Dr. Him Lal Shrestha
Associate Professor,
Coordinator - UNIGIS Programme, Kathmandu Forestry College, Koteshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal.

ISBN 978-93-91312-21-3 (Print)
ISBN 978-93-91312-22-0 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/ciees/v5

This book covers key areas of environment and earth science. The contributions by the authors include global photosynthesis, sedimentary organic matter, CO2 assimilation, photorespiration, oscillatory pattern, facial isotopic shifts, temporal isotope differences, environmental factors, ecological compensation point, human pancreas, diabetes mellitus, acute pancreatitis, tectonic vortexes, volcanism, seismicity, Coriolis force, global tectonics, earth dynamics, magma upwelling, climate change, land–atmosphere interaction, clouds, diurnal cycle, snow cover, prairies, land-use development, hydrometeorology, bioethanol’s plan, fuzzy logic, environmental sustainability, epipelic algae, lotic system, ecosystem services, place theory, environmental perception, postmodern urbanism, urban biosphere reserves, nest placement, nesting patterns, habitat. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians in the field of environment and earth science.


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Studies on Global Photosynthesis and Its Regulatory Role in Natural Carbon Cycle

A. A. Ivlev

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 1-11

It is shown that global photosynthesis in large systems is a generalized photosynthesis of an ensemble of the photosynthesizing organisms that make up the system at a given time. Global photosynthesis has all features that characterize the photosynthesis of individual organisms. They are: 1) the presence of two reciprocal photosynthetic processes-CO2 assimilation and photorespiration; 2) the ability to enhance or to weaken the above processes depending on the CO2 /O2 concentration ratio in the environment; 3) the ability to fractionate carbon isotopes in the metabolic processes. At the same time due to the participation of the global photosynthesis in global carbon turnover it has three features that differ it from photosynthesis of individual organism. They include: 1) a spontaneous strive to the stationary state in the ecological compensation point; 2) a stepwise nature of evolution and 3) the inability of ontogenetic changes. It is shown that it is possible to describe global photosynthesis using an equation that it is suitable for describing photosynthesis of an individual organism. The factors that form the carbon isotope composition of the sedimentary organic matter primarily depend on photosynthesis conditions, and, above all, on the CO2/O2 concentration ratio which is determined by ecologic and climatic factors in the location in the corresponding time. Thus the analysis of facial isotopic differences of sedimentary organic matter includes consideration of the specific features of its carbon isotope composition caused due to both the initial conditions of photosynthesis at the stage of existence of “living matter” and the conditions of its further transformation in sediments. From this standpoint the observed isotopic differences between organic matter and genetically related petroleum which are obviously the same age, taking into account the known mechanism of “living matter” transformation in sediments can be explained as the result of carbon isotope fractionation in post-photosynthetic metabolism in the “living matter” [1], since the mentioned difference are fully overlap by the isotopic differences of lipid and carbohydrate - protein fractions. Temporal isotope differences characterize sedimentary organic matter of different ages (related to different orogenic cycles). They are the result of different oxygen concentration arising in the atmosphere in the course of photosynthesis evolution.  The regulatory role of global photosynthesis making global carbon cycle spontaneously moves towards the stationary state at the ecological compensation point.

Determining the Pancreatic Arginase Activity and \(\alpha\)-Amylase Levels in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Alcoholic Pancreatitis

José D. Méndez, Roberto De Haro, Verna Méndez-Valenzuela, Jorge L. Ble-Castillo, Hector O. Rubio

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 12-20

Arginase, a regenerative enzyme located in the endocrine pancreas, is involved in insulin metabolism and regenerative processes during polyamine formation. Pancreatic damage has been linked to high levels of \(\alpha\)-amylase. The aim of this study was to determine the function of arginase and \(\alpha\)-amylase in the pancreas of people with type 2 diabetes and those who had alcohol-induced acute pancreatitis. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus or acute pancreatitis without pancreatic diabetes had their arginase and \(\alpha\)-amylase activities assessed in pancreatic tissue. The findings were compared to the results of a control group. Our findings indicate that diabetics' pancreas have higher arginase activity than controls, while pancreatitis patients' tissues have lower arginase activity (P <0.05). The activity of a-amylase was higher in type 2 diabetes patients' pancreases than in acute pancreatitis patients' pancreases. Rather than being the source of damage mediators, elevated arginase activity in type 2 diabetes patients may be linked to an effort to reclaim endocrine pancreatic function. Because there is acinar damage in pancreatitis with a subsequent release a \(\alpha\)-amylase, this enzyme was higher in pancreatic tissue of diabetics than in pancreatic tissue of pancreatitis patients.

A Modelling Approaches for Vortex Theory and Earth Dynamics

Valentino Straser, Alessandro Ferrari

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 21-31

Morphological evidence in active tectonic areas containing subcircular geometries suggests that these geometries may be the result of mechanisms other than those described by translational dynamics of complex faults. The mechanics of endogenic forces, particularly convection currents, have not been fully explained.  Magma upwelling from the mantle, which differs in density from upward flows developing in the atmosphere and in water, can trigger endogenic vortexes under certain conditions and due to Coriolis Force.Vortexes apply lateral forces as a result of rotation at their onset and ascent phases, opening their way toward the surface and eventually stabilizing  the channel. In contrast to a rising linear flow, which compacts overlaying materials, inhibiting its surge, vortex flows unload materials from the outside and compact them on the channel's lateral surface, making it more regular and stable.Torsional movements on the surface associated with volcanites, lateral ramps, and subcircular elevations can be seen. Volcanic cones with pseudo-rotations in the morphologies surrounding the crater are another phenomenon that could be caused by vortex dynamics.We propose a model for a vortex theory in this paper, which could explain Earth dynamics in terms of spiralling movement and magma upwelling stabilizing  over time.

Understanding Land–Atmosphere–Climate Coupling Using Data from the Canadian Prairies

Alan K. Betts, Raymond L. Desjardins

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 32-59

Analysis of the unique hourly Canadian Prairie data for the past 60 years has transformed our quantitative understanding of land–atmosphere–cloud coupling at northern latitudes. The Canadian Prairie data is exceptional, because observers, typically at most major airports, were trained to estimate hourly the opaque cloud fraction in tenths, by cloud level and in total. These trained observersmade hourly estimates of the opaque cloud fraction that obscures the sun, moon, or stars, following the same protocol for 60 years at all stations. These 24 daily estimates of opaque cloud data are of sufficient quality that they can be calibrated against Baseline Surface Radiation Network data to yield the climatology of the daily short-wave, long-wave, and total cloud forcing (SWCF, LWCF and CF, respectively). This key cloud radiative forcing has not been available previously for surface climate datasets. Net cloud radiative forcing changes sign from negative in the warm season, to positive in the cold season, when reflective snow reduces the negative SWCF below the positive LWCF. This in turn leads to a large climate discontinuity with snow cover, with a systematic cooling of 10°C or more with snow cover. In addition, snow cover transforms the coupling between cloud cover and the diurnal range of temperature. In the warm season, maximum temperature increases with decreasing cloud, while minimum temperature barely changes; while in the cold season with snow cover, maximum temperature decreases with decreasing cloud, and minimum temperature decreases even more. In the warm season, the diurnal ranges of temperature, relative humidity, equivalent potential temperature, and the pressure height of the lifting condensation level are all tightly coupled to the opaque cloud cover. Given over 600 station-years of hourly data, we are able to extract, perhaps for the first time, the coupling between the cloud forcing and the warm season imbalance of the diurnal cycle, which changes monotonically from a warming and drying under clear skies to a cooling and moistening under cloudy skies with precipitation. Because we have the daily cloud radiative forcing, which is large, we are able to show that the memory of water storage anomalies, from precipitation and the snowpack, goes back many months. The spring climatology shows the memory of snowfall back through the entire winter, and the memory in summer, goes back to the months of snowmelt. Lagged precipitation anomalies modify the thermodynamic coupling of the diurnal cycle to the cloud forcing, and shift the diurnal cycle of the mixing ratio, which has a double peak. The seasonal extraction of the surface total water storage is a large damping of the interannual variability of precipitation anomalies in the growing season. The large land-use change from summer fallow to intensive cropping, which peaked in the early 1990s, has led to a coupled climate response that has cooled and moistened the growing season, lowering cloud-base, increasing equivalent potential temperature, and increasing precipitation. We show a simplified energy balance of the Prairies during the growing season, and its dependence on reflective cloud.

Sweet sorghum (sorghum bicolor) cultivation is currently one of the most promising energy crops for bioethanol production. An opinion poll was held for the establishment of a bioethanol plant using local resources such as sweet sorghum cultivation and zeolite deposits. Data were gathered by the heads of selected Trigono Municipality households (Evros, Greece). Simple random sampling was used, and face-to-face interviews and questionnaire filling were performed. It was projected that 44,778-55,971 acres of land should be planted with sweet sorghum to produce enough bioethanol in a bioethanol plant capable of producing 120,000-150,000 tonnes per year. Furthermore, using the Fuzzy Logic Toolbox of Matlab (Intelligent system), an optimal solution was estimated in this paper, which is formulated as follows: “the bioethanol plant absorbing the sweet sorghum output of a cultivating area of 46,600 acres and operating 12 hours/day will generate 125,000 tonnes of bioethanol annually.”

UNSDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG2) agenda & Communication of Lisbon Strategy of EU sets out an integrated package of measures to deliver more sustainable consumption (Including food), better environmental protection and correct population, production/consumption evaluations (i.e., cereal) by using appropriate and more meaningful methods, UNITS that are necessary.  Observations and findings indicate lack of harmonization of definitions & regulations concerning how data are obtained & method/criteria/UNIT (i.e., PC, AE) presented further complicate the combination & comparison of data from different countries & regions including family/household evaluations. Failure to recognize & address the problems inherent to error bound PC (19.4 percentage unit error), “one-size-fits-all accept or reject” approach in food (organic/conventional) & other goods consumption calculations & projections of the target populations (which are easy to use) may result in erroneous production & consumption plus CO2 emission projections. A radical evaluation method change in global organic/conventional food systems is needed to meet the above challenges. The state of the art of innovated PAHUM or Age and Gender Corrected Per Capita (PCagc) (Copyright©1989-USA) is to evaluate demographic structure, consumer & present/future food (Cereal) consumption potential of EU28 and developing countries. PAHUM focuses on research with systems approach, contributing to the development of tomorrow’s food systems including CO2 emissions-biodiversity relations & also focuses on the unforeseen consequences of PC cereal  (grain) consumption/production evaluations & compare of families, households of developed & developing countries.  PAHUM evaluation indicated that on PC bases we are overestimating the major food (Cereal) consumption/production projections. We have to think & ask questions about continuous use error bound PC – metric evaluations & how badly the evaluations will change the future planning of the decision makers.

Advanced Study on a Contribution to the Epipelic Algal Ecology in Lotic Ecosystem of Iraq

Fikrat M. Hassan, Bahram K. Maulood, Ali Obaid Shaawiat, Abbas M. Ismail

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 97-110

The present project deals with epipelic algae on lotic ecosystems in iraq. Benthic diatoms in Al-Shamiyah river was the concern of the present study. The river is adistanse from industrial activities within southern reagion of raq . Four sites along the river were chosen for sampling during the period March 2013 to January 2014. A total of 173 species of epipelic diatoms were identified. Within which was pennate diatoms predominated and represented about 92.49% of the total diatoms. The total number of diatoms ranged between 185.1 – 422.34 Cell x104/cm2. Twelve most common identified diatom species were Achnanthes affinis Grunow, Achnanthes mintussima Küetzing, Cocconeis placentula var. euglypta (Ehr) Cleve, Cymbella affinis Küetzing, Diatoma vulgare Bory, Fragilaria capucina Desmazieres, Gomphonema angustatum var. productu Grun., Navicula. lanceolata (Ag.) Kuetzing, Navicula. radiosa Küetzing, Navicula viridula Küetzing, Nitzschia. palea [Kutz]. W. Smith, Nitzschia romana Grunow. The status of physicochemical conditions and epipelic algal community indicated that the water of the river was clean to moderate quality wise.

Environmental Nexus: And You’ll Recognize Us by Our Places

Lineu Castello, Marcos Petroli

Challenging Issues on Environment and Earth Science Vol. 5, 19 June 2021, Page 111-122

The sites of an urban zone inside a Biosphere Reserve in southern Brazil are investigated in this research, as well as the potential for synergy between their biological and social systems. It assumes: (i) that the perception of their regional rootedness works beneficially for enhancing sustainability; (ii) that the current progress in the conceptualization of “place” contributes to the quest of sustainability, since the core factors of the concept deal precisely with the relationship between people and environment. This article examines how people see real and imagined environments, as well as the many forms of perception that they elicit. . Real places are considered as socially built, while invented places are seen as economically promoted. The following criteria were used to choose empirical regional cases: Perception (actual and imagined locations), size (urban and ex-urban), and management (public or private).  Place is a built environmental form filled with symbolic meaning to its users in the field of Architecture-Urbanism. With the current paradigm shift from modernism to postmodernism, the discipline is evolving toward a more thorough concern with the philosophical implications of places on phenomenological grounds. Furthermore, the construction and marketing of new places are becoming widely acknowledged as powerful tools for fostering wealth and well-being, thanks to the economic progress linked to place creation. The combined private and public management of the region’s places and the restrained design they presently employ are providing grounds for an affluent development, showing a wise use of the regional resources. Overall, it appears that residents have learnt to operate in harmony with the environment. This hints at a clear manifestation of sustainable development, worth investigating. Presumably, because it sits at the crossroads of physical, social, economic, and behavioural sciences, the idea of place appears to be a promising approach of addressing the issues of long-term regional development planning.

This study assessed the nesting patterns of raptors, White backed vulture (Gyps africanus) and African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) in Lochinvar National Park, Zambia. The main objective of the study was to determine whether tree species, height, girth size, and habitat influenced raptor’s nest placement within Lochinvar National Park. Two species were selected as ecological indicator for all the raptors. Habitat types and tree species were identified and measurements of tree species with nests taken. It was found that the minimum height of nest placement was 10 meters above ground and Acacia woodland was found to be the most preferred habitat for nest placement. Raptors avoided human disturbance such as roads by placing their nests at least 100 meters away from human disturbance and from the National Park boundary inwards or abandoning if human encroachment comes close to the nest. Opening of new roads, construction of new buildings as well as increase in human activities in such habitats may lead to raptors abandoning their nests. New infrastructure in the National Park should avoid areas with high density of raptor nests as they are known to return to the same nest to lay eggs. More research is required to assess nesting materials used, and to determine whether raptors can swap nets or return to the abandoned nests when human disturbance ceases.