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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 8, No 2 (2015)

GEOGRAPHY

4-12 219
Abstract
The paper presents preliminary results and interpretation from an ongoing research project in the Novy Afon and Abrskil caves of Abkhazia. The research have demonstrated that δ18O and δD analyses of drip and ground waters in two caves in the South-Western Caucasian region allows to better understand interaction between isotopic composition of precipitation, soil, and vadose zone. Drip and ground water samples from the caves were compared with the present-day Global (GMWL) and the Local Meteoric Water Lines (LMWL). They fall along the GMWL and LMWL and are tied by equation δD = 5.74δ18O - 6.98 (r2 = 0.94). Drip water isotopic composition is similar to that from lakes and pools. The incline of δ18O - δD line differs from GMWL and LMWL. It reflects a possible result from secondary condensation and evaporation and water-rock interaction, and depends on the climate aridity level.
13-29 252
Abstract
Regional data on climate, river runoff and inventory of glaciers within High Mountainous Asia were used as informational basis to elaborate new approach in computing components of the hydrological cycle (glaciers runoff, evaporation, precipitation). In order to improve and optimize the calculation methodology, 4 675 homogeneous groups of glaciers were identified in the largest Asian river basins, i.e., Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Tarim, and others. As the classification criteria for 53 225 glaciers located there, the author consistently used 8 gradations of orientation (azimuth) and 23 gradations of area. Calculating of the hydrological regime of glaciers was performed on the example of several Asian river basins. It has been shown that in the drainless basins in Asia, the only potential factor of the glacial influence on the changes in global Ocean level is the seasonal amount of evaporation from the melted surface of perennial ice and old firn. These results and published sources were used for re-evaluation of the previous conclusions on the influence of glacier runoff on change of the Ocean level. Comparison of measured and calculated annual river runoff, which was obtained by means of modeling the components of water-balance equation, showed good correspondence between these variables.

ENVIRONMENT

30-44 302
Abstract
There is growing concern, how and to what extent future changes in climate will affect human society and natural environments. Continuous emissions of Green House Gasses (GHGs) at or above current rates will cause further warming. This, in turn, may modify global climate system during 21st century that very likely would have larger impacts than those observed during 20th century. At present, Global Climate Models (GCMs) are only the most reliable tools available for studying behaviour of the climate system. This paper presents a comprehensive review of GCMs including their development and applications in climate change impacts studies. Following a discussion of the limitations of GCMs at regional and local scales, different approaches of downscaling are discussed in detail.
45-60 191
Abstract
One of the consequences of soil erosion in arid and semi-arid environments is the emergence of rocky shrublands. While their existence is well documented, gaps exist in our understanding of processes affecting the soil fertility inside them and in their surrounded environment which is crucial for their successive sustainably management. Our aims were as follows: (i) assessing the impact of various parameters (geographical, chemical and physical) on the herbaceous cover in shrublands located in arid rocky areas; (ii) assessing the impact of the rocky topography on the fertility parameters at the inter-patches and surrounded matrix areas. Geographically, the site of study is located in private family farm at Chiran area, northern Negev, Israel. It has semi - arid climate (precipitation 200 mm year-1) with hilly rocky topography. Ecologically the area is sustainably grazed shrubland characterized by patch-matrix patterns.For analyzing the impact of the above mentioned parameters we chose 24 patches belonging to different geographic groups: “Inside the rock”, “Adjacent to rock”, “Parallel to rock” and “Slopped”). From each patch we took soil and herbaceous biomass samples from predefined locations based on the geographical patterns of each group. Four methodologies were implemented for analysis as follows: (i) comparisons between the actual values; (ii) ranking the differences between the patches” sub-plots; (iii) correlating the soil parameters with the herbaceous biomass using regression analysis; (iv) spatial analysis of the different parameters based on kriging. The results demonstrate that the most influential parameter in the plots inside the patch were the Soil Organic Matter and clay content. The soil moisture in this study did not affect the area fertility. The rocky topography, together with the patch spatial patterns had high impact on the values of the examined parameters, even when compared to the surrounding matrix. Altogether, the presented results indicate that the patch fertility is affected by combination of different soil parameters and the geographic topography of a given patch. Additionally, reciprocal effects between the patches and their surrounding environment are also important determinants of fertility. The techniques and methodologies demonstrated here could be applied to other landscapes as well.

SUSTAINABILITY

61-78 226
Abstract
This paper analyzes the way in which migration policies impact in the trajectories of Bolivian women who live and work in the outskirts of the main cities of Argentina. It focuses on three cases representative of the experiences of women laborers who, coming from the poorest rural areas of Bolivia, crossed the international border when Argentine migration policy was very restrictive. It shows that symbolic and socio-economic borders keep on excluding them, as well as other labor migrants, within the Argentine territory even when the current Migration Law enacted in 2004 is more inclusive, since it grants human and social rights to the migrants. It highlights the way in which particular state control mechanisms operate nowadays both at the international border and within the Argentine territory, and analyses the difficulties that these women experience due to their positions of class, ethnic, gender, nationality and migratory status. It remarks that despite the changes in the immigration policy of Argentina, state policies keep on controlling labor migrations in accordance with the paradigm of the governance of migration. It also analyses the strategies that these women develop in order to sort out state control policies. Therefore, it considers that they are active agents even though they still have feelings of fear and trauma associated with the crossing of borders.
79-100 484
Abstract
Rural livelihoods (RLs) in highland Ethiopia is critically threatened by increasing degradation of land and water resources (LWRs) and lack of sufficient livelihood assets. In response, farmers adapted diverse indigenous land and water management (LWM) technologies and livelihood strategies. This paper describes farmers’ methods of soil erosion identification and the practices of managing LWRs to enhance RLs. It presents the results of studies focusing on assessment of soil erosion indicators, farmers’ in-built sustainable land and water management practices (LWMPs) and RLs in Dangila woreda (district) in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Data were gathered from May 2010 to October 2013 through participatory transect walks, field observation, formal and informal discussions with farmers, examination of office documents and from a survey of 201 rural households. Descriptive statistics and the livelihood strategy diversification index (LSDI) were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that farmers employ around 13 indicators to identify soil erosion on their farmlands. Over 79% of the farmers indicated the occurrence of soil erosion on their farm fields and some 59% reported the trend was increasing for twenty years, 1991-2011. More than 174 km soil-bunds and greater than 4 km stone-bunds were constructed on farmlands and on grazing fields through farmer participatory watershed development campaigns. Some 34 gullies were stabilized using check-dams and vegetative measures. Almost 72% of the households applied cattle manure on about of their 75 ha lands to improve soil fertility. A total of 44 diversion canals and 34 water committees were established to facilitate the irrigation practice of 33% rural households. Over 20% farmers obtained results ranging from moderate to excellent by combining manure with chemical fertilizers in the same field. Nevertheless, introduced methods such as improved seeds and fertilizers were commented for unaffordable prices and short-range services. Farmers utilized over eight livelihood strategies but the mixed crop-livestock farming was their main source of income. Sharecropping contracts were the ways of stabilizing the land demands of the studied households. It is concluded that integrated use of technologies (i.e. structural & vegetative plus indigenous & introduced measures) and participatory research & planning should be promoted to improve farmers’ LWMPs and livelihoods. Increased effort should be made by concerned agencies to help farmers own assets (e.g. farm land) and diversify their livelihoods strategies. Special focus should be also given to farmers’ inbuilt LWMPs and livelihood strategies.


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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)