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Exploratory Environmental Science Research

Volume 1 – Issue 1 – 2020

Original Research Article

Low abundance and diversity of top predators – seabirds and marine mammals – in the Amundsen sea, Antarctica, 2010

Claude R.Joiris1,2

1Laboratory for Polar Ecology (PolE), 26130 Saint-Restitut, (FRANCE)
2Conservation Biology Unit, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS), 1000 Brussels, (BELGIUM)

PAGE NO: 1-8


Our long-term study on the quantitative at-sea distribution of the upper trophic levels – seabirds and marine mammals – in polar ecosystems aims at quantifying the factors influencing their distribution as well as detecting possible spatial and temporal evolutions, with special attention to hydrography and to global climate changes. During the ANT-XXVI/3 expedition of the icebreaking RV Polarstern in February-March 2010, 8270 seabirds belonging to 15 identified species were recorded in the Amundsen Sea during 1070 half-hour transect counts, i.e. a mean of 8 per count. The most numerous species were by far Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antarctica, Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae and snow petrel Pagodroma nivea: they represented together more than 80% of the total recorded. Substantial seabird hotspots were concentrated on three icebergs, representing 44% of all observations: 85% of the Antarctic petrels and 40% of the snow petrels (Joiris[11]). Most numerous pinniped was crabeater seal Lobodon carcinophaga representing 98% of the total of 2350 individuals belonging to four species (Joiris and D’Hert[18]). Among cetaceans, the most abundant species were Antarctic minke whale Balaenoptera bonaerensis and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus (60% and 25% of the total of 170, four species). Their quantitative distribution was directly influenced by hydrological structures: water masses and fronts, pack ice and ice edge, and some free-drifting icebergs.


Original Research Article

A long-term prediction of global solar radiation over Nigeria using the nonlinear autoregressive neural network

Olusola Samuel Ojo*, Babatunde Adeyemi

Department of Physics, P.M.B. 704, The Federal University of Technology, Akure, (NIGERIA)

PAGE NO: 9-17


In this study, surface data of minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed were used as input variables to create, trainand validate the network in which global solar radiation serves as a target. These surface data were obtained from the archives of the Era-interim database of the European center for Medium-Range weather forecast (ECMWF) ata resolution of 0.25o x 0.25o. The dataspan36 years (1980-2015) for the four climatic regions of Nigeria the viz Sahel, Guinea Savannah, Derived Savannah, and Coastal regions. The research aims to evaluate the predictive ability of the Nonlinear Autoregressive Neural Network with Exogenous Input (NARX) model compared with the Multivariate Linear Regression (MLR) model. The efficiency of the two models was compared using the statistical metrics such as correlation coefficient (CC), coefficient of determination (CD), index of agreement (IA), mean bias errors (MBE), root mean square errors (RMSE) and t-statistics (T-test). Analyses showthat in the Sahel region, for instance, the NARX and MLR model have values of 0.876 and 0.450 for CC, 0.767 and 0.240 for CD, 0.813 and 0.763 for IA, 0.081 and 0.846 for MBE, 14.192 and 17.234 for RMSE and 0.4230 and 2.135 for t-test respectively. The statistical metrics for other regions followed similar patterns. Therefore, it can be inferred from these metrics thatthe NARX model gives a better prediction of global solar radiation than the traditional common MLR models in all the zones in Nigeria.



Impact of climate change on soil and crop productivity- possible mitigatory and adaptation strategies

Cosmas Parwada1*, Charles Karavina2, Handsen Tibugari3, Ronald Mandumbu2, Justin Chipomho4, Nyamande Mapope4

1Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Horticulture, Women’s University in Africa,
P.O. Box 1175, Marondera, (ZIMBABWE)
2Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, Department of Crop Science, Bindura University of
Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, (ZIMBABWE)
3Faculty of Life Sciences, Gwanda State University, P.O. Box 30, Filabusi, (ZIMBABWE)
4Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and
Technology, P.O. Box 35, Marondera, (ZIMBABWE)

PAGE NO: 18-37


Climate change is a critical global issue to such an extent that it is considered the worst challenge for humankind in the present day. It is imperative to consider specific prevailing conditions of a particular area in planning and designing climate change mitigatory and adaptation strategies. No one is immune to the devastating effects of climate change, therefore it requires a collective action to tackle the problem. Changes in climate are slow in nature and inevitable so adaptation is seen as a viable option in reducing the vulnerability to anticipated negative impacts of climate change. Now, at global level, it is increasingly realized that mitigation and adaptation should be perused complement to each other. The effects of climate change on human activities are complex hence difficult to quantify. Severity of climate change depends on the country or region in question therefore generalising these effects result in the ineffective implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The changing climate will have significant effects on soil and crop productivity thereby impacting on food security hence the needy for quantification. Climate change has an impact in all the crop production stages therefore has to be well understood in order to enhance productive. Quantification of climate change impacts on crop and soil productivity will assist in developing sound mitigation and adaptation strategies. Increase of temperatures and atmospheric carbon concentration might have both the negative and positive effects on crop productivity. Humankind has to capitalise on increased productivity under climate change but mitigate and adapt to its negative impacts.


Original Research Article

Assessing urban effects on the climate of metropolitan regions of Brazil – Preliminary results of the MCITY BRAZIL project

Amauri Pereira de Oliveira1*, Edson Pereira Marques Filho2,3, Maurício Jonas Ferreira1,
Georgia Codato1, Flávia Noronha Dutra Ribeiro1, Eduardo Landulfo4, Gregori de Arruda Moreira4,5, Maxsuel Marcos Rocha Pereira6, Primoz Mlakar7,
Marija Zlata Boznar7, Eleonora Sad de Assis8, Daniele Gomes Ferreira8, Mariana Cassol2,3,
João Francisco Escobedo9, Alexandre Dal Pai9, José Ricardo de Almeida França2, Demilson Assis Quintão10,
Flávia Dias Rabelo1, Luana Antunes Tolentino Souza1, Wallace Pereira da Silva2, Leonardo Moreno Domingues1,
Maciel Piñero Sánchez1, Lucas Cardoso da Silveira1, Janet Valdes Vito1

1University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, (BRAZIL)
2Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, (BRAZIL)
3Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, BA, (BRAZIL)
4Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (IPEN), São Paulo, SP, (BRAZIL)
5Federal Institute of São Paulo (IFSP), Registro, SP, (BRAZIL)
6Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória, ES, (BRAZIL)
7MEIS d.o.o. (MEIS), Ljubljana, (SLOVENIA)
8Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG, (BRAZIL)
9State of São Paulo University (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, (BRAZIL)
10State of São Paulo University (UNESP), Bauru, SP, (BRAZIL)

PAGE NO: 38-77


This work describes the MCITY BRAZIL Project. The project designed to assess urban effects on the climate of the major Brazilian cities and to systematize this procedure of investigation so it can be extended to other urban areas in Brazil. In this article, the implementations in the Metropolitan Regions of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are presented. A preliminary description of the surface radiation balance, surface energy balance, surface wind pattern, urban heat island and urban boundary layers are discussed by considering the surface observations carried out in the MCITY BRAZIL project from 2013 to 2014 in four micrometeorological towers in these two metropolitan regions. Despite nearly identical inputs of solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere, differences in the atmospheric attenuation and emissions, and in the surface albedo and emissions resulted in significant differences in surface radiation balance components between metropolitan regions and within each urban area. The diurnal evolution of the surface energy balance, friction velocity and carbon dioxide vertical fluxes observed during the field campaigns indicate important seasonal and spatial variations associated with the land use in both urban regions. Surface wind analyses for both metropolitan regions display similar seasonal and diurnal patterns as a result of the combination of large-scale systems and sea-breeze circulation present in both regions and modulated by topography. The urban heat island in São Paulo is greater than that in Rio de Janeiro as a result of different combinations of maritime and solar heating effects. The diurnal evolution of the urban boundary layer height and surface inversion layer top estimated simultaneously by rawinsonde and Lidar displays good agreement in both metropolitan regions. In São Paulo, daytime urban boundary layer height responds to the sensible heat flux at the surface. In Rio de Janeiro, despite of equivalent sensible heat flux, urban boundary layer is smaller due to the internal maritime boundary layer effects.


Original Research Article

The nexus of climate change impacts on urban tourism industry: A case study on managing drought

Felix Kwabena Donkor*, Kevin Mearns

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA),
UNISA Science Campus. Corner of Christiaan de Wet Road & Pioneer Avenue,
Florida, 1709, (SOUTH AFRICA)

PAGE NO: 78-86


Tourism is a key contributor to the global economy and sustains several households and livelihoods. However, the sector is highly susceptible to climate change and also contributes to it. However the most recent Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report projects an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events related to climate change. Furthermore, both highlight the negative impact of climate sensitive industries such as tourism. In addition, the continued climate-driven degradation and disruption to cultural and natural heritage will negatively affect the tourism sector, reduce the attractiveness of destinations and lessen economic opportunities for local communities; as natural and cultural resources are the foundation for the tourism sector’s competitiveness. The scenario is exacerbated for urban tourism which is a special niche in the tourism sector. South Africa being a semi-arid area is drought prone as evidenced by the 100 year record drought which introduced severe water rationing for the hospitality industry and related tourism infrastructure. This study employed literature on the current state of knowledge and measures at addressing the impact of climate change on a climate sensitive sector crucial to several livelihoods such as urban tourism with a focus on South Africa. It contributes to the debate addressing the insufficiency of current global responses to addressing environmental challenges and the need for ‘Transformative changes’ to restore, protect nature and enhance sustainable development. Tourism hotspots need to introduce some nudges that will encourage tourists, local residents and industry players be more proactive in safeguarding the environment and adopting appropriate lifestyle changes.


Original Research Article

Oxidative changes in brain tissue after concurrent exposure to arsenic and quinalphos in Wistar rats

Parvinder Singh1, Pawan Kumar Verma1*, Priyanka Sharma1, Shilpa Sood2, Rajinder Raina1

1Division of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Science and
Animal Husbandry, R S Pura, 181102, (INDIA)
2Division of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, R S Pura, 181102, (INDIA)

PAGE NO: 87-95


The present study was designed to assess oxidative changes occurring in brain after concurrent exposure of arsenic and quinalphos in Wistar rats. Rats of either sex were randomly allocated to nine groups of six rats each and were administered quinalphos and arsenic either alone or in-conjunction with each other for 28 days. Group I served as control, group II and III received orally quinalphos at 1/100th and 1/10th of LD50 respectively, whereas group IV and V received arsenic 50 and 100 ppb respectively in drinking water. Group VI and VII received low and high dose of quinalphos respectively along with arsenic (50 ppb) in drinking water. Similarly the animals comprising group VIII and IX received higher and lower doses of quinalphos respectively with arsenic (100 ppb) added in drinking water. Significant (P<0.05) declines in brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE), total thiols (TTH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-s-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR) along with significant elevations in (P<0.05) malondialdehyde (MDA) levels pointed towards the occurrence of oxidative damage in brain following repeated administrations of quinalphos at either dose levels or arsenic at the concentration of 100 ppb as compared to control. Moreover, these alterations were found to be more pronounced in groups receiving both treatments concurrently viz. decreased levels of AChE (55.4%), TTH (51.5%), CAT (38.4%), SOD (29.6%), GPx (40.9%), GST (54.9%) and GR (44.4%) with increased MDA (102.3%) as compared to control group. Histopathological changes observed in brain included neuronal degeneration and necrosis, gliosis, neuronophagia and spongiosis which correlated well with dose and co-exposure induced altered antioxidant biomarkers in brain. Hence these findings underline the subtle neurotoxic potential of arsenic and quinalphos which is enhanced with their concurrent exposure.



Understanding, evaluating and improving the system of governance of agro-ecosystem services

Hrabrin Bachev

Institute of Agricultural Economics, Sofia, (BULGARIA)

PAGE NO: 96-114


(Agro) ecosystem services is a “new” term, which is rapidly and widely used in academic studies, and policies and business practices around the globe. Nevertheless, in many countries around the globe, studies associated with agroecosystem services and their “management” are at the beginning stage.This article suggests a holistic framework for defining, evaluating and improving the system of governance of agro-ecosystem services. The interdisciplinary Theory of Ecosystem Services and the New Institutional Economy are adapted, and the governance of agroecosystem services defined, various related agents identified, principle forms and mechanisms of governance classified, an adequate criterion for assessing efficiency formulated, and stages for analysis and improvement of the system of governance characterized. The proposed new approach is based on the “building up” of a hierarchy of agro-ecosystems and services related to its different levels, and an assessment of the efficiency and complementarities of the governance modes and mechanisms, corresponding to each level of “provision” of agroecosystem services.



Anaerobic/aerobic sequential treatment of chloramphenicole antibiotic using anaerobic baffled and aerobic sludge reactors

Delýa Teresa Sponza*, Seçil Tüzün

Dokuz Eylül University, Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Department,
Buca Kaynaklar Campus, Týnaztepe, BUCA-ÝZMÝR, (TURKEY)

PAGE NO: 115-159


In this study  a sequential anaerobic baffled (ABR) and  an aerobic completely sirred sludge reactor (CSTR) system was used to treat the chloramphenicole antibiotic at different  HRTs. The maximum COD removal efficiency was 94,40% until HRT of 19,2 days. The maximum total, methane gas and methane percentage were found as 547,2 L/day, 504 L/dayand 58%, respectively, atthech loramphenicole concentration of 130 mg/L in ABR. The total gas and methane gas production rates increased from 259,2 to 547,2 L/day and from 216 to 489,6 L/day, respectively as the HRT was decreased from 38,4 days to 19,2 days. Meanwhile the methane percentages increased from 38% up to 58%, until at a HRT of 12,8 days. However the methane percentages decreased from 58% to 42% as the HRT decreased from 12,8 to 7,68 days.The COD removal efficiency in sequential anaerobic ABR/aerobic CSTR reactor syste mas 98,12% at a HRT of 19,2 days. For maximum COD removal efficiency (E=98,12%) the optimum HRT was found as 19,2 days. In Daphnia magna acute toxicity test the wastewater containing 130 mg/L of chloramphenicole concentration was found to be toxic (% inhibition = 100%) in the influent of anaerobic ABR /aerobic CSTR reactor system. The acute toxicity reduction in sequential ABR/ CSTR reactor system effluent was 95% at a HRT of 38,4 days. The kinetic constants in the Monod and Grau kinetic models were found to be meaning full for chloramphnicole degradation. Y and Ks was 13,532 mgVSS/mgCOD and 0,071 mg/L, respectively with high regression coefficient (R2=0,98) for Monod kinetic model. Similarly, the ks and a was 0,055 day-1 and 1,2975 day, respectively with high regression coefficient (R2=0,98) in Grau kinetic model for chloramphenicole removal.