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Oil Pollution Act of 1990

Description: The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 streamlined and strengthened EPA's ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills. A trust fund financed by a tax on oil is available to clean up spills when the responsible party is incapable or unwilling to do so. The OPA requires oil storage facilities and vessels to submit to the Federal government plans detailing how they will respond to large discharges. EPA has published regulations for above ground storage facilities; the Coast Guard has done so for oil tankers. The OPA also requires the development of Area Contingency Plans to prepare and plan for oil spill response on a regional scale.
Date: 1990
Creator: United States. Congress

Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2009

Description: The report describes activities and plans of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), highlighting recent progress in each of the program's research and observational elements. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decision making at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Date: July 2008
Creator: U.S. Climate Change Science Program

Draft Report of the 30th Session of the IPCC

Description: This meeting focused on the future of the IPCC, in particular the scoping of the 5th Assessment Report. Among other isues, the Panel considered the outcome of the Scoping Meeting for a possible Special Report on "Extreme events and disasters: managing the risks", and of the Expert Meeting on "Alternative common metrics to calculate the CO2 equivalence of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases".
Date: April 2009
Creator: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP)

Report of the 27th Session of the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Description: The Twenty-Seventh Session focused on the adoption and approval of the draft Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). as indicated in the agenda, a discussion paper about the future of the IPCC was introduced, among other items that required consideration and decision by the Panel.
Date: November 2007
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2010

Description: The report describes the activities and plans of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which incorporates the U.S. Global Change Research Program established under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Climate Change Research Initiative that was established by the President in 2001. CCSP coordinates and integrates scientific research on climate and global change supported by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. The document highlights recent advances and progress supported by CCSP-participating agencies in each of the program's research and observational elements, as called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program released in July 2003, and later modified in the 2008 CCSP Revised Research Plan. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decisionmaking at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change.
Date: September 2009
Creator: U.S. Global Change Research Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research

Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Description: New evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is retreating more slowly and contributing less to rising global sea levels than scientists once thought. In fact, said researchers at a recent meeting, the sheet was still growing as recently as 8,000 years ago -- thousands of years after the most recent Ice Age.
Date: December 27, 2000
Creator: NASA

WIREC 2008 Ministerial Bulletin: A summary report of the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008

Description: The Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008) convened from 4-6 March 2008, at the Washington, DC Convention Center in the US. WIREC 2008 consisted of a Ministerial Meeting, a business conference, a trade show exhibition and side events. More than 3000 participants from 118 countries registered for the Ministerial Meeting, including approximately 100 ministerial representatives. This Bulletin reports on the Ministerial Meeting events.
Date: April 11, 2008
Creator: Schulman, Mark

UGEC Viewpoints, No. 2, September 2009

Description: Urbanization is a global phenomenon that has transformed and continues to alter landscapes and the ways in which societies function and develop. For this issue of UGEC Viewpoints, the editors collected case-studies presented at the Open Meeting that span across regions and themes: from Australia and the United States, as well as the less developed nations in Africa, megacities of Asia such as Dhaka, Bangladesh and Delhi, India, vulnerable coastal areas of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the largest rainforest in the world, the Brazilian Amazon. Currently, more than half of the world's population lives in cities; the United Nations projects that by 2030 the world will advance to the 60% urbanization threshold. Rapid urbanization effects will not only be present within the immediate locations (cities and their metropolitan areas), but will be experienced regionally and globally. The UGEC project seeks to better understand these implications and the complex dynamic systems of urban areas that affect and are affected by global environmental change (e.g., climate change, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, freshwater ecosystem decline, desertification, and land degradation). Several commonalities are readily identifiable in the authors' research, some of which include an attention to the roles of the governance structures within cities; the functioning of ecosystem services, water, food, and sanitation service provision; as well as the role of research in assisting the successful development of sustainable urban plans and policies.
Date: September 2009
Creator: Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project

Incubation humidity as an environmental stressor on the osmoregulatory developmental program of the chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus.

Description: Fetal programming results from stressors during fetal development and may influence the occurrence of disease later in life. Maternal nutritional status and/or environment can affect renal development by inducing limited nephron endowment at birth, which results in diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in mammals. Birds are likely to be effective models for this process because, like mammals, they have high pressure cardiovascular systems, mammalian-type nephrons and are homeothermic. This project uses the chicken embryo to explore physiological responses of disrupted hydration state thereby providing insights into renal fetal programming. Under normal conditions the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and developing avian kidney work in unison to ensure a proper balance of ions and water within the egg. White leghorn chicken eggs were incubated at 37.5oC±0.5oC and either <35%, 55-60% (normal) or >85% relative humidity. Amniotic fluid serves as the drinking source for the embryo late in development; its composition is important to salt and water homeostasis. High amniotic fluid osmolality increased the blood osmolality for embryos exposed to low humidity incubation thereby indirectly influencing the renal developmental program of the embryos from this group. Indeed estimated filtering capacity was doubled in the low humidity group (6.77 ± 0.43 mm3) compared to normal (4.80 ± 0.33 mm3) and high (3.97 ± 0.30 mm3) humidity groups. The increased filtering capacity seen for those embryos from low humidity may indicate the ability for more efficient recovery of water if similarly stressed as an adult bird. All embryo populations maintained similar oxygen consumption (0.075 ml/min - 0.37 ml/min), hematocrit (15 % - 32 %) and hemoglobin values (4 g/dl - 9 g/dl), thus displaying control over these aspects of the internal environment despite the obvious environmental insult of extreme incubation humidity. These results signify the embryo's immature kidney, along with lower gastrointestinal tract, ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bolin, Greta M.

Testing New Measures of Age Independent Body Size in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Description: The four elements of the lower hind foot (calcaneus, metatarsal, naviculo-cuboid, and tibia) were tested for use as age-independent proxies of body size in white-tailed deer using known aged specimens from Ft. Hood Texas. Statistical analysis indicates that the calcaneum and the tibia are good proxies of age-independent body size in white-tailed deer. In addition to expanding the list of elements that can be used for studies of age-independent body size, these elements can also be used to age faunal remains to an ordinal scale of juveniles and adults. This is useful for research regarding prehistoric prey populations; as a single element can be used to determine prey body size and age simultaneously, which are the two variables used to assess changes in human subsistence practices via the archaeological remains of their prey.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Densmore, Julie A.

NSAID effect on prostanoids in fishes: Prostaglandin E2 levels in bluntnose minnows (Pimephales notatus) exposed to ibuprofen.

Description: Prostanoids are oxygenated derivatives of arachidonic acid with a wide range of physiological effects in vertebrates including modulation of inflammation and innate immune responses. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act through inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) conversion of arachidonic acid to prostanoids. In order to better understand the potential of environmental NSAIDS for interruption of normal levels COX products in fishes, we developed an LC/MS/MS-based approach for tissue analysis of 7 prostanoids. Initial studies examining muscle, gut and gill demonstrated that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was the most abundant of the measured prostanoids in all tissues and that gill tissue had the highest and most consistent concentrations of PGE2. After short-term 48-h laboratory exposures to concentrations of 5, 25, 50 and 100 ppb ibuprofen, 50.0ppb and 100.0 ppb exposure concentrations resulted in significant reduction of gill tissue PGE2 concentration by approximately 30% and 80% respectively. The lower exposures did not result in significant reductions when compared to unexposed controls. Measured tissue concentrations of ibuprofen indicated that this NSAID had little potential for bioaccumulation (BCF 1.3) and the IC50 of ibuprofen for inhibition of PGE2 production in gill tissue was calculated to be 0.4 µM. Short-term laboratory exposure to ibuprofen did not result in significant alteration of concentrations of PGE2 at environmentally relevant concentrations.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bhandari, Khageshor

Saying Sorry: Conflict Atrocity and Political Apology

Description: This study proposes and tests a comprehensive theory detailing the motivations behind political apologies. A brief survey of the literature shows a field rich in case studies but lacking in rigorous scientific analysis. The theory presented proposes a three-level examination of political apology at the state, dyadic, and system levels and incorporates the effects of culture, conflict, and the nature of the international system into analysis. This study makes use of a new dataset recording the occurrence of political apologies for interstate conflict atrocities from 1900 to 2006. The results suggest that the existing literature, while rich, does not account for all the motivating factors behind apology. The results also confirm that political apology is a creation of the modern era and a result of the liberalization of the international system. In conclusion, paths for future research are suggested and the advent of a global "age of apology" is confirmed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Chalkley, Marie Leone

Structural Equation Model of Variables Associated with Family Functioning among a Nationally Representative Sample of Families with a Child with Autism

Description: Previous research indicates that stressors experienced by a family, the perceived level of burden assigned by the family to the stressor, and the utilization of resources predict family functioning. The current study utilized a nationally representative sample of families of children with autistic disorder to determine if previously proposed models of family functioning accurately conceptualized family functioning within a representative sample. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the double ABCX and the linear ACBX models of family functioning. With slight modifications, the double ABCX model was supported, thus indicating that pileup of stressors, perception of burden, and utilization of resources each have unique predictive ability for family functioning, with perception of burden demonstrating the highest amount of predictive ability. Results, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.

More El Niños May Mean More Rainfall Extremes

Description: Researchers at NASA and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), studying changes in tropical precipitation patterns, have noted a higher frequency of El Niños and La Niñas over the last 21 years. In addition, when either of those events occur, the world can expect more months with unusually high or low precipitation with droughts more common than floods over land areas.
Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Earth Observatory

Social Network Simulation and Mining Social Media to Advance Epidemiology

Description: Traditional Public Health decision-support can benefit from the Web and social media revolution. This dissertation presents approaches to mining social media benefiting public health epidemiology. Through discovery and analysis of trends in Influenza related blogs, a correlation to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza-like-illness patient reporting at sentinel health-care providers is verified. A second approach considers personal beliefs of vaccination in social media. A vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2006. The virus is present in nearly all cervical cancers and implicated in many throat and oral cancers. Results from automatic sentiment classification of HPV vaccination beliefs are presented which will enable more accurate prediction of the vaccine's population-level impact. Two epidemic models are introduced that embody the intimate social networks related to HPV transmission. Ultimately, aggregating these methodologies with epidemic and social network modeling facilitate effective development of strategies for targeted interventions.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Corley, Courtney David

WCRP IPY activities

Description: On 1 March 2007, the International Polar Year 2007/2008, one of the most ambitious coordinated international science programmes was launched. Many of the IPY leaders and participants are members of WCRP projects and groups. Climate issues are at the forefront of the majority of IPY studies. This chart is a visualization of International Polar Year activities at the World Climate Research Program.
Date: March 11, 2008
Creator: World Climate Research Program

Nuclear Waste Policy Act

Description: The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) supports the use of deep geologic repositories for the safe storage and/or disposal of radioactive waste. The Act establishes procedures to evaluate and select sites for geologic repositories and for the interaction of state and federal governments. It also provides a timetable of key milestones the federal agencies must meet in carrying out the program. The NWPA assigns the Department of Energy (DOE) the responsibility to site, build, and operate a deep geologic repository for the disposal of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel. It directs EPA to develop standards for protection of the general environment from offsite releases of radioactive material in repositories. The Act directs the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to license DOE to operate a repository only if it meets EPA's standards and all other relevant requirements.
Date: January 7, 1983
Creator: United States. Congress

Energy Policy Act

Description: The Energy Policy Act (EPA) addresses energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency; (2) renewable energy; (3) oil and gas; (4) coal; (5) Tribal energy; (6) nuclear matters and security; (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; (8) hydrogen; (9) electricity; (10) energy tax incentives; (11) hydropower and geothermal energy; and (12) climate change technology. For example, the Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use innovative technologies that avoid the by-production of greenhouse gases. Another provision of the Act increases the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Congress

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Description: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was one of the first laws ever written that establishes the broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment. NEPA requirements are invoked when airports, buildings, military complexes, highways, parkland purchases, and other federal activities are proposed. Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), which are assessments of the likelihood of impacts from alternative courses of action, are required from all Federal agencies and are the most visible NEPA requirements.
Date: January 1, 1970
Creator: United States. Congress

Climate Change: The Evidence Mounts Up

Description: This article was published in Nature and summarized the presentations of a six-day symposium held 3-8 July 1995 on Climate Variability and Forcing over the past mellennium. Our present climate is unusually warm, and the pattern of warming over the past century strongly suggests an anthropogenic influence from greenhouse gas and sulphate aerosols. That was the message emerging from a week-long symposium examining climate variability over the past 1,000 years, which brought together results from a growing array of observational techniques, analyses of natural records and model results.
Date: August 24, 1995
Creator: MacCracken, Michael C.

Our Changing Planet: The FY 2001 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: This report, prepared under the auspices of the President's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), highlights the Program's recent research and describes future plans and goals. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established in 1989 and authorized by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The first edition of Our Changing Planet was transmitted to the Congress as a supplement to the FY1990 budget. In just over a decade, the USGCRPhas generated remarkable improvements to our knowledge of Earth's global-scale environmental processes and helped identify and explain the causes and consequences of a series of global environmental changes, including ozone depletion and climate change.
Date: September 2000
Creator: Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council

Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop Final Report: Circles of Wisdom

Description: The Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop was held on October 28 through November 01, 1998, as part of a series of workshops being held around the U.S. to improve the understanding of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the Nation. This workshop was specifically designed by Native Peoples to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather variability on Native Peoples and Native Homelands from an indigenous cultural and spiritual perspective and to develop recommendations as well as identify potential response actions. Native Peoples, with our spiritual traditions and long community histories of change, adaptation, and survival in specific regions, are providing a unique contribution to the assessment and understanding of climate change as well as to the development of sustainable economies in this country.
Date: 1998
Creator: Maynard, Nancy, G.