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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0040.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: adolescents; emotional sphere; ethnic-related peculiarities; North
Online: 3 March 2020 (11:33:20 CET)
The combined ecological, geophysical, climatic, and social factors of the Northeast of Russia influence the organism from the early childhood being too intense for the functional systems. The purpose of the research is to study the emotional characteristics of adolescents of different ethnic groups in the northeast of Russia. Presented in the paper are results of the study that covered 826 adolescents (445 females and 381 males) at the age of 15–17, different by ethnic origin. We used standard methods of psycho-diagnostics. Our study has showed that the formation of the adolescents’ emotional sphere in the North is undoubtedly influenced not only by the climatic and socio-economic environmental factors but also by ethnic features. There are intergroup differences in the aggressiveness profile of older adolescents living in the remote settlement vs. the regional center. It is shown that high school students in the remote settlement of Evensk, compared to their peers in Magadan, regardless of gender and ethnicity, are characterized by more pronounced hostile and auto-aggressive reactions. In adolescents of the Aboriginal population, as compared with their age mate Caucasians, the indicators of impairment in the field of Neuro Psychic Adaptation, Situational and Personal Anxiety, and Social Frustration are significantly more pronounced.
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/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.
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/preprints201907.0198.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: creativity; demography; ecology; north and south; education
Online: 17 July 2019 (06:22:34 CEST)
The creative potential of homo sapiens is the biological basis of his spirituality. To take into account factor of spirituality in analysis of global problems of demography and ecology used analogies of chemical kinetics. Stable in the historical time, population of people was modeled by open thermodynamic system, equilibrium state of which depends on climate and geophysics. The demography of creative potential was divided into two geographical zones - north and south. Process of society sapientation was formalized by introducing into logistic equation of Verhulst, in addition to a couple of parents, at least one more teacher from among educated people. Stationary solution of the modified kinetic equations determines optimal demography for sustainable development of population in accordance with its education index. The solution of the demographic, energy and environmental problems of mankind is determined by the level of world creative potential, the growth of which is currently limited by the consumption paradigm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0010.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: geomorphosites; geomorphosites assessment; Alvão (north of Portugal)
Online: 1 June 2018 (08:27:44 CEST)
The analysis of the morphological features can be framed in different temporal and spatial scales, depending on the specific objectives and methodologies of the various scientific fields that find in them a valuable source of information. The inventory and assessment of the geomorphological heritage may be based not exclusively in geophysical factors, but also in its contribution to the structuring of the biosphere, in its interrelation with other types of heritage or even in its potential for research or education purposes. In this article, we proceeded to the selection of a set of geomorphosites, at different scales, in Serra do Alvão (northern Portugal), seeking to demonstrate the importance of the broad lines of relief and intermediate and detailed landforms to the organization of the cultural landscape. Based on a questionnaire applied to a sample of 104 persons, it was intended to assess the value of the geomorphosites, concerning the scientific, preservation, use, cultural and educational dimensions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0154.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: CSR drivers and barriers; corporate social responsibility; MENA; middle east; north Africa; north America; Australia; Europe; western countries
Online: 9 December 2021 (14:31:21 CET)
Although numerous articles have been published to address drivers or barriers of corporate social responsibility (CSR), some parts of the world have received less attention. In this study, I reviewed the literature, from 2010 to 2021, to identify drivers and barriers of CSR in the the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and compare them with the findings in western countries. (2) Methods: For this study, I used a structured literature review method. By setting the inclusion and exclusion criteria, only 28 articles remained from selected database; (3) Results: The findings revealed some CSR drivers, such as leadership styles, profitability, reputation, moral commitment, and environmental conservation are common in both regions. There are also some differences between CSR drivers, for example religious beliefs, low concentration of ownership, and company characteristics are some of the drivers in the MENA region. Maintaining social license to operate, avoiding the risks of community opposition, pressure from the government, and consumer demand tend to be more important in western countries. Common barriers in both regions are lack of financial resources, cost, lack of CSR knowledge and awareness, and ownership concentration. This review also highlighted that lack of law enforcement, lack of stakeholder communication, lack of management commitment, lack of interests, corruption, and financial debts are some of the addressed barriers of CSR in the MENA region, while cost/benefit ratio, lack of customer interest, and lack of scientific frameworks are the special barriers in western countries. (4) Conclusions: While researchers in western countries have more focus on energy sector, there is a lack of research about drivers and barriers of CSR in the MENA region in several industries, including oil and gas.
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/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.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0498.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: Natural radioactivity; Water; Sediment; environmental implications; North Africa
Online: 9 October 2023 (11:56:38 CEST)
Natural radioactivity of 238U, 232Th and 40K for water and sediment samples collected from Sidi Salem dam (Tunisia) and Aïn Dalia dam (Algeria) were measured using TERRA detector of rays (gamma, beta, and alpha), Gamma-ray spectrometry and atomic absorption spectroscopy were used to analyze the levels of radionuclides and heavy metals, respectively. Heavy metals (Fe, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr and Cd) and associated health risks in surface water and sediment of dams have been investigated in this study. The mean activity concentrations in the water samples were 1.72±0.01, 0.068±0.01 and 94.6±1.04 Bql-1 for 238U, 232Th and 40K respectively (Tunisia dam) and were 1.9± 0.24, 0.09±0.01 and 131.43±1.03 Bql-1 for 238U, 232Th and 40K respectively (Algeria dam). The mean activity concentration of 238U, 232Th and 40K measured in the sediment samples were 2.67±0.01, 0.18±0.012 and 197.87±2.01 Bqkg-1 respectively (Tunisian dam) and were 4.34±0.05, 0.27±0.05 and 287.61±3.34 Bqkg-1 respectively (Algeria dam). The activity concentration of 40K was higher than that of 238U and 232Th for the water and sediment samples. The mean activity concentrations follow the order 40K > 238U > 232Th. The mean concentrations of the heavy metals decreased in this order Fe > Pb > Zn > Ni > Cr > Cu > Cd. All measured activity concentrations and estimated radiological parameters were below world permissible limit values. Therefore, there may be no serious immediate radiological health burden on the environment and the people using the damage.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: allanite; REE; ore minerals; IOCG deposit; North Vietnam
Online: 3 December 2020 (10:58:03 CET)
Allanite minerals are the principal host of REEs in the Sin Quyen, Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) type deposit. The studied allanites have concentrations of: REE (14-27 wt%), Ca (9-16 wt%), Al (8-19 wt%), Si (26-34 wt%) and Fe (12-21 wt%). Two populations of allanite are documented, the first is texturally older probably related to the Ca-K alteration (second stage of crystallization). This population has higher REE concentrations ranging from 20 to 27 wt%, and the second population texturally younger has lower total REE concentration ranging from 14 to 19.9 wt%, which occur as a rim surrounding the older and likely arose during the K alteration with Cu-Au mineralization (third crystallization). Differences between the two allanite populations are documented by both optical properties and analysis of their chemical composition. The last parameter indicate that the studied allanites belong to the Ce-La-ferriallanite family, with low HREE with an average of 0.21 wt.%. Temperature 355ºC which was calculated using value of δ34S isotopes is interpreted as a temperature of the second crystallization stage of allanite. The pressure of crystallization solution was calculated and is ranging from 0.98 to 5.88 MPa.
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/preprints202306.1555.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: research; oncology; Arab; Middle East; North Africa; cancer management
Online: 21 June 2023 (12:53:49 CEST)
The increasing cancer burden is a major health concern in Arab countries with variations in cancer profiles. Given the limited oncology research output and scarce data on cancer trial participation in the Arab region, this study explored the therapeutic cancer trial landscape in Arab countries over the past 20 years. A bibliometric analysis of the PubMed database was conducted on primary publications of therapeutic trials with a participating Arab center. Arab countries participated in 320 published cancer-related therapeutic trials (2000‒2021). There was a consistent increase in the number of trials, sample size, multiregional site participation, and number of randomized trials. However, most trials were small, did not receive external funding, and included a single Arab site. Compared with Arab-only trials, trials with joint non-Arab sites were larger (p = .003) and more likely to be externally funded (p < .001). Citation numbers and journal impact factors were higher in trial publications with joint non-Arab authorship than those without (p < .001, for both). Despite improving conduct and publication records of oncology trials with Arab centers, cancer trial participation remains limited in Arab countries. Concerted efforts are required to encourage sponsorship and international collaboration in this region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0282.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: Indian Ocean; North Atlantic; Thermoluminescence; calcareous biological ooze; paleoclimate
Online: 5 June 2023 (08:48:36 CEST)
Abstract. Natural Thermoluminescence (TL) from the core of MD81349 marine calcareous biological ooze samples in the ninetyeast ridge of the equatorial northeast Indian Ocean and samples from the core of IODP306-U1312B in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic Ocean was studied. The spurious TL intensity of 395 °C peak is dose independent when the heating rate is 6 °C/s in a nitrogen atmosphere . TL signals exhibit a significant correlation on the marine isotope stages (MIS) at the two oceans since the mid-Pleistocene. High TL intensity corresponds to a negative δ18O in the interglacial stages, and low TL intensity corresponds to a positive δ18O in the glacial stages. TL of both cores at the two oceans reveal that the global climate has experienced eight cold and warm cycles since the mid-Pleistocene. Single-frequency spectrum analysis of MD81349 and U1312 TL in the last 300 ka was performed.Near the equator of the Northeast Indian Ocean，it is more significant that the short cycle of 38 ka and 5 ka while it is more significant that the cycle of 8 ka at the North Atlantic.In addition, correlation analysis shows that the TL has a significant positive correlation with trace elements 135Ba, a significant negative correlation with 47Ti. The impurity ions (e.g. Ba2+, Mn2+ and Ti2+) doped in carbonate are acting as activators and suppressants respectively.Time series of the TL of calcareous biological ooze tests provide an important record of climate change. The source of TL signal is also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0258.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Cyprinidae; Ectoparasite; Gyrodactylidea; Luciobarbus; Monopisthocotylea; North Africa; Parasite; Platyhelminthes
Online: 16 February 2023 (01:31:30 CET)
To date, 41 species of Gyrodactylus have been described from Africa. However, none of these have been reported in Morocco. After identifying and examining 738 cyprinid host specimens, 26 specimens belonging to Gyrodactylus were found to parasitize the gills of nine species of Luciobarbus, Carasobarbus, and Pterocapoeta. The current study describes in detail 12 specimens of Gyrodactylus isolated from the gills of Luciobarbus pallaryi (Pellegrin, 1919) and Luciobarbus ksibi (Boulenger, 1905). Based on morphoanatomical observations, the characterization of the specimens collected suggests a species of Gyrodactylus new to science, described here as Gyrodactylus nyingiae n. sp. The new species is different from previously described gyrodactylids infecting African cyprinid hosts because it has a longer hamulus total length, a longer hamulus root, a downward projecting toe, a trapezium shaped ventral bar membrane with slightly striated median portion and small rounded anterolateral processes. This study brings the total number of Gyrodactylus spp. found in African cyprinids to four.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0249.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: climate change; tropicalization; species distribution; range expansion; North Atlantic
Online: 27 February 2019 (05:14:25 CET)
Climate change and the overall increase of seawater temperature is causing a poleward shift in species distribution, which includes a phenomenon described as tropicalization of temperate regions. This work aims at reporting the first records of four species off the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, namely oceanic puffer Lagocephalus lagocephalus Linnaeus, 1758, Madeira rockfish Scorpaena maderensis Valenciennes, 1833, ornate wrasse Thalassoma pavo Linnaeus, 1758, and bearded fireworm Hermodice carunculata Pallas, 1766. These last three species, along with other occurrences of aquatic fauna and flora along the Portuguese coast, reveal an ongoing process of poleward expansion of several species for which a comprehensive survey along the entire Iberian Peninsula is urgent. The putative origins of these subtropical and tropical species off continental Portugal are discussed, as well as the urgent need of public awareness due to potential health risks resulting from the toxicity of two of the four species reported in this paper.
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.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1595.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: pterygoid malformation; exostosis; osteoma; beaked whales; North Atlantic; bone disease
Online: 25 October 2023 (07:59:30 CEST)
Few reports exist on the pathologies of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) and other Ziphiidae. We here describe a large exostosis in the right pterygoid bone of adult female H. ampullatus ANSP-3004 that stranded on the US Atlantic coast in 1867. Images of the skull and 14 cranial measurements were examined and compared with two ‘normal’ adult female H. ampullatus specimens. Surface scans of ANSP-3004 were made with a Faro Design Arm 1.0 scanner at 75µm resolution. The form, structure and width (15.9 cm) of the right pterygoid were found to be abnormal. Its distal extremity was curved in labial direction while its proximal extremity was deformed by a large, bulbous exostosis of 14.3 x 12.5 cm that partially obstructed the right nasal passage. Lytic lesions in the posterior end of the exostosis exposed deep resorption lacunae. The left pterygoid was thin (3.4 cm) and laterally displaced. No diagnosis was possible for lack of histological examination but the osteopathy was consistent with osteoma, a benign bone tumor commonly seen on the jaws and nasal sinuses of bovines, phylogenetical relatives of Cetacea. The partial nasal passage obstruction may have affected respiration to some degree, but since the female was lactating, general fitness appeared stable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2207.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Streptococcus suis; Serotype 2; North America; Lipoprotein maturation enzymes; Inflammation
Online: 1 September 2023 (07:16:13 CEST)
Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important swine bacterial pathogen causing sudden death, septic shock, and meningitis. However, serotype 2 strains are phenotypically and genotypically heterogeneous and composed by a multitude of sequence types (STs) whose distribution greatly varies worldwide. It has been previously shown that lipoprotein (LPP) maturation enzymes diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt) and signal peptidase (Lsp) significantly modulate the inflammatory host response and play a differential role in virulence depending on the genetic background of the strain. Differently from Eurasian ST1/ST7 strains, the capsular polysaccharide of a North American S. suis serotype 2 ST25 representative strain only partially masks sub-capsular domains and bacterial wall components. Thus, our hypothesis is that since LPPs would be more surface exposed in ST25 strains than in their ST1 or ST7 counterparts, the maturation enzymes would play a more important role in the pathogenesis of the infection caused by the North American strain. Using isogenic Δlgt and Δlsp mutants derived from the wild-type ST25 strain, our studies suggest that these enzymes do not seem to play a role in the interaction between S. suis and epithelial and endothelial cells, regardless the genetics background of the strain used. However, a role in the formation of biofilms (also independently of the STs) has been demonstrated. Moreover, the involvement of LPP dendritic cell activation in vitro seems to be somehow more pronounced with the ST25 strain. Finally, the Lgt enzyme seems to play a more important role in the virulence of the ST25 strain. Although some differences between STs could be observed, our original hypothesis that LPPs would be significantly more important in ST25 strains due to a better bacterial surface exposition could not be confirmed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0150.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: aerosol; CALIPSO; desert dust; Eastern Mediterranean; North Africa; Middle East
Online: 10 March 2022 (13:57:26 CET)
Turkey is located in the heart of complex transition geography between Eurasia and the Middle East. In the grand scheme, the so-called Eastern Mediterranean Basin is almost amidst the dusty belt and a hot spot of climate change. The downstream location of dust carrying winds from the closer desert sources reveals Turkey as an open plane to particulate matter exposure throughout the year. In order to clarify this phenomenon, it is aimed to find out the desert dust climatology of Turkey via CALIPSO onboard Lidar. This prominent instrument enables us to understand clouds, aerosols and their types and relatedly climatic systems with its valuable products. In this study, 9-year CALIPSO derived pure dust product is formed to explain horizontal and vertical distributions, transport heights and case incidences. Results indicated mass and conditional abundancy are higher with the location shifts from west to east. In the same direction, dominant spring months change to summer and autumn. Mountain range systems surrounding Anatolia are the main obstacles against lofted and buoyant dust particles travelling to northern latitudes. Even if high ridges accumulate mass load on the southern slopes, it also enables elevated particles to reach the ground level of the inner cities.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: human papillomavirus; attitude; knowledge; belief; Indigenous; male; North America; Oceania
Online: 3 May 2020 (09:31:38 CEST)
We have surveyed peer-reviewed literature on the awareness of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among Indigenous males in North America and Oceania. Using keywords HPV plus male, men or boy, and ethnical filters such as Indigenous, Aboriginal or First Nations, we retrieved 47 articles based on titles of which we kept 14 after reading the abstracts. Reported HPV awareness was generally low in Indigenous males in North America with no peer-reviewed data from Oceania. The lower understanding by males compared to females was largely attributable to misconceptions about HPV-related diseases, their transmission, and prevention. Lack of awareness and concern toward the risk of contracting HPV infection in Indigenous males suggests an impediment in disseminating health information about this cancer-causing virus. Culturally sensitive education, with emphasis on Indigenous males, is needed to improve this group’s HPV knowledge. Researchers should also engage meaningfully with Indigenous communities by building rapport to achieve a positive change in attitude.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0132.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: Chinese adults; north region; south region; dietary pattern; metabolic syndrome
Online: 31 October 2016 (02:51:27 CET)
The geographical environment, food culture, and dietary habits are substantially different between the southern and northern regions in China. We investigated the associations with dietary patterns and metabolic syndrome between Chinese adult from the southern and northern regions (North: 1249; South: 1849) using data from the Chinese Health and Nutrition 2009 survey. Respectively, four dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis in the two regions. Each dietary pattern of factor score was calculated for three groups by tertile (T1<T2<T3). In the northern region, the association between the Alcohol and Western pattern and the risk of abdominal obesity (OR: 1.31; 95%:1.01, 1.68), hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 1.35; 95%:1.05, 1.74), high fasting blood glucose (OR: 1.37; 95%: 1.05, 1.80), and hypertension (OR: 1.55; 95%: 1.45, 1.99) was increased. In the southern region, the Convenience Food pattern was positively associated with hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 1.53; 95%: 1.03, 2.26), low HDL-cholesterol (OR: 1.96; 95%: 1.12, 3.43), and metabolic syndrome (OR: 1.79; 95%: 1.03, 3.11). The Alcohol dietary pattern was positively associated with high fasting blood glucose (OR: 1.83, 95%: 1.13, 2.97). There are some dietary pattern differences in the two regions. It is necessary to consider the factors of food culture and food intake habits in order to provide nutrition education to Chinese individuals from different regions in the future.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0099.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: SISAL database; speleothem; cave; oxygen isotopes; North America; Central America; Caribbean
Online: 10 January 2019 (11:58:08 CET)
Speleothem oxygen isotope records from the Caribbean, Central, and North America reveal climatic controls that include orbital variation, deglacial forcing related to ocean circulation and ice sheet retreat, and the influence of local and remote sea surface temperature variations. Here, we review these records and the global climate teleconnections they suggest following the recent publication of the Speleothem Isotopes Synthesis and Analysis (SISAL) database. We find that low-latitude records generally reflect changes in precipitation, whereas higher latitude records are sensitive to temperature and moisture source variability. Tropical records suggest precipitation variability is forced by orbital precession and North Atlantic Ocean circulation driven changes in atmospheric convection on long timescales, and tropical sea surface temperature variations on short timescales. On millennial timescales, precipitation seasonality in southwestern North America is related to North Atlantic climate variability. Great Basin speleothem records are closely linked with changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. Although speleothems have revealed these critical global climate teleconnections, the paucity of continuous records precludes our ability to investigate climate drivers from the whole of Central and North America for the Pleistocene through modern. This underscores the need to improve spatial and temporal coverage of speleothem records across this climatically variable region.
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/preprints202311.0705.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: North Qinling orogen belt; Late Triassic; tectonic setting; petrogenesis; geochronology; syenitic porphyries
Online: 10 November 2023 (11:33:26 CET)
Precise determination of the tectonothermal events at the Qinling-Qilian junction is extremely significant for understanding the tectonic evolution of the eastern branch of the Paleo-Tethys. The Banpo porphyry outcrops in the northern margin of the North Qinling were chosen as the research subject, and its formation and tectonic environment were analyzed using Zircon U-Pb age estimation and geochemical studies. The results indicated the final stage of the Triassic orogeny and the closure phase of the Paleo-Tethys. The weighted average values of 206Pb/238U ages of samples from 3 sites of the Banpo porphyry corresponded to 213.4 ±2.1 Ma (MSWD = 0.56), 213.0 ±1.6 Ma (MSWD = 0.92), and 213.2 ±4.4 Ma (MSWD = 1.6). This study revealed that the Banpo porphyry was formed during the Late Triassic (Norian). The porphyry with high SiO2 and high alkali is typical A-type granite, which belongs to the weak peraluminous shoshonite series. All the samples are rich in low rare earth elements. However, the heavy rare earth elements are low, especially Eu, which exhibits a seagull-type right-leaning partitioning curve. In addition, based on the regional geological data, it can be concluded that the Banpo porphyry was formed during the transition period from a post-orogenic environment to a non-orogenic environment. This study indicated the closure of the Paleo-Tethys-Mianxian-Lveyang Ocean by the Late Triassic as well as the completion of the collision between the North China and Yangtze Blocks along the Qinling orogenic belt.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1792.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: phytoplankton; diversity; bioindicators; water quality indices; thermal impact; Pechorskoe Reservoir; European North
Online: 27 September 2023 (04:24:56 CEST)
Abstract: The species composition, the structure of phytoplankton communities, hydrochemical parameters in the artificial cooling reservoir of one of the largest thermal power plants (TPP) in the north-east of Europe in the Pechora River basin, Komi Republic were studied in the ice-open period in June and August. Altogether 81 species of algae and cyanobacteria was revealed with the last one predominated. Among cyanobacteria and algae (Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta), indicators of water quality were found. Assessment of water quality according to the species composition and abundance of indicator phytoplankton species showed that the waters of the Pechorskoe Reservoir can be at-tributed to the III class of water quality, beta-mesosaprobic self-purification zone, with water quality of satisfactory purity, retaining the ability to self-purify. An increase in the diversity of plankton communities and high values of their abundance and biomass under the influence of the warming effect of TPP water outlet were noted and revealed its spatial distribution over the reservoir surface. The plankton of the northern reservoir under the influence of warm waters indicates a slight in-crease in the trophic status of the studied water body, which is also confirmed by the data of hydrochemical analysis. Ecological mapping for the chemical and biological variables as well as pollution indices over the water area of the reservoir was carried out. The results obtained can be used to make forecasts of changes in the phototrophic biota of small northern water bodies under the conditions of climate change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0763.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: High Ba-Sr granitoids; Late Ordovician; Subduction; Proto-Tethys; North Qilian orogen
Online: 10 May 2023 (14:32:41 CEST)
The petrogenesis of high Ba-Sr granitoids provide a great significance to penetrate the Proto-Tethys evolution in the North Qilian orogenic belt. This paper presents a combination of zircon U-Pb age, whole-rock major and trace element concentrations, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data for Caowa high Ba-Sr dioritic intrusion from the eastern part of the North Qilian orogenic belt, aiming to decipher its petrogenesis and tectonic setting. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating yields an emplacement age of 447±3 Ma for the Caowa intrusion, indicating a magmatic activity of the late Ordovician. The Caowa quartz diorites contain moderate contents of SiO2, MgO, Mg# and resultant high concentrations of Na2O+K2O, Fe2O3T and Al2O3, displaying calc-alkaline and metaluminous characteristics. Their relatively elevated Ba (up to 1165 ppm) and Sr (561 to 646 ppm) contents, with obvious enrichment in LILEs (e.g. Ba、Th、U) and depletion in HFSEs (e.g. Nb、Ta、Ti) resemble those of typical high Ba-Sr granitoids in subduction zone. Together with enriched Sr-Nd isotopic compositons[(87Sr/86Sr)i=0.7082−0.7086, εNd(t)= -5.1 to -4.9], and relatively extensive εHf(t) values (-13.2 to +8.5) of zircons, it suggests that these high Ba-Sr quartz diorites were derived from a mixture magma source between the ancient crust materials and the enriched lithospheric mantle metasomatised by fluid was released from subducted oceanic crust or sediment. Taking into account the ophiolites, high pressure metamorphic rocks and arc magmatic rocks in the region, we infer that affected by the northward subduction of the Qilian Proto-Tethys ocean, the Laohushan oceanic crust of the North Qilian back-arc basin was subducted during the Late Ordovician and resulted in extensive metasomatism of lithospheric mantle by fluids derived from oceanic crust or sediments, and the Caowa high Ba-Sr quartz diorites generated in the process of crust-mantle interaction during the Late Ordovician.
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/preprints202306.0870.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: Southern Margin of North China Craton; Xiaoqinling; Huayangchuan; Uranium; Pegmatite; Paleoproterozoic; Mineralization age
Online: 13 June 2023 (03:31:13 CEST)
The Huayangchuan uranium deposit, located in the west of the Xiaoqinling belt on the southern margin of the North China Craton, is a polymetallic deposit dominated by U, Nb, Pb, and rare earth elements. The Huayangchuan uranium deposit, discovered in the 1950s, has long been known as a carbonatite-type uranium deposit. Recently, new geological work has found uranium mineralisation in many granitic pegmatite veins in the Huayangchuan deposit and adjacent areas. Here, we report a systematic investigation of the petrography, whole-rock geochemistry, zircon U-Pb ages, and in situ Lu-Hf isotopic characteristics of newly discovered U-rich granitic pegmatite veins in the west of Huayangchuan deposit. The petrological results showed that the lithology of the samples is equivalent to that of granite. The U-Pb ages of zircon were 1826.3 ± 7.9 and 1829 ± 11 Ma. Microscopically, the symbiotic characteristics of zircon, betafite, and uraninite exist in the intergranular fissures of K-feldspar and quartz, reflecting metallogenic phenomena in the rock formation process. Almost all whole-rock samples were rich in SiO2 (64.37–70.69 wt.%), total alkalis (K2O+Na2O = 8.50–10.30 wt.%), and Al2O3 (12.20–14.41 wt.%), but poor in Ti2O (0.23–0.73 wt.%), MgO (0.38–0.90 wt.%), P2O5 (0.14–0.83 wt.%), MnO (0.04–0.57 wt.%). Additionally, they showed enrichment of LILEs (such as Rb, Ba, Th, U, and K), depletion of HFSEs (such as Ta, Nb, P, Ti, and Hf), no alkaline dark minerals, and the characteristics are typical of intraplate A1-type granite. The A1-type granite displayed low zircon εHf(t) values (-19.42– -15.02) with zircon two-stage Hf model aged 3.10–2.76 Ga, indicating that the U-rich granitic pegmatite was derived predominantly from partial melting of the ancient continental crust (such as the early Taihua group formed in Archean-Neoarchean). Combined with the above results and regional geological data, the U-rich granitic pegmatite discovered in the Huayangchuan deposit was related to granite magma activity that formed in a post-collisional regime after the Luliang movement in the late Palaeoproterozoic. This study suggests that future uranium prospecting work in this area should focus on late Palaeoproterozoic U-rich granitic pegmatites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0043.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: North Sea region; offshore grid; offshore hydrogen; offshore wind; system integration; IESA-NS
Online: 5 May 2022 (15:45:35 CEST)
The North Sea Offshore Grid concept has been envisioned as a promising alternative to: 1) ease the integration of offshore wind and onshore energy systems, and 2) increase the cross-border capacity between the North Sea region countries at low cost. In this paper we explore the techno-economic benefits of the North Sea Offshore Grid using two case studies: a power-based offshore grid, where only investments in power assets are allowed (i.e. offshore wind, HVDC/HVAC interconnectors); and a power-and-hydrogen offshore grid, where investments in offshore hydrogen assets are also permitted (i.e. offshore electrolysers, new hydrogen pipelines and retrofitted natural gas pipelines). We compare these scenario results with a business as usual scenario, in which offshore wind is connected radially to the shore and no offshore grid is deployed. All scenarios are run with the IESA-NS model, without any specific technology ban and under open optimization. This paper also presents a novel methodology, combining Geographic Information Systems and Energy System Models, to cluster offshore spatial data and define meaningful offshore regions and offshore hub locations. This novel methodology is applied to the North Sea region to define nine offshore clusters taking into account offshore spatial claims, and identifying suitable areas for single-use and multi-use of space for renewable energy purposes. The scenario results show that the deployment of an offshore grid provides relevant cost savings, ranging from 1% to 4.1% of relative cost decrease (2.3 bn € to 8.7 bn €) in the power-based, and ranging from 2.8% to 7% of relative cost decrease (6 bn € to 14.9 bn €) in the power-and-hydrogen based. In the most extreme scenario (H2) an offshore grid permits to integrate 283 GW of HVDC connected offshore wind and 196 GW of HVDC meshed interconnectors. Even in the most conservative scenario (P1) the offshore grid integrates 59 GW of HVDC connected offshore wind capacity and 92 GW of HVDC meshed interconnectors. When allowed, the deployment of offshore electrolysis is considerable, ranging from 61 GW to 96 GW, with capacity factors of around 30%. Finally, we also find that, when imported hydrogen is available at 2 €/kg (including production and transport costs), large investments in an offshore grid are not optimal anymore. In contrast, at import costs over 4 €/kg imported hydrogen is not competitive.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0596.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: North Eurasia; crude oil; geochemistry; ICP-MS method; microelement composition; rare-earth elements
Online: 24 June 2021 (09:02:00 CEST)
Emerging of mass-spectroscopy with inductively-coupled plasma (ICP-MS) made possible to study the microelement composition of crude oil and its derivatives (with the limit of detection at the ppt level). We have studied the crude oil composition of some West Siberian and Tatarstan oilfields with the ICP-MS method to detect 50 rare, rare-earth, and other microelements. The elemental composition is reasonably comparable to their concentrations in ultrabasites whereas the contents of most of the elements are low to the limit. On the diagrams of rare-earth elements, one can see the prevalence of light lanthanides and positive europium anomaly. The study shows that crude oils have a specific microelement composition that stands out from other geological systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0368.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Sentinel-1; radar image processing; line-of-sight displacement; nuclear test; North Korea
Online: 17 February 2021 (10:12:50 CET)
Sentinel-1A/B radar remote sensing data were applied for the first time to determine the sixth nuclear test, its underground explosion h-bomb location and affected zone in North Korea, on September 3, 2017. Location of epicenters nuclear test were found according to line-of-sight displacement images via its maximum value. Line-of-sight displacement images were obtained by processing in the GMTSAR package in the VirtualBox virtual machine of the Linux Ubuntu 16.04 operation system. In this research, three scenes Sentinel-B data with descending orbits were considered, one after and two before the event (the nuclear test date) scene were used.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0525.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Ice Complex; Yedoma; organic carbon; inorganic carbon; total carbon; Batagay megaslump; North Yakutia
Online: 22 July 2020 (11:28:37 CEST)
The most massive and fast-eroding thaw slump of the Northern Hemisphere located in the Yana uplands of northern Yakutia was investigated to assess in detail the cryogenic inventory and carbon pools of two distinctive Ice Complex stratigraphic units and the uppermost cover deposits. Differentiating into modern and Holocene near-surface layers (active layer and shielding layer), highest total carbon contents were found in the active layer (18.7 kg m-2), while the shielding layer yielded much lower carbon content of 1.8 kg m-2. The late Pleistocene upper Ice Complex contained 10.4 kg m-2 total carbon, and the mid-Pleistocene lower Ice Complex 17.7 kg m-2. The proportion of organic carbon from total carbon content is well above 70% in all studied units with 94 % in the active layer, 73% in the shielding layer, 83% in the upper Ice Complex and 79% in the lower Ice Complex. Inorganic carbon is low in the overall structure of the deposits.
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/preprints202302.0164.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: coastal transformation; ecosystem services; transdisciplinarity; nature-based solutions; southern North Sea; Gute Küste Niedersachsen
Online: 9 February 2023 (11:17:26 CET)
Novel strategies in coastal protection are needed to cope with climate change-induced sea level rise. They aim at the sustainable development of coastal areas in light of an intensification and land use changes. A promising approach is the design of nature-based solutions (NbS), complementing the safety levels of technical infrastructures. However, NbS lack a widespread and large-scale implementation. To address this deficit, co-design concepts are needed that combine experiences from science and practice. This work presents and discusses the approach of a coast-specific real-world laboratory (RwL) addressing the inclusive design of ecosystem-based coastal protection. Strategies of RwLs are applied for the first time in a coastal context along the North Sea coastline in Germany. We found the concept of RwLs suitable for coastal transdisciplinary research, although adaptions in the spatial reference level or flexibility in location and time of experimentation are necessary. A profound actor analysis is indispensable to specify participatory processes and interaction levels. A criteria-based cooperative selection of RwL sites helps to reveal and solve conflicting interests to achieve trust between science and practice. Addressing site-specific characteristics and practitioners’ needs, our coastal RwL provides a mutual learning space to develop and test NbS to complement technical coastal protection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0440.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Scrub typhus; qRT PCR; Quantitative PCR; real time PCR; IgM ELISA; North-East India
Online: 27 May 2020 (07:51:25 CEST)
Scrub typhus is a life-threatening infectious disease and always creating a diagnostic dilemma in terms of rapid turnaround time and accuracy, qRT PCR can become a very good option to achieve the desired result with the molecular level of accuracy and boost up the rapid patient management. This study was performed to evaluate the performance of qRT PCR in comparison to commonly used IgM ELISA and Weil-Felix tests to diagnose scrub typhus, as well as to look for the demographic and clinical profile of the disease in North-East India. It was a hospital-based prospective study conducted in a tertiary care hospital of north-east India, over a period of 1 year, in which all the samples from suspected scrub typhus cases were screened by Weil-Felix test as per institute’s diagnostic protocol after which IgM ELISA for Scrub Typhus was performed. All the IgM positive samples and 20 highly suspected but ELISA negative samples were subjected to qRT PCR, targeting 56 kDa type-specific gene of O. tsutsugamushi. Statistical analysis was done by MS-Excel for Windows v2013® and MedCalc® v17.9 for Windows (MedCalc Software, Acacialaan 22, B-8400 Ostend, Belgium). In this study, we have successfully evaluated the performance of qRT PCR kit for diagnosis of scrub typhus. Out of 54 samples tested, 24 IgM ELISA positive samples and 3 IgM ELISA negative samples have shown the presence of bacterial DNA with quantification of DNA copies. It has also been observed that 21 out of 27 PCR positive samples (77.8%) were detected within the 1st 7 days of illness. All the demographic, as well as clinical data, were also analysed. The performance of the commercial qRT PCR kit used in our study is satisfactory, which provides the extra advantage of quantification of DNA copies and increases diagnostic accuracy within the 1st week of fever.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0111.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: smelting slags; multianalytical study; furnace operating conditions; Roman Period; Early Middle Age; North Spain
Online: 11 January 2020 (14:24:35 CET)
Oiola archeological site, located in the mining complex of La Arboleda (Biscay, North Spain) was an important iron smelting center from the Roman Period to the Early Middle Ages and even in more current times (19th-20th centuries). Tap-slags and some plano-convex slags were identified as smelting slags. Samples were analyzed by optical microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy coupled with electron-dispersive spectroscopy and Raman microspectroscopy to perform a mineralogical and textural characterization. Additionally, thermogravimetric and thermodiffraction analyses were carried out to determine furnace operating temperatures. The mineral assemblage reflects furnace cooling rates and temperatures and the addition of quartz as the main flux to decrease the melting temperature of the iron ore. The comparison of slags from the Roman Period and the Early Middle Age allows to observe changes in the pyrometallurgical process through time.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0067.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: sector coupling; energy system modelling; North Sea energy system; energy transition; open science; Oemof
Online: 6 November 2019 (14:03:54 CET)
Sector coupling is one of the emerging topics in recent energy and climate change policy discussions. It can play a significant role in creating the pathway of a renewable-based energy system in the European energy sector. The North Sea region is very likely to play a key role in the transition to a sustainable energy system. Though different energy modelling approaches allow a versatile use, they lead to the problem of an unclear understanding of specific aspects of sector coupling, and the relevance of existing tools and techniques to model and analyze such a system. This paper is aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of sector coupling and its incorporation in energy system models. Followed by a thorough literature review on sector coupling and energy system modelling, the paper outlines an approach to select an appropriate tool based on the specific rationales of the research. The paper also presents ‘Oemof’ as an open model tool to address the complex challenges of energy systems. The conclusions from the literature review provide a detailed understanding of the concept of sector coupling and indicate that it can be advantageous from the viewpoints of decarbonization, flexibility, network optimization, and system efficiency. To solve the coupling barriers, diversified techno-socio-economic circumstances should be taken into account through the use of model collaboration. It is also demonstrated how a list of appropriate tools for model collaboration can be picked up methodologically from an available wide range of models. Finally, ‘Oemof’ is hypothesized as a progressive tool to design a sector-coupled and renewable-based energy system in the North Sea region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0207.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: crop intensification; energy balance; North East Hill Region; organic farming; soil health; water productivity
Online: 18 July 2019 (09:06:21 CEST)
Organic farming has positive, impact on environment, soil health, and healthy food quality. Worldwide demand for organic foods is increasing by leaps and bounds in recent years. The present investigation was undertaken during 2014 to 2018 to evaluate the effect of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) co-culture with maize (Zea mays L.) on productivity enhancement over prevailing maize-fallow system, and to assess the feasibility of inclusion of short duration winter crops after maize with appropriate residue management practices on productivity and soil health. The experiment comprised of six cropping systems in main plot and three soil moisture conservation (SMC) measures options in sub plot. Results indicated that the inclusion of second crop in place of fallow and cowpea co-culture with maize increased average maize grain yield by 6.2 to 23.5% as compared to that of maize-fallow (MF). Use of maize stover mulch (MSM) + weed biomass mulch (WBM) increases maize grain yield by 19.1 and 6.5% over those of MSM and no mulch (NM), respectively. Various soil moisture conservation (SMC) measures had significant (p=0.05) effect on crop yields and water productivity. Double cropping system had significantly (p=0.05) higher amount of soil available NPK, soil organic carbon (SOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and dehydrogenase activity (DHA) at 0-15 cm and at 15-30 cm depth than those under MF. The SWC measures of MSM+WBM had significantly higher available N, SOC, and MBC by 5.5, 4.8 and 8.1% than those under NM, respectively. Correspondingly, soils under MSM and MSM+WBM had 2.24 and 2.99% lower bulk density (ρb) in 0-15 cm and 2.21 and 2.94% lower ρb in 15-30 cm than that of NM. The energy use efficiency (EUE) was significantly higher under MCV (7.90%) over rest of the cropping sequences. MSM+WBM and MSM recorded 25.1 and 16.6% higher net energy over NM, respectively. The net return (INR 159.99×103/ha) and B:C ratio (2.86) were significantly higher with MCV system followed by MCR cropping sequence. MSM+WBM had significantly higher net return (INR 109.44×103/h), B:C ratio (2.46) over those under MSM (INR 97.6×103/h) and NM (INR 78.61×103/h). Overall the cowpea co-culture with maize and inclusion of short cycle winter crops along with MSM+WBM in maize-based cropping systems was found productive in terms of crop and water, profitable, energy efficient and sustained the soil health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0186.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: tephra in marine sediments; Ash Zone I in North Atlantic; tephrochronology of Termination I
Online: 19 June 2019 (15:38:40 CEST)
Based on the geochemical analysis of the volcanic material from the sediment core AMK-340, central zone of the Reykjanes Ridge, we could detect two ash-bearing sediment units accumulated during the Termination I. They correlate to the Ash Zone I in the North Atlantic Late Quaternary sediments having an age of 12170-12840, within the Younger Dryas cold chronozone, and 13600-14540 years, within and Bølling-Allerød warm chronozone. The ash of the Younger Dryas unit is presented mostly by the mafic and persilicic material originated from the Icelandic volcanoes; Vedde Ash is presented in one sediment sample from this unit. The ash of the Bølling-Allerød unit is presented mostly by the mafic shards which are related to the basalts of the rift zone on the Reykjanes Ridge, having presumably the local origin. A detection of Vedde Ash helped to specify the timing of the previously reconstructed paleoceanographic changes for the Termination I in the point of study: a significant warming in the area could occur as early as 300 years prior to the end of the conventional Younger Dryas cold chronozone.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: blood-brain barrier; copper/iron homeostasis; neurodegenerative (Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Prion) disease; North Ronaldsay sheep
Online: 27 May 2019 (12:27:10 CEST)
The neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimers, Parkinsons, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntingdons) and the prion disorders, have in common a dysregulation of metalloprotein chemistry involving redox metals (Cu,Fe,Mn). The consequent oxidative stress gives rise to protein plaques and neuronal cell death. An equilibrium exists between the functional requirement of the brain for Cu and Fe and their destructive potential with the production of reactive oxygen species. The importance of the brain barrier is highlighted in regulating the import of these metals. Upregulation of key transporters occurs in foetal and neonatal life when brain metal requirement is high and is down-regulated in adult life when need is minimal. By contrast a neonatal mode of CTR1 upregulation persists in feral N.Ronaldsay sheep. This has led to the premise that metal regulation may return to the default setting in ageing with implications for neurodegenerative disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0263.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Humanities Keywords: Second World War; North Africa Campaign; Egypt; Cosmopolitanism; Imperial nostalgia; Colonial nostalgia; Collective memory
Online: 14 September 2018 (11:35:59 CEST)
The article addresses the function of (post)colonial nostalgia in a context of multidirectional memory (Rothberg 2009) in contemporary Europe. How can different cultural memories of the Second Word War be put into respectful dialogue with each other? The text is based on a contrapuntal reading (Said 1994) of British and Egyptian popular narratives, using a qualitative content analysis of 10 British tv documentary films about the North Africa Campaign, and data from qualitative interviews collected during ethnographic fieldwork in Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, during visits 2013--2015. The study highlights considerable differences between the British and Egyptian narratives, but also significant similarities regarding the use and function of nostalgia. In addition, the Egyptian narrative expresses a profound cosmopolitan nostalgia and a longing for what is regarded as Egypt’s lost, modern Golden Age, identified as the decades before the nation’s fundamental change from western-oriented monarchy to Nasser’s Arab nationalist military state. The common elements between the two national narratives indicate a possibly fruitful way to open up for a shared popular memory culture about the war years, including postcolonial aspects.
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/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/preprints202307.1160.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geography Keywords: Geographic information system; drainage Basins; morphometric analysis; hazard Degree; north railway; Wadi Malham; ALOS PALSAR
Online: 18 July 2023 (13:30:22 CEST)
The North Railway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) extends over vast areas, crossing various terrains, including valleys, sand veins, plateaus, and hills. Therefore, the Railway was designed and implemented to suit this environmental diversity under the highest safety standards. However, the Railway may be subject to hazards for various reasons. In general, the possibility of direct surface runoff disasters increases if there are residential areas and facilities within the boundaries of drainage basins. Therefore, these areas should be studied, and the degree of hazard in drainage basins should be accurately determined. Hence, this study analyzed the degree of risk of 14 drainage basins affecting the North Train railway within the Wadi Malham drainage basin, using the risk degree model with eight parameters that have hydrological indications to give an idea of the behavior of direct surface runoff and interfere with increasing the risk of direct surface runoff. Researchers found 28.57% of the total basins in the study area have high-risk basin overall score values, which are basins 6, 7, 13, and 14. It is recommended to estimate the rainfall depth during different return periods, analyze soil permeability and land use classification in the study area, and apply hydrological modeling of drainage basins, which contributes to estimating the volume and peak of direct surface runoff in such arid and semi-arid environments that do not contain hydrometric stations to monitor the runoff. .
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1383.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: Permian granitoids; Zircon U-Pb Geochronology; Geochemistry; Tectonic evolution; Northern Margin of the North China Craton
Online: 21 September 2023 (03:15:09 CEST)
As the largest accretionary orogen in the world, the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) has continuous juvenile crustal growth in the Phanerozoic. The northern margin of the North China Craton(NCC) and its adjacent area is the eastern segment of the CAOB, and is a key area to study the geological evolution of Paleo-Asian Ocean (PAO). In the Permian, the west of the northern margin of NCC belongs to a post-collision extensional environment, and the east belongs to a subduction stage. But, As a connecting area, the Permian evolution of PAO in the middle of northern margin of NCC has not been systematically studied. In order to fill the blank and understand the temporal and spatial continuous evolution process of PAO, this paper focused on the Permian granitic rocks in the Chifeng area, zircon U-Pb dating and the geochemical analysis of the whole rock main and trace elements were conducted in order to build a granite chronological framework, discuss the genesis and tectonic background of the granite rocks as well as the magma-tectonic evolution history in the Chifeng area. Zircon U-Pb dating results of 8 samples are 269±1 Ma, 268±3 Ma, 260±4 Ma, 260±1 Ma, 260±1 Ma, 255±2 Ma, 254±2 Ma, 256±1Ma, which showed that the Permian granitic rocks had undergone three stages of emplacement: (1) The monzogranite and syenite (294-284 Ma); (2) The monzogranite (269-260Ma) and (3) The monzogranite and syenite (256-254Ma). The Middle Permian magmatism (269-260Ma) was represented by the monzogranite assemblages with different grain sizes. The geochemical characteristics showed that they were high-potassium calc-alkaline-potassium dossonite series of granites formed in compressional environment, indicating there was a collision between the Xing’an-Mongolian Orogenic Belt (XMOB) and the North China Craton (NCC). During the Late Permian-Early Triassic (256-248Ma), the granites in the Chifeng area are dominated by the A-type and I-type granites of high-potassium calc-alkaline series formed under an extensional environments, which constituted typical "bimodal" rock assemblage combined with the coeval basic rocks, suggesting the study area was in an extensional environment where the subducting slab is fragmented during the collision between the XMOB and the NCC. According to emplacement time and occurrence location, the plutons are interpreted to have been generated by the subduction-collision of the Paleo-Asian oceanic crust beneath the NCC. This study provides strong evidence for Permian tectonic evolution and the characterization of the eventual closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean in the Chifeng City at the northern margin of the NCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1586.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Rain gauge; observations; satellite-based precipitation; spatio-temporal; TMPA; CHIRPS; ARC2; and North Darfur State; Sudan
Online: 23 May 2023 (05:36:57 CEST)
Accurate rainfall measurement is vital when investigating spatial and temporal precipitation variability at different scales. However, there are many regions around the world, such as North Darfur State in Sudan, where ground-based observations are few. Satellite-based precipitation products can fill such regions' spatial and temporal rainfall data gaps. Six satellite rainfall prod-ucts, namely the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA), African Rainfall Climatology Version 2 (ARC2.0), Climate Hazards Group In-frared Precipitation with Station Data (CHIRPS2.0), the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurements (GPM) Final Run v 6 (GPM IMERG6), Precipitation Estima-tion from Remote Sensing Information using Artificial Neural Networks-Climate Data Record (PERSIANN-CDR), and the Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite and ground-based observations (TAMSAT) v3.1 were evaluated to assess their accuracy in estimating rainfall amounts variability trends in the study area. The global-based satellite rainfall products were assessed at monthly and annual time scales by applying a point-to-pixel comparison with ground-based rain gauge data for the period 2000–2019. Based on the overall statistical results at monthly and temporal yearly scales, five satellite precipitation products (TMPA, CHIRPS, GPM IMERG6, PERSIANN-CDR, and TAMSATv3.1) overestimated rainfall amounts by values ranging from 1.49% to 82.69%. In contrast, the ARC2 product underestimated rainfall amounts by values ranging from-16.9% to-20.25%. The TAMSATv3.1, CHIRPS, and TMPA performed relatively better, showing stronger correlations and higher values of Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. This study showed that the TAMSATv3.1 and CHIRPS products could reasonably estimate rainfall amounts in the North Darfur State.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0247.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Chemometrics; Wastewater; Hydrochemical Characterization; North Africa; Environmental Science; Groundwater; Data Analysis; Time Series; Multivariate Analysis; Statistics
Online: 14 November 2022 (09:25:04 CET)
Drinking water quality is a major concern, especially in African countries. This manuscript aims to analyze the chemical composition of Lioua’s groundwater in order to determine the geological processes influencing the chemical elements' composition and origin. Therefore, chemometrics techniques such as multivariate statistical analysis (MSA) and time series methods (TSM) are used. Indeed, MSA includes a component analysis (PCA) and a cluster analysis (CA), while au-tocorrelation analysis (AA) supplemented by simple spectral density analysis (SDA) is used for TMS. PCA displays three main factors explaining a total variance (TV) of 85.01 %. Factors 1, 2, and 3 are 68.72%, 11.96%, and 8.89 % of TV, respectively. In the CA, three groups were controlled by TDS and EC. G1 reveals a close association between SO42−, K+, Ca2+, and TDS; G2 reveals a close association between Na+, Cl−, Mg2+, and EC; G3 shows the dissociation of bicarbonates HCO3− and NO3− from other chemical elements. AA shows a linear interrelationship of EC, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl−, and SO42−. However, NO3− and HCO3− indicate uncorrelated characteristics with other parameters. For SDA, the correlograms of Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl−, and SO42− have a similar trend with EC. None-theless, pH, Ca2+, HCO3− and NO3− exhibit multiple peaks related to the presence of several dis-tinct cyclic mechanisms. The methods enabled the authors to conclude that the geochemical processes influencing the chemical composition are: (i) dissolution of evaporated mineral depos-its, (ii) water-rock interaction, and (iii) evaporation process. In addition, Groundwater exhibits two bipolar characteristics, one recorded with negative and positive charges on pH and Ca+ and another recorded only with negative charges on HCO3− and NO3−. On the other hand, SO42-, K+, Ca2+, and TDS are the major predominant elements in the groundwater’s chemical composition. The major participation of salts and chlorides is in the electrical conductivity of water. The dominance of the lithological factor in the overall mineralization of the Plio-Quaternary surface aquifer waters. The origins of HCO3− and NO3− are different. Indeed, carbonated for HCO3- has a carbonate origin, whereas NO3– has an anthropogenic origin. The salinity was affected by Mg2+, SO42-, Cl-, Na+, K+, and EC. Ca2+, HCO3− and NO3− are resulted from human activity fertilizers, the carbonate facies outcrops, and domestic sewage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0570.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Household solid waste; Dominican Republic; separation at source; Organic solid waste, Household survey; Cibao; North region.)
Online: 30 November 2021 (12:56:26 CET)
One of the biggest problems that the Dominican Republic has had in recent decades is the efficient management of solid waste produced by the population. This problem has worsened in recent years due to the decrease in available areas for the construction of sanitary landfills, the lack of recycling culture in the population, the deficiency in waste collection, and the scarce legal controls aimed at preserving water and air and soil, among other factors. The objective of this study was to explore the management of solid waste by the population and the municipality of Puñal, province of Santiago, to evaluate and analyze the situation and generation of solid waste, municipal solid waste management services, and the attitudes of the population regarding recycling projects and waste management, to evaluate the viability and sustainability of the use organic waste for energy generation. A total of 275 households from 29 localities in the municipality of Puñal were surveyed, which allowed for a significant population sample. According to the results obtained, the most significant type of waste produced by families is organic waste, followed by plastic waste and paper. Of the total organic waste produced in the municipality, 53% of solid waste is disregarded through the municipal waste collection system, while 47% is used as plant fertilizers or animal feed. On the other hand, most households receive the municipal waste collection service and pay for this service. The results of our research show that the implementation of an energy production system based on organic waste would be viable in the municipality of Puñal. However, a more efficient waste collection system would be necessary and the development of programs and projects that allow all households to participate in the system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0302.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Gender And Sexuality Studies Keywords: Africa/Ghana; climate change; farming/farmers; food security; gender inequality; global South/North; hunger; justice; land
Online: 24 June 2020 (14:31:37 CEST)
Can investing in women’s agriculture increase productivity? This paper argues that it can. We assess climate impacts and gender bias on women’s production in the global South and North and challenge the male model of agricultural development to argue further that women’s farming approaches can be more sustainable. Level-based analysis (global, regional, local) draws on literature review, including authors’ published longitudinal field research in Ghana and the United States. Women farmers are shown to be undervalued and to work harder, with fewer resources, for less compensation; gender bias challenges are shared globally while economic disparities differentiate; breaches of distributive, gender, and intergenerational justices as well as compromise of food sovereignty affect women everywhere. We conclude that investing in women’s agriculture needs more than standard approaches of capital and technology investment. Effective ‘investment’ would include systemic interventions into agricultural policy, governance, education, and industry; be directed at men as well as women; and use gender metrics, e.g. quotas, budgets, vulnerability and impacts assessments, to generate assessment reports and track gender parity in agriculture. Increasing women’s access, capacity, and productivity cannot succeed without men’s awareness and proactivity. Systemic change can increase productivity and sustainability.
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/preprints202204.0086.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Flood hazard; CaMa-Flood; Flood Map Viewer; Floodplain mapping; Flood risk; North American Regional Reanalysis; Property exposure
Online: 11 April 2022 (03:35:28 CEST)
Flood events and their associated damages have escalated significantly in the last few decades. To add to the gruesome situation, many reports and studies warn that flood risk would aggravate significantly in future periods due to significant alterations in the climate patterns and socio-economic dynamics. Floodplain mapping is looked upon as a viable option to tackle this global issue as it provides both quantitative and qualitative information on flood dynamics. Moreover, with the increasing availability of global data and enhancement in computational simulations, it has become easier to simlate flooding patterns at large scales. This study deter-mines the usability of publicly available datasets in capturing flood hazards over Canada. Run-off data set from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), along with a few other rele-vant inputs are fed to CaMa-Flood, a robust global hydrodynamic model to generate flooding patterns for 1 in 100 and 1 in 200-yr return period events over Canada . The simulated maps are compared and validated with the existing maps of a few flood-prone regions in Canada, thereby establishing their performance over both regional and country-scale. Later, the simulated flood-plain maps are used in conjunction with property related information at 34 cities (within the top 100 populous cities in Canada) to determine the degree of exposure due to flooding in 1991, 2001, and 2011. The results indicate that around 80 percent of inundated spots belong to high and very-high hazard classes in a 200-yr event, which is roughly 4 percent more than simulated for 100-yr event. NARR derived floodplain maps perform very well while compared over the six flood-prone regions. While analyzing the exposure of properties to flooding, we notice an in-crease in the number during the last three decades, with the maximum rise observed in Toronto, followed by Montreal, and Edmonton. To disseminate the extensive flood-related information, a web-based public tool, Flood Map Viewer (http://www.floodmapviewer.com/) is developed. The development of the tool was motivated by the commitment of the Canadian government to provide $63 M over the next three years for the completion of flood maps for higher-risk areas. The study reaches out to demonstrate how publicly available datasets can be utilized with a lesser degree of uncertainty in representing flooding patterns over large regions. The flood re-lated information derived from the study can be used along with vulnerability for quantifying flood risk, which will help in developing appropriate pathways for resilience building for long-term sustainable benefits.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: global learning; global learning for sustainable development; South/North perspectives; sustainability; sustainable development; education for sustainable development
Online: 24 September 2020 (07:59:39 CEST)
Despite continued efforts by educators, UN declarations and numerous international agreements, progress is still limited in handling major global challenges such as ecosystem collapse, accelerating climate change, poverty and inequity. The capacity to collaborate globally on addressing these issues remains weak. This systematic review of research on global learning for sustainable development (GLSD) aims to clarify the diverse directions research on GLSD has taken, to present the historical development of the research area, and highlight emerging research issues. The review summarises key findings of the English language literature in the period 1994-2020 identified with the search terms “global learning” and “sustainable development”, sustainability or GLSD, respectively. The review documented a gradually growing knowledge base, mostly authored by scholars located in the global North. Conclusions point to what we might achieve if we could learn from one another in new ways, moving beyond Northern-centric paradigms. It is also time to re-evaluate core assumptions that underlie education for sustainable development more generally, such as a narrow focus on formal learning institutions. The review provides a benchmark for future reviews of research on GLSD, reveals the emerging transformative structure of this transdisciplinary field, and offers reference points for further research
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0081.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Dryophytes immaculatus; Dryophytes suweonensis; Dryophytes flaviventris; Yellow sea; North East Asia; threat; amphibian; recommendation IUCN Red List
Online: 5 July 2020 (15:17:27 CEST)
Threat assessment is important to prioritize species conservation projects and planning. The taxonomic resolution regarding the status of the “Dryophytes immaculatus group” and the description of a new species in the Republic of Korea resulted in a shift in ranges and population sizes. Thus, reviewing the IUCN Red List status of the three species from the group: D. immaculatus, D. suweonensis and D. flaviventris and recommending an update is needed. While the three species have similar ecological requirements and are distributed around the Yellow sea, they are under contrasting anthropological pressure and threats. Here, based on the literature available, I have applied all IUCN Red List criteria and tested the fit of each species in each criteria to recommend listing under the adequate threat level. This resulted in the recommendation of the following categories: Near Threatened for D. immaculatus, Endangered following the criteria C2a(i)b for D. suweonensis and Critically Endangered following the criteria E for D. flaviventris. All three species are declining, mostly because of landscape changes as a result of human activities, but the differences in range, population dynamics and already extirpated sub-populations result in different threat levels for each species. Dryophytes flaviventris is under the highest threat category mostly because of its limited range, segregated into two sub-populations and several known historical sub-populations are now extirpated. Immediate actions for the conservation of this species are required. Dryophytes suweonensis is present in both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of Korea and is under lower ecological pressure in DPR Korea. Dryophytes immaculatus is present in the People’s Republic of China, on a very large range despite a marked decline. I recommend joint efforts for the conservation of these species.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: radionuclide; tracer; data collection; antimony 125 (125Sb), tritium (3H), dispersion; modelling; English Channel; North Sea; Biscay Bay
Online: 24 January 2020 (16:03:50 CET)
Significant amounts of anthropogenic radionuclides were introduced in ocean waters following nuclear atmospheric tests and development of the nuclear industry. Dispersion of artificial dissolved radionuclides has been extensively measured for decades over the European continental shelf. The radionuclide measurement and release fluxes databases provided here represent an exceptional opportunity to validate dispersion hydrodynamic models. MARS hydrodynamic model have been applied at different scales to reproduce in realistic conditions the measured dispersion. Specific methods have been developed to obtain qualitative and quantitative results and perform model/measurement comparisons. Model validation concerns short to large scales with dedicated surveys following the dispersion: it was performed within two and three dimensions framework and from minutes and hours following a release up to several years. Results are presented concerning the dispersion of radionuclides in marine systems deduced from standalone measurements, or according to model comparisons. It allows characterising dispersion over the continental shelf, pathways, transit times, budgets and source terms. This review exhibits the main features retained from the point of view of radiotracers, hydrodynamic models and model/measurement methods with perspectives of applications in other areas or oceanographic domains.
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.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0166.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: spatiotemporal database; spatial analysis; seasonal precipitation; spearman correlation coefficient; pacific decadal oscillation; southern oscillation index; north atlantic oscillation
Online: 16 January 2020 (10:59:53 CET)
Temporary changes in precipitation may lead to sustained and severe drought or massive floods in different parts of the world. Knowing variation in precipitation can effectively help the water resources decision-makers in water resources management. Large-scale circulation drivers have a considerable impact on precipitation in different parts of the world. In this research, the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on seasonal precipitation over Iran was investigated. For this purpose, 103 synoptic stations with at least 30 years of data were utilized. The Spearman correlation coefficient between the indices in the previous 12 months with seasonal precipitation was calculated, and the meaningful correlations were extracted. Then the month in which each of these indices has the highest correlation with seasonal precipitation was determined. Finally, the overall amount of increase or decrease in seasonal precipitation due to each of these indices was calculated. Results indicate the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), NAO, and PDO have the most impact on seasonal precipitation, respectively. Also, these indices have the highest impact on the precipitation in winter, autumn, spring, and summer, respectively. SOI has a diverse impact on winter precipitation compared to the PDO and NAO, while in the other seasons, each index has its special impact on seasonal precipitation. Generally, all indices in different phases may decrease the seasonal precipitation up to 100%. However, the seasonal precipitation may increase more than 100% in different seasons due to the impact of these indices. The results of this study can be used effectively in water resources management and especially in dam operation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0022.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Physical Chemistry Keywords: North Wales; slate mining industry; slate aggregate; secondary aggregate; transportation cost; low quality waste material; physical and chemical properties
Online: 2 October 2019 (06:28:03 CEST)
The slate aggregate has long been perceived as a substandard, low quality waste material with its physical and chemical properties not being competitive with those of the primary aggregates. It is assumed that the slate aggregate particles are not strong, that is not durable and will not compact. This research aims to address those claims and review the available literature on the performance of the slate aggregate. The review inaugurates by analysing the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of slate, before expanding into a literature review of laboratory testing’s on the effect of moisture content on density, compaction and layer thickness of slate aggregate.The paper reviews case studies of construction projects in North Wales, where the slate aggregate has been used for general fill and road building for many years. Some of the case studies include the A55 coastal road and duelling of the A5 in Anglesey (WRAP, 2004), where slate aggregate was successfully used as sub-base. The paper also investigates why many civil engineers are reluctant to use the slate aggregate and regard the material as sub-standard, flaky aggregate. The research paper reviews the potential usages and various products the slate aggregate is suitable for and satisfies the requested standards. The final topic reviewed is the cost of transporting slate aggregate compared with the cost of transport for primary aggregate and the introduction of the Primary Aggregates Tax (Parliament of the United Kingdom, 2011). The last topic includes a critical analyses of the claims that the slate aggregate a commercially viable construction material despite its remote location (Woodward et al, 2004). The transportation cost and the supply chain complexities must be evaluated prior to considering the long-term sustainability of the product (Radanliev et al1-6, 2014, 2015, 2016).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0102.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Paleontology Keywords: global warming and environmental change; Late Quaternary paleoenvironments; Termination I; sea-water paleotemperature; marine microfossils; North Atlantic; stable isotopes
Online: 6 August 2018 (08:56:58 CEST)
The micropaleontological study (radiolarians and foraminifera) of the sediment core AMK-340, Reykjanes Ridge, North Atlantic, combined with the radiocarbon dating and Oxygen/Carbon isotopic record, provided data for the reconstruction of the summer paleotemperature on the water depth of 100 m, and paleoenvironments during the Termination I in the age interval of 14.5–8 ka. The response of the main microfossil species on the paleoceanographic changes within the Bølling-Allerød (BA) warming, the Younger Dryas (YD) cold event, and final transition to the warm Holocene was different. The BA warming was well reflected in the radiolarian and benthic but not planktic foraminiferal record. The high abundances of the cold-water radiolarian species Amphimelissa setosa as the Greenland/Iceland Sea indicator marked a cooling at the end of the BA and within the start of the YD at 13.2–12.3 ka. The micropaleontological and isotopic data together with the paleotemperature estimates for the Reykjanes Ridge at 60° N document that, after the warm BA, the middle YD ca. 12.5–12.2 ka was the next significant step toward the Holocene warming. Start of the Holocene interglacial conditions was reflected in abundant occurrence of the microfossils being indicators of the open boreal North Atlantic environments and lower oxygen isotope values indicating increasing warmth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0186.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: Air pollution; coal-fired thermal power plant; oil thermal power plant; geocoded; lung cancer; bladder cancer; North-eastern Italy
Online: 20 June 2017 (08:50:26 CEST)
This study investigated the risk of lung and bladder cancers in people residing in proximity of a coal-oil-fired thermal power plant in an area of north-eastern Italy, covered by a population-based cancer registry. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) by sex, age, and histology were computed according to tertiles of residential exposure to benzene, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particular matter, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) among 1076 incident cases of lung and 650 cases of bladder cancers. In men of all ages and in women under 75 years of age, no significant associations were observed. Conversely, in women aged >75 years significantly increased risks of lung and bladder cancers were related to high exposure to benzene (IRR for highest vs. lowest tertile: 2.00 for lung cancer and 1.94 for bladder cancer) and NO2 (IRR: 1.72 for lung cancer; and 1.94 for bladder cancer). In these women, a 1.71-fold higher risk of lung cancer was also related to a high exposure to SO2. The findings of this descriptive study indicated that air pollution may have a role with regard to the risk of lung and bladder cancers, limited to women aged ≥ 75 years. Such increased risk warrants further analytical investigations.
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/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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0520.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: monsoon; North American Monsoon; precipitation; Sonoran Desert; Gulf of California; phenology; climate change; climatology; El Niño; ENSOsea surface temperature; Sonora; Arizona
Online: 8 November 2023 (07:53:21 CET)
The North American Monsoon (NAM) in southern Arizona continues to be a topic of interest to ecologists, climatologists, and citizens as well as the triggers and characteristics of plant growth and reproduction in relation to the onset of the monsoon. In researching the onset of the North American Monsoon (NAM) in south-central Arizona relative to the phenology of Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) and other Sonoran Desert species we identified interesting and previously unreported features in the NAM rainfall data. We present preliminary descriptive analyses of (1) monsoon onset as measured by the first day after June 1 with precipitation ≥10 mm (1990-2022), (2) first day of year warming of Sea Surface temperatures (SST) in the Gulf of California to ≥29º C measured across five open-sea blocks (mean 9452 km2), and (3) El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) anomaly with a threshold of +/- 0.5º C for the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) in the Niño 3.4 region (5ºN-5ºS, 120º-170ºW). Three patterns emerge from our analyses: (1) The day of the year of monsoon onset occurs approximately 12 days earlier in the year from 1990-2022 in south-central Arizona. (2) There appears to be a signal in the rainfall onset data very roughly approximating cycles of ENSO Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) anomalies in Niño region 3.4. (3) Gulf of California sea surface temperature (SST) and monsoon onset data support an expected link between the timing of SST warming and monsoon rainfall onset.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0396.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: ensemble modelling; seafloor mapping; sediment change analysis; seafloor sediment distribution; North Sea; seafloor classification; acoustic mapping; small sample size; ensemble map
Online: 17 May 2021 (16:58:50 CEST)
Recent studies on seafloor mapping have presented different modelling methods for the automatic classification of seafloor sediments. However, most of these studies have applied these models to seafloor data with appropriate number of ground-truth samples, which raises the question whether these methods are applicable to studies with smaller numbers of ground-truth data. In this study, we aim to address this issue by conducting sediment class-specific predictions using ensemble modelling to map areas with limited or without ground-truth data and combined with hydro-acoustic datasets. The resulting class-specific maps were then assembled into one map, where the most probable class was assigned to the appropriate location. Our approach was able to predict sediment classes without bias to the class with more ground-truth data and produced reliable seafloor sediment distributions maps that can be used for seafloor monitoring. Sediment shifts of a heterogenous seafloor in the Sylt Outer Reef, German North Sea were also assessed to understand the sediment dynamics in the area. The analyses of sediment shifts showed that the western area of the Sylt Outer Reef is highly active, and the results of the analyses assisted in providing recommendations on future seafloor monitoring activities.
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/preprints202209.0186.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: mineral dust; north African dust; Saharan dust; Bodélé depression; bias correction; machine learning; aerosol optical depth; chemistry-transport model; aerosols; particulate matter
Online: 14 September 2022 (03:02:59 CEST)
We develop a machine learning (ML) approach for improving the accuracy of the horizontal dis-tribution of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) simulated by the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model over Northern Africa using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD satellite observations. These observations are used during the training phase of the ML method for deriving a regional bias correction of AODs simulated by CHIMERE. The results are daily maps of regional bias corrected AODs with full horizontal coverage over Northern Africa. We test four types of ML models: multiple linear regression (MLR), random forests (RF), gradi-ent boosting (XGB), and multiple layer perceptron networks (NN). We perform comparisons with satellite and independent ground-based observations of AOD that are not used in the training phase. They suggest that all models have overall comparable performances with a slight advantage of the RF model which expresses less spatial artifacts. While the method slightly underestimates the very high AODs, it significantly reduces biases and absolute errors, and clearly enhances linear correlations with respect to independent observations. This im-provement for deriving the AOD is particularly relevant for high dust pollution regions like the Sahara Desert, which dramatically lack ground-based measurements for validations of chemis-try-transport modeling which currently remains challenging and imprecise.