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 10, OCTOBER 1990
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Coming to Terms: Toward a North South Compact for the Environment,"
J.G. Speth (World Resour. Inst.), Environ., 32(5), 16-20, 40-42,
Global environmental challenges cannot be met without a new era of
cooperation and agreement between industrial and developed countries. These
North-South understandings must transcend the traditional environmental agenda
and incorporate initiatives in policy areas as diverse as international trade
and debt, development and assistance, energy, technology transfer, and
population. They would constitute a global compact for environmental protection
and economic progress.
"A Proposed Structure for an International Convention on Climate
Change," W.A. Nitze (Environ. Law Inst., Washington, D.C.), Science,
249, 607-608, Aug. 10, 1990.
Proposes the following set of targets for greenhouse gas emissions
reductions over a ten-year period: (1) a stabilization target placing an overall
ceiling on the participating countries' emissions of all greenhouse gases, (2) a
CO2 stabilization subtarget for the OECD (industrialized) countries, (3) an
energy efficiency subtarget whereby each party would improve its ratio of carbon
emissions to GNP by 2% per year in a manner that would best suit its
circumstances, and (4) a deforestation subtarget to eliminate net loss of
"Balancing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide," T.J. Goreau (324 N.
Bedford Rd., Chappaqua NY 10514), Ambio, 19(5), 230-236, Aug.
Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 requires coupled measures to balance sources and
sinks through large investments in increased sustainable productivity on
degraded tropical soils, and research on renewable energy and biomass product
development in developing countries. A mechanism is outlined that links
fossil-fuel combustion sources of CO2 to removal via biotic productivity and
storage. A cost-benefit analysis suggests such measures are affordable and would
cost far less than inaction.
"A 1,400-Year Tree-Ring Record of Summer Temperatures in
Fennoscandia," K.R. Briffa (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. East Anglia, Norwich NR4
7TJ, UK), T.S. Bartholin et al., Nature, 346(6283), 434-439,
Aug. 2, 1990.
Reprocessing of tree-ring data for the past 1400 years for northern
Fennoscandia has shown little evidence for the existence of a Medieval Warm
Epoch, and the Little Ice Age seems to be confined to a relatively short period
between 1570 and 1650. This challenges the idea that these climatic changes
occurred synchronously throughout Europe in all seasons and suggests that any
summer warming induced by greenhouse gases may not be detectable in this region
until after 2030.
"Puzzles from the Tropics," D. Rind (NASA Goddard Space Flight
Ctr., 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), Nature, 346(6282),
317-318, July 26, 1990.
Discusses how the reconstruction of past climatic conditions for the African
tropics by Bonnefille et al. (next entry) has implications for our ability to
predict future global climate changes in the tropics using general circulation
"Temperature and Rainfall Estimates for the Past 40,000 Years in
Equatorial Africa," R. Bonnefille (Lab. Géol. Quaternaire, CNRS
Luminy, 13288 Marseille, France), J.C. Roeland, J. Guiot, Nature, 346(6282),
347-349, July 26, 1990.
Presents new quantitative estimates of temperature and precipitation based
on a multivariate analysis of pollen time-series data from peat deposits in
Burundi. The estimated temperature decrease of 4 + or - 2° C for the last
glacial period is less than estimates derived from snow-line and tree-line
records. Mean annual rainfall is estimated to have decreased by 30% during the
last glacial period, in agreement with the rainfall history inferred from lake
"An Integrated Model for the Assessment of the Greenhouse Effect: The
Dutch Approach," J. Rotmans (Nat. Inst. Public Health & Environ.
Protec.--RIVM, POB 1, 3720 BA, Bilthoven, Neth.), H. de Boois, R.J. Swart, Clim.
Change, 16(3), 331-356, June 1990.
The Integrated Model for the Assessment of the Greenhouse Effect (IMAGE)
predicts impacts based on different assumptions for technological and
socio-economic developments, treating the contribution of each trace gas
independently. Allowable emission rates can be derived given specified
effect-related targets. Predictions of global temperature and sealevel rise are
made for four different scenarios. Results emphasize the importance of trace
gases other than CO2; the Montreal Protocol is found to stabilize the relative
contribution of CFCs to the greenhouse effect.
"Der `Treibhauseffekt': Ausgangs der Achtziger Jahre (The `Greenhouse
Effect': At the End of the Eighties)," H. Oeschger (Physikalisches Inst.,
Univ. Bern, Sidlestr. 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switz.), Chimia, 43(11),
331-337, Nov. 1989. In German.
Reviews the status of international scientific programs and achievements.
Includes (in English) a talk delivered by Frank Press, president of the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences, to the symposium Planet Earth (June 1989, Paris),
entitled "What I Would Advise a Head of State about Global Change."
"Nitrous Oxide Flux Following Tropical Land Clearing," F. Luizao
(Dept. Ecol., Inst. Nacional de Pesquisas da Amzônia, Manaus, Amazonas,
Brazil), P. Matson et al., Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 3(3),
281-285, Sep. 1989.
N2O flux from forest, cleared land and pasture was measured over an annual
cycle in the central Amazon. A pasture that had been converted from tropical
forest had three-fold greater annual N2O flux than a paired forest site,
suggesting such tropical pasture represents a globally significant source of
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