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 11, NOVEMBER 1990
"Global Warming: Will It Affect Health?" B.S. Murdock, Health
& Environ. Dig., 4(9), 1-3, Nov. 1990. Published at 11
issues per year by the Freshwater Foundation (POB 90, Navarre MN 55392, B.S.
Murdock, Ed.). Subscription rates: $80 (govt./public sector); $105 (pvt.
sector); $120 (outside N. Amer.).
Increased global temperatures will result in more frequent, long-lasting
heat waves that will be more extreme in urban heat islands. Heat-related deaths
will increase. Higher temperatures could also exacerbate urban air pollution; an
increase in respiratory disease would be expected, particularly if O3 increases.
Agriculture could be disrupted, leading to reductions in the food supply.
"In the Ozone Hole," L.B. Young, World Monitor, 3(8),
62 ff, Aug. 1990. The writer, who visited Antarctica, gives a first-hand
description of the research into the ozone hole. A major British study reported
that ozone depletion is occurring faster than forecast, and is also occurring
over North America and Europe.
"The Great Climate Debate," R.M. White, Sci. American,
263(1), 36-43, July 1990.
This review and assessment of the topic concludes by recommending a "no
regrets" policy, whereby the first steps to counter global warming taken
are those which make sense for other economic or environmental reasons. These
include energy conservation and efficiency, increased use of nonfossil energy
sources, and phase-out of CFC production.
"Cooling It," S.H. Schneider (Nat. Ctr. Atmos. Res., POB 3000,
Boulder CO 80307), ibid., 30-38, July 1990.
Gives an extensive discussion of the science and politics of global warming
and media responses. Looks at how different disciplines view the uncertainty
associated with predictions of global warming; for example, a statistician
assumes that a 95% confidence level in a prediction represents a moderate
probability that global warming will occur, while a policy maker might view a
50% confidence level adequate to make a decision. Concludes that the public must
understand that there are greater disagreements over what to do about global
warming than over the precise probability that unprecedented change is being
built into 21st century climate. Greenhouse gas emissions can be cut now without
taking draconian measures.
"Scientists Studying 'The Greenhouse Effect' Challenge Fears of
Global Warming," D.L. Wheeler (Asst. Editor, Chronicle of Higher Educ.),
J. Forestry, 88(7), 34-36, July 1990. (Reprinted from Chronicle
of Higher Educ., 1990.)
Presents diverse opinions of several scientists. For example, Richard
Lindzen, Mass. Inst. Technol., calls forecasts of global warming inaccurate and
fraught with uncertainty. Allan Miller, Univ. Maryland, calls this skepticism a
healthy sign that will strengthen the science. NASA's James Hansen concludes
that the earth has been getting warmer for the last century; however,
climatologist Thomas Karl, who also reviewed temperature records, concludes that
most warming over the last century occurred before the rise in atmospheric
greenhouse gases. In the face of these differences of opinion, others debate
whether scientific research will produce answers quickly.
"Pro William A. Nitze," The Environ. Forum, 7(4),
15-19, July/Aug. 1990. Published by Environ. Law Inst., 1616 P St. NW, Ste.
2000, Washington DC 20036.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health and Natural
Resources, Nitze chaired the U.S. National Security Council's working group on
climate change and drafted Secretary of State James Baker's address to a working
group of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nitze was an
advocate of strong action on climate change, but this conflicted with other top
Bush administration officials, notably John Sununu. In this interview, Nitze
discusses Bush administration policies and other topics.
"Science in the Senate," Technol. Rev., 43-50, July
1990. An interview with Senator Albert Gore Jr. in which he reviews his
environmental efforts past and present, such as the Strategic Environmental
"Sharper Focus on Greenhouse Science," J. Douglas, EPRI J.,
4-13, June 1990.
Summarizes the debate relating to global warming and the implications for
electric utilities. EPRI has several climate-related projects that complement
federal and other research, for example, studying historical temperature trends,
ocean-atmosphere interactions, forest response to CO2, and power plant NOx
"NOAA Revived for the Green Decade," R.A. Kerr, Science,
248, 1177-1179, June 8, 1990.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a new administrator,
John A. Knauss, who is being credited with vastly improved morale at the agency.
Funding for the agency is also increasing and staff reportedly have recovered
their sense of mission. Two emerging areas--modernization of the Weather Service
and research in climate and global change--stand to gain the greatest increases
"Report on Reports: Our Changing Planet: the FY 1990 Research
Plan--The U.S. Global Change Research Program, and Its Update, Our
Changing Planet: The FY 1991 U.S. Global Change Research Program," A.B.
Pittock (Clim. Impacts, CSIRO, Mordialloc, Australia), Environment, 32(4),
25-28, May 1990. (See Global Climate Change Digest, REPORTS/GENERAL,
Oct. 1989 and Mar. 1990 issues.)
The keys to these plans are their budgets and priorities. Programs are to be
either "focused," aimed specifically at global change, or "contributing,"
designed for other purposes with a contribution to global change as a side
benefit. One major "focused" program is to be housed in the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA appears to have a dominant role in
space-based observations and in data management, modeling and prediction. The
plans have been criticized for giving very low priority to studying human
interactions (population policy, expansion of technology, urban planning, energy
inefficiency) and to earth system history (paleoclimatology). The Administration
appears to view the problem of global change as a subject for technological
fixes and not intimately related to population and life styles.
"Debating GAIA," S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO
80307), Environ., 32(4), 5-9, 29-32, May 1990.
A leading climatologist reviews the history and controversy of the Gaia
hypotheses, which suggest that the earth be viewed as a whole physiological
system, where complex mechanisms maintain a stable environment beneficial for
life on this planet. These ideas are gaining acceptance as a legitimate science
known as geophysiology. Relates Gaian principles to global warming and climate
"Fueling Our Global Future," D.A. Dreyfus (Gas Res. Inst.,
Washington, D.C.), A.B. Ashby, ibid., 17-20, 36-41.
The United States faces two energy-related crises: an immediate need for
investment in new energy supply capability, and the possibility that unless some
new major energy source is introduced, dominant global reliance on coal and
nuclear fission energy appears inevitable. Globally, developing nations will
probably determine future trends in global energy demand.
"Overview: On Gorbachev and Bush," ibid., 32(4),
Perspectives by W.A. Nitze and W.R. Moomaw contrast Gorbachev's and Bush's
priorities regarding the environment. Gorbachev's proposals reflect a careful
balance of environmental and foreign policy goals, while Bush's rhetoric clearly
defines his perception of the dichotomy between economics and the environment
and threatens to stalemate constructive efforts to deal with environmental
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