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Laniak G.F.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Olchin G.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Goodall J.,University of South Carolina | Voinov A.,University of Twente | And 10 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2013

Integrated environmental modeling (IEM) is inspired by modern environmental problems, decisions, and policies and enabled by transdisciplinary science and computer capabilities that allow the environment to be considered in a holistic way. The problems are characterized by the extent of the environmental system involved, dynamic and interdependent nature of stressors and their impacts, diversity of stakeholders, and integration of social, economic, and environmental considerations. IEM provides a science-based structure to develop and organize relevant knowledge and information and apply it to explain, explore, and predict the behavior of environmental systems in response to human and natural sources of stress. During the past several years a number of workshops were held that brought IEM practitioners together to share experiences and discuss future needs and directions. In this paper we organize and present the results of these discussions. IEM is presented as a landscape containing four interdependent elements: applications, science, technology, and community. The elements are described from the perspective of their role in the landscape, current practices, and challenges that must be addressed. Workshop participants envision a global scale IEM community that leverages modern technologies to streamline the movement of science-based knowledge from its sources in research, through its organization into databases and models, to its integration and application for problem solving purposes. Achieving this vision will require that the global community of IEM stakeholders transcend social, and organizational boundaries and pursue greater levels of collaboration. Among the highest priorities for community action are the development of standards for publishing IEM data and models in forms suitable for automated discovery, access, and integration; education of the next generation of environmental stakeholders, with a focus on transdisciplinary research, development, and decision making; and providing a web-based platform for community interactions (e.g., continuous virtual workshops). © 2012 .

The Trump administration has prioritized repealing the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a set of rules by the U.S. EPA aimed at limiting pollution from power plants. New analysis shows that repealing the rule would cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars, add more than a billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and cause more than 100,000 premature deaths due to inhaled particulate pollution. Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to analyze the effects of repealing the CPP. The EPS is an open-source computer model developed to estimate the economic and emissions effects of various combinations of energy and environmental policies using non-partisan, published data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. EPA, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, among others. The EPS has been peer reviewed by experts at MIT, Stanford University, Argonne National Laboratory, Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It is freely available for public use through a user-friendly web interface or by downloading the full model and input dataset. Our analysis compared a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (based on existing policies as of mid-to-late 2016, not including the Clean Power Plan) to a scenario that includes a set of policies that narrowly achieve the Clean Power Plan’s mass-based emissions targets. Three important notes: We find that repealing the CPP would result in an increase of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions of more than 500 million metric tons (MMT) in 2030 and 1200 MMT in 2050, contributing to global warming and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods and droughts. Cumulative net costs to the U.S. economy (in increased capital, fuel, and operations and maintenance (O&M) expenditures) would exceed $100 billion by 2030 and would reach nearly $600 billion by 2050. It may seem ironic that removing regulations can result in increased costs to the economy, but regulations can help to overcome market barriers and similar problems that prevent certain economically-ideal outcomes from being achieved in a free market (for instance, under-investment in energy efficiency technologies). Although the CPP’s focus is on reducing carbon emissions, the same policies also reduce particulate pollution, which is responsible for thousands of heart attacks and respiratory diseases each year. Repealing the CPP would increase particulate emissions, causing more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030 and more than 120,000 premature deaths in 2050.

News Article | October 14, 2016

Air conditioning is the cause of the largest growth in hydrofluorocarbons and the world is likely to have another 700 million air conditioners by 2030 (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen) Kigali (AFP) - World envoys were Friday putting the final touches to a deal in Rwanda to phase out potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, a major step in curbing global warming. Tough negotiations have seen major developing nations such as India put up a fight over the timeline to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and the financing of the transition. However some delegates were already praising an early agreement in principle, and were hammering out the final details in late night sessions. "Country representatives are now negotiating the final details of the amendment," read a tweet from Rwanda's natural resources ministry. "This is a huge win for the climate. We have taken a major concrete step in delivering on the promises we made in Paris last December," said Miguel Arias Canete, a commissioner with the European Union in a statement ahead of the adoption of the agreement. "The global phase-down we have agreed today could knock off up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century." However thrashing out the nitty-gritty of the deal could take talks into the early hours of Saturday. HFCs were introduced in the 1990s to replace chemicals that had been found to erode the ozone layer, but turned out to be catastrophic for global warming. However swapping HFCs for alternatives such as ammonia, water or gases called hydrofluoroolefins could prove costly for developing countries with sweltering summer temperatures, such as India. These countries want a later date for the phase down to begin. "There are issues of cost, there are issues of technology, there are issues of finances," said Ajay Narayan Jha of India's environment and climate change ministry. "We would like to emphasise that any agreement will have to be flexible from all sides concerned. It can't be flexible from one side and not from the other." Last month, a group of developed countries and companies offered $80 million (72 million euros) to help developing countries make the switch away from HFCs. US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier acknowledged that while the US would be ready to begin phasing out HFCs by 2021, other countries might move at a slower pace. "But no country has a right to turn their back on this effort," he told delegates, warning that the world already faces droughts, flooding, agricultural disasters and waves of climate refugees. "And if we're going to give this amendment the teeth it needs to prevent as much as a half-degree of warming, then we need to make sure we’re pushing for the most far-reaching amendment we can adopt," he declared. Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme, said that if the agreement was adopted, "it will be one the most important global meetings in this year." HFCs' predecessors, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were discontinued under the 1987 Montreal Protocol when scientists realised they were destroying the ozone layer. This blanket of gas in the upper stratosphere protects Earth from the Sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays. But it emerged that HFCs, while safe for the now-healing ozone, are thousands of times worse for trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. According to the Berkeley National Laboratory, air conditioning is the cause of the largest growth in HFCs -- and the world is likely to have another 700 million air conditioners by 2030. Last year's Paris climate agreement aims to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels. But continued use of HFCs could prove a serious stumbling block to attaining the goal. HFCs -- though they are greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide -- are not dealt with under the Paris Agreement but under the Montreal Protocol. Any amendment to the protocol will be legally binding.

Redshaw C.,University of Hull | Rowe O.,University of East Anglia | Elsegood M.R.J.,Loughborough University | Horsburgh L.,Loughborough University | Teat S.J.,Berkeley National Laboratory
Crystal Growth and Design | Year: 2014

Solvothermal reactions of the lower-rim functionalized diacid calix[4]arene 25,27-bis(methoxycarboxylic, acid)-26,28-dihydroxy-4-tert-butylcalix[4]arene, (LH2) with Zn(NO3)2·6H2O and the dipyridyl ligands 4,4′-bipyridyl (4,4′-bipy), 12-di(4-pyridyl)ethylene (DPE), or 4,4′-azopyridyl (4,4′-azopy) afforded a series of two-dimensional structures of the formulas {[Zn(4,4′-bipy)(L)]·21/4DEF}n, (1), {[Zn2(L)(DPE)]·DEF}n (2), and {[Zn(OH 2)2(L)(4,4′-azopy)]·DEF}n, (3) (DEF = diethylformamide). © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Parrott L.,University of British Columbia | Quinn N.,Berkeley National Laboratory
Ecosphere | Year: 2016

Management of wetland ecosystems that are tightly coupled with human systems typically requires balancing multiple objectives to ensure that a range of ecosystem services are provided for the benefit of society. We describe how adopting a complex systems approach may provide managers with the appropriate conceptual tools to achieve social and ecological objectives in a multifunctional wetland landscape. We illustrate the applicability of the approach using the Grasslands Ecological Area (GEA) in California as a case study. Human intervention has shaped and reshaped the GEA over the past century, affecting the ability of the landscape to provide ecosystem services. Ecological disaster in the 1980s precipitated transformative change in the management system toward an approach that adopts many of the recommended actions for complexity. Present-day management, which balances multiple social and ecological objectives, has led to improved water quality, restoration of wetland habitats, and a general increase in system complexity at the landscape scale. New research and real-time monitoring systems facilitate adaptive management and heterogeneous responses of wetland management entities. We argue that taking a complex systems approach to management in the GEA provides a common, and inclusive, conceptual model for all stakeholders and may lead to a more sustainable and ecologically resilient landscape over the long term. Copyright: © 2016 Parrott and Quinn.

Williams P.T.,Berkeley National Laboratory
Hypertension | Year: 2013

To test prospectively in hypertensives whether moderate and vigorous exercise produces equivalent reductions in mortality, Cox-proportional hazard analyses were applied to energy expenditure (metabolic equivalents hours/d [METh/d]) in 6973 walkers and 3907 runners who used hypertensive medications at baseline. A total of 1121 died during 10.2-year follow-up: 695 cardiovascular disease (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision [ICD10] I00-99; 465 underlying cause and 230 contributing cause), 124 cerebrovascular disease, 353 ischemic heart disease (ICD10 I20-25; 257 underlying and 96 contributing), 122 heart failure (ICD10 I50; 24 underlying and 98 contributing), and 260 dysrhythmias (ICD10 I46-49; 24 underlying and 236 contributing). Relative to <1.07 METh/d, running or walking 1.8 to 3.6 METh/d produced significantly lower all-cause (29% reduction; 95% confidence interval [CI], 17%-39%; P=0.0001), cardiovascular disease (34% reduction; 95% CI, 20%-46%; P=0.0001), cerebrovascular disease (55% reduction; 95% CI, 27%-73%; P=0.001), dysrhythmia (47% reduction; 95% CI, 27%-62%; P=0.0001), and heart failure mortality (51% reduction; 95% CI, 21%-70%; P=0.003), as did ≥3.6 METh/d with all-cause (22% reduction; 95% CI, 6%-35%; P=0.005), cardiovascular disease (36% reduction; 95% CI, 19%-50%; P=0.0002), cerebrovascular disease (47% reduction; 95% CI, 6%-71%; P=0.03), and dysrhythmia mortality (43% reduction; 95% CI, 16%-62%; P=0.004). Diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease mortality also decreased significantly with METh/d. All results remained significant when body mass index adjusted. Merely meeting guideline levels (1.07-1.8 METh/d) did not significantly reduced mortality. The dose-response was significantly nonlinear for all end points except diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular and chronic kidney disease. Results did not differ between running and walking. Thus, walking and running produce similar reductions in mortality in hypertensives. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Quinn N.W.T.,Berkeley National Laboratory
Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014 | Year: 2014

A promising measure for mitigating climate change is to store large volumes of CO2 captured from large point-source carbon emitters in deep saline aquifers. In vulnerable systems, water resources impacts of large-scale CO2 storage need to be evaluated and assessed before industrial-size storage projects get under way. In California's southern San Joaquin Basin the land surface uplift caused by large CO2 injection projects land deformation could have the potential to create reverse flow along certain canal reaches, or to reduce canal deliveries to agricultural land and managed wetlands. The impact of CO2 storage on shallow water resources was compared to the expected stresses on the groundwater and surface water systems from ongoing pumping using a version of the Central Valley Hydrological Model CVHM extended vertically to capture reservoir geology. Results of simulations demonstrated that such pumping-related deformations in the area might be one order of magnitude larger than those from CO2 injection. In the basin the low permeability geological layers between shallow effectively limit pressure changes from migrating far in vertical directions, downward or upward.

Kondo T.,Iowa State University | Fernandes R.M.,Iowa State University | Khasanov R.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Liu C.,Iowa State University | And 9 more authors.
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

We use angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to study the band structure of BaFe2 As2 and CaFe2 As2, two of the parent compounds of the iron arsenic high-temperature superconductors. Our high quality data reveals that although the Fermi surface is strongly three-dimensional, it does indeed have long parallel segments along the kz direction that can lead to the emergence of magnetic order. More interestingly, we find very unusual incommensurate nesting of the Fermi surface in the a-b plane that is present only at low temperatures. We speculate that this is a signature of a failed charge density wave state that was predicted by renormalization-group studies. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Pollutant trading schemes are market-based strategies that can provide cost-effective and flexible environmental compliance in large river basins. The aim of this paper is to contrast two innovative adaptive strategies for salinity management have been developed in the Hunter River Basin, New South Wales, Australia and in the San Joaquin River Basin, California, USA, respectively. In both instances web-based stakeholder information dissemination has been a key to achieving a high level of stakeholder involvement and the formulation of effective decision support tools for salinity management. A common element to implementation of salinity management strategies in both the Hunter River and San Joaquin River basins has been the concept of river assimilative capacity as a guide for controlling export salt loading and the establishment of a framework for trading of the right to discharge salt load to the Hunter River and San Joaquin River respectively. Both rivers provide basin drainage and the means of exporting salt load to the ocean. The paper compares the opportunities and constraints governing salinity management in the two basins as well as the use of monitoring, modeling and information technology to achieve environmental compliance and sustain irrigated agriculture in an equitable, socially and politically acceptable manner. The paper concludes by placing into broader context some of the issues raised by the comparison of the two approaches to basin salinity management. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | October 13, 2016

Delegates attend the official opening of the 28th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali on October 13, 2016 (AFP Photo/Cyril Ndegeya) Kigali (AFP) - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame urged world leaders to rid the world of potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, as he opened a high-level meeting in Kigali Thursday. Envoys from nearly 200 nations are in the Rwandan capital to thrash out an agreement to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were introduced in the 1990s to save the ozone layer -- but turned out to be catastrophic for global warming. Halting the use of HFCs -- also found in aerosols and foam insulation -- is crucial to meeting the goals to curb the rise of global temperatures agreed in a historic accord drafted in Paris last year. "We should not allow ourselves to be satisfied with making a little bit of good progress when it is within our power to actually solve the problem," Kagame told the meeting, attended by representatives of 197 countries. US Secretary of State John Kerry is among the 40 ministers expected. Kagame, whose small east African nation has put the environment at the heart of its development strategy, said that eradicating HFCs "will make our world safer and more prosperous". Maxime Beaugrand of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development was positive that there would be an agreement Friday to phase out HFCs. "Negotiations are moving in the right direction. I think we can expect an amendment tomorrow in Kigali and I think it will be sufficiently ambitious," she told AFP. HFCs predecessors, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were discontinued under the ozone-protecting Montreal Protocol when scientists realised the compounds were responsible for the growing hole in the ozone layer, which protects Earth from the Sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays. However it emerged that HFCs -- while safe for the now-healing ozone -- are thousands of times worse for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. "(HFCs) are increasing at a rate of 10-15 percent a year," Greenpeace global strategist Paula Carbajal told AFP. "That makes them the fastest-growing greenhouse gas." According to a study by the Berkeley National Laboratory, residential air conditioning is the cause of the largest growth in HFCs -- and the world is likely to have another 700 million air conditioners by 2030. "The world room air conditioner market is growing fast with increasing urbanisation, electrification, rising incomes and falling air conditioner prices in many developing economies." Beaugrand said alternatives to HFCs existed in all refrigeration sectors. These alternatives "either have less of a warming potential than HFCs or they are natural like ammonia". Other alternatives are water and gases called hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) which are a form of HFCs, however some, like Greenpeace, believe these are still too dangerous. Carbajal said HFCs could add as much as 0.1 degrees celsius (0.18 Fahrenheit) to average global temperatures by mid-century, and 0.5 degrees celsius (0.9 F) by 2100. The Paris climate agreement aims to keep global warming below two degrees celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels, and continued use of HFCs could prove a serious stumbling block to attaining the goal. "If HFC growth is not stopped, it becomes virtually impossible to meet the Paris goals," said David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. HFCs -- though they are greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide -- are not dealt with under the Paris Agreement but under the Montreal Protocol, adopted in 1987. Negotiators are weighing various proposals for amending the protocol to freeze HFC production and use, with possible dates for such moves ranging from almost immediately to as late as 2031. India -- which is a major HFC producer along with China -- backs the later date, while countries in very hot parts of the world where HFC-using air conditioners are in high demand, want temporary exemptions. Last month, a group of developed countries and companies offered $80 million (72 million euros) to help developing countries make the switch away from HFCs. "No one, frankly, will forgive you nor me if we cannot find a compromise at this conference because this is one of the cheapest, one of the easiest, one of the lowest hanging fruits in the entire household of climate mitigation," Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme, told delegates.

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