Tag Archives: China

Water quality in the Tibetan Plateau

Qu B, Zhang Y, Kang S, Sillanpää M. Water quality in the Tibetan Plateau: Major ions and trace elements in rivers of the “Water Tower of Asia”. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Aug 25;649:571-581. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.316.

As the “Water Tower of Asia”, rivers originating from the Tibetan Plateau provide water resources for more than one billion residents in both its local and surrounding areas. With respect to the essential role that this region plays in terms of water resources in Asia, we provide an overview of the mechanisms governing the water quality, including the major ions and trace elements release, in eleven rivers of the Tibetan Plateau. Overall, the rivers running on the Tibetan Plateau reflect an alkaline aquatic environment, with an average pH of 8.5; and the total dissolved solids (TDS, ~339 mg L-1) are much higher than the global average value. Over 80% of the water ionic budget in the rivers of the plateau is comprised of Ca2+, Mg2+, HCO3- and SO42-. The main mechanisms that control the river water chemistry on the Tibetan Plateau are natural processes and present a visible spatial heterogeneity. For instance, in rivers of the southern Tibetan Plateau, the water quality is mainly controlled by the rock-weathering, while rivers of the central and northern Tibetan Plateau are also largely affected by evaporation-crystallization processes. In general, most of the rivers on the Tibetan Plateau are uncontaminated and still in a pristine condition. However, it should be noted that due to the natural process such as rock-weathering and groundwater leaching, and anthropogenic activities such as urbanization and mining operations, the concentrations of several toxic elements (e.g., As, Cd, Pb, Mn, Hg and Tl) in some of the basins are higher than the China national standard (GB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking water. With increasing anthropogenic activities on the plateau and changes in the river basins, it is necessary to conduct the long-term monitoring of the river water chemistry of this climate-sensitive and eco-fragile region.

Google’s China plan a security threat?

” “Google is proposing a new Faustian bargain with the Chinese government that isn’t just morally wrong; it’s also terrible for business,” declared Rogin in his Washington Post article titled, “Google’s China plan isn’t just evil — it’s bad for business.” “

Emerging contaminants in the Jilin Songhua River (Northeast China)

He S, Dong D, Zhang X, Sun C, Wang C, Hua X, Zhang L, Guo Z. Occurrence and ecological risk assessment of 22 emerging contaminants in the Jilin Songhua River (Northeast China). Environmental science and pollution research international. 2018 Jun 8. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2459-3.

Rivers may receive pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and environment estrogens, which are emerging concerns, from various sources. Understanding the fate of these emerging contaminants (ECs) from the sources to their receiving river is important for assessing their ecosystem risk. Here, the occurrence, seasonal variation, spatial distribution, and ecological risk of 22 ECs in water and sediments from the Jilin Songhua River, as well as in the effluents from the riverside Jilin wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) were investigated. Results indicated that estriol with the highest median concentration of 21.5 ng L-1 in the river water and with the highest median concentration of 481.5 ng g-1 in the sediments, and methylparaben with the highest concentration of 29.6 ± 2.9 ng L-1 in the WWTP effluents were the predominant contaminants. The total concentration of ECs in the river water in the dry season was about 1.5 times higher than that in the wet season. The concentrations of these ECs close to the contaminated tributary and the WWTP were relatively high. Risk assessment showed that the maximum risk quotient value of estrone was 1.07 in the river water and estriol was 2.10 in the effluents. In addition, erythromycin posed generally medium risk in the river water and WWTP effluents. It should be paid attention to the prior control of the three contaminants in the river region.

China remains the world’s largest coal fuel consumer

China continues to be the world’s largest user of coal fuel with its coal fuel use now climbing again with increased coal imports needed to meets its growing electricity generation.” click here

Urbanization impacts China surface temperature trends

Willie Wei-Hock Soon, Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly, Peter O’Neill,
Jingyun Zheng, Quansheng Ge, Zhixin, Hao, Hong Yan. Comparing the current and early 20th century warm periods in China. Earth-Science Reviews Volume 185, October 2018, Pages 80-101
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.05.013

Most estimates of Chinese regional Surface Air Temperatures since the late-19th century have identified two relatively warm periods – 1920s–40s and 1990s–present. However, there is considerable debate over how the two periods compare to each other. Some argue the current warm period is much warmer than the earlier warm period. Others argue the earlier warm period was comparable to the present. In this collaborative paper, including authors from both camps, the reasons for this ongoing debate are discussed. Several different estimates of Chinese temperature trends, both new and previously published, are considered. A study of the effects of urbanization bias on Chinese temperature trends was carried out using the new updated version of the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) – version 4 (currently in beta production). It is shown that there are relatively few rural stations with long records, but urbanization bias artificially makes the early warm period seem colder and the recent warm period seem warmer. However, current homogenization approaches (which attempt to reduce non-climatic biases) also tend to have similar effects, making it unclear whether reducing or increasing the relative warmth of each period is most appropriate. A sample of 17 Chinese temperature proxy series (12 regional and 5 national) is compared and contrasted specifically for the period since the 19th century. Most proxy series imply a warm early-20th century period and a warm recent period, but the relative warmth of these two periods differs between proxies. Also, with some proxies, one or other of the warm periods is absent.

Urban heat waves linked to urban heat island effect

The urban heat island effect is a significant confounding problem for global surface temperature measurements. Heat waves in a particular location may not be driven by external atmospheric changes but locally from surface development. Consequently, an increase in surface temperatures may not be driven by changes in climate but rather by changes on the earth’s surface. More on this paper here at WUWT.

Xiaojuan Liu, Guangjin Tian, Jinming Feng, Bingran Ma, Jun Wang, Lingqiang Kong. Modeling the Warming Impact of Urban Land Expansion on Hot Weather Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model: A Case Study of Beijing, China. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, June 2018, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 723–736.

Abstract
The impacts of three periods of urban land expansion during 1990–2010 on near-surface air temperature in summer in Beijing were simulated in this study, and then the interrelation between heat waves and urban warming was assessed. We ran the sensitivity tests using the mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with a single urban canopy model, as well as high-resolution land cover data. The warming area expanded approximately at the same scale as the urban land expansion. The average regional warming induced by urban expansion increased but the warming speed declined slightly during 2000–2010. The smallest warming occurred at noon and then increased gradually in the afternoon before peaking at around 2000 LST—the time of sunset. In the daytime, urban warming was primarily caused by the decrease in latent heat flux at the urban surface. Urbanization led to more ground heat flux during the day and then more release at night, which resulted in nocturnal warming. Urban warming at night was higher than that in the day, although the nighttime increment in sensible heat flux was smaller. This was because the shallower planetary boundary layer at night reduced the release efficiency of near-surface heat. The simulated results also suggested that heat waves or high temperature weather enhanced urban warming intensity at night. Heat waves caused more heat to be stored in the surface during the day, greater heat released at night, and thus higher nighttime warming. Our results demonstrate a positive feedback effect between urban warming and heat waves in urban areas.

Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Functions, Chinese Children

Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, Bellinger DC, Wang K, Yang XJ, Li JS, Zheng Q, Fu Y, Grandjean P. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: a pilot study. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015 Jan-Feb;47:96-101. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2014.11.001. Erratum in Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2015 Sep-Oct;51():89.

BACKGROUND: A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on developmental fluoride neurotoxicity support the hypothesis that exposure to elevated concentrations of fluoride in water is neurotoxic during development.

METHODS: We carried out a pilot study of 51 first-grade children in southern Sichuan, China, using the fluoride concentration in morning urine after an exposure-free night; fluoride in well-water source; and dental fluorosis status as indices of past fluoride exposure. We administered a battery of age-appropriate, relatively culture-independent tests that reflect different functional domains: the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-IV) digit span and block design; finger tapping and grooved pegboard. Confounder-adjusted associations between exposure indicators and test scores were assessed using multiple regression models.

RESULTS: Dental fluorosis score was the exposure indicator that had the strongest association with the outcome deficits, and the WISC-IV digit span subtest appeared to be the most sensitive outcome, where moderate and severe fluorosis was associated with a digit span total score difference of -4.28 (95% CI -8.22, -0.33) and backward score with -2.13 (95% CI -4.24, -0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study in a community with stable lifetime fluoride exposures supports the notion that fluoride in drinking water may produce developmental neurotoxicity, and that the dose-dependence underlying this relationship needs to be characterized in detail.