COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0022.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research 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/preprints202003.0004.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Econometrics & 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/preprints202204.0037.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0031.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Mathematics & Computer Science, 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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/preprints202102.0604.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0468.v1
Subject: 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, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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, Ecology 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/preprints201806.0156.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: 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/preprints202112.0013.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics 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: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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: 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: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics 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: 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0389.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research 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 & Pharmacology, Allergology 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/preprints202109.0252.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0261.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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/preprints201708.0100.v1
Subject: 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.