Topic Review
Life Cycle Assessment of Embodied Carbon in Buildings
The environment demands a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as building and construction are responsible for more than 40% of the energy consumed worldwide and 30% of the world’s GHG emissions. Many countries have aligned themselves with the Paris agreement, following its target of achieving net zero carbon emissions, although some governments are focused on the operational energy efficiency part of the equation instead of the whole equation. 
  • 6
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Mosasaurus
Mosasaurus (/ˌmoʊzəˈsɔːrəs/; "lizard of the Meuse River") is the type genus (defining example) of the mosasaurs, an extinct group of aquatic squamate reptiles. It lived from about 82 to 66 million years ago during the Campanian and Maastrichtian stages of the Late Cretaceous. The earliest fossils of Mosasaurus known to science were found as skulls in a chalk quarry near the Dutch city of Maastricht in the late 18th century, which were initially thought to have been the bones of crocodiles or whales. One skull discovered around 1780, and which was seized by France during the French Revolutionary Wars for its scientific value, was famously nicknamed the "great animal of Maastricht". In 1808, naturalist Georges Cuvier concluded that it belonged to a giant marine lizard with similarities to monitor lizards but otherwise unlike any known living animal. This concept was revolutionary at the time and helped support the then-developing ideas of extinction. Cuvier did not designate a scientific name for the new animal, and this was done by William Daniel Conybeare in 1822 when he named it Mosasaurus in reference to its origin in fossil deposits near the Meuse River. The exact affinities of Mosasaurus as a squamate remain controversial, and scientists continue to debate whether its closest living relatives are monitor lizards or snakes. Traditional interpretations have estimated the maximum length of the largest species, M. hoffmannii, to be up to 17.1 meters (56 ft), making it one of the largest mosasaurs, although some scientists consider this an overestimation with recent estimates suggesting a length closer to 13 meters (43 ft). The skull of Mosasaurus was equipped with robust jaws capable of swinging back and forth and strong muscles capable of powerful bites using dozens of large teeth adapted for cutting prey. Its four limbs were shaped into robust paddles to steer the animal underwater. Its tail was long and ended in a downward bend and a paddle-like fluke. Mosasaurus was a predator possessing excellent vision to compensate for its poor sense of smell, and a high metabolic rate suggesting it was endothermic ("warm-blooded"), an adaptation only found in mosasaurs among squamates. There is considerable morphological variability across the currently-recognized species in Mosasaurus—from the robustly-built M. hoffmannii to the slender and serpentine M. lemonnieri—but an unclear diagnosis (description of distinguishing features) of the type species M. hoffmannii led to a historically problematic classification. As a result, more than fifty different species have been attributed to the genus in the past. A redescription of the type specimen in 2017 helped resolve the taxonomy issue and confirmed at least five species to be within the genus. Another five species still nominally classified within Mosasaurus are planned to be reassessed in a future study. Fossil evidence suggests Mosasaurus inhabited much of the Atlantic Ocean and the seaways adjacent to it. Mosasaurus fossils have been found in places as diverse as North and South America, Europe, Africa, Western Asia, and Antarctica. This distribution encompassed a wide range of oceanic climates including tropical, subtropical, temperate, and subpolar climates. Mosasaurus was a common large predator in these oceans and was positioned at the top of the food chain. Paleontologists believe its diet would have included virtually any animal; it likely preyed on bony fish, sharks, cephalopods, birds, and other marine reptiles including sea turtles and other mosasaurs. It likely preferred to hunt in open water near the surface. From an ecological standpoint, Mosasaurus probably had a profound impact on the structuring of marine ecosystems; its arrival in some locations such as the Western Interior Seaway in North America coincides with a complete turnover of faunal assemblages and diversity. Mosasaurus faced competition with other large predatory mosasaurs such as Prognathodon and Tylosaurus—which were known to feed on similar prey—though they were able to coexist in the same ecosystems through niche partitioning. There were still conflicts among them, as an instance of Tylosaurus attacking a Mosasaurus has been documented. Several fossils document deliberate attacks on Mosasaurus individuals by members of the same species. Infighting likely took place in the form of snout grappling, similarly seen in modern crocodiles today.
  • 7
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
River Anticlines
A river anticline is a geologic structure that is formed by the focused uplift of rock caused by high erosion rates from large rivers relative to the surrounding areas. An anticline is a fold that is concave down, whose limbs are dipping away from its axis, and whose oldest units are in the middle of the fold. These features form in a number of structural settings. In the case of river anticlines, they form due to high erosion rates, usually in orogenic settings. In a mountain building setting, like that of the Himalaya or the Andes, erosion rates are high and the river anticline's fold axis will trend parallel to a major river. When river anticlines form, they have a zone of uplift between 50-80 kilometers wide along the rivers that form them.
  • 7
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Applications of DAS in Linear Infrastructure Monitoring
Linear infrastructures, such as railways, tunnels, and pipelines, play essential roles in economic and social development worldwide. Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is an emerging sensing technology that has rapidly developed in recent years. Due to its unique advantages in long-distance, high-density, and real-time monitoring, DAS arrays have shown broad application prospects in many fields, such as oil and gas exploration, seismic observation, and subsurface imaging. In the field of linear infrastructure monitoring, DAS has gradually attracted the attention of researchers and practitioners. 
  • 20
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Recycling Phosphorus from Agricultural Streams
Phosphorus (P) is a crucial element for producing crops and is widely used in both recycled manure and inorganic fertiliser. Its cycle has a high impact on the total environment, interfacing the hydrosphere and the pedosphere, and being heavily dependent on the biosphere and anthroposphere. The grey P adsorbents are based on waste materials from the steel industry, which ensure a high rate of P removal but do not allow for its direct reuse as fertiliser. Green P adsorbents are vegetable wastes; they are abundant, locally available, low-cost, and eco-sustainable, but the challenge is certainly their transport. A limitation to the reuse and recycling of agricultural by-products is seeking reusability at all costs, without evaluating the technical and economic feasibility; extra interventions are frequently proposed (i.e., applying high temperatures or adding expensive synthetic molecules to modify the pH). In general, the most promising feasibility is given by its direct use as a soil conditioner or by composting it as a by-product, as the only pre-treatment.
  • 13
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
George C. Marshall Institute
The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) was a nonprofit conservative think tank in the United States. It was established in 1984 with a focus on science and public policy issues and was initially active mostly in the area of defense policy. Since the late 1980s, the Institute put forward environmental skepticism views, and in particular has promoted fringe views regarding the scientific consensus on climate change. The think tank received extensive financial support from oil companies. It closed in 2015, morphing somewhat into the CO2 Coalition.
  • 18
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Mountain is a lava dome complex partially located within the town of Mammoth Lakes, California, in the Inyo National Forest of Madera and Mono Counties. It is home to a large ski area primarily on the Mono County side. Mammoth Mountain was formed in a series of eruptions that ended 57,000 years ago. Mammoth still produces hazardous volcanic gases that kill trees and caused ski patroller fatalities in 2006.
  • 3
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review
Almaguin Highlands
The Almaguin Highlands Region (colloquially known as Almaguin, also referred to as 'the Highlands') in Ontario, Canada, covers approximately 5,200 km2 (2,000 sq mi) comprising the eastern half of Parry Sound District. It is bounded by Muskoka in the south, and by Lake Nipissing and Nipissing District in the north. The eastern edge abuts the western boundary of Algonquin Provincial Park, whereas the western boundary of the Almaguin Highlands is generally regarded to be the mid east-west point of Parry Sound District. Originally derived from the words, Algonquin, Magnetawan, and Seguin. Almaguin is now used to describe the marketing region of East Parry Sound.
  • 6
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Cross-Border Territorial Development through Geographical Indications: Gargano (Italy) and Dibër (Albania)
In a globalized context, characterized by dominant trends towards the homogenization of food products and taste, local and niche productions play a vital role in creating effective strategies of territorial development. Albanian food heritage is definitely one of the most various of the Western Balkans. The Ottoman domination and the Mediterranean position just in front of Italy led to an incredible mix of cultures and traditions. As Albania is a candidate to join the European Union, it has a stronger opportunity of protecting its excellent-quality food products with PDO and PGI marks. Moreover, Albania’s territory shares fundamental features with Gargano lakes, especially with relation to the county of Dibër, where Ulez and Shkopet lakes are located. Both the areas’ traditional food products are and can be an important factor of sustainable and participatory development, and the present contribution aims at exploring possible paths of territorial development at a cross-border level, in the framework of a sort of “dialogue” between the two regions through Geographical Indications (GIs). 
  • 25
  • 01 Dec 2022
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Application of Mobile Operators’ Data in Modern Geographical Research
Mobile operators’ data are one type of Big Data. These are any data about events related to the use of a mobile phone. These data include subscriber identifiers and associated time and location attributes. Big Data in general usually includes datasets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big Data can be described by the following key characteristics: volume, variety, velocity, veracity, value, variability etc. Mobile operators’ data are supplied by the Mobile Network Operators. The main distinguishing features of the operator are, firstly, the possession of a state license to use the radio frequency spectrum, and, secondly, the possession or control over the elements of the network infrastructure necessary to provide services to subscribers in the authorized radio frequency spectrum. The smallest structural territorial element for cellular communication systems is a cell; its dimensions can be different (250 by 250 m, 500 by 500 m, etc.).
  • 7
  • 01 Dec 2022
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