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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d88jul23

"The Greenhouse Theory of Climate Change: A Test by an Inadvertent Global Experiment," V. Ramanathan (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, Chicago IL 60637), Science, 240(4850), 293-299, Apr. 15, 1988.

A succinct and technically detailed summary of the effect of increased emissions into the atmosphere of anthropogenically influenced, radiatively active trace gases, including chlorofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone in addition to CO2. This inadvertent experiment has led to radiative heating and driven the climate into disequilibrium with incoming solar energy. Discusses climate forcing and response, feedbacks through phase changes of water, chemical interactions, model predictions, observed evidence of change, and unresolved issues. The greenhouse theory has reached a crucial stage of verification; the magnitude of recently observed warming is compatible with the theory, but its temporal dependence is not.

Item #d88jul24

"The Whole Earth Dialogue," S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Issues Sci. Technol., 4(3), 93-99, Spring 1988.

Asserts that most large research programs to study global change or the earth as a system have been multi-disciplinary rather than interdisciplinary. Makes a plea for truly interdisciplinary approaches to future global change research, using the greenhouse effect as an example. Demonstrates the possible benefits of this approach by describing recent research on climatic influences on crop productivity; climate modeling improved after discussions with agronomists and ecologists.

Item #d88jul25

"Is the Greenhouse Here?" R.A. Kerr, Science, 239(4840), 559-561, Feb. 3, 1988.

Researchers have recently agreed that the earth has warmed about 0.5 C during the last century; coincident indications in several other variables will add significantly to the evidence for greenhouse climate change. Mentions some recent studies on stratospheric cooling, daily temperature extremes, moisture patterns and general circulation modeling. Suggests that developing a composite picture of change, using many variables rather than concentrating on only one, such as global warming, will lead to the earliest detection of a greenhouse effect.

Item #d88jul26

"Changing Climate and Caribbean Coastlines," F. Gable (Marine Policy Ctr., Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst., Woods Hole, Mass.), Oceanus, 30(4), 53-56, Winter 87/88.

Over the next 40 years, the sea level in part of the Caribbean is expected to rise 15-20 cm more than expected globally. Geological subsidence and the high proportion of a coastal zone makes the islands especially vulnerable. Reviews natural and anthropogenic sources of subsidence, projected impacts for specific areas, and policy responses individual nations might make such as restrictions on coastal development. Policy workshops, joint studies and research have been initiated for the region under the United Nations Environment Program's Regional Seas Program. A system of two or three tide gauges per island is recommended for monitoring sea-level change.

Item #d88jul27

"On the Development of Regional Climatic Scenarios for Policy-Oriented Climatic-Impact Assessment," P.J. Lamb (Climate Sect., Illinois Water Survey, Champaign IL 61820), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 68(9), 1116-1123, Sep. 1987.

Appraises alternative approaches to developing climatic scenarios, defined as internally consistent pictures of a plausible future climate. Compares motivations, methods, known and potential strengths and weakness, results and credibility of empirically-based approaches and those involving general circulation models. Suggests research needed to make scenarios more useful for impact assessment.

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