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 4, OCTOBER 1988
"Volcanos Poised to Blow another Ozone Hole," New Scientist,
p. 42, Sep. 1, 1988. Understanding the contribution of volcanos to the halogen
content of the stratosphere is important as a benchmark for evaluating the human
contribution, and because of the possibility that an explosive eruption could
push the atmosphere over a critical threshold content as other contributions
rise. Scientists from Europe and India have determined the recent yearly
increases in two important halons, CBrClF2 and CBrF3, to be 12 and 5 percent per
"A Silver Lining for the Greenhouse?" B.J. Spaulding, Chemical
Week, p. 41, Aug. 3, 1988. Greenhouse and outdoor growth chamber experiments
show that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide could increase crop yields by
30 percent on average. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist
Bruce Kimbal at the Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, greater
crop productivity could in turn benefit producers of fertilizers, herbicides
and insecticides. Increased carbon dioxide would influence different plants'
performances depending on the particular photosynthetic pathway involved. An
18-acre test site has been established near Yazoo City, Mississippi for further
"La Niņa's Big Chill Replaces El Niņo," R.A.
Kerr, Science, pp. 1037-1038, Aug. 26, 1988. The appearance of a pool of
cold water in the tropical Pacific, the counterpart of the warmer-than-normal El
Niņo that has characterized the last several years, is expected to result
in a dry winter in the southeastern United States and offset the recent higher
temperatures viewed by some as the start of greenhouse warming. El Niņo
was clearly behind the warm years of 1987 and 1983, but La Niņa could
temporarily return the globe to cooler temperatures typical of the 1950s or even
"Germany Prepares to `Glide' into the Ozone Layer," D.
Mackenzie, New Scientist, p. 35, August 18, 1988. Part of West Germany's
contribution to European research on the ozone layer is an instrumented aircraft
called Egrett, to be ready in 1989. Being constructed of carbon and glass fiber
by a glider manufacturer, it will carry 1000 kilograms of equipment, and a pilot
and a scientist for six hours, up to 15 kilometers altitude.
"New Ways to Chill Earth," R.A. Kerr, Science, pp.
532-533, July 29, 1988. The latest evidence supporting the role of carbon
dioxide in alternating ice ages comes from an ice core analyzed by French and
Soviet scientists from the Soviet Vostok Station on the Antarctic ice sheet.
Based on the 160,000-year record, they estimate carbon dioxide accounts for
about 50 percent of the ten degree centigrade temperature difference between
glacial and interglacial periods. Other workers have investigated the roles of
methane, dimethylsulfide, and aerosol particles.
"Europeans Seek a Lift through the Arctic's Ozone Hole," R.
Milne, D. MacKenzie, New Scientist, p. 28, June 23, 1988. At a meeting
called by John Pyle, chair of the British government's stratospheric ozone
review group, European chemists recommended that a research aircraft should be
the focus of a large program to investigate the ozone layer, to be coordinated
by the European Economic Community. The group also called for significant
strengthening of the Montreal protocol.
"Canadians Confirm Ozone Hole in Arctic," S. Dayton, New
Scientist, p. 47, June 9, 1988. An Environment Canada scientist has
confirmed the depletion of ozone over the Arctic, based on balloon-borne
ozonesonde measurements. The results agree with satellite observations in
showing depletion in the winter of 1985-86, but indicate none in 1986-87.
"The Oceanic Key to Climatic Change," J. Gribbon, New
Scientist, pp. 32-33, May 19, 1988. Ocean biological productivity is related
to the differing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during and between
ice ages. The April 1988 workshop, Productivity of the Ocean, Past and
Present held in Berlin, indicated that studies of ocean productivity will
become one of the main growth areas of environmental research. Participants
agreed on recent claims that ocean surface waters contain several times more
dissolved carbon than had been previously thought, and that ideas about the
biological productivity of the oceans may need some revision. Episodic events
such as the spring bloom of plankton are especially important.
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