Summary

Environmental science emerged from the fields of natural history and medicine during the Enlightenment. Today, it provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems. Environmental studies are incorporating more of the social sciences in order to understand human relationships, perceptions and policies towards the environment. This entry collection features information about design and technology for improving environmental quality in every aspect.

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Topic Review
Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In the face of a changing climate, intensive efforts are needed for limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C. Agricultural production has the potential to play an important role in mitigating climate change. It is necessary to optimize all of the agricultural practices that have high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • 47
  • 20 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Glyphosate-Based Herbicide
To meet the demands of farmers and combat weed problems, woodlands and farmlands are sprayed with agrochemicals, primarily glyphosate-based herbicides. Farmers increasingly embrace these herbicides containing glyphosate. Glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a key metabolite of glyphosate, have been reported as toxicological concerns when they become more prevalent in the food chain.
  • 32
  • 13 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Effect of Sunscreen Ingredients in an Aquatic Environment
Sunscreens have become a product based on increasingly complex formulations that include, among many ingredients, a mixture of UV filters to provide optimal sun ultraviolet radiation protection. A significant group of scientific works deals with the impact of UV filters in aquatic media. However, the knowledge of the mechanism and kinetics of the compound’s direct release, fate, and its transformation and interaction with living organisms is necessary to assess its environmental occurrence and behavior and to predict potential and real impacts on the aquatic environment. The physical‐chemical properties, photodegradation, and release kinetics of particles and chemicals into the water are studied by hydrodynamic and kinetic models. Direct photolysis of chemicals is modeled as pseudofirst‐order kinetics, while the indirect pathway by the reaction of sunscreen with reactive oxygen species is described as second‐order kinetics. The interaction of UV filters with marine biota is studied mainly by toxicokinetic models, which predict their bio‐accumulation in the organisms’ tissues. These models consider the chemicals’ uptake and excretion, as well as their transfer between different internal animal organs, as a first‐order kinetic process.
  • 100
  • 06 Sep 2022
Topic Review
First United Nations Report on Problems of Human-Environment
The 1969 UN Report “Problems of the Human Environment” was a seminal work that first highlighted environmental problems at a global scale. This report underpinned a series of subsequent international summits and conventions of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the subsequent three global conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification. Many issues of that day have declined in importance or been superseded, and several major environmental problems (including climate change and plastic pollution) were not foreseen. Most of the report’s predictions proved to be much more conservative than proved by reality (a criticism that has also been levelled at contemporary IPCC reports).
  • 66
  • 06 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Evolution of the Energy Mix Transition
Countries have started to aggressively undertake energy structure transformation strategies in order to reach the objective of carbon neutrality. Both clean and efficient coal energy use and clean energy use will be crucial to the process of changing the energy structure since the two cannot be totally replaced within a short period of time.Therefore, it is worth exploring how the two have an impact on the energy mix transition in the energy transition process. It is also important to see how carbon sentiment affects the various actors involved in the decision-making process.
  • 41
  • 07 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Batteries vs Hydrogen Storage: Complementary or Substitute
Batteries and hydrogen storage technologies are treated as complementary technologies in some cases, but in other ones they are considered opposed technologies. 
  • 90
  • 20 Sep 2022
Topic Review
Radon Risk Perception, Awareness and Knowledge
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that is present in buildings and is the second cause of lung cancer after smoking. Risk perception has been studied from multiple perspectives, including social studies, anthropology, and medical disciplines, with psychology playing a primary role. Two main dimensions are involved in risk perception: a cognitive dimension, related to knowledge and understanding of risk, and an emotional dimension, which includes feelings; both are components of the reaction to risks, representations of immediate and/or future consequences and their implications, and how people decide how to behave accordingly. Perceived risk is therefore quantifiable and predictable: the psychometric paradigm has helped to clarify how certain elements and characteristics are specifically influential in people’s perception of the dangerousness of an activity, such as controllability, voluntariness, threat to future generations, and responsibility. The research for the implementation of evidence-based radon communication programs is progressing rapidly. Many countries have issued regulations or recommendations to ensure that radon concentration levels do not exceed certain threshold values. Following the results of numerous epidemiological studies conducted two decades earlier, in 2009 the World Health Organization proposed a reference level of 100 Bq m−3 to minimize health risks from indoor radon, adding that if this level could not be achieved due to country-specific conditions, the chosen reference level should not exceed 300 Bq m−3. According to the 2013 Euratom Directive, radon is an indoor pollutant monitored in workplaces and homes, with established limits and exposure control obligations but exposure continues to be very high in some situations.
  • 49
  • 31 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Multiple Facets of Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a gas present in the air with an atomic mass of 14.007, a boiling and melting points of 77.36 K and 63.15 K, respectively, and a density of 0.0012506 g·cm–3. N was first discovered in 1772 by the Scottish physician and chemist Daniel Rutherford. The multiple facets of N are described. A paradigm shift is important to shape to the future use of N-rich fertilizers in crop production and their contribution to the current global greenhouse gases (GHGs) budget would help tackle current global environmental challenges toward a sustainable agriculture.
  • 45
  • 25 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Food Waste and Circular Economy
The world’s population is expected to grow at an increasing rate, leading to increased food consumption and waste production. Even though food waste represents one of the most challenging economic and environmental issues of the 21st century, it also provides a vast array of valuable resources. Eight broad themes emerged in circular economy: (1) anaerobic digestion of food waste for circular economy creation; (2) food waste systems and life cycle assessments for circular economy; (3) bio-based circular economy approaches; (4) consumer behavior and attitudes toward circular economies; (5) food supply chains and food waste in a circular economy; (6) material flow analysis and sustainability; (7) challenges, policies, and practices to achieve circularity; and (8) circular economy and patterns of consumption. 
  • 63
  • 25 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Urban Digitization Governance in Birth Registration Field
Digitization governance is one of the most significant current discussions in the urban governance field. Especially, with the spreading of Blockchain Technology (BCT), researchers have shown an increased interest in the application of the technology in solving birth registration challenges as a digital infrastructure in developing countries.
  • 56
  • 17 Aug 2022
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