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This is an annually updated presentation of each sovereign country in Nordic, Central and Southeastern Europe, past and present. It is organized by individual chapters for each country, dealing with its geography, people, history, political system, constitution, parliament, decentralization and states if a federation, parties, political leaders and elections. There are also sections on foreign and defense policy, economy, culture, future and a lengthy bibliography.
Availability of and adequate accessibility to freshwater and energy are two key technological and scientific problems of global significance. At the end of the 20th century, the deficit of water for human consumption and economic application forced us to focus on rational use of resources. Increasing the use of renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency is a challenge for the 21st century. Geothermal energy is heat energy generated and stored in the Earth, accumulated in hydrothermal systems or in dry rocks within the Earth’s crust, in amounts which constitute the energy resources. The sustainable management of geothermal energy resources should be geared towards optimization of energy recovery, but also towards rational management of water resources since geothermal water serves both as energy carrier and also as valuable raw material. Geothermal waters, depending on their hydrogeothermal characteristics, the lithology of the rocks involved, the depth at which the resources occur and the sources of water supply, may be characterized by very diverse physicochemical parameters. This factor largely determines the technology to be used in their exploitation and the way the geothermal water can be used. This book is focused on the effective use of geothermal water and renewable energy for future needs in order to promote modern, sustainable and effective management of water resources. The research field includes crucial new areas of study: • an improvement in the management of freshwater resources through the use of residual geothermal water; • a review of the technologies available in the field of geothermal water treatment for its (re)use for energetic purposes and freshwater production, and • the development of balneotherapy. The book is aimed at professionals, academics and decision makers worldwide, water sector representatives and administrators, business enterprises specializing in renewable energy management and water treatment, working in the areas of geothermal energy usage, water resources, water supply and energy planning. This book has the potential to become a standard text used by educational institutions and research & development establishments involved in the geothermal water management.
This open access book provides a comprehensive overview of volcanic crisis research, the goal being to establish ways of successfully applying volcanology in practice and to identify areas that need to be addressed for future progress. It shows how volcano crises are managed in practice, and helps to establish best practices. Consequently the book brings together authors from all over the globe who work with volcanoes, ranging from observatory volcanologists, disaster practitioners and government officials to NGO-based and government practitioners to address three key aspects of volcanic crises. First, the book explores the unique nature of volcanic hazards, which makes them a particularly challenging threat to forecast and manage, due in part to their varying spatial and temporal characteristics. Second, it presents lessons learned on how to best manage volcanic events based on a number of crises that have shaped our understanding of volcanic hazards and crises management. Third, it discusses the diverse and wide-ranging aspects of communication involved in crises, which merge old practices and new technologies to accommodate an increasingly challenging and globalised world. The information and insights presented here are essential to tapping established knowledge, moving towards more robust volcanic crises management, and understanding how the volcanic world is perceived from a range of standpoints and contexts around the globe.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Iceland’s government, elected in 2013, is conducting a general review of its tax policy with a view toward making it more efficient and less distortionary.1 To this end, it has targeted VAT reform as a priority to become more reliant on consumption rather than income taxation. The narrow base and wide gap between the very high 25.5 percent main VAT rate and lower rate of 7 percent distort economic behavior and encourage tax arbitrage, evasion and lobbying. The efficiency of the Icelandic VAT is thus currently well below the European and OECD averages. To address this situation, the government plans in the near term to broaden the base by eliminating exemptions, raising the lower rate, and reducing the top rate. In the medium term, the government targets a single-rate system. To offset the potentially inflationary effects of VAT reform and reduce price distortions, the government is considering repealing the commodity tax and reviewing the trade regime for agriculture. It may also seek to increase social benefits for low-income households most affected by the VAT increases. These measures are all in accord with recommendations made by two previous IMF missions in 2010 and 2011. This mission reiterates its previous recommendations that Iceland should in the near term: (1) eliminate exemptions at least for tourism, transport, sports and culture; (2) limit VAT refunds to local government to services that could be outsourced; (3) double the lower rate to 14 percent; (4) reduce the top rate as revenue permits, depending on base broadening; and (5) in the longer term, move to a single VAT rate of about 21 percent. In addition, this report makes the following major recommendations: • Consider at least doubling the VAT threshold to ISK 2,000,000 (about USD 17,850 or EUR 12,900). A higher threshold will ease administration, allowing limited RSK resources to be focused on the large taxpayers who generate most VAT revenue. • Fully tax all sales and leasing of commercial buildings, as well as first sales of new residential buildings. While materials and construction activities are subject to VAT, sale of buildings has been exempt. This has created pressure for special refund schemes for builders to recoup their input VAT. Taxing commercial buildings and rent will remove this necessity and prevent cascading, while taxing first residential sales will broaden the VAT base to include housing consumption. • Eliminate special VAT refund schemes for buses, and domestic boats and aircraft, as well as CO2 tax refunds for rental car imports. These schemes have been encouraged by the exemption of passenger transport, and by the anomalous taxation of car rental services at the top rate. Taxing transportation will remove the need for these accommodations and level the playing field for car rental companies. • Repeal the commodity tax on building products, appliances and electronics. This will help offset the one-off inflationary effects of VAT reform and remove price distortions on these goods, which having neither inelastic demand nor negative externalities do not meet the criteria for special excise taxation. • If the sugar tax portion of the commodity tax is retained, conduct a study to ensure that the price increase it imposes on sweetened products is sufficient to discourage their consumption. Alternatively, repeal the sugar tax and move sweetened products to the top VAT rate.
Volume 1 (A and B) of the Yearbook of International Organizations covers international organizations throughout the world, comprising their aims, activities and events
Earth’s Oldest Rocks, Second Edition, is the only single reference source for geological research of early Earth. This new edition is an up-to-date collection of scientific articles on all aspects of the early history of the Earth, from planetary accretion at 4.567 billion years ago (Ga), to the onset of modern-style plate tectonics at 3.2 Ga. Since the first edition was published, significant new advances have been made in our understanding of events and processes on early Earth that correspond with new advances in technology. The book includes contributions from over 100 authors, all of whom are experts in their respective fields. The research in this reference concentrates on what is directly gleaned from the existing rock record to understand how our planet formed and evolved during the planetary accretion phase, formation of the first crust, the changing dynamics of the mantle and style of tectonics, life’s foothold and early development, and mineral deposits. It is an ideal resource for academics, students and the general public alike. Advances in early Earth research since 2007 based primarily on evidence gleaned directly from the rock record More than 50% of the chapters in this edition are new and the rest of the chapters are revised from the first edition, with more than 700 pages of new material Comprehensive reviews of areas of ancient lithosphere from all over the world, and of crust-forming processes New chapters on early solar system materials, composition of the ancient atmosphere-hydrosphere, and overviews of the oldest evidence of life on Earth, and modeling of early Earth tectonics
This book describes origin and characteristics of the Earth’s thermal field, thermal flow propagation and some thermal phenomena in the Earth. Description of thermal properties of rocks and methods of thermal field measurements in boreholes, underground, at near-surface conditions enables to understand the principles of temperature field acquisition and geothermal model development. Processing and interpretation of geothermal data are shown on numerous field examples from different regions of the world. The book warps, for instance, such fields as analysis of thermal regime of the Earth’s crust, evolution and thermodynamic conditions of the magma-ocean and early Earth atmosphere, thermal properties of permafrost, thermal waters, geysers and mud volcanoes, methods of Curie discontinuity construction, quantitative interpretation of thermal anomalies, examination of some nonlinear effects, and integration of geothermal data with other geophysical methods. This book is intended for students and researchers in the field of Earth Sciences and Environment studying thermal processes in the Earth and in the subsurface. It will be useful for specialists applying thermal field analysis in petroleum, water and ore geophysics, environmental and ecological studies, archaeological prospection and climate of the past.

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