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 2, NUMBER 11, NOVEMBER 1989
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Aerosols, Cloud Microphysics, and Fractional Cloudiness," B.A.
Albrecht (Dept. Meteor., Penn. State Univ., University Park PA 16802), Science,
245(4923), 1227-1230, Sep. 15, 1989.
Increases in aerosol concentrations over the oceans may increase the amount
of low-level cloudiness through a reduction of drizzle. The resulting increase
in global albedo would be in addition to the increase due to enhancement in
reflectivity associated with a decrease in droplet size, and would contribute to
cooling the earth's surface.
"CO2 and Climate: A Missing Feedback?" J.F.B. Mitchell (Meteor.
Off., London Rd., Bracknell RG12 2SZ, UK), C.A. Senior, W.J. Ingram, Nature,
341(6238), 132-134, Sep. 14, 1989.
Reports results of simulations that show that the changes of state of cloud
water may provide a substantial negative feedback on climate. The feedback is
concentrated in mid-latitudes and affects both the magnitude and distribution of
the climate change expected from increases in greenhouse gases. Suggests
improved measurements and parameterizations of cloud processes are needed to
quantify this process. Inclusion of this process in a CO2-doubling experiment
reduced by half the global annual average surface warming, to 2.7 K.
"Biotic Enhancement of Weathering and the Habitability of Earth,"
D.W. Schwartzman (Dept. Geol., Howard Univ., Washington DC 20059), T. Volk, Nature,
340(6223), 457-460, Aug. 10, 1989.
Calculates that if living organisms enhance chemical weathering of silicate
rocks by a factor of 1000, which is likely, then an abiotic Earth would be 45<198>C
warmer than today. Suggests that, without a biota that enhances weathering rates
and removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the earth today would be
uninhabitable for all except the most primitive of microbes. Life may have been
crucial in creating and maintaining cool conditions.
"The 1988 Drought, Barges, and Diversion," S.A. Changnon
(Midwestern Clim. Ctr., Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign IL 61820), Bull.
Amer. Meteor. Soc., 70(9), 1092-1104, Sep. 1989.
Reviews the impact on barge traffic due to the 1988 drought and record low
flows and shoaling. Suggests that the resulting controversy dealing with this
crisis reflects the growing sensitivity to water resource issues in the Great
Lakes Basin and problems expected from drier future climates. This case study
shows the value of using seasonal climate predictions that have limited skill
and the need for better near real-time climatic data, including information
about physical impacts of current climatic conditions.
"Greenhouse Policy and Climate Uncertainty," R.M. White (Nat.
Acad. Eng., Washington, D.C.), ibid., 1123-1127.
Reviews the global climate warming issue in a speech given at the Annual
Meeting of the National Academy of Science (April 1989, Washington, D.C.).
Suggests that the really controversial policy issues surround the possibilities
for intervention in the climate change process. Calls for responsible use of all
our knowledge to strike a balance between optimism and catastrophism in defining
"Perspective on the 1988 Midwestern Drought," K.E. Kunkel
(Midwestern Clim. Ctr., Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign IL 61820), J.R.
Angel, Eos, 817, Sep. 5, 1989.
The drought was the worst in 50 years, so its severe impact on the physical
environment as well as the socio-economic system is not surprising. It
illustrates our vulnerability and lack of flexibility to extreme drought
"An der Schwelle zu einer Datenexplosion in der Geophysik (On the
Impending Explosion of Geophysical Data)," E. Keppler (Max Planck Inst.
Aeronomie, D-3411 Katlenburg-Lindau, FRG), G. Hartmann, Naturwissenschaften,
76(8), 358-363, Aug. 1989. In German, English summary.
Discusses techniques to store and handle large amounts of data, with
examples of large data bases. Requests the establishment of national data
archives to deal with geophysical data which is time-dependent. Points to the
new role of geophysics in climate changes and resulting policies.
"Greenhouse Dust," N.C. Wickramasinghe (Sch. Math., Univ.
Wales, Coll. Cardiff, Cardiff, CF2 4AG, UK), F. Hoyle, R. Rabilizirov, Nature,
341(6237), 28, Sep. 7, 1989.
A letter suggesting that temperature fluctuations from the accumulation of
extraterrestrial dust particles is comparable to those expected from greenhouse
"Mirrors to Halt Global Warming?" W. Seifritz (Chapfstrasse 4,
CH-5200 Windisch, Switz.), ibid., 340(6235), 603, Aug. 24, 1989.
Letter commenting on the possibility of reducing solar radiation on the
earth's surface using a minimum of mirrors in orbit about the earth.
Correspondence concerning "Sulphate Aerosols and Climate," Nature,
340(6234), 515-516, Aug. 17, 1989; also ibid., 340(6233),
436-438, Aug. 10, 1989.
"Three Reports on Japan and the Global Environment," A.S.
Miller (Ctr. Global Change, Univ. Maryland, College Park, Md.), Environ.,
31(6), 25-29, July/Aug. 1989.
Reviews three reports produced by the Japanese Environment Agency concerning
Japan's contribution to conservation of the global environment, including an
Interim Report on Global Warming. Suggests that Japan has the potential
to develop solutions to environmental problems, but questions whether more
substantive measures and attention will follow reports.
"International Agreement to Stabilize Climate: Lessons from the
Montreal Protocol," K. Von Moltke (Environ. Studies Prog., Dartmouth
College, Hanover NH 03755), Clim. Change, 14(3), 211-212, June
An editorial suggesting that amending the Vienna Convention to cover climate
change would be the quickest, least painful way forward and would benefit from
existing relationships and infrastructure. This would further link the
protection of the stratospheric ozone layer with the climate change issue.
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