Open Access Original Research Article

Integrated Impact of Climate Change and Socioeconomic Development on the Evolution of Camel Farming Systems

Bernard Faye, Mahmadou Chaibou, Gilles Vias

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 227-244
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1548

In Sub-Saharan countries, climate change has already been observed for several decades and is characterized by the decrease in mean rainfall with extensive periods of drought followed by short but severe rains. The dromedary camel, adapted to arid lands and low nutritive natural resources, follows the aridification of ecosystems as she/he did so when moving into Africa through the Sinai Peninsula at the beginning of the Christian era. Thus, the on-going desertification in Northern Africa increases the camel distribution area, both geographically and socially, e.g. with regard to its use by people who are not traditionally camel keepers. Elsewhere, camels are used differently, i.e. for their products (milk, agricultural work) rather than for their traditional uses (packing or riding). On the other hand, facing more contrasted crop ecosystems and an unbalanced climate, which seem to contribute to emerging diseases with complex and often unknown aetiologies, caused high unexplained deaths. These global trends would trigger more changes of camel farming systems in Sahelian countries if climate change intensifies continuously in the next decades.

Open Access Original Research Article

Policy Implications of Droughts and Floods Adaptation on Household Crop Production and Food Security in Southern Malawi

PhiriInnocent Pangapanga, Charles BL. Jumbe, Shelton Kanyanda, Lucy Thangalimodzi

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 245-258
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/2051

Aims: This paper quantified the contribution of drought and flood related adaptation strategies on household food production and food security.
Place and Duration of Study: It was conducted in lowland and highland areas of southern Malawi and data was collected from randomly sampled households using a semi-structured questionnaire.
Methodology: The paper employed a Translog production function and a Tobit model to determine the effects of drought and flood related adaptation strategies on food production and food security. About 1000 households were randomly selected to participate in the household survey. Fifty percent of the respondents were from lowland areas while the remaining 50% was from highland areas of Southern Malawi.
Results: Results show that households in the study area adapted through irrigation farming, income-generating activities, crop diversification and shifting planting dates. Irrigation farming significantly increased food production by 8% and 6% and improved food availability by 24% and 19% in low and highland areas, respectively (p<0.05). On the other hand, shifting crop-planting dates reduced food production by 24% and 37% and food availability by 20% and 11% at 5% level of significance in low and highland areas, respectively.
Conclusion: This paper concluded that adaptation strategies have very interesting and significant policy implications on household crop production and food security. It is therefore suggested that decisions by policy/decision makers on household food production and availability should strive at mainstreaming droughts and floods related adaptation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparing and Modifying Eight Empirical Models of Snowmelt Using Data from Harp Experimental Station in Central Ontario

Huaxia Yao, Christopher McConnell, April James, Congsheng Fu

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 259-277
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/2249

Aims: To modify two empirical models of snowpack and snowmelt, and compare eight such models.
Study Design: Test and modify the models by using five years of snow measurements from Harp Lake.
Place and Duration of Study: Dorset Environmental Science Centre, Ontario Ministry of Environment, and Department of Geography, Nipissing University, between January 2009 and August 2012.
Methodology: The old daily-run WINTER model was the first model. It was modified to create a second model. The enhanced-temperature-index (ETI) model was slightly modified to be the third model. Modified WINTER and ETI were combined into the fourth model. Hydrology model BROOK90 and SWAT were used as the fifth and sixth model, also daily-run. Operating the WINTER and ETI in hourly steps created the seventh and eighth model. The calculated snow water equivalent (SWE) by each model was evaluated against the observed data to give a coefficient of efficiency (CE). Accuracy and performance of the models were compared based on CE values.
Results: Modified WINTER model improved original WINTER by 20.7% (CE increased 20.7%). The performance of ETI model was 27.6% higher than the original WINTER. The new combination model produced additional improvement by 40.7 % over the original WINTER, or by 16.5% over the modified WINTER or 10.3% over the ETI. Running the model with hourly time steps rather than daily steps increased model’s accuracy: hourly WINTER raised CE by 15.4% and hourly ETI raised CE by 7.9%. Two watershed hydrology models BROOK90 and SWAT performed even better than the above six simpler snow models.
Conclusion: It is suggested that the daily combination model be considered if only daily data is available, or hourly WINTER and ETI models be used if hourly runs are desired while new calibration are required when applying them to any new locations. If data requirements by BROOK90 or SWAT are met, these hydrology models would be tried.

Open Access Original Research Article

Carbon Footprint Analysis for the Waste Oil Management System in Portugal

Ana Pires, Graça Martinho

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 278-287
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/2272

Aims: The study analyzes the carbon footprint of the waste oil management system operating in Portugal to ensure the sustainable operation in the future. The analysis was carried out in 2011for the system that is composed of a treatment procedure collecting the treated oil for re-refining, followed by the production of expanded clay and recycling for electricity production.
Methodology: Carbon footprint analysis was conducted by using the Umberto software 5.5 based on the concepts of life cycle assessment with respect to international standards (ISO). Within this context, the substances considered for such carbon footprint analysis are directly relevant to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007).
Results: The results showed that managing waste oils may contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint due to the avoided emissions of greenhouse gas through the reuse of treated waste oils. The carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from collection and treatment of waste oils would not outweigh such benefit earned from the substitution of virgin lubricant oil even though the use of treated waste oils for producing expanded clay may end up some more carbon dioxide emissions.
Conclusion: The carbon footprint analysis in this study has shown the potential for improvements in the waste oil management system in Portugal. The most significant improvement that could be made is the increase of using treated waste oils for the expanded clay production. However, such a strategy would not be consistent with the waste hierarchy principle which dominates the current decision making in managing waste nationally.

Open Access Original Research Article

Tropical Forest Landscape Change and the Role of Agroforestry Systems in Southern Nigeria

Edmund C. Merem, Joan Wesley, Yaw A. Twumasi, Chandra Richardson, Coney Romorno

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 288-317
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2012/1847

The paper analyzes tropical forest landscape change and deforestation trends in Nigeria. Emphasis’ are on the issues, the environmental analysis of the trends, factors influencing it, and community agroforestry efforts. The time frame and setting for the study runs through the west African nation of Nigeria during the periods of 1976 through 2005 at the national and state levels. In fact, Nigeria was once covered by widespread vegetation comprising of humid tropical forests in the south and savannah grasslands in the north rich in biodiversity. A great percentage of this luxurious vegetation has been cleared by the pressures mounted by human activities with eventual degradation. In terms of methods, the paper uses mixscale approach based on descriptive statistics, temporal spatial analysis and mapping, and photographic images to analyze the trends associated with tropical deforestation. The results show visible changes in the form of large scale decline of Nigeria’s forest landscape over the years. This resulted in the disappearance of forest resources and vegetation cover with mounting threats to sensitive natural areas. Aside from the socio-economic elements linked with the problem, community efforts at the margin using agroforestry systems showed some promise with many benefits to stem the tide of deforestation. To remedy the problems, the paper offered some recommendations ranging from policy overhaul to education.