Search metadata

Metadata provide information about the identification, the extent,
the quality, the spatial and temporal schema, spatial reference,
and distribution of digital geographic data.
to

Experience with a Hard and Soft Participatory Modeling Framework for Social-Ecological System Management in Mt Everest (Nepal) and K2 (Pakistan) Protected Areas

High mountains have sensitive social-ecological systems (SESs) characterized by fragility, complexity, and marginality. The local economies of these environments mainly rely on primary production, tourism, and leisure activities; thus human–ecosystem interactions are intricately linked. Many authors stress that this strict relationship must be assisted with a participatory approach involving interested stakeholders in the conceptualization, specification, and synthesis of knowledge and experience into useable information for the express purpose of addressing a problem complex. This paper presents experience garnered with a participatory modeling framework combining hard and soft methodology in 2 case studies: the Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone (Nepal) and the Central Karakoram National Park (Pakistan). The modeling framework was developed based on local stakeholders' demands and needs; it consists of 5 modules, briefly presented here along with their conceptual background. In developing the framework, particular emphasis was given to considering the needs of decision-makers at the local level, rather than simply providing technical solutions to abstract problems. From the development of this modeling process, a need emerged to structure a management-oriented research module in order to generate management knowledge that is both stakeholder-relevant and evidence-based. The application of the framework in the 2 cases studies showed that the modeling can trigger valuable discussion among stakeholders as well as guidance for management-oriented research and feedback loops ensuring validation of knowledge. In addition, the resulting scenarios can help decision-makers in defining pathways for sustainable development in mountain areas, where people's livelihoods are closely dependent on ecosystems. The framework was developed in such a way that it can be replicated in other mountain areas with similar challenges.

Metadata

Methodologies and Tools for the Management of Mountain Protected Areas: Mount Everest (Nepal, China) and K2 (Pakistan) Regions

Special Issue: Methodologies and Tools for the Management of Mountain Protected Areas: Mount Everest (Nepal, China) and K2 (Pakistan) Regions.

Metadata

Supplemental material for “Experience with a hard and soft participatory modeling framework for social-ecological system management in Mt Everest (Nepal) and K2 (Pakistan) protected areas”

High mountains have sensitive social-ecological systems (SESs) characterized by fragility, complexity, and marginality. The local economies of these environments mainly rely on primary production, tourism, and leisure activities; thus human–ecosystem interactions are intricately linked. Many authors stress that this strict relationship must be assisted with a participatory approach involving interested stakeholders in the conceptualization, specification, and synthesis of knowledge and experience into useable information for the express purpose of addressing a problem complex. This paper presents experience garnered with a participatory modeling framework combining hard and soft methodology in 2 case studies: the Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone (Nepal) and the Central Karakoram National Park (Pakistan). The modeling framework was developed based on local stakeholders' demands and needs; it consists of 5 modules, briefly presented here along with their conceptual background. In developing the framework, particular emphasis was given to considering the needs of decision-makers at the local level, rather than simply providing technical solutions to abstract problems. From the development of this modeling process, a need emerged to structure a management-oriented research module in order to generate management knowledge that is both stakeholder-relevant and evidence-based. The application of the framework in the 2 cases studies showed that the modeling can trigger valuable discussion among stakeholders as well as guidance for management-oriented research and feedback loops ensuring validation of knowledge. In addition, the resulting scenarios can help decision-makers in defining pathways for sustainable development in mountain areas, where people's livelihoods are closely dependent on ecosystems. The framework was developed in such a way that it can be replicated in other mountain areas with similar challenges.

Metadata

Glaciological characteristics of the ablation zone of Baltoro glacier, Karakoram, Pakistan

Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram, Pakistan, is one of the world’s largest valley glaciers. It drains an area of about 1500km2 and is >60km long. In 2004 an Italian/German expedition carried out a glaciological field program on the ablation zone of the glacier, focusing on the ablation conditions and the dynamic state of the glacier. As Baltoro glacier is a debris-covered glacier, ice ablation also depends on the debris properties. Stake measurements of ice ablation and debris cover in combination with meteorological data from automatic weather stations close by have been used to determine the local melt conditions. Results from these calculations have been combined with an analysis of different classes of surface cover and information about precipitation, using remote-sensing techniques, in order to calculate mass fluxes for the upper part of Baltoro glacier. The dynamic state of the glacier has been investigated by GPS-based surface velocity measurements along the stake network. A comparison of these short-term measurements during the melt season with surface velocities computed from feature tracking of satellite images shows a high seasonal variability of the ice motion. We have shown that this variability is up to 100% of the annual mean velocity. On the basis of these investigations, the mass fluxes at the Concordia cross-section have been quantified. This approach can now be used together with the ablation calculations to reconstruct the variability of glacier extent and volume in the past using available climate data from the central Karakoram. From the comparison of historical measurements and photographs it is shown that the snout of Baltoro glacier is oscillating back and forth a couple of hundred metres. Otherwise it seems not to react with the same magnitude as other glaciers to the climatic change. Elevation changes at Concordia are a few tens of metres at the most

Metadata

Verification of numerical model forecasts of precipitation and satellite-derived rainfall estimates over the Indian region: monsoon 2004

This work describes the preliminary results of a study aimed at: (1) assessing the ability of a general circulation model routinely run at the Epson Meteo Centre (CEM) in predicting daily rainfall; (2) evaluating the performance of satellite-derived precipitation estimates (namely, NOAA CPC CMORPH) over the same domain and during the same period. The CPC daily rain gauge analysis is used as reference for validation. The study focused on the Indian Monsoon during summer 2004, and comparison with a similar analysis at the mid-latitudes is also shown.

Metadata

An Integrated Decision Support Toolbox (DST) for the Management of Mountain Protected Areas

New tools and methodologies are required in systemic planning and management of mountain protected areas. Among others we propose here a decision support toolbox (DST) conceived as an integrated collection of both soft and hard system methodologies, consisting of participatory and computer-based modules to provide a set of integrated, self-contained tools and approaches to support decision-making processes in the management of mountain protected areas. The Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone (SNPBZ) in Nepal was taken as a pilot case. A number of participatory exercises such as participatory 3-dimensional modeling, scenario planning, and qualitative modeling were carried out to understand social-ecological processes and generate a systemic view over space and time. The qualitative models were then converted into computer-based system dynamics models. The design and development of DST software were carried out with an incremental and modular approach. This process involved stakeholder analysis and decision-making processes through a series of consultations. The software was developed with the main modules including scenario analysis, spatial analysis, and knowledge base. The scenario analysis module runs system dynamics models built in Simile software and provides functions to link them with spatial data for model inputs and outputs. The spatial analysis module provides the basic geographic information system functions to explore, edit, analyze, and visualize spatial information. The knowledge base module was developed as a metadata management system for different categories of information such as spatial data, bibliography, research data, and models. The development of DST software, especially system dynamics modeling and its linkage with spatial components, provided an important methodological approach for spatial and temporal integration. Furthermore, training and interactions with park managers and concerned stakeholders showed that DST is a useful platform for integrating data and information and better understanding ecosystem behavior as a basis for management decisions.

Metadata

Efficacy and tolerability of yoga breathing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot study

PURPOSE: Yoga-derived breathing has been reported to improve gas exchange in patients with chronic heart failure and in participants exposed to high-altitude hypoxia. We investigated the tolerability and effect of yoga breathing on ventilatory pattern and oxygenation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). METHODS: Patients with COPD (N = 11, 3 women) without previous yoga practice and taking only short-acting ?2-adrenergic blocking drugs were enrolled. Ventilatory pattern and oxygen saturation were monitored by means of inductive plethysmography during 30-minute spontaneous breathing at rest (sb) and during a 30-minute yoga lesson (y). During the yoga lesson, the patients were requested to mobilize in sequence the diaphragm, lower chest, and upper chest adopting a slower and deeper breathing. We evaluated oxygen saturation (SaO2%), tidal volume (VT), minute ventilation (E), respiratory rate (i>f), inspiratory time, total breath time, fractional inspiratory time, an index of thoracoabdominal coordination, and an index of rapid shallow breathing. Changes in dyspnea during the yoga lesson were assessed with the Borg scale. RESULTS: During the yoga lesson, data showed the adoption of a deeper and slower breathing pattern (VTsb L 0.54[0.04], VTy L 0.74[0.08], P = .01; i>fsb 20.8[1.3], i>fy 13.8[0.2], P = .001) and a significant improvement in SaO2% with no change in E (SaO2%sb 91.5%[1.13], SaO2%y 93.5%[0.99], P = .02; Esb L/min 11.2[1.1], Ey L/min 10.2[0.9]). All the participants reported to be comfortable during the yoga lesson, with no increase in dyspnea index. CONCLUSION: We conclude that short-term training in yoga is well tolerated and induces favorable respiratory changes in patients with COPD.

Metadata

Respiratory function at different altitudes

For the evaluation of a respiratory test at high altitude, several factors must be taken into account: the decreased barometric pressure, the decreased density of air and the degree of acclimatization which is related to the altitude and to the length of exposure. Several studies have shown a reduction in forced vital capacity (FVC) at high altitude and using simulated conditions, mainly related to an increase in pulmonary blood volume and development of interstitial edema. To assess the daily spirometric patterns during ascending to high altitudes we studied 17 healthy subjects at both Capanna Regina Margherita on the Italian Alps (4,559 m) and the Pyramid Laboratory in Nepal (5,050 m). Respiratory function tests were performed every day. Peak expiratory flow values significantly increased. The mean percent increase was 15% at 3,200 and 3,600 m and 26% at 4,559 m. FVC and MEF25 values showed a significant decrease (p < 0.005) during the first days above 3,500 m and improved only after several days spent above this altitude. For each subject the maximal reductions in FVC and maximal expiratory flow (MEF) at 25% of FVC however were found on different days. In our opinion, these data support the hypothesis that at high altitude the respiratory function can be affected by the presence of an increased pulmonary blood volume and/or the development of interstitial edema. The observed changes in forced expiration curves at high altitude seem to reflect the degree of acclimatization that is related to the individual susceptibility, to the altitude reached and to the duration of the exposure. These changes are transient and resolve after returning to sea level.

Metadata

From Himalaya to Karakoram: the spreading of the project Ev-K2-CNR

The Pyramid International Laboratory-Observatory is the symbol of the Ev-K2 -CNR Project. The project actually began in 1987, when Prof. Ardito Desio, 90 years old at the time, enthusiastically launched a new geological and geodetic research campaign in the Himalayan area. However, it was only with the building of the Pyramid International Laboratory-Observatory, inaugurated by Prof. Desio himself in 1990, that the project acquired a unique ‘‘logistic base’’ for its scienti?c research. The laboratory, located at 5050 m a.s.l. in the Khumbu Valley, on the Nepali side of Mount Everest, is in fact the ?rst high-altitude scienti?c research center of its kind. It is self-sufficient in its energy supply and contains all common scienti?c instrumentation, making it a suitable place for studying climatic and environmental changes, medicine and human physiology in extreme conditions, geology, geodesy and seismic phenomena. Over time, a wealth of knowledge, initiatives and international relationships have been accumulated and continue to be added to by Ev-K 2 - CNR through research in the ?elds of medicine and physiology; environmental sciences, earth sciences, anthropological sciences and clean technologies. The Ev-K 2 - CNR has been able to play a strategic role in the framework of collaboration amongst institutions, governments and organizations for the exchange and transfer of experiences, technologies and scienti?c and cultural knowledge. The increasingly interdisciplinary approach to research by the team has also led to the development of integrated programs for promoting the socio-economic development of local populations and environmental safeguarding in the region, such as the international Partnership initiative created through the Italian government around Ev-K 2 -CNR’s expertise, or the regional Ev-K 2 -CNR Project ‘‘Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment in Asia’’ (SHARE-Asia), aimed at the establishment of a network of research and monitoring stations for the long-term study of evolutionary environmental processes in the Himalayan–Karakoram region, with a strong technology transfer and capacity-building component to the bene?t of local populations and research institutions.

Metadata

Supplementary material for “Atmospheric Brown Clouds in the Himalayas: first two years of continuous observations at the Nepal-Climate Observatory at Pyramid (5079 m)”

This paper provides a detailed description of the atmospheric conditions characterizing the high Himalayas, thanks to continuous observations begun in March 2006 at the Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid (NCO-P) located at 5079 m a.s.l. on the southern foothills of Mt. Everest, in the framework of ABC UNEP and SHARE-Ev-K2-CNR projects. The work presents a characterization of meteorological conditions and air-mass circulation at NCO-P during the first two years of activity.The mean values of atmospheric pressure, temperature and wind speed recorded at the site were: 551 hPa, -3.0°C, 4.7 m s -1 ,respectively. The highest seasonal values of temperature (1.7 ° C) and relative humidity (94%) were registered during the monsoon season, which was also characterized by thick clouds, present in about 80% of the afternoon hours, and by a frequency of cloud-free sky of less than 10%. The lowest temperature and relative humidity seasonal values were registered during winter, -6.3°C and 22%, respectively, the season being characterised by mainly cloud-free sky conditions and rarehick clouds. The summer monsoon influenced rain precipitation (seasonal mean: 237 mm), while wind was dominated by flows from the bottom of the valley (S-SW) and upper mountain (N-NE).The atmospheric composition at NCO-P has been studied thanks to measurements of black carbon (BC),aerosol scattering coefficient, PM1, coarse particles and ozone The annual behaviour of the measured parameters shows the highest seasonal values during the premonsoon (BC: 316.9 ng m-3,PM1: 3.9 µg m-3, scattering coeffcient: 11.9 Mm-1 , coarse particles: 0.37 cm-3 and O3: 60.9 ppbv), while the lowest concentrations occurred during the monsoon (BC: 49.6 ng m-3, PM1: 0.6 µg m-3 , scattering coefficient: 2.2 Mm-1 , and O3: 38.9 ppbv) and, for coarse particles, during the post-monsoon (0.07 cm-3 ). At NCO-P, the synoptic-scale circulation regimes present three principal contributions: Westerly, South Westerly and Regional, as shown by the analysis of in-situ meteorological parameters and 5-day LAGRANTO back trajectories. The influence of the brown cloud (AOD>0.4) extending over Indo Gangetic Plains up to the Himalayan foothills has been evaluated by analysing the in-situ concentrations of the ABC constituents. This analysis revealed that brown cloud hot spots mainly influence the South Himalayas during the pre monsoon, in the presence of very high levels of atmospheric compounds (BC: 1974.1 ng m-3 , PM1: 23.5 µg m-3,scattering coefficient: 57.7 Mm-1,coarse particles: 0.64 cm-3, O3: 69.2 ppbv, respectively). During this season 20% of the days were characterised by a strong brown cloud influence during the afternoon, leading to a 5-fold increased in the BC and PM1 values, in comparison with seasonal means. Our investigations provide clear evidence that, especially during the pre-monsoon, the southern side of the high Himalayan valleys represent a “direct channel” able to transport brown cloud pollutants up to 5000 m a.s.l., where the pristine atmospheric composition can be strongly influenced.

Metadata