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  • Kiuru, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Valpola, Samu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In Finland one of the most important current issues in the environmental management is the quality of surface waters. The increasing social importance of lakes and water systems has generated wide-ranging interest in lake restoration and management, concerning especially lakes suffering from eutrophication, but also from other environmental impacts. Most of the factors deteriorating the water quality in Finnish lakes are connected to human activities. Especially since the 1940's, the intensified farming practices and conduction of sewage waters from scattered settlements, cottages and industry have affected the lakes, which simultaneously have developed in to recreational areas for a growing number of people. Therefore, this study was focused on small lakes, which are human impacted, located close to settlement areas and have a significant value for local population. The aim of this thesis was to obtain information from lake sediment records for on-going lake restoration activities and to prove that a well planned, properly focused lake sediment study is an essential part of the work related to evaluation, target consideration and restoration of Finnish lakes. Altogether 11 lakes were studied. The study of Lake Kaljasjärvi was related to the gradual eutrophication of the lake. In lakes Ormajärvi, Suolijärvi, Lehee, Pyhäjärvi and Iso-Roine the main focus was on sediment mapping, as well as on the long term changes of the sedimentation, which were compared to Lake Pääjärvi. In Lake Hormajärvi the role of different kind of sedimentation environments in the eutrophication development of the lake's two basins were compared. Lake Orijärvi has not been eutrophied, but the ore exploitation and related acid main drainage from the catchment area have influenced the lake drastically and the changes caused by metal load were investigated. The twin lakes Etujärvi and Takajärvi are slightly eutrophied, but also suffer problems associated with the erosion of the substantial peat accumulations covering the fringe areas of the lakes. These peat accumulations are related to Holocene water level changes, which were investigated. The methods used were chosen case-specifically for each lake. In general, acoustic soundings of the lakes, detailed description of the nature of the sediment and determinations of the physical properties of the sediment, such as water content, loss on ignition and magnetic susceptibility were used, as was grain size analysis. A wide set of chemical analyses was also used. Diatom and chrysophycean cyst analyses were applied, and the diatom inferred total phosphorus content was reconstructed. The results of these studies prove, that the ideal lake sediment study, as a part of a lake management project, should be two-phased. In the first phase, thoroughgoing mapping of sedimentation patterns should be carried out by soundings and adequate corings. The actual sampling, based on the preliminary results, must include at least one long core from the main sedimentation basin for the determining the natural background state of the lake. The recent, artificially impacted development of the lake can then be determined by short-core and surface sediment studies. The sampling must be focused on the basis of the sediment mapping again, and it should represent all different sedimentation environments and bottom dynamic zones, considering the inlets and outlets, as well as the effects of possible point loaders of the lake. In practice, the budget of the lake management projects of is usually limited and only the most essential work and analyses can be carried out. The set of chemical and biological analyses and dating methods must therefore been thoroughly considered and adapted to the specific management problem. The results show also, that information obtained from a properly performed sediment study enhances the planning of the restoration, makes possible to define the target of the remediation activities and improves the cost-efficiency of the project.
  • Nela, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Kubischta, Frauke (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The purpose of this study was to establish the palaeoenvironmental conditions during the late Quaternary in Murchisonfjorden, Nordaustlandet, based on foraminiferal assemblage compositions, and to determine the onset and termination of the Weichselian glaciations. The foraminiferal assemblage compositions were studied in marine sediments from three different archives, from sections next to the present shoreline in the Bay of Isvika, from a core in the Bay of Isvika and from a core from Lake Einstaken. OSL and AMS 14C age determinations were performed on samples from the three archives, and the results show deposition of marine sediments during ice-free periods of the Early Weichselian, the Middle Weichselian and the Late Weichselian, as well as during the Holocene in the investigated area. Marine sediments from the Early and Middle Weichselian were sampled from isostatically uplifted sections along the present shoreline.Sediments from the transition from the Late Weichselian to early Holocene time intervals were found in the bottom of the core from Lake Einstaken. Holocene sediments were investigated in the sections and in the core from the Bay of Isvika. The marine sediments from the sections are comprised of five benthic foraminiferal assemblages. The Early Weichselian is represented by two foraminiferal assemblages, the Middle Weichselian, the early and the late Holocene each by one. All five foraminiferal assemblages were deposited in glacier-distal shallow-water environments, which had a connection to the open ocean. Changes in the composition of the assemblages can be ascribed to differences in the bottom-water currents and changes in the salinity. The Middle Weichselian assemblage is of special importance, because it is the first foraminiferal assemblage to be described from this time interval from Svalbard. Four benthic foraminiferal assemblages were deposited shortly before the marine to lacustrine transition at the boundary between the Late Weichselian and Holocene in Lake Einstaken. The foraminiferal assemblages show a change from a high-arctic, normal marine shallow-water environment to an even shallower environment with highly fluctuating salinity. The analyses of the core from 100 m water depth in the Bay of Isvika resulted in the determination of four foraminiferal assemblages. These indicated changes from a glacier-proximal environment during deglaciation, to a more glacier-distal environment during the Early Holocene. This was followed by a period with a marked change to a considerably cooler environment and finally to a closed fjord environment in the middle and late Holocene times. Additional sedimentological analyses of the marine and glacially derived sediments from the uplifted sections, as well as observations of multiple striae on the bedrock, observations of deeply weathered bedrock and findings of tills interlayered with marine sediments complete the investigations in the study area. They indicate weak glacial erosion in the study area. It can be concluded that marine deposition occurred in the investigated area during three time intervals in the Weichselian and during most of the Holocene. The foraminiferal assemblages in the Holocene are characterized by a transition from glacier-proximal to glacier-distal faunas. The palaeogeographical change from an open fjord to a closed fjord environment is a result of the isostatic uplift of the area after the LGM and is clearly reflected in the foraminiferal assemblages. Another influencing factor on the foraminiferal assemblage composition are changes in the inflow of warmer Atlantic waters to the study area.
  • Kurhila, Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Leucogranite magmatism occurred in southern Finland during the later stages of the Paleoproterozoic Svecofennian orogeny. The leucogranites are considered to have formed from pre-existing crustal rocks that have undergone anatexis in the extensional stage of the orogeny, following continental collision and resultant crustal thickening. The leucogranites have been studied in the field using petrographic and mineralogical methods, elemental and isotope geochemistry on whole rocks and minerals, and U-Pb geochronology. On outcrop scale, these granites typically form heterogeneous, layered, sheet-like bodies that migmatize their country rocks. All of the leucogranites are peraluminous and rich in SiO2, but otherwise display significant geochemical variation. Their Nd isotope composition ranges from fairly juvenile to very unradiogenic, and the Hf isotope composition of their zircon shows a varying degree of mixing in the source, the zircon populations becoming more heterogeneous and generally less radiogenic towards the east. The leucogranites have been dated using U-Pb isotopic analyses, utilizing thermal ionization mass spectrometry, secondary ion mass spectrometry, and laser ablation multicollector ICP mass spectrometry on zircon and monazite. The results show that the granites were emplaced between 1.85 Ga and 1.79 Ga, which is a considerably longer period than has traditionally been perceived for these rocks. The rocks tend to become younger towards the east. Single crystal data also display a wide array of inherited zircons, especially in the eastern part of the leucogranite belt. The most common inherited age groups are ~2.8 2.5 Ga, ~2.1 2.1 Ga, and ~1.9 Ga. Magmatic zircon and monazite usually record similar ages for any one sample.Thermobarometric calculations indicate that the leucogranites in the Veikkola area of southcentral Finland were formed from relatively low-temperature melts, and emplaced at 17-25 km depth, i.e. at mid-crustal level. It is likely that these conditions apply to the Svecofennian leucogranites in general. Large differences in the Hf and Nd isotope compositions, emplacement ages, and distributions of inherited zircon ages show that these granites were formed from different types of source rocks, which probably included both sedimentary and igneous rocks.
  • Yliheikkilä, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Polyethene, polyacrylates and polymethyl acrylates are versatile materials that find wide variety of applications in several areas. Therefore, polymerization of ethene, acrylates and methacrylates has achieved a lot attention during past years. Numbers of metal catalysts have been introduced in order to control the polymerization and to produce tailored polymer structures. Herein an overview on the possible polymerization pathways for ethene, acrylates and methacrylates is presented. In this thesis iron(II) and cobalt(II) complexes bearing tri- and tetradentate nitrogen ligands were synthesized and studied in the polymerization of tertbutyl acrylate (tBA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA). Complexes are activated with methylaluminoxane (MAO) before they form active combinations for polymerization reactions. The effect of reaction conditions, i.e. monomer concentration, reaction time, temperature, MAO to metal ratio, on activity and polymer properties were investigated. The described polymerization system enables mild reaction conditions, the possibility to tailor molar mass of the produced polymers and provides good control over the polymerization. Moreover, the polymerization of MMA in the presence of iron(II) complex with tetradentate nitrogen ligands under conditions of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was studied. Several manganese(II) complexes were studied in the ethene polymerization with combinatorial methods and new active catalysts were found. These complexes were also studied in acrylate and methacrylate polymerizations after MAO activation and converted into the corresponding alkyl (methyl or benzyl) derivatives. Combinatorial methods were introduced to discover aluminum alkyl complexes for the polymerization of acrylates and methacrylates. Various combinations of aluminum alkyls and ligands, including phosphines, salicylaldimines and nitrogen donor ligands, were prepared in situ and utilized to initiate the polymerization of tBA. Phosphine ligands were found to be the most active and the polymerization MMA was studied with these active combinations. In addition, a plausible polymerization mechanism for MMA based on ESI-MS, 1H and 13C NMR is proposed.
  • Zou, Xiaochen (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Leaf angle distribution (LAD) is one of the most important parameters used to describe the structure of horizontally homogeneous vegetation canopies, such as field crops. LAD affects how incident photosynthetically active radiation is distributed on plant leaves, thus directly affecting plant productivity. However, the LAD of crops is difficult to quantify; usually it is assumed to be spherical. The purpose of this dissertation is to develop leaf angle estimation methods and study their effect on leaf area index (LAI) and chlorophyll a and b content (Cab) measured from optical observation. The study area was located in Viikki agricultural experimental field, Helsinki, Finland. Six crop species, faba bean, narrow-leafed lupin, turnip rape, oat, barley and wheat, were included in this study. A digital camera was used to take photographs outside the plot to record crop LAD. LAI and Cab were determined for each plot. Airborne imaging spectroscopy data was acquired using an AISA Eagle II imaging spectrometer covering the spectral range in visible and near-infrared (400 1000 nm). A recently developed method for the determination of leaf inclination angle was applied in field crops. This method was previously applied only to small and flat leaves of tree species. The error of LAI determination caused by the assumption of spherical LAD varied between 0 and 1.5 LAI units. The highest correlation between leaf mean tilt angle (MTA) and spectral reflectance was found at a wavelength of 748 nm. MTA was retrieved from imaging spectroscopy data using two algorithms. One method was to retrieve MTA from reflectance at 748 nm using a look-up table. The second method was to estimate MTA using the strong dependence of blue (479 nm) and red (663 nm) on MTA. The two approaches provide a new means to determine crop canopy structure from remote sensing data. LAI and MTA effects on Cab sensitive vegetation indices were examined. Three indices (REIP, TCARI/OSAVI and CTR6) showed strong correlations with Cab and similar performance in model-simulated and empirical datasets. However, only two (TCARI/OSAVI and CTR6) were independent from LAI and MTA. These two indices were considered as robust proxies of crop leaf Cab. Keywords: leaf angle; leaf area index; leaf chlorophyll; digital photograph; imaging spectroscopy; PROSAIL model; vegetation indices
  • Ikonen, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The history of software development in a somewhat systematical way has been performed for half a century. Despite this time period, serious failures in software development projects still occur. The pertinent mission of software project management is to continuously achieve more and more successful projects. The application of agile software methods and more recently the integration of Lean practices contribute to this trend of continuous improvement in the software industry. One such area warranting proper empirical evidence is the operational efficiency of projects. In the field of software development, Kanban as a process management method has gained momentum recently, mostly due to its linkages to Lean thinking. However, only a few empirical studies investigate the impacts of Kanban on projects in that particular area. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to improve the understanding of how Kanban impacts on software projects. The research is carried out in the area of Lean thinking, which contains a variety of concepts including Kanban. This article-type thesis conducts a set of case studies expanded with the research strategy of quasi-controlled experiment. The data-gathering techniques of interviews, questionnaires, and different types of observations are used to study the case projects, and thereby to understand the impacts of Kanban on software development projects. The research papers of the thesis are refereed, international journal and conference publications. The results highlight new findings regarding the application of Kanban in the software context. The key findings of the thesis suggest that Kanban is applicable to software development. Despite its several benefits reported in this thesis, the empirical evidence implies that Kanban is not all-encompassing but requires additional practices to keep development projects performing appropriately. Implications for research are given, as well. In addition to these findings, the thesis contributes in the area of plan-driven software development by suggesting implications both for research and practitioners. As a conclusion, Kanban can benefit software development projects but additional practices would increase its potential for the projects.
  • Lindgren, Jussi T (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The paradigm of computational vision hypothesizes that any visual function -- such as the recognition of your grandparent -- can be replicated by computational processing of the visual input. What are these computations that the brain performs? What should or could they be? Working on the latter question, this dissertation takes the statistical approach, where the suitable computations are attempted to be learned from the natural visual data itself. In particular, we empirically study the computational processing that emerges from the statistical properties of the visual world and the constraints and objectives specified for the learning process. This thesis consists of an introduction and 7 peer-reviewed publications, where the purpose of the introduction is to illustrate the area of study to a reader who is not familiar with computational vision research. In the scope of the introduction, we will briefly overview the primary challenges to visual processing, as well as recall some of the current opinions on visual processing in the early visual systems of animals. Next, we describe the methodology we have used in our research, and discuss the presented results. We have included some additional remarks, speculations and conclusions to this discussion that were not featured in the original publications. We present the following results in the publications of this thesis. First, we empirically demonstrate that luminance and contrast are strongly dependent in natural images, contradicting previous theories suggesting that luminance and contrast were processed separately in natural systems due to their independence in the visual data. Second, we show that simple cell -like receptive fields of the primary visual cortex can be learned in the nonlinear contrast domain by maximization of independence. Further, we provide first-time reports of the emergence of conjunctive (corner-detecting) and subtractive (opponent orientation) processing due to nonlinear projection pursuit with simple objective functions related to sparseness and response energy optimization. Then, we show that attempting to extract independent components of nonlinear histogram statistics of a biologically plausible representation leads to projection directions that appear to differentiate between visual contexts. Such processing might be applicable for priming, \ie the selection and tuning of later visual processing. We continue by showing that a different kind of thresholded low-frequency priming can be learned and used to make object detection faster with little loss in accuracy. Finally, we show that in a computational object detection setting, nonlinearly gain-controlled visual features of medium complexity can be acquired sequentially as images are encountered and discarded. We present two online algorithms to perform this feature selection, and propose the idea that for artificial systems, some processing mechanisms could be selectable from the environment without optimizing the mechanisms themselves. In summary, this thesis explores learning visual processing on several levels. The learning can be understood as interplay of input data, model structures, learning objectives, and estimation algorithms. The presented work adds to the growing body of evidence showing that statistical methods can be used to acquire intuitively meaningful visual processing mechanisms. The work also presents some predictions and ideas regarding biological visual processing.
  • Kääriäinen, Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Sumerin, Victor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Organocatalysis, the use of organic molecules as catalysts, is attracting increasing attention as one of the most modern and rapidly growing areas of organic chemistry, with countless research groups in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry around the world working on this subject. The literature review of this thesis mainly focuses on metal-free systems for hydrogen activation and organocatalytic reduction. Since these research topics are relatively new, the literature review also highlights the basic principles of the use of Lewis acid-Lewis base pairs, which do not react irreversibly with each other, as a trap for small molecules. The experimental section progresses from the first observation of the facile heterolytical cleavage of hydrogen gas by amines and B(C6F5)3 to highly active non-metal catalysts for both enantioselective and racemic hydrogenation of unsaturated nitrogen-containing compounds. Moreover, detailed studies of structure-reactivity relationships of these systems by X-ray, neutron diffraction, NMR methods and quantum chemical calculations were performed to gain further insight into the mechanism of hydrogen activation and hydrogenation by boron-nitrogen compounds.
  • Paramonov, Mikhail (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The research conducted and presented herein concentrates primarily on the life cycle of a cloud condensation nucleus CCN. The primary motivation of the work is the importance of CCN in the global aerosol-cloud-climate system, and focus is placed on the production of CCN, their behaviour in the atmosphere and their properties with respect to CCN activation, as well as the removal pathways. The work presented in this thesis covers measurements performed at 16 locations around the world. The results further corroborated the notion that atmospheric new particle formation NPF is an important and widespread source of CCN in the atmosphere. The number of newly formed CCN from NPF depends on many factors, including, but not limited to, biogenic and anthropogenic emissions, frequency of NPF events, nucleation and growth rates and pre-existing CCN concentrations; method of calculation also affects the estimate of NPF contribution to CCN budgets. Highest relative increase in CCN as a result of NPF was observed at a clean remote location in Northern Finland, where in the summer the number concentration of particles above 50 nm in diameter N50 can increase by as much as 800%. Highest absolute increases in NCCN as a result of NPF (up to 3500 particles cm 3 for N50) were found at a dry savannah location of Botsalano in South Africa. In Hyytiälä Type I nucleation events were found to always, at the very least, double NCCN concentrations. It was found that in many environments around the world a rather similar fraction of aerosols activated into cloud droplets at any given level of supersaturation S, and a simple linear parameterisation is provided for an easy calculation of annual mean CCN concentration NCCN based only on total number concentration NCN and the desired S. At the majority of studied locations hygroscopicity was found to increase with size, with accumulation mode hygroscopicity parameter κ values being significantly larger than Aitken mode κ at some locations. Depending on the focus and desired accuracy, the use of κ values as a function of particle dry size rather than the assumption of a size-independent κ should preferably be considered. The photochemistry, aging processes, atmospheric NPF and other atmospheric processes occurring on a diurnal scale were found to affect the CCN activation and hygroscopic properties of Aitken mode aerosol only. The hygroscopicity of the accumulation mode aerosol is more affected by processes occurring on a time scale of a few days to months, e.g. long range transport and seasonal variation in vegetation activity. Below-cloud scavenging by snow was found to be an inefficient mechanism of CCN removal from the atmosphere compared to, e.g., in-cloud scavenging. Additionally, nucleation and Aitken mode particles are scavenged by snow more efficiently that CCN-sized aerosol. No apparent difference in the scavenging efficiency of snow was observed between a rural and an urban site in Southern Finland. Ambient relative humidity was found to correlate positively with the scavenging efficiency of snow, and a new parameterisation for calculating snow scavenging coefficients based on both particle dry size and relative humidity is presented. A reconsideration of the purpose, the focus and the motivation for the cloud condensation nuclei counter CCNC measurements at the SMEAR II is needed if they are to be continued with reasonable, interesting and exciting output.
  • Torppa, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Knowledge of the physical properties of asteroids is crucial in many branches of solar-system research. Knowledge of the spin states and shapes is needed, e.g., for accurate orbit determination and to study the history and evolution of the asteroids. In my thesis, I present new methods for using photometric lightcurves of asteroids in the determination of their spin states and shapes. The convex inversion method makes use of a general polyhedron shape model and provides us at best with an unambiguous spin solution and a convex shape solution that reproduces the main features of the original shape. Deriving information about the non-convex shape features is, in principle, also possible, but usually requires a priori information about the object. Alternatively, a distribution of non-convex solutions, describing the scale of the non-convexities, is also possible to be obtained. Due to insufficient number of absolute observations and inaccurately defined asteroid phase curves, the $c/b$-ratio, i.e., the flatness of the shape model is often somewhat ill-defined. However, especially in the case of elongated objects, the flatness seems to be quite well constrained, even in the case when only relative lightcurves are available. The results prove that it is, contrary to the earlier misbelief, possible to derive shape information from the lightcurve data if a sufficiently wide range of observing geometries is covered by the observations. Along with the more accurate shape models, also the rotational states, i.e., spin vectors and rotation periods, are defined with improved accuracy. The shape solutions obtained so far reveal a population of irregular objects whose most descriptive shape characteristics, however, can be expressed with only a few parameters. Preliminary statistical analyses for the shapes suggests that there are correlations between shape and other physical properties, such as the size, rotation period and taxonomic type of the asteroids. More shape data of, especially, the smallest and largest asteroids, as well as the fast and slow rotators is called for in order to be able to study the statistics more thoroughly.
  • Lavinto, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The science of cosmology relies heavily on interpreting observations in the context of a theoretical model. If the model does not capture all of the relevant physical effects, the interpretation of observations is on shaky grounds. The concordance model in cosmology is based on the homogeneous and isotropic Friedmann-Robertson-Walker metric with small perturbations. One long standing question is whether the small-scale details of the matter distribution can modify the predictions of the concordance model, or whether the concordance model can describe the universe to a high precision. In this thesis, I discuss some potential ways in which inhomogeneities may change the interpretation of observations from the predictions of the concordance model. One possibility is that the small-scale structure affects the average expansion rate of the universe via a process called backreaction. In such a case the concordance model fails to describe the time-evolution of the universe accurately, leading to the mis-interpretation of observations. Another possibility is that the paths that light rays travel on are curved in such a way that they do not cross all regions with equal probability. If some regions are favoured and others disfavoured, the average description of the concordance model gives incorrect results. My collaborators and I investigated the effects of voids on the CMB using second order perturbation theory and the exact Lemaître-Tolman-Bondi solution. A void has been detected in the direction of the CMB Cold Spot, but we found that contrary to the claims made in the literature, it was not large and deep enough to explain the Cold Spot. The results from perturbation theory and exact calculation agreed to a high precision, which was not surprising, as the void is fairly shallow. We have studied a toy model of the universe, called the Swiss Cheese model, to see if the model can produce observational signals that deviate significantly from the predictions of the concordance model. We studied the backreaction in such models, and concluded that in physically motivated Swiss Cheese models, its impact on the expansion rate must be small. We also considered an unphysical model that was constructed to have the holes expand independently from the background. Even though the inhomogeneities change the expansion rate completely, the backreaction contribution to the total average expansion rate today was only at 1% level. We also studied weak lensing in a more realistic Swiss Cheese model to see how the structures change the brightness and shape of sources. We found that the simplest assumption, no change in the average flux, seemed to be violated with a probability of 98.6%. Our results agree on the magnitude of the effect, in that it should be very small, but the exact value is significantly different. There are many reasons why this may be the case, and one of the reasons is that the structures alter the area of the constant-redshift surface around the observer. However, to find conclusive proof of this, the calculation should be re-done with a higher resolution.
  • Nousiainen, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Penttilä, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Light scattering, or scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves, is an important tool in all remote-sensing observations. In astronomy, the light scattered or absorbed by a distant object can be the only source of information. In Solar-system studies, the light-scattering methods are employed when interpreting observations of atmosphereless bodies such as asteroids, atmospheres of planets, and cometary or interplanetary dust. Our Earth is constantly monitored from artificial satellites at different wavelengths. With remote sensing of Earth the light-scattering methods are not the only source of information: there is always the possibility to make in situ measurements. The satellite-based remote sensing is, however, superior in the sense of speed and coverage if only the scattered signal can be reliably interpreted. The optical properties of many industrial products play a key role in their quality. Especially for products such as paint and paper, the ability to obscure the background and to reflect light is of utmost importance. High-grade papers are evaluated based on their brightness, opacity, color, and gloss. In product development, there is a need for computer-based simulation methods that could predict the optical properties and, therefore, could be used in optimizing the quality while reducing the material costs. With paper, for instance, pilot experiments with an actual paper machine can be very time- and resource-consuming. The light-scattering methods presented in this thesis solve rigorously the interaction of light and material with wavelength-scale structures. These methods are computationally demanding, thus the speed and accuracy of the methods play a key role. Different implementations of the discrete-dipole approximation are compared in the thesis and the results provide practical guidelines in choosing a suitable code. In addition, a novel method is presented for the numerical computations of orientation-averaged light-scattering properties of a particle, and the method is compared against existing techniques. Simulation of light scattering for various targets and the possible problems arising from the finite size of the model target are discussed in the thesis. Scattering by single particles and small clusters is considered, as well as scattering in particulate media, and scattering in continuous media with porosity or surface roughness. Various techniques for modeling the scattering media are presented and the results are applied to optimizing the structure of paper. However, the same methods can be applied in light-scattering studies of Solar-system regoliths or cometary dust, or in any remote-sensing problem involving light scattering in random media with wavelength-scale structures.
  • Ylhäisi, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Estimates of future climate conditions are commonly based on output of climate models, which have several potential purposes of use in climate change adaptation problems. In this study, data from state-of-the-art global and regional climate models were analysed, together with their relevance for applications. Impact-specific aspects of projected future climate data were analysed in two studies, the first of which focused on Finnish crop production and the second on European road network. The other three studies had a more general focus and a global domain. In these papers, projected future changes in daily temperature variability and time-dependent development of uncertainty in climate model projections were studied. A more general viewpoint was to assess the effect of climate model development on the climate projections. More sophisticated and complex models imply more complex interactions within and between the model components. As a result, model spread in the 21st century climate change projections has increased on all time scales. Neither the extent of the reducible uncertainty, nor the means to reduce it, are known. Uncertainty in climate model projections varies with the variable, spatial scale and the statistics of interest. The effect of climate model development for annual mean climate projections is unsystematic and model-dependent, which causes multi-model mean climate projections to be mostly statistically indistinguishable between three climate model generations. Conventional analysis methods used for multi-model ensembles do not fully exploit the superior process-understanding which is present in the improved climate models. The utility of climate models varies with the specific adaptation problem and also other information sources are often needed. For crop production in Finland, changes in water availability in the future climate are important, whereas the expected changes in climatic factors only have a secondary importance compared to process understanding when estimating future conditions of European road network. Still, the prevailing uncertainty in climate model simulations should not prevent adaptation decisions from being made, as uncertainty estimates are expected to remain comparable despite model improvement.
  • Soini, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This study aims at improving understanding of the interactions of livelihoods and the environment focusing on both socio-economic and biodiversity implications of land use change in the context of population pressure, global and local markets, climate change, cultural and regional historical factors in the highlands of East Africa. The study is based on three components (1) two extensive livelihood surveys, one on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the other in the Taita Hills of Kenya, (2) a land use change study of the southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro focusing on land use trends between 1960s and 1980s and 1980s and 2000 and (3) a bird diversity study focusing on the potential impacts of the future land use change on birds in the main land use types on the slopes and the adjacent plains of Mt. Kilimanjaro. In addition, information on the highlands in Embu and the adjacent lowlands in Mbeere of Kenya are added to the discussion. Some general patterns of livelihood, land use and environment interactions can be found in the three sites. However, the linkages are very complex. Various external factors at different times in history have influenced most of the major turning points. Farmers continually make small adaptations to their farming practices, but the locally conceived alternatives are too few. Farmers lack specific information and knowledge on the most suitable crops, market opportunities and the quality requirements for growing the crops for markets. Population growth emerges as the most forceful driver of land use and environmental change. The higher altitudes have become extremely crowded with population densities in some areas higher than typical urban population densities. Natural vegetation has almost totally been replaced by farmland. Decreasing farm size due to population pressure is currently threatening the viability of whole farming systems. In addition, capital-poor intensification has lead to soil fertility depletion. Agricultural expansion to the agriculturally marginal lowlands has created a new and distinct group of farmers struggling constantly with climate variability causing frequent crop failures. Extensification to the fragile drylands is the major cause of fragmentation and loss of wildlife habitat. The linkages between livelihoods, land use and the environment generally point to degradation of the environment leading to reduced environmental services and ecosystem functions. There is no indication that the system is self-regulating in this respect. Positive interventions will be needed to maintain ecosystem integrity.
  • Suomala, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)