Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FROTH AND BUBBLE
New way of monitoring environmental impact could help save rural communities in China
by Staff Writers
Southampton UK (SPX) Jun 25, 2012


File image.

University of Southampton researchers are pioneering a new way of measuring and monitoring the impact of industrial and agricultural development on the environment. Working in collaboration with East China Normal University, the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology and the University of Dundee, the team has created the world's first long-term record of ecosystem health, which examines the past condition of environmental resources in China's Yangtze basin region, and helps develop forecasts for the future.

"We have examined what effect modern intensive farming techniques have had on 'ecosystem services' - things like food, fuel, soil and clean water - in the Yangtze basin area. From this we get an overview of the condition of these resources, which are essential for the survival of local communities," says lead researcher Professor John Dearing from the University of Southampton.

The team drilled core samples at two lakes in the region, west of Shanghai, and have made detailed studies of the sediment they retrieved.

Professor Dearing explains, "The data we have compiled came from the analysis of microfossils, geo-chemistry, mineral magnetism, and sediment accumulation rates.

These different analyses give us clues about the past health of the environment - for example, pollen samples tell us about the diversity of plant species at a given time, while metal content can be used to measure air quality. By bringing all the information together, we have been able to track the condition of environmental resources over a 200 year period."

In addition, researchers have examined official statistical records and climate models to give trends on land use, population, gross domestic product (GDP), temperature and precipitation. By comparing these statistics with the core sample data they have seen that as GDP in the Yangtze region increased sharply in the 1970s, the quality of ecosystem services suffered a downward trend.

Improved environmental regulation and policies encouraged a partial stabilisation in the 1980s, but the downward trend continued sharply in the 1990s and beyond. The study findings have been published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.

Professor Dearing comments, "Intensive agriculture has lifted many Chinese rural communities out of poverty in the last 30 years, but irrigation, mechanisation and fertilisers that came with it have degraded soils badly and there is already evidence of declining water quality.

"Economic development and an increase in regional wealth are clear trade-offs for the decline in ecosystem services. However, in the long-term, this decline will be a threat to local livelihoods and could reach a 'tipping point', becoming irreversible.

"Financial indexes, like the FTSE 100 or Dow Jones, are used to monitor the health of an economy, and this project has led us to consider that palaeoecological records could provide the basis for a regional 'ecosystem service index', monitoring the health of a region's environment."

Where suitable, researchers hope to use the technique they have developed in China for other areas of the world, with the aim of helping policymakers to prioritise the most urgent environmental problems and identify which strategies work best to tackle them.

.


Related Links
University of Southampton
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FROTH AND BUBBLE
New Software Forecasts Noise Levels in a Street
Granada, Spain (SPX) Jun 15, 2012
University of Granada researchers have designed a new software solution to determine noise levels in a street in the future. This new system predicts noise frequency and the type of noise that the inhabitants of a neighborhood will have to endure. This information is of great interest to people interested in buying a new house. This system is more accurate than the traditional mathematical ... read more


FROTH AND BUBBLE
Eviction pits Haiti police against protestors

Population displacement during disasters predicted using mobile data

Japan sorry for not using US radiation map

Nearly 15 million people displaced by disasters in 2011

FROTH AND BUBBLE
IT security problems shift as data moves to 'cloud'

Samsung eyes 10 mn mark for Galaxy S3 by end of July

ISS to Build Up Meteorite Defenses

Smartphones put writing on the wall for paid texts

FROTH AND BUBBLE
NOAA: Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predictions feature uncertainty

Forecasters predict second-smallest Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone'

Turning down the dial: Ocean energy development with less sound

Chinese submersible aims for 23,000 feet

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Melting Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins

Arctic climate more vulnerable than thought, maybe linked to Antarctic ice-sheet behavior

Climate drilling in the Arctic Circle

Elephant seals help uncover slower-than-expected Antarctic melting

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Nano-pesticides: Solution or threat for a cleaner and greener agriculture?

China's Bright Food to buy stake in Bordeaux wine broker

California winemakers tap into growing Chinese market

Trouble on the horizon for GM crops?

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Afghanistan flash floods kill more than 30

Strong 6.6 quake hits Russia's Far East coast

Florida declares storm emergency

5.9 quake hits Indonesia's Sumatra: USGS

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Once-violent Mogadishu now growing

More DR Congo soldiers desert ranks: mutineers

Nigerian leader sacks security adviser, defence minister

'I was shot for defying Kagame', says Rwanda's ex-army boss

FROTH AND BUBBLE
'Brain-hacking' technology sought

Out of the mouths of primates, facial mechanics of human speech may have evolved

Google sets out to save dying languages

Adaptable decision making in the brain




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement