Browsing by Subject "pollution"

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  • Huurtomaa, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The Baltic Sea is a vulnerable marine environment and susceptible to pollution. The situation is especially severe in the Gulf of Finland due to a large catchment area compared to the size of the Gulf. The north eastern Gulf of Finland has been described as one of the most contaminated areas of the entire Baltic Sea, with extensive pollution load via river Kymi in the past. Still today, the currents bring contaminants from the eastern part of the Gulf – the Neva estuary and the Bay of Viborg. The concentrations of V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, Cd, Sb, Hg, Pb, Bi and La were studied in the surface sediments and three GEMAX cores. The vertical distribution revealed the temporal change in the metal accumulation. The spike in the Cs concentration, indicating the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, enabled the estimation of the accumulation of studied elements over time. The horizontal distribution maps based on the concentrations in the surface sediments enabled the discovery of the sites with most intense metal accumulation. Correlation coefficients showed the effect of carbon and sediment grain size in the distribution of metals. The comparison of the metal concentrations to the natural background levels and the Canadian sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) enabled the estimation of the degree of contamination of the area. The metal concentrations have declined during the last decades in the north eastern Gulf of Finland, indicating lower contamination input towards present day. However, in the oxidized Ravijoki core, the decline was not that obvious, probably due to metal scavenging by Fe and Mn oxides and bioturbation. The regional metal distribution was strongly affected by the grain size and carbon – most metals showed high positive correlations with carbon and finer sediment fraction. Mn was an exception, showing negative correlations with both carbon and clay, probably due to the Mn reduction at sites with high organic matter accumulation. The regional distribution pattern suggested main Cd pollution arriving from the eastern part of the Gulf. The distribution of Hg, Mo, Cu and Zn also suggested a possible source in the east. High concentrations of Hg, Pb and Cu were discovered in the outlets of river Kymi. According to the Canadian SQGs, the sediments in the north-eastern Gulf of Finland were contaminated. The situation is especially severe in the case of Zn – the higher reference value PEL, above which adverse biological effects frequently occur, was exceeded even in the oxidized Ravijoki sediments. The highest concentrations of the elements with defined SQGs (Cd, Cr, Zn, Cu, Hg, Pb and As) exceeded the lower reference values in the surface sediments, indicating that all these metals could, at least locally, pose a severe threat to benthic species.
  • Raubenheimer, Marie-Claire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Oil spillages represent a serious environmental hazard for flora and fauna of marine and coastal ecosystems. Though marine oil spills have decreased since the 1970s, the increasing production of petroleum goods remains a potential source of pollution due to its use and transportation. When aquatic organisms, including fish, are exposed to toxic oil compounds, this can cause sublethal morphological changes and increase mortality. In this context, herring have been frequently studied, and results suggest that particularly herrings eggs and larvae are highly susceptible to oil toxicity. In this thesis, a Bayesian meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of crude and fuel oil on the mortality of herring eggs from the genus Clupea. Observations from laboratory studies, collected during a literature review, served as input for the statistical analysis. To this end, Bayesian inference modeling was applied to generate posterior probability distributions for additional mortality caused by exposure to oil mixtures. Also, oil concentration, oil type, exposure time, and temperature were analyzed to study possible correlations with mortality impacts. The results of this study suggest that acute mortality of exposed herring eggs is similar to mortality observed for individuals exposed to only small concentrations or none at all. Of all evaluated oil types, medium grade crude oil caused the most significant change in instantaneous mortality with increasing oil concentration. Generally, distinct oil types had a greater influence on mortality outcomes than temperatures at the given concentrations. For the lowest temperatures, some correlations for increased mortality were found. Overall, the unexplained variability between the reviewed studies has a relatively small influence on mortality outcomes. In conclusion, the mortality of exposed herrings eggs is most likely delayed due to sublethal effects, rather than immediate, at the modeled concentrations. Altogether, uncertainty amongst the posterior probability distributions is high, indicating a wide possibility range for the monitored parameters' actual values. The reasons for elevated uncertainty likely stem from diverse experimental setups, biological differences between tested species, relatively small sample sizes, and model-related issues. Thus, future research could consider additional variables, information from observational studies and other fish species to reduce uncertainty in mortality outcomes.
  • Hashemi, Fatemeh; Pohle, Ina; Pullens, Johannes W. M; Tornbjerg, Henrik; Kyllmar, Katarina; Marttila, Hannu; Lepistö, Ahti; Klove, Bjorn; Futter, Martyn; Kronvang, Brian (MDPI, 2020)
    Water 12 6 (2020)
    Optimal nutrient pollution monitoring and management in catchments requires an in-depth understanding of spatial and temporal factors controlling nutrient dynamics. Such an understanding can potentially be obtained by analysing stream concentration–discharge (C-Q) relationships for hysteresis behaviours and export regimes. Here, a classification scheme including nine different C-Q types was applied to a total of 87 Nordic streams draining mini-catchments (0.1–65 km2). The classification applied is based on a combination of stream export behaviour (dilution, constant, enrichment) and hysteresis rotational pattern (clock-wise, no rotation, anti-clockwise). The scheme has been applied to an 8-year data series (2010–2017) from small streams in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland on daily discharge and discrete nutrient concentrations, including nitrate (NO3−), total organic N (TON), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), and particulate phosphorus (PP). The dominant nutrient export regimes were enrichment for NO3− and constant for TON, DRP, and PP. Nutrient hysteresis patterns were primarily clockwise or no hysteresis. Similarities in types of C-Q relationships were investigated using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) considering effects of catchment size, land use, climate, and dominant soil type. The PCA analysis revealed that land use and air temperature were the dominant factors controlling nutrient C-Q types. Therefore, the nutrient export behaviour in streams draining Nordic mini-catchments seems to be dominantly controlled by their land use characteristics and, to a lesser extent, their climate.
  • Turunen, Jarno; Karppinen, Anssi; Ihme, Raimo (Springer, 2019)
    SN Applied Sciences 1, 210 (2019)
    Agricultural diffuse pollution is a major environmental problem causing eutrophication of water bodies. Despite the problem is widely acknowledged, there has been relatively few major advances in mitigating the problem. We studied the effectiveness of biopolymer-based (tannin, starch, chitosan) natural coagulants/flocculants in treatment of two different agricultural wastewaters that differed in their level of phosphorus pollution and turbidity. We used jar-tests to test the effectiveness of the biopolymer coagulants in reducing water turbidity, total phosphorus, and total organic carbon (TOC) from the wastewaters. In more polluted water (total phosphorus: 300 µg/L, turbidity: 130 FNU, TOC: 30 mg/L), all tested biopolymers performed well. The best reductions for different biopolymer coagulants were 64–95%, 80–98% and 14–27%, for total phosphorus, turbidity and TOC, respectively. Tannin and chitosan coagulants performed the best at doses of 5–10 mL/L, whereas starch coagulants had the best performance at 1–2 mL/L doses. Tannin and chitosan coagulants performed clearly better than the starch coagulants. In less polluted water (total phosphorus: 74 µg/L, turbidity: 3.9 FNU, TOC: 21 mg/L), chitosan and starch coagulants did not produce flocs at any of the tested doses. Tannin coagulant performed the best at doses of 5–8 mL/L, where reductions were 70%, 82%, and 22%, for total phosphorus, turbidity and TOC, respectively. The great reductions of phosphorus and turbidity suggests that biopolymer coagulants could be applied in treatment of agricultural water pollution. The high phosphorus retention in the biodegradable biopolymer sludge suggests that the sludge can be readily used as a phosphorus fertilizer, which would aid the recycling of nutrients.
  • Macura, Biljana; Piniewski, Mikolaj; Ksiezniak, Marta; Osuch, Pawel; Haddaway, Neal R.; Ek, Filippa; Andersson, Karolin; Tattari, Sirkka (Springer Nature, 2019)
    Environmental Evidence 8, 39 (2019)
    Background Agriculture is the main sector responsible for nutrient emissions in the Baltic Sea Region and there is a growing pressure to identify cost-effective solutions towards reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loads originating from farming activities. Recycling resources from agricultural waste is central to the idea of a circular economy, and has the potential to address the most urgent problems related to nutrients use in the food chain, such as depletion of natural phosphorus reserves, water pollution and waste management. This systematic map examined what evidence exists relating to the effectiveness of ecotechnologies in agriculture for the recovery and reuse of carbon and/or nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the Baltic Sea region and other comparable boreo-temperate systems. Methods We searched for both academic and grey literature. English language searches were performed in 5 bibliographic databases and search platforms, and Google Scholar. Searches in 36 specialist websites were performed in English, Finnish, Polish and Swedish. The searches were restricted to the period 2013 to 2017. Eligibility screening was conducted at two levels: title and abstract (screened concurrently for efficiency) and full text. Meta-data was extracted from eligible studies including bibliographic details, study location, ecotechnology name and description, type of outcome (i.e. recovered or reused carbon and/or nutrients), type of ecotechnology in terms of recovery source, and type of reuse (in terms of the end-product). Findings are presented here narratively and in a searchable database, and are also visualised in a web-based evidence atlas (an interactive geographical information system). In addition, knowledge gaps and clusters have been identified in the evidence base and described in detail. Results We found 173 articles studying the effectiveness of 177 ecotechnologies. The majority of eligible articles were in English, originated from bibliographic databases and were published in 2016. Most studies with reported locations, and given our boreo-temperate scope, were conducted in Europe and North America. The three most prevalent ecotechnologies in the evidence base (collectively 40.7%) were; soil amendments, anaerobic digestion and (vermi)composting. Manure was the principal waste source used for recovery of nutrients or carbon, making up 55.4% of the all studies in evidence base, followed by a combination of manure and crop residues (22%). There were 51 studies with 14 ecotechnologies that reported on recovery of carbon and nutrients together, predominantly via (vermi)composting and anaerobic digestion. Only 27 studies focused on reuse of recovered nutrients and carbon through soil amendments. Conclusions This systematic map report provides an evidence base that can be useful for researchers and decision-makers in policy and practice working on transformation from linear to circular economy in the agricultural waste sector. Three potential topics for future systematic reviews are: (1) effectiveness of products recovered from different types of agricultural wastes as soil amendments or fertilizers; (2) effectiveness of anaerobic digestion as an ecotechnology used for recovery of nutrients and carbon; (3) effectiveness of composting and/or vermicomposting as ecotechnologies used for recovery of nutrients and carbon.
  • Nieminen, Pentti; Panychev, Dmitry; Lyalyushkin, Sergei; Komarov, German; Nikanov, Alexander; Borisenko, Mark; Kinnula, Vuokko L.; Toljamo, Tuula (2013)
  • Kurusiov, Andrej (2008)
    This theoretical work is largely based on two papers on international tax harmonization, environmental taxation and tax competition. In particular, the papers "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation" (Baldwin, R. E., Krugman, P., 2004) and "Environmental taxation, tax competition, and harmonization" (Cremer, H., Gahvari, F., 2004) are used to support each other and to follow the logic of the thesis. The structure of present work is based on analysis of the above mentioned literature, thus, dividing it into major parts: the first part is devoted to issues of integration and tax harmonization and the second part extends the discussion to the issues of environmental taxation. The first part explores the issue of whether closer economic integration necessitates harmonization of tax rates among the countries. In this part I analyze the impact of tax harmonization policies, economies agglomeration as well as goods and market integration on international tax competition. The basic tax competition model is used in exploring the effects of agglomeration forces. Further, in this paper I demonstrate that greater economic integration triggers the raise of taxes (referred as 'race to the top'). In addition, 'split the difference' tax harmonization, which basically means agreeing on a tax level that is in between two positions can make both countries worse off, because without it one region can actually set a higher tax rate without having the capital depreciation and thus not to loose a potential tax revenue. This explains why tax harmonization is very rare in the real world. Consequently, the general conclusion is that agglomeration assumptions produce reverse propositions compared to standard tax competition literature. More specifically, the explanation of rare practical implementation of tax harmonization is also that an industrial concentration creates so-called 'agglomeration rent'. The 'core' region can this way set a higher tax rate without having the capital depreciation. Thus, the first part on my thesis analyzes and demonstrates the impact of agglomeration forces on tax harmonization. Second major part of the thesis addresses tax competition problem in the context of transboundary pollution. In particular, I analyze how effective are the policies of partial fiscal coordination. Economic integration is forcing companies to adopt the same or less polluting technologies. This unfortunately results in an increase of aggregate emissions and a decline of welfare. Without proper (partial) tax harmonization policies there is an obvious negative aspect of an economic integration. Additionally, in the second part I examine partial tax harmonization policies. With a higher tax, companies choose less polluting technologies, resulting in a decrease of aggregate emissions and the improvement of welfare. Alternatively, if an emission tax is decreased, companies tend to choose more polluting (cheaper) technologies and aggregate emissions will consequently increase and welfare will deteriorate. Finally, harmonization of emission taxes above their Nash equilibrium values causes aggregate emissions to decline and overall welfare to increase. In the present work I address the issues of international tax competition from different perspectives. Thus, as a result of extensive analysis of various factors influencing international tax competition and environmental protection my main conclusion is that a closer economic integration can positively influence the environment and overall welfare.
  • Salo, Inkeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Recognizing and evaluating the benefits of trees is important for creating sustainable, safe and recreational urban spaces. i-Tree Eco software is developed by USDA for evaluation and valuation of ecosystem services of urban trees and forests. The objective of this research was to find out how does the quality of collected data affect i-Tree Eco modelling. Two different types of data and modelling results were compared in this research. All trees of the park Kupittaanpuisto in Turku were measured and evaluated according to the i-Tree guidance in late summer 2018 (later inventory). The contrasting data was selected from the tree register maintained by the city of Turku (later tree register). i-Tree Eco models several ecosystem services, of which carbon storage, carbon sequestration, avoided surface water runoff and pollution removal were analyzed in this research. The software estimates the structural value of the trees considering the land use and tree condition as well. The results show that the quality of data affects modelling results. Based on the total inventory data, the amounts of carbon sequestration, avoided surface water runoff and pollution removal were higher than the amounts modelled according to the tree register data. On the other hand, the structural value and carbon storage were bigger based on the register data than on the total inventory measurements. Lack of canopy dimensions and estimates of canopy condition had an impact on the modelling results. According to the total inventory, there were 1315 trees in the Kupittaanpuisto (ca. 34 ha), the structural value was approx. 2 430 000 €, carbon storage was 563 t, annual carbon sequestration 12 t, annual avoided surface water runoff 811 m3 and annual pollution removal 307 kg. On grounds of this research it can be stated that canopy measurements and canopy condition estimates are needed to make more accurate estimates of ecosystem services when using i-Tree Eco. This research showed that trees in the Kupittaanpuisto produce many ecosystem services and the trees are valuable. In the future, the results can be used as a reference for other research projects on ecosystem services of urban trees in the Nordic countries.
  • Tsering, Tenzin; Sillanpää, Mika; Sillanpää, Markus; Viitala, Mirka; Reinikainen, Satu-Pia (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 789: 147968
    Rivers act as temporary sinks of microplastics and a key medium allowing microplastics to enter the ocean. In this study, microplastics pollution in river shore sediment of the Indian Himalaya, including the Brahmaputra River and the Indus River was discussed. Sampling campaigns were performed in years 2018 and 2019. Sample pretreatment was performed using Na2WO4·2H2O for density separation and H2O2 for oxidation of organic material. Microplastics analysis was performed by using FTIR microscope. The smaller size of microplastics 20–150 μm were more abundant (531–3485 MP/kg in the Brahmaputra River and 525–1752 MP/kg in the Indus River) than microplastics in size range between 150 μm and 5 mm (20–240 MP/kg in the Brahmaputra River and 60–340 MP/kg in the Indus River). Microplastics were found in sediments of all sampling sites. Fragmented, secondary microplastics were dominant in the river shore sediment of the Indian Himalaya. This study contributes towards filling research gap of microplastics in India's freshwater source and highlights the importance of in-depth complete studies of microplastics in the rivers that act as pathways and sinks for microplastics.
  • Powell, Neil; Do, Thao; Bachelder, Steven; Tattari, Sirkka; Koskiaho, Jari; Hjerppe, Turo; Väisänen, Sari; Giełczewski, Marek; Piniewski, Mikołaj; Księżniak, Marta (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    Society & Natural Resources, 34:8, 1075-1092
    Science-informed, reductionist policy has systematically failed to address wicked situations. Such situations are highly interconnected and unpredictable. As a consequence, the implementation of so-called desirable interventions can lead to the export of vulnerabilities within and across different societal domains, sectors, intersections and scales. Systemic practice is an emerging field, and highlights the need to enrich scientific inquiry and policy actions through action learning with an “extended peer community'' as a means to navigate wicked situations. In this paper, we report on the potential of game co-design as a systemic practice to improve the situation of Baltic Sea nutrient enrichment. Findings from water catchments in Finland, Sweden and Poland suggest that the co-design of serious games can both enhance the comprehension of wicked situations, and foster self-organized concerted action without imposing a convergence of perspectives amongst diverse stakeholders.
  • Turunen, Jarno; Elbrecht, Vasco; Steinke, Dirk; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell Scientific, 2021)
    Freshwater Biology 66: 4, 785-798
    1. Riparian forests are commonly advocated as a key management option to mitigate the effects of agriculture on headwater stream biodiversity and ecosystem func tions. However, the benefits of riparian forests might be reduced by uninterrupted catchment-scale pollution. 2. We studied the effects of riparian land use on multiple ecological endpoints in head water streams in an agricultural landscape. We studied stream habitat characteristics, water temperature and algal accrual, and macrophyte, benthic macroinvertebrate and fish communities in 11 paired forested and open agricultural headwater stream reaches that differed in their extent of riparian forest cover but had similar water quality. 3. Hydromorphological habitat quality was higher in forested reaches than in open reaches. Riparian forest had a strong effect on the summer water temperature regime, with maximum and mean water temperatures and temperature variation in forested reaches substantially lower than in open reaches. 4. Macrophyte communities differed between forested and open reaches. The mean abundance of bryophytes was higher in forested reaches but the difference to open reaches was only marginally significant, whereas graminoids were significantly more abundant in open reaches. Within-stream dissimilarity of benthic macroinvertebrate community structure was significantly related to the difference in riparian land use between reach pairs. The relative DNA sequence abundance of pollution-sensitive Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera species tended to be higher in forested reaches than in open reaches. Finally, fish densities were not significantly different be tween forested and open reaches, although densities were higher in forested reaches. 5. This unequivocal evidence for the ecological benefits of forested riparian reaches in agricultural headwater streams suggests that riparian forest can partly mitigate the adverse impacts of agricultural diffuse pollution on biota. The strong effect of forests on stream water temperature suggest that riparian forest could also miti gate harmful effects on headwater stream biodiversity and ecosystem functions of the predicted more frequent high summer temperatures.