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Machine learning-based stocks and flows modeling of road infrastructure
This paper introduces a new method to account for the stocks and flows of road infrastructure at the national level based on material flow accounting (MFA). The proposed method closes some of the current shortcomings in road infrastructures that were identified through MFA: (1) the insufficient implementation of prospective analysis, (2) heavy use of archetypes as a way to represent road infrastructure, (3) inadequate attention to the inclusion of dissipative flows, and (4) limited coverage of the uncertainties. The proposed dynamic bottom-up MFA method was tested on the Norwegian road network to estimate and predict the material stocks and flows between 1980 and 2050. Here, a supervised machine learning model was introduced to estimate the road infrastructure instead of archetypical mapping of different roads. The dissipation of materials from the road infrastructure based on tire–pavement interaction was incorporated. Moreover, this study utilizes iterative classified and regression trees, lifetime distributions, randomized material intensities, and sensitivity analyses to quantify the uncertainties.
John Wiley & Sons
Development of a Novel Framework for the Assessment and Improvement of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Actions in Europe
The greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU) are mainly caused by human activity from five sectors—power, industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture. To tackle all these challenges, the EU actions and policies have been encouraging initiatives focusing on a holistic approach but these initiatives are not enough coordinated and connected to reach the much needed impact. To strengthen the important role of regions in climate actions, and stimulate wide stakeholders’ engagement including citizens, a conceptual framework for enabling rapid and far-reaching climate actions through multi-sectoral regional adaptation pathways is hereby developed. The target audience for this framework is composed by regional policy makers, developers and fellow scientists. The scale of the framework emphasizes the regional function as an important meeting point and delivery arena for European and national climate strategies and objectives both at urban and rural level. The framework is based on transformative and no-regret measures, prioritizing the Key Community Systems (KCS) that most urgently need to be protected from climate impacts and risks.
Frontiers Media S.A.
Risk assessment of consumer spray products using in vitro lung surfactant function inhibition, exposure modelling and chemical analysis
Consumer spray products release aerosols that can potentially be inhaled and reach the deep parts of the lungs. A thin layer of liquid, containing a mixture of proteins and lipids known as lung surfactant, coats the alveoli. Inhibition of lung surfactant function can lead to acute loss of lung function. We focused on two groups of spray products; 8 cleaning and 13 impregnation products, and in the context of risk assessment, used an in vitro method for assessing inhibition of lung surfactant function. Original spray-cans were used to generate aerosols to measure aerodynamic particle size distribution. We recreated a real-life exposure scenario to estimate the alveolar deposited dose. Most impregnation products inhibited lung surfactant function at the lowest aerosolization rate, whereas only two cleaning products inhibited function at the highest rates. We used inhibitory dose and estimated alveolar deposition to calculate the margin of safety (MoS). The MoS for the inhibitory products was ≤1 for the impregnation products, while much larger for the cleaning products (>880). This risk assessment focused on the risk of lung surfactant function disruption and provides knowledge on an endpoint of lung toxicity that is not investigated by the currently available OECD test guidelines.
Plastic ingestion and associated additives in Faroe Islands chicks of the Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) are a pelagic seabird species distributed at northern and polar latitudes. They are often used as an indicator of plastic pollution in the North Sea region, but data are lacking from higher latitudes, especially when it comes to chicks. Here, we investigated amounts of ingested plastic and their characteristics in fulmar chicks from the Faroe Islands. Plastic particles (≥1 mm) in chicks of two age classes were searched using a digestion method with KOH. In addition, to evaluate if additive tissue burden reflects plastic ingestion, we measured liver tissue concentrations of two pollutant classes associated with plastic materials: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and several dechloranes, using gas chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry. The most common shape was hard fragment (81%) and the most common polymer was polyethylene (73%). Plastic contamination did not differ between either age class, and we found no correlation between neither the amount and mass of plastic particles and the concentration of additives. After comparison with previous studies on adult fulmars, we do not recommend using chicks for biomonitoring adults because chicks seem to ingest more plastics than adults.
In vivo Mammalian Alkaline Comet Assay: Method Adapted for Genotoxicity Assessment of Nanomaterials
The in vivo Comet assay measures the generation of DNA strand breaks under conditions in which the DNA will unwind and migrate to the anode in an electrophoresis assay, producing comet-like figures. Measurements are on single cells, which allows the sampling of a diversity of cells and tissues for DNA damaging effects. The Comet assay is the most common in vivo method for genotoxicity assessment of nanomaterials (NM). The Method outlined here includes a recommended step-by-step approach, consistent with OECD 489, taking into consideration the issues impacting assessment of NM, including choice of cells or systems, handling of NM test articles, dose determination, assay methods and data assessment. This method is designed to be used along with the accompanying “Common Considerations” paper, which discusses issues common to any genotoxicity assay using NM as a test article.
Frontiers Media S.A.
Sources and fate of atmospheric microplastics revealed from inverse and dispersion modelling: From global emissions to deposition
We combine observations from Western USA and inverse modelling to constrain global atmospheric emissions of microplastics (MPs) and microfibers (MFs). The latter are used further to model their global atmospheric dynamics. Global annual MP emissions were calculated as 9.6 ± 3.6 Tg and MF emissions as 6.5 ± 2.9 Tg. Global average monthly MP concentrations were 47 ng m-3 and 33 ng m-3 for MFs, at maximum. The largest deposition of agricultural MPs occurred close to the world’s largest agricultural regions. Road MPs mostly deposited in the East Coast of USA, Central Europe, and Southeastern Asia; MPs resuspended with mineral dust near Sahara and Middle East. Only 1.8% of the emitted mass of oceanic MPs was transferred to land, and 1.4% of land MPs to ocean; the rest were deposited in the same environment. Previous studies reported that 0.74–1.9 Tg y-1 of land-based atmospheric MPs/MFs (
Quantification and assessment of methane emissions from offshore oil and gas facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf
The oil and gas (O&G) sector is a significant source of methane (CH4) emissions. Quantifying these emissions remains challenging, with many studies highlighting discrepancies between measurements and inventory-based estimates. In this study, we present CH4 emission fluxes from 21 offshore O&G facilities collected in 10 O&G fields over two regions of the Norwegian continental shelf in 2019. Emissions of CH4 derived from measurements during 13 aircraft surveys were found to range from 2.6 to 1200 t yr−1 (with a mean of 211 t yr−1 across all 21 facilities). Comparing this with aggregated operator-reported facility emissions for 2019, we found excellent agreement (within 1σ uncertainty), with mean aircraft-measured fluxes only 16 % lower than those reported by operators. We also compared aircraft-derived fluxes with facility fluxes extracted from a global gridded fossil fuel CH4 emission inventory compiled for 2016. We found that the measured emissions were 42 % larger than the inventory for the area covered by this study, for the 21 facilities surveyed (in aggregate). We interpret this large discrepancy not to reflect a systematic error in the operator-reported emissions, which agree with measurements, but rather the representativity of the global inventory due to the methodology used to construct it and the fact that the inventory was compiled for 2016 (and thus not representative of emissions in 2019). This highlights the need for timely and up-to-date inventories for use in research and policy. The variable nature of CH4 emissions from individual facilities requires knowledge of facility operational status during measurements for data to be useful in prioritising targeted emission mitigation solutions. Future surveys of individual facilities would benefit from knowledge of facility operational status over time. Field-specific aggregated emissions (and uncertainty statistics), as presented here for the Norwegian Sea, can be meaningfully estimated from intensive aircraft surveys. However, field-specific estimates cannot be reliably extrapolated to other production fields without their own tailored surveys, which would need to capture a range of facility designs, oil and gas production volumes, and facility ages. For year-on-year comparison to annually updated inventories and regulatory emission reporting, analogous annual surveys would be needed for meaningful top-down validation. In summary, this study demonstrates the importance and accuracy of detailed, facility-level emission accounting and reporting by operators and the use of airborne measurement approaches to validate bottom-up accounting.
Impacts of snow assimilation on seasonal snow and meteorological forecasts for the Tibetan Plateau
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) contains the largest amount of snow outside the polar regions and is the source of many major rivers in Asia. An accurate long-range (i.e. seasonal) meteorological forecast is of great importance for this region. The fifth-generation seasonal forecast system of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (SEAS5) provides global long-range meteorological forecasts including over the TP. However, SEAS5 uses land initial conditions produced by assimilating Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) snow data only below 1500 m altitude, which may affect the forecast skill of SEAS5 over mountainous regions like the TP. To investigate the impacts of snow assimilation on the forecasts of snow, temperature and precipitation, twin ensemble reforecasts are initialized with and without snow assimilation above 1500 m altitude over the TP for spring and summer 2018. Significant changes occur in the springtime. Without snow assimilation, the reforecasts overestimate snow cover and snow depth while underestimating daily temperature over the TP. Compared to satellite-based estimates, precipitation reforecasts perform better in the west TP (WTP) than in the east TP (ETP). With snow assimilation, the reforecasts of snow cover, snow depth and temperature are consistently improved in the TP in the spring. However, the positive bias between the precipitation reforecasts and satellite observations worsens in the ETP. Compared to the experiment with no snow assimilation, the snow assimilation experiment significantly increases temperature and precipitation for the ETP and around the longitude 95∘ E. The higher temperature after snow assimilation, in particular the cold bias reduction after initialization, can be attributed to the effects of a more realistic, decreased snowpack, providing favourable conditions for generating more precipitation. Overall, snow assimilation can improve seasonal forecasts through the interaction between land and atmosphere.