Pollutants in the air, water, land and our bodies: The multiscalar effects of pollutants on human and natural ecosystems

Fired Up: Household energy perspectives from rural Indian women

Deepti
Chatti
Kroon 321
12:50pm
Title: ""Fired Up: Household energy perspectives from rural Indian women"" Household air pollution from 'traditional' biomass burning stoves has an enormous public health burden, causing one million Indian deaths annually, and is the leading risk factor for women and children. India has the largest number of people in the world without access to 'safe, modern, and clean' energy sources. Exposure to smoke from cooking fires is an everyday act of 'slow violence' faced by the world's most marginalized populations. Biomass stoves are associated with numerous other environmental and social harms ' deforestation, climate change, rural drudgery, and perpetuating gender inequity. India has a vast network of government, NGO, donor, and corporate actors who have worked for seventy years on 'transitioning' households away from 'traditional' to 'modern' technologies, with modest success. 'Traditional' stoves remain popular among users and continue to be used everyday. Using 15 months of multi-sited ethnographic research, I understand why households use biomass stoves, what rural Indian women think about the health, environmental, and social costs and benefits of biomass as an energy source, and what it means to them to adopt 'clean and modern' energy technologies. My results indicate that conventional understandings of the 'adoption gap' regarding new technologies are steeped in academic and policy biases. Devoid of local perspectives, many of these understandings of why households choose one technology or another are quite wrong. I present new and counterintuitive results based on a deep engagement with local communities in rural India, who are the targeted beneficiaries of energy development efforts. I use the critical lens of political ecology to analyze environmental, political, economic, epistemological and social processes at work around household air pollution and energy transitions.

Sensorial knowledge, or the taste of dirty water and prestige.

Luisa
Cortesi
Kroon 321
12:50pm
title: Sensorial knowledge, or the taste of dirty water and prestige. abstract: Do people drink dirty water, which is likely to make them sick, simply because of limited availability of clean water? This chapter discusses sensorial knowledge of water through taste, smell, color, and texture in negotiation with other knowledges of drinking water quality, connecting political, cultural, and social changes across multiple scales'from the family to the village to the state. Analyzing locals' choices about drinking water not only problematizes standard representations of environmental knowledge as a repertoire of coping mechanisms and a localized phenomenon, but also sheds light on the conditions of sensorial knowledge itself.

Drivers of global radiative forcing from 1990 - 2010 changes

Kandice
Harper
Kroon 321
12:50pm
Drivers of global radiative forcing from 1990 ' 2010 changes in tropospheric ozone and aerosols Over the period 1990 ' 2010, the world experienced large-scale changes in the human activities and environmental conditions that control the atmospheric concentrations of the near-term climate forcers (NTCFs; methane, tropospheric ozone, and aerosols). Changes in (1) physical climate, (2) land cover, (3) well-mixed greenhouse gas concentrations, and (4) emissions of reactive precursor pollutants can alter the atmospheric concentrations and distributions of the NTCFs, driving an imbalance in the Earth's radiation budget. Multiple observational datasets are applied to the NASA ModelE2-YIBs global carbon-chemistry-climate model to quantify the radiative forcing (RF) induced by 1990 ' 2010 tropospheric ozone and aerosol concentration changes. Attribution studies quantify the contributions of the individual NTCF change drivers to global chemical climate forcing over this period. Time-slice simulations apply large-scale winds from the NCEP reanalysis, monthly anthropogenic and biomass burning air pollution emissions from the MACCity inventory, and monthly-varying sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations from the Hadley Centre. Prescribed land cover represents a combination of satellite-based vegetation cover with historical land use trajectories and future projections. Global-average RF from ozone and aerosol changes from all drivers for the period 1990 - 2010 is +125 mW/m2. Considering the cumulative impact of all drivers, sulfate aerosols contribute the largest RF from any single NTCF (+70 mW/m2), followed closely by tropospheric ozone (+68 mW/m2). Considering the cumulative impact of all NTCFs, the change in emissions of reactive air pollutants induced the largest RF (+81 mW/m2) among the individual drivers. The second largest contribution was from physical climate change (+57 mW/m2). Climate change had a stronger influence than precursor emission changes on ozone concentrations in the mid- and upper-troposphere; consequently, the climate change-induced ozone RF exceeds the emissions-driven forcing over this period.

The Effects of Urbanization on Dissolved Organic Matter Quantity

Lisa
Weber
Kroon 321
12:50pm
The Effects of Urbanization on Dissolved Organic Matter Quantity and Quality during Storm Events in the Connecticut River Watershed. Advisor: Peter Raymond. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a significant variable in aquatic ecosystems that can influence multiple factors, including pH, light penetration, stream metabolism, contaminant (e.g. metals) mobility, and water-treatment efficiency. With the projected increase in intense storm events in the Northeast, better understanding land-water transfer of DOM and its fate within drainage networks under varying hydrologic regimes is critical for water quality management. Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces vastly contributes to the dispersion of organic matter, nutrients, and contaminants in watersheds. Recent studies performed in headwaters during baseflow conditions have demonstrated that urbanization is changing the composition of DOM; however, additional research is needed in terms of storm-based field data collected from a range of stream orders. Furthermore, little is known about the corresponding ecological and drinking water treatment consequences of these alterations in DOM composition. For my doctoral research, I am analyzing the effects of urbanization on DOM quantity and quality, along with total dissolved nitrogen and pharmaceutical levels, during both baseflow and stormflow within the Connecticut River watershed. First, I will discuss an overview of DOM quantity and quality results from a Connecticut-wide urban stream sampling effort conducted alongside the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during the summer of 2016 for the Northeast Stream Quality Assessment program. This collaboration between the USGS and Yale offered a rare opportunity to assess an extensive array of ecological and water quality parameters sampled concurrently with DOM for trend analysis. Then, I will share the results to date from storm sampling on a range of stream orders along an urbanized land use gradient in the Farmington River watershed, which provides drinking water to Hartford, CT. My ultimate goal is to help watershed managers counteract the adverse impacts of both climate change and increased development to maintain high quality drinking water supplies.