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Carbon Footprint and the Environment

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 17454

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Agrochemistry and Environment, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche Edificio Alcudia, Avenida de la Universidad s/n, 03202 Elche, Spain
Interests: soil pollution; water pollution; wastes; heavy metals

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Sustainability, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, Giannou Kranidioti 89, Latsia, Nicosia 2231, Cyprus
Interests: strategic planning development; circular economy; zero-waste approach; waste prevention; circular and bio-economy and industrial symbiosis; management and treatment of solid waste; end of waste criteria; hazardous waste; environmental impact and environmental risk assessment analysis; life cycle assessment; sustainable development goals
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will be centred on carbon footprint as a way to measure the environmental implications and related management and policies. We call for papers focused on issues such as ways to measure carbon footprint, carbon footprint and land management, carbon footprint and mitigation of climate change, and carbon footprint and environmental pollutants. However, articles related to carbon and environmental relations are also welcomed as these can be the basement of future calculation of carbon footprint.

Human health is closely related to the environment’s health directly and indirectly. A carbon footprint is one way to establish a relationship between man and our environment and to quantify the effects of human activities. However, new attention should be given not only to greenhouse gas emissions but also to solid deposits of materials and wastes, pollutants and management activities, and their relation to the carbon content in the environment. A carbon footprint is not only a consequence of energy consumption and gases emission. To reduce our carbon footprint, we have to pay attention to soil management, land occupation and planning, waste management, and the presence of pollutants and derived substances. All of them have their role in the climate crisis and anthropogenic disasters, soil, air and water pollution, and human health risk.

Scientists, researchers, and policy managers’ contributions are welcome. It is in our mind to translate information from several points to the scientific community, policymakers, and citizens in this Special Issue.

Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Prof. Dr. María Belén Almendro-Candel
Prof. Dr. Antonis A. Zorpas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Prof. Dr. Antonis A. Zorpas
Prof. Dr. María Belén Almendro-Candel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • carbon footprint
  • carbon pools account
  • land management and soil carbon
  • mitigation of climate change reducing carbon footprint
  • organic and inorganic pollutants and their relation with carbon cycle
  • sea and carbon footprint and GHGs emissions

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 2152 KiB  
Article
N-Source Determines Barley Productivity, Nutrient Accumulation, and Grain Quality in Cyprus Rainfed Agricultural Systems
by Michalis Omirou, Dionysia Fasoula, Marinos Stylianou, Antonis A. Zorpas and Ioannis M. Ioannides
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 3943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053943 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region is already experiencing the negative effects of increased temperatures and the increase in prolonged drought periods. The use of organic fertilization could be a valuable tool to meet the main challenges of climate change and [...] Read more.
The Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region is already experiencing the negative effects of increased temperatures and the increase in prolonged drought periods. The use of organic fertilization could be a valuable tool to meet the main challenges of climate change and maintain the productivity, quality, and sustainability of rainfed agricultural ecosystems. In the current study, we compare the effect of manure, compost, and chemical fertilization (NH4NO3) on barley grain and straw yield in a field study for three consecutive growing seasons. The hypothesis that the barley productivity, nutrient accumulation, and grain quality remain similar among the different nutrient management strategies was tested. The results showed that both growing season and type of nutrient source significantly affected barley grain and straw yield (F6,96 = 13.57, p < 0.01). The lowest productivity was noticed in the non-fertilized plots while chemical and organic fertilization exhibited similar grain yield, ranging from 2 to 3.4 t/ha throughout the growing seasons. For straw, the use of compost had no effect on the yield in any of the growing seasons examined. The use of manure and compost had a significant effect on grain macro- and micronutrient content but this was highly related to growing season. Principal component analysis (PCA) clearly demonstrated the discrimination of the different type of fertilization on barley performance during the course of the study, while the application of compost was highly associated with an increase in micronutrients in grain samples. Furthermore, structural equational modeling (SEM) showed that both chemical and organic fertilization had a direct positive effect on macro- (r = 0.44, p < 0.01) and micronutrient (r = 0.88, p < 0.01) content of barley grain and a positive indirect effect on barley productivity through N accumulation in grain (β = 0.15, p = 0.007). The current study showed that barley grain and straw yield was similar between manure and NH4NO3 treatments, while compost exhibited a residual positive effect causing an increase in grain yield during the growing season. The results highlight that N fertilization under rainfed conditions is beneficial to barley productivity through its indirect effects on N accumulation in grain and straw, while it improves grain quality through the increased accumulation of micronutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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16 pages, 2386 KiB  
Article
LCA of Barley Production: A Case Study from Cyprus
by Marinos Stylianou, Iliana Papamichael, Irene Voukkali, Michail Tsangas, Michalis Omirou, Ioannis M. Ioannides and Antonis A. Zorpas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032417 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2345
Abstract
Greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) produced by agriculture contribute to global warming and climate change. Various practices followed by farmers in different environmental conditions contribute to the increase in the phenomena, and there is a need for immediate measures. [...] Read more.
Greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) produced by agriculture contribute to global warming and climate change. Various practices followed by farmers in different environmental conditions contribute to the increase in the phenomena, and there is a need for immediate measures. The current study examines the environmental impact of barley production under rain-fed conditions in Cyprus. For this, four different nutrient management scenarios were investigated in order to evaluate the environmental performance of crop production, namely: (1) Nitrogen (20%), Phosphorous (20%), Potassium (10%); (2) Nitrogen (20%), Phosphorous (20%), Potassium (10%) and manure; (3) Nitrogen (25%), Phosphorous (10%), Potassium (0%); and (4) Nitrogen (25%), Phosphorous (10%), Potassium (0%) and manure. Data were collected from two different areas of Cyprus (Nicosia and Larnaca) through on-site visits and questionnaires. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used as a method to quantify environmental impacts which were categorized into six impact categories: (i) acidification potential (AP), (ii) eutrophication potential (EP), (iii) global warming potential (GWP), (iv) ozone depletion potential (ODP), (v) photochemical, ozone creation potential (POCP), and (vi) terrestrial ecotoxicity (TAETP). LCA was used with system boundaries from field to harvest and a functional unit (FU) of one bale of hay. Research results showed that the addition of manure increased values in all impact categories. Comparing scenarios without manure (1 and 3) and with manure (2 and 4), the main process which contributed to GWP was field preparation, which resulted in 3 t CO2-Eq∙FU−1 and 46.96 t CO2-Eq∙FU−1, respectively. Furthermore, the highest contribution of sub-processes to GWP (kg CO2-Eq∙FU−1) was machinery maintenance (scenarios 2 and 4). The potential to reduce environmental impacts from barley and moreover, to mitigate the footprint of the agriculture sector in Cyprus is proposed by changing existing practices such as decreasing fuel consumption by agricultural machinery, and monitoring fertilizing and seeding. Conclusively, the carbon footprint of barley can be decreased through the improvement of nutrient management and cropping practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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18 pages, 2632 KiB  
Article
Conventional and Zero Tillage with Residue Management in Rice–Wheat System in the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Impact on Thermal Sensitivity of Soil Organic Carbon Respiration and Enzyme Activity
by Asik Dutta, Ranjan Bhattacharyya, Raimundo Jiménez-Ballesta, Abir Dey, Namita Das Saha, Sarvendra Kumar, Chaitanya Prasad Nath, Ved Prakash, Surendra Singh Jatav and Abhik Patra
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010810 - 01 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
The impact of global warming on soil carbon (C) mineralization from bulk and aggregated soil in conservation agriculture (CA) is noteworthy to predict the future of C cycle. Therefore, sensitivity of soil C mineralization to temperature was studied from 18 years of a [...] Read more.
The impact of global warming on soil carbon (C) mineralization from bulk and aggregated soil in conservation agriculture (CA) is noteworthy to predict the future of C cycle. Therefore, sensitivity of soil C mineralization to temperature was studied from 18 years of a CA experiment under rice–wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). The experiment comprised of three tillage systems: zero tillage (ZT), conventional tillage (CT), and strip tillage (ST), each with three levels of residue management: residue removal (NR), residue burning (RB), and residue retention (R). Cumulative carbon mineralization (Ct) in the 0–5 cm soil depth was significantly higher in CT with added residues (CT-R) and ZT with added residues (ZT-R) compared with the CT without residues (CT-NR). It resulted in higher CO2 evolution in CT-R and ZT-R. The plots, having crop residue in both CT and ZT system, had higher (p < 0.05) Van’t-Hoff factor (Q10) and activation energy (Ea) than the residue burning. Notably, micro-aggregates had significantly higher Ea than bulk soil (~14%) and macro-aggregates (~40%). Aggregate-associated C content was higher in ZT compared with CT (p < 0.05). Conventional tillage with residue burning had a reduced glomalin content and β-D-glucosidase activity than that of ZT-R. The ZT-R improved the aggregate-associated C that could sustain the soil biological diversity in the long-run possibly due to higher physical, chemical, and matrix-mediated protection of SOC. Thus, it is advisable to maintain the crop residues on the soil surface in ZT condition (~CA) to cut back on valuable C from soils under IGP and similar agro-ecologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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24 pages, 5078 KiB  
Article
General Mapping of the Environmental Performance in Climate Change Mitigation of Spanish Universities through a Standardized Carbon Footprint Calculation Tool
by Antonio Guerrero-Lucendo, Fuensanta García-Orenes, Jose Navarro-Pedreño and David Alba-Hidalgo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10964; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710964 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Higher education institutions (HEIs) can be considered role models of small cities that contribute to the fight against climate change. Therefore, assessing their own carbon footprints (CFs) and drawing conclusions gives significance to this study. In this study, 77 CFs from 14 HEIs [...] Read more.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) can be considered role models of small cities that contribute to the fight against climate change. Therefore, assessing their own carbon footprints (CFs) and drawing conclusions gives significance to this study. In this study, 77 CFs from 14 HEIs were obtained through a tool developed by the Spanish Government. They were analyzed along with different variables and recalculated using the same standardized activity ratios. As a result, a general mapping of the environmental performance in climate change mitigation of Spanish universities has been obtained. Although there is an overall decrease in total CF (72.7%), direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1) remain stable, while the decrease is due to the reduction of emissions caused by electricity consumption (Scope 2) through the use electricity suppliers that guarantee the energy provided is generated from renewable sources. A lack of consensus in the definition of “student” and “employee”, used for the activity ratios, causes large variations in the relative CF values. For worldwide benchmarking of HEIs’ climate change performance, CF can be a valid indicator only if they: (1) include standardized Scope 1 and 2 emission sources, (2) use the same emission factors, and (3) calculate activity ratios from standardized functional units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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17 pages, 6723 KiB  
Article
Urban Form and Function Optimization for Reducing Carbon Emissions Based on Crowd-Sourced Spatio-Temporal Data
by Fangjie Cao, Yun Qiu, Qianxin Wang and Yan Zou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710805 - 30 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2203
Abstract
The low-carbon city has become an important global urban development-oriented goal. One important aspect of urban space is low-carbon urban planning, which has a vital role in urban carbon emissions. Which types of urban form and function allocations are conducive to reducing carbon [...] Read more.
The low-carbon city has become an important global urban development-oriented goal. One important aspect of urban space is low-carbon urban planning, which has a vital role in urban carbon emissions. Which types of urban form and function allocations are conducive to reducing carbon emissions is therefore a key issue. In this study, the Futian and Luohu Districts of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, are taken as an example to investigate this issue. Firstly, a “head/tail” breaks method based on the third fractal theory is adopted to obtain the minimum evaluation parcel of urban space. Then, the Landscape Shape Index (LSI), Fragmentation Index (C), Shannon’s Diversity Index (SHDI), and Density of Public Facilities (Den) are used to evaluate the form and function allocation of each parcel. In addition, the CO2 concentration distribution in this study area is acquired from remote sensing satellite data. Finally, the relationships between urban form, function allocation, and CO2 concentration are obtained. The results show that the lower the urban form index or the higher the urban function index, the less the CO2 concentration. To verify this conclusion, three experiments are designed and carried out. In experiment A, the CO2 concentration of the tested area is reduced by 14.31% by decreasing the LSI and C by 6.1% and 9.4%, respectively. In experiment B, the CO2 concentration is reduced by 15.15% by increasing the SHDI and Den by 16.3% and 12.1%, respectively. In experiment C, the CO2 concentration is reduced by 27.72% when the urban form and function are adjusted in the same was as in experiments A and B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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Review

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20 pages, 2343 KiB  
Review
Food Waste Utilization for Reducing Carbon Footprints towards Sustainable and Cleaner Environment: A Review
by Latika Bhatia, Harit Jha, Tanushree Sarkar and Prakash Kumar Sarangi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032318 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6965
Abstract
There is world-wide generation of food waste daily in significant amounts, leading to depletion of natural resources and deteriorating air quality. One-third of global food produced is wasted laterally with the food value chain. Carbon footprint is an efficient way of communicating the [...] Read more.
There is world-wide generation of food waste daily in significant amounts, leading to depletion of natural resources and deteriorating air quality. One-third of global food produced is wasted laterally with the food value chain. Carbon footprint is an efficient way of communicating the issues related to climate change and the necessity of changing behavior. Valorization or utilization of food wastes helps in resolving issues related to environment pollution. Reduction in the carbon footprint throughout the chain of food supply makes the whole process eco-friendly. Prevailing food waste disposal systems focus on their economic and environmental viability and are putting efforts into using food waste as a resource input to agriculture. Effective and advanced waste management systems are adopted to deal with massive waste production so as to fill the gap between the production and management of waste disposal. Food waste biorefineries are a sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective approach for the production of platform chemicals, biofuels, and other bio-based materials. These materials not only provide sustainable resources for producing various chemicals and materials but have the potential to reduce this huge environmental burden significantly. In this regard, technological advancement has occurred in past few years that has proven suitable for tackling this problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint and the Environment)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The Environmental Perception of Forest Degradation in the Increase of Carbon Release in the Brazilian Amazon: contributions from Environmental Education
Authors: Vilmar Alves Pereira; Rodrigo Florêncio da Silva
Affiliation: Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana – UNINI (Mexico and Puerto Rico) and at the State University of Paraná - BR.

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