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

ISBN 978-93-90768-04-2 (Print)
ISBN 978-93-90768-05-9 (eBook)
DOI: 10.9734/bpi/magees/v3

This book covers key areas of geography, environment and earth sciences. The contributions by the authors include trace metals, air pollution index, particulate matter, genotoxic carcinogens, gaseous pollutants, agriculture, water allocation, reclaimed wastewater, irrigation, optimization navigator, nonlinear programming, photochemical agent, antifungal screening, leaf extracts, phytopathogenic fungi, fungicidal properties, sugarcane bagasse ash, agricultural development, climate change, economic transformation, renewable energy, mitigation and adaptation, hazardous impact, environmental vulnerability, vehicular emission, relative water content. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians in the field of geography, environment and earth sciences.


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Characterisation of Air Pollution on Trinidad’s North-West Coast (San Fernando to Port-of-Spain)

Himawatee Baboolal, Derrick Balladin

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 1-18

Air pollution is a complex mixture of toxic gases and particulates that has been identified as the largest global environmental threat facing the world today, estimated to have caused 7-10 million deaths worldwide annually [1,2].  Trinidad is the most industrialised of the Caribbean islands, with a large energy and petrochemical economic base.  In addition, it is affected by seasonal Sahara dust (PM2.5).  This study characterizes the baseline levels of fine and respirable particulates (three PM size fractions), trace metals in PM, gaseous pollutants and meteorological parameters at four sites over the heavily populated west coast of Trinidad during March’ 15 - May ‘16.  Stations represent rural, urban, mixed background and industrial land uses. 

Annual mean levels of PM2.5 and PM10 in ambient air exceeded the WHO guidelines for protection of public health at all four stations (n=522).  PM2.5 and PM10 exceed the WHO (2006) safe limit guidelines (PM2.5 is 10 µg/m3, PM10 is 20 µg/m3) over 70% of the time sampled at urban and industrial sites.  Factor analysis indicated the variables impacting PM distribution and type of PM (size fraction) were time of year and location of station (land use).  The temporal pattern for PM at the industrial station was markedly different from the other three stations, being at a constant high level throughout the year. 

Trace metals (in PM10) found in exceedance of Canadian (Ontario) 2012 [3] standards were, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, iron, manganese and nickel.  Cd and Ni were deemed to pose the highest risk to public health as they are genotoxic carcinogens found in the smallest PM fractions.

Several gaseous pollutants of concern were CO, NH3, NO2, N2O, C6H6.  Nitrogen dioxide and benzene were the most prolific, being the highest most frequently at the industrial and urban stations.  NO2 exceedance averaged 89% (often 2-3 times the USEPA limit for the protection of public health), reflective of the large amount of industrial combustion gases in the ambient air in the Pt. Lisas area.  Benzene was found to exceed public health limit values >90% of the time measured at the urban station (Port-of-Spain) and at >80% at the mixed background station (at San Fernando).  Both gases are reflective of combustion and vehicle emissions derived pollutant sources.

The pollutant data was used to calculate and validate an aggregated Air Pollution Index (R2= 0.91) that could be readily applied to ongoing monitoring data in four statistically validated classification tiers; Good, Normal, High, Very High.  The industrial station has the highest frequency of ‘very high’ pollutant levels, as well as the highest frequency of ‘good’ air quality days.  The urban station had highest frequency of ‘normal’ to ‘high’ rankings.  The rural station, as expected, had much better overall air quality.  The worst air quality occurred during June-July ’15 and December ’15 -January ’16 periods. Monitoring data for air quality provides the best option to drive data driven decision making and effective air pollution management. The baseline levels of air pollutants provide adequate justification for revision of the current local regulations to afford better public health protection from unnecessarily high levels of ambient air pollution.

Critical Study on a Reclaimed Wastewater Allocation Optimization Model for Agricultural Irrigation

Ahmed A. Aljanabi, Larry W. Mays, Peter Fox

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 19-38

Climate change, pollution, civil conflicts, political instability, and a high rate of population growth all contribute to water shortages in Iraq which are predicted to increase in the future. Due to the importance of agriculture in Iraq which forms more than 75 percent of total demand, a sustainable agricultural water allocation scheme is necessary to find practical and applicable water conservation measures that helps mitigate the impact of potential droughts and water shortages. An agricultural irrigation reclaimed wastewater allocation optimization model was developed to optimally allocate crops and reclaimed wastewater (RW) on cultivated farmlands in order to maximize the net benefit. The optimization model is formulated using mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) solved by the branch and reduce optimization navigator (BARON) in the general algebraic mathematical solver (GAMS). The model maximizes the net farm income to determine the cultivated crop assigned to each farmland using three types of reclaimed wastewater (RW); tertiary treated wastewater; secondary treated wastewater; and primary treated wastewater. Constraints in the optimization model include: (1) reclaimed wastewater availability constraints and (2) irrigated farmlands constraints. The optimization model has been applied to 7045 hectares of farms located in the Alrustumia district to the south east of Baghdad, Iraq with 5.5 × 105 m3/d of treated wastewater. In addition, the available wide range of selected crops considering RW type A offered the model a flexibility in selecting the highest economic crops to satisfy the maximum limit of the allowable cultivated area by each crop. The use of tertiary treated wastewater provided the greatest net benefit under most scenarios evaluated while primary effluent provided the lowest net benefit as only low value crops could be cultivated.

Study on Application of an Optimization Model for Assessing the Performance of Water Appropriation in Iraq

Ahmed A. Aljanabi, Larry W. Mays, Peter Fox

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 39-56

The magnitude of water resources shortages in the Middle East represents an important factor in the stability of the region and it is a vital element in protecting sustained economic development in the region. This investigation addresses the ongoing challenge of water governance in Iraq by examining how profitability, at both the farm and basin levels, is affected by various water appropriation systems. Farmland irrigation in Iraq was evaluated using three water appropriation systems; upstream (UPR), downstream (DPR) and proportional (PSR) sharing rule. Their impacts on farm income under normal, dry, and drought water supply scenarios were evaluated using an irrigation water model coupled with a nonlinear programming (NLP) optimization model.  As compared to UPR, PSR provided a 32% and 75% increase in total farm income for the Tigris River under dry and drought supply conditions, respectively.  As compared to DPR, PSR provided a 47% and 83.5% increase in total farm income for the Euphrates River under dry and drought supply conditions, respectively. The results from this study are intended to provide guidance for decision makers in Iraq for potential future conditions where water supplies are reduced and demonstrate how it is feasible to adopt the PSR as an alternative and efficient water allocation rule due to its flexibility of providing fair water resource allocation in drought seasons.

This study investigated the antifungal activity of leaf extracts of Prosopis africana and Anacardium occidentale against Macrophomina phaseolina, the causal agent of root rot of Sesamum indicum L. Plants have been found to possess fungicidal properties against various phytopathogenic fungi. Phytochemical analysis of the two plants showed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids and   anthraquinones in petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, methanol and water extracts. The effectiveness of the two medicinal plants viz: P. africana and A. occidentale was tested against the causative agent of root rot of Sesamum indicum L. The effect of plant leaf extracts on mycelia growth of the test organism shows that both P. africana and A. anacardium reduced the mycelia growth significantly as compared to the control (Figs. 2, 3, 4). The antifungal property of P. africana and A. occidentale makes these plants of potential interest for the control of the fungus, Macrophomina phaseolina.

Assessment and Investigation of Sugar Cane Bagasse Ash as a Binding Material for the Construction Industry

E. Basika, J. Kigozi, N. Kiggundu

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 69-73

Sugarcane bagasse ash (SCBA) is a by-product of the sugar factories produced after burning sugarcane bagasse in the production of electricity. The sugarcane bagasse is produced after the extraction of all economical sugar from sugarcane. The disposal of this material is a common environmental problem in factories producing electricity from sugarcane. In Kakira Sugar Limited (KSL) about 61,000 tons / yr. of SCBA is produced and only about 30,000 tons / yr of this is utilized, and the remaining is damped which becomes an environmental hazard. This research was, conducted to examine the potential of bagasse ash as a cement replacing material in construction industry. The idea of using SCBA as a building material has generated additional cash flow for the sugarcane processing mills. Bagasse ash samples were collected from KSL and its chemical properties were investigated. The compressive strength of mortars containing ordinary Portland cement and SCBA in proportions of 0%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30% and 40% as a cement replacement were investigated. Three replicates with the bagasse ash replacing ordinary Portland cement in the above mentioned proportions were prepared and tested. The results showed that ordinary Portland cement can be replaced by SCBA up to 20% without affecting the compressive strength of the mortar at a test age of 28 days. These findings suggest that replacement of cement with SCBA could results in the reduction in cost of construction. Hence it can be concluded that it is safe to replace cement with sugar cane bagasse ash up to 20%.

Recent Advancement on Radical Urban Development in the Egyptian Desert

S. Abouelfadl, K. Ouda, A. Atia, N. Al-Amir, M. Ali, S. Mahmoud, H. Said, A. Ahmed

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 74-90

Gardens’ City is a new city in newly discovered area in the Egyptian western desert, which is rich to be developed. It lies in new Farafra Oasis. The site has different potential aspects for sustainable development; it has agricultural and industrial economic bases. The city center’s area is designed to be about 5% of the city’s area. The area of the industrial zone is about 22% of city area. This paper refers to the development of the city with a focus on the central and the industrial zones. The city center has the major managerial and commercial services. The industrial zone includes industrial areas as well as the major industrial education, training and managerial services. Renewable energy will be generated with different methods. This city will be the first step of development series opportunities in Egypt. Gardens’ City will have different sustainable options and the estimated yearly net profit for it would be 63-90 Million Egyptian pound (LE) and 394-535 Million LE yearly net profit for the whole new Farafra Oasis from olive, palm, and wheat only. This city will be the first step that opens great development opportunities in Egypt. Egypt has already adopted developing in the newly discovered areas and there are steps on the road.

Climate Change: Assessing the Vulnerability of the Niger Delta Region, in Nigeria

Stephena Udinmade Ighedosa

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 91-119

Climate change includes both the global warming phenomenon, driven by greenhouse-emitting anthropogenic activities and the associated large scale shift in weather patterns. Climate change is not just a global threat, but an unprecedented public health emergency. Climate change has been characterized by global warming, increased frequency and intensity of precipitation, catastrophic wind events, and extreme weather events, associated with heat waves, flooding disasters, and prolonged droughts. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has prescribed abatement agreements, based on precautionary principle and principle of cost and responsibility, amongst member nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, the most vulnerable regions, to hazardous impacts of climate change, are the mega-deltas of Africa and Asia, due to high exposure to sea level rise, storm surges, coastal erosion and river flooding, compounded by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas. The vulnerability of the Niger Delta region is exacerbated by oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental degradation.

This chapter draws attention to the vulnerability of the Niger Delta to the adverse impact of climate change and the urgency of the implementation of mitigation and adaptation as opportunities for full transformation of economies, of the Niger delta region, in line with sustainable developmental goals (SDGs).

Antarctica - The Superlative Continent

Amal Kumar Ghosh

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 120-128

Antarctica, the south polar continent is unique in all esteem from physiographic, climatic, and biologic to noospheric wonders. It is the cosmopolitan region of broad-based research arena for the benefit of humankind. The earthly realm with scarce soil cover supports minimum moss, lichen and abundant algae from floral sphere and few species of insects, birds and amphibians from faunal domain within this harsh no own-man’s land, although Antarctic Ocean is full of lives for huge oxygen supplement. These provide ample food addendum to the aquatic as well as semi-terrestrial higher animal species. It is the only unique dome to be adorned with so many of utmost adjectives. The present study helps to undermine the inimitabilities and its importance in the field of science in addition with courageous expeditions to unveil it again to the present world.

Studies on the Impact of Seasons on Leaf Dust Accumulation and Biochemical Parameters of Selected Plant Species along Side the National Highway-7 in Sirmaur, H.P, India

Jyotsana Pandit, Anil Sood, Satish Kumar Bhardwaj, Anish Kumar Sharma

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 129-136

The present study was carried out to assess the dust interception efficiency and impact of seasons on biochemical parameters of plant species growing alongside National Highway (NH-7) at Sirmaur, H.P, India. Plants are universal sink of CO2. The plant species selected for the study were Ficus roxburghii, Mallotus philippensis, Shorea robusta, Woodfordia fruticosa. The observed trend of dust accumulation was in the order Ficus roxburghii (38.30 mg m-2) >Shorea robusta (26.94 mg m-2),>Mallotus philippensis (22.31 mg m-2) >Woodfordia fruticosa (16.70 mg m-2). The present study revealed, that the leaf dust accumulation decreased with increasing distance from the national highway. Leaf dust accumulation was influenced by the seasons of the year with the maximum (30.70) in pre-monsoon and the minimum (21.42) in post-monsoon season.

Assessment of Temperature Variability Effect on Rice Production in Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Oladeinde Stephen Olufemi, Magaji I. Joshua, Ekpo Abraham Salamatu

Modern Advances in Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Vol. 3, 1 March 2021, Page 137-148

The output of cereal farmlands is imperative for sustainable global food security. Quantity of production from cereal croplands are partly a function of climatic elements and are connected to the pulses of climatic variation. Hence, this paper assessed temperature variability effect on rice production in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Daily maximum and minimum temperature data were obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and converted into monthly averages while annual rice production data was obtained from the office of Nasarawa State’s Agricultural Development Programme. Acquired data were analysed using Linear Multiple Regression Model, coefficient of variation and spatial data analysis techniques. Although rice production in the State is being affected by the fluctuations in both minimum and maximum monthly temperature, the later poses grave concern for sustainability of rice production with a negative effect size of -3.145 and a coefficient value of -191,324.30 metric tons. This negative impact of maximum temperature fluctuations on rice production indicates that rice production in Nasarawa State is vulnerable to climate variability with increasing maximum temperature. LGAs in the south senatorial district has more favourable locations for rice production in comparison to those in the North and West districts given that less temperature fluctuation was observed in the former. Government and non-governmental institutions as well as individuals planning to establish rice farm project(s) in the study area should consider doing so in the South Senatorial District in order to avoid the adverse effect of temperature variability.