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Risk Assessment

  • Air quality in a changing climate Featured Article Air quality in a changing climate Air quality in a changing climate

    This Editorial, written by Dan Costa*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of... More »

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Hazard and Operability Study Last Updated on 2011-10-06 00:00:00   A Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) is a simple, structured methodology for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing potential hazardous occurrences in an existing process facility or a proposed new facility. The HAZOP methodology is a safety analysis that uses and encourages imaginative thinking (or brainstorming) and was first developed by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a British chemical company. It is performed by a multi-disciplinary HAZOP team and entails the use of guide words to stimulate the brainstorming. For a proposed new process facility (such as a petroleum refinery, natural gas processing plant or chemical plant), a HAZOP may require many weeks to perform. Although the HAZOP methodology was originally developed to study chemical process facilities, it has been extended to other types of facilities and complex operations. There are many... More »
Air quality in a changing climate Last Updated on 2011-04-23 00:00:00 This Editorial, written by Dan Costa*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth.   Air Quality in a Changing Climate Once, in the not so distant past, smoke belching from urban factories and plants was viewed as a symbol of a prosperous, growing economy with abundant jobs. However, awareness of the downside of such pollution spawned the environmental movement of the 1960s, culminating in the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1970. This landmark legislation provided the regulatory mandates and legal tools that stimulated... More »
Cost-Benefit Analysis for Climate Change Last Updated on 2010-11-12 00:00:00 Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions may require large (priced at greater than $100 million), government sponsored projects. Governments, in theory, choose the course of action that yields the highest benefits at the lowest costs. In practice, cost-benefit analyses suffer from several problems. Analyses of large projects must account for the complexity and longevity of such endeavors as well as their dependence on leading edge—and often “bleeding edge”—technologies. Moreover, project planning is an imperfect process. that tend to underestimate costs and overestimate benefits. To improve the planning process for large-scale projects such as those for climate change mitigation will require more accurate forecasting methods and better incentives for objectivity. [1] Reference class forecasting One method that may increase the accuracy of... More »
Lecture: Stephen Schneider Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Video Last Updated on 2010-10-07 00:00:00 This video is of a lecture that Stephen Schneider presented a number of times. It covers climate change from a risk perspective, discussing the underlying science, uncertainties, and implications of different possible decisions. Here is it captured with many (although not all) of his graphics. It is a well organized, evenly presented lecture that carefully differentiates questions of "what we know" from "what we should do." It presents data and modelling at a level appropriate for undergraduates. More »