Scientific, Technical & Medical Earth Sciences Books

Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (Regional Climate Studies)

This book is an update of the first BACC assessment, published in 2008. It offers new and updated scientific findings in regional climate research for the Baltic Sea basin. These include climate changes since the last glaciation (approx. 12,000 years ago), changes in the recent past (the last 200 years), climate projections up until 2100 using state-of-the-art regional climate models and an assessment of climate-change impacts on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. There are dedicated new chapters on sea-level rise, coastal erosion and impacts on urban areas. A new set of chapters deals with possible causes of regional climate change along with the global effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, namely atmospheric aerosols and land-cover change. The evidence collected and presented in this book shows that the regional climate has already started to change and this is expected to continue. Projections of potential future climates show that the region will probably become considerably warmer and wetter in some parts, but dryer in others. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems have already shown adjustments to increased temperatures and are expected to undergo further changes in the near future. The BACC II Author Team consists of 141 scientists from 12 countries, covering various disciplines related to climate research and related impacts. BACC II is a project of the Baltic Earth research network and contributes to the World Climate Research Programme.

Agricultural Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, a large volume of monitoring data has been collected about the soil, air, dust, and seawater, along with data about an immense number of foods supplied to the market. Little is known, however, about the effect of radioactive fallout on agriculture, information about which is vital. Although more than 80% of the damaged area is related to agriculture, in situ information specifically for agriculture is scarce. This book provides data about the actual movement and accumulation of radioactivity in the ecological system-for example, whether debris deposited on mountains can be a cause of secondary contamination, under what conditions plants accumulate radioactive cesium in their edible parts, and how radioactivity is transferred from hay to milk. Because agriculture is so closely related to nature, many specialists with different areas of expertise must be involved in answering these questions. In the case of rice, researchers in rice cultivation as well as in soil, hydrology, and radioactivity measurement are working together to reveal the paths or accumulation of radioactivity in the field. For this purpose, the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences of The University of Tokyo has diverse facilities available throughout Japan, including farmlands, forests, and meadowlands. Many academic staff members have formed groups to conduct on-site research, with more than 40 volunteers participating. This book presents the data collected from the only project being systematically carried out across Japan after the Fukushima accident.