Topic Editors

School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China
School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS2 8AG, UK
Department of Applied Cybernetics, Faculty of Science, University of Hradec Králové, 50003 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Department of Construction Management, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 351610, USA

Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, 3rd Volume

Abstract submission deadline
31 July 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
14408

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is a call for papers for the Topic “Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, 3rd Volume” which aims to empower decision makers and energy stakeholders to join forces and proactively address the challenges of climate change. The current global warming rate, being 1.0–1.1 °C above the pre-industrial level, has caused various natural disasters that are significant challenges for human living environments. In the coming decades, climate change is expected to hit the threshold of 1.5 °C with severe environmental, economic, and social consequences. This Topic aims to set up a holistic framework to address the immense challenge of climate change whilst achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In this framework, climate change mitigation and the decarbonization of society are at the root of addressing this challenge. Climate change adaptation requires immediate action to increase resilience and reduce climate-related impacts and risks. This framework prioritizes sustainable urban–rural transformation and the decarbonization of the built environment, since cities and the built environment are the main settlements of human beings and the key sites of implementation for climate resiliency, mitigation, and adaptation. Moreover, this framework encourages the involvement and participation of all professions in society to accelerate progress in climate change mitigation through developing sound climate-related governance systems in education, policy, and advocacy.

This Topic, “Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, 3rd Volume”, welcomes high-quality works focusing on the development and implementation of systems, ideas, pathways, solutions, strategies, technologies, and pilot cases and exemplars that are relevant to climate change impact measurement and assessment, mitigation and adaptation strategies and techniques, and public participation and governance. Relevant themes include but are not limited to the following:

Climate Change Impact Assessment

  • Climate change prediction and analysis
  • Climate-related impacts on infrastructure
  • Human comfort, health, well-being, and work productivity
  • Vulnerability assessment among different groups
  • Climate-related injustice and inequality
  • Climate-induced population migration
  • Climate impacts on low-income countries
  • Direct and indirect economic losses
  • Ecosystem service deterioration

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

  • Greenhouse gas emissions and measurement
  • Climate-related disasters and reduction
  • Risk and vulnerability assessment and visualization
  • Ecosystem services and carbon sequestration
  • Sustainable transport and climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Sustainable building and construction
  • Industry decarbonization and economic growth
  • Renewable and clean energy potential and implementation
  • Environmental, economic, and social benefits of climate change mitigation

Sustainable Urban–Rural Planning and Design

  • Climate change and regional economic development
  • Territorial spatial planning and carbon neutrality
  • Urban overheating mitigation and adaptation
  • Sustainable land use and planning
  • Low-carbon cities and communities
  • Wind-sensitive urban planning and design
  • Urban morphology and environmental performance
  • Innovative technologies, models, methods, and tools for spatial planning
  • Regional ecological restoration and ecological security
  • Nature-based solutions for urban planning and design
  • Healthy land use and planning

Decarbonization of the Built Environment

  • Demands on energy, materials, and water
  • Assessment methods, systems, and tools
  • Sustainable energy, materials, and water systems
  • Energy efficiency design technologies and appliances
  • Smart technology and sustainable operation
  • Uptake and integration of clean energy
  • Innovative materials for carbon reduction and environmental regulation
  • Building demolition and material recycling and reuse
  • Sustainable building retrofitting and assessment
  • Circular economy strategies for a sustainable built environment
  • Innovation for construction and demolition waste management

Climate-Related Governance and Challenges

  • Targets, pathways, and roadmaps toward carbon neutrality
  • Pathways for climate resilience and future sustainability
  • Challenges, opportunities, and solutions for climate resilience
  • Climate change governance coalition (network) development and challenges
  • Co-benefits, synergies, conflicts, and trade-offs of climate actions
  • Mapping, accounting, and trading carbon emissions
  • Governance models, policies, regulations, and programs
  • Financing urban climate change actions
  • Education, policy, and advocacy for preparation

Sustainable Transport and Land Use

  • Environmentally friendly transport planning and policy
  • Environmentally friendly land use planning and policy
  • Low-carbon built environment
  • Low-carbon physical environment
  • Transit-oriented development (TOD)

Prof. Dr. Baojie He
Dr. Siliang Yang
Dr. K. Venkatachalam
Dr. Amos Darko
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • climate change
  • sustainable development goals
  • urban transformation
  • decarbonisation
  • built environment
  • governance

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.1 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Forests
forests
2.9 4.5 2010 16.9 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Land
land
3.9 3.7 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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16 pages, 4754 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns in the Urban Heat Island Effect of Several Contemporary and Historical Chinese “Stove Cities”
by Mengyu Huang, Shaobo Zhong, Xin Mei and Jin He
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3091; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073091 - 08 Apr 2024
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Various cities in China have been identified as “stove cities” either in contemporary or historical times, exposing residents to extremely high temperatures. Existing studies on the heat island effect in stove cities are not representative nationwide. The outdated nature of these studies also [...] Read more.
Various cities in China have been identified as “stove cities” either in contemporary or historical times, exposing residents to extremely high temperatures. Existing studies on the heat island effect in stove cities are not representative nationwide. The outdated nature of these studies also significantly diminishes the relevance of their findings. Thus, reassessing the urban heat island (UHI) effect of stove cities is necessary in the context of global climate change and urbanization. This study focuses on seven symbolic and geographically distributed stove cities in China, including Nanjing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Beijing, Xi’an, and Turpan. Using land surface temperature (LST) data, this study investigates the summer heat island effect from 2013 to 2023 and analyzes changes in the spatial distribution of the heat island effect. This paper utilizes impervious surface data and urban clustering algorithms to define urban and suburban areas. It then examines the evolution and spatial distribution of surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) over time. Incorporating urbanization variables like population density and urban area, the study analyzes the main factors affecting the heat island effect from 2013 to 2018. We find that all cities continuously expand, with the annual average heat island effect intensifying over the years. With the exception of Beijing, the summer heat island or cool island effects in the remaining six cities show an overall intensification trend. From 2013 to 2018, SUHII has been primarily related to urban expansion and planning layout, with minimal impact from factors such as population density. Full article
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27 pages, 6781 KiB  
Article
Developing an Urban Environment Examination System by Incorporating Construction, Economic, Environmental, Cultural and Development Dimensions
by Shaoyang Ren, Yinan Li, Zhen Peng, Mingqiang Yin and Xiao Liu
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3065; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073065 - 07 Apr 2024
Viewed by 436
Abstract
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) suggest sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11) as inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable human settlements. However, existing efforts in urban sustainability have mainly focused on ecological and environmental sustainability, with little attention paid to development, economic, and cultural [...] Read more.
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) suggest sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11) as inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable human settlements. However, existing efforts in urban sustainability have mainly focused on ecological and environmental sustainability, with little attention paid to development, economic, and cultural sustainability. Moreover, a lack of adaptability is a barrier to cross-nation or cross-region implementation of many urban sustainability frameworks due to diverse urban contexts. Furthermore, most studies have developed sustainability frameworks and guides only for one-time assessments and the progress of urban sustainability has been neglected. Improving urban sustainability by considering multiple dimensions and local adaptability through dynamic assessment remains a question. Therefore, this study aims to develop an urban environment examination system (UEES) framework that includes construction, economy and industry, environment and resource, municipal and cultural facilities, and development potential dimensions. The UEES framework consists of 31 indicators associated with critical information (i.e., reported by the statistical yearbooks) from different levels of government in China. An annual update of statistical data ensures the availability of dynamic data, allowing urban managers and decision makers to regularly track urban sustainability. Furthermore, the UEES framework was applied to Qingdao, an urbanizing city in China, to examine the feasibility of the UEES framework. The results indicate that well-urbanized districts could perform better in terms of overall sustainability (e.g., Shinan, Shibei, Laoshan, Chengyang), while districts in suburban and outer suburban areas had lower urban sustainability levels. However, well-urbanized districts could not perform better in all dimensions than suburban and outer suburban districts. Moreover, the transition from less-urbanized to well-urbanized districts could lead to environmental deterioration and economy deceleration (if industries are not well upgraded), but culture and development sustainability can be improved. Overall, this study provides a methodological framework that prioritizes comprehensiveness and local adaptability to perform regular urban environment examinations for urban sustainability in China and provides a reference for urban sustainability improvement by identifying aspects with low scores in Qingdao, China. Full article
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21 pages, 3678 KiB  
Article
Governing Urban Climate Resilience (UCR): Systems, Agents, and Institutions in Shanghai, China
by Chun Li, Huihui Yang, Qiang Yao, Na An and Haixing Meng
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16072648 - 23 Mar 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Climate change and urbanization intersect with escalating danger. Urban areas significantly contribute to climate change, which, in turn, poses severe threats to urban settings. The frequency and intensity of extreme events, like flooding and heat, are rising, with the need to enhance urban [...] Read more.
Climate change and urbanization intersect with escalating danger. Urban areas significantly contribute to climate change, which, in turn, poses severe threats to urban settings. The frequency and intensity of extreme events, like flooding and heat, are rising, with the need to enhance urban climate resilience (UCR) becoming more immediate. Scholarship tends to underrepresent general climate resilience in favor of specific hazards. This research seeks to contribute to the literature by exploring the case of Shanghai, China, discovering the mechanisms and characteristics of UCR governance, and examining how these outcomes are formed from a comparative gesture. The findings indicate that in Shanghai, 36.8% and 26.8% of climate resilience governance strategies are reflected in regional management and infrastructure construction led by the Water Affairs Bureau and the Meteorological Bureau. Furthermore, 30.6% of the strategies relate to the Water Affairs Bureau, showcasing a robust and integrated flood response. Meanwhile, 15.7% involve the Meteorological Bureau, boosting responses to high temperatures with better monitoring and early warning for increased flexibility and efficiency. Distinct governance processes for floods and extreme heat mirror these hazards’ inherent characteristics and societal perceptions. With strong government willingness and support, Shanghai has rapidly enhanced its flood resilience capabilities within a brief timeframe. Conversely, addressing the emerging risk of extreme heat is still in the early stages of evaluation, due to the lack of a clear disaster-bearing system and identified responsible agents. This research suggests that the future of climate resilience governance in Shanghai may emphasize identifying the characteristics of critical climate-related risks, expanding social autonomy through grassroots self-governance, procuring economic backing from the central government, and applying the tool of urban spatial planning. Full article
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21 pages, 13080 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Temporal Changes in Soil Freeze-Thaw State and Freezing Depth of Northeast China and Their Driving Factors
by Jiangtao Yu, Hangnan Yu, Lan Li and Weihong Zhu
Land 2024, 13(3), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13030368 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 651
Abstract
It is necessary to further investigate the spatial considerations, temporal characteristics, and drivers of change affecting the beginning and end of soil freezing and thawing, including the maximum depth of the seasonal freezing (MDSF) and the active layer thickness (ALT) in Northeast China. [...] Read more.
It is necessary to further investigate the spatial considerations, temporal characteristics, and drivers of change affecting the beginning and end of soil freezing and thawing, including the maximum depth of the seasonal freezing (MDSF) and the active layer thickness (ALT) in Northeast China. Hourly soil temperature, among other data, from 1983–2022 were investigated, showing a delay of about 6 days in freezing. In contrast, thawing and complete thawing advanced by about 26 and 20 d, respectively. The freezing period and total freeze-thaw days decreased by about 29 and 23 days, respectively. The number of complete thawing period days increased by about 22 days, while the MDSF decreased by about 25 cm. The ALT increased by about 22 cm. Land Surface Temperature (LST) is the main factor influencing the beginning and end of soil freezing and thawing, MDSF and ALT changes in Northeast China; air temperature, surface net solar radiation, and volumetric soil water content followed. The influence of the interacting factors was greater than the single factors, and the interactive explanatory power of the LST and surface net solar radiation was highest when the soil started to freeze (0.858). The effect of the LST and the air temperature was highest when the soil was completely thawed (0.795). LST and the volumetric soil water content interacted to have the first explanatory power for MDSF (0.866) and ALT (0.85). The results of this study can provide scientific reference for fields such as permafrost degradation, cold zone ecological environments, and agricultural production in Northeast China. Full article
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25 pages, 18550 KiB  
Article
Characteristic Analysis of Carbon Sink Capacity Changes in Xinjiang’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Based on EEMD
by Yongji Zhang, Jianghua Zheng, Jianli Zhang, Chen Mu, Wanqiang Han and Liang Liu
Sustainability 2024, 16(6), 2277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16062277 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) is an important measure to assess the carbon balance and dynamics of ecosystems, providing a direct measure of carbon source–sink dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems and finding widespread applications in carbon cycle research. However, the nonlinear characteristics of NEP in [...] Read more.
Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) is an important measure to assess the carbon balance and dynamics of ecosystems, providing a direct measure of carbon source–sink dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems and finding widespread applications in carbon cycle research. However, the nonlinear characteristics of NEP in Xinjiang’s terrestrial ecosystems remain unclear. Additionally, the influence of land use patterns, temperature, and precipitation variations on carbon sink capacity remains unclear. Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) is used to investigate the nonlinear variation of NEP in Xinjiang. Landscape pattern analysis of Xinjiang’s land use patterns from 1981 to 2019 is conducted using a 30 km moving window, and the interannual relationships between NEP, land use patterns, and meteorological factors are investigated through EEMD detrending analysis and Pearson correlation. The findings indicate that: (1) NEP exhibits interannual variations, primarily concentrated in the foothills of the Tianshan Mountains, with a three-year cycle. (2) Although NEP changes in most regions are not significant, urban clusters on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains show noteworthy trends, with initial decrease followed by an increase, covering around 34.87% of the total area. Areas at risk of NEP decline constitute approximately 7.32% of the total area. (3) Across Xinjiang, we observe a widespread rise in patch fragmentation and complexity, coupled with a decline in patch connectivity and the size of the dominant patch. Additionally, there is a notable increase in both the diversity and evenness of land use types. However, the correlation between land use patterns and NEP is generally found to be insignificant in the majority of areas, with a percentage exceeding 85%. (4) Approximately 62% of regions in Xinjiang have NEP that is positively correlated with temperature, with significance observed in 33% of these areas. Furthermore, almost 95% of regions demonstrate that NEP is positively correlated with precipitation, with significance noted in 83% of these regions. It appears that precipitation exerts a more pronounced influence on NEP fluctuations in Xinjiang when compared to temperature. Full article
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22 pages, 505 KiB  
Article
Environmentally Induced Snow Transmittance Variations in the Photosynthetic Spectral Domain: Photobiological Implications for Subnivean Vegetation under Climate Warming Conditions
by Gladimir V. G. Baranoski and Petri M. Varsa
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(5), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16050927 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Variations in the productivity of subnivean vegetation can substantially affect the ecology of regions more susceptible to increasing warming levels and lead to significant feedback effects on the global climate. Due to its importance, this topic is at the center of a broad [...] Read more.
Variations in the productivity of subnivean vegetation can substantially affect the ecology of regions more susceptible to increasing warming levels and lead to significant feedback effects on the global climate. Due to its importance, this topic is at the center of a broad scope of interdisciplinary studies supported by field and remote sensing observations. However, the current knowledge about environmental factors affecting the penetration of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) through snow is still constrained by the paucity of transmittance data. In this work, we aim to further the understanding about these interconnected processes. We conduct a systematic investigation about the effects of independent and combined changes in key nivological characteristics, namely thickness, saturation, density and grain size, on snow transmittance in the photosynthetic spectral domain. Our investigation is carried out through controlled in silico (computational) experiments supported by measured radiometric data. Its outcomes unveil fundamental quantitative and qualitative trends related to the role played by these nivological characteristics on the spectral quality of transmitted PAR, which is quantified in terms of red to blue (R/B), red to far-red (R/FR) and blue to far-red (B/FR) ratios. These trends include increases in the R/B ratio as well as decreases in the R/FR and B/FR ratios following thickness reductions or grain size increases, with opposite variations in these ratios being observed for saturation or density increases. Accordingly, the pairing of our findings with in situ and remotely collected information contributes to cement the scientific foundation required for the effective assessment of cause-effect loops linking accentuated vegetation greening to accelerated rates of snow cover recession. Full article
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31 pages, 416 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Corporate Characteristics on Climate Governance Disclosure
by Petra F. A. Dilling, Peter Harris and Sinan Caykoylu
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051962 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 678
Abstract
This study examines the impact of corporate characteristics on climate change governance among 100 of the world’s largest companies, with 1400 observations in the fiscal year 2020. We consider variables such as company location, size, profitability, female board representation, years of reporting using [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of corporate characteristics on climate change governance among 100 of the world’s largest companies, with 1400 observations in the fiscal year 2020. We consider variables such as company location, size, profitability, female board representation, years of reporting using Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidelines, the inclusion of UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) information, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) membership, MSCI ESG ratings, and the presence of a climate transition plan, a sustainability executive, and a sustainability board committee. Applying a multi-theoretical framework, we employ correlation analysis and univariate and multiple linear regressions to assess the relationships. Our findings reveal positive correlations between climate governance and the presence of a climate transition plan, MSCI ratings, DJSI membership, and the existence of a sustainability executive. Additionally, companies located in developed countries exhibit significantly higher levels of climate change governance. These results hold across various scenarios, offering valuable insights for researchers, academics, business leaders, practitioners, and regulators. With the growing importance of climate change reporting, understanding the key contributing factors for effective climate governance is crucial for organizations seeking to address this critical issue. Full article
21 pages, 7835 KiB  
Article
Rainfall Erosivity Characteristics during 1961–2100 in the Loess Plateau, China
by Xiuping Li, Peiqing Xiao, Shilong Hao and Zhihui Wang
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(4), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16040661 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Rainfall erosivity, which signifies the inherent susceptibility of soil erosion induced by precipitation, plays a fundamental role in formulating a comprehensive soil loss equation (RUSLE). It stands as a crucial determinant among the foundational factors considered in a comprehensive soil loss equation’s establishment. [...] Read more.
Rainfall erosivity, which signifies the inherent susceptibility of soil erosion induced by precipitation, plays a fundamental role in formulating a comprehensive soil loss equation (RUSLE). It stands as a crucial determinant among the foundational factors considered in a comprehensive soil loss equation’s establishment. Nonetheless, the prediction and quantification of future alterations in rainfall erosivity under the influence of global warming have been relatively limited. In this study, climate change was widely evaluated and 10 preferred global climate models in the Loess Plateau were selected by using the data sets of 27 models simulating climate change and the CN05.1 data set provided by the latest CMIP6. The monthly precipitation forecast data were obtained by using the delta downscaling method. Combined with trend analysis, significance test, and coefficient of variation, the annual rainfall erosivity during 1961–2100 under four SSP scenarios was analyzed and predicted. Among the 27 GCM models used in this paper, the most suitable climate models for simulating monthly precipitation in the Loess Plateau were CMCC-CM2-SR5, CMCC-ESM2, TaiESM1, EC-Earth3, EC-Earth-Veg-LR, INM-CM4-8, CAS-ESM2-0, EC-Earth-Veg, ACCESS-ESM1-5, and IPSL-CM6A-LR. In comparison to the base period (1961–1990), during the historical period (1961–2014), the average annual rainfall erosivity on the Loess Plateau amounted to 1259.64 MJ·mm·hm−2·h−1·a−1, showing an insignificant downward trend. In the northwest of Ningxia, Yulin City and Yanan City showed a significant upward trend. In the future period (2015–2100), the annual rainfall erosivity continues to constantly change and increase. The potential average increase in rainfall erosivity is about 13.48–25.86%. In terms of spatial distribution, most areas showed an increasing trend. Among these regions, the majority of encompassed areas within Shanxi Province, central Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia increased greatly, which was not conducive to soil and water conservation and ecological environment construction. This study offers a scientific reference for the projected future erosivity characteristics of the Loess Plateau. Full article
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19 pages, 7439 KiB  
Article
Identification of Potential Habitats and Adjustment of Protected Area Boundaries for Large Wild Herbivores in the Yellow-River-Source National Park, China
by Shengwang Bao and Fan Yang
Land 2024, 13(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13020186 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
The wild large herbivores inhabiting the Yellow-River-Source National Park (YRSNP) are confronted with a significant threat from climate change and human activities. In response to these detrimental influences, measures have been proposed by the government, such as the Ecological Conservation and Restoration Project [...] Read more.
The wild large herbivores inhabiting the Yellow-River-Source National Park (YRSNP) are confronted with a significant threat from climate change and human activities. In response to these detrimental influences, measures have been proposed by the government, such as the Ecological Conservation and Restoration Project in the Sanjiangyuan Region (ECRPSR) and the establishment of the Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP). To advance species diversity, it is crucial to investigate the spatial distribution of large herbivores, identify factors influencing their distribution, and address conflicts arising from divergent plans within the YRSNP. In this study, unmanned aerial vehicles were employed for surveying the distribution of the Tibetan wild ass (Equus kiang) and Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata). The findings indicate that the optimal habitat area for Tibetan wild ass is 437.16 km2, while for Tibetan gazelle, it is 776.46 km2. Precipitation and the human footprint index emerge as the primary factors influencing the habitat distribution of large herbivores within the YRSNP. Under the influence of the ECRPSR, there was a noteworthy expansion of the habitat area for Tibetan wild ass by 791.25 km2, and for Tibetan gazelle, it expanded by 1612.94 km2. From a wildlife conservation standpoint, this study proposes the establishment of a wildlife refuge in the YRSNP, effective coordination of conflicts between various functional zones and plans, preservation of suitable habitats for large herbivores, and the provision of a scientific foundation to reconcile development and conservation conflicts in the region, while concurrently fostering biodiversity conservation. Full article
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16 pages, 4947 KiB  
Article
Effects of Ozone Stress on Rhizosphere Soil of Poplar Seedlings
by Qin Wang, Qingqing Yang, Meng Zhang, Jianwei Ma and Laiye Qu
Forests 2024, 15(1), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15010205 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Near-surface O3 has negative effects on plant productivity; however there were few studies on the effects of O3 pollution on the belowground part of the ecosystem. The effect of O3 stress on the belowground parts of poplar is unclear. We [...] Read more.
Near-surface O3 has negative effects on plant productivity; however there were few studies on the effects of O3 pollution on the belowground part of the ecosystem. The effect of O3 stress on the belowground parts of poplar is unclear. We investigated the effects of O3 pollution on poplar rhizosphere soil in open-top chambers (OTC). Two kinds of plants with different O3 sensitivity were selected, i.e., high-sensitive poplar clone 546 and low-sensitive poplar clone 107. The control group and high-concentration O3 group were set up: charcoal-filtered air, CF; unfiltered air + 60 ppb O3, NF. Poplar rhizosphere soil was taken after 96 days (15 June to 17 September 2020) of cultivation in OTCs. O3 stress decreased the amplicon sequence variations (ASVs) of microorganisms in poplar 107 and poplar 546 rhizosphere soil, with no significant interspecific difference. The effect of O3 fumigation on the fungal community was greater than that on the bacterial community. The correlation between the bacterial community and rhizosphere soil physicochemical indices was closer than that of the fungal community. Some fungi, such as Clitopilus hobsonii, Mortierella sp., and Minimedusa, might help poplar resist the O3 stress. O3 stress had direct impacts on the pH, nutrients, and enzyme activities of rhizosphere soil, while it had indirect negative impacts on microbial community composition by nutrients. There was no difference in sensitivity between rhizosphere soil response to O3 stress of poplar clone 107 and clone 546, which might take a longer accumulation time to show the effect. This study provides a certain basis for accurately evaluating the ecological effects of O3 pollution. Full article
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26 pages, 3154 KiB  
Article
Panorama of Coffee Cultivation in the Central Zone of Veracruz State, Mexico: Identification of Main Stressors and Challenges to Face
by Loarry Gabriel-Hernández and Victor L. Barradas
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020802 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 709
Abstract
Coffee is one of the most traded crops worldwide. In the state of Veracruz, Mexico, coffee has been a strategic crop due to its economic, social, environmental, and cultural characteristics that differentiate it from other crops, contributing to the economy of almost 86,000 [...] Read more.
Coffee is one of the most traded crops worldwide. In the state of Veracruz, Mexico, coffee has been a strategic crop due to its economic, social, environmental, and cultural characteristics that differentiate it from other crops, contributing to the economy of almost 86,000 producers. Several studies have shown that climate is the main cause of the decrease in coffee production and yield. Due to the multi-faceted importance of coffee for the state, the relationship of coffee production and yield with the variables of precipitation (mm) and temperature (°C) from 2003 to 2022 was analyzed through the implementation of a mathematical model that was able to identify that both the total volume of coffee production is decreasing on average at a rate of 7614.9 Mg year−1 as well as the yield, with a significant decrease of 0.106 Mg year−1. It was also found that the optimum temperature value is 18.7 °C, and the optimal precipitation is 1700 mm for the development of coffee. This model also shows that yield is more sensitive to temperature than to precipitation in the study area. Through the application of surveys to 360 producers in 16 coffee-growing municipalities, seven stressors were identified that together hinder the continuity of the coffee industry in the state. These stressors are (1) economic, (2) climatic, (3) land use, (4) technical, (5) social, (6) political, and (7) other. Finally, some strategies are herein proposed to improve coffee production towards greater sustainability, such as agricultural restructuring at the national, regional, and local levels as well as programs and policies to support producers for the continuity of the crop in the region. Full article
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21 pages, 3626 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Urban Morphology on Urban Heat Islands in Housing Areas: The Case of Erzurum, Turkey
by Cansu Güller and Süleyman Toy
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020791 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 824
Abstract
The growing importance of climate change underlines the need to comprehend Urban Heat Islands (UHI), particularly those influenced by urban morphology. As progress has been made in understanding the macroscale relationship between urban morphology and UHIs, the microscale effects are often overlooked. This [...] Read more.
The growing importance of climate change underlines the need to comprehend Urban Heat Islands (UHI), particularly those influenced by urban morphology. As progress has been made in understanding the macroscale relationship between urban morphology and UHIs, the microscale effects are often overlooked. This study, conducted in the city of Erzurum in Turkey, delves into the complex relationship between urban morphology and UHI intensity in different housing areas with distinct microclimates, focusing particularly on street networks, building systems, and land use. Pearson correlation analysis was performed to investigate the relationships between morphological indicators and UHIs in different housing areas. Key findings include that (1) noticeable UHI effects were observed, especially in dense areas with high-rise buildings. (2) UHIs reveal a strong correlation with both 2D and 3D urban morphological indicators. A moderate-to-high Sky View Factor (SVF) tends to reduce UHIs, while an extremely high SVF aggravates UHIs. (3) Enhancing street network integration emerges as a more effective strategy for mitigating UHI effects in mid-rise buildings compared to other morphological factors. The Normalised Difference Built-Up Index (NDBI) and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) may not reliably indicate UHIs in housing areas with a predominantly rural character. Consequently, this article recommends that urban morphology optimisation for UHI mitigation should prioritise spatial and indicator specificity in urban design and spatial planning for cities. Future research endeavours should investigate the influence of morphological indicators on UHI dynamics in different seasons, including various remote sensing indicators related to morphological structure, to enrich our understanding of daily UHI fluctuations within urban morphology research. Full article
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24 pages, 4414 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Potential of 3D Printing Technology for Sustainable Plastic Roads: A Preliminary Investigation
by Mohamed Ezzat Al-Atroush, Jumana Almushcab, Duha Alhudaif and Yosra Meskinyar
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16777; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416777 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The urgency of climate change has highlighted the need for sustainable road construction materials, replacing the conventional asphalt, which significantly contributes to global warming and the urban heat island effect. With this in mind, the construction of the world’s first 30-m plastic road [...] Read more.
The urgency of climate change has highlighted the need for sustainable road construction materials, replacing the conventional asphalt, which significantly contributes to global warming and the urban heat island effect. With this in mind, the construction of the world’s first 30-m plastic road in Zwolle, Netherlands, in 2018, opened the door for novel plastic applications as paving materials. However, its application is currently still limited to sidewalks and light-load cycling lanes. The feasibility of utilizing 3D printing technology to provide the necessary structural design flexibility for the production of plastic pavement modules that can withstand heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions was examined in this preliminary study. The suitability of six plastic materials (PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, Nylon, and polycarbonate) for 3D printing was evaluated. Polylactic acid (PLA), and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) were identified as the most suitable materials for this study. Three small-scale structural systems, namely hollow modular with plastic columns, hollow modular with solid plastic cones, and hollow modular with X-bracing, were designed and successfully printed using the adopted materials and a 3D printer. The developed systems were subsequently subjected to compression testing to assess their structural performance under heavy traffic loads and demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. The results showed that the PLA conic structural system was effective and exhibited the highest compression strength, while the PETG conic system exhibited ductile behavior with superior thermal stability. The study suggests that the hybrid system of PLA and PETG materials may improve the overall performance, combine flexibility and strength, and potentially improve the resistance to extreme weather and heavy traffic. These findings prove that 3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize the road construction industry and provide more sustainable solutions for infrastructure development. Full article
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18 pages, 26810 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Paleoclimatic Reconstruction of the Peña Negra Paleoglacier (Sierra de Béjar-Candelario, Spain) during the Last Glacial Cycle (Late Pleistocene)
by Carlos E. Nieto, Ana Calvo, Raquel Cruz, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña, José Luis Goy and José Ángel González-Delgado
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16514; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316514 - 03 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 778
Abstract
The study of the Peña Negra paleoglacier during the Last Glacial Maximum reveals its sensitivity to paleoclimatic variations. The evolutionary phases of the paleoglacier are correlated with the evolutionary models proposed for the Sierra de Béjar-Candelario and the Central Iberian System. To recognize [...] Read more.
The study of the Peña Negra paleoglacier during the Last Glacial Maximum reveals its sensitivity to paleoclimatic variations. The evolutionary phases of the paleoglacier are correlated with the evolutionary models proposed for the Sierra de Béjar-Candelario and the Central Iberian System. To recognize the mechanisms of ice advance/retreat and the response of the glacier to paleoclimatic variations, modeling is carried out based on a geographic information system tool. This model is key to establishing the spatial extent of the ice and the estimation of the Equilibrium line altitudeequilibrium line altitudes at each moment, which makes it easier to infer the approximate climatic conditions of each phase (temperature and precipitation) and allows us to improve the understanding of the glacial dynamics versus variations in paleoenvironmental conditions and paleoglacial morphometry. The spatial reconstruction data show that the paleoglacier had 0.526 km3 of ice during the phase of maximum extension, while the paleoclimatic data reflect an increase in precipitation and a slight decrease in average summer temperatures compared to today. The stability phases are associated with the periods of greatest precipitation when the mass balance was positive. Full article
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22 pages, 3489 KiB  
Case Report
A Case Study of Existing Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Platforms: Calling for Integrated Platform Features
by Shan Shan, Siliang Yang, Victor Becerra, Jiamei Deng and Honglei Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316284 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
The emergence of distributed energy has led to a change in the role of the consumer in the traditional sense over the past decade. The proliferation of emerging generators and distributors has created opportunities for a more decentralised and open energy market. In [...] Read more.
The emergence of distributed energy has led to a change in the role of the consumer in the traditional sense over the past decade. The proliferation of emerging generators and distributors has created opportunities for a more decentralised and open energy market. In particular, the emergence of peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading models, challenged by the surge in demand for sustainable energy, has eliminated the need for intermediaries in energy transactions between consumers, producers, and sellers. Due to the great promise of sustainable energy, both in terms of its contribution to the environment and production costs, this paper reviews a number of well-known P2P energy trading platforms to understand what makes P2P energy trading platforms more functional. As a result, areas for consideration were identified and grouped into five themes: (1) set-up, (2) market, (3) information, (4) price, and (5) regulation. Full article
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17 pages, 2624 KiB  
Review
Heat Mitigation Benefits of Urban Trees: A Review of Mechanisms, Modeling, Validation and Simulation
by Senlin Zheng, Caiwei He, Jean-Michel Guldmann, Haodong Xu and Xiao Liu
Forests 2023, 14(12), 2280; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14122280 - 21 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
Modeling, validating, and simulating are three essential parts in investigating the heat mitigation benefits of urban trees (BUT). Therefore, 81 relevant studies from the last ten years are reviewed, analyzed, and summarized in this study. Three main ways for urban trees to adjust [...] Read more.
Modeling, validating, and simulating are three essential parts in investigating the heat mitigation benefits of urban trees (BUT). Therefore, 81 relevant studies from the last ten years are reviewed, analyzed, and summarized in this study. Three main ways for urban trees to adjust the environment are summarized, including shade creation and radiation modification, cooling effects of transpiration, and airflow blocking and modification effects. Research works are analyzed with regard to four categories: (1) heat and moisture exchange mechanisms and their mathematical modeling; (2) verification of modeling predictions based on measurements; (3) thermal performance simulation and prediction; and (4) environmental assessment and human thermal comfort analyses. Future research opportunities are discussed: (1) conduct real-time and in-depth measurements to analyze the mechanisms of heat and moisture transfer of trees in different areas; (2) develop tree radiation attenuation, airflow resistance, and transpiration models to accurately describe heat and moisture transfer processes in the urban environment; and (3) establish a three-dimensional numerical simulation method that can accurately simulate the urban thermal environment with trees. This review provides researchers with an overview and potential research opportunities on the thermal effects of urban trees. Full article
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13 pages, 1900 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Quality of the Age-Friendly Environment in Liaoning Province
by Chunmei Zhang and Jun Yang
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216134 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 709
Abstract
The age friendliness of an environment is significant for improving the quality of life of the elderly. This metric is an important measure used by the international community to address the challenges of population aging. In order to explore effective ways to improve [...] Read more.
The age friendliness of an environment is significant for improving the quality of life of the elderly. This metric is an important measure used by the international community to address the challenges of population aging. In order to explore effective ways to improve the quality of an age-friendly environment, this study considers the theoretical framework of the World Health Organization and combines China’s demographic and policy conditions to develop an urban-scale indicator system for the evaluation of the age-friendly environment (AFE) by including the dimensions of social and physical environments and municipal services. The entropy method and multiple linear regression were used to study the changes and influencing factors of the quality of AFE in 14 prefecture-level cities in Liaoning Province. The research results are as follows. First, temporally, the comprehensive quality of AFE in the cities in Liaoning Province was at a relatively low level, and the overall trend was decreasing. During the evaluation period, the level of age friendliness in various cities was generally low, with a relatively small number of cities scoring higher. Second, spatially, significant regional differences in the age friendliness of the environment existed, which showed spatial patterns of “high in the middle and low on both sides” and “strong in the south and weak in the north”. Third, the dimensions were in the order of physical environment > municipal services > social environment. The social environment was weak for the construction of AFEs in Liaoning Province, and efforts are required to strengthen it in the future. Fourth, aging rate was negatively correlated with the level of AFE. The positively correlated factors were in the order of expenditure for urban and rural community affairs > per capita GDP > per capita disposable income of urban residents. This study provides insights for cities to improve the quality of AFEs, actively respond to population aging, and help promote WHO initiatives in developing countries. Full article
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