Open Access Original Research Article

Using GIS to Assess the Contribution of Farming Activities towards Climate Change in the State of Mississippi

Edmund C. Merem, Chandra Richardson, Corney Romarno, Joan Wesley, Yaw Twumasi

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 113-136
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1371

The study uses primary data, descriptive statistics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and correlation analysis to analyze the contributions of farming activities to climate change in Mississippi between 1992 through 2002. This involved the assessment of methane emissions from rice cultivation in the state of Mississippi as well as the relationship between the levels of methane gas concentration and other variables associated with rice production. In highlighting the extent to which rice production activities fuel climate change, the results of the study not only showed greenhouse gas emission related rice production activities to be on the rise, but there is a relationship between methane emissions and rice farming. The GIS analysis also points to a visible concentration of rice production activities associated with methane emissions in the major counties of Bolivia, Sunflower and Washington along the Northwest portion of the state. While this raises the threats of climate change predictors in the area. To remedy the problems, the paper suggests five future lines of actions from the need for education to the promotion of emission trading.

Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change and Shift in Cropping System: From Cocoa to Maize Based Cropping System in Wenchi Area of Ghana

S. Adjei-Nsiah, Michael Kermah

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 137-152
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1220

A study was conducted in Wenchi Municipality in the forest/savanna transitional agro-ecological zone of Ghana to analyze the past and present cropping systems and to identify the key drivers responsible for the shift. We used key informant and semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and field observations for data collection. Historical analyses of the present and past cropping systems indicated that over the past forty years, there has been a shift from cocoa based to maize based cropping system. The shift in the cropping system was prompted by decline in the yield of cocoa and the difficulty in establishing new cocoa farms as a result of changing rainfall pattern, frequent bushfires and increase in the dry season. Other factors attributed to the shift by farmers included land tenure, soil fertility decline and vegetation change. Strategies being used by farmers to adapt to the changing climate and variability include planting of drought tolerant crops such as cassava, yam and maize and adjusting planting dates of crops to coincide with the onset of the rains. The study indicates that future shift in cropping system from maize to cocoa-based system is unlikely due to deforestation activities and the prevailing climatic conditions.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Role of EDTA on Heavy Metals Phytoextraction by Jatropha gossypifolia Grown on Soil Collected from Dumpsites in Ekiti State Nigeria

E. E. Awokunmi, S. S. Asaolu, O. O. Ajayi, O. A. Adebayo

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 153-162
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1291

Jatropha gossypifolia has been known to thrive well in tropical climate, most importantly in Nigeria where they are found to grow naturally on dumpsites. The potential use of this robust tropical plant in phytoremediation technology should be advocated especially for developing countries. This study investigates the effect of enhanced phytoextraction on the accumulation of the following heavy metals; (Cd, Cr, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, Co and Sn) by J. gossypifolia cultivated on soil collected from dumpsites in Ekiti state, South Western Nigeria, with application of 1g/kg EDTA (Experiment) and without (control). Application of 1g/kg EDTA did not adversely affect plant growth, except at preflowering stage where were yellowing of leaves.
The concentration of heavy metals in tissues of plant were higher in the experiment than control, with concentration of Pb (376.0, 350.0, 355.2 and 328 mg/kg; experiment, 184.0, 180.0, 169.0 and 159.0 mg/kg; control), Cu ( 962.0, 958.0, 898.0 and 818.0; experiment, 650.0, 526.0 464.2 and442.0 mg/kg; control) and Cd (416.8, 418.2, 399.0 and 377.5; experiment, 167.3, 164.2, 147.8 and 142.2 mg/kg) at Aba Egbira, Atikankan, Igbehin and Moshood street dumpsites respectively in the shoot of the plant. Highest concentrations of heavy metals were obtained in leaves of the plant. Notably, concentration of Pb, Cu and Cd were greater than the threshold value of 100mg/kg, indicative of the fact that J. gossypifolia could be a good candidate for Pb, Cu and Cd-phytoextraction. Bioaccumulation factor (BF), translocation factor (TF) and remediation ratio (RR) values greater than one also revealed the effectiveness of the plant to translocate Pb, Cu and Cd to their harvestable portion and phytoextraction efficiency under the chelant-assisted phytoremediation. However, the concentration of heavy metals did not vary significantly at p<0.05, least significant difference (LSD test) in all dumpsites investigated. Therefore, the use of J. gossypifolia is advocated as a candidate plant for restoring dumpsites polluted with heavy metals.

Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change Effects on Southern Subtropical and Tropical Tree Species in Ganzhou City, China

Fuxiang Cao, Chengjing Qi, Ganrong Li, Cuiyu Zhong, Daisheng Tang, Yongfu Xu, Changhui Peng

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 163-179
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1114

Aims: To confirm climate warming changes that have taken place in Gannan Arboretum and Ganzhou City by the expect success of introduced tropical tree species as a response to climatic warming scenarios.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Study Site and Duration: Survey and observational sites were located in 1) Gannan Arboretum and 2) Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province, China. The survey and observations of introduced tree species were conducted from October, 2009, to November, 2010. Additional growth records were obtained for a period prior to and including the 1970s to assist in the investigation.
Methodology: 1) The meteorological data (1951–2009) record was used to analyse climatic change patterns. 2) Growth and development of introduced tree species were examined to evaluate effects of introduction. 3) Climate zone attributes of introduced tree species were determined in order to establish place of origin. Effects of introduced tree species were coupled with climatic change scenario data to analyze associative relationships.
Results: 1) A trend in climate warming has been evident in Ganzhou City since the1950s. Based on metrological records from 1951 to 2009, a steady rise in annual average temperature has occurred in the region, increasing from 0.2ºC to 0.3ºC each 20 year period. This trend has been especially evident by changes to average temperature during the coldest month (January) as well as changes in annual minimum temperatures. 2) According to observations and measurements, 39 introduced tropical tree species have successfully established themselves in the Ganzhou region through natural domestication. Among these, 24 tree species were considered basically successful with normal growth patterns while the remaining 15 species achieved preliminary success. 3) Stem analysis data on the five primary introduced tree species indicate that growth patterns were normal and vigorous, suggesting that these tropical tree species have successfully established themselves. It was therefore determined that the successful northward migration of the 39 tree species investigated was chiefly the result of a climate warming trend taking place in the region.

Open Access Original Research Article

Quantifying Uncertainties in the Modelled Estimates of Extreme Precipitation Events at Upper Thames River Basin

Tarana A. Solaiman, Slobodan P. Simonovic, Donald H. Burn

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 180-215
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1505

Assessment of climate change impact on hydrology at watershed scale incorporates downscaling of global scale climatic variables into local scale hydrologic variables and evaluation of future hydrologic extremes. The climatological inputs obtained from several global climate models suffer the limitations due to incomplete knowledge arising from the inherent physical, chemical processes and the parameterization of the model structure. Downscaled output from a single AOGCM with a single emission scenario represents only one of all possible future climate realizations; averaging outputs from multiple AOGCMs might underestimate the extent of future changes in the intensity and frequency of climatological variables. These available methods, thus cannot be representative of the full extent of climate change. Present research, therefore addresses two major questions: (i) should climate research adopt equal weights from AOGCM outputs to generate future climate?; and (ii) what is the probability of the future extreme events to be more severe? This paper explores the methods available for quantifying uncertainties from the AOGCM outputs and provides an extensive investigation of the nonparametric kernel estimator based on choice of bandwidths for investigating the severity of extreme precipitation events over the next century. The Sheather-Jones plug-in kernel estimate appears to be a major improvement over the parametric methods with known distribution. Results indicate increased probabilities for higher intensities and frequencies of events. The applied methodology is flexible and can be adapted to any uncertainty estimation studies with unknown densities. The presented research is expected to broaden our existing knowledge on the nature of the extreme precipitation events and the propagation and quantification of uncertainties arising from the global climate models and emission scenarios.

Open Access Original Research Article

Analysis of Awareness and Adaptation to Climate Change among Farmers in the Sahel Savannah Agro-ecological Zone of Borno State, Nigeria

Y. L. Idrisa, B. O. Ogunbameru, A. A. Ibrahim, D. B. Bawa

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 216-226
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1475

This study examined the awareness and adaptation to climate change among farmers in the Sahel Savannah agro-ecological zone of Borno State, Nigeria. Data for the study were collected from 225 respondents selected through the Multi-stage sampling technique. A socio-economic profile of the respondents indicated that 48.89% were above 45 years of age and majority (78.23%) had educational qualifications below the secondary school level. The study also revealed that a majority (79.12%) of the respondents were small-scale farm holders and more than half (67.56%) had fewer than 7 extension contacts during the 2010 farming season. An analysis of the source of climate change awareness revealed that majority (82.22%) of the respondents was aware of the phenomenon of climate change. Of that number, extension service and friends/neighbors were ranked high as source of awareness about climate change, accounting for 47.57% and 232.43% respectively. Analysis of adaptation practices used by the respondents showed that planting ahead of rains (97.78%) and planting of cover crops 80.00% were used most. Analysis of the relationships between some selected socio-economic variables and the use of climate change adaptation measures revealed that educational qualification and the number of extension contacts were the most important factors influencing the use of adaptation measures among the respondents. The main constraints on climate change adaptation measures by farmers in the study area were poor financial resources (86.67%) and unavailability of weather information (77.78%). The study concluded that the majority of farmers were aware of climate change and its consequences. The study also concluded that although the majority of farmers were engaged in husbandry practices aimed at climate change adaptation, they were constrained by some factors; therefore we recommended that extension education should be strengthened to boost farmers’ awareness of climate change and prepare them for adaptation measures and that appropriate/indigenous technologies be promoted for adaptation by farmers.