The recycling and disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in developing countries is causing an increasing concern due to its effects on the environment and associated human health risks. To understand the contamination status, we measured trace elements (TEs) in soil, air dust, and human hair collected from e-waste recycling sites (a recycling facility and backyard recycling units) and the reference sites in Bangalore and Chennai in India. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Hg, Pb, and Bi were higher in soil from e-waste recycling sites compared to reference sites. For Cu, Sb, Hg, and Pb in some soils from e-waste sites, the levels exceeded screening values proposed by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, In, Sn, Sb, Tl, Pb and Bi in air from the e-waste recycling facility were relatively higher than the levels in Chennai city. High levels of Cu, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sb, Tl, and Pb were observed in hair of male workers from e-waste recycling sites. Our results suggest that e-waste recycling and its disposal may lead to the environmental and human contamination by some TEs. To our knowledge, this is the first study on TE contamination at e-waste recycling sites in Bangalore, India.
We propose measuring vulnerability of selected outcome variables of concern (e.g. agricultural yield) to identified stressors (e.g. climate change) as a function of the state of the variables of concern relative to a threshold of damage, the sensitivity of the variables to the stressors, and the magnitude and frequency of the stressors to which the system is exposed. In addition, we provide a framework for assessing the extent adaptive capacity can reduce vulnerable conditions. We illustrate the utility of this approach by evaluating the vulnerability of wheat yields to climate change and market fluctuations in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico.
A sectoral approach to GHG emissions reductions in developing countries is proposed as a key component of the post-2012 climate change mitigation framework. In this approach, the ten highest-emitting developing countries in the electricity and other major industrial sectors pledge to meet voluntary, ‘no-lose’ GHG emissions targets in these sectors. No penalties are incurred for failing to meet a target, but emissions reductions achieved beyond the target level earn emissions reduction credits (ERCs) that can be sold to industrialized nations. Participating developing countries establish initial ‘no-lose’ emissions targets, based upon their national circumstances, from sector-specific energy-intensity benchmarks that have been developed by independent experts. Industrialized nations then offer incentives for the developing countries to adopt more stringent emissions targets through a ‘Technology Finance and Assistance Package’, which helps to overcome financial and other barriers to technology transfer and deployment. These sector-specific energy-intensity benchmarks could also serve as a means for establishing national economy-wide targets in developed countries in the post-2012 regime. Preliminary modelling of a hybrid scenario, in which Annex I countries adopt economy-wide absolute GHG emissions targets and high-emitting developing countries adopt ‘no-lose’ sectoral targets, indicates that such an approach significantly improves the likelihood that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 can be stabilized at 450 ppmv by the end of the century.
Paddy soil samples taken from different sites in an old primitive electronic-waste (e-waste) processing region were examined for eco-toxicity and metal contamination. Using the environmental quality standard for soils (China, Grade II) as reference, soil samples of two sites were weakly contaminated with trace metal, but site G was heavily contaminated with Cd (6.37 mg kg−1), and weakly contaminated with Cu (256.36 mg kg−1) and Zn (209.85 mg kg−1). Zn appeared to be strongly bound in the residual fraction (72.24–77.86%), no matter the soil was metal contaminated or not. However, more than 9% Cd and 16% Cu was present in the non-residual fraction in the metal contaminated soils than in the uncontaminated soil, especially for site G and site F. Compared with that of the control soil, the micronucleus rates of site G and site F soil treatments increased by 2.7-fold and 1.7-fold, respectively. Low germination rates were observed in site C (50%) and site G (50%) soil extraction treated rice seeds. The shortest root length (0.2377 cm) was observed in site G soil treated groups, which is only 37.57% of that of the control soil treated groups. All of the micronucleus ratio of Vicia faba root cells, rice germination rate and root length after treatment of soil extraction indicate the eco-toxicity in site F and G soils although the three indexes are different in sensitivity to soil metal contamination.
This paper analyzes climate variability in the mountain areas of Pakistan covering winter dominated high mountain region and monsoon dominated sub-mountain region and on the bases of these analyses, discusses implications for water and agriculture for the country. Trend analyses of the historical data for the period 1971-2000 show that winter season temperatures have increased in both sub-mountain and high mountain region during the past 30 years. Relatively higher increase in maximum winter temperatures was observed, whereas minimum temperatures during winter showed a slight decline. These results suggest that days have become warmer whereas nights have become cooler during the winter season in the high mountain areas. Monsoon temperatures (particularly maximum temperatures) have also increased in both the regions. More interestingly, maximum temperatures in the transitional periods “October-November” and “April-May” particularly in the high-mountain areas are at a rising trend. All these changes and seasonal variations have important implications for water resources and agriculture in the mountain areas in particular and for Pakistan in general.
The results indicate that the maximum temperatures have increased all around the year particularly in the high mountain region during the last 30 years. Winter temperatures have increased in both sub-mountain and high-mountain regions during this period. Rainfall has also increased in both regions. The paper concludes that the increasing trends in temperature in the high mountain areas may have some positive impact on crop area and yields. However, these rising temperature trends may increase the melting of glaciers and snow, reduce snow accumulation during winter and enhance the overall de-glaciations process and therefore could well endanger the country’s sustained sources of fresh water from glaciers and snow melting. Detailed analysis is however recommended to assess the impact of climatic variability and change on water and agriculture in the mountain areas.
Adaptation policy and practice in densely populated glacier-fed river basins of South Asia: a systematic review
A review of the biophysical impacts of climate change in three hotspot regions in Africa and Asia
GCOS Help in Climate Observations in Developing Countries in South Asia Regions
Decomposing Change in Energy Consumption of the Agricultural Sector in Pakistan