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[en] Hydrochemical changes between 1991 and 2001 were assessed based on two synoptic stream surveys from the 820-km2 region of the Slavkov Forest and surrounding area, western Czech Republic. Marked declines of sulfate, nitrate, chloride, calcium and magnesium in surface waters were compared with other areas of Europe and North America recovering from acidification. Declines of sulfate concentration in the Slavkov Forest (-30 μeq L-1 yr-1) were more dramatic than declines reported from other sites. However, these dramatic declines of strong acid anions did not generate a widespread increase of stream water pH in the Slavkov Forest. Only the most acidic streams experienced a slight increase of pH by 0.5 unit. An unexpected decline of stream water pH occurred in slightly alkaline streams. - Acidified streams experienced unprecedented recovery from sulfate and nitrate pollution but pH and ANC decreased in alkaline streams
[en] The occurrence of POPs in remote areas, such as Antarctica, is the result of their ability to udergo Long Range Transport (LRT) in the atmosphere, precipitation and cold condensation. In this study, both recent levels of various POPs in Trematomus bernacchii and their changes in roughly three decades were determined in order to evaluate trends of POPs in Antarctic benthic seawaters. In fact, Trematomus bernacchii is considered a good sentinel bio-indicator for monitoring not only the extent of contamination by POPs in the Antarctic aquatic ecosystem, but also changes in Antarctic ecosystem quality and trends. A slight decreasing PCB trend was detected during 30-years time span (from early 1980's to 2010) in the circumantarctic seawaters. Two higher peaks of concentrations were reported in 2001 and 2005 in the Ross Sea and they may reflect the ice melting of icebergs. Because fire risk is very high in Antarctica due to the very dry air, a large use of flame retardants in buildings and furniture of stations is highly probable; moreover, many stations were built when there were no restrictions on flame retardants use. The PBDE levels in the T. bernacchii from 2001 to 2011 ranged 0.05–0.35 pg/g and were of the same order of magnitude in 2001/2011 and in 2002/2005, with a maximum value in 2005 (0.35 pg/g). Comparable concentrations of HCB, HCHs PCDDs and PCDFs are available only for few seasons: all these compounds showed a decreasing temporal trends and their concentrations were one or more order of magnitude lower in 2000s–2010s. - Trematomus bernacchii was used to evaluate the POP temporal trend in Antarctic benthic seawaters: some POPs showed a decreasing trend and for others the tendencies are uncertain.
[en] The Ordos region of Inner Mongolia is rapidly developing and suffers from poor air quality and unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter. PM2.5 concentrations in the Ordos region were found to exceed 75 μg/m3 on average, annually, with peak pollution days in excess of 350 μg/m3, but local air pollution emissions from surrounding sources are not sufficient to drive pollution levels to these concentrations. The current study was designed to quantify sources of PM2.5 and assess the local source contributions and effects of regional transport on local pollution. The results show that the Ordos region is primarily impacted by regional long-range transport of pollutants from anthropogenic sources located outside of the Inner Mongolia in Shanxi province areas but is also largely affected by regional dust transported from the deserts located in western Inner Mongolia. The analysis proved that approximately 77% of PM2.5 mass is transported long-range from the sites exterior to the study area and contributes 59.32 μg/m3 on average, annually, while the local sources contribute 17.41 μg/m3 (23%) on annual average to the PM2.5 mass in the study area. High spatial correlation coefficients (R2 > 0.6) were observed for most of the factors pointing to the transport of external emissions into the area. Spatial correlation analysis, bivariate polar plots and hybrid trajectory models for industrial and secondary inorganic factors provide evidence for the impact of long-range transport from Shanxi province areas. In addition, the deserts in western Inner Mongolia were found to be the source regions for dust. Finally, our analysis shows that the source of oil combustion and mobile factors are impacted by local sources in the Ordos region; however, some regional impacts from other regions were also observed for mobile source in the area. - Dominance of the regional long-range transport of PM2.5 sources in the Ordos region. Around 77% of PM2.5 mass is transported long-range from the sites exterior to the Inner Mongolia.
[en] Highlights: • Comparison of production-based and consumption-based accounting of CO2 emissions. • Longitudinal analysis of the newest data for 110 countries for the last 15 years. • Results show only small differences between PBA and CBA. • Countries with large imports have higher CBA/PBA ratios. • The CBA/PBA ratio is positive for countries with high energy efficiency. - Abstract: Lately, a controversial debate has evolved regarding consumption-based accounting (CBA) versus production-based accounting (PBA) of CO2 emissions. So far, the debate has been predominately theoretical and has inspired only a few empirical studies. In this article, we compare production-based versus consumption-based emissions, and for the first time analyze reasons for the differences. In particular, we focus on whether there is evidence for carbon leakage from developed to developing countries. We use the newest available data for 110 countries and analyze whether there are differences between OECD and non-OECD members. Furthermore, we compare the within-country differences for the time span of 1997 to 2011 via fixed effects panel regression models in order to investigate whether increases in GDP per capita result in higher imported emissions. The results suggest that for most countries the differences depending on accounting schemes are small. Furthermore, we find no evidence for carbon leakages. In particular, the ratio of CBA to PBA is not driven by OECD membership or GDP per capita. Instead, the ratio is greater for countries with high energy efficiency and high import rates. Given the small differences between PBA and CBA, we suggest keeping the production-based accounting of CO2 emissions.
[en] Antibiotic resistance is a worsening global concern, and the environmental behaviors and migration patterns of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have attracted considerable interest. Understanding the long-range transport of ARG pollution is crucial. In this study, we characterized the dynamics of ARG changes after their release into aquatic environments and demonstrated the importance of traditional chemical contaminants in the transmission mechanisms of ARGs. We hypothesized that the main route of ARG proliferation switches from active transmission to passive transmission. This antibiotic-dominated switch is motivated and affected by non-corresponding contaminants. The effect of anthropogenic activities gradually weakens from inland aquatic environments to ocean environments; however, the effect of changes in environmental conditions is enhanced along this gradient. The insights discussed in this study will help to improve the understanding of the distribution and migration of ARG pollution in various aquatic environments, and provide a modern perspective to reveal the effect of corresponding contaminants and non-corresponding contaminants in the process of antibiotic resistance proliferation. - Highlights: • Process of ARGs flow through WWTPs, rivers, estuaries and ocean to implement global proliferation and commutation. • The diversity and concentrations of ARGs progressively decrease during dynamic long-range migration processes. • The main route of ARG proliferation switches from active transmission to passive transmission from inland to ocean. - The diversity and concentrations of antibiotic resistance genes progressively decrease during dynamic long-range migration processes.
[en] Highlights: • Convergence in CO2 emissions per capita is studied in a global sample of countries during 1970– 2014. • A Spatial Green Solow model is developed to accommodate spatial dependence in emissions data. • A convergence equation which has the form of a Dynamic Spatial Durbin model is estimated. • Spatial multi-regime panel data models are developed to study heterogeneous convergence dynamics • Spatial non-parametric techniques are used to analyze convergence dynamics across clubs. - Abstract: This research analyzes the evolution of CO2 emissions per capita in a sample of 141 countries during the period 1970–2014. The study develops a spatially augmented Green Solow model by taking into consideration technological externalities and interdependence in the process of production, which ultimately implies that CO2 emissions in an economy are affected by the economic characteristics in neighboring countries. The empirical model predicts convergence in CO2 emissions among countries which is examined by means of modern dynamic spatial panel econometric techniques. The multimodal distribution of the CO2 emissions is consistent with the existence of three spatial clubs. The space-time dynamics of the three clubs are analyzed by means of the Local Directional Moran Scatterplot and spatial panel model with heterogeneous parameters. Our analysis reveals the hypothesis of spatial convergence clubs is more consistent with the data than the hypothesis of conditional convergence.
[en] A period of elevated surface concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM) in the UK in spring 2014 was widely associated in the UK media with a Saharan dust plume. This might have led to over-emphasis on a natural phenomenon and consequently to a missed opportunity to inform the public and provide robust evidence for policy-makers about the observed characteristics and causes of this pollution event. In this work, the EMEP4UK regional atmospheric chemistry transport model (ACTM) was used in conjunction with speciated PM measurements to investigate the sources and long-range transport (including vertical) processes contributing to the chemical components of the elevated surface PM. It is shown that the elevated PM during this period was mainly driven by ammonium nitrate, much of which was derived from emissions outside the UK. In the early part of the episode, Saharan dust remained aloft above the UK; we show that a significant contribution of Saharan dust at surface level was restricted only to the latter part of the elevated PM period and to a relatively small geographic area in the southern part of the UK. The analyses presented in this paper illustrate the capability of advanced ACTMs, corroborated with chemically-speciated measurements, to identify the underlying causes of complex PM air pollution episodes. Specifically, the analyses highlight the substantial contribution of secondary inorganic ammonium nitrate PM, with agricultural ammonia emissions in continental Europe presenting a major driver. The findings suggest that more emphasis on reducing emissions in Europe would have marked benefits in reducing episodic PM_2_._5 concentrations in the UK. (letter)
[en] Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with different usage states, such as currently, historically or never used, may show different behaviors and potential risks in the environment. It is essential to identify their distribution patterns and fates and to assess their associated health risks to humans. In this study, based on a nationwide sampling campaign across China, we determined the concentrations of currently (endosulfan), historically (chlordane and heptachlor) and never-used (aldrin, dieldrin and endrin) OCPs in agricultural soils. The total residue inventories of ∑Endosulfans, ∑Chlordanes, heptachlor and ∑Drins in soils were 260, 64.3, 54.2 and 88.6 t, respectively. The residues of endosulfan were influenced by current usage, showing a latitude transect trend. Drins were mainly from long-range transport, but the illegal usage in China still affected their residues. This finding indicates that endosulfan and drins in Chinese agricultural soils mainly follow the primary and secondary distribution pattern, respectively. Both primary and secondary distribution have a great impact on the distribution pattern of chlordane, which had been banned for only 4 years at the time we sampled. The health risks of these OCPs were estimated based on their concentrations. There were 0.813% and 1.63% of samples that exceeded the target values for chlordane and endrin according to the Netherlands guideline for unpolluted soil. Their residues in most of the samples posed no or few non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks to human beings. The results from this study will provide powerful support for pollution control and management. - Highlights: • Currently, historically and never-usedOCPs were analyzedin arable soils across China. • Endosulfan and drinsfollowedthe primary and secondary distributionpattern, respectively. • Both primary and secondary distribution influencedthe distribution of chlordane. • The health risks of these OCPs in Chinese arablesoils were within acceptable levels. - Geographic distributions, factors influencing the residue characteristics and human health risks of currently, historically and never-used OCPs in agricultural soils across China.
[en] The role of marine plastic debris and microplastics as a carrier of hazardous chemicals in the marine environment is an emerging issue. This study investigated expanded polystyrene (EPS, commonly known as styrofoam) debris, which is a common marine debris item worldwide, and its additive chemical, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). To obtain a better understanding of chemical dispersion via EPS pollution in the marine environment, intensive monitoring of HBCD levels in EPS debris and microplastics was conducted in South Korea, where EPS is the predominant marine debris originate mainly from fishing and aquaculture buoys. At the same time, EPS debris were collected from 12 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and HBCD concentrations were measured. HBCD was detected extensively in EPS buoy debris and EPS microplastics stranded along the Korean coasts, which might be related to the detection of a quantity of HBCD in non-flame-retardant EPS bead (raw material). The wide detection of the flame retardant in sea-floating buoys, and the recycling of high-HBCD-containing EPS waste inside large buoys highlight the need for proper guidelines for the production and use of EPS raw materials, and the recycling of EPS waste. HBCD was also abundantly detected in EPS debris collected from the Asia-Pacific coastal region, indicating that HBCD contamination via EPS debris is a common environmental issue worldwide. Suspected tsunami debris from Alaskan beaches indicated that EPS debris has the potential for long-range transport in the ocean, accompanying the movement of hazardous chemicals. The results of this study indicate that EPS debris can be a source of HBCD in marine environments and marine food web. - Highlights: • A brominated flame retardant, HBCD, was assessed in EPS debris and microplastics. • HBCD was widely detected in EPS debris from the Asia-Pacific coastal region. • Additive HBCD are dispersed via EPS pollution in marine environments. • EPS debris can be a source of HBCD in the marine environment. - A brominated flame retardant, hexaboromocycledodecane, was widely detected in EPS marine debris and microplastics from the Asia-Pacific coastal region.
[en] Epiphytic lichens were useful as an early warning system for changes in forest ecosystems. - The results of a study using epiphytic lichens (Parmelia caperata) as sentinels for heavy metal deposition at six selected forest ecosystems of central Italy are reported. The woods investigated are characterized by holm oak (Quercus ilex), turkey oak (Quercus cerris) and beech (Fagus sylvatica) and represent the typical forest ecosystems of central Italy at low, medium and high elevations, respectively. The results showed that levels of heavy metals in lichens were relatively low and consequently no risk of heavy metal air pollution is expected for the six forest ecosystems investigated. However, for two of them there are indications of a potential risk: the beech forest of Vallombrosa showed signs of contamination by Pb as a consequence of vehicle traffic due to the rather high touristic pressure in the area, and the holm oak forest of Cala Violina showed transboundary pollution by Mn, Cr and Ni originating from the steel industry in Piombino. Epiphytic lichens proved to be very effective as an early warning system to detect signs of a changing environment at forest ecosystems