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Arms control and disarmament are among the unfulfilled promises of the UN Charter. Alongside the establishment of an International Peace Force, a Standing Committee on Disarmament should oversee a binding and staged process of universal disarmament, leaving only those arms needed for ensuring internal security. This would require global monitoring and verification, an avoidance of destabilizing forces and building trust among countries. There are both positive recent developments in arms control, and a regression towards arms build-ups eroding the accomplishment of past disarmament proposals. The prevention and abolition of war should be a central focus of renewed global governance, required by fundamental changes in the nature of armed conflict, threats from new technologies and the involvement of new actors beyond states. There are also new capacities for collective good. Proposals for modern comprehensive disarmament must go beyond the simple destruction of weapons to include the adaptation and reconversion of all the economic resources, infrastructure and human resources presently devoted to military forces and the arms industry. Many obstacles are acknowledged and will have to be overcome, but eliminating the anachronism of war will free enormous resources for other, more constructive uses.
The global decline in psittacid populations highlights the need for monitoring programmes that allow us to estimate the level of confidence that can be placed in a non-detection observation in order to assess changes in range status. We used the detection/non-detection records for 26 psittacid species detected during the first national bird monitoring programme in Venezuela carried out in 2010 by the Neotropical Biodiversity Mapping Initiative. We fitted occupancy models and evaluate the suitability of the data to explain the lack of detections given the current sampling effort, and the expected occurrence probabilities due to environmental conditions (conditional probability of occurrence; ΨCONDL). We were able to fit reliable models for 13 of the 26 species detected. For Green-rumped Parrotlet Forpus passerinus, Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstrus, and Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica, the probability of detection (p) under the current sampling effort was too low (< 0.2) in areas where environmental conditions would imply high ΨCONDL (> 0.3). This suggests that sampling effort should be increased to generate reliable estimations of occurrence. In contrast, for Scarlet Macaw Ara macao, Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala, Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis and Brown-throated Parakeet Eupsittula pertinax the model estimated high p (> 0.3) and low ΨCONDL (< 0.2), suggesting that the species are reliably detected and better models could be obtained by including other predictive variables related to temporal use of resources and habitat heterogeneity. To improve the effectiveness of parrot monitoring programme in Neotropical countries, we suggest increasing the sampling effort, developing several surveys per year, and including variables related with temporal use of resources and habitat heterogeneity.
Herein, we present results obtained from time-lapse imagery acquired by a digital single-lens reflex camera during 2014–18 used to monitor the Planpincieux Glacier on the Italian side of the Grandes Jorasses (Mont Blanc massif). We processed the images using image cross-correlation to measure the surface kinematics of the most active lobe of the glacier that presents a high velocity and frequent ice detachments. During the monitoring, we observed two or three periods of sharp acceleration per year that culminated with large break-offs followed by analogous decelerations. Overall, we registered more than 350 failures with a volume >100 m3, of which, 14 events had volumes larger than 10 000 m3. The study identified a monotonic positive relationship between the velocity and failure volume that may be used to estimate the volume of the collapses before an event. We identified the thresholds of velocity and acceleration that characterise the activation of the speed-up periods. The study allowed the characterisation of three different instability processes that lead to the break-off of ice chunks from the glacier terminus: (i) disaggregation, (ii) slab fracture and (iii) water tunnelling failure which can be differentiated based on the rheology, the volume involved and the trigger process.
For Greater Scaup Aythya marila, classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the European Red List of Birds, the south-western Baltic Sea is one of the most important wintering sites in Europe. In this area, a large concentration of gillnet fishery temporally overlaps periods of the most abundant occurrence of foraging diving birds. The aim of the article is to show how bycatch can impact the population of a diving duck. To assess this, we calculate the Potential Biological Removal (PBR) for the studied Greater Scaup population and we model the population change according to age-structured matrix models. Summing all the available recent figures on Greater Scaup bycatch in north-west Europe yields an estimated mean annual total of 3,991 individuals (2% of the flyway population). For a baseline stable population, an age-structured matrix model indicates that at this bycatch level the Greater Scaup population that winters in north-west Europe will decrease by 36% over the next 30 years, qualifying the status of the population as ‘Vulnerable’ according to IUCN criteria. As this population also experiences decline prior to bycatch, this decrease will be 57%, which qualifies the status as ‘Endangered’. PBR as an indicator of population vitality does not work in our case because the PBR-informed allowable bycatch values have a significantly negative impact on the population. Our results indicate unambiguously that fishery bycatch is among the most important threats responsible for the Greater Scaup’s decline. While recent data suggest that some improvement has taken place in the species’ status over the last 10 years, measures to protect Greater Scaup from bycatch are required. The solution should involve the prohibition of gillnet fishing in selected key sites and the use of mitigation techniques in other areas.
Spontaneous blastocyst collapse during in vitro embryo development has been suggested as a novel marker of embryo quality. Therefore, the aim of this multicentre study was to carry out a retrospective multicentre analysis to investigate the correlation between blastocyst collapse and pregnancy outcome. Here, 1297 intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)/in vitro fertilization (IVF) fresh cycles, with an elective single blastocyst transfer (eSET) were included in this study. Embryos were cultured individually in 6.0% CO2, 5.0% O2, 89.0% N2, using single step medium (GTLTM VitroLife, Sweden) or sequential medium (CookTM, Cook Medical, Australia) and selected for transfer using standard morphological criteria. With the use of time-lapse monitoring (TLM), blastocysts were analyzed by measuring the maximum volume reduction and defined as having collapsed, if there was ≥ 50% volume reduction from the expanded blastocyst and the collapse event. Following embryo replacement, each blastocyst was retrospectively allocated to one of two groups (collapsed or not collapsed). Here, 259 blastocysts collapsed once or more during development (19.9%) and the remaining 1038 either contracted minimally or not collapsed (80.1%). A significantly higher ongoing pregnancy rate (OPR) of 51.9% (95% CI 48.9–59.9%) was observed when blastocysts that had not collapsed were replaced compared with cycles in which collapsed blastocysts were transferred 37.5% (95% CI 31.6–43.4%). This study suggests that human blastocysts that collapse spontaneously during development are less likely to implant and generate a pregnancy compared with embryos that do not. Although this is a retrospective study, the results demonstrated the utility of collapse episodes as new marker of embryo selection following eSET at blastocyst stage.
Once widespread throughout the Black and Mediterranean Seas and the coasts of north Africa, the Endangered Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus has disappeared throughout most of its original range. In Cyprus evidence suggests that the species became effectively extinct at the end of the 20th century. Following an increase of seal sightings around the island, a monitoring programme was established in 2009 to evaluate the status of the species. During 2009–2018, using field surveys, photographs from camera traps and an information network, we recorded an increasing number of seal sightings, and the birth of several pups, indicating the permanent presence of the species on the island. This is the first recorded re-establishment of a Mediterranean monk seal population in an area of its former range following near eradication.
The current chapter reviews assessment of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults for answering clinical questions about diagnosis and severity of the anxiety disorder; case formulation and treatment planning; monitoring of progress throughout treatment; and measurement of treatment outcome. Evidence-based assessment of adult anxiety disorders includes the use of semi-structured diagnostic interviews, self-report measures (questionnaires), clinician-rated measures, and behavioral assessment techniques. The current chapter necessarily reviews only the most prominent tools used for assessment of adult anxiety disorders. For each anxiety disorder discussed in this chapter, we review assessment methods and recommend an assessment battery that would include a structured diagnostic interview, a brief measure of severity that can be administered throughout treatment to monitor progress, and a selection of measures (e.g., a self-report measure and a behavioral assessment) that allows for case formulation and tailoring of evidence-based treatment to the client’s individual needs.
Coral reefs have experienced extensive degradation across the world over the last 50 years as a result of a variety of stressors operating at a range of spatial and temporal scales. In order to assess whether declines are continuing, or if reefs are recovering, detailed baseline information is required from across wide spatial scales. Unfortunately, for some regions this information is not readily available, making future reef trajectories difficult to determine. Here we characterized the current benthic community state for coral reefs in the Wakatobi region of Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. We surveyed 10 reef sites (5, 10 and 15 m depth) to explore spatial variation in coral reef benthic communities and provide a detailed baseline. Previous data (2002–2011) were available for coral, sponges, algae and soft coral at six of our study sites. Using this information, we determined if any changes had occurred in dominance of these benthic groups. We found that benthic assemblage composition differed significantly over relatively small spatial scales (2–10 km) and hard coral cover was highly variable, ranging from 7–48% (average 19.5% ± 1.5 SE). While coral cover appears to have declined at all sites where data were available since 2002, we found little evidence for widespread increases in other benthic groups or regime shifts. Our study provides a comprehensive baseline dataset for the region that can be used in the future to determine rates of change in benthic communities.
Breakfast consumption is associated with a variety of nutritional and lifestyle-related health outcomes. The objective of the present study was to investigate how the consumption of breakfast affected blood glucose, insulin and NEFA profiles. A lower postprandial blood glucose, insulin and NEFA response is associated with a lower risk of development of metabolic diseases. In a randomised crossover non-blind design, thirteen pre-diabetic Chinese adult males (BMI 26·7 (sd 4·2) kg/m2) attended two sessions where they either consumed a high-glycaemic index breakfast or no breakfast consumption. Changes in glycaemic response over 27 h periods were measured using the Medtronic MiniMed iProTM2 continuous glucose monitoring system. Blood samples were collected using a peripheral venous catheter at fixed intervals for 3 h after the test meal and 3 h after standardised lunch consumption. Postprandial glucose, insulin and NEFA response was calculated as total AUC and incremental AUC using the trapezoidal rule that ignored the area under the baseline. It was found that breakfast consumption significantly decreased postprandial glucose, insulin and NEFA excursion response at lunch time (P = 0·001). Consumption of breakfast attenuated blood glucose profiles by minimising glycaemic excursions and reduced both insulinaemic and NEFA responses in pre-diabetic Asian males during the second meal. This simple dietary intervention may be a novel approach to help improve subsequent lunch glycaemic responses in Asians at high risk of developing diabetes.
To be effective, management strategies of invasive alien species cannot ignore their spatiotemporal behavior particularly those exerting serious damages to human activities. The black planthopper Ricania speculum is an Asian insect that has been reported as an alien invasive species in Italy, where it threatens local plant diversity, including important crops. In our work, we analyzed the activity rhythms of this species through circular statistics and the efficiency of chromotropic traps to capture adult individuals. Captures were carried out in central Italy, where the black planthopper is showing a remarkable range expansion, after its first discovery in 2009. We observed that the species was mainly crepuscular, with a high intersexual activity overlap. Activity rhythms changed between July–August and September–October, with changing heliophany, but peaked at sunset and were the lowest in the second half of the night and early morning. The insects were mostly caught by green traps, particularly in September, which is the period of egg-laying inside the leaves; conversely, orange ones were avoided, and yellow ones captured proportionally to their local availability. Strategies for controlling this species should consider concentrating trapping effort during the activity peak, using green sticky traps to enhance the capture success of each trap, with the lowest impact over non-target species.
With the aid of a lab experiment, we explored how imperfect monitoring and punishment networks impacted appropriation, punishment and beliefs in a common pool resource appropriation dilemma. We studied the differences between the complete network (with perfect monitoring and punishment, in which everyone can observe and punish everyone else) and two ‘imperfect’ networks (that systematically reduce the number of subjects who could monitor and punish others): the directed and undirected circle networks. We found that free riders were punished in all treatments, but the network topology impacted the type of punishment: the undirected circle induced more severe punishment and prosocial punishment compared to the other two networks. Both imperfect networks were more efficient because the larger punishment capacity available in the complete network elicited higher punishment amount.
This chapter, reviews the basics of monitoring in children. The author provides a discussion on the utility of a host of invasive and non-invasive monitoring techniques from non-invasive blood pressure measurements to placement of umbilical lines. Most importantly, the chapter highlight the limitations of these monitoring devices in small children.
Cognitive changes that accompany the gradual degradation of neural systems are countervailed by a set of attention-related processes that serve to reorganize and maintain function with advancing age. This chapter focuses on the potential role of the right hemisphere fronto-parietal network in maintenance of adequate sustained attention to the environment by older adults, as well as self-monitoring of changes in their cognition and behavior over time. Modulation of norepinephrine activity in the locus coeruleus, via its impact on this right lateralized network, may be of particular importance in increasing the capacity of older people to preserve cognitive functioning as a multitude of biological changes take place in their brains. We review studies demonstrating that noninvasive electrical brain stimulation to the right prefrontal cortex improves both sustained attention and error awareness, suggesting that this key interconnected hub region in the right hemisphere holds the potential to be exploited and upregulated in older adults to ameliorate deficits.
Retreat of calving glaciers worldwide has contributed substantially to sea-level rise in recent decades. Mass loss by calving contributes significantly to the uncertainty of sea-level rise projections. At Bowdoin Glacier, Northwest Greenland, most calving occurs by a few large events resulting from kilometre-scale fractures forming parallel to the calving front. High-resolution terrestrial radar interferometry data of such an event reveal that crevasse opening is fastest at low tide and accelerates during the final 36 h before calving. Using the ice flow model Elmer/Ice, we identify the crevasse water level as a key driver of modelled opening rates. Sea water-level variations in the range of local tidal amplitude (1 m) can reproduce observed opening rate fluctuations, provided crevasse water level is at least 4 m above the low-tide sea level. The accelerated opening rates within the final 36 h before calving can be modelled by additional meltwater input into the crevasse, enhanced ice cliff undercutting by submarine melt, ice damage increase due to tidal cyclic fatigue, crevasse deepening or a combination of these processes. Our results highlight the influence of surface meltwater and tides on crevasse opening leading to major calving events at grounded tidewater glaciers such as Bowdoin.
Infectious diseases are a worrisome threat to endangered great apes. Among the Taï chimpanzee communities, both naturally occurring and human-introduced diseases have been responsible for population declines in the past 40 years. The establishment of a long-term health monitoring programme as an integral part of the habituation project has allowed for unprecedented insights on such happenings. Mortality events took place both in an extremely rapid manner, as observed during Ebola and human pneumovirus outbreaks, or in a long but persistent fashion, as observed with sylvatic anthrax. The evidence gathered provides information on which diseases are naturally circulating in this rainforest and lays the groundwork for the development of One Health strategies to improve both great ape and human health.
In this chapter we set out to consider what is needed to ensure that Africa’s infrastructure remains financially sustainable throughout its life cycle. Managing the operational phase is at least, if not more, crucial than ensuring a project is constructed in the first place, but evaluation, particularly in relation to affordability, is weak even at the global level. We identify that in Africa there are frequently weak systems of governance, fragile and risky political institutions and lack of financial management capacity. We empirically examine five Ghanaian projects in electricity generation, water desalination, and the use of private finance to deliver and operate university buildings, to demonstrate financial and accountability shortcomings. We identify four methods that could improve financial sustainability for African infrastructure projects: namely, the establishment of independent infrastructure agencies; training and salary support of competent government technical staff; a move to more transparent decision-making; and the introduction of project monitoring and contingency planning.
It has become increasingly apparent that different chimpanzee populations behave differently. Most behaviours and vocalizations are observed across all or most populations. Some behaviours, however, are specific to few populations and different populations behave disparately when solving the same problems. Instead of speaking about the ‘typical’ behaviours, one can probably speak better of a range of chimpanzee behaviours. Between populations, behaviours can range widely. For good comparability and to avoid biases, observers either need to unilaterally use the same protocol or it needs to be apparent how and which data have been collected. Here, we clarify the protocol under which long-term data are collected by the Taï Chimpanzee Project. Despite regular changes to improve and update long-term data collection, our core data collection has remained unchanged, allowing use of the whole data set in analyses. With this chapter, not only can we interpret results generated from the Taï database with more accuracy, but also provide more accessibility for comparisons than currently available. One of the outcomes of this chapter will be making comparisons across study populations easier.
Belonging to a social group is one of the most important factors contributing to well-being. The Belonging Regulation model proposes that humans possess a social monitoring system (SMS) that evaluates social inclusion and monitors belonging needs. Here, we used a prospective longitudinal design to examine links between peer victimization experienced across 7 years and social monitoring at the behavioral and neural level in adolescent girls (n = 38, Mage = 15.43 years, SD = .33). Participants completed a social evaluation task during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan. More severe peer victimization was associated with increased activation to in-group versus out-group peers in the amygdala, ventral striatum, fusiform gyrus, and temporoparietal junction. Moreover, participants who displayed increased activation in these regions reported lower social self esteem and higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. These results suggest that exposure to peer victimization across the school years is associated with heightened social monitoring at the neural level during adolescence, which has potential adverse implications for girls’ adjustment and well-being.