Dr. Kwong Fai Andrew Lo
Professor, College of Science, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan.

ISBN 978-93-90888-11-5 (Print)
ISBN 978-93-90888-19-1 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/ciees/v3

This book covers key areas of environment and earth science. The contributions by the authors include agent-based modeling, dynamic systems, optimal natural resource allocation, sustainability, Sarvak formation, microfacies, depositional environment, forest line, climate change, generation shift, subalpine birch forest, coastal circulation, wind forcing, hydrography, phytoplankton patchiness, chemical speciation, urban soils, heavy metal accumulation, earth magnetic field,  unsustainable development, disaster, sustainability, marble waste, the gains for energy, geotechnical engineering, forest, management, environmental legislation, decentralization. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians in the field of environment and earth sciences.


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An Application of Agent-Based Modeling to Sustainable Natural Resource Management

Inocencio Rodríguez González, Gerard E. D’Souza

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 1-24

Decision-support systems are useful tools to evaluate the complexity of systems, and for predictive and policy assessment. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a relatively new method to model complex systems characterized by the role of independent and interrelating agents. Simulations contribute to estimating and comprehending emerging behaviors that require the development of new regulations for local agents that would make incremental improvements to the system. This analysis applies this methodology to develop a beef cattle simulation model named Befergyonet, an ABM used to conduct computer simulations within a spatio-intertemporal environment. The methodology discussed in this paper is intended solely to stimulate the use of innovative computer programs to simulate complex systems as an approach to represent real world events and may be a methodological guide for readers interested in developing their own ABM. With growing interest in optimal natural resource allocation under alternative carbon sequestration, price and policy regimes coupled with climate-based uncertainty, this analysis should also serve as a useful illustration of how ABM can contribute to solutions that are more sustainable and compatible with both private and societal outcomes.

Facies Analysis and Depositional Environment of the Sarvak Formation (Cenomanian) in the Zagros Basin (SW of Iran)

Massih Afghah, Hamid Reza Fadaei

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 25-43

In this study, two stratigraphic sections of Sarvak Formation were selected which are nominated Bavan and Kherameh sections. Over 379.5 meters of the Sarvak Formation and 260 thin sections have been studied. Index microfacies and foraminifers have been identified. Index microfacies include Boundstone, Wackestone and Packstone. The frequency of bioclast has been determined as larger that of the other microfacies elements. Based on the type and abundance of skeletal and nonskeletal grains and type of matrix, 14 sublithofacies have distinguished in 3 depositional environments which are include 1) Lagoon 2) Reef 3) Open marine. The mentioned determined microfacies were deposited in a Carbonate Platform of Homoclinal Ramp. Based on micropalentological data, the age of the Sarvak Formation is assigned to Cenomanian.

This study presents the latest history and output of widely spaced pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tree- and forest lines in a mountain valley in the southern Swedish Scandes, with a focus on climate change. The prior geriatric structure and physiognomy of the treeline ecotone have become substantially rejuvenated during the past two decades. Historical records define quite accurately these “lines” by the early 20th century and mid-1970s. Their complex performances after that have been studied up to the present day. Currently, both lines are located within the subalpine mountain birch forest belt (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii).As a consequence, the evolution of the birch forest matrix affects their past, present, and future changes to some extent.The pine forest- and treeline positions remained relatively constant between the early twentieth century and the mid-1970s.

Forest line populations grew in number and density in response to 20th century climate warming, though their positions remained unchanged. In great contrast, the treeline, i.e. scattered solitary, fast-growing and vigorous trees, has shifted up-valley 135 m through the birch forest belt to a site about 12 km south of the position by the mid-1970s. It is hypothesized that the vast separation of forest- and tree line relates to the presence of the subalpine birch forest belt. This contention is supported by vigorous growth and proliferous reproduction of outlier old-established pine trees, imposing a radical generation shift in the treeline ecotone. This process predominantly manifests in birch forest gaps. As a result, it is assumed that, under current climatic conditions, the potential pine forest line is much south (and higher) of its present position within the competing birch forest belt. Given the subalpine birch forest's demise due to drought, this forest range is expected to be realised in the case of potential climate warming. That would be a return to the situation during the early- and mid- Holocene, when pine dominated the upper tree line ecotone and the birch belt was poorly developed.

Transport and Mixing Dynamics on Coastal Phytoplankton Patches during Summer Breeze Season

R. Martellucci, A. Pierattini, F. Paladini de Mendoza

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 59-78

Coupling between sea/land breeze and coastal circulation and the influence of wind-driven dynamics are substantially relevant for understanding coastal Mediterranean ecosystems. These coastal areas are particularly dynamic and are characterized by high-variable processes which drive biological phenomena at different time-scale.

Hydrodynamic studies on coastal water circulation and their influence on primary producers are limited, this is especially true for the Tyrrhenian sea in which available information on coastal dynamics is confined to large-scale general circulation with a focus exclusively on mesoscale pelagic dynamical processes.

During the periods of fair weather, especially in the summer season, Tyrrhenian coastal waters are dominated by daily patterns of local breeze circulation. These winds induce coastal current and buoyancy-derived motions modulating the coastal phytoplankton patches.

About 30% of the Italian population lives at the land-sea transition zone, during the summer season recreational activity increases the population in these coastal areas increasing the human pressure on the coastal systems. As a consequence, it is necessary to better understand the coastal processes significant for environmental and navigational interests.

This paper presents physical and biological data to document the effect of sea/land breeze circulation on current dynamics and water column structures in a Northern Tyrrhenian coastal site. The in situ data show that coastal currents are predominantly controlled by tide and local wind and respond rapidly to changes in wind direction. Water column thermal structure analyses reveal significant changes with the morning’s rotation of breeze: lifting of isotherms (cooling) was typically observed in deep layers during early mornings, accompanied by fluctuations in isotherms.

Analysis of the Comparative Study on Flower Pigments with Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase Activity in Orchid Plants

Suat Hian Tan, Nyuk Ling Ma, Wan Nurul Hidayah Wan Anuar

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 79-89

Background: Orchidaceae plants have been one of the most important industrial products in the agricultural industry around the world. Since the flower petals have eye-catching pigments, they can be used as cut flowers in addition to being potted flowers.

Objective: The key pigments found in orchid flower petals were studied, as well as their relationships to phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity.

Results: Total anthocyanin content of six different orchids’ petals was determined specthrophotometrically and the value ranged from 0 mg/g (in Dendrobium Shavin white) to 2.128 mg/g (in Mokara Aranda). The petals with vivid colour have a high amount of anthocyanin content, while, they have a high amount of chlorophyll content for those with pale colour. Total anthocyanin content was found to be the highest when compare to ?-carotene and chlorophyll content. PAL behaviour was found to be significantly positive associated with anthocyanin content in correlation analysis.

Conclusion: The results indicate the potential for PAL enzyme as a biomarker for flower colour in orchids.

A Study of the Effects of Active Smoking on Renal Function

Djabali Nacira, Berrezig Wiem, Ghai Djamila

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 90-97

The aim of this study is to look into the effects of active smoking on kidney function. Toxic harmful effects of cigarettes come mainly from tobacco components; nicotine is against indications for kidney. The experiment was carried out at the hemodialysis service and the biochemistry laboratory. The service registry data has been used to determine the distribution of smokers and nonsmokers among dialysis patients. In the second part of the work, we studied the variations of the different parameters indicative of renal functioning (biochemical and haematological) between 22 smokers and 22 non- smokers who have no cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The findings indicate that smokers have a higher incidence of dialysis than nonsmokers. Smokers have higher levels of urea, creatinine, and uric acid, as well as lower blood albumin levels than nonsmokers. In smokers, there is a decrease in the amount of red blood cells and haemoglobin, as well as a rise in platelet count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Research on Concentration and Chemical Speciation of Heavy Met-Als in Urban Soils of Warri, Nigeria

Helen Ataikiru, F. E. Okieimen, E. G. Uwumarongie

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 98-106

The pseudo total and chemical speciation of manganese, chromium, lead and Zinc were determined by a chemical method (1) and Tessier's method [1] respectively to ascertain if significant concentration of the metals are mobile and bioavailable in Urban Soils of Warri. Intervention values were calculated to known if the metal contamination has reached the level that the soils should be treated. Ten soil samples from five sites (Esisi, Apala, Airport Road, Ugborikoko and NPA Expressway Refuse dumps) were collected (5 top soils 0 -15 and 5 bottom soils 15 - 30 cm) using a stainless steel augur. Sample solutions prepared were analysed using the Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer technique. Results showed that mean values of total heavy metals for the top soils are 4. 00 ± 0.00 to 111.00 ± 7. 00 ppm Mn, 9. 13± 0.13 to 292. 28 ± 7.82 ppm Cr, <0.08 to 493. 00 ± 3.00ppm Pb, 35.00 ± 0.00 to 1012.00+ 2.00ppm Zn. Bottom soil samples contain as much as 7.00 ± 0,00 to 160. 00 ±0.00 ppm Mn, 35.05 ± 0.40 to 263.00 ± 0.00ppm Cr, <0.08 to 286.00 ± 6.00ppm Pb and 64.00 ± 4.00 to 1458.00 ± 8.00ppm Zn. The values reported had an abundance ratio in the order Zn >Cr > Mn > Pb. The values reported in this study are higher than Federal Environmental Protection Agency (3) values in some of the soil samples. The intervention values obtained are 190.40mg/kg Cr. 312.10 mg/kg Pb and 257.67 mg/kg Zn. Total Zn is higher than intervention values in all the soil samples, total Cr-is close to intervention value while Pb is lower than intervention value. Chemical properties such as pH total organic carbon and CEC were also analyzed. Six soil samples (3 top soils and 3 bottom soils) from three sites (Esisi, Apala and NPA Expressway dump sites)'were selected and analysed for chemical partitioning using Tessier's procedure. The results showed that the metals showed highest concentration in the Fe-Mn oxide fraction except Pb. Pb is not associated to the exchangeable phase. The metals showed significant concentration in the non-residual fraction except Pb. This shows that significant concentration of the metals are mobilo and bioavailable to plants and other ecological materials. The bioavailable values reported in this study are higher than the values reported for uncontaminated soils. [2] Cr, Zn and Mn contents in the soils are also positively correlated to the pH of the soil. Chemical speciation is defined as distribution of an individual chemical element among different species or groups. Trace metals may be distributed among many components of the soil and may be associated with them in different ways.

A New Hypothesis on the Origin of Water on Earth and Mars

Hans Merkl

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 107-112

The question regarding the origin of water on Earth is still to be answered scientifically and accurately. It is certain that water in liquid or gaseous form could not have existed on the young, red-hot Earth. It is therefore generally assumed that comets brought water to Earth. However, the isotope ratio (H/D) of water on comets is more than double that of water on Earth, which means that only part of Earth´s water could have come from comets. Intensive laboratory experiments at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan shows that, the stable bipolar magnetic field that we have today, that protects the Earth from the solar wind – a plasma flow of protons and electrons – was actually formed just less than one billion years ago. Interestingly, recent laboratory tests at the University of Maryland, USA, have shown that during the Earth´s early period, when its core of iron and nickel was still molten, the young Earth must have had a multipolar magnetic field. However, this multipolar magnetic field could not have provided any protection from the solar wind. In fact, it would have acted as a huge collector of the solar wind and the same would have applied to our neighboring planet Mars. The result from these two research experiments have now led to a completely new hypothesis regarding the origin of water on both Earth and Mars. During the early period of the two planets, the solar wind would have been able to penetrate along the vertical magnetic field lines into the dense, Venus-like carbon dioxide atmospheres of Earth and Mars. Because of the lack of an ozone layer, the atmosphere would have been exposed to the powerful ultraviolet rays and strong solar wind of the young Sun, which would have split the carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere into their component parts of oxygen and carbon. The oxygen released would therefore have been able to combine with the hydrogen nuclei of the solar wind to form water molecules which then fell down as rain.

Over ages, disasters have been considered as natural calamities that humanity has no control or role. However, the frequency, complexity, scope and destructive capacity of disasters continue to escalate over time, implying other factors are at play. A disaster occurs when a hazard interacts with vulnerable settings. Vulnerability refers to the lack the capacity to reduce the probability of the occurrence of disasters or reverting back to normalcy after the disaster. The vulnerabilities of communities are increasing through a myriad of development practices at individual, local, national and international levels. Notable amongst the disaster hazards that have increased over time include: protracted civil strife/wars; emerging diseases; food insecurity; climate change; and pollution. To a large extent, they manifest development practices that do not conform to the tenets of sustainable development as espoused in the Brandtland Commission resolutions, commonly referred to as ‘our common future’. This article reviews selected examples of development practices that have occasioned disasters, debunking the myth that all disasters are entirely attributable to natural causes. The article recommends a raft of practices that should be embraced to ensure development practices are not responsible for the increased incidences, intensity and scope disasters.

In the globalizing world, industrialization has increased in parallel with the economic growth demand in countries. Wastes have emerged with the increase in industrialization. Thus, the high cost of these waste disposal methods has necessitated industrial waste evaluation in industrials businesses. Also, with the increasing population, the limited natural sources are decreasing. Utilizing waste and including it in the economy has become even more critical with the increase in population, consumption, and rapid decreasing natural resources. In this chapter, marble wastes that can be recycled in geotechnical engineering have been examined, and the gains for energy to be obtained by recycling are discussed.

Study on Decentralization of Forestry Management in Cameroon

Eloundou Jules André

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 3, 27 April 2021, Page 143-154

At the end of the Rio de Janeiro Summit of June 1992 ,the forestry legislation has undergone a real revolution in Cameroon. As a result of the promulgation of Law n°94-01 on the 20th of January 1994, which established Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Regulations, a great deal of innovation has occurred. This law is the compass for Cameroon's entire forestry programme. Among these innovations are the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, as well as the establishment of council and community forests. Because sustainable development is a major concern to the Cameroon Government, the state has chosen to decentralise forestry management.