Science.gov

Sample records for agriculture environmental benefits

  1. Management considerations and environmental benefit analysis for turning food garbage into agricultural resources.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Wen-Tien

    2008-09-01

    The management of food garbage is of great importance because of its high energy consumption, potential environmental hazards and public health risks. In Taiwan, through the competent authorities at all levels and the citizens' participation in sorting household wastes, many recycling efforts have recently been implemented to further utilize it as available resources such as swine feeds and organic fertilizer by composting. As a result, a total of approximately 570 thousand metric tons was recycled with a recycling ratio of about 21.2% on a basis of food garbage generation in 2006, rising over 22% from a year earlier. These figures showed that compulsory garbage sorting has indeed dramatically increased the recycling of food garbage. The objective of this paper is to present and discuss some management considerations in turning food garbage into agricultural resources due to the compulsory garbage sorting directive in Taiwan. The description first aims at the current status in food garbage generation and its recycling, and at the regulatory polices which have become effective since 2000. It also centers on the environmental and agricultural measures on upgrading food garbage recycling. Based on the preliminary analysis of environmental benefit by the Revised 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, it is obvious that composting food garbage is superior to that by traditional treatments (i.e., incineration and sanitary landfill) from the viewpoint of reducing greenhouse gases (i.e., CO(2) and CH(4)) emissions. PMID:18178429

  2. Management considerations and environmental benefit analysis for turning food garbage into agricultural resources.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Wen-Tien

    2008-09-01

    The management of food garbage is of great importance because of its high energy consumption, potential environmental hazards and public health risks. In Taiwan, through the competent authorities at all levels and the citizens' participation in sorting household wastes, many recycling efforts have recently been implemented to further utilize it as available resources such as swine feeds and organic fertilizer by composting. As a result, a total of approximately 570 thousand metric tons was recycled with a recycling ratio of about 21.2% on a basis of food garbage generation in 2006, rising over 22% from a year earlier. These figures showed that compulsory garbage sorting has indeed dramatically increased the recycling of food garbage. The objective of this paper is to present and discuss some management considerations in turning food garbage into agricultural resources due to the compulsory garbage sorting directive in Taiwan. The description first aims at the current status in food garbage generation and its recycling, and at the regulatory polices which have become effective since 2000. It also centers on the environmental and agricultural measures on upgrading food garbage recycling. Based on the preliminary analysis of environmental benefit by the Revised 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, it is obvious that composting food garbage is superior to that by traditional treatments (i.e., incineration and sanitary landfill) from the viewpoint of reducing greenhouse gases (i.e., CO(2) and CH(4)) emissions.

  3. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  4. Agriculture, Environmental Education Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Project I-C-E, Green Bay, WI.

    This agriculture guide, for use at the secondary level, is one of a series of guides, K-12, which were developed by teachers to help introduce environmental education into the total curriculum. Environmental problems are present in every community where agriculture education is offered, and therefore many agriculture teachers have included some…

  5. Changes in historical Iowa land cover as context for assessing the environmental benefits of current and future conservation efforts on agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa L.; Sadinski, Walt; Roth, Mark F.; Rewa, Charles A.

    2011-01-01

    Conservationists and agriculturists face unprecedented challenges trying to minimize tradeoffs between increasing demands for food, fiber, feed, and biofuels and the resulting loss or reduced values of other ecosystem services, such as those derived from wetlands and biodiversity (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment 2005a, 2005c; Maresch et al. 2008). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234, Stat. 923, HR 2419, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill) reauthorized the USDA to provide financial incentives for agricultural producers to reduce environmental impacts via multiple conservation programs. Two prominent programs, the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide incentives for producers to retire environmentally sensitive croplands, minimize erosion, improve water quality, restore wetlands, and provide wildlife habitat (USDA FSA 2008a, 2008b; USDA NRCS 2002). Other conservation programs (e.g., Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program) provide incentives to implement structural and cultural conservation practices to improve the environmental performance of working agricultural lands. Through its Conservation Effects Assessment Project, USDA is supporting evaluation of the environmental benefits obtained from the public investment in conservation programs and practices to inform decisions on where further investments are warranted (Duriancik et al. 2008; Zinn 1997).

  6. The costly benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Apel, Andrew

    2010-11-30

    Rigorous application of a simple definition of what constitutes opposition to agricultural biotechnology readily encompasses a wide array of key players in national and international systems of food production, distribution and governance. Even though the sum of political and financial benefits of opposing agricultural biotechnology appears vastly to outweigh the benefits which accrue to providers of agricultural biotechnology, technology providers actually benefit from this opposition. If these barriers to biotechnology were removed, subsistence farmers still would not represent a lucrative market for improved seed. The sum of all interests involved ensures that subsistence farmers are systematically denied access to agricultural biotechnology.

  7. Benefits to world agriculture through remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffalano, A. C.; Kochanowski, P.

    1976-01-01

    Remote sensing of agricultural land permits crop classification and mensuration which can lead to improved forecasts of production. This technique is particularly important for nations which do not already have an accurate agricultural reporting system. Better forecasts have important economic effects. International grain traders can make better decisions about when to store, buy, and sell. Farmers can make better planting decisions by taking advantage of production estimates for areas out of phase with their own agricultural calendar. World economic benefits will accrue to both buyers and sellers because of increased food supply and price stabilization. This paper reviews the econometric models used to establish this scenario and estimates the dollar value of benefits for world wheat as 200 million dollars annually for the United States and 300 to 400 million dollars annually for the rest of the world.

  8. Environmental benefits of chemical propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, Joyce A.; Goldberg, Benjamin E.; Anderson, David M.

    1995-01-01

    This paper identifies the necessity of chemical propulsion to satellite usage and some of the benefits accrued through monitoring global resources and patterns, including the Global Climate Change Model (GCM). The paper also summarized how the satellite observations are used to affect national and international policies. Chemical propulsion, like all environmentally conscious industries, does provide limited, controlled pollutant sources through its manufacture and usage. However, chemical propulsion is the sole source which enables mankind to launch spacecraft and monitor the Earth. The information provided by remote sensing directly affects national and international policies designed to protect the environment and enhance the overall quality of life on Earth. The resultant of chemical propulsion is the capability to reduce overall pollutant emissions to the benefit of mankind.

  9. Environmental benefits of chemical propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Hayes, J.A.; Goldberg, B.E.; Anderson, D.M.

    1995-03-01

    This paper identifies the necessity of chemical propulsion to satellite usage and some of the benefits accrued through monitoring global resources and patterns, including the Global Climate Change Model (GCM). The paper also summarized how the satellite observations are used to affect national and international policies. Chemical propulsion, like all environmentally conscious industries, does provide limited, controlled pollutant sources through its manufacture and usage. However, chemical propulsion is the sole source which enables mankind to launch spacecraft and monitor the Earth. The information provided by remote sensing directly affects national and international policies designed to protect the environment and enhance the overall quality of life on Earth. The resultant of chemical propulsion is the capability to reduce overall pollutant emissions to the benefit of mankind.

  10. Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Brinkley, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from −$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. This research has strong implications for land-use planning, economic opportunities, and ecosystems infrastructure in peri-urban areas. PMID:25324593

  11. Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Brinkley, Catherine

    2012-08-01

    By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from -$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. This research has strong implications for land-use planning, economic opportunities, and ecosystems infrastructure in peri-urban areas.

  12. Benefits of Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs: A Synthesis of Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, David L.; Dyer, James E.

    1997-01-01

    A review of literature from 1964 to 1993 identified the benefits of supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs, including agriculture knowledge and positive work attitudes. Classroom, SAE, and Future Farmers of America complemented each other. The research base is state specific and fragmented and lacks cohesiveness. (SK)

  13. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lietzke, K.; Abram, P.; Braen, C.; Givens, S.; Hazelrigg, G. A., Jr.; Fish, R.; Clyne, F.; Sand, F.

    1977-01-01

    The results are present for a study of the economic benefits attributed to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation. Part 1 gives a general description of the ag-air industry and discusses the information used in the data base to estimate the potential benefits from technological improvements. Part 2 presents the benefit estimates and provides a quantitative basis for the estimates in each area study. Part 3 is a bibliography of references relating to this study.

  14. Environmental benefits vs. costs of geologic mapping

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bhagwat, S.B.; Berg, R.C.

    1992-01-01

    Boone and Winnebago Counties, Illinois, U.S.A., were selected for this study, required by the Illinois State Senate, because mapping and environmental interpretations were completed there in 1981. Costs of geologic mapping in these counties in 1990 dollars were $290,000. Two estimates of costs of statewide mapping were made, one extrapolated from Boone and Winnebago Counties ($21 million), the other estimated on the basis of differences between the Boone/Winnebago program and proposed mapping program for the State of Illinois ($55 million). Benefits of geologic information come in the form of future avoided costs for environmental cleanup. Only the quantifiable data, available from a few sites, were included. Data collection, based on 55 personal interviews in Boone and Winnebago Counties, were grouped into four cumulative categories with increasing variability. Geologic maps alone cannot account for all avoided costs of future cleanup. Therefore, estimated benefits were reduced by 50, 75, and 90 percent in three scenarios. To account for delays in proper utilization of knowledge gained from a mapping program, a 10-yr delay in benefit realization was assumed. All benefits were converted to 1990 dollars. In benefit category 4, benefit-cost ratios for Boone/Winnebago Counties ranged between 5 and 55. Statewide projection of benefits was based on county areas and an aquifer contamination potential score for each county. Statewide benefit-cost ratio in benefit category 4 ranged from 1.2 to 14 ($21 million mapping costs) and from 0.5 to 5.4 ($55 million mapping costs). ?? 1992 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  15. Environmental behavior and analysis of agricultural sulfur.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Corey M; Woodrow, James E; Seiber, James N

    2015-11-01

    Sulfur has been widely used for centuries as a staple for pest and disease management in agriculture. Presently, it is the largest-volume pesticide in use worldwide. This review describes the sources and recovery methods for sulfur, its allotropic forms and properties and its agricultural uses, including development and potential advantages of nanosulfur as a fungicide. Chemical and microbial reactivity, interactions in soil and water and analytical methods for determination in environmental samples and foodstuffs, including inexpensive analytical methods for sulfur residues in wine, beer and other food/beverage substrates, will be reviewed. The toxicology of sulfur towards humans and agriculturally important fungi is included, with some restrictions on use to promote safety. The review concludes with areas for which more research is warranted.

  16. Environmental behavior and analysis of agricultural sulfur.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Corey M; Woodrow, James E; Seiber, James N

    2015-11-01

    Sulfur has been widely used for centuries as a staple for pest and disease management in agriculture. Presently, it is the largest-volume pesticide in use worldwide. This review describes the sources and recovery methods for sulfur, its allotropic forms and properties and its agricultural uses, including development and potential advantages of nanosulfur as a fungicide. Chemical and microbial reactivity, interactions in soil and water and analytical methods for determination in environmental samples and foodstuffs, including inexpensive analytical methods for sulfur residues in wine, beer and other food/beverage substrates, will be reviewed. The toxicology of sulfur towards humans and agriculturally important fungi is included, with some restrictions on use to promote safety. The review concludes with areas for which more research is warranted. PMID:26108794

  17. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-05-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable. PMID:12003747

  18. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-05-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable.

  19. How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture.

    PubMed Central

    Horrigan, Leo; Lawrence, Robert S; Walker, Polly

    2002-01-01

    The industrial agriculture system consumes fossil fuel, water, and topsoil at unsustainable rates. It contributes to numerous forms of environmental degradation, including air and water pollution, soil depletion, diminishing biodiversity, and fish die-offs. Meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat--instead of feeding it directly to humans--involves a large energy loss, making animal agriculture more resource intensive than other forms of food production. The proliferation of factory-style animal agriculture creates environmental and public health concerns, including pollution from the high concentration of animal wastes and the extensive use of antibiotics, which may compromise their effectiveness in medical use. At the consumption end, animal fat is implicated in many of the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict industrial and newly industrializing societies, particularly cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In terms of human health, both affluent and poor countries could benefit from policies that more equitably distribute high-protein foods. The pesticides used heavily in industrial agriculture are associated with elevated cancer risks for workers and consumers and are coming under greater scrutiny for their links to endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. In this article we outline the environmental and human health problems associated with current food production practices and discuss how these systems could be made more sustainable. PMID:12003747

  20. Climate change mitigation for agriculture: water quality benefits and costs.

    PubMed

    Wilcock, Robert; Elliott, Sandy; Hudson, Neale; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand is unique in that half of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory derives from agriculture--predominantly as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in a 2:1 ratio. The remaining GHG emissions predominantly comprise carbon dioxide (CO2) deriving from energy and industry sources. Proposed strategies to mitigate emissions of CH4 and N2O from pastoral agriculture in New Zealand are: (1) utilising extensive and riparian afforestation of pasture to achieve CO2 uptake (carbon sequestration); (2) management of nitrogen through budgeting and/or the use of nitrification inhibitors, and minimizing soil anoxia to reduce N2O emissions; and (3) utilisation of alternative waste treatment technologies to minimise emissions of CH4. These mitigation measures have associated co-benefits and co-costs (disadvantages) for rivers, streams and lakes because they affect land use, runoff loads, and receiving water and habitat quality. Extensive afforestation results in lower specific yields (exports) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and faecal matter and also has benefits for stream habitat quality by improving stream temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH regimes through greater shading, and the supply of woody debris and terrestrial food resources. Riparian afforestation does not achieve the same reductions in exports as extensive afforestation but can achieve reductions in concentrations of N, P, SS and faecal organisms. Extensive afforestation of pasture leads to reduced water yields and stream flows. Both afforestation measures produce intermittent disturbances to waterways during forestry operations (logging and thinning), resulting in sediment release from channel re-stabilisation and localised flooding, including formation of debris dams at culverts. Soil and fertiliser management benefits aquatic ecosystems by reducing N exports but the use of nitrification inhibitors, viz. dicyandiamide (DCD), to achieve this may under some circumstances

  1. Climate change mitigation for agriculture: water quality benefits and costs.

    PubMed

    Wilcock, Robert; Elliott, Sandy; Hudson, Neale; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand is unique in that half of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory derives from agriculture--predominantly as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in a 2:1 ratio. The remaining GHG emissions predominantly comprise carbon dioxide (CO2) deriving from energy and industry sources. Proposed strategies to mitigate emissions of CH4 and N2O from pastoral agriculture in New Zealand are: (1) utilising extensive and riparian afforestation of pasture to achieve CO2 uptake (carbon sequestration); (2) management of nitrogen through budgeting and/or the use of nitrification inhibitors, and minimizing soil anoxia to reduce N2O emissions; and (3) utilisation of alternative waste treatment technologies to minimise emissions of CH4. These mitigation measures have associated co-benefits and co-costs (disadvantages) for rivers, streams and lakes because they affect land use, runoff loads, and receiving water and habitat quality. Extensive afforestation results in lower specific yields (exports) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and faecal matter and also has benefits for stream habitat quality by improving stream temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH regimes through greater shading, and the supply of woody debris and terrestrial food resources. Riparian afforestation does not achieve the same reductions in exports as extensive afforestation but can achieve reductions in concentrations of N, P, SS and faecal organisms. Extensive afforestation of pasture leads to reduced water yields and stream flows. Both afforestation measures produce intermittent disturbances to waterways during forestry operations (logging and thinning), resulting in sediment release from channel re-stabilisation and localised flooding, including formation of debris dams at culverts. Soil and fertiliser management benefits aquatic ecosystems by reducing N exports but the use of nitrification inhibitors, viz. dicyandiamide (DCD), to achieve this may under some circumstances

  2. Risks and benefits in agricultural uses of selenium.

    PubMed

    Oldfield, J E

    1992-10-01

    Selenium deficiency in soils, and subsequently in crops that are grown on them, has been charted in various parts of the world. Use of carefully regulated amounts of supplemental selenium in such areas has been effective in improving productive performance of domestic food-producing animals, and some 30 years' experience has now been gained with various supplementation practices. Coincidentaliy, there have been instances reported of situations where selenium toxicity has resulted from a combination of naturally-high environmental levels, enhanced by agricultural, environmental and industrial practices, and questions have been raised as to whether continued animal supplementation may contribute to selenium toxicity. This paper examines some of the various factors involved and concludes that presently-established animal supplementation uses of selenium are small compared with other sources of the element and that they do not constitute a hazard to animals, including humans, or the environment.

  3. 7 CFR 2902.8 - Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Determining life cycle costs, environmental and... DESIGNATING BIOBASED PRODUCTS FOR FEDERAL PROCUREMENT General § 2902.8 Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance. (a) Providing information on life cycle costs...

  4. 7 CFR 2902.8 - Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Determining life cycle costs, environmental and... DESIGNATING BIOBASED PRODUCTS FOR FEDERAL PROCUREMENT General § 2902.8 Determining life cycle costs, environmental and health benefits, and performance. (a) Providing information on life cycle costs...

  5. Children's environmental health in agricultural settings.

    PubMed

    Karr, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Children residing in rural settings may encounter environmental hazards derived from agricultural production activities. Health consequences of organic dusts, farm chemicals including pesticides, machinery noise, excess sun exposure, and zoonotic infectious agents have been clearly described among farm-working adults. The author reviews the related evidence base on child health with a life-stage perspective on their differential exposure and vulnerabilities. Methemoglobinemia among infants consuming nitrate-contaminated well water, neurodevelopmental health impacts associated with early life exposure to organophosphate pesticides, and diarrheal disease due to zoonotic infectious agents are well-described pediatric concerns. There is suggestive but more limited evidence for respiratory health consequences from air contaminants associated with confined animal feeding operations and hearing deficits for children exposed to machinery-related noise. Many contaminants of concern for children in these environments remain largely understudied-diesel exhaust, biomass burning, solvents, veterinary antibiotics, and silica-containing particulate matter. Overall, the state of knowledge and programmatic activities on agriculturally derived environmental contaminants and child health is immature and much less complete than for working adults. This overview provides a context for research, policy, and programmatic needs. PMID:22490026

  6. Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation?

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Zacharias; Wollmann, Claudia; Schaefer, Miriam; Buchmann, Christian; David, Jan; Tröger, Josephine; Muñoz, Katherine; Frör, Oliver; Schaumann, Gabriele Ellen

    2016-04-15

    Plastic mulching has become a globally applied agricultural practice for its instant economic benefits such as higher yields, earlier harvests, improved fruit quality and increased water-use efficiency. However, knowledge of the sustainability of plastic mulching remains vague in terms of both an environmental and agronomic perspective. This review critically discusses the current understanding of the environmental impact of plastic mulch use by linking knowledge of agricultural benefits and research on the life cycle of plastic mulches with direct and indirect implications for long-term soil quality and ecosystem services. Adverse effects may arise from plastic additives, enhanced pesticide runoff and plastic residues likely to fragment into microplastics but remaining chemically intact and accumulating in soil where they can successively sorb agrochemicals. The quantification of microplastics in soil remains challenging due to the lack of appropriate analytical techniques. The cost and effort of recovering and recycling used mulching films may offset the aforementioned benefits in the long term. However, comparative and long-term agronomic assessments have not yet been conducted. Furthermore, plastic mulches have the potential to alter soil quality by shifting the edaphic biocoenosis (e.g. towards mycotoxigenic fungi), accelerate C/N metabolism eventually depleting soil organic matter stocks, increase soil water repellency and favour the release of greenhouse gases. A substantial process understanding of the interactions between the soil microclimate, water supply and biological activity under plastic mulches is still lacking but required to estimate potential risks for long-term soil quality. Currently, farmers mostly base their decision to apply plastic mulches rather on expected short-term benefits than on the consideration of long-term consequences. Future interdisciplinary research should therefore gain a deeper understanding of the incentives for farmers

  7. Plastic mulching in agriculture. Trading short-term agronomic benefits for long-term soil degradation?

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Zacharias; Wollmann, Claudia; Schaefer, Miriam; Buchmann, Christian; David, Jan; Tröger, Josephine; Muñoz, Katherine; Frör, Oliver; Schaumann, Gabriele Ellen

    2016-04-15

    Plastic mulching has become a globally applied agricultural practice for its instant economic benefits such as higher yields, earlier harvests, improved fruit quality and increased water-use efficiency. However, knowledge of the sustainability of plastic mulching remains vague in terms of both an environmental and agronomic perspective. This review critically discusses the current understanding of the environmental impact of plastic mulch use by linking knowledge of agricultural benefits and research on the life cycle of plastic mulches with direct and indirect implications for long-term soil quality and ecosystem services. Adverse effects may arise from plastic additives, enhanced pesticide runoff and plastic residues likely to fragment into microplastics but remaining chemically intact and accumulating in soil where they can successively sorb agrochemicals. The quantification of microplastics in soil remains challenging due to the lack of appropriate analytical techniques. The cost and effort of recovering and recycling used mulching films may offset the aforementioned benefits in the long term. However, comparative and long-term agronomic assessments have not yet been conducted. Furthermore, plastic mulches have the potential to alter soil quality by shifting the edaphic biocoenosis (e.g. towards mycotoxigenic fungi), accelerate C/N metabolism eventually depleting soil organic matter stocks, increase soil water repellency and favour the release of greenhouse gases. A substantial process understanding of the interactions between the soil microclimate, water supply and biological activity under plastic mulches is still lacking but required to estimate potential risks for long-term soil quality. Currently, farmers mostly base their decision to apply plastic mulches rather on expected short-term benefits than on the consideration of long-term consequences. Future interdisciplinary research should therefore gain a deeper understanding of the incentives for farmers

  8. Viewpoint. Community-Supported Agriculture: Opportunities for Environmental Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donahue, Timothy P.

    1994-01-01

    Describes the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the context of critical social, economic, and environmental issues related to agriculture and the rural environment and the emerging movement for community-supported agriculture (CSA) in the United States. Discusses how CSA works, biodynamic agriculture, and opportunities for environmental…

  9. Benefits for agriculture and the environment from urban waste.

    PubMed

    Sortino, Orazio; Montoneri, Enzo; Patanè, Cristina; Rosato, Roberta; Tabasso, Silvia; Ginepro, Marco

    2014-07-15

    Soluble bio-based substances (SBO) that have been isolated from urban biowaste have recently been reported to enhance plant leaf chlorophyll content and growth. The same SBO have also been shown to enhance the photochemical degradation of organic pollutants in industrial effluent. These findings suggest that SBO may promote either C fixation or mineralization, according to operating conditions. The present work aims to investigate SBO performance, as a function of source material. Thus, three materials have been sampled from a municipal waste treatment plant: (i) the digestate of the anaerobic fermentation of a humid organic fraction, (ii) a whole vegetable compost made from gardening residues and (iii) compost made from a mixture of digestate, gardening residues and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed at pH13 and 60°C to yield SBO that display different chemical compositions. These products were applied to soil at 30, 145 and 500 kg ha(-1) doses for tomato cultivation. Soil and plant leaf chemical composition, plant growth, leaf chlorophyll content and CO2 exchange rate as well as fruit quality and production rate were measured. Although it did not affect the soil's chemical composition, SBO were found to significantly increase plant photosynthetic activity, growth and productivity up to the maximum value achieved at 145 kg ha(-1). The effects were analyzed as a function of SBO chemical composition and applied dose. The results of this work, compared with those of previous works, indicate that urban biowaste, if properly exploited, may furnish conjugate economic and environmental benefits, within a friendly sustainable ecosystem.

  10. The Benefits of Improving Indoor Environmental Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamping, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    As school funding levels nationwide continue to plummet amid public demands for increased student performance, an expanding body of research in the field of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is providing greater statistical validity about the relationship between environmental conditions in school facilities and student achievement. Since the…

  11. Valuing the Environmental Benefits of Urban WaterConservation

    SciTech Connect

    Coughlin, Katie M.; Bolduc, Chris A.; Chan, Peter T.; Dunham-Whitehead, C.; Van Buskirk, R.D.

    2007-05-01

    This report documents a project undertaken for theCalifornia Urban Water Conservation Council (the Council) to create a newmethod of accounting for the diverse environmental benefits of raw watersavings. The environmental benefits (EB) model was designed to providewater utilities with a practical tool that they can use to assign amonetary value to the benefits that may accrue from implementing any ofthe Council-recommended Best Management Practices. The model treats onlyenvironmental services associated directly with water, and is intended tocover miscellaneous impacts that are not currently accounted for in anyother cost-benefit analysis.

  12. Teaching Materials for Environmental Related Courses in Agriculture Occupations Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bohning, Kermit B.; Stitt, Thomas R.

    The lesson plans were designed to provide the practicing applied biological and agricultural occupations teacher with a series of units setting down a basic foundation in Environmental Education. Nine lesson plans cover (1) ecosystems and agriculture, (2) biotic communities and food chains, (3) energy and nutrient flow, (4) land use and supply,…

  13. Motivational Postures and Compliance with Environmental Law in Australian Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartel, Robyn; Barclay, Elaine

    2011-01-01

    Motivational posture theory is applied and extended to the context of Australian agriculture and environmental regulation. Regulatory failure in this area has been observed but little was known of the compliance attitudes and behaviours of farmers prior to this study. Agriculture covers over 60% of Australia's land surface so this information is…

  14. Brazilian agriculture and environmental legislation: status and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Sparovek, Gerd; Berndes, Göran; Klug, Israel L F; Barretto, Alberto G O P

    2010-08-15

    Brazilian agriculture covers about one-third of the land area and is expected to expand further. We assessed the compliance of present Brazilian agriculture with environmental legislation and identified challenges for agricultural development connected to this legislation. We found (i) minor illegal land use in protected areas under public administration, (ii) a large deficit in legal reserves and protected riparian zones on private farmland, and (iii) large areas of unprotected natural vegetation in regions experiencing agriculture expansion. Achieving full compliance with the environmental laws as they presently stand would require drastic changes in agricultural land use, where large agricultural areas are taken out of production and converted back to natural vegetation. The outcome of a full compliance with environmental legislation might not be satisfactory due to leakage, where pristine unprotected areas become converted to compensate for lost production as current agricultural areas are reconverted to protected natural vegetation. Realizing the desired protection of biodiversity and natural vegetation, while expanding agriculture to meet food and biofuel demand, may require a new approach to environmental protection. New legal and regulatory instruments and the establishment of alternative development models should be considered.

  15. 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.

  16. Hands-On Activities and Challenge Tests in Agricultural and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poudel, D. D.; Vincent, L. M.; Anzalone, C.; Huner, J.; Wollard, D.; Clement, T.; DeRamus, A.; Blakewood, G.

    2005-01-01

    Many agricultural and environmental problems are interrelated and overlapping. Several agencies, including nonprofit organizations, have developed programs to educate schoolchildren about agricultural and environmental issues; however, programs that integrate both agricultural and environmental learning, especially among middle and high school…

  17. Tracking environmental dynamics and agricultural intensification in southern Mali

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tappan, G.; McGahuey, M.

    2007-01-01

    The Office de la Haute Valle??e du Fleuve Niger (OHVN) zone in southern Mali is a small but important agricultural production region. Against a background of environmental degradation including decades of declining rainfall, soil erosion, and human pressure on forest resources, numerous farming communities stand out through the use of improved soil and water management practices that have improved agricultural and environmental conditions. Field surveys conducted in 1998-2001 indicated that environmental and agricultural conditions have improved in the past decade. In an effort to better quantify environmental trends, we conducted a study using medium- and high-resolution remotely sensed images from 1965 to 2001 in order to analyze land use and land cover trends in 21 village territories. The trends show clear indications of agricultural intensification and diversification among villages that have received assistance from the OHVN agricultural development agency. Some communities have improved environmental conditions by protecting their forest resources through community management actions. Four decades of remotely sensed images played a practical role in tracking and quantifying environmental and agricultural conditions over time.

  18. Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen: Potential benefits to agricultural production

    SciTech Connect

    Coveney, E.A.; Medeiros, W.H.; Moskowitz, P.D.

    1986-11-01

    Effects of indirect fertilization on agricultural lands by atmospheric deposition are examined for the four most valuable crops in the US: corn, soybean, wheat, and pasture grasses. A literature search was conducted to find suitable dose-response functions for the effects of fertilization on yield of each crop. Predicted yield changes were computed from the deposition of nitrogen to the soil in addition to nitrogen applied in accordance with current agronomic practices using these dose-response functions. Low to high nitrogen inputs from atmospheric deposition (1 to 7 kg/ha) are expected to increase the average yield of corn by 0.2 to 1.1%, soybean by 0.1 to 0.7%, wheat by 0.1 to 0.4%, and pasture grasses by 1.6 to 14%. Pasture land is predicted to receive the greatest impact because it is usually unfertilized.

  19. Dual discounting in cost-benefit analysis for environmental impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Kula, Erhun; Evans, David

    2011-04-15

    Discounting has been a long-established intertemporal efficiency tool in cost-benefit analysis which focuses on project selection at communal level with a view to maximising the social welfare. However, with the relentless growth in environmental stress that, in good parts, stems from investment projects the established criterion in discounting appears to be inadequate especially when environmental issues are taken into consideration. This paper looks at how dual focus on efficiency and sustainability can be achieved by using dual discounting, i.e. discounting environmental benefits separately and differently from other costs and benefits and applies this alternative criterion to an afforestation scheme in the United Kingdom which contains carbon sequestration in addition to timber benefits.

  20. Ecological risk assessment benefits environmental management

    SciTech Connect

    Fairbrother, A.; Kapustka, L.A.; Williams, B.A.; Glicken, J.

    1994-12-31

    The ecological risk assessment process in its ideal form is an unbiased approach for assessing the probability of harm to the environment as a consequence of a given action. This information can then be combined with other societal values and biases in the management of such risks. However, as the process currently is understood, decision makers often are accused of manipulating information in order to generate decisions or achieve buy in from the public in support of a particular political agenda. A clear understanding of the nature of the risk management process can help define areas where information should be free from social or personal bias, and areas where values and judgments are critical. The authors do not propose to discuss the individual`s decision-making process, but rather to address the social process of risk communication and environmentally-related decision-making, identifying which parts of that process require bias-free, scientifically generated information about the consequences of various actions and which parts need an understanding of the social values which underlie the informed choices among those possible actions.

  1. Environmental Co-Benefit Opportunities of Solar Energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, R. R.; Armstrong, A.; Burney, J. A.; Easter, S. B.; Hoffacker, M. K.; Moore, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Solar energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an order of magnitude when substituted for fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the strategic deployment of solar energy—from single, rooftop modules to utility-scale solar energy power plants—can confer additional environmental co-benefits beyond its immediate use as a low carbon energy source. In this study, we identify a diverse portfolio of environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy technologies resulting from synergistic innovations in land, food, energy, and water systems. For each opportunity, we provide a demonstrative, quantitative framework for environmental co-benefit valuation—including, equations, models, or case studies for estimating carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) and cost savings ($US) averted by environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy—and imminent research questions to improve certainty of valuations. As land-energy-food-water nexus issues are increasingly exigent in 21st century, we show that environmental co-benefit opportunities of solar energy are feasible in numerous environments and at a wide range of spatial scales thereby able to contribute to local and regional environmental goals and for the mitigation of climate change.

  2. Estimating environmental benefits of energy programs

    SciTech Connect

    Baechler, M.C.; Schrock, D.W.

    1995-07-01

    Three national reporting programs that either collect or report information on energy savings and the associated emissions reductions from DSM programs are the Conservation Verification Protocols (CVP), the Greenhouse Gas Voluntary Reporting Program (VRP), and the Green Lights Program. The CVP were enacted to report the atmospheric emissions reductions of S0{sub 2} and N0{sub 2}. The VRP was mandated in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) Section 1605(b) to report CO{sub 2}, emissions reductions. Green Lights is a program designed to reduce emissions by encouraging energy-efficient lighting. In this paper we concentrate on how the verification methods, default emission factors and reporting mechanisms affect the accuracy of the reported energy and emissions savings. Additionally, we focus on the dynamic nature of predicted emissions reductions to gauge the accuracy of predictions over time. If conservation programs are designed to affect existing powerplants, if no load growth is anticipated, and if existing plants will not require replacement, a simple static analysis based on an existing resource mix may be acceptable. This approach is enhanced by defining base case, intermediate, and peak resources. However, if today`s decisions will affect tomorrow`s resource decisions, or if the estimates will be used to establish important milestones (such as emission credits), it is prudent to conduct an analysis that captures most incumbent uncertainties. These uncertainties include future resource decisions and the regional character of energy resources, which may not be captured by national estimates and simple extrapolation techniques. While some estimation methods, such as use of default emission factors, produce reasonable national average numbers, the estimates may not be applicable to specific regions. The environmental and economic value of programs may be misstated.

  3. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network

    PubMed Central

    de Nijs, Patrick J.; Berry, Nicholas J.; Wells, Geoff J.; Reay, Dave S.

    2014-01-01

    The need for smallholder farmers to adapt their practices to a changing climate is well recognised, particularly in Africa. The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa is estimated to be $20 to $30 billion per year, but the total amount pledged to finance adaptation falls significantly short of this requirement. The difficulty of assessing and monitoring when adaptation is achieved is one of the key barriers to the disbursement of performance-based adaptation finance. To demonstrate the potential of Bayesian Belief Networks for describing the impacts of specific activities on climate change resilience, we developed a simple model that incorporates climate projections, local environmental data, information from peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion to account for the adaptation benefits derived from Climate-Smart Agriculture activities in Malawi. This novel approach allows assessment of vulnerability to climate change under different land use activities and can be used to identify appropriate adaptation strategies and to quantify biophysical adaptation benefits from activities that are implemented. We suggest that multiple-indicator Bayesian Belief Network approaches can provide insights into adaptation planning for a wide range of applications and, if further explored, could be part of a set of important catalysts for the expansion of adaptation finance. PMID:25327826

  4. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Nijs, Patrick J.; Berry, Nicholas J.; Wells, Geoff J.; Reay, Dave S.

    2014-10-01

    The need for smallholder farmers to adapt their practices to a changing climate is well recognised, particularly in Africa. The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa is estimated to be $20 to $30 billion per year, but the total amount pledged to finance adaptation falls significantly short of this requirement. The difficulty of assessing and monitoring when adaptation is achieved is one of the key barriers to the disbursement of performance-based adaptation finance. To demonstrate the potential of Bayesian Belief Networks for describing the impacts of specific activities on climate change resilience, we developed a simple model that incorporates climate projections, local environmental data, information from peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion to account for the adaptation benefits derived from Climate-Smart Agriculture activities in Malawi. This novel approach allows assessment of vulnerability to climate change under different land use activities and can be used to identify appropriate adaptation strategies and to quantify biophysical adaptation benefits from activities that are implemented. We suggest that multiple-indicator Bayesian Belief Network approaches can provide insights into adaptation planning for a wide range of applications and, if further explored, could be part of a set of important catalysts for the expansion of adaptation finance.

  5. Quantification of biophysical adaptation benefits from Climate-Smart Agriculture using a Bayesian Belief Network.

    PubMed

    de Nijs, Patrick J; Berry, Nicholas J; Wells, Geoff J; Reay, Dave S

    2014-10-20

    The need for smallholder farmers to adapt their practices to a changing climate is well recognised, particularly in Africa. The cost of adapting to climate change in Africa is estimated to be $20 to $30 billion per year, but the total amount pledged to finance adaptation falls significantly short of this requirement. The difficulty of assessing and monitoring when adaptation is achieved is one of the key barriers to the disbursement of performance-based adaptation finance. To demonstrate the potential of Bayesian Belief Networks for describing the impacts of specific activities on climate change resilience, we developed a simple model that incorporates climate projections, local environmental data, information from peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion to account for the adaptation benefits derived from Climate-Smart Agriculture activities in Malawi. This novel approach allows assessment of vulnerability to climate change under different land use activities and can be used to identify appropriate adaptation strategies and to quantify biophysical adaptation benefits from activities that are implemented. We suggest that multiple-indicator Bayesian Belief Network approaches can provide insights into adaptation planning for a wide range of applications and, if further explored, could be part of a set of important catalysts for the expansion of adaptation finance.

  6. Multiple benefits arising from novel management of agricultural ditches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonczyk, Jennine; Barber, Nick; Quinn, Paul

    2016-04-01

    The opportunity to modify the function and dynamics of farm ditches is very high. There are many kilometres of ditch that could offer multiple benefits to pollution control and lowering flood risk. However, there is first a perception problem to overcome, in that most farmers wish to remove water from the land quickly and are irritated by the accumulation of sediment. Hence, we have built a series of demonstration ditches where the new operation of the ditch can be shown to trap substantial amounts of sediment and nutrients and also not cause any local flooding or water logging problems. The ditch itself is radically changed in shape and is widened as much as possible and usually has a flat bottom. The ditch will also contain a series of leaky barriers that will retain flow during storm events. In very large events an overflow structure is required. These features do have to be engineered to a good level of safety to avoid failure. Sediment must also be recovered from the ditch frequently (at least annually) which again could be a role fulfilled by the farmer. We will show a number of example ditch designs and the data captured in experiments. One feature typically captures 50% of the suspended sediment, 30% of total phosphorus and 20% of the nitrate in a single storm.

  7. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation. [economic impact and aircraft configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The economic benefits attributable to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation are discussed. Topics covered include: the ag-air industry, the data base used to estimate the potential benefits and a summary of the potential benefits from technological improvements; ag-air activities in the United States; foreign ag-air activities; major ag-air aircraft is use and manufacturers' sales and distribution networks; and estimates of the benefits to the United States of proposed technological improvements to the aircraft and dispersal equipment. A bibliography of references is appended.

  8. Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bryony A; Grace, Delia; Kock, Richard; Alonso, Silvia; Rushton, Jonathan; Said, Mohammed Y; McKeever, Declan; Mutua, Florence; Young, Jarrah; McDermott, John; Pfeiffer, Dirk Udo

    2013-05-21

    A systematic review was conducted by a multidisciplinary team to analyze qualitatively best available scientific evidence on the effect of agricultural intensification and environmental changes on the risk of zoonoses for which there are epidemiological interactions between wildlife and livestock. The study found several examples in which agricultural intensification and/or environmental change were associated with an increased risk of zoonotic disease emergence, driven by the impact of an expanding human population and changing human behavior on the environment. We conclude that the rate of future zoonotic disease emergence or reemergence will be closely linked to the evolution of the agriculture-environment nexus. However, available research inadequately addresses the complexity and interrelatedness of environmental, biological, economic, and social dimensions of zoonotic pathogen emergence, which significantly limits our ability to predict, prevent, and respond to zoonotic disease emergence.

  9. Development of environmental thresholds for streams in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Chambers, P A; Culp, J M; Roberts, E S; Bowerman, M

    2012-01-01

    Global increases in consumption of chemical nutrients, application of pesticides, and water withdrawal to enhance agricultural yield have resulted in degraded water quality and reduced water availability. Efforts to safeguard or improve environmental conditions of agroecosystems have usually focused on managing on-farm activities to reduce materials loss and conserve habitat. Another management measure for improving environmental quality is adoption of environmental performance standards (also called outcome-based standards). This special collection of six papers presents the results of four years of research to devise scientifically credible approaches for setting environmental performance standards to protect water quantity and quality in Canadian agriculturally dominated watersheds. The research, conducted as part of Canada's National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative, aimed to identify Ideal Performance Standards (the desired environmental state needed to maintain ecosystem health) and Achievable Performance Standards (the environmental conditions achievable using currently available and recommended best available processes and technologies). Overviews of the papers, gaps in knowledge, and future research directions are presented. As humans, livestock, and wildlife (both terrestrial and aquatic) experience greater pressures to share the same limited water resources, innovative research is needed that incorporates a landscape perspective, economics, farm practices, and ecology to advance the development and application of tools for protecting water resources in agricultural watersheds.

  10. Environmental Benefits and Burdens of Phosphorus Recovery from Municipal Wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bradford-Hartke, Zenah; Lane, Joe; Lant, Paul; Leslie, Gregory

    2015-07-21

    The environmental benefits and burdens of phosphorus recovery in four centralized and two decentralized municipal wastewater systems were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). In centralized systems, phosphorus recovered as struvite from the solids dewatering liquid resulted in an environmental benefit except for the terrestrial ecotoxicity and freshwater eutrophication impact categories, with power and chemical use offset by operational savings and avoided fertilizer production. Chemical-based phosphorus recovery, however, generally required more resources than were offset by avoided fertilizers, resulting in a net environmental burden. In decentralized systems, phosphorus recovery via urine source separation reduced the global warming and ozone depletion potentials but increased terrestrial ecotoxicity and salinization potentials due to application of untreated urine to land. Overall, mineral depletion and eutrophication are well-documented arguments for phosphorus recovery; however, phosphorus recovery does not necessarily present a net environmental benefit. While avoided fertilizer production does reduce potential impacts, phosphorus recovery does not necessarily offset the resources consumed in the process. LCA results indicate that selection of an appropriate phosphorus recovery method should consider both local conditions and other environmental impacts, including global warming, ozone depletion, toxicity, and salinization, in addition to eutrophication and mineral depletion impacts. PMID:26121005

  11. Environmentally Sound Small-Scale Agricultural Projects. Guidelines for Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohonk Trust, New Paltz, NY.

    This publication is the first of a series of manuals that present environmental guidelines for planning and implementing ecologically sustainable projects. Attention is particularly directed to the agricultural situation and needs of developing nations. Subject areas discussed include: (1) users and uses (identifying the major purposes of the…

  12. Environmental Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and CGIAR: History and Future Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelles, Wayne

    2011-01-01

    The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global network of 15 specialized centers employing around 2,000 international scientists and 6,000 national staff in over 100 countries. CGIAR educational approaches to environmental issues have varied amid conflicting perspectives. Inadequate policies, learning resources,…

  13. Introduction to biochar as an agricultural and environmental amendment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This introductory chapter justifies and outlines biochar for current and potential agricultural and environmental applications. Biochar is fine-grained, recalcitrant charcoal made from heating vegetative biomass, bones, manure solids, and other plant-derived organic residues in an oxygen-free or oxy...

  14. Critical Thinking for Natural Resource, Agricultural, and Environmental Ethics Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Courtney; Burbach, Mark E.; Matkin, Gina S.; Flores, Kevin

    2009-01-01

    Future decision makers in natural resource fields will be required to make judgments on issues that lack clear solutions and with information complicated by ethical challenges. Therefore, natural resource, environmental, and agricultural professionals must possess the ability to think critically about the consequences of policy, economic systems,…

  15. Rejuvenation of agriculture in India: Cost benefits in using EO products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayaraman, V.; Parihar, J. S.; Srivastava, S. K.

    2008-07-01

    India is looking for rejuvenating its sagging agricultural production and productivity by integrating high technology space inputs for both irrigated and rainfed areas. The Earth Observations (EO) products today serve as major inputs to policy, planning and targeted interventions, contributing to building social capitals, natural resources assets and environmental gains on the long-term basis. The benefits are mostly indirect and often difficult to quantify in terms of money. The cost benefit analysis of EO products is therefore an involved exercise and not many examples exist globally. The present paper, taking into account major national as well as some local level agriprojects in India, highlights the criticality of EO products in terms of their short-term as well as long-term economic and social values. Three aspects viz., catalytic, timeliness and enabling have been analyzed to visualize the role of EO products in a holistic fashion. In the catalytic role, EO inputs have been found to play a role in the successful implementation of major natural resources development projects. The cost of EO inputs may be of less than 2-5% to the total cost of the development projects, but the nature of such inputs are critical and catalytic. For example, a major project on reclamation of around 0.6 Mha sodic soils in Indo-Gangetic Plans costs US89 million where EO products costs less than 2%; but demonstrates their catalytic roles in terms of identification, monitoring and evaluation and as inputs to mid-course corrections. The second aspect is timeliness in terms of opportunity cost. In India, Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space-borne, Agro-meteorological and Land Observations (FASAL) project is carried out for in-season multiple crop production forecasting in support of strategic decision on trade, price and procurements. In the past, timely forecasts from FASAL have been found to be accurate and helpful for the country to plan many of its activities, including

  16. Quantifying economic and environmental benefits of co-located firms.

    PubMed

    Chertow, Marian R; Lombardi, D Rachel

    2005-09-01

    Resource sharing among co-located firms--referenced in the industrial ecology literature as "industrial symbiosis"--engages traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to business and environmental management involving the physical exchanges of materials, energy, water, and byproducts. While industrial symbiosis is seen hypothetically as a win-win situation, there are few analyses of the economic and environmental consequences for the individual participants in multi-faceted exchanges. In this article, the nascent industrial symbiosis network in Guayama, Puerto Rico, is explored from environmental, economic, and regulatory perspectives of the individual participants and the community. A coal-fired power plant, owned and operated by the AES Corporation, draws five million gallons per day of process water from nearby sources thus avoiding freshwater withdrawals and, through steam sales, significantly reduces emissions from a nearby refinery. This article quantifies economic and environmental costs and benefits for the symbiosis participants, concluding that there are substantial benefits to engaging in symbiosis, although these benefits fall unevenly on participating organizations. Policy intervention can be a viable means of motivating more regular occurrences of resource exchanges among groups of firms.

  17. Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bryony A.; Grace, Delia; Kock, Richard; Alonso, Silvia; Rushton, Jonathan; Said, Mohammed Y.; McKeever, Declan; Mutua, Florence; Young, Jarrah; McDermott, John; Pfeiffer, Dirk Udo

    2013-01-01

    A systematic review was conducted by a multidisciplinary team to analyze qualitatively best available scientific evidence on the effect of agricultural intensification and environmental changes on the risk of zoonoses for which there are epidemiological interactions between wildlife and livestock. The study found several examples in which agricultural intensification and/or environmental change were associated with an increased risk of zoonotic disease emergence, driven by the impact of an expanding human population and changing human behavior on the environment. We conclude that the rate of future zoonotic disease emergence or reemergence will be closely linked to the evolution of the agriculture–environment nexus. However, available research inadequately addresses the complexity and interrelatedness of environmental, biological, economic, and social dimensions of zoonotic pathogen emergence, which significantly limits our ability to predict, prevent, and respond to zoonotic disease emergence. PMID:23671097

  18. From the Cover: Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Jason; Nelson, Erik; Tilman, David; Polasky, Stephen; Tiffany, Douglas

    2006-07-01

    Negative environmental consequences of fossil fuels and concerns about petroleum supplies have spurred the search for renewable transportation biofuels. To be a viable alternative, a biofuel should provide a net energy gain, have environmental benefits, be economically competitive, and be producible in large quantities without reducing food supplies. We use these criteria to evaluate, through life-cycle accounting, ethanol from corn grain and biodiesel from soybeans. Ethanol yields 25% more energy than the energy invested in its production, whereas biodiesel yields 93% more. Compared with ethanol, biodiesel releases just 1.0%, 8.3%, and 13% of the agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and pesticide pollutants, respectively, per net energy gain. Relative to the fossil fuels they displace, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 12% by the production and combustion of ethanol and 41% by biodiesel. Biodiesel also releases less air pollutants per net energy gain than ethanol. These advantages of biodiesel over ethanol come from lower agricultural inputs and more efficient conversion of feedstocks to fuel. Neither biofuel can replace much petroleum without impacting food supplies. Even dedicating all U.S. corn and soybean production to biofuels would meet only 12% of gasoline demand and 6% of diesel demand. Until recent increases in petroleum prices, high production costs made biofuels unprofitable without subsidies. Biodiesel provides sufficient environmental advantages to merit subsidy. Transportation biofuels such as synfuel hydrocarbons or cellulosic ethanol, if produced from low-input biomass grown on agriculturally marginal land or from waste biomass, could provide much greater supplies and environmental benefits than food-based biofuels. corn | soybean | life-cycle accounting | agriculture | fossil fuel

  19. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. PMID:26070897

  20. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  1. Grassland-Cropping Rotations: An Avenue for Agricultural Diversification to Reconcile High Production with Environmental Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad

    2015-11-01

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

  2. Climate change impacts on US agriculture and forestry: benefits of global climate stabilization

    SciTech Connect

    Beach, Robert H.; Cai, Yongxia; Thomson, Allison M.; Zhang, Xuesong; Jones, Russ; McCarl, Bruce A.; Crimmins, Allison; Martinich, Jeremy; Cole, Jefferson; Ohrel, Sara; DeAngelo, B. J.; McFarland, Jim; Strzepek, K.; Boehlert, Brent

    2015-09-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and other climate change impacts have already begun to affect US agriculture and forestry, with impacts expected to become more substantial in the future. There have been numerous studies of climate change impacts on agriculture or forestry, but relatively little research examining the long-term net impacts of a stabilization scenario relative to a case with unabated climate change. We provide an analysis of the potential benefits of global climate change mitigation for US agriculture and forestry through 2100, accounting for landowner decisions regarding land use, crop mix, and management practices. The analytic approach involves a combination of climate models, a crop process model (EPIC), a dynamic vegetation model used for forests (MC1), and an economic model of the US forestry and agricultural sector (FASOM-GHG). We find substantial impacts on productivity, commodity markets, and consumer and producer welfare for the stabilization scenario relative to unabated climate change, though the magnitude and direction of impacts vary across regions and commodities. Although there is variability in welfare impacts across climate simulations, we find positive net benefits from stabilization in all cases, with cumulative impacts ranging from $32.7 billion to $54.5 billion over the period 2015-2100. Our estimates contribute to the literature on potential benefits of GHG mitigation and can help inform policy decisions weighing alternative mitigation and adaptation actions.

  3. Climate change impacts on US agriculture and forestry: benefits of global climate stabilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beach, Robert H.; Cai, Yongxia; Thomson, Allison; Zhang, Xuesong; Jones, Russell; McCarl, Bruce A.; Crimmins, Allison; Martinich, Jeremy; Cole, Jefferson; Ohrel, Sara; DeAngelo, Benjamin; McFarland, James; Strzepek, Kenneth; Boehlert, Brent

    2015-09-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and other climate change impacts have already begun to affect US agriculture and forestry, with impacts expected to become more substantial in the future. There have been numerous studies of climate change impacts on agriculture or forestry, but relatively little research examining the long-term net impacts of a stabilization scenario relative to a case with unabated climate change. We provide an analysis of the potential benefits of global climate change mitigation for US agriculture and forestry through 2100, accounting for landowner decisions regarding land use, crop mix, and management practices. The analytic approach involves a combination of climate models, a crop process model (EPIC), a dynamic vegetation model used for forests (MC1), and an economic model of the US forestry and agricultural sector (FASOM-GHG). We find substantial impacts on productivity, commodity markets, and consumer and producer welfare for the stabilization scenario relative to unabated climate change, though the magnitude and direction of impacts vary across regions and commodities. Although there is variability in welfare impacts across climate simulations, we find positive net benefits from stabilization in all cases, with cumulative impacts ranging from 32.7 billion to 54.5 billion over the period 2015-2100. Our estimates contribute to the literature on potential benefits of GHG mitigation and can help inform policy decisions weighing alternative mitigation and adaptation actions.

  4. Quantifying the multiple, environmental benefits of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard; Puttock, Alan; Graham, Hugh; Anderson, Karen; Cunliffe, Andrew; Elliott, Mark

    2016-04-01

    Beavers are ecological engineers with an ability to modify the structure and flow of fluvial systems and create complex wetland environments with dams, ponds and canals. Consequently, beaver activity has potential for river restoration, management and the provision of multiple environmental ecosystem services including biodiversity, flood risk mitigation, water quality and sustainable drinking water provision. With the current debate surrounding the reintroduction of beavers into the United Kingdom, it is critical to monitor the impact of beavers upon the environment. We have developed and implemented a monitoring strategy to quantify the impact of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver on multiple environmental ecosystem services and river systems at a range of scales. First, the experimental design and preliminary results will be presented from the Mid-Devon Beaver Trial, where a family of beavers has been introduced to a 3 ha enclosure situated upon a first order tributary of the River Tamar. The site was instrumented to monitor the flow rate and quality of water entering and leaving the site. Additionally, the impacts of beavers upon riparian vegetation structure, water/carbon storage were investigated. Preliminary results indicate that beaver activity, particularly the building of ponds and dams, increases water storage within the landscape and moderates the river response to rainfall. Baseflow is enhanced during dry periods and storm flow is attenuated, potentially reducing the risk of flooding downstream. Initial analysis of water quality indicates that water entering the site (running off intensively managed grasslands upslope), has higher suspended sediment loads and nitrate levels, than that leaving the site, after moving through the series of beaver ponds. These results suggest beaver activity may also act as a means by which the negative impact of diffuse water pollution from agriculture can be mitigated thus providing cleaner water in rivers downstream

  5. Health and environmental benefits from air pollution reductions in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Aunan, K; Pátzay, G; Asbjørn Aaheim, H; Martin Seip, H

    1998-04-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the cost and benefit of the implementation of a specific energy saving program in Hungary. We have considered the possible reduced damage to public health, building materials and agricultural crops that may be obtained from reducing emissions of important air pollutants and also how the program contributes to reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. The measures are described in the National Energy Efficiency Improvement and Energy Conservation Programs (NEEIECP), elaborated by the Hungarian Ministry of Industry and Trade and accepted by the Government in 1994. The energy saving expected from the program is approximately 64 PJ/year. The benefits were estimated using monitoring data and population/recipient data from urban and rural areas in Hungary together with exposure-response functions and valuation estimates mainly from western studies. Our analysis indicates that the main benefit from reducing the concentrations of pollutants relates to public health and that reduced prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases is an important effect. Reduced premature mortality is also important and the estimated attributable risk of air pollution to excess mortality at present is approximately 6%. The estimated annual benefit of improved health conditions alone is likely to exceed the investments needed to implement the program. In addition there are significant benefits due to reduced replacement and maintenance costs for building materials (30-35 million US$ annually in Budapest only). The damage to crops due to ozone is large, but a significant improvement in Hungary depends upon concerted actions in several countries. PMID:9573631

  6. Trade in the US and Mexico helps reduce environmental costs of agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Melendez, Luz A.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2016-05-01

    Increasing international crop trade has enlarged global shares of cropland, water and fertilizers used to grow crops for export. Crop trade can reduce the environmental burden on importing countries, which benefit from embedded environmental resources in imported crops, and from avoided environmental impacts of production in their territory. International trade can also reduce the universal environmental impact of food production if crops are grown where they are produced in the most environmentally efficient way. We compared production efficiencies for the same crops in the US and Mexico to determine whether current crop trade between these two countries provides an overall benefit to the environment. Our economic and environmental accounting for the key traded crops from 2010 to 2014 shows that exports to Mexico are just 3% (∼16 thousand Gg) of the total production of these crops in the US, and exports to US represent roughly 0.13% (∼46 Gg) of Mexican total production of the same crops. Yields were higher in US than Mexico for all crops except wheat. Use of nitrogen fertilizer was higher in US than in Mexico for all crops except corn. Current trade reduces some, but not all, environmental costs of agriculture. A counterfactual trade scenario showed that an overall annual reduction in cultivated land (∼371 thousand ha), water use (∼923 million m3), fertilizer use (∼122 Gg; ∼68 Gg nitrogen) and pollution (∼681 tonnes of N2O emissions to the atmosphere and ∼511 tonnes of leached nitrogen) can be achieved by changing the composition of food products traded. In this case, corn, soybeans and rice should be grown in the US, while wheat, sorghum and barley should be grown in Mexico. Assigning greater economic weight to the environmental costs of agriculture might improve the balance of trade to be more universally beneficial, environmentally.

  7. Environmental Emissions Nonenergy Benefits Working Paper: ARRA Period

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll, David; Bausch, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Weatherization reduces energy usage by low-income households, and thereby reduces the environmental impacts of the production and consumption of energy and reduces the social costs associated with those environmental impacts. The nonenergy benefits study conducted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) evaluation focused on measuring the emissions reductions resulting from WAP program energy usage reductions and estimating the societal value of those emission reductions. While there are other environmental impacts associated with the WAP program, this study focused on emissions impacts because the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) report Hidden Costs of Energy: The Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use recommended that Congress focus on emissions costs because they have the highest documented social impact costs

  8. Agricultural chemical application practices to reduce environmental contamination.

    PubMed

    Bode, L E

    1990-01-01

    Current practices of applying agricultural chemicals play a major role in the environmental health concerns of agriculture. Those who mix, load, and handle the concentrated formulations run the greatest risk of exposure but field hands and others can encounter significant levels of pesticides. Drift can be a major source of contamination to residents, wildlife, and water sources. Improved methods of application and ways of reducing the total amount of pesticide applied can help reduce environmental contamination. Chemigation, direct injection, closed system handling, and fertilizer impregnation are examples of technology that affect the efficiency of applying agricultural chemicals. An area of beneficial research is related to leak and spill technology. Current surveys indicate that point sources such as spills, mixing and loading areas, back-siphoning, and direct routes for surface water movement into the ground are often a major cause of pesticides reaching groundwater. The commercial dealer/applicator provides storage, handling, mixing, and loading for large amounts of chemicals and has received limited guidance regarding the products. Education remains an important element of any rural environmental health strategy. With appropriate information about pesticide risks and groundwater, people will be better equipped to address environmental concerns. By design, agricultural chemicals are biologically active and, in most cases, toxic. Thus, they pose potential risks to humans, wildlife, water, and the environment in general. The magnitude of the risks depends to some degree on the methods and techniques used to apply the chemicals. Pesticides are applied by persons possessing a variety of skills, using equipment ranging from hand-operated systems to aircraft.

  9. Green roof valuation: a probabilistic economic analysis of environmental benefits.

    PubMed

    Clark, Corrie; Adriaens, Peter; Talbot, F Brian

    2008-03-15

    Green (vegetated) roofs have gained global acceptance as a technologythat has the potential to help mitigate the multifaceted, complex environmental problems of urban centers. While policies that encourage green roofs exist atthe local and regional level, installation costs remain at a premium and deter investment in this technology. The objective of this paper is to quantitatively integrate the range of stormwater, energy, and air pollution benefits of green roofs into an economic model that captures the building-specific scale. Currently, green roofs are primarily valued on increased roof longevity, reduced stormwater runoff, and decreased building energy consumption. Proper valuation of these benefits can reduce the present value of a green roof if investors look beyond the upfront capital costs. Net present value (NPV) analysis comparing a conventional roof system to an extensive green roof system demonstrates that at the end of the green roof lifetime the NPV for the green roof is between 20.3 and 25.2% less than the NPV for the conventional roof over 40 years. The additional upfront investment is recovered at the time when a conventional roof would be replaced. Increasing evidence suggests that green roofs may play a significant role in urban air quality improvement For example, uptake of N0x is estimated to range from $1683 to $6383 per metric ton of NOx reduction. These benefits were included in this study, and results translate to an annual benefit of $895-3392 for a 2000 square meter vegetated roof. Improved air quality leads to a mean NPV for the green roof that is 24.5-40.2% less than the mean conventional roof NPV. Through innovative policies, the inclusion of air pollution mitigation and the reduction of municipal stormwater infrastructure costs in economic valuation of environmental benefits of green roofs can reduce the cost gap that currently hinders U.S. investment in green roof technology.

  10. Environmental Salmonella in agricultural fair poultry exhibits in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Pabilonia, K L; Cadmus, K J; Lingus, T M; Bolte, D S; Russell, M M; Van Metre, D C; Erdman, M M

    2014-03-01

    Salmonella enterica is a common zoonotic pathogen in humans. Transmission typically occurs through consumption of contaminated food products or contact with infected animals, including poultry or their environment. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency of Salmonella contamination in the environment in poultry exhibits at agricultural fairs. Samples were collected from cages, feed, floors and tables in the exhibit and cultured for Salmonella. At least one environmental sample was positive for Salmonella in 10 of 11 fairs (91%), and Salmonella was isolated from 28 of 55 environmental samples (50.9%). Eleven different serotypes were detected. Results of this study demonstrate that environmental surfaces at agricultural fairs can be contaminated with Salmonella and could potentially serve as a route of transmission to bird owners and the general public. Poultry owners and the general public should be educated about the risks of Salmonella infection from the poultry exhibit environment. Agricultural fairs should consider instituting policies and practices to improve hygiene and mitigate the risk of zoonotic salmonellosis.

  11. A commentary on domestic animals as dual-purpose models that benefit agricultural and biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Ireland, J J; Roberts, R M; Palmer, G H; Bauman, D E; Bazer, F W

    2008-10-01

    Research on domestic animals (cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, horses, and aquatic species) at land grant institutions is integral to improving the global competitiveness of US animal agriculture and to resolving complex animal and human diseases. However, dwindling federal and state budgets, years of stagnant funding from USDA for the Competitive State Research, Education, and Extension Service National Research Initiative (CSREES-NRI) Competitive Grants Program, significant reductions in farm animal species and in numbers at land grant institutions, and declining enrollment for graduate studies in animal science are diminishing the resources necessary to conduct research on domestic species. Consequently, recruitment of scientists who use such models to conduct research relevant to animal agriculture and biomedicine at land grant institutions is in jeopardy. Concerned stakeholders have addressed this critical problem by conducting workshops, holding a series of meetings with USDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials, and developing a white paper to propose solutions to obstacles impeding the use of domestic species as dual-purpose animal models for high-priority problems common to agriculture and biomedicine. In addition to shortfalls in research support and human resources, overwhelming use of mouse models in biomedicine, lack of advocacy from university administrators, long-standing cultural barriers between agriculture and human medicine, inadequate grantsmanship by animal scientists, and a scarcity of key reagents and resources are major roadblocks to progress. Solutions will require a large financial enhancement of USDA's Competitive Grants Program, educational programs geared toward explaining how research using agricultural animals benefits both animal agriculture and human health, and the development of a new mind-set in land grant institutions that fosters greater cooperation among basic and applied researchers. Recruitment of

  12. Measuring environmental efficiency of agricultural water use: a Luenberger environmental indicator.

    PubMed

    Azad, Md A S; Ancev, Tihomir

    2014-12-01

    Irrigated agriculture creates substantial environmental pressures by withdrawing large quantities of water, leaving rivers and wetlands empty and unable to support the valuable ecosystems that depend on the water resource. The key challenge facing society is that of balancing water extractions for agricultural production and other uses with provision of appropriate environmental flow to maintain healthy rivers and wetlands. Measuring tradeoffs between economic gain of water use in agriculture and its environmental pressures can contribute to constructing policy instruments for improved water resource management. The aim of this paper is to develop a modelling framework to measure these tradeoffs. Using a new approach - Luenberger environmental indicator - the study derives environmental efficiency scores for various types of irrigation enterprises across seventeen natural resource management regions within the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Findings show that there is a substantial variation in environmental performance of irrigation enterprises across the regions. Some enterprises were found to be relatively environmentally efficient in some regions, but they were not efficient in others. The environmental efficiency scores could be used as a guideline for formulating regional policy and strategy to achieve sustainable water use in the agricultural sector. PMID:25103337

  13. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: food and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Friel, Sharon; Dangour, Alan D; Garnett, Tara; Lock, Karen; Chalabi, Zaid; Roberts, Ian; Butler, Ainslie; Butler, Colin D; Waage, Jeff; McMichael, Anthony J; Haines, Andy

    2009-12-12

    Agricultural food production and agriculturally-related change in land use substantially contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. Four-fifths of agricultural emissions arise from the livestock sector. Although livestock products are a source of some essential nutrients, they provide large amounts of saturated fat, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We considered potential strategies for the agricultural sector to meet the target recommended by the UK Committee on Climate Change to reduce UK emissions from the concentrations recorded in 1990 by 80% by 2050, which would require a 50% reduction by 2030. With use of the UK as a case study, we identified that a combination of agricultural technological improvements and a 30% reduction in livestock production would be needed to meet this target; in the absence of good emissions data from Brazil, we assumed for illustrative purposes that the required reductions would be the same for our second case study in São Paulo city. We then used these data to model the potential benefits of reduced consumption of livestock products on the burden of ischaemic heart disease: disease burden would decrease by about 15% in the UK (equivalent to 2850 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] per million population in 1 year) and 16% in São Paulo city (equivalent to 2180 DALYs per million population in 1 year). Although likely to yield benefits to health, such a strategy will probably encounter cultural, political, and commercial resistance, and face technical challenges. Coordinated intersectoral action is needed across agricultural, nutritional, public health, and climate change communities worldwide to provide affordable, healthy, low-emission diets for all societies.

  14. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: food and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Friel, Sharon; Dangour, Alan D; Garnett, Tara; Lock, Karen; Chalabi, Zaid; Roberts, Ian; Butler, Ainslie; Butler, Colin D; Waage, Jeff; McMichael, Anthony J; Haines, Andy

    2009-12-12

    Agricultural food production and agriculturally-related change in land use substantially contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. Four-fifths of agricultural emissions arise from the livestock sector. Although livestock products are a source of some essential nutrients, they provide large amounts of saturated fat, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We considered potential strategies for the agricultural sector to meet the target recommended by the UK Committee on Climate Change to reduce UK emissions from the concentrations recorded in 1990 by 80% by 2050, which would require a 50% reduction by 2030. With use of the UK as a case study, we identified that a combination of agricultural technological improvements and a 30% reduction in livestock production would be needed to meet this target; in the absence of good emissions data from Brazil, we assumed for illustrative purposes that the required reductions would be the same for our second case study in São Paulo city. We then used these data to model the potential benefits of reduced consumption of livestock products on the burden of ischaemic heart disease: disease burden would decrease by about 15% in the UK (equivalent to 2850 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] per million population in 1 year) and 16% in São Paulo city (equivalent to 2180 DALYs per million population in 1 year). Although likely to yield benefits to health, such a strategy will probably encounter cultural, political, and commercial resistance, and face technical challenges. Coordinated intersectoral action is needed across agricultural, nutritional, public health, and climate change communities worldwide to provide affordable, healthy, low-emission diets for all societies. PMID:19942280

  15. [Assessing environmental and economical benefits of integrated sewage treatment systems].

    PubMed

    Li, Jin-rong; Zhang, Xiao-hong; Zhang, Hang-bin; Pan, Heng-yu; Liu, Qiang

    2015-08-01

    Sewage treatment, treated water treatment and sludge treatment are three basic units of an integrated sewage treatment system. This work assessed the influence of reusing or discharge of treated water and sludge landfill or compost on the sustainability of an integrated sewage treatment system using emergy analysis and newly proposed emergy indicators. This system's value included its environmental benefits and the products. Environmental benefits were the differences of the environmental service values before and after sewage treatment. Due to unavailability of data of the exchanged substance and energy in the internal system, products' values were attained by newly proposed substitution values. The results showed that the combination of sewage treatment, treated water reuse and sludge landfill had the strongest competitiveness, while the combination of sewage treatment, treated water reuse and earthworm compost was the most sustainable. Moreover, treated water reuse and earthworm compost were helpful for improving the sustainability of the integrated sewage treatment system. The quality of treated water and local conditions should be also considered when implementing the treated water reuse or discharge. The resources efficiency of earthworm compost unit needed to be further improved. Improved emergy indices were more suitable for integrated sewage treatment systems. PMID:26685613

  16. Combining Water Quality and Cost-Benefit Analysis to Examine the Implications of Agricultural Best Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, N. S.; Easton, Z. M.; Lee, D. R.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2007-12-01

    Nutrient runoff from agricultural fields threatens water quality and can impair habitats in many watersheds. Agencies consider these potential risks as they determine acceptable levels of nutrient loading. For example, in the New York City (NYC) watershed, the Environmental Protection Agency's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus (P) has been set at 15μg P L-1 to protect against eutrophication and bacterial outbreaks. In the NYC watersheds agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the primary means to control nonpoint source P loading. BMPs include riparian buffers, filter strips, manure storage facilities, crop rotation, stripcropping, tree planting and nutrient management plans (NMPs). Water quality research on BMPs to date has included studies on site-specificity of different BMPs, short and long term BMP efficacy, and placement of BMPs with respect to critical source areas. A necessary complement to studies addressing water quality aspects of different BMPs are studies examining the cost-benefit aspects of BMPs. In general, there are installment, maintenance and opportunity costs associated with each BMP, and there are benefits, including cost share agreements between farmers and farm agencies, and increased efficiency of farm production and maintenance. Combining water quality studies and related cost-benefit analyses would help planners and watershed managers determine how best improve water quality. Our research examines the costs-benefit structure associated with BMP scenarios on a one-farm headwater watershed in the Catskill Mountains of NY. The different scenarios include "with and without" BMPs, combinations of BMPs, and different BMP placements across agricultural fields. The costs associated with each BMP scenarios are determined using information from farm agencies and watershed planning agencies. With these data we perform a cost-benefit analysis for the different BMP scenarios and couple the water quality modeling using the

  17. Systemic solutions for multi-benefit water and environmental management.

    PubMed

    Everard, Mark; McInnes, Robert

    2013-09-01

    The environmental and financial costs of inputs to, and unintended consequences arising from narrow consideration of outputs from, water and environmental management technologies highlight the need for low-input solutions that optimise outcomes across multiple ecosystem services. Case studies examining the inputs and outputs associated with several ecosystem-based water and environmental management technologies reveal a range from those that differ little from conventional electro-mechanical engineering techniques through methods, such as integrated constructed wetlands (ICWs), designed explicitly as low-input systems optimising ecosystem service outcomes. All techniques present opportunities for further optimisation of outputs, and hence for greater cumulative public value. We define 'systemic solutions' as "…low-input technologies using natural processes to optimise benefits across the spectrum of ecosystem services and their beneficiaries". They contribute to sustainable development by averting unintended negative impacts and optimising benefits to all ecosystem service beneficiaries, increasing net economic value. Legacy legislation addressing issues in a fragmented way, associated 'ring-fenced' budgets and established management assumptions represent obstacles to implementing 'systemic solutions'. However, flexible implementation of legacy regulations recognising their primary purpose, rather than slavish adherence to detailed sub-clauses, may achieve greater overall public benefit through optimisation of outcomes across ecosystem services. Systemic solutions are not a panacea if applied merely as 'downstream' fixes, but are part of, and a means to accelerate, broader culture change towards more sustainable practice. This necessarily entails connecting a wider network of interests in the formulation and design of mutually-beneficial systemic solutions, including for example spatial planners, engineers, regulators, managers, farming and other businesses, and

  18. Ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Groffman, P M

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, I address three topics relevant to the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. First, I describe the fundamental ecological factors that influence the environmental performance of these systems and address how precision agriculture practices can or cannot interact with these factors. Second, I review the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture relative to agricultural inputs to determine whether managing these processes can significantly affect system environmental performance. Finally, I address scale incongruencies between ecological processes and precision agriculture techniques that could limit the ability of these techniques to manage variability in these processes. The analysis suggests that there are significant ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture techniques to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. The primary constraint is that these techniques do not address many of the key factors that cause poor environmental performance in these systems. Further, the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture are quite small relative to agricultural inputs and, finally, these processes vary on scales that are incongruent with precision management techniques.

  19. Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost-benefit assessment of climate policies.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yongyang; Judd, Kenneth L; Lenton, Timothy M; Lontzek, Thomas S; Narita, Daiju

    2015-04-14

    Most current cost-benefit analyses of climate change policies suggest an optimal global climate policy that is significantly less stringent than the level required to meet the internationally agreed 2 °C target. This is partly because the sum of estimated economic damage of climate change across various sectors, such as energy use and changes in agricultural production, results in only a small economic loss or even a small economic gain in the gross world product under predicted levels of climate change. However, those cost-benefit analyses rarely take account of environmental tipping points leading to abrupt and irreversible impacts on market and nonmarket goods and services, including those provided by the climate and by ecosystems. Here we show that including environmental tipping point impacts in a stochastic dynamic integrated assessment model profoundly alters cost-benefit assessment of global climate policy. The risk of a tipping point, even if it only has nonmarket impacts, could substantially increase the present optimal carbon tax. For example, a risk of only 5% loss in nonmarket goods that occurs with a 5% annual probability at 4 °C increase of the global surface temperature causes an immediate two-thirds increase in optimal carbon tax. If the tipping point also has a 5% impact on market goods, the optimal carbon tax increases by more than a factor of 3. Hence existing cost-benefit assessments of global climate policy may be significantly underestimating the needs for controlling climate change.

  20. Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost−benefit assessment of climate policies

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yongyang; Judd, Kenneth L.; Lenton, Timothy M.; Lontzek, Thomas S.; Narita, Daiju

    2015-01-01

    Most current cost−benefit analyses of climate change policies suggest an optimal global climate policy that is significantly less stringent than the level required to meet the internationally agreed 2 °C target. This is partly because the sum of estimated economic damage of climate change across various sectors, such as energy use and changes in agricultural production, results in only a small economic loss or even a small economic gain in the gross world product under predicted levels of climate change. However, those cost−benefit analyses rarely take account of environmental tipping points leading to abrupt and irreversible impacts on market and nonmarket goods and services, including those provided by the climate and by ecosystems. Here we show that including environmental tipping point impacts in a stochastic dynamic integrated assessment model profoundly alters cost−benefit assessment of global climate policy. The risk of a tipping point, even if it only has nonmarket impacts, could substantially increase the present optimal carbon tax. For example, a risk of only 5% loss in nonmarket goods that occurs with a 5% annual probability at 4 °C increase of the global surface temperature causes an immediate two-thirds increase in optimal carbon tax. If the tipping point also has a 5% impact on market goods, the optimal carbon tax increases by more than a factor of 3. Hence existing cost−benefit assessments of global climate policy may be significantly underestimating the needs for controlling climate change. PMID:25825719

  1. Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost-benefit assessment of climate policies.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yongyang; Judd, Kenneth L; Lenton, Timothy M; Lontzek, Thomas S; Narita, Daiju

    2015-04-14

    Most current cost-benefit analyses of climate change policies suggest an optimal global climate policy that is significantly less stringent than the level required to meet the internationally agreed 2 °C target. This is partly because the sum of estimated economic damage of climate change across various sectors, such as energy use and changes in agricultural production, results in only a small economic loss or even a small economic gain in the gross world product under predicted levels of climate change. However, those cost-benefit analyses rarely take account of environmental tipping points leading to abrupt and irreversible impacts on market and nonmarket goods and services, including those provided by the climate and by ecosystems. Here we show that including environmental tipping point impacts in a stochastic dynamic integrated assessment model profoundly alters cost-benefit assessment of global climate policy. The risk of a tipping point, even if it only has nonmarket impacts, could substantially increase the present optimal carbon tax. For example, a risk of only 5% loss in nonmarket goods that occurs with a 5% annual probability at 4 °C increase of the global surface temperature causes an immediate two-thirds increase in optimal carbon tax. If the tipping point also has a 5% impact on market goods, the optimal carbon tax increases by more than a factor of 3. Hence existing cost-benefit assessments of global climate policy may be significantly underestimating the needs for controlling climate change. PMID:25825719

  2. Measuring environmental sustainability in agriculture: A composite environmental impact index approach.

    PubMed

    Sabiha, Noor-E; Salim, Ruhul; Rahman, Sanzidur; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay

    2016-01-15

    The present study develops a composite environmental impact index (CEII) to evaluate the extent of environmental degradation in agriculture after successfully validating its flexibility, applicability and relevance as a tool. The CEII tool is then applied to empirically measure the extent of environmental impacts of High Yield Variety (HYV) rice cultivation in three districts of north-western Bangladesh for a single crop year (October, 2012-September, 2013). Results reveal that 27 to 69 per cent of the theoretical maximum level of environmental damage is created due to HYV rice cultivation with significant regional variations in the CEII scores, implying that policy interventions are required in environmentally critical areas in order to sustain agriculture in Bangladesh.

  3. Measuring environmental sustainability in agriculture: A composite environmental impact index approach.

    PubMed

    Sabiha, Noor-E; Salim, Ruhul; Rahman, Sanzidur; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay

    2016-01-15

    The present study develops a composite environmental impact index (CEII) to evaluate the extent of environmental degradation in agriculture after successfully validating its flexibility, applicability and relevance as a tool. The CEII tool is then applied to empirically measure the extent of environmental impacts of High Yield Variety (HYV) rice cultivation in three districts of north-western Bangladesh for a single crop year (October, 2012-September, 2013). Results reveal that 27 to 69 per cent of the theoretical maximum level of environmental damage is created due to HYV rice cultivation with significant regional variations in the CEII scores, implying that policy interventions are required in environmentally critical areas in order to sustain agriculture in Bangladesh. PMID:26492465

  4. Buried Treasure: The Environmental, Economic, and Employment Benefits of Geothermal Energy (Revised)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2004-11-01

    This new publication supplants older DOE publications regarding environmental impacts, providing updated and new information on environmental, economic, and employment benefits and impacts of geothermal energy.

  5. Environmental benefits of Boston Harbor clean-up projects

    SciTech Connect

    Connor, M.S.; Smith, W.M. )

    1990-01-09

    The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has undertaken one of the largest public works projects in the country to control the pollution of Boston Harbor. The project includes construction of a new primary and secondary treatment plant and sludge treatment facilities, excavation of a long ocean outfall and diffuser, and a solution to the overflow of mixed sewage and stormwater during storms; it will take over twenty years and billions of dollars to construct. A comparison of the relative costs and environmental benefits of relative costs and environmental benefits of the various construction projects, and other pollution control strategies, shows that some projects are more cost-effective than others for solving specific pollution problems. The capture and treatment of combined sewer overflow (CSO) will result in a more dramatic reduction of pathogen contamination than will completion of the primary and secondary treatment plants. Although the flow of raw sewage is intermittent and relatively small, it has high concentrations of bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, the new treatment plants will be more important in reducing toxic contamination of fish and shellfish. In summary, all the planned clean-up projects appear to be necessary to reach the goal of a swimmable, fishable Boston Harbor.

  6. Economic and environmental benefits of higher-octane gasoline.

    PubMed

    Speth, Raymond L; Chow, Eric W; Malina, Robert; Barrett, Steven R H; Heywood, John B; Green, William H

    2014-06-17

    We quantify the economic and environmental benefits of designing U.S. light-duty vehicles (LDVs) to attain higher fuel economy by utilizing higher octane (98 RON) gasoline. We use engine simulations, a review of experimental data, and drive cycle simulations to estimate the reduction in fuel consumption associated with using higher-RON gasoline in individual vehicles. Lifecycle CO2 emissions and economic impacts for the U.S. LDV fleet are estimated based on a linear-programming refinery model, a historically calibrated fleet model, and a well-to-wheels emissions analysis. We find that greater use of high-RON gasoline in appropriately tuned vehicles could reduce annual gasoline consumption in the U.S. by 3.0-4.4%. Accounting for the increase in refinery emissions from production of additional high-RON gasoline, net CO2 emissions are reduced by 19-35 Mt/y in 2040 (2.5-4.7% of total direct LDV CO2 emissions). For the strategies studied, the annual direct economic benefit is estimated to be $0.4-6.4 billion in 2040, and the annual net societal benefit including the social cost of carbon is estimated to be $1.7-8.8 billion in 2040. Adoption of a RON standard in the U.S. in place of the current antiknock index (AKI) may enable refineries to produce larger quantities of high-RON gasoline. PMID:24870412

  7. Economic and environmental benefits of higher-octane gasoline.

    PubMed

    Speth, Raymond L; Chow, Eric W; Malina, Robert; Barrett, Steven R H; Heywood, John B; Green, William H

    2014-06-17

    We quantify the economic and environmental benefits of designing U.S. light-duty vehicles (LDVs) to attain higher fuel economy by utilizing higher octane (98 RON) gasoline. We use engine simulations, a review of experimental data, and drive cycle simulations to estimate the reduction in fuel consumption associated with using higher-RON gasoline in individual vehicles. Lifecycle CO2 emissions and economic impacts for the U.S. LDV fleet are estimated based on a linear-programming refinery model, a historically calibrated fleet model, and a well-to-wheels emissions analysis. We find that greater use of high-RON gasoline in appropriately tuned vehicles could reduce annual gasoline consumption in the U.S. by 3.0-4.4%. Accounting for the increase in refinery emissions from production of additional high-RON gasoline, net CO2 emissions are reduced by 19-35 Mt/y in 2040 (2.5-4.7% of total direct LDV CO2 emissions). For the strategies studied, the annual direct economic benefit is estimated to be $0.4-6.4 billion in 2040, and the annual net societal benefit including the social cost of carbon is estimated to be $1.7-8.8 billion in 2040. Adoption of a RON standard in the U.S. in place of the current antiknock index (AKI) may enable refineries to produce larger quantities of high-RON gasoline.

  8. Environmental care in agricultural catchments: Toward the communicative catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Peter

    1991-11-01

    Substantial land degradation of agricultural catchments in Australia has resulted from the importation of European farming methods and the large-scale clearing of land. Rural communities are now being encouraged by government to take responsibility for environmental care. The importance of community involvement is supported by the view that environmental problems are a function of interactions between people and their environment. It is suggested that the commonly held view that community groups cannot care for their resources is due to inappropriate social institutions rather that any inherent disability in people. The communicative catchment is developed as a vision for environmental care into the future. This concept emerges from a critique of resource management through the catchment metaphors of the reduced, mechanical, and the complex, evolving catchment, which reflect the development of systemic and people-centered approaches to environmental care. The communicative catchment is one where both community and resource managers participate collaboratively in environmental care. A methodology based on action research and systemic thinking (systemic action research) is proposed as a way of moving towards the communicative catchment of the future. Action research is a way of taking action in organizations and communities that is participative and informed by theory, while systemic thinking takes into account the interconnections and relationships between social and natural worlds. The proposed vision, methodology, and practical operating principles stem from involvement in an action research project looking at extension strategies for the implementation of total catchment management in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

  9. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    SciTech Connect

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-14

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters.

  10. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  11. Environmental-benefit analysis of two urban waste collection systems.

    PubMed

    Aranda Usón, Alfonso; Ferreira, Germán; Zambrana Vásquez, David; Zabalza Bribián, Ignacio; Llera Sastresa, Eva

    2013-10-01

    Sustainable transportation infrastructure and travel policies aim to optimise the use of transportation systems to achieve economic and related social and environmental goals. To this end, a novel methodology based on life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed in this study, with the aim of quantifying, in terms of CO2 emissions equivalent, the impact associated with different alternatives of waste collection systems in different urban typologies. This new approach is focussed on saving energy and raw materials and reducing the environmental impact associated with the waste collection system in urban areas, as well as allowing the design and planning of the best available technologies and most environment-friendly management. The methodology considers a large variety of variables from the point of view of sustainable urban transport such as the location and size of the urban area, the amount of solid waste generated, the level of social awareness on waste separation procedures, the distance between houses and waste collection points and the distance from the latter to the possible recovery plants and/or landfills, taking into account the material and energy recovery ratio within an integrated waste management system. As a case study, two different waste collection systems have been evaluated with this methodology in the ecocity Valdespartera located in Zaragoza, Spain, consisting of approximately 10,000 homes: (i) a system based on traditional truck transportation and manual collection, and (ii) a stationary vacuum waste collection system. Results show that, when operating at loads close to 100%, the stationary collection system has the best environmental performance in comparison with the conventional system. In contrast, when operating at load factors around 13% the environmental benefits in terms of net CO2-eq. emissions for the stationary collection system are around 60% lower in comparison with the conventional one. PMID:23792249

  12. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  13. Environmental-benefit analysis of two urban waste collection systems.

    PubMed

    Aranda Usón, Alfonso; Ferreira, Germán; Zambrana Vásquez, David; Zabalza Bribián, Ignacio; Llera Sastresa, Eva

    2013-10-01

    Sustainable transportation infrastructure and travel policies aim to optimise the use of transportation systems to achieve economic and related social and environmental goals. To this end, a novel methodology based on life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed in this study, with the aim of quantifying, in terms of CO2 emissions equivalent, the impact associated with different alternatives of waste collection systems in different urban typologies. This new approach is focussed on saving energy and raw materials and reducing the environmental impact associated with the waste collection system in urban areas, as well as allowing the design and planning of the best available technologies and most environment-friendly management. The methodology considers a large variety of variables from the point of view of sustainable urban transport such as the location and size of the urban area, the amount of solid waste generated, the level of social awareness on waste separation procedures, the distance between houses and waste collection points and the distance from the latter to the possible recovery plants and/or landfills, taking into account the material and energy recovery ratio within an integrated waste management system. As a case study, two different waste collection systems have been evaluated with this methodology in the ecocity Valdespartera located in Zaragoza, Spain, consisting of approximately 10,000 homes: (i) a system based on traditional truck transportation and manual collection, and (ii) a stationary vacuum waste collection system. Results show that, when operating at loads close to 100%, the stationary collection system has the best environmental performance in comparison with the conventional system. In contrast, when operating at load factors around 13% the environmental benefits in terms of net CO2-eq. emissions for the stationary collection system are around 60% lower in comparison with the conventional one.

  14. Energy, Economic, and Environmental Benefits of the Solar America Initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Grover, S.

    2007-08-01

    The President's Solar America Initiative (SAI) was launched in January 2006 as part of the administration's Advanced Energy Initiative. The SAI is being led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP), with NREL providing analytical and technical support. The SAI has a goal of installing 5-10 GW of photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States by 2015 and 70-100 GW of PV systems in the United States by 2030. To make PV cost-competitive with other energy resources, this requires that the installed cost of PV fall from approximately $8/Wdc in 2005 to $3.3/Wdc in 2015 and $2.5/Wdc in 2030. This report presents estimates of the potential energy, economic, and environmental benefits that could result should the SAI PV installation goals be achieved.

  15. Environmental and socioeconomic benefits and limitations of water harvesting techniques in semiarid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Asunción Romero-Díaz, María; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Under climate change, sustainable management of soil and water resources is increasingly important, especially in rainfed agroecosystems of semiarid environments. Water harvesting refers to a range of techniques for the collection and management of flood or rainwater for domestic and agricultural use and for water retention in natural ecosystems. Water harvesting represents a good example of sustainable management of water resources that contribute to water and food security. However, there are often environmental and socioeconomic constraints for implementation of water harvesting techniques, so each condition asks for a specific solution. Here we aim to highlight the environmental and socioeconomic benefits, requirements and limitations of different water harvesting techniques and to characterize their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We reviewed 62 water harvesting techniques for semiarid regions extracted from the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. We discuss aspects related to: i) human and environmental characteristics, ii) cost-benefit ratio during implementation and maintenance phases, iii) socioeconomic and environmental impacts at local and regional scales, and, iv) impacts on ecosystem services. Our review reveals that water harvesting represents very diverse methods of collecting and managing floodwaters and surface runoff. We grouped techniques as 'floodwater harvesting', 'macro-catchment water harvesting', 'micro-catchment water harvesting', and 'rooftop and courtyard' water harvesting. Almost half of all technologies originates from traditional knowledge. The implementation of water harvesting is generally positive on the short-term, to very positive on the long-term, while its maintenance is very positive at short and long-term. However, perception depends on the type of water harvesting and local conditions. Most relevant socioeconomic benefits from

  16. Agriculture and Environmental Education: A Resource Guide for Nonformal Education Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jorgensen, Eric L.

    This guide is designed to expand the use of agriculture as a medium for environmental education. It's goal is to increase communication and sharing among farms, parks, schools, museums and other educational settings that utilize agriculture for environmental understanding. An introduction provides an overview of agriculture and education.…

  17. Analyzing the Barriers and Benefits toward Instructional Technology Infusion in North Carolina and Virginia Secondary Agricultural Education Curricula.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alston, Antoine J.; Miller, W. Wade

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this research study was to identify the potential barriers and benefits of instructional technology infusion in North Carolina and Virginia secondary agricultural education curricula. Focus is placed on determining the future role that instructional technology will play in secondary agricultural curricula and determining the…

  18. Environmental benefits of transport and stationary fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, David; Hörmandinger, Günter

    The potential environmental benefits of using fuel cells in cars, buses and stationary combined heat and power (CHP) plants of different sizes have not been well-researched. This environmental analysis was conducted for the UK on a `full fuel cycle' basis, encompassing all greenhouse gas and regulated pollutant emissions for the supply chain and end-use technology under consideration. Solid polymer fuel cells (SPFCs) with methanol or natural gas reformers were analysed for cars, SPFCs and phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) with on-board hydrogen for buses. CHP plants were PAFCs or solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Each option was compared with one or more conventional technologies. In all cases fuel cell technologies have substantially reduced emissions in comparison with conventional technologies. Regulated emissions are lowest, by up to two orders of magnitude, and those that do occur are primarily in the fuel supply chain. The fuel cell technologies are more efficient in all cases, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reduced broadly in line with energy savings. Methane emissions increase due to fuel switching, e.g. from petrol to natural gas powered buses, but from a very low base. The study pinpoints some areas in which alternative approaches could be made - the methods for generating and transporting hydrogen have a significant bearing on energy consumption and emissions. However, it is clear that from an overall emissions perspective the use of fuel cells in transport and power generation is highly beneficial.

  19. Potential environmental benefits from increased use of bioenergy in China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 x 10(8) metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 x 10(8) metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 x 10(8) t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 x 10(8) t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 x 10(8) t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 x 10(8) t/y of coal and 3.75 x 10(6) t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO(2 )by 11.6 x 10(6) t/y, NO(X) by 1.48 x 10(6) t/y, CO2 by 1.07 x 10(9) t/y, and CH4 by 50 x 10(6) t/y. The reduced SO(2) emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats. PMID:17638052

  20. Potential Environmental Benefits from Increased Use of Bioenergy in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Shuyang; Freedman, Bill; Gao, Jixi

    2007-09-01

    Because of its large population and rapidly growing economy, China is confronting a serious energy shortage and daunting environmental problems. An increased use of fuels derived from biomass could relieve some demand for nonrenewable sources of energy while providing environmental benefits in terms of cleaner air and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. In 2003, China generated about 25.9 × 108 metric tons of industrial waste (liquid + solid), 14.7 × 108 metric tons/year (t/y) of manure (livestock + human), 7.1 × 108 t/y of crop residues and food-processing byproducts, 2 × 108 t/y of fuelwood and wood manufacturing residues, and 1.5 × 108 t/y of municipal waste. Biofuels derived from these materials could potentially displace the use of about 4.12 × 108 t/y of coal and 3.75 × 106 t/y of petroleum. An increased bioenergy use of this magnitude would help to reduce the emissions of key air pollutants: SO2 by 11.6 × 106 t/y, NOX by 1.48 × 106 t/y, CO2 by 1.07 × 109 t/y, and CH4 by 50 × 106 t/y. The reduced SO2 emissions would be equivalent to 54% of the national emissions in 2003, whereas those for CO2 are 30%. It is important to recognize, however, that large increases in the use of biomass fuels also could result in socioeconomic and environmental problems such as less production of food and damage caused to natural habitats.

  1. Pectic oligosaccharides from agricultural by-products: production, characterization and health benefits.

    PubMed

    Babbar, Neha; Dejonghe, Winnie; Gatti, Monica; Sforza, Stefano; Elst, Kathy

    2016-08-01

    Pectin containing agricultural by-products are potential sources of a new class of prebiotics known as pectic oligosaccharides (POS). In general, pectin is made up of homogalacturonan (HG, α-1,4-linked galacturonic acid monomers) and rhamnogalacturonan (RG, alternate galacturonic acid and rhamnose backbone with neutral side chains). Controlled hydrolysis of pectin containing agricultural by-products like sugar beet, apple, olive and citrus by chemical, enzymatic and hydrothermal can be used to produce oligo-galacturonides (GalpOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GalOS), rhamnogalacturonan-oligosaccharides (RGOS), etc. However, extensive research is needed to establish the role of POS, both as a prebiotic as well as therapeutic agent. This review comprehensively covers different facets of POS, including the nature and chemistry of pectin and POS, potential agricultural residual sources of pectin, pre-treatment methods for facilitating selective extraction of pectin, identification and characterization of POS, health benefits and important applications of POS in food and feed. This review has been compiled to establish a platform for future research in the purification and characterization of POS and for in vivo and in vitro studies of important POS, so that they could be commercially exploited.

  2. Agricultural livelihoods in coastal Bangladesh under climate and environmental change--a model framework.

    PubMed

    Lázár, Attila N; Clarke, Derek; Adams, Helen; Akanda, Abdur Razzaque; Szabo, Sylvia; Nicholls, Robert J; Matthews, Zoe; Begum, Dilruba; Saleh, Abul Fazal M; Abedin, Md Anwarul; Payo, Andres; Streatfield, Peter Kim; Hutton, Craig; Mondal, M Shahjahan; Moslehuddin, Abu Zofar Md

    2015-06-01

    Coastal Bangladesh experiences significant poverty and hazards today and is highly vulnerable to climate and environmental change over the coming decades. Coastal stakeholders are demanding information to assist in the decision making processes, including simulation models to explore how different interventions, under different plausible future socio-economic and environmental scenarios, could alleviate environmental risks and promote development. Many existing simulation models neglect the complex interdependencies between the socio-economic and environmental system of coastal Bangladesh. Here an integrated approach has been proposed to develop a simulation model to support agriculture and poverty-based analysis and decision-making in coastal Bangladesh. In particular, we show how a simulation model of farmer's livelihoods at the household level can be achieved. An extended version of the FAO's CROPWAT agriculture model has been integrated with a downscaled regional demography model to simulate net agriculture profit. This is used together with a household income-expenses balance and a loans logical tree to simulate the evolution of food security indicators and poverty levels. Modelling identifies salinity and temperature stress as limiting factors to crop productivity and fertilisation due to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as a reinforcing factor. The crop simulation results compare well with expected outcomes but also reveal some unexpected behaviours. For example, under current model assumptions, temperature is more important than salinity for crop production. The agriculture-based livelihood and poverty simulations highlight the critical significance of debt through informal and formal loans set at such levels as to persistently undermine the well-being of agriculture-dependent households. Simulations also indicate that progressive approaches to agriculture (i.e. diversification) might not provide the clear economic benefit from the perspective of

  3. Agricultural livelihoods in coastal Bangladesh under climate and environmental change--a model framework.

    PubMed

    Lázár, Attila N; Clarke, Derek; Adams, Helen; Akanda, Abdur Razzaque; Szabo, Sylvia; Nicholls, Robert J; Matthews, Zoe; Begum, Dilruba; Saleh, Abul Fazal M; Abedin, Md Anwarul; Payo, Andres; Streatfield, Peter Kim; Hutton, Craig; Mondal, M Shahjahan; Moslehuddin, Abu Zofar Md

    2015-06-01

    Coastal Bangladesh experiences significant poverty and hazards today and is highly vulnerable to climate and environmental change over the coming decades. Coastal stakeholders are demanding information to assist in the decision making processes, including simulation models to explore how different interventions, under different plausible future socio-economic and environmental scenarios, could alleviate environmental risks and promote development. Many existing simulation models neglect the complex interdependencies between the socio-economic and environmental system of coastal Bangladesh. Here an integrated approach has been proposed to develop a simulation model to support agriculture and poverty-based analysis and decision-making in coastal Bangladesh. In particular, we show how a simulation model of farmer's livelihoods at the household level can be achieved. An extended version of the FAO's CROPWAT agriculture model has been integrated with a downscaled regional demography model to simulate net agriculture profit. This is used together with a household income-expenses balance and a loans logical tree to simulate the evolution of food security indicators and poverty levels. Modelling identifies salinity and temperature stress as limiting factors to crop productivity and fertilisation due to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as a reinforcing factor. The crop simulation results compare well with expected outcomes but also reveal some unexpected behaviours. For example, under current model assumptions, temperature is more important than salinity for crop production. The agriculture-based livelihood and poverty simulations highlight the critical significance of debt through informal and formal loans set at such levels as to persistently undermine the well-being of agriculture-dependent households. Simulations also indicate that progressive approaches to agriculture (i.e. diversification) might not provide the clear economic benefit from the perspective of

  4. Agricultural pollution control under Spanish and European environmental policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez, Yolanda; Albiac, José

    2004-10-01

    Nonpoint pollution from agriculture is an important environmental policy issue in Spain and the European Union. Agricultural pollution in Spain is being addressed by the National Irrigation Plan and by the European Water Framework Directive. This article contributes to the ongoing policy decision process by analyzing nonpoint pollution control and presenting results on the efficiency of abatement measures. Results question the reliance of the Water Framework Directive on water pricing as a pollution instrument for reaching good status for all waters because higher water prices close to full recovery cost advocated by the directive appear to be inefficient as an emission control instrument. Another important result is that abatement measures based on input taxes and standards on nitrogen appear to be more suitable than the National Irrigation Plan subsidies designed to promote irrigation investments. The results also contribute with further evidence to the discussion on the appropriate instrument base for pollution control, proving that nonpoint pollution control instruments cannot be assessed accurately without a correct understanding of the key underlying biophysical processes. Nonpoint pollution is characterized by nonlinearities, dynamics, and spatial dependency, and neglect of the dynamic aspects may lead to serious consequences for the design of measures. Finally, a quantitative assessment has been performed to explore discriminating measures based on crop pollution potential on vulnerable soils. No significant welfare gains are found from discriminating control, although results are contingent upon the level of damage, and discrimination could be justified in areas with valuable ecosystems and severe pollution damages.

  5. The effects of buffer strips and bioretention facilities on agricultural productivity and environmental quality in Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilroy, Kristin L.; McCuen, Richard H.

    2010-05-01

    SummaryLand degradation is a growing concern in Central Africa as poor management practices continue to cause erosion and increase water runoff in agricultural fields. The implementation of best management practices (BMPs) is needed; however, productivity is often indirectly related to the environmental benefits of such practices and resource constraints often exist. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of bioretention facilities and buffer strips on environmental quality with productivity and resources as constraints. A water quantity and quality model for an agricultural field in Central Africa was developed. Analyses were conducted to assess the marginal benefits of each BMP, the effect of different BMP combinations on environmental quality and productivity, and the effect of data uncertainty and location uncertainty on model predictions. The results showed that bioretention pits were more effective than buffer strips in increasing environmental quality. Productivity was shown to be directly related to bioretention pits, thus environmental quality can be attained without sacrificing productivity. Data uncertainties resulted in changes in the environmental quality values, but trends remained the same. Guidelines were provided to assist design engineers in developing BMP scenarios that provide the greatest productivity and environmental quality for the constraints involved. The results of this study will bring awareness to the ability of attaining environmental quality without sacrificing productivity as well as the need for accurate data in Central Africa.

  6. Estimating the benefits of land imagery in environmental applications: a case study in nonpoint source pollution of groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernknopf, Richard L.; Forney, William M.; Raunikar, Ronald P.; Mishra, Shruti K.; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Maccauley, Molly K.

    2012-01-01

    Moderate-resolution land imagery (MRLI) is crucial to a more complete assessment of the cumulative, landscape-level effect of agricultural land use and land cover on environmental quality. If this improved assessment yields a net social benefit, then that benefit reflects the value of information (VOI) from MRLI. Environmental quality and the capacity to provide ecosystem services evolve because of human actions, changing natural conditions, and their interaction with natural physical processes. The human actions, in turn, are constrained and redirected by many institutions and regulations such as agricultural, energy, and environmental policies. We present a general framework for bringing together sociologic, biologic, physical, hydrologic, and geologic processes at meaningful scales to interpret environmental implications of MRLI applications. We set out a specific application using MRLI observations to identify crop planting patterns and thus estimate surface management activities that influence groundwater resources over a regional landscape. We tailor the application to the characteristics of nonpoint source groundwater pollution hazards in Iowa to illustrate a general framework in a land use-hydrologic-economic system. In the example, MRLI VOI derives from reducing the risk of both losses to agricultural production and damage to human health and other consequences of contaminated groundwater.

  7. Economic and environmental benefits of landfill gas utilisation in Oman.

    PubMed

    Abushammala, Mohammed Fm; Qazi, Wajeeha A; Azam, Mohammed-Hasham; Mehmood, Umais A; Al-Mufragi, Ghithaa A; Alrawahi, Noor-Alhuda

    2016-08-01

    Municipal solid waste disposed in landfill sites decomposes under anaerobic conditions and produces so-called landfill-gas, which contains 30%-40% of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 50%-60% of methane (CH4). Methane has the potential of causing global warming 25 times more than CO2 Therefore, migration of landfill-gas from landfills to the surrounding environment can potentially affect human life and environment. Thus, this research aims to determine municipal solid waste generation in Oman over the years 1971-2030, to quantify annual CH4 emissions inventory that resulted from this waste over the same period of time, and to determine the economic and environmental benefits of capturing the CH4 gas for energy production. It is found that cumulative municipal solid waste landfilled in Oman reaches 3089 Giga gram (Gg) in the year 2030, of which approximately 85 Gg of CH4 emissions are produced in the year 2030. The study also found that capturing CH4 emissions between the years 2016 and 2030 could attract revenues of up to US$333 million and US$291 million from the carbon reduction and electricity generation, simultaneously. It is concluded that CH4 emissions from solid waste in Oman increases enormously with time, and capture of this gas for energy production could provide a sustainable waste management solution in Oman.

  8. Biodecontamination of concrete surfaces: Occupational and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, L.; Rogers, R.; Hamilton, M.; Nelson, L.; Benson, J.; Green, M.

    1996-12-31

    Managers and engineers around the globe are presently challenged by high estimated costs for the decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities which are no longer needed or are abandoned. It has been estimated that more than 73 Km{sup 2} of contaminated concrete currently exists in the USDOE complex and is increased many fold when similar facilities are accounted for in other countries. Needs for the decontamination of concrete have been identified as: more cost effective decontamination methods, reduction of secondary wastes, minimized worker radiation exposures and, contaminant containment. Recently environmental microbes have been harnessed to remove the surface of concrete as a technique for decontamination and decommissioning (D and D). This biodecontamination technology has been tested by INEL and BNFL scientists and engineers in both US and United Kingdom nuclear facilities. Biodecontamination field tests at a shutdown nuclear reactor facility (EBR-I) have shown radioactively contaminated surface removed at rates of 4--8 mm/yr, thus validating the feasibility of this technology. Engineering economic analyses indicate two attractive benefits embedded in this approach to concrete D and D: (1) due to the passive nature of the technique, a cost savings of more than an order of magnitude is projected compared to the current labor intensive physical decontamination techniques; and (2) the exposure to humans and the natural environment is greatly reduced due to the unattended, highly contained biodecontamination process.

  9. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    SciTech Connect

    Kaylie Rasmuson; Kurt Rautenstrauch

    2003-06-20

    This analysis is one of nine technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) biosphere model. It documents input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCF). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in the biosphere Technical Work Plan (TWP, BSC 2003a). It should be noted that some documents identified in Figure 1-1 may be under development and therefore not available at the time this document is issued. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003b) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters. This analysis report, ANL-MGR-MD-000006, ''Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'', is one of the five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. This report defines and justifies values for twelve parameters required in the biosphere model. These parameters are related to use of contaminated groundwater to grow crops. The parameter values recommended in this report are used in the soil, plant, and carbon-14 submodels of the ERMYN.

  10. Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singer, S. Fred

    1977-01-01

    Discusses how to set the ambient standards for water and air based on cost-benefit analysis. Describes marginal analysis, the basis of cost-benefit analysis and how dynamic cost-benefit analysis is carried out with application to the automobile pollution problem. (HM)

  11. Agricultural Chemicals and Radiation. Ag Ed Environmental Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tulloch, Rodney W.

    The document is designed to be used as a resource in teaching vocational agriculture high school students about the environment. Agricultural chemicals are the major focus, with some attention to radiation. The importance of safety in agricultural chemical use is stressed, with descriptions of the pesticide label; protective clothing; respiratory…

  12. 78 FR 47271 - Draft Environmental Assessment for the Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-05

    ... Research Center Land Transfer AGENCY: Agricultural Research Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center Land Transfer... Research Center (KSARC) from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Weslaco, Texas, to The Texas...

  13. Perceptions of Environmental and Occupational Health Hazards Among Agricultural Workers in Washington State

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Jonathan N.; Crowe, Jennifer; Postma, Julie; Ybarra, Vickie; Keifer, Matthew C.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to describe perceptions of environmental and occupational health issues among agricultural workers. Interviews were conducted with 389 agricultural workers in the Yakima Valley in central Washington State in the summers of 2004 and 2005. Undergraduate students from the community conducted interviews in Spanish or English. Environmental and occupational health issues were ranked by frequency of concern, and differences by demographic characteristics were evaluated using multivariate analyses. In both 2004 and 2005, agricultural workers expressed high levels of concern about working in hot weather, agricultural injuries, pesticides, and pediatric asthma. Perceptions of environmental and occupational health issues among agricultural workers differed by certain demographic characteristics, particularly age and ethnicity. Consideration should be given to these issues when designing research studies, creating educational materials, and developing interventions related to environmental and occupational hazards among agricultural workers. PMID:19715263

  14. Environmental effects of planting biomass crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.E.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous. and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  15. Environmental effects of planting energy crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  16. Environmental Fate of Double-Stranded RNA in Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Dubelman, Samuel; Fischer, Joshua; Zapata, Fatima; Huizinga, Kristin; Jiang, Changjian; Uffman, Joshua; Levine, Steven; Carson, David

    2014-01-01

    A laboratory soil degradation study was conducted to determine the biodegradation potential of a DvSnf7 dsRNA transcript derived from a Monsanto genetically modified (GM) maize product that confers resistance to corn rootworm (CRW; Diabrotica spp.). This study provides new information to improve the environmental assessment of dsRNAs that become pesticidal through an RNAi process. Three agricultural soils differing in their physicochemical characteristics were obtained from the U.S., Illinois (IL; silt loam), Missouri (MO; loamy sand) and North Dakota (ND; clay loam), and exposed to the target dsRNA by incorporating insect-protected maize biomass and purified (in vitro-transcribed) DvSnf7 RNA into soil. The GM and control (non-GM maize) materials were added to each soil and incubated at ca. 22°C for 48 hours (h). Samples were collected at 12 time intervals during the incubation period, extracted, and analyzed using QuantiGene molecular analysis and insect bioassay methods. The DT50 (half-life) values for DvSnf7 RNA in IL, MO, and ND soils were 19, 28, and 15 h based on QuantiGene, and 18, 29, and 14 h based on insect bioassay, respectively. Furthermore, the DT90 (time to 90% degradation) values for DvSnf7 RNA in all three soils were <35 h. These results indicate that DvSnf7 RNA was degraded and biological activity was undetectable within approximately 2 days after application to soil, regardless of texture, pH, clay content and other soil differences. Furthermore, soil-incorporated DvSnf7 RNA was non-detectable in soil after 48 h, as measured by QuantiGene, at levels ranging more than two orders of magnitude (0.3, 1.5, 7.5 and 37.5 µg RNA/g soil). Results from this study indicate that the DvSnf7 dsRNA is unlikely to persist or accumulate in the environment. Furthermore, the rapid degradation of DvSnf7 dsRNA provides a basis to define relevant exposure scenarios for future RNA-based agricultural products. PMID:24676387

  17. Mitigating Environmental Risks of Wastewater Reuse for Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Busaidi, Ahmed; Ahmed, Mushtaque

    2016-04-01

    Low rainfall and overexploitation of conventional water resources present a critical problem in many regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Therefore, there is a dire need for judicious management of existing water supplies, including incorporating the use of non-conventional water resources. Treated wastewater has shown high potential for reuse in agricultural production, which can thereby contribute to the conservation of surface water and groundwater resources. Therefore, the aim of the study was to optimize treated wastewater reuse in conjunction with other available water resources by taking into consideration their quantity and quality, in addition to the agronomic, environmental, and economic components. It was a joint project between three countries (Oman, Jordan and Tunisia) and funded by USAID. In Oman, the study was done in open field at Sultan Qaboos University. Three types of crops (sweet corn, okra and maize) were grown and irrigated by four types of water (A: 50% groundwater and 50% treated wastewater, B: 100% groundwater, C: 75% treated wastewater and 25% groundwater, and D: 100% treated wastewater). Soil physicochemical properties did not show significant differences with treated wastewater irrigation as compared to groundwater. Heavy metals concentrations for both waters (treated wastewater & groundwater) were very close to each other. However, some significant differences were found between some treatments which could be an indicator for long term changes in soil chemical properties. On other hand, some chemical properties significantly increased (p<0.05) when treated wastewater was applied such as soil electrical conductivity, total carbon and some major elements (N, K, Mg). Soil biological analysis indicated that treated wastewater had no effect in contaminating soil horizons. Whereas, crop physical analysis showed significant increases in plant productivity when plants were irrigated with treated wastewater. The good supply of different

  18. Risk-Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Atrazine In Drinking Water From Agricultural Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aklilu, T. A.; Jagath, K. J.; Arthur, C. J.

    2004-12-01

    This study provides a new methodology for investigating the trade-offs between the health risks and economic benefits of using atrazine in the agricultural sector and a more holistic insight to pesticide management issues. Regression models are developed to predict the stream atrazine concentrations and finished water atrazine concentration at high-risk community water supplies in the US using surface water. The predicted finished water atrazine concentrations are then used in health risk assessment. The computed health risks are compared with the total surplus in the US corn market for different atrazine application rates using the demand and supply functions developed in this work. Analysis of different scenarios with consumer price premiums (preferences) for chemical-free to reduced chemical corn provided interesting results on the potential for future pesticide and land use management. This is an interdisciplinary work that has attempted to integrate and consider the interaction between weed sciences, economics, water quality, human health risk and human reaction to changes in different pesticide use scenarios. The results showed that this methodology provides a scientific framework for future decision-making and policy evaluation in pesticide management, especially when better regional and national data are available.

  19. Environmental footprints of Mediterranean versus Western dietary patterns: beyond the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary patterns can substantially vary the resource consumption and environmental impact of a given population. Dietary changes such as the increased consumption of vegetables and reduced consumption of animal products reduce the environmental footprint and thus the use of natural resources. The adherence of a given population to the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern (MDP) through the consumption of the food proportions and composition defined in the new Mediterranean Diet pyramid can thus not only influence human health but also the environment. The aim of the study was to analyze the sustainability of the MDP in the context of the Spanish population in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural land use, energy consumption and water consumption. Furthermore, we aimed to compare the current Spanish diet with the Mediterranean Diet and in comparison with the western dietary pattern, exemplified by the U.S.A. food pattern, in terms of their corresponding environmental footprints. Methods The environmental footprints of the dietary patterns studied were calculated from the dietary make-up of each dietary pattern, and specific environmental footprints of each food group. The dietary compositions were obtained from different sources, including food balance sheets and household consumption surveys. The specific environmental footprints of food groups were obtained from different available life-cycle assessments. Results The adherence of the Spanish population to the MDP has a marked impact on all the environmental footprints studied. Increasing adherence to the MDP pattern in Spain will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (72%), land use (58%) and energy consumption (52%), and to a lower extent water consumption (33%). On the other hand, the adherence to a western dietary pattern implies an increase in all these descriptors of between 12% and 72%. Conclusions The MDP is presented as not only a cultural model but also as a healthy and environmentally

  20. APEX simulation: environmental benefits of agroforestry and grass buffers on corn-soybean watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model has the ability to simulate the effects of vegetative filter strips on runoff and pollutant loadings from agricultural watersheds. The objectives of this study were to calibrate and validate the APEX model for three adjacent watersheds and...

  1. Apex simulation: environmental benefits of agroforestry and grass buffers for corn-soybean watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model is used to simulate the effects of vegetative filter strips on runoff and pollutant loadings from agricultural watersheds. A long-term paired watershed study under corn (Zea mays L-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation with agroforestr...

  2. Investigating the Benefits of Participatory Action Research for Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bywater, Krista

    2014-01-01

    Environmental education (EE) continues to focus on enhancing people's ecological knowledge to encourage sustainable actions. This deficit approach presumes that once informed about environmental harms, people will work towards sustainable solutions for healthy societies. Yet research overwhelmingly demonstrates that knowledge of environmental…

  3. Environmental Services from Agricultural Stormwater Detention Systems in Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, A.; Shukla, S.; Knowles, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    Agricultural Stormwater Detention Areas (ADAs) commonly exist for the purpose of downstream flood protection in high water table regions of Florida. In addition to flood protection, they are also considered an important Best Management Practice due to their presumed effectiveness in reducing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loads to the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (KLE) ecosystem. The KLE ecosystem has been adversely impacted due to excessive P loads. Despite their presumed water quality effectiveness, limited data exist on actual N and P treatment efficiencies. A study was conducted at two ADAs (ADA 1 and ADA 2) located in two row crop farms to quantify the total N and P treatment efficiencies. Water, N, and P inflow and outflows at both ADAs were monitored for a year. Results from ADA 1 suggested that P treatment efficiency was below zero indicating that the ADA was a source of P rather than a sink. On the other hand, N treatment efficiency was found to be 20%. Mean inflow and outflow N concentrations for ADA 1 were 1.6 and 1.4 mg/l respectively, indicating a 9% reduction. Mean inflow and outflow P concentrations were 0.04 and 0.06 mg/l respectively, showing an increase of 67%. Although ADA 1 was effective in retaining N it was not for P. In contrast to ADA 1, the P treatment efficiency of ADA 2 was positive (20%). Nitrogen treatment efficiency of ADA 2 was 22%. Mean inflow and outflow N concentrations for ADA 2 were 4.0 and 2.0 mg/l respectively, indicating 50% reduction. A reduction of 32% was observed for P concentrations with mean inflow and outflow P concentrations of 0.5 and 0.3 mg/l respectively. No P retention at ADA 1 was mainly due to low P adsorption capacity of the soil. Analysis of surface (0-10 cm) and subsurface (10-20 cm) soil P retention characteristics suggested that ADA 1 had no remaining P storage capacity which resulted in it being a source of P. At ADA 2, a large fraction of the area still had P storage capacity which resulted in

  4. Charcoal addition to soils in NE England: a carbon sink with environmental co-benefits?

    PubMed

    Bell, M J; Worrall, F

    2011-04-01

    Interest in the application of biochar (charcoal produced during the pyrolysis of biomass) to agricultural land is increasing across the world, recognised as a potential way to capture and store atmospheric carbon. Its interest is heightened by its potential co-benefits for soil quality and fertility. The majority of research has however been undertaken in tropical rather than temperate regions. This study assessed the potential for lump-wood charcoal addition (as a substitute for biochar) to soil types which are typically under arable and forest land-use in North East England. The study was undertaken over a 28 week period and found: i) No significant difference in net ecosystem respiration (NER) between soils containing charcoal and those without, other than in week 1 of the trial. ii) A significantly higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux from soils containing large amounts of charcoal than from those untreated, when planted with ryegrass. iii) That when increased respiration or DOC loss did occur, neither was sufficiently large to alter the carbon sink benefits of charcoal application. iv) That charcoal incorporation resulted in a significantly lower nitrate flux in soil leachate from mineral soils. v) That charcoal incorporation caused significant increases in soil pH, from 6.98 to 7.22 on bare arable soils when 87,500 kg charcoal/ha was applied. Consideration of both the carbon sink and environmental benefits observed here suggests that charcoal application to temperate soils typical of North East England should be considered as a method of carbon sequestration. Before large scale land application is encouraged, further large scale trials should be undertaken to confirm the positive results of this research.

  5. The Benefits of Teaching and Learning about Agriculture in Elementary and Junior High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knobloch, Neil A.; Ball, Anna L.; Allen, Crystal

    2007-01-01

    The beliefs and mental images that teachers have about agriculture likely influence what and how they integrate agriculture into their instruction. The purpose of this action research study was to explore the beliefs and needs of elementary and junior high school teachers in regard to integrating agriculture into their classrooms. The sample…

  6. The Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (Apex) Model: An Emerging Tool for Landscape and Watershed Environmental Analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Gassman, Philip W.; Williams, Jimmy R.; Wang, Xiuying; Saleh, Ali; Osei, Edward; Hauck, Larry; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Flowers, Joan

    2010-06-01

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model was developed by the Blacklands Research and Extension Center in Temple, Texas. APEX is a flexible and dynamic tool that is capable of simulating a wide array of management practices, cropping systems, and other land uses across a broad range of agricultural landscapes, including whole farms and small watersheds.

  7. GMOs in animal agriculture: time to consider both costs and benefits in regulatory evaluations.

    PubMed

    Van Eenennaam, Alison L

    2013-01-01

    In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away

  8. GMOs in animal agriculture: time to consider both costs and benefits in regulatory evaluations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away

  9. GMOs in animal agriculture: time to consider both costs and benefits in regulatory evaluations.

    PubMed

    Van Eenennaam, Alison L

    2013-09-25

    In 2012, genetically engineered (GE) crops were grown by 17.3 million farmers on over 170 million hectares. Over 70% of harvested GE biomass is fed to food producing animals, making them the major consumers of GE crops for the past 15 plus years. Prior to commercialization, GE crops go through an extensive regulatory evaluation. Over one hundred regulatory submissions have shown compositional equivalence, and comparable levels of safety, between GE crops and their conventional counterparts. One component of regulatory compliance is whole GE food/feed animal feeding studies. Both regulatory studies and independent peer-reviewed studies have shown that GE crops can be safely used in animal feed, and rDNA fragments have never been detected in products (e.g. milk, meat, eggs) derived from animals that consumed GE feed. Despite the fact that the scientific weight of evidence from these hundreds of studies have not revealed unique risks associated with GE feed, some groups are calling for more animal feeding studies, including long-term rodent studies and studies in target livestock species for the approval of GE crops. It is an opportune time to review the results of such studies as have been done to date to evaluate the value of the additional information obtained. Requiring long-term and target animal feeding studies would sharply increase regulatory compliance costs and prolong the regulatory process associated with the commercialization of GE crops. Such costs may impede the development of feed crops with enhanced nutritional characteristics and durability, particularly in the local varieties in small and poor developing countries. More generally it is time for regulatory evaluations to more explicitly consider both the reasonable and unique risks and benefits associated with the use of both GE plants and animals in agricultural systems, and weigh them against those associated with existing systems, and those of regulatory inaction. This would represent a shift away

  10. Environmental Enterprise Risk Management Benefits for a Government Contractor

    SciTech Connect

    Linda Guinn

    2012-05-01

    An often overlooked advantage that an Environmental Enterprise Risk Management System (ERMS) has to organizations is the added protection from the Civil False Claims Act (FCA) for activities under a government contract.

  11. Agricultural and environmental applications of biochar: Advances and barriers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This summary chapter highlights the achieved advances in biochar research and the existing barriers to biochar application. Substantial research over the past decade on biochar production, characterization, and utilization has indicated that biochar serves as a promising agricultural and environment...

  12. Cover crops effect on farm benefits and nitrate leaching: linking economic and environmental analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabriel, José Luis; Vanclooster, Marnik; Garrido, Alberto; Quemada, Miguel

    2013-04-01

    Introducing cover crops interspersed with intensively fertilized crops in rotation has the potential to reduce nitrate leaching. However, despite the evident environmental services provided and the range of agronomic benefits documented in the literature, farmers' adoption of the technique is still limited because growing CC could lead to extra costs for the farm in three different forms: direct, indirect, and opportunity costs. Environmental studies are complex, and evaluating the indicators that are representative of the environmental impact of an agricultural system is a complicated task that is conducted by specialized groups and methodologies. Multidisciplinary studies may help to develop reliable approaches that would contribute to choosing the best agricultural strategies based on linking economic and environmental benefits. This study evaluates barley (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. Vanessa), vetch (Vicia villosa L., cv. Vereda) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L., cv. Licapo) as cover crops between maize, leaving the residue in the ground or selling it for animal feeding, and compares the economic and environmental results with respect to a typical maize-fallow rotation. Nitrate leaching for different weather conditions was calculated using the mechanistic-deterministic WAVE model, using the Richards equation parameterised with a conceptual model for the soil hydraulic properties for describing the water flow in the vadose zone, combined with field observed data. The economic impact was evaluated through stochastic (Monte-Carlo) simulation models of farms' profits using probability distribution functions of maize yield and cover crop biomass developed fitted with data collected from various field trials (during more than 5 years) and probability distribution functions of maize and different cover crop forage prices fitted from statistical sources. Stochastic dominance relationships are obtained to rank the most profitable strategies from a farm financial perspective

  13. Benefits of On-Site Management of Environmental Restoration Wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Irwin, Michael J. ,P.E.; Wood, Craig, R.E.M.; Kwiecinski, Daniel, P.E.; Alanis, Saul

    2003-02-27

    As Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM) began assessing options under which to conduct the remediation of environmental restoration sites, it became clear that the standard routes for permanent disposal of waste contaminated with hazardous materials would be difficult. Publicly, local citizens' groups resisted the idea of large volumes of hazardous waste being transported through their communities. Regulations for the off-site disposal are complicated due to the nature of the environmental restoration waste, which included elevated tritium levels. Waste generated from environmental restoration at SNL/NM included debris and soils contaminated with a variety of constituents. Operationally, disposal of environmental restoration waste was difficult because of the everchanging types of waste generated during site remediation. As an alternative to standard hazardous waste disposal, SNL/NM proposed and received regulatory approval to construct a Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU). By containing the remediation wastes on-site, SNL/NM's Environmental Restoration (ER) Program managed to eliminate transportation concerns from the public, worked with regulatory agencies to develop a safe, permanent disposal, and modified the waste disposal procedures to accommodate operational changes. SNL/NM accomplished the task and saved approximately $200 million over the life of the CAMU project, as compared to off-site disposal options.

  14. Potential environmental benefits from regulatory consideration of synthetic drilling muds

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, C.J.; Veil, J.A.

    1995-02-01

    When drilling exploration and production wells for oil and gas, drillers use specialized drilling fluids, referred to as muds, to help maintain well control and to remove drill cuttings from the hole. Historically, either water-based muds (WBMs) or oil-based muds (OBMs) have been used for offshore wells. Recently, in response to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and drilling-waste discharge requirements imposed by North Sea nations, the drilling industry has developed several types of synthetic-based muds (SBMs) that combine the desirable operating qualities of OBMs with the lower toxicity and environmental impact qualities of WBMs. This report describes the operational, environmental, and economic features of all three types of muds and discusses potential EPA regulatory barriers to wider use of SBMs.

  15. Selected historic agricultural data important to environmental quality in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grey, Katia M.; Capel, Paul D.; Baker, Nancy T.; Thelin, Gail P.

    2012-01-01

    This report and the accompanying tables summarize some of the important changes in American agriculture in the form of a timeline and a compilation of selected annual time-series data that can be broadly related to environmental quality. Although these changes have been beneficial for increasing agricultural production, some of them have resulted in environmental concerns. The agriculture timeline is divided into four categories (1) crop and animal changes, (2) mechanical changes, (3) biological and chemical changes, and (4) regulatory and societal changes. The timeline attempts to compile events that have had a lasting impact on agriculture in the United States. The events and data presented in this report may help to improve the connections between agricultural activist and environmental concerns.

  16. Biochar soil amendment for environmental and agronomic benefits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Char(coal), and a broader term black carbon (that includes soot) has long been recognized as a normal environmental (including soil) constituent resulting from fire and industrial activities. Biochar soil amendment has received global interests as a tool for carbon sequestration in conjunction with...

  17. Unintended environmental consequences and co-benefits of economic restructuring.

    PubMed

    Liang, Sai; Xu, Ming; Suh, Sangwon; Tan, Raymond R

    2013-11-19

    Current economic restructuring policies have ignored unintended environmental consequences and cobenefits, the understanding of which can provide foundations for effective policy decisions for green economy transformation. Using the input-output life cycle assessment model and taking China as an example, we find that household consumption, fixed capital formation, and export are main drivers to China's environmental impacts. At the product scale, major contributors to environmental impacts vary across different types of impacts. Stimulating the development of seven strategic emerging industries will cause unintended consequences, such as increasing nonferrous metal ore usage, terrestrial acidification, photochemical oxidant formation, human toxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Limiting the surplus outputs in the construction materials industry and metallurgy industry may only help mitigate some of the environmental impacts caused by China's regulated pollutants, with little effect on reducing other impacts, such as marine eutrophication, terrestrial acidification, photochemical oxidant formation, and particulate matter formation. However, it will bring cobenefits by simultaneously reducing mineral ore usage, human toxicity, marine ecotoxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Sustainable materials management and integrated policy modeling are possible ways for policy-making to avoid unintended consequences and effectively utilize cobenefits.

  18. BEYOND DATA MANAGEMENT: HOW ECOINFOMATICS CAN BENEFIT ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Coastal Assessment (NCA), which has collected benthic macroinvertebrates and demersal fishes from thousands of stations around the U.S. coasts since 1990, is taking advantage of recent developments in ecoinformatics to manage,...

  19. Agricultural phosphorus flow and its environmental impacts in China.

    PubMed

    Chen, M; Chen, J; Sun, F

    2008-11-01

    The transfer of nutrients from agricultural land to waters attracts the attention of policy makers as well as scientists as it plays an increasingly significant role in affecting the water environment. It is therefore essential to first understand the nutrient flow in agricultural systems and then correspondingly formulate a series of cost-effective policies and best management practices (BMPs). On the basis of an emission inventory analysis (EIA) and a nutrient full balance (NFB) calculation, this paper presents a partial substance flow analysis (SFA) method, as well as an Agricultural Phosphorus Flow Analysis (AgiPhosFA) model, to describe the phosphorus (P) flow in the agricultural systems in China and assess the impact of human activities on waters driven by agriculture and rural life. It is estimated that average P input and output were 28.9 kg ha(-1) a(-1) and 14.2 kg ha(-1) a(-1) respectively in China in 2004, while the total P utilization efficiency (Plant uptake P/P input) in agriculture was 45.7% leading to an average P surplus of 14.7 kg ha(-1) a(-1). Excessive P application through mineral fertilizer in the arable farming system has led to the accumulation of soil P and constituted a risk to the recipient water quality, whereas the grassland grazing system is confronted with a severe P deficit problem which has resulted in widespread grass degradation. Therefore it may be an efficient way to mitigate the problems simultaneously by regulating and balancing the P flows between the two systems. Uncertainties of the method and model are also discussed in terms of model conceptualization, data and parameters, and spatial and temporal variability. PMID:18649924

  20. Agricultural land management options following large-scale environmental contamination.

    PubMed

    Vandenhove, Hildegarde; Turcanu, Catrinel

    2011-07-01

    The recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in Japan, have raised questions about the accumulation of radionuclides in soils, the transfer in the food chain, and the possibility for restricted land use in the foreseeable future. This article summarizes what is generally understood about the application of agricultural countermeasures as a land management option to reduce the transfer of radionuclides in the food chain and to facilitate the return of potentially affected soils to agricultural practices in the vicinity of the Fukushima plant. PMID:21608113

  1. 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)

  2. Supervised Occupational Experience Record Book for Agricultural Resources Conservation, Environmental Management and Forestry: Teacher's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nickles, Tom

    The guide is designed to aid the instructor in implementing the student guide entitled "Supervised Occupational Experience Record Book For Agricultural Resource Conservation, Environmental Management and Forestry". Intended for use in the secondary level vocational agriculture curriculum, general concepts, student record-keeping skills, and…

  3. Supervised Occupational Experience Record Book for Agricultural Resource Conservation, Environmental Management and Forestry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nickles, Tom

    The record book was designed to meet the occupational experience recordkeeping requirements of vocational agriculture students enrolled in forestry, environmental management, or agriculture resource conservation programs in Ohio. It provides guidelines and forms for recording on-the-job, in-the-school lab, and occupational experience project data.…

  4. Agricultural Machinery 01.0301 for Agribusiness, Natural Resources and Environmental Occupations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, John; And Others

    The document presents unit plans which offer lists of experiences and competencies to be learned in the area of agricultural machinery for agribusiness, natural resources, and environmental occupations. The units include: (1) safety; (2) agricultural service center; (3) component parts--bearings, gears, pulleys, clutches, and others; (4) metal…

  5. Grassland-cropping rotations: An avenue for agricultural diversification to reconcile high production with environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity...

  6. Integrated crop–livestock systems: Strategies to achieve synergy between agricultural production and environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A need to increase agricultural production across the world for food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce agriculture’s negative environmental impacts. We suggest that a cause of this dichotomy is loss of diversity within agricultural systems at field, farm and landscape scales....

  7. Regional variations in the health, environmental, and climate benefits of wind and solar generation.

    PubMed

    Siler-Evans, Kyle; Azevedo, Inês Lima; Morgan, M Granger; Apt, Jay

    2013-07-16

    When wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region.

  8. Agriculture/Natural Resources Environmental Technician Task List. Occupational Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henrico County Public Schools, Glen Allen, VA. Virginia Vocational Curriculum and Resource Center.

    This publication contains a worker task list and supplementary information for occupations in the agriculture and natural resources cluster of occupations. The task list were generated through the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process and/or by analysis by a panel of experts. Tasks are listed in 10 categories: (1) performing investigative…

  9. Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits

    PubMed Central

    Kemp, David R.; Guodong, Han; Xiangyang, Hou; Michalk, David L.; Fujiang, Hou; Jianping, Wu; Yingjun, Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands occupy 40% of the world’s land surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) and support diverse groups, from traditional extensive nomadic to intense livestock-production systems. Population pressures mean that many of these grasslands are in a degraded state, particularly in less-productive areas of developing countries, affecting not only productivity but also vital environmental services such as hydrology, biodiversity, and carbon cycles; livestock condition is often poor and household incomes are at or below poverty levels. The challenge is to optimize management practices that result in “win-win” outcomes for grasslands, the environment, and households. A case study is discussed from northwestern China, where it has been possible to reduce animal numbers considerably by using an energy-balance/market-based approach while improving household incomes, providing conditions within which grassland recovery is possible. This bottom-up approach was supported by informing and working with the six layers of government in China to build appropriate policies. Further policy implications are considered. Additional gains in grassland rehabilitation could be fostered through targeted environmental payment schemes. Other aspects of the livestock production system that can be modified are discussed. This work built a strategy that has implications for many other grassland areas around the world where common problems apply. PMID:23671092

  10. Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits.

    PubMed

    Kemp, David R; Guodong, Han; Xiangyang, Hou; Michalk, David L; Fujiang, Hou; Jianping, Wu; Yingjun, Zhang

    2013-05-21

    Grasslands occupy 40% of the world's land surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) and support diverse groups, from traditional extensive nomadic to intense livestock-production systems. Population pressures mean that many of these grasslands are in a degraded state, particularly in less-productive areas of developing countries, affecting not only productivity but also vital environmental services such as hydrology, biodiversity, and carbon cycles; livestock condition is often poor and household incomes are at or below poverty levels. The challenge is to optimize management practices that result in "win-win" outcomes for grasslands, the environment, and households. A case study is discussed from northwestern China, where it has been possible to reduce animal numbers considerably by using an energy-balance/market-based approach while improving household incomes, providing conditions within which grassland recovery is possible. This bottom-up approach was supported by informing and working with the six layers of government in China to build appropriate policies. Further policy implications are considered. Additional gains in grassland rehabilitation could be fostered through targeted environmental payment schemes. Other aspects of the livestock production system that can be modified are discussed. This work built a strategy that has implications for many other grassland areas around the world where common problems apply. PMID:23671092

  11. Environmental and economic benefits of variable rate nitrogen fertilization in a nitrate vulnerable zone.

    PubMed

    Basso, Bruno; Dumont, Benjamin; Cammarano, Davide; Pezzuolo, Andrea; Marinello, Francesco; Sartori, Luigi

    2016-03-01

    Agronomic input and management practices have traditionally been applied uniformly on agricultural fields despite the presence of spatial variability of soil properties and landscape position. When spatial variability is ignored, uniform agronomic management can be both economically and environmentally inefficient. The objectives of this study were to: i) identify optimal N fertilizer rates using an integrated spatio-temporal analysis of yield and site-specific N rate response; ii) test the sensitivity of site specific N management to nitrate leaching in response to different N rates; and iii) demonstrate the environmental benefits of variable rate N fertilizer in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. This study was carried out on a 13.6 ha field near the Venice Lagoon, northeast Italy over four years (2005-2008). We utilized a validated crop simulation model to evaluate crop response to different N rates at specific zones in the field based on localized soil and landscape properties under rainfed conditions. The simulated rates were: 50 kg N ha(-1) applied at sowing for the entire study area and increasing fractions, ranging from 150 to 350 kg N ha(-1) applied at V6 stage. Based on the analysis of yield maps from previous harvests and soil electrical resistivity data, three management zones were defined. Two N rates were applied in each of these zones, one suggested by our simulation analysis and the other with uniform N fertilization as normally applied by the producer. N leaching was lower and net revenue was higher in the zones where variable rates of N were applied when compared to uniform N fertilization. This demonstrates the efficacy of using crop models to determine variable rates of N fertilization within a field and the application of variable rate N fertilizer to achieve higher profit and reduce nitrate leaching. PMID:26747986

  12. Managing your investment in environmental compliance with integrated cost and benefit tracking analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Easter, C.D.

    1997-12-31

    This paper is designed to assist environmental managers in establishing an integrated approach to tracking the economic cost and benefit of compliance with environmental regulations. The Integrated Environmental Management System (IEMS) consists of a program which outlines reports, permits, data analysis and construction related projects that are necessary for compliance with federal, state and local requirements and establishes a dollar value in terms of both labor hours and capital expenditures for a given facility. This dollar value is cross-referenced with an Environmental Benefit Score (EBS) which is a ``weighted`` function of the following factors: pollution reduction, employee health and safety protection, community/public relations benefits and program/equipment durability. This system will improve the environmental budget managers` ability to efficiently apply resources to the proper project areas for maximum benefit. The data for this paper was compiled by reviewing environmental expenditure data for facilities over the previous decade and analyzing the impact in terms of the heretofore mentioned factors included in the Environmental Benefit Score (EBS). Through this process, a model program was designed which can be applied, with adjustments, to either public or private organizations. It is clear that a well managed and carefully chosen program of resource allocation is more efficient than a blanket program that attempts to broadly comply with all regulatory challenges concurrently.

  13. Using Microbial Source Tracking to Enhance Environmental Stewardship of Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Sherry; Rose, Joan; Flood, Matthew; Aw, Tiong; Hyndman, David

    2016-04-01

    Large scale agriculture relies on the application of chemical fertilizers and animal manure. It is well known that nutrients in excess of a plant's uptake and soil retention capacity can travel to nearby waterways via surface run-off and groundwater pathways, indirectly fertilizing these aquatic ecosystems. It has not yet been possible to distinguish water quality impacts of fertilizer from those derived from human and animal waste sources. However, new microbial source tracking (MST) tools allow specific identification of fecal pollution. Our objective was to examine pollution risks at the regional scale using MST, mapping and classification and regression tree analysis. We present results Bovine M2 genetic marker data from three flow regimes (baseflow, snow melt, and post-planting rain). Key landscape characteristics were related to the presence of the bovine markers and appear to be related to fate and transport. Impacts at this regional watershed scale will be discussed. Our research aims to identify the impacts of agricultural management practices on water quality by linking nutrient concentrations with fecal pollution sources. We hope that our research will provide guidance that will help improve water quality through agricultural best management practices to reduce pathogen contamination.

  14. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Pederson, Gregory; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Prato, Tony; Qui, Zeyuan; Williams, Jimmie R.

    2010-01-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960–2005) and future climate period (2006–2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO2 emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting

  15. Potential economic benefits of adapting agricultural production systems to future climate change.

    PubMed

    Prato, Tony; Zeyuan, Qiu; Pederson, Gregory; Fagre, Dan; Bengtson, Lindsey E; Williams, Jimmy R

    2010-03-01

    Potential economic impacts of future climate change on crop enterprise net returns and annual net farm income (NFI) are evaluated for small and large representative farms in Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Crop enterprise net returns and NFI in an historical climate period (1960-2005) and future climate period (2006-2050) are compared when agricultural production systems (APSs) are adapted to future climate change. Climate conditions in the future climate period are based on the A1B, B1, and A2 CO(2) emission scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. Steps in the evaluation include: (1) specifying crop enterprises and APSs (i.e., combinations of crop enterprises) in consultation with locals producers; (2) simulating crop yields for two soils, crop prices, crop enterprises costs, and NFIs for APSs; (3) determining the dominant APS in the historical and future climate periods in terms of NFI; and (4) determining whether NFI for the dominant APS in the historical climate period is superior to NFI for the dominant APS in the future climate period. Crop yields are simulated using the Environmental/Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and dominance comparisons for NFI are based on the stochastic efficiency with respect to a function (SERF) criterion. Probability distributions that best fit the EPIC-simulated crop yields are used to simulate 100 values for crop yields for the two soils in the historical and future climate periods. Best-fitting probability distributions for historical inflation-adjusted crop prices and specified triangular probability distributions for crop enterprise costs are used to simulate 100 values for crop prices and crop enterprise costs. Averaged over all crop enterprises, farm sizes, and soil types, simulated net return per ha averaged over all crop enterprises decreased 24% and simulated mean NFI for APSs decreased 57% between the historical and future climate periods. Although adapting APSs

  16. Meeting multiple demands: Water transaction opportunities for environmental benefits promoting adaptation to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCoy, Amy

    2015-04-01

    In arid regions, the challenge of balancing water use among a diversity of sectors expands in lock step with conditions of water stress that are exacerbated by climate variability, prolonged drought, and growing water-use demands. The elusiveness of achieving a sustainable balance under conditions of environmental change in the southwestern United States is evidenced by reductions in both overall water availability and freshwater ecosystem health, as well as by recent projections of shortages on the Colorado River within the next five years. The water sustainability challenge in this region, as well as drylands throughout the world, can therefore be viewed through the lens of water stress, a condition wherein demands on land and water -- including the needs of freshwater ecosystems -- exceed reliable supplies, and the full range of water needs cannot be met without tradeoffs across multiple uses. Water stress influences not only ecosystems, but a region's economy, land management, quality of life, and cultural heritage -- each of which requires water to thrive. With respect to promoting successful adaptation to climate change, achieving full water sustainability would allow for water to be successfully divided among water users -- including municipalities, agriculture, and freshwater ecosystems -- at a level that meets the goals of water users and the governing body. Over the last ten to fifteen years, the use of transactional approaches in the western U.S., Mexico, and Australia has proven to be a viable management tool for achieving stream flow and shallow aquifer restoration. By broad definition, environmental water transactions are an equitable and adaptable tool that brings diverse stakeholders to the table to facilitate a fair-market exchange of rights to use water in a manner that benefits both water users and the environment. This talk will present a basic framework of necessary stakeholder engagement, hydrologic conditions, enabling laws and policies

  17. Benefits, Motivations, and Barriers Related to Environmental Volunteerism for Older Adults: Developing a Research Agenda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bushway, Lori J.; Dickinson, Janis L.; Stedman, Richard C.; Wagenet, Linda P.; Weinstein, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Interest in civic engagement focused on the natural environment has grown dramatically, as has the population of older adults. Our article explores the potential for increased environmental volunteerism among older adults to enrich the lives of volunteers while benefitting the community and environmental quality. Curiously, this convergence has…

  18. ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS AND SERIVCES FROM RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES: EMERGY-BASED METHOD OF BENEFIT VALUE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although economic benefit-cost analyses of environmental regulations has been conducted since the 1970s, an effective methodology has yet to be developed for the integrated assessment of regulatory impacts on the larger system as a whole, including its social and environmental as...

  19. 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.…

  20. Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge: Environmental Adult Education and Organic Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumner, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    Given today's pressing environmental issues, environmental adult educators can help us learn to live more sustainably. One of the models for more sustainable ways of life is organic agriculture, based in a knowledge system that works with nature, not against it. In order to understand this knowledge, we need to frame it in a way that captures all…

  1. Indoor Environmental Quality Benefits of Apartment Energy Retrofits

    SciTech Connect

    Noris, Federico; Adamkiewicz, Gary; Delp, William W.; Hotchi, Toshifumi; Russell, Marion; Singer, Brett C.; Spears, Michael; Vermeer, Kimberly; Fisk, William J.

    2013-06-01

    Sixteen apartments serving low-income populations in three buildings were retrofit with the goal of simultaneously reducing energy consumption and improving indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Retrofit measures varied among apartments and included, among others, envelope sealing, installation of continuous mechanical ventilation systems, upgrading bathroom fans and range hoods, attic insulation, replacement of heating and cooling systems, and adding wall-mounted particle air cleaners. IEQ parameters were measured, generally for two one-week periods before and after the retrofits. The measurements indicate an overall improvement in IEQ conditions after the retrofits. Comfort conditions, bathroom humidity, and concentrations of carbon dioxide, acetaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, and particles generally improved. Formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide levels decreased in the building with the highest concentrations, were unchanged in a second building, and increased in a third building. IEQ parameters other than particles improved more in apartments with continuous mechanical ventilation systems installed. In general, but not consistently, larger percent increases in air exchange rates were associated with larger percent decreases in indoor levels of the pollutants that primarily come from indoor sources.

  2. The impact of policy and institutional environment on costs and benefits of sustainable agricultural land uses: the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation (jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  3. The impact of policy and institutional environment on costs and benefits of sustainable agricultural land uses: the case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation (jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  4. The Impact of Policy and Institutional Environment on Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Agricultural Land Uses: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasul, Golam; Thapa, Gopal B.

    2007-08-01

    As in other mountain regions of Asia, agricultural lands in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh are undergoing degradation due primarily to environmentally incompatible land-use systems such as shifting cultivation ( jhum) and annual cash crops. The suitable land-use systems such as agroforestry and timber tree plantation provide benefit to the society at large, but they might not provide attractive economic benefits to farmers, eventually constraining a wide-scale adoption of such land-use systems. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate agricultural land-use systems from both societal and private perspectives in the pursuit of promoting particularly environmentally sustainable systems. This article evaluated five major land-use systems being practiced in CHT, namely jhum, annual cash crops, horticulture, agroforestry, and timber plantation. The results of the financial analysis revealed the annual cash crops as the most attractive land use and jhum as the least attractive of the five land-use systems considered under the study. Horticulture, timber plantation, and agroforestry, considered to be suitable land-use systems particularly for mountainous areas, held the middle ground between these two systems. Annual cash crops provided the highest financial return at the cost of a very high rate of soil erosion. When the societal cost of soil erosion is considered, annual cash crops appear to be the most costly land-use system, followed by jhum and horticulture. Although financially less attractive compared to annual cash crops and horticulture, agroforestry and timber plantation are the socially most beneficial land-use systems. Findings of the alternative policy analyses indicate that there is a good prospect for making environmentally sustainable land-use systems, such as agroforestry and timber plantation, attractive for the farmers by eliminating existing legal and institutional barriers, combined with the provision of necessary support services and

  5. Environmental flow deficit at global scale - implication on irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor, Amandine; Ludwig, Fulco; Biemans, Hester; Kabat, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    Freshwater species belong to the most degraded ecosystem on earth. At the beginning of the 21st century, scientists have developed the concept of environmental flow requirements (Brisbane declaration 2003) with the aim of protecting freshwater species in the long term. However, the ecological state of rivers is different across the world depending on their fragmentation, on the presence of dams and reservoirs and on the degree of pollution. To implement new regulations on river flow, it is necessary to evaluate the degree of alteration of rivers which we called "environmental flow deficit". The European water framework directive is still working on evaluating the ecological states of river across Europe. In this study, we calculated monthly environmental flow deficit with the global vegetation dynamic and hydrological model LPJml. Environmental flow requirements were first calculated with the Variable Monthly Flow method (Pastor et al., 2014). Then, we checked in each river basin where and when the actual flow (flow minus abstraction for irrigation) does not satisfy environmental flow requirements. We finally show examples of different river basins such as the Nile and the Amazon to show how climate and irrigation can impact river flow and harm freshwater ecosystems.

  6. Benefits of improved environmental cooperation on a joint DoD/DOE facility

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, G.K.; Gibson, J.D.

    1995-04-01

    Numerous Federal facilities within the US involve multiple government agencies that face overlapping environmental concerns. This paper highlights the benefits of looking beyond the strict letter of environmental regulations that might affect a single tenant or environmental site to cooperative environmental efforts that focus on the entire facility, consistent with the missions of participating agencies. Using Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) as a model, seven areas of Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DOE) environmental cooperation are discussed that span technical, regulatory compliance, and administrative issues.

  7. Estimating the benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction from agricultural policy reform

    SciTech Connect

    Adger, W.N. . Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment); Moran, D.C. . Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment)

    1993-09-01

    Land use and agricultural activities contribute directly to the increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Economic support in industrialized countries generally increases agriculture's contribution to global greenhouse gas concentrations through fluxes associated with land use change and other sources. Changes in economic support offers opportunities to reduce net emissions, through this so far has gone unaccounted. Estimates are presented here of emissions of methane from livestock in the UK and show that, in monetary terms, when compared to the costs of reducing support, greenhouse gases are a significant factor. As signatory parties to the Climate Change Convection are required to stabilize emissions of all greenhouse gases, options for reduction of emissions of methane and other trace gases from the agricultural sector should form part of these strategies.

  8. Bacterial-Fungal Interactions: Hyphens between Agricultural, Clinical, Environmental, and Food Microbiologists

    PubMed Central

    Frey-Klett, P.; Burlinson, P.; Deveau, A.; Barret, M.; Tarkka, M.; Sarniguet, A.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacteria and fungi can form a range of physical associations that depend on various modes of molecular communication for their development and functioning. These bacterial-fungal interactions often result in changes to the pathogenicity or the nutritional influence of one or both partners toward plants or animals (including humans). They can also result in unique contributions to biogeochemical cycles and biotechnological processes. Thus, the interactions between bacteria and fungi are of central importance to numerous biological questions in agriculture, forestry, environmental science, food production, and medicine. Here we present a structured review of bacterial-fungal interactions, illustrated by examples sourced from many diverse scientific fields. We consider the general and specific properties of these interactions, providing a global perspective across this emerging multidisciplinary research area. We show that in many cases, parallels can be drawn between different scenarios in which bacterial-fungal interactions are important. Finally, we discuss how new avenues of investigation may enhance our ability to combat, manipulate, or exploit bacterial-fungal complexes for the economic and practical benefit of humanity as well as reshape our current understanding of bacterial and fungal ecology. PMID:22126995

  9. Investigation of an Escherichia coli environmental benchmark for waterborne pathogens in agricultural watersheds in Canada.

    PubMed

    Edge, T A; El-Shaarawi, A; Gannon, V; Jokinen, C; Kent, R; Khan, I U H; Koning, W; Lapen, D; Miller, J; Neumann, N; Phillips, R; Robertson, W; Schreier, H; Scott, A; Shtepani, I; Topp, E; Wilkes, G; van Bochove, E

    2012-01-01

    Canada's National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative sought to develop an environmental benchmark for low-level waterborne pathogen occurrence in agricultural watersheds. A field study collected 902 water samples from 27 sites in four intensive agricultural watersheds across Canada from 2005 to 2007. Four of the sites were selected as reference sites away from livestock and human fecal pollution sources in each watershed. Water samples were analyzed for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., and the water quality indicator E. coli. The annual mean number of pathogen species was higher at agricultural sites (1.54 ± 0.07 species per water sample) than at reference sites (0.75 ± 0.14 species per water sample). The annual mean concentration of E. coli was also higher at agricultural sites (491 ± 96 colony-forming units [cfu] 100 mL(-1)) than at reference sites (53 ± 18 cfu 100 mL(-1)). The feasibility of adopting existing E. coli water quality guideline values as an environmental benchmark was assessed, but waterborne pathogens were detected at agricultural sites in 80% of water samples with low E. coli concentrations (<100 cfu 100 mL(-1)). Instead, an approach was developed based on using the natural background occurrence of pathogens at reference sites in agricultural watersheds to derive provisional environmental benchmarks for pathogens at agricultural sites. The environmental benchmarks that were derived were found to represent E. coli values lower than geometric mean values typically found in recreational water quality guidelines. Additional research is needed to investigate environmental benchmarks for waterborne pathogens within the context of the "One World, One Health" perspective for protecting human, domestic animal, and wildlife health.

  10. The environmental and health impacts of tobacco agriculture, cigarette manufacture and consumption

    PubMed Central

    Novotny, Thomas E; Bialous, Stella Aguinaga; Burt, Lindsay; Curtis, Clifton; Luiza da Costa, Vera; Iqtidar, Silvae Usman; Liu, Yuchen; Pujari, Sameer

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The health consequences of tobacco use are well known, but less recognized are the significant environmental impacts of tobacco production and use. The environmental impacts of tobacco include tobacco growing and curing; product manufacturing and distribution; product consumption; and post-consumption waste. The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control addresses environmental concerns in Articles 17 and 18, which primarily apply to tobacco agriculture. Article 5.3 calls for protection from policy interference by the tobacco industry regarding the environmental harms of tobacco production and use. We detail the environmental impacts of the tobacco life-cycle and suggest policy responses. PMID:26668440

  11. The environmental and health impacts of tobacco agriculture, cigarette manufacture and consumption.

    PubMed

    Novotny, Thomas E; Bialous, Stella Aguinaga; Burt, Lindsay; Curtis, Clifton; da Costa, Vera Luiza; Iqtidar, Silvae Usman; Liu, Yuchen; Pujari, Sameer; Tursan d'Espaignet, Edouard

    2015-12-01

    The health consequences of tobacco use are well known, but less recognized are the significant environmental impacts of tobacco production and use. The environmental impacts of tobacco include tobacco growing and curing; product manufacturing and distribution; product consumption; and post-consumption waste. The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control addresses environmental concerns in Articles 17 and 18, which primarily apply to tobacco agriculture. Article 5.3 calls for protection from policy interference by the tobacco industry regarding the environmental harms of tobacco production and use. We detail the environmental impacts of the tobacco life-cycle and suggest policy responses.

  12. Assessment of life cycle environmental benefits of an industrial symbiosis cluster in China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fei; Han, Feng; Cui, Zhaojie

    2015-04-01

    Reusing industrial waste may have impressive potential environmental benefits, especially in terms of the total life cycle, and life cycle assessment (LCA) has been proved to be an effective method to evaluate industrial symbiosis (IS). Circular economy and IS have been developed for decades and have been successful in China. However, very few studies about the environmental benefit assessment of IS applied by LCA in China have been conducted. In the current article, LCA was used to evaluate the environmental benefits and costs of IS, compared with a no-IS scenario for four environmental impact categories. The results showed that four environmental benefits were avoided by the 11 symbiosis performances, namely, 41.6 thousand TJ of primary energy, 4.47 million t CO2e of greenhouse gasses, 19.7 thousand t SO2e of acidification, and 81.1 t PO4(3+)e of eutrophication. Among these IS performances, the comprehensive utilization of red mud produced the most visible benefit. The results also present that energy conservation was the distinctive feature of IS in China.

  13. Assessment of life cycle environmental benefits of an industrial symbiosis cluster in China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fei; Han, Feng; Cui, Zhaojie

    2015-04-01

    Reusing industrial waste may have impressive potential environmental benefits, especially in terms of the total life cycle, and life cycle assessment (LCA) has been proved to be an effective method to evaluate industrial symbiosis (IS). Circular economy and IS have been developed for decades and have been successful in China. However, very few studies about the environmental benefit assessment of IS applied by LCA in China have been conducted. In the current article, LCA was used to evaluate the environmental benefits and costs of IS, compared with a no-IS scenario for four environmental impact categories. The results showed that four environmental benefits were avoided by the 11 symbiosis performances, namely, 41.6 thousand TJ of primary energy, 4.47 million t CO2e of greenhouse gasses, 19.7 thousand t SO2e of acidification, and 81.1 t PO4(3+)e of eutrophication. Among these IS performances, the comprehensive utilization of red mud produced the most visible benefit. The results also present that energy conservation was the distinctive feature of IS in China. PMID:25339529

  14. Focus on Agriculture and Forestry Benefits of Reducing Climate Change Impacts

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this focus issue is to present the methods and results of modeling exercises that estimate the impacts of climate change on agriculture and forestry under a consistent set of climate projections that represent futures with and without global-scale GHG mitigation....

  15. The benefits of energy recovery: Economic, environmental and social benefits in recovering energy from waste in the manufacture of cement

    SciTech Connect

    Susel, I.

    1997-12-31

    The Nation gains substantial energy, environmental, health and economic benefits when cement kilns recycle hazardous wastes by recovering their energy value through use as fuel. These benefits include: energy conservation, amounting to more than 20 billion Btu/year, more than twice the amount EPA saves through its Green Lights program; reduced SOx and NOx emissions that would have resulted from burning coal instead of HWDF, avoiding property damages of $120 million/year; reduced fatalities due to reduced coal mining and coal transportation, with these reductions far exceeding the local population risks that EPA addresses with MACT; and a low cost of combustion which provides incentives to small quantity generators to properly dispose of their hazardous materials. If promulgated in the form proposed in 1996, the hazardous waste combustor (HWC) MACT could cause kilns to recycle less HWDF, substantially reducing these benefits, with the Nation losing far more than it gains with the MACT rule. Even in the absence of these adverse consequences, the stringent levels in EPA`s 1996 proposal are not justified by the risks they address and are not cost-effective. 17 refs.

  16. Intentional Exposure Studies of Environmental Agents on Human Subjects: Assessing Benefits and Risks

    PubMed Central

    Resnik, David B.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, I assess the benefits and risks of studies that intentionally expose research subjects to environmental agents. I describe these types of studies, identify their benefits and risks, compare these studies to other research methods that can be used to investigate the relationship between environmental exposures and disease, and discuss some issues related to research design and risk minimization. I argue that the benefits of intentional environmental exposure studies outweigh the risks when 1) the knowledge gained is likely to improve our understanding of the relationship between environmental exposure and disease; 2) this knowledge cannot be obtained by other methods; 3) the experiments are well-designed; 4) the subjects will receive some benefits, such as medical evaluations; 5) risks are minimized; and 6) the risks to human subjects are less than the those encountered in a typical Phase I drug study. Only in rare circumstances, i.e. when an intentional environmental exposure study is needed to implement an important environmental or public health intervention or regulation, may such studies expose research subjects to risks as high as those encountered in a typical Phase I drug trail. PMID:17847606

  17. Agriculture sector resource and environmental policy analysis: an economic and biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    House, R; McDowell, H; Peters, M; Heimlich, R

    1999-01-01

    Agricultural pollution of the environment is jointly determined by economic decisions driving land use, production practices, and stochastic biophysical processes associated with agricultural production, land and climate characteristics. It follows that environmental and economic statistics, traditionally collected independently of each other, offer little insight into non-point pollutant loadings. We argue that effective policy development would be facilitated by integrating environmental and economic data gathering, combined with simulation modelling linking economic and biophysical components. Integrated data collection links economics, land use, production methods and environmental loadings. An integrated economic/biophysical modelling framework facilitates policy analysis because monetary incentives to reduce pollution can be evaluated in the context of market costs and returns that influence land use and production activity. This allows prediction of environmental and economic outcomes from alternative policies to solve environmental problems. We highlight steps taken to merge economic and biophysical modelling for policy analysis within the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. An example analysis of a policy to reduce agricultural nitrogen pollution is presented, with the economic and environmental results illustrating the value of linked economic and biophysical analysis. PMID:10231835

  18. Precision agriculture: introduction to the spatial and temporal variability of environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Bouma, J

    1997-01-01

    Precision agriculture aims at adjusting and fine-tuning land and crop management to the needs of plants within heterogeneous fields. Production aspects have to be balanced against environmental threshold values and modern information technology has made it possible to devise operational field systems. A reactive approach is described, using yield maps and sensors. A proactive approach uses simulation modelling of plant growth and solute fluxes to predict optimal timing of management practices. Precision agriculture, combining both approaches, is seen as making a major contribution towards the development of sustainable agricultural production systems.

  19. CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF CONDUCTING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RESEARCH IN A SCHOOL SETTING

    PubMed Central

    GUIDRY, VIRGINIA T.; LOWMAN, AMY; HALL, DEVON; BARON, DOTHULA; WING, STEVE

    2015-01-01

    Environmental justice (EJ) research requires attention to consequences for research participants beyond those typically considered by institutional review boards. The imbalance of power between impacted communities and those who create and regulate pollution creates challenges for participation, yet research can also benefit those involved. Our community-academic partnership designed the Rural Air Pollutants and Children's Health (RAPCH) study to provide positive impacts while measuring health effects at three low-resource public middle schools near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in North Carolina. We evaluated perceived benefits and challenges of study involvement by interviewing school staff and community liaisons who facilitated data collection. Reported benefits included enhancement of students’ academic environment and increased community environmental awareness; challenges were associated mainly with some participants’ immaturity. Leadership from a strong community-based organization was crucial to recruitment, yet our approach entailed minimal focus on EJ, which may have limited opportunities for community education or organizing for environmental health. PMID:25085828

  20. Challenges and benefits of conducting environmental justice research in a school setting.

    PubMed

    Guidry, Virginia T; Lowman, Amy; Hall, Devon; Baron, Dothula; Wing, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Environmental justice (EJ) research requires attention to consequences for research participants beyond those typically considered by institutional review boards. The imbalance of power between impacted communities and those who create and regulate pollution creates challenges for participation, yet research can also benefit those involved. Our community-academic partnership designed the Rural Air Pollutants and Children's Health (RAPCH) study to provide positive impacts while measuring health effects at three low-resource public middle schools near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in North Carolina. We evaluated perceived benefits and challenges of study involvement by interviewing school staff and community liaisons who facilitated data collection. Reported benefits included enhancement of students' academic environment and increased community environmental awareness; challenges were associated mainly with some participants' immaturity. Leadership from a strong community-based organization was crucial to recruitment, yet our approach entailed minimal focus on EJ, which may have limited opportunities for community education or organizing for environmental health.

  1. Sewage sludge, compost and other representative organic wastes as agricultural soil amendments: Benefits versus limiting factors.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Paula; Mourinha, Clarisse; Farto, Márcia; Santos, Teresa; Palma, Patrícia; Sengo, Joana; Morais, Marie-Christine; Cunha-Queda, Cristina

    2015-06-01

    Nine different samples of sewage sludges, composts and other representative organic wastes, with potential interest to be used as agricultural soil amendments, were characterized: municipal sewage sludge (SS1 and SS2), agro industrial sludge (AIS), municipal slaughterhouse sludge (MSS), mixed municipal solid waste compost (MMSWC), agricultural wastes compost (AWC), compost produced from agricultural wastes and sewage sludge (AWSSC), pig slurry digestate (PSD) and paper mill wastes (PMW). The characterization was made considering their: (i) physicochemical parameters, (ii) total and bioavailable heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg), (iii) organic contaminants, (iv) pathogenic microorganisms and (v) stability and phytotoxicity indicators. All the sludges, municipal or other, comply with the requirements of the legislation regarding the possibility of their application to agricultural soil (with the exception of SS2, due to its pathogenic microorganisms content), with a content of organic matter and nutrients that make them interesting to be applied to soil. The composts presented, in general, some constraints regarding their application to soil, and their impairment was due to the existence of heavy metal concentrations exceeding the proposed limit of the draft European legislation. As a consequence, with the exception of AWSSC, most compost samples were not able to meet these quality criteria, which are more conservative for compost than for sewage sludge. From the results, the composting of sewage sludge is recommended as a way to turn a less stabilized waste into a material that is no longer classified as a waste and, judging by the results of this work, with lower heavy metal content than the other composted materials, and without sanitation problems.

  2. Sewage sludge, compost and other representative organic wastes as agricultural soil amendments: Benefits versus limiting factors.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Paula; Mourinha, Clarisse; Farto, Márcia; Santos, Teresa; Palma, Patrícia; Sengo, Joana; Morais, Marie-Christine; Cunha-Queda, Cristina

    2015-06-01

    Nine different samples of sewage sludges, composts and other representative organic wastes, with potential interest to be used as agricultural soil amendments, were characterized: municipal sewage sludge (SS1 and SS2), agro industrial sludge (AIS), municipal slaughterhouse sludge (MSS), mixed municipal solid waste compost (MMSWC), agricultural wastes compost (AWC), compost produced from agricultural wastes and sewage sludge (AWSSC), pig slurry digestate (PSD) and paper mill wastes (PMW). The characterization was made considering their: (i) physicochemical parameters, (ii) total and bioavailable heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg), (iii) organic contaminants, (iv) pathogenic microorganisms and (v) stability and phytotoxicity indicators. All the sludges, municipal or other, comply with the requirements of the legislation regarding the possibility of their application to agricultural soil (with the exception of SS2, due to its pathogenic microorganisms content), with a content of organic matter and nutrients that make them interesting to be applied to soil. The composts presented, in general, some constraints regarding their application to soil, and their impairment was due to the existence of heavy metal concentrations exceeding the proposed limit of the draft European legislation. As a consequence, with the exception of AWSSC, most compost samples were not able to meet these quality criteria, which are more conservative for compost than for sewage sludge. From the results, the composting of sewage sludge is recommended as a way to turn a less stabilized waste into a material that is no longer classified as a waste and, judging by the results of this work, with lower heavy metal content than the other composted materials, and without sanitation problems. PMID:25708406

  3. Economic valuation of environmental benefits from wastewater treatment processes: an empirical approach for Spain.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Sancho, Francesc; Molinos-Senante, María; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2010-01-15

    Economic research into the design and implementation of policies for the efficient management of water resources has been emphasized by the European Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). The efficient implementation of policies to prevent the degradation and depletion of water resources requires determining their value in social and economic terms and incorporating this information into the decision-making process. A process of wastewater treatment has many associated environmental benefits. However, these benefits are often not calculated because they are not set by the market, due to inadequate property rights, the presence of externalities, and the lack of perfect information. Nevertheless, the valuation of these benefits is necessary to justify a suitable investment policy and a limited number of studies exist on the subject of the economic valuation of environmental benefits. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on the estimation of shadow prices for the pollutants removed in a treatment process. This value represents the environmental benefit (avoided cost) associated with undischarged pollution. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of wastewater treatment. The comparison of these benefits with the internal costs of the treatment process will provide a useful indicator for the feasibility of wastewater treatment projects.

  4. 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.

  5. [Impact of Phosphogypsum Wastes on the Wheat Growth and CO2 Emissions and Evaluation of Economic-environmental Benefit].

    PubMed

    Li, Ji; Wu, Hong-sheng; Gao, Zhi-qiu; Shang, Xiao-xia; Zheng, Pei-hui; Yin, Jin; Kakpa, Didier; Ren, Qian-qi; Faustin, Ogou Katchele; Chen, Su-yun; Xu, Ya; Yao, Tong-yan; Ji, Wei; Qian, Jing-shan; Ma, Shi-jie

    2015-08-01

    Phosphogypsum is a phosphorus chemical waste which has not been managed and reused well, resultantly, causing environmental pollution and land-occupation. Phosphogypsum wastes were used as a soil amendment to assess the effect on wheat growth, yield and CO2 emissions from winter wheat fields. Its economic and environmental benefits were analyzed at the same time. The results showed that wheat yield was increased by 37.71% in the treatment of phosphogypsum of 2 100 kg x hm(-2). Compared with the control treatment, throughout the wheat growing season, CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 3% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 1050 kg x hm(-2), while reduced by 8% , 10% , and 6% during the jointing stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively; while CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 7% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 2 100 kg x hm(-2) throughout the wheat growing season, as reduced by 11% , 4% , and 12% during the reviving wintering stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively. It was better for CO2 emission reduction in the treatment of a larger amount of phosphogypsum waste. In the case of application of phosphogypsum waste residue within a certain range, the emission intensity of CO2 ( CO2 emissions of per unit of fresh weight or CO2 emissions of per unit of yield) , spike length, fresh weight and yield showed a significantly negative correlation--the longer the ear length, the greater fresh weight and yield and the lower the CO2 emissions intensity. As to the carbon trading, phosphogypsum utilization was of high economic and environmental benefits. Compared with the control, the ratio of input to output changed from 1: 8.3 to 1: 10.7, which in the same situation of investment the output could be increased by 28.92% ; phosphogypsum as a greenhouse gas reducing agent in the wheat field, it could decrease the cost and increase the environmental benefit totally about 290 yuan per unit of ton. The

  6. [Impact of Phosphogypsum Wastes on the Wheat Growth and CO2 Emissions and Evaluation of Economic-environmental Benefit].

    PubMed

    Li, Ji; Wu, Hong-sheng; Gao, Zhi-qiu; Shang, Xiao-xia; Zheng, Pei-hui; Yin, Jin; Kakpa, Didier; Ren, Qian-qi; Faustin, Ogou Katchele; Chen, Su-yun; Xu, Ya; Yao, Tong-yan; Ji, Wei; Qian, Jing-shan; Ma, Shi-jie

    2015-08-01

    Phosphogypsum is a phosphorus chemical waste which has not been managed and reused well, resultantly, causing environmental pollution and land-occupation. Phosphogypsum wastes were used as a soil amendment to assess the effect on wheat growth, yield and CO2 emissions from winter wheat fields. Its economic and environmental benefits were analyzed at the same time. The results showed that wheat yield was increased by 37.71% in the treatment of phosphogypsum of 2 100 kg x hm(-2). Compared with the control treatment, throughout the wheat growing season, CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 3% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 1050 kg x hm(-2), while reduced by 8% , 10% , and 6% during the jointing stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively; while CO2 emission was accumulatively reduced by 7% in the treatment of phosphogypsum waste of 2 100 kg x hm(-2) throughout the wheat growing season, as reduced by 11% , 4% , and 12% during the reviving wintering stage, heading date and filling period of wheat, respectively. It was better for CO2 emission reduction in the treatment of a larger amount of phosphogypsum waste. In the case of application of phosphogypsum waste residue within a certain range, the emission intensity of CO2 ( CO2 emissions of per unit of fresh weight or CO2 emissions of per unit of yield) , spike length, fresh weight and yield showed a significantly negative correlation--the longer the ear length, the greater fresh weight and yield and the lower the CO2 emissions intensity. As to the carbon trading, phosphogypsum utilization was of high economic and environmental benefits. Compared with the control, the ratio of input to output changed from 1: 8.3 to 1: 10.7, which in the same situation of investment the output could be increased by 28.92% ; phosphogypsum as a greenhouse gas reducing agent in the wheat field, it could decrease the cost and increase the environmental benefit totally about 290 yuan per unit of ton. The

  7. Extracting Environmental Benefits from a New Canal in Nicaragua: Lessons from Panama.

    PubMed

    Condit, Richard

    2015-07-01

    Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country.

  8. Extracting Environmental Benefits from a New Canal in Nicaragua: Lessons from Panama

    PubMed Central

    Condit, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country. PMID:26214182

  9. Extracting Environmental Benefits from a New Canal in Nicaragua: Lessons from Panama.

    PubMed

    Condit, Richard

    2015-07-01

    Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country. PMID:26214182

  10. The future of irrigated agriculture under environmental flow requirements restrictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor, Amandine; Palazzo, Amanda; Havlik, Petr; Kabat, Pavel; Obersteiner, Michael; Ludwig, Fulco

    2016-04-01

    Water is not an infinite resource and demand from irrigation, household and industry is constantly increasing. This study focused on including global water availability including environmental flow requirements with water withdrawal from irrigation and other sectors at a monthly time-step in the GLOBIOM model. This model allows re-adjustment of land-use allocation, crop management, consumption and international trade. The GLOBIOM model induces an endogenous change in water price depending on water supply and demand. In this study, the focus was on how the inclusion of water resources affects land-use and, in particular, how global change will influence repartition of irrigated and rainfed lands at global scale. We used the climate change scenario including a radiative forcing of 8.5 W/m2 (RCP8.5), the socio-economic scenario (SSP2: middle-of-road), and the environmental flow method based on monthly flow allocation (the Variable Monthly Flow method) with high and low restrictions. Irrigation withdrawals were adjusted to a monthly time-step to account for biophysical water limitations at finer time resolution. Our results show that irrigated land might decrease up to 40% on average depending on the choice of EFR restrictions. Several areas were identified as future hot-spots of water stress such as the Mediterranean and Middle-East regions. Other countries were identified to be in safe position in terms of water stress such as North-European countries. Re-allocation of rainfed and irrigated land might be useful information for land-use planners and water managers at an international level to decide on appropriate legislations on climate change mitigation/adaptation when exposure and sensitivity to climate change is high and/or on adaptation measures to face increasing water demand. For example, some countries are likely to adopt measures to increase their water use efficiencies (irrigation system, soil and water conservation practices) to face water shortages, while

  11. Exploratory benefit-cost analysis of environmental controls on hydrothermal energy

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, M.J.; Wells, K.D.; Currie, J.W.; King, M.J.

    1981-02-01

    A study of the value of environmental benefits generated by environmental regulation of hydrothermal sites was initiated to compare these benefits with the estimated costs of regulation. Primary objectives were to 1) evaluate the environmental damages caused by unregulated hydrothermal resource development, 2) use existing environmental and economic data to estimate the dollar value of preventing expected environmental damages at two sites, and 3) compare the benefits and costs of preventing the damages. The sites chosen for analyses were in the Imperial Valley at Heber and Niland, California. Reasons for this choice were 1) there is a high level of commercial interest in developing the Heber known geothermal resource area (KGRA) and the Salton Sea KGRA; 2) the potential for environmental damage is high; 3) existing data bases for these two sites are more comprehensive than at other sites. The primary impacts analyzed were those related to hydrogen sulfide (H/sub 2/S) emissions and those related to disposal of spent hydrothermal brine. (MHR)

  12. Irrigation water quality and the benefits of implementing good agricultural practices during tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) production.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Acosta, M; Jiménez, M; Chaidez, C; León-Félix, J; Castro-Del Campo, N

    2014-07-01

    The implementation of good agricultural practices (GAP) from irrigation water to the tomato packaging process enhances the safety of fresh produce and its value throughout the food chain. The aim of the present study was to show that fresh produce farms that apply and enforce GAP could reduce the presence of Salmonella in finished produce. Samples were collected biweekly from six packing houses from the central region of Sinaloa, México, for the isolation of Salmonella spp by the ISO 6579:2002 method, and the isolated strains were serotyped and genotyped by the Kauffmman-White scheme and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. Salmonella strains were detected in 13 (36.1 %) irrigation water samples, while only two tomato samples were positive (5.5 %). Eight different serotypes were identified in irrigation water, and Salmonella Oranienburg (34 %) was the most prevalent; however, only Salmonella Agona and Salmonella Weltevreden were present on tomatoes. Salmonella Oranienburg was the most widely dispersed and variable serotype, with 10 different PFGE profiles. Salmonella Weltevreden was isolated from both types of samples, albeit with distinct genetic profiles, implying that the sources of contamination differ. These results confirm the utility of implementing good agricultural practices to reduce Salmonella contamination in irrigation water and the packaging process. PMID:24682661

  13. Response of benthic algae to environmental gradients in an agriculturally dominated landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munn, M.D.; Black, R.W.; Gruber, S.J.

    2002-01-01

    Benthic algal communities were assessed in an agriculturally dominated landscape in the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, to determine which environmental variables best explained species distributions, and whether algae species optima models were useful in predicting specific water-quality parameters. Land uses in the study area included forest, range, urban, and agriculture. Most of the streams in this region can be characterized as open-channel systems influenced by intensive dryland (nonirrigated) and irrigated agriculture. Algal communities in forested streams were dominated by blue-green algae, with communities in urban and range streams dominated by diatoms. The predominance of either blue-greens or diatoms in agricultural streams varied greatly depending on the specific site. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated a strong gradient effect of several key environmental variables on benthic algal community composition. Conductivity and % agriculture were the dominant explanatory variables when all sites (n = 24) were included in the CCA; water velocity replaced conductivity when the CCA included only agricultural and urban sites. Other significant explanatory variables included dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), orthophosphate (OP), discharge, and precipitation. Regression and calibration models accurately predicted conductivity based on benthic algal communities, with OP having slightly lower predictability. The model for DIN was poor, and therefore may be less useful in this system. Thirty-four algal taxa were identified as potential indicators of conductivity and nutrient conditions, with most indicators being diatoms except for the blue-greens Anabaenasp. and Lyngbya sp.

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

    PubMed

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

    Urban agriculture, though often difficult to define, is an emerging sector of local food economies in the United States. Although urban and agricultural landscapes are often integrated in countries around the world, the establishment of mid- to large-scale food production in the U.S. urban ecosystem is a relatively new development. Many of the urban agricultural projects in the United States have emerged from social movements and nonprofit organizations focused on urban renewal, education, job training, community development, and sustainability initiatives. Although these social initiatives have traction, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the science of food production in urban ecosystems. Developing a science-based approach to urban agriculture is essential to the economic and environmental sustainability of the movement. This paper reviews abiotic environmental factors influencing urban cropping systems, including soil contamination and remediation; atmospheric pollutants and altered climatic conditions; and water management, sources, and safety. This review paper seeks to characterize the limited state of the science on urban agricultural systems and identify future research questions most relevant to urban farmers, land-use planners, and environmental consultants. PMID:24216408

  16. Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

    Urban agriculture, though often difficult to define, is an emerging sector of local food economies in the United States. Although urban and agricultural landscapes are often integrated in countries around the world, the establishment of mid- to large-scale food production in the U.S. urban ecosystem is a relatively new development. Many of the urban agricultural projects in the United States have emerged from social movements and nonprofit organizations focused on urban renewal, education, job training, community development, and sustainability initiatives. Although these social initiatives have traction, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the science of food production in urban ecosystems. Developing a science-based approach to urban agriculture is essential to the economic and environmental sustainability of the movement. This paper reviews abiotic environmental factors influencing urban cropping systems, including soil contamination and remediation; atmospheric pollutants and altered climatic conditions; and water management, sources, and safety. This review paper seeks to characterize the limited state of the science on urban agricultural systems and identify future research questions most relevant to urban farmers, land-use planners, and environmental consultants.

  17. Regional variations in the health, environmental, and climate benefits of wind and solar generation

    PubMed Central

    Siler-Evans, Kyle; Azevedo, Inês Lima; Morgan, M. Granger; Apt, Jay

    2013-01-01

    When wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region. PMID:23798431

  18. Regional variations in the health, environmental, and climate benefits of wind and solar generation.

    PubMed

    Siler-Evans, Kyle; Azevedo, Inês Lima; Morgan, M Granger; Apt, Jay

    2013-07-16

    When wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region. PMID:23798431

  19. Making the Case for Green Building: Cataloging the Benefits of Environmentally Responsible Design & Construction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Alex

    2008-01-01

    To those entrenched in the green building world, the benefits seem obvious. Why would anyone choose to build in a way that isn't comfortable, healthy, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible? Even within a single college or university project, different team members often have different reasons for promoting a green agenda. Architects…

  20. Maximising the Benefits from Work-Based Learning: The Effectiveness of Environmental Audits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitelegg, John; Clark, Gordon

    1998-01-01

    Reviews reasons for incorporating work-based learning (WBL) into higher education degrees and the barriers to achieving this. Notes five key dimensions of WBL. Describes and evaluates environmental audits undertaken in a graduate geography course at Lancaster University (England). Makes recommendations for maximizing the benefits of WBL in…

  1. Biogeophysical benefits of no-till agriculture for mitigating heat wave impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, Edouard; Seneviratne, Sonia; Ciais, Philippe; Olioso, Albert; Wang, Tao

    2014-05-01

    Changes in agricultural practices are considered a possible option to mitigate climate change[1]. In particular, reducing or suppressing tillage (no-till) may have the potential to sequester carbon in soils, which could help slow global warming[1]. On the other hand, such practices also have a direct effect on regional climate by altering the physical properties of the land surface[2]. These biogeophysical effects, however, are still poorly known. Here we show that no-till management increases the surface albedo of croplands in summer and that the resulting cooling effect is amplified during hot extremes, thus attenuating peak temperatures reached during heatwaves. Using a regional climate model accounting for the observed effects of no-till farming on surface albedo, as well as possible reductions in soil evaporation, we investigate the potential consequences of a full conversion to no-till agriculture in Europe. We find that the summer cooling from cropland albedo increase is strongly amplified during hot summer days, when surface albedo has more impact on the Earth's radiative balance due to clear-sky conditions. The reduced evaporation associated with the crop residue cover tends to counteract the albedo-induced cooling, but during hot days the albedo effect is the dominating factor. For heatwave summer days the local cooling effect gained from no-till practice is of the order of 2 degrees. The identified asymmetric impact of surface albedo change on summer temperature opens new avenues for climate engineering measures targeting high impact events rather than mean climate properties. References: [1] Smith, P., D. Martino, Z. Cai, D. Gwary, H. Janzen, P. Kumar, B. McCarl, S. Ogle, F. O'Mara, C. Rice, B. Scholes, O. Sirotenko (2007): Agriculture. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds

  2. Climate benefits of changes in agricultural practices in the context of heat wave mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, E.; Seneviratne, S. I.; Ciais, P.; Olioso, A.; Wang, T.

    2014-12-01

    About half of the terrestrial biosphere is under direct human influence through land management (i.e., agricultural areas and managed forests). Changing management practices is therefore a promising avenue for climate change mitigation. The mitigation potential arising from changes in land management practices has been mainly evaluated in terms of carbon storage and GHG emissions [2]. On the other hand, these practices can also influence climate by altering the physical properties of the land surface, but these effects have received less attention so far. Here we show that peak temperatures during heat heaves can be attenuated through cropland albedo management [2]. We first present observational evidence that a substantial summer albedo increase can be obtained by switching from conventional to no-till agriculture. Then, using a regional climate model, we investigate the biogeophysical effect of a full conversion to no-till management over Europe. The cooling effect owing to albedo increase under no-till farming appears to be strongly amplified during warm events. This is due to the low cloud cover during these events, thus leading to a more efficient radiative cooling from albedo change. This implies a strong potential of no-till farming to mitigate heat wave impacts. The reduced evaporation associated with the crop residue cover tends to counteract the albedo-induced cooling, but during hot days the albedo effect remains the dominating factor. For heatwave summer days the local cooling effect gained from no-till practice is of the order of 2 degrees. These findings strongly suggest that the biogeophysical effect of management practices should be considered in the design of climate mitigation policies involving land management. References:[1] Smith, P. et al. (2014): Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel

  3. Environmental Effects of Agricultural Practices - Summary of Workshop Held on June 14-16, 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2006-01-01

    A meeting between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners was held June 14-16, 2005, in Denver, CO, to discuss science issues and needs related to agricultural practices. The goals of the meeting were to learn about the (1) effects of agricultural practices on the environment and (2) tools for identifying and quantifying those effects. Achieving these goals required defining the environmental concerns, developing scientific actions to address assessment of environmental effects, and creating collaborations to identify future research requirements and technical gaps. Five areas of concern were discussed-emerging compounds; water availability; genetically modified organisms; effects of conservation practices on ecosystems; and data, methods, and tools for assessing effects of agricultural practices.

  4. Determination of arsenic and selenium in environmental and agricultural samples by hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Hershey, J.W.; Oostdyk, T.S.; Keliher, P.N.

    1988-11-01

    Agricultural and environmental samples are digested with acid, and arsenic and selenium are determined using hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry. Interelement interferences are eliminated by high acid concentrations or cation-exchange resins. Agreement with standard reference material is excellent. The technique is also applied to actual samples.

  5. The Role of Agricultural Consultants in New Zealand in Environmental Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botha, Neels; Coutts, Jeff; Roth, Hein

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the role that agricultural consultants in New Zealand were undertaking in the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) system--and in particular in relation to environmental extension. New Zealand does not have a public extension service and hence there is a strong reliance on consultants and regional…

  6. The environmental consequences of nuclear war (SCOPE 28), Vol. 2: Ecological, agricultural, and human effects

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.A.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1986-01-01

    Offerred in this book is an appraisal of the possible environmental consequences of nuclear war. It presents a consensus among leading scientists of the effects on climate, ecosystems, and food supply. Volume 2 reviews ecosystems structure and function relevant to nuclear war effects, plant and animal responses and recovery, agricultural productivity, vulnerability of world food production and storage, estimated population affected, and research needs.

  7. Can foraging behavior of Criollo cattle help increase agricultural production and reduce environmental impacts in the arid Southwest?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Longterm Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR) was formed to help the nation’s agricultural systems simultaneously increase production and reduce environmental impacts. Eighteen networked sites are conducting a Common Experiment to understand the environmental and economic problems associated wi...

  8. Estimating the benefits of pollution reduction on agricultural yields: Taiwan's air pollution emission fees program.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tser-yieth; Li, Chun-sheng

    2003-07-01

    Taiwan's implementation of the 1997 Air Pollution Emissions Fees Program will conceivably lead to long-term reductions in pollution emissions. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the benefits to Taiwan from the expected reduction in crop losses as a direct result of such a decrease in air pollution. We employ a demand-supply framework for rice production to estimate the change in social welfare resulting from changes in the concentration of certain pollutants in the atmosphere. Our empirical results show that, in the year 1997, social welfare increments resulting from the decline in sulfur dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere ranged between US dollars 946200 and US dollars 2435800. Meanwhile, during the same period, the increase in social welfare due to the decline in the ozone concentration in the atmosphere ranged between US dollars 838100 and US dollars 1927000. The average benefit from the reduction in both sulfur dioxide and ozone concentrations is calculated to be between US dollars 2.67 and US dollars 6.86 per acre (for sulfur dioxide), and from US dollars 2.36 to US dollars 5.43 per acre (for ozone). PMID:12837257

  9. A Multi-module Approach to Calculation of Oyster ( Crassostrea virginica) Environmental Benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerco, Carl F.

    2015-08-01

    Environmental benefits are one of the motivations for management restoration of depleted bivalve populations. We describe a series of linked modules for benefits calculation. The modules include: oyster ( Crassostrea virginica) bioenergetics, materials transport via the tidal prism, and benefits quantification. Quantified benefits include carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus removal and shell production. The modules are demonstrated through application to the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Oysters on seven reefs (total area 2.8 × 105 m2) are calculated to remove 15.2, 6.2, and 0.2 tons per annum of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, respectively, from the Great Wicomico. Oyster mortality contributes 108 tons per annum dry weight shell to the reefs.

  10. A Multi-module Approach to Calculation of Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) Environmental Benefits.

    PubMed

    Cerco, Carl F

    2015-08-01

    Environmental benefits are one of the motivations for management restoration of depleted bivalve populations. We describe a series of linked modules for benefits calculation. The modules include: oyster (Crassostrea virginica) bioenergetics, materials transport via the tidal prism, and benefits quantification. Quantified benefits include carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus removal and shell production. The modules are demonstrated through application to the Great Wicomico River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Oysters on seven reefs (total area 2.8 × 10(5) m(2)) are calculated to remove 15.2, 6.2, and 0.2 tons per annum of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, respectively, from the Great Wicomico. Oyster mortality contributes 108 tons per annum dry weight shell to the reefs. PMID:25924786

  11. Environmental mitigation at hydroelectric projects: Volume II. Benefits and costs of fish passage and protection

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J. E.; Cada, G. F.; Dauble, D. D.; Hunt, R. T.; Jones, D. W.; Rinehart, B. N.; Sommers, G. L.; Costello, R. J.

    1994-01-01

    The Department of Energy, through its hydropower program, is studying environmental mitigation practices at hydroelectric projects. The study of environmental mitigation is intended to provide greater understanding of environmental problems and solutions that are associated with conventional hydroelectric projects. This volume examines upstream and downstream fish passage/protection technologies and the associated practices, benefits, and costs. Fish passage/protection mitigation technologies are investigated by three methods: (a) national, regional (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regions), and temporal frequencies of fish passage/protection mitigation are examined at 1,825 operating and conventional (excludes pumped storage) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated hydroelectric sites in the United States; (b) general fish passage/protection mitigation costs are discussed for 50 FERC regulated hydroelectric projects; and (c) 16 case studies are used to examine specific fish passage/protection mitigation practices, benefits, and costs.

  12. Cost-benefit evaluation of a decentralized water system for wastewater reuse and environmental protection.

    PubMed

    Chen, R; Wang, X C

    2009-01-01

    This paper proposed a net benefit value (NBV) model for cost-benefit evaluation of wastewater treatment and reuse projects, and attention was mainly paid to decentralized systems which are drawing wide interests all over the world especially in the water-deficient countries and regions. In the NBV model, all the factors related to project costs are monetary ones which can be calculated by using traditional methods, while many of the factors related to project benefits are non-monetary ones which need sophisticated methods for monetization. In this regard, the authors elaborated several methods for monetization of the benefits from wastewater discharge reduction, local environment improvement, and human health protection. The proposed model and methods were applied for the cost-benefit evaluation of a decentralized water reclamation and reuse project in a newly developed residential area in Xi'an, China. The system with dual-pipe collection and grey water treatment and reuse was found to be economically ineligible (NBV > 0) when all the treated water is reused for artificial pond replenishment, gardening and other non-potable purposes by taking into account the benefit of water saving. As environmental benefits are further considered, the economic advantage of the project is more significant.

  13. The Impacts and Economic Costs of Climate Change in Agriculture and the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias, A.; Quiroga, S.; Garrote, L.; Cunningham, R.

    2012-04-01

    This paper provides monetary estimates of the effects of agricultural adaptation to climate change in Europe. The model computes spatial crop productivity changes as a response to climate change linking biophysical and socioeconomic components. It combines available data sets of crop productivity changes under climate change (Iglesias et al 2011, Ciscar et al 2011), statistical functions of productivity response to water and nitrogen inputs, catchment level water availability, and environmental policy scenarios. Future global change scenarios are derived from several socio-economic futures of representative concentration pathways and regional climate models. The economic valuation is conducted by using GTAP general equilibrium model. The marginal productivity changes has been used as an input for the economic general equilibrium model in order to analyse the economic impact of the agricultural changes induced by climate change in the world. The study also includes the analysis of an adaptive capacity index computed by using the socio-economic results of GTAP. The results are combined to prioritize agricultural adaptation policy needs in Europe.

  14. Antibiotics Resistance in Rhizobium: Type, Process, Mechanism and Benefit for Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Naamala, Judith; Jaiswal, Sanjay K; Dakora, Felix D

    2016-06-01

    The use of high-quality rhizobial inoculants on agricultural legumes has contributed substantially to the N economy of farming systems through inputs from biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Large populations of symbiotically effective rhizobia should be available in the rhizosphere for symbiotic BNF with host plants. The rhizobial populations should also be able to compete and infect host plants. However, the rhizosphere comprises large populations of different microorganisms. Some of these microorganisms naturally produce antibiotics which are lethal to susceptible rhizobial populations in the soil. Therefore, intrinsic resistance to antibiotics is a desirable trait for the rhizobial population. It increases the rhizobia's chances of growth, multiplication and persistence in the soil. With a large population of rhizobia in the soil, infectivity of host plants and the subsequent BNF efficiency can be guaranteed. This review, therefore, puts together findings by various researchers on antibiotic resistance in bacteria with the main emphasis on rhizobia. It describes the different modes of action of different antibiotics, the types of antibiotic resistance exhibited by rhizobia, the mechanisms of acquisition of antibiotic resistance in rhizobia and the levels of tolerance of different rhizobial species to different antibiotics. PMID:26897128

  15. Assessing the benefits of OHER (Office of Health and Environmental Research) research: Three case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Nesse, R.J.; Callaway, J.M.; Englin, J.E.; Klan, M.S.; Nicholls, A.K.; Serot, D.E.

    1987-09-01

    This research was undertaken to estimate the societal benefits and costs of selected past research performed for the Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). Three case studies of representative OHER and DOE research were performed. One of these, the acid rain case study, includes research conducted elsewhere in DOE. The other two cases were the OHER marine research program and the development of high-purity germanium that is used in radiation detectors. The acid rain case study looked at the research benefits and costs of furnace sorbent injection and duct injection, technologies that might reduce acid deposition precursors. Both appear to show benefits in excess of costs. We examined in detail one of the OHER marine research program's accomplishments - the increase in environmental information used by the Outer Continental Shelf leasing program to manage bidding for off-shore oil drilling. The results of an econometric model show that environmental information of the type supported by OHER is unequivocally linked to government and industry leasing decisions. The germanium case study indicated that the benefits of germanium radiation detectors were significant.

  16. Phytoremediation of lead using corn in contaminated agricultural land—an in situ study and benefit assessment.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shu-Fen; Huang, Chin-Yuan; Lin, Yung-Cheng; Lin, Sheng-Chien; Chen, Kuo-Lin

    2015-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an environmentally friendly and economically feasible remediation technology for mitigating soil contamination in agricultural lands. However, phytoremediation can be a slow process, and for highly contaminated soils this approach would require hundreds to thousands of years to meet soil environmental quality standards. Such a long period of phytoremediation is relatively unfeasible without economic revenue from crop production. This study involves growth of corn in plots of lead-contaminated agricultural land with Pb concentrations of about 6000 mg/kg. Our results showed that Bright Jean No. 7 corn was highly tolerant to lead, as evidenced by minimal effects on its growth and biomass production. Annually, each hectare of corn could produce up to 93.4 tons of dry matter and removed up to 7.2 kg of lead. The corn biomass grown on such contaminated fields could be used as a bioenergy fuel, and each hectare of corn biomass could produce 1545 GJ of thermal energy every year, which is equivalent to the heat from combustion of 57 tons of hard coal. The lead content in the corn kernel was less than the EU standard limit for animal consumption. Each hectare could produce approximately 25 tons of corn grains for animal feed per year, and the remaining parts of the plant could be used as the bioenergy fuel to generate heat energy equivalent to 40 tons of hard coal.

  17. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  18. Organic Farming Benefits Local Plant Diversity in Vineyard Farms Located in Intensive Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G.

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  19. Environmental effects of growing short-rotation woody crops on former agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Thornton, F.C.; Joslin, J.D.

    1997-10-01

    Field-scale studies in the Southeast have been addressing the environmental effects of converting agricultural lands to biomass crop production since 1994. Erosion, surface water quality and quantity and subsurface movement of water and nutrients from woody crops, switchgrass and agricultural crops are being compared. Nutrient cycling, soil physical changes and crop productivity are also being monitored at the three sites. Maximum sediment losses occurred in the spring and fall. Losses were greater from sweetgum planted without a cover crop than with a cover crop. Nutrient losses of N and P in runoff and subsurface water occurred primarily after spring fertilizer application.

  20. Climate Change Impacts on US Agriculture and the Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monier, E.; Sue Wing, I.; Stern, A.

    2014-12-01

    As contributors to the US EPA's Climate Impacts and Risk Assessment (CIRA) project, we present empirically-based projections of climate change impacts on the yields of five major US crops. Our analysis uses a 15-member ensemble of climate simulations using the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) linked to the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), forced by 3 emissions scenarios (a "business as usual" reference scenario and two stabilization scenarios at 4.5W/m2 and 3.7 W/m2 by 2100), quantify the agricultural impacts avoided due to greenhouse gas emission reductions. Our innovation is the coupling of climate model outputs with empirical estimates of the long-run relationship between crop yields and temperature, precipitation and soil moisture derived from the co-variation between yields and weather across US counties over the last 50 years. Our identifying assumption is that since farmers' planting, management and harvesting decisions are based on land quality and expectations of weather, yields and meteorological variables share a long-run equilibrium relationship. In any given year, weather shocks cause yields to diverge from their expected long-run values, prompting farmers to revise their long-run expectations. We specify a dynamic panel error correction model (ECM) that statistically distinguishes these two processes. The ECM is estimated for maize, wheat, soybeans, sorghum and cotton using longitudinal data on production and harvested area for ~1,100 counties from 1948-2010, in conjunction with spatial fields of 3-hourly temperature, precipitation and soil moisture from the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) forcing and output files, binned into annual counts of exposure over the growing season and mapped to county centroids. For scenarios of future warming the identical method was used to calculate counties' current (1986-2010) and future (2036-65 and 2086-2110) distributions of simulated 3-hourly growing season temperature, precipitation

  1. School Indoor Environmental Quality Assessments and Interventions: Benefits of Effective Partnerships in California

    SciTech Connect

    Shendell, Derek G.; Apte, Michael G.; Kim, Janice; Smorodinsky, Svetlana

    2002-07-01

    Public, private, government, and university stakeholders have focused increasing attention on children's environmental health. Priority areas have been healthy school environments including indoor air and environmental quality (IEQ); susceptibilities of children to environmental factors and associated illness; and, understanding exposure to biological, chemical, and physical agents. As multidisciplinary teams, studies and intervention demonstrations in California public schools were conducted. A common theme among them was a ''partnership,'' the collaboration between stakeholders from the aforementioned sectors. Federal funding and local bond measures for planning, maintenance, and modernization of school facilities have recently been authorized. Therefore, beneficial ''partnerships'' should be established to conduct needed IEQ, environmental health, and productivity research, development and demonstration. This commentary describes benefits for stakeholders and five strategies for future effective collaborations.

  2. Cost-benefit analysis and environmental regulations: politics, ethics, and methods

    SciTech Connect

    Swartzman, D.; Liroff, R.A.; Croke, K.G.

    1982-01-01

    This book includes the presentations at the conference on the above subject, held in Chicago in October 1980, and cosponsored by the Illinois Institute of Natural Resources and the Conservation Foundation. These presentations point out many areas of agreement and disagreement over the techniques and value of cost-benefit analysis in evaluating and achieving environmental goals. A separate abstract was prepared for the overview, each of 6 essays on various aspects of the subject, and the final-summary essay.

  3. Assessment of private economic benefits and positive environmental externalities of tea plantation in China.

    PubMed

    Xue, Hui; Ren, Xiaoyi; Li, Shiyu; Wu, Xu; Cheng, Hao; Xu, Bin; Gu, Baojing; Yang, Guofu; Peng, Changhui; Ge, Ying; Chang, Jie

    2013-10-01

    Tea plantations are rapidly expanding in China and other countries in the tropical and subtropical zones, driven by relatively high private economic benefit. However, the impact of tea plantations on the regional environment, including ecosystem services and disservices are unclear. In this study, we developed an assessment framework for determining the private economic benefits and environmental externalities (the algebraic sum of the regulating services and disservices) of tea plantations in China. Our results showed that tea plantations provided private economic benefits of 5,652 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) (7.6 yuan = 1 USD in 2007) for tea farmers, plus positive environmental externalities of 6,054 yuan ha(-1) year(-1) for the society. The environmental externalities were calculated as the sum of the value of four regulating services, including carbon sequestration (392 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil retention (72 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)); soil fertility protection (3,189 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and water conservation (2,685 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), and three disservices, including CO2 emission (-39 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)), N2O emission (-137 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)) and nonpoint source pollution (-108 yuan ha(-1) year(-1)). Before the private optimal level, the positive environmental externalities can be maintained by private economic benefits; if a social optimal level is required, subsidies from government are necessary.

  4. Comprehensive evaluation of environmental and economic benefits of China's urban underground transportation construction projects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobin; Chen, Zhilong; Guo, Dongjun

    2015-07-01

    Urban underground transportation projects are introduced to address problems of scarce green land and traffic pollution. As construction of urban underground transportation is still in its infancy, there is no definite quantitative measurement on whether the construction is beneficial and what influences it will place on the region in China. This study intends to construct a comprehensive evaluation method for evaluating social, economic and environmental benefits of urban underground transportation projects and proposes the concept, role and principle for evaluation of environmental and economic benefits. It figures out relationship between the environment and factors of city development. It also summarizes three relevant factors, including transportation, biophysics and social economy, and works out indicators to evaluate the influence of urban underground transportation construction. Based on Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), Cost of Illness Approach (CIA), Human Capital Approach (HCA), this paper constructs 13 monetization calculation models for social, economic and environmental benefits in response to seven aspects, namely, reducing noise pollution and air pollution, using land efficiently, improving traffic safety, reducing traffic congestion, saving shipping time and minimizing transportation costs.

  5. Comprehensive evaluation of environmental and economic benefits of China's urban underground transportation construction projects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobin; Chen, Zhilong; Guo, Dongjun

    2015-07-01

    Urban underground transportation projects are introduced to address problems of scarce green land and traffic pollution. As construction of urban underground transportation is still in its infancy, there is no definite quantitative measurement on whether the construction is beneficial and what influences it will place on the region in China. This study intends to construct a comprehensive evaluation method for evaluating social, economic and environmental benefits of urban underground transportation projects and proposes the concept, role and principle for evaluation of environmental and economic benefits. It figures out relationship between the environment and factors of city development. It also summarizes three relevant factors, including transportation, biophysics and social economy, and works out indicators to evaluate the influence of urban underground transportation construction. Based on Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), Cost of Illness Approach (CIA), Human Capital Approach (HCA), this paper constructs 13 monetization calculation models for social, economic and environmental benefits in response to seven aspects, namely, reducing noise pollution and air pollution, using land efficiently, improving traffic safety, reducing traffic congestion, saving shipping time and minimizing transportation costs. PMID:26387347

  6. Environmental factors that influence the location of crop agriculture in the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Capel, Paul D.

    2011-01-01

    Most crops are grown on land with shallow slope where the temperature, precipitation, and soils are favorable. In areas that are too steep, wet, or dry, landscapes have been modified to allow cultivation. Some of the limitations of the environmental factors that determine the location of agriculture can be overcome through modifications, but others cannot. On a larger-than-field scale, agricultural modifications commonly influence water availability through irrigation and (or) drainage and soil fertility and (or) organic-matter content through amendments such as manure, commercial fertilizer and lime. In general, it is not feasible to modify the other environmental factors, soil texture, soil depth, soil mineralogy, temperature, and terrain at large scales.

  7. SCOPE 28: Environmental consequences of nuclear war. Volume II. Ecological and agricultural effects

    SciTech Connect

    Harwell, M.A.; Hutchinson, T.C.; Cropper, W.P. Jr.; Harwell, C.C.; Grover, H.D.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents papers on the environmental and biological impacts of nuclear weapons. Topics considered include ecological principles relevant to nuclear war, the vulnerability of ecological systems to the climatic effects of nuclear war, additional potential effects of nuclear war on ecological systems, the potential effects of nuclear war on agricultural productivity, food availability after nuclear war, experiences and extrapolations from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the integration of effects on human populations.

  8. Which environmental problems get policy attention? Examining energy and agricultural sector policies in Sweden

    SciTech Connect

    Engstroem, Rebecka Nilsson, Mans Finnveden, Goeran

    2008-05-15

    Not all environmental problems get the same level of policy attention. An interesting question is thus why certain aspects receive attention and others do not. This paper studies the level of policy attention given to different environmental aspects in agriculture and energy policy in Sweden and explores empirically some factors that can explain the level of attention. The first step was to explore the link between environmental issue characteristics and the level of policy attention. The level of policy attention was measured through a content analysis of Swedish government bills. The results from the content analysis are clear and stable over the studied time period. In the agriculture sector biodiversity and toxicity are in focus whereas in the energy sector climate change and resources are given the attention. Besides these aspects, the attention is limited. These results were compared with the results from sector-wide environmental assessments of the same sectors. These assessments were based on hybrid input-output analysis and life cycle assessment methodologies. A main finding from the study is that issue importance is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for policy attention. Other explanations are needed to understand which environmental issues get attention in sectoral policy. Our assessment showed that while the level of knowledge does not provide an explanation, the presence of strong and well-organised stakeholders within the sector, with an interest in having a certain issue on the agenda, might be decisive for issue attention. Path dependency and limited attention capacity are other important factors.

  9. Siting is a constraint to realize environmental benefits from carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Sekar, Ashok; Williams, Eric; Chester, Mikhail

    2014-10-01

    Carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal power plants reduces onsite carbon dioxide emissions, but affects other air emissions on and offsite. This research assesses the net societal benefits and costs of Monoethanolamine (MEA) CCS, valuing changes in emissions of CO2, SO2, NOX, NH3 and particulate matter (PM), including those in the supply chain. Geographical variability and stochastic uncertainty for 407 coal power plant locations in the U.S. are analyzed. The results show that the net environmental benefits and costs of MEA CCS depend critically on location. For a few favorable sites of both power plant and upstream processes, CCS realizes a net benefit (benefit-cost ratio >1) if the social cost of carbon exceeds $51/ton. For much of the U.S. however, the social cost of carbon must be much higher to realize net benefits from CCS, up to a maximum of $910/ton. While the social costs of carbon are uncertain, typical estimates are in the range of $32-220 per ton, much lower than the breakeven value for many potential CCS locations. Increased impacts upstream from the power plant can dramatically change the social acceptability of CCS and needs further consideration and analysis.

  10. Siting is a constraint to realize environmental benefits from carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Sekar, Ashok; Williams, Eric; Chester, Mikhail

    2014-10-01

    Carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal power plants reduces onsite carbon dioxide emissions, but affects other air emissions on and offsite. This research assesses the net societal benefits and costs of Monoethanolamine (MEA) CCS, valuing changes in emissions of CO2, SO2, NOX, NH3 and particulate matter (PM), including those in the supply chain. Geographical variability and stochastic uncertainty for 407 coal power plant locations in the U.S. are analyzed. The results show that the net environmental benefits and costs of MEA CCS depend critically on location. For a few favorable sites of both power plant and upstream processes, CCS realizes a net benefit (benefit-cost ratio >1) if the social cost of carbon exceeds $51/ton. For much of the U.S. however, the social cost of carbon must be much higher to realize net benefits from CCS, up to a maximum of $910/ton. While the social costs of carbon are uncertain, typical estimates are in the range of $32-220 per ton, much lower than the breakeven value for many potential CCS locations. Increased impacts upstream from the power plant can dramatically change the social acceptability of CCS and needs further consideration and analysis. PMID:25187199

  11. 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.

  12. Strategic environmental assessment of greenhouse gas mitigation options in the Canadian agricultural sector.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Net environmental benefit: introducing a new LCA approach on wastewater treatment systems.

    PubMed

    Godin, D; Bouchard, C; Vanrolleghem, P A

    2012-01-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) allows evaluating the potential environmental impacts of a product or a service in relation to its function and over its life cycle. In past LCAs applied to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), the system function definition has received little attention despite its great importance. This has led to some limitations in LCA results interpretation. A new methodology to perform LCA on WWTPs is proposed to avoid those limitations. It is based on net environmental benefit (NEB) evaluation and requires assessing the potential impact of releasing wastewater without and with treatment besides assessing the impact of the WWTP's life cycle. The NEB allows showing the environmental trade-offs between avoided impact due to wastewater treatment and induced impact by the WWTP's life cycle. NEB is compared with a standard LCA through the case study of a small municipal WWTP consisting of facultative aerated lagoons. The NEB and standard LCA show similar results for impact categories solely related to the WWTP's life cycle but differ in categories where wastewater treatment environmental benefit is accounted for as NEB considers influent wastewater quality whereas standard LCA does not. PMID:22508125

  14. Economic and environmental benefits of product substitution for organic solvents. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, S.C.

    1991-05-01

    U.S. Army installations require solvents for effective maintenance and equipment refurbishing operations. Spent solvent generation has become a significant environmental and economic concern. Of increasing concern are toxic air emissions, threshold limit values, and increasing restriction on land disposal. Coupled with these environmental issues is the rising cost of both waste disposal and new solvent purchase. This manuscript evaluates the environmental protection and economic benefits of substituting aqueous terpene-based cleaners for petroleum-based Stoddard solvent, currently used in parts cleaning. With characteristics such as low volatility, biodegradability, and reduction of land disposal, terpene cleaners have become the favored substitution alternative. This research showed that implementing terpene cleaner substitution for Stoddard solvent requires a site-specific study of each installation which will include waste recycling, disposal of sludge and rinse water, landfills, contamination of soils and economic analysis.

  15. Benefits and applications of interdisciplinary digital tools for environmental meta-reviews and analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grubert, Emily; Siders, Anne

    2016-09-01

    Digitally-aided reviews of large bodies of text-based information, such as academic literature, are growing in capability but are not yet common in environmental fields. Environmental sciences and studies can benefit from application of digital tools to create comprehensive, replicable, interdisciplinary reviews that provide rapid, up-to-date, and policy-relevant reports of existing work. This work reviews the potential for applications of computational text mining and analysis tools originating in the humanities to environmental science and policy questions. Two process-oriented case studies of digitally-aided environmental literature reviews and meta-analyses illustrate potential benefits and limitations. A medium-sized, medium-resolution review (∼8000 journal abstracts and titles) focuses on topic modeling as a rapid way to identify thematic changes over time. A small, high-resolution review (∼300 full text journal articles) combines collocation and network analysis with manual coding to synthesize and question empirical field work. We note that even small digitally-aided analyses are close to the upper limit of what can be done manually. Established computational methods developed in humanities disciplines and refined by humanities and social science scholars to interrogate large bodies of textual data are applicable and useful in environmental sciences but have not yet been widely applied. Two case studies provide evidence that digital tools can enhance insight. Two major conclusions emerge. First, digital tools enable scholars to engage large literatures rapidly and, in some cases, more comprehensively than is possible manually. Digital tools can confirm manually identified patterns or identify additional patterns visible only at a large scale. Second, digital tools allow for more replicable and transparent conclusions to be drawn from literature reviews and meta-analyses. The methodological subfields of digital humanities and computational social

  16. Investigating the Environmental Effects of Agriculture Practices on Natural Resources: Scientific Contributions of the U.S. Geological Survey to Enhance the Management of Agricultural Landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) enhances and protects the quality of life in the United States by advancing scientific knowledge to facilitate effective management of hydrologic, biologic, and geologic resources. Results of selected USGS research and monitoring projects in agricultural landscapes are presented in this Fact Sheet. Significant environmental and social issues associated with agricultural production include changes in the hydrologic cycle; introduction of toxic chemicals, nutrients, and pathogens; reduction and alteration of wildlife habitats; and invasive species. Understanding environmental consequences of agricultural production is critical to minimize unintended environmental consequences. The preservation and enhancement of our natural resources can be achieved by measuring the success of improved management practices and by adjusting conservation policies as needed to ensure long-term protection.

  17. Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of BMPs in controlling agricultural nonpoint source pollution in China based on the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ruimin; Zhang, Peipei; Wang, Xiujuan; Wang, Jiawei; Yu, Wenwen; Shen, Zhenyao

    2014-12-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) have been widely used in managing agricultural nonpoint source pollution (ANSP) at the watershed level. Most BMPs are related to land use, tillage management, and fertilizer levels. In total, seven BMP scenarios (Reforest1, Reforest2, No Tillage, Contour tillage, and fertilizer level 1-4) that are related to these three factors were estimated in this study. The objectives were to investigate the effectiveness and cost-benefit of these BMPs on ANSP reduction in a large tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) in China, which are based on the simulation results of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The results indicated that reforestation was the most economically efficient of all BMPs, and its net benefits were up to CNY 4.36×10(7) years(-1) (about USD 7.08×10(6) years(-1)). Regarding tillage practices, no tillage practice was more environmentally friendly than other tillage practices, and contour tillage was more economically efficient. Reducing the local fertilizer level to 0.8-fold less than that of 2010 can yield a satisfactory environmental and economic efficiency. Reforestation and fertilizer management were more effective in reducing total phosphorus (TP), whereas tillage management was more effective in reducing total nitrogen (TN). When CNY 10,000 (about USD 162) was applied to reforestation, no tillage, contour tillage, and an 0.8-fold reduction in the fertilizer level, then annual TN load can be reduced by 0.08, 0.16, 0.11, and 0.04 t and annual TP load can be reduced by 0.04, 0.02, 0.01 and 0.03 t, respectively. The cost-benefit (CB) ratios of the BMPs were as follows: reforestation (207 %) > contour tillage (129 %) > no tillage (114 %) > fertilizer management (96 and 89 %). The most economical and effective BMPs can be designated as follows: BMP1 (returning arable land with slopes greater than 25° to forests and those lands with slopes of 15-25° to orchards), BMP2 (implementing no tillage

  18. Characterizing phosphorus in environmental and agricultural samples by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Cade-Menun, Barbara J

    2005-04-15

    Phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance ((31)P-NMR) spectroscopy has advanced our knowledge of organic phosphorus (P) in soils and environmental samples more than any other technique. This paper reviews the use of (31)P-NMR spectroscopy for soil, water and other environmental samples. The requirements for a successful solid-state or solution (31)P-NMR experiment are described, including experimental set-up, sample preparation, extractants, experimental conditions, and post-experimental processing. Next, the literature on solid-state and solution (31)P-NMR spectroscopy in environmental samples is reviewed, including papers on: methods; P transformations; agricultural, forest and natural ecosystem soil studies; humic acid and particle size separations; manure, compost and sludge studies; and water research, including freshwater, estuary and marine studies. Future research needs are also discussed as well as suggestions to improve results, such as increased standardization among research groups.

  19. Confronting reality in strategic environmental assessment in Slovenia — Costs and benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Kontić, Branko Dermol, Urška

    2015-01-15

    We enlarge on the viewpoint published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review in 2012 — A viewpoint on the approval context of strategic environmental assessments. Additional alerts concerning the procedural ineffectiveness of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process from the cost–benefit point of view are advanced. The major contribution to the long lasting, costly SEA processes, comes from ultraistic treatment of Natura 2000. The case study deals with a plan for constructing a traffic bypass around Škofljica, a town near Ljubljana. Based on their conclusions the authors propose that the following elements of the SEA procedure should be improved and optimised: –CBA for SEA should become a regular component when measuring its effectiveness. –Concretisation of expected SEA inputs to the plan should clarify its role at the earliest stage of the process. –SEA should contribute interactively to the optimisation of alternatives; cost–benefit analysis of the SEA process could support this process. –Nature protection interest should be confronted and balanced with wider development interests as formulated in the plan and should not be applied in absolute terms (e.g. Natura 2000). - Highlights: • SEA in Slovenia is ineffective and costly • SEA serves fundamentalism of nature protection through the Natura 2000 system • SEA does not support optimization and improvement of development projects.

  20. 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

  1. Neolithic agriculture, freshwater resources and rapid environmental changes on the lower Yangtze, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Jungan; Taylor, David; Atahan, Pia; Zhang, Xinrong; Wu, Guoxuan; Dodson, John; Zheng, Hongbo; Itzstein-Davey, Freea

    2011-01-01

    Analyses of sedimentary evidence in the form of spores, pollen, freshwater algae, dinoflagellate cysts, phytoliths and charcoal from AMS 14C-dated, Holocene-aged sequences provide an excellent opportunity to examine the responses of Neolithic agriculturalists in the lower Yangtze to changing environments. Evidence from two sites close to the southern margin of the Yangtze delta and separated by what is now Hangzhou Bay attests the critical importance to early attempts at food production of access to freshwater resources. More readily, if episodically, available freshwater resources during the early to mid-Holocene on the Hangjiahu plain may have encouraged an early reliance on rice-based agriculture, which in turn facilitated the accumulation of agricultural surpluses and cultural diversification. Cultural change was relatively attenuated and human population pressures possibly lower on the Ningshao plain, seemingly because of much more profound environmental impacts of variations in local hydrological conditions, and because predominantly saline conditions, associated with rising relative sea level, hampered the early development of irrigated agriculture. The evidence, although largely dating to the early and middle parts of the Holocene, provides a timely warning of the complexity of vulnerability to climate change-induced processes of agriculture, and indeed human activities more generally, on megadeltas in Asia.

  2. 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.

  3. Review on water leakage control in distribution networks and the associated environmental benefits.

    PubMed

    Xu, Qiang; Liu, Ruiping; Chen, Qiuwen; Li, Ruonan

    2014-05-01

    Water supply is the primary element of an urban system. Due to rapid urbanization and water scarcity, maintaining a stable and safe water supply has become a challenge to many cities, whereas a large amount of water is lost from the pipes of distribution systems. Water leakage is not only a waste of water resources, but also incurs great socio-economic costs. This article presents a comprehensive review on the potential water leakage control approaches and specifically discusses the benefits of each to environmental conservation. It is concluded that water leakage could be further reduced by improving leakage detection capability through a combination of predictive modeling and monitoring instruments, optimizing pipe maintenance strategy, and developing an instant pressure regulation system. The environment could benefit from these actions because of water savings and the reduction of energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Life cycle modelling of environmental impacts of application of processed organic municipal solid waste on agricultural land (EASEWASTE).

    PubMed

    Hansen, Trine Lund; Bhander, Gurbakhash S; Christensen, Thomas Højlund; Bruun, Sander; Jensen, Lars Stoumann

    2006-04-01

    A model capable of quantifying the potential environmental impacts of agricultural application of composted or anaerobically digested source-separated organic municipal solid waste (MSW) is presented. In addition to the direct impacts, the model accounts for savings by avoiding the production and use of commercial fertilizers. The model is part of a larger model, Environmental Assessment of Solid Waste Systems and Technology (EASEWASTE), developed as a decision-support model, focusing on assessment of alternative waste management options. The environmental impacts of the land application of processed organic waste are quantified by emission coefficients referring to the composition of the processed waste and related to specific crop rotation as well as soil type. The model contains several default parameters based on literature data, field experiments and modelling by the agro-ecosystem model, Daisy. All data can be modified by the user allowing application of the model to other situations. A case study including four scenarios was performed to illustrate the use of the model. One tonne of nitrogen in composted and anaerobically digested MSW was applied as fertilizer to loamy and sandy soil at a plant farm in western Denmark. Application of the processed organic waste mainly affected the environmental impact categories global warming (0.4-0.7 PE), acidification (-0.06 (saving)-1.6 PE), nutrient enrichment (-1.0 (saving)-3.1 PE), and toxicity. The main contributors to these categories were nitrous oxide formation (global warming), ammonia volatilization (acidification and nutrient enrichment), nitrate losses (nutrient enrichment and groundwater contamination), and heavy metal input to soil (toxicity potentials). The local agricultural conditions as well as the composition of the processed MSW showed large influence on the environmental impacts. A range of benefits, mainly related to improved soil quality from long-term application of the processed organic waste

  5. A survey of unmanned ground vehicles with applications to agricultural and environmental sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonadies, Stephanie; Lefcourt, Alan; Gadsden, S. Andrew

    2016-05-01

    Unmanned ground vehicles have been utilized in the last few decades in an effort to increase the efficiency of agriculture, in particular, by reducing labor needs. Unmanned vehicles have been used for a variety of purposes including: soil sampling, irrigation management, precision spraying, mechanical weeding, and crop harvesting. In this paper, unmanned ground vehicles, implemented by researchers or commercial operations, are characterized through a comparison to other vehicles used in agriculture, namely airplanes and UAVs. An overview of different trade-offs of configurations, control schemes, and data collection technologies is provided. Emphasis is given to the use of unmanned ground vehicles in food crops, and includes a discussion of environmental impacts and economics. Factors considered regarding the future trends and potential issues of unmanned ground vehicles include development, management and performance. Also included is a strategy to demonstrate to farmers the safety and profitability of implementing the technology.

  6. Beyond the throwaway society: A life cycle-based assessment of the environmental benefit of reuse.

    PubMed

    Castellani, Valentina; Sala, Serenella; Mirabella, Nadia

    2015-07-01

    In the context of a circular economy, sustainable consumption is often seen as the antithesis of current consumption patterns, which have led to the definition of the so-called throwaway society. Reuse may provide a preferred alternative to other waste management options, because it promotes resource efficiency and may significantly reduce environmental impacts. To appraise the environmental benefits related to reuse of goods, a methodology adopting life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed. A standardized procedure has been developed, identifying reference products within product category subject to reuse, and collecting reliable inventory data as a basis for calculating environmental impact through LCA. A case study on a second-hand shop is presented, and the avoided impacts are quantified. Inventory data were taken both from the literature and directly from sales and surveys submitted to customers. The results are presented, highlighting: 1) for each product category, the average avoided impacts for 1 unit of reused product considered; and 2) for the overall activities of the second-hand shop, the cumulative avoided impacts in 1 yr. In the case study, the higher contribution to avoided impacts comes from the apparel sector, due to the high amount of items sold, followed by the furniture sector, because of the high amount of environmental impacts avoided by the reuse of each single item.

  7. [Environmental benefit-loss analysis of agro-ecosystem in Haihe River Basin, China].

    PubMed

    Bai, Yang; Ouyang, Zhi-yun; Zheng, Hua; Xu, Wei-hua; Jiang, Bo; Fang, Yu

    2010-11-01

    According to the connotation of ecosystem services, an evaluation index system for the agro-ecosystem services in the Haihe River basin of China was established, and the economic value of the agro-ecosystem services and environmental costs were evaluated by the methods of market valuation, shadow price, and opportunity cost. In 2005, the total environmental benefit value of the agro-ecosystem services in the basin was 180. 264 billion RMB, with the regulation value of 79.416 billion RMB (44.06%) and the supporting value of 100.848 billion RMB (55.94%). Provision and cultural services were not considered in this research. From the viewpoint of functional type, the ecosystem services value from high to low was in the order of oxygen release > water conservation > nutrient cycling > soil conservation > waste purification > environmental purification > carbon sequestration > straw returning. The environmental costs of the agro-ecosystem were quite high (42. 293 billion RMB), among which, fertilizer loss was 427.42 x 10(4) t, equivalent to 15.191 billion RMB, and greenhouse gases production was calculated as 3599.65 x 10(4) t CO2, equivalent to 27. 102 billion RMB.

  8. Beyond the throwaway society: A life cycle-based assessment of the environmental benefit of reuse.

    PubMed

    Castellani, Valentina; Sala, Serenella; Mirabella, Nadia

    2015-07-01

    In the context of a circular economy, sustainable consumption is often seen as the antithesis of current consumption patterns, which have led to the definition of the so-called throwaway society. Reuse may provide a preferred alternative to other waste management options, because it promotes resource efficiency and may significantly reduce environmental impacts. To appraise the environmental benefits related to reuse of goods, a methodology adopting life cycle assessment (LCA) has been developed. A standardized procedure has been developed, identifying reference products within product category subject to reuse, and collecting reliable inventory data as a basis for calculating environmental impact through LCA. A case study on a second-hand shop is presented, and the avoided impacts are quantified. Inventory data were taken both from the literature and directly from sales and surveys submitted to customers. The results are presented, highlighting: 1) for each product category, the average avoided impacts for 1 unit of reused product considered; and 2) for the overall activities of the second-hand shop, the cumulative avoided impacts in 1 yr. In the case study, the higher contribution to avoided impacts comes from the apparel sector, due to the high amount of items sold, followed by the furniture sector, because of the high amount of environmental impacts avoided by the reuse of each single item. PMID:25557152

  9. Design-with-Nature for Multifunctional Landscapes: Environmental Benefits and Social Barriers in Community Development

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-01-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg’s design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg’s Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg’s approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents’ survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg’s approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg’s approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability. PMID:24169408

  10. Design-with-nature for multifunctional landscapes: environmental benefits and social barriers in community development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-11-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg's design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg's Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg's approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents' survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg's approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg's approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability. PMID:24169408

  11. Benefits, environmental risks, social concerns, and policy implications of biotechnology in aquaculture

    SciTech Connect

    Kapuscinski, A.R.; Hallerman, E.M.

    1994-10-01

    Among the many methodologies encompassing biotechnology in aquaculture, this report addresses: the production of genetically modified aquatic organisms (aquatic GMOs) by gene transfer, chromosome set manipulation, or hybridization or protoplast fusion between species; new health management tools, including DNA-Based diagnostics and recombinant DNA vaccines; Marker-assisted selection; cryopreservation; and stock marking. These methodologies pose a wide range of potential economic benefits for aquaculture by providing improved or new means to affect the mix of necessary material inputs, enhance production efficiency, or improve product quality. Advances in aquaculture through biotechnology could simulate growth of the aquaculture industry to provide a larger proportion of consummer demand, and thereby reduce pressure and natural stocks from over-harvest. Judicious application of gamete cryopreservation and chromosome set manipulations to achieve sterilization could reduce environmental risks of some aquaculture operations. Given the significant losses to disease in many aquaculture enterprises, potential benefits of DNA-based health management tools are very high and appear to pose no major environmental risks or social concerns.

  12. Design-with-nature for multifunctional landscapes: environmental benefits and social barriers in community development.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bo; Li, Ming-Han; Li, Shujuan

    2013-11-01

    Since the early 1970s, Ian McHarg's design-with-nature concept has been inspiring landscape architects, community and regional planners, and liked-minded professionals to create designs that take advantage of ecosystem services and promote environmental and public health. This study bridges the gap in the literature that has resulted from a lack of empirical examinations on the multiple performance benefits derived through design-with-nature and the under-investigated social aspect emanated from McHarg's Ecological Determinism design approach. The Woodlands, TX, USA, an ecologically designed community development under McHarg's approach, is compared with two adjacent communities that follow the conventional design approach. Using national environmental databases and multiple-year residents' survey information, this study assesses three landscape performance metrics of McHarg's approach: stormwater runoff, urban heat island effect, and social acceptance. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the development extent and land surface temperature distribution. Results show that McHarg's approach demonstrates benefits in reducing runoff and urban heat island effect, whereas it confronts challenges with the general acceptance of manicured landscapes and thus results in a low safety perception level when residents interact with naturally designed landscapes. The authors argue that design-with-nature warrants multifunctionality because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary approach. Moreover, education and dissemination of successful examples can achieve a greater level of awareness among the public and further promote multifunctional design for landscape sustainability.

  13. Valuing the benefits of improved marine environmental quality under multiple stressors.

    PubMed

    Tuhkanen, Heidi; Piirsalu, Evelin; Nõmmann, Tea; Karlõševa, Aljona; Nõmmann, Sulev; Czajkowski, Mikołaj; Hanley, Nick

    2016-05-01

    Many marine ecosystems are under increasing pressure from multiple stressors. In the Baltic Sea, these stressors include oil and chemical spills from shipping, nutrient run-off from land and the introduction of non-indigenous species. All of these pressures have been growing over recent years. Increasing pressures lead to reductions in environmental quality, which produce negative effects on human well-being. In this paper, the choice experiment method is used to estimate the benefits to people in Estonia resulting from reductions in pressure from multiple stressors in the Baltic Sea. The main results show that, firstly, respondents have a positive, statistically-significant willingness to pay to reduce each of the three stressors analysed. Secondly, the average willingness to pay for the improvement in the quality of all Estonian marine waters to achieve Good Environmental Status is around 65 euro per household per year, with a 95% confidence interval of 48-77 euro. Thirdly, the greatest share of value of this total economic benefit is derived from the willingness to pay for reductions in the risk of large scale oil and chemical spills. PMID:26881728

  14. Environmentally sound irrigated agriculture in the arid west: New challenges for water resources planners and environmental scientists

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, N.W.T.

    1991-04-01

    This is an exciting time for water resources planners and environmental scientists in the State and Federal Agencies in California. The growing environmental awareness of the public has raised their interest in the manner by which water is managed and allocated. Current and future impending water shortages are challenging engineers and planners to make sound policy and system operations decisions to maximize the utility of scarce water resources while ensuring that the environment within which we live is adequately protected to the satisfaction of an informed public. New and innovative decision support systems are needed to meet these challenges that are flexible, comprehensible and accurate and which allow the public a more visible role in the planning process. These changes may help to bring the agricultural and environmental communities closer together in finding solutions to water resources problems and wrest policy making for water resources management out of the hands of lawyers and the courts and restore it to those whose livelihoods are affected by the intentions of these policies. 4 refs.

  15. Using environmental scanning electron microscopy to determine the hygroscopic properties of agricultural aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiranuma, Naruki; Brooks, Sarah D.; Auvermann, Brent W.; Littleton, Rick

    A field study at a cattle feedlot in the Texas Panhandle was conducted to characterize the hygroscopic, morphological, and chemical properties of agricultural aerosols and to identify possible correlations between these properties. To explore the hygroscopic nature of the agricultural particles, we have collected size-resolved aerosol samples using a cascade impactor system and have used an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) to determine the water uptake by individual particles in those samples as a function of relative humidity (RH). In addition, complementary determination of the elemental composition of single particles was performed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Our results indicate that most of the agricultural particles do not take up significant amounts of water when exposed to up to 96% RH. However, a small fraction of particles in the coarse mode deliquesced at approximately 75% RH and reached twice their original sizes by 96% RH. The observed changes in particle size with increased RH may significantly impact total aerosol extinction, visibility, and human health.

  16. Environmentally-friendly agricultural practices and their acceptance by smallholder farmers in China-A case study in Xinxiang County, Henan Province.

    PubMed

    Luo, Liangguo; Qin, Lihuan; Wang, Yan; Wang, Qian

    2016-11-15

    Intensive agriculture with high inputs has resulted in rapid development of crop production in China, accompanied by negative environmental effects such as serious non-point source agricultural pollution. Implementation of environmentally-friendly agricultural practices can effectively prevent such pollution. However, the acceptance and adoption of such practices are related not only to associated risks and potential benefits, but also to farmers' attitudes to and knowledge of scientifically validated practices. In the presented study we surveyed views of a stratified sample of 150 smallholder farmers and 10 extension service experts from Xinxiang, a high grain-producing county in Henan Province, China. Their opinions were explored in personal interviews using a questionnaire with three sections. The first section mainly sought information on surveyed farmers' demographic characteristics like gender, age and education. The second section concerned their awareness of the environmental problems and losses of yields associated with customary over-fertilization practices, and their main concerns about new practices. The third section addressed farmers' attitudes to, and the extension service experts' professional evaluations of, five selected practices in terms of the importance of seven factors (time demands, costs, risks, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability). Acceptance indices were calculated from the responses to rank farmers' willingness to accept the five environmentally-friendly agricultural practices, and thus identify the most appropriate to promote in the study area. The results show that costs, followed by risks and observability, are the more important factors affecting farmers' decisions to adopt a practice. The results also indicate that no or minimum tillage and returning straw to the field are the most appropriate practices to promote initially at large scale in Xinxiang. The others could be popularized gradually after providing

  17. Environmentally-friendly agricultural practices and their acceptance by smallholder farmers in China-A case study in Xinxiang County, Henan Province.

    PubMed

    Luo, Liangguo; Qin, Lihuan; Wang, Yan; Wang, Qian

    2016-11-15

    Intensive agriculture with high inputs has resulted in rapid development of crop production in China, accompanied by negative environmental effects such as serious non-point source agricultural pollution. Implementation of environmentally-friendly agricultural practices can effectively prevent such pollution. However, the acceptance and adoption of such practices are related not only to associated risks and potential benefits, but also to farmers' attitudes to and knowledge of scientifically validated practices. In the presented study we surveyed views of a stratified sample of 150 smallholder farmers and 10 extension service experts from Xinxiang, a high grain-producing county in Henan Province, China. Their opinions were explored in personal interviews using a questionnaire with three sections. The first section mainly sought information on surveyed farmers' demographic characteristics like gender, age and education. The second section concerned their awareness of the environmental problems and losses of yields associated with customary over-fertilization practices, and their main concerns about new practices. The third section addressed farmers' attitudes to, and the extension service experts' professional evaluations of, five selected practices in terms of the importance of seven factors (time demands, costs, risks, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability). Acceptance indices were calculated from the responses to rank farmers' willingness to accept the five environmentally-friendly agricultural practices, and thus identify the most appropriate to promote in the study area. The results show that costs, followed by risks and observability, are the more important factors affecting farmers' decisions to adopt a practice. The results also indicate that no or minimum tillage and returning straw to the field are the most appropriate practices to promote initially at large scale in Xinxiang. The others could be popularized gradually after providing

  18. 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.

  19. Rapid screening of flonicamid residues in environmental and agricultural samples by a sensitive enzyme immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenjiang; Zhang, Zhen; Zhu, Gangbing; Sun, Jianfan; Zou, Bin; Li, Ming; Wang, Jiagao

    2016-05-01

    A fast and sensitive polyclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the analysis of flonicamid in environmental and agricultural samples. Two haptens of flonicamid differing in spacer arm length were synthesized and conjugated to proteins to be used as immunogens for the production of polyclonal antibodies. To obtain most sensitive combination of antibody/coating antigen, two antibodies were separately screened by homologous and heterologous assays. After optimization, the flonicamid ELISA showed that the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50 value) was 3.86mgL(-1), and the limit of detection (IC20 value) was 0.032mgL(-1). There was no cross-reactivity to similar tested compounds. The recoveries obtained after the addition of standard flonicamid to the samples, including water, soil, carrot, apple and tomato, ranged from 79.3% to 116.4%. Moreover, the results of the ELISA for the spiked samples were largely consistent with the gas chromatography (R(2)=0.9891). The data showed that the proposed ELISA is an alternative tool for rapid, sensitive and accurate monitoring of flonicamid in environmental and agricultural samples. PMID:26897400

  20. Effects of multi-scale environmental characteristics on agricultural stream biota in eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, F.A.; Scudder, B.C.; Lenz, B.N.; Sullivan, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey examined 25 agricultural streams in eastern Wisconsin to determine relations between fish, invertebrate, and algal metrics and multiple spatial scales of land cover, geologic setting, hydrologic, aquatic habitat, and water chemistry data. Spearman correlation and redundancy analyses were used to examine relations among biotic metrics and environmental characteristics. Riparian vegetation, geologic, and hydrologic conditions affected the response of biotic metrics to watershed agricultural land cover but the relations were aquatic assemblage dependent. It was difficult to separate the interrelated effects of geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, and base flow. Watershed and buffer land cover, geologic setting, reach riparian vegetation width, and stream size affected the fish IBI, invertebrate diversity, diatom IBI, and number of algal taxa; however, the invertebrate FBI, percentage of EPT, and the diatom pollution index were more influenced by nutrient concentrations and flow variability. Fish IBI scores seemed most sensitive to land cover in the entire stream network buffer, more so than watershed-scale land cover and segment or reach riparian vegetation width. All but one stream with more than approximately 10 percent buffer agriculture had fish IBI scores of fair or poor. In general, the invertebrate and algal metrics used in this study were not as sensitive to land cover effects as fish metrics. Some of the reach-scale characteristics, such as width/depth ratios, velocity, and bank stability, could be related to watershed influences of both land cover and geologic setting. The Wisconsin habitat index was related to watershed geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, riparian vegetation width, and base flow, and appeared to be a good indicator of stream quality. Results from this study emphasize the value of using more than one or two biotic metrics to assess water quality and the importance of environmental

  1. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1996-10-01

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable resources. The DOE is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water, and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soils conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row drops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different crops for wildlife species is also considered. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  2. Environmental enhancement using short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses as alternative agricultural crops

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Schiller, A.

    1995-12-31

    Short-rotation woody crops and perennial grasses are grown as biomass feedstocks for energy and fiber. When replacing traditional row crops on similar lands, these alternative crops can provide multiple environmental benefits in addition to enhancing rural economies and providing valuable feedstock resources. The Department of Energy is supporting research to address how these crops can provide environmental benefits to soil, water and native wildlife species in addition to providing bioenergy feedstocks. Research is underway to address the potential for biomass crops to provide soil conservation and water quality improvements in crop settings. Replacement of traditional erosive row crops with biomass crops on marginal lands and establishment of biomass plantations as filter strips adjacent to streams and wetlands are being studied. The habitat value of different biomass crops for selected wildlife species is also under study. To date, these studies have shown that in comparison with row crops biomass plantings of both grass and tree crops increased biodiversity of birds; however, the habitat value of tree plantations is not equivalent to natural forests. The effects on native wildlife of establishing multiple plantations across a landscape are being studied. Combining findings on wildlife use of individual plantations with information on the cumulative effects of multiple plantations on wildlife populations can provide guidance for establishing and managing biomass crops to enhance biodiversity while providing biomass feedstocks. Data from site-specific environmental studies can provide input for evaluation of the probable effects of large-scale plantings at both landscape and regional levels of resolution.

  3. Biotechnology in agriculture, 1986-May 1992. Citation from agricola concerning diseases and other environmental considerations. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Bebee, C.N.

    1992-08-01

    The citations in this bibliography, Biotechnology in Agriculture, 1986 - May 1992, are selected from the AGRICOLA database and cover diseases, insects, nematodes, weeds, chemicals, and other environmental considerations. This is the 46th volume in a series of commodity-oriented listings of citations from AGRICOLA. Entries in the bibliography are subdivided into a series of section headings used in the contents of the Bibliography of Agriculture. Each item appears under every section heading assigned to the cited document. A personal author index accompanies this publication.

  4. Application, chemistry, and environmental implications of contaminant-immobilization amendments on agricultural soil and water quality.

    PubMed

    Udeigwe, Theophilus K; Eze, Peter N; Teboh, Jasper M; Stietiya, Mohammed H

    2011-01-01

    Contaminants such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), arsenic (As), heavy metals, and infectious pathogens are often associated with agricultural systems. Various soil and water remediation techniques including the use of chemical amendments have been employed to reduce the risks associated with these contaminants. This paper reviews the use of chemical amendments for immobilizing principal agricultural contaminants, the chemistry of contaminant immobilization, and the environmental consequences associated with the use of these chemical products. The commonly used chemical amendments were grouped into aluminum-, calcium-, and iron-containing products. Other products of interest include phosphorus-containing compounds and silicate clays. Mechanisms of contaminant immobilization could include one or a combination of the following: surface precipitation, adsorption to mineral surfaces (ion exchange and formation of stable complexes), precipitation as salts, and co-precipitation. The reaction pH, redox potential, clay minerals, and organic matter are potential factors that could control contaminant-immobilization processes. Reviews of potential environmental implications revealed that undesirable substances such as trace elements, fluoride, sulfate, total dissolved solids, as well as radioactive materials associated with some industrial wastes used as amendment could be leached to ground water or lost through runoff to receiving water bodies. The acidity or alkalinity associated with some of the industrial-waste amendments could also constitute a substantial environmental hazard. Chemical amendments could introduce elements capable of inducing or affecting the activities of certain lithotrophic microbes that could influence vital geochemical processes such as mineral dissolution and formation, weathering, and organic matter mineralization.

  5. Evaluating sustainable water quality management in the U.S.: Urban, Agricultural, and Environmental Protection Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oel, P. R.; Alfredo, K. A.; Russo, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    Sustainable water management typically emphasizes water resource quantity, with focus directed at availability and use practices. When attention is placed on sustainable water quality management, the holistic, cross-sector perspective inherent to sustainability is often lost. Proper water quality management is a critical component of sustainable development practices. However, sustainable development definitions and metrics related to water quality resilience and management are often not well defined; water quality is often buried in large indicator sets used for analysis, and the policy regulating management practices create sector specific burdens for ensuring adequate water quality. In this research, we investigated the methods by which water quality is evaluated through internationally applied indicators and incorporated into the larger idea of "sustainability." We also dissect policy's role in the distribution of responsibility with regard to water quality management in the United States through evaluation of three broad sectors: urban, agriculture, and environmental water quality. Our research concludes that despite a growing intention to use a single system approach for urban, agricultural, and environmental water quality management, one does not yet exist and is even hindered by our current policies and regulations. As policy continues to lead in determining water quality and defining contamination limits, new regulation must reconcile the disparity in requirements for the contaminators and those performing end-of-pipe treatment. Just as the sustainable development indicators we researched tried to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects without skewing focus to one of these three categories, policy cannot continue to regulate a single sector of society without considering impacts to the entire watershed and/or region. Unequal distribution of the water pollution burden creates disjointed economic growth, infrastructure development, and policy

  6. A Case Study of Environmental Benefits of Sensor-Based Nitrogen Application in Corn.

    PubMed

    Li, Ao; Duval, Benjamin D; Anex, Robert; Scharf, Peter; Ashtekar, Jenette M; Owens, Phillip R; Ellis, Charles

    2016-03-01

    Crop canopy reflectance sensors make it possible to estimate crop N demand and apply appropriate N fertilizer rates at different locations in a field, reducing fertilizer input and associated environmental impacts while maintaining crop yield. Environmental benefits, however, have not been quantified previously. The objective of this study was to estimate the environmental impact of sensor-based N fertilization of corn using model-based environmental Life Cycle Assessment. Nitrogen rate and corn grain yield were measured during a sensor-based, variable N-rate experiment in Lincoln County, MO. Spatially explicit soil properties were derived using a predictive modeling technique based on in-field soil sampling. Soil NO emissions, volatilized NH loss, and soil NO leaching were predicted at 60 discrete field locations using the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model. Life cycle cumulative energy consumption, global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential, and eutrophication potential were estimated using model predictions, experimental data, and life cycle data. In this experiment, variable-rate N management reduced total N fertilizer use by 11% without decreasing grain yield. Precision application of N is predicted to have reduced soil NO emissions by 10%, volatilized NH loss by 23%, and NO leaching by 16%, which in turn reduced life cycle nonrenewable energy consumption, GWP, acidification potential, and eutrophication potential by 7, 10, 22, and 16%, respectively. Although mean N losses were reduced, the variations in N losses were increased compared with conventional, uniform N application. Crop canopy sensor-based, variable-rate N fertilization was predicted to increase corn grain N use efficiency while simultaneously reducing total life-cycle energy use, GWP, acidification, and eutrophication. PMID:27065415

  7. The environmental costs and benefits of biomass energy use in California

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, G.

    1997-05-01

    The California renewable energy industries have worked diligently during the past couple of years to develop public policies conducive to the future of renewable energy production within the context of electric market restructuring and the evolving competitive electric services industry. The state`s biomass power industry has organized itself as the California Biomass Energy Alliance (CBEA), and has participated vigorously in the regulatory and legislative processes. In order to reward biomass power generators for the special services they provide, CBEA has promoted the concept of providing incentives specifically targeted to biomass within the context of any renewables program enacted in the state. This concept has been embraced by the other renewables industry organizations, but resisted by the utilities. This study represents an effort to identify, characterize, ad quantify the environmental costs and benefits of biomass energy use in California, and to elucidate the future role of biomass power production within the context of the evolving deregulation of the California electricity industry. The report begins with a review of the development and growth of the California biomass power industry during the past 15 years. This is followed by an analysis of the biomass fuels market development during the same period. It examines trends in the types and costs of biomass fuels. The environmental performance of the mature California biomass energy industry is analyzed, and takes into account the environmental impacts of the industry, and the impacts that would be associated with disposing of the materials used as fuels if the biomass power industry were not in operation. The analysis is then extended to consider the environmental and economic consequences of the loss of biomass generating capacity since 1993. The report ends with a consideration of the future prospects for the industry in the context of restructuring.

  8. CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS IN SUPPORT OF RIPARIAN RESTORATION: WATER QUALITY BENEFITS AND HABITAT RESTORATION IN DELAWARE AGRICULTURAL AREAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Surface water runoff from agricultural landscapes is one of the major sources of water quality impairment in the United States. With the advent of buffer strips and conservation minded tilling practices the agricultural community has made significant reductions in overland runof...

  9. Reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions: role of biotechnology, organic systems, and consumer behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    All agricultural systems have environmental and societal costs and benefits that should be objectively quantified before recommending specific management practices. Agricultural biotechnology, which takes advantage of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs), along with organic cropping systems, econ...

  10. Restructuring the Indian power sector with energy conservation as the motive for economic and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    Palanichamy, C.; Chelvan, R.K.; Babu, N.S.; Nadarajan, C.

    1999-12-01

    India's strong economic performance of recent years requires continuing effort from the newly formed Government to widen the ambit of economic reform. Though the Government has given higher priority for the power development projects, the Indian Power sector is struggling with formidable difficulties of meeting the heavy demands of electricity due to higher amount of power losses and energy thefts. To give a supporting hand to the Government, this paper suggests restructuring of the Power sector with energy conservation as the main motive to achieve economical and environmental benefits. The capabilities of the Energy Conservation Policies developed are illustrated via tests by three distinct ways on a State Grid alike Test System and the test results confirm the suitability of the proposed policies for real-time implementation on the Indian Power Sector.

  11. Reaping Environmental Benefits of a Global Hydrogen Economy: How Large, Fow Soon, and at What Risks?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubey, M. K.; Horowitz, L. W.; Rahn, T. A.; Kinnison, D. E.

    2004-12-01

    The Western world has taken an aggressive posture to transition to a global hydrogen economy. While numerous technical challenges need to be addressed to achieve this it is timely to examine the environmental benefits and risks of this transition. Hydrogen provides an efficient energy carrier that promises to enhance urban and regional air quality that will benefit human health. It could also reduce risks of climate change if large-scale hydrogen production by renewable or nuclear energy sources becomes viable. While it is well known that the byproduct of energy produced from hydrogen is water vapor, it is not well known that the storage and transfer of hydrogen is inevitably accompanied by measurable leakage of hydrogen. Unintended consequences of hydrogen leakage include reduction in global oxidative capacity, changes in tropospheric ozone, and increase in stratospheric water that would exacerbate halogen induced ozone losses as well as impact the earth's radiation budget and climate. We construct plausible global hydrogen energy use and leak scenarios and assess their impacts using global 3-D simulations by the Model for Ozone And Related Trace species (MOZART). The hydrogen fluxes and photochemistry in our model successfully reproduce the contemporary hydrogen cycle as observed by a network of remote global stations. Our intent is to determine environmentally tolerable leak rates and also facilitate a gradual phasing in of a hydrogen economy over the next several decades as the elimination of the use of halocarbons gradually reduces halogen induced stratospheric ozone loss rates. We stress that the leak rates in global hydrogen infrastructure and the future evolution of microbial soil sink of hydrogen that determines its current lifetime (about 2 years) are principal sources of uncertainty in our assessment.

  12. Dealing with electronic waste: modeling the costs and environmental benefits of computer monitor disposal.

    PubMed

    Macauley, Molly; Palmer, Karen; Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    2003-05-01

    The importance of information technology to the world economy has brought about a surge in demand for electronic equipment. With rapid technological change, a growing fraction of the increasing stock of many types of electronics becomes obsolete each year. We model the costs and benefits of policies to manage 'e-waste' by focusing on a large component of the electronic waste stream-computer monitors-and the environmental concerns associated with disposal of the lead embodied in cathode ray tubes (CRTs) used in most monitors. We find that the benefits of avoiding health effects associated with CRT disposal appear far outweighed by the costs for a wide range of policies. For the stock of monitors disposed of in the United States in 1998, we find that policies restricting or banning some popular disposal options would increase disposal costs from about US dollar 1 per monitor to between US dollars 3 and US dollars 20 per monitor. Policies to promote a modest amount of recycling of monitor parts, including lead, can be less expensive. In all cases, however, the costs of the policies exceed the value of the avoided health effects of CRT disposal.

  13. Environmental enrichment promotes robust functional and histological benefits in female rats after controlled cortical impact injury.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Christina M; Mattiola, Vincent V; Folweiler, Kaitlin A; Tay, Justin K; Yelleswarapu, Narayana K; Curatolo, Lauren M; Matter, Ashley M; Cheng, Jeffrey P; Kline, Anthony E

    2013-09-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) consistently induces marked benefits in male rats after traumatic brain injury (TBI), but whether similar efficacy extends to females is not well established. Hence, the aim of this study was to reassess the effect of EE on functional and histological outcome in female rats after brain trauma. Twenty-four normal cycling adult female rats underwent verification of estrous stage prior to controlled cortical impact (CCI) or sham injury and then were assigned to EE or standard (STD) housing. Motor function was assessed with beam-balance/beam-walk and rotarod tasks on post-operative days 1-5 and every other day from 1-19, respectively. Spatial learning/memory was evaluated in a Morris water maze on days 14-19. Morphologically intact hippocampal CA(1/3) cells and cortical lesion volume were quantified 3 weeks after injury. No differences were observed between the EE and STD sham groups in any endpoint measure and thus the data were pooled. In the TBI groups, EE improved beam-balance, beam-walk, rotarod, and spatial learning performance vs. STD (p's<0.05). EE also provided significant histological protection as confirmed by increased CA(1/3) cell survival and decreased cortical lesion size vs. STD. These data demonstrate that EE confers robust benefits in female rats after CCI injury, which parallels numerous studies in males and lends further credence for EE as a preclinical model of neurorehabilitation.

  14. Environmental enrichment promotes robust functional and histological benefits in female rats after controlled cortical impact injury.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Christina M; Mattiola, Vincent V; Folweiler, Kaitlin A; Tay, Justin K; Yelleswarapu, Narayana K; Curatolo, Lauren M; Matter, Ashley M; Cheng, Jeffrey P; Kline, Anthony E

    2013-09-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) consistently induces marked benefits in male rats after traumatic brain injury (TBI), but whether similar efficacy extends to females is not well established. Hence, the aim of this study was to reassess the effect of EE on functional and histological outcome in female rats after brain trauma. Twenty-four normal cycling adult female rats underwent verification of estrous stage prior to controlled cortical impact (CCI) or sham injury and then were assigned to EE or standard (STD) housing. Motor function was assessed with beam-balance/beam-walk and rotarod tasks on post-operative days 1-5 and every other day from 1-19, respectively. Spatial learning/memory was evaluated in a Morris water maze on days 14-19. Morphologically intact hippocampal CA(1/3) cells and cortical lesion volume were quantified 3 weeks after injury. No differences were observed between the EE and STD sham groups in any endpoint measure and thus the data were pooled. In the TBI groups, EE improved beam-balance, beam-walk, rotarod, and spatial learning performance vs. STD (p's<0.05). EE also provided significant histological protection as confirmed by increased CA(1/3) cell survival and decreased cortical lesion size vs. STD. These data demonstrate that EE confers robust benefits in female rats after CCI injury, which parallels numerous studies in males and lends further credence for EE as a preclinical model of neurorehabilitation. PMID:23333563

  15. NEON: Contributing continental-scale long-term environmental data for the benefit of society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wee, B.; Aulenbach, S.

    2011-12-01

    natural-human systems cannot be understood in the absence of data about the human dimension. Another essential element is the community of tool and platform developers who create the infrastructure for scientists, educators, resource managers, and policy analysts to discover, analyze, and collaborate on problems using the diverse data that are required to address emerging large-scale environmental challenges. These challenges are very unlikely to be problems confined to this generation: they are urgent, compelling, and long-term problems that require a sustained effort to generate and curate data and information from observations, models, and experiments. NEON's long-term national physical and information infrastructure for environmental observation is one of the cornerstones of a framework that transforms science and information for the benefit of society.

  16. Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender Simulation of Three Adjacent Row-Crop Watersheds in the Claypan Region.

    PubMed

    Anomaa Senaviratne, G M M M; Udawatta, Ranjith P; Baffaut, Claire; Anderson, Stephen H

    2013-01-01

    The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX) model is used to evaluate best management practices on pollutant loading in whole farms or small watersheds. The objectives of this study were to conduct a sensitivity analysis to determine the effect of model parameters on APEX output and use the parameterized, calibrated, and validated model to evaluate long-term benefits of grass waterways. The APEX model was used to model three (East, Center, and West) adjacent field-size watersheds with claypan soils under a no-till corn ( L.)/soybean [ (L.) Merr.] rotation. Twenty-seven parameters were sensitive for crop yield, runoff, sediment, nitrogen (dissolved and total), and phosphorous (dissolved and total) simulations. The model was calibrated using measured event-based data from the Center watershed from 1993 to 1997 and validated with data from the West and East watersheds. Simulated crop yields were within ±13% of the measured yield. The model performance for event-based runoff was excellent, with calibration and validation > 0.9 and Nash-Sutcliffe coefficients (NSC) > 0.8, respectively. Sediment and total nitrogen calibration results were satisfactory for larger rainfall events (>50 mm), with > 0.5 and NSC > 0.4, but validation results remained poor, with NSC between 0.18 and 0.3. Total phosphorous was well calibrated and validated, with > 0.8 and NSC > 0.7, respectively. The presence of grass waterways reduced annual total phosphorus loadings by 13 to 25%. The replicated study indicates that APEX provides a convenient and efficient tool to evaluate long-term benefits of conservation practices. PMID:23673939

  17. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N.; Singh, Devendra P.

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

  18. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218

  19. Cyanobacteria: A Precious Bio-resource in Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environmental Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N; Singh, Devendra P

    2016-01-01

    Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet.

  20. Environmental benefits of different types of heat pumps, available and expected

    SciTech Connect

    Hughes, P.J.

    1993-11-01

    A brief overview of integrated resource planning (IRP) is provided, with emphasis on how stakeholders interact within the process and where the opportunities may lie for heat pump advocates in cold climates. Five heat pump options that represent various approaches for improving heat pump cold weather performance are included here in a comparative analysis: 2-speed electric air source heat pumps, variable-speed electric air source heat pumps, electric ground-source heat pumps, natural gas engine-driven heat pumps, and natural gas absorption heat pumps. The comparative analysis addresses seasonal performance, seasonal peak demand, air pollutant emissions, customer energy costs, and recognition of environmental externalities in IRP, all in the context of a residential application in the Great Lakes region of the US. Several actions that may be in the interest of heat pump stakeholders in cold climates were identified, including: development of improved software for utility planners, advocacy of a practical form of the Societal Test for use in IRP that credits heat pumps for the residential air pollutant emissions that they avoid, and development of practical methods to credit heat pumps with other environmental benefits for which they may be responsible.

  1. Monitoring of the risk of farmland abandonment as an efficient tool to assess the environmental and socio-economic impact of the Common Agriculture Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milenov, Pavel; Vassilev, Vassil; Vassileva, Anna; Radkov, Radko; Samoungi, Vessela; Dimitrov, Zlatomir; Vichev, Nikola

    2014-10-01

    Farmland abandonment (FLA) could be defined as the cessation of agricultural activities on a given surface of land (Pointereau et al., 2008). FLA, often associated with social and economic problems in rural areas, has significant environmental consequences. During the 1990s, millions of hectares of farmland in the new EU Member States, from Central and Eastern Europe, were abandoned as a result of the transition process from centralized and planned to market economy. The policy tools adopted gradually within the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union (EU CAP), as well as the EU environmental and structural policies, aimed to prevent further expansion of this phenomenon and to facilitate the revival of the agriculture land, being abandoned (ComReg 1122/2009). The Agri-Environment (AGRI-ENV) component of the Core Information Service (CIS), developed within the scope of the FP7-funded project "geoland2" were designed to support the agricultural user community at pan-European and national levels by contributing to the improvement of more accurate and timely monitoring of the status of agricultural land use in Europe and its change. The purpose of the product ‘Farmland abandonment', as part of the AGRI-ENV package, is to detect potentially abandoned agriculture land, based on multi-annual SPOT data with several acquisitions per year. It provides essential independent information on the status of the agricultural land as recorded in the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), which is one of the core instruments of the implementation of CAP. The production line is based on object-based image analysis and benefits from the extensive availability of Biophysical parameters derived from the satellite data (geoland2). The method detects/tracks those land (or so-called reference) parcels in the LPIS, holding significant amount of land agriculture found as potentially abandoned. Reference parcels with such change are flagged and reported, enabling the National

  2. A Clomazone Immunoassay to Study the Environmental Fate of the Herbicide in Rice (Oryza sativa) Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Carlomagno, M.; Mathó, C.; Cantou, G.; Sanborn, J. R.; Last, J. A.; Hammock, B. D.; Roel, A.; González, D.; González-Sapienza, G.

    2010-01-01

    The environmental impact of rice agriculture is poorly studied in developing countries, mainly, due to limitations of the analytical capacity. Here we report the development of a clomazone ELISA as a fast and cost-effective tool to monitor the dissipation of this herbicide along the harvest. Antibodies were prepared using different strategies of hapten conjugation, and the best hapten/antibody pair was selected. It proved to be a reliable tool to measure the herbicide in the 2.0-20 ng/mL range in field samples, with excellent correlation with HPLC results. The assay was used to study the dissipation of the herbicide in floodwater of experimental rice paddies in Uruguay. Large differences in the residual amount of herbicide were observed depending on the flooding practices. Due to its robustness and simplicity, the assay may be useful to delineate and monitor management practices that can contribute to minimizing the release of the herbicide in the environment. PMID:20302341

  3. Influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrient enrichment in agricultural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maret, Terry R.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Tranmer, Andrew W.

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Environmental impacts of modern agricultural technology diffusion in Bangladesh: an analysis of farmers' perceptions and their determinants.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Sanzidur

    2003-06-01

    Farmers' perception of the environmental impacts of modern agricultural technology diffusion and factors determining such awareness were examined using survey data from 21 villages in three agro-ecological regions of Bangladesh. Results reveal that farmers are well aware of the adverse environmental impacts of modern agricultural technology, although their awareness remains confined within visible impacts such as soil fertility, fish catches, and health effects. Their perception of intangible impacts such as, toxicity in water and soils is weak. Level and duration of modern agricultural technology adoption directly influence awareness of its adverse effects. Education and extension contacts also play an important role in raising awareness. Awareness is higher among farmers in developed regions, fertile locations and those with access to off-farm income sources. Promotion of education and strengthening extension services will boost farmers' environmental awareness. Infrastructure development and measures to replenish depleting soil fertility will also play a positive role in raising awareness.

  8. 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.

  9. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  10. ISO 14 001 at the farm level: analysis of five methods for evaluating the environmental impact of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Galan, M B; Peschard, D; Boizard, H

    2007-02-01

    Faced with society's increasing expectations, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) review considers environmental management to be an ever more critical criterion in the allocation of farm subsidies. With the goal of evaluating the environmental friendliness of farm practices, France's agricultural research and extension services have built a range of agricultural/environmental diagnostic tools over recent years. The objective of the present paper is to compare the five tools most frequently used in France: IDEA, DIAGE, DIALECTE, DIALOGUE and INDIGO. All the tools have the same purpose: evaluation of the impact of farm practices on the environment via indicators and monitoring of farm management practices. When tested on a sample of large-scale farms in Picardie, the five tools sometimes produced completely different results: for a given farm, the most supposedly significant environmental impacts depend on the tool used. These results lead to differing environmental management plans and raise the question of the methods' pertinence. An analysis grid of diagnostic tools aimed at specifying their field of validity, limits and relevance was drawn up. The resulting comparative analysis enables to define each tool's domain of validity and allows to suggest lines of thought for developing more relevant tools for (i) evaluating a farm's environmental performance and (ii) helping farmers to develop a plan for improving practices within the framework of an environmental management system.

  11. Quantify the energy and environmental benefits of implementing energy-efficiency measures in China’s iron and steel production

    DOE PAGES

    Ma, Ding; Chen, Wenying; Xu, Tengfang

    2015-08-21

    As one of the most energy-, emission- and pollution-intensive industries, iron and steel production is responsible for significant emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutants. Although many energy-efficiency measures have been proposed by the Chinese government to mitigate GHG emissions and to improve air quality, lacking full understanding of the costs and benefits has created barriers against implementing these measures widely. This paper sets out to advance the understanding by addressing the knowledge gap in costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures in iron and steel production. Specifically, we build a new evaluation framework to quantify energy benefits andmore » environmental benefits (i.e., CO2 emission reduction, air-pollutants emission reduction and water savings) associated with 36 energy-efficiency measures. Results show that inclusion of benefits from CO2 and air-pollutants emission reduction affects the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures significantly, while impacts from water-savings benefits are moderate but notable when compared to the effects by considering energy benefits alone. The new information resulted from this study should be used to augment future programs and efforts in reducing energy use and environmental impacts associated with steel production.« less

  12. Quantify the energy and environmental benefits of implementing energy-efficiency measures in China’s iron and steel production

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Ding; Chen, Wenying; Xu, Tengfang

    2015-08-21

    As one of the most energy-, emission- and pollution-intensive industries, iron and steel production is responsible for significant emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutants. Although many energy-efficiency measures have been proposed by the Chinese government to mitigate GHG emissions and to improve air quality, lacking full understanding of the costs and benefits has created barriers against implementing these measures widely. This paper sets out to advance the understanding by addressing the knowledge gap in costs, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures in iron and steel production. Specifically, we build a new evaluation framework to quantify energy benefits and environmental benefits (i.e., CO2 emission reduction, air-pollutants emission reduction and water savings) associated with 36 energy-efficiency measures. Results show that inclusion of benefits from CO2 and air-pollutants emission reduction affects the cost-effectiveness of energy-efficiency measures significantly, while impacts from water-savings benefits are moderate but notable when compared to the effects by considering energy benefits alone. The new information resulted from this study should be used to augment future programs and efforts in reducing energy use and environmental impacts associated with steel production.

  13. The economic and environmental consequences of implementing nitrogen-efficient technologies and management practices in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L; Davidson, Eric A; Kanter, David R; Cai, Ruohong

    2015-03-01

    Technologies and management practices (TMPs) that reduce the application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer while maintaining crop yields can improve N use efficiency (NUE) and are important tools for meeting the dual challenges of increasing food production and reducing N pollution. However, because farmers operate to maximize their profits, incentives to implement TMPs are limited, and TMP implementation will not always reduce N pollution. Therefore, we have developed the NUE Economic and Environmental impact analytical framework (NUE) to examine the economic and environmental consequences of implementing TMPs in agriculture, with a specific focus on farmer profits, N fertilizer consumption, N losses, and cropland demand. Our analytical analyses show that impact of TMPs on farmers' economic decision-making and the environment is affected by how TMPs change the yield ceiling and the N fertilization rate at the ceiling and by how the prices of TMPs, fertilizer, and crops vary. Technologies and management practices that increase the yield ceiling appear to create a greater economic incentive for farmers than TMPs that do not but may result in higher N application rates and excess N losses. Nevertheless, the negative environmental impacts of certain TMPs could be avoided if their price stays within a range determined by TMP yield response, fertilizer price, and crop price. We use a case study on corn production in the midwestern United States to demonstrate how NUE can be applied to farmers' economic decision-making and policy analysis. Our NUE framework provides an important tool for policymakers to understand how combinations of fertilizer, crop, and TMP prices affect the possibility of achieving win-win outcomes for farmers and the environment. PMID:26023951

  14. Estimating the health benefit of reducing indoor air pollution in a randomized environmental intervention

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Roger D.; Butz, Arlene M.; Hackstadt, Amber J.; Williams, D'Ann L.; Diette, Gregory B.; Breysse, Patrick N.; Matsui, Elizabeth C.

    2016-01-01

    Recent intervention studies targeted at reducing indoor air pollution have demonstrated both the ability to improve respiratory health outcomes and to reduce particulate matter (PM) levels in the home. However, these studies generally do not address whether it is the reduction of PM levels specifically that improves respiratory health. In this paper we apply the method of principal stratification to data from a randomized air cleaner intervention designed to reduce indoor PM in homes of children with asthma. We estimate the health benefit of the intervention amongst study subjects who would experience a substantial reduction in PM in response to the intervention. For those subjects we find an increase in symptom-free days that is almost three times as large as the overall intention-to-treat effect. We also explore the presence of treatment effects amongst those subjects whose PM levels would not respond to the air cleaner. This analysis demonstrates the usefulness of principal stratification for environmental intervention trials and its potential for much broader application in this area. PMID:27695203

  15. Assessing the environmental costs and benefits of plantations under future carbon pricing scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. B.; Barrett, D. J.; Farley, K.; Guenther, A.; Jobbágy, E. G.; Murray, B. C.; McCarl, B. A.; Schlesinger, W. H.

    2004-12-01

    Carbon sequestration programs are gaining attention globally as a means to offset increasing fossil fuel emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We are examining scenarios of C sequestration in four regions of the world: the U.S., South America, China, and Australia. The analysis uses economic models to predict where the plantations will be grown and then categorizes the other biogeochemical changes that will likely occur. The goals of the project include: 1) Evaluating the assumptions behind C sequestration programs for plantations, including the importance of rotation rates, a full accounting of carbon costs (e.g., planting and site preparation), and how the C would be stored and safeguarded. 2) Examining the scale of the process needed to make a substantial contribution to offset fossil fuel emissions (see below). The scenario we have chosen to evaluate is one that addresses the consequences of storing 1 PgC yr-1 for 50 years. 3) Determining and summarizing the evidence for other biogeochemical changes that will likely occur. Some of the factors to be evaluated include soil acidification, changes in water fluxes and water-table dynamics, nutrient losses, changes in soil fauna and biodiversity, volatile organic carbon emissions, and erosion. 4) A final goal of the project is to make concrete recommendations for where plantations may be the most beneficial in terms of C storage and other environmental benefits, such as the amelioration of salinity and groundwater upwelling in Australia.

  16. Benefits and disadvantages of self-regulation of environmental noise from military training

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luz, George A.

    2002-05-01

    In a 1981 Executive decision, the Administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told the Environmental Protection Agency to end funding of the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC). This decision, coupled with a specific exemption for military equipment contained in the Noise Control Act of 1972, ensured that the military departments would be self-regulating in regard to noise. This self-regulation for noise stands in contrast to the external regulation of other pollutants, such as air and water emissions. Two possible disadvantages of self-regulation are (1) reduced funding for noise management compared with funding for externally regulated pollutants, and (2) lack of an independent and external set of standards for determining acceptable limits on community noise exposure. Three possible benefits are (1) avoiding the costs of mitigating trivial violations of external standards, (2) maintaining a long-standing policy of preventing noise problems through land use planning, and (3) enabling negotiated solutions between installations and their neighboring communities. The paper ends with an examination of a negotiated solution for a community subjected to noise from the detonation of obsolete ammunition.

  17. Estimating the health benefit of reducing indoor air pollution in a randomized environmental intervention

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Roger D.; Butz, Arlene M.; Hackstadt, Amber J.; Williams, D'Ann L.; Diette, Gregory B.; Breysse, Patrick N.; Matsui, Elizabeth C.

    2016-01-01

    Recent intervention studies targeted at reducing indoor air pollution have demonstrated both the ability to improve respiratory health outcomes and to reduce particulate matter (PM) levels in the home. However, these studies generally do not address whether it is the reduction of PM levels specifically that improves respiratory health. In this paper we apply the method of principal stratification to data from a randomized air cleaner intervention designed to reduce indoor PM in homes of children with asthma. We estimate the health benefit of the intervention amongst study subjects who would experience a substantial reduction in PM in response to the intervention. For those subjects we find an increase in symptom-free days that is almost three times as large as the overall intention-to-treat effect. We also explore the presence of treatment effects amongst those subjects whose PM levels would not respond to the air cleaner. This analysis demonstrates the usefulness of principal stratification for environmental intervention trials and its potential for much broader application in this area.

  18. Advances in shrub-willow crops for bioenergy, renewable products, and environmental benefits

    DOE PAGES

    Volk, Timothy A.; Heavey, Justin P.; Eisenbies, Mark H.

    2016-05-02

    Short-rotation coppice systems like shrub willow are projected to be an important source of biomass in the United States for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable bio-based products, with the potential for auxiliary environmental benefits and multifunctional systems. Almost three decades of research has focused on the development of shrub willow crops for biomass and ecosystem services. The current expansion of willow in New York State (about 500 ha) for the production of renewable power and heat has been possible because of incentive programs offered by the federal government, commitments by end users, the development of reliable harvesting systems,more » and extension services offered to growers. Improvements in the economics of the system are expected as willow production expands further, which should help lower establishment costs, enhance crop management options and increase efficiencies in harvesting and logistics. As a result, deploying willow in multifunctional value-added systems provides opportunities for both potential producers and end users to learn about the system and the quality of the biomass feedstock, which in turn will help overcome barriers to expansion.« less

  19. Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000-2010.

    PubMed

    Song, Xiaoqing; Chang, Kang-Tsung; Yang, Liang; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-05-26

    Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China's prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000-2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies.

  20. Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000-2010.

    PubMed

    Song, Xiaoqing; Chang, Kang-Tsung; Yang, Liang; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China's prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000-2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies. PMID:27240386

  1. Change in Environmental Benefits of Urban Land Use and Its Drivers in Chinese Cities, 2000–2010

    PubMed Central

    Song, Xiaoqing; Chang, Kang-tsung; Yang, Liang; Scheffran, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Driven by rising income and urban population growth, China has experienced rapid urban expansion since the 1980s. Urbanization can have positive effects on the urban environment; however, improvement of urban environment quality, especially its divergence between relatively developed and undeveloped cities in China, is currently a rather rudimentary and subjective issue. This study analyzed urban environmental benefits among China’s prefectural cities based on their structure of urban land use in 2000 and 2010. First, we divided 347 prefectural cities into two groups, 81 coastal and capital cities in the relatively developed group (RD) and 266 other prefectural cities in the undeveloped group (RP). Then, we defined three areas of urban environmental benefits, including green infrastructure, industrial upgrade, and environmental management, and developed an assessment index system. Results showed that all prefectural cities saw improvement in urban environmental quality in 2000–2010. Although the RD cities had higher income and more population growth, they had less improvement than the RP cities during the same period. We also found that demographic and urban land agglomeration among RD cities restrained green infrastructure expansion, making green infrastructure unsuitable as a permanent solution to environmental improvement. It is therefore urgent for China to promote balanced improvement among the three areas of urban environmental benefits and between the RD and RP cities through regional differentiation policies. PMID:27240386

  2. Environmental impact of recycling nutrients in human excreta to agriculture compared with enhanced wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Spångberg, J; Tidåker, P; Jönsson, H

    2014-09-15

    Human excreta are potential sources of plant nutrients, but are today usually considered a waste to be disposed of. The requirements on wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remove nitrogen and phosphorus are increasing and to meet these requirements, more energy and chemicals are needed by WWTPs. Separating the nutrient-rich wastewater fractions at source and recycling them to agriculture as fertiliser is an alternative to removing them at the WWTP. This study used life cycle assessment methodology to compare the environmental impact of different scenarios for recycling the nutrients in the human excreta as fertiliser to arable land or removing them in an advanced WWTP. Three scenarios were assessed. In blackwater scenario, blackwater was source-separated and used as fertiliser. In urine scenario, the urine fraction was source-separated and used as fertiliser and the faecal water treated in an advanced WWTP. In NP scenario, chemical fertiliser was used as fertiliser and the toilet water treated in an advanced WWTP. The emissions from the WWTP were the same for all scenarios. This was fulfilled by the enhanced reduction in the WWTP fully removing the nutrients from the excreta that were not source-separated in the NP and urine scenarios. Recycling source-separated wastewater fractions as fertilisers in agriculture proved efficient for conserving energy and decreasing global warming potential (GWP). However, the blackwater and urine scenarios had a higher impact on potential eutrophication and potential acidification than the WWTP-chemical fertiliser scenario, due to large impacts by the ammonia emitted from storage and after spreading of the fertilisers. The cadmium input to the arable soil was very small with urine fertiliser. Source separation and recycling of excreta fractions as fertiliser thus has potential for saving energy and decreasing GWP emissions associated with wastewater management. However, for improved sustainability, the emissions from storage and

  3. Influence of Environmental Factors on Biotic Responses to Nutrient Enrichment in Agricultural Streams1

    PubMed Central

    Maret, Terry R; Konrad, Christopher P; Tranmer, Andrew W

    2010-01-01

    The influence of environmental factors on biotic responses to nutrients was examined in three diverse agricultural regions of the United States. Seventy wadeable sites were selected along an agricultural land use gradient while minimizing natural variation within each region. Nutrients, habitat, algae, macroinvertebrates, and macrophyte cover were sampled during a single summer low-flow period in 2006 or 2007. Continuous stream stage and water temperature were collected at each site for 30 days prior to sampling. Wide ranges of concentrations were found for total nitrogen (TN) (0.07-9.61 mg/l) and total phosphorus (TP) (<0.004-0.361 mg/l), but biotic responses including periphytic and sestonic chlorophyll a (RCHL and SCHL, respectively), and percent of stream bed with aquatic macrophyte (AQM) growth were not strongly related to concentrations of TN or TP. Pearson’s coefficient of determination (R2) for nutrients and biotic measures across all sites ranged from 0.08 to 0.32 and generally were not higher within each region. The biotic measures (RCHL, SCHL, and AQM) were combined in an index to evaluate eutrophic status across sites that could have different biotic responses to nutrient enrichment. Stepwise multiple regression identified TN, percent canopy, median riffle depth, and daily percent change in stage as significant factors for the eutrophic index (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.001). A TN threshold of 0.48 mg/l was identified where eutrophic index scores became less responsive to increasing TN concentrations, for all sites. Multiple plant growth indicators should be used when evaluating eutrophication, especially when streams contain an abundance of macrophytes. PMID:22457568

  4. African agricultural subsidy impacts food security, poverty, drought tolerance, and environmental quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galford, G. L.; Palm, C.; DeFries, R. S.; Nziguheba, G.; Droppelmann, K.; Nkonya, E.; Michelson, H.; Clark, C.; Kathewera, F.; Walsh, M.

    2011-12-01

    Malawi has spearheaded an unprecedented policy change in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since 2005 when it started a widespread agricultural inputs subsidy program (AISP) targeting small farmer maize production with mineral fertilizer and improved seeds. Since then, the mean N fertilizer load has increased significantly, from ~ 0 to a modest 35 kg N/ha or 7 times greater than SSA's average 5 kg N/ha average. During the tenure of AISP, Malawi has transitioned from a food aid recipient to an exporter. Maize yields each year of AISP are double the long-term average (0.8 tons/ha/yr, 1960-2005). In 2007, subsidy inputs combined with good rains led to of an unprecedented increase in national average yields of 2.7 tons/ha. National-scale assessments covering, agriculture, poverty, and environment such as this one are required to understand the trade-offs between development, climate and the environment. Environmentally, N2O emissions from fertilizer are a concern. First order estimates put emissions from AISP fertilizers at 2,600 Mg N2O/year (0.81 Tg CO2-e). While globally insignificant, these emissions may be equivalent to 16% of Malawi's annual fossil fuel and deforestation emissions. However, our partial nutrient budgets indicate that crop removal is still higher than N applied and therefore little loss of N to the environment is expected. Mineral fertilizers are a rapid first step to increase soil N after 40 years of serious depletion. Once restored, the soils will support robust agroforestry and other forms of organic inputs produced on-farm. Fertilizer use increases carbon sequestration on agricultural soils and reduces pressure to clear forests, which may partially compensate for the N2O emissions. We find evidence that AISP significantly increases food security and mitigates the impacts of drought on maize production. This is the first work linking the distribution of fertilizer subsidies to local crop yields using government records, remotely-sensed time series of

  5. Whole-Genome Sequence of Mesorhizobium hungaricum sp. nov. Strain UASWS1009, a Potential Resource for Agricultural and Environmental Uses

    PubMed Central

    Crovadore, Julien; Cochard, Bastien; Calmin, Gautier; Chablais, Romain; Schulz, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    We report here the whole-genome shotgun sequences of the strain UASWS1009 of the species Mesorhizobium hungaricum sp. nov., which are different from any other known Mesorhizobium species. This is the first genome registered for this new species, which could be considered as a potential resource for agriculture and environmental uses. PMID:27738050

  6. Environmental factors and management practices controlling oxygen dynamics in agricultural irrigation ponds in a semiarid Mediterranean region: implications for pond agricultural functions.

    PubMed

    Bonachela, Santiago; Acuña, Rodrigo A; Casas, Jesús

    2007-03-01

    A water quality study was carried out on 40 irrigation ponds located within the main greenhouse areas on the Almería coast, placing special emphasis on the factors controlling the oxygen dynamics, a relevant aspect with agricultural and environmental implications. Considering chemical, physical and biological water characteristics, agricultural irrigation ponds were satisfactorily classified by cluster analysis in four groups. These were congruently arranged by principal components analysis along four main environmental gradients: trophic status, photosynthetic activity, water mineralisation and presence of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Dissolved oxygen (DO) values differed highly among and within each of the four pond groups. DO dynamics was mainly depended on photosynthetic activity, and the environmental factors and management practices controlling it: seasonal and daily climatic changes, pond management (open vs. covered ponds and presence/absence of aquatic vegetation) and trophic status. Overall, different diurnal DO patterns were found between open and covered ponds. The former usually presented DO values above saturation and increasingly higher from early morning to mid-afternoon due to the photosynthetic activity of algae and macrophytic vegetation. In contrast, covered ponds showed relatively stable DO values during the diurnal period regardless of climatic conditions, with absolute values around or below saturation level. Globally, our results suggest that open ponds, with macrophytes concentrated in the deeper layer, can be an effective and sustainable management method of water oxygen enrichment.

  7. Effects of Vicarious Experiences of Nature, Environmental Attitudes, and Outdoor Recreation Benefits on Support for Increased Funding Allocations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kil, Namyun

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effects of vicarious experiences of nature, environmental attitudes, and recreation benefits sought by participants on their support for funding of natural resources and alternative energy options. Using a national scenic trail user survey, results demonstrated that vicarious experiences of nature influenced environmental…

  8. Agricultural Knowledge in Urban and Resettled Communities: Applications to Social-Ecological Resilience and Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shava, Soul; Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.; Zazu, Cryton

    2010-01-01

    In light of globalising trends toward urbanisation and resettlement, we explore how agricultural knowledges may be adapted and applied among relocated people. Although indigenous and related forms of practice-based knowledge may be temporarily lost as people adopt commercial agricultural practices and switch to non-agricultural livelihoods, they…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  12. Effects of Environmental Change on Carbon and Nitrogen Fluxes from a Midwestern Agricultural Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riha, K. M.; Michalski, G.; Filley, T. R.; Dalzell, B. J.

    2009-12-01

    Climate change is expected to change precipitation patterns, which would alter the runoff of excess carbon and nitrogen into the surrounding waterways. If agricultural areas experience an increase in precipitation, then coastal areas downstream from these areas could expect to develop hypoxic conditions that are more widespread, continual, and severe causing loss of biodiversity in the ocean and economical loss to fishing industries. In the Midwest, these waterways feed into local drinking water reservoirs increasing the nitrate concentration and could easily surpass the EPA maximum nitrate concentration of 10ppm. In order to evaluate the damage to the environment due to excess nitrogen, and the possible gains by its mitigation, requires a thorough assessment of the environmental controls on nitrogen and carbon fluxes. To understand the extent of nitrogen and carbon runoff from agricultural ecosystems we are studying an 850 km2 Midwestern United States agricultural watershed located in west central Indiana. Previous studies by Dalzell et. al. examined organic carbon export from this watershed as a function of stream flow and precipitation events and observed shifts in the amount and type of carbon with season. We are interested in the nitrate concentration and how it couples with the carbon fluxes. Anions (Cl-, NO3-, and SO42-) were analyzed for the samples that were collected in 2002 and 2003. A correlation was seen between storm events, fertilizer application, and the nitrate runoff; with the highest nitrate concentration seen in April 2002 with a storm event. Recent fertilizer application is believed to be the cause. Cations were analyzed (Ca2+, Na+, K+, Fe2+, Mn2+ and Mg2+) to qualitatively determine a relationship between DOC and nitrate and determine possible flowpaths. Relationships were seen with storm events and cation fluxes, with highest concentrations seen in April 2002 during a storm event and a dilution peak seen in May 2002 which is characteristic of

  13. A clomazone immunoassay to study the environmental fate of the herbicide in rice (Oryza sativa) agriculture.

    PubMed

    Carlomagno, Mariana; Mathó, Cecilia; Cantou, Guillermina; Sanborn, James R; Last, Jerold A; Hammock, Bruce D; Roel, Alvaro; González, David; González-Sapienza, Gualberto

    2010-04-14

    The environmental impact of rice agriculture is poorly studied in developing countries, mainly due to limitations of the analytical capacity. Here, we report the development of a clomazone enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a fast and cost-effective tool to monitor the dissipation of this herbicide along the harvest. Antibodies were prepared using different strategies of hapten conjugation, and the best hapten/antibody pair was selected. It proved to be a reliable tool to measure the herbicide in the 2.0-20 ng/mL range in field samples, with excellent correlation with high-performance liquid chromatography results. The assay was used to study the dissipation of the herbicide in the floodwater of experimental rice paddies in Uruguay. Large differences in the residual amounts of herbicide were observed depending on the flooding practices. Because of its robustness and simplicity, the assay may be useful to delineate and monitor management practices that can contribute to minimizing the release of the herbicide in the environment.

  14. Pilot test of Pickliq{reg_sign} process to determine energy and environmental benefits & economic feasibility

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, D.R.

    1997-07-13

    Green Technology Group (GTG) was awarded Grant No. DE-FG01-96EE 15657 in the amount of $99,904 for a project to advance GTG`s Pickliq{reg_sign} Process in the Copper and Steel Industries. The use of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process can significantly reduce the production of waste acids containing metal salts. The Pickliq{reg_sign} Process can save energy and eliminate hazardous waste in a typical copper rod or wire mill or a typical steel wire mill. The objective of this pilot project was to determine the magnitude of the economic, energy and environmental benefits of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process in two applications within the metal processing industry. The effectiveness of the process has already been demonstrated at facilities cleaning iron and steel with sulfuric acid. 9207 companies are reported to use sulfuric and hydrochloric acid in the USA. The USEPA TRI statistics of acid not recycled in the US is 2.4 x 10{sup 9} lbs (net) for Hydrochloric Acid and 2.0 x 10{sup 9} lbs (net) for Sulfuric Acid. The energy cost of not reclaiming acid is 10.7 x 10{sup 6} BTU/ton for Hydrochloric Acid and 21.6 x 10{sup 6} BTU/Ton for Sulfuric Acid. This means that there is a very large market for the application of the Pickliq{reg_sign} Process and the widespread use of the process will bring significant world wide savings of energy to the environment.

  15. Use of portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for environmental quality assessment of peri-urban agriculture.

    PubMed

    Weindorf, David C; Zhu, Yuanda; Chakraborty, Somsubhra; Bakr, Noura; Huang, Biao

    2012-01-01

    Urban expansion into traditional agricultural lands has augmented the potential for heavy metal contamination of soils. This study examined the utility of field portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry for evaluating the environmental quality of sugarcane fields near two industrial complexes in Louisiana, USA. Results indicated that PXRF provided quality results of heavy metal levels comparable to traditional laboratory analysis. When coupled with global positioning system technology, the use of PXRF allows for on-site interpolation of heavy metal levels in a matter of minutes. Field portable XRF was shown to be an effective tool for rapid assessment of heavy metals in soils of peri-urban agricultural areas.

  16. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  17. Crop and irrigation management strategies for saline-sodic soils and waters aimed at environmentally sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qadir, M; Oster, J D

    2004-05-01

    Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future

  18. The Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act of 1999. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the Committee on the Judiciary. United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, Second Session (May 4, 2000).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

    This publication documents a congressional hearing on the Agricultural Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act of 1999, which focuses on these three major concerns: the United States (US) is the home of a large and growing number of undocumented agricultural workers; the current H-2A Program is administratively burdensome, does not work well for…

  19. Environmental setting of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rheaume, S.J.; Stewart, J.S.; Lenz, B.N.

    1996-01-01

    Differences in land use/land cover, and riparian vegetation and instream habitat characteristics are presented. Summaries of field measurements of water temperature, pH, specific conductance and concentrations of dissolved oxygen, total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, nitrate plus nitrte as nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphate, and atrazine are listed. Concentrations of dissolved oxygen for the sampled streams ranged from 6 A to 14.3 and met the standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for supporting fish and aquatic life. Specific conductance ranged from 98 to 753 u,Scm with values highest in RHU's 1 and 3, where streams are underlain by carbonate bedrock. Median pH did not vary greatly among the four RHU's and ranged from 6.7 to 8.8 also meeting the WDNR standards. Concentrations of total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, total phosphorus, and dissolved orthophosphate show little variation between streams and are generally low, compared to concentrations measured in agriculturally-affected streams in the same RHU's during the same sampling period. Concentrations of the most commonly used pesticide in the study unit, atrazine, were low in all streams, and most concentrations were below trn 0.1 u,g/L detection limit. Riparian vegetation for the benchmark streams were characterized by lowland species of the native plant communities described by John T. Curtis in the "Vegetation of Wisconsin." Based on the environmental setting and water-quality information collected to date, these streams appear to show minimal adverse effects from human activity.

  20. Environmental Filtering of Microbial Communities in Agricultural Soil Shifts with Crop Growth.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Sarah K; Williams, Ryan J; Hofmockel, Kirsten S

    2015-01-01

    Plant and soil properties cooperatively structure soil microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem functioning. However, the extent to which each factor contributes to community structuring is not fully understood. To quantify the influence of plants and soil properties on microbial diversity and composition in an agricultural context, we conducted an experiment within a corn-based annual cropping system and a perennial switchgrass cropping system across three topographic positions. We sequenced barcoded 16S ribosomal RNA genes from whole soil three times throughout a single growing season and across two years in July. To target the belowground effects of plants, we also sampled rhizosphere soil in July. We hypothesized that microbial community α-diversity and composition (β-diversity) would be more sensitive to cropping system effects (annual vs. perennial inputs) than edaphic differences among topographic positions, with greater differences occurring in the rhizosphere compared to whole soil. We found that microbial community composition consistently varied with topographic position, and cropping system and the rhizosphere influenced α-diversity. In July, cropping system and rhizosphere structured a small but specific group of microbes implying a subset of microbial taxa, rather than broad shifts in community composition, may explain previously observed differences in resource cycling between treatments. Using rank abundance analysis, we detected enrichment of Saprospirales and Actinomycetales, including cellulose and chitin degraders, in the rhizosphere soil and enrichment of Nitrospirales, Syntrophobacterales, and MND1 in the whole soil. Overall, these findings support environmental filtering for the soil microbial community first by soil and second by the rhizosphere. Across cropping systems, plants selected for a general rhizosphere community with evidence for plant-specific effects related to time of sampling.

  1. Cost-benefit analysis of water-reuse projects for environmental purposes: a case study for Spanish wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, M; Hernández-Sancho, F; Sala-Garrido, R

    2011-12-01

    Water reuse is an emerging and promising non-conventional water resource. Feasibility studies are essential tools in the decision making process for the implementation of water-reuse projects. However, the methods used to assess economic feasibility tend to focus on internal costs, while external impacts are relegated to unsubstantiated statements about the advantages of water reuse. Using the concept of shadow prices for undesirable outputs of water reclamation, the current study developed a theoretical methodology to assess internal and external economic impacts. The proposed methodological approach is applied to 13 wastewater treatment plants in the Valencia region of Spain that reuse effluent for environmental purposes. Internal benefit analyses indicated that only a proportion of projects were economically viable, while when external benefits are incorporated all projects were economically viable. In conclusion, the economic feasibility assessments of water-reuse projects should quantitatively evaluate economic, environmental and resource availability.

  2. Nitrogen loadings and environmental impacts in rice agriculture catchments in subtropical central China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The severe deterioration of water quality in rice agriculture catchments challenges ecologists and hydrologists in exploring how rice agriculture affects nutrient loadings and water quality. This research observed the nitrogen (N) concentrations in stream water and groundwater in one forest and five rice agriculture catchments in subtropical central China to quantify the relationships between rice agriculture intensification, water quality of water bodies, and catchment N loadings. Our results indicate that intensive rice agriculture deteriorated stream water quality. A non-linear fitting analysis using a Boltzmann sigmoid function suggests that the concentrations and mass fluxes of ammonium-N (NH4+-N), nitrate-N (NO3--N), and total N (TN) in stream water increase with the areal proportion of rice agriculture in the catchments; however, these increases can only be detected when the areal proportions of rice agriculture in the catchments are greater than 13-30%, highlighting the importance of reasonable land use planning for managing stream water quality as well as N loadings from catchments. The factorial correspondence analysis (FCA) also suggests that rice agriculture has a potential to impose groundwater NH4+-N pollution, particularly in the soil exhausting season of July - October. And, the great N fertilizer application rates for rice cropping can increase the groundwater NO3-N and TN concentrations due to large quantities of N leaching into groundwater system beneath the paddy fields. The high N concentrations in groundwater result in strong N loadings via the base flow process. The NO3--N loadings via the base flow reaches 0.12-0.27 kg N ha-1 month-1 in the rice agriculture catchments, contributing 27.3%-36.5% of the total NO3--N loadings by the stream discharge. Therefore, the best management practices for N reduction and the smart land use planning should be applied in the rice agriculture catchments to improve water quality and mitigate N loadings.

  3. Experiential benefits, place meanings, and environmental setting preferences between proximate and distant visitors to a national scenic trail.

    PubMed

    Kil, Namyun; Holland, Stephen M; Stein, Taylor V

    2015-05-01

    Effective management of conserved natural areas often requires a good understanding of recreation visitors who possess various values for those areas. This study examined differences in experiential benefits sought, place meanings, and environmental setting preferences between proximate and distant visitors to a publicly managed national scenic trail, which transects a variety of conserved public lands. Data were collected using on-site post-hike interviews with visitors at low, moderate, and high use trailheads. Proximate visitors sought mental and physical health more strongly than distant visitors, while distant visitors sought environmental exploration more strongly than proximate visitors. No significant difference in family bonding and achievement benefits existed between the two groups. Meanings related to place dependence, family identity, community identity, and place identity were more strongly ascribed by proximate visitors, and both groups rated ecological integrity meanings highly. Distant visitors showed stronger tendencies toward preferring a lesser level of trail development, lower level of encounters with other groups, and higher level of natural landscapes, which indicated an inclination toward natural settings. These findings indicate a managerially relevant role of the degree of proximity to environmental resources on individuals' recreation behaviors, meanings ascribed to the resources and setting conditions. Understanding differences and similarities between groups dichotomized by proximity to natural resources should advance more effective management of recreation and benefit opportunities for diverse visitor groups.

  4. Economic valuation of environmental benefits of removing pharmaceutical and personal care products from WWTP effluents by ozonation.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, M; Reif, R; Garrido-Baserba, M; Hernández-Sancho, F; Omil, F; Poch, M; Sala-Garrido, R

    2013-09-01

    Continuous release of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) present in effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is nowadays leading to the adoption of specific measures within the framework of the Directive 2000/60/EC (Water Framework Directive). The ozonation process, normally employed for drinking water production, has also proven its potential to eliminate PPCPs from secondary effluents in spite of their low concentrations. However, there is a significant drawback related with the costs associated with its implementation. This lack of studies is especially pronounced regarding the economic valuation of the environmental benefits associated to avoid the discharge of these pollutants into water bodies. For the first time the shadow prices of 5 PPCPs which are ethynilestradiol, sulfamethoxazole, diclofenac, tonalide and galaxolide from treated effluent using a pilot-scale ozonation reactor have been estimated. From non-sensitive areas their values are -73.73; -34.95; -42.20; -10.98; and -8.67 respectively and expressed in €/kg. They represent a proxy to the economic value of the environmental benefits arisen from undischarged pollutants. This paper contributes to value the environmental benefits of implementing post-treatment processes aimed to achieve the quality standards required by the Priority Substances Directive.

  5. Experiential Benefits, Place Meanings, and Environmental Setting Preferences Between Proximate and Distant Visitors to a National Scenic Trail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kil, Namyun; Holland, Stephen M.; Stein, Taylor V.

    2015-05-01

    Effective management of conserved natural areas often requires a good understanding of recreation visitors who possess various values for those areas. This study examined differences in experiential benefits sought, place meanings, and environmental setting preferences between proximate and distant visitors to a publicly managed national scenic trail, which transects a variety of conserved public lands. Data were collected using on-site post-hike interviews with visitors at low, moderate, and high use trailheads. Proximate visitors sought mental and physical health more strongly than distant visitors, while distant visitors sought environmental exploration more strongly than proximate visitors. No significant difference in family bonding and achievement benefits existed between the two groups. Meanings related to place dependence, family identity, community identity, and place identity were more strongly ascribed by proximate visitors, and both groups rated ecological integrity meanings highly. Distant visitors showed stronger tendencies toward preferring a lesser level of trail development, lower level of encounters with other groups, and higher level of natural landscapes, which indicated an inclination toward natural settings. These findings indicate a managerially relevant role of the degree of proximity to environmental resources on individuals' recreation behaviors, meanings ascribed to the resources and setting conditions. Understanding differences and similarities between groups dichotomized by proximity to natural resources should advance more effective management of recreation and benefit opportunities for diverse visitor groups.

  6. Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant.

    PubMed

    Borrell, Ferran; Junno, Aripekka; Barceló, Joan Antón

    2015-01-01

    The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations.

  7. Synchronous Environmental and Cultural Change in the Emergence of Agricultural Economies 10,000 Years Ago in the Levant

    PubMed Central

    Borrell, Ferran; Junno, Aripekka; Barceló, Joan Antón

    2015-01-01

    The commonly held belief that the emergence and establishment of farming communities in the Levant was a smooth socio-economic continuum during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (ca. 12,000-9,000 cal BP) with only rare minor disruptions is challenged by recently obtained evidence from this region. Using a database of archaeological radiocarbon dates and diagnostic material culture records from a series of key sites in the northern Levant we show that the hitherto apparent long-term continuity interpreted as the origins and consolidation of agricultural systems was not linear and uninterrupted. A major cultural discontinuity is observed in the archaeological record around 10,000 cal BP in synchrony with a Holocene Rapid Climate Change (RCC), a short period of climatic instability recorded in the Northern Hemisphere. This study demonstrates the interconnectedness of the first agricultural economies and the ecosystems they inhabited, and emphasizes the complex nature of human responses to environmental change during the Neolithic period in the Levant. Moreover, it provides a new environmental-cultural scenario that needs to be incorporated in the models reconstructing both the establishment of agricultural economy in southwestern Asia and the impact of environmental changes on human populations. PMID:26241310

  8. Characterization of endophytic bacteria from cucurbit fruits with potential benefits to agriculture in melons (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Glassner, Hanoch; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Compant, Stéphane; Sessitsch, Angela; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Yaron, Sima

    2015-07-01

    Endophytes are microorganisms that mainly colonize vegetative parts, but are also found in reproductive and disseminating organs, and may have beneficial characteristics. To identify microorganisms associated with the agriculturally important family, Cucurbitaceae, endophytes were initially determined in fruits of Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group 'Dulce' by a cultivation-independent approach based on fluorescence in situ hybridization using double labeling of oligonucleotide probes. Alpha-, Beta-, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were localized inside the fruits. Culturable bacteria were further isolated and identified from fruit tissues of 'Dulce', from fruits of other cultivated and wild-field-grown Cucurbitaceae, and from wild fruits growing under natural conditions. Low densities of culturable bacteria were detected in the investigated fruits, especially in four out of the five wild species, regardless of their growing environment. Substantial differences were observed between the wild and cultivated cucurbit taxa in regard to the number of colonized fruits as well as the type of endophytes. Bacillus was the most dominant genus of endophytes colonizing fruits of Cucurbitaceae. The antagonistic effects of isolated endophytes were assessed against cucurbit disease agents in dual-culture assays. Several bacterial isolates exhibited antagonistic properties against the tested plant pathogens. The identified bacteria may be useful for protecting plants not only in the field, but also for post-harvest.

  9. Characterization of endophytic bacteria from cucurbit fruits with potential benefits to agriculture in melons (Cucumis melo L.).

    PubMed

    Glassner, Hanoch; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Compant, Stéphane; Sessitsch, Angela; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Yaron, Sima

    2015-07-01

    Endophytes are microorganisms that mainly colonize vegetative parts, but are also found in reproductive and disseminating organs, and may have beneficial characteristics. To identify microorganisms associated with the agriculturally important family, Cucurbitaceae, endophytes were initially determined in fruits of Cucumis melo Reticulatus Group 'Dulce' by a cultivation-independent approach based on fluorescence in situ hybridization using double labeling of oligonucleotide probes. Alpha-, Beta-, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were localized inside the fruits. Culturable bacteria were further isolated and identified from fruit tissues of 'Dulce', from fruits of other cultivated and wild-field-grown Cucurbitaceae, and from wild fruits growing under natural conditions. Low densities of culturable bacteria were detected in the investigated fruits, especially in four out of the five wild species, regardless of their growing environment. Substantial differences were observed between the wild and cultivated cucurbit taxa in regard to the number of colonized fruits as well as the type of endophytes. Bacillus was the most dominant genus of endophytes colonizing fruits of Cucurbitaceae. The antagonistic effects of isolated endophytes were assessed against cucurbit disease agents in dual-culture assays. Several bacterial isolates exhibited antagonistic properties against the tested plant pathogens. The identified bacteria may be useful for protecting plants not only in the field, but also for post-harvest. PMID:26183916

  10. Mechanisms for flowering plants to benefit arthropod natural enemies of insect pests: prospects for enhanced use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhong-Xian; Zhu, Ping-Yang; Gurr, Geoff M; Zheng, Xu-Song; Read, Donna M Y; Heong, Kong-Luen; Yang, Ya-Jun; Xu, Hong-Xing

    2014-02-01

    Reduction of noncrop habitats, intensive use of pesticides and high levels of disturbance associated with intensive crop production simplify the farming landscape and bring about a sharp decline of biodiversity. This, in turn, weakens the biological control ecosystem service provided by arthropod natural enemies. Strategic use of flowering plants to enhance plant biodiversity in a well-targeted manner can provide natural enemies with food sources and shelter to improve biological control and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides. This article reviews the nutritional value of various types of plant-derived food for natural enemies, possible adverse effects on pest management, and the practical application of flowering plants in orchards, vegetables and field crops, agricultural systems where most research has taken place. Prospects for more effective use of flowering plants to maximize biological control of insect pests in agroecosystem are good but depend up on selection of optimal plant species based on information on the ecological mechanisms by which natural enemies are selectively favored over pest species.

  11. Lessons in Learning: Making the Environmental Grade--The Benefits of Going Green in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canadian Council on Learning, 2009

    2009-01-01

    Over the past two decades, public interest in environmental issues has risen dramatically and stories about the environment are regularly featured on the front page of newspapers and are the focus of successful documentary films. Today, environmental education has become an element of many provincial curricula, with the understanding that young…

  12. Environmental Globalization, Organizational Form, and Expected Benefits from Protected Areas in Central America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfeffer, Max J.; Schelhas, John W.; Meola, Catherine

    2006-01-01

    Environmental globalization has led to the implementation of conservation efforts like the creation of protected areas that often promote the interests of core countries in poorer regions. The creation of protected areas in poor areas frequently creates tensions between human needs like food and shelter and environmental conservation. Support for…

  13. Balancing the health benefits and environmental risks of pharmaceuticals: Diclofenac as an example.

    PubMed

    Acuña, V; Ginebreda, A; Mor, J R; Petrovic, M; Sabater, S; Sumpter, J; Barceló, D

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals are designed to improve human and animal health, but even the most beneficial pharmaceuticals might raise some questions concerning the consequences of exposure to non-target organisms. To illustrate this situation and using diclofenac as a case-study, we analyze global consumption and occurrence data to identify hot spots of consumption without occurrence data, review the scientific literature on the harmful environmental effects to determine whether the observed concentrations in freshwater are of environmental concern, summarize the current pharmaceutical and environmental policies to highlight policy gaps, and suggest a series of research and policy recommendations, which can be summarized as follows: we need to improve the current knowledge on occurrence in freshwaters to properly implement environmental policies (i), diclofenac might pose a risk to non-target organisms in freshwater (ii); the harmful effects that some pharmaceuticals may have on the environment are not always addressed by environmental policies (iii). PMID:26454833

  14. Balancing the health benefits and environmental risks of pharmaceuticals: Diclofenac as an example.

    PubMed

    Acuña, V; Ginebreda, A; Mor, J R; Petrovic, M; Sabater, S; Sumpter, J; Barceló, D

    2015-12-01

    Pharmaceuticals are designed to improve human and animal health, but even the most beneficial pharmaceuticals might raise some questions concerning the consequences of exposure to non-target organisms. To illustrate this situation and using diclofenac as a case-study, we analyze global consumption and occurrence data to identify hot spots of consumption without occurrence data, review the scientific literature on the harmful environmental effects to determine whether the observed concentrations in freshwater are of environmental concern, summarize the current pharmaceutical and environmental policies to highlight policy gaps, and suggest a series of research and policy recommendations, which can be summarized as follows: we need to improve the current knowledge on occurrence in freshwaters to properly implement environmental policies (i), diclofenac might pose a risk to non-target organisms in freshwater (ii); the harmful effects that some pharmaceuticals may have on the environment are not always addressed by environmental policies (iii).

  15. 78 FR 37568 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Strategies To Benefit Native Species by...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-21

    ... would employ a range of methods to minimize by- catch mortality of non-target fish species. Annual lake... of a proposal to benefit native fish populations in the Flathead Basin by reducing non-native lake trout abundance in Flathead Lake. Direction to manage non-native fish populations to improve...

  16. Environmental benefits of advanced oil and gas exploration and production technology

    SciTech Connect

    1999-10-01

    THROUGHOUT THE OIL AND GAS LIFE CYCLE, THE INDUSTRY HAS APPLIED AN ARRAY OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE. THIS REPORT FOCUSES SPECIFICALLY ON ADVANCES IN EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION (E&P) OPERATIONS.

  17. Willow biomass-bioenergy industry development in New York: Sustainability and environmental benefits

    SciTech Connect

    White, E.H.; Robison, D.J.; Abrahamson, L.P.

    1996-12-31

    Biomass-for-bioenergy cropping and production systems based on willow (and poplar) planted and managed at high densities and short (3 to 4 year) coppice harvest cycles, providing fuel for co-firing with coal (or other types of energy conversion) can be economically, ecologically and environmentally sustainable. All of these areas are crucial to the successful commercialization of this biomass-bioenergy system. Current knowledge and ongoing research and development indicate that the production and utilization systems involved are environmentally and ecologically acceptable. Therefore two of the primary constraints to commercialization have been met. The remaining constraint is economic viability based on cost of production and use, the value of environmental externalities (such as atmospheric emissions), and potential government public policy actions to promote this system of providing a locally produced and renewable farm crop and fuel. Developments needed to overcome the economic constraints are known, and should be bolstered by the environmental and ecological quality of the system.

  18. Exploring the benefits of growing bioenergy crops to activate lead-contaminated agricultural land: a case study on sweet potatoes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shu-Fen; Huang, Chin-Yuan; Chen, Kuo-Lin; Lin, Sheng-Chien; Lin, Yung-Cheng

    2015-03-01

    Phytoremediation is the most environmentally friendly remediation technology for heavy metal contaminated soil. However, the phytoremediation approach requires a long time to yield results, and the plants used must be economically profitable to maintain the sustainability of the process. Because high levels of bioethanol can be produced from sweet potatoes, an experiment was conducted by planting sweet potatoes in a lead-contaminated site to observe their growth and lead-uptake capacity, thereby enabling the evaluation of the phytoremediation efficiency of sweet potatoes. The lead content in the soil was approximately 6000 mg kg(-1), and the phytoavailable Pb content was 1766 mg kg(-1). Three starch-rich sweet potato varieties, Tainung No. 10 (TNG-10), Tainung No. 31 (TNG-31), and Tainung No. 57 (TNG-57), were used in the experiment. The results indicated that TNG-10, TNG-31, and TNG-57 had fresh root tuber yields of 94.5, 133.0, and 47.5 ton ha(-1) year(-1), produced 9450, 13,297, and 4748 L ha(-1) year(-1) of bioethanol, and removed 2.68, 7.73, and 3.22 kg ha(-1) year(-1) of lead, respectively. TNG-31 yielded the highest bioethanol production and the highest lead removal in the lead-contaminated site. Therefore, implementing phytoremediation by planting TNG-31 would decrease lead content and generate income, thereby rendering the sustainable and applicable activation of contaminated soil possible.

  19. Exploring the benefits of growing bioenergy crops to activate lead-contaminated agricultural land: a case study on sweet potatoes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shu-Fen; Huang, Chin-Yuan; Chen, Kuo-Lin; Lin, Sheng-Chien; Lin, Yung-Cheng

    2015-03-01

    Phytoremediation is the most environmentally friendly remediation technology for heavy metal contaminated soil. However, the phytoremediation approach requires a long time to yield results, and the plants used must be economically profitable to maintain the sustainability of the process. Because high levels of bioethanol can be produced from sweet potatoes, an experiment was conducted by planting sweet potatoes in a lead-contaminated site to observe their growth and lead-uptake capacity, thereby enabling the evaluation of the phytoremediation efficiency of sweet potatoes. The lead content in the soil was approximately 6000 mg kg(-1), and the phytoavailable Pb content was 1766 mg kg(-1). Three starch-rich sweet potato varieties, Tainung No. 10 (TNG-10), Tainung No. 31 (TNG-31), and Tainung No. 57 (TNG-57), were used in the experiment. The results indicated that TNG-10, TNG-31, and TNG-57 had fresh root tuber yields of 94.5, 133.0, and 47.5 ton ha(-1) year(-1), produced 9450, 13,297, and 4748 L ha(-1) year(-1) of bioethanol, and removed 2.68, 7.73, and 3.22 kg ha(-1) year(-1) of lead, respectively. TNG-31 yielded the highest bioethanol production and the highest lead removal in the lead-contaminated site. Therefore, implementing phytoremediation by planting TNG-31 would decrease lead content and generate income, thereby rendering the sustainable and applicable activation of contaminated soil possible. PMID:25716522

  20. Using problem-based learning for occupational and environmental health nursing education: pesticide exposures among migrant agricultural workers.

    PubMed

    Ivicek, Kristy; de Castro, A B; Salazar, Mary K; Murphy, Helen H; Keifer, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    Problem-based learning, which emphasizes group collaboration to solve real-world case scenarios, is an instructional approach that is well suited to occupational and environmental health nursing education. Learners actively work through case studies rather than passively receive information presented through lectures. Problem-based learning methods promote critical thinking skills and motivate learning, preparing learners for professional practice in complex, ever-changing environments. Despite these advantages, problem-based learning is under-utilized in nursing education compared to more traditional lecture methods. This article presents key concepts of problem-based learning, discusses problem-based learning in educating occupational and environmental health nurses, and describes the development of a problem-based learning case aimed at increasing occupational and environmental health nurses capacity to address pesticide exposure among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

  1. The environmental benefits of cellulosic energy crops at a landscape scale

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, R.L.; Liu, W.; English, B.C.

    1995-12-31

    The objective of this paper is to present a broad overview of the potential environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops--particularly the cellulosic energy crops current under development. For this discussion, the term energy crop refers to a crop grown primarily to create feedstock for either making biofuels such as ethanol or burning in a heat or electricity generation facility. Cellulosic energy crops are designed to be used in cellulose-based ethanol conversion processes (as opposed to starch or sugar-based ethanol conversion processes). As more cellulose can be produced per hectare of land than can sugar or starch, the cellulose-based ethanol conversion process is a more efficient sue of land for ethanol production. Assessing the environmental impacts of biomass energy from energy crops is complex because the environmental impact of using biomass for energy must be considered in the context of alternative energy options while the environmental impact of producing biomass from energy crops must be considered in the context of alternative land-uses. Using biomass-derived energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase them; growing biomass energy crops can enhance soil fertility or degrade it. Without knowing the context of the biomass energy, one can say little about its specific environmental impacts. The primary focus of this paper is an evaluation of the environmental impacts of growing cellulosic energy crops especially at the landscape or regional scale. However, to set the stage for this discussion, the authors begin by comparing the environmental advantages and disadvantages of biomass-derived energy relative to other energy alternatives such as coal, hydropower, nuclear power, oil/gasoline, natural gas and photovoltaics.

  2. Nitrogen Losses in Runoff from Row-cropped Watersheds: Environmental Benefits of Native Prairie Filter Strips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Helmers, M. J.; Asbjornsen, H.; Kolka, R. K.; Tomer, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    Loss of nitrogen in runoff from agricultural landscapes is a serious problem in the Midwestern United States due to inappropriate/intensive management practices. Among other best management practices, vegetative filter strips have been effectively adopted to reduce pollutant transport with agricultural runoff. In this study, twelve ephemeral watersheds at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Central Iowa were used to evaluate the effectiveness of native prairie filter strips (NPFS) in reducing total nitrogen (TN) and nitrate-N (NO3-N) loss from row-cropped watersheds. Small amounts of NPFS were incorporated at different locations within the watersheds in fall 2006 using a balanced incomplete block design. A no-till 2-yr corn-soybean rotation was adopted in nonperennial areas since spring 2007. Each watershed was instrumented with an H-flume, a flow-monitoring device, and an ISCO water sampler in 2007. Runoff samples during the growing season between 2007 and 2010 were analyzed for TN and NO3-N concentrations for each individual rainfall event. The 4-year mean annual TN loss for watersheds with NPFS was 6.9 kg ha-1, approximately 85% lower than TN loss from 100% row-cropped watersheds (47.7 kg ha-1). Mean annual NO3-N loss during the growing season was 4.2 and 1.3 kg ha-1 for the watersheds with and without NPFS, respectively. The results of this study suggest that incorporation of small amounts of NPFS within annual rowcrop systems could greatly reduce TN and NO3-N loss from agricultural watersheds.

  3. What weight should be assigned to future environmental impacts? A probabilistic cost benefit analysis using recent advances on discounting.

    PubMed

    Almansa, Carmen; Martínez-Paz, José M

    2011-03-01

    Cost-benefit analysis is a standard methodological platform for public investment evaluation. In high environmental impact projects, with a long-term effect on future generations, the choice of discount rate and time horizon is of particular relevance, because it can lead to very different profitability assessments. This paper describes some recent approaches to environmental discounting and applies them, together with a number of classical procedures, to the economic evaluation of a plant for the desalination of irrigation return water from intensive farming, aimed at halting the degradation of an area of great ecological value, the Mar Menor, in South Eastern Spain. A Monte Carlo procedure is used in four CBA approaches and three time horizons to carry out a probabilistic sensitivity analysis designed to integrate the views of an international panel of experts in environmental discounting with the uncertainty affecting the market price of the project's main output, i.e., irrigation water for a water-deprived area. The results show which discounting scenarios most accurately estimate the socio-environmental profitability of the project while also considering the risk associated with these two key parameters. The analysis also provides some methodological findings regarding ways of assessing financial and environmental profitability in decisions concerning public investment in the environment.

  4. Who benefits from environmental policy? An environmental justice analysis of air quality change in Britain, 2001-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Gordon; Norman, Paul; Mullin, Karen

    2015-10-01

    Air quality in Great Britain has improved in recent years, but not enough to prevent the European Commission (EC) taking legal action for non-compliance with limit values. Air quality is a national public health concern, with disease burden associated with current air quality estimated at 29 000 premature deaths per year due to fine particulates, with a further burden due to NO2. National small-area analyses showed that in 2001 poor air quality was much more prevalent in socio-economically deprived areas. We extend this social distribution of air quality analysis to consider how the distribution changed over the following decade (2001-2011), a period when significant efforts to meet EC air quality directive limits have been made, and air quality has improved. We find air quality improvement is greatest in the least deprived areas, whilst the most deprived areas bear a disproportionate and rising share of declining air quality including non-compliance with air quality standards. We discuss the implications for health inequalities, progress towards environmental justice, and compatibility of social justice and environmental sustainability objectives.

  5. Environmental benefits and risks of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI): risk mitigation or trade-off?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieger, K.; Fjordbøge, A.; Hartmann, N.; Eriksson, E.; Baun, A.

    2009-12-01

    The use of nanoscaled particles in environmental remediation is gaining increasing amounts of attention in recent years, including the use of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) for soil and groundwater remediation. The main advantages of its use include high degrees of reactivity towards a wide range of contaminants, enhanced mobility of the often coated particles, and its cost-effective in situ applications. Numerous studies have shown that compared to larger sized iron particles nZVI may have some superior properties, due to high surface areas and small sizes associated with nanoscale dimensions. While the use and further development of nZVI is understandably heralded as an environmentally-beneficial technology, the potentials risks of introducing these nanoparticles into the environment also needs to be considered. To date most research has focused on the potential benefits of nZVI and very little research has investigated its potential health and environmental risks. Nonetheless, some recent studies have documented adverse effects from its exposure including the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative stress, bactericidal effects, DNA damage, and inflammatory responses. Moreover, field site injections often involve the use of large quantities of nZVI (10-50 g/L) which may be directly injected into groundwater flow. Combined with the pursuit of designing more mobile and reactive particles, this may potentially lead to risks related to environmental exposures of substantial concentrations. In this study, we provide a brief synopsis of the expected environmental benefits and potential risks of nZVI, particularly focusing on its environmental fate and behavior and potential role as contaminant carrier. These are some areas of primary concern for risk assessors. Furthermore, we estimate and compare the span between probable environmental concentrations from its use in the field and concentrations which have been shown to cause adverse effects in

  6. Potential environmental benefits of feed additives and other strategies for ruminant production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental pollution and food safety are two important concerns that impact ruminant production around the world. The growing public concern over chemical residues in animal-derived foods and threats of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have renewed interest in exploring safer alternatives to chemic...

  7. Land application of organic residuals: Public health threat or environmental benefit

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Waste residuals consist of manure and biosolids produced by concentrated animal feeding operations and municipal waste water treatment plants. All wastes need to be disposed of in a proper manner, protecting public and environmental health, but also in a sustainable fashion to ensure that no system...

  8. Applications of UAV imagery for agricultural and environmental research at the USDA Southeast Watershed Research Lab

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ARS is the USDA's in-house scientific research agency, whose mission is to conduct research to "develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority..." This includes enhancing the natural resource base and the environment, a dimension of particular relevance to the ...

  9. Pest Management and Environmental Quality. Course 181. Correspondence Courses in Agriculture, Family Living and Community Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Herbert, Jr.; And Others

    This publication is the course book for a correspondence course in pest control with the Pennsylvania State University. It contains basic information for agricultural producers on pest management and the proper and safe use of pesticides. The course consists of eleven lessons which can be completed at one's leisure. The first nine lessons contain…

  10. SUMMARY OF BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING RESULTS FROM THE AGRICULTURAL HEALTH STUDY/PESTICIDE EXPOSURE STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a prospective epidemiologic study of pesticide applicators and spouses in Iowa and North Carolina. Exposure to 2,4-D or chlorpyrifos was measured for a subset of applicators and their families in the AHS Pesticide Exposure Study to assess...

  11. 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...

  12. ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES CONTROLLING NITRIC OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM AGRICULTURAL SOILS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fluxes of nitric oxide (NO) were measured during the summer of 1994 (12 July to 11 August) in the Upper Coastal Plain of North Carolina in a continuing effort to characterize NO emissions from intensively managed agricultural soils in the southeastern United States. Previous work...

  13. A survey of unmanned ground vehicles with applications to agricultural and environmental sensing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned ground vehicles have been utilized in the last few decades in an effort to increase the efficiency of agriculture, in particular, by reducing labor needs. Unmanned vehicles have been used for a variety of purposes including: soil sampling, irrigation management, precision spraying, mechanic...

  14. Energetics and environmental costs of agriculture in a dry tropical region of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, V. P.; Singh, J. S.

    1992-07-01

    The present article, based on a study of five village ecosystems, assesses the energy efficiency of rain-fed agriculture in a dry tropical environment and the impact of agricultural activity on the surrounding natural ecosystems. Agronomic yield is insufficient to meet the food requirement of the human population, hence 11.5%-49.7% of the required amount of food grains are imported from the market. Energy requirements of five studied agroecosystems are subsidized considerably by the surrounding forest in the form of fodder and firewood. Natural ecosystems supply about 80%-95% of fodder needs and 81%-100% of fuelwood needs. The output-input ratio of agriculture indicated that, on average, 4.1 units of energy are expended to obtain one unit of agronomic energy. Of this, 3.9 units are supplied by the natural ecosystem. In addition, 38% of the extracted firewood is marketed. The illegal felling and lopping of trees result in ever-increasing concentric circles of forest destruction around the villages and together with excessive grazing results in savannization. The forests can be conserved by encouraging fuelwood plantations (0.7 ha/ha cultivated land) and developing village pastures (1.6 ha/ha cultivated land) and reducing the livestock numbers. Agricultural production in the region can be stabilized by introducing improved dry farming techniques such as intercropping, planned rainwater management, and adequate use of fertilizers.

  15. Reconstructing a century of agricultural land use and drivers of change from social and environmental records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangster, Heather; Smith, Hugh; Riley, Mark; Sellami, Haykel; Chiverrell, Richard; Boyle, John

    2016-04-01

    Changes to agricultural land use practices and climate represent serious challenges to the future management of rural landscapes. In Britain, the modern rural landscape may seem comparatively stable relative to the long history of human impact. However, there have been important changes linked to the intensification of agricultural practices during the last ca. 100 years and more recently improvements in land management designed to reduce impacts on land and water resources. Few studies attempt high-resolution spatial reconstruction of historic land use change, which is essential for understanding such human-environment interactions in the recent past. Specifically, the absence of detailed spatio-temporal records of agricultural land use/land cover change at the catchment-scale presents a challenge in assessing recent developments in land use policies and management. Here, we generate a high-resolution time-series of historic land use at the catchment-scale for hydrological modelling applications. Our reconstructions focus on three catchments in England ((1) Brotherswater (NE Lake District); (2) Crose Mere (Shropshire); (3) Loweswater (NW Lake District)) spanning a range of agricultural environments subject to different levels of land use change; from intensively-farmed lowlands to upland catchments subject to lower-intensity grazing. Temporal reconstructions of changes in land management practices and vegetation cover are based on historic aerial photography (1940s-2000s) and satellite-derived land cover maps (1990, 2000, and 2007), in combination with annual records of parish-level agricultural census data (1890s-1970s) and farmer interviews, in order to produce an integrated series of digital land cover and land practice maps. The datasets are coupled with composite temperature and precipitation series produced from a number of local stations. Combined, these spatio-temporal datasets allow a comprehensive assessment of land use and management change against the

  16. Operational and environmental benefits of oxy-fuel combustion in the steel industry

    SciTech Connect

    Farrell, L.M. ); Pavlack, T.T. . Linde Division); Rich, L. )

    1993-07-01

    A number of patented, field-tested 100% oxy-fuel burner systems have been developed which provide fuel savings, reduced emissions (CO[sub 2] and NO[sub x]) and improved operational performances. These systems can be applied to high-temperature continuous and batch reheat furnaces, soaking pits and ladle preheaters. Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide and NO[sub x] emissions can be reduced by 40 to 60%. Burner design (including nonwater cooled models), commercial experience, measured and projected emissions reductions, and additional operating benefits associated with new and retrofitted applications are described.

  17. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014. PMID:27620093

  18. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014.

  19. Environmental mitigation at hydroelectric projects. Volume 2, Benefits and costs of fish passage and protection

    SciTech Connect

    Francfort, J.E.; Rinehart, B.N.; Sommers, G.L.; Cada, G.F.; Jones, D.W.; Dauble, D.D.; Hunt, R.T.; Costello, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    This study examines envirorunental mitigation practices that provide upstream and downstream fish passage and protection at hydroelectric projects. The study includes a survey of fish passage and protection mitigation practices at 1,825 hydroelectric plants regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to determine frequencies of occurrence, temporal trends, and regional practices based on FERC regions. The study also describes, in general terms, the fish passage/protection mitigation costs at 50 non-Federal hydroelectric projects. Sixteen case studies are used to examine in detail the benefits and costs of fish passage and protection. The 16 case studies include 15 FERC licensed or exempted hydroelectric projects and one Federally-owned and-operated hydroelectric project. The 16 hydroelectric projects are located in 12 states and range in capacity from 400 kilowatts to 840 megawatts. The fish passage and protection mitigation methods at the case studies include fish ladders and lifts, an Eicher screen, spill flows, airburst-cleaned inclined and cylindrical wedgewire screens, vertical barrier screens, and submerged traveling screens. The costs, benefits, monitoring methods, and operating characteristics of these and other mitigation methods used at the 16 case studies are examined.

  20. Assessing the Health Impacts of Air Pollution Regulations Using BenMAP, the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbell, B.; McCubbin, D.; Hallberg, A.

    2003-12-01

    The U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation has developed BenMAP, the environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program, a new software tool for estimating the health and environmental impacts of environmental regulations. BenMAP is the US EPA's premier tool for estimating benefits associated with air pollution reduction strategies, and has recently been used in evaluating US EPA's Proposed Non-Road Diesel Vehicle Standards and the proposed Clear Skies Act legislation. BenMAP is a geographic information system (GIS) that uses modeled and monitored air quality data combined with population forecasts to develop estimates of changes in community level exposure to ambient environmental pollution (currently ambient air pollution, e.g. ozone and PM). These estimated changes in exposure to ambient pollution are used as inputs to concentration-response functions derived from the epidemiological literature, along with data on baseline incidence of health effects, i.e. county level age and cause specific mortality rates. The resulting point estimates of changes in incidence of health effects, along with their associated uncertainty distributions (currently based on reported standard errors in the literature), are then multiplied by economic unit values (represented by distributions), i.e. the cost of a hospital admission, to derive dollar estimates of health benefits. BenMAP is unique in that it uses highly detailed census and health data matched with spatially detailed environmental quality data to estimate health benefits. The program can also provide estimates of the uncertainty associated with the estimated benefits. Other features of the program include the ability to pool results from multiple studies of the same endpoint, using fixed or random effects weights, or user supplied weights. BenMAP also incorporates functions to manipulate and combine information on environmental quality from many different sources. For the current version focusing on air pollution, these

  1. Career Preparation in Environmental Protection: A Curriculum Guide for High School Vocational Agriculture. Test Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, David; Scott, Tressa

    This curriculum guide in environmental protection is one of 10 guides developed as part of a vocational project stressing agribusiness, natural resources, and environmental protection. The scope of this guide includes three occupational subgroups: water treatment, wastewater treatment, and air pollution control. It is meant as an aid to all who…

  2. The economic value of remote sensing information: a case study of agricultural production and groundwater vulnerability using applied environmental science and hydrogeospatial methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forney, W.; Bernknopf, R. L.; Mishra, S.; Raunikar, R. P.

    2011-12-01

    William M. Forney1*, Richard L. Bernknopf1, Shruti K. Mishra2, Ronald P. Raunikar1. 1=Western Geographic Science Center, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California. 2=Contractor, Western Geographic Science Center, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California *=Contact author, wforney@usgs.gov, 650-329-4237. Does remote sensing information provide economic benefits to society and can those benefits be valued? Can resource management and policy be better informed by coupling past and present earth observations with groundwater nitrate measurements? Using an integrated assessment approach, the USGS's research applies an established conceptual framework to answer these questions as well as estimate the value of information (VOI) for remote sensing imagery. The approach uses moderate resolution land imagery (MRLI) data from the Landsat and Advanced Wide Field Sensor satellites that has been classified by the National Agricultural Statistics Service into the Cropland Data Layer (CDL). Within the constraint of the US Environmental Protection Agency's public health threshold for potable groundwater resources, we model the relationship between a population of the CDL's land uses and the evolution of nitrate (NO3-) contamination of aquifers in a case study region in northeastern Iowa. Using source data from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the USGS's National Water Quality Assessment Program, the approach uses multi-scaled, environmental science models to address dynamic, biophysical process models of nitrogen fate and transport at specific sites (wells) and at landscape scale (35 counties) in order to assess groundwater vulnerability. In addition to the ecosystem service of potable groundwater, this effort focuses on particular agricultural goods and land uses: corn, soybeans and livestock manure management. Results of this four-year study will be presented, including: 1) the integrated models of the assessment approach, 2) mapping the range of vulnerabilities

  3. Updated estimates of earnings benefits from reduced exposure of children to environmental lead

    SciTech Connect

    Salkever, D.S.

    1995-07-01

    The recent and important study by Schwartz found that almost three-fourths of the benefits of reduced lead exposure in children are in the form of earnings gains (earnings losses avoided). New data on recent trends in returns to education and cognitive skills in the labor market suggest a need to revise this estimate upward. Based on an analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the present study estimates that an upward revision of at least 50% (or $2.5 billion per annual birth cohort) is indicated. The study also finds evidence that percentage earnings gains are considerably larger for females than for males. 21 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  4. Tiny Stowaways: Analyzing the Economic Benefits of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Permit Regulating Ballast Water Discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovell, Sabrina J.; Drake, Lisa A.

    2009-03-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed permitting ballast water discharges—a benefit of which would be to reduce the economic damages associated with the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. Research on ship-borne aquatic invasive species has been conducted in earnest for decades, but determining the economic damages they cause remains troublesome. Furthermore, with the exception of harmful algal blooms, the economic consequences of microscopic invaders have not been studied, despite their potentially great negative effects. In this paper, we show how to estimate the economic benefits of preventing the introduction and spread of harmful bacteria, microalgae, and viruses delivered in U.S. waters. Our calculations of net social welfare show the damages from a localized incident, cholera-causing bacteria found in shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico, to be approximately 706,000 (2006). On a larger scale, harmful algal species have the potential to be transported in ships’ ballast tanks, and their effects in the United States have been to reduce commercial fisheries landings and impair water quality. We examine the economic repercussions of one bloom-forming species. Finally, we consider the possible translocation within the Great Lakes of a virus that has the potential to harm commercial and recreational fisheries. These calculations illustrate an approach to quantifying the benefits of preventing invasive aquatic microorganisms from controls on ballast water discharges.

  5. Tiny stowaways: analyzing the economic benefits of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permit regulating ballast water discharges.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Sabrina J; Drake, Lisa A

    2009-03-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed permitting ballast water discharges--a benefit of which would be to reduce the economic damages associated with the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. Research on ship-borne aquatic invasive species has been conducted in earnest for decades, but determining the economic damages they cause remains troublesome. Furthermore, with the exception of harmful algal blooms, the economic consequences of microscopic invaders have not been studied, despite their potentially great negative effects. In this paper, we show how to estimate the economic benefits of preventing the introduction and spread of harmful bacteria, microalgae, and viruses delivered in U.S. waters. Our calculations of net social welfare show the damages from a localized incident, cholera-causing bacteria found in shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico, to be approximately $706,000 (2006$). On a larger scale, harmful algal species have the potential to be transported in ships' ballast tanks, and their effects in the United States have been to reduce commercial fisheries landings and impair water quality. We examine the economic repercussions of one bloom-forming species. Finally, we consider the possible translocation within the Great Lakes of a virus that has the potential to harm commercial and recreational fisheries. These calculations illustrate an approach to quantifying the benefits of preventing invasive aquatic microorganisms from controls on ballast water discharges.

  6. Evolutionary or fragmented environmental policy making? coal, power, and agriculture in the Hunter Valley, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, Diana G.

    1988-05-01

    Intensified surface mining, power generation, and smelting operations in the Hunter River lowlands, NSW, Australia have posed numerous new environmental management problems. Legislative controls over water, soils, and land use management have been clearly insufficient and remain so. The complex range of environmental changes is challenging government agencies as well as coal developers. While water demands are increasing in the region the proportionally greatest competitors are power generation and irrigation. Comprehensive regional water quality assessment is inadequate and divided between a number of agencies with fragmentary interests. Coal development inquiries signal further controversy over appropriate management solutions and are an ongoing phenomenon in the region. The early 1980s resource boom has been followed by lower rates of economic growth, which have resulted in disparate agency responses to major ongoing environmental questions. While issue attention cycles are often remarkably short in environmental management, matters of water, land, and air quality require intensive and ongoing monitoring and policy development.

  7. Analysis of energetic and exergetic efficiency, and environmental benefits of biomass integrated gasification combined cycle technology.

    PubMed

    Mínguez, María; Jiménez, Angel; Rodríguez, Javier; González, Celina; López, Ignacio; Nieto, Rafael

    2013-04-01

    The problem of the high carbon dioxide emissions linked to power generation makes necessary active research on the use of biofuels in gas turbine systems as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Gasification of biomass waste is particularly of interest in obtaining a fuel to be run in gas turbines, as it is an efficient biomass-to-biofuel conversion process, and an integration into a combined cycle power plant leads to a high performance with regard to energetic efficiency. The goal of this study was to carry out an energetic, exergetic and environmental analysis of the behaviour of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant fuelled with different kinds of biomass waste by means of simulations. A preliminary economic study is also included. Although a technological development in gasification technology is necessary, the results of simulations indicate a high technical and environmental interest in the use of biomass integrated gasification combined cycle (BioIGCC) systems for large-scale power generation from biomass waste. PMID:23444152

  8. Ancillary Benefits for Caregivers of Children with Asthma Participating in an Environmental Intervention Study to Alleviate Asthma Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Kubzansky, Laura D.; Spengler, John D.; Levy, Jonathan I.

    2009-01-01

    Providing care for children with asthma can be demanding and time-intensive with far-reaching effects on caregivers’ lives. Studies have documented childhood asthma symptom reductions and improved asthma-related quality of life (AQOL) with indoor allergen-reducing environmental interventions. Few such studies, however, have considered ancillary benefits to caregivers or other family members. Ancillary benefits could be derived from child health improvements and reduced caregiving burden or from factors such as improved living environments or social support that often accompanies intensive residential intervention efforts. As part of the Boston Healthy Public Housing Initiative (HPHI), a longitudinal single-cohort intervention study of asthmatic children, we examined trends in caregivers’ quality of life related to their child’s asthma (caregiver AQOL) using monthly Juniper Caregiver Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaires (AQLQ) for 32 primary caregivers to 42 asthmatic children aged 4 to 17 years. Longitudinal analyses were used to examine caregiver AQOL trends and their relationship to the child’s AQOL, then to consider additional predictors of caregiver AQOL. Caregiver AQLQ improved significantly over the course of the study with overall improvements significantly correlated with child AQOL (p = 0.005). However, caregiver AQOL improved most in the months before environmental interventions, while children’s AQOL improved most in the months following. Time trends in caregiver AQOL, controlling for child AQOL, were not explained by available social support or caregiver stress measures. Our findings suggest potential participation effects not adequately captured by standard measures. Future environmental intervention studies should more formally consider social support and participation effects for both children and caregivers PMID:19184446

  9. Ancillary benefits for caregivers of children with asthma participating in an environmental intervention study to alleviate asthma symptoms.

    PubMed

    Clougherty, Jane E; Kubzansky, Laura D; Spengler, John D; Levy, Jonathan I

    2009-03-01

    Providing care for children with asthma can be demanding and time-intensive with far-reaching effects on caregivers' lives. Studies have documented childhood asthma symptom reductions and improved asthma-related quality of life (AQOL) with indoor allergen-reducing environmental interventions. Few such studies, however, have considered ancillary benefits to caregivers or other family members. Ancillary benefits could be derived from child health improvements and reduced caregiving burden or from factors such as improved living environments or social support that often accompanies intensive residential intervention efforts. As part of the Boston Healthy Public Housing Initiative (HPHI), a longitudinal single-cohort intervention study of asthmatic children, we examined trends in caregivers' quality of life related to their child's asthma (caregiver AQOL) using monthly Juniper Caregiver Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaires (AQLQ) for 32 primary caregivers to 42 asthmatic children aged 4 to 17 years. Longitudinal analyses were used to examine caregiver AQOL trends and their relationship to the child's AQOL, then to consider additional predictors of caregiver AQOL. Caregiver AQLQ improved significantly over the course of the study with overall improvements significantly correlated with child AQOL (p = 0.005). However, caregiver AQOL improved most in the months before environmental interventions, while children's AQOL improved most in the months following. Time trends in caregiver AQOL, controlling for child AQOL, were not explained by available social support or caregiver stress measures. Our findings suggest potential participation effects not adequately captured by standard measures. Future environmental intervention studies should more formally consider social support and participation effects for both children and caregivers. PMID:19184446

  10. Reduced grazing pressure delivers production and environmental benefits for the typical steppe of north China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Badgery, Warwick B; Kemp, David R; Chen, Wenqing; Wang, Xiaoya; Liu, Nan

    2015-01-01

    Degradation by overgrazing is common in many areas of the world and optimising grassland functions depends upon finding suitable grazing tactics. This four-year study on the northern China steppe investigated combinations of rest, moderate or heavy grazing pressure early in the summer growing season, then moderate or heavy grazing in the mid and late season. Results showed that moderate grazing pressure (~550 sheep equivalent (SE) grazing days ha(-1) year(-1)) gave the optimal balance between maintaining a productive and diverse grassland, a profitable livestock system, and greenhouse gas mitigation. Further analyses identified that more conservative stocking (~400 SE grazing days ha(-1) year(-1)) maintained a desirable Leymus chinensis composition and achieved a higher live weight gain of sheep. Early summer rest best maintained a desirable grassland composition, but had few other benefits and reduced incomes. These findings demonstrate that reducing grazing pressure to half the current district stocking rates can deliver improved ecosystem services (lower greenhouse gases and improved grassland composition) while sustaining herder incomes. PMID:26553566

  11. Operational and environmental benefits of oxy-fuel combustion in the steel industry

    SciTech Connect

    Farrell, L.M.; Pavlack, T.T.; Rich, L.

    1995-03-01

    Due to the high flame temperature of conventional oxygen-fuel burners, these burners have typically not been used in reheat furnaces where temperature uniformity is critical. Praxair has developed a number of burners and associated control systems that have been successfully operated in a variety of reheat furnaces beginning in 1980. The burners have also recently been used for ladle preheating. All burners have been operated with 100% oxygen. The patented burners have designs that result in flame temperatures equivalent to conventional air-fuel burners. Flexible flame patterns are possible, resulting in uniform temperature distribution. In addition, the low flame temperature combined with minimal nitrogen in the furnace results in very low NO{sub x} emissions. The design of the control systems insure safe and reliable operation. In the following sections, oxygen-fuel combustion will be described, with a discussion of fuel savings and other benefits. Unique designs will be discussed along with the features which make them applicable to reheat applications and which result in lower emissions. Other equipment provided with the burners to complete the oxy-fuel combustion system will be described briefly. There will also be a short discussion of how both the fuel and oxygen price can affect the economics of fuel saving. Results from the commercial retrofit installations in continuous and batch reheat furnaces, soaking pits and ladle preheaters will be described. Finally, NO{sub x} emissions data will be discussed.

  12. Reduced grazing pressure delivers production and environmental benefits for the typical steppe of north China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Badgery, Warwick B.; Kemp, David R.; Chen, Wenqing; Wang, Xiaoya; Liu, Nan

    2015-01-01

    Degradation by overgrazing is common in many areas of the world and optimising grassland functions depends upon finding suitable grazing tactics. This four-year study on the northern China steppe investigated combinations of rest, moderate or heavy grazing pressure early in the summer growing season, then moderate or heavy grazing in the mid and late season. Results showed that moderate grazing pressure (~550 sheep equivalent (SE) grazing days ha−1 year−1) gave the optimal balance between maintaining a productive and diverse grassland, a profitable livestock system, and greenhouse gas mitigation. Further analyses identified that more conservative stocking (~400 SE grazing days ha−1 year−1) maintained a desirable Leymus chinensis composition and achieved a higher live weight gain of sheep. Early summer rest best maintained a desirable grassland composition, but had few other benefits and reduced incomes. These findings demonstrate that reducing grazing pressure to half the current district stocking rates can deliver improved ecosystem services (lower greenhouse gases and improved grassland composition) while sustaining herder incomes. PMID:26553566

  13. Environmental Impacts of the Annual Agricultural Drawdown in Southern Miami-Dade County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearns, E. J.; Renshaw, A.; Bellmund, S.

    2008-05-01

    Water managers annually manipulate groundwater storage in Southern Miami-Dade County at the end of the wet season to support agricultural interests. The so-called "agricultural drawdown" in Southern Miami-Dade County involves a 0.8 ft (0.24 m) reduction in groundwater stages via the release of large volumes of water each fall to Biscayne Bay. An average of 21.4 billion gallons (65,800 ac-ft or 8.1x107 m3) of freshwater are released each year from the Biscayne Aquifer via the C-103 and C-102 canals during the drawdown in anticipation of the winter growing season. The side-effects of this groundwater drawdown and loss of stored water are felt primarily by the environment in, and adjacent to, southern Biscayne Bay. Without the rapid drainage of freshwater, these large volumes of water would gradually leak into Biscayne Bay and its low-lying coastal wetlands, providing freshwater flows further into the dry season. The rapid and sudden release of water from the Biscayne Aquifer within a few weeks of the end of the wet season brings about an artificially early start to the dry season. The following dry season is thus unnaturally dry, leading to long periods of dry marshes and high salinities along the shoreline. The result threatens productive estuarine fish and shellfish habitat, enhances predation of nearshore species by marine fish, encourages exotic plant species within the coastal wetland zone, and promotes a loss of wading bird foraging habitat during nesting season. The threat of saltwater intrusion into the Biscayne Aquifer is enhanced by this operational practice as well, since sea levels are at their seasonal maximums in October and November. The effects of the agricultural drawdown, the possible enhancements to the coastal ecosystem that could be realized by its elimination, and its future within the context of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan's Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project will be explored.

  14. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-12-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment. PMID:16512212

  15. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-09-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment. PMID:20549445

  16. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-09-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  17. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-12-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  18. Economic and environmental impacts of the corn grain ethanol industry on the United States agricultural sector

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, J.A.; English, B.C.; De La Torre Ugarte, D. G.; Menard, R.J.; Hellwinckel, C.M.; West, Tristram O.

    2010-09-10

    This study evaluated the impacts of increased ethanol production from corn starch on agricultural land use and the environment in the United States. The Policy Analysis System simulation model was used to simulate alternative ethanol production scenarios for 2007 through 2016. Results indicate that increased corn ethanol production had a positive effect on net farm income and economic wellbeing of the US agricultural sector. In addition, government payments to farmers were reduced because of higher commodity prices and enhanced net farm income. Results also indicate that if Conservation Reserve Program land was converted to crop production in response to higher demand for ethanol in the simulation, individual farmers planted more land in crops, including corn. With a larger total US land area in crops due to individual farmer cropping choices, total US crop output rose, which decreased crop prices and aggregate net farm income relative to the scenario where increased ethanol production happened without Conservation Reserve Program land. Substantial shifts in land use occurred with corn area expanding throughout the United States, especially in the traditional corn-growing area of the midcontinent region.

  19. Performance and life cycle environmental benefits of recycling spent ion exchange brines by catalytic treatment of nitrate.

    PubMed

    Choe, Jong Kwon; Bergquist, Allison M; Jeong, Sangjo; Guest, Jeremy S; Werth, Charles J; Strathmann, Timothy J

    2015-09-01

    Salt used to make brines for regeneration of ion exchange (IX) resins is the dominant economic and environmental liability of IX treatment systems for nitrate-contaminated drinking water sources. To reduce salt usage, the applicability and environmental benefits of using a catalytic reduction technology to treat nitrate in spent IX brines and enable their reuse for IX resin regeneration were evaluated. Hybrid IX/catalyst systems were designed and life cycle assessment of process consumables are used to set performance targets for the catalyst reactor. Nitrate reduction was measured in a typical spent brine (i.e., 5000 mg/L NO3(-) and 70,000 mg/L NaCl) using bimetallic Pd-In hydrogenation catalysts with variable Pd (0.2-2.5 wt%) and In (0.0125-0.25 wt%) loadings on pelletized activated carbon support (Pd-In/C). The highest activity of 50 mgNO3(-)/(min - g(Pd)) was obtained with a 0.5 wt%Pd-0.1 wt%In/C catalyst. Catalyst longevity was demonstrated by observing no decrease in catalyst activity over more than 60 days in a packed-bed reactor. Based on catalyst activity measured in batch and packed-bed reactors, environmental impacts of hybrid IX/catalyst systems were evaluated for both sequencing-batch and continuous-flow packed-bed reactor designs and environmental impacts of the sequencing-batch hybrid system were found to be 38-81% of those of conventional IX. Major environmental impact contributors other than salt consumption include Pd metal, hydrogen (electron donor), and carbon dioxide (pH buffer). Sensitivity of environmental impacts of the sequencing-batch hybrid reactor system to sulfate and bicarbonate anions indicate the hybrid system is more sustainable than conventional IX when influent water contains <80 mg/L sulfate (at any bicarbonate level up to 100 mg/L) or <20 mg/L bicarbonate (at any sulfate level up to 100 mg/L) assuming 15 brine reuse cycles. The study showed that hybrid IX/catalyst reactor systems have potential to reduce resource consumption and

  20. Enantioseparation and determination of the chiral phenylpyrazole insecticide ethiprole in agricultural and environmental samples and its enantioselective degradation in soil.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing; Shi, Haiyan; Gao, Beibei; Tian, Mingming; Hua, Xiude; Wang, Minghua

    2016-01-15

    An effective method for the enantioselective determination of ethiprole enantiomers in agricultural and environmental samples was developed. The effects of solvent extraction, mobile phase and thermodynamic parameters for chiral recognition were fully investigated. Complete enantioseparation of the ethiprole enantiomers was achieved on a Lux Cellulose-2 column. The stereochemical structures of ethiprole enantiomers were also determined, and (R)-(+)-ethiprole was first eluted. The average recoveries were 82.7-104.9% with intra-day RSD of 1.7-8.2% in soil, cucumber, spinach, tomato, apple and peach under optimal conditions. Good linearity (R(2)≥0.9991) was obtained for all the matrix calibration curves within a range of 0.1 to 10 mg L(-1). The limits of detection for both enantiomers were estimated to be 0.008 mg kg(-1) in soil, cucumber, spinach and tomato and 0.012 mg kg(-1) in apple and peach, which were lower than the maximum residue levels established in Japan. The results indicate that the proposed method is convenient and reliable for the enantioselective detection of ethiprole in agricultural and environmental samples. The behavior of ethiprole in soil was studied under field conditions and the enantioselective degradation was observed with enantiomer fraction values varying from 0.494 to 0.884 during the experiment. The (R)-(+)-ethiprole (t1/2=11.6 d) degraded faster than (S)-(-)-ethiprole (t1/2=34.7 d). This report is the first describe a chiral analytical method and enantioselective behavior of ethiprole, and these results should be extremely useful for the risk evaluation of ethiprole in food and environmental safety.

  1. Benefits of environmental conditions for growing coriander in Banat Region, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Acimovic, Milica; Oljaca, Snezana; Jacimovic, Goran; Drazic, Slobodan; Tasic, Slavoljub

    2011-10-01

    As one of the oldest multi-purpose plants (spice, aromatic, honey and medicinal), coriander is widespread across Europe. Although in Serbia there are favorable conditions for its growth and development, it is grown on relatively small areas. During both investigated years it took more than 1200 degrees C for transfer from vegetative to generative phase of development and over 2000 degrees C for it to be ready for harvesting. Coriander is a photophilic plant, which requires around 1000 hours of light from sowing to ripening.. As for humidity, coriander grows well, if there are more than 200 mm of rainfall during growing season. In 2009 and 2010, the experiment carried out at the experimental field in Ostojićevo (Banat, Vojvodina province, Serbia) monitored the effect of parameters mentioned above on development of coriander plants, seed yield and essential oil content. The average yields of 1866 kg ha(-1) (2009) and 2470 kg ha(-1) (2010), and relatively high content of essential oil (1.06% in both years) indicate a great potential of this plant species in Serbia, which is, however, greatly dependent on environmental conditions during year.

  2. Biochars multifunctional role as a novel technology in the agricultural, environmental, and industrial sectors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar is utilized around the globe as an amendment to increase soil health characteristics and improve the environmental quality of water and soils systems. This rapid rise in using biochars is in response to the anticipated need to increase food production for future global nutrition demands. A...

  3. Environmentally Sound Small-Scale Agricultural Projects: Guidelines for Planning. Revised Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altieri, Miguel; Vukasin, Helen L., Ed.

    Environmental planning requires more than finding the right technology and a source of funds. Planning involves consideration of the social, cultural, economic, and natural environments in which the project occurs. The challenge is to develop sustainable food systems that have reasonable production but do not degrade the resource base and upset…

  4. [Agricultural activity and environmental externality: an analysis of the use of pesticides in the Brazilian savannah].

    PubMed

    Soares, Wagner Lopes; Porto, Marcelo Firpo

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses the negative externalities associated with the intensive use of pesticides in the Brazilian savannah. These externalities are mainly related to impacts on the environment and on human health (rural workers and families, consumers), the costs of which end up being socialized. The externality considered in the present paper is of soil and water contamination by pesticides. The data source is the questionnaire of the Basic Municipal Information Research applied in 2003. Maps are used in order to associate contaminated areas with agricultural activity. Some risk factors associated with soil and water contamination by pesticides such as seasonal crop area, air pollution by burning and weed proliferation, were obtained through a logistic regression. The study concludes that the results can be helpful to formulate policies and aid in the design of regulating instruments and the definition of priority areas where preventive actions should be implemented.

  5. 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.

  6. Optimization of integrated water quality management for agricultural efficiency and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Fleifle, Amr; Saavedra, Oliver; Yoshimura, Chihiro; Elzeir, Mohamed; Tawfik, Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    The scarcity of water resources in Egypt has necessitated the use of various types of lower quality water. Agricultural drainage water is considered a strategic reserve for meeting increasing freshwater demands. In this study, a novel model series was applied to a drainage basin in the Nile Delta to optimize integrated water quality management for agriculture and the aquatic environment. The proposed model series includes a waste load allocation model, an export coefficient model, a stream water quality model, and a genetic algorithm. This model series offers an optimized solution for determining the required removal levels of total suspended solids (TSS), the chemical oxygen demand (COD) at point and non-point pollution sources, and the source flows that require treatment to meet a given water quality target. The model series was applied during the summer and winter to the El-Qalaa basin in the western delta of the Nile River. Increased pollutant removal and treated fractions at point and non-point sources reduced violations of the TSS standards from 732.6 to 238.9 mg/L in summer and from 543.1 to 380.9 mg/L in winter. Likewise, violations of the COD standards decreased from 112.4 mg/L to 0 (no violations) in summer and from 91.7 mg/L to no violations in winter. Thus, this model is recommended as a decision support tool for determining a desirable waste load allocation solution from a trade-off curve considering costs and the degree of compliance with water quality standards.

  7. Traditional Agriculture and Permaculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Dick

    1997-01-01

    Discusses benefits of combining traditional agricultural techniques with the concepts of "permaculture," a framework for revitalizing traditions, culture, and spirituality. Describes school, college, and community projects that have assisted American Indian communities in revitalizing sustainable agricultural practices that incorporate cultural…

  8. A relatively brief exposure to environmental enrichment after experimental traumatic brain injury confers long-term cognitive benefits.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jeffrey P; Shaw, Kaitlyn E; Monaco, Christina M; Hoffman, Ann N; Sozda, Christopher N; Olsen, Adam S; Kline, Anthony E

    2012-11-20

    It is well established that a relatively brief exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) enhances motor and cognitive performance after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI), but it is not known whether the benefits can be sustained after EE is discontinued. To address this important rehabilitation-relevant concern, anesthetized rats received a controlled cortical impact (CCI) or sham injury, and for phase 1 of the experiment were randomly assigned to either 3 weeks of EE or standard (STD) housing. Neurobehavioral outcome was assessed by established motor and cognitive tests on postoperative days 1-5 and 14-18, respectively. Beam-balance and spatial learning were facilitated in the TBI + EE more than the TBI + STD group (p<0.0001). In phase 2 of the experiment, half of the rats in EE were transferred to STD conditions (TBI + EE + STD and sham + EE + STD), and neurobehavior was re-assessed once per month for 6 months. The TBI + EE and TBI + EE + STD groups performed markedly better in the water maze than the TBI + STD group (p<0.0001), and did not differ from one another (p=0.53). These data replicate those of several studies from our laboratory showing that EE enhances recovery after CCI injury, and extend those findings by demonstrating that the cognitive benefits are maintained for at least 6 months post-rehabilitation. The persistent benefits shown with this paradigm provide further support for EE as a pre-clinical model of rehabilitation that can be further explored, either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapies, for optimal neurorehabilitation after TBI.

  9. Assessing environmental risks for high intensity agriculture using the material flow analysis method--a case study of the Dongting Lake basin in South Central China.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guanyi; Liu, Liming; Yuan, Chengcheng

    2015-07-01

    This study primarily examined the assessment of environmental risk in high intensity agricultural areas. Dongting Lake basin was taken as a case study, which is one of the major grain producing areas in China. Using data obtained from 1989 to 2012, we applied Material Flow Analysis (MFA) to show the material consumption, pollutant output and production storage in the agricultural-environmental system and assessed the environmental risk index on the basis of the MFA results. The results predicted that the status of the environmental quality of the Dongting Lake area is unsatisfactory for the foreseeable future. The direct material input (DMI) declined by 13.9%, the domestic processed output (DPO) increased by 28.21%, the intensity of material consumption (IMC) decreased by 36.7%, the intensity of material discharge (IMD) increased by 10%, the material productivity (MP) increased by 27 times, the environmental efficiency (EE) increased by 15.31 times, and the material storage (PAS) increased by 0.23%. The DMI and DPO was higher at rural places on the edge of cities, whereas the risk of urban agriculture has arisen due to the higher increasing rate of DMI and DPO in cities compared with the counties. The composite environmental risk index increased from 0.33 to 0.96, indicating that the total environmental risk changed gradually but seriously during the 24 years assessed. The driving factors that affect environmental risk in high intensity agriculture can be divided into five classes: social, economic, human, natural and disruptive incidents. This study discussed a number of effective measures for protecting the environment while ensuring food production yields. Additional research in other areas and certain improvements of this method in future studies may be necessary to develop a more effective method of managing and controlling agricultural-environmental interactions.

  10. Environmental risk, resilience and migration: implications for natural resource management and agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshingkar, Priya

    2012-03-01

    This letter probes the causal links between migration, remittances and resilience to environmental change. Three case studies have been chosen, Western Mexico, the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso and Eastern India, where satellite imagery shows recent regeneration of vegetative cover and where there is evidence of high rates of migration. The findings are analysed through a framework that draws on concepts of ecological anthropology, new economics of labour theories and livelihood analyses of migration drivers and impacts.

  11. Environmental assessment for Kelley Hot Spring geothermal project: Kelley Hot Spring Agricultural Center

    SciTech Connect

    Neilson, J.A.

    1981-04-01

    The environmental impacts of an integrated swine production unit are analyzed together with necessary ancillary operations deriving its primary energy from a known geothermal reservoir in accordance with policies established by the National Energy Conservation Act. This environmental assessment covers 6 areas designated as potentially feasible project sites, using as the basic criteria for selection ground, surface and geothermal water supplies. The six areas, comprising +- 150 acres each, are within a 2 mile radius of Kelley Hot Springs, a known geothermal resource of many centuries standing, located 16 miles west of Alturas, the county seat of Modoc County, California. The project consists of the construction and operation of a 1360 sow confined pork production complex expandable to 5440 sows. The farrow to finish system for 1360 sows consists of 2 breeding barns, 2 gestation barns, 1 farrowing and 1 nursery barn, 3 growing and 3 finishing barns, a feed mill, a methane generator for waste disposal and water storage ponds. Supporting this are one geothermal well and 1 or 2 cold water wells, all occupying approximately 12 acres. Environmental reconnaissance involving geology, hydrology, soils, vegetation, fauna, air and water quality, socioeconomic, archaelogical and historical, and land use aspects were carefully carried out, impacts assessed and mitigations evaluated.

  12. Environmental and economic evaluation of energy recovery from agricultural and forestry residues

    SciTech Connect

    1980-09-01

    Four conversion methods and five residues are examined in this report, which describes six model systems: hydrolysis of corn residues, pyrolysis of corn residues, combustion of cotton-ginning residues, pyrolysis of wheat residues, fermentation of molasses, and combustion of pulp and papermill wastes. Estimates of material and energy flows for those systems are given per 10/sup 12/ Btu of recovered energy. Regional effects are incorporated by addressing the regionalized production of the residues. A national scope cannot be provided for every residue considered because of the biological and physical constraints of crop production. Thus, regionalization of the model systems to the primary production region for the crop from which the residue is obtained has been undertaken. The associated environmental consequences of residue utilization are then assessed for the production region. In addition, the environmental impacts of operating the model systems are examined by quantifying the residuals generated and the land, water, and material requirements per 10/sup 12/ Btu of energy generated. On the basis of estimates found in the literature, capital, operating, and maintenance cost estimates are given for the model systems. These data are also computed on the basis of 10/sup 12/ Btu of energy recovered. The cost, residual, material, land, and water data were then organized into a format acceptable for input into the SEAS data management program. The study indicates that the most serious environmental impacts arise from residue removal rather than from conversion.

  13. Celtic field agriculture and Early Anthropogenic Environmental change in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region, NW Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van der Sanden, Germaine; Kluiving, Sjoerd; Roymans, Nico

    2016-04-01

    The field of Archaeology remains focused on historical issues while underexploring its potential contribution on currently existing societal problems, e.g. climate change. The aim of this paper is to show the relevance of archeological studies for the research of the 'human species as a significant moving agent' in terms of the changing natural environment during a much earlier time frame. This research is based on the study area of the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region in the Netherlands and Belgium and exhibits the period from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Roman period. This period is characterized by the widespread introduction and use of an agricultural system, often referred to as the Celtic Field system that served as one of the most modifying systems in terms of anthropogenic-environmental change during this period. Emphasis in this research is given to results generated by the use of the remote sensing technology, LiDAR. New information is reported considering a correlation between singular field size and the overall surface of the agricultural complexes and secondly, the presentation of newly identified Celtic field systems in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region are presented. The study of the dynamics of the Celtic Field agricultural system provides evidence for a significant anthropogenic footprint on the natural environment due to land cover dominance, soil degeneration, increased soil acidification and forest clearance. Soil exhaustion forced the inhabitants to re-establish their relationship with the landscape in terms of fundamental changes in the habitation pattern and the agrarian exploitations of the land.

  14. Controlled Landfill Project in Yolo County, California for Environmental Benefits of Waste Stabilization and Minimization of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yazdani, R.; Augenstein, D.; Kieffer, J.; Cohen, K.

    2003-12-01

    The Department of Public Works of Yolo County, California, USA has been testing an advanced approach to landfill bioreactors, controlled (or "enhanced") landfilling, at its Yolo County Central Landfill site near Davis, CA, since 1994. Overall objectives have been the management of waste landfilling for: (1) rapid completion of total gas generation; (2) maximum, high-efficiency gas capture; (3) waste volume reduction; and (4) maximum greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration benefits. Methane generation is controlled and enhanced through carefully managed moisture additions, and by taking advantage of landfill temperature elevation. The generated landfill methane, an important greenhouse gas, is recovered with high efficiency through extraction from a porous recovery layer beneath a surface geomembrane cover. Instrumentation included a total of 56 moisture and 15 temperature sensors in the two cells, gas flow monitoring by positive displacement gas meters, and accurate quantification of liquid inputs and outputs. Gas composition, waste volume reduction, base hydrostatic head, and a range of environmental compliance parameters has been monitored since 1995. Partitioning gas tracer tests using the injection of two gases at dilute concentrations in the landfill have also been initiated to compute the fraction of pore space occupied by water between the points of tracer injection and tracer measurement. There has been rapid waste volume reduction in the enhanced cell that corresponds to the solids' reduction to gas. Monitoring is planned for the next several years, until stabilization parameters are determined complete. Encouraging performance is indicated by: (1) sensor data; (2) gas generation results; (3) data from landfill cores; and (4) decomposition-related indicators including rapid volume reduction. When data are synthesized, project results have attractive implications for new approaches to landfill management. Over seven-years, methane recoveries have averaged

  15. Socio-hydrologic drivers of the pendulum swing between agricultural development and environmental health: a case study from Murrumbidgee River basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandasamy, J.; Sounthararajah, D.; Sivabalan, P.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.; Sivapalan, M.

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a case study centred on the Murrumbidgee River basin in eastern Australia. It illustrates the dynamics of the balance between water extraction and use for food production, and efforts to mitigate and reverse consequent degradation of the riparian environment. In particular, the paper traces the history of a pendulum swing between an exclusive focus on agricultural development and food production in the initial stages and its attendant socio-economic benefits, followed by the gradual realization of the adverse environmental impacts, subsequent efforts to mitigate these with the use of remedial measures, and ultimately concerted efforts and externally imposed solutions to restore environmental health and ecosystem services. The 100-year history of development within the Murrumbidgee is divided into four eras, each underpinned by the dominance of different values and norms and turning points characterized by their changes. The various stages of development can be characterized by the dominance, in turn, of infrastructure systems, policy frameworks, economic instruments, and technological solutions. The paper argues that, to avoid these costly pendulum swings, management needs to be underpinned by long-term coupled socio-hydrologic system models that explicitly include the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems, including the slow evolution of human values and norms relating to water and the environment. Such coupled human-water system models can provide insights into dominant controls of the trajectory of their co-evolution in a given system, and can also be used to interpret patterns of co-evolution of such coupled systems in different places across gradients of climatic, socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions, and in this way to help develop generalizable understanding.

  16. Environmental Risk Assessment of Fluctuating Diazinon Concentrations in an Urban and Agricultural Catchment Using Toxicokinetic–Toxicodynamic Modeling

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Temporally resolved environmental risk assessment of fluctuating concentrations of micropollutants is presented. We separated the prediction of toxicity over time from the extrapolation from one to many species and from acute to sublethal effects. A toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic (TKTD) model predicted toxicity caused by fluctuating concentrations of diazinon, measured by time-resolved sampling over 108 days from three locations in a stream network, representing urban, agricultural and mixed land use. We calculated extrapolation factors to quantify variation in toxicity among species and effect types based on available toxicity data, while correcting for different test durations with the TKTD model. Sampling from the distribution of extrapolation factors and prediction of time-resolved toxicity with the TKTD model facilitated subsequent calculation of the risk of undesired toxic events. Approximately one-fifth of aquatic organisms were at risk and fluctuating concentrations were more toxic than their averages. Contribution of urban and agricultural sources of diazinon to the overall risk varied. Thus using fixed concentrations as water quality criteria appears overly simplistic because it ignores the temporal dimension of toxicity. However, the improved prediction of toxicity for fluctuating concentrations may be small compared to uncertainty due to limited diversity of toxicity data to base the extrapolation factors on. PMID:21958042

  17. Environmental risk assessment of fluctuating diazinon concentrations in an urban and agricultural catchment using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling.

    PubMed

    Ashauer, Roman; Wittmer, Irene; Stamm, Christian; Escher, Beate I

    2011-11-15

    Temporally resolved environmental risk assessment of fluctuating concentrations of micropollutants is presented. We separated the prediction of toxicity over time from the extrapolation from one to many species and from acute to sublethal effects. A toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TKTD) model predicted toxicity caused by fluctuating concentrations of diazinon, measured by time-resolved sampling over 108 days from three locations in a stream network, representing urban, agricultural and mixed land use. We calculated extrapolation factors to quantify variation in toxicity among species and effect types based on available toxicity data, while correcting for different test durations with the TKTD model. Sampling from the distribution of extrapolation factors and prediction of time-resolved toxicity with the TKTD model facilitated subsequent calculation of the risk of undesired toxic events. Approximately one-fifth of aquatic organisms were at risk and fluctuating concentrations were more toxic than their averages. Contribution of urban and agricultural sources of diazinon to the overall risk varied. Thus using fixed concentrations as water quality criteria appears overly simplistic because it ignores the temporal dimension of toxicity. However, the improved prediction of toxicity for fluctuating concentrations may be small compared to uncertainty due to limited diversity of toxicity data to base the extrapolation factors on. PMID:21958042

  18. Assessment of nitrate leakage and N2O emission from five environmental-friendly agricultural practices using fuzzy logic method and empirical formula.

    PubMed

    Qin, Lihuan; Wang, Yan; Wu, Yongfeng; Wang, Qian; Luo, Liangguo

    2015-06-01

    Agricultural nonpoint source pollution in China has been the major environmental problem, so environmental-friendly agricultural practices (EAPs) must be promoted to improve environmental quality. However, the most suitable practices for each agricultural region must first be identified. Thus, in the presented study a fuzzy-logic method and a revised empirical formula were used to assess nitrate leakage and N2O emissions, respectively, and to compare five EAPs in Xinxiang, a major grain-producing county in Henan Province, China. The required information was collected in face-to-face interviews with 10 extension service experts from the county, using a questionnaire to explore their opinions of the EAPs currently adopted by smallholder farmers, as well as the amounts, frequencies, varieties and proportions of nitrogen fertilizers applied annually. The results indicate that reduced tillage, soil testing and fertilizer recommendations would be the most appropriate practices to initially promote on a large scale in Xinxiang.

  19. Environmental modeling and exposure assessment of sediment-associated pyrethroids in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yuzhou; Zhang, Minghua

    2011-01-05

    Synthetic pyrethroid insecticides have generated public concerns due to their increasing use and potential effects on aquatic ecosystems. A modeling system was developed in this study for simulating the transport processes and associated sediment toxicity of pyrethroids at coupled field/watershed scales. The model was tested in the Orestimba Creek watershed, an agriculturally intensive area in California' Central Valley. Model predictions were satisfactory when compared with measured suspended solid concentration (R(2) = 0.536), pyrethroid toxic unit (0.576), and cumulative mortality of Hyalella azteca (0.570). The results indicated that sediment toxicity in the study area was strongly related to the concentration of pyrethroids in bed sediment. Bifenthrin was identified as the dominant contributor to the sediment toxicity in recent years, accounting for 50-85% of predicted toxicity units. In addition, more than 90% of the variation on the annual maximum toxic unit of pyrethroids was attributed to precipitation and prior application of bifenthrin in the late irrigation season. As one of the first studies simulating the dynamics and spatial variability of pyrethroids in fields and instreams, the modeling results provided useful information on new policies to be considered with respect to pyrethroid regulation. This study suggested two potential measures to efficiently reduce sediment toxicity by pyrethroids in the study area: [1] limiting bifenthrin use immediately before rainfall season; and [2] implementing conservation practices to retain soil on cropland.

  20. Antibiotic resistance marker genes as environmental pollutants in GMO-pristine agricultural soils in Austria.

    PubMed

    Woegerbauer, Markus; Zeinzinger, Josef; Gottsberger, Richard Alexander; Pascher, Kathrin; Hufnagl, Peter; Indra, Alexander; Fuchs, Reinhard; Hofrichter, Johannes; Kopacka, Ian; Korschineck, Irina; Schleicher, Corina; Schwarz, Michael; Steinwider, Johann; Springer, Burkhard; Allerberger, Franz; Nielsen, Kaare M; Fuchs, Klemens

    2015-11-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes may be considered as environmental pollutants if anthropogenic emission and manipulations increase their prevalence above usually occurring background levels. The prevalence of aph(3')-IIa/nptII and aph(3')-IIIa/nptIII - frequent marker genes in plant biotechnology conferring resistance to certain aminoglycosides - was determined in Austrian soils from 100 maize and potato fields not yet exposed to but eligible for GMO crop cultivation. Total soil DNA extracts were analysed by nptII/nptIII-specific TaqMan real time PCR. Of all fields 6% were positive for nptII (median: 150 copies/g soil; range: 31-856) and 85% for nptIII (1190 copies/g soil; 13-61600). The copy-number deduced prevalence of nptIII carriers was 14-fold higher compared to nptII. Of the cultivable kanamycin-resistant soil bacteria 1.8% (95% confidence interval: 0-3.3%) were positive for nptIII, none for nptII (0-0.8%). The nptII-load of the studied soils was low rendering nptII a typical candidate as environmental pollutant upon anthropogenic release into these ecosystems. PMID:26232739

  1. Antibiotic resistance marker genes as environmental pollutants in GMO-pristine agricultural soils in Austria.

    PubMed

    Woegerbauer, Markus; Zeinzinger, Josef; Gottsberger, Richard Alexander; Pascher, Kathrin; Hufnagl, Peter; Indra, Alexander; Fuchs, Reinhard; Hofrichter, Johannes; Kopacka, Ian; Korschineck, Irina; Schleicher, Corina; Schwarz, Michael; Steinwider, Johann; Springer, Burkhard; Allerberger, Franz; Nielsen, Kaare M; Fuchs, Klemens

    2015-11-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes may be considered as environmental pollutants if anthropogenic emission and manipulations increase their prevalence above usually occurring background levels. The prevalence of aph(3')-IIa/nptII and aph(3')-IIIa/nptIII - frequent marker genes in plant biotechnology conferring resistance to certain aminoglycosides - was determined in Austrian soils from 100 maize and potato fields not yet exposed to but eligible for GMO crop cultivation. Total soil DNA extracts were analysed by nptII/nptIII-specific TaqMan real time PCR. Of all fields 6% were positive for nptII (median: 150 copies/g soil; range: 31-856) and 85% for nptIII (1190 copies/g soil; 13-61600). The copy-number deduced prevalence of nptIII carriers was 14-fold higher compared to nptII. Of the cultivable kanamycin-resistant soil bacteria 1.8% (95% confidence interval: 0-3.3%) were positive for nptIII, none for nptII (0-0.8%). The nptII-load of the studied soils was low rendering nptII a typical candidate as environmental pollutant upon anthropogenic release into these ecosystems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. TERRA: a computer code for simulating the transport of environmentally released radionuclides through agriculture

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-11-01

    TERRA is a computer code which calculates concentrations of radionuclides and ingrowing daughters in surface and root-zone soil, produce and feed, beef, and milk from a given deposition rate at any location in the conterminous United States. The code is fully integrated with seven other computer codes which together comprise a Computerized Radiological Risk Investigation System, CRRIS. Output from either the long range (> 100 km) atmospheric dispersion code RETADD-II or the short range (<80 km) atmospheric dispersion code ANEMOS, in the form of radionuclide air concentrations and ground deposition rates by downwind location, serves as input to TERRA. User-defined deposition rates and air concentrations may also be provided as input to TERRA through use of the PRIMUS computer code. The environmental concentrations of radionuclides predicted by TERRA serve as input to the ANDROS computer code which calculates population and individual intakes, exposures, doses, and risks. TERRA incorporates models to calculate uptake from soil and atmospheric deposition on four groups of produce for human consumption and four groups of livestock feeds. During the environmental transport simulation, intermediate calculations of interception fraction for leafy vegetables, produce directly exposed to atmospherically depositing material, pasture, hay, and silage are made based on location-specific estimates of standing crop biomass. Pasture productivity is estimated by a model which considers the number and types of cattle and sheep, pasture area, and annual production of other forages (hay and silage) at a given location. Calculations are made of the fraction of grain imported from outside the assessment area. TERRA output includes the above calculations and estimated radionuclide concentrations in plant produce, milk, and a beef composite by location.

  6. Economic and environmental benefits of reducing standby power lossin DVD/VCD players and copiers in China

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Jiang; Li, Tienan; Li, Aizhen; Zhang, Guoqing

    2004-06-01

    's certification activities. Media events organized by CECP have greatly improved the country's awareness of standby power loss. Reducing standby power loss has been formally incorporated into China's energy efficiency policy portfolio and in China's collaboration with the international community on the subject of energy efficiency (IEA, 2001). In phase II of the program, CECP's main task was to assess the market for DVD/VCD (Digital Versatile/Video Disc and Video Compact Disc) players and copiers to analyze the economic and technical benefits of energy conservation potential, and to develop technical specifications for DVD/VCD players and copiers, with technical assistance from LBNL. Having built on the success of Phase I, CECP paid great attention to the appraisal of market conditions and the economic and environmental benefits of reducing standby power loss in DVD/VCD players and copiers, and solicited inputs from stakeholders before finalizing the product certification requirements. This paper summarizes the expected energy conservation and environmental benefits due to the implementation of certification programs for DVD/VCD players and copiers in China.

  7. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Reganold, John P

    2015-06-16

    To promote global food and ecosystem security, several innovative farming systems have been identified that better balance multiple sustainability goals. The most rapidly growing and contentious of these systems is organic agriculture. Whether organic agriculture can continue to expand will likely be determined by whether it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. Here, we examined the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture by conducting a meta-analysis of a global dataset spanning 55 crops grown on five continents. When organic premiums were not applied, benefit/cost ratios (-8 to -7%) and net present values (-27 to -23%) of organic agriculture were significantly lower than conventional agriculture. However, when actual premiums were applied, organic agriculture was significantly more profitable (22-35%) and had higher benefit/cost ratios (20-24%) than conventional agriculture. Although premiums were 29-32%, breakeven premiums necessary for organic profits to match conventional profits were only 5-7%, even with organic yields being 10-18% lower. Total costs were not significantly different, but labor costs were significantly higher (7-13%) with organic farming practices. Studies in our meta-analysis accounted for neither environmental costs (negative externalities) nor ecosystem services from good farming practices, which likely favor organic agriculture. With only 1% of the global agricultural land in organic production, our findings suggest that organic agriculture can continue to expand even if premiums decline. Furthermore, with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute a larger share in feeding the world. PMID:26034271

  8. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale.

    PubMed

    Crowder, David W; Reganold, John P

    2015-06-16

    To promote global food and ecosystem security, several innovative farming systems have been identified that better balance multiple sustainability goals. The most rapidly growing and contentious of these systems is organic agriculture. Whether organic agriculture can continue to expand will likely be determined by whether it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. Here, we examined the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture by conducting a meta-analysis of a global dataset spanning 55 crops grown on five continents. When organic premiums were not applied, benefit/cost ratios (-8 to -7%) and net present values (-27 to -23%) of organic agriculture were significantly lower than conventional agriculture. However, when actual premiums were applied, organic agriculture was significantly more profitable (22-35%) and had higher benefit/cost ratios (20-24%) than conventional agriculture. Although premiums were 29-32%, breakeven premiums necessary for organic profits to match conventional profits were only 5-7%, even with organic yields being 10-18% lower. Total costs were not significantly different, but labor costs were significantly higher (7-13%) with organic farming practices. Studies in our meta-analysis accounted for neither environmental costs (negative externalities) nor ecosystem services from good farming practices, which likely favor organic agriculture. With only 1% of the global agricultural land in organic production, our findings suggest that organic agriculture can continue to expand even if premiums decline. Furthermore, with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute a larger share in feeding the world.

  9. Environmental benefits. Fact sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-01

    Acid rain primarily affects sensitive bodies of waters, that is, those that rest atop soil with a limited ability to neutralize acidic compounds (called 'buffering capacity'). Many lakes and streams examined in a National Surface Water Survey (NSWS) suffer from chronic acidity, a condition in which water has a constant low pH level. The NSWS investigated the effects of acidic deposition in over 1,000 lakes larger than 10 acres and in thousands of miles of streams. In some sensitive lakes and streams, acidification has completely eradicated fish species, such as thebrook trout, leaving the bodies of water barren. The Canadian government has estimated that 14,000 lakes in Eastern Canada are acidic. The New Jersey Pine Barrens area endures the highest rate of acidic streams in the nation. The Mid-Atlantic Highlands are acidic primarily due to acidic deposition while streams in the Mid-Appalachians are also undergoing increasing acidification.

  10. The use of town refuse ash in urban agriculture around Jos, Nigeria: health and environmental risks.

    PubMed

    Pasquini, M W

    2006-01-15

    This paper reports on a study that examines the health and environmental risks of using town refuse ash in urban vegetable production in Jos, Nigeria, in terms of heavy metal accumulation in the food chain. Soil and crop samples, collected from five study farms, and samples of the river water used for irrigation, were analysed for seven heavy metals Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd and Pb. On the basis of the field data the paper discusses: (1) the potential soil deficiencies and toxicities; (2) the probable links between soil heavy metal levels and fertilisation practices; (3) the heavy metal concentrations in crop tissue in relation to crop growth and human health. The findings suggest that soil concentrations of the seven metals fall within 'typical' soil levels, and that there should not be any problems of either toxicities or deficiencies for crop growth. There was evidence of slight accumulation of Zn, Cu and Cd on some of the farms with a history of town refuse ash use. However, in all farms lettuce crops contained very large concentrations of Fe, and Pb concentrations that were 20 to 40 times higher than the WHO/FAO maximum recommended level in leafy vegetables for human consumption. The Cd content of carrot tissue was 10 times higher than the WHO/FAO recommended limit. The relatively small number of soil and crop samples precluded any formal attempt at correlating the concentrations of heavy metals found in the vegetable crops with the farm levels. Nevertheless, the data suggested that these were not linked. The paper goes on to consider various potential sources of the metals found in the crops, including irrigation water, town refuse ash and air-borne dust, and discusses additional health and environmental risks pertaining to the use of town refuse ash. Undoubtedly, the heavy Pb and Cd contamination of certain crops indicates the urgent need for future studies to ascertain the precise source of these metals, and although the practice of using town refuse ash does

  11. Food biotechnology: benefits and concerns.

    PubMed

    Falk, Michael C; Chassy, Bruce M; Harlander, Susan K; Hoban, Thomas J; McGloughlin, Martina N; Akhlaghi, Amin R

    2002-06-01

    Recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have highlighted the need for experimental evidence and sound scientific judgment to assess the benefits and risks to society. Nutrition scientists and other animal biologists need a balanced understanding of the issues to participate in this assessment. To date most modifications to crop plants have benefited producers. Crops have been engineered to decrease pesticide and herbicide usage, protect against stressors, enhance yields and extend shelf life. Beyond the environmental benefits of decreased pesticide and herbicide application, consumers stand to benefit by development of food crops with increased nutritional value, medicinal properties, enhanced taste and esthetic appeal. There remains concern that these benefits come with a cost to the environment or increased risk to the consumer. Most U.S. consumers are not aware of the extent that genetically modified foods have entered the marketplace. Consumer awareness of biotechnology seems to have increased over the last decade, yet most consumers remain confused over the science. Concern over the impact on the safety of the food supply remains low in the United States, but is substantially elevated in Europe. Before a genetically engineered crop is introduced into commerce it must pass regulatory scrutiny by as many as four different federal regulatory bodies to ensure a safe food supply and minimize the risk to the environment. Key areas for more research are evaluation of the nutritional benefits of new crops, further investigation of the environmental impact, and development of better techniques to identify and track genetically engineered products.

  12. High throughput imaging and analysis for biological interpretation of agricultural plants and environmental interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Hyundae; Benac, Jasenka; Riggsbee, Daniel; Koutsky, Keith

    2014-03-01

    High throughput (HT) phenotyping of crops is essential to increase yield in environments deteriorated by climate change. The controlled environment of a greenhouse offers an ideal platform to study the genotype to phenotype linkages for crop screening. Advanced imaging technologies are used to study plants' responses to resource limitations such as water and nutrient deficiency. Advanced imaging technologies coupled with automation make HT phenotyping in the greenhouse not only feasible, but practical. Monsanto has a state of the art automated greenhouse (AGH) facility. Handling of the soil, pots water and nutrients are all completely automated. Images of the plants are acquired by multiple hyperspectral and broadband cameras. The hyperspectral cameras cover wavelengths from visible light through short wave infra-red (SWIR). Inhouse developed software analyzes the images to measure plant morphological and biochemical properties. We measure phenotypic metrics like plant area, height, and width as well as biomass. Hyperspectral imaging allows us to measure biochemcical metrics such as chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and foliar water content. The last 4 years of AGH operations on crops like corn, soybean, and cotton have demonstrated successful application of imaging and analysis technologies for high throughput plant phenotyping. Using HT phenotyping, scientists have been showing strong correlations to environmental conditions, such as water and nutrient deficits, as well as the ability to tease apart distinct differences in the genetic backgrounds of crops.

  13. Performance and environmental impact of biodegradable polymers as agricultural mulching films.

    PubMed

    Touchaleaume, François; Martin-Closas, Lluís; Angellier-Coussy, Hélène; Chevillard, Anne; Cesar, Guy; Gontard, Nathalie; Gastaldi, Emmanuelle

    2016-02-01

    In the aim of resolving environmental key issues such as irreversible soil pollution by non-biodegradable and non-recoverable polyethylene (PE) fragments, a full-scale field experiment was set up to evaluate the suitability of four biodegradable materials based on poly(butylene adipate-co-terephtalate) (PBAT) to be used as sustainable alternatives to PE for mulching application in vineyard. Initial ultimate tensile properties, functional properties during field ageing (water vapour permeability and radiometric properties), biodegradability and agronomical performance of the mulched vines (wood production and fruiting yield) were studied. In spite of their early loss of physical integrity that occurred only five months after vine planting, the four materials satisfied all the requested functional properties and led to agronomic performance as high as polyethylene. In the light of the obtained results, the mulching material lifespan was questioned in the case of long-term perennial crop such as grapevine. Taking into account their mulching efficiency and biodegradability, the four PBAT-based studied materials are proven to constitute suitable alternatives to the excessively resistant PE material. PMID:26386433

  14. Performance and environmental impact of biodegradable polymers as agricultural mulching films.

    PubMed

    Touchaleaume, François; Martin-Closas, Lluís; Angellier-Coussy, Hélène; Chevillard, Anne; Cesar, Guy; Gontard, Nathalie; Gastaldi, Emmanuelle

    2016-02-01

    In the aim of resolving environmental key issues such as irreversible soil pollution by non-biodegradable and non-recoverable polyethylene (PE) fragments, a full-scale field experiment was set up to evaluate the suitability of four biodegradable materials based on poly(butylene adipate-co-terephtalate) (PBAT) to be used as sustainable alternatives to PE for mulching application in vineyard. Initial ultimate tensile properties, functional properties during field ageing (water vapour permeability and radiometric properties), biodegradability and agronomical performance of the mulched vines (wood production and fruiting yield) were studied. In spite of their early loss of physical integrity that occurred only five months after vine planting, the four materials satisfied all the requested functional properties and led to agronomic performance as high as polyethylene. In the light of the obtained results, the mulching material lifespan was questioned in the case of long-term perennial crop such as grapevine. Taking into account their mulching efficiency and biodegradability, the four PBAT-based studied materials are proven to constitute suitable alternatives to the excessively resistant PE material.

  15. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal.

  16. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal. PMID:17720669

  17. Assessing groundwater pollution hazard changes under different socio-economic and environmental scenarios in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Lima, M Lourdes; Romanelli, Asunción; Massone, Héctor E

    2015-10-15

    This paper proposes a modeling approach for assessing changes in groundwater pollution hazard under two different socio-economic and environmental scenarios: The first one considers an exponential growth of agriculture land-use (Relegated Sustainability), while the other deals with regional economic growth, taking into account, the restrictions put on natural resources use (Sustainability Reforms). The recent (2011) and forecasted (2030) groundwater pollution hazard is evaluated based on hydrogeological parameters and, the impact of land-use changes in the groundwater system, coupling together a land-use change model (Dyna-CLUE) with a groundwater flow model (MODFLOW), as inputs to a decision system support (EMDS). The Dulce Stream Watershed (Pampa Plain, Argentina) was chosen to test the usefulness and utility of this proposed method. It includes a high level of agricultural activities, significant local extraction of groundwater resources for drinking water and irrigation and extensive available data regarding aquifer features. The Relegated Sustainability Scenario showed a negative change in the aquifer system, increasing (+20%; high-very high classes) the contribution to groundwater pollution hazard throughout the watershed. On the other hand, the Sustainability Reforms Scenario displayed more balanced land-use changes with a trend towards sustainability, therefore proposing a more acceptable change in the aquifer system for 2030 with a possible 2% increase (high-very high classes) in groundwater pollution hazard. Results in the recent scenario (2011) showed that 54% of Dulce Stream Watershed still shows a moderate to a very low contribution to groundwater pollution hazard (mainly in the lower area). Therefore, from the point of view of natural resource management, this is a positive aspect, offering possibilities for intervention in order to prevent deterioration and protect this aquifer system. However, since it is quite possible that this aquifer status (i

  18. Assessing groundwater pollution hazard changes under different socio-economic and environmental scenarios in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Lima, M Lourdes; Romanelli, Asunción; Massone, Héctor E

    2015-10-15

    This paper proposes a modeling approach for assessing changes in groundwater pollution hazard under two different socio-economic and environmental scenarios: The first one considers an exponential growth of agriculture land-use (Relegated Sustainability), while the other deals with regional economic growth, taking into account, the restrictions put on natural resources use (Sustainability Reforms). The recent (2011) and forecasted (2030) groundwater pollution hazard is evaluated based on hydrogeological parameters and, the impact of land-use changes in the groundwater system, coupling together a land-use change model (Dyna-CLUE) with a groundwater flow model (MODFLOW), as inputs to a decision system support (EMDS). The Dulce Stream Watershed (Pampa Plain, Argentina) was chosen to test the usefulness and utility of this proposed method. It includes a high level of agricultural activities, significant local extraction of groundwater resources for drinking water and irrigation and extensive available data regarding aquifer features. The Relegated Sustainability Scenario showed a negative change in the aquifer system, increasing (+20%; high-very high classes) the contribution to groundwater pollution hazard throughout the watershed. On the other hand, the Sustainability Reforms Scenario displayed more balanced land-use changes with a trend towards sustainability, therefore proposing a more acceptable change in the aquifer system for 2030 with a possible 2% increase (high-very high classes) in groundwater pollution hazard. Results in the recent scenario (2011) showed that 54% of Dulce Stream Watershed still shows a moderate to a very low contribution to groundwater pollution hazard (mainly in the lower area). Therefore, from the point of view of natural resource management, this is a positive aspect, offering possibilities for intervention in order to prevent deterioration and protect this aquifer system. However, since it is quite possible that this aquifer status (i

  19. Organoclays as soil amendments to increase the efficacy and reduce the environmental impact of the herbicide fluometuron in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Gámiz, Beatriz; Celis, Rafael; Hermosín, María C; Cornejo, Juan

    2010-07-14

    The use of pesticides in agriculture has become a source of pollution of soil and water in the last decades. Extensive pesticide transport losses due to leaching and runoff produce nonpoint source contamination of soils and water. One of the soil processes that reduce pesticide transport losses is adsorption by soil particles; therefore, enhancement of pesticide retention by soil can be used as a strategy to attenuate the environmental impact of pesticides. In this work, organoclays were prepared by treating Wyoming montmorillonite (SWy-2) and Arizona montmorillonite (SAz-1) with different organic cations and were assayed as soil amendments to enhance the retention and reduce the leaching losses of the herbicide fluometuron [N,N-dimethyl-N'-[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl] urea] in soils. Two agricultural soils from Southern Spain were selected for being high-risk scenarios of ground and surface water contamination. First, a batch adsorption study was conducted to identify organoclays with high affinity for fluometuron. Among the different organoclays assayed, spermine-treated Wyoming montmorillonite (SW-SPERM) displayed high and reversible adsorption of fluometuron and was selected as an amendment for subsequent persistence, leaching, and herbicidal activity experiments of fluometuron with unamended and amended soils. Amendment of the soils with SW-SPERM at rates of 1%, 2%, and 5% greatly enhanced fluometuron retention by the soils and retarded fluometuron leaching through soil columns. Incubation experiments revealed that the persistence of the herbicide in the amended soils was similar to that in unamended soils and that most of the herbicide was ultimately available for degradation. Bioassays demonstrated that the reduced leaching losses of fluometuron in soils amended with SW-SPERM may result in increased herbicide efficacy if heavy rainfall events occur shortly after herbicide application.

  20. Sensitivity Analysis of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) for Phosphorus Loads in Tile-Drained Landscapes.

    PubMed

    Ford, W; King, K; Williams, M; Williams, J; Fausey, N

    2015-07-01

    Numerical modeling is an economical and feasible approach for quantifying the effects of best management practices on dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loadings from agricultural fields. However, tools that simulate both surface and subsurface DRP pathways are limited and have not been robustly evaluated in tile-drained landscapes. The objectives of this study were to test the ability of the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX), a widely used field-scale model, to simulate surface and tile P loadings over management, hydrologic, biologic, tile, and soil gradients and to better understand the behavior of P delivery at the edge-of-field in tile-drained midwestern landscapes. To do this, a global, variance-based sensitivity analysis was performed, and model outputs were compared with measured P loads obtained from 14 surface and subsurface edge-of-field sites across central and northwestern Ohio. Results of the sensitivity analysis showed that response variables for DRP were highly sensitive to coupled interactions between presumed important parameters, suggesting nonlinearity of DRP delivery at the edge-of-field. Comparison of model results to edge-of-field data showcased the ability of APEX to simulate surface and subsurface runoff and the associated DRP loading at monthly to annual timescales; however, some high DRP concentrations and fluxes were not reflected in the model, suggesting the presence of preferential flow. Results from this study provide new insights into baseline tile DRP loadings that exceed thresholds for algal proliferation. Further, negative feedbacks between surface and subsurface DRP delivery suggest caution is needed when implementing DRP-based best management practices designed for a specific flow pathway. PMID:26437091

  1. Environmental and health benefits from designating the Marmara Sea and the Turkish Straits as an emission control area (ECA).

    PubMed

    Viana, M; Fann, N; Tobías, A; Querol, X; Rojas-Rueda, D; Plaza, A; Aynos, G; Conde, J A; Fernández, L; Fernández, C

    2015-03-17

    Ship emissions degrade air quality and affect human health, and are increasingly becoming a matter of concern. Sulfur emission control areas (ECA), specific coastal regions where only low-sulfur fuels may be consumed by ocean-going ships, have proven to be useful tools to reduce ship-sourced air pollution along the North American, Canadian, and European North and Baltic Sea coastlines. The present work assesses the environmental and health benefits which would derive from designating an ECA in the Marmara Sea and the Turkish Straits (50 000 ships/year; 23 million inhabitants). Results show evidence that implementing an ECA would be technically viable and that it would reduce ship-sourced PM10 and PM2.5 ambient concentrations in Istanbul by 67%, and SO2 by 90%. The reduction of the air pollution burden on health was quantified as 210 hospital admissions from exposure to PM10, 290 hospital admissions from exposure to SO2, and up to 30 premature deaths annually due to ECA emission controls. Consequently, the designation of an ECA in the Marmara Sea and the Turkish Straits is evaluated as a positive, technically viable and real-world measure to reduce air pollution from ships in Turkey.

  2. The evolution of agricultural intensification and environmental degradation in the UK: a data-driven systems dynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong McKay, David I.; Dearing, John A.; Dyke, James G.; Poppy, Guy; Firbank, Les

    2016-04-01

    The world's population continues to grow rapidly, yet the current demand for food is already resulting in environmental degradation in many regions. As a result, an emerging challenge of the 21st century is how agriculture can simultaneously undergo sustainable intensification and be made more resilient to accelerating climate change. Key to this challenge is: a) finding the "safe and just operating space" for the global agri-environment system that both provides sufficient food for humanity and avoids crossing dangerous planetary boundaries, and b) downscaling this framework from a planetary to a regional scale in order to better inform decision making and incorporate regional dynamics within the planetary boundaries framework. Regional safe operating spaces can be defined and explored using a combination of metrics that indicate the changing status of ecosystem services (both provisioning and regulating), statistical techniques that reveal early warning signals and breakpoints, and dynamical system models of the regional agri-environment system. Initial attempts to apply this methodology have been made in developing countries (e.g. China [Dearing et al., 2012, 2014; Zhang et al., 2015]), but have not yet been attempted in more developed countries, for example the UK. In this study we assess the changes in ecosystem services in two contrasting agricultural regions in the UK, arable-dominated East England and pastoral-dominated South-West England, since the middle of the 20th Century. We identify and establish proxies and indices of various provisioning and regulating services in these two regions and analyse how these have changed over this time. We find that significant degradation of regulating services occurred in Eastern England in the early 1980s, reflecting a period of rapid intensification and escalating fertiliser usage, but that regulating services have begun to recover since 2000 mainly as a result of fertiliser usage decoupling from increasing wheat

  3. 7 CFR 15a.56 - Fringe benefits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ..., fringe benefits means: Any medical, hospital, accident, life insurance or retirement benefit, service... 7 Agriculture 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fringe benefits. 15a.56 Section 15a.56 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture EDUCATION PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING OR BENEFITTING...

  4. Simulating Sustainable P Management Practices in Tile-Drained Landscapes of Central Ohio Using the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, W. I., III; King, K.; Williams, M.

    2014-12-01

    Despite extensive application of conservation practices to minimize sediment P delivery to streams, hypoxic conditions and harmful algal blooms persist in receiving water bodies. Tile-drainage networks are a focal point for reducing soluble P in the food-producing Midwestern United States in that they promote higher connectivity between upland soils and stream channels which decreases soil contact time, and biogeochemical alterations. A critical next step to reduce the environmental impact and maintain sustainable agriculture is to implement best management practices (BMPs) under a holistic framework that considers adverse effects to water resources and crop production, while maintaining economic feasibility. The objective of this study was to apply a robust numerical model, the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), in a tile-drained landscape in Central Ohio in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a suite of BMPs on soluble and particulate P delivery to stream channels. The model was applied and evaluated at two adjacent edge-of-field sites with similar soil, topographic and management characteristics (except for tillage and tile installation on the south field in 2012, preceded by more than 20 years of no-till operations). Three years of daily discharge, total suspended solids, soluble P, soluble N (NO3 and NH4), total P, total N, and crop yields were utilized to verify the model performance. Prevalent BMPs simulated within the modeling framework included drainage water management, tillage and crop rotations, the 4Rs framework (right fertilizer source, rate, time, and placement), and bioreactors. Results of the study quantify the ability of the numerical model to simulate hydrology and P transport for surface runoff and subsurface tile drainage and highlight modifications that improve model performance. Further, results highlight BMPs that effectively reduce P loads to streams while maintaining crop yields, which can later be used to inform BMPs

  5. 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...

  6. Sustainable intensification in agricultural systems

    PubMed Central

    Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez

    2014-01-01

    Background Agricultural systems are amended ecosystems with a variety of properties. Modern agroecosystems have tended towards high through-flow systems, with energy supplied by fossil fuels directed out of the system (either deliberately for harvests or accidentally through side effects). In the coming decades, resource constraints over water, soil, biodiversity and land will affect agricultural systems. Sustainable agroecosystems are those tending to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable systems feed back to deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future. Sustainable intensification (SI) is defined as a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the conversion of additional non-agricultural land. The concept does not articulate or privilege any particular vision or method of agricultural production. Rather, it emphasizes ends rather than means, and does not pre-determine technologies, species mix or particular design components. The combination of the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘intensification’ is an attempt to indicate that desirable outcomes around both more food and improved environmental goods and services could be achieved by a variety of means. Nonetheless, it remains controversial to some. Scope and Conclusions This review analyses recent evidence of the impacts of SI in both developing and industrialized countries, and demonstrates that both yield and natural capital dividends can occur. The review begins with analysis of the emergence of combined agricultural–environmental systems, the environmental and social outcomes of recent agricultural revolutions, and analyses the challenges for food production this century as populations grow and consumption patterns change. Emergent criticisms are highlighted, and the positive impacts of SI on food outputs and renewable capital assets detailed. It concludes with observations on policies and

  7. Biogeosystem technique as a method to overcome the Biological and Environmental Hazards of modern Agricultural, Irrigational and Technological Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinitchenko, Valery; Batukaev, Abdulmalik; Zinchenko, Vladimir; Zarmaev, Ali; Magomadov, Ali; Chernenko, Vladimir; Startsev, Viktor; Bakoev, Serojdin; Dikaev, Zaurbek

    2014-05-01

    Modern challenge for humanity is to replace the paradigm of nature use and overcome environmental hazards of agronomy, irrigation, industry, and other human activities in biosphere. It is utterly reasonable to stop dividing biosphere on shares - the human habitat and the environment. In the 21st century it is an outdated anthropocentrism. Contradicting himself to biosphere Humankind has the problems. The new paradigm of biosphere control by methods of Biogeosystem technique is on agenda of Humankind. Key directions of Biogeosystem technique. Tillage. Single rotary milling 20…30-50…60 sm soil layer optimizes the evolution and environment of soil, creates a favorable conditions for the rhizosphere, increases the biological productivity of biosphere by 30-50% compared to the standard agricultural practices for the period up to 40 years. Recycle material. Recycling of mineral and organic substances in soil layer of 20…30-50…60 sm in rotary milling soil processing provides wastes clean return to biosphere. Direct intrasoil substances synthesis. Environmentally friendly robot wasteless nanotechnology provides direct substances synthesis, including fertilizers, inside the soil. It eliminates the prerequisites of the wastes formation under standard industrial technologies. Selective substance's extraction from soil. Electrochemical robotic nanotechnology provides selective substances extraction from soil. The technology provides recovery, collection and subsequent safe industrial use of extracted substances out of landscape. Saving fresh water. An important task is to save fresh water in biosphere. Irrigation spends water 4-5 times more of biological requirements of plants, leads to degradation of soil and landscape. The intrasoil pulse continuous-discrete paradigm of irrigation is proposed. It provides the soil and landscape conservation, increases the biological productivity, save the fresh water up to 10-20 times. The subsurface soil rotary processing and

  8. DO CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM INCREASING CIGARETTE TAXES? ACCOUNTING FOR THE ENDOGENEITY OF LUNG HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    My research investigates the relationship between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and lung function in children. I use detailed individual health data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES III) to measure the effect of environmental tobacco smoke ...

  9. Can Schools Offer Solutions to Small-Scale Farmers in Africa? Analysis of the Socioeconomic Benefits of Primary School Agriculture in Uganda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okiror, John James; Oonyu, Joseph; Matsiko, Frank; Kibwika, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Agriculture;This paper discusses the factors influencing application of school gardening knowledge and skills by pupils at school and household level; and whether pupils are effective sources of information to their parents. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare cohorts of 30 pupils randomly selected from eight schools in Kumi and Tororo…

  10. A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for rapid detection of anilofos residues in agricultural products and environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Gao, Ai H; Liu, Bing; Sheng, Wei; Tan, Chao; Yuan, Meng; Wang, Shuo

    2013-01-01

    A direct competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dc-ELISA) was developed to measure anilofos levels in agricultural and environmental samples. The ELISA was developed using rabbit polyclonal antibodies against a hapten-protein conjugate of anilofos-bovine serum albumin. The limit of detection was 0.1 μg L(-1), and there was no cross-reactivity with other related pesticides or structurally similar compounds. The matrix effects of rice (aromatic rice, white rice, brown rice), corn, barley, wheat and soil were measured and removed by extraction and dilution with phosphate buffered saline with 0.05% Tween-20. For water samples (tap water and river water), the matrix effects were also removed by dilution with phosphate buffered saline with Tween-20. The detection limits for anilofos in authentic samples (aromatic rice, white rice, brown rice, corn, barley, wheat, soil, tap water and river water) were 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, and 2 μg kg(-1), and 0.5 and 1 μg L(-1), respectively . The anilofos recovery ranged from 81.0-116.0% with a coefficient of variation of 1.7-9.0%. The method was validated using GC, and the results showed good correlation with the dc-ELISA data (r(2) = 0.9795). Forty-two cereal samples were randomly collected from different supermarkets and analyzed using the developed dc-ELISA. No anilofos was found in these products. The developed immunoassay is suitable for rapid quantitation of anilofos residues. PMID:23030434

  11. Co-benefits, trade-offs, barriers and policies for greenhouse gas mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Mercedes; Robledo-Abad, Carmenza; Harper, Richard; Mbow, Cheikh; Ravindranat, Nijavalli H; Sperling, Frank; Haberl, Helmut; Pinto, Alexandre de Siqueira; Smith, Pete

    2014-10-01

    The agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for approximately 25% of anthropogenic GHG emissions mainly from deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Mitigation from the sector is thus extremely important in meeting emission reduction targets. The sector offers a variety of cost-competitive mitigation options with most analyses indicating a decline in emissions largely due to decreasing deforestation rates. Sustainability criteria are needed to guide development and implementation of AFOLU mitigation measures with particular focus on multifunctional systems that allow the delivery of multiple services from land. It is striking that almost all of the positive and negative impacts, opportunities and barriers are context specific, precluding generic statements about which AFOLU mitigation measures have the greatest promise at a global scale. This finding underlines the importance of considering each mitigation strategy on a case-by-case basis, systemic effects when implementing mitigation options on the national scale, and suggests that policies need to be flexible enough to allow such assessments. National and international agricultural and forest (climate) policies have the potential to alter the opportunity costs of specific land uses in ways that increase opportunities or barriers for attaining climate change mitigation goals. Policies governing practices in agriculture and in forest conservation and management need to account for both effective mitigation and adaptation and can help to orient practices in agriculture and in forestry towards global sharing of innovative technologies for the efficient use of land resources. Different policy instruments, especially economic incentives and regulatory approaches, are currently being applied however, for its successful implementation it is critical to understand how land-use decisions are made and how new social, political and economic forces

  12. Co-benefits, trade-offs, barriers and policies for greenhouse gas mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Mercedes; Robledo-Abad, Carmenza; Harper, Richard; Mbow, Cheikh; Ravindranat, Nijavalli H; Sperling, Frank; Haberl, Helmut; Pinto, Alexandre de Siqueira; Smith, Pete

    2014-10-01

    The agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for approximately 25% of anthropogenic GHG emissions mainly from deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Mitigation from the sector is thus extremely important in meeting emission reduction targets. The sector offers a variety of cost-competitive mitigation options with most analyses indicating a decline in emissions largely due to decreasing deforestation rates. Sustainability criteria are needed to guide development and implementation of AFOLU mitigation measures with particular focus on multifunctional systems that allow the delivery of multiple services from land. It is striking that almost all of the positive and negative impacts, opportunities and barriers are context specific, precluding generic statements about which AFOLU mitigation measures have the greatest promise at a global scale. This finding underlines the importance of considering each mitigation strategy on a case-by-case basis, systemic effects when implementing mitigation options on the national scale, and suggests that policies need to be flexible enough to allow such assessments. National and international agricultural and forest (climate) policies have the potential to alter the opportunity costs of specific land uses in ways that increase opportunities or barriers for attaining climate change mitigation goals. Policies governing practices in agriculture and in forest conservation and management need to account for both effective mitigation and adaptation and can help to orient practices in agriculture and in forestry towards global sharing of innovative technologies for the efficient use of land resources. Different policy instruments, especially economic incentives and regulatory approaches, are currently being applied however, for its successful implementation it is critical to understand how land-use decisions are made and how new social, political and economic forces

  13. From "connecting the dots" to "threading the needle:" The challenges ahead in managing agricultural landscapes for environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non point source pollution from agriculture is one of the most challenging problems facing society. In this book chapter, we briefly review the development of “landscape thinking” in agriculture and how this has been incorporated into the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP). We pre...

  14. Transforming Agricultural Mechanics Curriculum through Expert Opinion to Model Technologies in Food, Environmental, and Natural Resource Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shinn, Glen C.

    A study was conducted to develop a consensus document that would provide an external perspective of the curriculum in agricultural education that includes agricultural mechanics as a course of study. Data were collected in four phases: solicitation of expert opinion from 53 experts in the field (34 respondents); rating of the opinions; development…

  15. Environmental and occupational health risks among agricultural workers living in a rural community near petroleum refinery and motorway in Skopje region.

    PubMed

    Karadžinska-Bislimovska, Jovanka; Minov, Jordan; Stoleski, Sašo; Mijakoski, Dragan; Risteska-Kuc, Snežana; Milkovska, Snežana

    2010-12-01

    To assess health risks in agricultural workers associated with environmental exposure to pollutants released from a petroleum refinery and from traffic, we performed a cross-sectional study that included 119 randomly selected subjects divided in two groups. Group 1 included 60 agricultural workers living in a rural community near the petroleum refinery and a motorway overpass, whereas Group 2 consisted of 59 agricultural workers performing similar activities and living in a rural community with no exposure to industrial and traffic pollutants. Risk assessment included a questionnaire, blood pressure measurement, spirometry, laboratory tests, and toxicological analysis. The groups showed a similar prevalence of health problems, with exception of muscle pain in the extremities, headache, and fatigue, which were significantly more common in Group 1. Diastolic blood pressure was higher in Group 1, but not significantly (p=0.057). The same is true for blood carbon monoxide. Significantly higher in Group 1 were blood haemoglobin (p=0.001) and blood lead (p<0.001). Serum cholinesterase activity was similar in both groups. Our findings indicate the need of regular medical exams, ambient monitoring and environmental impact assessment in agricultural population in order to detect individuals at risk and to institute adequate preventive measures.

  16. A threshold area ratio of organic to conventional agriculture causes recurrent pathogen outbreaks in organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Adl, S; Iron, D; Kolokolnikov, T

    2011-05-01

    Conventional agriculture uses herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers that have the potential to pollute the surrounding land, air and water. Organic agriculture tries to avoid using these and promotes an environmentally friendly approach to agriculture. Instead of relying on herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, organic agriculture promotes a whole system approach to managing weeds, pests and nutrients, while regulating permitted amendments. In this paper, we consider the effect of increasing the total area of agricultural land under organic practices, against a background of conventional agriculture. We hypothesized that at a regional scale, organic agriculture plots benefit from existing in a background of conventional agriculture, that maintains low levels of pathogens through pesticide applications. We model pathogen dispersal with a diffusive logistic equation in which the growth/death rate is spatially heterogeneous. We find that if the ratio of the organic plots to conventional plots remains below a certain threshold l(c), the pest population is kept small. Above this threshold, the pest population in the organic plots grows rapidly. In this case, the area in organic agriculture will act as a source of pest to the surrounding region, and will always infect organic plots as they become more closely spaced. Repeated localized epidemics of pest outbreaks threaten global food security by reducing crop yields and increasing price volatility. We recommend that regional estimates of this threshold are necessary to manage the growth of organic agriculture region by region.

  17. A threshold area ratio of organic to conventional agriculture causes recurrent pathogen outbreaks in organic agriculture.

    PubMed

    Adl, S; Iron, D; Kolokolnikov, T

    2011-05-01

    Conventional agriculture uses herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers that have the potential to pollute the surrounding land, air and water. Organic agriculture tries to avoid using these and promotes an environmentally friendly approach to agriculture. Instead of relying on herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, organic agriculture promotes a whole system approach to managing weeds, pests and nutrients, while regulating permitted amendments. In this paper, we consider the effect of increasing the total area of agricultural land under organic practices, against a background of conventional agriculture. We hypothesized that at a regional scale, organic agriculture plots benefit from existing in a background of conventional agriculture, that maintains low levels of pathogens through pesticide applications. We model pathogen dispersal with a diffusive logistic equation in which the growth/death rate is spatially heterogeneous. We find that if the ratio of the organic plots to conventional plots remains below a certain threshold l(c), the pest population is kept small. Above this threshold, the pest population in the organic plots grows rapidly. In this case, the area in organic agriculture will act as a source of pest to the surrounding region, and will always infect organic plots as they become more closely spaced. Repeated localized epidemics of pest outbreaks threaten global food security by reducing crop yields and increasing price volatility. We recommend that regional estimates of this threshold are necessary to manage the growth of organic agriculture region by region. PMID:21420722

  18. Environmental benefits and risks of zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) for in situ remediation: risk mitigation or trade-off?

    PubMed

    Grieger, Khara D; Fjordbøge, Annika; Hartmann, Nanna B; Eriksson, Eva; Bjerg, Poul L; Baun, Anders

    2010-11-25

    The use of nanoscaled zero-valent iron particles (nZVI) to remediate contaminated soil and groundwater has received increasing amounts of attention within the last decade, primarily due to its potential for broader application, higher reactivity, and cost-effectiveness compared to conventional zero-valent iron applications and other in situ methods. However, the potential environmental risks of nZVI in in situ field scale applications are largely unknown at the present and traditional environmental risk assessment approaches are not yet able to be completed. Therefore, it may not yet be fully clear how to consider the environmental benefits and risks of nZVI for in situ applications. This analysis therefore addresses the challenges of comprehensively considering and weighing the expected environmental benefits and potential risks of this emerging environmentally-beneficial nanotechnology, particularly relevant for environmental engineers, scientists, and decision makers. We find that most of the benefits of using nZVI are based on near-term considerations, and large data gaps currently exist within almost all aspects of environmental exposure and effect assessments. We also find that while a wide range of decision support tools and frameworks alternative to risk assessment are currently available, a thorough evaluation of these should be undertaken in the near future to assess their full relevancy for nZVI at specific sites. Due to the absence of data in environmental risk evaluations, we apply a 'best' and 'worst' case scenario evaluation as a first step to qualitatively evaluate the current state-of-knowledge regarding the potential environmental risks of nZVI. The result of this preliminary qualitative evaluation indicates that at present, there are no significant grounds on which to form the basis that nZVI currently poses a significant, apparent risk to the environment, although the majority of the most serious criteria (i.e. potential for persistency

  19. Impact assessment of treated/untreated wastewater toxicants discharged by sewage treatment plants on health, agricultural, and environmental quality in the wastewater disposal area.

    PubMed

    Singh, Kunwar P; Mohan, Dinesh; Sinha, Sarita; Dalwani, R

    2004-04-01

    Studies were undertaken to assess the impact of wastewater/sludge disposal (metals and pesticides) from sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Jajmau, Kanpur (5 MLD) and Dinapur, Varanasi (80 MLD), on health, agriculture and environmental quality in the receiving/application areas around Kanpur and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. The raw, treated and mixed treated urban wastewater samples were collected from the inlet and outlet points of the plants during peak (morning and evening) and non-peak (noon) hours. The impact of the treated wastewater toxicants (metals and pesticides) on the environmental quality of the disposal area was assessed in terms of their levels in different media samples viz., water, soil, crops, vegetation, and food grains. The data generated show elevated levels of metals and pesticides in all the environmental media, suggesting a definite adverse impact on the environmental quality of the disposal area. The critical levels of the heavy metals in the soil for agricultural crops are found to be much higher than those observed in the study areas receiving no effluents. The sludge from the STPs has both positive and negative impacts on agriculture as it is loaded with high levels of toxic heavy metals and pesticides, but also enriched with several useful ingredients such as N, P, and K providing fertilizer values. The sludge studied had cadmium, chromium and nickel levels above tolerable levels as prescribed for agricultural and lands application. Bio-monitoring of the metals and pesticides levels in the human blood and urine of the different population groups under study areas was undertaken. All the different approaches indicated a considerable risk and impact of heavy metals and pesticides on human health in the exposed areas receiving the wastewater from the STPs.

  20. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey on sources, transport, and fate of agricultural chemicals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Capel, Paul D.; Hamilton, Pixie A.; Erwin, Martha L.

    2004-01-01

    Information from these studies will help with decision-making related to chemical use, conservation, and other farming practices that are used to reduce runoff of agricultural chemicals and sediment from fields. This information also will benefit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, local and regional water managers, and agricultural chemical manufacturers who are involved in managing chemical use and pesticide registration.

  1. 76 FR 49291 - Agricultural Swaps

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-10

    ... Commission recently promulgated a final rule defining the term ``agricultural commodity.'' See 76 FR 41048... Agricultural Swaps, 76 FR 6095, February 3, 2011. \\8\\ See Agricultural Swaps, 75 FR 59666, Sept. 28, 2010. C... specifically addressing the costs and benefits of the proposed agricultural swaps rules. \\10\\ See NPRM, 76...

  2. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  3. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts. PMID:25757330

  4. 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…

  5. Biopolymers in controlled release devices for agricultural applications.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of biopolymers such as starch for agricultural applications including controlled release devices is growing due the environmental benefits. Recently, concerns have grown about the worldwide spread of parasitic mites (Varroa destructor) that infect colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). ...

  6. New technological era for American agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-08-01

    The report examines emerging technologies that may be available to American agriculture in the 1990s, their potential for industry, and consequent policy issues. The report analyzes the technologies and related policy issues Congress may need to resolve. The analysis includes an assessment of adjustments industry must take to capitalize on the new technologies, the scientific and institutional issues relevant to food safety and environmental risk and benefit, and the implications for intellectual property rights and science policy. It is the final report in a series on emerging agricultural issues in the 1990s. Other reports in the series include: Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer Policies for the 1990s; U.S. Dairy Industry at a Crossroad: Biotechnology and Policy Choices; and Agricultural Commodities as Industrial Raw Materials.

  7. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  8. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  9. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  10. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  11. 7 CFR 1466.36 - Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental credits for conservation improvements... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM General Administration § 1466.36 Environmental credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  12. Political benefits as barriers to assessment of environmental costs in Brazil's Amazonian development planning: The example of the Jatapu Dam in Roraima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fearnside, Philip M.; Barbosa, Reinaldo Imbrozio

    1996-09-01

    Development projects are rapidly changing the landscape in Brazilian Amazonia. Environmental impact assessments have been required since 1986, and the regulatory system is evolving as precedents are set by each new development project. The Jatapu Dam in Roraima provides an illustration of underlying impediments to assessment of environmental costs and to due consideration being given to these assessments when decisions are made. The high priority placed on the dam by the Roraima state government is unexplainable in terms of economic returns. The place of the dam in a long-term political strategy provides the best of several possible explanations, any one of which is incompatible with a “rational” weighing of economic and environmental costs and benefits. A number of lessons can be drawn from the experience of Jatapu, but some of the problems have no solution. The barriers to rational decision making illustrated by Jatapu apply to development projects in many parts of the world.

  13. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on N loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalya River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A modeling framework consisting of a farm-scale model, Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX); a watershedscale model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); and databases was used in the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practi...

  14. The impacts of inherent soil properties, environmental conditions, and restoration time on ecological benefits during CRP restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has numerous benefits including reduced soil erosion, increased C sequestration, and biodiversity through the conversion of highly erodible cropland to grasslands. The rate and magnitude of these changes varies and the factors that impact these changes are larg...

  15. Agricultural Aircraft for Site-Specific Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural aircraft provide a convenient platform to aid in precision agriculture, in which pesticide, fertilizer or other field inputs are applied only where they are needed. This saves on chemical and farm resources, and reduces environmental loading. Remote sensing is used to spot areas of the ...

  16. [Towards a renewable and sustainable agriculture. Biological agriculture: from marginal vanguard to spearhead of the agriculture of the future].

    PubMed

    Diek Van Mansvelt, J

    1992-01-01

    This work seeks to demonstrate how different types of organic agriculture can meet the need for renewable and sustainable agriculture, rural development, and management of the land and water resources. An obstacle to the spread of organic agriculture is the widespread perception that without intensive factors of production, demographic growth will necessarily outstrip the available food resources. Calculation of economic costs and benefits at present carries greater weight in planning than do soil erosion, deforestation, extinction of species, disappearance of habitats, and similar environmental damage. The different types of organic agriculture do not follow rigid rules and are not defined solely by the nonuse of nitrogenous fertilizers and pesticides. One of the main principles or organic agriculture is to respect local soil and climatic conditions. Self-sufficiency regarding external factors of production and an emphasis on recycling and optimal use of natural resources were concept ahead of their time when they initially were introduced in the 1920s. The specialization which restructured agriculture over the past century has seriously damaged the system of mixed agriculture and the chain of food production. The solution will be to seek for each region an appropriate balance linking animals and agricultural production in an organic process. The objective of organic agriculture, also known as autonomous ecosystem management, is to preserve as far as possible the balance between needs for food and fiber on the 1 hand and the potential of local ecosystems on the other. General principles of organic agriculture include mixed exploitation in which both plants and animals have specific functions in the context of their local soil and climatic characteristics. Different types of crop rotation are practiced to optimize mutual interactions between crops, and the varied organic cycles are also optimized within the framework of anorganic management in accord with nature

  17. Multidimensional cost-benefit analysis to guide evidence-based environmental enrichment: providing bedding and foraging substrate to pen-housed monkeys.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Allyson J; Corcoran, Christopher A; Hardy, Vickie A; Miller, Leslie R; Pierre, Peter J

    2010-09-01

    Refinement of animal care and housing is an important shared goal-and challenge-of the team of research, veterinary, and animal care personnel charged with ensuring the wellbeing of laboratory animals. This study addresses 2 issues central to decision-making and implementation of environmental enhancement: methods for useful and comprehensive cost analysis and evaluation of engineering, husbandry, and facilities considerations. The study was undertaken to analyze the feasibility and cost of providing wood shavings as a floor cover for pen-housed monkeys. The beneficial effects of bedding for the welfare of laboratory-housed animals have long been validated. Our study illustrates a workable team-based procedure for comprehensive cost analysis of an important environmental enhancement and demonstrates that the animal welfare benefit is accompanied by decreased husbandry costs. An engineering solution to the potential challenge that wood shavings pose in terms of clogging water pipes was successful. Another successful outcome was the reduction in water (estimated at 192,000 gal annually) and chemicals used to clean housing areas. Emphasis on rigorous evaluation and objective measures of cost and benefit, as well as inclusion of the many factors and teams involved in animal research, holds strong potential for building a better foundation from which to contribute effective changes and improvements in laboratory animal welfare. Taken together, the findings of this study demonstrate that team-based, integrative, and scientific evaluation of environmental enhancement is an effective approach to guide selection of strategies with maximal potential for improving animal welfare.

  18. Mining Environmental Data from a Coupled Modelling System to Examine the Impact of Agricultural Management Practices on Groundwater and Air Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, V.; Cooter, E. J.; Hayes, B.; Murphy, M. S.; Bash, J. O.

    2014-12-01

    Excess nitrogen (N) resulting from current agricultural management practices can leach into sources of drinking water as nitrate, increasing human health risks of 'blue baby syndrome', hypertension, and some cancers and birth defects. Nitrogen also enters the atmosphere from land surfaces forming air pollution increasing human health risks of pulmonary and cardio-vascular disease. Characterizing and attributing nitrogen from agricultural management practices is difficult due to the complex and inter-related chemical and biological reactions associated with the nitrogen cascade. Coupled physical process-based models, however, present new opportunities to investigate relationships among environmental variables on new scales; particularly because they link emission sources with meteorology and the pollutant concentration ultimately found in the environment. In this study, we applied a coupled meteorology (NOAA-WRF), agricultural (USDA-EPIC) and air quality modelling system (EPA-CMAQ) to examine the impact of nitrogen inputs from corn production on ecosystem and human health and wellbeing. The coupled system accounts for the nitrogen flux between the land surface and air, and the soil surface and groundwater, providing a unique opportunity to examine the effect of management practices such as type and timing of fertilization, tilling and irrigation on both groundwater and air quality across the conterminous US. In conducting the study, we first determined expected relationships based on literature searches and then identified model variables as direct or surrogate variables. We performed extensive and methodical multi-variate regression modelling and variable selection to examine associations between agricultural management practices and environmental condition. We then applied the regression model to predict and contrast pollution levels between two corn production scenarios (Figure 1). Finally, we applied published health functions (e.g., spina bifida and cardio

  19. Comparison of production-phase environmental impact metrics derived at the farm- and national-scale for United States agricultural commodities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costello, Christine; Xue, Xiaobo; Howarth, Robert W.

    2015-11-01

    Agricultural production is critical for human survival and simultaneously contributes to ecosystem degradation. There is a need for transparent, rapid methods for evaluating the environmental impacts of agricultural production at the system-level in order to develop sustainable food supplies. We have developed a method for estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG), land use and reactive nitrogen inputs associated with the agricultural production phase of major crop and livestock commodities produced in the United States (US). Materials flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques were applied to national inventory datasets. The net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI) toolbox served as the primary accounting tool for LCA and MFA. NANI was updated to create links between nitrogen fertilizer and nitrogen fixation associated with feed crops and animal food commodities. Results for the functional units kilogram (kg) of product and kg of protein for 2002 data fall within ranges of published LCA results from farm-scale studies across most metrics. Exceptions include eutrophication potential for milk and GHGs for chicken and eggs, these exceptions arise due to differing methods and boundary assumptions; suggestions for increasing agreement are identified. Land use for livestock commodities are generally higher than reported by other LCA studies due to the inclusion of all land identified as pasture or grazing land in the US in this study and given that most of the estimates from other LCAs were completed in Europe where land is less abundant. The method provides a view of the entire US agricultural system and could be applied to any year using publically available data. Additionally, utilizing a top-down approach reduces data collection and processing time making it possible to develop environmental inventory metrics rapidly for system-level decision-making.

  20. Benefits of collaborative learning for environmental management: applying the integrated systems for knowledge management approach to support animal pest control.

    PubMed

    Allen, W; Bosch, O; Kilvington, M; Oliver, J; Gilbert, M

    2001-02-01

    Resource management issues continually change over time in response to coevolving social, economic, and ecological systems. Under these conditions adaptive management, or "learning by doing," offers an opportunity for more proactive and collaborative approaches to resolving environmental problems. In turn, this will require the implementation of learning-based extension approaches alongside more traditional linear technology transfer approaches within the area of environmental extension. In this paper the Integrated Systems for Knowledge Management (ISKM) approach is presented to illustrate how such learning-based approaches can be used to help communities develop, apply, and refine technical information within a larger context of shared understanding. To outline how this works in practice, we use a case study involving pest management. Particular attention is paid to the issues that emerge as a result of multiple stakeholder involvement within environmental problem situations. Finally, the potential role of the Internet in supporting and disseminating the experience gained through ongoing adaptive management processes is examined.

  1. Modelling the environmental transfer of phthalates and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans into agricultural products: the EN-forc model.

    PubMed

    Fierens, T; Cornelis, C; Standaert, A; Sioen, I; De Henauw, S; Van Holderbeke, M

    2014-08-01

    This study aimed to predict the occurrence of four phthalates, two polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and two polychlorinated dibenzofurans in environmental and agricultural media from observed concentrations in air, sludge, manure and concentrate. For the environmental and agricultural fate modelling, the newly developed multimedia model "EN-forc" (ENvironmental Food transfer model for ORganic Contaminants) was used. To validate EN-forc calculations, the predicted concentrations of the considered chemicals in soil, groundwater, drinking water, plants and animal products were compared with both observed and modelled concentrations available in the literature. For the majority of the considered matrices, predicted phthalate and dioxin levels differed one order of magnitude at most with observed concentrations. Unfortunately, the transfer models implemented in EN-forc lacked power to predict levels of some phthalates and dioxins in pasture, root crops and/or tubers. Concentrations of phthalates and dioxins in offal could not be predicted due to the absence of suitable models that have an acceptable level of complexity to implement in EN-forc. For this type of food products, further research is highly encouraged. In a next step, the modelling framework of EN-forc will be extended in order to be able to predict human dietary exposure to organic chemicals like phthalates and dioxins.

  2. Investigation of environmental change pattern in Japan. Observation of present state of agricultural land-use by analysing LANDSAT data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maruyasu, T. (Principal Investigator); Hayashi, S.

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Species and ages of grasses in pastures were identified, and soils were classified into several types using LANDSAT data. This data could be used in a wide area of cultivation, reclamation, or management planning on agricultural land.

  3. Whole-Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas xanthomarina Strain UASWS0955, a Potential Biological Agent for Agricultural and Environmental Uses

    PubMed Central

    Crovadore, Julien; Cochard, Bastien; Calmin, Gautier; Chablais, Romain; Schulz, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    We report here the whole-genome shotgun sequence of the strain UASWS0955 of the species Pseudomonas xanthomarina, isolated from sewage sludge. This genome was obtained with an Illumina MiniSeq and is the second genome registered for this species, which is considered as a promising resource for agriculture and bioremediation of contaminated soils. PMID:27738044

  4. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  5. DEMONSTRATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND DEMAND-SIDE MANAGEMENT BENEFITS OF GRID-CONNECTED PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study investigated the pollutant emission reduction and demand-side management potential of 16 photovoltaic (PV) systems installed across the U.S. in 1993 and 1994. The project was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 11 electric utilities. This ar...

  6. PLANNING CHANGE: CASE STUDIES ILLUSTRATING THE BENEFITS OF GIS AND LAND-USE DATA IN ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

    EPA Science Inventory

    A well-established protocol for planning environmentally sustainable development has yet to be agreed upon. Experiences from two highly-studied basins in the United States illustrate some early attempts, their successes, and the obstacles that continue to impede widespread adopt...

  7. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar-compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Agegnehu, Getachew; Bass, Adrian M; Nelson, Paul N; Bird, Michael I

    2016-02-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha(-1) biochar (B)+F; 3) 25 t ha(-1) compost (Com)+F; 4) 2.5 t ha(-1) B+25 t ha(-1) Com mixed on site+F; and 5) 25 t ha(-1) co-composted biochar-compost (COMBI)+F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ(15)N and δ(13)C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3(-)N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4(+)-N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO2 and N2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N2O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar-compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems.

  8. Benefits of biochar, compost and biochar-compost for soil quality, maize yield and greenhouse gas emissions in a tropical agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Agegnehu, Getachew; Bass, Adrian M; Nelson, Paul N; Bird, Michael I

    2016-02-01

    Soil quality decline represents a significant constraint on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in the tropics. In this study, the influence of biochar, compost and mixtures of the two on soil fertility, maize yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was investigated in a tropical Ferralsol. The treatments were: 1) control with business as usual fertilizer (F); 2) 10 t ha(-1) biochar (B)+F; 3) 25 t ha(-1) compost (Com)+F; 4) 2.5 t ha(-1) B+25 t ha(-1) Com mixed on site+F; and 5) 25 t ha(-1) co-composted biochar-compost (COMBI)+F. Total aboveground biomass and maize yield were significantly improved relative to the control for all organic amendments, with increases in grain yield between 10 and 29%. Some plant parameters such as leaf chlorophyll were significantly increased by the organic treatments. Significant differences were observed among treatments for the δ(15)N and δ(13)C contents of kernels. Soil physicochemical properties including soil water content (SWC), total soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3(-)N), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4(+)-N), exchangeable cations and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly increased by the organic amendments. Maize grain yield was correlated positively with total biomass, leaf chlorophyll, foliar N and P content, SOC and SWC. Emissions of CO2 and N2O were higher from the organic-amended soils than from the fertilizer-only control. However, N2O emissions generally decreased over time for all treatments and emission from the biochar was lower compared to other treatments. Our study concludes that the biochar and biochar-compost-based soil management approaches can improve SOC, soil nutrient status and SWC, and maize yield and may help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in certain systems. PMID:26590867

  9. Financial competitiveness of organic agriculture on a global scale

    PubMed Central

    Crowder, David W.; Reganold, John P.

    2015-01-01

    To promote global food and ecosystem security, several innovative farming systems have been identified that better balance multiple sustainability goals. The most rapidly growing and contentious of these systems is organic agriculture. Whether organic agriculture can continue to expand will likely be determined by whether it is economically competitive with conventional agriculture. Here, we examined the financial performance of organic and conventional agriculture by conducting a meta-analysis of a global dataset spanning 55 crops grown on five continents. When organic premiums were not applied, benefit/cost ratios (−8 to −7%) and net present values (−27 to −23%) of organic agriculture were significantly lower than conventional agriculture. However, when actual premiums were applied, organic agriculture was significantly more profitable (22–35%) and had higher benefit/cost ratios (20–24%) than conventional agriculture. Although premiums were 29–32%, breakeven premiums necessary for organic profits to match conventional profits were only 5–7%, even with organic yields being 10–18% lower. Total costs were not significantly different, but labor costs were significantly higher (7–13%) with organic farming practices. Studies in our meta-analysis accounted for neither environmental costs (negative externalities) nor ecosystem services from good farming practices, which likely favor organic agriculture. With only 1% of the global agricultural land in organic production, our findings suggest that organic agriculture can continue to expand even if premiums decline. Furthermore, with their multiple sustainability benefits, organic farming systems can contribute a larger share in feeding the world. PMID:26034271

  10. Environmental aspects of the anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes and of solid agricultural wastes.

    PubMed

    Edelmann, W; Baier, U; Engeli, H

    2005-01-01

    In order to obtain more detailed information for better decision making in future biogenic waste treatment, different processes to treat biogenic wastes in plants with a treatment capacity of 10,000 tons of organic household wastes per year as well as agricultural codigestion plants were compared by life cycle assessments (LCA). With the tool EcoIndicator, anaerobic digestion is shown to be advantageous as compared to composting, incineration or a combination of digestion and composting, mainly because of a better energy balance. The management of the liquid manure in agricultural codigestion of organic solid wastes causes increased gaseous emissions, which have negative effects on the LCA, however. It is recommended to cover the slurry pit and to use an improved manure management in order to compensate for the additional gaseous emissions. In the LCAs, the quality of the digester output could only be taken into account to a small extent; the reasons are discussed. PMID:16180429

  11. AGTEHM: documentation of modifications to the terrestrial ecosystem hydrology model (TEHM) for agricultural applications. Environmental Sciences Division Publication No. 1770

    SciTech Connect

    Hetrick, D.M.; Holdeman, J.T.; Luxmore, R.J.

    1982-05-01

    AGTEHM, an agricultural application version of TEHM, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Hydrology Model, is the outgrowth of over a decade of effort to realize a model of the complex interrelations of air, water, land, and vegetation. TEHM combines mechanistic algorithms for climatic and hydrologic processes with vegetation properties to explicityly simulate interception, throughfall, infiltration, root zone evaporation, transpiration, drainage, plant and soil water potential, unsaturated and saturated subsurface flow, surface runoff, and open channel flow. AGTEHM was developed from TEHM and several innovations have been added for agricultural applications. These include changrs in the input data options, algorithms for sprinkler and flood irrigation, an alternative surface resistance-water potential relationship, a variable-contributing-area function, and the coupling of a model for soil macropore effects on water flow. Several internal changes to the original code have been made to increase calculation efficiency. This report is intended as a companion to the TEHM report and describes those features not previously documented.

  12. Environmental aspects of the anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes and of solid agricultural wastes.

    PubMed

    Edelmann, W; Baier, U; Engeli, H

    2005-01-01

    In order to obtain more detailed information for better decision making in future biogenic waste treatment, different processes to treat biogenic wastes in plants with a treatment capacity of 10,000 tons of organic household wastes per year as well as agricultural codigestion plants were compared by life cycle assessments (LCA). With the tool EcoIndicator, anaerobic digestion is shown to be advantageous as compared to composting, incineration or a combination of digestion and composting, mainly because of a better energy balance. The management of the liquid manure in agricultural codigestion of organic solid wastes causes increased gaseous emissions, which have negative effects on the LCA, however. It is recommended to cover the slurry pit and to use an improved manure management in order to compensate for the additional gaseous emissions. In the LCAs, the quality of the digester output could only be taken into account to a small extent; the reasons are discussed.

  13. SPS microwave subsystem potential impacts and benefits. [environmental and societal effects of Solar Power System construction and operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dickinson, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    The paper examines the possible environmental and societal effects of the construction, installation, and operation of the space end and earth end of the microwave power transmission subsystem that delivers satellite power system (SPS) energy (at about 5 GW per beam) to the power grid on earth. The intervening propagation medium near the earth is also considered. Separate consideration is given to the spacecraft transmitting array, propagation in the ionosphere, and the ground-based rectenna. Radio frequency interference aspects are also discussed.

  14. Methods for Valuation of Environmental Costs and Benefits of Hydroelectric Facilities : A Case Study of the Sultan River Project : Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    BioSystems Analysis, Inc.

    1984-06-05

    The Bonneville Power Administration is required by the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act (Public Law 96-501) to include quantifiable environmental costs and benefits of alternative electric power resources in determining their cost-effectiveness. In responding to this requirement, BPA has contracted to develop and test methodologies for valuing environmental costs of various types of power resources, including hydroelectric facilities. The purpose of this study is to develop and test valuation methods for hydroelectric facilities, using the Sultan River Project as a case study. The case study approach offers several advantages and some disadvantages which should be considered in interpreting this report. Its primary advantage lies in providing a real-world example against which to test theoretical valuation approaches. Using data that were actually collected for a project that has received detailed scrutiny from its sponsor and from numerous regulatory agencies allows more realistic formulation of valuation issues and also provides a better test of the practicality and usefulness of valuation methods. On the other hand, results derived from such an approach must be used with discretion. First and most obvious, both the features of a hydroproject and its environmental impacts may vary widely from site to site. Second, it cannot be assumed that the results of these test exercises for the Sultan River Project represent any kind of generic hydroelectric environmental cost. A third caution is directed to those who may be tempted to regard this report as a definitive estimate of the environmental costs of the Sultan River Project. It is not. A fourth important point is only external or residual environmental costs are developed in this report. Finally, it should be noted that these methodologies were developed to meet the needs of BPA's process for determining resource cost-effectiveness.

  15. Climate impacts on environmental risks evaluated from space: a contribution to social benefits within the GEOSS Health Area: The case of Rift Valley Fever in Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tourre, Y. M.

    2009-12-01

    Climate and environment vary on many spatio-temporal scales, including climate change, with impacts on ecosystems, vector-borne diseases and public health worldwide. This study is to enable societal benefits from a conceptual approach by mapping climatic and environmental conditions from space and understanding the mechanisms within the Health Social Benefit GEOSS area. The case study is for Rift Valley Fever (RVF) epidemics in Senegal is presented. Ponds contributing to mosquitoes’ thriving, were identified from remote sensing using high-resolution SPOT-5 satellite images. Additional data on ponds’ dynamics and rainfall events (obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) were combined with hydrological in-situ data. Localization of vulnerable hosts such as parked cattle (from QuickBird satellite) are also used. Dynamic spatio-temporal distribution of Aedes vexans density (one of the main RVF vectors) is based on the total rainfall amount and ponds’ dynamics. While Zones Potentially Occupied by Mosquitoes (ZPOM) are mapped, detailed risks areas, i.e. zones where hazards and vulnerability occur, are expressed in percentages of parks where cattle is potentially exposed to mosquitoes’ bites. This new conceptual approach, using remote-sensing techniques belonging to GEOSS, simply relies upon rainfall distribution also evaluated from space. It is meant to contribute to the implementation of integrated operational early warning system within the health application communities since climatic and environmental conditions (both natural and anthropogenic) are changing rapidly.

  16. Evaluation of aquatic biota in relation to environmental characteristics measured at multiple scales in agricultural streams of the Midwest, 1993-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hambrook Berkman, Julie A.; Scudder, Barbara C.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Harris, Mitchell A.

    2010-01-01

    This study evaluated the relations between algal, invertebrate, and fish assemblages and physical environmental characteristics of streams at the reach, segment, and watershed scale in agricultural settings in the Midwest. The 86 stream sites selected for study were in predominantly agricultural watersheds sampled as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Species abundance and over 130 biological metrics were used to determine which aspects of the assemblages were most sensitive to change at the three spatial scales. Digital orthophotograph-based riparian land use/land cover was used for analyses of riparian conditions at the reach and segment scales. The percentage area of different land-use/land-cover types was also determined for each watershed. Out of over 230 environmental characteristics examined, those that best explained variation in the biotic assemblages at each spatial scale include the following: 1) reach: bank vegetative cover, fine silty substrate, and open canopy angle; 2) segment: woody vegetation and cropland in the 250-m riparian buffer, and average length of undisturbed buffer; and 3) watershed: land use/land cover (both total forested and row crop), low-permeability soils, slope, drainage area, and latitude. All three biological assemblages, especially fish, correlated more with land use/land cover and other physical characteristics at the watershed scale than at the reach or segment scales. This study identifies biotic measures that can be used to evaluate potential improvements resulting from agricultural best-management practices and other conservation efforts, as well as evaluate potential impairment from urban development or other disturbances.

  17. Workshop 7 (synthesis): trade-offs in water for food and environmental security--urban/agricultural trade-off.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Ausaf-ur; Kadi, Mohammad Ait; Rockström, Johan

    2002-01-01

    Severe stresses are being generated by increasing demand for competing water uses, above all between agriculture and urban needs. Amongst potential solutions considered, two dominated the workshop: virtual water and water reuse. Virtual water implies indirect water use: water-poor countries importing food rather than attempting self-sufficiency and thereby keeping their real water resources for economically more beneficial uses. There are serious political and economic risks associated; one proposed solution is an international virtual water trading council. Improved forms of water reuse, particularly use of treated urban wastewater for irrigation, can maximise the use made of limited supply.

  18. Environmental benefits of replacing fuel oil by natural gas in the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Kondo, S.; Assuncao, J.V. de

    1998-12-31

    The Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo (Brazil) has a population 16.322 million people (1995 estimate) living in an area of 8,051 km2 with most of them concentrated in the city of Sao Paulo with 9.8 million people and 4.6 million cars. Although with an air quality better than some other Latin American megacities such as Mexico and Santiago do Chile, the air quality still exceeds the national air quality standards. In 2/17/1993 Brazilian Petroleum Company (PETROBRAS) and the Bolivian Petroleum Company (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos -- YPFB) signed an agreement to bring natural gas from Bolivia to the south and southeast of Brazil. The end of the construction of the gas pipeline will be in 1999, and it will deliver 4 million Nm3/day of natural gas to COMGAS Sao Paulo State Gas Company. This amount will increase to 8.1 million Nm3/day by the year 2006, that will be sufficient to supply the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region market need at that time. In this study an estimate of the influence in the air quality was performed supposing the substitution of fuel oil by natural gas in industry and also in diesel buses. The results showed that there will be benefits in relation to sulfur dioxide, PM10, greenhouse gases and trace elements, and negligible effects in relation to NO{sub x}, NMTOC and carbon monoxide.

  19. Agriculture and Water Quality. Issues in Agricultural Policy. Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 548.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowder, Bradley M.; And Others

    Agriculture generates byproducts that may contribute to the contamination of the United States' water supply. Any effective regulations to ban or restrict agricultural chemical or land use practices in order to improve water quality will affect the farm economy. Some farmers will benefit; some will not. Most agricultural pollutants reach surface…

  20. Toward a Sustainable Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future trends in population growth, energy use, climate change, and globalization will challenge agriculturists to develop innovative production systems that are highly productive and environmentally sound. Furthermore, future agricultural production systems must possess an inherent capacity to adap...

  1. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  2. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  3. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  4. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  5. 7 CFR 1465.36 - Environmental services credits for conservation improvements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Environmental services credits for conservation... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE General Administration § 1465.36 Environmental services credits for conservation improvements. NRCS recognizes that environmental benefits will be achieved by implementing...

  6. Emission projections for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 812 second prospective Clean Air Act cost/benefit analysis.

    PubMed

    Wilson, James H; Mullen, Maureen A; Bollman, Andrew D; Thesing, Kirstin B; Salhotra, Manish; Divita, Frank; Neumann, James E; Price, Jason C; DeMocker, James

    2008-05-01

    Section 812 of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform periodic, comprehensive analyses of the total costs and total benefits of programs implemented pursuant to the CAAA. The first prospective analysis was completed in 1999. The second prospective analysis was initiated during 2005. The first step in the second prospective analysis was the development of base and projection year emission estimates that will be used to generate benefit estimates of CAAA programs. This paper describes the analysis, methods, and results of the recently completed emission projections. There are several unique features of this analysis. One is the use of consistent economic assumptions from the Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook 2005 (AEO 2005) projections as the basis for estimating 2010 and 2020 emissions for all sectors. Another is the analysis of the different emissions paths for both with and without CAAA scenarios. Other features of this analysis include being the first EPA analysis that uses the 2002 National Emission Inventory files as the basis for making 48-state emission projections, incorporating control factor files from the Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) that had completed emission projections at the time the analysis was performed, and modeling the emission benefits of the expected adoption of measures to meet the 8-hr ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the Clean Air Visibility Rule, and the PM2.5 NAAQS. This analysis shows that the 1990 CAAA have produced significant reductions in criteria pollutant emissions since 1990 and that these emission reductions are expected to continue through 2020. CAAA provisions have reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by approximately 7 million t/yr by 2000, and are estimated to produce associated VOC emission reductions of 16.7 million t by 2020. Total oxides of nitrogen (NO(x)) emission reductions attributable to the

  7. Emission projections for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 812 second prospective Clean Air Act cost/benefit analysis.

    PubMed

    Wilson, James H; Mullen, Maureen A; Bollman, Andrew D; Thesing, Kirstin B; Salhotra, Manish; Divita, Frank; Neumann, James E; Price, Jason C; DeMocker, James

    2008-05-01

    Section 812 of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990 requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform periodic, comprehensive analyses of the total costs and total benefits of programs implemented pursuant to the CAAA. The first prospective analysis was completed in 1999. The second prospective analysis was initiated during 2005. The first step in the second prospective analysis was the development of base and projection year emission estimates that will be used to generate benefit estimates of CAAA programs. This paper describes the analysis, methods, and results of the recently completed emission projections. There are several unique features of this analysis. One is the use of consistent economic assumptions from the Department of Energy's Annual Energy Outlook 2005 (AEO 2005) projections as the basis for estimating 2010 and 2020 emissions for all sectors. Another is the analysis of the different emissions paths for both with and without CAAA scenarios. Other features of this analysis include being the first EPA analysis that uses the 2002 National Emission Inventory files as the basis for making 48-state emission projections, incorporating control factor files from the Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs) that had completed emission projections at the time the analysis was performed, and modeling the emission benefits of the expected adoption of measures to meet the 8-hr ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the Clean Air Visibility Rule, and the PM2.5 NAAQS. This analysis shows that the 1990 CAAA have produced significant reductions in criteria pollutant emissions since 1990 and that these emission reductions are expected to continue through 2020. CAAA provisions have reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by approximately 7 million t/yr by 2000, and are estimated to produce associated VOC emission reductions of 16.7 million t by 2020. Total oxides of nitrogen (NO(x)) emission reductions attributable to the

  8. Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules

    2008-02-12

    Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food

  9. Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.

    PubMed

    Pretty, Jules

    2008-02-12

    Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food

  10. Joint environmental assessment 1997--2001 of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Curly Top Virus Control Program for Bureau of Land Management and Department of Energy

    SciTech Connect

    1997-03-01

    The DOE, Naval Petroleum reserves in California (NPRC), proposes to sign an Amendment to the Cooperative Agreement and Supplement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to extend the term of the Curly Top Virus Control Program (CTVCP) in California. This program involves Malathion spraying on NPRC lands to control the beet leafhopper, over a five year period from 1997 through 2001. It is expected that approximately 330 acres on Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 1 (NPR-1) and approximately 9,603 acres on Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 2 (NPR-2) will be treated with Malathion annually by CDFA during the course of this program. The actual acreage subject to treatment can vary from year to year. Pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the potential impacts of the proposed action were analyzed in a Joint Environmental Assessment (DOE/EA-1011) with the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acting as lead agency, in consultation with the CDFA, and the DOE acting as a cooperating agency. Based on the analysis in the EA, DOE has determined that the conduct of the Curly Top Virus Control Program in California is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, within the meaning of the NEPA. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not required and DOE is consequently issuing a FONSI.

  11. Costs and benefits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Two models of cost benefit analysis are illustrated and the application of these models to assessing the economic scope of space applications programs was discussed. Four major areas cited as improvable through space derived information - food supply and distribution, energy sources, mineral reserves, and communication and navigation were - discussed. Specific illustrations are given for agriculture and maritime traffic.

  12. Relations of Water Quality to Agricultural Chemical Use and Environmental Setting at Various Scales - Results from Selected Studies of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2008-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began studies of 51 major river basins and aquifers across the United States as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to provide scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources. The major goals of the NAWQA Program are to assess the status and long-term trends of the Nation's surface- and ground-water quality and to understand the natural and human factors that affect it (Gilliom and others, 1995). In 2001, the NAWQA Program began a second decade of intensive water-quality assessments. The 42 study units for this second decade were selected to represent a wide range of important hydrologic environments and potential contaminant sources. These NAWQA studies continue to address the goals of the first decade of the assessments to determine how water-quality conditions are changing over time. In addition to local- and regional-scale studies, NAWQA began to analyze and synthesize water-quality status and trends at the principal aquifer and major river-basin scales. This fact sheet summarizes results from four NAWQA studies that relate water quality to agricultural chemical use and environmental setting at these various scales: * Comparison of ground-water quality in northern and southern High Plains agricultural settings (principal aquifer scale); * Distribution patterns of pesticides and degradates in rain (local scale); * Occurrence of pesticides in shallow ground water underlying four agricultural areas (local and regional scales); and * Trends in nutrients and sediment over time in the Missouri River and its tributaries (major river-basin scale).

  13. Environmental Fate of the Herbicide Fluazifop-P-butyl and Its Degradation Products in Two Loamy Agricultural Soils: A Combined Laboratory and Field Study.

    PubMed

    Badawi, Nora; Rosenbom, Annette E; Olsen, Preben; Sørensen, Sebastian R

    2015-08-01

    The herbicide fluazifop-P-butyl (FPB) is used against grasses in agricultural crops such as potato, oilseed rape, and sugar beet. Limited information is available in scientific literature on its environmental fate, therefore extensive monitoring at two agricultural test fields was combined with laboratory studies to determine leaching and the underlying degradation and sorption processes. Water samples from drains, suction cups, and groundwater wells showed leaching of the degradation products fluazifop-P (FP) and 2-hydroxy-5-trifluoromethyl-pyridin (TFMP) following FPB treatment. Laboratory experiments with soil from each field revealed a rapid degradation of FPB to FP. The degradation was almost exclusively microbial, and further biodegradation to TFMP occurred at a slower rate. Both degradation products were sorbed to the two soils to a small extent and were fairly persistent to degradation during the two-month incubation period. Together, the field and laboratory results from this study showed that the biodegradation of FPB in loamy soils gave rise to the production of two major degradation products that sorbed to a small extent. In this study, both degradation products leached to drainage and groundwater during precipitation. It is therefore recommended that these degradation products be included in programs monitoring water quality in areas with FPB use.

  14. Opportunities and tradeoffs for global agricultural intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, N. D.; Gerber, J. S.; Johnston, M.; Ray, D. K.; Ramankutty, N.; Foley, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    Meeting the expected doubling of food demand by 2050 will require either expansion of the world's croplands into sensitive ecosystems or the intensification of production on existing croplands. Although both strategies involve environmental tradeoffs, more sustainable pathways of cropland intensification (which minimize local environmental externalities) may maximize benefits across the suite of ecosystem services. Here we provide an integrated, global-scale assessment of opportunities for agricultural intensification, drivers of yield limitation, and environmental tradeoffs of achieving increased yields. We used climate analog techniques to quantify geographically-explicit yield gaps and potential production increases for seventeen major crops. To analyze the drivers of yield gaps, we collected sub-national agricultural management data and built a global, crop-specific dataset of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertilizer application rates. Using fertilizer and irrigation data, we constructed simple, empirically derived input-yield models and analyzed yield-limiting factors across the globe. We find substantial variation in yield-limiting factors with crop and geography, with Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa standing out as hotspots of nutrient limitation. We assessed environmental tradeoffs of intensification by determining where production increases could occur for the least additional resource use and by identifying areas where the current tradeoffs between nutrient application and yield could be improved. These results underscore the critical role of agricultural management practices in meeting the interconnected food security and sustainability challenges of the coming decades.

  15. Spatial multi-scale variability of soil nutrients in relation to environmental factors in a typical agricultural region, eastern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Lv, Jianshu; Zhang, Bing; Bi, Jun

    2013-04-15

    Identifying the sources of spatial variability and deficiency risk of soil nutrients is a crucial issue for soil and agriculture management. A total of 1247 topsoil samples (0-20 cm) were collected at the nodes of a 2×2 km grid in Rizhao City and the contents of soil organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) were determined. Factorial kriging analysis (FKA), stepwise multiple regression, and indicator kriging (IK) were appled to investigate the scale dependent correlations among soil nutrients, identify the sources of spatial variability at each spatial scale, and delineate the potential risk of soil nutrient deficiency. Linear model of co-regionalization (LMC) fitting indicated that the presence of multi-scale variation was comprised of nugget effect, an exponential structure with a range of 12 km (local scale), and a spherical structure with a range of 84 km (regional scale). The short-range variation of OC and TN was mainly dominated by land use types, and TP was controlled by terrain. At long-range scale, spatial variation of OC, TN, and TP was dominated by parent material. Indicator kriging maps depicted the probability of soil nutrient deficiency compared with the background values in eastern Shandong province. The high deficiency risk area of all nutrient integration was mainly located in eastern and northwestern parts.

  16. Cross-resistance to fluconazole induced by exposure to the agricultural azole tetraconazole: an environmental resistance school?

    PubMed

    Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Alencar, L P; Paiva, M A N; Melo, Luciana Magalhães; Bandeira, Silviane Praciano; Ponte, Y B; Sales, Jamille Alencar; Guedes, G M M; Castelo-Branco, D S C M; Bandeira, T J P G; Cordeiro, R A; Pereira-Neto, W A; Brandine, G S; Moreira, José Luciano Bezerra; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa; Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira

    2016-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate the influence of tetraconazole and malathion, both used in agricultural activities, on resistance to fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole in Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019. The susceptibility to tetraconazole, malathion, fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole, through broth microdilution. Then, 12 independent replicates, were separated and exposed to four treatment groups, each one containing three replicates: G1: tetraconazole; G2: malathion; G3: fluconazole (positive control); G4: negative control. Replicates from G1, G2 and G3, were exposed to weekly increasing concentrations of tetraconazole, malathion and fluconazole, respectively, ranging from MIC/2 to 32 × MIC, throughout 7 weeks. The exposure to tetraconazole, but not malathion, decreased susceptibility to clinical azoles, especially fluconazole. The tetraconazole-induced fluconazole resistance is partially mediated by the increased activity of ATP-dependent efflux pumps, considering the increase in antifungal susceptibility after the addition of the efflux pump inhibitor, promethazine, and the increase in rhodamine 6G efflux and CDR gene expression in the G1 replicates. Moreover, MDR expression was only detected in G1 and G3 replicates, suggesting that MDR pumps are also involved in tetraconazole-induced fluconazole resistance. It is noteworthy that tetraconazole and fluconazole-treated replicates behaved similarly, therefore, resistance to azoles of clinical use may be a consequence of using azoles in farming activities. PMID:26864989

  17. Socio-hydrologic modeling to understand and mediate the competition for water between agriculture development and environmental health: Murrumbidgee River Basin, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Emmerik, T. H. M.; Li, Z.; Sivapalan, M.; Pande, S.; Kandasamy, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.

    2014-03-01

    Competition for water between humans and ecosystems is set to become a flash point in the coming decades in many parts of the world. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling the development of effective mediation strategies. This paper presents a modeling study centered on the Murrumbidgee River Basin (MRB). The MRB has witnessed a unique system dynamics over the last 100 years as a result of interactions between patterns of water management and climate driven hydrological variability. Data analysis has revealed a pendulum swing between agricultural development and restoration of environmental health and ecosystem services over different stages of basin scale water resource development. A parsimonious, stylized, quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that simulates the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems of the MRB is used to mimic dominant features of the pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations that describe the interaction between five state variables that govern the co-evolution: reservoir storage, irrigated area, human population, ecosystem health, and a measure of environmental awareness. The model simulations track the propagation of the external climatic and socio-economic drivers through this coupled, complex system to the emergence of the pendulum swing. The model results point to a competition between human "productive" and environmental "restorative" forces that underpin the pendulum swing. Both the forces are endogenous, i.e., generated by the system dynamics in response to external drivers and mediated by humans through technology change and environmental awareness, respectively. We propose this as a generalizable modeling framework for coupled human hydrological systems that is potentially transferable to systems in different climatic and socio-economic settings.

  18. Impact of FGD gypsum soil amendment applications on soil and environmental quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper will discuss the utilization of FGD gypsum in agriculture for improving soil quality and other environmental benefits. Gypsum (CaSO4 .2H2O) has been used as an agricultural soil amendment for over 250 years. It is a soluble source of calcium and sulfur- for crops and has been shown to i...

  19. A Farming Revolution: Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klinkenborg, Verlyn

    1995-01-01

    Growing realization of the economic, social, and environmental costs of conventional agriculture has led many U.S. farmers to embrace and become advocates for agricultural practices that limit the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, decrease soil erosion, and improve soil health. Some hope that sustainable agriculture can promote smaller…

  20. Ruminant Grazing of Cover Crops: Effects on Soil Properties and Agricultural Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poffenbarger, Hanna

    2010-01-01

    Integrating livestock into a cropping system by allowing ruminant animals to graze cover crops may yield economic and environmental benefits. The effects of grazing on soil physical properties, soil organic matter, nitrogen cycling and agricultural production are presented in this literature review. The review found that grazing cover crops…