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SUSTech Yi Zheng's team publishes the latest progress of environmental pollution and human health on ES&T
Recently, Professor Yi Zheng's research group from the School of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE) at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), in collaboration with the Shenzhen Hospital of Southern Medical University, published a paper titled "Oxidative Stress, Endocrine Disturbance and Immune Interference in Humans Showed Relationships to Serum Bisphenol Concentrations in a Dense Industrial Area" in the Environmental Science & Technology which is a top journal in the field of environmental science. This study reported the internal exposure levels of nine bisphenols (BPs) in the serum of people who are white-collar workers in typical city-industrial areas, and its potential influences on human oxidative stress, endocrine disturbance, and immune interference.The Ph.D. student Chuanzi Gao is the lead author of this paper, while Professor Yi Zheng and Research Assistant Professor Wenhui Qiu are the corresponding authors.Bisphenol A (BPA) analogs, used in a range of products due to health concerns regarding BPA, have emerged as ubiquitous environmental contaminants worldwide. The Bao'an District is the densest industrial area in Shenzhen, with approximately 1600 separate industrial parks that mainly produce electronic, metal, daily necessities, and plastic products, which can create large amounts of BPs emissions. From the results, the mean concentrations of BPA, bisphenol P (BPP), BPB, bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol FL (BPFL), 4,4′-dihydroxy-benzophenone (DHBP), bisphenol AF (BPAF), 4,4′-thiodiphenol (TDP) and bisphenol S (BPS) were 42.062, 2.083, 0.765, 0.578, 0.423, 0.402, 0.191, 0.120, and 0.071 ng/mL, respectively. The high concentration of BPs detected in the serum of ordinary people, especially BPA, indicates that greater attention should be focused on non-occupational exposure to BPs in dense industrial areas (Figure 1).Figure 1. Internal exposure levels of 9 bisphenols in the serum of ordinary white-collar workers in Bao’an DistrictThis study further analyzed the potential effects of 9 BPs on the human oxidative stress, endocrine, and immune systems. A correlation analysis showed that six BPs are the key BPs correlated with the expression of biomarkers for the three systems (Figure 2). BPs might induce oxidative stress, disturb the endocrine system and immune system, or cause disorders of homeostasis, and these changes eventually harm human health. Notably, BPs pollutants do not exist alone but coexist with many other pollutants, and their combined effects may have much more complicated influences on the human system.Figure 2. Integral analysis of the correlations between bisphenols and three systemsThe lead author is Chuanzi Gao (SUSTech and the University of Birmingham), and collaborators include Haihong He at the Shenzhen Hospital of Southern Medical University, Wenhui Qiu, Yi Zheng, Yuyang Chen, Shiyao Hu, and Xue Zhao at SUSTech.This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission. Additional support was provided by the National Key R&D Program of China.Original article –
Recent progress on water-food-energy nexus studies by SUSTech Junguo Liu's group
Professor Junguo Liu's research group from the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) completed several studies of water-food-energy nexus. Five studies have been published in the journal of Resources, Conservation & Recycling (IF 8.086) based on the project of China-US International Research Coordination Network (IRCN).Professor Junguo Liu and Bridget Scanlon (Members of the United States National Academy of Engineering) are project PI from China and the US, respectively. They have been invited to write a research article about nexus with Jie Zhuang and Olli Varis. The article purposed that nexus research needs to move from a linear “tree” model that emphasizes disciplinary research to a “web” model that addresses interdisciplinary complexity. This highlighted the importance of quantifying the complicated interdependencies among food, energy, and water to achieve the SDGs and various grand challenges such as climate change, poverty reduction, and water scarcity. It emphasized the requirement of adopting multidisciplinary and system methodology to understand the trade-offs of water-food-energy nexus.Professor Junguo Liu is the corresponding author of this article. The research group performed many comprehensive studies related to the water-food-energy nexus in China and the Mekong River Basin.Figure 1. The Food-Energy-Water NexusHydropower, as renewable and climate-friendly energy, makes substantial contributions to meet ascending global power demands. Global warming with projected higher climate variability and more extreme weather conditions would affect the availability of water resources, and thus alter the hydropower generation and the water-energy-food nexus. Nevertheless, there is a lack of research on the effects of different scenarios of global warming on the water-energy-food nexus.Professor Junguo Liu’s group used an integrative analysis based on a hydrological, techno-economic, and agricultural modeling framework to evaluate the effects of global warming scenarios of 1.5°C and 2°C on the co-benefits between hydropower and irrigation in the Mekong River basin. The results showed a decline in hydropower generation and irrigation water supply in the Mekong River basin under 1.5°C and 2°C warming scenarios. The co-benefits between hydropower and irrigation are more undermined by the global warming of 2°C relative to 1.5°C in the Mekong River basin.The first author of the paper is Ying Meng, a Ph.D. student in Professor Junguo Liu’s group. Professor Junguo Liu is the corresponding author. This study was also supported by Zifeng Wang, Ganquan Mao, Kai Wang, and Hong Yang.Figure 2. Sites of hydropower plants and irrigation water supply under different scenarios of global warming in the study areaThe current nexus research mainly focuses on the quantification among water, food, and energy sectors. Climate change and socio-economic development both affect the water-food-energy nexus, but the combined impacts of these two factors on a nexus system are not well understood. The Mekong River Delta (MRD), a typical region that faces growing challenges due to climate change and socio-economic development, was chosen as a study area. An IWRM-based water management model was adopted to reveal the nexus trade-offs under various climate change and socio-economic scenarios. Results revealed a strong connection among food, energy, and water systems in the MRD. Rice yields would be vulnerable to extreme climate events, and the development of the energy sector would affect regional sustainability through nexus significantly. Specifically, the average total water withdrawal in 2050 was estimated to increase by 40% compared to that in the 2016 drought year and will be more than 3 times higher than the average withdrawal of 1995–2010.Research assistant professor, Kai Wang, is the first author of this study, and Professor Junguo Liu is the corresponding author. This study was also supported by Jun Xia, Zifeng Wang, Ying Meng, He Chen, Ganquan Mao, and Bin Ye.Figure 3. Reginal water withdrawal of energy and food sectorsPaddy rice cultivation is an important source of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in China. The traditional flooded paddy rice fields not only use large amounts of irrigation water, but also produce significant methane (CH4) emissions. To balance the food-water-GHG emissions nexus of rice production, taking Chinese rice as an example, the research team compared the implementation effects of three typical irrigation modes (Continuous Flooding, Midseason Drainage, and Alternate Wetting and Drying). Our results suggest that supporting the expansion of AWD in paddy rice cultivation across China can lead to a “win-win” for the food-water-GHG emissions tradeoffs. Simulation results show that water-saving irrigation methods can significantly reduce the CH4 emissions by 34%-71% and reduce irrigation water by 18%-50% from the paddy rice field, with slight or no loss in rice yields.The first author of this paper is Research Associate Professor Zhan Tian in the research group. Professor Junguo Liu and Professor Laixiang Sun from the Department of Geography of the University of Maryland are the corresponding authors of the paper. This study was also supported by Yidan Fan, Kai Wang, Honglin Zhong, Dongli Fan, and Francesco Tubiello.Figure 4. CH4 emissions at the sites in Northeast (a) and South (b) China under three irrigation scenariosRapeseed is an important source of edible vegetable oil, vegetable protein, and protein feed, as well as the main raw material for bioenergy. China’s oil shortage trend continues to increase, but in recent years, large-scale winter fallow fields have appeared in the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) – the traditional rapeseed cultivation area. How to make full use of the winter fallow fields to ensure China’s oil safety is a topic of great concern to policymakers.In this research, we measured the accurate winter fallow periods and spatial extent for 2007-2008 in the YRB region at the 1km × 1km grid-cell level, by combining a remote sensing filtering method and validation based on a unique database of rapeseed growing records consolidated from 84 agro-meteorological observation stations over 1981-2011. By coupling the AEZ (Agro-Ecological Zones, AEZ) and CHINAGRO-II models, we have also estimated economically meaningful production of rapeseed oil from the winter fallow fields and the benefit to China’s total edible oil supply and trade. Our results show that the area of winter fallow land available for rapeseed cultivation in the YRB was 7.78 million hectares in 2007-2008, and the total production potential of rapeseeds is 15.17 million tons.In a realistic scenario that China is able to utilize 60% of the production potential of planting rapeseeds in the winter fallow fields, the newly added supply in rapeseed would boost the self-sufficient rate of rapeseed oil supply to 100% in 2020 and to 72% in 2030. The increase of 9.1 million tons of rapeseed in 2020 will not only reduce China’s rapeseed imports to zero, but also reduce 8.1 million tons of soybean imports. In 2030, China’s rapeseed imports would decrease from 15 million tons to 7.3 million tons under the baseline, which could effectively alleviate China’s future oil import pressure and ensure China’s food security.The first author of the study is Research Associate Professor Zhan Tian. Professor Huanguang Qiu from the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of Renmin University of China and Professor Laixiang Sun from the Department of Geographical Sciences of the University of Maryland are the corresponding authors of the paper, and Professor Junguo Liu is co-author of the paper. This study was also supported by Yinghao Ji, Hanqing Xu, and Honglin Zhong.Figure 5. The extent of winter fallow fields suitable for growing rapeseeds in Yangtze River Basin in 2007-2008Paper Links:1.
SUSTech Lian Feng's team challenges on global lake phytoplankton research published in Nature
On February 17, Assistant Professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) Lian Feng’s research group published a paper entitled “Concerns about phytoplankton bloom trends in global lakes” in Nature. This paper questions the results of the paper published in Nature by a collaborated team from Stanford University and NASA (Ho et al., 2019). Ho et al. (2019) used remote sensing satellite images to track the long-term changes of algal bloom in 71 lakes worldwide and concluded that the eutrophication of global lakes is increasing. However, Lian Feng’s team proved their results by using theoretical analysis and solid evidence, and their Matters Arising article has been published in Nature.The paper pointed out that Ho et al. (2019) has the following problems:1. Ho et al. (2019) used a single near-infrared (NIR) band to quantify lake blooms, where the Bloom strength tends to be substantially overestimated in sediment-rich waters. Episodic meteorological (e.g., wind, precipitation) and hydrological (e.g., riverine discharge) events can strongly influence sediment concentrations, enhancing the signal of the NIR band. The examination of historical images (through both true-color images and spectral features) shows that L5TM observations have captured sediment plumes in at least 58 (82%) of the 71 studied lakes, and these plumes could be incorrectly labeled as algal blooms due to their high BNIR (Figure 1).Figure 1. Examples showing the effects of high sediment loads on the bloom intensity calculations in eight of the lakes studied in Ho et al., 2019. The analysis shows that of the 71 lakes studied by Ho et al. (2019), at least 58 (82%) are affected by this factor.2. Ho et al. (2019) used the Fmask algorithm to determine lake surface area could lead to substantial underestimations of bloom severity. Severe bloom areas failed to pass the Fmask and were excluded in further BNIR calculations. This is because intense blooms often cause high normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values that can exceed the threshold used by Fmask (e.g., NDVI<0.1) to identify water pixels (Figure 2E).Figure 2. The extraction results of Songkhla Lake (Thailand) and Hongze Lake (China) show that the bloom intensity index based on Landsat imageries proposed by Ho et al. (2019) has serious problems. (A-D) True-color composite image and bloom intensity index of Landsat 5 TM data. Seemingly, high turbidity water and aquatic vegetation exhibit a higher bloom intensity index, causing misjudgment of bloom. (E) Water mask determined by Fmask for Hongze Lake using the same image as in (C), the strong bloom area will be eliminated and cause missed judgment.3. Ho et al. (2019) did not consider the impacts of atmospheric radiance on the satellite signal. The signal obtained by the satellite includes both the reflectance of ground objects and the atmosphere, and the latter can exceed 50% of the total satellite signal at certain wavelengths. (Figure 3).Figure 3. Spectral features of different types of waters in L5TM images. ρTOA is the top-of-atmosphere reflectance, ρr is the reflectance from molecular scattering (or Rayleigh scattering) and ρrc is the difference between ρTOA and ρr.4. The interannual dynamics of lacustrine algal blooms are difficult to characterize by infrequent Landsat. Landsat data has a long revisit period (16 days), and frequent cloud cover further reduces the number of valid observations. As such, dynamic patterns of algae blooms are not able to be characterized with only a few valid observations within a year.5. Ho et al. (2019) examined the driving factors of the global changes in lake eutrophication based on an erroneous interpretation of remote sensing images, and therefore the associated results are not valid and conclusions are misleading.The author of the original paper has replied to the concerns of Lian Feng’s team. You can see the paper published in the same issue of Nature for details (Ho et al. 2021). The link is available at the end of this article.SUSTech is the only affiliation of this paper, and Assistant Professor Lian Feng is the first and corresponding author. Co-authors include Chair Professors Junguo Liu and Chair Professor Chunmiao Zheng of the School of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) at SUSTech.This work was supported by funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Leading Science and Technology Program, and the National Key Laboratory of Comprehensive Prevention and Control of Surface Water and Groundwater Pollution in the National Environmental Protection Basin. Paper Links:Link to Lian Feng's paper: to the reply from the original article’s author:
SUSTech co-establishes the Smart Environment Research Institute
On the morning of January 12, 2021, the signing ceremony of the strategic cooperation between Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecological Environment and between the School of Environmental Science & Engineering and Shenzhen Academy of Environmental Science was held in SUSTech’s 101 conference hall, where the unveiling ceremony of Smart Environment Research Institute was also held. Chuhan LIU, Secretary of the Party group of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecological Environment, Shuisheng LI, Director of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecological Environment, SUSTech University Council Chairperson Yurong GUO, President Qikun XUE, and Vice President Dongxiao ZHANG attended the event.Yurong GUOYurong GUO delivered a speech at the ceremony. First, she expressed her gratitude to the Director for his support to the University. She said that the signing of the cooperation agreement and the unveiling of the Institute mark a new starting point for the cooperation between the two sides and symbolize the exploration of a new mode in the new era. It is expected that the two sides will cooperate and seek shared development in the fields of talent cultivation, scientific research, and platform construction, so as to jointly make Shenzhen a leader in ecological and environmental protection.Chuhan LIUIn his speech, Chuhan LIU expressed his appreciation for the confidence and determination of SUSTech. It is expected that the two sides can conduct in-depth cooperation and create a new mode of industrial parks.President XUEPresident XUE mentioned that the cooperation is a practical step for both sides to serve the construction and development of Shenzhen. Adhering to the strategy of serving the national and local development, SUSTech has engaged in the construction of Shenzhen Comprehensive National Science Center, set up a number of joint laboratories and carried out platform building and interactive cooperation with dozens of domestic leading enterprises. He expressed his hope that the two sides will work together to build Shenzhen into a model city in China.Susheng WANG, Head of the Office of Strategic Planning of SUSTech, and Yali ZHANG, Deputy Director of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecological Environment, signed the Strategic Cooperation Agreement between SUSTech and Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecological Environment.Xin YANG, Head of the School of Environmental Science & Engineering, and Zhiguang DAI, Director of Shenzhen Academy of Environmental Science, signed the Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the School of Environmental Science & Engineering and Shenzhen Academy of Environmental Science.After the signing, participants jointly unveiled the Smart Environment Research Institute. It is reported that the Institute will focus on the weaknesses and technical bottlenecks in the current environmental protection work in Shenzhen and solve problems with cutting-edge technology, so as to help Shenzhen build a world-class ecological environment.
SUSTech research team reveals biophysical feedback mechanism of tropical mountain deforestation
Recently, the research team of associate professor Zhenzhong Zeng ( School of Environmental Science and Engineering, SUSTech) has made important progress in the study of the biophysical feedback mechanism of tropical mountain deforestation in the field of global change. The research is published online in Nature Geoscience (IF=13.566).The rapid growth of the global population has intensified human demand for food. The World Resource Institute report pointed out that human demand for food in 2050 will be 1.5 times the demand in 2010 (Searchinger et al., 2019). To meet the growing demand for food, humans are cutting down tropical lowland forests for farmland expansion. A large number of studies have analyzed the impact of the land transformation, from tropical lowland forest into agricultural land, on the climate. Recent studies have shown that a large number of tropical mountain forests are also experiencing damage caused by farmland expansion (Zeng et al., 2018). Affected by topography, the biophysical feedback caused by mountain forest loss differs significantly from that of lowland forest loss. However, there are currently few reports on the interaction between mountain deforestation and climate change. In his research, Zhenzhong and his team investigate how elevation regulates the biophysical climate impacts of deforestation over tropical mountainous areas by integrating satellite-observed forest cover changes into a high-resolution land-atmosphere coupled model.Mountain deforestation and farmland expansion(Zeng et al., 2018)The research results show that recent forest conversion increases regional warming rate by 0.025 ±0.003 ℃ in the Southeast Asian Massif, 0.010±0.007℃ in the Barisan Mountains, 0.047±0.008℃ in the Albertine Rift Mountains, and 0.042±0.010℃ in the Serra da Espinhaco. Locally where forests are almost entirely converted, the deforestation-driven local temperature anomaly is as large as 2℃.The effect of deforestation in tropical mountains on surface temperature in different regionsThe biophysical net warming from mountain deforestation depends on elevation, through the intertwined and opposing effects of cooling caused by increased-albedo and warming caused by decreased-evapotranspiration. As elevation increases, the effect of albedo becomes greater and the deforestation-induced warming effect weakens, analogous to previously highlighted decreases of deforestation warming as a result of increasing latitude. Since most new cropland areas are encroaching land at low to moderate elevations, deforestation results in higher warming from suppressed evapotranspiration.Analysis of the Mechanism of net warming from mountain deforestationThis research has several implications for regional environmental risk evaluation. Mountains are hotspots of biodiversity, inhabiting a large number of species. The continued mountain deforestation and the combined environmental changes such as warming will increase the extinction risk of these species. The higher temperature may also increase the risk of extreme heat that threatens human health. In addition, higher temperatures potentially increase the risk of longer fire seasons and reduce crop yields. Therefore, the impacts of this additional warming on crop yields, land degradation, and biodiversity of nearby intact ecosystems need to be accounted for in future assessments.SUSTech is the first correspondent unit of the paper, and Zhenzhong Zeng is the first author and the only corresponding author. The project was supported by Lamsam–Thailand Sustain Development, SUSTech, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In addition to Prof. Zeng, researchers involved in the project included: Dashan Wang, Jie Wu, Yu Feng and Chunmiao Zheng, of SUSTech, Timothy D. Searchinger, Maofeng Liu, Ming Pan, Liqing Peng, Peirong Lin, Drew Gower and Eric F. Wood, of Princeton University, Long Yang of Nanjing University, Alan D. Ziegler of Mae Jo University, Philippe Ciais of Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Zong-Liang Yang of University of Texas at Austin, Deliang Chen of University of Gothenburg, Anping Chen of Colorado State University, Laurent Z. X. Li of Sorbonne Université, Shilong Piao and Xu Lian of Peking University, David Taylor of National University of Singapore, Xitian Cai of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Kaiyu Guan of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Tao Wang of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lang Wang of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Su-Jong Jeong of Seoul National University, Zhongwang Wei of University of Tokyo, Justin Sheffield of University of Southampton, and Kelly Caylor of University of California – Santa Barbara.Paper link: ReferenceZeng, Z. et al. Highland cropland expansion and forest loss in Southeast Asia in the twenty-first century. Nat. Geosci. 11, 556–562 (2018).Searchinger, T. et al. Creating a sustainable food future: Final report. World Resource Institute. Washington D.C. USA (accessed:; 2019).
Professor Chunmiao ZHENG's team receives 2nd prize in 2020 Environmental Protection Science and Technology Award
Recently, Chair Professor Chunmiao ZHENG's (School of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, SUSTech) team won 2nd prize in 2020 Environmental Protection Science and Technology Award for the project “Application of Technology to Prevent and Control Surface Water-Groundwater Pollution in River Basin”.The Environmental Protection Science and Technology Awards are the highest accolades in ecological environment science and technology. The Awards Committee approved forty-four achievements and awarded five 1st prizes, thirty-seven 2nd prizes, and two Science Popularization Prize.This award-winning project takes Shenzhen City as the research object. Firstly, the conventional pollutants, heavy metals and new pollutants in the drainage basin of Shenzhen city are detected quantitatively and qualitatively, and their concentration distribution in the urban basin, as well as their ecological and health risks, are evaluated. Based on this, the surface water-groundwater coupling model is used to study the hydrological process of the Shenzhen basin, which lays a foundation for exploring the process of pollutant migration and transformation. At the same time, SUSTech researchers came up with a variety of pollution remediation methods, including photodegradation, microbial degradation of new organic pollutants, antibiotic technology, and municipal sewage sludge resource disposal technology to solve the common problems of urban watershed pollution. The project also takes another 5 typically polluted areas as demonstration areas of various technologies in this study, considers the basin as a complete hydrogeological unit, and researches the spatial-temporal distribution of pollutants and integrated prevention and control technology.Water pollution in the river basin presents a great challenge technically and economically. The project has accumulated some key technologies in river basin pollution detection, simulation, and remediation, which has a positive significance and role in promoting the technical progress of the industry. The research results can be popularized in the fields of surface water, groundwater, and soil remediation, which has a broad market and has been applied and recognized by many enterprises.Chunmiao ZHENG is currently Chair Professor and Vice Provost of Global Strategies at SUSTech.  He is a fellow of both the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America. He has also received numerous awards and honors, including the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship and O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America, and the John Hem Award and M. King Hubbert Award from the National Ground Water Association.Other award-winners of Prof. ZHENG’s team are Research Associate Professor Shuping YI, Research Assistant Professor Wenhui QIU, and Professor Zuotai ZHANG. The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Ministry of Science and Technology.
Professor Junguo LIU receives TWAS Awards
On 4 December 2020, The World Academy of Science (TWAS) announced the winners of the TWAS Awards. This year, there are 13 award winners. Chair Professor Junguo LIU from the School of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at SUSTech, received the award for his fundamental contribution to policy relevant studies on water resources, climate change mitigation, and environmental management in China and other developing countries.Prof. LIU is the first recipient of Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Natural Science Foundation in China in SUSTech and was elected Member of Academia Europaea in 2020. He has earned an excellent international reputation for his contributions to the fields of water resources research and ecological restoration, with about 180 papers published in world-known journals, such as Science, Nature, PNAS, Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Nature Sustainability, and Science Advances. He has established the Bureau of the Beijing Ecological Restoration and Environmental Protection Consortium and became its first chairman.TWAS was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the developing world, under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate. They shared a belief that developing nations, by building strength in science and engineering, could build the knowledge and skill to address such challenges as hunger, disease, and poverty. TWAS was given to talents who make an outstanding contribution in nine fileds of sciences.
ESE Bin Ye’s group published advanced research on quantitative assessment of climate risks at the urban level
As the city expansion speed grows faster and faster, the cities are the major contributors to global climate change. However, they have been heavily affected by the related environmental problems.Assessing and preventing risks associated with climate change is crucial to sustainable urban development. Still, most of the previous studies focused more on assessing climate change risks at the global, national, or regional dimensions, and the reviews on the urban scale have just begun.Recently, a group led by Dr. Bin Ye, Visiting Assistant Professor of School of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) at SUSTech, systematically combed the latest research progress and future research prospects of urban climate change risk assessment.His paper was published in the top journal in environmental and sustainable energy, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews(IF 12.110), entitled “Research on Quantitative Assessment of Climate Change Risk at an Urban Scale: Review of Recent Progress and Outlook of Future Direction. “According to his research, cities account for two-thirds of global energy consumption and 70% of man-made GHG emissions. Due to the high concentration of inhabitants, wealth, and infrastructures, cities are both the major contributors and victims of global climate change. The article makes a critical literature review of recent studies on urban-scale climate change risk assessment and looks forward to the future research directions and priorities on this basis. Figure 1 depicts the potential risks posed by current climate change to global cities.     Figure 1. Climate change risks to cities. (a) Global pattern of urbanization extracted from the World Cities Report 2016, (b)the number of cities at different types and degrees of climate change risk, (c) the number of top climate hazards affecting cities, and (d) the number of top urban sectors exposed to climate hazards. (b)–(d) are derived from raw data in city climate hazard survey, Carbon Disclosure Project.The study consists of two parts, as shown in Figure 2. The first part summarizes, classifies, discusses, and reviews the relevant research on quantification and assessment of urban climate change risk. This study found that from climate change on a global scale to the city scale consists of four core steps of risk assessment, in turn, is the simulation of climate change on a large scale and urban microscopic simulation and prediction of climate, vulnerability assessment of city climate change, and the city under the condition of complex and uncertain climate change risk comprehensive evaluation. In recent years, as downscaling, revised deviation, the simulation of economic and social development, the micro climate prediction, model coupling, vulnerability assessment, uncertainty analysis, risk identification, risk quantification model and the development of technology, such as accurately quantify and risk assessment of urban-scale climate change has made significant progress, but still faces severe challenges, including how to realize the moderate scale of climate change and urban scale simulation of seamless coupling? How to characterize complex climate change events? How can vulnerability assessments include the likely non-market, long-term, and sustainable impacts of climate change? How to reflect the transmission of climate change risks between urban systems and between different cities?Figure 2. The overall framework of the paperOn the basis of the literature review, the second part of this study combined with the actual needs of urban climate change risk assessment and management and proposed suggestions for improvement of existing research from four directions. First, there is a need to improve the research methods and models, including simulation of local climate driving force on multiple time scales, regional and urban climate simulation model of two-way coupling, the form of climate change vulnerability function setting, climate adaptation effects evaluation, multivariate climate simulation calibration, the multi-dimensional comprehensive evaluation model of climate risk of unified accounting and fund, etc. Second, the need to rich on the impact of climate change on urban system related to cognition, including global, regional and urban scale associated with climate change, the formation and influence of complex climate events, the interactions among climate change – climate adaptation – climate risk, key thresholds of climate vulnerability in different urban systems, as well as the inner cities and climate change risk transmission mechanism between the two cities. Third, there is a need to improve the abundance and availability of data, including urban-scale emissions inventories of greenhouse gases and related pollutants, high-quality spatial data, thresholds for climate vulnerability, data standardization, and Web-based data sharing platforms. Fourth, the need to explore urban climate risk service best practices, including building climate risk by experts and stakeholders in a joint working group, in view of the different types of users with easy to understand and apply the climate risk services, and according to the data and demand change constantly update and upgrade the climate risk service products, as shown in figure 3.Figure 3. Providing and constantly updating and upgrading urban climate risk services for different types of usersThe first author of this paper is Dr. Bin Ye and Southern University of Science and Technology is the first author unit. Dr. Jingjing Jiang, Associate Professor of Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), Prof. Junguo Liu(ESE, SUSTech), Prof. Yi Zheng(ESE, SUSTech), and Dr. ZHOU Nan from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory participated in the discussion, writing, and revision of the paper.This project is supported by the Key Research and development project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Natural Science Foundation of Shenzhen City. The article links: About the author:Dr. Bin Ye is a visiting assistant professor and faculty secretary of the School of Environment and Engineering of Southern University of Science and Technology. In the past two and a half years since he joined the School, he has published 12 papers on high impact factors in top environmental and Sustainable Development journals, including Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review (IF 12.110), Applied Energy (IF 8.848), Resources, Conservation & Recycling (IF 8.086). Dr. Ye has published more than 60 research papers and presided over longitudinal research projects such as national Natural Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, Natural Science Foundation of Shenzhen and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation.
Significant research advances on coupling PV system with long-distance water transfer
Recently, Visiting Assistant Professor Bin Ye (School of Environmental Science and Engineering, ESE) from Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) published a paper on atop journal of resource, Resources, Conservation & Recycling (IF 8.086).The paper was entitled ” Feasibility of coupling PV System with long-distance Water Transfer: A case study of China’s ‘South-to-North Water diversion.’”The study puts forward a new model to use limited land resources to develop and make use of renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions in inland areas.To nationally optimize limited water resources, the Chinese government has had to build several nationwide long-distance water transfer channels. Some channels require large quantities of electrical energy to lift the water to a higher altitude. Within the context of the decrease of solar power generation cost, this study attempts to make full use of local solar energy resource and upper space of water channel to construct an on-channel photovoltaic (PV) system.Fig. 1. SNWT project routes on the map.This study firstly determines the installation area of solar panels. Based on image data, the longitude and latitude of critical points on the middle route of the south-to-North water Diversion Project were determined. Since the width of the river is between 9 and 40 meters, and the greening width of both sides of the river is 100 to 200 meters, although the average width of photovoltaic modules laid on the river is determined, two schemes are proposed in this study:Scheme 1: Solar panels cover the channel water surface area, and the average width of the installation area is 40 meters, as demonstrated in Fig. 2. This scenario has a limited impact on the ecological system of the channel and the nearby environment.Fig. 2. Scenario 1 (40 m width).Scheme 2: The SNWT requires a 100 m greenbelt along each side of the channel, such that the total width of the channel is between 409 and 440 meters. Therefore, if 1/2 of the area is covered by solar panels, the influence on the ecological environment of the channel can be controlled to some extent. Based on this argument, the assumption of scenario 2 is as follows: the solar panels are supported 10–20 meters above the water surface via pillars. The rooftop’s average width is assumed to be 200 meters, covering both the channel and offering slope protection. This scenario is demonstrated in Fig. 3.Fig. 3. Scenario 2 (200 m width).This study shows that the cost of produced energy for the two cities are 0.36 Yuan/kWh and 0.35 Yuan/kWh, respectively, considering both initial investment and operating costs. Comparatively, the desulfurized coal-fired power plant baseline prices of the two provinces are 0.3779 Yuan/kWh and 0.3720 Yuan/kWh, respectively. Therefore, the feed-in price of solar electricity is lower than the desulfurized coal-fired baseline price.According to the financial parameters setting, without subsidy, this project’s payback period is 19.8 years; however, if the renewable energy subsidy for PV is considered, the payback time can be dramatically reduced to 11.2 years. For return on investment (ROI), the two scenarios are 4.6% without subsidy, which means the project location’s influence is not significant. This weak influence may be that the initial investments are almost the same for the two scenarios, while the energy output has very limited disparity. Although ROI is only 4.6%, it is very close to the Chinese long-term treasury bond yield in September 2020. This result demonstrates that the rooftop solar projects are on the edge of the break-even line even without any government subsidy.Alternatively, the evapotranspiration analysis shows that the solar panels’ shadow effects can reduce channel water evaporation to a certain degree. Furthermore, the carbon balance analysis shows the carbon reduction rate of solar energy can be 98.45% compared to the current coal dominated power system in the project installation provinces.Replacing high-carbon coal power with renewable energy represented by photovoltaic power generation and wind power generation is one of the key ways to achieve the goals above. The research above provides a new way of thinking for developing renewable energy in inland areas where land resources are scarce.The first author is Dr. Bin Ye. Associate Professor Jingjing Jiang (Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen) and Professor Junguo Liu (ESE, SUSTech) are the corresponding authors. Southern University of Science and Technology is the first author affiliation.This work appreciates the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Shenzhen City, and the High-level Special Funding of the Southern University of Science and Technology.Paper link:
SUSTech丨Global Scientist Interdisciplinary Online Forum • 2021
 1. IntroductionThe Global Scientist Interdisciplinary Forum at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is an important conference for outstanding talent recruitment. It aims to provide a platform for academic exchange among scholars at home and abroad, to promote interdisciplinary and academic innovation, and discuss approaches for the development of world-class universities and disciplines. Through the recruitment of world-class talents, we plan to build SUSTech into a high-level research university with unique characteristics. 2. Forum ScheduleDate of Main online Forum: January 9, 2021 (Saturday)(9 a.m. Beijing Time, Main forum live)(9 p.m. Beijing Time, Main forum replay)Date of Sub-forum Presentation: January 10-17, 2021 3. Recruiting Categories· Senior Faculty (Chair Professor / Professor)· Junior Faculty (Associate / Assistant professor)· Post-doctoral Talents (Open to application. Interviews to be organized by individual research groups) 4. Application Materials and MethodsApplication due date: December 31, 20201) Application materials· Resume· Cover letter· Representative papers (published in the recent 5 years), representative works· Honors and awards· Research proposal2) How to applyPlease submit all your application materials to the institutional mailbox of SUSTech Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies ( and the School of Environmental Science and Engineering mailbox (, entitled “SUSTech Global Scientist Interdisciplinary Forum Application - School of Environmental Science and Engineering – Faculty Position" for evaluation. We will evaluate your application and send out invitations as soon as possible. Please send materials at your earliest convenience since the registration is limited. Successful applicants will receive the invitation before January 5, 2021.  5. Contact InformationMs. Yuanyuan SUTel: +86-755-88010822Email: 6. Qualifications and BenefitsSenior Faculty (Chair Professor / Professor)1.RequirementsCandidate of national-level talent programs,tenured professor or associate professor of overseas well-known universities or research institutions, leading talent with internationally recognized achievements. 2.Support PoliciesResearch funds:will be discuss case by case.Group support:  At least 1 PhD student per year and unlimited numbers of post-doctoral fellows in support. Self-determination of hiring research assistant professors (RAPs) with competitive research funding support for RAPs.Lab space about 150 square meters per person. 3.RemunerationSalary: Globally competitive salary; Preferential policy of individual income tax, income tax of qualified high-level talents will be compensated by local government to a maximum of 15% (tax free).Insurances: Shenzhen’s highest level of retirement insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, industrial injury insurance, maternity insurance and housing provident funds. Special high-level health insurance is negotiable.4.BenefitsHousing and subsidies: Temporary on-campus apartments provided or subsidies to support off-campus rental housing. No less than CNY 4.5 million living and housing subsidies (tax free) for scholars of national-level talent programs. An extra yearly subsidy of CNY 500,000 will be awarded to scholars within “Pearl River Talents Plan” (longest duration 5 years).Other benefits: Permanent residence or resident visa service for scholars and family (spouse and children); Service of children’s education in SUSTech affiliated preschool, primary school and middle school; Spouse’s employment service. Junior Faculty (Associate / Assistant professor)1. RequirementsUnder the age of 40.Doctoral degree obtained from internationally renowned universities and institutes; or Ph.D. degrees from Chinese universities and more than 36 months of overseas work experience, with a formal teaching or research position in famous overseas universities and research institutes.2.  Support PoliciesResearch funds: Up to CNY 12 million / 6 million in research start-up funding is provided by local government and the university within 5 years.Group support: At least 1 PhD student per year and unlimited numbers of post-doctoral fellows in support. Self-determination of hiring research assistant professors (RAPs) with competitive research fund support for RAPs.Lab space of approx. 150 square meters per person. 3. RemunerationSalary: Globally competitive salary; Preferential policy of individual income tax, income tax of qualified high-level talents will be compensated by local government to a maximum of 15% (tax free).Insurances: Shenzhen’s highest level of retirement insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, industrial injury insurance, maternity insurance and housing provident funds. Special high-level health insurance is negotiable.4. Benefits Housing and subsidies: Temporary on-campus apartments provided or subsidies to support off-campus rental housing. No less than CNY 2.75 million living and housing subsidies (tax free) for scholars of national-level talent programs. An extra yearly subsidy of CNY 500,000 will be awarded to scholars within “Pearl River Talents Plan” (longest duration 5 years).Other benefits: Permanent residence or resident visa service for scholars and family (spouse and children); Service of children’s education in SUSTech affiliated preschool, primary school and middle school; Spouse’s employment service. Post-doctoral Talents (Open to application. Interviews to be organized by individual research groups)      1.RequirementsUnder the age of 35No more than 3 years of obtaining doctoral degree with demonstrable academic and scientific research excellence.2.RemunerationSalary: Pre-tax annual salary not less than CNY 335,000 (including provincial and municipal subsidies); For President Outstanding Post-doctors, pre-tax annual salary not less than 507,000 CNY (including provincial and municipal subsidies).Insurances: Shenzhen’s highest level of retirement insurance.3.BenefitsHousing and subsidies: Temporary on-campus apartments provided or subsidies to support off-campus rental housing.  No less than CNY 1.6 million living and housing subsidies (tax free) for scholars who meet the requirements of high-level talents in Shenzhen. Other benefits: Permanent residence or resident visa service for scholars and family (spouse and children); Service of children’s education in SUSTech affiliated preschool, primary school and middle school.About SUSTech Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is a research-oriented public university founded in Shenzhen, China’s innovation center, to serve as a model for reforming the education system and modernizing the national university system. SUSTech has learned from world-class research institutions spanning the globe and has planned its academic disciplines based on the major needs and strategic industries emerging around the Pearl River Delta region. With a major focus on science and engineering, SUSTech still has substantial research focuses in medicine, humanities and social sciences, to maximize the potential for new ideas across disciplines for new knowledge, new technologies and social development. With the characteristic of research, innovation and entrepreneurship, the unique spirit of hard work, SUSTech aims to attract high-quality talents to its faculty, cultivate outstanding and innovative graduates, achieve internationally excellent research outcomes, advance knowledge and promote the application of science and technology, and to become a world-class research university.  Currently, SUSTech has 25 departments / schools (as listed below). There are about 1044 faculty members,including about 500 tenure / tenure-track professors, 44 academicians and fellows of academies; more than 40% of faculty members are high-level talents. There are currently 7639 students enrolled at SUSTech, including 4422 undergraduate students and 3217 graduate students (1583 PhD students and 1634 masters students). Since 2016, according to National science and technology statistics of ordinary colleges and universities, SUSTech's research fund of per faculty member has maintained a level of more than CNY 1 million, ranking among the top 5 universities in China. SUSTech has been granted 1 National research platform,19 Guangdong Provision-level and 41 Shenzhen City-level research institutes/laboratories. In 2020, SUSTech was ranked No.18 in the “Nature Index” among all mainland universities of China, No.66 among worldwide universities. On September 2, 2020, Times Higher Education (THE) released its THE World University Rankings 2021, with SUSTech maintaining its top ten ranking in mainland China, ranking equal eighth, and ranking between 251st and 300th in the world. SUSTech School of Environment The School of Environmental Science and Engineering was founded in May 2015, in response to the strategic development needs of environmental protection in China. The Founding Dean, Prof. Chunmiao Zheng, is a world-renowned expert in groundwater research. The current Dean, Prof. Xin Yang is a renowned expert in the field of atmospheric chemistry and air pollution. The School has focused on conducting cutting-edge research and cultivating talents in water resources and water quality, soil science and remediation, air pollution control, industrial ecology, global environmental change, and related areas. In addition, the School is developing advanced technologies for water treatment, desalination, energy saving and emission reduction, and environmental remote sensing, in order to meet the urgent needs of the society.The School currently has 68 fulltime faculties and research staffs, including many recipients of national and international awards and honors. Many of our faculty members serve on the editorial boards of leading international journals and major international committees. The School is planning to recruit 20 more tenure-track/tenured positions over the next 3 to 4 years to enhance and expand our research. The School currently has two undergraduate majors approved by the Ministry of Education: the Environmental Science and Engineering Major, which is an Advanced Key Discipline in Guangdong Province, and the Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Major. The School has graduated 130 students and the current undergraduate body includes more than 80 students. Since 2016, the School has enrolled more than 260 graduate students, 50 graduate students have now obtained their degrees. The School has been granted 1 State Key lab, 1 Guangdong Provincial Key lab, 1 Guangdong Provincial Research Center, 3 Shenzhen City Key labs. The School’s major research directions include hydrology and water resources, environmental biogeochemistry, water pollution and treatment, soil and groundwater remediation, solid waste disposal and utilization, atmospheric chemistry and pollution control, ecological system assessment, environmental remote sensing, and global environmental change. We welcome talented scholars in these fields from all over the world to join us, with the goal of building a world-class multi-disciplinary environmental research center that will lead the solution of environmental problems in China and in the World. We welcome all eligible scholars both in China and overseas to apply for and attend the Global Scientist Interdisciplinary Forum!