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 2, FEBRUARY 1990
GENERAL INTEREST, POLICY AND LAW
"Climate and Smoke: An Appraisal of Nuclear Winter," R.P. Turco
(Univ. Calif., Los Angeles CA 90024), O.B. Toon et al., Science,
247(4939), 166-176, Jan. 12, 1990.
New information on nuclear winter has been obtained from laboratory studies,
field experiments and numerical modeling on a variety of scales (plume,
mesoscale and global). For the most likely soot injections from a full-scale
nuclear exchange, three-dimensional climate simulations yield midsummer land
temperature decreases that average 10 to 20° C in northern mid-latitudes,
with local cooling as large as 35° C, and subfreezing summer temperatures in
some regions. Severe depletion of stratospheric ozone and disruption in monsoon
precipitation are new problems associated with soot injections. Reaffirms the
basic physics of nuclear winter and discusses remaining areas of uncertainty and
"Observational Determination of the Greenhouse Effect," A.
Raval (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, Chicago IL 60637), V. Ramanathan,
Nature, 342(6251), 758-762, Dec. 14, 1989.
Analysis of satellite measurements indicates the atmospheric greenhouse
effect increases significantly with sea surface temperature, providing strong
evidence of positive feedback between the greenhouse effect and both surface
temperature and water vapor. The magnitude of the effect is consistent with
climate model predictions. Demonstrates an effective method for directly
monitoring, from space, future changes in the greenhouse effect. (R.D. Cess
discusses this research on p. 736 of the same issue.)
"Climate Change and International Politics: Problems Facing
Developing Countries," P.H. Gleick (Pacific Inst., 1681 Shattuck Ave., S.
H, Berkeley CA 94709), Ambio, XVIII(6), 333-339, 1989.
Discusses severe risks facing developing nations from rapid climatic
changes. Suggests actions that both the industrialized and developing world can
take to prevent or mitigate the worst effects. Slowing the rate of future change
can increase the time available to understand and prevent the worst impacts as
well as reduce the risks of international disputes and conflicts.
"Potential Health Effects of Global Climatic and Environmental
Changes," A. Leaf (Mass. General Hospital, Boston MA 02114), New
England J. Medicine, 321(23), 1577-1583, Dec. 7, 1989.
The health consequences of global warming are potentially great but
currently speculative. These include: (1) increased mortality from heat stress
if the number of days ambient temperatures exceed 32° C increases, (2)
increased respiratory irritants causing more lung diseases, and (3) increased
incidence of skin cancer due to the thinning of the stratospheric ozone shield.
Physicians should familiarize themselves with the changes occurring in the
global environment, understand potential health consequences, and assist in
educating the public and government policy makers about these threats and how to
"Global Change--Defining the Ill-Defined," M.F. Price (Environ.
Societal Impacts Gr., NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Environ.,
31(8), 18-20, 42-44, Oct. 1989.
Global change should be operationally defined for practical research and
decision making. Global change has progressed through three approaches: (1) the
anthropogenic approach considers the interactions between people and their
institutions; (2) the holistic approach extends the consideration to include the
natural processes of the earth's system; and (3) the geocentric approach
emphasizes these natural processes, with humankind just one of many factors. An
integrated approach involving both science and society will be most beneficial.
"Looking to Tomorrow: Technologies and Lifestyles," JAPCA,
39(11), 1427-1435, Nov. 1989. This opening plenary session of the Air
and Waste Management Association's 82nd Annual Meeting overviewed ways air
quality management technology can significantly reduce pollutants and improve
energy efficiency, and highlighted the relationship between urban/regional air
pollution and global pollution.
"Perspectives in Transportation," P.B. MacCready (AeroVironment
Inc., Monrovia, Calif.), 1428. Regulations and incentives for new cars and
trucks to decrease local pollutants should focus directly on decreasing
pollutants and not dictate how the decrease is to be accomplished. Credits
should be given for reducing pollutants far below permitted maxima.
"Global Projections of Energy and Electricity," C. Starr, M.F.
Searl (Elec. Power Res. Inst., Palo Alto, Calif.), 1429-1432. Projects energy
demand to the year 2060 by considering three cases: a continuation of present
trends, the effect of substantial conservation by efficiency improvements, and
the limiting case of zero per capita energy growth.
"Abating Air Pollution at Negative Cost via Energy Efficiency,"
A.B. Lovins (Rocky Mountain Inst., Snowmass, Colo.), 1432-1435. Advanced
techniques for energy end-use efficiency can pay for very large direct and
indirect reductions in emissions. Environmental priority can also be an economic
"Stratospheric Ozone Change," C. Jackman (Atmos. Chem. Dynamics
Branch, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Md.), Environ. Sci. Technol.,
23(11), 1329-1332, 1989.
This constitutes a plenary lecture by the author at the Jekyll Island
(Georgia) International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry.
Suggests that all scenarios of attempting to control ozone depletion show that
any effects of controls taken now will not become evident for at least 30 years.
More must be learned about ozone and its variability before we can definitely
establish a global trend, but it is apparent that ozone depletion in the
Antarctic polar stratosphere is due to human activity.
"The Recent Climate Record: What It Can and Cannot Tell Us,"
T.R. Karl, J.D. Tarpley et al., Rev. Geophys., 27(3), 405-430,
Considers our ability to quantify climate change with respect to
near-surface air temperature, sea-surface temperature, precipitation, snow
cover, sea ice, and vegetation measured from space and the earth's surface.
Discusses calibration, observing practices, urbanization, station changes, data
representativeness, data access and areal coverage. To better quantify future
climate change, many data types and observing systems will have to be blended.
Large data sets will have to be made accessible to scientists to check and
verify climate change hypotheses.
"Climate Change, Hydrology, and Water Resources," P.H. Gleick
(Pacific Inst., 1681 Shattuck Ave., S. H, Berkeley CA 94709), ibid.,
Recent hydrological research strongly suggests that the greenhouse effect
will alter timing and magnitude of runoff and soil moisture, change lake levels
and affect water quality. Such changes raise the possibility of environmental
and socioeconomic dislocations, and have important implications for future water
resources planning and management.
"Underestimating Ozone Depletion: The Meandering Road to the
Montreal Protocol and Beyond," D.M. Doolittle (Sch. Law, Univ. Calif.,
Berkeley, Calif.), Ecol. Law Quart., 16(2), 407-441, 1989.
Reviews the history of ozone depletion. Explains the important provisions of
the Montreal Protocol and attempts to determine if the Protocol has met its
goal. The Montreal Protocol is based on optimistic underestimates that have
marred the discussion of ozone depletion for over twenty years. Questions
concerning the extent and rate of depletion and the possibilities for
implementing environmentally safe CFC substitutes largely remain unanswered.
"A Video Atlas of TOMS Ozone Data, 1978-88," D. Chesters
(NASA/Goddard Lab. Atmos., Greenbelt MD 20771), A.J. Krueger, Bull. Amer.
Meteor. Soc., 70(12), 1564-1569, Dec. 1989.
A time-lapse atlas of 3440 color-coded images, available on standard VHS
videotape from NASA, presents a vivid picture of the earth's atmospheric
dynamics and chemistry for scientists, educators, policy makers and citizens
concerned about the global environment.
"CO2 and the Greenhouse Effect: Measures and Strategies of the
German Coal Industry," G. Zimmermeyer, Glueckauf, 125(15/16),
956-963, Aug. 17, 1989. In German.
A high technical level of energy efficiency and energy saving would have to
be introduced world-wide to maintain current levels of CO2 emissions and delay
doubling of atmospheric CO2 by a few hundred years. Technologies and policies
must be developed for further stages and measures. An international convention,
which must be ratified at least by the most important CO2 emitting countries, is
desirable for joint action coordinated on a global scale.
"Major Themes in Energy to 2010," special issue of Energy
in Europe, Sep. 1989. Annual subscription price ECU 35; available in
English, French, German and Spanish from Off. Official Publ. European
Communities, Sales Dept., Section: Energy (WEC), L-2985 Luxembourg.
Discusses in five chapters the challenge of energy planning and policy,
using three scenarios: (1) a conventional view with no fundamental changes in
people's thinking about energy; (2) a conventional view revisited, where
increased economic growth and emissions grow too quickly; and (3) sustained high
economic growth in a clean environment. Four annexes provide an overview of
energy demand and supply and emission balances.
Call for Social Science Paper Proposals: A conference intended as a forum
for social science theory and research presentations on causes, impacts and
management of global change is planned for August or September 1990. Short
proposals for papers should be sent to: William Riebsame, Natural Hazards Ctr.,
Campus Box 482, Univ. Colo., Boulder CO 80309.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations