Open Access Original Research Article

Energy Performance and Improvement Potentials for Selected Heritage Building Adaptation in England

O. K. Akande, D. Odeleye, A. Coday, C. Jimenez Bescos

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 189-201
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/19791

Public heritage buildings (PHBs) were evaluated with the aim to determine their operational energy performance and the objectives of identifying improvement potentials for their long term sustainable reuse. Six listed churches initially used for worship and later converted to community uses were selected and surveyed as case study buildings using purposive sampling technique. A qualitative analytical approach based on ranking the performance of the surveyed building’s energy consumption assessment compared to others within the same geographical region was adopted. Findings show that a greater number of the surveyed buildings are low-performing with their energy use being exacerbated by the combination and interplay of multiple factors such as building use pattern, efficiency of services and lighting etc. Results of the findings imply that potential and identifiable prospects for efficiency improvements and COemissions reduction exists within the operation of the buildings. Recommended actions for wide-scale improvements in the form of capital replacement, retrofit/refurbishment, behavioural and improved operational management and control were suggested. The study concluded wider opportunities towards achieving energy saving such as energy management programme, building energy refurbishment scheme and use of energy efficient equipment could enhance stainable reuse of PHBs.

Open Access Original Research Article

Carbon Storage in Equatorial Forest Soil-litter Systems as a Function of Management Intensity and Type of Vegetation Cover

Fabio Aprile, Reinaldo Lorandi, Assad J. Darwich

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 202-213
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/18144

 

Aims and Place: The increase in greenhouse gas emissions in recent decades, especially CO2, is attributed to the increasing burning of fossil fuels and the expansion of agricultural activities. Therefore, more information should be garnered about the mechanisms that control carbon storage, capture and sinks, while simultaneously seeking new management strategies to reduce atmospheric emissions. The main purpose of this research was to comparatively determine carbon storage in the soil and litter of three forest systems in the Western Amazon (Brazil): upland forest, shrublands and grasslands.

Duration of Study: Dry and rainy periods between 2005 and 2012.

Methodology: Diverse soil analysis including density, porosity, particle-size, total carbon (TC and TOC) were developed according to traditional methods. Multivariate analysis (MANOVA) and Tukey’s test were applied to the results.

Results and Conclusion: Total C storage C ranged from 23 to 26 Mg ha-1 in the grasslands to 28 to 37 Mg ha-1 in the shrublands. These findings confirm the importance of seasonality for both litter production and carbon production and storage in the different landscapes. The conditions of land use and occupation were predominant factors that explain the different concentrations of total carbon and organic carbon in the areas under study. Additional studies are needed to determine the most efficient management of these landscapes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Climate Change Challenges for Sustainable Coastal Wetland Management in Xuan Thuy Ramsar Site, Vietnam

Hoang Trung Thanh, Helmut Yabar

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 214-230
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/17168

Climate change has been recognized as a global threat and is already affecting ecosystems such as coastal wetlands. With more than 3,200 km of coastline, wetlands are the dominant ecosystem in Vietnam. This country is considered to be one of the most seriously affected by climate change in the world. Hence, coastal wetlands are vulnerable. This study applied the Drivers - Pressures - State - Impacts - Responses approach to discuss and analyze the main challenges induced by climate change and its potential consequences for Xuan Thuy Ramsar site in the Red River delta, Vietnam. In this research we used both observed and predicted data on the impacts of climate change issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam, including changes in temperature and rainfall, and sea level rise. The results illustrated numerous potential impacts and pressures associated with climate change on the study site. Understanding the effect of these potential impacts on wetland ecosystems is very important for managers and policy-makers because current conservation programs in Xuan Thuy Ramsar site have not included climate change issues. In addition, the complexity of synthesis impacts associated with global climate change is also a big challenge for local stakeholders. Our review suggests that a long-term conservation planning to response to climate change is crucial rule towards sustainable management of Xuan Thuy Ramsar site.

Open Access Original Research Article

Integrating Weather Research and Forecasting Model, Noah Land Surface Model and Urban Canopy Model for Urban Heat Island Effect Assessment

K. I. Morris, A. Chan, S. Aekbal Salleh, M. C. G. Ooi, Y. A. Abakr, M. Y. Oozeer, M. Duda

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 231-253
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/14923

Despite increased interest on the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon, there are limited UHI studies on cities built using the green-city concept of Sir Ebenezer Howard [1]. The administrative capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya is one of such cities built using the green-city concept. The objective of this study was to confirm the effectiveness of the green city concept using the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) numerical technique. Numerical mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model was coupled with Noah land surface model and a single layer urban canopy model (UCM) to investigate the existence and distribution of UHI, and the behavior of urban canopy layer (2-m) temperature of Putrajaya city. Few studies have been conducted using the NCAR numerical technique (WRF) to explore Malaysian climatology. Suitability of the model employed in studying UHI phenomenon of Putrajaya city was determined using in-situ study of the area, and observational data from AlamSekitar Malaysia SdnBhd (ASMA). Contribution of urban fabrics on the spatial and temporal variations of UHI was also investigated. Comparison with ASMA and in-situ data revealed a satisfactory performance of the model.UHI intensity (UHII) of Putrajaya exhibits a diurnal profile; increasing during the night to a peak value and then diminishing towards morning with a negligible value in the mid-day. In the night time, the UHII ranges from 1.9ºC to 3.1ºC in some of the precincts considered. However, the overall effect of the urbanized areas (local climate zones) on the UHI magnitude was normalized by the total amount of area reserved for vegetation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agricultural Crops in Designed Plant Growth Chamber

Kritika Gadpayle, M. H. Fulekar

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 254-268
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/16777

Aim: Climate change is becoming one of the major global environment concerns. The earth’s climate is predicted to change due to release of greenhouse gases and there is an urgent need for stabilizing the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. Soil carbon sequestration is considered as one of the promising options for mitigating the climate change impacts. The aim of the current study is to assess the carbon sequestration potential of the crops of the agricultural importance at elevated levels of CO2 in designed plant growth chamber.

Place and Duration of Study: School of Environment and Sustainable Development, Central University of Gujarat, India, between November 2013 to June 2014.

Methodology: Plant growth chamber has been designed of dimension 66×24×25 inches for assessing the carbon sequestration potential of the selected agricultural crops Triticum aestivum, Sorghum vulgare and Vigna radiata in green house. The plants were grown using the pot culture technique in mycorrhizal soil. The CO2 was induced into the plant growth chamber after every five days at the rate of 5 Litres per minute to maintain the level of carbon dioxide upto 500±50 ppm into the plant growth chamber and plant’s growth was studied. Soil’s physico-chemical parameters, plant’s morphological and biochemical characteristics were studied in each plant.

Results: The study reveals the carbon content estimated in the form of organic carbon, total carbon and organic matter was high in Vigna radiata at elevated CO2 levels, than ambient levels, followed by Sorghum vulagare and Triticum aestivum. Also organic nitrogen accumulation was increased in response of elevated CO2 conditions, highest being found in samples of Vigna radiata.  Morphological and biochemical characteristics of crops also got influenced under elevated CO2 levels. Plant height and plant biomass accumulation was found to be higher in Triticum aestivum, followed by Sorghum vulgare and Vigna radiata, whereas shoot and root length was measured to be highest in Sorghum vulgare, then in Vigna radiata and Triticum aestivum. Biochemical analysis revealed that total chlorophyll content was highest in Sorghum vulgare as compared to other two species at elevated conditions. Protein content increased in response to elevated CO2 conditions, it was found to be highest in Triticum aestivum. 

Conclusion: It can be inferred from this study that CO2 has influence on both soil’s and properties of plant’s growing in it. It was observed that C3 crops Triticum aestivum and Vigna radiata were more efficient in using the elevated carbon dioxide levels and hence will prove useful in mitigating the impacts of climate change with the help of sequestration of carbon both in plant and soil. Sorghum vulgare being a C4 also showed potential for carbon sequestration and can be considered for the same after further more research.

Open Access Original Research Article

Will the Bagmati Basin’s Future Hydrological Change be linked with Global Climate Change Patterns?

Pradeep Adhikari, Xinhua Zhang, Yang Hong

International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, Page 269-284
DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2015/7962

The impact of climate change on society is one of the most serious challenges of this century. Observations have shown that the Earth’s hydrologic cycle has intensified during past century as the Earth’s temperatures have increased. Such change in hydrology will affect nearly every aspect of human well being, from agricultural productivity and energy use to flood control as well as municipal and industrial water supply. This study therefore, focuses on using climate projection data (precipitation and temperature) from an ensemble of 16 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and Thornthwaite Monthly Water Balance Model (TMWB) to assess changes in the basin hydrology in a high altitude mountainous Bagmati basin of Nepal. This region is considered as one of the most disaster (landslides and flood) prone basins in Hind-Kush-Himalaya due to the summer monsoon. The assessments were conducted for short (2020-2029), medium (2060-2069) and long (2090-2099) terms relative to the base period of the 1990-1999 in high (A2), medium (A1B) and low (B1) emission scenarios. According to GCMs the basin is expected to witness higher temperatures from about 2ºC (B1) to 4.5ºC (A2) and receive higher precipitation from about 7% (B1) to 20% (A2) in 2099. The increased precipitation is primarily expected to occur during the monsoon season, suggesting a wetter monsoon. The results from TMWB modeling show generation of higher runoff, especially during the wet monsoon season, compared to 1990-1999. This implies that the basin will most likely become more vulnerable to floods and landslides during future monsoon seasons.