Chemical Time Bombs: Linkages to Scenarios of Socioeconomic Development (CTB Basic Document 2)

Hesterberg, D., Stigliani, W.M., & Imeson, A.C. (1992). Chemical Time Bombs: Linkages to Scenarios of Socioeconomic Development (CTB Basic Document 2). IIASA Executive Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: ER-92-020

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The definition of a chemical time bomb (CTB), as provided in the first document of this series is "a concept that refers to a chain of events resulting in the delayed and sudden occurrence of harmful effects due to the mobilization of chemicals stored in soils and sediments in response to slow alterations of the environment." The theme of this second report was conceived at a workshop in the Netherlands in 1990. It was decided that chemical time bombs must be understood not only in terms of how they are triggered in the environment, but also in terms of the anthropogenic activities that are linked to the triggers. For example, a change in redox potential is a CTB trigger, and activities such as draining of wetlands an implementing sewage treatment have a major influence on redox potential. Thus, this report attempts to connect specific human activities to environmental disturbances that can stimulate CTNB phenomena. These connections are made for a range of activities, and matrices linking activities to effects are presented. The analysis is taken a step further by constructing scenarios, of land-use changes for example, and assessing their impacts with respect to CTBs. Thus, scenarios are used here not as a way of predicting the future, but rather for the purpose of presenting possible alternatives against which the risk of CTB events can be assessed.

This publication is the second in a series of IIASA publications on Chemical Time Bombs. The first, entitled "Chemical Time Bombs: Definition, Concepts, and Examples," was published in 1991. The next publication in the series will discuss CTBs in landfills and contaminated lands.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Executive Report)
Research Programs: Environmental Change & Development (ECD)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14

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