Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Flash Flooding and Organisational Resilience Capacity: Qualitative Findings on Implications of the Catastrophic 2017 Flash Flood Event in Mandra, Greece

On November 15th, 2017, a catastrophic flash flood devastated the city of Mandra in Central Greece, resulting in 24 fatalities and extensive damages to the built environment and infrastructure. It was Greece’s deadliest and most destructive flood event for the past 40 years. In this paper, we examine the consequences of this event to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Mandra during the flood event, which were affected by the floodwaters to varying extents. In this context, we conducted semi-structured interviews with business owners-managers of 45 SMEs located in flood inundated areas and are still active nowadays, based on an interview guide that spanned 27 topics. The topics pertained to the disaster experience of the business and business owners-managers, knowledge and attitudes towards climate change and extreme weather, aspects of disaster preparedness and related assistance needs. Our findings reveal that the vast majority of the affected businesses experienced heavy damages in equipment and infrastructure or total destruction, which resulted in business interruption from several weeks up to several months. Assistance from relatives or friends helped for the damage repairs and business recovery, while state compensations were deemed insufficient compared to the extent of the damages. Most interviewees pinpoint flooding as one of the most critical risks, and many connect it with the climate crisis. However, they are either not willing or unable to apply property-level prevention measures in their businesses due to cost considerations or complex and cumbersome bureaucratic processes. In all cases, the business owners are fully aware of the flood hazard implications, and since the recovery from the event, they have engaged in basic mitigation measures and contingency plans in case of future flood events. Such plans include insurance contracts whenever possible (as the vast majority of the affected SMEs were uninsured at the time of the 2017 event) as well as simple relocations of critical equipment within their property. The study offers fruitful insights on latent drivers and barriers of SMEs’ resilience capacity to flash flooding. In this respect, findings such as ours, highlighting tensions that underpin behavioural responses and experiences, can feed into: a) bottom-up approaches for devising actionable and practical guidelines, manuals and/or standards on business preparedness to flooding, and, ultimately, b) policy-making for an enabling environment towards a flood-resilient SME sector.

Development of a Quantitative Material Wastage Management Plan for Effective Waste Reduction in the Building Construction Industry

Combating climate change is becoming a hot topic in various sectors. Building construction and infrastructure sectors contributed a significant proportion of waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the environment of different countries and cities. However, there is little research on the micro-level of waste management, “building construction material wastage management,” and fewer reviews about regulatory control in the building construction sector. This paper focuses on the potentialities and importance of material wastage management and reviews the deficiencies of the current standard to take into account the reduction of material wastage in a systematic and quantitative approach.

Circular Economy: Relationship of the Natural Water Collection System, Afforestation and Country Park towards Environmental Sustainability

The government and community have raised their awareness of the benefits of water reuse. Deforestation has a significant effect to climate change as it causes the drying out of the tropical rainforest and hence increases the chance of natural threaten the storage and supply of clean water. This paper focuses on discussion of the relationship of the natural water collection system, afforestation and country parks towards environmental sustainability and circular economy, with a case study of water conservation policy and strategy in Hong Kong and Singapore for further research.

Challenge of Net-Zero Carbon Construction and Measurement of Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission Reduction to Climate Change, Economy and Job Growths in Hong Kong and Australia

Under the Paris Agreement 2015, the countries committed to address and combat the climate change and its negative impacts and agree to the target of reducing the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission substantially by limiting the global temperature to 2 0C above the pre-industrial level in this century. An international submit named “26th United Nations Climate Conference” (COP26) was held in Glasgow in 2021 with all committed countries agreed to finalize the outstanding element in Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 0C. In this paper, we will focus on the basic approach of waste strategy, recycling policy, circular economy strategy, net-zero strategy and sustainability strategy and the importance of the elements which affect the carbon emission, waste generation and energy conservation will be further reviewed with recommendation for future study.

Florida’s Groundwater and Surface Water System Reliability in Terms of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise

Florida is one of the most vulnerable states to natural disasters among the 50 states of the USA. The state exposed by tropical storms, hurricanes, storm surge, landslide, etc. Besides the mentioned natural phenomena, global warming, sea-level rise, and other anthropogenic environmental changes make a very complicated and unpredictable system for decision-makers. In this study, we tried to highlight the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on surface water and groundwater systems for three different geographical locations in Florida; Main Canal of Jacksonville Beach in the northeast of Florida adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, Grace Lake in central Florida, far away from surrounded coastal line, and Mc Dill in Florida and adjacent to Tampa Bay and Mexican Gulf. An integrated hydrologic and hydraulic model was developed and simulated for all three cases, including surface water, groundwater, or a combination of both. For the case study of Main Canal-Jacksonville Beach, the investigation showed that a 76 cm sea-level rise in time horizon 2060 could increase the flow velocity of the tide cycle for the main canal's outlet and headwater. This case also revealed how the sea level rise could change the tide duration, potentially affecting the coastal ecosystem. As expected, sea-level rise can raise the groundwater level. Therefore, for the Mc Dill case, the effect of groundwater rise on soil storage and the performance of stormwater retention ponds is investigated. The study showed that sea-level rise increased the pond’s seasonal high water up to 40 cm by time horizon 2060. The reliability of the retention pond is dropped from 99% for the current condition to 54% for the future. The results also proved that the retention pond could not retain and infiltrate the designed treatment volume within 72 hours, which is a significant indication of increasing pollutants in the future. Grace Lake case study investigates the effects of climate change on groundwater recharge. This study showed that using the dynamically downscaled data of the groundwater recharge can decline up to 24 % by the mid-21st century. 

Methane versus Carbon Dioxide: Mitigation Prospects

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has dominated the discussion around the causes of climate change. This is a reflection of a 100-year time horizon for all greenhouse gases that became a norm.  The 100-year time horizon is much too long – and yet, almost all mitigation efforts, including those set in the near-term frame of within 30 years, are still geared toward it. In this paper, we show that for a 30-year time horizon, methane (CH4) is the greenhouse gas whose radiative forcing exceeds that of CO2. In our analysis, we use the radiative forcing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, because they directly affect the rise in temperature on Earth. We found that in 2019, the radiative forcing (RF) of methane was ~2.5 W/m2 and that of carbon dioxide was ~2.1 W/m2. Under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario until 2050, such forcing would be ~2.8 W/m2 and ~3.1 W/m2 respectively. There is a substantial spread in the data for anthropogenic and natural methane (CH4) emissions, along with natural gas, (which is primarily CH4), leakages from industrial production to consumption. For this reason, we estimate the minimum and maximum effects of a reduction of these leakages, and assume an effective immediate reduction by 80%. Such action may serve to reduce the annual radiative forcing of all CH4 emissions by ~15% to ~30%. This translates into a reduction of RF by 2050 from ~2.8 W/m2 to ~2.5 W/m2 in the case of the minimum effect that can be expected, and to ~2.15 W/m2 in the case of the maximum effort to reduce methane leakages. Under the BAU, we find that the RF of CO2 will increase from ~2.1 W/m2 now to ~3.1 W/m2 by 2050. We assume a linear reduction of 50% in anthropogenic emission over the course of the next 30 years, which would reduce the radiative forcing of CO2 from ~3.1 W/m2 to ~2.9 W/m2. In the case of "net zero," the other 50% of only anthropogenic CO2 emissions reduction would be limited to being either from sources of emissions or directly from the atmosphere. In this instance, the total reduction would be from ~3.1 W/m2 to ~2.7 W/m2, or ~0.4 W/m2. To achieve the same radiative forcing as in the scenario of maximum reduction of methane leakages of ~2.15 W/m2, an additional reduction of radiative forcing of CO2 would be approximately 2.7 -2.15 = 0.55 W/m2. In total, one would need to remove ~660 GT of CO2 from the atmosphere in order to match the maximum reduction of current methane leakages, and ~270 GT of CO2 from emitting sources, to reach "negative emissions". This amounts to over 900 GT of CO2.

Study of the Thermal Performance of Bio-Sourced Materials Used as Thermal Insulation in Buildings under Humid Tropical Climate

In the fight against climate change, the energy consuming building sector must also be taken into account to solve this problem. In this case thermal insulation of buildings using bio-based materials is an interesting solution. Therefore, the thermal performance of some materials of this type has been studied. The advantages of these natural materials of plant origin are multiple, biodegradable, low economic cost, renewable and readily available. The use of biobased materials is widespread in the building sector in order to replace conventional insulation materials with natural materials. Vegetable fibers are very important because they have good thermal behaviour and good insulating properties. The aim of using bio-sourced materials is in line with the logic of energy control and environmental protection, the approach is to make the inhabitants of the houses comfortable and reduce their energy consumption (energy efficiency). In this research we will present the results of studies carried out on the thermal conductivity of banana leaves, latan leaves, vetivers fibers, palm kernel fibers, sargassum, coconut leaves, sawdust and bulk sugarcane leaves. The study on thermal conductivity was carried out in two ways, on the one hand using the flash method, and on the other hand a so-called hot box experiment was carried out. We will discuss and highlight a number of influential factors such as moisture and air pockets present in the samples on the thermophysical properties of these materials, in particular thermal conductivity. Finally, the result of a thermal performance test of banana leaves on a roof in Haiti will also be presented in this work.

Study of the Energy Efficiency of Buildings under Tropical Climate with a View to Sustainable Development: Choice of Material Adapted to the Protection of the Environment

In the context of sustainable development and climate change, the adaptation of buildings to the climatic context in hot climates is a necessity if we want to improve living conditions in housing and reduce the risks to the health and productivity of occupants due to thermal discomfort in buildings. One can find a wide variety of efficient solutions but with high costs. In developing countries, especially tropical countries, we need to appreciate a technology with a very limited cost that is affordable for everyone, energy efficient and protects the environment. Biosourced insulation is a product based on plant fibers, animal products or products from recyclable paper or clothing. Their development meets the objectives of maintaining biodiversity, reducing waste and protecting the environment. In tropical or hot countries, the aim is to protect the building from solar thermal radiation, a source of discomfort. The aim of this work is in line with the logic of energy control and environmental protection, the approach is to make the occupants of buildings comfortable, reduce their carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) and decrease their energy consumption (energy efficiency). We have chosen to study the thermo-physical properties of banana leaves and sawdust, especially their thermal conductivities, direct measurements were made using the flash method and the hot plate method. We also measured the heat flow on both sides of each sample by the hot box method. The results from these different experiences show that these materials are very efficient used as insulation. We have also conducted a building thermal simulation using banana leaves as one of the materials under Design Builder software. Air-conditioning load as well as CO2 release was used as performance indicator. When the air-conditioned building cell is protected on the roof by banana leaves and integrated into the walls with solar protection of the glazing, it saves up to 64.3% of energy and avoids 57% of CO2 emissions.

Impact of Climate Change on Sea Level Rise along the Coastline of Mumbai City, India

Sea-level rise being one of the most important impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change resulting from global warming and melting of icebergs at Arctic and Antarctic, the investigations done by various researchers both on Indian Coast and elsewhere during the last decade has been reviewed in this paper. The paper aims to ascertain the propensity of consistency of different suggested methods to predict the near-accurate future sea level rise along the coast of Mumbai. Case studies at East Coast, Southern Tip and West and South West coast of India have been reviewed. Coastal Vulnerability Index of several important international places has been compared, which matched with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts. The application of Geographic Information System mapping, use of remote sensing technology, both Multi Spectral Scanner and Thematic Mapping data from Landsat classified through Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique for arriving at high, moderate and low Coastal Vulnerability Index at various important coastal cities have been observed. Instead of data driven, hindcast based forecast for Significant Wave Height, additional impact of sea level rise has been suggested. Efficacy and limitations of numerical methods vis-à-vis Artificial Neural Network has been assessed, importance of Root Mean Square error on numerical results is mentioned. Comparing between various computerized methods on forecast results obtained from MIKE 21 has been opined to be more reliable than Delft 3D model.

Simulation Model for Optimizing Energy in Supply Chain Management

In today's world, with increasing environmental awareness, firms are facing severe pressure from various stakeholders, including the government and customers, to reduce their harmful effects on the environment. Over the past few decades, the increasing effects of global warming, climate change, waste, and air pollution have increased the global attention of experts to the issue of the green supply chain and led them to the optimal solution for greenery. Green supply chain management (GSCM) plays an important role in motivating the sustainability of the organization. With increasing environmental concerns, the main objective of the research is to use system thinking methodology and Vensim software for designing a dynamic system model for green supply chain and observing behaviors. Using this methodology, we look for the effects of a green supply chain structure on the behavioral dynamics of output variables. We try to simulate the complexity of GSCM in a period of 30 months and observe the complexity of behaviors of variables including sustainability, providing green products, and reducing energy consumption, and consequently reducing sample pollution.

The Development of a Comprehensive Sustainable Supply Chain Performance Measurement Theoretical Framework in the Oil Refining Sector

The oil refining industry plays vital role in the world economy. Oil refining companies operate in a more complex and dynamic environment than ever before. In addition, oil refining companies and the public are becoming more conscious of crude oil scarcity and climate changes. Hence, sustainability in the oil refining industry is becoming increasingly critical to the industry's long-term viability and to the environmental sustainability. Mainly, it is relevant to the measurement and evaluation of the company's sustainable performance to support the company in understanding their performance and its implication more objectively and establishing sustainability development plans. Consequently, the oil refining companies attempt to re-engineer their supply chain to meet the sustainable goals and standards. On the other hand, this research realized that previous research in oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurements reveals that there is a lack of studies that consider the integration of sustainability in the supply chain performance measurement practices in the oil refining industry. Therefore, there is a need for research that provides performance guidance, which can be used to measure sustainability and assist in setting sustainable goals for oil refining supply chains. Accordingly, this paper aims to present a comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework. In development of this theoretical framework, the main characteristics of oil refining industry have been identified. For this purpose, a thorough review of relevant literature on performance measurement models and sustainable supply chain performance measurement models has been conducted. The comprehensive oil refining sustainable supply chain performance measurement theoretical framework introduced in this paper aims to assist oil refining companies in measuring and evaluating their performance from a sustainability aspect to achieve sustainable operational excellence.

Development of an Intelligent Decision Support System for Smart Viticulture

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the best option for smart vineyard applications, even if it is necessary to integrate the technologies required for the development. This article is based on the research and the results obtained in the DISAVIT project. For Smart Agriculture, the project aims to provide a trustworthy, intelligent, integrated vineyard management solution that is based on the IoT. To have interoperability through the use of a multiprotocol technology (being the future connected wireless IoT) it is necessary to adopt an agnostic approach, providing a reliable environment to address cyber security, IoT-based threats and traceability through blockchain-based design, but also creating a concept for long-term implementations (modular, scalable). The ones described above represent the main innovative technical aspects of this project. The DISAVIT project studies and promotes the incorporation of better management tools based on objective data-based decisions, which are necessary for agriculture adapted and more resistant to climate change. It also exploits the opportunities generated by the digital services market for smart agriculture management stakeholders. The project's final result aims to improve decision-making, performance, and viticulturally infrastructure and increase real-time data accuracy and interoperability. Innovative aspects such as end-to-end solutions, adaptability, scalability, security and traceability, place our product in a favorable situation over competitors. None of the solutions in the market meet every one of these requirements by a unique product being innovative.

Protection of Cultural Heritage against the Effects of Climate Change Using Autonomous Aerial Systems Combined with Automated Decision Support

The article presents an ongoing work in research projects such as SCAN4RECO or ARCH, both funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 program. The former one concerns multimodal and multispectral scanning of Cultural Heritage assets for their digitization and conservation via spatiotemporal reconstruction and 3D printing, while the latter one aims to better preserve areas of cultural heritage from hazards and risks. It co-creates tools that would help pilot cities to save cultural heritage from the effects of climate change. It develops a disaster risk management framework for assessing and improving the resilience of historic areas to climate change and natural hazards. Tools and methodologies are designed for local authorities and practitioners, urban population, as well as national and international expert communities, aiding authorities in knowledge-aware decision making. In this article we focus on 3D modelling of object geometry using primarily photogrammetric methods to achieve very high model accuracy using consumer types of devices, attractive both to professions and hobbyists alike.

Estimation of the Drought Index Based on the Climatic Projections of Precipitation of the Uruguay River Basin

The impact the climate change is not recent, the main variable in the hydrological cycle is the sequence and shortage of a drought, which has a significant impact on the socioeconomic, agricultural and environmental spheres. This study aims to characterize and quantify, based on precipitation climatic projections, the rainy and dry events in the region of the Uruguay River Basin, through the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The database is the image that is part of the Intercomparison of Model Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which provides condition prediction models, organized according to the Representative Routes of Concentration (CPR). Compared to the normal set of climates in the Uruguay River Watershed through precipitation projections, seasonal precipitation increases for all proposed scenarios, with a low climate trend. From the data of this research, the idea is that this article can be used to support research and the responsible bodies can use it as a subsidy for mitigation measures in other hydrographic basins.

Integrated Modeling of Transformation of Electricity and Transportation Sectors: A Case Study of Australia

The proposed stringent mitigation targets require an immediate start for a drastic transformation of the whole energy system. The current Australian energy system is mainly centralized and fossil fuel-based in most states with coal and gas-fired plants dominating the total produced electricity over the recent past. On the other hand, the country is characterized by a huge, untapped renewable potential, where wind and solar energy could play a key role in the decarbonization of the Australia’s future energy system. However, integrating high shares of such variable renewable energy sources (VRES) challenges the power system considerably due to their temporal fluctuations and geographical dispersion. This raises the concerns about flexibility gap in the system to ensure the security of supply with increasing shares of such intermittent sources. One main flexibility dimension to facilitate system integration of high shares of VRES is to increase the cross-sectoral integration through coupling of electricity to other energy sectors alongside the decarbonization of the power sector and reinforcement of the transmission grid. This paper applies a multi-sectoral energy system optimization model for Australia. We investigate the cost-optimal configuration of a renewable-based Australian energy system and its transformation pathway in line with the ambitious range of proposed climate change mitigation targets. We particularly analyse the implications of linking the electricity and transport sectors in a prospective, highly renewable Australian energy system.

Reconsidering the Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction of the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka: A Zooarchaeological Perspective

Bones, teeth, and shells have been acknowledged over the last two centuries as evidence of chronology, Palaeo-environment, and human activity. Faunal traces are valid evidence of past situations because they have properties that have not changed over long periods. Sri Lanka has been known as an Island, which has a diverse variety of prehistoric occupation among ecological zones. Defining the Paleoecology of the past societies has been an archaeological thought developed in the 1960s. It is mainly concerned with the reconstruction from available geological and biological evidence of past biota, populations, communities, landscapes, environments, and ecosystems. This early and persistent human fossil, technical, and cultural florescence, as well as a collection of well-preserved tropical-forest rock shelters with associated 'on-site ' Palaeoenvironmental records, makes Sri Lanka a central and unusual case study to determine the extent and strength of early human tropical forest encounters. Excavations carried out in prehistoric caves in the low country wet zone has shown that in the last 50,000 years, the temperature in the lowland rainforests has not exceeded 5 degrees. Based on Semnopithecus Priam (Gray Langur) remains unearthed from wet zone prehistoric caves, it has been argued periods of momentous climate changes during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene boundary, with a recognizable preference for semi-open ‘Intermediate’ rainforest or edges. Continuous genus Acavus and Oligospira occupation along with uninterrupted horizontal pervasive of Canarium sp. (‘kekuna’ nut) have proven that temperatures in the lowland rain forests have not changed by at least 5 °C over the last 50,000 years. Site catchment or territorial analysis cannot be any longer defensible, due to time-distance based factors as well as optimal foraging theory failed as a consequence of prehistoric people were aware of the decrease in cost-benefit ratio and located sites, and generally played out a settlement strategy that minimized the ratio of energy expended to energy produced.

Behavioral Response of Bee Farmers to Climate Change in South East, Nigeria

The enigma climate change is no longer an illusion but a reality. In the recent years, the Nigeria climate has changed and the changes are shown by the changing patterns of rainfall, the sunshine, increasing level carbon and nitrous emission as well as deforestation. This study analyzed the behavioural response of bee keepers to variations in the climate and the adaptation techniques developed in response to the climate variation. Beekeeping is a viable economic activity for the alleviation of poverty as the products include honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens, bees and their larvae and are all marketable. The study adopted the multistage sampling technique to select 120 beekeepers from the five states of Southeast Nigeria. Well-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were adopted to collect the required data. Statistical tools like the Principal component analysis, data envelopment models, graphs, and charts were used for the data analysis. Changing patterns of rainfall and sunshine with the increasing rate of deforestation had a negative effect on the habitat of the bees. The bee keepers have adopted the Kenya Top bar and Langstroth hives and they establish the bee hives on fallow farmland close to the cultivated communal farms with more flowering crops.

Renewable Energy Industry Trends and Its Contributions to the Development of Energy Resilience in an Era of Accelerating Climate Change

Climate change and global warming vortex have grown to alarming proportions. Therefore, the need for a shift in the conceptualization of energy production is paramount. Energy practices have been created in the current situation. Fossil fuels continue their prominence, at the expense of renewable sources. Despite this abundance, a large percentage of the world population still has no access to electricity but there have been encouraging signs in global movement from nonrenewable to renewable energy but means to reverse climate change have been elusive. Worldwide, organizations have put tremendous effort into innovation. Conferences and exhibitions act as a platform that allows a broad exchange of information regarding trends in the renewable energy field. The Solar Power International (SPI) conference and exhibition is a gathering of concerned activists, and probably the largest convention of its kind. This study investigates current development in the renewable energy field, analyzing means by which industry is being applied to the issue. In reviewing the 2019 SPI conference, it was found innovations in recycling and assessing the environmental impacts of the solar products that need critical attention. There is a huge movement in the electrical storage but there exists a large gap in the development of security systems. This research will focus on solar energy, but impacts will be relevant to the entire renewable energy market.

European Environmental Policy for Road Transport: Analysis of the Perverse Effects Generated and Proposals for a Good Practice Guide

The aim of this paper is to analyse the different environmental policies adopted in Europe for car emissions, to comment on some of the possible perverse effects generated and point out these policies which are considered more efficient under the environmental perspective. This paper is focused on passenger cars as this category is the most significant in road transport. The utility of this research lies in this being the first step or basis to improve and optimise actual policies. The methodology applied in this paper refers to a comparative analysis from a practical and theoretical point of view of European environmental policies in road transport. This work describes an overview of the road transport industry in Europe pointing out some relevant aspects such as the contribution of road transport to total emissions and the vehicle fleet in Europe. Additionally, we propose a brief practice guide with the combined policies in order to optimise their aim.

Validation and Projections for Solar Radiation up to 2100: HadGEM2-AO Global Circulation Model

The objective of this work is to evaluate the results of solar radiation projections between 2006 and 2013 for the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The projections are provided by the General Circulation Models (MCGs) belonging to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Phase 5 (CMIP5). In all, the results of the simulation of six models are evaluated, compared to monthly data, measured by a network of thirteen meteorological stations of the National Meteorological Institute (INMET). The performance of the models is evaluated by the Nash coefficient and the Bias. The results are presented in the form of tables, graphs and spatialization maps. The ACCESS1-0 RCP 4.5 model presented the best results for the solar radiation simulations, for the most optimistic scenario, in much of the state. The efficiency coefficients (CEF) were between 0.95 and 0.98. In the most pessimistic scenario, HADGen2-AO RCP 8.5 had the best accuracy among the analyzed models, presenting coefficients of efficiency between 0.94 and 0.98. From this validation, solar radiation projection maps were elaborated, indicating a seasonal increase of this climatic variable in some regions of the Brazilian territory, mainly in the spring.