Topic Editors

School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China
Department of Urban and Rural Planning, School of Architecture, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 611756, China
School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China

Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability, 2nd Volume

Abstract submission deadline
closed (15 November 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 May 2023)
Viewed by
108620

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is a “call for papers” for the Topic “Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability II,” which aims to empower decision-makers and energy stakeholders to join forces and proactively address the challenges of climate change. The current global warming of 1.0-1.1 °C above the pre-industrial level has caused various natural disasters that are significantly challenging to 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 mega-challenge of climate change whilst achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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

The Topic “Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability II” 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, 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;
  • Interlinkages among climate-related disasters;
  • Human comfort, health, well-being, and work productivity;
  • Vulnerability assessment and the 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 emission and measurement;
  • Climate-related disasters and reduction;
  • Risks and vulnerabilities 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;
  • Smart development for urban habitats;
  • 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;
  • Urban ecological security and Nature-based solution;
  • Regional ecological restoration and ecological security;
  • Nature-based solutions for urban planning and design;
  • Healthy land use and planning.

Decarbonization of 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 reusing;
  • Sustainable building retrofitting and assessment;
  • Circular economy strategies for a sustainable built environment;
  • Sharing economy strategies for a sustainable built environment;
  • New theories, technologies and practices 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 coalitions (networks) 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;
  • COVID-19 and similar crisis impacts and lessons.

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
Prof. Dr. Linchuan Yang
Prof. Dr. Junqing Tang
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
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500
Land
land
3.9 3.7 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400
Systems
systems
1.9 3.3 2013 16.8 Days CHF 2400

Preprints.org is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that is dedicated to sharing your research from the start and empowering your research journey.

MDPI Topics is cooperating with Preprints.org and has built a direct connection between MDPI journals and Preprints.org. Authors are encouraged to enjoy the benefits by posting a preprint at Preprints.org prior to publication:

  1. Immediately share your ideas ahead of publication and establish your research priority;
  2. Protect your idea from being stolen with this time-stamped preprint article;
  3. Enhance the exposure and impact of your research;
  4. Receive feedback from your peers in advance;
  5. Have it indexed in Web of Science (Preprint Citation Index), Google Scholar, Crossref, SHARE, PrePubMed, Scilit and Europe PMC.

Published Papers (57 papers)

Order results
Result details
Journals
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
21 pages, 29005 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Flash Drought and Traditional Drought on Characteristics and Driving Forces in Xinjiang
by Jing Zhang, Min Zhang, Jialu Yu, Yang Yu and Ruide Yu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4758; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194758 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
In the context of climate warming, flash drought has become increasingly frequent, posing significant threats to agriculture, ecosystems, and the environment. Xinjiang, located in an arid and semi-arid region, necessitates a thorough investigation into the distinctions between flash drought and traditional drought, as [...] Read more.
In the context of climate warming, flash drought has become increasingly frequent, posing significant threats to agriculture, ecosystems, and the environment. Xinjiang, located in an arid and semi-arid region, necessitates a thorough investigation into the distinctions between flash drought and traditional drought, as well as an exploration of the driving forces behind both types of drought. In this study, soil moisture data from ERA5-Land were utilized to construct a framework for the identification of flash drought and traditional drought based on historical events. The Geodetector was employed to explore the factors that influence the spatial heterogeneity of these two drought forms. The findings illuminate that (1) in terms of spatial distribution, traditional drought predominated in southern Xinjiang, while flash drought exhibited greater prominence in northern Xinjiang. (2) Regarding changes in trends, both flash drought and traditional drought exhibited an increasing trend in frequency since the 1990s, with the frequency trend of flash drought passing the significance test (α ≤ 0.05). Additionally, the severity of both flash drought and traditional drought displayed a noteworthy and statistically significant increase within sliding windows ranging from 46 to 62 years. (3) Concerning the driving forces, precipitation emerged as the principal driving force behind both flash drought and traditional drought. Furthermore, human activities exerted a more substantial influence on traditional drought, and the interactions involving human activities had the potential to significantly amplify the explanatory power of the spatial heterogeneity for both drought types. (4) In terms of the drought risk, a notable variation in the risk of flash drought was observed across various ecological zones, with the highest risk occurring in mildly fragile ecological zones. Furthermore, when comparing the results from 1995 to 2019, the flash drought risk exhibited a marked increase in severely fragile ecological zones. This study enriches the understanding of the dynamics of flash drought and traditional drought in Xinjiang and carries important implications for enhancing the precision of drought monitoring and early warning systems. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

24 pages, 10512 KiB  
Article
Identifying the Effects of Vegetation on Urban Surface Temperatures Based on Urban–Rural Local Climate Zones in a Subtropical Metropolis
by Siyu Zhou, Hui Zheng, Xiao Liu, Quan Gao and Jing Xie
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4743; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194743 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Many studies have observed the crucial role of vegetated local climate zone (LCZ) types in mitigating the surface urban heat island (SUHI) effect. However, research analyzing the spatial variations in land surface temperature (LST) in a metropolis based on an urban–rural LCZ scheme [...] Read more.
Many studies have observed the crucial role of vegetated local climate zone (LCZ) types in mitigating the surface urban heat island (SUHI) effect. However, research analyzing the spatial variations in land surface temperature (LST) in a metropolis based on an urban–rural LCZ scheme and exploring the cooling effects of different vegetation types is still lacking. Here, our study focuses on the Guangzhou–Foshan metropolis and aims to elucidate the spatial variations in LST in subtropical cities and the regulating effect of vegetation on LST changes. We used a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and LST data from space-borne MODIS products for the years 2000, 2009, and 2019, as well as LCZ maps, urban–rural gradient data, and land use and land cover (LULC) maps. Urban–rural, seasonal, daytime, nighttime, and diurnal comparative analyses were conducted using logarithmic regression, Pearson partial correlation, and comparison analysis. The results showed that LST values for built LCZ types were generally higher than those of land cover LCZ types, showing a positive correlation with building density and height. The LST decreased logarithmically across the urban–rural gradients, with a rapid decrease initially in the near-gradient urban area, followed by a flattening trend in farther-gradient suburban and rural areas. Regarding vegetated LCZ types, the NDVI metrics showed a significant negative correlation with the LST during the daytime but a positive correlation during the nighttime. The cooling effect of vegetated LCZ types was evident, with an average cooling amplitude of 1.92 °C over the three investigated years. In conclusion, urban LST changes are closely associated with LCZ types, urban–rural gradients, NDVI values, and vegetation types. The cooling ability of vegetation exhibited seasonal and diurnal variations, with a special emphasis on the cooling effect of dense evergreen broadleaf forests. Our findings offer valuable insights and can guide urban ecological construction and management by comprehensively assessing the impact of vegetation on urban surface temperatures. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 5960 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Spatiotemporal Evolution and Drivers of Ecological Environment Quality Using an Enhanced Remote Sensing Ecological Index in Lanzhou City, China
by Linghua Duo, Junqi Wang, Fuqing Zhang, Yuanping Xia, Sheng Xiao and Bao-Jie He
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4704; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194704 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1304
Abstract
Lanzhou City is located in the semi-arid region of northwest China, which experiences serious desertification. Moreover, the high intensity of land development, with the accelerated industrialization and urbanization, causes increasingly aggravated conflict between humans and the environment. Exploring the response of the ecological [...] Read more.
Lanzhou City is located in the semi-arid region of northwest China, which experiences serious desertification. Moreover, the high intensity of land development, with the accelerated industrialization and urbanization, causes increasingly aggravated conflict between humans and the environment. Exploring the response of the ecological environment quality to the natural environment and anthropogenic activities is important to protect the sustainable development of urban economic construction and the environment. Based on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform, this paper constructed a modified Remote Sensing Ecological Index (MRSEI) model which could reflect the ecological environment quality by integrating the desertification index (DI) into the Remote Sensing Ecological index (RSEI) model. This paper explores the spatiotemporal variation in the environmental quality from 2000 to 2020 in Lanzhou, China, and analyzes the natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the environment quality in terms of temperature, precipitation, gross domestic product (GDP), land use, night lighting, and population. The results showed that the mean value of MRSEI ranged from 0.254 to 0.400. The area undergoing fast growth in ecological quality was in the northwestern part of Lanzhou, and the area of decrease was in the central part. Various factors have different degrees of influence on the ecosystem, with temperature, precipitation, and land use having a greater impact, and GDP and population having a limited impact. Precipitation and temperature showed a strong impact when interacting with other factors, demonstrating that precipitation and temperature were also key factors affecting MRSEI. Overall, climate change and the implementation of ecological restoration projects have led to an improvement in the quality of the ecological environment in Lanzhou. This study provides a reference for understanding the spatiotemporal changes in the ecological environment in semi-arid Lanzhou and is conducive to formulating proper protection strategies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 14278 KiB  
Article
Proposal for the Preparation of New Building Standards in Poland to Protect against Earthquakes in the Next 50 Years
by Krzysztof Lewandowski
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 2090; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13082090 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1386
Abstract
This article aims to implement new building standards for residential and industrial construction in Poland to protect against earthquakes. For more than 20 years, Europe has experienced an increasing number of earthquakes. Failure to prepare residential and industrial buildings for such an event [...] Read more.
This article aims to implement new building standards for residential and industrial construction in Poland to protect against earthquakes. For more than 20 years, Europe has experienced an increasing number of earthquakes. Failure to prepare residential and industrial buildings for such an event can result in extensive damage, death, and injury. It is therefore reasonable to ask what losses Poland could suffer after even a single strong earthquake. An estimate of the losses after such an event is presented. It is crucial for many buildings and mines in Poland. It is also important to prepare the population for such an event. In addition, it is also crucial for many Central European countries, as governments have not received training on how to behave during an earthquake. The lack of such training could cause panic during such an event. Poland is rich in natural resources, with many coal and lignite mines. A strong earthquake can threaten these as well as residential, public, industrial, and other buildings. This article provides an overview of earthquake events in Europe in relation to events worldwide and proposes solutions based on the experience of other countries. Here is a proposal to prepare new standards for buildings in Poland for protection against earthquakes in the next 50 years, based on the experience of other countries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1015 KiB  
Article
Carbon Effects from Intra-Product International Specialization: Evidence from China’s Manufacturing Industries
by Ye Tian, Wenyu Guo, Hao Sun and Yao Tan
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12433; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612433 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Intra-product international specialization promotes the global diversification of manufacturing industries with various carbon intensities. With the emerging topic of global warming, a new constraint on the use of carbon in international trade is being imposed on developing countries such as China. To explore [...] Read more.
Intra-product international specialization promotes the global diversification of manufacturing industries with various carbon intensities. With the emerging topic of global warming, a new constraint on the use of carbon in international trade is being imposed on developing countries such as China. To explore the potential effects of this constraint on the progress of specialization, a new theoretical framework was proposed with a series of empirical tests derived from detailed panel data built on statistics from 2004 to 2020 from manufacturing industries in China. The test results indicate that carbon emissions and emission levels in manufacturing industries are partially induced by specialization. Industries with various attributes present heterogeneous performances under the carbon effect. Intra-product international specialization has more significant carbon effects on certain industries, such as those with a limited technique, capital-intensive industries, and industries that use a medium to a high level of carbon. Therefore, given the carbon constraints, high-quality development in manufacturing industries may be attained in developing countries such as China through improvements in specialization in the international market and incremental foreign investment in high-value-added and low-carbon production sectors. These improvements could be secured by implementing appropriate industrial policies and constraints on energy consumption. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2318 KiB  
Article
CO2 Emissions from Plastic Consumption Behaviors in Thailand
by Virin Kittithammavong, Wilawan Khanitchaidecha and Pajaree Thongsanit
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612135 - 08 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Plastic waste is an environmental crisis that is becoming increasingly well-documented. The rapid expansion of plastic manufacturing and consumption has led to a harmful cycle of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions due to petroleum-based production and plastic waste disposal. Plastic production and disposal [...] Read more.
Plastic waste is an environmental crisis that is becoming increasingly well-documented. The rapid expansion of plastic manufacturing and consumption has led to a harmful cycle of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions due to petroleum-based production and plastic waste disposal. Plastic production and disposal depend on the consumption behavior of people. This study aimed to examine the plastic consumption behavior in Thailand and its impact on climate change at the end-of-life stage. The general information, plastic consumption, and plastic waste management were collected via questionnaires for each product lifetime, including single-use, medium-use, and long-use plastics. Based on 567 questionnaires, the results showed that people consumed single-use plastic, e.g., plastic bag, food container, cutlery, straws, and bottles, at a rate of about nine pieces/household/day or three pieces/cap/day. The medium-use and long-use plastic were 10 pieces/household/month and 50 pieces/household/year, respectively. It should be remarked that population density, education, and number of household members affected plastic consumption behavior, especially for single-use plastic. Regarding the disposal of end-of-life plastics, Thai people, on average, contribute 0.15 kg CO2eq/household/day to climate change. Many households have mismanaged waste by open dumping and open burning. Therefore, practicing proper waste management will help Thailand on the path to carbon neutrality in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

18 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Corporate Social Responsibility Information Disclosure and Financial Performance: Is Green Technology Innovation a Missing Link?
by Liang Li, Yanghong Wang, Huaping Sun, Huihui Shen and Yuen Lin
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11926; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511926 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1642 | Correction
Abstract
Corporate social responsibility information disclosure integrates environmental and social practices to achieve sustainable development. Some studies have pointed out that promoting green technology innovation is essential for energy-intensive firms. Therefore, exploring the relationship between energy-intensive environmental information disclosure and green technology innovation and [...] Read more.
Corporate social responsibility information disclosure integrates environmental and social practices to achieve sustainable development. Some studies have pointed out that promoting green technology innovation is essential for energy-intensive firms. Therefore, exploring the relationship between energy-intensive environmental information disclosure and green technology innovation and financial performance is essential. According to the generalized least squares with fixed model analysis results based on energy-intensive industry firms, the research findings are as follows: firstly, the disclosure information of corporate social responsibility has a significant effect on enterprises’ ROA. Secondly, there is a positive relationship between the shareholder responsibility score and employee responsibility score of information disclosure with financial performance. Thirdly, there is a significant positive correlation between the environmental responsibility score of CSR information disclosure with green technology innovation. Fourthly, green innovation is mediating in energy-intensive enterprises’ CSR information disclosure and financial performance. Lastly, combined with the theoretical and findings, we put forward the management implications and policy suggestions. Full article
18 pages, 7518 KiB  
Article
Aeolian Sand Erosion and Deposition Patterns in the Arid Region of the Xiliugou Tributary on the Upper Reaches of the Yellow River
by Hongsheng Zhao, Shuang Feng, Xiaohong Dang, Zhongju Meng, Zhengxin Chen and Yong Gao
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11714; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511714 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 856
Abstract
Surveys show that rivers worldwide transport an annual sediment load of 15 billion tons into the sea, with the Yellow River Basin alone contributing 1.6 billion tons of sand. Therefore, understanding the wind and sand dynamics in the Yellow River Basin is crucial [...] Read more.
Surveys show that rivers worldwide transport an annual sediment load of 15 billion tons into the sea, with the Yellow River Basin alone contributing 1.6 billion tons of sand. Therefore, understanding the wind and sand dynamics in the Yellow River Basin is crucial to ensuring the safe development of similar basins across China and the world. This study investigated the midstream wind and sand area of the Xiliugou tributary, a part of the upper Yellow River. Sand transport flux at 0–50 cm height on various underlying surfaces of the basin was measured using a stepped sand collector combined with an anemometer. Then, the amounts of wind and sand entering the Yellow River were estimated using a function model based on the measured factors. The particle size composition of wind-eroded sand was further analyzed to better understand the principles of wind and sand erosion and accumulation in the basin. The results show that the sand transport flux per unit area varies significantly across different underlying surfaces. The vertical change in sand transport rate on the basin’s surface shows that the total sand transport rate is an exponential function of wind speed. Based on this relationship, the total annual average wind and sand entering the Yellow River basin via the Xiliugou tributary was estimated to be approximately 8.09 × 105 t. Controlled by the basin’s unique geography, sand source, and human activities, the particle size composition of wind-eroded sand distinctly differs between the east and west sides of the river channel, exhibiting a “wind-blown mud and water-washed sand” pattern. The Yellow River basin still faces significant ecological security hazards. Understanding the coupling relationship between desert-basin-sand and wind is the foundation for effectively controlling wind and sand flow into the Yellow River Basin. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 4076 KiB  
Article
Rapid Vegetation Growth due to Shifts in Climate from Slow to Sustained Warming over Terrestrial Ecosystems in China from 1980 to 2018
by Yuxin Zhang, Junbang Wang and Alan E. Watson
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(15), 3707; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15153707 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR) is a key biophysiological parameter of terrestrial ecosystems. However, due to a lack of data with adequate spatial resolution and in long enough time series, there have been limitations in exploring the spatiotemporal changes of [...] Read more.
The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR) is a key biophysiological parameter of terrestrial ecosystems. However, due to a lack of data with adequate spatial resolution and in long enough time series, there have been limitations in exploring the spatiotemporal changes of vegetation and response to climate change. In this study, a 1 km spatial resolution and 8-day period length dataset (FPARANN) was developed covering the years 1980 to 2018 and evaluated on spatiotemporal change consistency by validating with Gross Primary Production (GPP) observations from the Chinese Flux Observation and Research Network (ChinaFLUX), and comparison with other FPAR products. FPARANN provided a comparable performance in capturing seasonal change observed through GPP, according to the coefficient of determination (R2): 0.50, 0.51, 0.70 and 0.74 averaged for all sites, forest sites, grassland sites and cropland flux sites, respectively. The new data had more spatial similarity to the MODIS FPAR product (FPARMCD15A2) with a greater R2 (0.77) and a lower RMSE (0.12) than other products. With a newly developed dataset, combined with FPARANN (1980–2003) and FPARMCD15A2 (2004–2018), an overall increasing trend in FPAR was found for over 81% of the vegetated area of China from 1980 to 2018. FPAR increased more rapidly for over 83.7% of the area in the 2010s, and at a slower pace for over 62.1% of the area in the early 2000s, which was attributed to a decadal shifting of climate change. This study implies the new dataset is useful in quantifying vegetation changes and would be an important data source for future study of the carbon cycle, soil erosion, or evapotranspiration, with great application potential. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 13530 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Land Use Changes on Water Yield and Water Conservation Services in Zhangjiakou, Beijing’s Upstream Watershed, China
by Lili Zhao, Yan-Jun Shen, Mengzhu Liu, Yixuan Wang, Yali Li and Hongwei Pei
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411077 - 15 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
The Water Conservation Functional Zone and Ecological Environmental Supporting Zone (the Capital Two Zones in China), Zhangjiakou (ZJK) City, situated in China, has played a key role in mitigating water scarcity pressure on Beijing via delivering sustainable and high-quality water yield, as well [...] Read more.
The Water Conservation Functional Zone and Ecological Environmental Supporting Zone (the Capital Two Zones in China), Zhangjiakou (ZJK) City, situated in China, has played a key role in mitigating water scarcity pressure on Beijing via delivering sustainable and high-quality water yield, as well as water conservation services aimed at maintaining the ecological functions of the Capital Two Zones. However, the changing mechanism for both water yield and water conservation services instigated by the combined impacts of human activities and climate change remains poorly understood. In this study, we used the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs Tools (InVEST) model to analyze the changes in water yield and water conservation services, revealing the impacts of different land use scenarios. The results showed significant forest and impervious land area increment, while the water surface area decreased sharply from 1990 to 2020, with obvious urbanization expansion in ZJK during the period. Average annual water yield and water conservation from 1990 to 2020 were recorded at 48.98 mm and 2.35 mm, respectively. Precipitation emerged as the primary driver of water yield and conservation service changes, while the south of ZJK generally exhibited higher water yield and conservation service than the north of ZJK. Results also indicate that grassland had the highest water yield, with an average of 56.60 mm, followed by forest (55.66 mm) and shrub (55.07 mm). Further, the forest had the highest water conservation value (3.73 mm), followed by shrub (2.56 mm), and grassland (2.37 mm), respectively. The return of cropland to forest scenario had the most substantial decrease in water yield. Findings suggest that precipitation has a direct impact on water yield and conservation services via the amount of atmospheric water input, while land use alteration contributes to changes in regional-scale water. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 8757 KiB  
Article
Temperature Reconstruction in the Southern Margin of Taklimakan Desert from Tamarix Cones Using GWO-SVM Model
by Zhiguang Li, Zitong Wang, Can Cui, Shuo Zhang and Yuanjie Zhao
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410813 - 10 Jul 2023
Viewed by 716
Abstract
The sedimentary laminae of Tamarix cones in arid regions are of great significance for dating and climatic reconstruction. Here, we present a multiproxy climatic record from the Tamarix cones in the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert. Both the bivariate analysis and canonical [...] Read more.
The sedimentary laminae of Tamarix cones in arid regions are of great significance for dating and climatic reconstruction. Here, we present a multiproxy climatic record from the Tamarix cones in the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert. Both the bivariate analysis and canonical correlation analysis were carried out for four groups of climate proxies in Tamarix cones, including organic matter content, grain size, cation content, and stable isotope content (δ13C, and δ18O). The temperature during the period from 1790 to 2010 AD has been reconstructed using the support vector machine optimized by the grey wolf optimizer, in which the climate proxies (TN, TOC, C/N, Mg2+, Ca2+, δ13C, and δ18O) were selected using the neighborhood rough set. The reconstructed values are in good agreement with the instrumental data. The regional temperature has distinct stages during the period from 1790 to 2010 AD, with cold conditions during 1790–1840 AD and 1896–1939 AD, and with warm conditions during 1841–1895 AD and 1940–2010 AD. The present work is beneficial to predict the future climate in the local area and encourage local governments to develop more effective measures to address the risks of climate change to environmental sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1887 KiB  
Article
Composite Characteristic and Mechanism Analysis of Human Settlements in Jinan City Based on Demand Hierarchy Theory
by Jiaji Gao, Fucun Cao, Dongqi Sun, Zhizhen Bai and Zhihan Lang
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1624; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071624 - 27 Jun 2023
Viewed by 800
Abstract
The composition of human settlements is important to resolving urban issues, such as land shortage, and to rationally distributing human settlements and social resources. Based on the demand hierarchy theory, this paper comprehensively used the methods of location entropy, information entropy, and geographic [...] Read more.
The composition of human settlements is important to resolving urban issues, such as land shortage, and to rationally distributing human settlements and social resources. Based on the demand hierarchy theory, this paper comprehensively used the methods of location entropy, information entropy, and geographic detector to analyze the characteristics and driving mechanism of the specialization, composition, and compatibility of human settlements at all levels. (1) The composite characteristics of human settlements were influential; that is, clear concentration differences were found among various types of human settlements, with the specialization of primary human settlements having the highest concentration. The specialization of human settlements was characterized as center–periphery; that is, the centrality of basic and high-level human settlements was obvious and the discreteness of primary human settlements was obvious. (2) The spatial differences in the north–central–south compositions of human settlements were also influential. These spatial differences showed that the composite characteristics of the basic high-level and intermediate high-level human settlements were similar, and the composite features were weakly affected by the scale of the elements. (3) Furthermore, single human settlements were dominant, and the multi-level human settlements that were compatible with the comprehensive composite form were the primary form of expression. The interactions between the primary and other human settlements were relatively high. Finally, (4) the high-level human settlement elements and regional economic vitality were the dominant factors of the composite characteristic heterogeneity of human settlements. Residential self and social attributes have an impact on the diversity of their needs, and they interact with human settlements through human settlement elements. The results of the study are of great significance to the rational allocation of human settlements and the promotion of the composition of human settlements. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 10627 KiB  
Review
Comparative Analysis of Research Trends and Hotspots of Foreign and Chinese Building Carbon Emissions Based on Bibliometrics
by Jiaojiao Yang, Ting Wang, Yujie Hu, Qiyun Deng and Shu Mo
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10152; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310152 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The construction industry has great potential for carbon emission reduction, which strongly impacts the peak of carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. This paper compares foreign and Chinese articles on building carbon emissions from publication objects, journals, subject categories, authors, and institutions. It discusses [...] Read more.
The construction industry has great potential for carbon emission reduction, which strongly impacts the peak of carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. This paper compares foreign and Chinese articles on building carbon emissions from publication objects, journals, subject categories, authors, and institutions. It discusses the differences in research trends and hotspots from keywords, reference co-citation analysis, and historical citation analysis. The results show that the number of publications on building carbon emissions steadily increased. The research on building carbon emissions in foreign articles is earlier and more systematic than that in China, and the output and influence of foreign articles are generally more prominent than those of Chinese articles. However, the production and influence of articles by certain Chinese authors and institutions have been remarkable. The topics of ‘CO2 emission’, ‘life-cycle assessment’, ‘environmental impact’, ‘greenhouse gas emission’, and ‘renewable energy’ are essential subjects for foreign and Chinese articles in the research field of building carbon emissions and the development trend is similar. The thematic direction of Chinese articles is more divergent and lacks well-developed themes that greatly influence other research themes. Finally, based on the research results, this study puts forward the potential future research direction of building carbon emissions. The results of this study will provide a current and systematic overview of this field, which will be helpful for future researchers to promote the development of research on building carbon emissions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1729 KiB  
Article
Life Cycle Analysis of a Novel Process from the Automotive Industry in Mexico for Recycling Nylon 6,6 into Polymeric Coatings
by Maria del Pilar Rodríguez, Edna Vázquez-Vélez, Horacio Martinez and Alvaro Torres-Islas
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129810 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
Sustainability has converted the topic of the humanity and life-cycle analysis (LCA) is one of the main methods for evaluating the impact of each product, process, and system. Polymers, especially nylon 6,6, have found substantial relevance in several areas such as automobiles, packaging, [...] Read more.
Sustainability has converted the topic of the humanity and life-cycle analysis (LCA) is one of the main methods for evaluating the impact of each product, process, and system. Polymers, especially nylon 6,6, have found substantial relevance in several areas such as automobiles, packaging, food, batteries, etc., in the last years and estimation of their impact on the environment as well as persons from their increased disposal is of intense importance. LCA procedures are being employed to investigate the same in terms of several ecosystems, resources, and human-based restrictions but there are still some limitations to the same. This paper presents an overview of using recycled nylon 6,6 coating as an alternative to the traditional way of final disposal of this polymer, focusing on its life cycle, production, coating characterization, data reproducibility, and limitations. OpenLCA software was used for the LCA of the recycled coating formation processes. EIA09 software was employed to estimate the environmental impact assessment. Results obtained using EIA09 software show that the recycled nylon 6,6 coating has a low environmental impact with respect to soil contamination. This result shows a clear advantage of plastic recycling compared to the traditional final disposal. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

27 pages, 10953 KiB  
Article
A New Combination Model for Air Pollutant Concentration Prediction: A Case Study of Xi’an, China
by Fan Yang, Guangqiu Huang and Yanan Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9713; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129713 - 17 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1063
Abstract
As energy demand continues to increase, the environmental pollution problem is becoming more severe. Governments and researchers have made great efforts to avoid and reduce air pollution. The prediction of PM2.5, as an important index affecting air quality, has great significance. [...] Read more.
As energy demand continues to increase, the environmental pollution problem is becoming more severe. Governments and researchers have made great efforts to avoid and reduce air pollution. The prediction of PM2.5, as an important index affecting air quality, has great significance. However, PM2.5 concentration has a complex change process that makes its prediction challenging. By calculating both PM2.5 concentration and that of other pollutants in the atmosphere and meteorological factors, it is evident that the variation in PM2.5 concentration is influenced by multiple factors, and that relevant features also influence each other. To reduce the calculated loss, with full consideration given to the influencing factors, we used the maximum correlation and minimum redundancy (MRMR) algorithm to calculate the correlation and redundancy between features. In addition, it is known from the Brock–Dechert–Scheinman (BDS) statistical results that the change in PM2.5 is nonlinear. Due to the outstanding performance of bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) neural networks in nonlinear prediction, we constructed an encoder–decoder model based on BiLSTM, named ED-BiLSTM, to predict the PM2.5 concentration at monitoring stations. For areas without monitoring sites, due to the lack of historical data, the application of neural networks is limited. To obtain the pollutant concentration distribution in the study area, we divided the study area into a 1 km × 1 km grid and combined the ED-BiLSTM model via the use of the inverse distance weighting (IDW) algorithm to obtain the PM2.5 concentration values in a region without monitoring stations. Finally, ArcGIS was used to visualize the results. The data for the case study were obtained from Xi’an. The results show that, compared with the standard long short-term memory (LSTM) model, the RMSE, MAE, and MAPE of our proposed model were reduced by 24.06%, 24.93%, and 22.9%, respectively. The proposed model has a low error for PM2.5 prediction and can provide a theoretical basis for the formulation of environmental protection policies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 625 KiB  
Article
FDI Quality, Green Technology Innovation and Urban Carbon Emissions: Empirical Evidence from China
by Hui Fang, Xiaoye Zhang, Ting Lei and Baya Lydia Houadi
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129657 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
High-quality introduction and utilization of foreign investment is a new engine for China’s further opening up and plays a significant role in urban carbon emission reduction in the context of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality strategies. By constructing a comprehensive assessment index of [...] Read more.
High-quality introduction and utilization of foreign investment is a new engine for China’s further opening up and plays a significant role in urban carbon emission reduction in the context of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality strategies. By constructing a comprehensive assessment index of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) quality and using panel data from 283 Chinese cities from 2006 to 2019, this paper systematically examines the impact of FDI quality on urban carbon emissions and identifies the mechanism of green technology innovation in order to clarify the correlation among the three. The results show that FDI quality upgrading can significantly reduce urban carbon emissions, which is mainly manifested by FDI management and FDI export capacity to suppress total carbon emissions. The above effect of FDI quality is more significant in cities with a low rationalization degree of industrial structure, high investment in science and technology, strong environmental regulation and high dependence on foreign capital. Green technology innovation is an intermediary mechanism for FDI quality to have a carbon emission reduction effect. Looking at different areas, foreign companies in the eastern regions can promote carbon emission reduction through independent innovation, while the central and western regions essentially rely on imitative innovation; however, there is a delay in the role of innovation quality. Further study suggests that the carbon emission reduction effect of FDI quality has an obvious characteristic of threshold, which will be slightly weakened with the increase in the quantity of imitative innovation but strengthened with the improvement of the quantity of independent innovation and the quality of innovation. The conclusion aims to provide policy implications for China to explore a sustainable pathway that combines promoted opening with carbon reduction targets. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 8006 KiB  
Article
Research on Formulating Energy Benchmarks for Various Types of Existing Residential Buildings from the Perspective of Typology: A Case Study of Chongqing, China
by Haijing Huang, Kedi Zhu and Xi Lin
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051346 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
The full exploration of the energy-saving potential during the operation of buildings is an essential aspect of energy-efficiency retrofitting for existing residential buildings. Setting reasonable energy consumption quotas can promote the improvement of energy efficiency. The energy benchmark is one of the energy [...] Read more.
The full exploration of the energy-saving potential during the operation of buildings is an essential aspect of energy-efficiency retrofitting for existing residential buildings. Setting reasonable energy consumption quotas can promote the improvement of energy efficiency. The energy benchmark is one of the energy consumption quotas, which represents the general energy consumption level of similar buildings and serves as the energy-saving goal for high-energy-consuming buildings. This study aims to classify existing residential buildings based on their forms and actual energy consumption data and to set energy benchmarks for each building type. Taking typical existing residential buildings built before 2000 in Chongqing, a city in southwestern China, as an example, from the perspective of building typology, the study classified residential buildings into four types and determined the energy benchmarks. Then, energy-efficiency retrofitting measure evaluation and potential analysis were carried out for each type. The study shows that energy for cooling and heating accounts for a high proportion of energy use in existing residential buildings. The energy consumption of residential buildings is greatly affected by orientation and floor area. Point-like buildings with smaller areas facing west have higher energy benchmarks, while slab-like buildings with larger south-facing areas have lower energy benchmarks. The results and methods of the study can provide a basis for the formulation of energy benchmarks for residential buildings, as well as regional energy analysis, energy-saving potential prediction, and energy-saving measure evaluation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 8214 KiB  
Article
Regional Characteristics of Cloud Properties over the Loess Plateau
by Shuhua Zhang, Cunyin Jin, Qianqian Tian, Xueqian Ding and Guanghui Ming
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(10), 2603; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15102603 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1031
Abstract
As an important meteorological element, clouds play an important role in the radiative transfer process and atmospheric and water circulation. The Loess Plateau is the largest arid and semi-arid area in China, with a fragile ecological environment. However, few scholars have studied the [...] Read more.
As an important meteorological element, clouds play an important role in the radiative transfer process and atmospheric and water circulation. The Loess Plateau is the largest arid and semi-arid area in China, with a fragile ecological environment. However, few scholars have studied the spatial and temporal variations in cloud properties in the Loess Plateau. Therefore, in this study, cloud properties in the Loess Plateau were analyzed at the annual, seasonal, and diurnal scales based on Himawari-8 cloud products. The results show that cloud frequency (CF), cloud optical thickness (COT) and cloud effective radius (CER) show obvious spatial discrepancies in the Loess Plateau. Regions with high CF and COT values are mainly concentrated in the southern part of the Loess Plateau. In general, areas with high CER values also have low COT values. The highest CF values are observed in summer, and the highest COT values mainly appear in autumn. However, the highest CER values mainly appear in spring and winter. In terms of the diurnal variation, the CF is high at midday and low in the morning and afternoon, while the diurnal variation in COT values is the opposite: there are high COT values in the morning and afternoon and low values at midday. The CER values show an increasing trend from morning to afternoon and reach a maximum at 17:00 BJT. High CF values in the southern Loess Plateau and in summer relate to surface water and heat conditions; the vegetation cover, total column water vapor and temperature values are relatively high in this area. High COT values in the southern Loess Plateau are associated with sufficient water vapor levels and high levels of aerosol optical thickness. However, high CER levels in the northern Loess Plateau and in spring and winter may be caused by a higher nucleation rate related to the colder temperature. Moreover, more factors could influence CER, i.e., water vapor and aerosols, but they show complex relationships with the CER which need further explored. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

27 pages, 750 KiB  
Article
Can Companies Reduce Carbon Emission Intensity to Enhance Sustainability?
by Sisi Zheng and Shanyue Jin
Systems 2023, 11(5), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems11050249 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
With the rapid development of global industrialization and modernization, carbon emissions have brought about serious climate warming and environmental pollution problems. Chinese enterprises, as the major players in carbon emissions, are important in terms of promoting the green transformation of the economy. It [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of global industrialization and modernization, carbon emissions have brought about serious climate warming and environmental pollution problems. Chinese enterprises, as the major players in carbon emissions, are important in terms of promoting the green transformation of the economy. It is particularly important to investigate the relationship and mechanism of action between carbon emission reduction and corporate sustainable development in Chinese enterprises. This study aims to determine whether reducing the intensity of carbon emissions can make businesses more sustainable and to analyze the moderating influences of government environmental subsidies, media monitoring, and executives’ green opinions on the link between the two variables. The study sample consists of Shanghai and Shenzhen A-shares data from 2015 to 2020, and a fixed-effects model is employed for analysis. Data were obtained from the China Stock Market & Accounting Research database, the Financial News Database of Listed Companies, and enterprise financial statement notes, etc. Stata17.0 was used to clean and analyze the data. The results indicate that businesses can greatly improve their long-term viability by lowering their carbon emissions. Additionally, government environmental subsidies, media monitoring, and executives’ green perceptions all enhance the correlation between corporate sustainability and reduce carbon emission intensity. This study not only enriches the relationship between environmental governance and sustainable development from a theoretical perspective, but also further expands the stakeholder theory. It also finds the mechanism of the role of the government and media on corporate carbon emissions for sustainable development in practice, which provides effective guidance to accelerate the promotion of carbon emission reduction and, thus, the sustainable development of Chinese enterprises. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1459 KiB  
Article
Does Coal Consumption Control Policy Synergistically Control Emissions and Energy Intensity?
by Jianhua Huangfu, Wenjuan Zhao and Lei Yu
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 7748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15107748 - 09 May 2023
Viewed by 905
Abstract
The coal consumption constraint policy (CCCP) serves a crucial role in the maintenance of environmental and economic sustainability for China. However, it is debatable whether the CCCP reduces emissions and energy intensity. The present study explores the impact and realization pathways of the [...] Read more.
The coal consumption constraint policy (CCCP) serves a crucial role in the maintenance of environmental and economic sustainability for China. However, it is debatable whether the CCCP reduces emissions and energy intensity. The present study explores the impact and realization pathways of the CCCP on energy and emissions intensity at the city level from 2005 to 2019 using a time-varying difference-in-differences (DID) and structural equation model (SEM) approach. We find that the CCCP can control emissions and energy intensity synergistically. Particularly, the CCCP has significantly reduced SO2 and CO2 emission intensity and energy intensity by 0.1283%, 0.0747%, and 0.2493%, respectively. Moreover, the CCCP can effectively reduce emissions intensity through industrial restructuring, and technology advancement is the only effective way to reduce energy intensity. The study provides some valuable suggestions to enable the control of coal consumption. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Fiscal Expenditure on Sports and Regional Carbon Emissions: Evidence from China
by Muwei Xi, Dingqing Wang and Ye Xiang
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7595; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097595 - 05 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Due to the problems of economic structure and the ways of industrial development, many countries have accumulated many ecological problems in the process of economic development, especially the increase in carbon emissions, the greenhouse effect, and the emergence of a series of problems, [...] Read more.
Due to the problems of economic structure and the ways of industrial development, many countries have accumulated many ecological problems in the process of economic development, especially the increase in carbon emissions, the greenhouse effect, and the emergence of a series of problems, which makes the global ecosystem suffer severe challenges. Achieving green sustainable development has become a strategic development arrangement for all countries, and as the sports economy is closely linked to regional green development, it has become an important channel to influence regional green development by promoting sports development. Based on theoretical analysis, this paper empirically analyzes and tests the impact of government fiscal support for sports on regional carbon emissions and its mechanisms based on provincial panel data using baseline regressions, a mediated effects model, and a threshold model. We argue that the development of green and healthy sports can have a significant impact on regional green development and that government fiscal support for sports plays an important role in this process. We found that government fiscal support for sports can significantly reduce regional carbon emissions and thus promote regional green development. From the perspective of mechanism analysis, the government’s fiscal support for sports leads to the orderly development of the sports industry and its associated industries, which improves the rationalization of the regional industrial structure and thus reduces regional carbon emissions. Moreover, as the carbon productivity of the region continues to rise, the impact of fiscal support for sports on regional low-carbon development gradually deepens. This paper confirms the important role of the government’s emphasis on sports development in the process of achieving carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, verifies the mediating effect of industrial structure rationalization, and further quantifies the correlation through the threshold effect, extending the study of the influencing factors affecting regional carbon emissions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1228 KiB  
Article
Is Sustainability Reporting Promoting a Circular Economy? Analysis of Companies’ Sustainability Reports in the Agri-Food Sector in the Scope of Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and EU Taxonomy Regulation
by Christof Falkenberg, Carina Schneeberger and Siegfried Pöchtrager
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097498 - 03 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2841
Abstract
Circular economy has the potential to contribute significantly to sustainable development. Despite its popularity, implementation in Europe is still low. Through more stringent sustainability reporting, the circular economy should be increasingly implemented by companies, which is currently pursued by the EU through two [...] Read more.
Circular economy has the potential to contribute significantly to sustainable development. Despite its popularity, implementation in Europe is still low. Through more stringent sustainability reporting, the circular economy should be increasingly implemented by companies, which is currently pursued by the EU through two new legal acts. Therefore, we need a more integrated understanding of existing practices of corporate sustainability reporting to identify weak points and possibilities for further improvement. This article aims to (i) investigate whether companies in the agri-food sector have reported on the circular economy so far, (ii) to what extent future legal obligations are already being met, and (iii) if the two new EU legal acts hold significance for the promotion of circular economy through corporate reporting. To assess the current reporting practices, a qualitative content analysis and a mapping approach of 20 selected sustainability reports from key players in the agri-food sector have been conducted. Additionally, seven semi-structured expert interviews were carried out to review the future role of the legal acts. Results show that reporting in the agri-food sector on circular economy has increased considerably as of 2016, but it is still lacking in terms of the two new legal acts. Although the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) can be seen as a good basis for reporting, there is a large number of new obligations, which means that companies should start preparing at an early stage. This is especially true for those agri-food companies that have not yet been subjected to any reporting obligations. Experts have agreed with this view, considering the legal acts as an important vehicle for promoting the concept. However, they also recognize the weaknesses, such as the existing scope for interpretation, which still need to be addressed before the final publication of the standard and the technical criteria. Future research should analyze the final commitments of the reports (including for small and medium-sized companies), compare them with established reporting standards, seek expert opinions on them, and quantitatively examine sustainability reports in this and other industries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4430 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Variations in the Sensitivity of Vegetation Growth to Typical Climate Factors on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
by Kai Wu, Jiahao Chen, Han Yang, Yue Yang and Zhongmin Hu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(9), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15092355 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Gaining knowledge about vegetation sensitivity in response to climate change is a current research priority in the context of accelerated shifts generated by global warming, especially for the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP), where vegetation is known to be highly sensitive to ongoing climate change. [...] Read more.
Gaining knowledge about vegetation sensitivity in response to climate change is a current research priority in the context of accelerated shifts generated by global warming, especially for the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP), where vegetation is known to be highly sensitive to ongoing climate change. However, the temporal variability of vegetation sensitivity in response to climate change is still poorly understood on the QTP. Here, we articulate the interannual variability of the vegetation sensitivity in response to typical climate factors, including temperature, solar radiation, and water availability, on the QTP during 2000–2021, using a variety of indicators characterizing vegetation dynamics, including the Leaf Area Index (LAI), the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) data. The results indicate that temperature exerted positive impacts on forests, grasslands, and barren or sparsely vegetated areas (BSVs). However, all the land-cover types showed decreasing sensitivity to temperature variability. Solar radiation had a positive impact on forests, while it had a negative impact on grasslands and BSVs. An increasing trend was observed for forests, while a decreasing trend was found for grasslands and BSVs regarding their sensitivity to solar radiation. Water availability exerted a positive impact on grasslands and BSVs, and no obvious impact direction could be determined for forests. Over the last two decades, forests and BSVs exhibited increasing sensitivity to water availability, and no obvious trend was observed for grasslands. Overall, temperature was the most important climate factor, followed by solar radiation and water availability, regarding the regulation of vegetation sensitivity on the QTP. Spatially, temperature and solar radiation jointly dominated the vegetation sensitivity in the central to eastern QTP. Conversely, water availability dominated the sensitivity of forests in the southeastern QTP and grasslands in the northeastern and southwestern QTP. This study provides theoretical support for the ecological conservation and management of the QTP in the context of ongoing climate change. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 15301 KiB  
Article
A Twenty-Year Assessment of Spatiotemporal Variation of Surface Temperature in the Yangtze River Delta, China
by Quan Zhang, Tian Feng, Mengen Wang, Gang Yang, Huimin Lu and Weiwei Sun
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(9), 2274; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15092274 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1463
Abstract
A good understanding of the processes of land surface temperature (LST) change is important for assessing regional climate change. In the present study, we obtained the MODIS MOD11A2 LST products over the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) from 2001 to 2020. In order to [...] Read more.
A good understanding of the processes of land surface temperature (LST) change is important for assessing regional climate change. In the present study, we obtained the MODIS MOD11A2 LST products over the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) from 2001 to 2020. In order to comprehensively assess the spatial and temporal variability of LST in the YRD region over the past two decades, the Theil–Sen Median trend analysis and Mann–Kendall test, BFAST01 trend decomposition, and landscape pattern analysis were used in this study. We show that the rate of linear change in LST in the YRD ranges from −0.019 °C/month to 0.046 °C/month. The BFAST01 trend decomposition identifies more details of LST change and monotonic increases, reversal increase, and interruption increase are the main warming trends. The distribution of the different trend types shows strong aggregation with high spatial heterogeneity. The LST breakpoints are mainly located in the northern and southern YRD, which frequently occurred during 2010–2013. Of the various land types, breakpoints occur most frequently in cropland and high NDVI (0.5–0.7) areas, and the intensity of most of them is within 2 °C. In addition, much stronger warming occurs in urban areas than in other land types. Our study provides a better understanding of the dynamics of LST in the YRD region over the past 20 years and highlights that breakpoints cannot be circumvented in regional temperature assessment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4181 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights City Policy on Firm Green Innovation: A Quasi-Natural Experiment Based on a Staggered DID Model
by Xingneng Xia, Tao Huang and Sheng Zhang
Systems 2023, 11(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems11040209 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Green innovation is considered an important way to promote low-carbon society formation and the sustainable development of environmental engineering. However, few quantitative studies have focused on the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) on firm green innovation (FGI). This paper constructs a quasi-natural [...] Read more.
Green innovation is considered an important way to promote low-carbon society formation and the sustainable development of environmental engineering. However, few quantitative studies have focused on the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) on firm green innovation (FGI). This paper constructs a quasi-natural experiment based on the IPR pilot city policy in China. We empirically investigated the influence of IPR policy on FGI using a staggered difference-in-differences (DID) model and Chinese listed company data from 2007 to 2020. The findings of this research are as follows: (1) IPR policy significantly promotes FGI, and its effectiveness is confirmed by a variety of robustness tests. (2) The IPR policy supports both green product and green process innovation, with a stronger effect on green product innovation. (3) The IPR policy encourages green independent R&D but has little influence on green joint R&D. (4) The IPR policy promotes FGI with a high knowledge intensity, state-owned enterprises, and firms in key city groups. (5) The IPR policy supports FGI primarily via two institutional channels: increasing R&D investment and easing financing constraints. This paper broadens the study of green innovation city policy and FGI development, offering new perspectives for achieving social and environmental sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 2517 KiB  
Communication
Study on Factors Affecting Remote Sensing Ecological Quality Combined with Sentinel-2
by Qiang Fan, Yue Shi, Xiaonan Song and Nan Cong
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(8), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15082156 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Reasonable allocation of urban resources can effectively control changes in ecological quality. This study used Sentinel-2 images, taking urban functional areas as the dividing scale, and combined spatial analysis, statistics, and other relevant methods to explore the factors influencing remote sensing ecological quality [...] Read more.
Reasonable allocation of urban resources can effectively control changes in ecological quality. This study used Sentinel-2 images, taking urban functional areas as the dividing scale, and combined spatial analysis, statistics, and other relevant methods to explore the factors influencing remote sensing ecological quality in Puxi, Shanghai, China. Landsat-8 and high-resolution Sentinel-2 data fusion achieved more refined remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) distribution data, which is of great significance for ecological quality exploration in small areas; the degree of influence of the selected research factors on the RSEI was spectral index > building > social perception > terrain. The R-value of the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) was 0.970, and it exerted the strongest influence. The R-value of the average building height was 0.103, indicating that it had the weakest influence. The interactions among the selected factors were mainly two-factor and nonlinear enhancements. Most factor combinations exhibited two-factor enhancement. There were six groups of factor combinations for nonlinear enhancement, of which five were related to the average building height. The results of the present study provide a reference for multi-path ecological quality control in small-area regions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 14272 KiB  
Article
Driving Mechanism of Differentiation in Urban Thermal Environment during Rapid Urbanization
by Yifeng Ji, You Peng, Zhitao Li, Jiang Li, Shaobo Liu, Xiaoxi Cai, Yicheng Yin and Tao Feng
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(8), 2075; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15082075 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
To achieve sustainable urban development, it is essential to gain insight into the spatial and temporal differentiation characteristics and the driving mechanisms of the urban thermal environment (UTE). As urbanization continues to accelerate, human activity and landscape configuration and composition interact to complicate [...] Read more.
To achieve sustainable urban development, it is essential to gain insight into the spatial and temporal differentiation characteristics and the driving mechanisms of the urban thermal environment (UTE). As urbanization continues to accelerate, human activity and landscape configuration and composition interact to complicate the UTE. However, the differences in UTE-driven mechanisms at different stages of urbanization remain unclear. In this study, the UTE of Shenyang was measured quantitatively by using the land surface temperature (LST). The spatial and temporal differentiation characteristics were chronologically studied using the standard deviation ellipse (SDE) and hotspot analysis (Getis–Ord Gi*). Then, the relationship between human activities, landscape composition and landscape configuration and LST was explored in a hierarchical manner by applying the geographical detector. The results show that the UTE in Shenyang continues to deteriorate with rapid urbanization, with significant spatial and temporal differentiation characteristics. The class-level landscape configuration is more important than that at the landscape level when studying UTE-driven mechanisms. At the class level, the increased area and abundance of cropland can effectively reduce LST, while those of impervious surfaces can increase LST. At the landscape level, LST is mainly influenced by landscape composition and human activities. Due to rapid urbanization, the nonlinear relationship between most drivers and LST shifts to near-linear. In the later stage of urbanization, more attention needs to be paid to the effect of the interaction of drivers on LST. At the class level, the interaction between landscape configuration indices for impervious surfaces, cropland and water significantly influenced LST. At the landscape level, the interactions among the normalized difference building index (NDBI) and other selected factors are significant. The findings of this study can contribute to the development of urban planning strategies to optimize the UTE for different stages of urbanization. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 5205 KiB  
Review
Study on the Progress in Climate-Change-Oriented Human Settlement Research
by Qiang Yao, Na An, Ende Yang and Zhengjiang Song
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5733; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075733 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Since the 20th century, the escalating impact of climate risks has led to a heightened global focus on climate-change-oriented human settlement research (hereafter referred to as CCHSR). This paper presents an econometric analysis of 6830 research papers published from 1975 to 2023 (first [...] Read more.
Since the 20th century, the escalating impact of climate risks has led to a heightened global focus on climate-change-oriented human settlement research (hereafter referred to as CCHSR). This paper presents an econometric analysis of 6830 research papers published from 1975 to 2023 (first two months) to investigate the characteristics, key issues, and research trends in CCHSR, to provide valuable insights and recommendations for future research. We used CiteSpace, bibliometric software that constructs a knowledge-mapping analysis of annual publication volume, source publications, and country distribution; this study examines the characteristics of the literature sources in CCHSR. It also explores the literature distribution through an analysis of co-citation and collaboration. The study identifies the key topics of current research through a keyword clustering analysis, including extreme climate risk response, environmental safety and sustainability enhancement, and machine learning technology application. The study identifies three research trends for future investigations by analysing keyword emergence, including climate risk governance implementation, artificial intelligence technology application, and settlement security and resilience enhancement. Finally, the study presents recommendations for priority CCHSR in three areas: theoretical system development, mechanism strategy design, and technology implementation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 4311 KiB  
Article
Simulation Study on Geometric Parameters Influencing the Flow Coefficient of Perforated Plate
by Yaogen Peng, Huijun Mao, Zhichao Liu and Cheng Wei
Buildings 2023, 13(3), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13030804 - 18 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Natural ventilation is one of the vital means for passive energy-efficient design in green buildings. As a widely used building façade, the perforated plate is mostly utilized for appearance decoration, noise absorption, and sun shading, but its impact on the natural ventilation effect [...] Read more.
Natural ventilation is one of the vital means for passive energy-efficient design in green buildings. As a widely used building façade, the perforated plate is mostly utilized for appearance decoration, noise absorption, and sun shading, but its impact on the natural ventilation effect has rarely been paid attention to. In this study, the influence of the perforation rate, the perforation size, and the perforation shape on the flow coefficient of the perforated plate were simulated using the commercial CFD software Fluent, and the correlation between the flow coefficient and these geometric parameters was then regressed. The results show that the flow coefficient of perforated plate increases with the increase in perforation rate, which is slightly greater than that of ordinary building openings, and the corresponding flow coefficients of different holes rank as circle > square > triangle under the same conditions. The flow coefficient increases with the increase in the perforation size, and this effect is greater when the size is small. In addition, the flow coefficient is less affected by the size of round holes compared to triangular and square holes. The regression model indicates that both the perforation rate and the perforation size have a considerable positive influence on the flow coefficient, while the square and triangle holes have a negative influence on the flow coefficient compared with the circular hole. Moreover, the geometric parameters of perforated plates that have the greatest influence on flow coefficient are perforation rate, perforation shape, and size, in descending order. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

16 pages, 3475 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Relationship between Urban Biophysical Composition and Land Surface Temperature in a Hot Desert Megacity (Saudi Arabia)
by Abdullah Addas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065025 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1502
Abstract
The deteriorations of the thermal environment due to extreme land surface temperature (LST) has become one of the most serious environmental problems in urban areas. The spatial distribution of urban biophysical composition (UBC) has a significant impact on the LST. Therefore, it is [...] Read more.
The deteriorations of the thermal environment due to extreme land surface temperature (LST) has become one of the most serious environmental problems in urban areas. The spatial distribution of urban biophysical composition (UBC) has a significant impact on the LST. Therefore, it is essential to understand the relationship between LST and biophysical physical composition (BPC) to mitigate the effects of UHIs. In this study, an attempt was made to understand the relationship between LST and BPC in a hot desert coastal megacity (Jeddah megacity) in Saudi Arabia. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to understand the factors affecting LST based on remote sensing indices. Correlation and regression analyses were carried out to understand the relationship between LST and BPC and the impact of BPC on LST. The results showed that, in Jeddah city from 2000 to 2021, there was a substantial increase in the built-up area, which increased from 3085 to 5557.98 hectares. Impervious surfaces had a significant impact on the LST, and green infrastructure (GI) was negatively correlated with LST. Based on the PCA results, we found that the GI was a significant factor affecting the LST in Jeddah megacity. The findings of this study, though not contributing to further understanding of the impact of BPC on LST, will provide planners and policy makers with a foundation for developing very effective strategies to improve the eco-environmental quality of Jeddah megacity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1052 KiB  
Article
The Extension of Vegetable Production to High Altitudes Increases the Environmental Cost and Decreases Economic Benefits in Subtropical Regions
by Tao Liang, Weilin Tao, Yan Wang, Na Zhou, Wei Hu, Tao Zhang, Dunxiu Liao, Xinping Chen and Xiaozhong Wang
Land 2023, 12(3), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12030662 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1846
Abstract
Global warming has driven the expansion of cultivated land to high-altitude areas. Intensive vegetable production, which is generally considered to be a high economic value and high environmental risk system, has expanded greatly in high-altitude mountainous areas of China. However, the environmental cost [...] Read more.
Global warming has driven the expansion of cultivated land to high-altitude areas. Intensive vegetable production, which is generally considered to be a high economic value and high environmental risk system, has expanded greatly in high-altitude mountainous areas of China. However, the environmental cost of vegetable production in these areas is poorly understood. In this study, pepper production at low (traditional pepper production area) and high (newly expanded area) altitudes were investigated in Shizhu, a typical pepper crop area. The output and environmental cost at the two altitudes were identified. the influence of resource inputs, climate, and soil properties on pepper production was evaluated. There were obvious differences in output and environmental cost between the two altitudes. High-altitude pepper production achieved a 16.2% lower yield, and had a higher fertilizer input, resulting in a 22.3% lower net ecosystem economic benefit (NEEB), 23.0% higher nitrogen (N) footprint and 24.0% higher carbon (C) footprint compared to low-altitude farming. There is potential for environmental mitigation with both high- and low-altitude pepper production; Compared to average farmers, high-yield farmers groups reduced their N and C footprints by 16.9–24.8% and 18.3–25.2%, respectively, with 30.6–34.1% higher yield. A large increase in yield could also be achieved by increasing the top-dress fertilizer rate and decreasing the plant density. Importantly, high-altitude pepper production was achieved despite less advanced technology and inferior conditions (e.g., a poor road system and uneven fields). It provides a reference for the study of the environmental cost of other high-altitude regions or other crop systems at high-altitude areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 4145 KiB  
Article
Spatial Correlations of Land Use Carbon Emissions in Shandong Peninsula Urban Agglomeration: A Perspective from City Level Using Remote Sensing Data
by Lin Zhao, Chuan-hao Yang, Yu-chen Zhao, Qian Wang and Qi-peng Zhang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(6), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15061488 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
The spatial and temporal characteristics of land use carbon emissions are relevant to the sustainable use of land resources. Although spatial and temporal studies have been conducted on land use carbon emissions, the spatial correlation of land use carbon emissions at the city [...] Read more.
The spatial and temporal characteristics of land use carbon emissions are relevant to the sustainable use of land resources. Although spatial and temporal studies have been conducted on land use carbon emissions, the spatial correlation of land use carbon emissions at the city level still requires further research. Here, we estimated the distribution of carbon emissions at the city level in Shandong Peninsula urban agglomeration in spatial and temporal terms based on land use remote sensing data and fossil energy consumption data during 2000–2019. The results showed that the land use change in the 16 cities in the study area was the conversion of cropland to construction land. Carbon emissions from land use had an upward trend for all 16 cities overall during the period of 2000–2019, but the incremental carbon emissions trended downward after 2010. Among them, Jinan and Qingdao had higher carbon emissions than other cities. In addition, we also found that land use carbon emissions at the city level were characterized by stochasticity, while per capita carbon emissions displayed geospatial aggregation. Among them, Yantai displayed a spatial pattern of high–high clustering of carbon emissions, while Jining presented a spatial pattern of low–low clustering in terms of land-average carbon emissions and carbon emissions per capita during 2000–2019. The results of the study are important for guiding the achievement of urban carbon emission reduction and carbon neutrality targets at the city level. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

30 pages, 1630 KiB  
Review
Dynamic Response and Adaptation of Grassland Ecosystems in the Three-River Headwaters Region under Changing Environment: A Review
by Yaowen Kou, Quanzhi Yuan, Xiangshou Dong, Shujun Li, Wei Deng and Ping Ren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054220 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
The Three-River Headwaters Region (TRHR) is crucial to the sustainable development of China and Southeast Asia. The sustainability of grassland ecosystems in the region has been seriously challenged in recent years. This paper reviewed the changes in the grasslands of the TRHR and [...] Read more.
The Three-River Headwaters Region (TRHR) is crucial to the sustainable development of China and Southeast Asia. The sustainability of grassland ecosystems in the region has been seriously challenged in recent years. This paper reviewed the changes in the grasslands of the TRHR and their responses to climate change and human activities. The review showed that accurate monitoring of grassland ecological information is the basis for effective management. Although alpine grassland coverage and the above-ground biomass of the alpine grassland have generally increased in the region over the past 30 years, the degradation has not been fundamentally curbed. Grassland degradation substantially reduced topsoil nutrients and affected their distribution, deteriorated soil moisture conditions, and aggravated soil erosion. Grassland degradation led to loss of productivity and species diversity, and this is already harming the well-being of pastoralists. The “warm and wet” trend of the climate promoted the restoration of alpine grasslands, but widespread overgrazing is considered as one of the main reasons for grassland degradation, and related differences still exist. Since 2000, the grassland restoration policy has achieved fruitful results, but the formulation of the policy still needs to integrate market logic effectively and strengthen the understanding of the relationship between ecological protection and cultural protection. In addition, appropriate human intervention mechanisms are urgently needed due to the uncertainty of future climate change. For mildly and moderately degraded grassland, traditional methods are applicable. However, the severely degraded “black soil beach” needs to be restored by artificial seeding, and the stability of the plant–soil system needs to be emphasized to establish a relatively stable community to prevent secondary degradation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2464 KiB  
Article
Carbon Footprint Analysis of Sewage Sludge Thermochemical Conversion Technologies
by Liping Li, Guiyue Du, Beibei Yan, Yuan Wang, Yingxin Zhao, Jianming Su, Hongyi Li, Yanfeng Du, Yunan Sun, Guanyi Chen, Wanqing Li and Thomas Helmer Pedersen
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054170 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
Thermochemical conversion technology for sewage sludge (SS) management has obvious advantages compared to traditional technologies, such as considerable volume reduction, effective pathogen elimination, and potential fuel production. However, few researchers conducted comparative research on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission performances of these technologies. [...] Read more.
Thermochemical conversion technology for sewage sludge (SS) management has obvious advantages compared to traditional technologies, such as considerable volume reduction, effective pathogen elimination, and potential fuel production. However, few researchers conducted comparative research on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission performances of these technologies. This paper evaluates the lifecycle carbon footprints of three SS thermochemical conversion technologies, including hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) (Case 1), pyrolysis (Case 2), and incineration (Case 3) with software OpenLCA and Ecoinvent database. The results show that Case 1 has the smallest carbon footprint (172.50 kg CO2eq/t SS), which indicates the HTL process has the best GHG emission reduction potential compared to other SS disposal routes. The biggest contributor to the carbon footprint of SS thermochemical conversion technologies is indirect emissions related to energy consumption. So the energy consumption ratio (ECR) of the three cases is calculated to assess the energy consumption performances. From the perspective of energy conversion, Case 1 shows the best performance with an ECR of 0.34. In addition, element balance analysis is carried out to deeply evaluate the carbon reduction performance of the three cases. This study fills the knowledge gap regarding the carbon footprints for SS thermochemical conversion technologies and provides a reference for future technology selection and policymaking against climate change in the SS management sector. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1399 KiB  
Article
Territory Differences in Adaptation to Heat among Persons Aged 65 Years and Over in Spain (1983–2018)
by Miguel Ángel Navas-Martín, José Antonio López-Bueno, María Soledad Ascaso-Sánchez, Fernando Follos, José Manuel Vellón, Isidro Juan Mirón, María Yolanda Luna, Gerardo Sánchez-Martínez, Julio Díaz and Cristina Linares
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054168 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Climate change is currently regarded as the greatest global threat to human health, and its health-related consequences take different forms according to age, sex, socioeconomic level, and type of territory. The aim of this study is to ascertain the differences in vulnerability and [...] Read more.
Climate change is currently regarded as the greatest global threat to human health, and its health-related consequences take different forms according to age, sex, socioeconomic level, and type of territory. The aim of this study is to ascertain the differences in vulnerability and the heat-adaptation process through the minimum mortality temperature (MMT) among the Spanish population aged ≥65 years by territorial classification. A retrospective, longitudinal, ecological time-series study, using provincial data on daily mortality and maximum daily temperature across the period 1983–2018, was performed, differentiating between urban and nonurban populations. The MMTs in the study period were higher for the ≥65-year age group in urban provinces, with a mean value of 29.6 °C (95%CI 29.2–30.0) versus 28.1 °C (95%CI 27.7–28.5) in nonurban provinces. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). In terms of adaptation levels, higher average values were obtained for nonurban areas, with values of 0.12 (95%CI −0.13–0.37), than for urban areas, with values of 0.09 (95%CI −0.27–0.45), though this difference was not statistically significant (p < 0.05). These findings may contribute to better planning by making it possible to implement more specific public health prevention plans. Lastly, they highlight the need to conduct studies on heat-adaptation processes, taking into account various differential factors, such as age and territory. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3575 KiB  
Article
Copula-Based Assessment and Regionalization of Drought Risk in China
by Ming Li, Guiwen Wang, Shengwei Zong and Xurong Chai
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054074 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1924
Abstract
Droughts are widespread in China and have brought considerable losses to the economy and society. Droughts are intricate, stochastic processes with multi-attributes (e.g., duration, severity, intensity, and return period). However, most drought assessments tend to focus on univariate drought characteristics, which are inadequate [...] Read more.
Droughts are widespread in China and have brought considerable losses to the economy and society. Droughts are intricate, stochastic processes with multi-attributes (e.g., duration, severity, intensity, and return period). However, most drought assessments tend to focus on univariate drought characteristics, which are inadequate to describe the intrinsic characteristics of droughts due to the existence of correlations between drought attributes. In this study, we employed the standardized precipitation index to identify drought events using China’s monthly gridded precipitation dataset from 1961 to 2020. Univariate and copula-based bivariate methods were then used to examine drought duration and severity on 3-, 6-, and 12-month time scales. Finally, we used the hierarchical cluster method to identify drought-prone regions in mainland China at various return periods. Results revealed that time scale played an essential role in the spatial heterogeneity of drought behaviors, such as average characteristics, joint probability, and risk regionalization. The main findings were as follows: (1) 3- and 6-month time scales yielded comparable regional drought features, but not 12-month time scales; (2) higher drought severity was associated with longer drought duration; (3) drought risk was higher in the northern Xinjiang, western Qinghai, southern Tibet, southwest China, and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and lower in the southeastern coastal areas of China, the Changbai Mountains, and the Greater Khingan Mountains; (4) mainland China was divided into six subregions according to joint probabilities of drought duration and severity. Our study is expected to contribute to better drought risk assessment in mainland China. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 2858 KiB  
Article
Modeling Production-Living-Ecological Space for Chengdu, China: An Analytical Framework Based on Machine Learning with Automatic Parameterization of Environmental Elements
by Qi Cao, Junqing Tang, Yudie Huang, Manjiang Shi, Anton van Rompaey and Fengjue Huang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 3911; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053911 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1385
Abstract
Cities worldwide are facing the dual pressures of growing population and land expansion, leading to the intensification of conflicts in urban productive-living-ecological spaces (PLES). Therefore, the question of “how to dynamically judge the different thresholds of different indicators of PLES” plays an indispensable [...] Read more.
Cities worldwide are facing the dual pressures of growing population and land expansion, leading to the intensification of conflicts in urban productive-living-ecological spaces (PLES). Therefore, the question of “how to dynamically judge the different thresholds of different indicators of PLES” plays an indispensable role in the studies of the multi-scenario simulation of land space changes and needs to be tackled in an appropriate way, given that the process simulation of key elements that affect the evolution of urban systems is yet to achieve complete coupling with PLES utilization configuration schemes. In this paper, we developed a scenario simulation framework combining the dynamic coupling model of Bagging-Cellular Automata (Bagging-CA) to generate various environmental element configuration patterns for urban PLES development. The key merit of our analytical approach is that the weights of different key driving factors under different scenarios are obtained through the automatic parameterized adjustment process, and we enrich the study cases for the vast southwest region in China, which is beneficial for balanced development between eastern and western regions in the country. Finally, we simulate the PLES with the data of finer land use classification, combining a machine learning and multi-objective scenario. Automatic parameterization of environmental elements can help planners and stakeholders understand more comprehensively the complex land space changes caused by the uncertainty of space resources and environment changes, so as to formulate appropriate policies and effectively guide the implementation of land space planning. The multi-scenario simulation method developed in this study has offered new insights and high applicability to other regions for modeling PLES. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 32556 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Difference between Climate Aridity Index and Meteorological Drought Index in the Summer Monsoon Transition Zone
by Hongli Zhang, Liang Zhang, Qiang Zhang, Qian Liu, Xiaoni You and Lixia Wang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(5), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15051175 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1838
Abstract
The summer monsoon transition zone (SMTZ) in China represents an unusual land type with an agro-pasture ecotone, and it is a climate-sensitive region. Changes in climate aridity and changes in meteorological drought are mutually related yet fundamentally different. In this study, potential evapotranspiration [...] Read more.
The summer monsoon transition zone (SMTZ) in China represents an unusual land type with an agro-pasture ecotone, and it is a climate-sensitive region. Changes in climate aridity and changes in meteorological drought are mutually related yet fundamentally different. In this study, potential evapotranspiration (ETO) is calculated using Penman–Monteith, based on China’s national meteorological stations data from 1961 to 2013. An ETO-based climate aridity index (IAI) and ETO-based standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) are used as the metrics for climate aridity and meteorological drought, respectively. The result shows a significant difference between climate aridity and meteorological drought in the SMTZ, compared with the monsoon and non-monsoon zone. This difference varies on different time scales (1–48 months), and the greatest differences between IAI and SPEI are on seasonal and monthly scales (1–12 months), but lower at longer time scales (>12 months). The first reason for the difference is the desynchronicity of meteorological drought and the background climate. After the background climate becomes a relatively arid state (such as 0.96 < IAI < 1) from a semi-arid state (0.50 < IAI < 0.80), the continued arid state with weak IAI fluctuations eventually results in increasingly severe meteorological droughts, or the recurrence of equally severe droughts with drastic reduction. Consequently, the onset of the most severe climate aridity is two to seven months (mostly three to four months) ahead of the onset of the most severe drought events, until the climate returns to a semi-arid state. Second, climate aridity represents the average state of the background climate over a long time period and changes gently, while meteorological droughts are stochastic climate events and change drastically. These findings indicate that IAI can serve as a predictor of the onset of meteorological drought events, especially in the SMTZ, but it fails to characterize the progression of meteorological drought events well. Therefore, this result is of great significance for drought prediction and early warning. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3797 KiB  
Article
Extraction of Urban Built-Up Areas Using Nighttime Light (NTL) and Multi-Source Data: A Case Study in Dalian City, China
by Xueming Li, Yishan Song, He Liu and Xinyu Hou
Land 2023, 12(2), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020495 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
The rapid urban development associated with China’s reform and opening up has been the source of many urban problems. To understand these issues, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the distribution of urban spatial structure. Taking the six districts of [...] Read more.
The rapid urban development associated with China’s reform and opening up has been the source of many urban problems. To understand these issues, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the distribution of urban spatial structure. Taking the six districts of Dalian as an example, in this study, we integrated the enhanced vegetation index, points of interest, and surface temperature data into night light data. Furthermore, herein, we analyze the kernel density of the points of interest and construct three indices using image geometric mean: a human settlement index (HSI), a HSI-POI (HP) index, and a HSI-POI-LST (HPL) index. Using a support vector machine to identify the land type in Dalian’s built-up area, 1000 sampling points were created for verification. Then, the threshold boundary corresponding to the highest overall accuracy of each index and kappa coefficient was selected. The relevant conclusions are as follows: As compared with the other three types of data, the HPL index constructed in this study exhibited natural and social attributes, and the built-up area extracted using this method had the highest accuracy, a high image spatial resolution, and was able to overcome the omission issues observed when using one or two data sources. In addition, this method produces richer spatial details of the actual built-up area and provides more choices for assessing small-scale urban built-up areas in future research. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 734 KiB  
Article
How Does Trust Influence Farmers’ Low-Carbon Agricultural Technology Adoption? Evidence from Rural Southwest, China
by Wenfeng Zhou, Jia He, Shaoquan Liu and Dingde Xu
Land 2023, 12(2), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020466 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
Carbon emission reduction in agriculture is an important link to achieving green agricultural development and a rural ecological environment, and Low-Carbon Agricultural Technology (LCAT) of farmers is an important means to achieve carbon emission reduction in agriculture. Based on data obtained from a [...] Read more.
Carbon emission reduction in agriculture is an important link to achieving green agricultural development and a rural ecological environment, and Low-Carbon Agricultural Technology (LCAT) of farmers is an important means to achieve carbon emission reduction in agriculture. Based on data obtained from a survey of 540 farmers in Sichuan province in 2021, the Tobit model was used to empirically analyze the effect of trust on farmers’ LCAT adoption. The results show that (1) the trust level of farmers is high and the order is special trust > institutional trust > general trust. At the same time, the intensity of adoption of LCAT by farmers is not high, and the average number of LCAT adopted by each family is 1.13. Among them, straw-returning technology was adopted to a high degree, with 54.63% of farmers using it. (2) Farmers’ trust significantly enhances farmers’ LCAT adoption behavior, and the magnitude of the effect is characterized by specific trust > general trust > institutional trust chain. (3) Heterogeneity analysis shows that the influence of farmers’ specific trust and institutional trust in plain areas on the intensity of LCAT adoption is stronger than that of farmers in non-plain areas, and the influence of general trust of farmers in non-plain areas on the intensity of LCAT adoption is stronger than that of farmers in plain areas. The impact of specific trust, general trust, and institutional trust on LCAT adoption was stronger for the new generation of farmers than for the older generation of farmers. (4) Herding effect plays a mediating role in special trust, institutional trust, and LCAT adoption. This study can deepen our understanding of the relationship between farmers’ trust and LCAT adoption behavior, and then provide theoretical reference and practical basis for the promotion of LCAT and the improvement of farmers’ LCAT adoption level from the perspective of trust. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5987 KiB  
Article
Stochastic Spatial Binary Simulation with Multivariate Normal Distribution for Illustrating Future Evolution of Umbrella-Shape Summer Shelter under Climate Change
by Taesam Lee, Younghwan Choi and Vijay P. Singh
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 3147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15043147 - 09 Feb 2023
Viewed by 928
Abstract
Surface temperature has increased due to the impact of climate change, and the related weather events, such as heat waves and urban heat island, are occurring more frequently than before. Local governments and planners consider these impacts of climate change and try to [...] Read more.
Surface temperature has increased due to the impact of climate change, and the related weather events, such as heat waves and urban heat island, are occurring more frequently than before. Local governments and planners consider these impacts of climate change and try to avoid them. One of the mainly used structural tools is building summer shelters. A critical issue for urban planners is to test how many shelters should be added and how to distribute the shelters to cope with the impact of climate change. Stochastic simulation models can be a good option to randomize locations of shelters and to see how beneficial for living the shelters can be. Therefore, a novel stochastic simulation model is proposed for distributing summer shelters for coping with the climate change impact. This study proposes a stochastic spatial binary simulation with multivariate normal distribution (SSBM) which contains two major procedures consisting of (1) simulation-based derivation of the empirical function and (2) stochastic simulation of spatial binary data with multivariate normal distribution and the derived empirical function. The proposed model is applied to a case study in Jinju City, South Korea, for the umbrella-shape summer shelters (USS). Results concluded that the proposed SSBM reproduced the statistical characteristics of USS and can be a good alternative to model the locations of USS, including the impact of climate change and investigating the evolution of the USS in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 5850 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Dynamic Evolution and Its Driving Mechanism of Carbon Emissions in Hunan Province in the Last 20 Years
by Huangling Gu, Yan Liu, Hao Xia, Xiao Tan, Yanjia Zeng and Xianchao Zhao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043062 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1274
Abstract
Global warming caused by carbon emissions is an environmental issue of great concern to all sectors. Dynamic monitoring of the spatiotemporal evolution of urban carbon emissions is an important link to achieve the regional “double carbon” goal. Using 14 cities (prefectures) in Hunan [...] Read more.
Global warming caused by carbon emissions is an environmental issue of great concern to all sectors. Dynamic monitoring of the spatiotemporal evolution of urban carbon emissions is an important link to achieve the regional “double carbon” goal. Using 14 cities (prefectures) in Hunan Province as an example, based on the data of carbon emissions generated by land use and human production and life, and on the basis of estimating the carbon emissions in Hunan Province from 2000 to 2020 using the carbon emission coefficient method, this paper uses the Exploratory Spatial–Temporal Data Analysis (ESTDA) framework to analyze the dynamic characteristics of the spatiotemporal pattern of carbon emissions in Hunan Province from 2000 to 2020 through the Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) time path, spatiotemporal transition, and the standard deviation ellipse model. The driving mechanism and spatiotemporal heterogeneity of urban carbon emissions were studied by using the geographically and temporally weighted regression model (GTWR). The results showed that: (1) In the last 20 years, the urban carbon emissions of Hunan Province have had a significant positive spatial correlation, and the spatial convergence shows a trend of first increasing and then decreasing. Therefore, priority should be given to this relevance when formulating carbon emission reduction policies in the future. (2) The center of carbon emission has been distributed between 112°15′57″~112°25′43″ E and 27°43′13″~27°49′21″ N, and the center of gravity has shifted to the southwest. The spatial distribution has changed from the “northwest–southeast” pattern to the “north–south” pattern. Cities in western and southern Hunan are the key areas of carbon emission reduction in the future. (3) Based on LISA analysis results, urban carbon emissions of Hunan from 2000 to 2020 have a strong path dependence in spatial distribution, the local spatial structure has strong stability and integration, and the carbon emissions of each city are affected by the neighborhood space. It is necessary to give full play to the synergistic emission reduction effect among regions and avoid the closure of inter-city emission reduction policies. (4) Economic development level and ecological environment have negative impacts on carbon emissions, and the population, industrial structure, technological progress, per capita energy consumption, and land use have a positive impact on carbon emissions. The regression coefficients are heterogeneous in time and space. The actual situation of each region should be fully considered to formulate differentiated emission reduction policies. The research results can provide reference for the green and low-carbon sustainable development of Hunan Province and the formulation of differentiated emission reduction policies, and provide reference for other similar cities in central China. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

35 pages, 3690 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Challenges to Sustainable Development from the Perspective of Grey Systems Theory
by Ehsan Javanmardi, Sifeng Liu and Naiming Xie
Systems 2023, 11(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems11020070 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 15012
Abstract
Today’s challenges to sustainability are explored through a complex combination of interdisciplinary topics that explore various interactions between economic, social, and environmental systems that further contribute to existing uncertainties. Solving complex/dynamic sustainability constraints does not demand exclusively technical and practical methods, as it [...] Read more.
Today’s challenges to sustainability are explored through a complex combination of interdisciplinary topics that explore various interactions between economic, social, and environmental systems that further contribute to existing uncertainties. Solving complex/dynamic sustainability constraints does not demand exclusively technical and practical methods, as it is equally important to have a profound conceptual understanding of the origins of such challenges. The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges to the sustainable development process from the perspective of the philosophy of grey systems theory (GST). GST considers inherent defects and shortcomings in human understanding/knowledge and identifies the roots of uncertainty. The study concentrates on the sustainable development process, highlighting the ways in which GST explains the causes and sources of uncertainty in this process. It is emphasized that sustainability cannot be achieved without intentional human intervention, and that international collaboration is vital in solving sustainability problems. Uncertainty and challenges to sustainable development stem from human grey understanding and knowledge. This problem makes it difficult for humans to understand and model dynamicity, to strike a balance between different spheres of science, and to have an objective view of reality due to the dependence of knowledge on thinking paradigms and values. These shortcomings ultimately bring about value conflicts, different understandings of risks, and impediments to international collaboration and agreement. Finally, the study explains that uncertainty arises from incomplete understanding and grey knowledge, and that uncertainty undermines the prediction of outcomes. Furthermore, delays inherent in interactions and the impacts of diverse systems on the world increase uncertainty and complicate decision- and policymaking in improvement projects. In their efforts to implement their decisions and policies, humans also encounter various limitations in terms of their capacities, resources, and facilities. The application of GST-based approaches to the operational area is also discussed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4641 KiB  
Article
Monitoring and Effect Evaluation of an Ecological Restoration Project Using Multi-Source Remote Sensing: A Case Study of Wuliangsuhai Watershed in China
by Xiang Jia, Zhengxu Jin, Xiaoli Mei, Dong Wang, Ruoning Zhu, Xiaoxia Zhang, Zherui Huang, Caixia Li and Xiaoli Zhang
Land 2023, 12(2), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020349 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of ecological restoration provides timely feedback on restoration efforts, and helps to accurately understand the extent of restoration, while providing scientific support for optimizing restoration programs. In recent decades, the Wuliangsuhai watershed in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region [...] Read more.
Quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of ecological restoration provides timely feedback on restoration efforts, and helps to accurately understand the extent of restoration, while providing scientific support for optimizing restoration programs. In recent decades, the Wuliangsuhai watershed in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has been affected by anthropogenic activities, resulting in an increasingly unbalanced ecological environment. In order to curb environmental degradation, the local government implemented the “mountain, water, forest, field, lake and grass ecological protection and restoration project of the Wuliangsuhai watershed” from 2018 to 2020. The project has been completed and there is an urgent need for remote sensing monitoring to aid in performance evaluation. We took the ecological protection and restoration area of the Wuliangsuhai watershed in China as the research object, applied multi-source remote sensing imagery and auxiliary data such as meteorology and geographic basic data, extracted information of each evaluation index before and after the implementation of this project, and used the entropy value method to determine the index weights to comprehensively evaluate the ecological restoration effect. The results showed that after the implementation of the ecological restoration project, the vegetation coverage was further improved, the effectiveness of desert management was obvious, soil and water conservation capacity was strengthened, the ecosystem became more stable, and the areas with good environment were mostly located in the central and eastern parts. A total of 37.86% of the areas had obvious ecological restoration effects, and all indicators were further improved. Among the main treatment areas, the restoration effect of the Wuliangsuhai water ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation area was the best. The restoration effect will be further accentuated over time. This study provides a scientific reference for the further management of the ecological environment in the watershed and can provide a reference for the evaluation of the ecological restoration effect in similar areas in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 914 KiB  
Article
The Dynamic Nexus of Fossil Energy Consumption, Temperature and Carbon Emissions: Evidence from Simultaneous Equation Model
by Chengtao Deng, Zixin Guo, Xiaoyue Huang and Tao Shen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032042 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1273
Abstract
With the continuous increase in global fossil energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect have gradually increased. This study uses a simultaneous equations model to explore the dynamic nexus of fossil energy consumption, temperature, and carbon emissions in OECD and non-OECD [...] Read more.
With the continuous increase in global fossil energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect have gradually increased. This study uses a simultaneous equations model to explore the dynamic nexus of fossil energy consumption, temperature, and carbon emissions in OECD and non-OECD countries, with panel data from 2004 to 2019. The results show that the improvement of international competitiveness has reduced the frequency of extreme weather in OECD and non-OECD countries, significantly reducing fossil energy consumption in non-OECD countries and carbon emissions in OECD countries. Sustainable economic growth has significantly reduced fossil energy consumption in OECD countries but increased carbon emissions, especially in non-OECD countries. In addition, in the short term, the improvement of international competitiveness has significantly reduced fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions in OECD and non-OECD countries. In the long term, the improvement of international competitiveness has a greater impact on reducing fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions in non-OECD countries and has a significant impact on reducing the frequency of extreme weather in OECD countries. Moreover, the long-term impacts of sustainable economic growth on fossil energy consumption and carbon emissions are more significant. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 4990 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Spatial Heterogeneity and Influence Factors of Daily Travel Carbon Emissions in Metropolitan Areas: From the Perspective of the 15-min City
by Liang Guo, Wenjun Cheng, Chang Liu, Qinghao Zhang and Shuo Yang
Land 2023, 12(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020299 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Most of the residents’ daily travel is concentrated within their 15-min walking distance. In China, derived from the 15-min city concept, the 15-min walkable area is often referred to as the 15-min pedestrian-scale neighborhood, and it has become a basic planning unit. Understanding [...] Read more.
Most of the residents’ daily travel is concentrated within their 15-min walking distance. In China, derived from the 15-min city concept, the 15-min walkable area is often referred to as the 15-min pedestrian-scale neighborhood, and it has become a basic planning unit. Understanding the factors that influence the built environment of the 15-min pedestrian-scale neighborhood on the residents’ daily travel carbon emissions is critical to reduce urban carbon emissions. There may be spatial heterogeneity in daily travel carbon emissions as a dependent variable due to the spatial heterogeneity of built environment factors. Therefore, this study used data from the Wuhan City Resident Travel Survey to describe the spatial pattern of daily travel carbon emissions among Wuhan residents. The study examined the spatial heterogeneity of daily travel carbon emissions and explored the spatial differentiation of the built environment’s impact on daily travel carbon emissions within the 15-min pedestrian-scale neighborhood of the residents using spatial autocorrelation analysis and multi-scale geo-weighted regression (MGWR). The results indicate that Wuhan residents’ daily travel carbon emissions show an increasing circle structure from the center outward. In general, built environment elements in the 15-min pedestrian-scale neighborhood are closely related to the daily travel carbon emissions, and the direction and degree of impact of the built environment varies spatially. This study provides empirical evidence for controlling transportation carbon emissions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 306 KiB  
Article
Nonlinear Effects of Eco-Industrial Parks on Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide Emissions—Estimation Based on Nonlinear DID
by Qunfang Xu, Kairui Cao, Jiaying Dai, Yuanyuan Zhu and Yue Dai
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1988; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031988 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Eco-industrial parks (EIPs) promote the coordination of economic development and environmental protection. This paper uses the nonlinear DID method, with the data of 288 cities spanning from 2003–2019, to study the nonlinear effects of EIPs on SO2 and CO2 emissions, aiming [...] Read more.
Eco-industrial parks (EIPs) promote the coordination of economic development and environmental protection. This paper uses the nonlinear DID method, with the data of 288 cities spanning from 2003–2019, to study the nonlinear effects of EIPs on SO2 and CO2 emissions, aiming to portray the nonlinear and heterogeneous characteristics of EIP’s effects. Meanwhile, this paper examines the effects of EIPs more accurately and completely. The main results are as follows: 1. EIPs can significantly reduce CO2 and SO2 emissions, but there is significant heterogeneity between the effects. 2. The effect of EIPs on SO2 and CO2 emissions is nonlinear. In addition, it shows significant nonlinear characteristics as the change of foreign investment and population density in cities. Therefore, it is important to consider these nonlinear characteristics when establishing and evaluating EIPs. This paper accurately identifies the nonlinear effects of EIPs and provides some suggestions for the future development of EIPs. Full article
20 pages, 498 KiB  
Article
Who Needs to Save Energy and Reduce Emissions? Perspective of Energy Misallocation and Economies of Scale
by Weijie Jiang, Jiaying Dai, Kairui Cao and Laiqun Jin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031680 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
With the rapid development of the economy, human survival and socio-economic development are facing the severe challenges of climate threats. Global warming is one of the greatest threats to human survival and political stability that has occurred in human history. The main factor [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of the economy, human survival and socio-economic development are facing the severe challenges of climate threats. Global warming is one of the greatest threats to human survival and political stability that has occurred in human history. The main factor causing global warming is the extensive use of energy; therefore, it is imperative to spend more effort in energy conservation and emission reduction. In this context, this paper provides a reference and basis for decision making on emission-reduction paths through the perspective of energy input misallocation and economies of scale of CO2 emissions. The results show that for cities with relatively low energy inputs, the impact of excessive energy input on CO2 emissions is stronger than the effect of the scale of energy input on reducing CO2 emissions. Therefore, these cities need to prioritize energy conservation and emission reduction. On the other hand, in cities with large energy inputs, the impact of the scale of energy input on reducing CO2 emissions is more significant than the effect of excessive energy input on CO2 emissions. Therefore, these areas should also focus on energy conservation and emission reduction. The results of this paper have theoretical value and practical significance for scientifically implementing energy conservation and emission reduction strategies, as well as reasonably planning energy conservation pathways. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 946 KiB  
Article
Translating Indigenous Knowledge into Actionable Climate-Change Adaption Strategies: A Case Study of Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, Free State Province, South Africa
by Shadreck Muchaku, Grey Magaiza and Hamisai Hamandawana
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1558; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021558 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Although the literature concerning vulnerabilities to climate change (CC) has been growing, research continues to be silent on approaches that can enhance the adaptive capacities of resource-poor communities that are vulnerable to the adverse effects of CC by translating indigenous knowledge (IK) into [...] Read more.
Although the literature concerning vulnerabilities to climate change (CC) has been growing, research continues to be silent on approaches that can enhance the adaptive capacities of resource-poor communities that are vulnerable to the adverse effects of CC by translating indigenous knowledge (IK) into actionable adaptation strategies. This assertion is premised on the absence of concerted efforts to incorporate IK into science-based adaptation strategies. We attempt to address this gap by using a multidisciplinary investigative approach that taps into the perceptions of local people in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality in the Free state province of South Africa and what is available in the literature. This approach is helpful because it ensures that local people’s perceptions, alongside other objectively informed insights, are systematically integrated into the co-designing of actionable climate-change adaption strategies. Given these and other considerations, we invite the scientific community and those interested in sustainability to complement our efforts by providing suggestions on the way forward. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 4204 KiB  
Article
Optimal Production and Pricing Strategies of Automobile Manufacturers in Big Cities under Subsidy Policy and Dual-Credit Policy
by Li Tang and Xiaobei Liang
Systems 2023, 11(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems11010040 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Encouraging the usage of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in big cities is not only a key area of priority for the government to encourage the transformation of the automobile industry, but it is also a crucial step in reducing environmental pollution. Big cities [...] Read more.
Encouraging the usage of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in big cities is not only a key area of priority for the government to encourage the transformation of the automobile industry, but it is also a crucial step in reducing environmental pollution. Big cities commonly limit the number of cars because they lack the resources and space to accommodate new vehicles. A crucial policy to reduce the number of cars in metropolitan areas is the license plate auction policy. Therefore, considering the fuel vehicle (FV)’s license plate auction policy, this study investigated the effects of the subsidy policy and the dual-credit policy on the production decisions of NEVs and FVs manufacturers. A competitive game model was constructed that considered NEV and FV manufacturers and accounted for consumer environmental awareness. The manufacturer’s optimal production decision was analyzed in four different scenarios—no government intervention, a license plate auction policy, a subsidy policy based on license plate auction policy, and a dual-credit policy based on the license plate auction policy. The results suggested that the manufacturer’s profit will be significantly higher in the absence of a license plate auction policy than in the presence of one. In other words, both NEV and FV manufacturers will suffer as a result of license plate restriction. Additionally, improvements in consumer environmental awareness, government subsidies, and credit cost/benefit ratios will improve the weak position of NEV manufacturers following the introduction of a license plate auction. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 19672 KiB  
Article
Research on the Spatial Sequence of Building Facades in Huizhou Regional Traditional Villages
by Geng Cheng, Zao Li, Shuting Xia, Mingfei Gao, Maosheng Ye and Tingting Shi
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010174 - 10 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
Under the influences of the regional environment, building communities within traditional villages exhibit regional styles and features. Based on the research team’s early studies, and given the protection and renewal practices of Huizhou traditional villages in Southern Anhui Province, China, this study investigated [...] Read more.
Under the influences of the regional environment, building communities within traditional villages exhibit regional styles and features. Based on the research team’s early studies, and given the protection and renewal practices of Huizhou traditional villages in Southern Anhui Province, China, this study investigated the spatial sequences of building facades and explicated the laws of these spatial sequences. This research involved a series of technical steps. First, in the case selection stage, typical traditional villages and spatial sequence paths were established. Second, in the data acquisition stage, 3D laser scanning technology was used to acquire building elevation data and conduct 3D modelling. Finally, the measurement indices were determined by vector analysis of the data. Factor analysis and cluster analysis were suitable for the reduction and classification of the above data in order to explore the constitution law of building units. Meanwhile, the regularity of the facade organization of building groups was further quantified by examining the combination and connection relationships between the building and spatial patterns. Then, the laws of facade organization of the building groups were explicated. The purpose of this study is not only to achieve accurate inheritance of historical data information, but also to explore the centralized contiguity mechanism behind the traditional villages through external features from the perspective of rescue. The results demonstrated that there are spatial sequences represented by building facades in Huizhou traditional villages. Moreover, internal laws of “largely identical but with minor differences” in the building unit composition and building group organization were identified. These findings: (1) provide a deeper understanding of the regional characteristics of Huizhou traditional villages in Southern Anhui Province, China; (2) offer a foundation for practical administration requirements; and (3) recognize a novel research perspective and a feasible technical route for the protection of traditional villages in other regions, with an appreciation for the value of spatial sequences. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2480 KiB  
Article
Freeze–Thaw Cycles Have More of an Effect on Greenhouse Gas Fluxes than Soil Water Content on the Eastern Edge of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
by Shanshan Zhao, Mingsen Qin, Xia Yang, Wenke Bai, Yunfeng Yao and Junqiang Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15020928 - 04 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is sensitive to global climate change. This is because it is characterized by irregular rainfall and freeze–thaw cycles resulting from its high elevation and low temperature. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) mainly contribute to the warming of the QTP, but few [...] Read more.
The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is sensitive to global climate change. This is because it is characterized by irregular rainfall and freeze–thaw cycles resulting from its high elevation and low temperature. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) mainly contribute to the warming of the QTP, but few studies have investigated and compared the effects of irregular rainfall and freeze–thaw cycles on GHGs. In this study, we conducted a laboratory experiment under four types of freeze–thaw treatments with three soil water content levels to simulate the irregular freeze–thaw and rainfall conditions. The results showed that both the soil water content and freeze–thaw treatment influenced the soil properties, soil enzyme activities, and the microbial biomass; however, the freeze–thaw treatment had significantly higher influences on GHG fluxes than soil water content. In order to explore other biotic and abiotic factors in an attempt to establish the main factor in determining GHG fluxes, a variation partition analysis was conducted. The results revealed that freeze–thaw treatments were the strongest individual factors in predicting the variance in N2O and CO2 fluxes, and the pH, which was only significantly affected by freeze–thaw treatment, was the strongest individual factor in predicting CH4 flux. Across the water content levels, all the freeze–thaw treatments increased the N2O flux and reduced the CH4 flux as compared to the CK treatment. In addition, long-term freezing reduced the CO2 flux, but the treatment of slowly freezing and quickly thawing increased the CO2 flux. In summary, these results suggest that the freeze–thaw treatments had quite different effects on N2O, CH4, and CO2 fluxes, and their effects on GHG fluxes are more significant than those of soil water content on the eastern edge of the QTP. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 5016 KiB  
Article
Visual Preference Analysis and Planning Responses Based on Street View Images: A Case Study of Gulangyu Island, China
by Jingxiong Huang, Jiaqi Liang, Mengsheng Yang and Yuan Li
Land 2023, 12(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010129 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1999
Abstract
The features of a street environment play an essential role in human behavior, but predicting the preferred environment becomes challenging for city planning. This paper takes Gulangyu Island as an example and examines tourists’ visual preferences through street view images and a stated [...] Read more.
The features of a street environment play an essential role in human behavior, but predicting the preferred environment becomes challenging for city planning. This paper takes Gulangyu Island as an example and examines tourists’ visual preferences through street view images and a stated preference survey. Based on the findings, planning responses were proposed to provide references for improving tourists’ visual perception of the street’s environment. The results show that tourists’ preferences for the street environment are significantly affected by visual features. From highest to lowest are variety, the green view index, crowdedness, sky openness, and enclosure. The green view index, sky openness, and variety positively affect the visual utility, while crowdedness and enclosure have a negative effect. Among them, variety has the most potent positive effect on visual preference, while crowdedness has the most substantial negative effect. Moreover, there is a balance between green view and enclosure that is affected by green plants, and when the enclosure value is too high, the marginal effect of the green view index will be less effective. Last, the streets with high visual utility have an ideal natural environment, spacious roads, an open sky, and limited architecture. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 2718 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Information and Communication Technology Industrial Co-Agglomeration on Carbon Productivity with the Background of the Digital Economy: Empirical Evidence from China
by Xiaowen Wang, Nishang Tian and Shuting Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010316 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
In the era of the digital economy, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry has opened up a new round of expansion, while forming co-located development in the space. ICT industrial co-agglomeration has tremendous advantages in promoting economic development and achieving carbon neutrality [...] Read more.
In the era of the digital economy, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry has opened up a new round of expansion, while forming co-located development in the space. ICT industrial co-agglomeration has tremendous advantages in promoting economic development and achieving carbon neutrality goals. This paper analyzes the spatio-temporal characteristics of ICT industrial co-agglomeration and carbon productivity from 2009 to 2019 in China. It empirically explores the impact of ICT industrial co-agglomeration on carbon productivity using a systematic GMM model. Additionally, it analyses the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of ICT industrial co-agglomeration and other factors affecting carbon productivity using a geographically and temporally weighted regression (GTWR) model. The findings are as follows: (1) China’s ICT industrial co-agglomeration and carbon productivity show an upward trend. Additionally, their characteristic of regional distribution is east–high and west–low. (2) ICT industrial co-agglomeration has a positive association with carbon productivity. (3) The impact of ICT industrial co-agglomeration on carbon productivity has significant spatial and temporal heterogeneity. The regression coefficient of ICT industrial co-agglomeration increases continuously during the study period, and the degree of impact is relatively larger in Northern China. As the degree of ICT industrial co-agglomeration continues to increase, its positive impact on carbon productivity across China is deepening. The findings of this paper complete the research on the impact of ICT industrial co-agglomeration on carbon productivity, and the related policy recommendations provide useful references for the digital economy and sustainable development. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 3899 KiB  
Article
Haze Risk Assessment Based on Improved PCA-MEE and ISPO-LightGBM Model
by Hongbin Dai, Guangqiu Huang, Huibin Zeng and Rongchuan Yu
Systems 2022, 10(6), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10060263 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
With the economic development in China, haze risks are frequent. It is important to study the urban haze risk assessment to manage the haze disaster. The haze risk assessment indexes of 11 cities in Fenwei Plain were selected from three aspects: the sensitivity [...] Read more.
With the economic development in China, haze risks are frequent. It is important to study the urban haze risk assessment to manage the haze disaster. The haze risk assessment indexes of 11 cities in Fenwei Plain were selected from three aspects: the sensitivity of disaster-inducing environments, haze component hazards and the vulnerability of disaster-bearing bodies, combined with regional disaster system theory. The haze hazard risk levels of 11 cities in Fenwei Plain were evaluated using the matter-element extension (MEE) model, and the indicator weights were determined by improving the principal component analysis (PCA) method using the entropy weight method, and finally, five haze hazard risk assessment models were established by improving the particle swarm optimization (IPSO) light gradient boosting machine (LightGBM) algorithm. It is used to assess the risk of affected populations, transportation damage risk, crop damage area risk, direct economic loss risk and comprehensive disaster risk before a disaster event occurs. The experimental comparison shows that the haze risk index of Xi’an city is the highest, and the full index can improve the evaluation accuracy by 4–16% compared with only the causative factor index, which indicates that the proposed PCA-MEE-ISPO-LightGBM model evaluation results are more realistic and reliable. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2826 KiB  
Article
Land Use Impacts on Traffic Congestion Patterns: A Tale of a Northwestern Chinese City
by Zhikang Bao, Yifu Ou, Shuangzhou Chen and Ting Wang
Land 2022, 11(12), 2295; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11122295 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
Traffic congestion is a contemporary urban issue plaguing transportation planners, land developers, policy-makers, and citizens. While many studies have investigated the impact of built environments on traffic behavior in large metropolises on a regional scale, little attention has been paid to smaller urban [...] Read more.
Traffic congestion is a contemporary urban issue plaguing transportation planners, land developers, policy-makers, and citizens. While many studies have investigated the impact of built environments on traffic behavior in large metropolises on a regional scale, little attention has been paid to smaller urban areas, in China’s context, especially on a neighborhood level. This study investigates the spatial–temporal pattern of traffic congestion in a small-scale city, Xining, in China. By applying multivariate least-square regression analysis to social-sensing hyperlocal travel data, the results indicate that Xining is experiencing morning and evening traffic peaks on the weekdays and pre-weekends and only the evening peak during the weekends or holidays. The pre-weekend congestion is significantly worse than on a normal weekday, implying that stronger measures to consolidate traffic management should be implemented during this time. Educational land use and residential areas were found to contribute significantly to traffic congestion in Xining, and their combined effects tend to exacerbate the situation. The study furthers the understanding of traffic congestion in small urban areas, providing urban planners and policy-makers with new insights to formulate evidence-based strategies for mitigating traffic congestion. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1979 KiB  
Article
Does Climate Change Increase Crop Water Requirements of Winter Wheat and Summer Maize in the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River Basin?
by Kun Jia, Wei Zhang, Bingyan Xie, Xitong Xue, Feng Zhang and Dongrui Han
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416640 - 11 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
With increasing water resources stress under climate change, it is of great importance to deeply understand the spatio-temporal variation of crop water requirements and their response to climate change for achieving better water resources management and grain production. However, the quantitative evaluation of [...] Read more.
With increasing water resources stress under climate change, it is of great importance to deeply understand the spatio-temporal variation of crop water requirements and their response to climate change for achieving better water resources management and grain production. However, the quantitative evaluation of climate change impacts on crop water requirements and the identification of determining factors should be further explored to reveal the influencing mechanism and actual effects thoroughly. In this study, the water requirements of winter wheat and summer maize from 1981 to 2019 in the lower reaches of the Yellow River Basin were estimated based on the Penman–Monteith model and crop coefficient method using daily meteorological data. Combined with trends test, sensitivity and contribution analysis, the impacts of different meteorological factors on crop water requirement variation were explored, and the dominant factors were then identified. The results indicated that the temperature increased significantly (a significance level of 0.05 was considered), whereas the sunshine duration, relative humidity and wind speed decreased significantly from 1981 to 2019 in the study area. The total water requirements of winter wheat and summer maize presented a significant decreasing trend (−1.36 mm/a) from 1981 to 2019 with a multi-year average value of 936.7 mm. The crop water requirements of winter wheat was higher than that of summer maize, with multi-year average values of 546.6 mm and 390.1 mm, respectively. In terms of spatial distribution patterns, the crop water requirement in the north was generally higher than that in the south. The water requirements of winter wheat and summer maize were most sensitive to wind speed, and were less sensitive to the minimum temperature and relative humidity. Wind speed was the leading factor of crop water requirement variation with the highest contribution rate of 116.26% among the considered meteorological factors. The results of this study will provide important support for strengthening the capacity to cope with climate change and realizing sustainable utilization of agricultural water resources in the lower reaches of the Yellow River Basin. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop