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 8, AUGUST 1990
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Global Climate Change and US Agriculture," R.M. Adams (Dept.
Agric. Resour. Econ., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis OR 97331), C. Rosenzweig et
al., Nature, 345(6272), 219-223, May 17, 1990.
Uses two global climate models, crop-growth models and an economic model to
provide quantitative estimates of possible CO2-induced climate changes on U.S.
agriculture. Results imply the following: because of possible changes in
domestic and foreign production, the role of the United States in agricultural
export may change; patterns of agriculture may shift in response to changes in
regional crop yields and in crop irrigation requirements; future impacts on
natural resources will change and use of irrigation may increase in more humid
regions. The impact on the U.S. economy strongly depends on which climate model
"Iron in Antarctic Waters," J.H. Martin (Moss Landing Marine
Lab., Moss Landing CA 95039), R.M. Gordon, S.E. Fitzwater, ibid., 345(6271),
156-158, May 10, 1990.
Tests the hypothesis that Antarctic phytoplankton suffer from iron
deficiency, which prevents them from blooming and using up the luxuriant
supplies of major nutrients found in vast areas of the southern oceans. Oceanic
iron fertilization aimed at the enhancement of phytoplankton production may turn
out to be the most feasible method of stimulating the active removal of
greenhouse gas CO2 from the atmosphere. (See NEWS, this Global Climate
Change Digest issue--Aug. 1990.)
"A Comparison of the Contribution of Various Gases to the Greenhouse
Effect," H. Rodhe (Dept. Meteor., Stockholm Univ., S-106 91 Stockholm,
Sweden), Science, 248(4960), 1217-1219, June 8, 1990.
Considers the global warming impact of CO2 emissions relative to methane
associated with use of natural gas fuel. Concludes that natural gas is
preferable to other fossil fuels with respect to the greenhouse effect as long
as its leakage can be limited to 3% to 6%.
"Preliminary Assessment of the Greenhouse Warming Implications of
Halocarbon Substitutes for CFC-11 and CFC-12," D.C. Montague (Dept. Atmos.
Sci., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), R.L. Perrine, Atmos. Environ.,
24A(5), 1331-1339, 1990.
Controlling the production, use and release of CFCs is predicted to reduce
warming significantly. Computed temperature increases are sensitive to the
assumed growth rates of CFC-11 and CFC-12 over the next 30 years, but thereafter
the effects due to the possible substitutes HCFC-142b and HFC-134a become
increasingly important. HCFC-22 will assume a major future warming role unless
its anticipated production growth rate is reduced.
"Increase in the Stratospheric Background Sulfuric Acid Aerosol Mass
in the Past 10 Years," D.J. Hofmann (Dept. Phys., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY
82071), Science, 248(4958), 996-1000, May 25, 1990.
Measurements made at Laramie, Wyoming, indicate that the background or
nonvolcanic stratospheric acid aerosol mass at northern mid-latitudes has
increased by about 5 + or - 2% per year during the past 10 years. Whether this
increase is natural or anthropogenic could not be determined at this time
because of inadequate information on sulfur sources, in particular, carbonyl
sulfide. An increase in stratospheric sulfate levels has important climatic
implications and has heterogeneous chemical effects that may alter the
concentration of stratospheric ozone.
"Ice-Core Record of Atmospheric Methane Over the Past 160,000 Years,"
J. Chappellaz (Lab. Glaciol. Géophys. de l'Environ., BP 96, 38402 St.
Martin d'Hères Cedex, France), J.M. Barnola et al., Nature, 345(6271),
127-131, May 10, 1990.
Methane measurements along the Vostok ice core point to changes in sources
of methane and also show that methane has probably contributed, like carbon
dioxide, to glacial-interglacial temperature changes. Changes in CH4 could be
due to fluctuations in wetland areas induced by climatic changes. The
participation of CH4 and associated chemical feedbacks to warming during
deglaciations represents about 30% of that due to CO2.
"Changes in the Global Concentration of Tropospheric Ozone Due to
Human Activities," A.M. Hough (Environ. Med. Sci. Div., Harwell Lab.,
Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 ORA, UK), ibid., 344(6267), 645-648,
Apr. 12, 1990.
Uses a global tropospheric model to simulate the chemistry of the
pre-industrial and present atmospheres. Global tropospheric concentration of
ozone will continue to increase at a rate faster than during the past 100 years.
The potential for further increases in tropospheric ozone needs to be taken into
account when assessing the impact of air pollution emissions and the adequacy of
measures to control them.
SPECIAL ISSUE: Earth Processes and Global Changes, K.J. Hsü,
W.U. Henken-Mellies, Eds., Global and Planetary Change, 2(1/2),
May 1990. Proceedings from the Workshop on Global Changes, Past and Present,
sponsored by IUGS, UNESCO, Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences, and Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology (Interlaken, Switzerland, Apr. 1989). Includes 16
background papers in addition to the four working group reports listed below.
"Introduction to Earth Processes and Global Changes," K.J. Hsü
(Geol. Inst., E.T.H.-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland), W.U.
Henken-Mellies, 1-4. The Workshop 1 report shows how studies of the
ocean-atmosphere system at different modes of operation in the past will help to
identify where the man-made changes of the system are heading. Problems related
to shorter time scales included studies of the cause of sudden climatic changes
at the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas, and predictions of the
implications of anthropogenically induced changes during the next decades and
centuries. Workshop 2 topics included identification of past and present sea
level change. Workshop 3 reported on anthropogenically induced global change,
while Workshop 4 assessed the extent of the present man-induced extinction
event. It is anticipated that an IUGS/UNESCO program Earth Processes and
Global Changes will be established.
"Contributions from the Oceanic Record to the Study of Global Change on
Three Time Scales--Report of Working Group 1, Interlaken Workshop for Past
Global Changes," N.J. Shackleton (Dept. Quaternary Res., Univ. Cambridge,
Cambridge CB2 3RS, UK), T.H. Van Andel et al., 5-37.
"Global Change and the Terrestrial Record--Report of Working Group 2--"
N. Rutter (Dept. Geol., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton, Alta. T6G 2E3, Can.), B. Ammann
et al., 39-45.
"Anthropogenically Induced Global Change--Report of Working Group 3--"
H. Apsimon (Environ. Geochem. Res. Ctr., Imperial Coll. Sci., Technol. Med.,
London SW7, UK), I. Thorton et al., 97-111.
"Biotic Systems and Diversity--Report of Working Group 4--" R.E.
Ricklefs (Dept. Biol., Univ. Penn., Philadelphia PA 19104), E. Buffetaut et al.,
"Biomass of the North American Boreal Forest--A Step Toward Accurate
Global Measures," D.B. Botkin (Dept. Biol., Univ. Calif., Santa Barbara CA
93106), L.G. Simpson, Biogeochem., 9(2), Mar. 1990.
Field measures of tree and shrub dimensions were used with established
biomass equations in a stratified two-stage cluster sample design to estimate
the aboveground ovendry woody biomass. Values were much lower than previous
estimates used in analysis of the global carbon budget. Discusses the biased
nature of earlier estimates that contribute to this large difference, and
implications of the new estimate for our understanding of the global carbon
SPECIAL ISSUE: Energy and Environment, D. Pearce, Ed., Energy
Policy, 17(2), Apr. 1989. The following four articles are included:
"Energy and Environment--Editor's Introduction," D. Pearce (London
Environ. Econ. Ctr.), 82-83.
"Energy and Environment in the Long Term," A.C. Fisher (Agric.
Econ., Univ. Calif., Berkeley CA 94720), 84-87. Addresses long-term
environmental impacts under the headings of: the choice of discount rate,
alternative welfare criteria and the choice of money measure of welfare change.
"The Greenhouse Effect and Intergenerational Transfers," C.L.
Spash (Dept. Econ., Box 3985 Univ. Sta., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), R.C.
d'Arge, 88-96. Intergenerational compensation can be achieved by investment in
capital or technology, or by bequest, and is ethically required regardless of
any other action.
"Energy and Environment: The Challenge of Integrating European
Policies," S. Owens (Dept. Geog., Univ. Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK),
C.W. Hope, 97-103. Integration of the environmental dimension into other fields
is now a specific objective of EC environmental policy. Some fundamental
political, economic and institutional changes are necessary if environmental
considerations are to be applied to energy policies, rather than just to their
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Index of Abbreviations