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      Human Engineering and Climate Change

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      Ethics, Policy & Environment

      Informa UK Limited

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          The struggle to govern the commons.

          Human institutions--ways of organizing activities--affect the resilience of the environment. Locally evolved institutional arrangements governed by stable communities and buffered from outside forces have sustained resources successfully for centuries, although they often fail when rapid change occurs. Ideal conditions for governance are increasingly rare. Critical problems, such as transboundary pollution, tropical deforestation, and climate change, are at larger scales and involve nonlocal influences. Promising strategies for addressing these problems include dialogue among interested parties, officials, and scientists; complex, redundant, and layered institutions; a mix of institutional types; and designs that facilitate experimentation, learning, and change.
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            Methane emissions from cattle.

            Increasing atmospheric concentrations of methane have led scientists to examine its sources of origin. Ruminant livestock can produce 250 to 500 L of methane per day. This level of production results in estimates of the contribution by cattle to global warming that may occur in the next 50 to 100 yr to be a little less than 2%. Many factors influence methane emissions from cattle and include the following: level of feed intake, type of carbohydrate in the diet, feed processing, addition of lipids or ionophores to the diet, and alterations in the ruminal microflora. Manipulation of these factors can reduce methane emissions from cattle. Many techniques exist to quantify methane emissions from individual or groups of animals. Enclosure techniques are precise but require trained animals and may limit animal movement. Isotopic and nonisotopic tracer techniques may also be used effectively. Prediction equations based on fermentation balance or feed characteristics have been used to estimate methane production. These equations are useful, but the assumptions and conditions that must be met for each equation limit their ability to accurately predict methane production. Methane production from groups of animals can be measured by mass balance, micrometeorological, or tracer methods. These techniques can measure methane emissions from animals in either indoor or outdoor enclosures. Use of these techniques and knowledge of the factors that impact methane production can result in the development of mitigation strategies to reduce methane losses by cattle. Implementation of these strategies should result in enhanced animal productivity and decreased contributions by cattle to the atmospheric methane budget.
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              Oxytocin improves "mind-reading" in humans.

              The ability to "read the mind" of other individuals, that is, to infer their mental state by interpreting subtle social cues, is indispensable in human social interaction. The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a central role in social approach behavior in nonhuman mammals. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject design, 30 healthy male volunteers were tested for their ability to infer the affective mental state of others using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET) after intranasal administration of 24 IU oxytocin. Oxytocin improved performance on the RMET compared with placebo. This effect was pronounced for difficult compared with easy items. Our data suggest that oxytocin improves the ability to infer the mental state of others from social cues of the eye region. Oxytocin might play a role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder, which is characterized by severe social impairment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ethics, Policy & Environment
                Ethics, Policy & Environment
                Informa UK Limited
                2155-0085
                2155-0093
                June 2012
                June 2012
                : 15
                : 2
                : 206-221
                Article
                10.1080/21550085.2012.685574
                © 2012

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