February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 1, NUMBER 5, NOVEMBER 1988
"The Global Carbon Cycle" (discussion of Detwiler and Hall
article), Nature, 241(4874), 1736-1739, Sep. 30, 1988.
"Carbon Dioxide Emissions in a Methane Economy," J.H. Ausubel
(Nat. Acad. Engin., Washington, D.C.), A. Grübler, N. Nakicenovic, Climatic
Change, 12(3), 245-263, June 1988.
Explores two scenarios of global energy demand under the expectation that
methane will become a dominant energy source. One, holding per capita
consumption at current levels, shows CO2 concentrations peak at 450 ppm. The
second raises the global average demand in the year 2100 to the current U.S.
level and concentrations peak near 600 ppm. Projected CO2 concentrations in a
methane economy are low in relation to other scenarios but still confirm climate
"Field Measurements of Air-Sea CO2 Exchange," M. Frankignoulle
(Univ. Liège, Inst. chim. B6, B-4000 Sart Tilman par Liège 1,
Belgique), Limnol. Oceanog., 33(3), 313-322, May 1988.
Simultaneous measurements were made at the Bay of Calvi, the Ligurian Sea
and the North Sea of the air-sea CO2 exchange and the difference in CO2 partial
pressure between water and the air, to study the in situ relations between
parameters. The yearly variation of mean fluxes and change in pressure at all
three sites under similar meteorological conditions imply a similar gas exchange
coefficient K. Measurements in the North Sea under different meteorological
conditions show the influence of wind speed and sea state on exchange measured
by the in situ methodology used, allowing results to be compared to wind tunnel
measurements by others.
"Public Policy and the Airborne Fraction--Guest Editorial," J.
Firor (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Climatic Change, 12(2),
103-105, Apr. 1988.
The airborne fraction is usually defined as the ratio of the increase in the
amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during some period to the amount of CO2 emitted
to the air by human activity during the same period. Present values are
estimated to be 0.35 to 0.55. The airborne fraction can be quite small while
appreciable CO2 emission continues. This suggests that increases in the
atmospheric concentration of CO2 can be brought to near zero without cutting the
fossil fuel emission to zero, and CO2 concentrations could be nearly stabilized
with a 50% reduction in fossil fuel use. Negative fossil fuel growth scenarios
should be carefully studied by both modelers and policy makers.
"The Variations of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide at Alert and Sable
Island, Canada," Y.S. Chung (Atmos. Environ. Svc., 4905 Dufferin St.,
Downsview, Ontario M3H 5T4, Can.), Atmos. Environ., 22(2),
Although anthropogenic emissions of CO2 into the Arctic atmosphere are 2-3
orders of magnitude smaller than those at mid-latitudes, a higher concentration
and large seasonal variation are observed at Alert than at more southerly Sable
Island. The 5-year climatology of air parcel trajectories arriving at Alert
showed that low values of atmospheric CO2 concentrations are usually associated
with S-SW airflows, while relatively high values of CO2 are generally associated
with a long trajectory originating in the Soviet Arctic. High values of CO2
concentrations also occur in the late spring under the meteorological conditions
of a pronounced temperature inversion, high solar radiation, and calm or light
winds at the surface. These conditions add to high air pollution potential and
CO2 episodes which in turn can affect radiation budgets.
"Model Complexity and Data Worth: An Assessment of Changes in the
Global Carbon Budget," J. Yearsley (U.S. EPA Region X, 1200 6th Ave.,
Seattle WA 98101), D.P. Lettenmaier, Ecolog. Modelling, 39(3/4),
201-226, Dec. 1987.
Performs a series of Monte Carlo tests, using as the generating model a
nonlinear global carbon cycle model to produce multiple 100-year global carbon
scenarios. Evaluates the ability of a likelihood ratio test to discriminate
between three alternate linear models. Also evaluates data worth to detect
changes in atmospheric CO2. Results show that detection times decreased most
rapidly for reductions in error of measurement of the living terrestrial biota
and atmospheric compartments.
"A Regional Carbon Storage Simulation For Large-Scale Biomass
Plantations," W.P. Cropper Jr. (Sch. Forest Resour., Univ. Florida,
Gainesville FL 32611), K.C. Ewel, ibid., 36(3/4), 171-180, May
A simulation model predicts 30-40% less carbon would be stored in north
Florida forests over 24 years by planting 40,000 ha year-1 of slash pine biomass
plantations with an 8-year rotation. This practice, along with increased wood
consumption at the national level, would greatly increase CO2 release to the
atmosphere. The consequences of increased emphasis in forest management toward
biomass plantations must be carefully examined.
"Carbon Dioxide and People," N.D. Newell (Amer. Museum of Nat.
Hist., New York NY 10024), L. Marcus, Palaios, 2, 101-103, 1987.
Comparison of the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with growth
of human population over the last 26 years shows a correlation of .9985. This
suggests that the rate of increase of CO2 is almost wholly dependent on human
activities. Author suggests that continuous monitoring of the carbon dioxide
trend would yield useful information on both population growth and economic
"The Biosphere as a Driving Force in the Global Carbon Cycle,"
J. Goudriaan (Dep. Theor. Prod. Ecol., Wageningen Agric. Univ., POB 430, 6700 AK
Wageningen, Neth.), Neth. J. Agric. Sci., 35(2), 177-187, 1987.
The amount of carbon tied up in biomass is of the same order of magnitude as
the amount in atmospheric CO2. Cessation of either terrestrial or marine
biosphere carbon fixation would lead to doubling of atmospheric CO2 within a few
hundred years. The biosphere has strongly amplified past fluctuations of
atmospheric CO2, through interaction with the climatic greenhouse effect of
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