By Burcin Becerik-Gerber et al.,
Affordable housing residents, who are most impacted by rising utility costs and often misunderstood in terms of their energy and water use practices, are usually overlooked in conservation efforts. This study aims to explore the consumption and conservation behaviors, satisfaction and experience with building services, energy burden, and conservation drivers among affordable housing residents and help identify ways to reduce their utility bills and improve their overall quality of life. The research builds on a questionnaire that facilitated the collection of data from residents of four affordable housing facilities in Southern California. Drawing from the findings, this study outlines key intervention strategies aimed at enhancing efficiency while also identifying potential implementation barriers. Educational programs and the installation of Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels emerge as potential pivotal interventions. The findings of this study could inform designers, engineers, developers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the affordable housing sector about ways to educate residents for sustaining long-term behavior change, promoting residents’ participation in consumption reduction missions, and facilitating the success of demand response (DR) programs.
By Julien Emile-Geay et al.
Despite increased Atlantic hurricane risk, projected trends in hurricane frequency in the warming climate are still highly uncertain, mainly due to short instrumental record that limits our understanding of hurricane activity and its relationship to climate. Here we extend the record to the last millennium using two independent estimates: a reconstruction from sedimentary paleohurricane records and a statistical model of hurricane activity using sea surface temperatures (SSTs). We find statistically significant agreement between the two estimates and the late 20th century hurricane frequency is within the range seen over the past millennium. Numerical simulations using a hurricane-permitting climate model suggest that hurricane activity was likely driven by endogenous climate variability and linked to anomalous SSTs of warm Atlantic and cold Pacific. Volcanic eruptions can induce peaks in hurricane activity, but such peaks would likely be too weak to be detected in the proxy record due to large endogenous variability.
By Julien Emile-Geay et al.
Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
Paleoclimate records can be considered low-dimensional projections of the climate system that generated them. Understanding what these projections tell us about past climates, and changes in their dynamics, is a main goal of time series analysis on such records. Laplacian eigenmaps of recurrence matrices (LERM) is a novel technique using univariate paleoclimate time series data to indicate when notable shifts in dynamics have occurred. LERM leverages time delay embedding to construct a manifold that is mappable to the attractor of the climate system; this manifold can then be analyzed for significant dynamical transitions. Through numerical experiments with observed and synthetic data, LERM is applied to detect both gradual and abrupt regime transitions. Our paragon for gradual transitions is the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). We show that LERM can robustly detect gradual MPT-like transitions for sufficiently high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios, though with a time lag related to the embedding process. Our paragon of abrupt transitions is the “8.2 ka” event; we find that LERM is generally robust at detecting 8.2 ka-like transitions for sufficiently high S/N ratios, though edge effects become more influential. We conclude that LERM can usefully detect dynamical transitions in paleogeoscientific time series, with the caveat that false positive rates are high when dynamical transitions are not present, suggesting the importance of using multiple records to confirm the robustness of transitions. We share an open-source Python package to facilitate the use of LERM in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography.
By Rob McConnell et al.
Cleaner Environmental Systems
Health care accounts for 9–10% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States. Strategies for monitoring these emissions at the hospital level are needed to decarbonize the sector. However, data collection to estimate emissions is challenging. We explored the potential of gradient boosting machines (GBM) to impute missing data on resource consumption in the 2020 survey of a consortium of 283 hospitals participating in Practice Greenhealth. GBM imputed missing values for selected variables in order to predict electricity use (R2 = 0.82) and beef consumption (R2 = 0.82) and anesthetic gas desflurane use (R2 = 0.51), using administrative and financial data readily available for most hospitals. After imputing missing consumption data, estimated GHG emissions associated with these three examples totaled over 3 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions (MTCO2e). Specifically, electricity consumption had the largest total carbon footprint (2.4 MTCO2e), followed by beef (0.6 million MTCO2e) and desflurane consumption (0.03 million MTCO2e) across the 283 hospitals. The approach should be applicable to other sources of hospital GHGs in order to estimate total emissions of individual hospitals and to refine survey questions to help develop better intervention strategies.
By Rob McConnell et al.
Recent studies have linked air pollution to increased risk for behavioral problems during development, albeit with inconsistent findings. Additional longitudinal studies are needed that consider how emotional behaviors may be affected when exposure coincides with the transition to adolescence – a vulnerable time for developing mental health difficulties. This study investigates if annual average PM2.5 and NO2 exposure at ages 9–10 years moderates age-related changes in internalizing and externalizing behaviors over a 2-year follow-up period in a large, nationwide U.S. sample of participants from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Air pollution exposure was estimated based on the residential address of each participant using an ensemble-based modeling approach. Caregivers answered questions from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at the baseline, 1-year follow-up, and 2-year follow-up visits, for a total of 3 waves of data; from the CBCL we obtained scores on internalizing and externalizing problems plus 5 syndrome scales (anxious/depressed, withdrawn/depressed, rule-breaking behavior, aggressive behavior, and attention problems). Zero-inflated negative binomial models were used to examine both the main effect of age as well as the interaction of age with each pollutant on behavior while adjusting for various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Against our hypothesis, there was no evidence that greater air pollution exposure was related to more behavioral problems with age over time.
By Mahta Moghaddam et al.
We describe a method to calibrate a Software-Defined Radar (SDRadar) system mounted on an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) with an ultra-wideband (UWB) waveform operated in the near-field region. Radar calibration is a prerequisite for using the full capabilities of the radar system to retrieve geophysical parameters accurately. We introduce a framework and process to calibrate the SDRadar with the UWB waveform in the 675 MHz–3 GHz range in the near-field region. Furthermore, we present the framework for computing the near-field radar cross section (RCS) of an external passive calibration target, a trihedral corner reflector (CR), using HFSS software and with consideration for specific antennas. The calibration performance was evaluated with various distances between the calibration target and radar antennas. The necessity for the knowledge of the near-field RCS to calibrate SDRadar was demonstrated, which sets this work apart from the standard method of using a trihedral CR for backscatter radar calibration. We were able to achieve approximately 0.5 dB accuracy when calibrating the SDRadar in the anechoic chamber using a trihedral CR. In outdoor field conditions, where the ground rough surface scattering effects are present, the calibration performance was lower, approximately 1.5 dB. A solution is proposed to overcome the ground effect by elevating the CR above the ground level, which enables applying time-gating around the CR echo, excluding the reflection from the ground.
By Mahta Moghaddam et al.
Although multiple efforts have been made to model global navigation satellite system (GNSS)-reflectometry (GNSS-R) delay-Doppler maps (DDMs) over land, there is still a need for models that better represent the signals over land and can enable reliable retrievals of the geophysical variables. Our paper presents improvements to an existing GNSS-R DDM model by accounting for short-wave diffraction due to small-scale ground surface roughness and signal attenuation due to vegetation. This is a step forward in increasing the model fidelity. Our model, called the improved geometric optics with topography (IGOT), predicts GNSS-R DDM over land for the purpose of retrieving geophysical parameters, including soil moisture. Validation of the model is carried out using DDMs from the Cyclone GNSS (CYGNSS) mission over two validation sites with in situ soil moisture sensors: Walnut Gulch, AZ, USA, and the Jornada Experimental Range, NM, USA. Both the peak reflectivity and the DDM shape are studied. The results of the study show that the IGOT model is able to accurately predict CYGNSS DDMs at these two validation sites.
By Mahta Moghaddam et al.
IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters
A new quad-band tapered patch transmit-receive antenna array designed for a multistatic microwave imaging cavity system is presented. The reverberating cube-shaped chamber is filled with a matching fluid emulsion and encompasses 64 antenna elements mounted on its sidewalls (16 per panel). Four resonant frequencies that lie in the range of 0.5−3 GHz are achieved. The design procedure is provided based on system constraints and performance requirements that need to be taken into account: (1) the near-field nature of the electromagnetic wave in the presence of a shielded chamber and (2) the propagation of waves into the immersion fluid within the imaging domain. The antenna array design was numerically verified, and its prototype was fabricated. Results show good agreement between measurements and simulations, achieving antenna system performance requirements.