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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Paul W. Cleary, Raymond C.Z. Cohen, Simon M. Harrison, Matthew D. Sinnott, Mahesh Prakash and Stuart Mead

The purpose of this paper is to show how simulation of the flow of particulates and fluids using discrete element modelling (DEM) and smoothed particle dynamics (SPH…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how simulation of the flow of particulates and fluids using discrete element modelling (DEM) and smoothed particle dynamics (SPH) particle methods, offer opportunities for better understanding the dynamics of flow processes.

Design/methodology/approach

DEM and SPH methods are demonstrated in a broad range of computationally‐demanding applications including comminution, biomedical, geophysical extreme flow events (risk/disaster modelling), eating of food by humans and elite water‐based sports.

Findings

DEM is ideally suited to predicting industrial and geophysical applications where collisions between particles are the dominant physics. SPH is highly suited to multi‐physics fluid flow applications in industrial, biophysical and geophysical applications. The advantages and disadvantages of these particle methods are discussed.

Research limitations/implications

Research results are limited by the numerical resolution that can currently be afforded.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the use of particle‐based computational methods in a series of high value applications. Enterprises that share interests in these applications will benefit in their product and service development by adopting these methods.

Social implications

The ability to model disasters provides governments and companies with the opportunity and obligation to use these to render knowable disasters which were previously considered unknowable. The ability to predict the breakdown of food during eating opens up opportunities for the design of superior performing foods with lower salt, sugar and fat that can directly contribute to improved health outcomes and can influence government food regulatory policy.

Originality/value

The paper extends the scale and range of modelling of particle methods for demanding leading‐edge problems, of practical interest in engineering and applied sciences.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Kindie Tesfaye, Sika Gbegbelegbe, Jill E Cairns, Bekele Shiferaw, Boddupalli M Prasanna, Kai Sonder, Ken Boote, Dan Makumbi and Richard Robertson

The purpose of this study is to examine the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change on maize production and food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change on maize production and food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using adapted improved maize varieties and well-calibrated and validated bioeconomic models.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the past climate (1950-2000) as a baseline, the study estimated the biophysical impacts of climate change in 2050 (2040-2069) and 2080 (2070-2099) under the A1B emission scenario and three nitrogen levels, and the socioeconomic impacts in 2050.

Findings

Climate change will affect maize yields across SSA in 2050 and 2080, and the extent of the impact at a given period will vary considerably between input levels, regions and maize mega environments (MMEs). Greater relative yield reductions may occur under medium and high-input intensification than under low intensification, in Western and Southern Africa than in Eastern and Central Africa and in lowland and dry mid-altitude than in highland and wet mid-altitude MMEs. Climate change may worsen food insecurity in SSA in 2050 through its negative impact on maize consumption and reduction in daily calorie intake. However, international trade has the potential to offset some of the negative impacts.

Originality/value

The study calibrated and applied bioeconomic models to estimate the biophysical and socioeconomic impact of climate change on maize production at fine resolution. The results could be used as a baseline to evaluate measures that will be applied to adapt maize to the future climate in SSA.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2008

Robert Finger and Stéphanie Schmid

An approach that integrates biophysical simulations in an economic model is used to analyze the impact of climate change on Swiss corn and winter wheat production…

Abstract

An approach that integrates biophysical simulations in an economic model is used to analyze the impact of climate change on Swiss corn and winter wheat production. Adaptation options such as changes in sowing dates, changes in production intensity, and the adoption of irrigation farming are considered in the model. By carrying out sensitivity analysis with different scenarios, we find farmers’ adaptation actions and crop yeilds to be very sensitive to both climate change and output prices. Moreover, our model results show that simple adaptation measures are sufficient to generate higher and less variable crop yields in the future.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 68 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Sue Ogilvy

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a practical means of incorporating ecological capital into the framework of business entities. Investors and shareholders need to…

2682

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a practical means of incorporating ecological capital into the framework of business entities. Investors and shareholders need to be informed of the viability and sustainability of their investments. Ecological (natural) capital risks are becoming more significant. Exposure to material risk from primary industry is a significant factor for primary processing, pharmaceutical, textile and the financial industry. A means of assessing the changes to ecological capital assets and their effect on inflows and outflows of economic benefit is important information for stakeholder communication.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper synthesises a body of literature from accounting, ecological economics, ecosystem services, modelling, agriculture and ecology to propose a way to fill current gaps in the capability to account for ecological capital. It develops the idea of the ecological balance sheet (EBS) to enable application of familiar methods of managing built and financial capital to management of ecological assets (ecosystems that provide goods and services).

Findings

The EBS is possible, practical and useful. A form of double-entry bookkeeping can be developed to allow accrual accounting principles to be applied to these assets. By using an EBS, an entity can improve its capability to increase inflows and avoid future outflows of economic benefit.

Social implications

Although major efforts are under-way around the world to improve business impact on natural resources, these efforts have been unable to satisfactorily help individual businesses elucidate the practical economic and competitive advantages conferred by investment in ecological capital. This work provides a way for businesses to learn about what the impact of changes to ecological assets has on inflows and outflows of economic benefit to their enterprise and how to invest in ecological capital to reduce their enterprise’s material risk and create competitive advantage.

Originality/value

No one has synthesised knowledge and practice across these disciplines into a practical approach. This approach is the first demonstration of how ecological assets can be managed in the same way as built capital by using proven practices of accounting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2013

Trung Thanh Nguyen and John Tenhunen

The authors aim to provide here an opinion on the state‐of‐the‐art of integrated ecological‐economic assessments of bioenergy under climate change, as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors aim to provide here an opinion on the state‐of‐the‐art of integrated ecological‐economic assessments of bioenergy under climate change, as well as the challenges along with their implications faced in planning adaptation at local scale.

Design/methodology/approach

Investments to reduce emissions must be made in the coming decades to avoid the risks posed by climate change. If these investments are made wisely, then costs will be manageable, stability in markets as well as energy security will be achieved, and even rural development and economic growth may be stimulated. The authors call attention to the need for modeling of climate change impacts by combining the outputs from appropriately designed crop simulation models with economic analyses. Combining natural science and economics in a compatible fashion at local scale will play an essential role in advancing communication and information exchange.

Findings

There are key differences in drivers or determinants of mitigation and adaptation potential and decisions at different scales, which means that different actors, different timescales and different spatial scales of decision making must be specifically considered. Understanding of the potential impacts of climate change requires disaggregation of the agricultural sector with appropriate detail. A critical trade‐off exists between area‐wide spatial coverage and an explicit consideration of local peculiarities.

Originality/value

The authors suggest that a much stronger effort must be made to meld natural science crop modeling approaches with economic analyses, to include spatially explicit consideration of conventional crop production along with 1st and 2nd generation bioenergy crops, and the evaluation not only of “best guess” scenarios of change, but also potential system impacts of extreme scenarios.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 March 2018

Rui Manuel de Sousa Fragoso and Carlos José de Almeida Noéme

This paper aims to assess the economic effects of climate change on the Mediterranean’s irrigated agriculture and how the adoption of alternative crop varieties adapted to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the economic effects of climate change on the Mediterranean’s irrigated agriculture and how the adoption of alternative crop varieties adapted to the expected length of the growing season can be an effective adaptation measure.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of two irrigation areas in Southern Portugal is used to assess the response to climate change impacts on crop yields and irrigation requirements, and an agricultural supply model is calibrated using a positive mathematical programming (PMP) approach was developed.

Findings

Climate change reduces crop yields and causes a slight decrease in irrigation requirements, which could allow an increase in the irrigated area. However, positive impacts on rural areas regarding employment and investment are not expected. The adoption of adaptation measures based on alternative crop varieties, which could maintain crop yields at current levels, increases dramatically the economic value of water and mitigates losses in farm income.

Research limitations/implications

The impacts on output and input market prices, as well as other biophysical impacts (for instance, CO2 and water availability), are important in understanding the effects of climate change on irrigated agriculture, but they were not considered in this study. While this may be a limitation, it can also be a stimulus for further research.

Practical implications

This is an empirical paper, whose results contribute to improving knowledge about the effects of climate change on irrigated agriculture in Mediterranean areas, namely, its economic impacts on returns and the use of agricultural resources (land, water, labour and capital). Other practical implications of the paper are associated with the methodological approach, which provides a framework able to deal with the complexity and multidimensional effects of climate change.

Social implications

The results of the paper provide important information for scientists, politicians and other stakeholders about the design of more effective adaptation measures able to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Originality/value

Crop yields and irrigation requirements were previously calculated based on data generated by the regional climate models. This is the first time that an application is developed for Portugal. Two distinct profiles of irrigation areas were studied and a large set of crops was considered, which is not common in the existing studies. To specify the PMP approach used to calibrate the agricultural supply model, exogenous crop-specific supply elasticities were estimated through a least square model, which is not common in previous studies.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2022

Muneta Yokomatsu, Junko Mochizuki, Julian Joseph, Peter Burek and Taher Kahil

The authors present a dynamic macroeconomic model for assessment of disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies under multiple hazards. The model can be used to analyze and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The authors present a dynamic macroeconomic model for assessment of disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies under multiple hazards. The model can be used to analyze and compare various potential policies in terms of their economic consequences. The decomposition of these effects into multiple benefits helps policy makers and other stakeholders better understand the ex ante and ex-post advantages of DRR investments. The purpose of this paper is to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A dynamic real business cycle model is at the core of this research. In the model multiple natural hazards modeled stochastically cause shocks to the economy. Economic outcomes, most importantly, output can be assessed before and after disasters and under various DRR policies. The decomposition of benefits aims to quantify the concept of triple dividends.

Findings

In case study applications in Tanzania and Zambia, the authors find that investments into physical infrastructure and risk transfer instruments generate a variety of benefits even in the absence of disaster. A land use restriction with planned relocation for example reduces output in the short run but in the long run increases it. Overall, policy effects of various DRR interventions evolve in a nonmonotonic manner and should be evaluated over a long period of time using dynamic simulation.

Originality/value

The novelty of this study lies in the economic quantification of multiple benefits described in the triple dividends literature. This helps comparing ex ante, ex-post and volatility-related economic effects of multiple disasters and related physical and financial DRR investment options. As observed in the case studies, the model can also identify overlooked temporal heterogeneity of co-benefits of DRR investments.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 April 2019

Sarah Gabashwediwe Mungodla, Linda Zikhona Linganiso, Sukoluhle Mlambo and Tshwafo Motaung

In 2008, a number of Southern African countries cultivated about 900,000 ha of Jatropha, with a number of biodiesel plants ready for production; however, none of the…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2008, a number of Southern African countries cultivated about 900,000 ha of Jatropha, with a number of biodiesel plants ready for production; however, none of the projects succeeded. In 2014, KiOR advanced biofuel Energy Company in the USA announced bankruptcy due to incompetent technology. Studies disclose that the reasons for biofuel plants failure are not only due to lack of incentives and unclear policies but also due to lack of economic feasibility and low production yields. This paper aims to review the techno-economy assessment of second-generation biofuel technologies. The purpose of this paper is to summarize specific techno-economic indicators such as production cost, technology efficiency and process life cycle analysis for advanced biofuel technology and to narrate and illustrate a clear view of what requires assessment to deploy a feasible advanced biofuel technology. This study also reviews assessment of biomass supply chain, feedstock availability and site selection criteria. The review also elaborates on the use of different processes, forecasting and simulation-modeling tools used in different techno-economic analysis studies. The review provides guidance for conducting a technical and economic feasibility study for the advanced biofuels energy business.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of this review is, therefore, to evaluate the techno-economic feasibility studies for the establishment of viable industrial scale production of second-generation biofuels. It does so by grouping studies based on technology selection, feedstock availability and suitability, process simulation and economies as well as technology environmental impact assessment.

Findings

In conclusion, techno-economic analysis tools offer researchers insight in terms of where their research and development should focus, to attain the most significant enhancement for the economics of a technology. The study patterns within the scope of techno-economics of advanced biofuel reveal that there is no generic answer as to which technology would be feasible at a commercial scale. It is therefore important to keep in mind that models can only simplify and give a simulation of reality to a certain extent. Nevertheless, reviewed studies do not reach the same results, but some results are logically similar.

Originality/value

The originality of this article specifically illustrates important technical and economic indicators that should be considered when conducting feasibility studies for advance biofuels.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Clarissa Ai Ling Lee

The purpose of this paper is to recuperate Heinz von Foerster’s “Quantum Mechanical Theory of Memory” from Cybernetics: Circular, Causal, and Feedback Mechanisms in

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to recuperate Heinz von Foerster’s “Quantum Mechanical Theory of Memory” from Cybernetics: Circular, Causal, and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems and John von Neumann’s The Computer and the Brain for present-day, and future, applications in biophysics, theories of information and cognition, and quantum theories; the main objective is to ground cybernetic theory for a critical evaluation of the historical evolution of the Monte Carlo method, with potential for application to quantum computing.

Design/methodology/approach

Close-reading of selected texts, historiography, and case studies in current developments in the Monte Carlo method of high-energy particle physics (HEP) for developing a platform for bridging the apparently incommensurable differences between the physical-mathematical and the biological sciences.

Findings

First, usefulness of the cybernetic approach for historicizing the Monte Carlo method in relation to digital computing and quantum physics. Second, development of an inter/trans-disciplinary approach to the hard sciences through a critical re-evaluation of the historical texts of von Foerster and von Neumann for application to developments in quantum theory, biophysics, and computing.

Research limitations/implications

This work is largely theoretical and uses dialectical thought experiments to engage between sciences operating across different ontological scales.

Practical implications

Consideration of developments of quantum computing and how that would change one’s perception of information, data, and the way in which analysis is currently performed with big data.

Originality/value

This is the first time that von Neumann and von Foerster have been contrasted and compared in relation to their epistemic compatibility, historical importance, and relevance for producing a creative approach to current scientific epistemology. This paper hopes to change how the authors view trans-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary practices in the sciences and produce new vistas of thought in the history and philosophy of science.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 44 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Rodolfo A. Fiorini

This paper aims to offer an innovative and original solution methodology proposal to the problem of arbitrary complex multiscale (ACM) ontological uncertainty management…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer an innovative and original solution methodology proposal to the problem of arbitrary complex multiscale (ACM) ontological uncertainty management (OUM). The solution is based on the postulate that society is an ACM system of purposive actors within continuous change. Present social problems are multiscale-order deficiencies, which cannot be fixed by the traditional hierarchical approach alone, by doing what one does better or more intensely, but rather by changing the way one does it.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper treasures several past guidelines, from McCulloch, Wiener, Conant, Ashby and von Foerster to Bateson, Beer and Rosen’s concept of a non-trivial system to arrive to an indispensable and key anticipatory learning system (ALS) component for managing unexpected perturbations by an antifragility approach as defined by Taleb. This ALS component is the key part of our new methodology called “computational information conservation theory (CICT) OUM” approach, based on brand new numeric system behavior awareness from CICT.

Findings

To achieve an antifragility behavior, next generation system must use new CICT OUM-like approach to face the problem of multiscale OUM effectively and successfully. In this manner, homeodynamic operating equilibria can emerge out of a self-organizing landscape of self-structuring attractor points in a natural way.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents a relevant contribution toward a new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems. Due to its intrinsic self-scaling properties, this system approach can be applied at any system scale: from single quantum system application development to full system governance strategic assessment policies and beyond.

Practical implications

The new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems Framework allows, for the first time, social, biological and biomedical engineering ideal system categorization levels, from an operational perspective, to be matched exactly to practical system modeling interaction styles, with no paradigmatic operational ambiguity and information loss.

Social implications

Even new social and advanced health and wellbeing information application can successfully and reliably manage higher system complexity than contemporary ones, with a minimum of design specification and less system final operative environment knowledge at design level. The present paper offers for discussion an innovative solution proposal for the complex society and big government modeling and management approach.

Originality/value

Specifically, advanced wellbeing applications, high reliability organization, mission critical project system, very low technological risk and crisis management system can benefit highly from our new methodology called CICT OUM approach and related techniques. This paper presents a relevant contribution toward a new post-Bertalanffy Extended Theory of Systems. Due to its intrinsic self-scaling properties, this system approach can be applied at any system scale: from a single quantum system application development to full system governance strategic assessment policies and beyond.

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