800 climate, crop, livestock, economics, and IT experts has improved the state-of-the-art through model intercomparisons, validation exercises, regional integrated assessments, and the launch of AgMIP programs on all six arable continents. AgMIP is now launching Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of climate change impacts on agriculture and food security to link global and regional crop and economic models using a protocol-based framework. The CGRA protocols are being developed to utilize historical observations, climate projections, and RCPsSSPs from CMIP5 (and potentially CMIP6), and will examine stakeholder-driven agricultural development and adaptation scenarios to provide cutting-edge assessments of climate changes impact on agriculture and food security. These protocols will build on the foundation of established protocols from AgMIPs 30+ activities, and will emphasize the use of multiple models, scenarios, and scales to enable an accurate assessment of related uncertainties. The CGRA is also designed to provide the outputs necessary to feed into integrated assessment models (IAMs), nutrition and food security assessments, nitrogen and carbon cycle models, and additional impact-sector assessments (e.g., water resources, land-use, biomes, urban areas). This presentation will describe the current status of CGRA planning and initial prototype experiments to demonstrate key aspects of the protocols before wider implementation ahead of the IPCC Sixth Assessment

  17. Environmental assessment of energy generation from agricultural and farm waste through anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Nayal, Figen Sisman; Mammadov, Aydin; Ciliz, Nilgun

    2016-12-15

    While Turkey is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of agricultural goods, it is also, at the same time a net importer of energy carriers. This dichotomy offers a strong incentive to generate energy from agricultural and farming waste; something which could provide energy security for rural areas. Combined with the enhanced energy security for farming areas, the production of energy in this manner could conceivably contribute to the overall national effort to reduce the Turkey's carbon footprint. This study explores the environmental benefits and burdens of one such option, that is, biogas production from a mixture of agricultural and animal waste through anaerobic digestion (AD), and its subsequent use for electricity and heat generation. A life-cycle assessment methodology was used, to measure the potential environmental impact of this option, in terms of global warming and total weighed impact, and to contrast it with the impact of producing the same amount of energy via an integrated gasification combined cycle process and a hard coal power plant. This study concentrates on an AD and cogeneration pilot plant, built in the Kocaeli province of Turkey and attempts to evaluate its potential environmental impacts. The study uses laboratory-scale studies, as well as literature and LCI databases to derive the operational parameters, yield and emissions of the plant. The potential impacts were calculated with EDIP 2003 methodology, using GaBi 5 LCA software. The results indicate that N2O emissions, resulting from the application of liquid and solid portions of digestate (a by-product of AD), as an organic fertilizer, are by far the largest contributors to global warming among all the life cycle stages. They constitute 68% of the total, whereas ammonia losses from the same process are the leading cause of terrestrial eutrophication. The photochemical ozone formation potential is significantly higher for the cogeneration phase, compared to other life cycle

  18. Comparison of Online Agricultural Information Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reneau, Fred; Patterson, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Outlines major online agricultural information services--agricultural databases, databases with agricultural services, educational databases in agriculture--noting services provided, access to the database, and costs. Benefits of online agricultural database sources (availability of agricultural marketing, weather, commodity prices, management…

  19. Assessment of the weather research and forecasting model generalized parameterization schemes for advancement of precipitation forecasting in monsoon-driven river basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikder, Safat; Hossain, Faisal

    2016-09-01

    Some of the world's largest and flood-prone river basins experience a seasonal flood regime driven by the monsoon weather system. Highly populated river basins with extensive rain-fed agricultural productivity such as the Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, and Mekong are examples of monsoon-driven river basins. It is therefore appropriate to investigate how precipitation forecasts from numerical models can advance flood forecasting in these basins. In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting model was used to evaluate downscaling of coarse-resolution global precipitation forecasts from a numerical weather prediction model. Sensitivity studies were conducted using the TOPSIS analysis to identify the likely best set of microphysics and cumulus parameterization schemes, and spatial resolution from a total set of 15 combinations. This identified best set can pinpoint specific parameterizations needing further development to advance flood forecasting in monsoon-dominated regimes. It was found that the Betts-Miller-Janjic cumulus parameterization scheme with WRF Single-Moment 5-class, WRF Single-Moment 6-class, and Thompson microphysics schemes exhibited the most skill in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins. Finer spatial resolution (3 km) without cumulus parameterization schemes did not yield significant improvements. The short-listed set of the likely best microphysics-cumulus parameterization configurations was found to also hold true for the Indus basin. The lesson learned from this study is that a common set of model parameterization and spatial resolution exists for monsoon-driven seasonal flood regimes at least in South Asian river basins.

  20. Sustainability Assessment for Agriculture Scenarios in Europe's Mountain Areas: Lessons from Six Study Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partidário, Maria Rosário; Sheate, William R.; Bina, Olivia; Byron, Helen; Augusto, Bernardo

    2009-01-01

    Sustainability assessment (SA) is a holistic and long-range strategic instrument capable of assisting policy-making in electing, and deciding upon, future development priorities. The outcomes of an SA process become more relevant and strengthened when conducted with multi-stakeholder engagement, which provides for multiple dialogues and perspectives. This was the object of research of the SA team in the context of BioScene ( Scenarios for Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation with Declining Agriculture Use in Mountain Areas in Europe), a three-year project (2002-2005) funded by the European Union 5th Framework Program, which aimed to investigate the implications of agricultural restructuring and decline for biodiversity conservation in the mountain areas of Europe, using three distinct methodological streams: the ecological, the socio-economic, and the SA approaches. The SA approach drew on the previous two to assess the importance for biodiversity management of different scenarios of agri-environmental change and rural policy in six countries (France, Greece, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), develop causal chains, include stakeholder views, and identify potential contributions for, or conflicts with, sustainability. This article tells how SA was used, what sustainability meant in each study area through different objectives of sustainability considered, discusses the methods used in SA, and the benefits arising. The SA was conducted by a team independent of any study area, who developed and oversaw the application of the SA methodology, assisting national teams, and developing a cross-country understanding of the sustainability of proposed scenarios in the different geographical and social contexts, and their implications for policy-making. Finally, it reflects on the persistent challenges of interdisciplinary research, compounded by multi-cultural teams, and concludes on the BioScene’s lessons for the further development and application

  1. An assessment of biofuel use and burning of agricultural waste in the developing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yevich, Rosemarie; Logan, Jennifer A.

    2003-12-01

    We present an assessment of biofuel use and agricultural field burning in the developing world. We used information from government statistics, energy assessments from the World Bank, and many technical reports, as well as from discussions with experts in agronomy, forestry, and agro-industries. We estimate that 2060 Tg biomass fuel was used in the developing world in 1985; of this, 66% was burned in Asia, and 21% and 13% in Africa and Latin America, respectively. Agricultural waste supplies about 33% of total biofuel use, providing 39%, 29%, and 13% of biofuel use in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and 41% and 51% of the biofuel use in India and China. We find that 400 Tg of crop residues are burned in the fields, with the fraction of available residue burned in 1985 ranging from 1% in China, 16-30% in the Middle East and India, to about 70% in Indonesia; in Africa about 1% residue is burned in the fields of the northern drylands, but up to 50% in the humid tropics. We distributed this biomass burning on a spatial grid with resolution of 1° × 1°, and applied emission factors to the amount of dry matter burned to give maps of trace gas emissions in the developing world. The emissions of CO from biofuel use in the developing world, 156 Tg, are about 50% of the estimated global CO emissions from fossil fuel use and industry. The emission of 0.9 Pg C (as CO2) from burning of biofuels and field residues together is small, but nonnegligible when compared with the emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel use and industry, 5.3 Pg C. The biomass burning source of 10 Tg/yr for CH4 and 2.2 Tg N/yr of NOx are relatively small when compared with total CH4 and NOx sources; this source of NOx may be important on a regional basis.

  2. An investigation of element ratios for assessing suspended-sediment sources in small agricultural basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Juracek, K.

    2012-01-01

    Various sediment properties previously have been investigated for the purpose of determining sources of suspended sediment. A remaining research need is an assessment of element ratios for the determination of suspended-sediment sources in different terrestrial environments. In this study, 253 element ratios were assessed to determine which, if any, were potentially useful for sediment-source determinations in six small agricultural basins in northeastern Kansas, USA. Samples of surface soils (cropland and grassland), channel banks, and reservoir bottom sediments were collected, analyzed for 23 elements, and compared. Of the 253 element ratios assessed, only the Co/Pb and Co/Zn ratios were substantially and consistently different between the channel banks and surface soils for all six basins. For three of four reservoirs for which data were available, sediment-source estimates provided by Co/Pb ratios were in agreement with estimates previously provided using 137Cs. For two of the four reservoirs, sediment-source estimates provided by Co/Zn ratios were consistent with the 137Cs estimates. Thus, the Co/Pb ratio potentially may be more useful. Additional research is needed to ascertain whether or not the use of Co/Pb and Co/Zn ratios as tracers is widely applicable or restricted to specific terrestrial environments.

  3. Potential assessment of establishing a renewable energy plant in a rural agricultural area.

    PubMed

    Su, Ming-Chien; Kao, Nien-Hsin; Huang, Wen-Jar

    2012-06-01

    An evaluation of the green energy potential generated from biogas and solar power, using agricultural manure waste and a photovoltaic (PV) system, was conducted in a large geographical area of a rural county with low population density and low pollution. The studied area, Shoufeng Township in Hualien County, is located in eastern Taiwan, where a large amount of manure waste is generated from pig farms that are scattered throughout the county. The objective of the study is to assess the possibility of establishing an integrated manure waste treatment plant by using the generated biogas incorporated with the PV system to produce renewable energy and then feed it back to the incorporated farms. A filed investigation, geographic information system (GIS) application, empirical equations development, and RETScreen modeling were conducted in the study. The results indicate that Shoufeng Township has the highest priority in setting up an integrated treatment and renewable energy plant by using GIS mapping within a 10-km radius of the transportation range. Two scenarios were plotted in assessing the renewable energy plant and the estimated electricity generation, plus the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction was evaluated. Under the current governmental green energy scheme and from a long-term perspective, the assessment shows great potential in establishing the plant, especially in reducing environmental pollution problems, waste treatment, and developing suitable renewable energy.

  4. Weather Information Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Science Communications International (SCI), formerly General Science Corporation, has developed several commercial products based upon experience acquired as a NASA Contractor. Among them are METPRO, a meteorological data acquisition and processing system, which has been widely used, RISKPRO, an environmental assessment system, and MAPPRO, a geographic information system. METPRO software is used to collect weather data from satellites, ground-based observation systems and radio weather broadcasts to generate weather maps, enabling potential disaster areas to receive advance warning. GSC's initial work for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center resulted in METPAK, a weather satellite data analysis system. METPAK led to the commercial METPRO system. The company also provides data to other government agencies, U.S. embassies and foreign countries.

  5. Assessment of Crop Water Requirement Methods for Annual Agricultural Water Allocation Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aghdasi, F.; Sharifi, M. A.; van der Tol, C.

    2010-05-01

    The potential use of remote sensing in water resource and in particular in irrigation management has been widely acknowledged. However, in reality, operational applications of remote sensing in irrigation management are few. In this study, the applicability of the main available remote sensing based techniques of irrigation management is evaluated in a pilot area in Iran. The evaluated techniques include so called Crop Water Requirement "CWR" methods for the planning of annual water allocation in irrigated agriculture. A total of 40 years of historical weather data were classified into wet, normal, and dry years using a Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI). For each of these three classes the average CWR was calculated. Next, by applying Markov Chain Process to the time series of precipitation, the expected CWR for the forthcoming planning year was estimated. Using proper interpolation techniques the expected CWR at each station was converted to CWR map of the area, which was then used for annual water allocation planning. To estimate the crop water requirement, methods developed for the DEMETER project (DEMonstration of Earth observation Technologies in Routine irrigation advisory services) and Surface Energy Balance System "SEBS" algorithm were used, and their results were compared with conventional methods, including FAO-56 and lysimeter data amongst others. Use was made of both ASTER and MODIS images to determine crop water requirement at local and regional scales. Four methods of estimating crop coefficients were used: DEMETER Kc-NDVI, DEMETER Kc-analytical, FAO-56 and SEBS algorithm. Results showed that DEMETER (analytical approach) and FAO methods with lowest RMSE are more suitable methods for determination of crop coefficient than SEBS, which gives actual rather than potential evapotranspiration. The use of ASTER and MODIS images did not result in significantly different crop coefficients in the pilot area for the DEMETER analytical approach (α=0

  6. ASSESSING ALTERNATIVE FUTURES FOR AGRICULTURE IN IOWA, U.S.A.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The contributions of current industrial agricultural practices to environmental degradation and the social problems facing agricultural regions are well known. However, landscape-scale alternatives to current conditions have not been fully explored nor their potential impacts qua...

  7. Weatherizing America

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, Zachary; Bergeron, T.J.; Barth, Dale; Qualis, Xavier; Sewall, Travis; Fransen, Richard; Gill, Tony

    2009-01-01

    As Recovery Act money arrives to expand home weatherization programs across the country, Zachary Stewart of Phoenix, Ariz., and others have found an exciting opportunity not only to start working again, but also to find a calling.

  8. Weatherizing America

    ScienceCinema

    Stewart, Zachary; Bergeron, T.J.; Barth, Dale; Qualis, Xavier; Sewall, Travis; Fransen, Richard; Gill, Tony

    2016-07-12

    As Recovery Act money arrives to expand home weatherization programs across the country, Zachary Stewart of Phoenix, Ariz., and others have found an exciting opportunity not only to start working again, but also to find a calling.

  9. Stress Levels of Agricultural Science Cooperating Teachers and Student Teachers: A Repeated Measures Comparative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKim, Billy R.; Rayfield, John; Harlin, Julie; Adams, Andy

    2013-01-01

    This study compared job stress levels of Texas agricultural science cooperating teachers and Texas agricultural science student teachers across a semester. The research objectives included describing secondary agricultural science cooperating teachers and student teachers perceptions of stressors, by time of semester (beginning, middle, and end),…

  10. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods.

  11. Trace elements assessment in agricultural and desert soils of Aswan area, south Egypt: Geochemical characteristics and environmental impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwish, Mohamed Abdallah Gad; Pöllmann, Hebert

    2015-12-01

    Determination of chemical elements, Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Sc, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn have been performed in agricultural and desert soils and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) at Aswan area. Consequently, the pollution indices, univariate and multivariate statistical methods have been applied, in order to assess the geochemical characteristics of these elements and their impact on soil environmental quality and plant, and to reach for their potential input sources. The investigation revealed that the mean and range values of all element concentrations in agricultural soil are higher than those in desert soil. Furthermore, the agricultural soil displayed various degrees of enrichment and pollution of Cd, Zn, Mo, Co, P, Ti, Pb. The geochemical pattern of integrated pollution indices gave a clear image of extreme and strong pollution in the agricultural soil stations, their poor quality with high risk to human health and considered as a tocsin for an alert. In contrast, the desert soil is the good environmental quality and safe for plant, animal and human health. Alfalfa is tolerant plant and considered as a biomarker for P and Mo in polluted agricultural soil. Four geochemical associations of analyzing elements in agricultural soil and three ones in desert soil have been generated, and their enhancements were essentially caused by various anthropogenic activities and geogenic sources. The investigation also revealed that the broad extended desert soil is fruitful and promising as cultivable lands for agricultural processes in the futures.

  12. Environmental impacts of organic and conventional agricultural products--are the differences captured by life cycle assessment?

    PubMed

    Meier, Matthias S; Stoessel, Franziska; Jungbluth, Niels; Juraske, Ronnie; Schader, Christian; Stolze, Matthias

    2015-02-01

    Comprehensive assessment tools are needed that reliably describe environmental impacts of different agricultural systems in order to develop sustainable high yielding agricultural production systems with minimal impacts on the environment. Today, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly used to assess and compare the environmental sustainability of agricultural products from conventional and organic agriculture. However, LCA studies comparing agricultural products from conventional and organic farming systems report a wide variation in the resource efficiency of products from these systems. The studies show that impacts per area farmed land are usually less in organic systems, but related to the quantity produced impacts are often higher. We reviewed 34 comparative LCA studies of organic and conventional agricultural products to analyze whether this result is solely due to the usually lower yields in organic systems or also due to inaccurate modeling within LCA. Comparative LCAs on agricultural products from organic and conventional farming systems often do not adequately differentiate the specific characteristics of the respective farming system in the goal and scope definition and in the inventory analysis. Further, often only a limited number of impact categories are assessed within the impact assessment not allowing for a comprehensive environmental assessment. The most critical points we identified relate to the nitrogen (N) fluxes influencing acidification, eutrophication, and global warming potential, and biodiversity. Usually, N-emissions in LCA inventories of agricultural products are based on model calculations. Modeled N-emissions often do not correspond with the actual amount of N left in the system that may result in potential emissions. Reasons for this may be that N-models are not well adapted to the mode of action of organic fertilizers and that N-emission models often are built on assumptions from conventional agriculture leading to even greater

  13. A generic bio-economic farm model for environmental and economic assessment of agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Sander; Louhichi, Kamel; Kanellopoulos, Argyris; Zander, Peter; Flichman, Guillermo; Hengsdijk, Huib; Meuter, Eelco; Andersen, Erling; Belhouchette, Hatem; Blanco, Maria; Borkowski, Nina; Heckelei, Thomas; Hecker, Martin; Li, Hongtao; Oude Lansink, Alfons; Stokstad, Grete; Thorne, Peter; van Keulen, Herman; van Ittersum, Martin K

    2010-12-01

    Bio-economic farm models are tools to evaluate ex-post or to assess ex-ante the impact of policy and technology change on agriculture, economics and environment. Recently, various BEFMs have been developed, often for one purpose or location, but hardly any of these models are re-used later for other purposes or locations. The Farm System Simulator (FSSIM) provides a generic framework enabling the application of BEFMs under various situations and for different purposes (generating supply response functions and detailed regional or farm type assessments). FSSIM is set up as a component-based framework with components representing farmer objectives, risk, calibration, policies, current activities, alternative activities and different types of activities (e.g., annual and perennial cropping and livestock). The generic nature of FSSIM is evaluated using five criteria by examining its applications. FSSIM has been applied for different climate zones and soil types (criterion 1) and to a range of different farm types (criterion 2) with different specializations, intensities and sizes. In most applications FSSIM has been used to assess the effects of policy changes and in two applications to assess the impact of technological innovations (criterion 3). In the various applications, different data sources, level of detail (e.g., criterion 4) and model configurations have been used. FSSIM has been linked to an economic and several biophysical models (criterion 5). The model is available for applications to other conditions and research issues, and it is open to be further tested and to be extended with new components, indicators or linkages to other models.

  14. A Generic Bio-Economic Farm Model for Environmental and Economic Assessment of Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Louhichi, Kamel; Kanellopoulos, Argyris; Zander, Peter; Flichman, Guillermo; Hengsdijk, Huib; Meuter, Eelco; Andersen, Erling; Belhouchette, Hatem; Blanco, Maria; Borkowski, Nina; Heckelei, Thomas; Hecker, Martin; Li, Hongtao; Oude Lansink, Alfons; Stokstad, Grete; Thorne, Peter; van Keulen, Herman; van Ittersum, Martin K.

    2010-01-01

    Bio-economic farm models are tools to evaluate ex-post or to assess ex-ante the impact of policy and technology change on agriculture, economics and environment. Recently, various BEFMs have been developed, often for one purpose or location, but hardly any of these models are re-used later for other purposes or locations. The Farm System Simulator (FSSIM) provides a generic framework enabling the application of BEFMs under various situations and for different purposes (generating supply response functions and detailed regional or farm type assessments). FSSIM is set up as a component-based framework with components representing farmer objectives, risk, calibration, policies, current activities, alternative activities and different types of activities (e.g., annual and perennial cropping and livestock). The generic nature of FSSIM is evaluated using five criteria by examining its applications. FSSIM has been applied for different climate zones and soil types (criterion 1) and to a range of different farm types (criterion 2) with different specializations, intensities and sizes. In most applications FSSIM has been used to assess the effects of policy changes and in two applications to assess the impact of technological innovations (criterion 3). In the various applications, different data sources, level of detail (e.g., criterion 4) and model configurations have been used. FSSIM has been linked to an economic and several biophysical models (criterion 5). The model is available for applications to other conditions and research issues, and it is open to be further tested and to be extended with new components, indicators or linkages to other models. PMID:21113782

  15. Assessing Sediment Yield for Selected Watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin Under Future Agricultural Scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Yang; Lunetta, Ross S.; Macpherson, Alexander J.; Luo, Junyan; Chen, Guo

    2013-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within a geographic information system (GIS) modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated during a 6 year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated. The R 2 values were 0.76, 0.80, 0.72, and 0.81 for the St. Joseph River, the St. Mary River, the Peshtigo River, and the Cattaraugus Creek watersheds, respectively. The corresponding E (Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient) values ranged from 0.24 to 0.79. The average annual sediment yields (tons/ha/year) ranged from 0.12 to 4.44 for the baseline (2000 to 2008) condition. Sediment yields were predicted to increase for possible future cropland change scenarios. The first scenario was to convert all "other" agricultural row crop types (i.e., sorghum) to corn fields and switch the current/baseline crop rotation into continuous corn. The average annual sediment yields increased 7-42 % for different watersheds. The second scenario was to further expand the corn planting to hay/pasture fields. The average annual sediment yields increased 33-127 % compared with baseline conditions.

  16. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Morocco

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steingass, H.; Asmon, I.

    1981-01-01

    Results of a month-long study in Morocco aimed at assessing the market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture and rural service applications are presented. The following applications, requiring less than 15 kW of power, are described: irrigation, cattle watering, refrigeration, crop processing, potable water and educational TV. Telecommunications and transportation signalling applications, descriptions of power and energy use profiles, assessments of business environment, government and private sector attitudes towards photovoltaics, and financing were also considered. The Moroccan market presents both advantages and disadvantages for American PV manufacturers. The principle advantages of the Moroccan market are: a limited grid, interest in and present use of PV in communications applications, attractive investment incentives, and a stated policy favoring American investment. Disadvantages include: lack of government incentives for PV use, general unfamiliarity with PV technology, high first cost of PV, a well-established market network for diesel generators, and difficulty with financing. The market for PV in Morocco (1981-1986), will be relatively small, about 340 kwp. The market for PV is likely to be more favorable in telecommunications, transport signalling and some rural services. The primary market appears to be in the public (i.e., government) rather than private sector, due to financial constraints and the high price of PV relative to conventional power sector.

  17. Risk assessment of consuming agricultural products irrigated with reclaimed wastewater: An exposure model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ginneken, Meike; Oron, Gideon

    2000-09-01

    This study assesses health risks to consumers due to the use of agricultural products irrigated with reclaimed wastewater. The analysis is based on a definition of an exposure model which takes into account several parameters: (1) the quality of the applied wastewater, (2) the irrigation method, (3) the elapsed times between irrigation, harvest, and product consumption, and (4) the consumers' habits. The exposure model is used for numerical simulation of human consumers' risks using the Monte Carlo simulation method. The results of the numerical simulation show large deviations, probably caused by uncertainty (impreciseness in quality of input data) and variability due to diversity among populations. There is a 10-orders of magnitude difference in the risk of infection between the different exposure scenarios with the same water quality. This variation indicates the need for setting risk-based criteria for wastewater reclamation rather than single water quality guidelines. Extra data are required to decrease uncertainty in the risk assessment. Future research needs to include definition of acceptable risk criteria, more accurate dose-response modeling, information regarding pathogen survival in treated wastewater, additional data related to the passage of pathogens into and in the plants during irrigation, and information regarding the behavior patterns of the community of human consumers.

  18. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steingass, H.; Asmon, I.

    1981-09-01

    Results of a month-long study in Morocco aimed at assessing the market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture and rural service applications are presented. The following applications, requiring less than 15 kW of power, are described: irrigation, cattle watering, refrigeration, crop processing, potable water and educational TV. Telecommunications and transportation signalling applications, descriptions of power and energy use profiles, assessments of business environment, government and private sector attitudes towards photovoltaics, and financing were also considered. The Moroccan market presents both advantages and disadvantages for American PV manufacturers. The principle advantages of the Moroccan market are: a limited grid, interest in and present use of PV in communications applications, attractive investment incentives, and a stated policy favoring American investment. Disadvantages include: lack of government incentives for PV use, general unfamiliarity with PV technology, high first cost of PV, a well-established market network for diesel generators, and difficulty with financing. The market for PV in Morocco (1981-1986), will be relatively small, about 340 kwp. The market for PV is likely to be more favorable in telecommunications, transport signalling and some rural services. The primary market appears to be in the public (i.e., government) rather than private sector, due to financial constraints and the high price of PV relative to conventional power sector.

  19. Assessment of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase activities in blood plasma of agriculture workers

    PubMed Central

    Dhananjayan, V.; Ravichandran, B.; Anitha, N.; Rajmohan, H. R.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Cholinesterase determination indicates whether the person has been under pesticide exposure is not. It is recommended that the worker′s cholinesterase level should be assessed for workers at a pesticide applied region. Hence, cholinesterase activities in blood samples of agricultural workers exposed to vegetables and grape cultivation with age matched, unexposed workers, who never had any exposure to pesticides, were estimated. Methods: The detailed occupational history and lifestyle characters were obtained by questionnaire. Cholinesterase activity was determined by the method of Ellman as modified by Chambers and Chambers. Results: AChE was ranging from 1.65 to 3.54μmoles/min/ml in exposed subjects where as it was ranged from 2.22 to 3.51μmoles/min/ml in control subjects. BChE activity was ranging from 0.16 to 5.2μmoles/min/ml among exposed subjects, where as it was ranged from 2.19 to 5.06μmoles/min/ml in control subjects. The results showed statistically significant reduction in enzyme activities (AChE 14%; BChE 56%) among exposed subjects. Conclusion: It was concluded that the reduction in cholinesterase activity may lead to varieties of effects. Hence it is compulsory to use protective gadgets during pesticide spray. Further a continuous biomonitoring study is recommended to assess pesticide exposure. PMID:23776322

  20. [Analysis of heavy metals distribution characteristics and pollution assessment in agricultural region soils of Huaihe basin].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xue; Zhao, Nan-Jing; Yuan, Jing; Ma, Ming-Jun; Fang, Li; Wang, Yin; Meng, De-Shuo; Yu, Yang; Tang, Jie; Zhang, Xiao-Ling; Dai, Yuan; Zhang, Yu-Jun; Liu, Jian-Guo; Liu, Wen-Qing

    2014-07-01

    By means of field sampling and laboratory analysis, the content distribution characteristics of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in agricultural region soils of Huaihe basin in Anhui province were analyzed. Assessment of heavy metal pollutions was conducted using enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index and potential ecological risk index. The results showed that the average mass fraction of Cd and Cu was 0.113 5 and 22.09 mg x kg(-1) respectively in the study area soil, which were above the background values 0.097 and 20.4 mg x kg(-1) in Anhui Province. The average mass fraction of other four heavy metals did not exceed the average values of Anhui Province. The results of the evaluations from geoaccumulation index and ecological risk assessment discovered that Cd is the strongest pollution metal among six heavy metals in the study area soil. For some samples of the study soil, Cd was slight risk for the ecosystem. The ecosystem risks caused by the other five heavy metals were not obviously for the sampling points. The entire study area soils were mid integrated potential ecological risk.

  1. Assessing sediment yield for selected watersheds in the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin under future agricultural scenarios.

    PubMed

    Shao, Yang; Lunetta, Ross S; Macpherson, Alexander J; Luo, Junyan; Chen, Guo

    2013-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within a geographic information system (GIS) modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated during a 6 year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated. The R(2) values were 0.76, 0.80, 0.72, and 0.81 for the St. Joseph River, the St. Mary River, the Peshtigo River, and the Cattaraugus Creek watersheds, respectively. The corresponding E (Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient) values ranged from 0.24 to 0.79. The average annual sediment yields (tons/ha/year) ranged from 0.12 to 4.44 for the baseline (2000 to 2008) condition. Sediment yields were predicted to increase for possible future cropland change scenarios. The first scenario was to convert all "other" agricultural row crop types (i.e., sorghum) to corn fields and switch the current/baseline crop rotation into continuous corn. The average annual sediment yields increased 7-42 % for different watersheds. The second scenario was to further expand the corn planting to hay/pasture fields. The average annual sediment yields increased 33-127 % compared with baseline conditions.

  2. Assessing the Value of Post-processed State-of-the-art Long-term Weather Forecast Ensembles within An Integrated Agronomic Modelling Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LI, Y.; Castelletti, A.; Giuliani, M.

    2014-12-01

    Over recent years, long-term climate forecast from global circulation models (GCMs) has been demonstrated to show increasing skills over the climatology, thanks to the advances in the modelling of coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics. Improved information from long-term forecast is supposed to be a valuable support to farmers in optimizing farming operations (e.g. crop choice, cropping time) and for more effectively coping with the adverse impacts of climate variability. Yet, evaluating how valuable this information can be is not straightforward and farmers' response must be taken into consideration. Indeed, while long-range forecast are traditionally evaluated in terms of accuracy by comparison of hindcast and observed values, in the context of agricultural systems, potentially useful forecast information should alter the stakeholders' expectation, modify their decisions and ultimately have an impact on their annual benefit. Therefore, it is more desirable to assess the value of those long-term forecasts via decision-making models so as to extract direct indication of probable decision outcomes from farmers, i.e. from an end-to-end perspective. In this work, we evaluate the operational value of thirteen state-of-the-art long-range forecast ensembles against climatology forecast and subjective prediction (i.e. past year climate and historical average) within an integrated agronomic modeling framework embedding an implicit model of farmers' behavior. Collected ensemble datasets are bias-corrected and downscaled using a stochastic weather generator, in order to address the mismatch of the spatio-temporal scale between forecast data from GCMs and distributed crop simulation model. The agronomic model is first simulated using the forecast information (ex-ante), followed by a second run with actual climate (ex-post). Multi-year simulations are performed to account for climate variability and the value of the different climate forecast is evaluated against the perfect

  3. Addressing Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Together: A Global Assessment of Agriculture and Forestry Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kongsager, Rico; Locatelli, Bruno; Chazarin, Florie

    2016-02-01

    Adaptation and mitigation share the ultimate purpose of reducing climate change impacts. However, they tend to be considered separately in projects and policies because of their different objectives and scales. Agriculture and forestry are related to both adaptation and mitigation: they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and removals, are vulnerable to climate variations, and form part of adaptive strategies for rural livelihoods. We assessed how climate change project design documents (PDDs) considered a joint contribution to adaptation and mitigation in forestry and agriculture in the tropics, by analyzing 201 PDDs from adaptation funds, mitigation instruments, and project standards [e.g., climate community and biodiversity (CCB)]. We analyzed whether PDDs established for one goal reported an explicit contribution to the other (i.e., whether mitigation PDDs contributed to adaptation and vice versa). We also examined whether the proposed activities or expected outcomes allowed for potential contributions to the two goals. Despite the separation between the two goals in international and national institutions, 37 % of the PDDs explicitly mentioned a contribution to the other objective, although only half of those substantiated it. In addition, most adaptation (90 %) and all mitigation PDDs could potentially report a contribution to at least partially to the other goal. Some adaptation project developers were interested in mitigation for the prospect of carbon funding, whereas mitigation project developers integrated adaptation to achieve greater long-term sustainability or to attain CCB certification. International and national institutions can provide incentives for projects to harness synergies and avoid trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation.

  4. Balancing detail and scale in assessing transparency to improve the governance of agricultural commodity supply chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godar, Javier; Suavet, Clément; Gardner, Toby A.; Dawkins, Elena; Meyfroidt, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    To date, assessments of the sustainability of agricultural commodity supply chains have largely relied on some combination of macro-scale footprint accounts, detailed life-cycle analyses and fine-scale traceability systems. Yet these approaches are limited in their ability to support the sustainability governance of agricultural supply chains, whether because they are intended for coarser-grained analyses, do not identify individual actors, or are too costly to be implemented in a consistent manner for an entire region of production. Here we illustrate some of the advantages of a complementary middle-ground approach that balances detail and scale of supply chain transparency information by combining consistent country-wide data on commodity production at the sub-national (e.g. municipal) level with per shipment customs data to describe trade flows of a given commodity covering all companies and production regions within that country. This approach can support supply chain governance in two key ways. First, enhanced spatial resolution of the production regions that connect to individual supply chains allows for a more accurate consideration of geographic variability in measures of risk and performance that are associated with different production practices. Second, identification of key actors that operate within a specific supply chain, including producers, traders, shippers and consumers can help discriminate coalitions of actors that have shared stake in a particular region, and that together are capable of delivering more cost-effective and coordinated interventions. We illustrate the potential of this approach with examples from Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. We discuss how transparency information can deepen understanding of the environmental and social impacts of commodity production systems, how benefits are distributed among actors, and some of the trade-offs involved in efforts to improve supply chain sustainability. We then discuss the challenges and

  5. Addressing Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Together: A Global Assessment of Agriculture and Forestry Projects.

    PubMed

    Kongsager, Rico; Locatelli, Bruno; Chazarin, Florie

    2016-02-01

    Adaptation and mitigation share the ultimate purpose of reducing climate change impacts. However, they tend to be considered separately in projects and policies because of their different objectives and scales. Agriculture and forestry are related to both adaptation and mitigation: they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and removals, are vulnerable to climate variations, and form part of adaptive strategies for rural livelihoods. We assessed how climate change project design documents (PDDs) considered a joint contribution to adaptation and mitigation in forestry and agriculture in the tropics, by analyzing 201 PDDs from adaptation funds, mitigation instruments, and project standards [e.g., climate community and biodiversity (CCB)]. We analyzed whether PDDs established for one goal reported an explicit contribution to the other (i.e., whether mitigation PDDs contributed to adaptation and vice versa). We also examined whether the proposed activities or expected outcomes allowed for potential contributions to the two goals. Despite the separation between the two goals in international and national institutions, 37% of the PDDs explicitly mentioned a contribution to the other objective, although only half of those substantiated it. In addition, most adaptation (90%) and all mitigation PDDs could potentially report a contribution to at least partially to the other goal. Some adaptation project developers were interested in mitigation for the prospect of carbon funding, whereas mitigation project developers integrated adaptation to achieve greater long-term sustainability or to attain CCB certification. International and national institutions can provide incentives for projects to harness synergies and avoid trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation.

  6. Assessing the effect of agricultural land abandonment on bird communities in southern-eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Zakkak, Sylvia; Radovic, Andreja; Nikolov, Stoyan C; Shumka, Spase; Kakalis, Lefteris; Kati, Vassiliki

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural land abandonment is recognized as a major environmental threat in Europe, being particularly pronounced in south-eastern Europe, where knowledge on its effects is limited. Taking the Balkan Peninsula as a case study, we investigated agricultural abandonment impact on passerine communities at regional level. We set up a standard methodology for site selection (70 sites) and data collection, along a well-defined forest-encroachment gradient that reflects land abandonment in four countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece. Regardless the different socio-economic and political histories in the Balkans that led to diverse land abandonment patterns in space and time, rural abandonment had a consistent negative effect on bird communities, while regional-level analysis revealed patterns that were hidden at local level. The general trends were an increase of forest-dwelling bird species at the expense of farmland birds, the decline of overall bird species richness, as well as the decline of Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs) richness and abundance. Many farmland bird species declined with land abandonment, whereas few forest species benefited from the process. In conclusion, our results support CAP towards hampering rural land abandonment and preserving semi-open rural mosaics in remote upland areas, using a suite of management measures carefully tailored to local needs. The maintenance of traditional rural landscapes should be prioritized in the Balkans, through the timely identification of HNV farmland that is most prone to abandonment. We also suggest that coordinated transnational research is needed, for a better assessment of conservation options in remote rural landscapes at European scale, including the enhancement of wild grazers' populations as an alternative in areas where traditional land management is rather unlikely to be re-established.

  7. Assessing the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic breeding bird guilds using landscape metrics.

    PubMed

    Borges, Friederike; Glemnitz, Michael; Schultz, Alfred; Stachow, Ulrich

    2017-04-01

    Many of the processes behind the decline of farmland birds can be related to modifications in landscape structure (composition and configuration), which can partly be expressed quantitatively with measurable or computable indices, i.e. landscape metrics. This paper aims to identify statistical relationships between the occurrence of birds and the landscape structure. We present a method that combines two comprehensive procedures: the "landscape-centred approach" and "guild classification". Our study is based on more than 20,000 individual bird observations based on a 4-year bird monitoring approach in a typical agricultural area in the north-eastern German lowlands. Five characteristic bird guilds, each with three characteristic species, are defined for the typical habitat types of that area: farmland, grassland, hedgerow, forest and settlement. The suitability of each sample plot for each guild is indicated by the level of persistence (LOP) of occurrence of three respective species. Thus, the sample plots can be classified as "preferred" or "less preferred" depending on the lower and upper quartiles of the LOP values. The landscape structure is characterized by 16 different landscape metrics expressing various aspects of landscape composition and configuration. For each guild, the three landscape metrics with the strongest rank correlation with the LOP values and that are not mutually dependent were identified. For four of the bird guilds, the classification success was better than 80%, compared with only 66% for the grassland bird guild. A subset of six landscape metrics proved to be the most meaningful and sufficiently classified the sample areas with respect to bird guild suitability. In addition, derived logistic functions allowed the production of guild-specific habitat suitability maps for the whole landscape. The analytical results show that the proposed approach is appropriate to assess the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic

  8. Modelling the bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in agricultural food chains for regulatory exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Takaki, Koki; Wade, Andrew J; Collins, Chris D

    2017-02-01

    New models for estimating bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the agricultural food chain were developed using recent improvements to plant uptake and cattle transfer models. One model named AgriSim was based on K OW regressions of bioaccumulation in plants and cattle, while the other was a steady-state mechanistic model, AgriCom. The two developed models and European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances (EUSES), as a benchmark, were applied to four reported food chain (soil/air-grass-cow-milk) scenarios to evaluate the performance of each model simulation against the observed data. The four scenarios considered were as follows: (1) polluted soil and air, (2) polluted soil, (3) highly polluted soil surface and polluted subsurface and (4) polluted soil and air at different mountain elevations. AgriCom reproduced observed milk bioaccumulation well for all four scenarios, as did AgriSim for scenarios 1 and 2, but EUSES only did this for scenario 1. The main causes of the deviation for EUSES and AgriSim were the lack of the soil-air-plant pathway and the ambient air-plant pathway, respectively. Based on the results, it is recommended that soil-air-plant and ambient air-plant pathway should be calculated separately and the K OW regression of transfer factor to milk used in EUSES be avoided. AgriCom satisfied the recommendations that led to the low residual errors between the simulated and the observed bioaccumulation in agricultural food chain for the four scenarios considered. It is therefore recommended that this model should be incorporated into regulatory exposure assessment tools. The model uncertainty of the three models should be noted since the simulated concentration in milk from 5th to 95th percentile of the uncertainty analysis often varied over two orders of magnitude. Using a measured value of soil organic carbon content was effective to reduce this uncertainty by one order of magnitude.

  9. Water Quality Assessment of the Los Angeles River Watershed, California, USA in Wet and Dry Weather Periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezaie Boroon, M. H.; Von L Coo, C.

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify sources of potential pollutants and characterize urban water quality along the Los Angeles River from its head to the mouth during dry and wet weather periods. Los Angeles (LA) River flows through heavily populated urbanized area in the Los Angeles downtown. The LA River is an effluent-dominated water body during the dry season. The three waste water treatment plants (WWTP) including the Tillman, Burbank, and Glendale discharge the majority of the volume flowing in the LA River during the dry and wet period. The concentration values (ppm) for anions in the dry season ranging 5.5-16,027 (Cl), 0-1.0 (F), 0-21(NO3), 0-1.6 (PO4), and 13.3-2,312 (SO4); whereas the values (ppm) for anions in the wet season ranging 3.4-5,860 (Cl), 0-0.66 (F), 0-17 (NO3), 0-0.67 (PO4), 7.9- 745 (SO4). Dry season concentrations values for trace metals were obtained with values (ppb) ranging 0.9-10 (Ni), 0.8-62 (Zn), 1-4 (As), 0-1 (Pb) and 0-3 (Se). As for wet season trace metals (ppb) ranging 0.001-0.008 (Ni), 0.000001-0.038 (Zn), 0.0016-0.016 (As), 0.00099-0.0058 (Pb), 0.000001-0.0093 (Se). Higher concentrations values during the dry period in the LA River watershed may be attributed to the three WWTPs discharge (75% of the volume of water flowing in the LA River). In water-limited areas such as the Los Angeles basin, urban runoff is a water resource that could enhance restricted water supplies and to enhance localized renewable groundwater resources, thus an assessment of this precious water resource is important for local city and regulatory organizations. In water-limited areas such as the LA basin, urban runoff is a water resource that could enhance restricted water supplies and groundwater resources, thus an assessment of this precious water resource is important for local regulatory organizations.

  10. Using Content-Aligned Assessments to Identify Weaknesses in Students' Understanding of Fundamental Weather and Climate Ideas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertheim, J.; Willard, S.

    2011-12-01

    There is growing interest in ensuring that citizens understand weather and climate sufficiently to make informed decisions, and these topics are gaining increased attention in K-12 education. The National Research Council recently released A Framework for K-12 Science Education with the expectation that U.S. 12th graders must have a sophisticated knowledge of climate change, including the role of deep time, variability, and computer modeling in the prediction of climate impacts on the planet and human activity. This requirement demands that students extend their understanding of climate change to the past and future, but it is important to recognize that many students know little about prerequisite ideas, such as daily and annual weather and climate processes, and this problem must be addressed prior to introducing the complexities of the climate system. In order to diagnose weaknesses in students' foundational understanding of the complex climate system, we primarily assessed a middle school (MS)-level understanding of the core elements of the system, in addition to a high school (HS)-level understanding of seasons. We described grade appropriate, coherent, functioning conceptual models for each targeted idea, and decomposed them into explicit learning goals. We then applied Project 2061's rigorous item development procedure to produce 235 high-quality, misconception-based multiple choice test items. These items were tested with a national sample of approximately 20,000 students, grades 6-12, in two phases (Spring 2010 & 2011). Here we report results from the second phase, including items targeting knowledge about convection, daily and annual air temperature patterns, factors that influence air temperature, and seasons. Overall, HS students outperformed MS students on these items by an average of only 3% (MS:31% correct; HS:34% correct). These data show a few strong misconceptions (e.g., 47% of students think that the North Pole is always angled toward the Sun

  11. Assessment of weather downtime for the construction of offshore wind farm by using wind and wave simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, Yuka; Ishihara, Takeshi

    2016-09-01

    In this study, numerical simulations for winds and waves were carried out using WRF and WW3 and the predicted wind speed, wave height and wave period were validated with measurement. Annual average values of absolute monthly error of wind speed, wave height and wave period were 4.30%, 12.3% and 7.8%. The prediction accuracy were improved by bias modification in the region of low wave height and short wave period. Predicted seasonal frequency distributions showed good agreement with measurements. The criteria of experienced construction methods were investigated at Choshi and Kitakyushu wind farm and the sensitivity of environmental conditions on weather downtime were clarified. At Choshi, the weather downtime was predicted by using wind and wave simulations and showed good agreement with the actual weather downtime.

  12. Linking the SASSCAL WeatherNet and data management/rescue activities to provide consistent information for climate change assessments in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmschrot, J.; Kaspar, F.; Muche, G.; Hillmann, T.; Kanyanga, J.; Butale, M.; Nascimento, D.; Josenhans, K.; Falanga, E.; Neto, F. O. S.; Kruger, S.; Juergens, N.

    2014-12-01

    Many countries of Southern Africa face inadequate weather monitoring networks to provide reliable and consistent information for the development of efficient management strategies for sustainable water and land resources management, drought and flood risk analysis and forecasts as well as climate change impacts assessments. In addition, some existing networks are characterized by station data showing notable gaps in long-term observations. On the other hand, useful climate information is saved in historical documents and archives, but only barely explored up to now. Such documents are also available in archives of European meteorological services, partly also not yet in digital format. A main aim of the SASSCAL Initiative (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management; www.sasscal.org) is to improve the availability of reliable meteorological baseline data along with a set of analytical methods to strengthen the research capacities in the SASSCAL region including Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, and therewith to support and integrate information of existing national monitoring networks of the Southern African region. In close cooperation with the national weather authorities and various research institutions of the SASSCAL region, the above mentioned deficits are specifically addressed by i) extending the existing national monitoring networks through additional automatic weather stations and their integration in the SASSCAL WeatherNet which in near future hosts about 130 stations, ii) contributing to the development of Climate Data Management Systems (CDMS) at the national weather authorities in Angola, Botswana and Zambia and iii) the provision of additional time series of climate data based on the historic documents from various archives in all countries. The paper presents first results and shows how these efforts are linked to provide consistent climate information for Southern Africa in order to

  13. Assessment of Knowledge and Competences in Agricultural Engineering Acquired by the Senior Secondary School Students for Farm Mechanisation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ndem, Joseph; Ogba, Ernest; Egbe, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to assess the agricultural engineering knowledge and competencies acquired by the senior secondary students for farm mechanization in technical colleges in Ebonyi state of Nigeria. A survey research design was adopted for the study. Three research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study. The population of the…

  14. Agricultural conservation planning framework: 1. Developing multi-practice watershed planning scenarios and assessing nutrient reduction potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We show that spatial data on soils, land use, and high-resolution topography, combined with knowledge of conservation practice effectiveness, can be leveraged to identify and assess alternatives to reduce nutrient discharge from small (HUC12) agricultural watersheds. Databases comprising soil attrib...

  15. Assessing the Teacher Self-Efficacy of Agriculture Instructors and Their Early Career Employment Status: A Comparison of Certification Types

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, J. Shane; Edwards, M. Craig

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this descriptive-correlational study was to assess the level of teacher self-efficacy of first-year, secondary agricultural education teachers in Oklahoma at the beginning and end of their entry-year in the profession and describe their early career retention. This study found that these first-year teachers increased their level of…

  16. An Assessment of Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Program Needs on American Indian Reservations in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singletary, Loretta; Emm, Staci; Hill, George

    2011-01-01

    This article summarizes the results of a needs assessment involving American Indians and outreach professionals on reservations in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The survey featured 36 questions about agricultural and natural resource issues that may pose challenges on reservation lands. A comparison between reservation residents and…

  17. Effect of horizontal and vertical resolution for wind resource assessment in Metro Manila, Philippines using Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolentino, Jerome T.; Rejuso, Ma. Victoria; Inocencio, Loureal Camille; Ang, Ma. Rosario Concepcion; Bagtasa, Gerry

    2016-10-01

    Wind energy is one of the best options for renewable energy such that, many researchers work on wind resource assessment, specifically using numerical weather prediction (NWP) model to forecast atmospheric behavior on a given domain. In addition, every combination of parameterization configuration influences wind assessment. At the same time, choosing the optimum vertical and horizontal resolution may affect its output and processing time. Regardless of available researches, most of them focuses on mid-latitude area but not in tropical areas like the Philippines. In the study, sensitivity analysis of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.6.1 with 4 configurations was performed. The duration of the simulation was from January 1, 2014 00:00 to December 31, 2014 23:00. The parameters involved were horizontal resolution and vertical levels. Also, meteorological input data from NCEP Final Analysis with 1 degree resolution every 6 hours was used. For validation, wind speed measurements at 10 m height from NOAA Integrated Surface Database (ISD) were utilized, of which, the 3 weather stations are located in Manila, Science Garden and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The results show that increasing horizontal resolution from 4 km to 1 km have no significant increase to wind speed accuracy. In majority, higher vertical levels tend to increase its accuracy. Moreover, the model has higher accuracy during the rainy season and months of April and May. Overall, the model overestimated the observed wind speed but the diurnal cycle of wind speed follows all the simulation.

  18. Assessment of heavy metal pollution, spatial distribution and origin in agricultural soils along the Sinú River Basin, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2017-04-01

    The presence of metals in agricultural soils from anthropogenic activities such as mining and agricultural use of metals and metal-containing compounds is a potential threat for human health through the food chain. In this study, the concentration of heavy metals in 83 agricultural soils irrigated by the Sinú River, in northern Colombia, affected by mining areas upstream and inundated during seasonal floods events were determined to evaluate their sources and levels of pollution. The average concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, Hg and Zn were 1149, 661, 0.071, 0.040, 0.159 and 1365mg/kg respectively and exceeded the world normal averages, with the exception of Pb and Cd. Moreover, all values surpassed the background levels of soils in the same region. Soil pollution assessment was carried out using contamination factor (CF), enrichment factor (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and a risk assessment code (RAC). According to these indexes, the soils show a high degree of pollution of Ni and a moderate to high contamination of Zn and Cu; whereas, Pb, Cd and Hg present moderate pollution. However, based on the RAC index, a low environmental risk is found for all the analysed heavy metals. Multivariate statistical analyses, principal component and cluster analyses, suggest that soil contamination was mainly derived from agricultural practices, except for Hg, which was caused probably by atmospheric and river flow transport from upstream gold mining. Finally, high concentrations of Ni indicate a mixed pollution source from agricultural and ferronickel mining activities.

  19. Natural resource booms and Third World development: Assessing the subsectoral impacts of the Nigerian petroleum boom on agricultural export performance

    SciTech Connect

    Banks, S.M.

    1991-01-01

    Linear and quadratic expansion model formulations are developed to assess the relative complexity of booming-non-booming sector interactions. Specific attention is given to the extent to which the growth rates of Nigerian agricultural exports have changed over time as: (a) the volume of oil exports, and (b) the growth rate of oil exports are allowed to vary over a set of hypothetical values which reflect Nigerian oil-boom realities. Four important conclusions emerge: (a) the quadratic expansion model most accurately captures Nigerian oil-agricultural exports are most clearly influenced by the oil boom; (c) the growth rate of capital-intensive agricultural exports are initially stimulated, and later stagnated by the oil boom, while the growth rate of subsidized labor intensive agricultural exports are first stagnated and then stimulated by the oil boom; and (d) the expansion method provides a useful alternative means of exploring theoretical and applied issues related to the Dutch Disease paradigm. the implications of the findings for agricultural and petroleum policy in Nigeria are assessed, and a research agenda for further booming-non-booming sector investigations is proposed.

  20. Radiometric assessment of natural radioactivity levels of agricultural soil samples collected in Dakahlia, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Issa, Shams A M

    2013-01-01

    Determination of the natural radioactivity has been carried out, by using a gamma-ray spectrometry [NaI (Tl) 3″ × 3″] system, in surface soil samples collected from various locations in Dakahlia governorate, Egypt. These locations form the agriculturally important regions of Egypt. The study area has many industries such as chemical, paper, organic fertilisers and construction materials, and the soils of the study region are used as a construction material. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study the natural radioactivity levels in soil to assess the dose for the population in order to know the health risks. The activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in the soil ranged from 5.7 ± 0.3 to 140 ± 7, from 9.0 ± 0.4 to 139 ± 7 and from 22 ± 1 to 319 ± 16 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose rate, radium equivalent (Req), excess lifetime cancer risk, hazard indices (Hex and Hin) and annual gonadal dose equivalent, which resulted from the natural radionuclides in the soil were calculated.

  1. Laboratory assessment of emission reduction strategies for the agricultural fumigants 1,3-dichloropropene and chloropicrin.

    PubMed

    Ashworth, D J; Ernst, F F; Xuan, R; Yates, S R

    2009-07-01

    With the increased use of the agricultural fumigants 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin (CP), it is important that strategies to reduce emissions of these fumigant from soil to the air are assessed to protect air quality. Using an established soil column approach, the following emission reduction strategies were compared to a control: (1) spray application of ammonium thiosulfate to the soil surface; (2) deep injection at 46 cm depth; (3) high density polyethylene sealed over the soil surface; (4) virtually impermeable film sealed over the soil surface; and (5) irrigation with ammonium thiosulfate solution. Relative to the control, 1,3-D emissions were reduced by 26.1, 1.0, 0.01, 94.2, and 42.5%, for treatments 1 through 5, respectively. For CP the reductions were 41.6, 23.3, 94.6, 99.9, and 87.5% for treatments 1 through 5, respectively. Virtually impermeable film gave the greatest reductions for both fumigants, while HDPE was very effective only for CP. Despite offering less significant emission reductions, the lower cost alternatives to tarping, particularly irrigation with ATS solution, may offer substantial benefitwhere tarping is not economically viable.

  2. Assessment of energy potential from wetland plants along the minor channel network on an agricultural floodplain.

    PubMed

    Pappalardo, Salvatore Eugenio; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Tarolli, Paolo; Borin, Maurizio

    2015-02-01

    Renewable energy sources such as biomasses can play a pivotal role to ensure security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gases through the substitution of fossil fuels. At present, bioenergy is mainly derived from cultivated crops that mirror the environmental impacts from the intensification of agricultural systems for food production. Instead, biomass from perennial herbaceous species growing in wetland ecosystems and marginal lands has recently aroused interest as bioenergy for electricity and heat, methane and 2nd-generation bioethanol. The aim of this paper is to assess, at local scale, the energy potential of wetland vegetation growing along the minor hydrographic network of a reclamation area in Northeast Italy, by performing energy scenarios for combustion, methane and 2nd-generation ethanol. The research is based on a cross-methodology that combines survey analyses in the field with a GIS-based approach: the former consists of direct measurements and biomass sampling, the latter of spatial analyses and scaling up simulations at the minor channel network level. Results highlight that biomass from riparian zones could represent a significant source of bioenergy for combustion transformation, turning the disposal problem to cut and store in situ wetland vegetation into an opportunity to produce sustainable renewable energy at local scale.

  3. Thematic Mapper Data Quality and Performance Assessment in Renewable Resources/agriculture Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bizzell, R. M.; Prior, H. L.

    1984-01-01

    It is believed that the increased spatial resolution will provide solutions to proportion estimation error due to mixed pixels, and the increased spectral resolution will provide for the identification of important agricultural features such as crop stage, and condition. The results of analyses conducted relative to these hypothesis from sample segments extracted from the 4-band Detroit scene and the 7-band Mississippi County, Arkansas engineering test scene are described. Several studies were conducted to evaluate the geometric and radiometric performance of the TM to determine data viability for the more pertinent investigations of TM utility. In most cases this requirement was more than sufficiently satisfied. This allowed the opportunity to take advantage of detailed ground observations for several of the sample segments to assess class separability and detection of other important features with TM. The results presented regarding these TM characteristics show that not only is the increased definition of the within scene variance captured by the increased spatial and spectral resolution, but that the mid-IR bands (5 and 7) are necessary for optimum crop type classification. Both qualitative and quantitative results are presented that describe the improvements gained with the TM both relative to the MSS and on its own merit.

  4. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Colombia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steigelmann, W.; Neyeloff, S.

    1981-01-01

    The market potential for photovoltaic systems in the agricultural sector of Colombia is assessed. Consideration was given to over twenty specific livestock production, crop production, and rural services applications requiring less than 15 kW of power without backup power. Analysis revealed that near-term potential exists for photovoltaic technology in applications in coffee depulging, cattle watering, rural domestic users, rural water supply and small irrigation, rural telephones, rural health posts, and vaccine refrigeration. Market size would be in the 1200 to 2500 kWp range in the 1981 to 86 timeframe. Positive factors influencing the market size include a lack of electrical services, potential for developing the Llanos Orientales Territory, high fuel costs in remote areas, balance of system availability, the presence of wealthy land owners, and a large government-sponsored contract for photovoltaic (PV)-powered rural telephone systems. The anticipated eligibility of photovoltaic equipment for loans would be a further positive factor in market potential. Important negative factors include relatively inexpensive energy in developed locations, reliance on hydropower, lack of familiarity with PV equipment, a lack of financing, and established foreign competition in PV technology. Recommendations to American PV manufacturers attempting to develop the Colombian market are given.

  5. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steigelmann, W.; Neyeloff, S.

    1981-11-01

    The market potential for photovoltaic systems in the agricultural sector of Colombia is assessed. Consideration was given to over twenty specific livestock production, crop production, and rural services applications requiring less than 15 kW of power without backup power. Analysis revealed that near-term potential exists for photovoltaic technology in applications in coffee depulging, cattle watering, rural domestic users, rural water supply and small irrigation, rural telephones, rural health posts, and vaccine refrigeration. Market size would be in the 1200 to 2500 kWp range in the 1981 to 86 timeframe. Positive factors influencing the market size include a lack of electrical services, potential for developing the Llanos Orientales Territory, high fuel costs in remote areas, balance of system availability, the presence of wealthy land owners, and a large government-sponsored contract for photovoltaic (PV)-powered rural telephone systems. The anticipated eligibility of photovoltaic equipment for loans would be a further positive factor in market potential. Important negative factors include relatively inexpensive energy in developed locations, reliance on hydropower, lack of familiarity with PV equipment, a lack of financing, and established foreign competition in PV technology. Recommendations to American PV manufacturers attempting to develop the Colombian market are given.

  6. Numerical study of light propagation in agricultural products for non-destructive assessment of food quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hattori, Kiyohito; Fujii, Hiroyuki; Tatekura, Yuki; Kobayashi, Kazumichi; Watanabe, Masao

    2015-12-01

    An accurate determination of optical properties of agricultural products is crucial for non-destructive assessment of food quality. For the determination, light intensity is measured at the surface of the product; then, inverse analysis is employed based on a light propagation model such as the radiative transfer equation (RTE). The inverse analysis requires high computational loads because the light intensity is numerically calculated using the model every time the optical properties are changed. For the calculation, we propose an efficient technique by combining a numerical solution with an analytical solution of the RTE, and investigate the validity of the technique in a two-dimensional homogeneous circular medium which is regarded as a light propagation model with optical properties of kiwifruit. The proposed technique can provide accurate results of the light intensity in change of the optical properties, and the accuracy is less dependent on the boundary conditions and source-detector angles. In addition, the technique can reduce computation time compared with that for numerical calculation of the RTE. These results indicate usefulness of the proposed technique for the inverse analysis.

  7. Blending satellite data and RADAR tool for rapid flood damage assessment in Agriculture: A case study in Sri Lanka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarnath, Giriraj; Inada, Yoshiaki; Inoue, Ryosuke; Alahacoon, Niranga; Smakhtin, Vladimir

    2014-05-01

    During the catastrophic flooding it is critically important to estimate losses as it is essential for facilitating good decision making at the district, province and national levels of government and to appraise aid agencies for necessary assistance. Flood loss estimates can also be used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of alternative approaches to strengthening flood control measures. In the case of Sri Lanka there were limited knowledge and application system exist for carrying out rapid damage assessment for Agriculture in Sri Lanka. FAO has developed the tool "Rapid Agricultural Disaster Assessment Routine" (RADAR) based on theoretical approach that uses simple tools for assessing the impact on agriculture of a disastrous event. There are two knowledge bases that contain information needed for calculation of the value loss or damage. The procedure of rapid impact assessment implies the use of knowledge-bases, database and GIS. In this study, the user friendly application of RADAR system has been developed. Three components were considered including agriculture, livestock and farmers asset to estimate the losses. The application will allow estimating flood damage at various scales and this being tested at district level and specific example for the 2011 floods in Sri Lanka. In order to understand flood inundation cycle, time-series optical MODIS satellite data (2000-2011) and microwave ALOS PALSAR (2006-2011) were used to derive annual flood extent, flood duration and recurrent areas to identify flood risk and impact of seasonal flooding on agriculture. This study demonstrates how RADAR & satellite-based flood products can be effectively used for rapid damage assessment and managing the floods.

  8. Assessing the Learning Needs of Student Teachers in Texas regarding Management of the Agricultural Mechanics Laboratory: Implications for the Professional Development of Early Career Teachers in Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saucier, P. Ryan; McKim, Billy R.

    2011-01-01

    Skills needed to manage a laboratory are essential knowledge for all school-based, agriculture teachers who instruct agricultural mechanics curriculum (Saucier, Terry, & Schumacher, 2009). This research investigated the professional development needs of Texas agricultural education student teachers regarding agricultural mechanics laboratory…

  9. Assessing preferences of beach users for certain aspects of weather and ocean conditions: case studies from Australia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fan; Wang, Xiao Hua

    2013-05-01

    Three well-known Australian beaches, Surfers Paradise Beach (Gold Coast), Narrowneck Beach (Gold Coast) and Bondi Beach (Sydney), were selected for analysis of beach user preferences for certain weather and ocean conditions. Regression methods were used to determine how the numbers of visitors to these beaches are affected by these conditions. Actual visitor numbers were counted at three times during the day over several months at each beach with the aid of web cameras. The corresponding weather and ocean conditions were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and local government agencies. Weekly and seasonal factors were also considered. The conditions preferred by beach users, as found in this study, are: no precipitation, higher temperatures, light-to-moderate wind speed (less than 30 km/h) and low wave height (up to 1.25 m). This study, the first to provide an analysis of beach user preferences for both weather and ocean conditions, shows that ocean conditions play a significant role in explaining the demand for beach recreation in Australia. It is therefore necessary for tourism management authorities or local governments to provide accurate and timely weather and ocean information to local, domestic and international beach users.

  10. Weathering the Double Whammy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wellman, Jane V.

    2002-01-01

    Discusses how governing boards can help their institutions weather the "double-whammy" of doing more with less: identify the institution's short-term and long-term challenges; refocus the institution's mission, planning, and programming; assess and integrate the institution's tuition, aid, and outreach strategies; redouble the…

  11. Integration of Weather Avoidance and Traffic Separation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Consiglio, Maria C.; Chamberlain, James P.; Wilson, Sara R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a dynamic convective weather avoidance concept that compensates for weather motion uncertainties; the integration of this weather avoidance concept into a prototype 4-D trajectory-based Airborne Separation Assurance System (ASAS) application; and test results from a batch (non-piloted) simulation of the integrated application with high traffic densities and a dynamic convective weather model. The weather model can simulate a number of pseudo-random hazardous weather patterns, such as slow- or fast-moving cells and opening or closing weather gaps, and also allows for modeling of onboard weather radar limitations in range and azimuth. The weather avoidance concept employs nested "core" and "avoid" polygons around convective weather cells, and the simulations assess the effectiveness of various avoid polygon sizes in the presence of different weather patterns, using traffic scenarios representing approximately two times the current traffic density in en-route airspace. Results from the simulation experiment show that the weather avoidance concept is effective over a wide range of weather patterns and cell speeds. Avoid polygons that are only 2-3 miles larger than their core polygons are sufficient to account for weather uncertainties in almost all cases, and traffic separation performance does not appear to degrade with the addition of weather polygon avoidance. Additional "lessons learned" from the batch simulation study are discussed in the paper, along with insights for improving the weather avoidance concept. Introduction

  12. Severe Weather Forecast Decision Aid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauman, William H., III; Wheeler, Mark M.; Short, David A.

    2005-01-01

    This report presents a 15-year climatological study of severe weather events and related severe weather atmospheric parameters. Data sources included local forecast rules, archived sounding data, Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Surveillance System (CGLSS) data, surface and upper air maps, and two severe weather event databases covering east-central Florida. The local forecast rules were used to set threat assessment thresholds for stability parameters that were derived from the sounding data. The severe weather events databases were used to identify days with reported severe weather and the CGLSS data was used to differentiate between lightning and non-lightning days. These data sets provided the foundation for analyzing the stability parameters and synoptic patterns that were used to develop an objective tool to aid in forecasting severe weather events. The period of record for the analysis was May - September, 1989 - 2003. The results indicate that there are certain synoptic patterns more prevalent on days with severe weather and some of the stability parameters are better predictors of severe weather days based on locally tuned threat values. The results also revealed the stability parameters that did not display any skill related to severe weather days. An interactive web-based Severe Weather Decision Aid was developed to assist the duty forecaster by providing a level of objective guidance based on the analysis of the stability parameters, CGLSS data, and synoptic-scale dynamics. The tool will be tested and evaluated during the 2005 warm season.

  13. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan

    2011-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted, including maps, charts, and time series of recent weather, climate, and crop observations; numerical output from weather and crop models; and reports from the press, USDA attach s, and foreign governments. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. Because both the amount and timing of precipitation significantly affect crop yields, WAOB often uses precipitation time series to identify growing seasons with similar weather patterns and help estimate crop yields for the current growing season, based on observed yields in analog years. Historically, these analog years are visually identified; however, the qualitative nature of this method sometimes precludes the definitive identification of the best analog year. Thus, one goal of this study is to derive a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years, based on a modified coefficient of determination, termed the analog index (AI). A second goal is to compare the performance of AI for time series derived from surface-based observations vs. satellite-based measurements (NASA TRMM and other data).

  14. Use of portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for environmental quality assessment of peri-urban agriculture.

    PubMed

    Weindorf, David C; Zhu, Yuanda; Chakraborty, Somsubhra; Bakr, Noura; Huang, Biao

    2012-01-01

    Urban expansion into traditional agricultural lands has augmented the potential for heavy metal contamination of soils. This study examined the utility of field portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry for evaluating the environmental quality of sugarcane fields near two industrial complexes in Louisiana, USA. Results indicated that PXRF provided quality results of heavy metal levels comparable to traditional laboratory analysis. When coupled with global positioning system technology, the use of PXRF allows for on-site interpolation of heavy metal levels in a matter of minutes. Field portable XRF was shown to be an effective tool for rapid assessment of heavy metals in soils of peri-urban agricultural areas.

  15. Assessing Teacher Self-Efficacy and Job Satisfaction of Early Career Agriculture Teachers in Kentucky

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackburn, J. Joey; Robinson, J. Shane

    2008-01-01

    The United States is currently facing a shortage of qualified teachers; specifically, agricultural education has recorded shortages for several years. A high percentage of agriculture teachers will leave the profession well before retirement. Those teachers who leave the profession are often dissatisfied with their chosen career and exhibit low…

  16. An Assessment of Students' Perceptions toward Factors Influencing Supervised Agricultural Experience Participation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Lauren J.; Rayfield, John; Moore, Lori L.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate student perceptions toward factors influencing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) participation. This descriptive study was conducted in 120 randomly selected agricultural education programs throughout four purposively selected states representative of the National FFA regions. Within each state…

  17. A Nationwide Assessment of the Scope and Impact of Agricultural Leadership Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Velez, Jonathan J.; McKim, Aaron J.; Moore, Lori L.; Stephens, Carrie A.

    2015-01-01

    Agricultural leadership education is an important component of agricultural education programs across the country; yet, a national study of the scope and types of programs offered has not been conducted since 2003. The purpose of the current study was to provide national and timely data regarding the scope and type of opportunities offered in…

  18. Estimated agricultural pesticide use for Southeast Stream-Quality Assessment, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.

    2015-12-01

    This report provides estimates of annual agricultural use of 262 pesticide compounds for counties and selected watersheds in parts of eight southeastern States for 2014. Estimates of county- and watershed-level annual agricultural pesticide use are provided as downloadable, tab-delimited files for both EPest-high and EPest-low.

  19. Assessment of In-Stream Phosphorus Dynamics in Agricultural Drainage Ditches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The intensive row crop agricultural systems in the Midwestern United States can enrich surface waters with nutrients. This project was conducted to evaluate the in-stream processing of P in agricultural ditches. Phosphorus injection studies were conducted at seven sites along three drainage ditches ...

  20. An Assessment of the Basic Curriculum Guide for Teaching Vocational Agriculture in Texas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Herman D.

    The major purpose of this study was to revise the basic production agriculture curriculum guide used by vocational agrculture teachers in Texas. A twenty-five member advisory committee for curriculum revision conducted the following activities: (1) obtained thirty-one curriculum guides for a technical agriculture program, (2) surveyed vocational…

  1. Weather forecasting expert system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Weather forecasting is critical to both the Space Transportation System (STS) ground operations and the launch/landing activities at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The current launch frequency places significant demands on the USAF weather forecasters at the Cape Canaveral Forecasting Facility (CCFF), who currently provide the weather forecasting for all STS operations. As launch frequency increases, KSC's weather forecasting problems will be great magnified. The single most important problem is the shortage of highly skilled forecasting personnel. The development of forecasting expertise is difficult and requires several years of experience. Frequent personnel changes within the forecasting staff jeopardize the accumulation and retention of experience-based weather forecasting expertise. The primary purpose of this project was to assess the feasibility of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to ameliorate this shortage of experts by capturing aria incorporating the forecasting knowledge of current expert forecasters into a Weather Forecasting Expert System (WFES) which would then be made available to less experienced duty forecasters.

  2. Assessing and monitoring soil quality at agricultural waste disposal areas-Soil Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doula, Maria; Kavvadias, Victor; Sarris, Apostolos; Lolos, Polykarpos; Liakopoulou, Nektaria; Hliaoutakis, Aggelos; Kydonakis, Aris

    2014-05-01

    The necessity of elaborating indicators is one of the priorities identified by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The establishment of an indicator monitoring system for environmental purposes is dependent on the geographical scale. Some indicators such as rain seasonality or drainage density are useful over large areas, but others such as soil depth, vegetation cover type, and land ownership are only applicable locally. In order to practically enhance the sustainability of land management, research on using indicators for assessing land degradation risk must initially focus at local level because management decisions by individual land users are taken at this level. Soils that accept wastes disposal, apart from progressive degradation, may cause serious problems to the surrounding environment (humans, animals, plants, water systems, etc.), and thus, soil quality should be necessarily monitored. Therefore, quality indicators, representative of the specific waste type, should be established and monitored periodically. Since waste composition is dependent on their origin, specific indicators for each waste type should be established. Considering agricultural wastes, such a specification, however, could be difficult, since almost all agricultural wastes are characterized by increased concentrations of the same elements, namely, phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, etc.; contain large amounts of organic matter; and have very high values of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and electrical conductivity. Two LIFE projects, namely AgroStrat and PROSODOL are focused on the identification of soil indicators for the assessment of soil quality at areas where pistachio wastes and olive mill wastes are disposed, respectively. Many soil samples were collected periodically for 2 years during PROSODOL and one year during AgroStrat (this project is in progress) from waste disposal areas and analyzed for 23 parameters

  3. The Acquisition and Application of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion (ADME) Data in Agricultural Chemical Safety Assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Barton, H. A.; Pastoor, Timothy P.; Baetcke, Karl; Chambers, Janice E.; Diliberto, Janet; Doerrer, Nancy G.; Driver, Jeffrey H.; Hastings, Charles E.; Iyengar, Seshadri; Krieger, Robert; Stahl, Bernhard; Timchalk, Chuck

    2006-01-01

    The ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) formed the Agricultural Chemical Safety Assessment (ACSA) Technical Committee in the year 2000 to design a toxicity testing scheme that would incorporate current understanding of pesticide toxicology and exposure and recognize the specificity of agricultural products. The purpose of and background for the ACSA project are described in detail in the companion paper by Carmichael et al. (2006). As the proposed tiered testing approach for agricultural chemical safety assessment evolved, the ACSA Technical Committee and its task forces (Carmichael et al., 2006; Cooper et al., 2006; Doe et al., 2006) worked toward the following objectives: (1) Provide information that can be applied to a range of relevant human exposure situations. (2) Characterize effects that have the potential to damage human health at exposure levels approximating those that might be encountered in the use of these compounds. (3) Avoid high doses that cause unnecessary public concern (e.g., safety assessments should focus on doses that are relevant to realistic human exposures while maintaining adequate power for the experimental studies to detect toxicity). (4) Use the minimum number of animals necessary to produce a thorough safety assessment of the chemicals of interest. (5) Inflict the minimum amount of distress on animals. (6) Minimize excessive and unnecessary use of resources by regulatory authorities and industry, which could be used to address other issues of concern. (7) Increase both the efficiency and relevance of the current safety assessment process.

  4. Improvement of agricultural life cycle assessment studies through spatial differentiation and new impact categories: case study on greenhouse tomato production.

    PubMed

    Antón, Assumpció; Torrellas, Marta; Núñez, Montserrat; Sevigné, Eva; Amores, Maria José; Muñoz, Pere; Montero, Juan I

    2014-08-19

    This paper presents the inclusion of new, relevant impact categories for agriculture life cycle assessments. We performed a specific case study with a focus on the applicability of spatially explicit characterization factors. The main goals were to provide a detailed evaluation of these new impact category methods, compare the results with commonly used methods (ReCiPe and USEtox) and demonstrate how these new methods can help improve environmental assessment in agriculture. As an overall conclusion, the newly developed impact categories helped fill the most important gaps related to land use, water consumption, pesticide toxicity, and nontoxic emissions linked to fertilizer use. We also found that including biodiversity damage due to land use and the effect of water consumption on wetlands represented a scientific advance toward more realistic environmental assessment of agricultural practices. Likewise, the dynamic crop model for assessing human toxicity from pesticide residue in food can lead to better practice in pesticide application. In further life cycle assessment (LCA) method developments, common end point units and normalization units should be agreed upon to make it possible to compare different impacts and methods. In addition, the application of site-specific characterization factors allowed us to be more accurate regarding inventory data and to identify precisely where background flows acquire high relevance.

  5. Impact of derived global weather data on simulated crop yields.

    PubMed

    van Wart, Justin; Grassini, Patricio; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2013-12-01

    Crop simulation models can be used to estimate impact of current and future climates on crop yields and food security, but require long-term historical daily weather data to obtain robust simulations. In many regions where crops are grown, daily weather data are not available. Alternatively, gridded weather databases (GWD) with complete terrestrial coverage are available, typically derived from: (i) global circulation computer models; (ii) interpolated weather station data; or (iii) remotely sensed surface data from satellites. The present study's objective is to evaluate capacity of GWDs to simulate crop yield potential (Yp) or water-limited yield potential (Yw), which can serve as benchmarks to assess impact of climate change scenarios on crop productivity and land use change. Three GWDs (CRU, NCEP/DOE, and NASA POWER data) were evaluated for their ability to simulate Yp and Yw of rice in China, USA maize, and wheat in Germany. Simulations of Yp and Yw based on recorded daily data from well-maintained weather stations were taken as the control weather data (CWD). Agreement between simulations of Yp or Yw based on CWD and those based on GWD was poor with the latter having strong bias and large root mean square errors (RMSEs) that were 26-72% of absolute mean yield across locations and years. In contrast, simulated Yp or Yw using observed daily weather data from stations in the NOAA database combined with solar radiation from the NASA-POWER database were in much better agreement with Yp and Yw simulated with CWD (i.e. little bias and an RMSE of 12-19% of the absolute mean). We conclude that results from studies that rely on GWD to simulate agricultural productivity in current and future climates are highly uncertain. An alternative approach would impose a climate scenario on location-specific observed daily weather databases combined with an appropriate upscaling method.

  6. Nanotechnologies in agriculture and food - an overview of different fields of application, risk assessment and public perception.

    PubMed

    Grobe, Antje; Rissanen, Mikko E

    2012-12-01

    Nanomaterials in agriculture and food are key issues of public and regulatory interest. Over the past ten years, patents for nanotechnological applications in the field of food and agriculture have become abundant. Uncertainty prevails however regarding their current development status and presence in the consumer market. Thus, the discussion on nanotechnologies in the food sector with its specific public perception of benefits and risks and the patterns of communication are becoming similar to the debate on genetically modified organisms. The food industry's silence in communication increased mistrust of consumer organisations and policy makers. The article discusses the background of the current regulatory debates, starting with the EU recommendation for defining nanomaterials, provides an overview of possible fields of application in agriculture and food industries and discusses risk assessment and the public debate on benefits and risks. Communicative recommendations are directed at researchers, the food industry and regulators in order to increase trust both in stakeholders, risk management and regulatory processes.

  7. Assessment of nitrogen and phosphorus flows in agricultural and urban systems in a small island under limited data availability.

    PubMed

    Firmansyah, I; Spiller, M; de Ruijter, F J; Carsjens, G J; Zeeman, G

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two essential macronutrients required in agricultural production. The major share of this production relies on chemical fertilizer that requires energy and relies on limited resources (P). Since these nutrients are lost to the environment, there is a need to shift from this linear urban metabolism to a circular metabolism in which N and P from domestic waste and wastewater are reused in agriculture. A first step to facilitate a transition to more circular urban N and P management is to understand the flows of these resources in a coupled urban-agricultural system. For the first time this paper presents a Substance Flow Analysis (SFA) approach for the assessment of the coupled agricultural and urban systems under limited data availability in a small island. The developed SFA approach is used to identify intervention points that can provide N and P stocks for agricultural production. The island of St. Eustatius, a small island in the Caribbean, was used as a case study. The model developed in this study consists of eight sub-systems: agricultural and natural lands, urban lands, crop production, animal production, market, household consumption, soakage pit and open-dump landfill. A total of 26 flows were identified and quantified for a period of one year (2013). The results showed that the agricultural system is a significant source for N and P loss because of erosion/run-off and leaching. Moreover, urban sanitation systems contribute to deterioration of the island's ecosystem through N and P losses from domestic waste and wastewater by leaching and atmospheric emission. Proposed interventions are the treatment of blackwater and greywater for the recovery of N and P. In conclusion, this study allows for identification of potential N and P losses and proposes mitigation measures to improve nutrient management in a small island context.

  8. A Farm to Fork Risk Assessment for the Use of Wastewater in Agriculture in Accra, Ghana.

    PubMed

    Antwi-Agyei, Prince; Cairncross, Sandy; Peasey, Anne; Price, Vivien; Bruce, Jane; Baker, Kelly; Moe, Christine; Ampofo, Joseph; Armah, George; Ensink, Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    The need to minimise consumer risk, especially for food that can be consumed uncooked, is a continuing public health concern, particularly in places where safe sanitation and hygienic practices are absent. The use of wastewater in agriculture has been associated with disease risks, though its relative significance in disease transmission remains unclear. This study aimed at identifying key risk factors for produce contamination at different entry points of the food chain. Over 500 produce and ready-to-eat salad samples were collected from fields, markets, and kitchens during the dry and wet seasons in Accra, Ghana, and over 300 soil and irrigation water samples were collected. All samples were analysed for E. coli, human adenovirus and norovirus using standard microbiological procedures, and real time RT-PCR. Finally, critical exposures associated with microbial quality of produce were assessed through observations and interviews. The study found that over 80% of produce samples were contaminated with E. coli, with median concentrations ranging from 0.64 to 3.84 Log E. coli/g produce. Prepared salad from street food vendors was found to be the most contaminated (4.23 Log E. coli/g), and that consumption of salad exceeded acceptable health limits. Key risk factors identified for produce contamination were irrigation water and soil at the farm level. Storage duration and temperature of produce had a significant influence on the quality of produce sold at markets, while observations revealed that the washed water used to rinse produce before sale was dirty. The source of produce and operating with a hygiene permit were found to influence salad microbial quality at kitchens. This study argues for a need to manage produce risk factors at all domains along the food chain, though it would be more effective to prioritise at markets and kitchens due to cost, ease of implementation and public health significance.

  9. A Farm to Fork Risk Assessment for the Use of Wastewater in Agriculture in Accra, Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Antwi-Agyei, Prince; Cairncross, Sandy; Peasey, Anne; Price, Vivien; Bruce, Jane; Baker, Kelly; Moe, Christine; Ampofo, Joseph; Armah, George; Ensink, Jeroen

    2015-01-01

    The need to minimise consumer risk, especially for food that can be consumed uncooked, is a continuing public health concern, particularly in places where safe sanitation and hygienic practices are absent. The use of wastewater in agriculture has been associated with disease risks, though its relative significance in disease transmission remains unclear. This study aimed at identifying key risk factors for produce contamination at different entry points of the food chain. Over 500 produce and ready-to-eat salad samples were collected from fields, markets, and kitchens during the dry and wet seasons in Accra, Ghana, and over 300 soil and irrigation water samples were collected. All samples were analysed for E. coli, human adenovirus and norovirus using standard microbiological procedures, and real time RT-PCR. Finally, critical exposures associated with microbial quality of produce were assessed through observations and interviews. The study found that over 80% of produce samples were contaminated with E. coli, with median concentrations ranging from 0.64 to 3.84 Log E. coli/g produce. Prepared salad from street food vendors was found to be the most contaminated (4.23 Log E. coli/g), and that consumption of salad exceeded acceptable health limits. Key risk factors identified for produce contamination were irrigation water and soil at the farm level. Storage duration and temperature of produce had a significant influence on the quality of produce sold at markets, while observations revealed that the washed water used to rinse produce before sale was dirty. The source of produce and operating with a hygiene permit were found to influence salad microbial quality at kitchens. This study argues for a need to manage produce risk factors at all domains along the food chain, though it would be more effective to prioritise at markets and kitchens due to cost, ease of implementation and public health significance. PMID:26556044

  10. European risk assessment of LAS in agricultural soil revisited: species sensitivity distribution and risk estimates.

    PubMed

    Jensen, John; Smith, Stephen R; Krogh, Paul Henning; Versteeg, Donald J; Temara, Ali

    2007-10-01

    Linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS) is used at a rate of approximately 430,000 tons/y in Western Europe, mainly in laundry detergents. It is present in sewage sludge (70-5,600 mg/kg; 5-95th percentile) because of its high usage per capita, its sorption and precipitation in primary settlers, and its lack of degradation in anaerobic digesters. Immediately after amendment, calculated and measured concentrations are <1 to 60 mg LAS/kg soil. LAS biodegrades rapidly in soil with primary and ultimate half-lives of up to 7 and 30 days, respectively. Calculated residual concentrations after the averaging time (30 days) are 0.24-18 mg LAS/kg soil. The long-term ecotoxicity to soil microbiota is relatively low (EC10 >or=26 mg sludge-associated LAS/kg soil). An extensive review of the invertebrate and plant ecotoxicological data, combined with a probabilistic assessment approach, led to a PNEC value of 35 mg LAS/kg soil, i.e. the 5th percentile (HC5) of the species sensitivity distribution (lognormal distribution of the EC10 and NOEC values). Risk ratios were identified to fall within a range of 0.01 (median LAS concentration in sludge) to 0.1 (95th percentile) and always below 0.5 (maximum LAS concentration measured in sludge) according to various scenarios covering different factors such as local sewage influent concentration, water hardness, and sewage sludge stabilisation process. Based on the present information, it can be concluded that LAS does not represent an ecological risk in Western Europe when applied via normal sludge amendment to agricultural soil.

  11. An assessment of potential weather effects due to operation of the Space Orbiting Light Augmentation Reflector Energy System (SOLARES)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, N. C.

    1978-01-01

    Implementation of SOLARES will input large quantities of heat continuously into a stationary location on the Earth's surface. The quantity of heat released by each of the SOlARES ground receivers, having a reflector orbit height of 6378 km, exceeds by 30 times that released by large power parks which were studied in detail. Using atmospheric models, estimates are presented for the local weather effects, the synoptic scale effects, and the global scale effects from such intense thermal radiation.

  12. Developing an Integrated Model Framework for the Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Residue Removal Limits for Bioenergy Systems

    SciTech Connect

    David Muth, Jr.; Jared Abodeely; Richard Nelson; Douglas McCorkle; Joshua Koch; Kenneth Bryden

    2011-08-01

    Agricultural residues have significant potential as a feedstock for bioenergy production, but removing these residues can have negative impacts on soil health. Models and datasets that can support decisions about sustainable agricultural residue removal are available; however, no tools currently exist capable of simultaneously addressing all environmental factors that can limit availability of residue. The VE-Suite model integration framework has been used to couple a set of environmental process models to support agricultural residue removal decisions. The RUSLE2, WEPS, and Soil Conditioning Index models have been integrated. A disparate set of databases providing the soils, climate, and management practice data required to run these models have also been integrated. The integrated system has been demonstrated for two example cases. First, an assessment using high spatial fidelity crop yield data has been run for a single farm. This analysis shows the significant variance in sustainably accessible residue across a single farm and crop year. A second example is an aggregate assessment of agricultural residues available in the state of Iowa. This implementation of the integrated systems model demonstrates the capability to run a vast range of scenarios required to represent a large geographic region.

  13. The Learning Styles of Agriculture Preservice Teachers as Assessed by the MBTI.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cano, Jamie; Garton, Bryan L.

    1994-01-01

    The Myers Briggs Type Indicator was completed by 82 preservice agricultural education teachers. All 16 types were reflected; the most common were Extrovert Sensing Thinking Judging (23%), Introvert Sensing Thinking Judging (18%), and Extrovert Sensing Feeling Judging (13%). (SK)

  14. Agricultural Decision-Making In Indonesia With ENSO Variability: Integrating Climate Science, Risk Assessment, And Policy Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battisti, D. S.; Naylor, R. L.; Vimont, D. J.; Falcon, W. P.

    2006-12-01

    We present our current research to show how climate science can be used to inform agricultural decision- making at the policy level. Our project, funded by the Human and Social Dimensions Program at NSF, focuses on Indonesia, where agricultural production is strongly influenced by the annual cycle of precipitation and by year-to-year variations in the annual cycle caused by El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dynamics, and where the combined forces of ENSO and global warming are likely to have dramatic effects on agricultural production and food security for tens of millions of people. The two main goals of the research are: 1) to project the impacts of global warming on Indonesian agriculture by estimating changes in mean climate and climate variability (i.e., ENSO); and 2) to analyze how these projections (including relevant bands of uncertainty) can be used to inform agricultural decision-making processes. To accomplish the first goal, we developed a set of regional climate scenarios for Indonesia in the mid-21st century. These scenarios are developed using (i) the large-scale climate changes projected from the collection of climate models used in the IPCC process, (ii) select experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model, and (iii) a newly developed downscaling model that links the large-scale circulation to the regional scale climate. These scenarios are then used to assess the influence of global warming on the annual climate cycle and on ENSO-induced changes in precipitation and agricultural production in Indonesia. (The link between projected crop production and climate is established from our previous work). The second goal is accomplished by developing a risk assessment framework that links the probabilities of climate change to its potential consequences on agriculture, taking into account various adaptation measures, such as the development of drought tolerant crop varieties and irrigation investment. The model template we have designed and

  15. Road Weather and Connected Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisano, P.; Boyce, B. C.

    2015-12-01

    On average, there are over 5.8 M vehicle crashes each year of which 23% are weather-related. Weather-related crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather or on slick pavement. The vast majority of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement (74%) and during rainfall (46%). Connected vehicle technologies hold the promise to transform road-weather management by providing improved road weather data in real time with greater temporal and geographic accuracy. This will dramatically expand the amount of data that can be used to assess, forecast, and address the impacts that weather has on roads, vehicles, and travelers. The use of vehicle-based measurements of the road and surrounding atmosphere with other, more traditional weather data sources, and create road and atmospheric hazard products for a variety of users. The broad availability of road weather data from mobile sources will vastly improve the ability to detect and forecast weather and road conditions, and will provide the capability to manage road-weather response on specific roadway links. The RWMP is currently demonstrating how weather, road conditions, and related vehicle data can be used for decision making through an innovative Integrated Mobile Observations project. FHWA is partnering with 3 DOTs (MN, MI, & NV) to pilot these applications. One is a mobile alerts application called the Motorists Advisories and Warnings (MAW) and a maintenance decision support application. These applications blend traditional weather information (e.g., radar, surface stations) with mobile vehicle data (e.g., temperature, brake status, wiper status) to determine current weather conditions. These weather conditions, and other road-travel-relevant information, are provided to users via web and phone applications. The MAW provides nowcasts and short-term forecasts out to 24 hours while the EMDSS application can provide forecasts up to 72 hours in advance. The three DOTs have placed readers and external

  16. AgMIP's Transdisciplinary Agricultural Systems Approach to Regional Integrated Assessment of Climate Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antle, John M.; Valdivia, Roberto O.; Boote, Kenneth J.; Janssen, Sander; Jones, James W.; Porter, Cheryl H.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Ruane, Alexander C.; Thorburn, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes methods developed by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) to implement a transdisciplinary, systems-based approach for regional-scale (local to national) integrated assessment of agricultural systems under future climate, biophysical, and socio-economic conditions. These methods were used by the AgMIP regional research teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to implement the analyses reported in their respective chapters of this book. Additional technical details are provided in Appendix 1.The principal goal that motivates AgMIP's regional integrated assessment (RIA) methodology is to provide scientifically rigorous information needed to support improved decision-making by various stakeholders, ranging from local to national and international non-governmental and governmental organizations.

  17. Enhancing remote surveillance and assessment capabilities in support of non-proliferation using agricultural targets. Annual progress report, September 14, 1995--December 31, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, E.

    1997-09-01

    This report describes the Department of Energy`s Airborne Multisensor Pod System (ANIPS) missions which include agricultural targets to improve which include agricultural targets. The emphasis is on the use of these agricultural targets to improve nuclear non-proliferation assessment capability. Three areas of application of agricultural targets to non-proliferation is introduced: extending vegetation monitoring capability with radar, assessment of soil and crop damage using data fusion, and the use of data fusion for improved plant stress monitoring using hyperspectral data. Also, new algorithm development and future AMPS mission needs are discussed.

  18. Activities in Teaching Weather

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tonn, Martin

    1977-01-01

    Presented is a unit composed of activities for teaching weather. Topics include cloud types and formation, simple weather instruments, and the weather station. Illustrations include a weather chart and instruments. A bibliography is given. (MA)

  19. Effects of Weather on Caloric and Nutritive Intake in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Babiarz, K.; Goldhaber-Fiebert, J.; Lobell, D. B.

    2012-12-01

    Many studies have investigated effects of weather on production of key food crops, largely motivated by a desire to anticipate impacts of climate change. However, health outcomes are most directly affected by food consumption, not production. Consumption changes will not necessarily follow production changes, primarily because people can adjust their diets away from foods that are most negatively affected. To more directly evaluate the effects of weather on nutrition, we analyzed reported household expenditure and consumption data from 20 rounds of the National Sample Survey (NSS) of India along with aggregated weather data of the two main agricultural seasons, kharif and rabi. Per capita intake of calories, protein, fats, and micronutrients were calculated from reported data at the household level, and then aggregated to district level for comparison with weather data. Regression analysis revealed significant negative effects of increased temperatures on calorie consumption in rural areas, with lower sensitivities in urban areas. We also found a higher sensitivity of protein and fat consumption to weather than for calories, which likely reflects the ability of households to switch to cheaper sources of calories in lean times. The results of this analysis will be useful for assessing the overall health burdens associated with climate change in India.

  20. Assessment of impacts of agricultural and climate change scenarios on watershed water quantity and quality, and crop production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teshager, Awoke D.; Gassman, Philip W.; Schoof, Justin T.; Secchi, Silvia

    2016-08-01

    Modeling impacts of agricultural scenarios and climate change on surface water quantity and quality provides useful information for planning effective water, environmental and land use policies. Despite the significant impacts of agriculture on water quantity and quality, limited literature exists that describes the combined impacts of agricultural land use change and climate change on future bioenergy crop yields and watershed hydrology. In this study, the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) eco-hydrological model was used to model the combined impacts of five agricultural land use change scenarios and three downscaled climate pathways (representative concentration pathways, RCPs) that were created from an ensemble of eight atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). These scenarios were implemented in a well-calibrated SWAT model for the intensively farmed and tiled Raccoon River watershed (RRW) located in western Iowa. The scenarios were executed for the historical baseline, early century, mid-century and late century periods. The results indicate that historical and more corn intensive agricultural scenarios with higher CO2 emissions consistently result in more water in the streams and greater water quality problems, especially late in the 21st century. Planting more switchgrass, on the other hand, results in less water in the streams and water quality improvements relative to the baseline. For all given agricultural landscapes simulated, all flow, sediment and nutrient outputs increase from early-to-late century periods for the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios. We also find that corn and switchgrass yields are negatively impacted under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios in the mid- and late 21st century.

  1. Evaluating the Reliability of Reanalysis as a Substitute for Observational Data in Large-scale Agricultural Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glotter, M.; Ruane, A. C.; Moyer, E. J.; Elliott, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Future projections of food security require historical agricultural assessments to validate, improve, and understand the limitations of yield estimates. Poor observational climate networks often force historical assessments to rely on reanalysis data- climate model output nudged by observations- for inputs to crop models. However, agricultural yields are sensitive to changes in precipitation, and since reanalysis products generally use little or no observational precipitation in the data assimilation process, its use may compromise the validation exercise. Previous studies do not systematically assess whether reanalysis data is sufficient or data measurements are required. We test the reliability of reanalysis data for agricultural analyses with simulations of maize yields in the U.S., where observational data are extensive. We drive the widely used Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model with climate inputs from a combination of data sources: bias- and unbias-corrected reanalyses, and observation-based precipitation and solar radiation. We find that driving DSSAT with reanalysis precipitation produces unreliable yield estimates, but driving it with reanalysis bias-corrected with monthly observations is more robust. Bias corrections do require observational data, but gathering reliable monthly data may be easier than gathering daily data. The approach is therefore promising for data-poor regions where observational precipitation is less available and existing data is unreliable. The priority for climate monitoring networks may not be in daily records but instead in lower-cost observational systems that estimate data over coarser temporal resolutions.

  2. Economic assessment of acid deposition and ozone damage on the San Joaquin Valley agriculture. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Howitt, R.

    1993-02-01

    The California Agricultural Resources Model (CARM) was used to estimate the economic impact of acidic deposition and ozone on crops in the San Joaquin Valley. Data on ozone exposure-crop response and agricultural markets are used in the CARM to estimate the potential economic benefits of an improvement in air quality. The study focused on the economic impact of two ozone reduction scenarios in agricultural regions of California. The CARM projected that if growing season concentrations of ozone were reduced to 0.04 ppm, annual benefits to consumers (higher availability and lower prices) and producers (higher production and lower production costs) would be approximately $489 million. In comparison, the benefit projected if statewide levels of ozone were uniformly reduced to 0.025 ppm was approximately $1.5 billion. Although the 0.025 ppm scenario is unlikely, the economic benefits were estimated to be correspondingly large.

  3. Assessment of in-stream phosphorus dynamics in agricultural drainage ditches.

    PubMed

    Smith, D R

    2009-06-01

    The intensive agricultural systems in the Midwestern United States can enrich surface waters with nutrients. Agricultural drainage ditches serve as the first and second order streams throughout much of this region, as well as other highly productive agricultural areas in humid regions throughout the world. This project was conducted to evaluate in-stream processing of soluble P (SP) in agricultural drainage ditches. Soluble P injection studies were conducted at seven sites along three drainage ditches (298 to 4300 ha drainage area), and one site on a third-order stream that receives the discharge from the agricultural ditches (19,000 ha drainage area) by increasing the SP concentration in the ditch water by approximately 0.25 mg L(-1). Sediments collected from smaller watersheds contained greater amounts of Mehlich 3 and exchangeable P (ExP), silt and clay size particles, and organic matter. Phosphorus uptake lengths (S(net)) ranged from 40 to 1900 m, and SP uptake rates (U) ranged from 0.4 to 52 mg m(-2) h(-1). Phosphorus S(net) was correlated with ditch geomorphological (i.e. width) and sediment properties (i.e. organic matter, ExP, and equilibrium P concentration; r(2)=1.00, P<0.001), indirect drainage in the watershed (r(2)=0.92, P<0.001), and the amount of small grains, forest, urban area, alfalfa and corn (r(2)=1.00, P<0.0001). Agricultural drainage ditches actively process nutrients and could potentially be managed to optimize this processing to minimize SP export from these landscapes.

  4. Biological Assessment of Urban and Agricultural Streams in the California Central Valley (Fall 2002 Through Spring 2004)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacey, J.; Moncada, A.

    2005-05-01

    California has over 200,000 miles of rivers and streams that are increasingly impacted from human activities. Various agencies in the state have begun to conduct bioassessment to evaluate these impacts. We conducted a pilot study to assess potential aquatic impacts of pesticides and other human activities in two urban creeks and two agricultural creeks in the fall and spring for two years (2002-04) using a modified U.S. EPA EMAP method. All creeks showed highly impacted conditions. Water quality measurements indicated below normal dissolved oxygen levels at 44% and 15% of the sites, and elevated temperatures at 70% and 73% of the urban and agricultural sites, respectively. Physical habitat scores indicated significant impacts. Diazinon and chlorpyrifos were detected at all sites (trace to 0.212 ppb). Pyrethroids were detected in water and sediment in urban sites only (trace to 27.5 ppt). High numbers of chironomidae and very low numbers of pollution intolerant species were detected in the benthic macroinvertebrate community. Urban creeks had a higher number of pollution tolerant species compared to agricultural creeks. All sites were ecologically impacted. Mulitvariate ANOVA of macroinvertebrate metrics revealed a significant difference between urban and agricultural sites (P= 0.002) and between fall and spring seasons (P=0.036).

  5. Assessment of rural ground-water contamination by agricultural chemicals in sensitive areas of Michigan

    SciTech Connect

    Ervin, J.L.; Kittleson, K.M.

    1988-04-01

    The vulnerability of drinking-water supplies to agricultural contamination in three Michigan counties is discussed. The results of nitrate and atrazine analysis of drinking water from 38 wells in those 3 counties is described. Widespread nitrate contamination was demonstrated in agricultural areas with vulnerable aquifers. In addition, atrazine, a widely used herbicide was found in 11 of the 38 wells samples, with concentrations and patterns not conforming to findings in other mid-western states. The need for a comprehensive inventory of the ground-water quality in rural areas of Michigan is emphasized in the report, which describes results from the first year of a 2-year study.

  6. The End-Use Load and Consumer Assessment Program: Characterization of Commercial Load Shapes by Weather Day Type

    SciTech Connect

    Hadley, D.L.

    1990-07-01

    Recently, an objective methodology to characterize air masses for a given locale was developed by Kalkstein and Corrigan (1986). This methodology was used to determine which air masses had the greatest potential for high atmospheric concentrations of sulfur dioxide. Referred to as the temporal synoptic index (TSI), this approach uses a combination of principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis to identify days considered to be meteorologically homogenous. The PCA transforms the original set of intercorrelated meteorological variables into a new set of components that are linear combinations of the original variables. This transformation simplifies the amount of data being processed and eliminates the intercorrelations that exist among weather variables. The next step in the methodology is to apply an objective clustering scheme to the most significant of the transformed variables. This application converts the group's days into meteorologically homogeneous clusters. The work presented in this report is the result of an exploratory study of the application of the TSI approach to the analysis of commercial building energy consumption data. In this study, the hourly HVAC consumption data for four commercial buildings, monitored as part of ELCAP, were analyzed for patterns of consumption by weather day types derived from the TSI methodology. 3 refs., 9 figs., 5 tabs.

  7. Comparison of recreational health risks associated with surfing and swimming in dry weather and post-storm conditions at Southern California beaches using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA).

    PubMed

    Tseng, Linda Y; Jiang, Sunny C

    2012-05-01

    Southern California is an increasingly urbanized hotspot for surfing, thus it is of great interest to assess the human illness risks associated with this popular ocean recreational water sport from exposure to fecal bacteria contaminated coastal waters. Quantitative microbial risk assessments were applied to eight popular Southern California beaches using readily available enterococcus and fecal coliform data and dose-response models to compare health risks associated with surfing during dry weather and storm conditions. The results showed that the level of gastrointestinal illness risks from surfing post-storm events was elevated, with the probability of exceeding the US EPA health risk guideline up to 28% of the time. The surfing risk was also elevated in comparison with swimming at the same beach due to ingestion of greater volume of water. The study suggests that refinement of dose-response model, improving monitoring practice and better surfer behavior surveillance will improve the risk estimation.

  8. Sixteen years of agricultural drought assessment of the BioBío region in Chile using a 250 m resolution Vegetation Condition Index (VCI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zambrano, Francisco; Lillo-Saavedra, Mario; Verbist, Koen; Lagos, Octavio

    2016-10-01

    Drought is one of the most complex natural hazards because of its slow onset and long-term impact; it has the potential to negatively affect many people. There are several advantages to using remote sensing to monitor drought, especially in developing countries with limited historical meteorological records and a low weather station density. In the present study, we assessed agricultural drought in the croplands of the BioBio Region in Chile. The vegetation condition index (VCI) allows identifying the temporal and spatial variations of vegetation conditions associated with stress because of rainfall deficit. The VCI was derived at a 250m spatial resolution for the 2000-2015 period with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) MOD13Q1 product. We evaluated VCI for cropland areas using the land cover MCD12Q1 version 5.1 product and compared it to the in situ Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) for six-time scales (1-6 months) from 26 weather stations. Results showed that the 3-month SPI (SPI-3), calculated for the modified growing season (Nov-Apr) instead of the regular growing season (Sept-Apr), has the best Pearson correlation with VCI values with an overall correlation of 0.63 and between 0.40 and 0.78 for the administrative units. These results show a very short-term vegetation response to rainfall deficit in September, which is reflected in the vegetation in November, and also explains to a large degree the variation in vegetation stress. It is shown that for the last 16 years in the BioBio Region we could identify the 2007/2008, 2008/2009, and 2014/2015 seasons as the three most important drought events; this is reflected in both the overall regional and administrative unit analyses. These results concur with drought emergencies declared by the regional government. Future studies are needed to associate the remote sensing values observed at high resolution (250m) with the measured crop yield to identify more detailed individual crop

  9. Molecular methods for assessment of antibiotic resistance in agricultural ecosystems: prospects and challenges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural ecosystems are of special interest for monitoring the potential for antibiotic resistance to spread through the environment and contribute to human exposure. Molecular methods, which target DNA, RNA, and other molecular components of bacterial cells, present certain advantages for char...

  10. Expanding soil health assessment methods for agricultural systems of the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In agricultural systems, soil health (also referred as soil quality) is critical for sustainable production and ecosystem services. Soil health analyses dependent upon singular parameters fail to account for the host of interactions occurring within the soil ecosystem. Soil health is in flux with m...

  11. Rainfall-derived growing season characteristics for agricultural impact assessments in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosino, Chiara; Chandler, Richard E.; Todd, Martin C.

    2014-02-01

    Precipitation variability imposes significant pressure in areas where agricultural practice is dominated by smallholder farmers who are dependent on subsistence farming. Advances in the understanding of this variability, in both time and space, have an important role to play in increasing the resilience of agricultural systems. The need is particularly pressing in regions of the world such as the African continent, which is already affected by multiple stresses including poverty and economic and political instability. In this paper, we explore the use of generalised linear models (GLMs) for this purpose, via a case study from north-east South Africa. A GLM is used to link the local rainfall variability to large-scale climate drivers identified from previous subcontinental-scale analyses, and the ability of the resulting model to simulate precipitation features that are relevant in agricultural applications is evaluated. We focus in particular on a set of growing season indices, proposed for the investigation of intraseasonal characteristics relevant for maize production in the region. Seven indices were computed from spatially averaged daily rainfall series from nine stations in the study area. As a first attempt to use GLMs for this type of application, the results are encouraging and suggest that the models are able to reproduce a range of agriculture-relevant indices. However, further research into spatial correlation structure is recommended to improve the multisite generation of the rainfall-derived characteristics.

  12. A system's approach to assess the exposure of agricultural production to climate change and variability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Estimating the exposure of agriculture to climate variability and change can help us to understand the key vulnerability as well as improve the adaptive capacity which is important for increasing food production to feed the world’s increasing population. A number of indices are available in literat...

  13. An Assessment of the Needs of Middle School Agricultural Education Instructors in Georgia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golden, M. Elizabeth; Parr, Brian; Peake, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Like their students, middle school agricultural education instructors are a unique group with special needs and concerns. However, the needs of middle school teachers and their programs may be misunderstood and overlooked in the professional world when compared to secondary teachers and programs. While middle school programs are still relatively…

  14. Little River Experimental Watershed, Georgia: National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In September 2007, USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) jointly funded two integrated research and outreach grants to conduct a synthesis of resul...

  15. Laboratory tests to assess optimal agricultural residue traits for an abrasive weed control system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the biggest challenges to organic agricultural production and herbicide resistant crops in industrialized countries today is the non-chemical control of weed plants. Studies of new tools and methods for weed control have been motivated by an increased consumer demand for organic produce and c...

  16. Hands-on Precision Agriculture Data Management Workshops for Producers and Industry Professionals: Development and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luck, Joe D.; Fulton, John P.; Rees, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Three Precision Agriculture Data Management workshops regarding yield monitor data were conducted in 2014, reaching 62 participants. Post-workshop surveys (n = 58) indicated 73% of respondents experienced a moderate to significant increase in knowledge related to yield monitor data usage. Another 72% reported that they planned to utilize best…

  17. Assessing pesticide wet deposition risk within a small agricultural watershed in the Southeastern Coastal Plain (USA)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pesticide volatilization and deposition with precipitation is widely documented and has been connected to adverse ecological impact. Here we describe a 3-yr study of current use and legacy pesticides in event-based rain samples within a 123-ha agricultural watershed. Crops in farm fields were docum...

  18. Assessing the importance of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of pesticides in agriculture, their potential to be transported beyond the intended target, and their possible risk to human and environmental health has been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data from 3 vegetable production systems to evaluate the ability of ag...

  19. Condensed research overview of agricultural drainage pipe detection and assessment using ground penetrating radar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural subsurface drainage practices are employed in many places throughout the world to remove excess water from soil, thereby improving crop production. In order to improve and evaluate the efficiency of these subsurface drainage systems, non-destructive methods are needed to not only locate...

  20. Technical assessment of synthetic natural gas (SNG) production from agriculture residuals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Guohui; Feng, Fei; Xiao, Jun; Shen, Laihong

    2013-08-01

    This paper presents thermodynamic evaluations of the agriculture residual-to-SNG process by thermochemical conversion, which mainly consists of the interconnected fluidized beds, hot gas cleaning, fluidized bed methanation reactor and Selexol absorption unit. The process was modeled using Aspen Plus software. The process performances, i.e., CH4 content in SNG, higher heating value and yield of SNG, exergy efficiencies with and without heat recovery, unit power consumption, were evaluated firstly. The results indicate that when the other parameters remain unchanged, the steam-to-biomass ratio at carbon boundary point is the optimal value for the process. Improving the preheating temperatures of air and gasifying agent is beneficial for the SNG yield and exergy efficiencies. Due to the effects of CO2 removal efficiency, there are two optimization objectives for the SNG production process: (I) to maximize CH4 content in SNG, or (II) to maximize SNG yield. Further, the comparison among different feedstocks indicates that the decreasing order of SNG yield is: corn stalk > wheat straw > rice straw. The evaluation on the potential of agriculture-based SNG shows that the potential annual production of agriculture residual-based SNG could be between 555×108 ˜ 611×108 m3 with utilization of 100% of the available unexplored resources. The agriculture residual-based SNG could play a significant role on solving the big shortfall of China's natural gas supply in future.

  1. Agricultural production and nutrient runoff in the Corn Belt: Assessing dynamic environmental performance

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agricultural production in the Corn Belt region of the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) remains a leading source of nitrogen runoff that contributes to the annual hypoxic 'Dead Zone' in the Gulf of Mexico. The rise of corn production, land conversion, and fertilizer use in re...

  2. Solar Program Assessment: Environmental Factors - Solar Agricultural and Industrial Process Heat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington, DC. Div. of Solar Energy.

    The purpose of this report is to present and prioritize the major environmental issues associated with the further development of solar energy as a source of process heat in the industrial and agricultural sectors. To provide a background for this environmental analysis, the basic concepts and technologies of solar process heating are reviewed.…

  3. [Identification of critical area of phosphorus loss in agricultural areas of Guishui River watershed by phosphorus loss risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Li, Qi; Chen, Li-Ding; Qi, Xin; Zhang, Xin-Yu; Ma, Yan

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural non-point sources pollution is one of severe problems for water environment of agricultural areas in China. Because of the big difficulties, identifying the critical source areas for phosphorus loss becomes the focal point of the non-point sources pollution control. A modified catchment scale phosphorus ranking scheme was developed for agricultural areas in Guishui River watershed. The new scheme included eight assessment factors, which had three phosphorus loss risk ranks respectively and selected quantitative analysis method. The result shows that the phosphorus fertilizer management of the vegetable fields is the most unfit method and has high phosphorus loss probabilities. Most study areas have high soil available phosphorus content and low soil erosion degree. The figure of the assessment result shows that the areas that are categorized as "low" phosphorus loss risk are small. Based on the figure of the result, the critical source areas were confirmed and the management strategies were brought forward according to the analysis on the distribute characteristics of the critical source areas. The result shows that the modified catchment scale phosphorus ranking scheme has operability and practicability to a certain extent.

  4. Assessment of energy balance of Indian farm women in relation to their nutritional profile in lean and peak agricultural seasons.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suman; Sinwal, Sushma; Rathore, Hemu

    2012-01-01

    In India, the farm women are not only involved in household activities but also contribute in various farm operations, animal husbandry. The objective was to assess nutritional profile of the farmwomen and their occupational health problems, to compare the physiological workload in lean and peak seasons and to find out relationship between physiological workload and nutritional intake. The study was conducted on a sample of 90 farmwomen. Energy Intake was calculated using physiological fuel values of carbohydrate, fat and protein. Energy Expenditure Rate (EER), Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) and Energy Balance were calculated. The physiological workload was assessed using sub-maximal workload technique. The results revealed that all the respondents of all categories were, more or less, performing all the agriculture, allied and household activities. In all the agriculture activities physiological hazards such as body pain and fatigue were dominant. Dietary, nutritional and energy intake was lower for heavy workers, from all landholding and BMI categories. HR and OCR were in linear relationship in all BMI categories. Physical work capacity increased with good nutritional status and decreased with age. Regression equations were suggested for calculating oxygen consumption (y) at their known heart rate (x) during various agriculture operations.

  5. Assessing different agricultural managements with the use of soil quality indices in a Mediteranean calcareous soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mediterranean region due to the arid conditions and torrential rainfalls, which contribute to the degradation of agricultural land. New strategies must be developed to reduce soil losses and recover or maintain soil functionality in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture. An experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of different agricultural management on soil properties and soil quality. Ten different treatments (contact herbicide, systemic herbicide, ploughing, Oat mulch non-plough, Oats mulch plough, leguminous plant, straw rice mulch, chipped pruned branches, residual-herbicide and agro geo-textile, and three control plots including no tillage or control and long agricultural abandonment (shrub on marls and shrub on limestone) were established in 'El Teularet experimental station' located in the Sierra de Enguera (Valencia, Spain). The soil is a Typic Xerorthent developed over Cretaceous marls in an old agricultural terrace. The agricultural management can modify the soil equilibrium and affect its quality. In this work two soil quality indices (models) developed by Zornoza et al. (2007) are used to evaluate the effects of the different agricultural management along 4 years. The models were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed forest soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. Model 1, that explained 92% of the variance in soil organic carbon (SOC) showed that the SOC can be calculated by the linear combination of 6 physical, chemical and biochemical properties (acid phosphatase, water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (P), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and aggregate stability (AS). Model 2 explains 89% of the SOC variance, which can be calculated by means of 7 chemical and biochemical properties (urease, phosphatase, and ß-glucosidase activities, pH, EC, P and CEC). We use the

  6. Development and testing of method for assessing and mapping agricultural areas susceptible to atrazine leaching in the state of Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Voss, Frank D.

    2003-01-01

    In a joint effort by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency's Pesticide Root Zone Model and a Geographic Information System were used to develop and test a method for screening and mapping the susceptibility of ground water in agricultural areas to pesticide contamination. The objective was to produce a map that would be used by the Washington State Department of Agriculture to allocate resources for monitoring pesticide levels in ground water. The method was tested by producing a map showing susceptibility to leaching of the pesticide atrazine for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, which encompasses an area of intensive agriculture in eastern Washington. The reliability of the atrazine map was assessed by using statistical procedures to determine whether the median of the percentage of atrazine simulated to leach below the root zone in wells where atrazine was detected was statistically greater than the median percentage at wells where atrazine was not detected (at or above 0.001 microgram per liter) in 134 wells sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey. A statistical difference in medians was not found when all 134 wells were compared. However, a statistical difference was found in medians for two subsets of the 134 wells that were used in land-use studies (studies examining the quality of ground water beneath specific crops). The statistical results from wells from the land-use studies indicate that the model potentially can be used to map the relative susceptibility of agricultural areas to atrazine leaching. However, the distinction between areas of high and low susceptibility may not yet be sufficient to use the method for allocating resources to monitor water quality. Several options are offered for improving the reliability of future simulations.

  7. Soil Incubation Study to Assess the Impacts of Manure Application and Climate Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiavone, K.; Barbieri, L.; Adair, C.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural fields in Vermont's Lake Champlain Basin have problems with the loss of nutrients due to runoff which creates eutrophic conditions in the lakes, ponds and rivers. In efforts to retain nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil farmers have started to inject manure rather than spraying it. Our understanding of the effects this might have on the volatilization of nitrogen into nitrous oxide is limited. Already, agriculture produces 69% of the total nitrous oxide emissions in the US. Understanding that climate change will affect the future of agriculture in Vermont, we set up a soil core incubation test to monitor the emissions of CO₂ and N₂O using a Photoacoustic Gas Sensor (PAS). Four 10 cm soil cores were taken from nine different fertilizer management plots in a No Till corn field; Three Injected plots, three Broadcast plots, and three Plow plots. Frozen soil cores were extracted in early April, and remained frozen before beginning the incubation experiment to most closely emulate three potential spring environmental conditions. The headspace was monitored over one week to get emission rates. This study shows that environmental and fertilizer treatments together do not have a direct correlation to the amount of CO₂ and N₂O emissions from agricultural soil. However, production of CO₂ was 26% more in warmer environmental conditions than in variable(freeze/thaw) environmental conditions. The injected fertilizer produced the most emissions, both CO₂ and N₂O. The total N₂O emissions from Injected soil cores were 2.2x more than from traditional broadcast manure cores. We believe this is likely due to the addition of rich organic matter under anaerobic soil conditions. Although, injected fertilizer is a better application method for reducing nutrient runoff, the global warming potential of N₂O is 298 times that of CO₂. With climate change imminent, assessing the harmful effects and benefits of injected fertilizer is a crucial next step in

  8. Residues, spatial distribution and risk assessment of DDTs and HCHs in agricultural soil and crops from the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chuanfei; Wang, Xiaoping; Gong, Ping; Yao, Tandong

    2016-04-01

    Due to its high elevation and cold temperature, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is regarded as the "Third Pole". Different from other polar regions, which are truly remote, the TP has a small population and a few agricultural activities. In this study, agricultural soil and crop samples (including highland barley and rape) were collected in the main farmland of the TP to obtain the contamination levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the Tibetan agricultural system as well as the relevant human exposure risks. The average concentrations of DDTs and HCHs in the agricultural soil, highland barley and rape were 1.36, 0.661, 1.03 ng/g dw and 0.349, 0.0364, 0.0225 ng/g dw, respectively. In the agricultural soil, DDTs and HCHs metabolism (DDE, DDD and β-HCH) were abundant, which indicated a "historical" source, whereas crops contained a similar composition ((DDE + DDD)/DDT, α/β-HCH and α/γ-HCH) to that of wild plants, suggesting that the DDTs and HCHs in crops are likely from long range atmospheric transport. The human health risks via non-dietary and dietary to DDTs and HCHs in the farmland were assessed. All of the hazard index (HI) values of DDTs and HCHs for non-carcinogenic risks were <1, and most of the cancer risk values were <10(-6), suggesting that DDTs and HCHs in the farmland will not pose non-carcinogenic risks and will pose only very low cancer risks to the Tibetan residents.

  9. Evaluating analytic and risk assessment tools to estimate sediment and nutrients losses from agricultural lands in the southern region of the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non-point source pollution from agricultural fields is a critical problem associated with water quality impairment in the USA and a low-oxygen environment in the Gulf of Mexico. The use, development and enhancement of qualitative and quantitative models or tools for assessing agricultural runoff qua...

  10. Life cycle assessment of energy self-sufficiency systems based on agricultural residues for organic arable farms.

    PubMed

    Kimming, M; Sundberg, C; Nordberg, A; Baky, A; Bernesson, S; Norén, O; Hansson, P-A

    2011-01-01

    The agricultural industry today consumes large amounts of fossil fuels. This study used consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) to analyse two potential energy self-sufficient systems for organic arable farms, based on agricultural residues. The analysis focused on energy balance, resource use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A scenario based on straw was found to require straw harvest from 25% of the farm area; 45% of the total energy produced from the straw was required for energy carrier production and GHG emissions were reduced by 9% compared with a fossil fuel-based reference scenario. In a scenario based on anaerobic digestion of ley, the corresponding figures were 13%, 24% and 35%. The final result was sensitive to assumptions regarding, e.g., soil carbon content and handling of by-products.

  11. On the usage of agricultural raw materials--energy or food? An assessment from an economics perspective.

    PubMed

    Lenk, Fabian; Bröring, Stefanie; Herzog, Philipp; Leker, Jens

    2007-12-01

    Bioenergies are promoted across the globe as the answer for global warming and the chance to reduce dependency from fossil energy sources. Despite the fact that renewable energy sources offer the opportunity to reduce CO2 emission and present a chance to increase agricultural incomes, they also come along with some drawbacks that have been mostly neglected in the current discussion. This paper seeks to build a basis for discussing the impacts of the growing subsidization of bioenergy and the resulting usage competition of agricultural raw materials between foods and energy. To assess the usage competition and the subsidization of bioenergy, this article employs a welfare economics perspective associated with an emphasize on the construct of externalities. This will help to foster the discussion on the further subsidization of bioenergy, where funding for R&D on new ways of using non-food raw materials ought to play a significant role.

  12. Assessing the Groundwater Quality at a Saudi Arabian Agricultural Site and the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens on Irrigated Food Produce

    PubMed Central

    Alsalah, Dhafer; Al-Jassim, Nada; Timraz, Kenda; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the groundwater quality in wells situated near agricultural fields in Saudi Arabia. Fruits (e.g., tomato and green pepper) irrigated with groundwater were also assessed for the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens to determine if food safety was compromised by the groundwater. The amount of total nitrogen in most of the groundwater samples exceeded the 15 mg/L permissible limit for agricultural irrigation. Fecal coliforms in densities > 12 MPN/100 mL were detected in three of the groundwater wells that were in close proximity to a chicken farm. These findings, coupled with qPCR-based fecal source tracking, show that groundwater in wells D and E, which were nearest to the chicken farm, had compromised quality. Anthropogenic contamination resulted in a shift in the predominant bacterial phyla within the groundwater microbial communities. For example, there was an elevated presence of Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria in wells D and E but a lower overall microbial richness in the groundwater perturbed by anthropogenic contamination. In the remaining wells, the genus Acinetobacter was detected at high relative abundance ranging from 1.5% to 48% of the total groundwater microbial community. However, culture-based analysis did not recover any antibiotic-resistant bacteria or opportunistic pathogens from these groundwater samples. In contrast, opportunistic pathogenic Enterococcus faecalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated from the fruits irrigated with the groundwater from wells B and F. Although the groundwater was compromised, quantitative microbial risk assessment suggests that the annual risk incurred from accidental consumption of E. faecalis on these fruits was within the acceptable limit of 10−4. However, the annual risk arising from P. aeruginosa was 9.55 × 10−4, slightly above the acceptable limit. Our findings highlight that the groundwater quality at this agricultural site in western Saudi Arabia is not pristine and that better

  13. Assessing the Groundwater Quality at a Saudi Arabian Agricultural Site and the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens on Irrigated Food Produce.

    PubMed

    Alsalah, Dhafer; Al-Jassim, Nada; Timraz, Kenda; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2015-10-05

    This study examines the groundwater quality in wells situated near agricultural fields in Saudi Arabia. Fruits (e.g., tomato and green pepper) irrigated with groundwater were also assessed for the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens to determine if food safety was compromised by the groundwater. The amount of total nitrogen in most of the groundwater samples exceeded the 15 mg/L permissible limit for agricultural irrigation. Fecal coliforms in densities > 12 MPN/100 mL were detected in three of the groundwater wells that were in close proximity to a chicken farm. These findings, coupled with qPCR-based fecal source tracking, show that groundwater in wells D and E, which were nearest to the chicken farm, had compromised quality. Anthropogenic contamination resulted in a shift in the predominant bacterial phyla within the groundwater microbial communities. For example, there was an elevated presence of Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria in wells D and E but a lower overall microbial richness in the groundwater perturbed by anthropogenic contamination. In the remaining wells, the genus Acinetobacter was detected at high relative abundance ranging from 1.5% to 48% of the total groundwater microbial community. However, culture-based analysis did not recover any antibiotic-resistant bacteria or opportunistic pathogens from these groundwater samples. In contrast, opportunistic pathogenic Enterococcus faecalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated from the fruits irrigated with the groundwater from wells B and F. Although the groundwater was compromised, quantitative microbial risk assessment suggests that the annual risk incurred from accidental consumption of E. faecalis on these fruits was within the acceptable limit of 10(-4). However, the annual risk arising from P. aeruginosa was 9.55 × 10(-4), slightly above the acceptable limit. Our findings highlight that the groundwater quality at this agricultural site in western Saudi Arabia is not pristine and that better

  14. Integrating NASA Satellite Data Into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment To Improve Agricultural Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; deJeu, Richard; Kempler, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. The goal of the current project is to improve WAOB estimates by integrating NASA satellite precipitation and soil moisture observations into WAOB's decision making environment. Precipitation (Level 3 gridded) is from the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). Soil moisture (Level 2 swath and Level 3 gridded) is generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) and operationally produced by the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GBS DISC). A root zone soil moisture (RZSM) product is also generated, via assimilation of the Level 3 LPRM data by a land surface model (part of a related project). Data services to be available for these products include GeoTIFF, GDS (GrADS Data Server), WMS (Web Map Service), WCS (Web Coverage Service), and NASA Giovanni. Project benchmarking is based on retrospective analyses of WAOB analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns and estimated crop yields. An analog index (AI) was developed to introduce a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years. Results thus far show that crop yield estimates derived from TMPA precipitation data are closer to measured yields than are estimates derived from surface-based precipitation measurements. Work is continuing to include LPRM surface soil moisture data and model-assimilated RZSM.

  15. A comparative assessment of cytotoxicity of commonly used agricultural insecticides to human and insect cells.

    PubMed

    Yun, Xinming; Huang, Qingchun; Rao, Wenbing; Xiao, Ciying; Zhang, Tao; Mao, Zhifan; Wan, Ziyi

    2017-03-01

    The cytotoxic potential of 13 commonly used agricultural insecticides was examined using cell-based systems with three human HepG2, Hek293, HeLa cells and three insect Tn5B1-4, Sf-21, and Drosophila S2 cells. Data showed that (1) an enhancement of some insecticides (e.g. pyrethroids) on cells proliferation; (2) an inhibition of some insecticides on cells viability; (3) various levels of susceptibility of different cells to the same insecticide; and (4) the cell type dependent sensitivity to different insecticides. The degree of cytotoxicity of insecticides on human cells was significantly lower than that on insect cells (P<0.05). Methomyl, even 20μg/ml, showed little cytotoxicity at 24h exposure whereas emamectin benzoate possessed the strongest cytotoxic potential in a dose-dependent fashion. The results revealed comparable cytotoxic property of agricultural insecticides against intact cells.

  16. Assessing the dynamics of fluvial nitrate over short stream reaches in watersheds impacted by agricultural pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurley, J. W.; Showers, W. J.; Osburn, C. L.; Levine, J. F.

    2011-12-01

    Elevated nitrate levels in many aquatic systems can be related to changes in land use/land cover and agricultural practices. However, these relations are often based on synoptic point sampling of independent drainage basins, neglecting in-stream processes that may affect nitrate dynamics upstream and resulting in correlations based on large spatial coverage. Understanding regional trends and implementing effective management strategies are hindered by the inability to determine the sources and dynamics of nitrate over stream reaches at small scales. To address this issue, continuous downstream measurements were made on two low-order streams draining small watersheds of mixed agricultural and natural land cover. Small, yet significant changes in nitrate concentration were observed at river lengths ranging from a few hundred meters to kilometers. This variability was related to the inputs of smaller streams and artificial drainages as well as the presence of natural dams. These patterns represent downstream nitrate variation as a stepped progression with little to no gradual in-stream processing over short distances. On both streams, average nitrate concentration downstream of inputs showed a positive correlation with proportion of agricultural land use within the input drainage basin while proportion of wetland cover correlated negatively with nitrate concentration in one stream. Reduction of nitrate downstream of natural dams indicates that these structures may serve as zones of nitrate removal in these low-order streams. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of nitrate and suggest that small-scale terrestrial and in-stream processes are of ecological importance when determining riverine nitrate influences in agricultural watersheds.

  17. Assessment of Agricultural Water Management in Punjab, India using Bayesian Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, T. A.; Devineni, N.; Lall, U.; Sidhu, R.

    2013-12-01

    The success of the Green Revolution in Punjab, India is threatened by the declining water table (approx. 1 m/yr). Punjab, a major agricultural supplier for the rest of India, supports irrigation with a canal system and groundwater, which is vastly over-exploited. Groundwater development in many districts is greater than 200% the annual recharge rate. The hydrologic data required to complete a mass-balance model are not available for this region, therefore we use Bayesian methods to estimate hydrologic properties and irrigation requirements. Using the known values of precipitation, total canal water delivery, crop yield, and water table elevation, we solve for each unknown parameter (often a coefficient) using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. Results provide regional estimates of irrigation requirements and groundwater recharge rates under observed climate conditions (1972 to 2002). Model results are used to estimate future water availability and demand to help inform agriculture management decisions under projected climate conditions. We find that changing cropping patterns for the region can maintain food production while balancing groundwater pumping with natural recharge. This computational method can be applied in data-scarce regions across the world, where agricultural water management is required to resolve competition between food security and changing resource availability.

  18. New trends in robotics for agriculture: integration and assessment of a real fleet of robots.

    PubMed

    Emmi, Luis; Gonzalez-de-Soto, Mariano; Pajares, Gonzalo; Gonzalez-de-Santos, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Computer-based sensors and actuators such as global positioning systems, machine vision, and laser-based sensors have progressively been incorporated into mobile robots with the aim of configuring autonomous systems capable of shifting operator activities in agricultural tasks. However, the incorporation of many electronic systems into a robot impairs its reliability and increases its cost. Hardware minimization, as well as software minimization and ease of integration, is essential to obtain feasible robotic systems. A step forward in the application of automatic equipment in agriculture is the use of fleets of robots, in which a number of specialized robots collaborate to accomplish one or several agricultural tasks. This paper strives to develop a system architecture for both individual robots and robots working in fleets to improve reliability, decrease complexity and costs, and permit the integration of software from different developers. Several solutions are studied, from a fully distributed to a whole integrated architecture in which a central computer runs all processes. This work also studies diverse topologies for controlling fleets of robots and advances other prospective topologies. The architecture presented in this paper is being successfully applied in the RHEA fleet, which comprises three ground mobile units based on a commercial tractor chassis.

  19. Emergy assessment of three home courtyard agriculture production systems in Tibet Autonomous Region, China.

    PubMed

    Guan, Fa-Chun; Sha, Zhi-Peng; Zhang, Yu-Yang; Wang, Jun-Feng; Wang, Chao

    2016-08-01

    Home courtyard agriculture is an important model of agricultural production on the Tibetan plateau. Because of the sensitive and fragile plateau environment, it needs to have optimal performance characteristics, including high sustainability, low environmental pressure, and high economic benefit. Emergy analysis is a promising tool for evaluation of the environmental-economic performance of these production systems. In this study, emergy analysis was used to evaluate three courtyard agricultural production models: Raising Geese in Corn Fields (RGICF), Conventional Corn Planting (CCP), and Pea-Wheat Rotation (PWR). The results showed that the RGICF model produced greater economic benefits, and had higher sustainability, lower environmental pressure, and higher product safety than the CCP and PWR models. The emergy yield ratio (EYR) and emergy self-support ratio (ESR) of RGICF were 0.66 and 0.11, respectively, lower than those of the CCP production model, and 0.99 and 0.08, respectively, lower than those of the PWR production model. The impact of RGICF (1.45) on the environment was lower than that of CCP (2.26) and PWR (2.46). The emergy sustainable indices (ESIs) of RGICF were 1.07 and 1.02 times higher than those of CCP and PWR, respectively. With regard to the emergy index of product safety (EIPS), RGICF had a higher safety index than those of CCP and PWR. Overall, our results suggest that the RGICF model is advantageous and provides higher environmental benefits than the CCP and PWR systems.

  20. Assessment of benefits and risks of landfill materials for agriculture in Eritrea.

    PubMed

    Tesfai, Mehreteab; Dresher, Silke

    2009-02-01

    In Eritrea, farmers have applied landfill materials as fertiliser to their fields for several decades. A sampling scheme in the landfill site of Asmara and selected farmers' fields was carried out to investigate the benefits and risks of using landfill materials for agriculture. Soil samples were collected from farmers' fields (7 samples) and from the Asmara landfill site (12 samples). The samples were analysed for major plant nutrients, heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Hg and Zn), and some physical properties. Nearly 65% (by weight) of the total landfill material mined from the landfill site constituted waste fractions of various substances. The remaining 35% was composed of soil-like materials, which are apparently used to fertilize agricultural soils. The average organic matter, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus contents of soils with landfill material measured 2.4%, 0.13%, and 45 mg kg(-1), respectively. However, soils without landfill material consisted of 1.1 % organic matter, 0.04% total N, and <40 mg kg(-1) of available P. Except for Hg, all the other heavy metals in the landfill site showed values above the permissible limits. In particular, the average concentrations of Cu (913 mg kg(-1)) and Pb (598 mg kg(-1)) in the landfill site were nine-fold and four-fold greater than the allowable limits, respectively. It is, therefore, suggested that composting fresh organic wastes should be considered and tested as an alternative material for fertilising agricultural soils and to maintain the quality of the environment.

  1. New Trends in Robotics for Agriculture: Integration and Assessment of a Real Fleet of Robots

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-de-Soto, Mariano; Pajares, Gonzalo

    2014-01-01

    Computer-based sensors and actuators such as global positioning systems, machine vision, and laser-based sensors have progressively been incorporated into mobile robots with the aim of configuring autonomous systems capable of shifting operator activities in agricultural tasks. However, the incorporation of many electronic systems into a robot impairs its reliability and increases its cost. Hardware minimization, as well as software minimization and ease of integration, is essential to obtain feasible robotic systems. A step forward in the application of automatic equipment in agriculture is the use of fleets of robots, in which a number of specialized robots collaborate to accomplish one or several agricultural tasks. This paper strives to develop a system architecture for both individual robots and robots working in fleets to improve reliability, decrease complexity and costs, and permit the integration of software from different developers. Several solutions are studied, from a fully distributed to a whole integrated architecture in which a central computer runs all processes. This work also studies diverse topologies for controlling fleets of robots and advances other prospective topologies. The architecture presented in this paper is being successfully applied in the RHEA fleet, which comprises three ground mobile units based on a commercial tractor chassis. PMID:25143976

  2. Emergy assessment of three home courtyard agriculture production systems in Tibet Autonomous Region, China*

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Fa-chun; Sha, Zhi-peng; Zhang, Yu-yang; Wang, Jun-feng; Wang, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Home courtyard agriculture is an important model of agricultural production on the Tibetan plateau. Because of the sensitive and fragile plateau environment, it needs to have optimal performance characteristics, including high sustainability, low environmental pressure, and high economic benefit. Emergy analysis is a promising tool for evaluation of the environmental-economic performance of these production systems. In this study, emergy analysis was used to evaluate three courtyard agricultural production models: Raising Geese in Corn Fields (RGICF), Conventional Corn Planting (CCP), and Pea-Wheat Rotation (PWR). The results showed that the RGICF model produced greater economic benefits, and had higher sustainability, lower environmental pressure, and higher product safety than the CCP and PWR models. The emergy yield ratio (EYR) and emergy self-support ratio (ESR) of RGICF were 0.66 and 0.11, respectively, lower than those of the CCP production model, and 0.99 and 0.08, respectively, lower than those of the PWR production model. The impact of RGICF (1.45) on the environment was lower than that of CCP (2.26) and PWR (2.46). The emergy sustainable indices (ESIs) of RGICF were 1.07 and 1.02 times higher than those of CCP and PWR, respectively. With regard to the emergy index of product safety (EIPS), RGICF had a higher safety index than those of CCP and PWR. Overall, our results suggest that the RGICF model is advantageous and provides higher environmental benefits than the CCP and PWR systems. PMID:27487808

  3. Implementation and assessment of turbine wake models in the Weather Research and Forecasting model for both mesoscale and large-eddy simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, M; Mirocha, J; Lundquist, J; Cleve, J

    2010-03-03

    Flow dynamics in large wind projects are influenced by the turbines located within. The turbine wakes, regions characterized by lower wind speeds and higher levels of turbulence than the surrounding free stream flow, can extend several rotor diameters downstream, and may meander and widen with increasing distance from the turbine. Turbine wakes can also reduce the power generated by downstream turbines and accelerate fatigue and damage to turbine components. An improved understanding of wake formation and transport within wind parks is essential for maximizing power output and increasing turbine lifespan. Moreover, the influence of wakes from large wind projects on neighboring wind farms, agricultural activities, and local climate are all areas of concern that can likewise be addressed by wake modeling. This work describes the formulation and application of an actuator disk model for studying flow dynamics of both individual turbines and arrays of turbines within wind projects. The actuator disk model is implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, which is an open-source atmospheric simulation code applicable to a wide range of scales, from mesoscale to large-eddy simulation. Preliminary results demonstrate the applicability of the actuator disk model within WRF to a moderately high-resolution large-eddy simulation study of a small array of turbines.

  4. SEASAT economic assessment. Volume 9: Ports and harbors case study and generalization. [economic benefits of SEASAT satellites to harbors and shipping industries through improved weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    This case study and generalization quantify benefits made possible through improved weather forecasting resulting from the integration of SEASAT data into local weather forecasts. The major source of avoidable economic losses to shipping from inadequate weather forecasting data is shown to be dependent on local precipitation forecasting. The ports of Philadelphia and Boston were selected for study.

  5. Multi-disciplinary assessments of climate change impacts on agriculture to support adaptation decision making in developing countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujisawa, Mariko; Kanamaru, Hideki

    2016-04-01

    Many existing climate change impact studies, carried out by academic researchers, are disconnected from decision making processes of stakeholders. On the other hand many climate change adaptation projects in developing countries lack a solid evidence base of current and future climate impacts as well as vulnerabilities assessment at different scales. In order to fill this information gap, FAO has developed and implemented a tool "MOSAICC (Modelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change)" in several developing countries such as Morocco, the Philippines and Peru, and recently in Malawi and Zambia. MOSAICC employs a multi-disciplinary assessment approach to addressing climate change impacts and adaptation planning in the agriculture and food security sectors, and integrates five components from different academic disciplines: 1. Statistical downscaling of climate change projections, 2. Yield simulation of major crops at regional scale under climate change, 3. Surface hydrology simulation model, 4. Macroeconomic model, and 5. Forestry model. Furthermore MOSAICC has been developed as a capacity development tool for the national scientists so that they can conduct the country assessment themselves, using their own data, and reflect the outcome into the national adaptation policies. The outputs are nation-wide coverage, disaggregated at sub-national level to support strategic planning, investments and decisions by national policy makers. MOSAICC is designed in such a way to promote stakeholders' participation and strengthen technical capacities in developing countries. The paper presents MOSAICC and projects that used MOSAICC as a tool with case studies from countries.

  6. An Integrated Greenhouse Gas Assessment of an Alternative to Slash-and-Burn Agriculture in Eastern Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, E. A.; Sá, T. D.; Carvalho, C. J.; Figueiredo, R. D.; Kato, M. D.; Kato, O. R.; Ishida, F. Y.

    2007-12-01

    Fires set for slash-and-burn agriculture contribute to the current unsustainable accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases, and they also deplete the soil of essential nutrients, which compromises agricultural sustainability at local scales. Integrated assessments of greenhouse gas emissions have compared intensive cropping systems in industrialized countries, but such assessments have not been applied to common cropping systems of smallholder farmers in developing countries. We report an integrated assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in slash-and-burn agriculture and an alternative chop-and-mulch system in the Amazon Basin. The soil consumed atmospheric methane under slash-and-burn treatment and became a net emitter of methane to the atmosphere under the mulch treatment. Mulching also caused about a 50 percent increase in soil emissions of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide and required use of fertilizer and fuel for farm machinery. Despite these significantly higher emissions of greenhouse gases during the cropping phase under the alternative chop- and-mulch system, calculated pyrogenic emissions in the slash-and-burn system were much larger, especially for methane. The global warming potential CO2-equivalent emissions calculated for the entire crop cycles were at least five times lower in chop-and-mulch compared to slash-and-burn and were dominated by differences in methane emissions. The crop yields were similar for the two systems. While economic and logistical considerations remain to be worked out for alternatives to slash-and-burn, these results demonstrate a potential "win-win" strategy for maintaining soil fertility and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions, thus simultaneously contributing to sustainability at both spatial scales.

  7. Olivine weathering in soil, and its effects on growth and nutrient uptake in Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.): a pot experiment.

    PubMed

    ten Berge, Hein F M; van der Meer, Hugo G; Steenhuizen, Johan W; Goedhart, Paul W; Knops, Pol; Verhagen, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Mineral carbonation of basic silicate minerals regulates atmospheric CO(2) on geological time scales by locking up carbon. Mining and spreading onto the earth's surface of fast-weathering silicates, such as olivine, has been proposed to speed up this natural CO(2) sequestration ('enhanced weathering'). While agriculture may offer an existing infrastructure, weathering rate and impacts on soil and plant are largely unknown. Our objectives were to assess weathering of olivine in soil, and its effects on plant growth and nutrient uptake. In a pot experiment with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), weathering during 32 weeks was inferred from bioavailability of magnesium (Mg) in soil and plant. Olivine doses were equivalent to 1630 (OLIV1), 8150, 40700 and 204000 (OLIV4) kg ha(-1). Alternatively, the soluble Mg salt kieserite was applied for reference. Olivine increased plant growth (+15.6%) and plant K concentration (+16.5%) in OLIV4. At all doses, olivine increased bioavailability of Mg and Ni in soil, as well as uptake of Mg, Si and Ni in plants. Olivine suppressed Ca uptake. Weathering estimated from a Mg balance was equivalent to 240 kg ha(-1) (14.8% of dose, OLIV1) to 2240 kg ha(-1) (1.1%, OLIV4). This corresponds to gross CO(2) sequestration of 290 to 2690 kg ha(-1) (29 10(3) to 269 10(3) kg km(-2).) Alternatively, weathering estimated from similarity with kieserite treatments ranged from 13% to 58% for OLIV1. The Olsen model for olivine carbonation predicted 4.0% to 9.0% weathering for our case, independent of olivine dose. Our % values observed at high doses were smaller than this, suggesting negative feedbacks in soil. Yet, weathering appears fast enough to support the 'enhanced weathering' concept. In agriculture, olivine doses must remain within limits to avoid imbalances in plant nutrition, notably at low Ca availability; and to avoid Ni accumulation in soil and crop.

  8. Can enhanced weathering remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to prevent climate change? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renforth, P.; Pogge von Strandmann, P.; Henderson, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    On long timescales, silicate weathering provides the ultimate sink for CO2 released by volcanic degassing and, because the rate of such weathering is temperature dependant, this sink is thought to respond to climate change to provide a strong negative feedback stabilising Earth's climate. An increase of global weathering rates is expected in response to anthropogenic warming and this increased weathering will ultimately (on the timescale of hundreds of thousands of years) serve to remove additional CO2 and return the climate system to lower temperatures. Some have proposed that accelerating this natural process by adding ground minerals to the land surface may help to prevent climate change. However, a major challenge in assessing such a proposal is the lack of experimental kinetic data for minerals added to the environment. Here we will present results from an experiment in which a forsterite rich olivine (Mg2SiO4) was added to the top of a soil column extracted from an agricultural field. A solution was passed through the columns over a period of 5 months and the drainage waters were collected and analysed. The greater flux of Mg measured eluting from the treated soil can be used to constrain the weathering rate of the olivine. A weathering rate can be determined by normalising the rate of magnesium flux to the surface area of olivine in the soil. By combining this information with a simple shrinking core model, we can estimate that an average particle size less than 1 μm would be required in order for the olivine to completely dissolve in a year. Therefore, the energy requirements for enhanced weathering are large >2 GJ(electrical) per net tonne of CO2 sequestered, but it is at least comparable to direct air capture technologies. These preliminary results suggest limited carbon capture potential for enhanced weathering in temperate agricultural soils. However, some environments may be better suited (e.g. humid tropical agricultural soils) and additional

  9. A spatially-explicit data driven approach to assess the effect of agricultural land occupation on species groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elshout, P.; van Zelm, R.; Karuppiah, R.; Laurenzi, I.; Huijbregts, M.

    2013-12-01

    Change of vegetation cover and increased land use intensity can directly affect the natural habitat and the wildlife it houses. The actual impact of agricultural land use is region specific as crops are grown under various climatic conditions and ways of cultivation and refining. Furthermore, growing a specific crop in a tropical region may require clearance of rainforest while the same crop may replace natural grasslands in temperate regions. Within life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), methods to address impacts of land use on a global scale are still in need of development. We aim to extend existing methods to improve the robustness of LCIA by allowing spatial differentiation of agricultural land use impacts. The goal of this study is to develop characterization factors for the direct impact of land use on biodiversity, which results from the replacement of natural habitat with farmland. The characterization factor expresses the change in species richness under crop cultivation compared to the species richness in the natural situation over a certain area. A second goal was to identify the differences in impacts caused by cultivation of different crop types, sensitivity of different taxonomic groups, and differences in natural land cover. Empirical data on species richness were collected from literature for both natural reference situations and agricultural land use situations. Reference situations were selected on an ecoregion or biome basis. We calculated characterization factors for four crop groups (oil palm, low crops, cereals, and perennial grasses), four species groups (arthropods, birds, mammals, vascular plants), and six biomes.

  10. Selected findings and current perspectives on urban and agricultural water quality by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2001-01-01

    Studies by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program in the last decade describe water-quality conditions in nearly 120 agricultural and 35 urban watersheds ('urban' primarily refers to residential and commercial development over the last 50 years). The findings show that for both urban and agricultural areas, nonpoint chemical contamination is an issue. Much work still needs to be done in urban areas with point source contamination as well, including infrastructure improvements. Appreciable improvements in overall water quality, however, will depend upon effective management of point and nonpoint sources. The findings show that nonpoint chemical contamination is an agricultural and urban issue. Whereas a lot of work still needs to be pursued with point source contamination and infrastructure improvements in urban areas (such as related to combined and sanitary sewer overflows), appreciable improvements in water quality also will depend upon management of nonpoint sources. The NAWQA findings also show that water-quality conditions and aquatic health reflect a complex combination of land and chemical use, land-management practices, population density and watershed development, and natural features, such as soils, geology, hydrology, and climate. Contaminant concentrations vary from season to season and from watershed to watershed. Even among seemingly similar land uses and sources of contamination, different areas can have very different degrees of vulnerability and, therefore, have different rates at which improved treatment or management can lead to water-quality improvements.

  11. Assessment of alternative land management practices using hydrological simulation and a decision support tool: Arborea agricultural region, Sardinia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cau, P.; Paniconi, C.

    2007-11-01

    Quantifying the impact of land use on water supply and quality is a primary focus of environmental management. In this work we apply a semidistributed hydrological model (SWAT) to predict the impact of different land management practices on water and agricultural chemical yield over a long period of time for a study site situated in the Arborea region of central Sardinia, Italy. The physical processes associated with water movement, crop growth, and nutrient cycling are directly modeled by SWAT. The model simulations are used to identify indicators that reflect critical processes related to the integrity and sustainability of the ecosystem. Specifically we focus on stream quality and quantity indicators associated with anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution. A multicriteria decision support system is then used to develop the analysis matrix where water quality and quantity indicators for the rivers, lagoons, and soil are combined with socio-economic variables. The DSS is used to assess four options involving alternative watersheds designated for intensive agriculture and dairy farming and the use or not of treated wastewater for irrigation. Our analysis suggests that of the four options, the most widely acceptable consists in the transfer of intensive agricultural practices to the larger watershed, which is less vulnerable, in tandem with wastewater reuse, which rates highly due to water scarcity in this region of the Mediterranean. More generally, the work demonstrates how both qualitative and quantitative methods and information can assist decision making in complex settings.

  12. Influence of weather conditions on hiking behavior.

    PubMed

    Li, Ching; Lin, Shu-Hua

    2012-07-01

    This study determines the major weather factors affecting hiking activity and builds a prediction model to estimate participation. An empirical assessment of hiking participation using weather factors was demonstrated for trails on Kuanyin Mountain, Taiwan. By adapting the concepts of the range of tolerance and the eclectic model, a nonlinear function was used to explain hiking participation with weather factors. Stepwise multiple-regression analysis was carried out to determine the major weather factors affecting hiking participation. The results indicate that not only did participation vary with the season but hiking behavior was affected by different weather factors in each season. The explanation rates for the seasons exceeded 90% except that for spring.

  13. Influence of weather conditions on hiking behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ching; Lin, Shu-Hua

    2012-07-01

    This study determines the major weather factors affecting hiking activity and builds a prediction model to estimate participation. An empirical assessment of hiking participation using weather factors was demonstrated for trails on Kuanyin Mountain, Taiwan. By adapting the concepts of the range of tolerance and the eclectic model, a nonlinear function was used to explain hiking participation with weather factors. Stepwise multiple-regression analysis was carried out to determine the major weather factors affecting hiking participation. The results indicate that not only did participation vary with the season but hiking behavior was affected by different weather factors in each season. The explanation rates for the seasons exceeded 90% except that for spring.

  14. Integrated Modeling to Assess the Impacts of Changes in Climate and Socio Economics on Agriculture in the Columbia River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopalan, K.; Chinnayakanahalli, K.; Adam, J. C.; Malek, K.; Nelson, R.; Stockle, C.; Brady, M.; Dinesh, S.; Barber, M. E.; Yorgey, G.; Kruger, C.

    2012-12-01

    The objective of this work is to assess the impacts of climate change and socio economics on agriculture in the Columbia River basin (CRB) in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and a portion of Southwestern Canada. The water resources of the CRB are managed to satisfy multiple objectives including agricultural withdrawal, which is the largest consumptive user of CRB water with 14,000 square kilometers of irrigated area. Agriculture is an important component of the region's economy, with an annual value over 5 billion in Washington State alone. Therefore, the region is relevant for applying a modeling framework that can aid agriculture decision making in the context of a changing climate. To do this, we created an integrated biophysical and socio-economic regional modeling framework that includes human and natural systems. The modeling framework captures the interactions between climate, hydrology, crop growth dynamics, water management and socio economics. The biophysical framework includes a coupled macro-scale physically-based hydrology model (the Variable Infiltration Capacity, VIC model), and crop growth model (CropSyst), as well as a reservoir operations simulation model. Water rights data and instream flow target requirements are also incorporated in the model to simulate the process of curtailment during water shortage. The economics model informs the biophysical model of the short term agricultural producer response to water shortage as well as the long term agricultural producer response to domestic growth and international trade in terms of an altered cropping pattern. The modeling framework was applied over the CRB for the historical period 1976-2006 and compared to a future 30-year period centered on the 2030s. Impacts of climate change on irrigation water availability, crop irrigation demand, frequency of curtailment, and crop yields are quantified and presented. Sensitivity associated with estimates of water availability, irrigation demand, crop

  15. Assessing the impact of space weather on the electric power grid based on insurance claims for industrial electrical equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schrijver, C. J.; Dobbins, R.; Murtagh, W.; Petrinec, S. M.

    2014-07-01

    Geomagnetically induced currents are known to induce disturbances in the electric power grid. Here we perform a statistical analysis of 11,242 insurance claims from 2000 through 2010 for equipment losses and related business interruptions in North American commercial organizations that are associated with damage to, or malfunction of, electrical and electronic equipment. We find that claim rates are elevated on days with elevated geomagnetic activity by approximately 20% for the top 5% and by about 10% for the top third of most active days ranked by daily maximum variability of the geomagnetic field. When focusing on the claims explicitly attributed to electrical surges (amounting to more than half the total sample), we find that the dependence of claim rates on geomagnetic activity mirrors that of major disturbances in the U.S. high-voltage electric power grid. The claim statistics thus reveal that large-scale geomagnetic variability couples into the low-voltage power distribution network and that related power-quality variations can cause malfunctions and failures in electrical and electronic devices that, in turn, lead to an estimated 500 claims per average year within North America. We discuss the possible magnitude of the full economic impact associated with quality variations in electrical power associated with space weather.

  16. Assessing the cumulative effect of the weather variability on wetlands and the hydrological connection between wetlands and downstream waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeo, I. Y.; Lang, M. W.; Lee, S.; Mccarty, G.; Peng, Y.; Huang, C.

    2014-12-01

    Wetlands are crucial ecosystem features that provide important ecological benefits to improve water quality and reduce the climate change impact. This ecosystem functioning of wetlands is largely dependent upon their hydrological characteristics and linkage to the downstream waters. However, the cumulative impacts of the climate on wetlands and the hydrological connection between wetlands and downstream waters have been rarely quantified at the landscape scale. This study reports findings from time series satellite observation that can illustrate the changes in extent of wetland inundation at a high spatial resolution (30-m) over the period 1985-2010. This remote sensing based observation provides crucial information to gain insights onto inter-annual variability of inundation dynamics, and we analyze this product with the drought indices, streamflows, the USFS NWI-hydrologic modifier. This study focuses on natural palustrine wetlands, densely distributed in the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW). We observe inundation patterns change in response to the weather variability, and it is proportionally related to the downstream flow discharge. While those wetlands with a longer hydro-period (i.e., permanently ponded wetlands during the growing season) show the strongest relationship with stream discharge (including baseflow, contributed from the shallow groundwater), inundation patterns of headwater/isolated wetlands are also strongly related to stream discharge. It shows the strong relationship between wetlands and downstream water regardless of geographic isolation and their mutual reliance on groundwater. The study provides the support for the conservation of wetlands through section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

  17. Assessing the interactions among U.S. climate policy, biomass energy, and agricultural trade

    SciTech Connect

    Wise, Marshall A.; McJeon, Haewon C.; Calvin, Katherine V.; Clarke, Leon E.; Kyle, G. Page

    2014-09-01

    Energy from biomass is potentially an important contributor to U.S. climate change mitigation efforts. However, an important consideration to large-scale implementation of bioenergy is that the production of biomass competes with other uses of land. This includes traditionally economically productive uses, such as agriculture and forest products, as well as storage of carbon in forests and non-commercial lands. In addition, in the future, biomass may be more easily traded, meaning that increased U.S. reliance on bioenergy could come with it greater reliance on imported energy. Several approaches could be implemented to address these issues, including limits on U.S. biomass imports and protection of U.S. and global forests. This paper explores these dimensions of bioenergy’s role in U.S. climate policy and the relationship to these alternative measures for ameliorating the trade and land use consequences of bioenergy. It first demonstrates that widespread use of biomass in the U.S. could lead to imports; and it highlights that the relative stringency of domestic and international carbon mitigation policy will heavily influence the degree to which it is imported. Next, it demonstrates that while limiting biomass imports would prevent any reliance on other countries for this energy supply, it would most likely alter the balance of trade in other agricultural products against which biomass competes; for example, it might turn the U.S. from a corn exporter to a corn importer. Finally, it shows that increasing efforts to protect both U.S. and international forests could also affect the balance of trade in other agricultural products.

  18. ASSESSMENT OF RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL NONPOINT SOURCE PESTICIDE RUNOFF IN ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) runoff may result in significant discharges of pesticides, suspended sediments, and fertilizers into estuarine habitats adjacent to agricultural areas or downstream from agricultural watersheds. Exposure of estuarine fin fish and shellfish to to...

  19. Assessing the impacts of agricultural change on soil erosion over the last century: a multi-model ensemble approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellami, Haykel; Smith, Hugh; Sangster, Heather; Riley, Mark; Chiverrell, Richard; Boyle, John

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion models (SEMs) are valuable tools for understanding the links between past agricultural practices and soil erosion. Use of SEMs allows assessment of impacts from agricultural change over timescales that exceed instrumental records but correspond to periods for which considerable land use and climate information are available. Here, we develop a modelling framework to investigate the potential impacts of changes in agricultural practices and climate on soil erosion and sediment transport over the last 100 years in six lake catchments in Britain spanning upland and lowland environments. The modelling platform comprises a multi-model ensemble of derivatives of the Morgan-Morgan-Finney (MMF) and RUSLE models. Simulation of change in land use/land cover (LULC), drainage features, crop rotation and livestock grazing are accounted for by reconstructing LULC maps from 1888 to 2007. Reconstructions of climatic conditions combine multiple records using regression and artificial neural network techniques to derive long-term daily precipitation and temperature series from 1880 to present. The modelling platform uses a grid-based modelling approach to handle the spatial distribution and heterogeneity in LULC, soil and topographic information. For each soil type, a database of physical parameters was created by combining information from the literature, LandIS soil database and pedotransfer functions. At each grid cell, a rainfall-Runoff (RR) model based on saturation excess runoff generation mechanisms provides daily soil moisture content. Furthermore, the modelling platform encompasses a crop cover model (CC) based on the Heat Unit approach developed to simulate daily Leaf Area Index for each crop type. Both the RR and CC models are used to update the canopy and ground cover parameters. In the absence of long-term river monitoring data, lake sediment records are used to compare the multi-model simulations thus creating a baseline from which to project impacts from

  20. Assessment of Filter Materials for Removal of Contaminants From Agricultural Drainage Waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allred, B. J.

    2007-12-01

    Fertilizer nutrients and pesticides applied on farm fields, especially in the Midwest U.S., are commonly intercepted by buried agricultural drainage pipes and then discharged into local streams and lakes, oftentimes resulting in an adverse environmental impact on these surface water bodies. Low cost filter materials have the potential to remove nutrient and pesticide contaminants from agricultural drainage waters before these waters are released from the farm site. Batch tests were conducted to find filter materials potentially capable of removing nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) and pesticide (atrazine) contaminants from subsurface drainage waters. For each batch test, stock solution (40 g) and filter material (5 g) were combined in 50 mL Teflon centrifuge tubes and mixed with a rotator for 24 hours. The stock solution contained 50 mg/L nitrate-N, 0.25 mg/L phosphate-P, 0.4 mg/L atrazine, 570 mg/L calcium sulfate, and 140 mg/L potassium chloride. Calcium sulfate and potassium chloride were added so that the stock solution would contain anions and cations normally found in agricultural drainage waters. There were six replicate batch tests for each filter material. At the completion of each test, solution was removed from the centrifuge tube and analyzed for nitrate-N, phosphate-P, and atrazine. A total of 38 filter materials were tested, which were divided into five classes; high carbon content substances, high iron content substances, high aluminum content substances, surfactant modified clay/zeolite, and coal combustion products. Batch test results generally indicate, that with regard to the five classes of filter materials; high carbon content substances adsorbed atrazine very effectively; high iron content substances worked especially well removing almost all of the phosphate present; high aluminum content substances lowered phosphate levels; surfactant modified clay/zeolite substantially reduced both nitrate and atrazine; and coal combustion products

  1. Forecasting the Weather.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bollinger, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Presents a computer program which predicts the weather based on student input of such weather data as wind direction and barometric pressure. Also provides procedures for several hands-on, weather-related activities. (JN)

  2. Weather in the News.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markle, Sandra

    1989-01-01

    A discussion of TV weather forecasting introduces this article which features several hands-on science activities involving observing, researching, and experimenting with the weather. A reproducible worksheet on the reliability of weather forecasts is included. (IAH)

  3. Assessing Pesticide Contamination to Fresh Water in Some Agricultural Sites, Close to Oaxaca City, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomas, G.

    2002-12-01

    This study presents the results of a survey on pesticides in fresh water in shallow aquifers, rivers and dams in Zaachila, Tlacolula and Etla and agricultural valleys close to Oaxaca City, SW of Mexico. In the study zones, there are generalized uses of pesticides and the impact on the water resources by inadequate use of agricultural activities. Water is used for irrigation and drinking. Surveying criteria was to sample the aquifer (production wells), its water table (dig wells) and a regional water collector (Plan Benito Juarez Yuayapan dam). A total of 14 samples were analyzed for the identification and quantification of organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticides. Method was 508-EPA. Gas chromatographer was a 5890 series II Hewlett Packard, calibrated with several patterns. Results: 10 samples are contaminated with some pesticide of the used patterns; Dieldrin, Chlordano, Malathion, Mirex were not found; Traces of organophosphorus compounds were found in 8 samples, mainly Merphos, Parathion Ethylic and Disulfoton ; There was detected traces of world-forbidden insecticides as Metoxychlor, Parathion Ethylic and Disulfoton; and In one sample (Cuilapam well #1) DDT exceeds, the Mexican maximum limit for potable water (1 mg/l),

  4. Spatial organization of agricultural landscape, farming activities and hydrological risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viaud, V.; Merot, P.

    2003-04-01

    Agriculture intensification is considered as a major cause of water pollution since it has gone both with an increasing use of fertilisers and significant changes in land-use patterns. Among the prescriptions for pollution control, the management of buffer zones at the landscape scale is supported by the environmental policies, but often without consideration of the systems of human activities they are aimed at. Agricultural landscapes, with fields potentially source of pollution and buffer zones, are spatially organized and managed by farming activities. In a perspective of sustainable management, an integrating approach of environmental issues and farming activities is thus required. This approach was applied to bocage landscapes (landscapes with cultivated fields surrounded by hedgerow systems) in Brittany (Western France). Bocage landscapes are frequently encountered, especially in Europe, and many studies put forward their hydrological and hydrochemical buffer functions. Those results provide informations on the link between spatial organization of hedgerow systems and their environmental effectiveness. They enable to design models of functional bocage landscapes. The objective of this work was to pick out, among those theoretical models, the models compatible with the farming activities. The results will be presented and the additional constraints for the farming systems created by a functional landscape, from a hydrological and hydrochemical perspective, will be discussed.

  5. Assessing habitat quality for a migratory songbird wintering in natural and agricultural habitats.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew D; Sherry, Thomas W; Holmes, Richard T; Marra, Peter P

    2006-10-01

    As tropical forests are cleared, a greater proportion of migratory songbirds are forced to winter in agricultural and disturbed habitats, which, if poorer in quality than natural forests, could contribute to population declines. We compared demographic indicators of habitat quality for a focal species, the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), wintering in Jamaican citrus orchards and shade coffee plantations with those in four natural habitats: mangrove, coastal scrub, coastal palm, and dry limestone forests. Demographic measures of habitat quality included density, age and sex ratio, apparent survival, and changes in body mass. Measures of habitat quality for redstarts in citrus and coffee habitats were generally intermediate between the highest (mangrove) and lowest (dry limestone) measurements from natural habitats. The decline in mean body mass over the winter period was a strong predictor of annual survival rate among habitats, and we suggest that measures of body condition coupled with survival data provide the best measures of habitat quality for nonbreeding songbirds. Density, which is far easier to estimate, was correlated with these more labor-intensive measures, particularly in the late winter when food is likely most limiting. Thus, local density may be useful as an approximation of habitat quality for wintering migrant warblers. Our findings bolster those of previous studies based on bird abundance that suggest arboreal agricultural habitats in the tropics can be useful for the conservation of generalist, insectivorous birds, including many migratory passerines such as redstarts.

  6. The potential of agricultural practices to increase C storage in cropped soils: an assessment for France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenu, Claire; Angers, Denis; Métay, Aurélie; Colnenne, Caroline; Klumpp, Katja; Bamière, Laure; Pardon, Lenaic; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    Though large progress has been achieved in the last decades, net GHG emissions from the agricultural sector are still more poorly quantified than in other sectors. In this study, we examined i) technical mitigation options likely to store carbon in agricultural soils, ii) their potential of additional C storage per unit surface area and iii) applicable areas in mainland France. We considered only agricultural practices being technically feasible by farmers and involving no major change in either production systems or production levels. Moreover, only currently available techniques with validated efficiencies and presenting no major negative environmental impacts were taken into account. Four measures were expected to store additional C in agricultural soils: - Reducing tillage: either a switch to continuous direct seeding, direct seeding with occasional tillage once every five years, or continuous superficial (<15 cm) tillage. - Introducing cover crops in cropping systems: sown between two cash crops on arable farms, in orchards and vineyards (permanent or temporary cover cropping) . - Expanding agroforestry systems; planting of tree lines in cultivated fields and grasslands, and hedges around the field edges. - Increasing the life time of temporary sown grasslands: increase of life time to 5 years. The recent literature was reviewed in order to determine long term (>20yrs) C storage rates (MgC ha-1 y-1,) of cropping systems with and without the proposed practice. Then we analysed the conditions for potential application, in terms of feasibility, acceptance, limitation of yield losses and of other GHG emissions. According to the literature, additional C storage rates were 0.15 (0-0.3) MgC ha-1 y-1 for continuous direct seeding, 0.10 (0-0.2) MgC ha-1 y-1for occasional tillage one year in five, and 0.0 MgC ha-1 y-1 for superficial tillage. Cover crops were estimated to store 0.24 (0.13-0.37) MgC ha-1 y-1 between cash crops and 0.49 (0.23-0.72) MgC ha-1 y-1 when

  7. Survey and Risk Assessment of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Urban, Rural, and Agricultural Settings.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, T J; Culbert, E M; Felsot, A S; Hebert, V R; Sheppard, W S

    2016-04-01

    A comparative assessment of apiaries in urban, rural, and agricultural areas was undertaken in 2013 and 2014 to examine potential honey bee colony exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides from pollen foraging. Apiaries ranged in size from one to hundreds of honey bee colonies, and included those operated by commercial, sideline (semicommercial), and hobbyist beekeepers. Residues in and on wax and beebread (stored pollen in the hive) were evaluated for the nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and its olefin metabolite and the active ingredients clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran. Beebread and comb wax collected from hives in agricultural landscapes were more likely to have detectable residues of thiamethoxam and clothianidin than that collected from hives in rural or urban areas (∼50% of samples vs. <10%). The maximum neonicotinoid residue detected in either wax or beebread was 3.9 ppb imidacloprid. A probabilistic risk assessment was conducted on the residues recovered from beebread in apiaries located in commercial, urban, and rural landscapes. The calculated risk quotient based on a dietary no observable adverse effect concentration (NOAEC) suggested low potential for negative effects on bee behavior or colony health.

  8. Assessment of best management practice effects on metolachlor mitigation in an agricultural watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beasley Lake watershed in the Mississippi Delta is a 915 ha intensively cultivated watershed (49-78% in row crop production) that was monitored for the herbicide metolachlor from 1998-2009. As part of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), the watershed was assessed for the effecti...

  9. Assessing the impact of extreme air temperature on fruit trees by modeling weather dependent phenology with variety-specific thermal requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alfieri, Silvia Maria; De Lorenzi, Francesca; Missere, Daniele; Buscaroli, Claudio; Menenti, Massimo

    2013-04-01

    Extremely high and extremely low temperature may have a terminal impact on the productivity of fruit tree if occurring at critical phases of development. Notorious examples are frost during flowering or extremely high temperature during fruit setting. The dates of occurrence of such critical phenological stages depend on the weather history from the start of the yearly development cycle in late autumn, thus the impact of climate extremes can only be evaluated correctly if the phenological development is modeled taking into account the weather history of the specific year being evaluated. Climate change impact may lead to a shift in timing of phenological stages and change in the duration of vegetative and reproductive phases. A changing climate can also exhibit a greater climatic variability producing quite large changes in the frequency of extreme climatic events. We propose a two-stage approach to evaluate the impact of predicted future climate on the productivity of fruit trees. The phenological development is modeled using phase - specific thermal times and variety specific thermal requirements for several cultivars of pear, apricot and peach. These requirements were estimated using phenological observations over several years in Emilia Romagna region and scientific literature. We calculated the dates of start and end of rest completion, bud swell, flowering, fruit setting and ripening stages , from late autumn through late summer. Then phase-specific minimum and maximum cardinal temperature were evaluated for present and future climate to estimate how frequently they occur during any critically sensitive phenological phase. This analysis has been done for past climate (1961 - 1990) and fifty realizations of a year representative of future climate (2021 - 2050). A delay in rest completion of about 10-20 days has been predicted for future climate for most of the cultivars. On the other hand the predicted rise in air temperature causes an earlier development of

  10. Coupling of Bayesian Networks with GIS for wildfire risk assessment on natural and agricultural areas of the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherb, Anke; Papakosta, Panagiota; Straub, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    Wildfires cause severe damages to ecosystems, socio-economic assets, and human lives in the Mediterranean. To facilitate coping with wildfire risks, an understanding of the factors influencing wildfire occurrence and behavior (e.g. human activity, weather conditions, topography, fuel loads) and their interaction is of importance, as is the implementation of this knowledge in improved wildfire hazard and risk prediction systems. In this project, a probabilistic wildfire risk prediction model is developed, with integrated fire occurrence and fire propagation probability and potential impact prediction on natural and cultivated areas. Bayesian Networks (BNs) are used to facilitate the probabilistic modeling. The final BN model is a spatial-temporal prediction system at the meso scale (1 km2 spatial and 1 day temporal resolution). The modeled consequences account for potential restoration costs and production losses referred to forests, agriculture, and (semi-) natural areas. BNs and a geographic information system (GIS) are coupled within this project to support a semi-automated BN model parameter learning and the spatial-temporal risk prediction. The coupling also enables the visualization of prediction results by means of daily maps. The BN parameters are learnt for Cyprus with data from 2006-2009. Data from 2010 is used as validation data set. A special focus is put on the performance evaluation of the BN for fire occurrence, which is modeled as binary classifier and thus, could be validated by means of Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curves. With the final best models, AUC values of more than 70% for validation could be achieved, which indicates potential for reliable prediction performance via BN. Maps of selected days in 2010 are shown to illustrate final prediction results. The resulting system can be easily expanded to predict additional expected damages in the mesoscale (e.g. building and infrastructure damages). The system can support planning of

  11. Optimization of agricultural field workability predictions for improved risk management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Risks introduced by weather variability are key considerations in agricultural production. The sensitivity of agriculture to weather variability is of special concern in the face of climate change. In particular, the availability of workable days is an important consideration in agricultural practic...

  12. Assessment for English Language Education on the Programs at the Agricultural Engineering School of Madrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez Sinobas, Leonor; San José Martínez, Fernando; Hontoria, Kira; Adán, Angeles; Blanco, María; Calderón, Fernando; Carbonell, Victoria; Chaya, Carolina; Fondevila, Guillermo; González, Trinidad; Marín, Carmen; Mira, Sara; Molina, Antonio; Pereira, David; Quemada, Miguel; Ricote, Luis; Sánchez Monje, Rosa; Sanz, Alberto; Albir, Maria

    2014-05-01

    The convergence process among European academic degrees pursues the exchange of graduate students and the adaptation of university programs to social demand. Within the framework of the European Higher Education, European universities will need to be more competitive not only by increasing or maintaining the student enrolment, but also in their academic performance. Thus, the reinforcing of English language education within the University Programs might play an important role to reach these objectives. In this sense, a complete survey was accomplished at the Agricultural Egineering School of Madrid (ETSIA ) addressing issues such as: identification the needs for bilingual instruction at ETSIA, identification resources needed and interest and background in English language of students and professors (San José et al., 2013). The conclusions and recommendations to promote the bilingual instruction in the ETSIA, taking into account the approaches followed by other Spanish universities, are presented in this work.

  13. Current status of agricultural and rural non-point source Pollution assessment in China.

    PubMed

    Ongley, Edwin D; Xiaolan, Zhang; Tao, Yu

    2010-05-01

    Estimates of non-point source (NPS) contribution to total water pollution in China range up to 81% for nitrogen and to 93% for phosphorus. We believe these values are too high, reflecting (a) misuse of estimation techniques that were developed in America under very different conditions and (b) lack of specificity on what is included as NPS. We compare primary methods used for NPS estimation in China with their use in America. Two observations are especially notable: empirical research is limited and does not provide an adequate basis for calibrating models nor for deriving export coefficients; the Chinese agricultural situation is so different than that of the United States that empirical data produced in America, as a basis for applying estimation techniques to rural NPS in China, often do not apply. We propose a set of national research and policy initiatives for future NPS research in China.

  14. Prime agricultural land monitoring and assessment component of the California Integrated Remote Sensing System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estes, J. E.; Tinney, L. R. (Principal Investigator); Streich, T.

    1981-01-01

    The use of digital LANDSAT techniques for monitoring agricultural land use conversions was studied. Two study areas were investigated: one in Ventura County and the other in Fresno County (California). Ventura test site investigations included the use of three dates of LANDSAT data to improve classification performance beyond that previously obtained using single data techniques. The 9% improvement is considered highly significant. Also developed and demonstrated using Ventura County data is an automated cluster labeling procedure, considered a useful example of vertical data integration. Fresno County results for a single data LANDSAT classification paralleled those found in Ventura, demonstrating that the urban/rural fringe zone of most interest is a difficult environment to classify using LANDSAT data. A general raster to vector conversion program was developed to allow LANDSAT classification products to be transferred to an operational county level geographic information system in Fresno.

  15. Assessing future risks to agricultural productivity, water resources and food security: How can remote sensing help?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Knox, Jerry W.; Ozdogan, Mutlu; Gumma, Murali Krishna; Congalton, Russell G.; Wu, Zhuoting; Milesi, Cristina; Finkral, Alex; Marshall, Mike; Mariotto, Isabella; You, Songcai; Giri, Chandra; Nagler, Pamela

    2012-01-01

    of changing dietary consumption patterns, a changing climate and the growing scarcity of water and land (Beddington, 2010). The impact from these changes wi ll affect the viability of both dryland subsistence and irrigated commodity food production (Knox, et al., 2010a). Since climate is a primary determinant of agricultural productivity, any changes will influence not only crop yields, but also the hydrologic balances, and supplies of inputs to managed farming systems as well as potentially shifting the geographic location for specific crops . Unless concerted and collective action is taken, society risks worldwide food shortages, scarcity of water resources and insufficient energy. This has the potential to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and migration as people flee the worst-affected regions to seck refuge in "safe havens", a situation that Beddington described as the "perfect storm" (2010).

  16. Assessment of Ecosystem Services in a Semi-arid Agriculture-dominant Area: Framework and Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhungel, R.; Chen, Y.; Maltos, R.; Sivakumaran, K.; Aguilar, A.; Harmon, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    California's Central Valley (CV) water crisis has increased in severity due to a prolonged drought. The drought is directly contributing to the overexploitation of groundwater, along with deficiency in agricultural, recreational and aesthetic water services. The population of the CV, home to about 6.5 million people, is projected to be 12 million by 2040. Balancing water demand between municipal use, agricultural supply, and other ecosystem services, will be challenging for this region in perpetuity. In the heart of CV lies the San Joaquin River (SJR) where Friant Dam is the main low-elevation reservoir regulating water release. The Friant Dam's reservoir fulfills agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs through the Friant-Kern and Madera canals, as well as through the mainstem SJR. The SJR restoration project (SJRRP) is a recent development that is imposing additional demands on water releases in order to restore sustainable aquatic habitat for Chinook salmon and other species on the mainstem below the Friant Dam. The Chinook require adequate flow to moderate river temperature, particularly during hot summer and fall months. Temperatures on CV rivers exhibit strong diurnal and seasonal patterns, and can rise to harmful levels when flows are inadequate. In this study, we developed a framework that allows for assessing the effectiveness and implied costs of ecosystem services provided by a restored SJR in a semi-arid agriculture-dominant area. This is done by explicitly linking economics-based farmers' model with a reduced-form hydrological model that is loosely coupled to a physical-based stream-temperature model, specifically CE-QUAL-W2. The farmers' model is based on positive mathematical program approach calibrated with twenty proxy crops for year 2005. The river-hydrology is simulated by a vector autoregression model that incorporates daily flow variability. We study the mandated release policies by the SJR restoration project, along with hypothetical

  17. The anti-estrogenic activity of sediments from agriculturally intense watersheds: assessment using in vivo and in vitro assays.

    PubMed

    Sellin Jeffries, Marlo K; Conoan, Nicholas H; Cox, Marc B; Sangster, Jodi L; Balsiger, Heather A; Bridges, Andrew A; Cowman, Tim; Knight, Lindsey A; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Kolok, Alan S

    2011-09-01

    The goal of the current study was to determine whether sediments from agriculturally intense watersheds can act as a potential source of anti-estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds. The specific objectives of the current study were to determine (1) whether female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) experience alterations in endocrine function when exposed to sediments collected from agriculturally intense watersheds and (2) if these sediments display anti-estrogenic activity in an in vitro assay. In addition, sediment samples were analyzed for the presence of steroid hormones and pesticides associated with local agricultural practices. To accomplish this, sediments and water were collected from three sites within two agriculturally intense Nebraska watersheds (Bow Creek and the Elkhorn River). In 2009, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water collected from the two Bow Creek sites (East Bow Creek and the Confluence) in the laboratory, while in 2010, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water from East Bow Creek, the Confluence and the Elkhorn River. Following the 7-day exposure period, the hepatic mRNA expression of two-estrogen responsive genes, estrogen receptor α (ERα) and vitellogenin (Vtg) was determined. In 2009, females exposed to Confluence sediments, in the presence of laboratory water or Confluence water, experienced significant reductions in ERα expression relative to unexposed and Confluence water-exposed females. The defeminization of these females suggests the presence of a biologically available anti-estrogenic compound in sediments collected from this site. In 2010, sediments were assessed for anti-estrogenic activity on days 0 and 7 of the exposure period using a 4-h yeast estrogen screen. Lipophilic extracts (LEs) of day 0 sediments collected from the Confluence and the Elkhorn River induced significant reductions in the estrogenic reporter activity of treated yeast cultures suggesting the presence of a lipophilic anti

  18. The anti-estrogenic activity of sediments from agriculturally-intense watersheds: Assessment using in vivo and in vitro assays

    PubMed Central

    Sellin Jeffries, Marlo K.; Conoan, Nicholas H.; Cox, Marc B.; Sangster, Jodi L.; Balsiger, Heather A.; Bridges, Andrew A.; Cowman, Tim; Knight, Lindsey A.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L.; Kolok, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the current study was to determine whether sediments from agriculturally-intense watersheds can act as a potential source of anti-estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds. The specific objectives of the current study were to determine 1) whether female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) experience alterations in endocrine function when exposed to sediments collected from agriculturally-intense watersheds and 2) if these sediments display anti-estrogenic activity in an in vitro assay. In addition, sediment samples were analyzed for the presence of steroid hormones and pesticides associated with local agricultural practices. To accomplish this, sediments and water were collected from three sites within two agriculturally-intense Nebraska watersheds (Bow Creek and the Elkhorn River). In 2009, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water collected from the two Bow Creek sites (East Bow Creek and the Confluence) in the laboratory, while in 2010, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water from East Bow Creek, the Confluence and the Elkhorn River. Following the 7-d exposure period, the hepatic mRNA expression of two-estrogen responsive genes, estrogen receptor α (ERα) and vitellogenin (Vtg) was determined. In 2009, females exposed to Confluence sediments, in the presence of laboratory water or Confluence water, experienced significant reductions in ERα expression relative to unexposed and Confluence water-exposed females. The defeminization of these females suggests the presence of a biologically-available anti-estrogenic compound in sediments collected from this site. In 2010, sediments were assessed for anti-estrogenic activity on days 0 and 7 of the exposure period using a four-hour yeast estrogen screen. Lipophilic extracts (LEs) of day 0 sediments collected from the Confluence and the Elkhorn River induced significant reductions in the estrogenic reporter activity of treated yeast cultures suggesting the presence of a lipophilic anti

  19. Climate change and agriculture: Current methodologies and future directions

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenzweig, C. |; Hillel, D.

    1996-12-31

    In the last fifteen years a major methodology has been developed for the assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production around the world. This methodology consists of coupling dynamic crop growth models, designed to predict plant development and yield as a function of weather, soil, and management input variables, to predictors of climate change for sites within a given region. Such impact studies consist of (1) Definition of area of study and analysis of current climate and agricultural practices; (2) Crop model calibration and evaluation; (3) Development of climate change scenarios from GCMs or historical weather data; (4) Analyses of yield changes under changed climatic conditions; and (5) Development and analysis of adaptation strategies. Crop productivity results of such studies are often used in economic analyses. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the US Country Studies Program endorse this modeling approach for the assessment of climate change effects on agriculture. It is useful for assessment studies to continue in the framework of the approved guidelines, in order to build a more complete understanding of likely effects on agricultural production throughout the world, and for more comprehensive results to be available for integrated assessment studies.

  20. Assessment of nitrogen ceilings for Dutch agricultural soils to avoid adverse environmental impacts.

    PubMed

    de Vries, W; Kros, H; Oenema, O; Erisman, J W

    2001-11-09

    In the Netherlands, high traffic density and intensive animal husbandry have led to high emissions of reactive nitrogen (N) into the environment. This leads to a series of environmental impacts, including: (1) nitrate (NO3) contamination of drinking water, (2) eutrophication of freshwater lakes, (3) acidification and biodiversity impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, (4) ozone and particle formation affecting human health, and (5) global climate change induced by emissions of N2O. Measures to control reactive N emissions were, up to now, directed towards those different environmental themes. Here we summarize the results of a study to analyse the agricultural N problem in the Netherlands in an integrated way, which means that all relevant aspects are taken into account simultaneously. A simple N balance model was developed, representing all crucial processes in the N chain, to calculate acceptable N inputs to the farm (so-called N ceiling) and to the soil surface (application in the field) by feed concentrates, organic manure, fertiliser, deposition, and N fixation. The N ceilings were calculated on the basis of critical limits for NO 3 concentrations in groundwater, N concentrations in surface water, and ammonia (NH3) emission targets related to the protection of biodiversity of natural areas. Results show that in most parts of the Netherlands, except the western and the northern part, the N ceilings are limited by NH 3 emissions, which are derived from critical N loads for nature areas, rather than limits for both ground- and surface water. On the national scale, the N ceiling ranges between 372 and 858 kton year(-1) depending on the choice of critical limits. The current N import is 848 kton year(-1). A decrease of nearly 60% is needed to reach the ceilings that are necessary to protect the environment against all adverse impacts of N pollution from agriculture.

  1. Global temperature change potential of nitrogen use in agriculture: A 50-year assessment.

    PubMed

    Fagodiya, R K; Pathak, H; Kumar, A; Bhatia, A; Jain, N

    2017-03-21

    Nitrogen (N) use in agriculture substantially alters global N cycle with the short- and long-term effects on global warming and climate change. It increases emission of nitrous oxide, which contributes 6.2%, while carbon dioxide and methane contribute 76% and 16%, respectively of the global warming. However, N causes cooling due to emission of NOx, which alters concentrations of tropospheric ozone and methane. NOx and NH3 also form aerosols with considerable cooling effects. We studied global temperature change potential (GTP) of N use in agriculture. The GTP due to N2O was 396.67 and 1168.32 Tg CO2e on a 20-year (GTP20) and 439.94 and 1295.78 Tg CO2e on 100-year scale (GTP100) during years 1961 and 2010, respectively. Cooling effects due to N use were 92.14 and 271.39 Tg CO2e (GTP20) and 15.21 and 44.80 Tg CO2e (GTP100) during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Net GTP20 was 369.44 and 1088.15 Tg CO2e and net GTP100 was 429.17 and 1264.06 Tg CO2e during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Thus net GTP20 is lower by 6.9% and GTP100 by 2.4% compared to the GTP considering N2O emission alone. The study shows that both warming and cooling effects should be considered to estimate the GTP of N use.

  2. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    PubMed

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation.

  3. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-05-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented, to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions resulting from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of fertilizer applied, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. An evaluation of EPIC-simulated crop management activities associated with fertilizer application at planting compared with similar USDA state-level event estimates shows temporally progressive spatial patterns that agree well with one another. EPIC annual inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6 % low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  4. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-10-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  5. Global temperature change potential of nitrogen use in agriculture: A 50-year assessment

    PubMed Central

    Fagodiya, R. K.; Pathak, H.; Kumar, A.; Bhatia, A.; Jain, N.

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) use in agriculture substantially alters global N cycle with the short- and long-term effects on global warming and climate change. It increases emission of nitrous oxide, which contributes 6.2%, while carbon dioxide and methane contribute 76% and 16%, respectively of the global warming. However, N causes cooling due to emission of NOx, which alters concentrations of tropospheric ozone and methane. NOx and NH3 also form aerosols with considerable cooling effects. We studied global temperature change potential (GTP) of N use in agriculture. The GTP due to N2O was 396.67 and 1168.32 Tg CO2e on a 20-year (GTP20) and 439.94 and 1295.78 Tg CO2e on 100-year scale (GTP100) during years 1961 and 2010, respectively. Cooling effects due to N use were 92.14 and 271.39 Tg CO2e (GTP20) and 15.21 and 44.80 Tg CO2e (GTP100) during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Net GTP20 was 369.44 and 1088.15 Tg CO2e and net GTP100 was 429.17 and 1264.06 Tg CO2e during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Thus net GTP20 is lower by 6.9% and GTP100 by 2.4% compared to the GTP considering N2O emission alone. The study shows that both warming and cooling effects should be considered to estimate the GTP of N use. PMID:28322322

  6. Application of soil quality indices to assess the status of agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, A.; Arcenegui, V.; García-Orenes, F.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Mataix-Beneyto, J.

    2012-12-01

    The supply of water is limited in some parts of the Mediterranean region, such as southeastern Spain. The use of treated wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural soils is an alternative to using better-quality water, especially in semi-arid regions. On the other hand, this practice can modify some soil properties, change their relationships, the equilibrium reached and influence soil quality. In this work two soil quality indices were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater in soils. The indices were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. This study was carried out in three areas of Alicante Province (SE Spain) irrigated with wastewater, including four study sites. The results showed slight changes in some soil properties as a consequence of irrigation with wastewater, the obtained levels not being dangerous for agricultural soils, and in some cases they could be considered as positive from an agronomical point of view. In one of the study sites, and as a consequence of the low quality wastewater used, a relevant increase in soil organic matter content was observed, as well as modifications in most of the soil properties. The application of soil quality indices indicated that all the soils of study sites are in a state of disequilibrium regarding the relationships between properties independent of the type of water used. However, there were no relevant differences in the soil quality indices between soils irrigated with wastewater with respect to their control sites for all except one of the sites, which corresponds to the site where low quality wastewater was used.

  7. Assessment of Saturation Patterns on Agricultural Land Using Time-lapse Photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silasari, R.; Bloeschl, G.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural land generates overland flow differently from natural environment due to features from anthropogenic activities such as cultivated soil layer and tile drain pipe. During rainfall events, the formation of overland flow may happen from infiltration excess and/or saturation excess according to the threshold processes which are influenced by rainfall characteristics and soil hydraulic parameters. The dynamics of threshold processes in varying rainfall and soil hydraulic conditions will affect the surface runoff response which can be inversely analyzed by visually observing the generated saturation patterns. This study aims to explore the use of time-lapse photographs of saturated plot during rainfall events to observe and understand the threshold processes of overland flow generation. The observation was conducted at Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) in Lower Austria with a 2 megapixels surveillance camera overlooking a 1.8 ha tile-drained agricultural field situated on a hillslope. The main tile drain pipe extends from the higher ground into the riparian area - creating a depression line which generates the main saturation track. The time-lapse photographs are able to capture the spatial and temporal dynamics of 0.1 ha saturated plot (117 m long and 10 m wide in average) during three big rainfall events in 2014 which produced measurable overland flow. The photographs also manage to capture the behavior of overland flow on tractor tracks which were generated faster than on the main saturated plot - due to the more compacted soil - and contribute significantly to the overall overland flow discharge and movements. Comparison of the photographs with on-field manual plotting shows good accuracy of the captured saturation plot and the possibility of calculating the plot area digitally. This method gives opportunity to observe overland flow generation on visual basis as a complement of the customary discharge measurements.

  8. Integrated assessment of conservation opportunities in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest Region

    SciTech Connect

    Harrer, B.J.; Lezberg, A.J.; Wilfert, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    This report documents research to identify the potential energy savings and cost per kWh saved for implementing currently available energy conservation measures in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest. A computer model that simulates the energy consumption process of irrigation systems and estimates the levelized costs of undertaking conservation investments is the primary analytical tool used in this research. Using engineering and economic input parameters for the various conservation measures that could potentially be implemented in irrigated agriculture, the Irrigation Sector Energy Planning (ISEP) model generates estimates of energy savings and cost per kWh saved for the measures. All parameters input to the ISEP model are based upon empirical field data. Results provided by the ISEP model indicate tht by the year 2003 a total of approximately 158.6 average MW of energy could potentially be saved in the Pacific Northwest irrigation sector on all sprinkler-irrigated acres. Approximately 130.4 average MW can be saved on acres currently by sprinkler, while an additional 28.2 average MW could be saved on new acres that are forecast to come under irrigation in the next 20 years. The largest share of the total savings (47%) is estimated to come from the use of low-pressure irrigation. Over 60% of the total potential savings 158.6 average MW is estimated to be available for a cost per kWh saved of 20 mills or less and over 75% could be achieved for a cost of 30 mills or less. Savings from low-pressure irrigation and the redesign of fittings and mainlines will normally cost less than 20 mills per kWh saved. Almost all of the savings that are estimated to cost more than 30 mills per kWh saved to obtain are savings from improved irrigation scheduling on irrigated acres that use surface water and have low average pumping lifts.

  9. Global temperature change potential of nitrogen use in agriculture: A 50-year assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagodiya, R. K.; Pathak, H.; Kumar, A.; Bhatia, A.; Jain, N.

    2017-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) use in agriculture substantially alters global N cycle with the short- and long-term effects on global warming and climate change. It increases emission of nitrous oxide, which contributes 6.2%, while carbon dioxide and methane contribute 76% and 16%, respectively of the global warming. However, N causes cooling due to emission of NOx, which alters concentrations of tropospheric ozone and methane. NOx and NH3 also form aerosols with considerable cooling effects. We studied global temperature change potential (GTP) of N use in agriculture. The GTP due to N2O was 396.67 and 1168.32 Tg CO2e on a 20-year (GTP20) and 439.94 and 1295.78 Tg CO2e on 100-year scale (GTP100) during years 1961 and 2010, respectively. Cooling effects due to N use were 92.14 and 271.39 Tg CO2e (GTP20) and 15.21 and 44.80 Tg CO2e (GTP100) during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Net GTP20 was 369.44 and 1088.15 Tg CO2e and net GTP100 was 429.17 and 1264.06 Tg CO2e during 1961 and 2010, respectively. Thus net GTP20 is lower by 6.9% and GTP100 by 2.4% compared to the GTP considering N2O emission alone. The study shows that both warming and cooling effects should be considered to estimate the GTP of N use.

  10. Agricultural Irrigation Demand Response Estimation Tool

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Daniel

    2014-02-01

    This program is used to model the energy demand of agricultural irrigation pumps, used to maintain soil moisture levels in irrigated fields. This modeling is accomplished using historical data from evapotranspirationmeasuring weather stations (from the California Irrigation Management Information System) as well as irrigation system characteristics for the field(s) to be modeled. The modelled energy demand is used to estimate the achievable demand response (DR) potential of the field(s), for use in assessing the value of the DR for the utility company. The program can accept input data with varying degrees of rigor, and estimate the uncertainty of the output accordingly.

  11. Agricultural drought assessment at spatial and temporal scales using remotely sensed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Yongchul; Park, Kyungwon; Rhee, Jinyoung; Yoon, Sunkwon

    2016-04-01

    We estimated soil moisture dynamics in the root zone based on a soil moisture data assimilation scheme using remotely sensed (RS) data. The data assimilation scheme estimated the soil hydraulic and root parameters from MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Then, root zone soil moisture was estimated at spatio-temporal scales based on the estimated soil/root parameters and weather forcings. We validated our approach at the Little Washita(LW13) in Oklahoma and Chungmi-cheon/Seolma-cheon sites. The estimated water retention curves identified well with the measurements at the LW 13 site. Also, the estimated root zone soil moisture dynamics showed an agreement with the Time Domain Reflectrometry(TDR)-based measured data. Furthermore, we tested this approach at ungauged regions (Seolma Cheon-SC and Chungmi Cheon-CC) South Korea indicating that the soil/root parameters at the pixel where the SC site is located were derived from the calibrated MODIS-based(the CC site) soil moisture values. Then, the estimated root zone soil moisture values were validated with the measured data at the SC site. Although the model outputs were slightly overestimated compared to the measured data, these results showed the applicability of this proposed approach in application to ungauged regions. Thus, our proposed approach can be helpful to evaluate root zone soil moisture at spatio-temporal scales across South Korea. Acknowledgement This research was partially supported by Kyungpook National University Research Fund (2015) and a grant (14AWMP-B079364-01) from Water Management Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.

  12. Assessing Youth Perceptions and Knowledge of Agriculture: The Impact of Participating in an AgVenture Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luckey, Alisa Nicole; Murphrey, Theresa Pesl; Cummins, Richard L.; Edwards, Michael B.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural education programs such as AgVenture have been established to educate youth about the importance of agriculture. The study reported here examined the direct impact that one agricultural education program, specifically AgVenture, had on youth perceptions and knowledge of agriculture. Youth's perceptions and knowledge of agriculture…

  13. Generation of Multivariate Surface Weather Series with Use of the Stochastic Weather Generator Linked to Regional Climate Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubrovsky, M.; Farda, A.; Huth, R.

    2012-12-01

    The regional-scale simulations of weather-sensitive processes (e.g. hydrology, agriculture and forestry) for the present and/or future climate often require high resolution meteorological inputs in terms of the time series of selected surface weather characteristics (typically temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, humidity, wind) for a set of stations or on a regular grid. As even the latest Global and Regional Climate Models (GCMs and RCMs) do not provide realistic representation of statistical structure of the surface weather, the model outputs must be postprocessed (downscaled) to achieve the desired statistical structure of the weather data before being used as an input to the follow-up simulation models. One of the downscaling approaches, which is employed also here, is based on a weather generator (WG), which is calibrated using the observed weather series and then modified (in case of simulations for the future climate) according to the GCM- or RCM-based climate change scenarios. The present contribution uses the parametric daily weather generator M&Rfi to follow two aims: (1) Validation of the new simulations of the present climate (1961-1990) made by the ALADIN-Climate/CZ (v.2) Regional Climate Model at 25 km resolution. The WG parameters will be derived from the RCM-simulated surface weather series and compared to those derived from observational data in the Czech meteorological stations. The set of WG parameters will include selected statistics of the surface temperature and precipitation (characteristics of the mean, variability, interdiurnal variability and extremes). (2) Testing a potential of RCM output for calibration of the WG for the ungauged locations. The methodology being examined will consist in using the WG, whose parameters are interpolated from the surrounding stations and then corrected based on a RCM-simulated spatial variability. The quality of the weather series produced by the WG calibrated in this way will be assessed in terms

  14. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Precipitation and Soil Moisture Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; Mladenova, Iliana; Fang, Fan

    2010-01-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by coordinating monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main goal of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE (See diagram below). Soil moisture is currently a primary data gap at WAOB.

  15. Examining Projected Changes in Weather & Air Quality Extremes Between 2000 & 2030 using Dynamical Downscaling

    EPA Science Inventory

    Climate change may alter regional weather extremes resulting in a range of environmental impacts including changes in air quality, water quality and availability, energy demands, agriculture, and ecology. Dynamical downscaling simulations were conducted with the Weather Research...

  16. Assessment of climate change impacts on watershed in cold-arid region: an integrated multi-GCM-based stochastic weather generator and stepwise cluster analysis method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, X. W.; Li, Y. P.; Huang, G. H.; Liu, J.

    2016-07-01

    An integrated multi-GCM-based stochastic weather generator and stepwise cluster analysis (MGCM-SWG-SCA) method is developed, through incorporating multiple global climate models (MGCM), stochastic weather generator (SWG), and stepwise-clustered hydrological model (SCHM) within a general framework. MGCM-SWG-SCA can investigate uncertainties of projected climate changes as well as create watershed-scale climate projections from large-scale variables. It can also assess climate change impacts on hydrological processes and capture nonlinear relationship between input variables and outputs in watershed systems. MGCM-SWG-SCA is then applied to the Kaidu watershed with cold-arid characteristics in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwest China, for demonstrating its efficiency. Results reveal that the variability of streamflow is mainly affected by (1) temperature change during spring, (2) precipitation change during winter, and (3) both temperature and precipitation changes in summer and autumn. Results also disclose that: (1) the projected minimum and maximum temperatures and precipitation from MGCM change with seasons in different ways; (2) various climate change projections can reproduce the seasonal variability of watershed-scale climate series; (3) SCHM can simulate daily streamflow with a satisfactory degree, and a significant increasing trend of streamflow is indicated from future (2015-2035) to validation (2006-2011) periods; (4) the streamflow can vary under different climate change projections. The findings can be explained that, for the Kaidu watershed located in the cold-arid region, glacier melt is mainly related to temperature changes and precipitation changes can directly cause the variability of streamflow.

  17. Assessment of the scale effect on statistical downscaling quality at a station scale using a weather generator-based model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The resolution of General Circulation Models (GCMs) is too coarse to assess the fine scale or site-specific impacts of climate change. Downscaling approaches including dynamical and statistical downscaling have been developed to meet this requirement. As the resolution of climate model increases, it...

  18. Weather based risks and insurances for crop production in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Anne

    2014-05-01

    Extreme weather events such as late frosts, droughts, heat waves and rain storms can have devastating effects on cropping systems. Damages due to extreme events are strongly dependent on crop type, crop stage, soil type and soil conditions. The perspective of rising risk-exposure is exacerbated further by limited aid received for agricultural damage, an overall reduction of direct income support to farmers and projected intensification of weather extremes with climate change. According to both the agriculture and finance sectors, a risk assessment of extreme weather events and their impact on cropping systems is needed. The impact of extreme weather events particularly during the sensitive periods of the farming calendar requires a modelling approach to capture the mixture of non-linear interactions between the crop, its environment and the occurrence of the meteorological event. The risk of soil moisture deficit increases towards harvesting, such that drought stress occurs in spring and summer. Conversely, waterlogging occurs mostly during early spring and autumn. Risks of temperature stress appear during winter and spring for chilling and during summer for heat. Since crop development is driven by thermal time and photoperiod, the regional crop model REGCROP (Gobin, 2010) enabled to examine the likely frequency, magnitude and impacts of frost, drought, heat stress and waterlogging in relation to the cropping season and crop sensitive stages. The risk profiles were subsequently confronted with yields, yield losses and insurance claims for different crops. Physically based crop models such as REGCROP assist in understanding the links between different factors causing crop damage as demonstrated for cropping systems in Belgium. Extreme weather events have already precipitated contraction of insurance coverage in some markets (e.g. hail insurance), and the process can be expected to continue if the losses or damages from such events increase in the future. Climate

  19. Review of assessments of the human health risk associated with the use of antimicrobial agents in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Bailar, John C; Travers, Karin

    2002-06-01

    To our knowledge, no comprehensive risk assessment of agricultural uses of antimicrobial agents has been published. The published risk assessments of antimicrobial use in farm settings are all subject to multiple, serious limitations in scope, including (1) limitation to one species of microorganism; (2) limitation to one or a very few related antimicrobial agents; (3) limitation to a single outcome (death, hospital days, number of illnesses, etc.); (4) limitation to one species of farm animal (e.g., chicken or swine); and (5) limitation to therapeutic use, despite reason for concern about misstated, off-label, or illegal use. In addition, all of the risk assessments reviewed overlooked important issues by accepting 2 further limitations: (6) limiting the scope of the analysis to what has already happened and ignoring the effects of continuing the practices of recent years; and (7) examining only the effects on the species of microorganism that was initially affected and ignoring the cross-species spread of resistance by plasmid transfer. After our review of the risk assessments now available, we propose a comprehensive scheme for organizing existing knowledge and dealing with critical gaps.

  20. 'Weather Value at Risk': A uniform approach to describe and compare sectoral income risks from climate change.

    PubMed

    Prettenthaler, Franz; Köberl, Judith; Bird, David Neil

    2016-02-01

    We extend the concept of 'Weather Value at Risk' - initially introduced to measure the economic risks resulting from current weather fluctuations - to describe and compare sectoral income risks from climate change. This is illustrated using the examples of wheat cultivation and summer tourism in (parts of) Sardinia. Based on climate scenario data from four different regional climate models we study the change in the risk of weather-related income losses between some reference (1971-2000) and some future (2041-2070) period. Results from both examples suggest an increase in weather-related risks of income losses due to climate change, which is somewhat more pronounced for summer tourism. Nevertheless, income from wheat cultivation is at much higher risk of weather-related losses than income from summer tourism, both under reference and future climatic conditions. A weather-induced loss of at least 5% - compared to the income associated with average reference weather conditions - shows a 40% (80%) probability of occurrence in the case of wheat cultivation, but only a 0.4% (16%) probability of occurrence in the case of summer tourism, given reference (future) climatic conditions. Whereas in the agricultural example increases in the weather-related income risks mainly result from an overall decrease in average wheat yields, the heightened risk in the tourism example stems mostly from a change in the weather-induced variability of tourism incomes. With the extended 'Weather Value at Risk' concept being able to capture both, impacts from changes in the mean and the variability of the climate, it is a powerful tool for presenting and disseminating the results of climate change impact assessments. Due to its flexibility, the concept can be applied to any economic sector and therefore provides a valuable tool for cross-sectoral comparisons of climate change impacts, but also for the assessment of the costs and benefits of adaptation measures.

  1. Catchments Under Change: Assessing Impacts and Feedbacks from New Biomass Crops in the Agricultural Midwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaeger, Mary; Housh, Mashor; Ng, Tze Ling; Cai, Ximing; Sivapalan, Murugesu

    2013-04-01

    In order to meet the challenges of future change, it is essential to understand the environmental response to current conditions and historical changes. The central Midwestern US is an example of anthropogenic change and environmental feedbacks, having been transformed from a natural grassland system to an artificially-drained agricultural system. Environmental feedbacks from reduced soil residence times coupled with increasing crop fertilization have manifested as a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. In an effort to address these feedbacks while meeting new crop demands, large-scale planting of high-yielding perennial biomass crops has been proposed. This could be detrimental to both human and environmental streamflow users because these plants require more water than do current crops. The lowest natural flows in this shallow groundwater-dependent region coincide with the peak of the growing season, thus compounding the problem. Therefore, for large-scale biomass crop production to be sustainable, these tradeoffs between water quality and water quantity must be fully understood. To better understand the catchment response to current conditions, we have analyzed streamflow data in a central Illinois agricultural watershed. To deal with future changes, we have developed an integrated systems model which provides, among other outputs, the land usage that maximizes the benefit to the human system. This land use is then implemented in a separate hydrologic model to determine the impact to the environmental system. Interactively running the two models, taking into account the catchment response to human actions as well as possible anthropogenic responses to the environment, allows us to examine the feedbacks between the two systems. This lets us plot the trajectory of the state of the system, which we hypothesize will show emergent internal properties of the coupled system. Initial tests of this modeling framework show promise that this may indeed be the case. External

  2. DOM composition in an agricultural watershed: assessing patterns and variability in the context of spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hernes, Peter J.; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Dyda, Rachel Y.; Pellerin, Brian A.; Bachand, Philip A. M.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2013-01-01

    Willow Slough, a seasonally irrigated agricultural watershed in the Sacramento River valley, California, was sampled synoptically in order to investigate the extent to which dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and compositions from throughout the catchment are represented at the mouth. DOC concentrations ranged from 1.8 to 13.9 mg L−1, with the lowest values in headwater 1st and 2nd order streams, and the highest values associated with flood irrigation. Carbon-normalized vanillyl phenols varied from 0.05 to 0.67 mg 100 mg OC−1 (0.37 mean), indicative of considerable contributions from vascular plants. DOC concentrations and compositions at the mouth appear to be primarily influenced by land use (agriculture) in the lower reaches, and therefore very little of the headwater chemistry (1st and 2nd order streams) can be discerned from the chemistry at or near the mouth (3rd and 4th order streams), indicating the need for synoptic sampling to capture the breadth of organic carbon cycling within a catchment. Field sampling during irrigation showed the large impact that flood irrigation can have on DOC concentrations and compositions, likely a primary cause of significantly elevated Willow Slough DOC concentrations during the summer irrigation season. Optical proxies exhibited varying degrees of correlation with chemical measurements, with strongest relationships to DOC and dissolved lignin (r2 = 0.95 and 0.73, respectively) and weaker relationships to carbon-normalized lignin yields and C:V (r2 from 0.31 to 0.42). Demonstrating the importance of matching scale to processes, we found no relationship between dissolved lignin concentrations and total suspended sediments (TSS) across all sites, in contrast to the strong relationship observed in weekly samples at the mouth. As DOC concentrations and compositions at the mouth of Willow Slough are closely tied to anthropogenic activities within the catchment, future changes in land-use driven by climate

  3. Bioinformatics and the allergy assessment of agricultural biotechnology products: industry practices and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Ladics, Gregory S; Cressman, Robert F; Herouet-Guicheney, Corinne; Herman, Rod A; Privalle, Laura; Song, Ping; Ward, Jason M; McClain, Scott

    2011-06-01

    Bioinformatic tools are being increasingly utilized to evaluate the degree of similarity between a novel protein and known allergens within the context of a larger allergy safety assessment process. Importantly, bioinformatics is not a predictive analysis that can determine if a novel protein will ''become" an allergen, but rather a tool to assess whether the protein is a known allergen or is potentially cross-reactive with an existing allergen. Bioinformatic tools are key components of the 2009 CodexAlimentarius Commission's weight-of-evidence approach, which encompasses a variety of experimental approaches for an overall assessment of the allergenic potential of a novel protein. Bioinformatic search comparisons between novel protein sequences, as well as potential novel fusion sequences derived from the genome and transgene, and known allergens are required by all regulatory agencies that assess the safety of genetically modified (GM) products. The objective of this paper is to identify opportunities for consensus in the methods of applying bioinformatics and to outline differences that impact a consistent and reliable allergy safety assessment. The bioinformatic comparison process has some critical features, which are outlined in this paper. One of them is a curated, publicly available and well-managed database with known allergenic sequences. In this paper, the best practices, scientific value, and food safety implications of bioinformatic analyses, as they are applied to GM food crops are discussed. Recommendations for conducting bioinformatic analysis on novel food proteins for potential cross-reactivity to known allergens are also put forth.

  4. Empirical support for global integrated assessment modeling: Productivity trends and technological change in developing countries' agriculture and electric power sectors

    SciTech Connect

    Sathaye, Jayant A.

    2000-04-01

    Integrated assessment (IA) modeling of climate policy is increasingly global in nature, with models incorporating regional disaggregation. The existing empirical basis for IA modeling, however, largely arises from research on industrialized economies. Given the growing importance of developing countries in determining long-term global energy and carbon emissions trends, filling this gap with improved statistical information on developing countries' energy and carbon-emissions characteristics is an important priority for enhancing IA modeling. Earlier research at LBNL on this topic has focused on assembling and analyzing statistical data on productivity trends and technological change in the energy-intensive manufacturing sectors of five developing countries, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Korea. The proposed work will extend this analysis to the agriculture and electric power sectors in India, South Korea, and two other developing countries. They will also examine the impact of alternative model specifications on estimates of productivity growth and technological change for each of the three sectors, and estimate the contribution of various capital inputs--imported vs. indigenous, rigid vs. malleable-- in contributing to productivity growth and technological change. The project has already produced a data resource on the manufacturing sector which is being shared with IA modelers. This will be extended to the agriculture and electric power sectors, which would also be made accessible to IA modeling groups seeking to enhance the empirical descriptions of developing country characteristics. The project will entail basic statistical and econometric analysis of productivity and energy trends in these developing country sectors, with parameter estimates also made available to modeling groups. The parameter estimates will be developed using alternative model specifications that could be directly utilized by the existing IAMs for the manufacturing

  5. Assessing the potential for using wetlands as intermediary storages to conjunctively maintain ecological values and support agricultural demands.

    PubMed