ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0304.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Tourism, Leisure, Sport And Hospitality Keywords: agro-ecotourism; sustainability; community; West Java; Indonesia
Online: 5 June 2023 (10:19:16 CEST)
Agro-ecotourism is a tourism development activity in a location with ecological and agricultural advantages, leading to business utilization to generate economic value. Agro-ecotourism in West Java has a selling point in the form of natural potential, agriculture, arts, handicrafts, to the traditional culinary processing typical of the village. This research aims to analyze the sustainability level and the sensitive factors or attributes that affect the level of sustainability of community-based agro-ecotourism in West Java. The study used a survey method on 237 agritourist actors. Data were analyzed using Multi-Dimensional Scaling in the Rapid Appraisal-Tourism technique. The study results show that community-based agro-ecotourism in West Java is quite sustainable (57.07). This study analyzed sustainability through economic, social, cultural, institutional, ecological, and technological dimensions. The social dimension has the highest value because agriculture-based village tourism is carried out in the community. Meanwhile, the lowest value is the technology dimension. The availability of infrastructure influenced the value obtained and means of transportation as well as environmentally friendly farming techniques.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0022.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Oxidative stress; West Nile virus; West Nile Fever; West Nile Neuroinvasive disease; Flaviviridae; biomarkers
Online: 1 August 2022 (11:21:20 CEST)
Oxidative stress appears to be associated with more severe disease in WNV infected patients. Our preliminary findings warrant prospective studies to investigate the correlation of oxidative stress with clinical outcomes and severity of WNV infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1126.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: West Nile Disease; West Nile Virus; Horses; Dogs; Libya
Online: 18 September 2023 (07:14:33 CEST)
West Nile virus (WNV) is a global important mosquito-borne Flavivirus causing West Nile disease (WND). In Libya, evidence of WNV circulation has been reported in humans but never in animals. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of the WNV infection in horses and dogs in Libya. A total of 574 and 63 serum samples from horses and dogs, respectively, were collected from healthy unvaccinated animals between 2016 - 2019. A commercially available competitive ELISA (c-ELISA) kit was initially used to test the collected samples for the presence of WNV Ig-G antibodies. Positive and doubtful sera were also tested by using the more specific virus neutralization assays to confirm whether the ELISA positive results were due to WNV or Usutu virus (USUV) antibodies. The seroprevalence of WNV IgG ELISA antibodies was 13.2% (76/574) and 30.2% (19/63) in horses and dogs, respectively. Virus neutralization test (VNT) showed that 77.5% (62/80) and 89.5% (17/19) of positive and doubtful horse serum samples and dogs serum samples, respectively, were positive with WNV neutralising titers ranging from 1:10 to 1:640. The results of the present study provided novel evidence about the WNV circulation in Libya.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0004.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: monetary; West African countries; trade; economy
Online: 1 March 2020 (03:04:45 CET)
It shows the monetary investigation in west countries the big flow in economy by the gross value change effects, also the value of debt policy with debt management strategies to control the budgetary risk of long-term economy from sustainability. The intellectual policies of inflation, GDP, trade, and services and merchandise trade has effected on the West African country’s monetary policies. The implication of trade by a lag of exchange rate indicators has a positive and significant effect. The estimated results reflect the dynamic implication of trade with liquidity and proper monitoring policies. The GDP, gross value (GVA), debt policies, equity of public administration, trade in service and merchandise trade is positive and significant, all are significant. We suggest the optimum control of liquidity with trade service policy recommendations in different countries. The research method was based on 5 countries from the 16 countries of western African and elaborated by their individual indicators with the least square method. The gross value of debts and public administration controlled the development aim of an entire state with strategic and planned environment for state and reduce the level of inflation in small and enterprise section and the results analyzed the policy makers implement planned in implication of trade with domestic currency and long run endogeneity. The results analyzed the monetary policies affecting the level of growth of an individual country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2021.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Groundwater Modeling; MODFLOW; West Africa; GRACE; Sustainability
Online: 30 August 2023 (14:05:34 CEST)
Groundwater modeling is a useful tool for assessing sustainability in water resources planning. However, groundwater models are difficult to construct in regions with limited data availability. We illustrated how remote sensing data can be used leverage limited in situ data to build and calibrate a regional groundwater model in the Goulbi Maradi alluvial aquifer in Southern Niger in Western Africa. We used data from the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission to estimate recharge rates, the primary source of water to the aquifer. Additionally, we incorporated groundwater storage changes obtained from GRACE data from 2009 to 2021 to establish an overall water budget from which we could back-calculate groundwater withdrawals from pumping in the region. This approach allowed us to calibrate the model and then convert it to a predictive tool to analyze the impact of various assumptions about future recharge and groundwater extraction patterns associated with the development of groundwater infrastruction in the region. The results indicate that the Goulbi Maradi alluvial aquifer is sustainable, even an increase of groundwater extraction up to 28%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1954.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Caribbean; Hispanic; West Indians; Hypothesis; Biostatistics; immigrants
Online: 28 June 2023 (07:25:38 CEST)
Aim: This study aimed to carrying out a prospective survey on socio-demographics and lifestyle factors among a population of Caribbean immigrants living in the US. Materials and Methods: The data were processed and analysed using the SPSS software and Excel. Crosstabulations were done. The Chi-square test was use to evaluate different hypotheses in this study. Statistical significance was defined as p<0.05.Results: Gender was found statistically significant difference with the country of birth of the Caribbean immigrants (p=0.038), and in the cleanness of their neighbourhoods (p=0.045). There were differences in occupations between males and females (p=0.001). Males were less unemployed than females (p=0.011). Gender also showed statistically significant difference in how easy the immigrants balanced their work and personal life (p=0.044). Age groups depicted differences in the physical health of the immigrants (p=0.001). The use of alcohol and tobacco was not an important risk factor among participants (p=0.529).Conclusions: These facts suggest that socio-demographics among a population of Caribbean immigrants were significantly different among genders. However the use of tobacco and alcohol showed not significant differences among the immigrants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0262.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: aDNA; Pattanam; West Eurasia; Haplogroup; South Asia
Online: 14 March 2023 (14:22:19 CET)
Multi-disciplinary archaeological investigations have been conducted since 2006 at the Pattanam coastal village of Ernakulam District in Kerala. The archaeological investigations have confirmed that Pattanam is an integral part of the legendary port of Muziris aka Muciri Pattinam, which played an important role in the transoceanic exchanges between 100 BCE and 300 CE. So far the material evidence with direct provenance to the maritime exchange related to ancient migrations like Romans, Jews, traders of the Middle East and Catholics have been identified at Pattanam. However, the genetic evidence supporting the impact of multiple cultures or their admixing is still missing for this important archaeological site of South India. Hence, in the current study, we made the first attempt to infer the genetic composition of the skeletal remains excavated from the site in a broader context of South Asian and worldwide maternal affinity. We applied the MassArray-based genotyping approach of mitochondrial makers and observed that ancient samples of Pattanam represent a mixed ancestry pattern as both the West Eurasian ancestry and the South Asian ancestry can be seen in the final analysis. A high occurrence of West Eurasian (T, JT and HV) haplogroups and South Asian-specific mitochondrial haplogroups (M2a, M3a, R5 and M6) was found. The findings are consistent with the previously published archaeological findings, in which a mixture of multiple cultural and linguistic groups migrated, settled, and eventually died on the Southwestern coast of India.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0838.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: epidemiology; Europe; scavengers; vultures; West Nile virus; zoonotic
Online: 14 November 2023 (17:01:55 CET)
West Nile virus (WNV) is an arbovirus mainly transmitted by Culex spp., which causes a worldwide zoonotic disease. This pathogen is endemically maintained in a life cycle with birds acting as reservoirs and humans and horses as accidental and dead-end hosts. Sporadic WNV outbreaks have been reported in Europe and the potential impact of WNV infection on populations of threatened or endangered birds of prey is considerable. Surveillance programs are needed for early detection of this virus. All four species of vultures present in Europe are considered protected species. As scavengers, vultures are at the top of the food chain, and can be susceptible to and negatively affected by pathogens like WNV. In a conservation perspective, the impact of WNV in European vultures, alone or concomitantly with other factors, should be addressed. This review of documented cases can be considered a state point.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0037.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Ciguatera; Ciguatoxin; Fish; French West Indies; Martinique; Poisoning
Online: 6 April 2022 (08:34:43 CEST)
Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is one of the most common causes worldwide of marine poisoning associated with fish consumption from tropical areas. Its incidence is underreported. CFP cases seem to increase with grouped cases reported during summer. Exposure to ciguatoxin, the toxin responsible for CFP with sodium-channel agonistic, cholinergic, and adrenergic activities, may result in a large spectrum of manifestations. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics, management, and outcome of CFP in Martinique, French West Indies. We conducted an observational retrospective single-center study for six years (October 2012 to September 2018) including all CFP patients managed by the prehospital medical services, admitted to the university hospital emergency department, or declared to the regional health agency. One hundred and forty-nine CFP patients (81females/63males; median age, 46 years [interquartile range, 34-61]) were included. Acute features consisted of general (91%; mainly, myalgia pruritus, and asthenia), gastrointestinal (90%; mainly diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea), neurological (72%; mainly, paresthesia, dysgeusia, and impairment of hot/cold feeling), and cardiovascular manifestations (22%; bradycardia, hypotension, and heart conduction disorders). Management was supportive. No patient died but symptoms persisted in 40% of the 77 patients with follow-up on day 15. CFP was mainly attributed to the ingestion of trevallies (59%), snappers (13%), and king mackerels (8%) with collective contaminations (71%). Unusual fish (tuna, salmon, and spider conchs) were suspected in rare cases. Ingestion of trevallies was associated with significantly higher persistent symptoms (odds ratio, 3.00; 95% confidence interval, [1.20-8.00]; p=0.03). CFP incidence was 0.67 cases per 10,000 patient-years in Martinique over the study period. To conclude, CFP represents an increasing public health issue in Martinique like in other Caribbean islands. Patients present usual but possibly life-threatening features. The outcome is excellent despite frequently prolonged manifestations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1070.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Effective population size; Inland capture fisheries; West Africa; Heterotis
Online: 16 November 2023 (11:26:48 CET)
Inland capture fisheries play a critical role in supporting food security and livelihoods in West Africa. Therefore, it is important to evaluate genetic health of exploited fish populations. The African bonytongue, Heterotis niloticus, supports important commercial and subsistence fisheries in West Africa. Sharp declines of stocks have been reported, however. Herein, we estimate contemporary effective population sizes (Ne) of four Heterotis populations in Nigeria, three in Benin, and five in Cameroon using the Linkage Disequilibrium method with correction for age structure. Ne estimates were used to assess genetic short-term (i.e., inbreeding depression) and long-term (i.e., loss of evolutionary potential) risks. Analyses failed to obtain Ne point estimates for two populations. For the remaining ten populations, corrected Ne point estimates fell well below 500, the minimum recommended for populations to retain evolutionary potential; with eight populations below 100 (range 2.8–83.5), the minimum recommended to avoid inbreeding depression, one borderline (100–125), and one above this threshold (312–392). The lower 95% confidence interval bound of Ne for eleven populations was very small (0.7–14.6), and for the remaining population it was 44.2. Accordingly, all populations examined can be considered potentially at risk of inbreeding depression.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0031.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forestry; forest management; forest products; land-use; West Africa.
Online: 5 January 2022 (10:43:27 CET)
According to this study, approximately half of Africa's forests are utilized primarily or partially for the production of wood and non-wood commodities. Aims to evaluate Africa's forestry and forest products, namely Wood Forest Products (WFPs) and Non-wood Forest Products (NWFPs) in the sixteen (16) West African countries. While adhering to the following guidelines: wood extraction and preparation, analyzing wood primarily used as an energy source in Africa, identifying non-wood forest products in Africa, the state of export, trade, and customs procedures in West Africa, and examining the role of forests and forest stakeholders in Africa's low-carbon economy transition. An exploratory literature review of selected wood forest products and non-wood forest products (plants and animals) in West Africa identifying the country, the natural land area with the natural habitat issues of the forest, the species most harvested and traded in the West African sub-region. The study reemphasized some government legislation, policies, and market trade failures and limitations while also stating that trees may help in the low-carbon revolution through interventions aimed at maintaining, improving, and restoring natural capital have demonstrated that high environmental requirements of sustainable forest management (SFM) may be met in both natural and planted forests. The study identified a systematic assessment of the most common forest products (wood and non-wood forest products) considering the available data on the national forest reserves of the selected countries in West Africa. The study also revealed the need for biodiversity conservation of the available forest reserves to help mitigate the impact of global warming targeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 13- Climate Action. Which is focused on integrating climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning signs into the national policies, improving forest planning and management education, awareness-raising, and institutional capacity within the sub-region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0151.v2
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Growth model; Epidemic latency period; Reproduction number; West Africa
Online: 19 March 2021 (11:22:38 CET)
The widely used logistic model for epidemic case reporting data may be either restrictive or unrealistic in presence of containment measures when implemented after an epidemic outbreak. For flexibility in epidemic case reporting data modelling, we combined an exponential growth curve for the early epidemic phase with a flexible growth curve to account for the potential change in growth pattern after implementation of containment measures. We also fitted logistic regression models to recoveries and deaths from the confirmed positive cases. In addition, the growth curves were integrated into a SIQR (Susceptible, Infective, Quarantined, Recovered) model framework to provide an overview on the modelled epidemic wave. We focused on the estimation of: (1) the delay between the appearance of the first infectious case in the population and the outbreak (“epidemic latency period"); (2) the duration of the exponential growth phase; (3) the basic and the time-varying reproduction numbers; and (4) the peaks (time and size) in confirmed positive cases, active cases and new infections. The application of this approach to COVID-19 data from West Africa allowed to discuss the effectiveness of some containment measures implemented across the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0633.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: collaborative governance; power; facilitation; peatland fire; West Kalimantan; Indonesia
Online: 29 January 2021 (15:39:22 CET)
Researchers have focused on collaborative governance as an effective measure to realise sustainable natural resource management through the participation of various stakeholders. However, the literature has indicated that issues such as power imbalances tend to undermine the effectiveness of collaborative governance. Powerful actors represented by the government tend to control collaborative processes and produce benefits for dominant groups, while less empowered local communities are often deprived of opportunities for livelihood improvement. Although numerous researchers have analysed the key factors that influence the processes and outcomes of collaborative governance, few have identified a concrete measure to reduce the risk of failure, particularly when managing power imbalances in developing countries. This study explored a methodology to address the power imbalances in collaborative governance based on a case study of a participatory peatland fire prevention project implemented in West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys conducted with project participants suggested that measures such as establishing a joint team of government officers and villagers, providing a common facilitation training programme, training villagers as facilitators, promoting equal knowledge sharing, and allowing villagers to make their own decisions mitigated the power imbalances between the two groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0151.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: climate change; GR2M; hydrologic modeling; transboundary river; West Africa
Online: 17 January 2018 (11:09:07 CET)
In the context of climate change in West Africa characterized by a reduction of precipitation, this study was conducted to evaluate the impact of climate change on water resources from now to the end of the 21st century in the transboundary watershed of the Sassandra River shared by Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. Historical and future climate (Representative Concentration Pathways or RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios) data were projected with the model. The Abdus Salam ICTP RegCM4 was used. The hydrological modeling of the river basin was carried out with the conceptual hydrological model, GR2M. This model is a monthly time steps model that allows the assessment of the discharge of the Sassandra River for each climate scenario according to the 2030 (2021–2040), 2050 (2041–2060), 2070 (2061–2080), and 2090 (2081–2100) horizons. The results showed a reduction of the annual discharge when compared to the baseline (1961–1980). For the RCP 4.5, the observed values went from –1.2% in 2030 to –2.3% in 2070 and rose to –2.1% in 2090. Concerning the RCP 8.5, we saw a variation from –4.2% to –7.9% in the 2030 and 2090 horizons, respectively. With the general decrease of rainfall in West Africa, it is appropriate to assess the impact on water resources on the largest rivers (Niger, Gambia, and Senegal) that irrigate the Sahelo-Saharian zone.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0736.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Caribbean; Hispanic; West Indians; hypothesis; biostatistics; immigrants; cancer risk factors
Online: 12 September 2023 (08:53:01 CEST)
: Aim: The aim in this study was to conduct a prospective survey regarding the sociodemographics and lifestyle risk factors for cancer of a population of Caribbean immigrants living in the U.S. Materials and Methods: The data were processed and analysed using SPSS software 27 and Excel. Crosstabulations were performed. The chi-square test was used to evaluate different hypotheses. Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05. Results: Statistically significant differences in the country of birth of the Caribbean immigrants were found for sex (p = 0.038) and the cleanness of their neighbourhoods (p = 0.045). We found differences in occupations between men and women (p = 0.001). Men were less unemployed than women (p = 0.011). Sex also showed statistically significant differences in how easily the immigrants balanced their work and personal life (p = 0.044). Age groups depicted differences in the physical health of the immigrants (p = 0.001). The use of alcohol and tobacco was not an important risk factor among participants (p = 0.529). Conclusions: These findings suggest that the sociodemographics risk factors for cancer among a population of Caribbean immigrants were significantly different between the sexes. However, the use of tobacco and alcohol showed insignificant differences among the immigrants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1925.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Heatwave; dry and wet spells; CORDEX; RCP4.5; RCP8.5; West Africa
Online: 28 July 2023 (13:06:46 CEST)
This study analyzes the potential response of the seasonal cycle of heatwave (HWDI), dry (CDD) and wet (CWD) spells indices over West Africa for the near (2031-2060) and the far (2071-2100) future periods, under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios using CORDEX simulations. Although some relative biases during the historical period (1976-2005), the CORDEX simulations and their ensemble mean outperform the seasonal variability of the above indices over three defined sub-regions of West Africa (i.e., Guinea gulf, west and east Sahel). They have shown significant correlation coefficients and less RMSE. They project an increase in heatwave days for both near and far future periods over whole west Africa region under both RCP scenarios. In addition, the Sahel regions will face to a decrease in wet spells days from March to November, whereas, the Gulf of Guinea will face to a decrease during all the year, except CCCLM simulation which indicates an increase during the retreat phase of the monsoon (October to December). The results also have shown an increase in dry spells over Sahel regions, more pronounced during March-November period, whereas, over Guinea gulf, the increase is observed over the entire year. On the other hand, the months of increasing dry spells and decreasing wet spells coincide, suggesting that countries in these regions could be exposed simultaneously to dry season associated with a high risk of drought and heatwave under future climate conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0604.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: West Nile Virus; outbreak; meningoencephalitis; epidemiology; phylogeny; whole genome sequencing
Online: 26 February 2021 (09:46:38 CET)
During the last decades West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks have continuously occurred in the Mediterranean area. In August 2020 a new WNV outbreak affected 71 people with meningoencephalitis in Andalusia and 6 more cases in Extremadura (south-west of Spain), causing a total of eight deaths. The whole genomes of four viral isolates were obtained and phylogenetically analyzed in the context of recent outbreaks. The Andalusian viral samples belonged to the lineage 1 and were relatively similar to previous outbreaks occurred in the Mediterranean region. Here we present a detailed analysis of the outbreak, including an extensive phylogenetic study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0141.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: REDD+; climate change; forests; Ghana; Nigeria; West Africa; political ecology
Online: 14 December 2016 (08:08:28 CET)
This paper analyses the design and implementation of REDD+ in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on tools from political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We focus on three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies -- capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that, while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion-exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they yet manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the wider implications of these findings for understanding REDD+ implementation more broadly.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0238.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Air quality; particulate matter; source receptor models; PCA; PMF; West Africa.
Online: 14 March 2023 (01:48:45 CET)
The purpose of this study is to characterize atmospheric pollution and its sources in two West African urban sites during the dry season (January 2009 in Bamako, Mali, and December 2009 in Dakar, Senegal). Particulate Matter (PM) source apportionment was performed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF). Carbonaceous components, water-soluble inorganic compounds, and trace elements were analyzed from PM (TSP, PM10, and PM2.5) samples. The measured PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were 5 to 10 times and 3 to 8 times higher than the 2005 WHO 24-hour standards, respectively. PCA and PMF analyses identify five sources in both cities. The sources contributing to aerosol concentrations (PM2.5 - PM10) in Bamako are motor vehicles (20-13%), solid fuel combustion (16-13%), crustal dust (24-30%), resuspended road dust (26-30%) and secondary aerosols (10-16%). During the sampling period in Bamako, dust was the most prevalent source, accounting for 63% of the total PM10 mass. In Dakar, the main identified sources were motor vehicles (28-19%), mineral dust (16-25%), industries and oil burn-ing (11-10%), sea salts (15-20%), and resuspended road particles (21-29%). The findings also indicate that anthropogenic emissions contribute significantly to the PM2.5 fraction, implying that populations are highly exposed to fine particles.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0468.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Flavivirus; NS2B-NS3; ZIKA Virus; Dengue Virus; West Nile Virus; Inhibitors
Online: 31 January 2022 (13:46:44 CET)
Flaviviruses cause a significant amount of mortality and morbidity, especially in the area where they are endemic. A recent example is the outbreak of Zika virus though out the world. Development of antiviral drugs against different viral targets is as important as development of vaccine. During viral replication, the flavivirus genome is translated as a single polyprotein precursor, which must be cleaved into individual proteins by a complex of the viral protease, NS3, and its cofactor, NS2B. Flavivirus protease is the most attractive target for development of therapeutic antivirals because it is essential for processing of viral polyprotein precursor and generation of functional viral proteins. In this review, we have summarized recent development in drug discovery targeting NS3-NS2B protease of flaviviruses, especially Zika, dengue and West Nile virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biological invasion; interspecific competition; mosquitoes; trash; urban greenspace; West Nile virus
Online: 1 October 2021 (11:58:15 CEST)
Condition-specific competition, when environmental conditions alter the outcome of competition, can foster the persistence of resident species after the invasion of a competitively superior invader. We test whether condition-specific competition can facilitate the areawide persistence of the resident and principal West Nile virus vector mosquito Culex pipiens with the competitively superior invasive, Aedes albopictus, in water from different urban container habitats. (2) Methods: We tested the effects of manipulated numbers of A. albopictus on C. pipiens survival and development in water collected from common functional and discarded containers in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The experiment was conducted with typical numbers of larvae found in field surveys of C. pipiens and A. albopictus and container water quality. (3) Results: We found increased densities of A. albopictus negatively affected the survivorship and development of C. pipiens in water from discarded containers but had little effect in water from functional containers. This finding was driven by water from trash cans, which allowed consistently higher C. pipiens survival and development and had greater mean ammonia and nitrate concentrations that can promote microbial food than other container types. (4) Conclusions: These results suggest that the contents of different urban containers alter the effects of invasive A. albopictus competition on resident C. pipiens, that trash cans, in particular, facilitate the persistence of C. pipiens, and that there could be implications for West Nile virus risk as a result.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0222.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: West Africa; rainfall; annual cycle; CMIP5 models; onset; cessation; extremes; uncertainties
Online: 17 December 2019 (07:50:02 CET)
This study analyses uncertainties associated with the main features of the annual cycle of West African rainfall (amplitude, timing, duration) in 15 CMIP5 simulations over the Sahelian and Guinean regions with satellite daily precipitation estimates. The annual cycle of indices based on daily rainfall such as the frequency and the intensity of wet days, the consecutive dry (CDD) and wet days (CWD), the 95th percentile of daily rainfall (R95) have been assessed. Over both regions, satellite datasets provide more consistent results on the annual cycle of monthly precipitation than on higher-frequency rainfall indices, especially over the Guinean region. CMIP5 simulations display much higher uncertainties in both the mean precipitation climatology and higher-frequency indices. Over both regions, most of them overestimate the frequency of wet days. Over the Guinean region, the difficulty of models to represent the bimodality of the annual cycle of precipitation involves systematic biases the frequency of wet days. Likewise, we found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and the CDD over both areas. Finally, models generally provide too early (late) onset dates over the Sahel (the Guinean region) and overestimate rainfall during the early and late monsoon phases. These errors are strongly coupled errors in the latitudinal position of the ITCZ and do not compensate at the annual scale nor when considering West Africa as a whole. wet days. We found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and he CDD over both areas. Conversely for R95p and R95PTOT, the ncertainties in CMIP5 models appear somewhat weaker, but the magnitude f R95 is largely underestimated in most models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0007.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: West Africa; rainfall; annual cycle; CMIP5 models; onset; cessation; extremes; uncertainties
Online: 3 July 2019 (09:44:32 CEST)
This study analyses uncertainties associated with the annual cycle of West African rainfall characteristics in 15 simulations of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) over the Sahel and Guinean regions. Indices based on daily rainfall such as the frequency and the ntensity of wet days, the consecutive dry days (CDD) and wet days (CWD), the 95th percentile of daily rainfall (R95) and its contribution to the umulative monsoon rainfall (R95PTOT) have been assessed. Over both regions, TRMM, GPCP and CHIRPS observational datasets provide very consistent results on the annual cycle of precipitation but less so on the frequency of wet days. Conversely, higher uncertainties are noted on the intensity of wet days over both study areas, particularly over the Guinean region. Overall, CMIP5 simulations present much higher uncertainties in the representation of the mean precipitation climatology, often provide too early (late) onset dates over the Sahel (the Guinean region) and overestimate rainfall during the early and late monsoon phases. These errors do not compensate at the annual scale nor when considering West Africa as a hole. Results also reveal that over the Guinean region, the difficulty of models to represent the annual structure of the mean precipitation strongly involves biases in the representation of the annual cycle of the frequency of wet days. We found strong uncertainties in the simulation of the CWD and he CDD over both areas. Conversely for R95 and R95PTOT, the ncertainties in CMIP5 models appear somewhat weaker, but the magnitude of R95 is largely underestimated in most models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0154.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: carbon stock assessment; protected areas; savannas; degradation; woody vegetation; West Africa
Online: 15 August 2016 (12:06:29 CEST)
Savannas and adjacent vegetation types like gallery forests are highly valuable ecosystems contributing to several ecosystem services including carbon budgeting. Financial mechanisms such as REDD+ have provided an opportunity for developing countries to alleviate poverty through conservation of its forestry resources. For availing this opportunity carbon stock assessments are essential. Therefore, a research study at two protected areas i.e. Nazinga Game Ranch and Bontioli Nature Reserve, in Burkina Faso was conducted with the objective of assessing carbon Mg C ha-1 in aboveground biomass (AGB)dry of trees in different formations of the south-sudanian savanna in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Similarly analysis of various vegetation parameters was also conducted to understand the overall vegetation structure of these two protected areas. For estimating AGBdry, existing allometric equation for dry tropical woody vegetation types was used. The Importance Value Index (IVI) and Family Importance Value (FIV) were estimated through standard procedures. Various linear and non-linear regression analyses were conducted to test the relationships between carbon and other parameters such as DBH, height and basal area (BA). The results showed that both sites collectively contain mean carbon of 3.41 ± 4.98 Mg C ha-1. Amongst different vegetation types, gallery forests recorded the highest mean carbon of 9.38 ± 6.90 Mg C ha-1. The highest IVI of 115.56 at Nazinga Game Ranch was recorded for Anogeissus leiocarpa. Similarly, highest IVI of 98.59 was recorded for Mitragyna inermis at Bontioli Nature Reserve. The highest FIV was recorded for Combretaceae for both of the sites. To our knowledge, this was the first study conducted to assess the carbon stocks at the two protected areas in southern Burkina Faso. The study therefore was an attempt for addressing the knowledge gap particularly on carbon stocks of protected savannas. It could serve as a baseline for carbon stocks for future initiatives such as payment for environmental services and REDD+ at these areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0087.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: West African fold belts; Brazilian belts; Neoproterozoic orogens; Early Paleozoic; Gondwana; Correlations
Online: 1 December 2023 (13:26:46 CET)
Correlations between the Neoproterozoic belts surrounding the West African Craton and northern Brazilian cratons have long been a subject of interest and controversies. Due to the splitting of African and South American continents by the Atlantic oceanic domains, no direct links are preserved, requiring relying on various geological or geophysical characteristics to propose such correlations. In addition to the opening of the Atlantic oceanic domains, another difficulty arises from the covering of northern Brazilian belts by upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic basins, making these correlations speculative. Recently, four orogens have been evidenced in the Neoproterozoic belts of the western margin of the West Africa Craton, while the belts on the eastern side underwent only one orogeny. Similarities with the Pan-African I (900-650 Ma) and with the Pan-African II (650-480 Ma) orogenic events have been evidence in the western Brazilian belts (Araguay and Paraguay). The two first orogens on the western margin (Pan-African I and Pan-African II) can thus be extended to the western Brazilian belts and can be considered as parts of a single geodynamic system running from the Mauritania to the Paraguay including the “Gurupi rift” as an aulacogen connected to the NNW-SSE Panafrican I and II oceanic domains. Consequently, the eastern Brazilian belt should rather be linked the Eastern Trans-Saharan belts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0831.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Digital agriculture; Innovations, Artificial Intelligence; Internet of Things; Machine Learning; West Africa.
Online: 24 April 2023 (06:18:10 CEST)
Agriculture is the primary source of economic growth in many countries in West Africa. It provides food and livelihoods for the population. The purpose of this study is to review the digital agriculture status in five countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Coˆte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. The study consisted of a bibliometric analysis using a database exported from the web of science through a well-defined search string. Additionally, the cases of digital technology deployment in the countries were assessed through a systematic review approach comparing the technologies used in the target countries. Representative articles from the bibliometric review published in the last five years were selected for the comparative analysis. The bibliometric analysis based on 3,249 publications revealed that the research interests have significantly increased since 2014. The top two countries in terms of authors’ nationality were Nigeria and Ghana, respectively. Climate change, Machine Learning (ML) and adoption were the hot topics of discussion. The digital agriculture survey showed that publications in Nigeria were focused on Internet of Things (IoT), Wireless Sensors Networks, blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (IA) technologies. Ghana also has a strong interest in blockchain, AI, and big data, while Burkina Faso focused on IoT and AI. Cote d’Ivoire and Benin focused only on AI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0305.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Natural Vegetation; Intensity Analysis; Spatial Patterns; Systematic Transitions; Random Transitions; West Africa
Online: 13 April 2023 (07:44:04 CEST)
Land Use /Land Cover (LULC) change is a major global concern and a topic of scientific debate. In West Africa, the key among the past changes is the loss of natural vegetation related to changes in different Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) categories, e.g., water bodies, wetland and bare soil. However, not all detected changes in these LULC categories are relevant for LULC change management intervention in a resource-constrained continent, as a massive change in the dominant LULC types may be due to errors in the LULC maps. Previous LULC change analysis detected large discrepancies in the existing LULC maps in the Africa continent. Here we applied an open and synergistic framework to update and improve the existing LULC maps at every five years intervals from 1990 to 2020 in West Africa at a finer spatial resolution of 30m. Next, we detected spatial temporal pattern in past and present LULC changes with the intensity analysis framework in the periods of 1990–2000, 2000–2010, and 2010–2020. A faster annual rate of overall transition was detected in 1990–2000 (first period) and 2010–2020 (recent period) than in 2000–2010 (middle). We observed consistent gains in rangeland (shrubland and grassland) in all the periods, which confirms the observed re-greening of rangeland in the West Africa continent. By contrast, forestland areas experienced consistent losses for the entire periods, which indicate deforestation and degradation. As regards cropland, a net loss was observed in the drought period and net gains in the subsequent periods. The settlement category also gained actively in all periods. Net losses of wetland and bare land categories were also observed in all the periods. We observed net gains in water bodies in 1990–2000 and net losses in the last period. We highlighted the active forestland losses as systematic and hence a clarion call for an intervention. The simultaneous active gross loss and gain intensity of cropland raises food security concern and must send an early warning signal to policy makers that the food security of marginal geographic locations is under threat despite the massive expansion of cropland observed in this study area. The intensity analysis framework was vital to identify the settlement category as relevant for LULC change management intervention across time and space in West Africa instead of focusing on dynamics of all the LULC categories that may be irrelevant and hence a cost effective LULC change management approach. Policies to control the expansion of settlements will indirectly regulate the expansion of cropland field because we observed that as settlement encroached on cropland, simultaneously cropland encroached on natural vegetation to meet the food security requirements of the inhabitants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0156.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: west Africa cities; urban transport; traffic flows; fuel consumption; emissions inventories; Yopougon
Online: 11 June 2018 (11:51:28 CEST)
Traffic source emissions inventories for the rapidly growing West African urban cities are necessary for better local characterization of vehicle emissions released into these cities atmosphere. This study based on local field campaign in a representative site of anthropogenic activities over West African cities such as Yopougon (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire) during 2016, provided useful information on vehicle type and age, traveling time, fuel type and amount for fuel consumption estimation. Also, high traffic flow of personal car were recorded on highway, boulevard and backstreet whereas high flows of intra-communal sedan taxi are recorded on main and secondary roads. In addition, the highest daily fuel consumption value of 56 L.day-1 was recorded in heavy vehicle while the lowest value of 15 L.day-1 is recorded for personal car using gasoline. This study will be useful for the improvement of uncertainties related to the different databases used to estimate inventories emissions either national or international reports. This work provides useful information for future studies on urban air quality, climate and health impacts assessment in African cities. It may also be useful for policy makers to support implementation of emission reduction policy in West African cities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0209.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: spatiotemporal modeling; arbovirus transmission; remote sensing; eastern equine encephalitis virus; West Nile virus
Online: 16 May 2022 (12:22:14 CEST)
The irregular timing and spatial variation in zoonotic arbovirus spillover from vertebrate hosts to humans and livestock present challenges to predicting their occurrence from year to year and within their broader geographic range, compromising effective prevention and control strategies. The objective of this study was to quantify effects of landscape composition and configuration and dynamic temperature and precipitation values on the 2018 spatiotemporal distribution of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) and West Nile virus (WNV) (Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) sentinel chicken seroconversion in northeastern Florida using Earth Observation (EO) data and a modeling framework that incorporated joint spatial and temporal effects. We investigated environmental effects using Bernoulli generalized linear mixed effects models (GLMMs) including a site level random effect, and then added spatial random effects and spatiotemporal random effects in subsequent runs. Models were executed using integrated nested Laplace approximation (INLA) and a stochastic partial differential equation (SPDE) approach in R-INLA. GLMMs that included a spatiotemporal random effect performed better relative to models that included only spatial random effects and better than non-spatial models. Results indicated strong spatiotemporal structure in seroconversion for both viruses, but EEEV exhibited more punctuated and compact structure at the beginning of the sampling season, while WNV exhibited more gradual and diffuse structure across the study area toward the end of the sampling season. Percentage of cypress/tupelo wetland land cover within 3500 m of coop sites and edge density of forest land cover within 500 m had a strong positive effect on EEEV seroconversion, while the best fitting model for WNV was the intercept only model with spatiotemporal random effects. Lagged temperature and precipitation variables included in our study did not have a strong effect on seroconversion for either virus when accounting for temporal autocorrelation, demonstrating the utility of capturing this structure to avoid Type I errors. Predictive accuracy on out-of-sample data for EEEV seroconversion demonstrates the potential to develop a temporally dynamic framework to predict arbovirus transmission.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0299.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: On-road emissions; Real-world assessments; Electrification; Fleet renovating; Mitigation strategies; West Midlands
Online: 15 January 2021 (14:22:04 CET)
This study reports the likely real-world effects of fleet replacement with electric vehicles (EVs) and higher efficiency EURO6 vehicles on the exhaust emissions of NOx, PM, and CO2 in the seven boroughs of the West Midlands (WM) region, UK. National fleet composition data, local EURO distributions and traffic compositions were used to project vehicle fleet compositions for different roads in each borough. A large dataset of real-world emission factors including over 90,000 remote-sensing measurements, obtained from remote sensing campaigns in five UK cities, was used to parameterise the emission profiles of the studied scenarios. Results show that adoption of the fleet electrification approach would have the highest emission reduction potential on urban roads in WM boroughs. It would result in maximum reductions ranging from 35.0-37.9%, 44.3-48.3%, 46.9-50.3% for NOx, PM, and CO2, respectively. In comparison, the EURO6 replacement fleet scenario would lead to reductions ranging from 10.0-10.4%, 4.0-4.2%, and 6.0-6.4% for NOx, PM, and CO2, respectively. The studied mitigation scenarios have higher efficacies on motorways than on rural and urban roads because of the differences in traffic fleet composition. The findings presented will help policymakers choose climate and air quality mitigation strategies.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0260.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: illegal hunting; waterfowl; a case survey; poisoned; price chain; the west of China
Online: 16 March 2020 (09:43:35 CET)
China is one of the world’s most important countries for waterfowl because of the large amount of potential habitat and its position along major migratory routes. Waterfowl poaching in China is a serious threat, and for over twenty years colleagues and I have tracked waterfowl poaching in China including hunting methods, trade routes and prices involved. According to the latest survey of a NGO, 11.8% of Chinese people have participated in wildlife consumption, and about 32.0% of people have seen wildlife consumption (Not necessarily involved in killing and eating the wildlife). The survey results come from 100 000 internet questionnaires. The current report provides an update focusing on waterfowl poaching in Xinjiang Province of the northwest China, where is highly pathogenic area on the avian influenza, SARS and the Wuhan coronavirus pneumonia (such as COVID-19). The cases in 2011, 2012, and 2014 involved about 1816 to 2760 birds of more than 20 species, with an estimated total of 200 000 wild birds being hunted by a group per year in Xinjiang. Strangely, the poacher was not punished by any law. We know a few waterfowl species are protected as a list of Key Protected Species in China, and hopefully this report will draw attention to the scope of waterfowl poaching in China. China has made great progress with protecting other wildlife, and hopefully more can be done to protect migrating waterfowl.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0548.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: strike-slip; hydrocarbons; geophysics; basement; West Siberian oil and gas province; geophysical data interpretation
Online: 10 October 2023 (08:15:47 CEST)
The paper presents the results of geological interpretation of the set of geophysical data with substantiation of geological-geophysical and structural geological criteria of oil and gas potential of the sedimentary cover deep levels and the upper part of the consolidated basement in the central West Siberian oil and gas basin. Gravity, magnetic and seismic data are used. The character of manifestation of the regional Pai-Khoi–Altai strike-slip zone covering an area up to 200 km wide is shown. The study provides a basis for assuming a spatial genetic relationship between the conditions for localizing hydrocarbon traps and the extensional and strike-slip and thrust structures of the zone that form so-called "flower structures". The substantiated structural geological criteria were applied to solve the problem of pattern recognition with training, highlighting the environments favourable for localization of hydrocarbon fields.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2172.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Mesoscale Convective System; extreme rainfall; West African Monsoon; ocean-atmosphere conditions; Gulf of Guinea
Online: 31 August 2023 (11:41:49 CEST)
This study investigates the importance of convective systems for extreme rainfall along the northern coast of the Gulf of Guinea (GG) and their relationship with atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Convective system data (MCSs), daily precipitation, sea surface temperature (SST) and moisture flux anomalies are used from June to September 2007-2016. The results show that 2/3 of MCSs crossing Abidjan are produced in June, which is the core of the major rainy season. Likewise, 2/3 of MCSs originate from continental areas, while 1/3 comes from the ocean. Oceanic MCSs are mostly initiated close to the coast, which also corresponds to the Marine Heat Waves region. Continental MCSs are mostly initiated inland. The results also highlight the moisture flux contribution of three zones which have an impact on the onset and the sustaining of MCSs: (i) the seasonal migration of ITCZ, (ii) the GG across the northern coastline, (iii) and finally the continent. These contributions of moisture fluxes coincide with oceanic warming off the Northeast Brazil and the northern coast of the GG both two days before and the day of extreme rainfall events. The ocean contributes to moisten the atmosphere, and therefore to supply and sustain the MCSs during their lifecycle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0059.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Whole Genome Sequencing; Genomic epidemiology; West Africa, Burkina Faso
Online: 2 November 2022 (11:14:27 CET)
Background: After its initial detection in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly, causing successive epidemic waves worldwide. This study aims to provide a genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Burkina Faso. Methods: Three hundred and seventy-seven SARS-CoV-2 genomes obtained from PCR-positive nasopharyngeal samples (PCR cycle threshold score <35) collected between May 5, 2020, and January 31, 2022 were analysed. Genomic sequences were assigned to phylogenetic clades using NextClade and to Pango lineages using pangolin. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses were performed to determine the geographical sources and time of virus introduction in Burkina Faso. Results: The analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genomes could be assigned to 10 phylogenetic clades and 27 Pango lineages already described worldwide. Our analyses revealed the important role of cross-border human mobility in the successive SARS-CoV-2 introductions in Burkina Faso from neighboring countries. Conclusion: This study provides additional insights into the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in West Africa. It highlights the importance of land travel in the spread of the virus and the need to rapidly implement preventive policies. Regional cross-border collaborations and the adherence of the general population to government policies are key to prevent new epidemic waves.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0013.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: nuclear magnetic resonance; dielectric spectroscopy; water-oil mixture; relaxation characteristic; drill cuttings; West Siberia
Online: 1 December 2021 (12:53:32 CET)
The article is devoted to the topical problem of estimating water content in water-oil mixtures and porous media they saturate, according to low-field NMR relaxometry and dielectric spectroscopy. The aim of the research is to theoretically substantiate and experimentally validate the capability of joint interpretation of data from these methods to acquire information on the filtration-volumetric properties of drill cuttings, relaxation characteristics of oil-containing fluids, water/oil ratio in water-oil mixtures and saturated with them drill cuttings in order to control the composition of liquids produced from boreholes. The studies were carried out on samples of cuttings and oils taken from fields in the northern and Arctic regions of the West Siberian oil-and-gas province. Based on the experimental data obtained, we evaluated the water content in the water-oil mixtures, determined the main NMR parameters of the mixtures in terms of properties of the constituent oils, and specified the parameters and shapes of NMR and complex dielectric permittivity spectra. The NMR method was found to be effective in examining high-viscosity and medium-viscosity oils, while the dielectric spectroscopy method – in the study of light oils; their integration allows obtaining reliable data for all the samples under study. We also showed how the shapes of NMR and complex dielectric permittivity spectra depend on the rheological properties of oil belonging to the mixture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0027.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Anthropology Keywords: Beaufort West; drought; Gamka Dam; boreholes; water load-shedding; reclamation plant; municipality; bottled water
Online: 1 July 2021 (13:17:32 CEST)
Increasing and prolonged droughts have become a feature of the South African environmental landscape. This article investigates the sustainability of water procurement to the rural town of Beaufort West and the reasons for the town’s water provision crises during the droughts of 2009-2011 and 2017-2019. Innovative solutions were reached to alleviate the serious water-shortages during these droughts. Data to illustrate population increases and precipitation decreases, which impacted on the town’s water resources, was collected from census records of Statistics South Africa and from the Department of Water and Sanitation, respectively. A number of risk factors contributed to the town’s water crises, e.g. unsustainable water extraction at times of serious droughts, poor water monitoring, metering and attention to leakages, an expansion of informal settlements within the municipal boundaries of Beaufort West, as well as annual rainfall patterns that became increasingly unpredictable. The article concludes that water resource development had not kept pace with demand, therefore water infrastructure should be built with enough capacity to cope with regular dry periods. Equilibrium should be reached between the water expectations of the community and water availability to avoid future social instability in water-stressed towns such as Beaufort West.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0094.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: West Africa ; Atlantic humpback dolphin ; bottlenose dolphin ; bycatch ; marine bushmeat ; aquatic wild meat ; conservation
Online: 5 April 2021 (10:38:32 CEST)
Small-boat and shore-based surveys in 2017 confirm that Atlantic humpback (Sousa teuszii) and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are resident in shallow neritic waters surrounding the protected MPA Tristao Islands in northern Guinea. Inshore-type T. truncatus were encountered also between Conakry and Kayar. First documented in 2012, dolphin bycatches in local fisheries continue to occur. The frequency of beach-cast remains suggests a significant conservation issue. Both multi- and monofilament gillnets are widely deployed, but it remains unclear which gear is the main cause of mortality. Forensic evidence shows that captured dolphins are often utilized for local consumption. Marine bushmeat of cetaceans is documented in many coastal nations in West and Central Africa. In Tristao Islands their use is synchronous with and thought related to declining fish stocks. Significant anthropogenic mortality relative to their low abundance, besides suspected pressures such as prey competition with fisheries and habitat deterioration from coastal development, raise concern for the future of coastal dolphins, in particular endangered S. teuszii, even in this formally protected MPA. Conservation measures need to be re-evaluated for improved efficiency while surveys to monitor trends should be annual.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: Tight sandstone; Low resistivity contrast oil pay; Reservoir Characteristic; Control mechanism; Longdong West area.
Online: 15 January 2021 (13:02:42 CET)
The log interpretation and evaluation of Chang 8 tight sandstone reservoir in Longdong West area, Ordos Basin, is facing great challenges due to the existence of low resistivity contrast oil pays. To better guide the exploration of oil resources in this area, the characteristics and control mechanism of low resistivity contrast oil pays were studied in this research. Firstly, according to the relative value of apparent resistivity increase rate of the target formation, the reservoir was divided into two types: low resistivity contrast oil pay (LRCP) and high resistivity oil pay (HRP). Then, the reservoir characteristics were studied by comparing and analyzing the experimental data, formation water data and logging data collected from the two reservoir types. On this basis, the control mechanism of LRCP was studied and summarized into reservoir micro factors and regional macro factors, respectively. It is found that the reservoir rock composition between LRCP and HRP is basically the same. Compared with HRP reservoir, the average porosity and permeability of LRCP reservoir are relatively better, but the pore structure is relatively poorer because of the high content of micro pores. When the filling pressure of crude oil is sufficient enough, the high oil saturation can be formed in LRCP reservoir. The high irreducible water saturation and high formation water salinity are the main micro factors reduced the reservoir resistivity. Besides, the difference of hydrocarbon expulsion capacity of source rock and the regional difference of formation water salinity are the macro factors influenced the distribution of LRCP and HRP from vertical and horizontal of the region. The formation of LRCP is controlled by the comprehensive influence of reservoir micro factors and regional macro factors. And the comprehensive consideration of the influence of micro factors and macro factors on LRCP is suggested during the log interpretation and evaluation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0241.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: North and West Africa; drought; DSI; TVDI; NVSWI; spatial correlation; change trend of drought
Online: 15 March 2020 (12:38:03 CET)
North and West Africa are the most vulnerable regions to drought, due to the high variation in monthly precipitation. An accurate and efficient monitoring of drought is essential. In this study, we use TRMM data with remote sensing tools for effective monitoring of drought. The Drought Severity Index (DSI), Temperature Vegetation Drought Index (TVDI), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and Normalized Vegetation Supply Water Index (NVSWI) are more useful for monitoring the drought over North and West Africa. To classify the areas affected by drought, we used the TRMM spatial maps to verify the TVDI, DSI and NVSWI indexes derived from MODIS. The DSI, TVDI, NVSWI and Monthly Precipitation Anomaly (NPA) indexes with the employ of MODIS-derived ET/PET and NDVI were chosen for monitoring the drought in the study area. The seasonal spatial correlation between the DSI, NPA, NVWSI, NDVI, TVDI and TCI indicates that NVSWI, NDVI and DSI present an excellent monitor of drought indexes. The change trend of drought from 2002 to 2018 was also characterized. The frequency of drought showed a decrease during this period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0211.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Zika virus; Flavivirus; RNA Viruses; Viruses; surveillance; occurrence; epidemiology; West Nile virus; Aedes; Culicidae
Online: 30 March 2017 (04:53:34 CEST)
In 2015 in Brazil, Zika virus showed features of geographic expansion and potentially increased virulence. In 2016, New York State issued emergency regulations after the World Health Organization declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In this study, mosquito surveillance was conducted in Westchester County, New York, to identify Zika virus and other arboviruses. Twenty trap sites were used for surveillance of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the Zika virus vector. The Westchester County Department of Health performed testing for Zika, West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, and other flaviviruses on 369 batches comprising 8,891 mosquitoes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were identified in Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, and New York City. Despite the increased capacity for specimen analysis, Zika virus was not detected. This study provides the first evidence of appropriate Zika virus surveillance. However, the results do not allow determination of the potential mechanism of local vector-to-human transmission of Zika virus among Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. This study adds to the evidence regarding the distribution, emergence, and trapping capabilities of potential Zika virus vectors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0078.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geography Keywords: agriculture; climate variability; crop yield; food supply and demand analysis; West Africa; Ghana; Burkina Faso
Online: 1 December 2023 (11:29:04 CET)
Agricultural productivity is expected to decrease under changing climate conditions that correspond to the stability of West African food systems. Although numerous studies evaluated food production gaps or impacts of climate variability on crop yields, many uncertainties are associated with climate extremes, but also rapid population growth and the corresponding dietary lifestyle determine farming activities. Here, we present a food supply and demand analysis based on the relationship between climate change, crop production, as well as population growth in three experimental sites from southwestern Burkina Faso to southwestern Ghana. The method consists of a tiered approach that encompassed a statistical analysis of historical climate as well as agricultural time series using boxplots and a trend test by Mann-Kendall. Food balance sheets were calculated by estimating the demand using a population growth model linked to food supply with local consumption patterns. Results of the boxplot analysis revealed for the majority of climate time series light to strong right-skewed distributions with either a few heavy rainfall or hot temperature events. We found almost insignificant rainfall and temperature trends for both sites in the Sudano-Guinean savannah. The rainfall regime of southwestern Ghana indicated an insignificant upward or downward trend while the temperature significantly increased over time. Crop yield boxplots demonstrated mainly right-skewed distributions for cereals, legumes and tubers as well as cash crops such as cotton. Backed by the Mann-Kendall test, maize and sorghum significantly enhanced in both study areas of the Sudano-Guinean savannah. Southwestern Ghana depicted a different crop pattern where cassava and plantain showed a strong upward trend at a confidence level of 1%. The grouped food balances sheets across the regions illustrated a surplus for the Sudano-Guinean savannah ranging from 221.2 megatons (Mt) to 4,846.77 Mt while southwestern Ghana exhibited a deficit between -193.33 Mt and -16,188.82 Mt. Despite a growing yield of various crops, food demand outpaces the regional production. Hence, it is recommended to focus on a larger array of commodities, imports and marketing of farm products.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1233.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: climate change; coast and sea dykes; mangroves; sea level rise; West Sea; Kien Giang province
Online: 19 September 2023 (08:35:30 CEST)
Objective: The study aimed to provide a picture total of the forest and erosion status of the beach and dykes of Kien Giang and Ca Mau. Theoretical framework: Kien Giang and Ca Mau are located in the West Sea, and in recent years, along the coast of this region, erosion of the coast and sea dykes has been profound. Method: There are 18 sample plots for testing. The map also includes 68 survey plots that are predefined and used as a basis for positioning in the field. The measurement indicators include tree species identification. Results and conclusion: The level of erosion in Ha Tien’s forests varies based on tree density and environmental factors. The forest with no erosion has a thickness of 9,600 trees/ha and a stem diameter of 19 cm, while the extremely erosion forest has 2,000 trees/ha and a stem diameter of 6 cm. Topographically, Ha Tien has little erosion, while U Minh is a low-lying area with high erosion. Erosion levels are 1-2 in January-April, 4-5 in May-October, and 3 in November-December. Currently, the section is divided into 28 sub-sections, with Kien Giang having 23. One sub-section is level 1, 11 sub-sections are level 2, 1 is level 3, 3 are level 4, and 3 are level 5. In Ca Mau, two sub-sections are level 4, and 3 are level 5. Implications of the research: With climate change and rising sea levels, erosion levels tend to increase one level in sub-section areas in the coming years.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0389.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Lassa Fever; Virus; Infectious Disease; Hazard; West Africa; Health Care; Epidemiology; Epidemic; Measures; Burden; Management
Online: 17 July 2020 (15:19:59 CEST)
In recent years, Lassa fever has been announced as an infectious disease in the world, a few imported cases have been accounted for in various pieces of the world and there are developing worries of the possibilities of Lassa fever Virus as an organic weapon. Regardless of its assaulting impact, no substantial arrangement has been created to reduce the hazard of the ailment, about a large portion of 10 years after identifying it. A Review based on the documents from the literature search on PubMed, Scopus, Goggle Scholar and Science direct. Out of these, the final 16 articles that met the criteria were selected. Relevant information on epidemiology, the burden of management and control were obtained. Timely and effective containment of the Lassa fever disease in Lassa village four decades ago could have minimized the devastating effect and threats posed by this illness in the West African sub-region and indeed the entire globe. That was a hard lesson calling for much more proactive measures towards the eradication of the illness at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of health care. Hence, the paper is aimed at appraising the threats associated with Lassa fever disease; its demands on curtailing the menace of the epidemic, and recommendations on important focal points.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0286.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Clinical Neurology; Neuroinvasive Disease; Encephalitis; Meningitis; MRI Brain Scans; West-Nile Virus; Infectious Diseases; Diagnostic Tools
Online: 9 November 2020 (17:36:58 CET)
A case report of the diagnosis of Long Term Sequelae of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease in a patient with 9 years history. Empirical data of symptoms and test reports has been presented and based on the available data likely pathogenesis of the disease has been discussed. The empirical data has been compared to the published literature to reach a highly confident diagnosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1465.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: West Siberian Plain; Polar Urals; Altai; Salair Ridge; snow cover; woody plants; growth rings; tree-ring width
Online: 21 July 2023 (03:56:06 CEST)
The dependence of the width of annual rings of woody plants on the characteristics of the snow cover is analyzed in various natural zones of the West Siberian Plain and adjacent mountainous areas: the maximum thickness and water reserve for the entire winter period and for individual months, the dates of disappearing, establishment, and duration of the occurrence of a stable snow cover. It has been shown that the role of the thickness and water content of snow cover for the radial growth of trees is differentiated by geographical location. On the plain, it intensifies in the forest-tundra and dry steppe. The response of radial growth to snow cover in the upper and lower parts of the forest belt is often opposite. Dates of establishment of stable snow cover are more important for tree growth compared to dates of disappearance. Dates of disappearance of stable snow cover are more significant in the southern regions than in the northern ones. The value of the duration of the period with stable snow cover for tree growth is higher in the southern regions.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0123.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Aedes aegypti; pyrethroid resistance; kdr mutations; detoxification enzymes; 10ème arrondissement of Cotonou; Godomey-Togoudo; Benin West Africa
Online: 3 May 2023 (09:30:25 CEST)
Epidemics of arboviruses in general, and dengue fever, in particular, are an increasing threat in areas where Aedes (Ae.) aegypti is present. The effectiveness of chemical control of Ae. aegypti is threatened by the increasing frequency of insecticide resistance. The aim of this study was to determine the susceptibility status of Ae. aegypti to public health insecticides and assess the underlying mechanisms driving insecticide resistance. Ae. aegypti eggs were collected in two study sites in the vicinity of houses for two weeks using Gravid Aedes Traps (GATs). After rearing mosquitoes to adulthood, female Ae. aegypti were exposed to the diagnostic doses of permethrin, deltamethrin and bendiocarb, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bottle bioassays. Unexposed, un-engorged female Ae. aegypti were tested individually for mixed-function oxidase (MFO), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and esterase activity. Finally, allele-specific PCR (AS-PCR) was used to detect kdr mutations (F1534C, S989P and V1016G) in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene in insecticide-exposed Ae. aegypti. Most traps were oviposition positive; 93.2% and 97% of traps contained Ae. aegypti eggs in the 10ème arrondissement of Cotonou and in Godomey-Togoudo, respectively. Insecticide bioassays assays detected resistance to permethrin and deltamethrin in both study sites and complete susceptibility to bendiocarb. By comparison to the insecticide-susceptibility Rockefeller strain, field Ae. aegypti populations had significantly higher levels of GSTs and significantly lower levels of and esterases; there was no significant difference between levels of MFOs. AS-PCR genotyping revealed the presence of the three kdr mutations (F1534C, S989P and V1016G) at high frequencies; 80.9% (228/282) of Ae. aegypti tested had at least one mutation, while the simultaneous presence of all three kdr mutations was identified in 13 resistant individuals. Study findings demonstrated phenotypic pyrethroid resistance, the overexpression of key detoxification enzymes and the presence of several kdr mutations in Ae. aegypti populations, emphasizing the urgent need to implement vector control strategies, targeting arbovirus vector species in Benin.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0252.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Emerald ash borer; Fraxinus spp.; forest pests; invasive populations; north-west Russia; Saint Pe-tersburg; urban pests
Online: 15 September 2021 (09:46:17 CEST)
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive beetle of East Asian origin that in North America and Russia killed millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). In September 2020, EAB was de-tected in Saint Petersburg, becoming resonant event for the metropolitan city. The aim of the present study was to investigate occurrence and ecology of EAB in Saint Petersburg. The presence of two distinct enclave populations of EAB was revealed, each of which has (very likely) been established by separate events of “hitchhiking” transport vehicles. Following the invasion, further spread of EAB in Saint Petersburg was slow and locally restricted, main explanation for which is climatic factor. Due to spread by “hitchhiking”, the possibility of EAB further long-distance ge-ographic spread of EAB in the Baltic Sea region (EU) is high, and not only by ground transport (120–130 km distance from EU borders), but also by ferries transporting cars (traditional means of transportation across the Baltic Sea). In certain cases, development of EAB on F. excelsior was more successful (stem portion colonized, larval densities, number of galleries, exit holes, viable larvae, emerged beetles) than in (adjacent) F. pennsylvanica trees. Observed relatively high EAB-sensitivity of F. excelsior therefore questions the efficacy and benefits of the currently ongoing selection and breeding projects against ash dieback (ADB), caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Inventory, mapping, and monitoring of surviving F. excelsior trees in areas infested by both ADB and EAB are necessary to acquire genetic resource for work on strategic long-term restoration of F. excelsior, tackling (inevitable) invasion of EAB to the EU.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Neotropical non-human primates; serology; sylvatic cycles; Flavivirus; Dengue Virus; Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus; West Nile Virus
Online: 5 November 2020 (18:35:56 CET)
Arthropod-borne viruses belonging to the flavivirus genus possess an enormous relevance in public health. Neotropical non-human primates (NPs) have been proposed to be infected more frequently with flaviviruses due to their arboreal and diurnal habits, their genetic similarity to humans and their relative closeness to humans. However, the only known flavivirus in America that is maintained by sylvatic cycles involving NPs is Yellow Fever virus (YFV), and the NPs role as potential hosts of flaviviruses is still unknown. Here, we examined flavivirus exposure in 86 free range and captive NPs of Costa Rica to evaluate their involvement in flavivirus transmission cycles and their potential as flavivirus hosts. We used a highly-specific micro plaque reduction neutralization test (micro-PRNT) to determine the presence of antibodies against YFV, Dengue virus 1-4 (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile Virus (WNV) and Saint Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV). We found evidence of seropositive NPs to DENV-1 8.2% (homotypic –3/86, heterotypic – 4/86), SLEV 15.1% (homotypic – 10/86, heterotypic – 2/86), WNV 2.3% (homotypic – 2/86) and 8.1% (7/86) undetermined Flavivirus species. No antibodies against YFV or ZIKV were found. This work provides compelling serological evidence of exposure in NPs of flaviviruses associated with urban cycles, i.e. DENV, and confirms decades of circulation of SLEV in the same environments. Also, the range of years of sampling and the socioeconomic region was statistically significant for the presence of Dengue and Flavivirus undetermined seropositive individuals, respectively. Both the years and socioeconomic regions with greater seroprevalence coincide with the years and socioeconomic regions with high numbers of Dengue human cases for the country. Our work suggests bidirectional? circulation of different flaviviruses between humans and wildlife with public health importance and underscores the necessity of further surveillance for flaviviruses in the humans/wildlife interface in Central America.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.2045.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Flavivirus; Eye; West Nile Virus; Dengue fever Virus; Yellow Fever; Zika virus; Japanese Encephalitis Virus; Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus
Online: 1 November 2023 (03:05:45 CET)
Flaviviruses are a group of positive sense single-stranded RNA viruses predominantly transmitted by arthropods (mainly mos-quitoes), that cause severe endemic infections and epidemics on a global scale. It represents a major cause of systemic morbidity and death that are expanding worldwide. Among this group, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, and recently Zika virus have been linked to a spectrum of ocular manifestations. The latter encompass subconjunctival hemor-rhage and conjunctivitis, anterior and posterior uveitis (inclusive of vitritis, chorioretinitis, and retinal vasculitis), maculopathy, retinal hemorrhages, and optic neuritis. Clinical diagnosis of these infectious diseases is primarily based on epidemiological data, history, systemic symptoms and signs, and the pattern of ocular involvement. Diagnosis confirmation relies on laboratory testing, including RT-PCR and serological testing. Ocular involvement typically follows a self-limited course but can result in irreversible visual impairment. Effective treatment for flavivirus infections is currently unavailable. Prevention remains the mainstay for arthropod vector and zoonotic disease control. Effective vaccines are available only for Yellow Fever virus, Dengue virus and Japanese Encephalitis virus. This review comprehensively summarizes the current knowledge regarding the ophthalmic mani-festations of the foremost flavivirus-associated human diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0261.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Polymers And Plastics Keywords: composite; waste plastic; distributed recycling; LDPE; low density polyethylene; plastic sand composites; tensile strength; compressive strength; West Africa; economic development
Online: 19 September 2022 (05:27:25 CEST)
In many developing countries, plastic waste management is left to citizens. This usually results in hazardous landfilling or open-air burning, leading to emissions that are harmful to human health and the environment. An easy, profitable, and clean method of processing and transforming the waste into value is required. In this context, this study provides an open-source methodology to transform low-density polyethylene drinking water sachets, into pavement blocks by using a streamlined do-it-yourself approach that requires only modest capital. Two different materials, sand, and ashes are evaluated as additives in plastic composites and the mechanical strength of the resulting blocks are tested for different proportion mix of plastic, sand, and ash. The best composite had an elastic modulus of 169MPa, a compressive strength of 29MPa, and a water absorptivity of 2.2%. The composite pavers can be sold at 100% profit while employing workers at 1.5X the minimum wage. In the West African region, this technology has the potential to produce 19 million pavement tiles from 28,000 tons of plastic water sachets annually in Ghana, Nigeria, and Liberia. This can contribute to waste management in the region while generating a gross revenue of 2.85 billion XOF (4.33 million USD).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0417.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: storm tracks; track density; cyclogenesis areas; climate variability and change; the North Atlantic Oscillation; the East Atlantic–West Russia pattern
Online: 27 July 2022 (10:00:33 CEST)
A better understanding of the expected future cyclonic activity, especially in the Mediterranean Basin in winter, is essential for developing scientifically based adaptation and mitigation methods to extreme precipitation and wind anomalies. The aim of this study is to analyze the change of winter cyclonic activity in the Mediterranean-Black Sea region, within the Atlantic–European region, at the beginning (as the recent historical period), middle and end of the 21st century. The projections are based on an ensemble of seven CMIP6 models, which showed the best consistency with NCEP/NCAR and ERA5 reanalysis, under the intermediate SSP2-4.5 and highest-emission SSP5-8.5 scenarios. The results show a consistent increase of the frequency of cyclones over Central Europe and the British Isles associated with the shift of cyclone tracks: norward from the Western Mediterranean region and southward from the Iceland Low. The latter leads to a decrease of the frequency in the north of the Atlantic–European region. At the same time, there is a reduction of the frequency of cyclones over the east of the Mediterranean Sea consistent with the decrease of cyclogenesis events. Area-averaged cyclone numbers in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea subregions reduce to the end of the century under the highest-emission scenario, but not constantly and with a raise in the middle of the 21st century under both scenarios, which may be linked to the long-term multidecadal variability or regional features. In general, our study shows that the future winter cyclonic activity in the Mediterranean-Black Sea region responds unevenly to global climate changes, because regional and monthly features are important, as well as accounting for the long-term quasiperiodic variability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0554.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Biomass burning; Anthropogenic aerosols; West Africa; United Kingdom Floods; Iberian Drought; European winter temperatures; Last Millennium Ensemble; NASA MERRA-2
Online: 29 December 2021 (13:14:28 CET)
Three significant changes have occurred in the winter climate in Europe recently: increased UK flooding; Iberian drought; and warmer temperatures north of the Alps. The literature links all three to a persistent, significant increase in sea level pressure over Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Iberia and the Eastern Atlantic (SEMIEA) which changes the atmospheric circulation system: forcing cold fronts to the north away from Iberia; and creating a south westerly flow around the northern perimeter of the high-pressure region bringing warmer, moist air from the subtropical Atlantic to the UK and Europe which increases precipitation in the UK and raises the temperature in Europe. I use the Last Millennium Ensemble, MERRA-2 and Terra-NCEP data to demonstrate that the extreme, anthropogenic, West African aerosol Plume (WAP) which only exists from December to April perturbs the northern, regional Hadley Circulation creating the high pressure in the SEMIEA. I also show that the anthropogenic WAP has only existed in its extreme form in recent decades as the two major sources of the WAP aerosols: biomass burning; and gas flaring have both increased significantly since 1950 due to: a four-fold increase in population; and gas flaring rising from zero to 7.4 billion m3/annum and note that this time span coincides with the changes in the three elements of the winter climate of Europe. I also suggest that it may be possible to eliminate the WAP and return the winter climate of Europe to its natural state after the crucial first step of recognising the cause of the changes is taken.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Horizontal East-west velocity; LOS; vertical velocity; InSAR time series; Big Data; PSDS; TomoSAR platform; Sentinel-1; Ho Chi Minh City
Online: 10 September 2021 (11:04:39 CEST)
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the most crowded city and economic hub of Viet Nam, has been experiencing land subsidence over the past decades. This effort aims to contribute the spatial distribution of subsidence in HCMC in its horizontal and vertical components using synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) time series. To this purpose, an advanced Persistent Scatterers and Distributed Scatterers (PSDS) InSAR technique was applied to two European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-1 datasets consisting of 96 ascending and 202 descending images, acquired from 2014 to 2020 over the HCMC area. A time series of 33 COSMO-SkyMed ascending images was also used for comparison. The combination of ascending and descending satellite passes is used to decompose the light of sight velocities into horizontal east-west and vertical components. Taking into account the presence of east-west horizontal motion, our findings indicate that the accuracy of the decomposed vertical velocity can be improved by up to 3 mm/year for Sentinel-1 data. The obtained results revealed that subsidence is most pronounced in the areas along the Sai Gon River, in the northwest-southeast axis, and in the southwest of the city, with a maximum value of 80 mm/yr, which is in accordance with the findings of the literature. The amplitude of east-west horizontal velocities is relatively small and large-scale eastward movement can be observed in the west of the city at a rate of 3-5 mm/yr. This confirmed that the displacement in Ho Chi Minh City area is mainly vertical downward. Together, these results reinforced the remarkable suitability of ESA's SAR Sentinel-1 for subsidence applications, even for non-European countries such as Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0005.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Red wood ants (Formica rufa-group); tree age classes; West Eifel Volcanic Field; herbaceous layer; woodpecker cavities; clearings; re-inventory; climate change
Online: 1 March 2023 (02:57:20 CET)
We re-inventoried red wood ant nests (RWA) in 12 study sites (≈1281 ha) in the Westeifel Volcanic Field, Germany, in an area-wide and integrated ecosystem approach after 12 years. Combined with the re-identification of previously mapped nests using a photo database, this approach leads to more accurate nest counts in (re)inventories. A total increase of nests from 1144 (2009) to 1252 (2021), and a dramatic one for the Heidberg site by 52-fold (2009) and 85-fold (2021) compared to a 1984 inventory was observed, contrasting with earlier postulations of a decline in RWA. Early to medium mature (41-80 years) and mature (³81–140 years) spruce forests were the preferred habitat. Large increase in small nest sizes suggests an increase in new nest settlements also in clearings, despite climate-induced forest dieback over the past decade. A decline in biodiversity in the herbaceous layer was observed; highly proliferating blackberries had no negative impact on RWA nests. Monitoring of woodpecker cavities in RWA nests is suggested as an indirect indicator tool for evaluating populations in forests. Positive ground movement rates caused by the Eifel plume are suggested another factor favoring nest settlements. This study contributes to the urgent update of statistically valid data required to a) effectively substantiate the status-quo of RWA occurrences, b) protect RWA as ecosystem engineers, c) advance understanding of Geo-Bio-Interactions in the wake of climate change, and c) contribute to the German government's Insect Conservation Action Program.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0100.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Tourism, Leisure, Sport And Hospitality Keywords: Genius Loci; place-making; landscape; Land of Limestone and Levels; West of England; Mendip Hills; Cotswold Hills; Bristol, Bath; environmental psyche; Severn Estuary
Online: 29 August 2017 (03:42:37 CEST)
The County of Avon in England was abolished in 1996 and replaced by four unitary planning authorities. Recently the authorities have been working closely to develop a West of England Joint Spatial Plan to facilitate better integration of policies on transport, housing, the environment etc. The Joint Spatial Plan team commissioned a multidisciplinary study to investigate whether the West of England has special characteristics of 'place' that engender shared interest and regional affinity, i.e. ‘sense of place’, to which emerging planning policies might positively respond. In this regard the present article is particularly focused on identifying whether the West of England has unique and unifying landscape characteristics, relating to topography, rural scenery, and flora and fauna, which combine with human experiences to distinguish the Region from adjoining areas. It is concluded that the West of England does indeed have real geographical integrity, being bound on all sides by attractive and prominent landscape features - the Mendip Hills, Cotswold Hills and Severn Estuary – that contribute to a sense of identity and belonging among its inhabitants. The alternating limestone ridges and broad clay vales that prevail across the Region’s heart, combined with low lying flatlands on the Region’s western fringe, provide further contrast with neighbouring regions, reinforcing the emotional bond to the landscape. Furthermore, it is suggested that the inhabitants of the West England show a particularly special environmental consciousness that sets them apart from neighbouring populations, complementing the influence of the physical environment in making the Region a special place to live.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0448.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: onset of the rainy season; offset of the rainy season; length of the rainy season; Kohonen 20 algorithm; hierarchical ascendant classification; Senegal; West Africa
Online: 8 November 2023 (01:30:02 CET)
This study investigates the spatio-temporal variability of the onset, offset, and Length of the rainy season in Senegal over the 1981-2018 period. The onset, offset dates, and length of the rainy season are crucial parameters for agricultural planning in West Africa, which exhibits high interannual and spatial variability in rainfall. The objective is to detect and spatially classify these phenological parameters across Senegal using different approaches. Daily precipitation data from the Climate Hazards group InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) dataset over the study period and ERA5 reanalysis were used. The method of was applied to detect the onset, offset dates, and length of the rainy season. The Kohonen algorithm was then used to spatially classify these parameters on topological maps. A hierarchical ascendant classification was also performed to reduce the number of classes obtained. Finally, a composite analysis of moisture transport before the onset and end of the 1984 and 2007 seasons was conducted with ERA5 data. The results show a meridional gradient of the start of the season, progressively later from southeast to northwest, while the end follows a north-south gradient. The duration of the rainy season ranges from 45 days in northern Senegal to 150 days in the south. The maximum number of dry days also decreases from north to south. The Kohonen self-organizing maps allow spatial prediction of the onset, end date, and duration of the rainy season across Senegal. The dynamics analysis reveals that early onset years are associated with stronger and earlier northward moisture transport over West Africa, underscoring the role of this parameter in triggering the rainy season. These promising results can provide an early warning to policymakers and farmers on the start and end dates of the season in each area of Senegal.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0299.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: safety of products of human origin; solid organ transplantation; hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation; West Nile virus; dengue virus; tick-borne encephalitis virus; Usutu virus; Chikungunya virus; Zika virus; mainland and overseas France
Online: 3 August 2023 (11:28:33 CEST)
Diseases caused by arboviruses are on the increase worldwide. In addition to arthropod bites, most arboviruses can be transmitted via accessory routes. Products of human origin (labile blood products, solid organs, hematopoietic stem cells, tissues) present a risk of contamination for the recipient if the donation is made when the donor is viremic. This narrative review describes the risks of acquiring certain arboviral diseases from human products, mainly solid organs and hematopoietic stem cells, in the French context. Mainland France and its overseas territories are exposed to a complex array of imported and endemic arboviruses, which differ according to their respective location. The main risks considered in this study are infections by West Nile virus, dengue virus and tick-borne encephalitis virus. The ancillary risks represented by Usutu virus infection, chikungunya and Zika are also addressed more briefly. For each disease, the guidelines issued by the French High Council of Public Health, which is responsible for issuing guidelines to mitigate the risks associated with products of human origin and for supporting public health policy decisions, are briefly outlined. The aim of this review is also to contribute to the standardization of recommendations at international level in areas with the same viral epidemiology.