Vol. 31 Issue 4

Hussein Almohamad and Bader Aldakhiel
Surface urban heat island (SUHI) phenomenon is caused by the increase in local atmospheric and surface temperatures in urban areas compared to the surrounding rural areas. This mainly results from the concentration of human activities and land uses such as dense transportation network, buildings. This study aims to analyze the spatial patterns of land surface temperature to quantify and understand the effects of SUHI over urban, sub-urban and rural area of Damascus. MODIS/Terra Temperature product (MYD11A2, 8 days, 1 km spatial resolution) used to study the UHI phenomenon for Damascus and surrounding areas. Therefore, a series of data were obtained on 2010 covering 8 days of months from winter and summer seasons at day and night time. The results showed that SUHI were typically presented in winter (day and night) and in summer (only night). However, it tended to be strongest during the night. This is mainly because of the buildings and commercial business establishments in Damascus are made of concrete, asphalt, and steel, which are excellent absorbers and conductors of thermal energy. Since these buildings produce higher radiate thermal heat at night time, higher temperatures were recorded.

Hassain Al-Mohammed ;and Ahmed Falaah
Kinetic studies were carried out on the reaction between 4،4′-Methylenebis (2-methylcyclohexylamine) and dimeric fatty acid C36 in melt phase .The reaction was performed at 144˚C, 150˚C, 165˚C, 170˚C, and 185˚C and followed by determining the acid value of the product. The polyamidation reaction was found to be of overall second order with an activation energy of 58،61 k J ∕ g mol up to 75% conversion and overall third order above75% conversion .The Degree of Polymerization ،Number Average Molecular Weight and Weight Average Molecular Weight have been calculated during different times, the relationships between Degree of Polymerization and Number Average Molecular Weight، Weight Average Molecular Weight and the times is linear until 75% conversion at all temperatures.

Said Ali El-Quliti and Seraj Yousef Abed
There is no doubt that the traffic problem is one of the problems faced by universities in general، and in different intensities for roads، intersections and parklands. The negative effects of traffic congestion and bottlenecks are clear; they include extension of long waiting lines and increasing the time of transport with the consequences of ill effects. The effective solutions placed to resolve these problems need specialized studies relying on scientific methods for collecting and analyzing relevant data, and drawing effective conclusions, recommendations, and solutions. The main purpose of this study is to analyze the problems of traffic congestion in universities, with realistic application to King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah as a case study and to provide the best solutions to achieve fluent flow of traffic in the future. Due to the complexity of the problem and its huge data، and to facilitate the analysis process, the problem has been divided into three main sections: main gates، Interior roads and intersections، and car parking. The data is collected by four different ways: the use of automatic counting equipment which records the number of vehicles that pass in each hour during the period of counting manual method of counting through registration in a prepared form so as to record the number of vehicles located in the parking place during the each hour، interviewing and a survey of a random sample of students, faculty members, administrative employees, and university passers-by and visitors, as well as observing and recording traffic problems in some places of the university. It has been possible to reach a wide range of recommendations for gates، roads، and parking areas, to achieve the desired goals of ease flow of traffic now and in the future. The proposed solutions takes into account the simplicity, low cost, and non-recourse to destructive changes such as complete changing the place of the university، or demolition of all buildings and re-planning. The study gives also a set of conclusions that can be followed as an approach to study، analyze and solve the general traffic problems in other universities.

Eqbal Fares, Alaa El-Sadek and Waleed Al-Zubari
Like the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which are located in an arid region, the State of Kuwait faces difficulty in providing food security for its population locally. This is due to the limited natural water resources and its quality deterioration, limited and declining arable land, and rapid increase of population. Therefore, food importation has become a necessity and essential to meet local requirements. Under these conditions and constraints and with the limited water resources, it is necessary to apply the concept of virtual water to formulate agricultural strategies and to contribute to water resources conservation. This research aimed at calculating the flow of virtual water in Kuwait and the rest of GCC countries. The results indicated that during the period 2000- 2006, Kuwait imported an annual average equivalent to 258 million cubic meter (Mm3) of virtual water from the GCC countries. This quantity represents 24.5% of the total water resources of Kuwait (estimated at 1.055 billion m3 of conventional and non-conventional water resources), of which the agricultural sector consumes about 422 Mm3 (40%). On the other hand, Kuwait exports very limited quantities of virtual water to the GCC countries. The research showed that the deficit in the trade balance in fruits, vegetables, grain crops are 59.8, 35.1, 39.0 tons, respectively, with fruits and vegetables accounts for the largest proportion of this virtual water estimated at 94.9 Mm3 (78%). Moreover, the water content of the imports of various items of meat products, poultry products and dairy products is estimated at 158 Mm3 representing about 61% of the total water content of incoming goods to Kuwait from the GCC countries. Although virtual water imports may alleviate the pressure on local water resources, Kuwait Government adopted policies of food self sufficiency and agricultural policies need to be reviewed with a need for a clear vision of the concept of virtual water trade and for prioritization of water security. The research recommends that a comprehensive and integrated study of the virtual water flow between the State of Kuwait and the world as a whole carried out.

Ali Salem Bait Said, Asma Ali Abahussain, Mohamed Sulaiman Abido and Husham Abdulmounsef Mohammad
An integrated environmental assessment of rangeland resources in Jabal Samhan protectorate area of Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman was conducted using DPSIR analysis matrix. Assessment included monitoring current state and direction of rangeland resources, direct and indirect pressures influencing resources and their impacts. Effectiveness of government conservation policies was also assessed and a plausible forward-looking scenario was drawn up to provide an insight into rangeland futures compared to business as usual scenario. Recommended alternative policies were embedded in the context of sustainability scenario. Vegetation composition and productivity were assessed by sampling lesser vegetation in the southern and western regions of the protected area. A questionnaire was prepared to assess the needs of the local community. Results of vegetation sampling indicted differences in composition and productivity of vegetation from one site to another due to the effect of topography and grazing. Plant coverage ranged from 36-98%, whereas vegetation productivity was 63% higher in the Tawi Atier enclosure than adjacent sites. On the other hand, productivity was less by 50% and 76% in the mid and south sites, and 86% outside the protected area. Low site productivity is attributed to rainfall scarcity, variability from one site to another and overgrazing. Thirty four percent of the locals surveyed depend on grazing as a primary source for income. In the mean time 54% of them attribute rangeland deterioration in the protected area to the scarcity of these resources outside. Although laws exist for biodiversity and nature conservation as well as animal wealth and livestock management; still rangeland resources are experiencing overgrazing. The sustainability scenario based primarily on ecosystem approach with its proposed policies offer an optimal solution to the issues of resource degradation in the protected area as it strikes the balance between biodiversity conservation and securing the interest of local community.

Khaled Abduljabar Al-Kandari, Mansour Elsaid Abou-Gamila and Ahmed Yousif Abdulla
The energy crisis, especially electricity consumption, is a crisis that plagues the world in general and Kuwait in particular. The Ministry of Electricity and Water in Kuwait (2009) said that the high temperature in the summer months, sometimes reach to 50 degrees Celsius in the shade, leads to increase demand in the air-conditioning loads. The study aims to assess the methods of electrical energy rationalization in Kuwaiti mosques using the simulation software (HAP). Since the mosques are located in separate areas of Kuwait and operate simultaneously, one of the mosques was selected as an example to find the best way to conserve energy. The results showed that, there are several possible ways to reduce the air-conditioning loads. Replacement incandescent bulbs with the energy-saving bulbs, installing programmable thermostat technology and control the infusion rate, lead to energy savings up to 32%, 2.9% and 11.4% respectively. The study also demonstrated the impact of other ways in reducing the rate of consumption, as: area of glass (1.7%), direction of the building (2%), the heat transfer coefficient of the building and the windows (11.4%) and outside color of the building (4.2%). Moreover, the wall color is more influential than roof color and the selection of insulation material and thickness is very important as it reduces cooling load up to 35%. All of these factors may help in lowering the rates of energy consumption in mosques and hence contribute in the reduction of greenhouse gases and pollutants.

Isa Ahmed Ghanim, Abdul Aziz Mohamed Abdul Kareem, Ahmed Ali Salih and Asudullah Al Ajmi
This study was conducted during the period April 2009 to March 2010 in the Northern Governorate, Kingdom of Bahrain to study the relation between water quality and Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Cadmium and Lead contents of alfalfa crop and insects living on it. The study was conducted on 6 farms, 3 irrigated with underground water and the other 3 irrigated with tertiary treated sewage effluents (TTSE). Plant samples were collected during April in 5 replications, randomly from each farm using a 25×25 cm metal frame for estimation of Nitrogen using (Kjeltec apparatus 2300), and Phosphorus by (Spectrophotometer), Cadmium and Lead content by (Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer). Pitfall traps and sweeping nets were used to collect insects for analyses for Lead and Cadmium content. Results indicated that water type did not affect alfalfa, Nitrogen and Cadmium contents. Average Nitrogen content was 2.6 and 3% in alfalfa irrigated with groundwater and (TTSE), respectively. And Phosphorus content was 0.33 and 0.4% in alfalfa irrigated with ground water and (TTSE), respectively. Results also showed that irrigation with (TTSE) did not significantly affect Cadmium and Lead contents in alfalfa crop. The average concentrations of these two elements were 0.41 and 0.35 ppm, respectively, their concentrations in alfalfa irrigated with TTSE were 0.44 and 0.34 ppm, respectively. The concentrations of Cadmium and Lead in insects living on ground water irrigated alfalfa were 0.14 and 0.063 ppm, respectively, and in TTSE irrigated alfalfa were 0.338 and 0.076 ppm respectively. Cadmium and Lead concentrations were found to increase in the natural enemies of insects living on alfalfa irrigated with (TTSE) indicating biomagnification of those heavy metals in the food chain from alfalfa to insect pests and predators.

Sabah Saleh Al-Jnied, Nadir Abdulhamed, and Ghadeer Mohamed Redhah Kathem
This study aims to analyze and evaluate the change in urban land use area in the main islands of the Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain, Muharraq and Sitra) during the period 1986 - 2012 using Landsat 1986- 1998 satellite data and QuickBird 2002 and Google Earth data. The methodology focused on using Supervised Classification and visual image interpretation and overlay analysis. Four thematic maps were produced and used to evaluate and to measure Land Consumption Rate –LCR and Land Absorption Coefficient –LAC. The results indicate increase in Urban area and Land Consumption Rate –LCR.

Ranad Al-Kadry, Souad Al-Okla, Majed Al-Jamali and Lama Youssef
Umbilical cord blood (UCB) and isolated umbilical cord blood stem cells (UCBSCs) have become an alternative source of hematopoietic progenitor cells for transplantation. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of some modifications of human hematopoietic stem cells isolation protocols with the intention of improving the output and viability of CD34+ cells and progenitor subpopulations progeny that can be obtained from a sample of human umbilical cord blood. By that, we contribute to current studies on the human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in order to bank UCB units suitable for basic research of very long- term hematopoietic as well as for transplantation. Cord blood samples were transformed to buffy coat prior to the isolation of HSCs which was performed by two steps involving CD34 pre-enrichment using human cord blood CD34 positive selection kit and an Immunomagnetic cell separation, targeting CD34 surface antigen. CD34+ cells were immunophenotyped by four-color fluorescence, using a large panel of monoclonal antibodies (CD34/PE, CD45/FITC, CD38/APC, CD33/Per-Cy, HLA-DR/PE, CD117/APC, CD123/Per-Cy, CD105-FITC, CD56/ PE, CD14/Per-Cy, CD19/Per-Cy and CD3/APC) recognizing different lineage or activation antigens. Our results showed that the percentage of CD34+ cells in whole human cord blood samples was 0.02% of total cells. After isolation by two-step, combining CD34 pre-enrichment and Immunomagnetic isolation, the frequency of CD34+ stem cells represented 0.65% among total MNCs and 83.53% among total isolated cells. This isolation leaded to a purity of over 95% and viability of 98.60%. In addition, we found that the percentage of CD34+ cells which are CD45+ was 83.53%, whereas CD34+CD38- cells comprised 21.70%. About 70.85% of isolated CD34+ cells were characterized by the absence of human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR). Concerning the CD117, CD33, CD123 and CD105 antigens which characterize true stem cells, we found a high expression percentage among isolated HUCB CD34+ cells (81.26%, 57.14% 47.45%, 58.52% for CD117, CD33, CD123 and CD105, respectively), while a very small number displayed markers of advanced myeloid commitment, such as CD14 (Myeloid lineage, 0.7%) and CD56 (NK-cell lineage, 4.48%), or those of lymphoid differentiation: CD3 (T-cell lineage, 5.22%), and CD19 (B-cell lineage, 1.76%). After testing 12 samples of cord blood using modified positive magnetic isolation technique, no variations in subpopulations were observed from sample to sample. We conclude that our modified technique enabled us to obtain an important proportion of primitive hematopoietic progenitors, as suggested by the absence of HLA-DR and CD38, as well as the presence of CD117, CD33, CD123, and CD105 on their surface. These cells are recognized as having long term reconstitution capacity within the human CD34+cell population.

Abdullah Awed Al-Zaidi; and Mohammed Yousef Shalaby
Organic agriculture has been identified as an important part of the sustainable agriculture. However, it has been assumed that farmers are not aware the importance of organic agriculture and it is important to conduct research on farmers’ perceptions towards this important aspect. This study aimed to identify the degree of awareness of the farmers on the importance of organic farming as the part of sustainable agricultural development in Qassim, Saudi Arabia. The study explored the nature of the relationship between the independent variables and the degree of awareness of the respondents as the dependent variable. This study was conducted on the sample of (193) farmers (participants) representing all farmers of the study area. The preliminary data were collected by using the questionnaire against the personal interviews. Data were subjected to the statistical analysis and to make the data more meaningful, percentages, arithmetic means, standard deviation, simple correlation coefficient of Pearson, regression (stepwise) were used. The study revealed that about three-quarters (75.6%) of the farmers/ respondents were with low to medium perception on the importance of organic farming. There was a positive correlation between respondents’ perception towards organic farming as the dependent variable and factors like: basic profession, the degree of satisfaction with the farm work and training at the (0.01) significance level. However, a negative relationship was found for land holding and college education at the (0.05) significance level. The main reasons respondents were not practicing organic farming include: no guarantee for the protection of farms from the exploitation of the big merchants (68.9%), oversight of the violations of standards and legislations and prevailing of poor rules to hold violators accountable (68%), lack of qualified and skilled labor on organic farming and practices (63.9%), and weak consumer demand for organic products (27%).