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John-Oliver Engler, David J Abson, Henrik von Wehrden
We provide a conceptual review of the available knowledge on the role of human cognition biases for sustainability and sustainable behavior. Human cognition biases are defined as any deviation in decision making from the standard framework of rational choice. We distinguish between biases in individual decision making and biases in group decision making, and highlight the relevance of each for sustainable behavior. We find that while both categories may contribute to unsustainable behavior, human cognition biases in group settings might be central to understanding many of the current sustainability issues...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Udayan Singh, Lisa M Colosi
Management of coalbed methane (CBM)-produced water is a crucial part of the water-energy nexus, especially as CBM is projected to play a key role as a bridge fuel in major economies. In this paper, we consider one management technique, i.e., desalination of CBM-produced water to generate potable water. We discuss a confluence of geographic, sociotechnical, regulatory, and other circumstances that could make this concept viable for select coal-bearing regions. Having said that, for maximizing benefits, it is prudent to take a synergistic view targeting multiple objectives (water access, health, environmental impacts, and ease of waste management)...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Claudiu-Eduard Nedelciu, Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Ingrid Stjernquist
Recycling Phosphorus (P) from urban wastewater can secure part of domestic agricultural P supply and contribute to a circular P supply chain. In this paper, we use literature review, stakeholder interviews and analysis, and systems dynamics for the capital cities of Stockholm and Budapest as case studies. We find that political support is a prerequisite for developing the P recycling sector, and policy makers are the most influential stakeholders. P criticality is the main driver for political support. P externalities from mining to sludge disposal should be considered when evaluating P criticality and recycling profitability...
September 14, 2018: Ambio
Oleg Anisimov, Robert Orttung
This article fills a major hole in the Western literature on climate change perceptions by reporting detailed data from Russia. While Northern Russia demonstrates high rates of climate change, regional adaptation policies are yet to be established. Complicating the problem, how the Russian public perceives climate change remains poorly known. This study synthesizes data from observations, modeling, and sociological surveys, and gives insight into the public perceptions of current and projected future changes in climate...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
Vanesa Castán Broto, Gregory Trencher, Ewa Iwaszuk, Linda Westman
There is a consensus about the strategic importance of cities and urban areas for achieving a global transformation towards sustainability. While there is mounting interest in the types of qualities that increase the capacity of urban systems to attain deep transformations, empirical evidence about the extent to which existing institutional and material systems exhibit transformative capacity is lacking. This paper thereby seeks to determine the extent to which sustainability initiatives led by local governments and their partners reflect the various components that the literature claims can influence the emergence of transformative capacity as a systemic property of urban settings...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
Ronald C Estoque, Takuya Togawa, Makoto Ooba, Kei Gomi, Shogo Nakamura, Yasuaki Hijioka, Yasuko Kameyama
Quality of life (QOL), although a complex and amorphous concept, is a term that warrants attention, especially in discussions on issues that touch on the impacts of climate change and variability. Based on the principles of RepOrting standards for Systematic Evidence Synthesis, we present a systematic review aimed at gaining insights into the conceptualization and methodological construct of previous studies regarding QOL and QOL-related indexes. We find that (i) QOL assessments vary in terms of conceptual foundations, dimensions, indicators, and units of analysis, (ii) social indicators are consistently used across assessments, (iii) most assessments consider indicators that pertain to the livability of the environment, and (iv) QOL can be based on objective indicators and/or subjective well-being, and on a composite index or unaggregated dimensions and indicators...
September 11, 2018: Ambio
Roy Ellen
Using field data for the 1980s and historic material, I show how the central places of networks crucial for regional and long-distance trades in the Moluccas between 1600 and the present were often environmentally vulnerable volcanic islands and low-lying reefs. After reviewing existing data on hazards, and evaluating the evidence for erosion and degradation, I suggest how resilience has been historically achieved through social and material exchanges between islands, accommodating the consequences of specific perturbations...
September 5, 2018: Ambio
Dorothee Ehrich, Alma E Thuestad, Hans Tømmervik, Per Fauchald, Vera H Hausner
The socioeconomic causes of land use change are complex. They are highly context dependent, but most often studied through case studies. Here, we use a quasi-experimental paired block design to investigate whether better access to wage income leads to more visible land use around 28 settlements in six regions of the circumpolar Arctic. We mapped visible land use on high-resolution satellite images taken both close to the settlements, and in a more remote area of extensive land use, and payed special attention to tracks of off-road vehicles (ORV)...
September 4, 2018: Ambio
Matthew N Waters, Alexander P Metz, Joseph M Smoak, Hunter Turner
Prescribed fire is a common management practice for forests and other terrestrial environments. Following a prescribed burn, ash erodes into aquatic environments potentially altering terrestrial-aquatic connectivity and water quality. In this study, we collected a sediment core from Ocean Pond, FL, USA, a lake that has received fire ash from decades of prescribed burning events. Paleolimnological measurements of macrocharcoal, nutrients, stable isotopes (δ13 C, δ15 N), and photosynthetic pigments were used to reconstruct fire regimes, material inputs, and lake primary producer responses for periods of prescribed burns and other lake periods throughout the last 6000 years...
September 1, 2018: Ambio
Åsa Gren, Johan Colding, Meta Berghauser-Pont, Lars Marcus
Smart growth (SG) is widely adopted by planners and policy makers as an environmentally friendly way of building cities. In this paper, we analyze the environmental validity of the SG-approach based on a review of the scientific literature. We found a lack of proof of environmental gains, in combination with a great inconsistency in the measurements of different SG attributes. We found that a surprisingly limited number of studies have actually examined the environmental rationales behind SG, with 34% of those studies displaying negative environmental outcomes of SG...
August 31, 2018: Ambio
Joakim P Hansen, Göran Sundblad, Ulf Bergström, Åsa N Austin, Serena Donadi, Britas Klemens Eriksson, Johan S Eklöf
Recreational boating increases globally and associated moorings are often placed in vegetated habitats important for fish recruitment. Meanwhile, assessments of the effects of boating on vegetation, and potential effects on associated fish assemblages are rare. Here, we analysed (i) the effect of small-boat marinas on vegetation structure, and (ii) juvenile fish abundance in relation to vegetation cover in shallow wave-sheltered coastal inlets. We found marinas to have lower vegetation cover and height, and a different species composition, compared to control inlets...
August 30, 2018: Ambio
Tobias Ide
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 30, 2018: Ambio
Gorazd Žibret, Veronika Kopačková
This study presents a statistical comparison between the in situ measurements of the elemental composition of street dust and a forest health status classification derived from aerial hyperspectral image data (HyMap). Combining these two methods allowed us to indirectly pinpoint at a high spatial resolution the atmospheric dust emissions and its effects in a study area around the open-pit lignite mine in Sokolov, Czech Republic. The results reveal a statistically significant relationship between increased Al, Na, Li and Sr levels in street dust and decreased forest health status, and the highest number of statistically significant correlations within a 100 m distance from the street-dust sampling points...
August 25, 2018: Ambio
Anne-Lise Boyer, Emeline Comby, Silvia Flaminio, Yves-François Le Lay, Marylise Cottet
Integrated water resources management, promoted in developed countries, obliges to integrate social aspects with hydrological and ecological dimensions when assessing river quality. To better understand these social aspects, we propose a mixed-method to study public perceptions of an impounded river. Since the 1930s, the management of the Ain river (France) has been challenged by conflicts about the river's quality. We surveyed (using interviews and mental maps) various stakeholders along the river. The results based on textual and content analysis show variations in the public's perceptions according to the residence area, practices, and the degree of emotional attachment to the river...
August 25, 2018: Ambio
Alma Mendoza-Ponce, Rogelio O Corona-Núñez, Leopoldo Galicia, Florian Kraxner
This study identifies the hotspots of land use cover change (LUCC) under two socioeconomic and climate change scenarios [business as usual (BAU) and a pessimistic scenario] at the national level for Mexico for three-time periods. Modelling suggests that by 2050 grassland and tropical evergreen forest will be the most endangered ecosystems, having lost 20-33% (BAU) or 43-46% (pessimistic scenario) of their extent in comparison to 1993. Agricultural expansion would be the major driver of LUCC, increasing from 24...
August 20, 2018: Ambio
David M J S Bowman, Andrés Moreira-Muñoz, Crystal A Kolden, Roberto O Chávez, Ariel A Muñoz, Fernanda Salinas, Álvaro González-Reyes, Ronald Rocco, Francisco de la Barrera, Grant J Williamson, Nicolás Borchers, Luis A Cifuentes, John T Abatzoglou, Fay H Johnston
In January 2017, hundreds of fires in Mediterranean Chile burnt more than 5000 km2 , an area nearly 14 times the 40-year mean. We contextualize these fires in terms of estimates of global fire intensity using MODIS satellite record, and provide an overview of the climatic factors and recent changes in land use that led to the active fire season and estimate the impact of fire emissions to human health. The primary fire activity in late January coincided with extreme fire weather conditions including all-time (1979-2017) daily records for the Fire Weather Index (FWI) and maximum temperature, producing some of the most energetically intense fire events on Earth in the last 15-years...
August 20, 2018: Ambio
Dorte Krause-Jensen, Oscar Serrano, Eugenia T Apostolaki, David J Gregory, Carlos M Duarte
Seagrass meadows form valuable ecosystems, but are considered to have low cultural value due to limited research efforts in this field. We provide evidence that seagrass deposits play a hitherto unrealized central role in preserving valuable submerged archaeological and historical heritage across the world, while also providing an historical archive of human cultural development over time. We highlight three case studies showing the significance of seagrass in protecting underwater cultural heritage in Denmark, the Mediterranean and Australia...
August 20, 2018: Ambio
Muh Taufik, Budi I Setiawan, Henny A J Van Lanen
Vast areas of wetlands in Southeast Asia are undergoing a transformation process to human-modified ecosystems. Expansion of agricultural cropland and forest plantations changes the landscape of wetlands. Here we present observation-based modelling evidence of increased fire hazard due to canalization in tropical wetland ecosystems. Two wetland conditions were tested in South Sumatra, Indonesia, natural drainage and canal drainage, using a hydrological model and a drought-fire index (modified Keetch-Byram index)...
August 3, 2018: Ambio
Martin J Clifford, Saleem H Ali, Kazuyo Matsubae
In this empirically grounded perspective, we explore how, if managed correctly, mining might go beyond a straight conversion of finite natural capital to financial resources. We suggest a process where mineral extraction could act as a catalyst for more diversified growth and even serve as a basis to restore forms of 'natural capital' it had previously diminished. The case in point-small in scale but significant in consequence-is the particularly challenging instance of the small-island state of Nauru, which has a very negative history of socio-ecological impacts of phosphate mining...
August 3, 2018: Ambio
Amy Diedrich, Claudia Benham, Lina Pandihau, Marcus Sheaves
Growing concerns about pressures of global change on small-scale fishing communities have resulted in a proliferation of livelihood diversification initiatives linked to tourism. Where the focus is often on the role of financial, physical, and human capital in influencing the uptake of new opportunities, we argue for more consideration of the role of social capital. We implemented 157 household-level surveys in small-scale fishing communities in Papua New Guinea and modelled the influence of social and other capital assets on people's perceptions of how easy it would be to become involved in sportfishing tourism...
July 31, 2018: Ambio
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