Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural weather assessments

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Agricultural Decision Making Using North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akyuz, F.; Mullins, B.; Morlock, D.; Carcoana, R.

    2010-09-01

    The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) consists of 72 automated weather stations spread across agricultural locations of North Dakota, the Red River Valley, and border regions of surrounding states. The NDAWN Center is a part of the Department of Soil Science, North Dakota State University. The NDAWN stations measure wind speed and direction, air temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, pressure (31 stations), atmospheric moisture and soil temperatures under bare and turf at 10 cm (4 inch) depth. The center provides daily summaries consisting of maximums and minimums as well as time of occurrence, and various totals or averages for all variables in English or metric units. Measured and calculated variables along with complete descriptions are available. The NDAWN Center web site: http://ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu/ allows direct access to NDAWN data in various special and temporal scales. The voice modem accommodates those who do not have internet access. The NDAWN Center has assisted many North Dakotans in making weather critical decisions concerning their crops, livestock, and livelihood. The stations provide weather data, which was instrumental in developing various agricultural models including but not limited to the late blight model, degree day and growth stage models for barley, corn, canola, potato, sugarbeet, sunflower, wheat and other small grains, irrigation scheduling, crop water use, sugarbeet root maggot, and insect development models. Late blight model, for example, predicts when leaf disease can occur in potato plants. Late blight doesn't occur in North Dakota every year and is prevalent during cool and moist periods of weather. In 1993-94, this model predicted that late blight would occur and growers were able to use fungicide applications to prevent the disease. Another direct benefit of NDAWN data is that it provides universities and the National Weather Service with an additional database for research and forecasting applications

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Assessing the Economic Impacts of Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazo, J. K.

    2008-05-01

    Understanding the socio-economic impacts of weather provides a basis for prioritizing actions to mitigate and respond to weather events and understanding the value of improvements in weather forecasts. In this talk we discuss two studies of the economic impacts of weather: (1) an empirical study of the sensitivity of state-sector level economic activity to weather variability and (2) an assessment of the quality of data on storm damages in the US as primarily collected through the National Weather Service's Storm Data Program. In the first study, 24 years of state level sector economic data and historical weather observations are used to form a panel combining weather information with economic data. A translog function is estimated of sectoral sensitivity and vulnerability to weather variability. Eleven sectors are ranked based on their degree of sensitivity to weather, states more sensitive to weather impacts are identified, and the aggregate dollar amount of variation in U.S. economic activity attributable to weather variability is calculated. Estimates indicate that US economic output varies by about 3.4% due to weather variability. While considerably smaller than prior estimates, our estimate represents about 469 billion a year in 2007 dollars. In our work to update and revise damage data in the Extreme Weather Sourcebook (www.sip.ucar.edu/sourcebook), we have confronted issues concerning the depth, accuracy and consistency of storm damage data collection. This type of data has been used in many studies exploring changes in weather impacts over time but there has been little recognition of the quality of the data. In the second study reported here, we examine issues with weather induced damage data quality to prompt a dialogue about reliability of scattered and inconsistent data from multiple sources. We hope this will lead to efforts to reduce the error in reported damages and to better reporting and organization of storm damage data in the future. We advocate

  10. 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. PMID:24658301

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Agricultural pests under future climate conditions: downscaling of regional climate scenarios with a stochastic weather generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirschi, M.; Stöckli, S.; Dubrovsky, M.; Spirig, C.; Rotach, M. W.; Calanca, P.; Samietz, J.

    2010-09-01

    As a consequence of current and projected climate change in temperate regions of Europe, agricultural pests and diseases are expected to occur more frequently and possibly to extend to previously unaffected regions. Given their economic and ecological relevance, detailed forecasting tools for various pests have been developed, which model the infestation depending on actual weather conditions. Assessing the future risk of pest-related damages therefore requires future weather data at high temporal and spatial resolution. In particular, pest forecast models are often not based on screen temperature and precipitation alone (i.e., the most generally projected climate variables), but might require input variables such as soil temperature, in-canopy net radiation or leaf wetness. Here, we use a stochastic weather and a re-sampling procedure for producing site-specific hourly weather data from regional climate change scenarios for 2050 in Switzerland. The climate change scenarios were derived from multi-model projections and provide probabilistic information on future regional changes in temperature and precipitation. Hourly temperature, precipitation and radiation data were produced by first generating daily weather data for these climate scenarios and then using a nearest neighbor re-sampling approach for creating realistic diurnal cycles. These hourly weather time series were then used for modeling important phases in the lifecycle of codling moth, the major insect pest in apple orchards worldwide. First results indicate a shift in the occurrence and duration of phases relevant for pest disease control for projected as compared to current climate (e.g. the flight of the codling moth starts about ten days earlier in future climate), continuing an already observed trend towards more favorable conditions for this insect during the last 20 years.

  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. 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

  17. Assessment of weather risk on chestnut production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    Meteorological conditions play a fundamental role during entire chestnut tree vegetative cycle. Chestnut trees are well adapted to mean year temperatures of 8-15°C, requires monthly mean temperatures greater than 10°C during 6 months (Gomes-Laranjo et al. 2008) and its pollen only germinates at relatively high temperatures of 27-30°C (Bounous, 2002). Photosynthesis of an adult tree is highly dependent of temperature. Photosynthesis is maximal at 24-28°C but it is inhibited for temperatures greater than 32°C (Gomes-Laranjo et al., 2005, 2006). Furthermore, there are significant differences between chestnut trees cultivated in northfaced orchads in relation to those cultivated in the southfaced and between leaves from different sides of the chestnut canopy because they receive different amounts of radiant energy and consequently they grow under different mean daily air temperature. The objective of this work was to assess the role of weather on chestnut production variability. This study was performed for the 28 years period defined between 1980 and 2007 and it was based on annual values of chestnut production and total area of production, at national level, provided by INE, the National Institute of Statistics of Portugal. The meteorological data used was provided by Meteored (http://www.meteored.com/) and includes daily values of precipitation, wind speed, and mean, maximum and minimum air temperature. All meteorological variables were tested as potential predictors by means of a simple correlation analysis. Multiple time intervals were considered in this the analysis, which consist in moving intervals of constant length and forward and backward evolutionary intervals. Results show that some meteorological variables present significant correlation with chestnut productivity particularly in the most relevant periods of the chestnut tree cycle, like the previous winter, the flushing phase and the maturation period. A regression model based on the winter (January

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. On possible influence of space weather on agricultural markets: Necessary conditions and probable scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pustil'nik, L.; Yom Din, G.

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of study of a possible relationship between the space weather and terrestrial markets of agricultural products. It is shown that to implement the possible effect of space weather on the terrestrial harvests and prices, a simultaneous fulfillment of three conditions is required: 1) sensitivity of local weather (cloud cover, atmospheric circulation) to the state of space weather; 2) sensitivity of the area-specific agricultural crops to the weather anomalies (belonging to the area of risk farming); 3) relative isolation of the market, making it difficult to damp the price hikes by the external food supplies. Four possible scenarios of the market response to the modulations of local terrestrial weather via the solar activity are described. The data sources and analysismethods applied to detect this relationship are characterized. We describe the behavior of 22 European markets during the medieval period, in particular, during the Maunder minimum (1650-1715). We demonstrate a reliable manifestation of the influence of space weather on prices, discovered in the statistics of intervals between the price hikes and phase price asymmetry. We show that the effects of phase price asymmetry persist even during the early modern period in the U.S. in the production of the durum wheat. Within the proposed approach, we analyze the statistics of depopulation in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Iceland, induced by the famine due to a sharp livestock reduction owing to, in its turn, the lack of foodstuff due to the local weather anomalies. A high statistical significance of temporal matching of these events with the periods of extreme solar activity is demonstrated. We discuss the possible consequences of the observed global climate change in the formation of new areas of risk farming, sensitive to space weather.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Results and Interpretations from a Survey on Agriculturally Related Weather Information.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, A.; Robb, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    A survey Of "top" wheat farmers in 12 counties in western Nebraska was undertaken to help guide future research and extension programs (in agricultural meteorology and economics) in the region. One hundred forty-two farmers (59 percent of those receiving questionnaires) responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 42 percent own or are considering purchasing a personal computer; the vast majority of farmers own a rain gage and some form of temperature- measuring device; the respondents were moderately familiar with an existing Automated Weather Data Network in Nebraska; commercial and NOAA weather radio and commercial television are the main sources of weather data and information. short-term weather forecasts (1 day and 3-5 days) are most important to overall farm planning; respondents considered market and cost-of-production information and more-accurate weather forecasts most important in better management of their farm operations; the risk factors that impacted farm net income were economic followed by weather factors and marketing decisions; and most farmers would be willing to forward contract before the crop was half developed if good projections of crop status and yield could be made. A major constraint to preharvest forward contracting from some of the farmers' perspective appears to be variability in yield due to hail.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. How to assess extreme weather impacts - case European transport network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leviäkangas, P.

    2010-09-01

    To assess the impacts of climate change and preparing for impacts is a process. This process we must understand and learn to apply. EWENT (Extreme Weather impacts on European Networks of Transport) will be a test bench for one prospective approach. It has the following main components: 1) identifying what is "extreme", 2) assessing the change in the probabilities, 3) constructing the causal impact models, 4) finding appropriate methods of pricing and costing, 5) finding alternative strategy option, 6) assessing the efficiency of strategy option. This process follows actually the steps of standardized risk management process. Each step is challenging, but if EWENT project succeeds to assess the extreme weather impacts on European transport networks, it is one possible benchmark how to carry out similar analyses in other regions and on country level. EWENT approach could particularly useful for weather and climate information service providers, offering tools for transport authorities and financiers to assess weather risks, and then rationally managing the risks. EWENT project is financed by the European Commission and participated by met-service organisations and transport research institutes from different parts of Europe. The presentation will explain EWENT approach in detail and bring forth the findings of the first work packages.

  10. Weather.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Web Feet K-8, 2000

    2000-01-01

    This subject guide to weather resources includes Web sites, CD-ROMs and software, videos, books, audios, magazines, and professional resources. Related disciplines are indicated, age levels are specified, and a student activity is included. (LRW)

  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. 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'. PMID:27550767

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Providing daily updated weather data for online risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petritsch, R.; Hasenauer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Daily weather data are an important constraint for diverse applications in ecosystem research. In particular, temperature and precipitation are the main drivers for forest ecosystem productivity. Mechanistic modeling theory heavily relies on daily values for minimum and maximum temperatures, precipitation, incident solar radiation and vapor pressure. These data are usually provided by interpolation techniques using measured values from surrounding stations or weather generators based on monthly mean values. One well-known and frequently used software packages is DAYMET which was adapted and validated for Austrian purposes. The calculation includes the interpolation of maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation based on near-by measurements and the subsequent extrapolation of incident solar radiation and vapor pressure deficit based on the temperature and precipitation values. The Austrian version of DAYMET uses daily weather data from more than 400 measuring stations all over Austria from 1960 to 2005. Due to internal procedures of DAYMET daily values for a whole year are estimated together; thus, the update of the database may only be done with full year records. Whether this approach convenient for retrospective modeling studies risk assessment (e.g. drought stress, forest fire, insect outbreaks) needs a higher update frequency than a full year. At best the measurements would be available immediately after they are taken. In practice the update frequency is limited by the operational provision of daily weather data. The aim of this study is to implement a concept for providing daily updated weather data as it could be used for continuous risk assessment. First we built a new climate database containing all available daily measurements. It is based on a well-established Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) and may be accessed and extended using the Standard Query Language (SQL). Secondly, we re-implemented the interpolation logic for temperature

  16. The sensitivity of agricultural impacts assessment to climate data and scenario methodologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruane, A. C.; Rosenzweig, C.

    2011-12-01

    Assessments of climate change impacts on the agricultural sector are crucially important from the farm- to global levels. While impacts assessments have made wide and creative use of data products, climate models, and methods for downscaling and scenario generation, this variety also hinders our ability to compare impacts from one study to other assessments. The unique nature of many impacts assessments is especially problematic when evaluating the impacts of climate change on large agricultural regions and global production; a crucial scale in understanding the economic impacts and market influence on food security and land use. This presentation examines the influence of methodological choices on agricultural impacts assessment by describing results from several projects. First, the utility of a wide variety of global and regional observational data products are compared for an agricultural system in the Florida Panhandle to determine the influence of observational uncertainties, reanalysis products, remotely sensed information, and downscaled models on impacts assessment. Second, the role of future climate scenarios is isolated by running the same Panhandle station with scenarios generated through a variety of generation methods with a focus on downscaling methodologies and the climate statistics allowed to change. Finally, an ensemble of weather generators are compared across an ensemble of wheat models in a variety of major agricultural regions, isolating important sensitivities in the crop models and corresponding strengths and weaknesses in the weather generators.

  17. Multivariate Climate-Weather Forecasting System: An Integrated Approach for Mitigating Agricultural Risks in Punjab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravindranath, A.; Devineni, N.

    2015-12-01

    While India has a long history of prediction of the All India Monsoon, work on spatially specific attributes of the monsoon, as well as monsoon break periods has only recently emerged. However, from a risk management context, prognostic information of a single variable such as total precipitation or average temperature will be of less utility especially for specific operational purposes. An integrated regional climate-weather forecast system covering precipitation, temperature and humidity etc. over the year will benefit the farmers in the context of a specific decision time table for irrigation scheduling as well as for pre-season crop choices. Hence, contrary to the existing forecasting methods that develop multi time scale information of a single variable at a time, in this paper, we introduce an integrated regional multivariate climate-weather forecasting system that directly relates to agricultural decision making and risk mitigation. These multi-scale risk attributes include mutually dependent, spatially disaggregated statistics such as total rainfall, average temperature, growing degree days, relative humidity, total number of rainfall days/dry spell length, and cumulative water deficits that inform the potential irrigation water requirements for crops. Given that these attributes exhibit mutual dependence across space and time, we propose to explore common ocean-atmospheric conditions from the observations and the state of the art Global Circulation Models (GCMs) that can be utilized as the predictor variables for the forecasting system. Hierarchical Bayesian methods are be used to develop the integrated forecast system. The developed multivariate forecasts will be adapted and disseminated as decision tools for the farmers under the extension projects in Punjab region of India.

  18. Multivariate Climate-Weather Forecasting System: An Integrated Approach for Mitigating Agricultural Risks in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devineni, N.; Lall, U.; Perveen, S.

    2012-12-01

    While India has a long history of prediction of the All India Monsoon, work on spatially specific attributes of the monsoon, as well as monsoon break periods has only recently emerged. However, from a risk management context, prognostic information of a single variable such as total precipitation or average temperature will be of less utility especially for specific operational purposes. An integrated regional climate-weather forecast system covering precipitation, temperature and humidity etc. over the year will benefit the farmers in the context of a specific decision time table for irrigation scheduling as well as for pre-season crop choices. Hence, contrary to the existing forecasting methods that develop multi time scale information of a single variable at a time, in this paper, we introduce an integrated regional multivariate climate-weather forecasting system that directly relates to agricultural decision making and risk mitigation. These multi-scale risk attributes include mutually dependent, spatially disaggregated statistics such as total rainfall, average temperature, growing degree days, relative humidity, total number of rainfall days/dry spell length, and cumulative water deficits that inform the potential irrigation water requirements for crops etc. Given that these attributes exhibit mutual dependence across space and time, we propose to explore common ocean-atmospheric conditions from the observations and the state of the art Global Circulation Models (GCMs) that can be utilized as the predictor variables for the forecasting system. Non parametric bootstrap resampling methods and Hierarchical Bayesian methods that can easily handle the high dimensionality of such problems will be used to develop the integrated forecast system. The developed multivariate forecasts will be adapted and disseminated as decision tools for the farmers under the Columbia Water Center's pilot project in Punjab region of India.

  19. 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.

  20. THE USDA/AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE RESEARCH WEATHER NETWORK IN LAKE COUNTY, OHIO - 2002 UPDATE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Permanent meteorological stations have been installed in Northeast Ohio production nurseries to archive weather data during horticultural experiments. Insect and disease management research require detailed knowledge of weather conditions. Data such as soil moisture and temperature, air temperature...

  1. Assessing Weather Effects on Dengue Disease in Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Cheong, Yoon Ling; Burkart, Katrin; Leitão, Pedro J.; Lakes, Tobia

    2013-01-01

    The number of dengue cases has been increasing on a global level in recent years, and particularly so in Malaysia, yet little is known about the effects of weather for identifying the short-term risk of dengue for the population. The aim of this paper is to estimate the weather effects on dengue disease accounting for non-linear temporal effects in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 2008 to 2010. We selected the weather parameters with a Poisson generalized additive model, and then assessed the effects of minimum temperature, bi-weekly accumulated rainfall and wind speed on dengue cases using a distributed non-linear lag model while adjusting for trend, day-of-week and week of the year. We found that the relative risk of dengue cases is positively associated with increased minimum temperature at a cumulative percentage change of 11.92% (95% CI: 4.41–32.19), from 25.4 °C to 26.5 °C, with the highest effect delayed by 51 days. Increasing bi-weekly accumulated rainfall had a positively strong effect on dengue cases at a cumulative percentage change of 21.45% (95% CI: 8.96, 51.37), from 215 mm to 302 mm, with the highest effect delayed by 26–28 days. The wind speed is negatively associated with dengue cases. The estimated lagged effects can be adapted in the dengue early warning system to assist in vector control and prevention plan. PMID:24287855

  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. 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.

  5. Trajectory-Based Performance Assessment for Aviation Weather Information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vigeant-Langlois, Laurence; Hansman, R. John, Jr.

    2003-01-01

    Based on an analysis of aviation decision-makers' time-related weather information needs, an abstraction of the aviation weather decision task was developed, that involves 4-D intersection testing between aircraft trajectory hypertubes and hazardous weather hypervolumes. The framework builds on the hypothesis that hazardous meteorological fields can be simplified using discrete boundaries of surrogate threat attributes. The abstractions developed in the framework may be useful in studying how to improve the performance of weather forecasts from the trajectory-centric perspective, as well as for developing useful visualization techniques of weather information.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Molokai Community Needs Assessment for Agriculture Education and Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pezzoli, Jean A.

    In order to assess the needs of agriculture (AG) education and ascertain the potential employment demand for pre-service and in-service training in agriculture over the next 5 years, Maui Community College (MCC) sent questionnaires to Molokai community businesses, inquiring about their agricultural labor demand. In December 1997, 68 questionnaires…

  10. 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.

  11. Space weather and the electricity market: An initial assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Kevin F.; St. Cyr, O. C.

    2004-10-01

    The paper examines the economic impact of space weather by drawing on hourly data from the PJM power grid over the period 1 June 2000 through 31 December 2001. The PJM grid is one of the largest power pools in North America. As of 31 December 2001, its service area had a population of approximately 22 million and included all or part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Market prices are determined for every hour of the day. As of June 2000, there are actually two markets for energy: a real-time market in which market participants can buy and sell electricity in "real time" and a day ahead market that allows participants to enter into transactions one day ahead of time. The existence of these two markets allows us to disentangle the effect of space weather conditions from other factors (such as fuel prices and expected demand) that affect the baseline price (as established in the day ahead market) for wholesale electricity. Several econometric analyses are conducted. The first examines the contribution of space weather to transmission congestion within the power grid. Building on the first analysis, the second analysis constructs an econometric model that examines the impact of space weather on the real-time market. Factors considered in the model include the outcome in the day ahead market, the level of generation utilization, unexpected demand, generation outages, unexpected transmission outages that are believed to be terrestrial in origin, and space weather. The results indicate the presence of space weather effects on the real-time price even after controlling for the other factors. A third model examines whether these space weather impacts affect subsequent prices in the far larger day ahead market.

  12. An agricultural drought risk-assessment model for corn and soybeans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Hong; Hubbard, Kenneth G.; Wilhite, Donald A.

    2004-05-01

    An agricultural drought risk-assessment model was developed for Nebraska, USA, for corn and soybeans on the basis of variables derived from the standardized precipitation index and crop-specific drought index using multivariate techniques. This model can be used to assess real-time agricultural drought risk for specific crops at critical times before and during the growing season by retaining previous, and adding current, weather information as the crops pass through the various development stages. This model will be helpful to decision makers, ranging from agricultural producers to policy makers and from local to national levels.The results of the model validation using three different datasets show that the risk-assessment accuracy improves as the crop develops. At the end of April, before corn is planted, the average assessment accuracy rate of drought risks on final yield is 60%. At the beginning of July, when corn is at the vegetative stage, the average assessment accuracy rate reaches 76%. In late July, when corn is at the ovule stage, the rate increases to 85%. The rates are 89% in the second half of August and the end of September, when corn is at the reproduction and ripening stages respectively. The model assessment accuracy for soybeans is lower than that for corn at the same growth stages because weather has less impact on soybeans than on corn. A reliable assessment, with 80% assessment accuracy rate, begins at mid-August, when soybeans are at pod formation stage. In early September and October, when soybeans are at pod fill and ripening stages respectively, the model is able to assess risks on soybean yield with 83% and 81% accuracy rates respectively.

  13. 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

  14. ASSESSMENT OF THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLIMATE VARIABILITY ON WEATHER-RELATED MORBIDITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential effects of climate change and climate variability on weather-related morbidity are assessed. Heat-related and cold-related morbidity in children are analyzed. The impact of inclement weather on accidental injuries is evaluated. The relationship of violent crime to w...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Progress toward filling the weather and climate forecast needs of agricultural and natural resource management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several recent developments prompted a review of the current availability of free and official weather, climate, and hydroclimate forecasts for rural locations in the U.S., compared to the situation a decade ago. These developments included a surge in interest among research and operational meteoro...

  19. 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.

  20. A quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool for agricultural fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation and nutrient management planners need an assessment tool to accurately predict phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural lands. Available tools are either qualitative indices with limited capability to quantify offsite water quality impacts or prohibitively complex quantitative process-bas...

  1. An environmental impact assessment system for agricultural R and D

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, Geraldo Stachetti; Campanhola, Clayton; Kitamura, Paulo Choji

    2003-03-01

    A strategic planning process has been implemented at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency (Embrapa) to introduce sustainable agriculture concepts in all steps of Research and Development (R and D). An essential part of the devised mission statement called for the impact assessment of all technology innovation resulting from R and D, under field conditions (ex-post). However, methods for impact assessment of technology innovations at the farmstead level appropriate for the institutional context were lacking. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) system (AMBITEC-AGRO) developed to attend that demand is composed by a set of weighing matrices constructed in an electronic spreadsheet. Impact indicators are evaluated in the field in an interview/survey, and weighed according to their spatial scale and importance toward effecting environmental impacts. The results of these weighing procedures are expressed graphically in the assessment spreadsheets. Finally, the indicator evaluations are composed into an Environmental Impact Index for the agricultural technology innovation.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes and c60 fullerenes differentially impact the accumulation of weathered pesticides in four agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Qiang; Ma, Xingmao; Hamdi, Helmi; White, Jason C

    2013-01-01

    The effect of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or C60 fullerenes on the uptake of weathered chlordane or DDx (DDT + metabolites) by Cucurbita pepo (zucchini), Zea mays (corn), Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), and Glycine max (soybean) was investigated. The plants were grown in 50 g of soil with weathered chlordane (2150 ng/g) and DDx (118 ng/g) that was amended with 0, 500, 1000, or 5000 mg/kg MWCNT or C60. After 28 d, the root and shoot content of chlordane components and DDx was determined by GC-MS. Zucchini and tomato growth were unaffected by carbon nanomaterial coexposure, although C60 at 500 mg/kg reduced corn and soybean biomass by 36.5-45.0%. Total chlordane content ranged from 1490 (tomato) to 4780 (zucchini) ng; DDx amounts ranged from 77.8 (corn) to 395 ng (zucchini). MWCNT coexposure decreased chlordane and DDx accumulation 21-80% across all crops, depending on species and nanotube concentration. Conversely, C60 had species- and contaminant-specific effects on pesticide uptake, ranging from complete suppression of DDx uptake (corn/tomato) to 34.9% increases in chlordane accumulation (tomato/soybean). The data show that pesticide accumulation varies greatly with crop species and carbon nanomaterial type/concentration. These findings have implications for food safety and for the use of engineered nanomaterials in agriculture. PMID:24079803

  6. Skill assessment of the existing capacity for extended-range weather forecasting in Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adejuwon, James O.; Odekunle, Theophilus O.

    2004-08-01

    The need for skilful weather forecasting as a strategy for adapting food production to a variable and changing climate is recognized. Frequent assessment of the existing tools provides the needed feedback to encourage the growth of a more reliable weather forecasting capacity. A scheme designed for the assessment of the skill demonstrated by published weather forecasts is presented. The existing products of four weather forecasting organizations with interests in West Africa are assessed using the observed weather during the period from 1996 to 2000. The weather forecasting organizations concerned are NOAA (USA), Met Office (UK), CNRS (France) and the Nigerian Central Forecasting Office. The forecast skills of the various organizations appear not to have witnessed any significant improvement between 1996 and 2000. Overall, the low proportion of the forecasts falling into the low skill category is encouraging. However, the relatively high percentage of the moderate skill and low percentage of the high skill categories suggest that there is considerable room for improvement. One may have to give the various organizations more time to perfect the existing tools. However, this review has not come too early, because it is the type of feedback needed to hasten the emergence of more skilful forecasts. It has been established in this study that better rainfall forecasts could be achieved with higher resolution sea-surface temperature anomaly data and the inclusion of more predictor variables, especially those of a synoptic nature.

  7. Assessment of climatological impacts on agricultural production and residential energy demand

    SciTech Connect

    Cooter, E.J.

    1985-01-01

    The assessment of climatological impacts on selected economic activities is presented as a multi-step, inter-disciplinary problem. The assessment process which is addressed explicitly in this report focuses on (1) user identification, (2) direct impact model selection, (3) methodological development, (4) product development and (5) product communication. Two user groups of major economic importance were selected for study; agriculture and gas utilities. The broad agricultural sector is further defined as USA corn production. The general category of utilities is narrowed to Oklahoma residential gas heating demand. The CERES physiological growth model was selected as the process model for corn production. The statistical analysis for corn production suggests that (1) although this is a statistically complex model, it can yield useful impact information, (2) as a result of output distributional biases, traditional statistical techniques are not adequate analytical tools, (3) the model yield distribution as a whole is probably non-Gaussian, particularly in the tails and (4) there appears to be identifiable weekly patterns of forecasted yields throughout the growing season. The NBSLD energy load model was selected to represent residential gas heating consumption. A cursory statistical analysis suggests relationships among weather variables across the Oklahoma study sites. No linear trend in technology-free modeled energy demand or input weather variables which would correspond to that contained in observed state-level residential energy use was detected.

  8. 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

  9. Conducting an agricultural life cycle assessment: challenges and perspectives.

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

  11. STREAM, AN EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY FOR AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES RUNOFF

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure assessments for pesticides used in agriculture require the estimation of both pesticide runoff from fields and resulting concentrations in streams in order to predict the potential aquatic and/or health risk posed by pesticide usage. he and duration of pesticide concentr...

  12. 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

    2013-02-01

    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. PMID:23272937

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:25108899

  17. Assessing Agricultural Vulnerability in India using NDVI Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaushalya, R.; Praveen Kumar, V.; Shubhasmita, S.

    2014-11-01

    Impact of climate change on Indian rainfed agriculture was assessed using temporal NDVI data products from AVHRR and MODIS. Agricultural vulnerability was analysed using CV of Max NDVI from NOAA-AVHRR (15-day, 8 km) and MODIS-TERRA (16-day, 250 m) NDVI data products from 1982-2012. AVHRR dataset was found suitable for estimating regional vulnerability at state and agro-eco-sub-region (AESR) level while MODIS dataset was suitable for drawing district-level strategy for adaptation and mitigation. Methodology was developed to analyse NDVI variations with spatial pattern of rainfall using 10 X 10 girded data and spatially interpolating it to estimate Standard Precipitation Index. Study indicated large variations in vegetation dynamics across India owing to bio-climate and natural resource base. IPCC framework of vulnerability and exposure was used to identify vulnerable region extending from arid western India to semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions in central India and southern peninsula. This is a major agricultural region in the country with sizable human and livestock population with millions of marginal and small farm holdings. Exposure to climatic variability at local and regional levels have national implications and study indicated that over 122 districts extending over 110 mha was vulnerable to climate change that spread across 26 typical AESR in 11 states in India. Of the 74 mha under agriculture in the region, MODIS dataset indicated 47 mha as agriculturally vulnerable while coarser resolution of AVHRR dataset indicated a conservative estimate of 29 mha. First ever estimates of agricultural vulnerability for India indicates 20.4 to 33.1 % agricultural land under risk from climate change.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Rapid assessment methods of resilience for natural and agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Torrico, Juan C; Janssens, Marc J J

    2010-12-01

    The resilience, ecological function and quality of both agricultural and natural systems were evaluated in the mountainous region of the Atlantic Rain Forest of Rio de Janeiro through Rapid Assessment Methods. For this goal new indicators were proposed, such as eco-volume, eco-height, bio-volume, volume efficiency, and resilience index. The following agricultural and natural systems have been compared according: (i) vegetables (leaf, fruit and mixed); (ii) citrus; (iii) ecological system; (iv) cattle, (v) silvo-pastoral system, (vi) forest fragment and (vii) forest in regeneration stage (1, 2 and 3 years old). An alternative measure (index) of resilience was proposed by considering the actual bio-volume as a function of the potential eco-volume. The objectives and hypotheses were fulfilled; it is shown that there does exist a high positive correlation between resilience index, biomass, energy efficiency and biodiversity. Cattle and vegetable systems have lowest resilience, whilst ecological and silvo-pastoral systems have greatest resilience. This new approach offers a rapid, though valuable assessment tool for ecological studies, agricultural development and landscape planning, particularly in tropical countries. PMID:21152779

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Weather modeling for hazard and consequence assessment operations during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, P.; Trigg, J. L.; Stauffer, D.; Hunter, G.; McQueen, J.

    2006-05-01

    Consequence assessment (CA) operations are those processes that attempt to mitigate negative impacts of incidents involving hazardous materials such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high explosive (CBRNE) agents, facilities, weapons, or transportation. Incident types range from accidental spillage of chemicals at/en route to/from a manufacturing plant, to the deliberate use of radiological or chemical material as a weapon in a crowded city. The impacts of these incidents are highly variable, from little or no impact to catastrophic loss of life and property. Local and regional scale atmospheric conditions strongly influence atmospheric transport and dispersion processes in the boundary layer, and the extent and scope of the spread of dangerous materials in the lower levels of the atmosphere. Therefore, CA personnel charged with managing the consequences of CBRNE incidents must have detailed knowledge of current and future weather conditions to accurately model potential effects. A meteorology team was established at the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to provide weather support to CA personnel operating DTRA's CA tools, such as the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC) tool. The meteorology team performs three main functions: 1) regular provision of meteorological data for use by personnel using HPAC, 2) determination of the best performing medium-range model forecast for the 12 - 48 hour timeframe and 3) provision of real-time help-desk support to users regarding acquisition and use of weather in HPAC CA applications. The normal meteorology team operations were expanded during a recent modeling project which took place during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. The meteorology team took advantage of special weather observation datasets available in the domain of the Winter Olympic venues and undertook a project to improve weather modeling at high resolution. The varied and complex terrain provided a special challenge to the

  11. 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.

  12. An assessment of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models surface soil temperature products using ground-based measurements

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerical weather prediction (NWP) models developed by various weather centers produce estimates of the soil temperature state. In this study in situ data collected over the state of Oklahoma is used to assess and compare three NWP surface (soil) temperature products. These are 1) the integrated for...

  13. 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

  14. Assessing the impact of climate change upon hydrology and agriculture in the Indrawati Basin, Nepal.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palazzoli, Irene; Bocchiola, Daniele; Nana, Ester; Maskey, Shreedhar; Uhlenbrook, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Agriculture is sensitive to climate change, especially to temperature and precipitation changes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the climate change impacts upon rain-fed crops production in the Indrawati river basin, Nepal. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool SWAT model was used to model hydrology and cropping systems in the catchment, and to predict the influence of different climate change scenarios therein. Daily weather data collected from about 13 weather stations during 4 decades were used to constrain the SWAT model, and data from two hydrometric stations used to calibrate/validate it. Then management practices (crop calendar) were applied to specific Hydrological Response Units (HRUs) for the main crops of the region, rice, corn and wheat. Manual calibration of crop production was also carried, against values of crop yield in the area from literature. The calibrated and validated model was further applied to assess the impact of three future climate change scenarios (RCPs) upon the crop productivity in the region. Three climate models (GCMs) were adopted, each with three RCPs (2.5, 4.5, 8.5). Hence, impacts of climate change were assessed considering three time windows, namely a baseline period (1995-2004), the middle of century (2045-2054) and the end of century (2085-2094). For each GCM and RCP future hydrology and yield was compared to baseline scenario. The results displayed slightly modified hydrological cycle, and somewhat small variation in crop production, variable with models and RCPs, and for crop type, the largest being for wheat. Keywords: Climate Change, Nepal, hydrological cycle, crop yield.

  15. Weatherizing the Homes of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Clients: A Programmatic Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, B.

    2002-09-16

    The purpose of this project was to assess the relationships between two federal programs that support low income households, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The specific question addressed by this research is: what impact does weatherizing homes of LIHEAP recipients have on the level of need for LIHEAP assistance? The a priori expectation is that the level of need will decrease. If this is the case, then it can be argued that a non-energy benefit of WAP is the reduction in the level of need for LIHEAP assistance for households receiving weatherization assistance. The study area for this project was Boston, Massachusetts, which is representative of large northern urban areas. Additionally, Boston was chosen because one of its social service agencies, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), administers both WAP and LIHEAP programs. ABCD has a substantial client base of low-income households and was willing to cooperate in this study. In the State of Massachusetts, an income test is used to determine whether low-income households qualify for standard LIHEAP benefits. Benefits provided to eligible households are determined by a schedule that gauges benefit levels based on household income and number of members in the household. Additionally, households that consume large amounts of primary heating fuel can also qualify an additional high energy subsidy. It was expected that weatherization's biggest influence on the LIHEAP program would be in reducing the number of households qualifying for high energy subsidies. Data were collected for three groups of households that received both weatherization and LIHEAP assistance and for one control group that only received LIHEAP assistance. Table ES-1 indicates the sample sizes, weatherization dates, and winter time periods when changes in energy consumption and receipt of LIHEAP benefits could be expected to be observed. The reason why there is a lag

  16. 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

  17. Climate Change and Agricultural Sustainability - A Global Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, X.; Zhang, X.

    2012-12-01

    This study provides a spatially explicit estimate of climate change impact on world-wide agricultural sustainability, considering uncertainty in climate change projections. The potential changes in agricultural land and crop water requirement and availability are assessed by region in the world. Uncertainty in General Circulation Model (GCM) projections is addressed using data assembled from a number of GCMs and representative emission scenarios. Erroneous data and the uncertain nature of land classifications based on multiple indices (i.e., soil properties, land slope, temperature, and humidity) are handled with fuzzy logic modeling. It is found that global arable land area is likely to be affected by emission scenarios, for example, it may decrease by 0.8% ~ 1.7% under scenario A1B (CO2-equivalent GHG concentrations of 850 ppmv) but increase by 2.0% ~ 4.4% under scenario B1 (CO2-equivalent GHG concentrations of 600 ppmv, which represents a greener economy than A1B). However, at the regional scale, although the magnitudes of the projected changes vary by scenario, the increasing or decreasing trends in arable land area are consistent: Regions with relative high latitudes - Russia, China and the U.S. - could see a significant increase in arable land in coming years, but South America, Africa, Europe and India could lose land area. For agricultural water use, the following questions are addressed: Where will there be a need for irrigation expansion and by how much? Where and how much of current irrigation pressures or water deficits for rainfed crops can be mitigated or aggravated? And finally, what is the overall situation for the entire world? It is found that despite the universally rising mean temperature, the global irrigation requirements are likely to decrease. This is probably due to the declining diurnal temperature range, which plays a key role in the evapotranspiration control, as well as the increasing precipitation in many areas contributing to the

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  1. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25008773

  2. Proposed adopted environmental assessment for the next generation weather radar facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-06-01

    The US Department of Commerce (DOC) completed an environmental impact assessment review, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), on its decisions for the nationwide Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) program of 150 radar units and for the site specific assessments of impacts. The DOC published a Programmatic Enviornmental Impact Statement on NEXRAD in November 1984. It completed a site-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed NEXRAD facility at DOE`s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in November 1991 and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on March 12, 1992. The DOC EA is included. The Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to adopt, in its entirety, the November 1991 site-specific EA prepared by the DOC for construction and operation of the NEXRAD facility and a National Weather Service (NWS) office building at BNL. The DOE`s decision is whether or not to lease a tract of land on DOE property to the DOC for use by the NWS. The DOE has performed an an in-depth review of the DOC EA to verify its accuracy and completeness, and to ensure that it encompasses the environmental issues at BNL relevant to the DOE proposed action for lease of land to the DOC. The DOE, therefore, proposes to adopt the DOC EA in its entirety by preparation of this brief addendum to assess the impacts.

  3. PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF ENERGY CONVERSION PROCESSES FOR AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST PRODUCT RESIDUES. VOLUME 1

    EPA Science Inventory

    A preliminary assessment was made of the environmental impacts of several types of conversion processes for producing energy or fuels from agricultural and forestry residues. Fifteen examples were selected to represent various combinations of agricultural residues and conversion ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Mapping Subfield-Scale Evapotranspiration to Assess Agricultural Drought Sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zipper, S. C.; Loheide, S. P., III

    2014-12-01

    Assessing crop response to drought on the subfield-scale is critical for efficient agricultural water management and yield forecasting. Evapotranspiration provides a direct physical link between the soil, crop canopy, and the atmosphere, and is hence highly sensitive to changes in water availability. Here, we introduce a new surface energy balance model (High Resolution Mapping of Evapotranspiration; HRMET) that can map ET at very high resolution (meter-scale) requiring only canopy surface temperature, canopy structure, and meteorology as inputs. HRMET can be used in both open and closed canopy conditions. We validate HRMET over two commercial cornfields in the Yahara River Watershed (south-central Wisconsin, USA) and investigate the spatially variable ET response to severe drought conditions during the 2012 growing season. Results show that the magnitude of within-field ET variability is much larger when the drought is more severe. We then introduce a new metric, Relative ET (ETR), which normalizes ET on a field scale and allows for direct comparison across measurement dates, despite differences in meteorological conditions and crop growth stage. Using a novel paired-image technique, we use persistent patterns of ETR identify portions of the field that are most susceptible to drought, and portions that are consistently productive across measurement dates. These results have implications for precision agriculture and irrigation efficiency in addition to water management and yield forecasting, as identification of persistent patterns in crop productivity during low-stress periods allows farmers to direct resources to the most sensitive areas early in droughts.

  8. 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.

  9. A Multi-Sensor Approach for Satellite Soil Moisture Monitoring for Agricultural Climate Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, C.; Cherneski, P.; Hadwen, T. A.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite missions specifically dedicated to soil moisture retrieval have become a reality in the past few years, with the launch of SMOS in 2009 and SMAP in 2014. While much of the work on applications around these missions has focussed on data assimilation systems for numerical weather prediction, there is also potential to use the data to support agricultural applications such as drought and flood assessment and yield forecasting. Previous work has examined the potential for using SMOS soil moisture for detecting spatial and temporal patterns of agroclimate risk, such as drought and excess wetness. This research builds upon that work through the examination of a data set with a longer reference period to determine if the dataset can be used as a baseline for detecting anomalies from normal conditions. Surface satellite soil moisture from a multi-sensor climate reference data set (1993 to 2010) and the SMOS surface soil moisture data (2010 - 2014) set were examined in hindsight to detect relevant trends for monitoring the climate conditions in agricultural regions of Canada. Soil moisture and soil moisture anomalies were examined against precipitation and temperature records over the relevant time periods, and compared against agroclimatic drought risk indicators, including the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Standardized Precipitation Index and the MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Condition anomalies. High impact events, including the 2002 drought in the Canadian Prairies, excess wetness in the southern Manitoba in 2009 and 2011 were evaluated in detail. The potential for using these data sets in near real time to support agricultural decision making will be discussed.

  10. Assessing Nutrient Transport Following Dredging of Agricultural Drainage Ditches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural drainage ditches are vital for many agricultural landscapes in the U.S. Previous research has indicated that dredging agricultural drainage ditches may degrade water quality. In this study, we monitored nutrient transport in two drainage ditches for six years (2003-2008), during which t...

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-11-01

    This report integrates and extrapolates worldwide the results of the agricultural sector PV market assessments conducted in the Philippines, Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, and Colombia. The types of applications evaluated are those requiring less than 15 kW of power and operate in a stand-alone mode. The study focused on the needs of low- and middle-income countries. The major conclusions derived from the studies were as follows: PV will be competitive in applications requiring 2 - 3 kW of power prior to 1983; by 1986 PV system competitiveness will extend to applications requiring 4 - 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, 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 US PV sales are: lack of awareness; high first costs; shortage of long-term capital; competition from German, French and Japanese companies who have their governments 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-04-01

    The following subjects are included: demographic overview;Philippine development plans; financing of energy, agriculture and development projects; potential photovoltaic applications in Philippine agriculture; market assessment; and business environment. The applications cover fish/prawn hatchery operations, irrigation, maintenance facilities, grinding and milling, fish cultivation, salt production, ice manufacture, and agricultural extension services. (MHR)

  19. Assessing urban runoff program progress through a dry weather hybrid reconnaissance monitoring design.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Brock; Moore, Bruce; Sharp, Grant; Smith, Robert

    2009-10-01

    Characterizing dry weather conditions in urban Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and then prioritizing and addressing problems due to urban pollutants, is a daunting challenge. The size and complexity of most MS4s and the ephemeral nature of many dry weather problems hamper efforts to identify and eliminate pollutant sources, and to track trends in condition. As a result, assessing overall program progress has proven difficult. We describe a hybrid dry weather urban monitoring design from southern California that combines probabilistic and targeted sampling to rigorously identify and prioritize problems and track program progress. Data from probabilistic sites define the urban background and establish tolerance intervals, which identify sites that persistently exceed the overall urban background. Targeted sites focus on locations where nearby activities and/or past history suggest that pollutant levels will be elevated. Embedding targeted monitoring within a probabilistic design enables data from targeted sites to be interpreted in a more meaningful regional context. Data from all sites are also used to construct site- and pollutant-specific control charts. These charts quickly identify instances where a site's behavior significantly changes, compared to its past behavior, suggesting an active source in the upstream drainage area. The hybrid design, and the use of formal statistical tools (tolerance intervals and control charts), permit the program to systematically prioritize problematic sites, compare conditions to the regional urban background, and track trends over time. In addition, the program's design allows several measures of program progress to be defined and thus consistently followed over time. Such hybrid designs can provide substantial advantages compared to more traditional monitoring approaches. PMID:18979175

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:24605844

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Assessment of a Sinkhole Filter for Removing Agricultural Contaminants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The impact on water quality by agricultural activity in karst terrain is an important consideration for resource management within the Appalachian Region. Karst areas comprise about 18 percent of the Region's land area. An estimated one-third of the Region's farms, cattle, and agricultural market v...

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. Assessment of the Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Implications for Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alonge, Adewale Johnson; Martin, Robert A.

    1995-01-01

    Surveyed farmers (115 of 150) were very positive about the profitability and compatibility of sustainable agriculture, although certain practices elicited negative reactions. They wanted research and development directed toward maximizing profitability and compatibility to facilitate their adoption of these practices. (SK)

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. PMID:15910909

  17. 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

  18. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM: AGRICULTURAL PROGRAM REPORT 1993

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document provides a comprehensive report on the EMAP Agricultural Lands 1993 Pilot Field Program, which was conducted in Nebraska. esults of the pilot monitoring effort are presented on land use and cover, crop productivity, and soil quality (physical, chemical, and biologic...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:20923966

  6. 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…

  7. Assessment of teachers' ability to integrate science concepts into secondary agriculture programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scales, Jason A.

    For the past two decades, the idea of integrating more science concepts into the agricultural education curriculum has been gaining support. The purposes of this study were two fold: (1) To assess the knowledge base and interest levels among agriculture instructors in teaching concepts related to science; (2) To assess how such a change in the curriculum would impact current agricultural education programs. The sample was derived from the population of agriculture instructors teaching in Missouri secondary schools. For this descriptive correlational research, an instrument was developed to assess the instructors' perceived level of competence to teach selected science grade level expectations (GLE) and their relationship to the agricultural education curriculum and programs. A second instrument, solicited from the American Board for Certification in Teacher Excellence, was used to assess the general biological science knowledge of the teachers. Agriculture instructors perceive that they are competent to teach and integrate science GLEs into the agriculture curriculum. However, their scores on the examination of knowledge of biological science brings into question their competence to teach this subject matter. Teachers believe integrating science into the agriculture curriculum will benefit their program and their students; however, they unsure if their classes should count for science credit or if FFA programs and activities are a good match for a more science-based curriculum.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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…

  10. 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. PMID:24434000

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Agricultural Development--With Special Reference to Kenya.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiragu, Consolater Wambuku; Goode, Pamela M.

    1990-01-01

    The concept of sustainable agriculture from the perspective of development in Kenya is discussed. The steps in an Environmental Impact Assessment which takes into account the physical, cultural, social, and ecological aspects of the problem are presented. (CW)

  16. 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. PMID:26508019

  17. Application of a stochastic weather generator to assess climate change impacts in a semi-arid climate: The Upper Indus Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsythe, N.; Fowler, H. J.; Blenkinsop, S.; Burton, A.; Kilsby, C. G.; Archer, D. R.; Harpham, C.; Hashmi, M. Z.

    2014-09-01

    Assessing local climate change impacts requires downscaling from Global Climate Model simulations. Here, a stochastic rainfall model (RainSim) combined with a rainfall conditioned weather generator (CRU WG) have been successfully applied in a semi-arid mountain climate, for part of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB), for point stations at a daily time-step to explore climate change impacts. Validation of the simulated time-series against observations (1961-1990) demonstrated the models' skill in reproducing climatological means of core variables with monthly RMSE of <2.0 mm for precipitation and ⩽0.4 °C for mean temperature and daily temperature range. This level of performance is impressive given complexity of climate processes operating in this mountainous context at the boundary between monsoonal and mid-latitude (westerly) weather systems. Of equal importance the model captures well the observed interannual variability as quantified by the first and last decile of 30-year climatic periods. Differences between a control (1961-1990) and future (2071-2100) regional climate model (RCM) time-slice experiment were then used to provide change factors which could be applied within the rainfall and weather models to produce perturbed ‘future' weather time-series. These project year-round increases in precipitation (maximum seasonal mean change:+27%, annual mean change: +18%) with increased intensity in the wettest months (February, March, April) and year-round increases in mean temperature (annual mean +4.8 °C). Climatic constraints on the productivity of natural resource-dependent systems were also assessed using relevant indices from the European Climate Assessment (ECA) and indicate potential future risk to water resources and local agriculture. However, the uniformity of projected temperature increases is in stark contrast to recent seasonally asymmetrical trends in observations, so an alternative scenario of extrapolated trends was also explored. We conclude that

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:24779636

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Assessment of Two Planetary Boundary Layer Schemes (ACM2 and YSU) within the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, J.; Harrold, M.; Xu, M.

    2014-12-01

    The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is a highly configurable numerical weather prediction system used in both research and operational forecasting applications. Rigorously testing select configurations and evaluating the performance for specific applications is necessary due to the flexibility offered by the system. The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) performed extensive testing and evaluation with the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) dynamic core for two physics suite configurations with a goal of assessing the impact that the planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme had on the final forecast performance. The baseline configuration was run with the Air Force Weather Agency's physics suite, which includes the Yonsei University PBL scheme, while the second configuration was substituted with the Asymmetric Convective Model (ACM2) PBL scheme. This presentation will focus on assessing the forecast performance of the two configurations; both configurations were run over the same set of cases, allowing for a direct comparison of performance. The evaluation was performed over a 15 km CONUS domain for a testing period from September 2013 through August 2014. Simulations were initialized every 36 hours and run out to 48 hours; a 6-hour "warm start" spin-up, including data assimilation using the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation system preceded each simulation. The extensive testing period allows for robust results as well as the ability to investigate seasonal and regional differences between the two configurations. Results will focus on the evaluation of traditional verification metrics for surface and upper air variables, along with an assessment of statistical and practical significance.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Calapooia watershed, Oregon: National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The overall goals of Assessing Trade-offs Between Crop Production and Ecological Services were to quantify linkages between conservation practices and biophysical responses including water quality and biological indicators, and to develop a model to assess tradeoffs between agricultural practices th...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1981-10-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Slope stability assessment of weathered clay by using field data and computer modelling: a case study from Budapest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görög, P.; Török, Á.

    2007-06-01

    A future development site of a housing estate, an abandoned-brick yard with clayey slopes was studied in details to assess slope stability and to calculate the factor of safety. The Oligocene clay, the former raw material, is divided into two different geotechnical units in the clay pit. The lower one consists of grey impermeable clays while the upper unit is characterised by yellowish weathered clay having a limited permeability. At some localities the topmost weathered clay layers are covered by loess, and slope debris. Parts of the former pit were also used as a landfill site. The slope stability analyses were performed based on borehole information and laboratory analyses in order to provide necessary engineering geological data for further site development and urban planning. Two geotechnical codes Plaxis and Geo4 were used to model the slope failures and assess the slope stability. The aim of using two different approaches was to compare them since Plaxis uses finite elements modelling while Geo4 uses conventional calculation methods to obtain circular and polygonal slip surfaces. According to model calculations and field data, the main trigger mechanisms of landslides seem to be high pore pressure due to rainwater and small slope debris covered springs. The slip surface is located at the boundary zone of yellow weathered and grey unaltered clay. Two computer models gave very similar results; although Plaxis provides combined safety factor which is slightly more pessimistic when compared to the safety factor obtained by using Geo4.

  13. 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.

  14. A probabilistic risk assessment for the vulnerability of the European carbon cycle to weather extremes: the ecosystem perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolinski, S.; Rammig, A.; Walz, A.; von Bloh, W.; van Oijen, M.; Thonicke, K.

    2015-03-01

    Extreme weather events are likely to occur more often under climate change and the resulting effects on ecosystems could lead to a further acceleration of climate change. But not all extreme weather events lead to extreme ecosystem response. Here, we focus on hazardous ecosystem behaviour and identify coinciding weather conditions. We use a simple probabilistic risk assessment based on time series of ecosystem behaviour and climate conditions. Given the risk assessment terminology, vulnerability and risk for the previously defined hazard are estimated on the basis of observed hazardous ecosystem behaviour. We apply this approach to extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystems to drought, defining the hazard as a negative net biome productivity over a 12-month period. We show an application for two selected sites using data for 1981-2010 and then apply the method to the pan-European scale for the same period, based on numerical modelling results (LPJmL for ecosystem behaviour; ERA-Interim data for climate). Our site-specific results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method, using the SPEI to describe the climate condition. The site in Spain provides an example of vulnerability to drought because the expected value of the SPEI is 0.4 lower for hazardous than for non-hazardous ecosystem behaviour. In northern Germany, on the contrary, the site is not vulnerable to drought because the SPEI expectation values imply wetter conditions in the hazard case than in the non-hazard case. At the pan-European scale, ecosystem vulnerability to drought is calculated in the Mediterranean and temperate region, whereas Scandinavian ecosystems are vulnerable under conditions without water shortages. These first model-based applications indicate the conceptual advantages of the proposed method by focusing on the identification of critical weather conditions for which we observe hazardous ecosystem behaviour in the analysed data set. Application of the method to empirical time

  15. 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)

  16. Proposed adopted environmental assessment for the next generation weather radar facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory. [NEXRAD Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-06-01

    The US Department of Commerce (DOC) completed an environmental impact assessment review, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), on its decisions for the nationwide Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) program of 150 radar units and for the site specific assessments of impacts. The DOC published a Programmatic Enviornmental Impact Statement on NEXRAD in November 1984. It completed a site-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed NEXRAD facility at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in November 1991 and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on March 12, 1992. The DOC EA is included. The Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to adopt, in its entirety, the November 1991 site-specific EA prepared by the DOC for construction and operation of the NEXRAD facility and a National Weather Service (NWS) office building at BNL. The DOE's decision is whether or not to lease a tract of land on DOE property to the DOC for use by the NWS. The DOE has performed an an in-depth review of the DOC EA to verify its accuracy and completeness, and to ensure that it encompasses the environmental issues at BNL relevant to the DOE proposed action for lease of land to the DOC. The DOE, therefore, proposes to adopt the DOC EA in its entirety by preparation of this brief addendum to assess the impacts.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Timing of acid weathering on Mars: A kinetic-thermodynamic assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolotov, Mikhail Y.; Mironenko, Mikhail V.

    2007-07-01

    Weathering of olivine basalt by H2SO4-HCl aqueous solutions at the conditions of early Mars was investigated through numerical modeling in a system open with respect to CO2 and O2 only. The model includes dissolution rates of primary and secondary minerals and oxidation rate of aqueous Fe2+, as well as chemical equilibration among solutes, dissolved gases, and precipitates. The results reveal fast dissolution of Fe-Mg minerals at low pH, followed by preferential dissolution of plagioclase at higher pH. Correspondingly, solutions evolve from acidic, Mg-Ca-Fe2+-Fe3+-Al3+ compositions toward Na-rich alkaline fluids. The period over which neutralization and mineral precipitation may occur is shorter at higher initial pH, lower water to rock ratios, and larger mineral surface areas. Early stages of weathering are characterized by the formation of amorphous silica, goethite, and kaolinite, while zeolites and carbonates form considerably later at higher pH, where silica dissolves. Slow oxidation of Fe2+ causes precipitation of ferrous phyllosilicates. Comparison with Martian observations indicate that amorphous silica, Fe3+ oxyhydroxides, and Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-sulfates could have formed during multiple short-term episodes of acid weathering that were terminated by freezing and/or evaporation. Throughout history, impact generation of oxidants (e.g., O2, SO3, NO2) caused formation of strong acids and incremental Fe2+ oxidation, the processes that are not efficient during O2-deficient periods of volcanic degassing. Although impact-generated acid rainfalls could have caused intense weathering and erosion in Noachian time, dilution of acids and a prolonged existence of surface solutions favored local neutralization of solution, and formation, transport and deposition of clays.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Drought vulnerability assessment for the agriculture: a case study for the west part of Slovenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slejko, M.; Gregorič, G.; Bergant, K.

    2009-04-01

    One of the main aspects of drought adaptation and planning is the assessment of vulnerability. Since agriculture is the primary sector affected by drought and is directly dependent on water availability, we have started with a pilot project in an important agricultural area in the west part of Slovenia. The project is a part of the activities of the Drought Management Centre for Southeastern Europe - DMCSEE. Drought in this area often results in significant economic, environmental, and social impacts. The significance of the impacts of drought on the agricultural sector is assessed taking into account the severity of the drought (magnitude and duration of the drought episode) and the vulnerability of the agricultural system. For that purpose we have developed a general method which can be used as a preliminary tool for assessing drought vulnerability in agriculture and that could be applied on the entire Southeastern Europe region. The approach was based on impact assessment and vulnerability model supported by geographic information system (GIS) software. We found out that factors influencing drought vulnerability were numerous, and the model application might depend on data availability. We have used appropriate and available digital data layers for climate, pedology, solar radiation, land use, irrigation infrastructure and other factors. The final product is a categorical map of agricultural drought vulnerability for the study area, which synthesizes a variety of data and serves as an indicator of areas deserving a detailed drought risk evaluation. It could aid regional decision makers in identifying appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions before the next drought event, lessen impacts of that event and allow sustainable development of the sector.

  4. APPLICATIONS OF AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM MODELS IN ASSESSING AND MANAGING CONTAMINATION OF THE SOIL-WATER-ATMOSPHERE CONTINUUM IN AGRICULTURE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980's, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems that wi...

  5. Application of Agricultural System Models in Assessing and Managing Contamination of Soil-Water-Atmosphere Continuum in Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980s, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems th...

  6. 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…

  7. Laboratory Assessment of Emission Reduction Strategies for the Agricultural Fumigants 1,3-Dichloropropene and Chloropicrin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 re...

  8. Historic Assessment of Agricultural Impacts on Soil and Soil Organic Carbon Erosion in an Ohio Watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Hao, Yueli; Lal, Rattan; Izaurralde, R Cesar C. ); Ritchie, Jerry; Owens, Lloyd; Hothem, Daniel

    2002-02-01

    Agricultural management affects soil and soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion. The effect was assessed for a watershed (o.79 ha, 10% slope steepness, 132 m slope length) at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed research station near Coshocton, Ohio, from 1951 to 1998

  9. 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. PMID:25857323

  10. Assessment of neurobehavioral function with computerized tests in a population of hispanic adolescents working in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Rohlman, D S; Bailey, S R; Anger, W K; McCauley, L

    2001-01-01

    In recent years there has been heightened concern over the potential of occupational or environmental exposures to affect neurological function in children and adolescents. The current study was designed to develop computerized tests to effectively assess neurobehavioral function in Hispanic adolescents working in agriculture and to evaluate those tests in Hispanic youths working in agriculture and in a non-agricultural group. After exclusions, 96 adolescents currently working in agriculture (AG) and 51 adolescents currently non-migratory and not working in agriculture (Non-AG) were tested. Neurobehavioral tests were selected from the computerized Behavioral Assessment and Research System. AG test performance was significantly below Non-AG performance on the cognitive tests. However, educational and cultural differences between the AG and Non-AG groups may explain this difference. Repeat testing of the AG group revealed substantially improved performance, further supporting educational or cultural differences as an explanation for the group differences. Together, these results expose the limitations in case-control or cross-sectional designs for testing migrant worker populations in the United States. Longitudinal or cross-sectional designs with repeat testing offer more promise and may be essential for drawing accurate conclusions in migrant worker groups where there are no truly equivalent comparison or control groups. PMID:11161647

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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

  14. Major ion chemistry of the Son River, India: Weathering processes, dissolved fluxes and water quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maharana, Chinmaya; Gautam, Sandeep Kumar; Singh, Abhay Kumar; Tripathi, Jayant K.

    2015-08-01

    River Son, draining diverse lithologies in the subtropical climate of the peninsular sub-basin of the Ganga basin, is one of the major tributaries of the Ganga River. The chemistry of major ions in the surface water of the Son River was studied in detail to determine various source(s) and processes controlling its water chemistry, seasonal and spatial variations in water chemistry, dissolved fluxes and chemical denudation rate (CDR). The study shows that Ca2+, Mg2+ and HCO 3- are major ionic species in the river water. Most of the measured parameters exhibit a relatively lower concentration in the post-monsoon as compared to pre-monsoon season. The water chemistry highlights the influence of continental weathering aided by secondary contributions from ground water, saline/alkaline soils and anthropogenic activities in the catchment. Results also reflect the dominance of carbonate weathering over silicate weathering in controlling water composition. The Son River delivers about 4.2 million tons of dissolved loads annually to the Ganga River, which accounts for ˜6% of the total annual load carried by the Ganga River to the Bay of Bengal. The average CDR of the Son River is 59.5 tons km -2 yr -1, which is less than the reported 72 tons km -2 yr -1 of the Ganga River and higher than the global average of 36 tons km -2 yr -1. The water chemistry for the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods shows a strong seasonal control on solute flux and CDR values. The water chemistry indicates that the Son River water is good to excellent in quality for irrigation and also suitable for drinking purposes.

  15. A regional approach for mineral soil weathering estimation and critical load assessment in boreal Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Colin J; Watmough, Shaun A

    2012-10-15

    In boreal regions of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, there is concern over emerging acid precursor emission sources associated with the oil sands industry. Base cation weathering rates (BC(w)) and steady-state critical loads of sulfur (CL(S)) were identified for upland forest soil plots (n=107) in 45 ecodistricts according to a new method for approximation of BC(w) in the region. This method was developed by regression of simple soil and site properties with BC(w) calculated through application of a soil chemical model (PROFILE). PROFILE was parameterized using detailed physicochemical data for a subset (n=35) of the sites. Sand content, soil moisture and latitude emerged as important predictive variables in this empirical regression approximation. Base cation weathering varied widely (0.1-8000 mmol(c) m(-3) yr(-1)) across the study sites, consistent with their contrasting soil properties. Several sites had lower rates than observed in other acid-sensitive regions of Canada owing to quartz dominated mineralogy and coarse-textured soils with very low surface area. Weathering was variable within ecodistricts, although rates were consistently low among ecodistricts located in the northwest of the province. Overall, half of the forest plots demonstrated CL(S) less than 45 mmol(c) m(-2) yr(-1). Historically, the acidification risk in this region has been considered low and monitoring has been limited. Given the very low CL(S) in many northern ecodistricts and the potential for increased acid deposition as oil sands activities expand, soil acidification in these regions warrants further study. PMID:22940479

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:22218172

  19. Water quality mapping and assessment, and weathering processes of selected aflaj in Oman.

    PubMed

    Ghrefat, Habes Ahmad; Jamarh, Ahmad; Al-Futaisi, Ahmed; Al-Abri, Badr

    2011-10-01

    There are more than 4,000 falaj (singular of a peculiar dug channel) distributed in different regions in Oman. The chemical characteristics of the water in 42 falaj were studied to evaluate the major ion chemistry; geochemical processes controlling water composition; and suitability of water for drinking, domestic, and irrigation uses. GIS-based maps indicate that the spatial distribution of chemical properties and concentrations vary within the same region and the different regions as well. The molar ratios of (Ca + Mg)/Total cations, (Na + K)/Total cations, (Ca + Mg)/(Na + K), (Ca + Mg)/(HCO₃ + SO₄), and Na/Cl reveal that the water chemistry of the majority of aflaj are dominated by carbonate weathering and evaporite dissolution, with minor contribution of silicate weathering. The concentrations of most of the elements were less than the permissible limits of Omani standards and WHO guidelines for drinking water and domestic use and do not generally pose any health and environmental problems. Some aflaj in ASH Sharqiyah and Muscat regions can be used for irrigation with slight to severe restriction because of the high levels of electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, chloride, and sodium absorption ratio. PMID:21210214

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, E.E.; Cleveland, L.; Calfee, R.; Barron, M.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. Metals in residential soils and cumulative risk assessment in Yaqui and Mayo agricultural valleys, northern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Meza-Montenegro, Maria M; Gandolfi, A Jay; Santana-Alcántar, María Ernestina; Klimecki, Walter T; Aguilar-Apodaca, María Guadalupe; Del Río-Salas, Rafael; De la O-Villanueva, Margarita; Gómez-Alvarez, Agustín; Mendivil-Quijada, Héctor; Valencia, Martín; Meza-Figueroa, Diana

    2012-09-01

    This investigation examines the extent of soil metal pollution associated with the Green Revolution, relative to agricultural activities and associated risks to health in the most important agricultural region of Mexico. Metal contents in bulk soil samples are commonly used to assess contamination, and metal accumulations in soils are usually assumed to increase with decreasing particle size. This study profiled the spatial distribution of metals (Ni, Cr, Pb, Cu, Fe, Cd, V, Hg, Co, P, Se, and Mn) in bulk soil and fine-grained fractions (soil-derived dust) from 22 towns and cities. The contamination of soil was assessed through the use of a geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and pollution index (PI). The results of this study indicated that a number of towns and cities are moderately to highly polluted by soil containing Be, Co, Hg, P, S, V, Zn, Se, Cr, and Pb in both size fractions (coarse and fine). Hazard index in fine fraction (HI(children)=2.1) shows that risk assessment based on Co, Mn, V, and Ni spatially related to power plants, have the potential to pose health risks to local residents, especially children. This study shows that risk assessment based on metal content in bulk soil could be overestimated when compared to fine-grained fraction. Our results provide important information that could be valuable in establishing risk assessment associated with residential soils within agricultural areas, where children can ingest and inhale dust. PMID:22820616

  2. Strategic Environmental Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options in the Canadian Agricultural Sector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noble, Bram F.; Christmas, Lisa M.

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a methodological framework for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) application. The overall objective is to demonstrate SEA as a systematic and structured policy, plan, and program (PPP) decision support tool. In order to accomplish this objective, a stakeholder-based SEA application to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policy options in Canadian agriculture is presented. Using a mail-out impact assessment exercise, agricultural producers and nonproducers from across the Canadian prairie region were asked to evaluate five competing GHG mitigation options against 13 valued environmental components (VECs). Data were analyzed using multi-criteria and exploratory analytical techniques. The results suggest considerable variation in perceived impacts and GHG mitigation policy preferences, suggesting that a blanket policy approach to GHG mitigation will create gainers and losers based on soil type and associate cropping and on-farm management practices. It is possible to identify a series of regional greenhouse gas mitigation programs that are robust, socially meaningful, and operationally relevant to both agricultural producers and policy decision makers. The assessment demonstrates the ability of SEA to address, in an operational sense, environmental problems that are characterized by conflicting interests and competing objectives and alternatives. A structured and systematic SEA methodology provides the necessary decision support framework for the consideration of impacts, and allows for PPPs to be assessed based on a much broader set of properties, objectives, criteria, and constraints whereas maintaining rigor and accountability in the assessment process.

  3. 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)

  4. Probabilistic assessment of acute health symptoms related to pesticide use under intensified Nepalese agriculture.

    PubMed

    Atreya, Kishor

    2008-06-01

    Agriculture intensification has pushed farmers to use pesticides for maintaining agricultural productivity and to increase income. However, pesticide use has a significant negative impact on farmers' health. In Nepal, uses of pesticides have been already documented in agriculturally intensified areas, however, little is known on health impacts. Weekly interviews were conducted during 2005 to assess the emerging pesticide problems, estimate the magnitude of pesticide-related acute illness, and identify associated risk factors. The study showed that very few farmers have adopted safety gear during pesticide spraying. The safety measures regression shows that warm temperature and drinking habits significantly reduced adoption of safety gear, whereas, integrated pest management (IPM) training and farm experience increased its adoption. The dose-response analyses showed that use of insecticides or fungicides, spray duration and mixing pesticides significantly affect farmer's health, which could be reduced either by educating farmers, increasing the use of safety gear, or reducing mixtures applications. PMID:18569147

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Shifts in Mortality During a Hot Weather Event in Vancouver, British Columbia: Rapid Assessment With Case-Only Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Sarah B.; Pollock, Sue L.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives. We assessed shifts in patterns of mortality during a hot weather event in greater Vancouver, British Columbia. Methods. We used a case-only analysis to compare characteristics of individuals who died during the hottest week of 2009 with those who died (1) during earlier summer weeks in 2009 and (2) during the same calendar weeks in the summers of 2001 through 2008. Results. Compared with the 8 previous weeks of 2009, odds of mortality during the summer’s hottest week were highest in the 65 to 74 years age category, compared with the 85 years and older category (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06, 2.03). The number of deaths at home increased over deaths in hospitals or institutions (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.10, 1.86). Densely populated administrative health areas were more affected. Conclusions. A shift toward deaths at home suggests that in-home–based protective measures should be part of planning for hot weather events in greater Vancouver. Targeting should be considered for those aged 65 to 74 years. The case-only approach is quick and easy to apply and can provide useful information about localized, time-limited events. PMID:23078510

  10. 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. PMID:16092274

  11. 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

  12. Using Content-Aligned Assessments to Find Gaps in Understanding of Fundamental Concepts for Weather and Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertheim, J.; Deboer, G. E.

    2009-12-01

    Efforts to assess students’ climate literacy so far have focused mainly on evaluating their understanding of advanced ideas about earth’s complex climate system. It is widely accepted that students, their teachers, and most other adults have persistent misconceptions about climate processes (e.g., the hole in the ozone layer is the main cause of global warming) that preclude them having an accurate understanding of more advanced ideas about the climate. Having established that significant gaps in climate literacy exist even at the college level, it is important to identify where the gaps in understanding of concepts fundamental to climate literacy occur. Here we present results from the most comprehensive assessment of middle and high school students’ understanding of the weather and climate topic to date. Students were given 90 multiple-choice assessment items aligned to various fundamental ideas about weather and climate. Students were also asked to justify their answer choices and to explain why each answer choice was either correct or incorrect. The items were administered to 2063 middle school students and 1006 high school students from 76 schools across the country, sampling a wide range of demographic groups. For the entire set of items, the percent correct for middle school students was 39% and for high school students was 47%. With high school students scoring only 8% better than middle school students overall, and middle school students equaling or outperforming high school students on 20% of the items, it is evident that most high school students do not adequately understand the foundational concepts that climate literacy is built upon, knowledge that is needed if they are going to successfully learn more sophisticated concepts in college. The results from this study are used to validate known misconceptions for middle and high school students, identify new misconceptions, and examine previously reported misconceptions that were not supported by

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:22066154

  15. Assessing and Mapping Drought Vulnerability in Agricultural Systems - A case Study for Slovenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slejko, M.; Gregorič, G.; Bergant, K.; Stanič, S.

    2010-09-01

    Drought is a recurrent meteorological phenomenon. During recent years there is a rising concern about the increasing frequency of droughts and the ecological, economic and social aspects of their impact, especially because of the possible correlations between droughts and climate change. In the past decade there were four severe agricultural droughts on the territory of Slovenia, which resulted in the damage of most of non-irrigated crops and considerable economic loss. To minimize the impact of such phenomena it is necessary to conduct a drought vulnerability assessment, which could help developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. Development of drought adaptation strategies is one of the core tasks of the Drought Management Centre for South-eastern Europe (DMCSEE). As a part of DMCSEE activities, we started with the pilot project for drought vulnerability assessment for Gori\\vska region in the western part of Slovenia in 2008 with the objective to identify principal impacts of drought and to develop a methodology for drought vulnerability assessment in agriculture. In 2009, we extended the vulnerability assessment area from our pilot region to the entire area of Slovenia. The significance of drought impact on agriculture was evaluated on a five-grade scale based on a number of criteria, which were used according to the availability of the data. We have used the available digital data for soil water-holding capacity, slope, solar radiation, land use and irrigation infrastructure. Vulnerability distributions were arranged according to administrative units - Graphical Units of Agricultural Land (GERK). In the present study, the evaluation grades were assigned subjectively, however, we are introducing objective tools and models to improve the evaluation. In the case of the assessment of the vulnerability of land use for certain types of crops in a specific GERK, we are using an irrigation scheduling model IRRFIB, which estimates water consumption by crops

  16. Classification and Mapping of Agricultural Land for National Water-Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilliom, Robert J.; Thelin, Gail P.

    1997-01-01

    Agricultural land use is one of the most important influences on water quality at national and regional scales. Although there is great diversity in the character of agricultural land, variations follow regional patterns that are influenced by environmental setting and economics. These regional patterns can be characterized by the distribution of crops. A new approach to classifying and mapping agricultural land use for national water-quality assessment was developed by combining information on general land-use distribution with information on crop patterns from agricultural census data. Separate classification systems were developed for row crops and for orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. These two general categories of agricultural land are distinguished from each other in the land-use classification system used in the U.S. Geological Survey national Land Use and Land Cover database. Classification of cropland was based on the areal extent of crops harvested. The acreage of each crop in each county was divided by total row-crop area or total orchard, vineyard, and nursery area, as appropriate, thus normalizing the crop data and making the classification independent of total cropland area. The classification system was developed using simple percentage criteria to define combinations of 1 to 3 crops that account for 50 percent or more or harvested acreage in a county. The classification system consists of 21 level I categories and 46 level II subcategories for row crops, and 26 level I categories and 19 level II subcategories for orchards, vineyards, and nurseries. All counties in the United States with reported harvested acreage are classified in these categories. The distribution of agricultural land within each county, however, must be evaluated on the basis of general land-use data. This can be done at the national scale using 'Major Land Uses of the United States,' at the regional scale using data from the national Land Use and Land Cover database, or at

  17. An Assessment of Optimality of Observations in High-resolution Weather Forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Prashant; Rakesh, V.

    2016-04-01

    Data assimilation is a critical component for short-range weather forecasting; a number of algorithms have been developed and applied for assimilation of different kind of observations. However, an important but less explored question is the (optimal) amount of observation for maximum improvement in forecasts through data assimilation. Because the meteorological fields at different spatial and temporal resolutions are not necessarily mutually independent, indefinite increase in resolution of observations may be ineffective; thus data optimality in this sense can be defined as the maximum resolution of observation beyond which no appreciable improvement occurs due to assimilation of data. Based on forecasts of seven events over a complex terrain (urban location, Delhi) with different combinations of observations, we show that improvement in forecast skill does not saturate even with assimilation of observations a few kilometers (<10 km) apart. The improvement due to assimilation of data from each of the profilers is appreciable; however, the impact was generally the highest for assimilation of data from all the four profilers. Applicable strategies for observation system design over high-impact areas are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. Americans and Their Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, William B.

    2000-07-01

    This revealing book synthesizes research from many fields to offer the first complete history of the roles played by weather and climate in American life from colonial times to the present. Author William B. Meyer characterizes weather events as neutral phenomena that are inherently neither hazards nor resources, but can become either depending on the activities with which they interact. Meyer documents the ways in which different kinds of weather throughout history have represented hazards and resources not only for such exposed outdoor pursuits as agriculture, warfare, transportation, construction, and recreation, but for other realms of life ranging from manufacturing to migration to human health. He points out that while the weather and climate by themselves have never determined the course of human events, their significance as been continuously altered for better and for worse by the evolution of American life.

  20. Representative Agricultural Pathways: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach to Agricultural Model Inter-comparison, Improvement, Climate Impact Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antle, J. M.; Valdivia, R. O.; Claessens, L.; Nelson, G. C.; Rosenzweig, C.; Ruane, A. C.; Vervoort, J.

    2013-12-01

    The global change research community has recognized that new pathway and scenario concepts are needed to implement impact and vulnerability assessment that is logically consistent across local, regional and global scales. For impact and vulnerability assessment, new socio-economic pathway and scenario concepts are being developed. Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) are designed to extend global pathways to provide the detail needed for global and regional assessment of agricultural systems. In addition, research by the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) shows that RAPs provide a powerful way to engage stakeholders in climate-related research throughout the research process and in communication of research results. RAPs are based on the integrated assessment framework developed by AgMIP. This framework shows that both bio-physical and socio-economic drivers are essential components of agricultural pathways and logically precede the definition of adaptation and mitigation scenarios that embody associated capabilities and challenges. This approach is based on a trans-disciplinary process for designing pathways and then translating them into parameter sets for bio-physical and economic models that are components of agricultural integrated assessments of climate impact, adaptation and mitigation. RAPs must be designed to be part of a logically consistent set of drivers and outcomes from global to regional and local. Global RAPs are designed to be consistent with higher-level global socio-economic pathways, but add key agricultural drivers such as agricultural growth trends that are not specified in more general pathways, as illustrated in a recent inter-comparison of global agricultural models. To create pathways at regional or local scales, further detail is needed. At this level, teams of scientists and other experts with knowledge of the agricultural systems and regions work together through a step-wise process. Experiences

  1. Agriculture drought risk assessment of the irrigated agriculture zone in North Henan Plain using HJ-1 and MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Haixia; Huang, He; Wang, Ping; Sun, Yinxiang

    2011-12-01

    This paper analyzed the evolution of drought and the spectral response of the crop at different growing seasons focuses on the irrigated agricultural areas of northen Henan using the HJ-1 data and MODIS data,associated with relevant meteologic data, regional geographical data and the social economic data.The Spatial and temporal distribution of the risk of disaster-causing factors and the fragility of the disaster-affected body was conducted and the comprehensive index of agricultral drought risk was built up.Then, trend of the agricultural drought was analyzed and the irrigated agricultural drought risk class was performed and the possible hazard and influence of agricultural drought and the performance of appropriate strategy to reduce agricultral drought have been estimated.At last,verification of the results and improvement of the model have been carried out supported by the historic cases, expert system and the on-site investigation data.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27057992

  6. A method to assess the inter-annual weather-dependent variability in air pollution concentration and deposition based on weather typing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pleijel, Håkan; Grundström, Maria; Karlsson, Gunilla Pihl; Karlsson, Per Erik; Chen, Deliang

    2016-02-01

    Annual anomalies in air pollutant concentrations, and deposition (bulk and throughfall) of sulphate, nitrate and ammonium, in the Gothenburg region, south-west Sweden, were correlated with optimized linear combinations of the yearly frequency of Lamb Weather Types (LWTs) to determine the extent to which the year-to-year variation in pollution exposure can be partly explained by weather related variability. Air concentrations of urban NO2, CO, PM10, as well as O3 at both an urban and a rural monitoring site, and the deposition of sulphate, nitrate and ammonium for the period 1997-2010 were included in the analysis. Linear detrending of the time series was performed to estimate trend-independent anomalies. These estimated anomalies were subtracted from observed annual values. Then the statistical significance of temporal trends with and without LWT adjustment was tested. For the pollutants studied, the annual anomaly was well correlated with the annual LWT combination (R2 in the range 0.52-0.90). Some negative (annual average [NO2], ammonia bulk deposition) or positive (average urban [O3]) temporal trends became statistically significant (p < 0.05) when the LWT adjustment was applied. In all the cases but one (NH4 throughfall, for which no temporal trend existed) the significance of temporal trends became stronger with LWT adjustment. For nitrate and ammonium, the LWT based adjustment explained a larger fraction of the inter-annual variation for bulk deposition than for throughfall. This is probably linked to the longer time scale of canopy related dry deposition processes influencing throughfall being explained to a lesser extent by LWTs than the meteorological factors controlling bulk deposition. The proposed novel methodology can be used by authorities responsible for air pollution management, and by researchers studying temporal trends in pollution, to evaluate e.g. the relative importance of changes in emissions and weather variability in annual air pollution

  7. 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

  8. Assessment of Weatherization Assistance Program Needs for Improved Residential Measure Selection Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Gettings, M.B.

    1991-01-01

    This report documents a study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to evaluate the current measure selection techniques and needs of agencies within the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The study precedes initiation of a project to revise and upgrade the current means of selecting energy conservation measures for low-income single- and multi-family housing and includes recommendations for the revision. Issues relevant to the formation of the revised audit procedures are discussed. Currently available audits are reviewed. No single- to multi-family audit program was found capable of fulfilling the currents needs of the WAP. Recommendations include the separate development of single- and multi-family audits. Addition of specific features to the single-family audit is recommended, including (1) measure ranking unique to each eligible house, (2) heating and cooling equipment measures, (3) cooling envelope measures, (4) means of determining the amount of infiltration work to be performed, (5) potential for customizing and simplifying to meet local needs, and (6) implementation on either a personal computer or as an alternate manual technique. A single-family audit development plan is proposed which includes examination of several existing programs as potential starting points. Recommendations related to the development of a WAP multi-family audit include examination of several existing private programs for possible use by state WAP agencies expressing the greatest need and further study of the DOE supported programs ASEAM and CIRA as possible starting points for a DOE procedure. Early identification of approved multi-family measures and their applicability to various building stock, equipment types, and fuels is also recommended.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Environmental indicators to assess the risk of diffuse Nitrogen losses from agriculture.

    PubMed

    Buczko, Uwe; Kuchenbuch, Rolf O

    2010-05-01

    Diffuse Nitrogen (N) loss from agriculture is a major factor contributing to increased concentrations of nitrate in surface and groundwater, and of N(2)O and NH(3) in the atmosphere. Different approaches to assess diffuse N losses from agriculture have been proposed, among other direct measurements of N loads in leachate and groundwater, and physically-based modelling. However, both these approaches have serious drawbacks and are awkward to use at a routine base. N loss indicators (NLIs) are environmental management tools for assessing the risk of diffuse N losses from agricultural fields. They range in complexity from simple proxy variables to elaborate systems of algebraic equations. Here we present an overview of NLIs developed in different parts of the world. NLIs can be categorized into source-based, transport-based, and composite approaches. Several issues demand more attention in future studies. (1) Is incorporation of leaching losses and gaseous losses into one single NLI warranted? (2) Is it sufficient to restrict the focus on the rooted soil zone without considering the vadose zone and aquifer? (3) Calibration and validation of NLIs using field data of N loss seems not sufficient. Comparisons of several different NLIs with each other needs more attention; however, the different scaling of NLIs impedes comparability. (4) Sensitivity of input parameters with regard to the final NLI output needs more attention in future studies. (5) For environmental management purposes, factors addressing management decision by farmers deserve more attention. PMID:20306042

  13. GlobWat - a global water balance model to assess water use in irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoogeveen, J.; Faurès, J.-M.; Peiser, L.; Burke, J.; van de Giesen, N.

    2015-09-01

    GlobWat is a freely distributed, global soil water balance model that is used by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to assess water use in irrigated agriculture, the main factor behind scarcity of freshwater in an increasing number of regions. The model is based on spatially distributed high-resolution data sets that are consistent at global level and calibrated against values for internal renewable water resources, as published in AQUASTAT, the FAO's global information system on water and agriculture. Validation of the model is done against mean annual river basin outflows. The water balance is calculated in two steps: first a "vertical" water balance is calculated that includes evaporation from in situ rainfall ("green" water) and incremental evaporation from irrigated crops. In a second stage, a "horizontal" water balance is calculated to determine discharges from river (sub-)basins, taking into account incremental evaporation from irrigation, open water and wetlands ("blue" water). The paper describes the methodology, input and output data, calibration and validation of the model. The model results are finally compared with other global water balance models to assess levels of accuracy and validity.

  14. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Steigelman, W.; Asmon, I.

    1981-07-01

    A month-long study in Mexico was aimed at assessing the market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture. The types of applications considered are those requiring less than 15 kw of power. The applications include irrigation, cattle watering, refrigeration, crop processing and animal raising. Descriptions are provided of power and energy use profiles for many applications as well as assessments of business environment, government and private sector attitudes towards photovoltaics, and financing. The Mexican market presents both advantages and disadvantages for American PV manufacturers. The principal advantages are recognition of the technical superiority of American photovoltaics and the favorable reputation of several American PV firms already active in the Mexican market. Major disadvantages include lack of government incentives for PV use, cheap domestic energy sources, extensive electric grid, high first cost of PV, competition from Mexican and other non-US PV companies, and lack of financing. Given these parameters the market for PV in the Mexican agricultural sector during the period 1981 to 1986, will be relatively small, about 605 kwp. However, other sectors where the market for PV is likely to be more favorable than for agriculture include: rural services, telecommunications and cathodic protection. The primary market appears to be in the public (i.e., government) rather than private sector, due to financing constraints and the high price of PV relative to conventional power sources available to the private sector.

  15. Life cycle assessment based evaluation of regional impacts from agricultural production at the Peruvian coast.

    PubMed

    Bartl, Karin; Verones, Francesca; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2012-09-18

    Crop and technology choices in agriculture, which largely define the impact of agricultural production on the environment, should be considered in agricultural development planning. A life cycle assessment of the dominant crops produced in a Peruvian coastal valley was realized, in order to establish regionalized life cycle inventories for Peruvian products and to provide the basis for a regional evaluation of the impacts of eutrophication, acidification, human toxicity, and biodiversity loss due to water use. Five scenarios for the year 2020 characterized by different crop combinations and irrigation systems were considered as development options. The results of the regional assessment showed that a business-as-usual scenario, extrapolating current trends of crop cultivation, would lead to an increase in nitrate leaching with eutrophying effects. On the other hand, scenarios of increased application of drip irrigation and of mandarin area expansion would lead to a decrease in nitrate leaching. In all scenarios the human toxicity potential would decrease slightly, while an increase in irrigation water use would benefit the biodiversity of a nearby groundwater-fed wetland. Comparisons with results from other studies confirmed the importance of regionalized life cycle inventories. The results can be used as decision support for local farmers and authorities. PMID:22894858

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Drought assessment using MODIS products in an agricultural setting of Mississippi Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukherjee, A.

    2012-12-01

    Early 21st century climate has become erratic in nature and droughts which cause severe damages especially in the agricultural area tends to be a recurrent phenomenon throughout the world. The alluvial plain of Mississippi Delta is well suited for agriculture and a quick drought monitoring technique is needed for better management of resources. Due to the logistical sampling difficulties, it is impractical to conduct field monitoring of droughts. Remote sensing is an attractive alternate method since it is fast and cost effective. It is therefore our purpose in this pilot study to investigate the possibility of using information from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products which are free and readily available to monitor seasonal drought in agricultural settings in Mississippi Delta. The objective of this study is to explore and investigate the feasibility of readily available satellite derived data for measuring and monitoring drought in the agricultural area of Mississippi delta. The specific objectives are- 1) to create a MODIS derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference water index (NDWI) time series database, 2) evaluation of the relationship between NDVI, NDWI, and other relevant indices and 3) the generation of a new vegetation drought index, the normalized difference drought index (NDDI) for the study area to compare with the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) maps. Interactions among all these parameters which are actually the derivatives of MODIS 8-day 500 meter surface reflectance data (MOD09A1) are being investigated for the purpose of drought assessment. MODIS time series data will be collected, stored, analyzed and the relationships between various drought indices over an agricultural setting in Mississippi delta will be presented.

  19. 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.

  20. Ecotoxicological hazard and risk assessment of heavy metal contents in agricultural soils of central Germany.

    PubMed

    Manz, M; Weissflog, L; Kühne, R; Schürmann, G

    1999-02-01

    Heavy metal content of agricultural topsoils has been experimentally determined at 14 areas in the German Leipzig-Halle-Bitterfeld region covering ca. 3700 km2. For most of the locations and elements, the contamination levels are comparable to those of other agricultural sites in Germany and Europe. Application of a sequential extraction technique revealed relatively low contamination levels in the mobile fractions, which indicates a correspondingly low degree of bioavailability of the heavy metals under the current milieu conditions. In contrast, acidification of the soil due to a drastic decrease in the deposition of calciferous fly ash would lead to a significantly increased ecotoxicological hazard potential, as is analyzed by a probabilistic distribution method that quantifies the overlap of normalized exposure and effect data. The discussion includes recommendations for further improvement of risk assessment schemes addressing soil contamination. PMID:10051370

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Evaluating the use of Social Impact Assessment in the context of agricultural development projects in Iran

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmadvand, Mostafa; Karami, Ezatollah; Zamani, Gholam Hossein; Vanclay, Frank

    2009-11-15

    The utilisation of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in Iran is analysed in terms of its policy context and its application in practice. Five case studies where SIA was employed in conjunction with Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for agricultural development projects are evaluated. In addition, the performance of the policy context is assessed. This research revealed that there are legal and institutional constraints to the effective functioning of SIA in Iran, and that there are deficiencies in the operating guidelines. There were serious problems associated with the way SIA was undertaken in all five case studies. Recommendations to improve the policy framework for the conduct of SIA are made. The recommendations advocate for a higher profile of SIA within legislation, for social issues to have greater emphasis in official guidelines for the conduct of EIA and SIA, and for a range of measures to increase the professionalism of SIA practice.

  4. STREAM TRANSPORT AND AGRICULTURAL RUNOFF OF PESTICIDES FOR EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT: A METHODOLOGY. PART B. APPENDICES G THROUGH K

    EPA Science Inventory

    To predict the potential environmental or human health risk posed by agricultural pesticides, exposure assessments require the estimation of chemical concentrations in field runoff and in associated streams. In the report, a methodology is described for estimating the mean, maxim...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26311349

  8. Response of Agriculture and Forests to Climate Change in France: Assessment of Uncertainties and Trend Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laanaia, N.; Carrer, D.

    2014-12-01

    In the framework of the French research project ORACLE we examine the impact of climate change on agriculture and forests in France for two time horizons (2020-2050 and 2070-2100) in reference to the 1970-2000 period. The biophysical variables (leaf area index, equilibrium forest biomass, leaf onset and offset, ...) are produced by ISBA-A-gs forced by the atmospheric variables produced by differents climat models and scenarios. Their trends will be analyzed. The impact of uncertainties at various levels through multi-model and multi-scenario approaches will be assessed

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Riverine Threat Indices to Assess Watershed Condition and Identify Primary Management Capacity of Agriculture Natural Resource Management Agencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. 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. PMID:24390081

  13. 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

  14. Assessment of suspended matter transport in a large agricultural catchment using the MOHID water modelling system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, Bailly; David, Brito; Chantha, Oeurng; Ramiro, Neves; Sabine, Sauvage; Sánchez-Pérez, José-Miguel

    2010-05-01

    Suspended sediment transport from agricultural catchments to stream networks is responsible for impaired water quality, reservoir sedimentation and the transport of sediment-bound pollutants (pesticides, particulate nutrients, metals and other adsorbed toxic substances). The dynamic of pollutants adsorbed on sediment and associated with particulate organic carbon, from land areas into stream network arises mainly from erosion and sedimentation processes. It is known that up to 90% of suspended sediment is transported during flood event and therefore quick flood events have a major impact on pollutant transport. This study - part of the EU AguaFlash (http://www.aguaflash-sudoe.eu/) project - examined and quantified suspended sediment dynamics from catchment to river (erosion, transport, deposition on hillside and in the river). Semi-distributed, physics-based watershed or reservoir models are generally used to simulate sediment dynamics. One of the limitations of this kind of modelling is that transport along agricultural field and the possibility of deposition of suspended sediments in hillslopes are not considered. Consequently, all sediments eroded are assumed to be accumulated in the river and the sediment and associated pollutant dynamics are over- or under-estimated. In our approach, the mechanistic physics-based water modelling system MOHID (http://www.mohid.com) was used to quantify soil erosion and sediment transport processes at the local and macroscopic scale. This paper present the erosion and transport mathematical model and modelling strategy used and compares our initial results with filed data obtained on an 1100 km² intensive agricultural catchment (Save catchment, South-west France) during 2007-2009 and with simulation data produced using SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool, 2005 version). The contribution of the MOHID model compared with that of the semi-distributed SWAT model is discussed. Keywords: Erosion, suspended sediment, transport

  15. 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

  16. Sanitation assessment of wastewater treated by stabilization ponds for potential reuse in agricultural irrigation sanitation assessment.

    PubMed

    Pivelli, R P; Günther, W M R; Matté, G R; Razzolini, M T P; Cutolo, S A; Martone-Rocha, S; Peternella, F A S; Dória, M C O; Matté, M H

    2008-03-01

    Wastewater reuse has become an important alternative to agricultural irrigation; on the other hand, it poses concern with regard to public health. Total coliform and Escherichia coli concentration, presence of helminth eggs and Salmonella, and physical-chemical parameters were evaluated in raw and treated wastewater. Chemical and biochemical oxygen demand removal efficiency was 74.6 and 77.9%, respectively. As for organic nitrogen, total phosphorus, and total suspended solids, total efficiency removal was 17.4, 12.5, and 32.9%, respectively. The average density of total coliforms and E. coli was 3.5 x 10(9) and 1.8 x 10(8) MPN/100 mL and 1.1 x 10(7) MPN/100 mL and 3.9 x 10(5) MPN/100 mL for raw and treated wastewater, respectively. Ascaris eggs were observed in 80.8% of the samples collected, and viable eggs in 42.3% of the samples. Salmonella was detected in 36.4% of the samples. The values observed in treated wastewater did not show the adequate bacteriological quality, as recommended by World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland). Therefore, additional measures should be taken to achieve an improved microbiological and parasitological quality. PMID:18419008

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Space Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, Dennis L.

    2010-01-01

    This video provides a narrated exploration of the history and affects of space weather. It includes information the earth's magnetic field, solar radiation, magnetic storms, and how solar winds affect electronics on earth, with specific information on how space weather affects space exploration in the future.

  2. Fumonisins B1 and B2 in agricultural products consumed in South Korea: an exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Seo, Eunkyoung; Yoon, Yohan; Kim, Kyeongyeol; Shim, Won-Bo; Kuzmina, Nina; Oh, Keum-Soon; Lee, Jong-Ok; Kim, Dong-Sul; Suh, Junghyuck; Lee, Soo-Hyung; Chung, Kee-Hey; Chung, Duck-Hwa

    2009-02-01

    To survey fumonisins B1 (FB1) and B2 (FB2) in agricultural products consumed in South Korea and provide an exposure assessment, ground samples were extracted (80% MeOH), filtered (0.2 microm), and cleaned up. After evaporation, dry residues were reconstituted in 50% MeOH, and a 50-micro1 aliquot of this sample was mixed with 200 micro1 of o-phthaldialdehyde for derivatization. The derivatives were analyzed with a high-performance liquid chromatography system equipped with a fluorescence detector. For validation of the detection procedure, linearity, accuracy, precision, detection limit, and quantification limit were determined. The validated detection method was then used to survey fumonisins in white rice, brown rice, barley, barley tea, beer, wheat flour, millet, dried corn, corn flour, corn tea, canned corn, popcorn, and breakfast cereal. Retention times for FB1 and FB2 standards were 7 and 18 min, respectively. Linearity (R2 = 0.99995 to 0.99998), accuracy (81.47 to 108.83%), precision (2.35 to 5.77), detection limit (25 ng/g or ng/ml), and quantification limit (37 ng/g or ng/ml) indicated that this procedure is capable of quantifying fumonisins in agricultural products. Only FB1-positive samples (5.12%, three dried corn samples and five corn flour samples) were found at 90.89 to 439.67 ng/g. According the survey results, an estimated daily intake of FB1 and FB2 in Korea was 0.087 ng/kg of body weight per day. These results indicate that continuous monitoring of these mycotoxins is necessary to establish appropriate risk assessment, and the maximum tolerable daily intake of fumonisins in Korea is lower than the 2 microg/kg set by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization-World Health Organization Expert Committee. PMID:19350995

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-10-01

    The results of a month-long study in Nigeria conducted in February 1981 are detailed. The study was aimed at assessing in the 1981 to 1986 market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture. Information on technically and economically feasible applications, and assessments of business, government and financial climate for photovoltaic sales are provided. The study concluded that the market for stand-alone photovoltaic power systems will be large, the primary reasons being the availability of capital and the high premium placed on high reliability, low maintenance power systems. A market exists for such agricultural/rural applications as: micro-irrigation, veterinary units, grain grinding, dryers, produce coolers, ice makers, water/boreholes, and health, education and extension services. Other markets with high PV sales potential include: remote local government centers, public and private communication systems, TV battery chargers, domestic power supply and cathodic protection. The potential market for photovoltaics in the 1981 to 1986 time frame is estimated at about 1.9 to 4.7 MW. The major purchaser in the near-term would be the federal and state governments.

  5. Riparian strip efficiency assessment in agricultural landscapes using stereoscopic very high spatial resolution satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chokmani, Karem; Novoa, Julio

    2015-04-01

    Riparian strips are used worldwide to protect riverbanks and water quality in agricultural zones because of their several environmental benefits. A metric called the Riparian Strip Quality Index, which is based on the percentage area of riverine vegetation found on the riparian strip, is used to evaluate their ecological condition. This index could be considered an indicator of the potential capacity of riparian strips to filter sediments, retain pollutants, and provide shelter to terrestrial and aquatic species. Thus, in order to know if a riparian strip is truly efficient in agricultural lands, which means that it is fulfilling those ecological functions, it is necessary to understand their ability to intercept surface runoff. The latter is the major cause of water pollution and erosion in these productive areas. Besides vegetation coverage, topographic and hydrologic parameters must be included to model the intensity and spatial distribution of runoff streamflow at local scales. The geospatial information used to assess the ecological efficiency of riparian strips was extracted from very-high-spatial-resolution WorldView-2 satellite imagery. This information was then processed using current geospatial techniques such as object-based image analysis and was used to develop a Riparian Strip Efficiency Index. The results show that this index might be used to assess the efficiency of riparian strips, which will enable land managers to monitor changes occurring over time, identify priority areas for restoration activities. This, in turn, might ensure optimal allocation of private or public funds towards the most inefficient and threatened riparian strips.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Steingass, H.; Asmon, I.

    1981-09-01

    A month-long study in Morocco was aimed at assessing the market potential for stand-alone photovoltaic systems in agriculture and rural service applications. The types of applications considered are those requiring less than 15 kw of power. The applications include irrigation, cattle watering, refrigeration, crop processing, potable water and educational TV. Telecommunications and transportation signalling applications were also considered in the course of the study. Power and energy use profiles are described for many applications as well assessments of business environment, government and private sector attitudes towards photovoltaics, and financing. The Moroccan market presents both advantages and disadvantages for American PV manufacturers. The principle advantages are a limited grid, interest in and present use of PV in communications applications, attractive investment incentives and a stated policy favoring American investment. Major 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. Given these parameters the market for PV in Morocco during the period of 1981 to 1986, will be relatively small, about 340 kwp. Sectors where the market for PV is likely to be more favorable than for agriculture include: 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.

  7. A New Trans-Disciplinary Approach to Regional Integrated Assessment of Climate Impact and Adaptation in Agricultural Systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antle, J. M.; Valdivia, R. O.; Jones, J.; Rosenzweig, C.; Ruane, A. C.

    2013-12-01

    This presentation provides an overview of the new methods developed by researchers in the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) for regional climate impact assessment and analysis of adaptation in agricultural systems. This approach represents a departure from approaches in the literature in several dimensions. First, the approach is based on the analysis of agricultural systems (not individual crops) and is inherently trans-disciplinary: it is based on a deep collaboration among a team of climate scientists, agricultural scientists and economists to design and implement regional integrated assessments of agricultural systems. Second, in contrast to previous approaches that have imposed future climate on models based on current socio-economic conditions, this approach combines bio-physical and economic models with a new type of pathway analysis (Representative Agricultural Pathways) to parameterize models consistent with a plausible future world in which climate change would be occurring. Third, adaptation packages for the agricultural systems in a region are designed by the research team with a level of detail that is useful to decision makers, such as research administrators and donors, who are making agricultural R&D investment decisions. The approach is illustrated with examples from AgMIP's projects currently being carried out in Africa and South Asia.

  8. Eco-efficiency of agricultural water systems: Methodological approach and assessment at meso-level scale.

    PubMed

    Todorovic, Mladen; Mehmeti, Andi; Scardigno, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    This study presents a methodological framework for the meso-level eco-efficiency assessment of agricultural water systems using a life-cycle system-based approach. The methodology was applied to the Sinistra Ofanto irrigation scheme, located in Southern Italy, where about 28,165 ha are under irrigation. The environmental performance of the system was evaluated through a set of selected mid-point environmental impact categories while the economic performance was measured using the total value added to the system's final products due to water use and the adopted management practices. Both economic performance and environmental performance were measured at different stages and for each stakeholder in the value chain. A distinction was made between foreground and background systems referring, respectively, to the processes that occurred inside the water system boundaries and those used for the production of supplementary resources. The analysis revealed that the major environmental burdens are: i) the freshwater resource depletion (i.e. excessive groundwater pumping), ii) climate change (i.e. direct emissions due to fertilizer use and diesel combustion), and iii) eutrophication (as a result of excessive application of N and P fertilizers). A considerable impact was observed on the background system where energy, fuel and agrochemicals were produced thereby confirming the prominent role of background processes in the comprehensive eco-efficiency assessment. The presented methodology aimed at the quantitative assessment of the eco-efficiency level rather than at the identification of the most affected environmental category. Hence, the results can be used to compare the performance of the system from one year to the next, among different stakeholders (water users) and/or to assess the impact of adopting innovative technologies and management practices. Moreover, the presented approach is useful for comparing the performance among different agricultural water systems and

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:24777948

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:16433094

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. Integrated Assessment of Climate Change, Agricultural Land Use, and Regional Carbon Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MU, J.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in land use have caused a net release of carbon to the atmosphere over the last centuries and decades1. On one hand, agriculture accounts for 52% and 84% of global anthropogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, respectively. On the other hand, many agricultural practices can potentially mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the most prominent of which are improved cropland and grazing land management2. From this perspective, land use change that reduces emissions and/or increases carbon sequestration can play an important role in climate change mitigation. As shown in Figure 1, this paper is an integrated study of climate impacts, land uses, and regional carbon changes to examine, link and assess climate impacts on regional carbon changes via impacts on land uses. This study will contribute to previous research in two aspects: impacts of climate change on future land uses under an uncertain future world and projections of regional carbon dynamics due to changes in future land use. Specifically, we will examine how land use change under historical climate change using observed data and then project changes in land use under future climate projections from 14 Global Climate Models (GCMs) for two emission scenarios (i.e., RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). More importantly, we will investigate future land use under uncertainties with changes in agricultural development and social-economic conditions along with a changing climate. By doing this, we then could integrate with existing efforts by USGS land-change scientists developing and parameterizing models capable of projecting changes across a full spectrum of land use and land cover changes and track the consequences on ecosystem carbon to provide better information for land managers and policy makers when informing climate change adaptation and mitigation policies.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. [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". PMID:22768736

  3. 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.

  4. GlobWat - a global water balance model to assess water use in irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoogeveen, J.; Faurès, J.-M.; Peiser, L.; Burke, J.; van de Giesen, N.

    2015-01-01

    GlobWat is a freely distributed, global soil water balance model that is used by FAO to assess water use in irrigated agriculture; the main factor behind scarcity of freshwater in an increasing number of regions. The model is based on spatially distributed high resolution datasets that are consistent at global level and calibrated against values for Internal Renewable Water Resources, as published in AQUASTAT, FAO's global information system on water and agriculture. Validation of the model is done against mean annual river basin outflows. The water balance is calculated in two steps: first a "vertical" water balance is calculated that includes evaporation from in situ rainfall ("green" water) and incremental evaporation from irrigated crops. In a second stage, a "horizontal" water balance is calculated to determine discharges from river (sub-)basins, taking into account incremental evaporation from irrigation, open water and wetlands ("blue" water). The paper describes methodology, input and output data, calibration and validation of the model. The model results are finally compared with other global water balance models.

  5. Assessment of EDTA heap leaching of an agricultural soil highly contaminated with heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Hu, Pengjie; Yang, Bingfan; Dong, Changxun; Chen, Like; Cao, Xueying; Zhao, Jie; Wu, Longhua; Luo, Yongming; Christie, Peter

    2014-12-01

    The efficiency of heavy metal removal from soil by EDTA leaching was assessed in a column leaching experiment at the laboratory scale and field heap leaching at the pilot scale using a sandy loam sierozem agricultural soil contaminated with Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Soil amendment and aging were conducted to recover leaching soils. The percentages of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn removed by column leaching were 90%, 88%, 90%, and 67%, respectively, when 3.9 bed volumes of 50mM EDTA were used. At the pilot scale, on-site metal removal efficiencies using the selected leaching procedure were 80%, 69%, 73% and 62% for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively. EDTA leaching decreased soil CEC, total P, total K and available K concentrations but increased organic matter and total Kjeldahl N concentrations. The subsequent amendment and soil aging further reduced the DTPA-extractable heavy metals in the leached soils. Growth of the first crop of pak choi in the leached soil was inhibited but the second crop grew well after the soil was aged for one year and the concentrations of Cd and Pb in the edible parts were below the Chinese statutory limits. The results demonstrate the potential feasibility of the field leaching technique using EDTA combined with subsequent amendment and soil aging for the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated agricultural soils. PMID:25277965

  6. 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. PMID:26650205

  7. Environmental assessment of anaerobically digested sludge reuse in agriculture: potential impacts of emerging micropollutants.

    PubMed

    Hospido, Almudena; Carballa, Marta; Moreira, Maite; Omil, Francisco; Lema, Juan M; Feijoo, Gumersindo

    2010-05-01

    Agricultural application of sewage sludge has been emotionally discussed in the last decades, because the latter contains organic micropollutants with unknown fate and risk potential. In this work, the reuse of anaerobically digested sludge in agriculture is evaluated from an environmental point of view by using Life Cycle Assessment methodology. More specifically, the potential impacts of emerging micropollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, present in the sludge have been quantified. Four scenarios were considered according to the temperature of the anaerobic digestion (mesophilic or thermophilic) and the sludge retention time (20 or 10d), and they have been compared with the non-treated sludge. From an environmental point of view, the disposal of undigested sludge is not the most suitable alternative, except for global warming due to the dominance (65-85%) of the indirect emissions associated to the electricity use. Nutrient-related direct emissions dominate the eutrophication category impact in all the scenarios (>71.4%), although a beneficial impact related to the avoidance of industrial fertilisers production is also quantified (up to 6.7%). In terms of human and terrestrial toxicity, the direct emissions of heavy metals to soil dominate these two impact categories (>70%), and the contribution of other micropollutants is minimal. Moreover, only six (Galaxolide, Tonalide, Diazepam, Ibuprofen, Sulfamethoxazole and 17alpha-ethinyloestradiol) out of the 13 substances considered are really significant since they account for more than 95% of the overall micropollutants impact. PMID:20347114

  8. Weatherizing America

    ScienceCinema

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

    2013-05-29

    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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Considerations for assessments of wadable drainage systems in the agriculturally dominated deltas of Arkansas and Mississippi.

    PubMed

    Stephens, W W; Moore, M T; Farris, J L; Bouldin, J L; Cooper, C M

    2008-10-01

    The watershed approach, currently used to assess regional streams in the United States, emphasizes least-disturbed reference conditions. Consideration of extensive wadable drainage systems found in Arkansas and Mississippi deltas challenges concepts of disturbance within a landscape of historic agricultural land use. Seventeen wadable drainage ditch sites in Arkansas and Mississippi deltas were characterized using water quality parameters and rapid bioassessment protocols. In all, 19 fish and 105 macroinvertebrate taxa were identified. Macroinvertebrate assemblages were dominated by coleopteran, dipteran, and hemipteran taxa at most drainage sites. Predominance of mobile, early colonists in ditches limits applicability of some metrics for assessment of stream integrity beyond prevalent conditions of ephemeral water quantity and habitat maintenance. This study provides evidence of considerable variability of physical characteristics, water quality, and fish and invertebrate metrics in wadable drainage systems. It indicates a disparity in usefulness of the watershed approach, emphasizing least-disturbed reference conditions, in assessing ecological integrity for a region with ditches as dominant landscape features. PMID:18305980

  15. 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. PMID:22788104

  16. Assessment of Management Strategies for a Straightened Lowland Agricultural Stream in Southwestern Québec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousseau, Y.; Biron, P.

    2009-05-01

    Channel straightening and dredging were extensively used in the 20th century to improve agricultural fields' drainage efficiency and facilitate crop maintenance and harvest. Although the adverse geomorphologic and ecological effects of this practice on hydrologic networks are widely acknowledged, alternative management strategies remain marginal in Southwestern Québec. Furthermore, bank stabilization projects are often carried out to mitigate erosion at a local scale with little concern about the watershed scale, i.e. treating the symptom rather than the cause of erosion, and with little guidance on suitable designs for specific areas. We present here the results of a case study conducted in a small straightened agricultural stream in the St. Lawrence Lowlands (Richer stream, 45 km east of Montreal, Qc) to assess the efficiency of diverse instream structures to enhance bank stability. The loss in sinuosity and resultant increase in stream power in this stream resulted in acute erosion problems. A conceptual model developed in Java was developed to examine erosion processes at the watershed scale. This model is also used to parameterize a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model (Phoenics) to investigate the effects on flow field of employing various types of instream structures in a section of the Richer Stream which is particularly problematic for river management because of residential development and very limited space available for riparian zones. Model validation was achieved using flow velocity measurements obtained with an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter. Simulation outcomes are analysed with regards to strategies using geomorphological, economical and ecological criteria in an attempt to identify their efficiency. The methods presented here can help decreasing the high degree of uncertainty generally involved in restoration activities by better assessing the efficiency of specific stabilization techniques prior to their implementation while

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. An assessment of buoy-derived and numerical weather prediction surface heat fluxes in the tropical Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, Meghan F.; Fairall, Christopher W.; McPhaden, Michael J.

    2006-06-01

    As part of the Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes program, from 2000 through 2003, the easternmost 95°W Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) moorings were enhanced to provide time series of net surface heat flux, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship maintaining the 95°W and 110°W TAO lines was enhanced to monitor surface heat fluxes and atmospheric boundary layer structure. In this study we compare the ship-based and buoy-based radiative, bulk latent, and sensible heat fluxes, as well as the meteorological state variables used to compute the turbulent heat fluxes. The buoy net surface heat flux measurements appear to have an overall uncertainty near the target 10 W m-2, when careful attention is paid to the state variables. When hourly averaged data were unavailable, the telemetered daily averaged data were used in combination with an estimate of the mesoscale gustiness. In the eastern tropical Pacific a warm layer correction to account for stratification above 1-m depth was important only during the warm season (January-May) near the equator. These high-quality, cross-validated buoy heat flux time series are then used to assess the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR), NCEP/Department of Energy, and 40-year European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts reanalyses' surface heat fluxes. All reanalyses show that over warm water where deep convection is prominent, latent heat loss is too large and net solar radiation is too weak; conversely, in regions of stratocumulus over cool water, net solar radiation is too strong, and for NCEP/NCAR, latent heat loss is too weak.

  20. An integrated stochastic approach to the assessment of agricultural water demand and adaptation to water scarcity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, T.; Butler, A. P.; McIntyre, N.

    2012-12-01

    Increasing water demands from growing populations coupled with changing water availability, for example due to climate change, are likely to increase water scarcity. Agriculture will be exposed to risk due to the importance of reliable water supplies as an input to crop production. To assess the efficiency of agricultural adaptation options requires a sound understanding of the relationship between crop growth and water application. However, most water resource planning models quantify agricultural water demand using highly simplified, temporally lumped estimated crop-water production functions (CWPFs). Such CWPFs fail to capture the biophysical complexities in crop-water relations and mischaracterise farmers ability to respond to water scarcity. Application of these models in policy analyses will be ineffective and may lead to unsustainable water policies. Crop simulation models provide an alternative means of defining the complex nature of the CWPF. Here we develop a daily water-limited crop model for this purpose. The model is based on the approach used in the FAO's AquaCrop model, balancing biophysical and computational complexities. We further develop the model by incorporating improved simulation routines to calculate the distribution of water through the soil profile. Consequently we obtain a more realistic representation of the soil water balance with concurrent improvements in the prediction of water-limited yield. We introduce a methodology to utilise this model for the generation of stochastic crop-water production functions (SCWPFs). This is achieved by running the model iteratively with both time series of climatic data and variable quantities of irrigation water, employing a realistic rule-based approach to farm irrigation scheduling. This methodology improves the representation of potential crop yields, capturing both the variable effects of water deficits on crop yield and the stochastic nature of the CWPF due to climatic variability. Application to

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Global Weirding? - Using Very Large Ensembles and Extreme Value Theory to assess Changes in Extreme Weather Events Today

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, F. E. L.; Mitchell, D.; Sippel, S.; Black, M. T.; Dittus, A. J.; Harrington, L. J.; Mohd Saleh, N. H.

    2014-12-01

    A shift in the distribution of socially-relevant climate variables such as daily minimum winter temperatures and daily precipitation extremes, has been attributed to anthropogenic climate change for various mid-latitude regions. However, while there are many process-based arguments suggesting also a change in the shape of these distributions, attribution studies demonstrating this have not currently been undertaken. Here we use a very large initial condition ensemble of ~40,000 members simulating the European winter 2013/2014 using the distributed computing infrastructure under the weather@home project. Two separate scenarios are used:1. current climate conditions, and 2. a counterfactual scenario of "world that might have been" without anthropogenic forcing. Specifically focusing on extreme events, we assess how the estimated parameters of the Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) distribution vary depending on variable-type, sampling frequency (daily, monthly, …) and geographical region. We find that the location parameter changes for most variables but, depending on the region and variables, we also find significant changes in scale and shape parameters. The very large ensemble allows, furthermore, to assess whether such findings in the fitted GEV distributions are consistent with an empirical analysis of the model data, and whether the most extreme data still follow a known underlying distribution that in a small sample size might otherwise be thought of as an out-lier. The ~40,000 member ensemble is simulated using 12 different SST patterns (1 'observed', and 11 best guesses of SSTs with no anthropogenic warming). The range in SSTs, along with the corresponding changings in the NAO and high-latitude blocking inform on the dynamics governing some of these extreme events. While strong tele-connection patterns are not found in this particular experiment, the high number of simulated extreme events allows for a more thorough analysis of the dynamics than has been

  7. 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),…

  8. 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. PMID:21113782

  9. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26196068

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The role of risk assessments in the governance of genetically modified organisms in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Strand, R

    2001-09-14

    Controversy abounds in the governance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for use in agriculture, partly due to ideological differences. Technological optimism and the "shallow" and the "deep" ecology movements are three influential ideologies that are seen to differ both on value commitments and factual beliefs with respect to GMOs. Factual matters are clarified but not resolved by science, since the scientific community faces uncertainty and apparent contradiction between different research perspectives, notably molecular biology, ecology and the social sciences. Scientific advice plays a key role in the governance of GMOs and ought to be construed so as not to exclude legitimate arguments from ideological perspectives present in the process of governance. This paper analyses the role and use of risk assessments and argues that they be replaced by forms of advice that consider a broader spectrum of scientific evidence and insights, e.g. impact assessments and evaluations of inherent sources of uncertainty and ignorance. A few practical measures to that effect are discussed. PMID:11532366

  16. [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. PMID:25269280

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:22791140

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26306792

  4. Assessing risks of climate variability and climate change for Indonesian rice agriculture.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Rosamond L; Battisti, David S; Vimont, Daniel J; Falcon, Walter P; Burke, Marshall B

    2007-05-01

    El Niño events typically lead to delayed rainfall and decreased rice planting in Indonesia's main rice-growing regions, thus prolonging the hungry season and increasing the risk of annual rice deficits. Here we use a risk assessment framework to examine the potential impact of El Niño events and natural variability on rice agriculture in 2050 under conditions of climate change, with a focus on two main rice-producing areas: Java and Bali. We select a 30-day delay in monsoon onset as a threshold beyond which significant impact on the country's rice economy is likely to occur. To project the future probability of monsoon delay and changes in the annual cycle of rainfall, we use output from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 suite of climate models, forced by increasing greenhouse gases, and scale it to the regional level by using empirical downscaling models. Our results reveal a marked increase in the probability of a 30-day delay in monsoon onset in 2050, as a result of changes in the mean climate, from 9-18% today (depending on the region) to 30-40% at the upper tail of the distribution. Predictions of the annual cycle of precipitation suggest an increase in precipitation later in the crop year (April-June) of approximately 10% but a substantial decrease (up to 75% at the tail) in precipitation later in the dry season (July-September). These results indicate a need for adaptation strategies in Indonesian rice agriculture, including increased investments in water storage, drought-tolerant crops, crop diversification, and early warning systems. PMID:17483453

  5. 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.

  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. PMID:26379254

  7. Assessment of the predictive quality of simple indicator approaches for nitrate leaching from agricultural fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buczko, Uwe; Kuchenbuch, Rolf

    2010-05-01

    Diffuse N losses from agriculture are a major cause of excessive nitrate concentrations in surface and groundwaters. Leaching through the soil is the main pathway of nitrate loss. For environmental management, an anticipatory assessment and monitoring of nitrate leaching risk by indicator (index) approaches is increasingly being used. Although complex Nitrogen Loss Indicator (NLI) approaches may provide more information, relatively simple NLIs may have advantages in many practical situations, for instance, when data availability is restricted. In this study, we tested four simple NLIs to asses their predictive properties: 1. N balance (Nbal); 2. exchange frequency of soil solution (EF); 3. potential nitrate concentration in leachate (PNCL); 4. a composite NLI (balance exchange frequency product, BEP). Field data of nitrate leaching from two sites in northeast Germany along with published data from several sites in Germany, Scotland and the USA were utilized. Nbal proved to be a relatively poor indicator of N loss for the time frame of one year, whereas its prediction accuracy improved for longterm averaged data. Correlation between calculated EF and experimental data was high for single year data, whereas it was lower for longterm averaged data. PNCL gave no significant correlations with measured data and high deviations. The results for BEP were intermediate between those for Nbal and EF. The results suggest that the use of EF is appropriate for assessing N leaching loss for single year data and specific sites with comparable N input and management practices, whereas for long-term averaged data, Nbal is better suited. BEP is an appropriate NLI both for single year and longterm data which accounts for source and transport factors and thus is more flexible than source based Nbal and transport based EF. However, such simplified NLIs have limitations: 1. the N cycle is not covered completely; 2. processes in the vadose zone and the aquifer are neglected, 3. assessment

  8. 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 institution's…

  9. Assessing preferences of beach users for certain aspects of weather and ocean conditions: case studies from Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Assessing a Pesticide Exposure Intensity Algorithm in the Agricultural Health Study

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Kent W.; Dosemeci, Mustafa; Coble, Joseph B.; Hoppin, Jane A.; Sheldon, Linda S.; Chapa, Guadalupe; Croghan, Carry W.; Jones, Paul A.; Knott, Charles E.; Lynch, Charles F.; Sandler, Dale P.; Blair, Aaron E.; Alavanja, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    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 (AHS) is a prospective cohort study of pesticide applicators who provided detailed questionnaire information on their use of specific pesticides. A field study was performed for a subset of the applicators enrolled in the AHS to assess a pesticide exposure algorithm through comparison of algorithm intensity scores with measured exposures. Pre- and post-application urinary biomarker measurements were made for 2,4-D (n = 69) and chlorpyrifos (n = 17) applicators. Dermal patch, hand wipe, and personal air samples were also collected. Intensity scores were calculated using information from technician observations and an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Correlations between observer and questionnaire intensity scores were high (Spearman r = 0.92 and 0.84 for 2,4-D and chlorpyrifos, respectively). Intensity scores from questionnaires for individual applications were significantly correlated with post-application urinary concentrations for both 2,4-D (r = 0.42, p < 0.001) and chlorpyrifos (r = 0.53, p = 0.035) applicators. Significant correlations were also found between intensity scores and estimated hand loading, estimated body loading, and air concentrations for 2,4-D applicators (r-values 0.28–0.50, p-values<0.025). Across all chlorpyrifos applicators, body loading measurements were significantly correlated with intensity scores from questionnaires (r=0.50, p=0.039) but not from observations (r=0.18, p=0.482). Dermal measures for in-furrow granular applications of chlorpyrifos (n = 12) were very low and not correlated with intensity scores. A linear regression model indicated that the algorithm factors for individual applications explained 24% of the variability in post

  11. 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... document extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register of December 9, 2009 (74 FR... Register of December 9, 2009, making available for comment a policy paper entitled ``Revised...

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Assessment of the soil water content temporal variations in an agricultural area of Galicia (NW Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mestas-Valero, Roger Manuel; Miras-Avalos, Jose Manuel; Paz-González, Antonio

    2010-05-01

    The direct and continuous assessment of the temporal variation on soil water content is of paramount importance for agricultural practices and, in particular, for the management of water resources. Soil water content is affected by many factors such as topography, particle size, clay and organic matter contents, and tillage systems. There are several techniques to measure or estimate soil water content. Among them, Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) stands out. It is based on measuring the dielectrical constant of the soil environment. This technique allows to describe water dynamics in time and space, to determine the main patterns of soil moisture, the water uptake by roots, the evapotranspiration and the drainage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the daily variation of soil water content in the root-influenced zone in plots devoted to maize and grassland as a function of the soil water volumetric content. The studied site is located in an experimental field of the Centre for Agricultural Research (CIAM) in Mabegondo located in the province of A Coruña, Spain (43°14'N, 8°15'W; 91 masl). The study was carried out from June 2008 to September 2009 in a field devoted to maize (Zea mays, L.) and another field devoted to grassland. The soil of these sites is silt-clay textured. Long-term mean annual temperature and rainfall figures are 13.3 °C and 1288 mm, respectively. During the study period, maize crop was subjected to conventional agricultural practices. A weekly evaluation of the phenological stage of the crop was performed. An EnviroSCAN FDR equipment, comprising six capacitance sensors, was installed in the studied sites following the manufacturer's recommendations, thus assuring a proper contact between the probe and the soil. Soil water content in the root-influenced zone (40 cm depth in grassland and 60 cm depth in maize were considered) was hourly monitored in 20 cm ranges (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, and 40-60 cm) using FDR. Evaluations were

  19. 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. PMID:23509393

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Market assessment of photovoltaic power systems for agricultural applications in Colombia

    SciTech Connect

    Steigelmann, W.; Neyeloff, S.

    1981-11-01

    An assessment is made of the market potential for photovoltaic systems in the agricultural sector of Colombia. 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 1981-86 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 PV-powered rural telephone systems. The anticipated eligibility of photovoltaic equipment for loans under the Fifth Law would be a further positive factor in market potential. Important negative factors include relatively inexpensive energy in developed locations, reliance on hydropower, lack of familarity 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 to offer complete systems, perform as much production and assembly of systems as possible in Colombia or another Andean Pact country to avoid higher tariffs, and consider forming corporations with majority Colombian participation in light or trade advantages.

  4. An integrated approach to assess heavy metal source apportionment in peri-urban agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ying; Li, Tingqiang; Wu, Chengxian; He, Zhenli; Japenga, Jan; Deng, Meihua; Yang, Xiaoe

    2015-12-15

    Three techniques (Isotope Ratio Analysis, GIS mapping, and Multivariate Statistical Analysis) were integrated to assess heavy metal pollution and source apportionment in peri-urban agricultural soils. The soils in the study area were moderately polluted with cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg), lightly polluted with lead (Pb), and chromium (Cr). GIS Mapping suggested Cd pollution originates from point sources, whereas Hg, Pb, Cr could be traced back to both point and non-point sources. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated aluminum (Al), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) were mainly inherited from natural sources, while Hg, Pb, and Cd were associated with two different kinds of anthropogenic sources. Cluster analysis (CA) further identified fertilizers, waste water, industrial solid wastes, road dust, and atmospheric deposition as potential sources. Based on isotope ratio analysis (IRA) organic fertilizers and road dusts accounted for 74-100% and 0-24% of the total Hg input, while road dusts and solid wastes contributed for 0-80% and 19-100% of the Pb input. This study provides a reliable approach for heavy metal source apportionment in this particular peri-urban area, with a clear potential for future application in other regions. PMID:26257294

  5. Hyperspectral imaging with liquid-crystal tunable filter for biological and agricultural assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Chengye; Heitschmidt, Jerry

    1999-01-01

    A hyperspectral imaging system has been developed to provide the capability of both airborne and ground/laboratory data acquisitions. The system consists of modular front imaging optics with a liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF), a CCD video camera, a frame grabber and a portable computer system. The spectral range is form 450 nm to 750 nm with a 10 nm bandpass for each band acquired. The system can capture different spectral images at a rate up to 14 images per second. Hyperspectral imaging with an LCTF provides a new method for hyperspectral image acquisition. The system allows the user to define a wavelength sequence of up to thirty-two spectrums specifically required for individual application, and can quickly switch from the current wavelength to the next during automated image acquisition. Hyperspectral images of crop fields, vegetation, fruits, and meat were successfully captured during laboratory experiments and airborne image acquisition. The constructed spectral image cube not only shows the spatial features of the target, but also reveals the individual pixels with unique spectral signatures. The imaging system with LCTF is, therefore, very useful in biological and agricultural assessment for detecting variations in crop fields, or defects in samples and products.

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing the Impact of Agricultural Pressures on N and P Loads and Potential Eutrophication Risk at Regional Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupas, R.; Gascuel-odoux, C.; Delmas, M.; Moatar, F.

    2014-12-01

    Excessive nutrient loading of freshwater bodies results in increased eutrophication risk worldwide. The processes controlling N/P transfer in agricultural landscapes are well documented through scientific studies conducted in intensively monitored catchments. However, managers need tools to assess water quality and evaluate the contribution of agriculture to eutrophication at regional scales, including unmonitored or poorly monitored areas. To this end, we present an assessment framework which includes: i) a mass-balance model to estimate diffuse N/P transfer and retention and ii) indicators based on N:P:Si molar ratios to assess potential eutrophication risk from external loads. The model, called Nutting (Dupas et al., 2013), integrates variables for both detailed description of agricultural pressures (N surplus, soil P content) and characterisation of physical attributes of catchments (including spatial attributes). It was calibrated on 160 catchments, and applied to 2210 unmonitored headwater bodies in France (Dupas et al., under review). N and P retention represented 53% and 95% of soil N and P surplus, respectively, and was mainly controlled by runoff and an index characterising infiltration/runoff properties. According to our estimates, diffuse agricultural sources represented a mean of 97% of N loads and N exceeded Si in 93% of the catchments, whilst they represented 46% of P loads and P exceeded Si in 26-65% of the catchments. Estimated eutrophication risk was highly sensitive to assumptions about P bioavailability, hence the range of headwaters potentially at risk spanned 26-63% of the catchments, depending on assumptions. To reduce this uncertainty, we recommend introducing P bioavailability tests in water monitoring programs, especially in sensitive areas. Dupas R et al. Assessing N emissions in surface water at the national level: comparison of country-wide vs. regionalized models. Sci Total Environ 2013; 443: 152-62. Dupas R et al. Assessing the impact

  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. 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. PMID:23801639

  10. Impact of derived global weather data on simulated crop yields

    PubMed Central

    van Wart, Justin; Grassini, Patricio; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23801639

  11. 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 ...

  12. Improving our ability to assess risk of phosphorus from agricultural fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eutrophication from excess phosphorus (P) loading is widespread among U.S. water bodies with a substantial portion of the P originating from agricultural fields. To reduce the impact agriculture has on water quality, USDA-NRCS includes P-based planning strategies in their 590 Standard to restrict P ...

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Assessment of agricultural return flows under changing climate and crop water management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water rights, policy and emergent water markets in the semi-arid regions of the western USA, and worldwide, call for improved estimates of agricultural water budgets. Agricultural water is seen as a major potential water supply with high commodity value as municipalities seek water security under g...

  16. Estimated agricultural pesticide use for Southeast Stream-Quality Assessment, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. Assessing the Implications of Changing Extreme Value Distributions of Weather on Carbon and Water Cycling in Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunsell, N. A.; Nippert, J. B.

    2011-12-01

    As the climate warms, it is generally acknowledged that the number and magnitude of extreme weather events will increase. We examined an ecophysiological model's responses to precipitation and temperature anomalies in relation to the mean and variance of annual precipitation along a pronounced precipitation gradient from eastern to western Kansas. This natural gradient creates a template of potential responses for both the mean and variance of annual precipitation to compare the timescales of carbon and water fluxes. Using data from several Ameriflux sites (KZU and KFS) and a third eddy covariance tower (K4B) along the gradient, BIOME-BGC was used to characterize water and carbon cycle responses to extreme weather events. Changes in the extreme value distributions were based on SRES A1B and A2 scenarios using an ensemble mean of 21 GCMs for the region, downscaled using a stochastic weather generator. We focused on changing the timing and magnitude of precipitation and altering the diurnal and seasonal temperature ranges. Biome-BGC was then forced with daily output from the stochastic weather generator, and we examined how potential changes in these extreme value distributions impact carbon and water cycling at the sites across the Kansas precipitation gradient at time scales ranging from daily to interannual. To decompose the time scales of response, we applied a wavelet based information theory analysis approach. Results indicate impacts in soil moisture memory and carbon allocation processes, which vary in response to both the mean and variance of precipitation along the precipitation gradient. These results suggest a more pronounced focus ecosystem responses to extreme events across a range of temporal scales in order to fully characterize the water and carbon cycle responses to global climate change.

  20. 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.

  1. Public Awareness of Space Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzerotti, Louis J.

    2009-08-01

    As society increasingly relies on space-based infrastructure for communication and national security, there is a growing need to improve public awareness of the risks space weather poses. The National Space Weather Program (NSWP) should consider this need as it develops new strategic plans. The 2006 “Report of the Assessment Committee for the National Space Weather Program” (http://www.ofcm.gov/r24/fcm-r24.htm) continues to guide this important national program, which aims to improve space weather forecasting services and reduce technological vulnerabilities. NSWP, under the auspices of the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM), is coordinated by the NSWP Council, which consists of eight federal agencies. This council, through its Committee for Space Weather, is in the process of formulating new Strategic and Implementation plans for the NSWP using recommendations from the Assessment Committee.

  2. 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.

  3. Weather control

    SciTech Connect

    Leepson, M.

    1980-09-05

    Weather modification, the intentional altering of atmospheric conditions to suit the purposes of humankind, has five basic forms: (1) fog dissipation; (2) rain and snow enhancement; (3) hail suppression; (4) lightning suppression; and (5) the abatement of severe storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes. The dissipation of fog and the seeding of clouds with dry ice or silver iodide to produce rain are the most successful weather modification techniques. Both are used extensively and with varying degrees of success in the United States and around the world. Cloud seeding, though, is not effective in easing the harshness of a drought, such as the one that hit the Southwest, Midwest and Great Plains this summer.

  4. 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).

  5. Protection of agriculture against drought in Slovenia based on vulnerability and risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dovžak, M.; Stanič, S.; Bergant, K.; Gregorič, G.

    2012-04-01

    Past and recent extreme events, like earthquakes, extreme droughts, heat waves, flash floods and volcanic eruptions continuously remind us that natural hazards are an integral component of the global environment. Despite rapid improvement of detection techniques many of these events evade long-term or even mid-term prediction and can thus have disastrous impacts on affected communities and environment. Effective mitigation and preparedness strategies will be possible to develop only after gaining the understanding on how and where such hazards may occur, what causes them, what circumstances increase their severity, and what their impacts may be and their study has the recent years emerged as under the common title of natural hazard management. The first step in natural risk management is risk identification, which includes hazard analysis and monitoring, vulnerability analysis and determination of the risk level. The presented research focuses on drought, which is at the present already the most widespread as well as still unpredictable natural hazard. Its primary aim was to assess the frequency and the consequences of droughts in Slovenia based on drought events in the past, to develop methodology for drought vulnerability and risk assessment that can be applied in Slovenia and wider in South-Eastern Europe, to prepare maps of drought risk and crop vulnerability and to guidelines to reduce the vulnerability of the crops. Using the amounts of plant available water in the soil, slope inclination, solar radiation, land use and irrigation infrastructure data sets as inputs, we obtained vulnerability maps for Slovenia using GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis with a weighted linear combination of the input parameters. The weight configuration was optimized by comparing the modelled crop damage to the assessed actual damage, which was available for the extensive drought case in 2006. Drought risk was obtained quantitatively as a function of hazard and

  6. Assessing irrigated agriculture's surface water and groundwater consumption by combining satellite remote sensing and hydrologic modelling.

    PubMed

    Peña-Arancibia, Jorge L; Mainuddin, Mohammed; Kirby, John M; Chiew, Francis H S; McVicar, Tim R; Vaze, Jai

    2016-01-15

    Globally, irrigation accounts for more than two thirds of freshwater demand. Recent regional and global assessments indicate that groundwater extraction (GWE) for irrigation has increased more rapidly than surface water extraction (SWE), potentially resulting in groundwater depletion. Irrigated agriculture in semi-arid and arid regions is usually from a combination of stored surface water and groundwater. This paper assesses the usefulness of remotely-sensed (RS) derived information on both irrigation dynamics and rates of actual evapotranspiration which are both input to a river-reach water balance model in order to quantify irrigation water use and water provenance (either surface water or groundwater). The assessment is implemented for the water-years 2004/05-2010/11 in five reaches of the Murray-Darling Basin (Australia); a heavily regulated basin with large irrigated areas and periodic droughts and floods. Irrigated area and water use are identified each water-year (from July to June) through a Random Forest model which uses RS vegetation phenology and actual evapotranspiration as predicting variables. Both irrigated areas and actual evapotranspiration from irrigated areas were compared against published estimates of irrigated areas and total water extraction (SWE+GWE).The river-reach model determines the irrigated area that can be serviced with stored surface water (SWE), and the remainder area (as determined by the Random Forest Model) is assumed to be supplemented by groundwater (GWE). Model results were evaluated against observed SWE and GWE. The modelled SWE generally captures the observed interannual patterns and to some extent the magnitudes, with Pearson's correlation coefficients >0.8 and normalised root-mean-square-error<30%. In terms of magnitude, the results were as accurate as or better than those of more traditional (i.e., using areas that fluctuate based on water resource availability and prescribed crop factors) irrigation modelling. The RS

  7. Application of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool and Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source Models in the St. Joseph River Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated the performance of two water quality models in accordance to specific tasks designated in the USDA Agricultural Research Service Conservation Effects Assessment Project. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source (AnnAGNPS) models ...

  8. 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. PMID:23013411

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Assessment of pesticide exposure in the agricultural population of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Monge, Patricia; Partanen, Timo; Wesseling, Catharina; Bravo, Viria; Ruepert, Clemens; Burstyn, Igor

    2005-07-01

    We describe a model for the retrospective assessment of parental exposure to 26 pesticides, selected by toxicity-based prioritization, in a population-based case-control study of childhood leukaemia in Costa Rica (301 cases, 582 controls). The model was applied to a subset of 227 parents who had been employed or self-employed in agriculture or livestock breeding. It combines external data on pesticide use for 14 crops, 21 calendar years and 14 regions, and individual interview data on determinants (task and technology, personal protective equipment, field reentry, storing of pesticides, personal hygiene) of exposure. Recall was enhanced by use of checklists of pesticides in the interview. An external database provided information on the application rate (proxy for intensity of potential exposure) for each pesticide. The calendar time was individually converted to five time windows (year before conception, first, second and third trimester, and first year of the child). Time-windowed individual data on determinants of exposure and their expert-based general weights and their category-specific hazard values jointly provided an individual determinant score. This score was multiplied by the application rate to obtain an individual index of exposure intensity during application. Finally, average exposure intensity during entire time windows was estimated by incorporating in the model the individual time fraction of exposure during application. Estimates of exposure intensities were proxies assumed to be proportional to dermal exposure intensity, which represents the major pathway of occupational exposure to pesticides. A simulated sensitivity analysis resulted in a correlation coefficient of 0.91 between two sets of 10 000 values of individual exposure indices, based on two different but realistic sets expert-assigned weights. Lack of measurement data on concurrent exposures in comparable circumstances precluded direct validation of the model. PMID:15650018

  12. 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. PMID:26556044

  13. A Statistical Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Land Use Intensity on Regional Surface Water Quality at Multiple Scales

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weiwei; Li, Hong; Sun, Danfeng; Zhou, Liandi

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (CODMn) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO3-N and CODMn, respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. PMID:23202839

  14. A statistical assessment of the impact of agricultural land use intensity on regional surface water quality at multiple scales.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weiwei; Li, Hong; Sun, Danfeng; Zhou, Liandi

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (COD(Mn)) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO(3)-N and COD(Mn), respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. PMID:23202839

  15. National Weather Service

    MedlinePlus

    ... Lightning Safe Boating Rip Currents Thunderstorms and Tornadoes Space Weather Sun (Ultraviolet Radiation) Safety Campaigns Wind Drought ... Outlook Hurricanes Fire Weather Outlooks UV Alerts Drought Space Weather NOAA Weather Radio NWS CAP Feeds PAST ...

  16. Assessing agricultural management effects on structure related soil hydraulic properties by tension infiltrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodner, G.; Loiskandl, W.; Kaul, H.-P.

    2009-04-01

    Soil structure is a dynamic property subject to numerous natural and human influences. It is recognized as fundamental for sustainable functioning of soil. Therefore knowledge of management impacts on the sensitive structural states of soil is decisive in order to avoid soil degradation. The stabilization of the soil's (macro)pore system and eventually the improvement of its infiltrability are essential to avoid runoff and soil erosion, particularly in view of an increasing probability of intense rainfall events. However structure-related soil properties generally have a high natural spatiotemporal variability that interacts with the potential influence of agricultural land use. This complicates a clear determination of management vs. environmental effects and requires adequate measurement methods, allowing a sufficient spatiotemporal resolution to estimate the impact of the targeted management factors within the natural dynamics of soil structure. A common method to assess structure-related soil hydraulic properties is tension infiltrometry. A major advantage of tension infiltrometer measurements is that no or only minimum soil disturbance is necessary and several structure-controlled water transmission properties can readily be derived. The method is more time- and cost-efficient compared to laboratory measurements of soil hydraulic properties, thus enabling more replications. Furthermore in situ measurements of hydraulic properties generally allow a more accurate reproduction of field soil water dynamics. The present study analyses the impact of two common agricultural management options on structure related hydraulic properties based on tension infiltrometer measurements. Its focus is the identification of the role of management within the natural spatiotemporal variability, particularly in respect to seasonal temporal dynamics. Two management approaches are analysed, (i) cover cropping as a "plant-based" agro-environmental measure, and (ii) tillage with

  17. Prospective and participatory integrated assessment of agricultural systems from farm to regional scales: Comparison of three modeling approaches.

    PubMed

    Delmotte, Sylvestre; Lopez-Ridaura, Santiago; Barbier, Jean-Marc; Wery, Jacques

    2013-11-15

    Evaluating the impacts of the development of alternative agricultural systems, such as organic or low-input cropping systems, in the context of an agricultural region requires the use of specific tools and methodologies. They should allow a prospective (using scenarios), multi-scale (taking into account the field, farm and regional level), integrated (notably multicriteria) and participatory assessment, abbreviated PIAAS (for Participatory Integrated Assessment of Agricultural System). In this paper, we compare the possible contribution to PIAAS of three modeling approaches i.e. Bio-Economic Modeling (BEM), Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) and statistical Land-Use/Land Cover Change (LUCC) models. After a presentation of each approach, we analyze their advantages and drawbacks, and identify their possible complementarities for PIAAS. Statistical LUCC modeling is a suitable approach for multi-scale analysis of past changes and can be used to start discussion about the futures with stakeholders. BEM and ABM approaches have complementary features for scenarios assessment at different scales. While ABM has been widely used for participatory assessment, BEM has been rarely used satisfactorily in a participatory manner. On the basis of these results, we propose to combine these three approaches in a framework targeted to PIAAS. PMID:24013558

  18. 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.

  19. Climate Change and Agriculture in Africa: Impact Assessment and Adaptation Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Molly E.; McCusker, Brent

    2008-11-01

    As climate change has emerged as a significant threat, there is much concern about how vulnerable agricultural communities will adapt, particularly as global population continues to rise. Much of the current lack of productivity and economic marginalization of African agriculture arises from global trade regimes that give a competitive advantage to Western farmers, from low use of agricultural inputs, and from a dearth of infrastructure and services for the agriculture sector. For centuries, African farmers have used a wide variety of risk-reducing livelihood strategies, including diversifying income sources, switching crops, and investing in marketing. However, improving their productivity to ``modern'' levels has remained a distant dream, resulting in a continual reduction in investment in the sector over the past five decades.

  20. ASSESSMENT OF FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL TRENDS AND PROBLEMS: AGRICULTURAL USE OF APPLIED GENETICS AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Battelle's Columbus Laboratories will identify and define future environmental concerns arising from applying genetic engineering technology to agricultural problems. Two genetic emgineering technologies, plant tissue culture and recombinant DNA, will be considered. Potential env...

  1. Designing impact assessments for evaluating ecological effects of agricultural conservation practices on streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds throughout the United States without evaluating their ecological impacts. Scientific evaluations documenting how habitat and aquatic biota within streams respond to these practices are needed for evaluating the effects o...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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, C.

    2012-12-01

    Sporadically, the Sun unleashes severe magnetic activity into the heliosphere. The specific solar/heliospheric phenomena and their effects on humans, technology and the wider geospace environment include a) high-intensity emissions from the Sun causing radio blackouts and (surface) charging, b) particle acceleration in the solar corona leading to high dose rates of ionizing radiation in exposed materials that can trigger single event upsets in electronic components of space hardware, or temporal/permanent damage in tissue, c) arrivals of fast-moving coronal mass ejections with embedded enhancements of magnetic fields that can cause strong ionospheric disturbances affecting radio communications and induce out-of-spec currents in power lines near the surface. Many of the effects could now be forecast with higher fidelity than ever before. However, forecasting critically depends upon availability of timely and reliable observational data. It is therefore crucial to understand how observational assets perform during periods of severe space weather. This paper analyzes and documents the status of the existing and upcoming observational capabilities for forecasting, and discusses how the findings may impact space weather research and its transition to operations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Size-selective assessment of agricultural workers' personal exposure to airborne fungi and fungal fragments.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shu-An; Liao, Chien-Hua

    2014-01-01

    Fungi are ubiquitous agents that cause human respiratory diseases. Very few studies have size-selectively assessed farmers' exposure to fungi and fungal fragments in agricultural settings. In this study, a two-stage bio-aerosol cyclone personal sampler was employed to collect airborne fungi and fungal fragments size-selectively at corn, swine, poultry, and mushroom farms. The collected air samples were analyzed for culturable fungi, fungal spores, viable fungi and (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan. The results show that the median concentrations ranged from 3.2 × 10(5) to 1.3 × 10(8)spores/m(3) for total fungal spores, from 1.3 × 10(5) to 5.1 × 10(7)spores/m(3) for total viable fungi, from 1.9 × 10(3) to 1.5 × 10(7)CFU/m(3) for total culturable fungi, and from 4.3 × 10(3) to 2.4 × 10(6)pg/m(3) for total (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan. The aerodynamic sizes of most of the collected fungal contaminants were larger than 1.8 μm. Total (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan significantly correlated with total fungal spores (r = 0.65, p < 0.001), total viable fungi (r = 0.68, p < 0.001) and total culturable fungi (r = 0.72, p < 0.001). Total (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan significantly correlated with Aspergillus/Penicillium, Alternaria, and Cladosporium. Alternaria and Botrytis were also found to highly correlate with (1 → 3)-β-D-glucan at the size <1 μm, which was less than the expected spore sizes (the mean measured aerodynamic sizes were 18.5 μm for Alternaria and 6.1 μm for Botrytis); therefore, Alternaria and Botrytis might release small fragments that could enter the deep lung and cause respiratory diseases. PMID:23973538

  9. Agriculture: Weather dilemma for African maize

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auffhammer, Maximilian

    2011-04-01

    The impact of climate change on food production remains uncertain, particularly in the tropics. Research that exploits the results of historical crop trials indicates that Africa's maize crop could be at risk of significant yield losses.

  10. Using the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System to assess the performance of fire management in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, P. M.; Pereira, M. G.

    2009-04-01

    The success of fire management policies can be gauged by changes on the fire regime characteristics. Climate, vegetation (fuel) and topography determine the fire regime, and exert their influences at distinct temporal and spatial scales whose relative importance is quite debated. Climate factors are expected to prevail at the regional scale, while the local control of fire behaviour is determined by fuel and terrain. Recent modifications - 2001-2005 versus 2006-2008 - in wildfire incidence in Portugal are quantified by eliminating the noise associated to fire weather conditions. The following indicators of fire management performance are used, each reflecting a distinct fire management activity: number of fires, proportion of fires larger than 1 ha, proportion of fires larger than 100 ha, and median size of wildfires larger than 100 ha. The performance indicators calculated on a daily basis were examined as a function of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System components. Analysis of covariance was used to identify differences in performance between the two study periods, and non-linear regression analysis was employed to model performance indicators from FWI components for 2001-2005. The resulting models were then applied to 2006-2008 and the deviation between observed and predicted values was determined. Least square means (adjusted for neutral weather conditions) revealed statistically significant differences between the two periods for all indicators but the median size of wildfires > 100 ha. The remaining indicators were in 2006-2008 reduced by 21% (no. fires), 37% (proportion of fires >1 ha) and 63% (proportion of fires >100 ha) in comparison with 2001-2005. The results indicate that the combined performance of fire prevention, fire detection, first intervention and initial attack have improved after 2005. Reduction in the number of large fires is especially relevant, given their impact and weight in total burned area. However, no evidences were

  11. Assessing the Remotely Sensed Drought Severity Index for Agricultural Drought Monitoring in North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, J.; Huang, J.; Mu, Q.

    2014-12-01

    With a warming climate, the world has experienced frequent droughts during the past few decades. A remotely sensed Drought Severity Index (DSI), which integrates both vegetation growth condition and evapotranspiration, has been recently proposed for drought monitoring at the global scale. However, there has been little research on its utility for regional application, especially on agricultural drought. As an important winter wheat producing region, the North China has suffered from frequent droughts in recent years. In this study, the capability of the DSI for drought monitoring and impact analysis in five wheat producing provinces of North China was investigated. First, the DSI was compared with precipitation and soil moisture to show its ability for characterizing moisture status. Then specifically for agricultural drought, the DSI was evaluated against agricultural drought severity and the impacts of drought on crop yield during the growing season were also explored using the 8-day DSI data. The main conclusions are: (1) The DSI shows generally good ability for characterizing moisture conditions at the province level with varying ability during winter wheat main growing season (March-June), and the best relationship was found in April. (2) Despite varying capability, the DSI is quite effective in characterizing agricultural drought severity at the province level. (3) Drought shows generally increasing agricultural impacts during winter wheat main growing season (March-June), with little impacts in March (green-up stage), emerging impacts in April (jointing and booting stages) and significant drought impacts in May (heading and filling stages). (4) Based on the spatial pattern of agricultural drought impacts, densely winter wheat planted areas such as South Hebei, Central/West Shandong and North/East Henan are identified as drought vulnerable regions and comprehensive monitoring in these hotspots is highly recommended.

  12. Early-season agricultural drought: detection, assessment and monitoring using Shortwave Angle and Slope Index (SASI) data.

    PubMed

    Das, Prabir Kumar; Murthy, Srirama C; Seshasai, M V R

    2013-12-01

    Early season or crop-planting-period (ES/CPP) drought conditions have become a recurrent phenomenon in tropical countries like India, due to fluctuations in the time of onset and progression of monsoon rains. ES/CPP agricultural drought assessment is a major challenge because of the difficulties in the generation of operational products on soil moisture at larger scales. The present study analyzed the Shortwave Angle Slope Index (SASI) derived from Near Infrared and Shortwave Infrared data of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, for tracking surface moisture changes and assessing the agricultural drought conditions during ES/CPP, over Andhra Pradesh state, India. It was found that in-season progression of SASI was well correlated with rainfall and crop planting patterns in different districts of the study area state in both drought and normal years. Rainfall occurrence, increase in crop planted area, and decrease in SASI were in chronological synchronization in the season. Change in SASI from positive to negative values is a unique indication of dryness to wetness shift in the season. Duration of positive SASI values indicated the persistence of agricultural drought in the crop planting period. Mean SASI values were able to discriminate an area which was planted in normal year and unplanted in drought year. SASI thresholds provide an approximate and rapid estimate of the crop planting favorable area in a region which is useful to assess the impact of drought. Thus, SASI is a potential index to strengthen the existing operational drought monitoring systems. Further work needs to be on the integration of multiple parameters-SASI, soil texture, soil depth, rainfall and cropping pattern, to evolve a geospatial product on crop planting favorable areas. Such products pave the way for quantification of drought impact on agriculture in the early part of the season, which is a major inadequacy in the current drought monitoring system. PMID:23793539

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. Preliminary energy sector assessments of Jamaica. Volume III: renewable energy. Part II: solar energy - agricultural

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    The study is concerned with the use of solar heat for drying agricultural products (crops, timber, and fish). The study finds that Jamaica has an ideal climate for solar agricultural product drying with the following methods offering the greatest promise; sun drying using open barbeques; drying in transparent buildings (with or without attached collectors) for small operations; new drying systems using solar air heaters with forced air drying; preheating air for existing commercial fossil-fueled dryers; and fish drying via chemical dehydration with solar regeneration of the chemical. The primary needs are to develop and construct environmentally suitable solar dryers and to train engineers in solar system design and installation.

  16. Basalt Weathering Rates Across Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarresitchler, A.; Brantley, S.

    2006-12-01

    Weathering of silicate minerals is a known sink for atmospheric CO2. An estimated 30%-35% of the consumption of CO2 from continental silicate weathering can be attributed to basalt weathering (Dessert et al., 2003). To assess basalt weathering rates we examine weathering advance rates of basalt (w, mm/yr) reported at four scales: denudation rates from basalt watersheds (tens of kilometers), rates of soil formation from soil profiles developed on basaltic parent material of known age (meters), rates of weathering rind formation on basalt clasts (centimeters), and laboratory dissolution rates (millimeters). Basalt weathering advance rates calculated for watersheds range between 0.36 and 9.8x10-3 mm/yr. The weathering advance rate for a basalt soil profile in Hawaii is 8.0x10-3 mm/yr while advance rates for clasts range from 5.6x10-6 to 2.4x10-4 mm/yr. Batch and mixed flow laboratory experiments performed at circum- neutral pH yield advance rates of 2.5x10^{-5} to 3.4x10-7 mm/yr when normalized to BET surface area. These results show increasing advance rates with both increasing scale (from laboratory to watersheds) and increasing temperature. If we assume that basalt weathers at an intrinsic rate that applies to all scales then we conclude that variations in weathering advance rates arise from variations in surface area measurement at different scales (D); therefore, basalt weathering is a fractal system. We measure a fractal dimension (dr) of basalt weathering of 2.2. For Euclidean geometries, measured surface area does not vary with the scale at which it is measured and dr equals 2. For natural surfaces, surface area is related to the scale at which it is measured. As scale increases, the minimum size of the surface irregularities that are measurable also increases. The ratio between BET and geometric normalized laboratory dissolution rates has been defined as a roughness parameter, λ, which ranges from ~10-100. We extend the definition of this roughness parameter

  17. Assessment of Filter Materials for Removal of Contaminants From Agricultural Drainage Waters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. ASSESSING SOIL DEGRADATION AFTER CONVERSION OF NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS TO AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of row crop agriculture on soil degradation through the quantification of total, light, and heavy soil carbon fractions and to study soil aggregate dynamics and carbon associated with aggregates in a long established riparian cool-season grass fil...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.…

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Spatial Scaling Assessment of Surface Soil Moisture Estimations Using Remotely Sensed Data for Precision Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan Esfahani, L.; Torres-Rua, A. F.; Jensen, A.; McKee, M.

    2014-12-01

    Airborne and Landsat remote sensing are promising technologies for measuring the response of agricultural crops to variations in several agricultural inputs and environmental conditions. Of particular significance to precision agriculture is surface soil moisture, a key component of the soil water balance, which addresses water and energy exchanges at the surface/atmosphere interface and affects vegetation health. Its estimation using the spectral reflectance of agricultural fields could be of value to agricultural management decisions. While top soil moisture can be estimated using radiometric information from aircraft or satellites and data mining techniques, comparison of results from two different aerial platforms might be complicated because of the differences in spatial scales (high resolution of approximately 0.15m versus coarser resolutions of 30m). This paper presents a combined modeling and scale-based approach to evaluate the impact of spatial scaling in the estimation of surface soil moisture content derived from remote sensing data. Data from Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 8 OLI and AggieAirTM aerial imagery are utilized. AggieAirTM is an airborne remote sensing platform developed by Utah State University that includes an autonomous Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which captures radiometric information at visual, near-infrared, and thermal wavebands at spatial resolutions of 0.15 m or smaller for the optical cameras and about 0.6 m or smaller for the thermal infrared camera. Top soil moisture maps for AggieAir and Landsat are developed and statistically compared at different scales to determine the impact in terms of quantitative predictive capability and feasibility of applicability of results in improving in field management.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26874624

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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. PMID:20970998

  18. 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

    2015-10-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of Planetary Boundary-Layer Schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Mesoscale Model Using MATERHORN Field Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrova, Reneta; Silver, Zachariah; Zsedrovits, Tamas; Hocut, Christopher M.; Leo, Laura S.; Di Sabatino, Silvana; Fernando, Harindra J. S.

    2016-06-01

    The study was aimed at understanding the deficiencies of numerical mesoscale models by comparing predictions with a new high-resolution meteorological dataset collected during the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modelling and Observations (MATERHORN) Program. The simulations focussed on the stable boundary layer (SBL), the predictions of which continue to be challenging. High resolution numerical simulations (0.5-km horizontal grid size) were conducted to investigate the efficacy of six planetary boundary-layer (PBL) parametrizations available in the advanced research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model. One of the commonly used PBL schemes was modified to include eddy diffusivities that account for enhanced momentum transport compared to heat transport in the SBL, representing internal wave dynamics. All of the tested PBL schemes, including the modified scheme, showed a positive surface temperature bias. None of the PBL schemes was found to be superior in predicting the vertical wind and temperature profiles over the lowest 500 m, however two of the schemes appeared superior in capturing the lower PBL structure. The lowest model layers appear to have a significant impact on the predictions aloft. Regions of sporadic flow interactions delineated by the MATERHORN observations were poorly predicted, given such interactions are not represented in typical PBL schemes.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:27487808

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:25143976

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. Winter Weather Checklists

    MedlinePlus

    ... Planning Information on Specific Types of Emergencies Winter Weather Checklists Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook ... emergency instructions National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio receiver for listening to National Weather Service ...

  15. 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)

  16. Assessing spatiotemporal variation of drought in China and its impact on agriculture during 1982-2011 by using PDSI indices and agriculture drought survey data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Hao; Wang, Shao-Qiang; Wang, Jun-Bang; Lu, Hou-Quan; Guo, An-Hong; Zhu, Zai-Chun; Myneni, Ranga B.; Shugart, Herman H.

    2016-03-01

    Inspired by concerns of the effects of a warming climate, drought variation and its impacts have gained much attention in China. Arguments about China's drought persist and little work has utilized agricultural drought survey area to evaluate the impact of natural drought on agriculture. Based on a newly revised self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) model driven with air-relative-humidity-based two-source (ARTS) E0 (PDSIARTS; Yan et al., 2014), spatial and temporal variations of drought were analyzed for 1982-2011 in China, which indicates that there was nonsignificant change of drought over this interval but with an extreme drought event happened in 2000-2001. However, using air temperature (Ta)-based Thornthwaite potential evaporation (EP_Th) and Penman-Monteith potential evaporation (EP_PM) to drive the PDSI model, their corresponding PDSITh and PDSIPM all gave a significant drying trend for 1982-2011. This suggests that PDSI model was sensitive to EP parameterization in China. Annual drought-covered area from agriculture survey was initially adopted to evaluate impact of PDSI drought on agriculture in China during 1982-2011. The results indicate that PDSIARTS drought area (defined as PDSIARTS < -0.5) correlated well with the agriculture drought-covered area and PDSIARTS successfully detected the extreme agriculture drought in 2000-2001 during 1982-2011, i.e., climate factors dominated the interannual changes of agriculture drought area, while PDSITh and PDSIPM drought areas had no relationship with the agriculture drought-covered area and overestimated the uptrend of agriculture drought This study highlights the importance of coupling PDSI with drought survey data in evaluating the impact of natural drought on agriculture.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Assessing the hydrological impacts of agricultural changes upstream of the Tunisian World Heritage sea-connected Ichkeul Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aouissi, J.; Chabaane, Z. L.; Benabdallah, S.; Cudennec, C.

    2015-03-01

    The impact of changes in agricultural land use and practices as a controlling driver of hydrologic response and as a source of diffuse pollution, are studied in the Joumine River basin, discharging into the Ichkeul Lake, northern Tunisia, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. The lake is characterized by a very specific hydrological functioning based on a seasonal alternation of water levels and salinity through its link to the Mediterranean Sea. Three Landsat images, in situ surveys and SWAT modelling were used to simulate and assess streamflows and nitrate loads under retrospective land uses.

  20. Assessing indigenous knowledge systems and climate change adaptation strategies in agriculture: A case study of Chagaka Village, Chikhwawa, Southern Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nkomwa, Emmanuel Charles; Joshua, Miriam Kalanda; Ngongondo, Cosmo; Monjerezi, Maurice; Chipungu, Felistus

    In Malawi, production from subsistence rain fed agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. In response to the adverse effects of climate change and variability, a National Adaptation Programme of Action is used as framework for implementing adaptation programmes. However, this framework puts limited significance on indigenous knowledge systems (IKS). In many parts of the world, IKS have shown potential in the development of locally relevant and therefore sustainable adaptation strategies. This study was aimed at assessing the role of IKS in adaptation to climate change and variability in the agricultural sector in a rural district of Chikhwawa, southern Malawi. The study used both qualitative data from focus group and key informant interviews and quantitative data from household interviews and secondary data to address the research objectives. The study established that the local communities are able to recognise the changes in their climate and local environment. Commonly mentioned indicators of changing climatic patterns included delayed and unpredictable onset of rainfall, declining rainfall trends, warming temperatures and increased frequency of prolonged dry spells. An analysis of empirical data corroborates the people's perception. In addition, the community is able to use their IKS to adapt their agricultural systems to partially offset the effects of climate change. Like vulnerability to climate change, IKS varies over a short spatial scale, providing locally relevant adaptation to impacts of climate change. This paper therefore advocates for the integration of IKS in programmes addressing adaptation to climate change and vulnerability. This will serve to ensure sustainable and relevant adaptation strategies.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A spatially and temporally explicit risk assessment for salmon from a prey base exposed to agricultural insecticides.

    PubMed

    Poletika, Nicholas N; Teply, Mark; Dominguez, Lawrence G; Cramer, Steven P; Schocken, Mark J; Habig, Clifford; Kern, Matthew; Ochoa-Acuña, Hugo; Mitchell, Gary C

    2012-04-01

    This risk assessment applied a framework for determining probable co-occurrence of juvenile spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) with agricultural pesticides in the Willamette Basin, Oregon (Teply et al. this issue) to characterize risk to the threatened population. The assessment accounted for spatial and temporal distribution of 6 acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting insecticides in salmonid habitat within the basin and their relative contributions to mixture toxicity estimated from chemical monitoring data. The 6 insecticides were chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl. Seasonal distributions of the juvenile salmon prey base across the basin were determined and compared to co-occurrence with the insecticide mixture to determine the probability of prey reduction and reduced production of juvenile fish. Probability of effect on freshwater aquatic invertebrates was based on acute toxicity species sensitivity distributions (normalized to the most potent compound, chlorpyrifos) using a novel approach to apply the toxicological concept of concentration addition to species sensitivity distributions with differing slopes. The chlorpyrifos distribution was then used to determine relative sensitivity among various species tested within the important taxa making up the prey base. A prey base index was devised, incorporating diet composition and prey availability, to evaluate the indirect effects of the insecticide mixture on juvenile salmon production occurring as a result of a reduction in the prey base. Our analysis targeted fish use of backwater and off-channel habitat units, because they generally coincide with agricultural lands in lowlands and represent shallow habitat with limited water exchange. The percentage of agricultural land use within 300 m of critical habitat stream reaches was used to scale chemical measurement data from a site with high agricultural land use across the full extent of the basin to provide estimates of

  4. Use of aerial photographs for assessment of soil organic carbon and delineation of agricultural management zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Kooistra, L.

    2012-04-01

    For quantitative estimation of soil properties by means of remote sensing, often hyperspectral data are used. But these data are scarce and expensive, which prohibits wider implementation of the developed techniques in agricultural management. For precision agriculture, observations at a high spatial resolution are required. Colour aerial photographs at this scale are widely available, and can be acquired at no of very low costs. Therefore, we investigated whether publically available aerial photographs can be used to a) automatically delineate management zones and b) estimate levels of organic carbon spatially. We selected three study areas within the Netherlands that cover a large variance in soil type (peat, sand, and clay). For the fields of interest, RGB aerial photographs with a spatial resolution of 50 cm were extracted from a publically available data provider. Further pre-processing exists of geo-referencing only. Since the images originate from different sources and are potentially acquired under unknown illumination conditions, the exact radiometric properties of the data are unknown. Therefore, we used spectral indices to emphasize the differences in reflectance and normalize for differences in radiometry. To delineate management zones we used image segmentation techniques, using the derived indices as input. Comparison with management zone maps as used by the farmers shows that there is good correspondence. Regression analysis between a number of soil properties and the derived indices shows that organic carbon is the major explanatory variable for differences in index values within the fields. However, relations do not hold for large regions, indicating that local models will have to be used, which is a problem that is also still relevant for hyperspectral remote sensing data. With this research, we show that low-cost aerial photographs can be a valuable tool for quantitative analysis of organic carbon and automatic delineation of management zones

  5. 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.

  6. Assessment of selenium pollution in agricultural soils in the Xuzhou District, Northwest Jiangsu, China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shunsheng; Hua, Ming; Feng, Jinshun; Zhong, Xinyong; Jin, Yang; Zhu, Baiwan; Lu, Hua

    2009-01-01

    Xuzhou City is an important base for coal production and coal-fired power. To evaluate selenium contamination in this area, we sampled agricultural soil, soil profile, irrigation water, bedrock, coal, fly ash, paddy rice, and vegetables from the north of Xuzhou City, and determined their selenium contents. The background level of selenium in the soil profile was 0.08 mg/kg. The selenium concentrations in agricultural soils and irrigation water were in the range of 0.21-4.08 mg/kg and 0.002-0.29 mg/L, respectively. Soils with high selenium content were located closely to coalmines and power plants. The average selenium concentrations in coal and coal fly ash were 5.46 and 2.81 mg/kg, respectively. In contrast, the concentrations of selenium in bedrock and in the soil profile were very low. These results imply that the high selenium level in agricultural soils is mainly caused by anthropogenic activities, rather than by parent material. The arithmetic mean of selenium concentration in paddy rice was 0.116 mg/kg, and in cabbage was 0.05 mg/kg. The selenium concentration in rice was positively correlated with total selenium concentration in soil, suggesting that selenium in soil is readily transferred into the crops. Furthermore, the estimated dietary intake (88.8 microg) of selenium from paddy rice and cabbage exceeds the recommended dietary allowance (55 microg). Therefore, there is a potential health risk from consumption of local staple food in the study area. PMID:19634423

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Earthworm tolerance to residual agricultural pesticide contamination: field and experimental assessment of detoxification capabilities.

    PubMed

    Givaudan, Nicolas; Binet, Françoise; Le Bot, Barbara; Wiegand, Claudia

    2014-09-01

    This study investigates if acclimatization to residual pesticide contamination in agricultural soils is reflected in detoxification, antioxidant enzyme activities and energy budget of earthworms. Five fields within a joint agricultural area exhibited different chemical and farming histories from conventional cultivation to organic pasture. Soil multiresidual pesticide analysis revealed up to 9 molecules including atrazine up to 2.4 ng g(-1) dry soil. Exposure history of endogeic Aporrectodea caliginosa and Allolobophora chlorotica modified their responses to pesticides. In the field, activities of soluble glutathione-S-transferases (sGST) and catalase increased with soil pesticide contamination in A. caliginosa. Pesticide stress was reflected in depletion of energy reserves in A. chlorotica. Acute exposure of pre-adapted and naïve A. caliginosa to pesticides (fungicide Opus(®), 0.1 μg active ingredient epoxiconazole g(-1) dry soil, RoundUp Flash(®), 2.5 μg active ingredient glyphosate g(-1) dry soil, and their mixture), revealed that environmental pre-exposure accelerated activation of the detoxification enzyme sGST towards epoxiconazole. PMID:24874794

  12. 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. PMID:17002761

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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. PMID:26791816

  17. 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.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Assessment of Short Term Flood Operation Strategies Using Numerical Weather Prediction Data in YUVACΙK DAM Reservoir, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uysal, G.; Yavuz, O.; Sensoy, A.; Sorman, A.; Akgun, T.; Gezgin, T.

    2011-12-01

    first step, a hydrological model with an embedded snow module is used to establish a rainfall-runoff relationship to calculate the inflow into the dam reservoir. The basin is divided into four sub-basins, along with the three elevation zones for each subbasin. Hydro-meteorological data are collected via 11 automated stations in and around the basin and a semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model, HEC-HMS, is calibrated for sub-basins. Then, HEC-ResSim is used to create simulation alternatives of reservoir system according to user defined guide curves and rules based on internal and/or external variables. The decision support modeling scenarios are tested with Numerical Weather Prediction Mesoscale Model 5 (MM5) daily total precipitation and daily average temperature data. Predicted precipitation and temperature data are compared with ground observations to examine the consistency. Predicted inflows computed by HEC-HMS are used as main forcing inputs into HEC-ResSim for the short term operation of reservoir during the flood events.

  1. 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

  2. Benefits Assessment of the Interaction Between Traffic Flow Management Delay and Airspace Partitions in the Presence of Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palopo, Kee; Lee, Hak-Tae; Chatterji, Gano

    2011-01-01

    The concept of re-partitioning the airspace into a new set of sectors for allocating capacity rather than delaying flights to comply with the capacity constraints of a static set of sectors is being explored. The reduction in delay, a benefit, achieved by this concept needs to be greater than the cost of controllers and equipment needed for the additional sectors. Therefore, tradeoff studies are needed for benefits assessment of this concept.

  3. An evaluation of metrics for assessing maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Joshua L.; Luben, Thomas J.; Sanders, Alison P.; Brownstein, Naomi C.; Herring, Amy H.; Meyer, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the use of three different exposure metrics to estimate maternal agricultural pesticide exposure during pregnancy. Using a geographic information system-based method of pesticide exposure estimation, we combine data on crop density and specific pesticide application amounts/dates to create the three exposure metrics. For illustration purposes, we create each metric for a North Carolina cohort of pregnant women, 2003–2005, and analyze the risk of congenital anomaly development with a focus on metric comparisons. Based on the results, and the need to balance data collection efforts/computational efficiency with accuracy, the metric which estimates total chemical exposure using application dates based on crop-specific earliest planting and latest harvesting information is preferred. Benefits and drawbacks of each metric are discussed and recommendations for extending the analysis to other states are provided. PMID:24149974

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. [Distribution Characteristics and Risk Assessment of Phthalic Acid Esters in Agricultural Products Around the Pearl River Delta. South China].

    PubMed

    Li, Bin; Wu, Shan; Liang, Jin-ming; Deng, Jie-fan; Wang, Ke; Liang, Wen-li; Zeng, Cai-ming; Peng, Si-qing; Zhang, Tian-bin; Yang, Guo-yi

    2016-01-15

    In order to investigate and assess the distribution of pathalic acid easters (PAEs) in agricultural products from typical areas of the Pearl River Delta, South China, 131 agricultural products were sampled for determination of 6 PAEs priority pollutants classified by the U. S. EPA by GC-FID. The results showed that the total contents of the PAEs (sigma PAEs) in agricultural products samples ranged from nd to 79.86 mg x kg(-1) and the mean value was 2.84 mg x kg(-1), with the detected ratio of 98.5%. The average concentrations of sigma PAEs in different types of agricultural products were ordered by vegetables (3.03 mg x kg(-1)) > rice (2.52 mg x kg(-1)) > fruits (1.26 mg x kg(-1)). The mean concentration of PAEs distributed in the four typical cities of the Pearl River Delta, and decreased in the sequence of Zhuhai (6.53 mg x kg(-1)) > Dongguan (2.59 mg x kg(-1)) > Huizhou (1.53 mg x kg(-1)) > Zhongshan (1.12 mg x kg(-1)). Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP) contributed more than 90. 8% of the total PAEs in samples, and were the main components of PAEs in agricultural products from the Pearl River Delta, with higher percentage contents and detected ratio. Meanwhile, the average concentrations of sigma PAEs in cabbage mustard, lettuce occurred in Zhuhai and Dongguan cities, followed by lettuce and leaf lettuce in the corresponding DEHP from Zhuhai city, both exceeded the suggested standards in U.S.A. and Europe and were of high health risk. There were significant differences among 14 various vegetables in the contents of the 6 PAEs compounds, and the sigma PAEs contents in cabbage mustard and lettuce as part of leafy vegetables were higher than those in other vegetables, while the lowest were detected in flowering cabbage and edible amaranth. Therefore, the type of vegetables and its growing environment exposed to the atmosphere and soil were the main factors that significantly affected their accumulation of

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment of nitrogen ceilings for Dutch agricultural soils to avoid adverse environmental impacts.

    PubMed

    de Vries, W; Kros, H; Oenema, O; Erisman, J W

    2001-11-01

    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. PMID:12805837

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26400720