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 3, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1990
"An Empirical Model of Total Solar Irradiance Variation Between 1874
and 1988," P. Foukal (Cambridge Res. & Instrumentation Inc., Cambridge
MA 02139), J. Lean, Science, 247(4942), 556-558, Feb. 2, 1990.
Results suggest that the mean total irradiance has been rising steadily
since about 1945, with the largest peak so far at about 1980 and another large
peak expected during the current solar cycle 22. It is doubtful that this rise
can contribute greatly to global warming, unless the temperature increase of
about 0.02° C that it produces in current energy balance models seriously
underestimates the sensitivity of climate to solar irradiance changes.
"The Origin of Non-Sea-Salt Sulphate in the Mount Logan Ice Core,"
M.C. Monaghan (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, Chicago IL 60637), G.
Holdsworth, Nature, 343(6255), Jan. 18, 1990.
Reports 210Pb/137Cs ratios measured in the ice core and in soil cores
collected at nearby low-altitude sites. Concludes that the apparent lack of an
increase in non-sea-sulfate shows that anthropogenic oxidized sulfur compounds
probably have not affected a large part of the middle or upper troposphere in
the remote Northern Hemisphere.
Correspondence concerning transient decreases and long-term trends in
Arctic ozone, based on ground observations from Norway. S.H.H. Larsen (Inst.
Phys., Univ. Oslo, Blindern, 0316 Oslo 3, Norway), T. Henriksen, Nature,
343(6254), 124, Jan. 11, 1990.
"On Trends in Historical Marine Wind Data," V.J. Cardone
(Oceanweather Inc., S. 1, 5 River Rd., Cos Cob CT 06807), J.G. Greenwood, M.A.
Cane, J. Clim., 3(1), 113-127, Jan. 1990.
Compilations of surface winds from ship reports since 1854 show a number of
long-period variations, including a trend toward strengthening winds over the
past three decades; investigators disagree as to whether this trend indicates a
real change in the climate system or an artifact of changes in measurement
techniques. The authors find that the apparent surface wind strengthening is a
consequence of the increasing use of anemometers in place of sea-state
estimates. Even after correction, the pre-1950 winds appear to be weaker than
the post-1950 winds; the absence of universal standards for sea state and
Beaufort force before 1946 may explain this. Discusses possible remedies to
detect surface winds trends if they exist.
"A Ten-Year Decrease in the Atmospheric Helium Isotope Ratio
Possibly Caused by Human Activity," Y. Sano (Lab. Earthquake Chem., Univ.
Tokyo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113, Japan), H. Wakita et al., Geophys. Res. Lett.,
16(12), 1371-1374, Dec. 1989.
A recent decrease observed in the 3He/4He ratios of 20 air samples from
several sampling sites and dates is consistent with a significant flux of a
low-ratio helium source to the atmosphere. The magnitude of this flux, 0.48-2.9
x 1016 cm3 STP He/year, is compatible with estimates of the anthropogenic
release of Earth crustal helium from gas and oil production. Because of the
inert chemistry of helium, quantification of this change may provide a marker
against which to calibrate the absolute flux and retention of anthropogenic CO2
in the atmosphere.
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