SciCombinator

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Concept: Water vapor

181

Megadroughts are comparable in severity to the worst droughts of the 20th century but are of much longer duration. A megadrought in the American Southwest would impose unprecedented stress on the limited water resources of the area, making it critical to evaluate future risks not only under different climate change mitigation scenarios but also for different aspects of regional hydroclimate. We find that changes in the mean hydroclimate state, rather than its variability, determine megadrought risk in the American Southwest. Estimates of megadrought probabilities based on precipitation alone tend to underestimate risk. Furthermore, business-as-usual emissions of greenhouse gases will drive regional warming and drying, regardless of large precipitation uncertainties. We find that regional temperature increases alone push megadrought risk above 70, 90, or 99% by the end of the century, even if precipitation increases moderately, does not change, or decreases, respectively. Although each possibility is supported by some climate model simulations, the latter is the most common outcome for the American Southwest in Coupled Model Intercomparison 5 generation models. An aggressive reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions cuts megadrought risks nearly in half.

Concepts: Attribution of recent climate change, Climate, Carbon dioxide, Water vapor, Natural gas, Climate change, Global warming, Greenhouse gas

72

Atmospheric water is a resource equivalent to ~10% of all fresh water in lakes on Earth. However, an efficient process for capturing and delivering water from air, especially at low humidity levels (down to 20%), has not been developed. We report the design and demonstration of a device based on porous metal-organic framework-801 [Zr6O4(OH)4(fumarate)6] that captures water from the atmosphere at ambient conditions using low-grade heat from natural sunlight below one sun (1 kW per square meter). This device is capable of harvesting 2.8 liters of water per kilogram of MOF daily at relative humidity levels as low as 20%, and requires no additional input of energy.

Concepts: Water vapor, Water, Climate, Sunlight, Relative humidity, Atmosphere, Precipitation, Humidity

66

Food production is a major driver of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water and land use, and dietary risk factors are contributors to non-communicable diseases. Shifts in dietary patterns can therefore potentially provide benefits for both the environment and health. However, there is uncertainty about the magnitude of these impacts, and the dietary changes necessary to achieve them. We systematically review the evidence on changes in GHG emissions, land use, and water use, from shifting current dietary intakes to environmentally sustainable dietary patterns. We find 14 common sustainable dietary patterns across reviewed studies, with reductions as high as 70-80% of GHG emissions and land use, and 50% of water use (with medians of about 20-30% for these indicators across all studies) possible by adopting sustainable dietary patterns. Reductions in environmental footprints were generally proportional to the magnitude of animal-based food restriction. Dietary shifts also yielded modest benefits in all-cause mortality risk. Our review reveals that environmental and health benefits are possible by shifting current Western diets to a variety of more sustainable dietary patterns.

Concepts: Coal, Carbon dioxide, Water vapor, Environment, Natural gas, Ecological footprint, Natural environment, Greenhouse gas

28

Four types of films viz. gelatin, gelatin-MMT, gelatin-chitosan and gelatin-MMT-chitosan prepared from redsnapper and grouper bone gelatin were compared with the mammalian gelatin films, for their mechanical and barrier properties. Grouper gelatin films had higher tensile strength (TS) and Young’s modulus (YM), but lower elongation at break (EAB) than redsnapper films. Incorporation of MMT and chitosan improved the TS (p<0.05) of the films. Water solubilities were lower (p<0.05) in films incorporated with chitosan compared to simple gelatin film. Protein solubilities were lower in gelatin-MMT films, irrespective of the type of solvent used. The water vapour transmission rates (WVTR) of fish and mammalian gelatin films were similar, but addition of MMT had reduced WVTR (p<0.05). SEM micrographs depicted smoother surface for gelatin-MMT and gelatin-MMT-chitosan films. Thus, composite fish gelatin films made with MMT and chitosan could be the good natural biodegradable films due to their better mechanical and barrier properties.

Concepts: Vapor, Carbon fiber, Water vapor, Water, Photographic film, Young's modulus, Tensile strength, Gelatin

28

Bio-based nanocomposite films were successfully developed using nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) as the reinforcing phase and kappa-carrageenan (KCRG) as the matrix. NFC was successfully synthesis from short stable cotton fibers by chemo-mechanical process. The bionanocomposites were prepared by incorporating 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 1wt% of the NFC into a KCRG matrix using a solution casting method there characterization was done in terms of thermal properties (DSC), morphology (SEM), water vapor transmission rate (WVTR), oxygen transmission rate (OTR), X-ray diffractograms (XRD), and tensile properties. The main conclusion arising from the analysis of the result is that the bionanocomposites containing 0.4wt% of NFC exhibited the highest enhancement in tensile strength it is almost 44% improvement. WVTR and OTR results showed improvement of all nanocomposite film compare to control KCRG film.

Concepts: Water vapor, Cellulose, Materials science, Cellulose fiber, Water, Moisture vapor transmission rate, Cotton, Tensile strength

28

Supersaturating Drug Delivery Systems (SDDS) hold the promise of enabling intestinal absorption for difficult-to-formulate, poorly soluble drug candidates based on a design approach that includes (1) converting the drug into a high energy or rapidly dissolving system which presents a supersaturated solution to the gastrointestinal environment and (2) dosage form components that act to stabilize the formed metastable drug solution through nucleation and/or crystal growth inhibition. The appropriate development and study of SDDS require that useful and biorelevant supersaturation and precipitation assays are available. This review summarizes different methodological aspects of currently available in vitro assays, including the generation of supersaturation (solvent shift, pH shift or formulation-induced), the quantification of supersaturation and the detection of precipitation. Also down-scaled approaches, including 96-well plate setups, are described and situated in the pharmaceutical development cycle based on their consumption of API as well as time requirements. Subsequently, the ability to extrapolate in vitro supersaturation assessment to the in vivo situation is discussed as are direct and indirect clinical tools that can shed light on SDDS. By emphasizing multiple variables that affect the predictive power of in vitro assays (e.g. the nature of the test media, hydrodynamics, temperature and sink versus non-sink conditions), this review finally highlights the need for further harmonization and biorelevance improvement of currently available in vitro procedures for supersaturation and precipitation evaluation.

Concepts: Thermodynamics, Solubility, Rock candy, Pharmacology, Supersaturation, Water vapor, Superheating, Nucleation

28

A real turn-on: A luminescent lanthanide metal-organic framework shows strong and fast turn-on responses to N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) vapor. The selective turn-on effect is triggered mainly by DMF-ligand interactions, along with the removal of quencher, water, from the metal coordination sphere.

Concepts: Vapor pressure, Ligand, Water vapor, Jimi Hendrix, Vapor, Fluorescence, Pharmacology, Water

27

Convective precipitation-localized, short-lived, intense, and sometimes violent-is at the root of challenges associated with observation, simulation, and prediction of precipitation. The understanding of long-term changes in convective precipitation characteristics and their role in precipitation extremes and intensity over extratropical regions are imperative to future water resource management; however, they have been studied very little. We show that annual convective precipitation total has been increasing astonishingly fast, at a rate of 18.4%/°C, of which 16% is attributable to an increase in convective precipitation occurrence, and 2.4% is attributable to increased daily intensity based on the 35 years of two (combined) historical data sets of 3-hourly synoptic observations and daily precipitation. We also reveal that annual daily precipitation extreme has been increasing at a rate of about 7.4%/°C in convective events only. Concurrently, the overall increase in mean daily precipitation intensity is mostly due to increased convective precipitation, possibly at the expanse of nonconvective precipitation. As a result, transitional seasons are becoming more summer-like as convective becomes the dominant precipitation type that has accompanied higher daily extremes and intensity since the late 1980s. The data also demonstrate that increasing convective precipitation and daily extremes appear to be directly linearly associated with higher atmospheric water vapor accompanying a warming climate over northern Eurasia.

Concepts: Synoptic scale meteorology, Rain, Snow, Climate, Global warming, Precipitation, Water vapor, Water

27

OBJECTIVES: The high values of thermal resistance (R(ct)) and/or vapor resistance (R(et)) of chemical protective clothing (CPC) induce a considerable thermal stress. The present study compared the physiological strain induced by CPCs and evaluates the relative importance of the fabrics' R(ct), R(et), and air permeability in determining heat strain. METHODS: Twelve young (20-30 years) healthy, heat-acclimated male subjects were exposed fully encapsulated for 3h daily to an exercise-heat stress (35°C and 30% relative humidity, walking on a motor-driven treadmill at a pace of 5 km h(1) and a 4% inclination, in a work-rest cycle of 45min work and 15min rest). Two bipack CPCs (PC1 and PC2) were tested and the results were compared with those attained by two control suits-a standard cotton military BDU (CO1) and an impermeable material suit (CO2). RESULTS: The physiological burden imposed by the two bilayer garments was within the boundaries set by the control conditions. Overall, PC2 induced a lower strain, which was closer to CO1, whereas PC1 was closer to CO2. Air permeability of the PC2 cloth was almost three times higher than that of PC1, enabling a better heat dissipation and consequently a lower physiological strain. Furthermore, air permeability characteristic of the fabrics, which is associated with its construction and weave, significantly correlated with the physiological strain, whereas the correlation with R(ct), R(et), and weight was poor. CONCLUSIONS: The results emphasize the importance of air permeability in reducing the physiological strain induced by CPCs.

Concepts: Textile, Clothing, Linear elasticity, Psychrometrics, Relative humidity, Humidity, Water vapor, Heat

25

Many cities globally are seeking strategies to counter the consequences of both a hotter and drier climate. While urban heat mitigation strategies have been shown to have beneficial effects on health, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions, their implications for water conservation have not been widely examined. Here we use a suite of satellite-supported regional climate simulations in California to show that broad implementation of cool roofs, a heat mitigation strategy, not only results in significant cooling, but can also meaningfully decrease outdoor water consumption by reducing evaporative and irrigation water demands. Irrigation water consumption across the major metropolitan areas is reduced by up to 9% and irrigation water savings per capita range from 1.8 to 15.4 gallons per day across 18 counties examined. Total water savings are found to be the highest in Los Angeles county, reaching about 83 million gallons per day. Cool roofs are a valuable solution for addressing the adaptation and mitigation challenges faced by multiple sectors in California.

Concepts: Water vapor, Irrigation, Precipitation, Green roof, Carbon dioxide, City, Climate change, Greenhouse gas