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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d90nov1

Global Environmental Change--Human and Policy Dimensions, 1(1), Dec. 1990. A quarterly journal to debut in December, published with support of the U.N. University, which will contribute news and reports from its Human Dimensions of Global Change (HDGC) Program. Free sample copies, subscription details, and authors' guidelines are available from the publisher: Butterworth Sci. Ltd. (Attn. Jane Skinner), Westbury House, Bury St., Guildford, Surrey GU2 5BH, UK (tel: (0483) 300966). In the U.S. and Canada contact Promo. Dept., Butterworths, 80 Montvale Ave., Stoneham MA 02180; 617-438-8464. Direct manuscripts (3 copies) to Penny Street at the U.K. address. Estimated annual subscription rate: £95.

Papers should relate to these general concepts: human contributions to worldwide environmental changes and the diversity of human responses to the impacts of global change. Suggested themes are: effects of global environmental changes on different geographic scales; trends in levels of risk, exposure and vulnerability; methods for assessing surprises, risks and impacts; adaptive and preventive strategies; institutional arrangements for managing global change; collection, communication and interpretation of global change information.

Item #d90nov2

"Progress Towards a Quantitative Understanding of Antarctic Ozone Depletion," S. Solomon, Nature, 347(6291), 347-354, Sep. 27, 1990. Review article.

Although a decade ago the prospect of the stratospheric ozone layer being depleted by half at certain latitudes would have been considered preposterous, now this has been proven beyond reasonable scientific doubt for the Ant-arctic. The chemistry of the region is highly unusual because of its extreme cold temperatures which greatly enhance susceptibility to chlorine-catalyzed ozone depletion.

Item #d90nov3

"Effect on Global Warming of Wind-Dependent Aerosol Generation at the Ocean Surface," J. Latham (Dept. Pure/Appl. Sci., Inst. Sci. Technol., Univ. Manchester, Manchester M60 1QD, UK), M.H. Smith, ibid., 372-373.

Assessments of the influence of clouds on global warming are hindered by poor understanding of feedback mechanisms. One negative feedback involves increased wind speeds over oceanic regions with resultant emissions of sea salt aerosol. Calculations indicate that an increase in wind speeds of 5-10 m s-1 would produce increased cloud albedo sufficient to compensate for predicted levels of global warming.

Item #d90nov4

"The Ice-Core Record: Climate Sensitivity and Future Greenhouse Warming," C. Lorius (Lab. Glaciol. Environ., BP 96, 38402 St. Martin d'Heres, Cedex, France), J. Jouzel et al., ibid., (6289), 139-145, Sep. 13, 1990. Review article.

Data from ice cores are unique because they provide access in the same samples to both climate and climate forcing. They have been used to show that climate and greenhouse-gas concentrations were intensely interactive. Evaluating climate sensitivity from the points of view of paleoclimatologists and modelers has given relative agreement. Still urgently needed is an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes by which subtle changes in insolation are amplified to induce long-term changes in global climate.

Item #d90nov5

"Ozone Loss in the Arctic Polar Vortex Inferred from High-Altitude Aircraft Measurements," M.H. Proffitt (Aeronomy Lab., NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), J.J. Margitan et al., ibid., (6288), 31-36, Sep. 6, 1990.

Although the Arctic polar vortex in winter is "chemically primed" for O3 depletion, observed depletion does not match that of the Antarctic, possibly in part a result of the flux of ozone-rich air through the vortex. Using N2O as a chemically conserved tracer, significant O3 loss was identified; correlation with elevated ClO suggests anthropogenic CFC emissions as a cause. Disagreement of results with model studies suggests the importance of accounting for poorly understood polar vortex dynamics.

Item #d90nov6

"Global Biomass Burning: Atmospheric, Climatic and Biospheric Implications," J.S. Levine (Atmos. Sci., NASA-Langley, Hampton, Va.), Eos, pp. 1075-1077, Sep. 11, 1990.

Reports on the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference by the same title (Mar. 1990, Williamsburg, Va.). Nearly half the 114 papers were authored by experts from outside the U.S. Summarizes topics such as: the view from space; biomass burning in tropical, temperate and boreal ecosystems; gaseous and particulate emissions; contributions of biomass burning to global budgets for carbon and nitrogen species and ozone; the greenhouse effect and climate.

Item #d90nov7

"The Global Warming Debate Heats Up: An Analysis and Perspective," S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 71(9), 1292-1303, Sep. 1990.

Analyzes many key topics concerned with the issue--from the media to modeling. Public responses to the prospect of global climate change are either adaptation or prevention. Economists, for example, favor adaptation such as making water distribution systems more flexible. A prevention strategy might slow the rate of greenhouse-gas production by improving energy efficiency. The best strategies have "high leverage": they help solve more than one problem with a single investment (improved energy efficiency has both environmental and economic benefits, for instance).

Item #d90nov8

"Signals of Atmospheric Pollution in Polar Snow and Ice," E.W. Wolff (Brit. Antarctic Survey, Res. Council, High Cross, Madingley Rd., Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK), Ant-arctic Sci., 2(3), 189-205, Sep. 1990. Review article.

Measurements of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic and Arctic ice have shown that the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased by 25% in the last 200 years; the CH4 content has more than doubled. A close correspondence between greenhouse gases and temperature during the last glacial cycle has been demonstrated. Cautions that local pollution could hamper studies of global pollution.

Item #d90nov9

"Sun and Dust Versus Greenhouse Gases: An Assessment of Their Relative Roles in Global Climate Change," J.E. Hansen (NASA-Goddard, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), A.A. Lacis, Nature, 346(6286), 713-719, Aug. 23, 1990. Review article.

Climate forcing, an imposed natural or anthropogenic change, modifies the planetary radiation balance and therefore the planetary temperature. One of the most important natural forcings, solar variability, will not counteract the effects of greenhouse warming. Despite uncertainties in estimates of temperature changes that could result from increased burning of fossil fuels, policy makers can move to reduce the ultimate magnitude of the experiment that humans now carry out on earth. Suggests actions relating to CFCs, energy efficiency, recycling, reforestation, alternative energy sources, and population.

Item #d90nov10

"Global Environmental Research: Who's Doing What?" A. Clayson (10 Square Alboni, F-75016, Paris, France), Ambio, 19(5), 270-272, Aug. 1990. Summarizes the missions and major research programs and gives contacts for further information for these international organizations: WMO, IIASA, WHO, UNEP, UNESCO.

Item #d90nov11

"Declining Amphibian Populations: A Global Phenomenon?" A.R. Blaustein (Dept. Zoology, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis OR 97331), D.B. Wake, Tree, 5(7), 203-204, July 1990.

The world-wide decline of all types of amphibian populations is alarming because of the potentially huge impact on other organisms above and below them in the food chain, including humans. Declines have been attributed to causes like acidic deposition and harvesting for food, but many seem to be occurring without human influence; and there may be synergistic interactions with increased ultraviolet radiation and higher temperatures from global warming. This article reports on a National Research Council workshop (Irvine, Calif., Feb. 1990), at which long-term research was recommended to study factors influencing decline.

Item #d90nov12

"Trends in Atmospheric Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation: Mechanisms and Observations for the Northern Hemisphere," J.E. Frederick (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, 5734 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637), Photochem. Photobiol., 51(6), 757-763, June 1990. Review article.

Although a wintertime decrease in atmospheric ozone over the Northern Hemisphere has been established, any systematic change in annual mean UV-B levels over the past 20 years has been extremely small. Major determining factors for surface UV-B irradiance have been variable cloudiness and regional air pollution levels, and future changes in the Northern Hemisphere are likely to be spread over several decades. Extrapolations from results of photobiological laboratory experiments to the biosphere must be done carefully.

Item #d90nov13

"Global Climatic Issues in the Coastal Wider Caribbean Region," F.J. Gable (Coastal Res. Ctr., Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), J.H. Gentile, D.G. Aubrey, Environ. Conserv., 17(1), 51-60, Spring 1990.

Some of the most pronounced warming during the 1980s was observed in the lower latitudes, including the wider Caribbean, which is considered one of the regions most vulnerable to the perturbations and uncertainties of environmental change. Important potential impacts to the natural and human environments are identified that are associated with sea level rise and the increased frequency, intensity and seasonality of tropical storms.

Item #d90nov14

"Global Climate Change and Agriculture: An Economic Perspective," R.M. Adams (Dept. Agric., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Ore.), Amer. J. Agric. Econ., 71(5), 1272-1279, 1989.

Discusses the potential for climate change from the build-up of greenhouse gases and CFCs. At some point increases in these gases will alter the world's climate.

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