Recent Submissions

  • Leading modes and feature zones of sea ice concentration in North Pacific during Spring seasons of 2000–2020

    Xu, Li; Crabbe, M. James C.; BYD Company Ltd; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire (World Scientific, 2024-01-23)
    Under the influence of the Arctic amplification, sea ice variability in North Pacific is becoming a key indicator of global climate changes. Due to the widespread and complex impacts of North Pacific sea ice variations, the understanding of its dynamic changes, especially its spatial and temporal evolution patterns, has great significance. In this study, we used the rotated empirical orthogonal decomposition to divide the whole North Pacific into six feature zones on the evolution sea ice concentration under the recent global warming and highlighted the complexity and diversity of sea ice variations in the offshore waters.
  • An overview study on management and implementation of WEEE in China

    Lee, Lien-Chieh; Zhang, Lili; Chen, Xi; Gui, Shusheng; Zhou, Shaobo; Hubei Polytechnic University; University of Bedfordshire (Springer Science and Business Media B.V., 2022-06-28)
    Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) which contains various valuable and harmful materials is an inevitable waste in modern society. In order to resolve the pollution problems associated with WEEE treatment, a WEEE management system has been established in China. The main role of importers and manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is to pay the treatment fees to facilitate the WEEE recycling in China. The announced treatment and subsidy fee is given by set, not by the weight of WEEE. There is no lesser green treatment fee for the producers which can produce environmentally friendly EEE in China. Also, the recovery of refrigerants from the foaming agent of refrigerators is not required in China. In total, 45 million sets of recycled WEEE were certified in 2020, a year that contains the most updated data. Among them, 48%, 14%, 20%, 10% and 8% are for TV, refrigerator, washing machine, computer and air conditioners, respectively. The spatial analysis indicates that the WEEE recycling activities are mainly concentrated on the mid-east and east regions of China. It also can be concluded that the certified amount of each province has higher positive correlation with provincial population than provincial GDP per capita and green recovery rate. It also clearly notes that the amount of recycled air conditioner is the lowest for each province. Thus, more effort should be conducted to increase the recycling of scrapped air conditioner in China.
  • Responses of extreme climates in South Asia under a G6sulfur scenario of climate engineering

    Wang, Jingrong; Zhang, Zhihua; Crabbe, M. James C.; Das, Lipon Chandra; Shandong University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire; University of Chittagong (MDPI, 2023-09-26)
    Under global warming scenarios, extreme climate events in South Asia will occur more frequently which will seriously threaten the safety of local residents. South Asia faces dual pressures of the obligation of carbon emissions reduction globally and the demand for a better life for huge populations. Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI) climate engineering provides a potential solution to this dilemma. We compared the evolution of 12 climate extreme indices under historical scenarios, two future scenarios (SSP245, SSP585) and an implementation scenario of SAI climate engineering (G6sulfur). We showed that the intensity and frequency of extreme climates under a G6sulfur scenario would be significantly higher than those under historical scenarios, and that the difference in extreme climates under three scenarios (SSP245, SSP585, and G6sulfur) would be widely varying, with some indices being considerably mitigated while others would reflect a worse set of circumstances than would be the case without SAI climate engineering. Therefore, SAI climate engineering is not an effective tool to mitigate future climate extremes in South Asia under global warming scenarios.
  • Impacts of marine cloud brightening scheme on climatic extremes in the Tibetan Plateau

    Zhang, Zhihua; Zhu, Yuanzhuo; Crabbe, M. James C. (De Gruyter, 2023-09-29)
    As an ecologically fragile plateau and major water source in Asia, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has grown warmer over recent decades, contributing to frequent occurrence of extreme climate events. It is urgently needed to find a suitable option to mitigate climate change impacts in the TP. The marine cloud brightening (MCB) scheme is proposed to mitigate global warming through the increasing cloud droplet number concentration of low marine clouds to reflect some solar radiation back into space. Until now, impacts of MCB scheme on the TP have not been investigated. In this study, we utilized 13 Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices to assess the evolution of climate extremes over the TP with/without MCB implementation. We found that although the MCB is implemented over ocean only, it would cause significant changes on climate extremes in the TP which is very far from oceans and much higher than sea level. During 2030–2059, MCB implementation can decrease warm temperature extremes, leading to a significant decrease in the TXx index by 6–18°C, the TX90p index by 15–45 days, and the TN90p index by 15–50 days. MCB implementation would also have some cooling effects on cold temperature extremes, leading to an increase in the ID index by 30–80 days, the TX10p index by 22–32 days, and the TN10p index by about 12 days and a decrease in the TNn index by 0.5–1.5°C. Although MCB implementation would not have much impacts on precipitation extremes, it would significantly increase the area of the region with <10% drought frequency, and increase the drought intensity in the west of Lhasa city.
  • Barriers and facilitators to genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer amongst Black African women in Luton (UK)

    Kabeya, Valencia Tshibuya; Puthussery, Shuby; Furmanski, Anna L.; University of Bedfordshire; Oxford University (Wiley, 2023-07-05)
    Evidence suggests that although Black African women have the lowest incidence of breast and ovarian cancer, they have the highest mortality rate and low rates of uptake for cancer screening services for these conditions in the United Kingdom (UK). This study aimed to explore the perceived barriers and facilitators to genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer amongst Black African women in Luton (UK). We conducted a qualitative study that included one face-to-face and five telephone focus group discussions. Consistent with the health belief model, a focus group discussion guide was developed. A total of 24 participants, aged 23-57 who self-identified as Black African women and who were English speakers residing in Luton, took part in the focus group discussions. Purposive and snowballing sampling were used to recruit the participants for this study. The focus group discussions were recorded, transcribed per verbatim, coded and analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach, and the findings were classified. Nine themes emerged from the narratives obtained including six barriers and three facilitators. Barriers to genetic testing included (1) Cost and affordability, (2) Lack of knowledge, awareness, and family health history knowledge, (3) Language barrier, immigration, and distrust in western healthcare services, (4) Fear, (5) Cultural, religious, and intergenerational views and perceptions, and (6) Eligibility for genetic testing for the BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants and a lack of referral to specialist genetic clinics. Facilitators to genetic testing included (7) Availability of tests cost-free under the National Health Service (NHS) (8) Family members' health and (9) Awareness and education on genetic testing. The barriers and facilitators identified could enable policy makers and healthcare services alike to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing Black African women's decision-making process toward genetic testing. Ultimately, this work can inform interventions aiming to increase the uptake of genetic testing among this group.
  • Can a chatbot enhance hazard awareness in the construction industry?

    Zhu, Xiaoe; Li, Rita Yi Man; Crabbe, M. James C.; Sukpascharoena, Khunanan; ; Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok; Hong Kong Shue Yan University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire; Shanxi University (Frontiers, 2022-11-30)
    Safety training enhances hazard awareness in the construction industry. Its effectiveness is a component of occupational safety and health. While face-to-face safety training has dominated in the past, the frequent lockdowns during COVID-19 have led us to rethink new solutions. A chatbot is messaging software that allows people to interact, obtain answers, and handle sales and inquiries through a computer algorithm. While chatbots have been used for language education, no study has investigated their usefulness for hazard awareness enhancement after chatbot training. In this regard, we developed four Telegram chatbots for construction safety training and designed the experiment as the treatment factor. Previous researchers utilized eye-tracking in the laboratory for construction safety research; most have adopted it for qualitative analyses such as heat maps or gaze plots to study visual paths or search strategies via eye-trackers, which only studied the impact of one factor. Our research has utilized an artificial intelligence-based eye-tracking tool. As hazard awareness can be affected by several factors, we filled this research void using 2-way interaction terms using the design of experiment (DOE) model. We designed an eye-tracking experiment to study the impact of site experience, Telegram chatbot safety training, and task complexity on hazard awareness, which is the first of its kind. The results showed that Telegram chatbot training enhanced the hazard awareness of participants with less onsite experience and in less complex scenarios. Low-cost chatbot safety training could improve site workers’ danger awareness, but the design needs to be adjusted according to participants’ experience. Our results o􀀀er insights to construction safety managers in safety knowledge sharing and safety training.
  • ViMRT: a text-mining tool and search engine for automated virus mutation recognition

    Tong, Yuantao; Tan, Fanglin; Huang, Honglian; Zhang, Zeyu; Zong, Hui; Xie, Yujia; Huang, Danqi; Cheng, Shiyang; Wei, Ziyi; Fang, Meng; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2022-11-07)
    Virus mutation is one of the most important research issues which plays a critical role in disease progression and has prompted substantial scientific publications. Mutation extraction from published literature has become an increasingly important task, benefiting many downstream applications such as vaccine design and drug usage. However, most existing approaches have low performances in extracting virus mutation due to both lack of precise virus mutation information and their development based on human gene mutations.
  • Editorial: ESG investment and its societal impacts

    Hamori, Shigeyuki; Yue, Xiao-Guang; Yang, Lu; Crabbe, M. James C.; Kobe University; European University Cyprus; Shenzhen University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire (Frontiers, 2022-11-21)
    ESG investing refers to companies’ investment actions that consider the environment (Environment), society (Social), and corporate governance (Governance) together. “Environment” refers to activities such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption. “Social” refers to activities such as human rights issues and promoting women’s activities. “Corporate Governance” refers to activities such as compliance and management transparency.
  • The characteristics of dissolved organic matter and soil microbial communities in the soils of Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. plantations in the Qinling mountains, China

    Li, Hailiang; Yang, Yang; Crabbe, M. James C.; Chen, Haikui; Gansu Agricultural University; Northwest Normal University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire; Shanxi University; North Minzu University (MDPI, 2022-09-22)
    Soil microorganisms and dissolved organic matter (DOM) play vital roles in nutrient cycling and maintaining plant diversity. The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between DOM component characteristics and microbial community structure in the soil of Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. plantations. We quantified the responses of the soil microbial and DOM characteristics to stand age in a plantation forest ecosystem using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, ultravioletvisible spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Three humic-like components and a fulvic-like component were identified from the soil samples, and humic-like substances were the dominant component of the soil DOM of the stands of different ages. The fluorescence index showed that the sources of soil DOM in the stands of different ages throughout the growth stages may be mostly plant residues, with very little contribution from microbial sources. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that stand age and growth season had a significant effect on the contents of the soil PLFA biomarkers of L. principis-rupprechtii Mayr. Additionally, significantly higher contents of different species of soil PLFA biomarkers were observed in the young forest (17a) than in the sapling forest (7a) and half-mature forest (27a), suggesting that stand age differences in the quality and quantity of larch litter and soil physicochemical characteristics affect the microbial community structure. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that changes in the soil DOM quality and components that were driven by growth season and stand age were the major drivers of variations in the soil microbial community structure in the study region. Overall, the seasonal variations in DOM quality and components may contribute to the variability of soil microorganisms.
  • Distribution and pathogenicity of Beauveria bassiana in soil with earthworm action and feeding

    Zhou, Xibei; Liang, Wulong; Zhang, Yanfeng; Crabbe, M. James C.; Ren, Zhumei; Xie, Yingping; Shanxi University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire (PLOS, 2022-10-13)
    Earthworm action and feeding have an important impact on a variety of microorganisms in the soil. However, the effects of the earthworm on Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus in the biological control of pests, have been little studied. In this study, the epigeic earthworm species Eisenia fetida (Savigny) was selected to evaluate its impact on B. bassiana TST05 including its distribution in soil and its pathogenicity to target insects. By testing B. bassiana TST05 distribution, biomass in soil, viable spore germination rate, and pathogenicity to insect larvae after passing through the earthworm gut, the results showed that the activity and feeding of E. fetida promoted the B. bassiana TST05 diffusing downwards in the soil, while decreasing active fungal spores. After passing through the earthworm gut and excretion, the living B. bassiana individuals still had activity and pathogenicity to insects. The germination rate of the viable fungal spores was 15.09% and the infection rate to the insect larvae of Atrijuglans hetaohei Yang reached 62.35%, 80.95% and 100% after infection at 7 d, 10 d, and 14 d, respectively. The results showed that action and feeding of earthworms promoted the distribution of B. bassiana TST05 in soil, but decreased B. bassiana viable spores. This study is important for understanding the interaction between earthworms and B. bassiana in soil and for guiding the scientific application of B. bassiana in the biological control of pests.
  • Mobile drawing methods in landscape research: collaborative drawing in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

    Fox, Alice; Macpherson, Hannah; Oli, Nischal; Ranjit, Ashmina; Thapa, Sangeeta; Aggett, Sian; Church, Andrew; University of Brighton; British Council, Kathmandu; University of Sussex; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2022-06-26)
    In this paper, we show how mobile drawing methodologies can bring the dynamic, relational and non-representational qualities of landscape encounters to the foreground. The research paper discusses a mobile drawing project that took place in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The project entitled ‘Taxi Guff-Gaff’ invited participants to undertake a collaborative drawing and conversational journey. Mobile drawing together on a bumpy taxi journey required artist participants to move together and literally ‘pay attention to the moment at hand’. In so doing it produced imagery that foregrounds the inherent dynamic quality of all our landscape encounters. We propose that mobile drawing offers an immersive way to relate to the urban landscape and each other and can open up spaces of landscape research that centre on speculative forms of thinking, being, drawing and conversation.
  • To survive and thrive

    Crabbe, M. James C.; Yue, Xiao-Guang (2021-12-30)
  • A “magic teleportation machine”: ethnically diverse green space users derive similar cultural ecosystem benefits from urban nature

    Edwards, Rachael C.; Larson, Brendon M.H.; Church, Andrew; University of Waterloo; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2021-11-29)
    Green spaces are vital to the wellbeing of urban communities, largely due to the many Cultural Ecosystem Benefits (CEB) that nature contributes to outdoor recreation experiences (e.g., relaxation, inspiration, spiritual enrichment). To ensure equity in the distribution of CEB, however, we require a better understanding of how they relate to ethnicity. Through 100 in-situ semi-structured interviews with green space users in the Lee Valley Regional Park, London, UK, this research explored variation in outdoor recreational CEB based on i) ethnicity and ii) green space activity and attribute preferences. We compared green space preferences and CEB of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and white users of two distinct types of urban green space: parks and more biodiverse Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Both white and BAME visitors to parks prioritized games/sports and built features whereas visitors to SSSIs more often undertook wildlife viewing and prioritized natural features. However, we found that white and BAME users of both types of urban green space derived similar CEB. Peace and relaxation were primary among these benefits, a result of both nature interaction and its contrast to the urban environment. These results demonstrate that nature does not have to be the focal point of outdoor recreation to contribute to wellbeing; rather, even as a backdrop to sports and cultural activities, nature provides similar benefits to green space users. To promote use of green space and foster intercultural understanding, we recommend integrating these shared benefits obtained from nature within marketing and engagement strategies. Future research is needed to explore CEB variation within and among distinct ethnic communities to fully capture the diversity of lived experiences.
  • A strategic plan for water related recreation in Wales

    Ravenscroft, Neil; Church, Andrew; Taylor, Becky; Hughes, Geoff; Young, J.; Curry, N.; University of Brighton; G & L Hughes Ltd; Plumpton College (Environment Agency, 2008-01-01)
  • Assessing nature's contributions to people

    Diaz, Sandra; Pascual, Unai; Stenseke, Marie; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Watson, Robert T.; Molnár, Zsolt; Hill, Rosemary; Chan, Kai M.A.; Baste, Ivar A.; Brauman, Kate A.; et al. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018-01-19)
    A major challenge today and into the future is to maintain or enhance beneficial contributions of nature to a good quality of life for all people. This is among the key motivations of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a joint global effort by governments, academia, and civil society to assess and promote knowledge of Earth's biodiversity and ecosystems and their contribution to human societies in order to inform policy formulation. One of the more recent key elements of the IPBES conceptual framework (1) is the notion of nature's contributions to people (NCP), which builds on the ecosystem service concept popularized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) (2). But as we detail below, NCP as defined and put into practice in IPBES differs from earlier work in several important ways. First, the NCP approach recognizes the central and pervasive role that culture plays in defining all links between people and nature. Second, use of NCP elevates, emphasizes, and operationalizes the role of indigenous and local knowledge in understanding nature's contribution to people.
  • Setting the scene - chapter 2: conceptual framework and methodology : the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Technical Report

    Mace, G.; Bateman, I.; Albon, S.; Balmford, A.; Brown, C.; Church, Andrew; Haines-Young, R.; Pretty, J.; Turner, K.; Vira, B.; et al. (United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), 2011-06-01)
  • The UK National Ecosystem Assessment technical report

    Church, Andrew; UNEP-WCMC (UK National Ecosystem Assessment, 2011-06-01)
  • UK National Ecosystem Assessment: understanding nature's value to society: synthesis of key findings

    Aspinall, R.; Austen, M.; Bardgett, R.; Bateman, I.; Berry, P.; Bird, W.; Bradbury, R.; Brown, C.; Bullock, J.; Burgess, Jacquelin; et al. (UNEP-WCMC, 2011-06-01)
  • Home, the culture of nature and meanings of gardens in late modernity

    Bhatti, Mark; Church, Andrew (Routledge, 2004-01-01)
    The growth in the provision of gardens has been an important feature of housing in the UK during the 20th century, and yet the significance of the humble domestic garden has been neglected in studies of housing and home. This paper examines the role of the garden in the meaning of home, and draws on theoretical discussions of nature, environmental risk and social uncertainty in late modernity. Secondary empirical data is used to investigate the changing uses of gardens and practices of gardening. A survey of garden owners provides primary empirical data to examine meanings of gardens and personal experiences of nature. The paper concludes that the garden is an important site for privacy, sociability and sensual connections to nature, and these activities can be understood as negotiations and practices to address the social and environmental paradoxes of late modern life.

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