This study involves a legal analysis of the case Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others. The case considered the impact of the Thabametsi Power Project if it operated to the expected year 2060 on the global climate and ever-changing climate, in South Africa. This judgment highlights the significance, place and principles of climate change and where climate change impacts the South African environmental law which has its founding principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This paper seeks to examine the advances for climate change regulation and application in terms of international law, in South Africa, through a qualitative study involving comparative national and international case law. A literature review study was conducted to compare and contrast the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands with reference to international law and interpretation. The relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act will be discussed. It then proceeds to outline the potential liability of the Minister in the interpretation and application of international law.
This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.
Cities in their historical evolution have always adapted their internal structure to the needs of society (for example protective city walls during classicism era lost their defense function, became unnecessary, were demolished and gave space for new features such as roads, museums or parks). Today it is necessary to modify the internal structure of the city in order to minimize the impact of climate changes on the environment of the population. This article discusses the results of the Urban Climate model owned by VITO, which was carried out as part of a project from the European Union's Horizon grant agreement No 730004 Pan-European Urban Climate Services Climate-Fit city. The use of the model was aimed at changes in land use and land cover in cities related to urban heat islands (UHI). The task of the application was to evaluate possible land use change scenarios in connection with city requirements and ideas. Two pilot areas in the Czech Republic were selected. One is Ostrava and the other Hodonín. The paper provides a demonstration of the application of the model for various possible future development scenarios. It contains an assessment of the suitability or inappropriateness of scenarios of future development depending on the temperature increase. Cities that are preparing to reconstruct the public space are interested in eliminating proposals that would lead to an increase in temperature stress as early as in the assignment phase. If they have evaluation on the unsuitability of some type of design, they can limit it into the proposal phases. Therefore, especially in the application of models on Local level - in 1 m spatial resolution, it was necessary to show which type of proposals would create a significant temperature island in its implementation. Such a type of proposal is considered unsuitable. The model shows that the building itself can create a shady place and thus contribute to the reduction of the UHI. If it sensitively approaches the protection of existing greenery, this new construction may not pose a significant problem. More massive interventions leading to the reduction of existing greenery create a new heat island space.
‘Energy for all’, is a global issue of concern for the past many years. Despite the number of technological advancements and innovations, significant numbers of people are living without access to electricity around the world. India, an emerging economy, tops the list of nations having the maximum number of residents living off the grid, thus raising global attention in past few years to provide clean and sustainable energy access solutions to all of its residents. It is evident from developed economies that centralized planning and electrification alone is not sufficient for meeting energy security. Implementation of off-grid and consumer-driven energy models like Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) systems have played a significant role in meeting the national energy demand in developed nations. Cases of DRE systems have been reported in developing countries like India for the past few years. This paper attempts to profile the status of DRE projects in the Indian context with their scope and relevance to ensure universal electrification. Diversified cases of DRE projects, particularly solar, biomass and micro hydro are identified in different Indian states. Critical factors affecting the sustainability of DRE projects are extracted with their interlinkages in the context of developers, beneficiaries and promoters involved in such projects. Socio-techno-economic indicators are identified through similar cases in the context of DRE projects. Exploratory factor analysis is performed to evaluate the critical sustainability factors followed by regression analysis to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent factors. The generated EFA-Regression model provides a basis to develop the sustainability and replicability framework for broader coverage of DRE projects in developing nations in order to attain the goal of universal electrification with least carbon emissions.
As a pillar of sustainable development, ecology has become an important milestone in research community, especially due to global challenges like climate change. The ecological performance of products can be scientifically conducted with life cycle assessments. In the construction sector, significant amounts of CO2 emissions are assigned to the energy used for building heating purposes. Therefore, sustainable construction materials for insulating purposes are substantial, whereby aerogels have been explored intensively in the last years due to their low thermal conductivity. Therefore, the WALL-ACE project aims to develop an aerogel-based thermal insulating plaster that would achieve minor thermal conductivities. But as in the early stage of development phases, a lot of information is still missing or not yet accessible, the ecological performance of innovative products bases increasingly on uncertain data that can lead to significant deviations in the results. To be able to predict realistically how meaningful the results are and how viable the developed products may be with regard to their corresponding respective market, these deviations however have to be considered. Therefore, a classification method is presented in this study, which may allow comparing the ecological performance of modern products with already established and competitive materials. In order to achieve this, an alternative calculation method was used that allows computing with lower and upper bounds to consider all possible values without precise data. The life cycle analysis of the considered products was conducted with an interval arithmetic based calculation method. The results lead to the conclusion that the interval solutions describing the possible environmental impacts are so wide that the result usability is limited. Nevertheless, a further optimization in reducing environmental impacts of aerogels seems to be needed to become more competitive in the future.
This study evaluated the uncertainties involved in the solar radiation projections generated by the Brazilian Earth System Model (BESM) of the Weather and Climate Prediction Center (CPTEC) belonging to Coupled Model Intercomparison Phase 5 (CMIP5), with the aim of identifying efficiency in the projections for solar radiation of said model and in this way establish the viability of its use. Two different scenarios elaborated by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were evaluated: RCP 4.5 (with more optimistic contour conditions) and 8.5 (with more pessimistic initial conditions). The method used to verify the accuracy of the present model was the Nash coefficient and the Statistical bias, as it better represents these atmospheric patterns. The BESM showed a tendency to overestimate the data of solar radiation projections in most regions of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and through the validation methods adopted by this study, BESM did not present a satisfactory accuracy.
Over the last 40 years, there has been a trend in landscape architecture which supporters do not perceive the role of pro-ecological or postmodern solutions in the design of public green spaces as an essential goal, shifting their attention to the 'sculptural' shaping of areas with the use of slopes, hills, embankments, and other forms of terrain. This group of designers can be considered avant-garde, which in its activities refers to land art. Initial research shows that such applications are particularly frequent in places of former post-industrial sites and landfills, utilizing materials such as debris and post-mining waste in their construction. Due to the high degradation of the environment surrounding modern man, the brownfields are a challenge and a field of interest for the representatives of landscape architecture avant-garde, who through their projects try to recover lost lands by means of transformations supported by engineering and ecological knowledge to create places where nature can develop again. The analysis of a dozen or so facilities made it possible to come up with an important conclusion: apart from the cultural aspects (including artistic activities), the green areas formally referring to the land are important in the process of remediation of post-industrial sites and waste recycling (e. g. from construction sites). In these processes, there is also a potential for applying the concept of Natural Based Solutions, i.e. solutions allowing for the natural development of the site in such a way as to use it to cope with environmental problems, such as e.g. air pollution, soil phytoremediation and climate change. The paper presents examples of modern parks, whose compositions are based on shaping the surface of the terrain in a way referring to the land art, at the same time providing an example of brownfields reuse and application of waste recycling. For the purposes of object analysis, research methods such as historical-interpretation studies, case studies, qualitative research or the method of logical argumentation were used. The obtained results provide information about the role that landscape architecture can have in the process of remediation of degraded areas, at the same time guaranteeing the benefits, such as the shaping of landscapes attractive in terms of visual appearance, low costs of implementation, and improvement of the natural environment quality.
The geographical location of Bangladesh makes it one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Climate-induced phenomena mainly affect the south-central region of Bangladesh (Laxmipur district) where they have begun to occur more frequently. The aim of the study was to identify the hydro-climatic factors that lead to weather-related disasters in the coastal areas and analyse the consequences of these factors on coastal livelihoods, with possible adaptation options using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools. The present study showed several disasters such as land erosion, depressions and cyclones, coastal flooding, storm surge, and precipitation. The frequency of these disasters is of a noticeable rate. Surveys have also discovered that land erosion is ongoing. Tidal water is being introduced directly into the mainland, and as a result of the salt intrusion, production capacity is declining. The coastal belt is an important area for fishing activities, but due to changed fishing times and a lack of Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs), people have been forced to search for alternative livelihood options by taking both short-term and long-term adaptation options. Therefore, in order to increase awareness and minimize the losses, vulnerable communities must be fully incorporated into disaster response strategies. The government as well as national and international donor organizations should come forward and resolve the present situation of these vulnerable groups since otherwise, they will have to endure endless and miserable suffering due to the effects of climate change ahead in their lives.
Climate change, namely precipitation patterns alteration, has led to extreme conditions such as floods and droughts. In turn, excessive construction has led to the waterproofing of the soil, increasing the surface runoff and decreasing the groundwater recharge capacity. The permeable pavements used in areas with low traffic lead to a decrease in the probability of floods peaks occurrence and the sediments reduction and pollutants transport, ensuring rainwater quality improvement. This study aims to evaluate the porous asphalt performance, developed in the laboratory, with addition of cellulosic fibres. One of the main objectives of cellulosic fibres use is to stop binder drainage, preventing its loss during storage and transport. Comparing to the conventional porous asphalt the cellulosic fibres addition improved the porous asphalt performance. The cellulosic fibres allowed the bitumen content increase, enabling retention and better aggregates coating and, consequently, a greater mixture durability. With this solution, it is intended to develop better practices of resilience and adaptation to the extreme climate changes and respond to the sustainability current demands, through the eco-friendly materials use. The mix design was performed for different size aggregates (with fine aggregates – PA1 and with coarse aggregates – PA2). The percentage influence of the fibres to be used was studied. It was observed that overall, the binder drainage decreases as the cellulose fibres percentage increases. It was found that the PA2 mixture obtained most binder drainage relative to PA1 mixture, irrespective of the fibres percentage used. Subsequently, the performance was evaluated through laboratory tests of indirect tensile stiffness modulus, water sensitivity, permeability and permanent deformation. The stiffness modulus for the two mixtures groups (with and without cellulosic fibres) presented very similar values between them. For the water sensitivity test it was observed that porous asphalt containing more fine aggregates are more susceptible to the water presence than mixtures with coarse aggregates. The porous asphalt with coarse aggregates have more air voids which allow water to pass easily leading to ITSR higher values. In the permeability test was observed that asphalt porous without cellulosic fibres presented had lower permeability than asphalt porous with cellulosic fibres. The resistance to permanent deformation results indicates better behaviour of porous asphalt with cellulosic fibres, verifying a bigger rut depth in porous asphalt without cellulosic fibres. In this study, it was observed that porous asphalt with bitumen higher percentages improve the performance to permanent deformation. This fact was only possible due to the bitumen retention by the cellulosic fibres.
The present study investigates the space-time impact of climate change on the rice crop calendar in tropical Gujranwala, Pakistan. The climate change impact was quantified through the climatic variables, whereas the existing calendar of the rice crop was compared with the phonological stages of the crop, depicted through the time series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat data for the decade 2005-2015. Local maxima were applied on the time series of NDVI to compute the rice phonological stages. Panel models with fixed and cross-section fixed effects were used to establish the relation between the climatic parameters and the time-series of NDVI across villages and across rice growing periods. Results show that the climatic parameters have significant impact on the rice crop calendar. Moreover, the fixed effect model is a significant improvement over cross-sectional fixed effect models (R-squared equal to 0.673 vs. 0.0338). We conclude that high inter-annual variability of climatic variables cause high variability of NDVI, and thus, a shift in the rice crop calendar. Moreover, inter-annual (temporal) variability of the rice crop calendar is high compared to the inter-village (spatial) variability. We suggest the local rice farmers to adapt this change in the rice crop calendar.
The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.
The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.
Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.
Many urban designers and planners have been involved in the design of environmentally friendly or nature adaptable urban development models due to increase in urban populations in the recent century, limitation on natural resources, climate change, and lack of enough water and food. Ecological city is one of the latest models proposed to accomplish the latter goal. In this work, the existing establishing indicators of the ecological city are used regarding energy, water, land use and transportation issues. The model is used to compare the function of traditional settlements of Iran. The result of investigation shows that the specifications and functions of the traditional settlements of Iran fit well into the ecological city model. It is found that the inhabitants of the old cities and villages in Iran had founded ecological cities based on their knowledge of the environment and its natural opportunities and limitations.
A participatory and engaged approach is key in connecting agricultural managers to sustainable agricultural systems to support and optimize production in Victoria’s food bowl. A sustainable intensification (SI) approach is well documented globally, but participation rates amongst Victorian farmers is fragmentary, and key outcomes and implementation strategies are poorly understood. Improvement in decision-support management tools and a greater understanding of the productivity gains available upon implementation of SI is necessary. This paper reviews the current understanding and uptake of SI practices amongst farmers in one of Victoria’s premier food producing regions, the Goulburn Broken; and it spatially analyses the potential for this region to adapt to climate change and optimize food production. A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach is taken to develop an interactive decision-support tool that can be accessible to on-ground agricultural managers. The tool encompasses multiple criteria analysis (MCA) that identifies factors during the construction phase of the tool, using expert witnesses and regional knowledge, framed within an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Given the complexities of the interrelations between each of the key outcomes, this participatory approach, in which local realities and factors inform the key outcomes and help to strategies for a particular region, results in a robust strategy for sustainably intensifying production in key food producing regions. The creation of an interactive, locally embedded, decision-support management and education tool can help to close the gap between farmer knowledge and production, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable farming strategies and techniques, and optimize farm productivity.
Water is one of the most important and vulnerable natural resources due to human activities and climate change. Water-level continues declining year after year and it is primarily caused by sustained, extensive, and traditional usage methods. Improving water utilization becomes an urgent issue in order satisfy the increasing population needs. Desalination of seawater or brackish water could help in increasing water potential. However, a cost-effective desalination process is required. The most appropriate method for performing this desalination is solar-driven distillation, given its simplicity, low cost and especially the availability of the solar energy source. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate the influence of coupling integrated basin plate by fins with preheating by solar collector on the performance of solar still. The energy balance equations for the various elements of the solar still are introduced. A numerical example is used to show the efficiency of the proposed solution.
The global warming and its impact on climate change is one of main challenges for current century. Global warming is mainly due to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and carbon dioxide (CO2) is known to be the major contributor to the GHG emission profile. Whilst the energy sector is the primary source for CO2 emission, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are believed to be the solution for controlling this emission. Oxyfuel combustion (Oxy-combustion) is one of the major technologies for capturing CO2 from power plants. For gas turbines, several Oxy-combustion power cycles (Oxyturbine cycles) have been investigated by means of thermodynamic analysis. NetPower cycle is one of the leading oxyturbine power cycles with almost full carbon capture capability from a natural gas fired power plant. In this manuscript, sensitivity analysis of the heat exchanger design in NetPower cycle is completed by means of process modelling. The heat capacity variation and supercritical CO2 with gaseous admixtures are considered for multi-zone analysis with Aspen Plus software. It is found that the heat exchanger design has a major role to increase the efficiency of NetPower cycle. The pinch-point analysis is done to extract the composite and grand composite curve for the heat exchanger. In this paper, relationship between the cycle efficiency and the minimum approach temperature (∆Tmin) of the heat exchanger has also been evaluated. Increase in ∆Tmin causes a decrease in the temperature of the recycle flue gases (RFG) and an overall decrease in the required power for the recycled gas compressor. The main challenge in the design of heat exchangers in power plants is a tradeoff between the capital and operational costs. To achieve lower ∆Tmin, larger size of heat exchanger is required. This means a higher capital cost but leading to a better heat recovery and lower operational cost. To achieve this, ∆Tmin is selected from the minimum point in the diagrams of capital and operational costs. This study provides an insight into the NetPower Oxy-combustion cycle’s performance analysis and operational condition based on its heat exchanger design.
Farmers who are living in flood-prone areas such as coasts are exposed to storm surges increased due to climate change. Crop cultivation is the most important economic activity of farmers, and in the time of flooding, agricultural lands are subject to inundation. Additionally, overflow saline water causes more severe damage outcomes than riverine flooding. Agricultural crops are more vulnerable to salinity than other land uses for which the economic damages may continue for a number of years even after flooding and affect farmers’ decision-making for the following year. Therefore, it is essential to assess what extent the agricultural areas are flooded and how much the associated flood damage to each individual farmer is. To address these questions, we integrated farmers’ decision-making at farm-scale with flood risk management. The integrated model includes identification of hazard scenarios, failure analysis of structural measures, derivation of hydraulic parameters for the inundated areas and analysis of the economic damages experienced by each farmer. The present study has two aims; firstly, it attempts to investigate the flooded cropland and potential crop damages for the whole area. Secondly, it compares them among farmers’ field for three flood scenarios, which differ in breach locations of the flood protection structure. To achieve its goal, the spatial distribution of fields and cultivated crops of farmers were fed into the flood risk model, and a 100-year storm surge hydrograph was selected as the flood event. The study area was Pellworm Island that is located in the German Wadden Sea National Park and surrounded by North Sea. Due to high salt content in seawater of North Sea, crops cultivated in the agricultural areas of Pellworm Island are 100% destroyed by storm surges which were taken into account in developing of depth-damage curve for analysis of consequences. As a result, inundated croplands and economic damages to crops were estimated in the whole Island which was further compared for six selected farmers under three flood scenarios. The results demonstrate the significance and the flexibility of the proposed model in flood risk assessment of flood-prone areas by integrating flood risk management and decision-making.
Carbon dioxide and methane, the major components of biomass pyrolysis/gasification gas and biogas, top the list of substances that cause climate change, but they are also among the most important renewable energy sources in modern society. The purpose of this study is to convert carbon dioxide and methane into high-quality energy using char and commercial activated carbon obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a microwave receptor. The methane reforming process produces hydrogen and carbon. This carbon is deposited in the pores of the microwave receptor and lowers catalytic activity, thereby reducing the methane conversion rate. The deposited carbon was removed by carbon gasification due to the supply of carbon dioxide, which solved the problem of microwave receptor inactivity. In particular, the conversion rate remained stable at over 90% when the ratio of carbon dioxide to methane was 1:1. When the reforming results of carbon dioxide and methane were compared after fabricating nickel and iron catalysts using commercial activated carbon as a carrier, the conversion rate was higher in the iron catalyst than in the nickel catalyst and when no catalyst was used.