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 9, SEPTEMBER 1990
ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET STABILITY. Recent observations of erratic motion
in an Antarctic glacier indicate a serious lack of understanding of the
stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, and of its relationship to climatic
change. This topic was the theme of an interdisciplinary workshop of physical
scientists held January 1990 in College Park, Maryland, with support from the
National Science Foundation. It concluded that the possibility of an impending
rapid rise of sea level due to the response of the West Antarctic ice sheet to
climatic warming, or to delayed response to past climatic change, is serious
enough to warrant a new research initiative. A subsequent document (see
REPORTS/OF GENERAL INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Sep.
1990) describes the proposed SeaRISE initiative (Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet
Evolution). A second workshop will be held in October at the NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center (Greenbelt, Maryland) to write a science implementation plan. (See
related article by Bindschadler in PROF. PUBS./EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE. The
report's executive summary was published in Eos, pp. 710-711, May 15.
See also New York Times, pp. C1, C8, Aug. 14, and Science News,
p. 285, May 5.)
"Changes in Ocean Currents Could Accelerate Global Warming,"
New Scientist, p. 35, July 14, 1990. An analysis by West German
researchers indicates that changes in ocean currents resulting from global
warming may reduce the ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide, resulting
in a positive feedback. (See Mikolajewicz, PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this
Global Climate Change Digest issue--Sep. 1990.)
"Could Arctic Ice Be Thinning?" A.S. McLaren et al., Nature,
p. 762, June 28, 1990. Data collected in recent years by British submarines
suggests such thinning could be occurring, but much more data are required to
reliably establish any trend. (See Wadhams article, PROF. PUBS./OF GEN.
INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Sep. 1990; also Science
News, p. 46, July 21.)
"Uranium Dating Delves Deeper into the Past," S. Bowler, New
Scientist, p. 30, June 16, 1990. A new method of dating applied to Caribbean
coral samples shows that car-bon-14 dating is in error by up to 3,500 years. The
finding will lead to revised dating of climatic and sea level change at the end
of the last ice age. (See Bard article, PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this
Global Climate Change Digest issue--Sep. 1990.) A press release from
Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (where the work was done) states that the
method provides so much detail that, for the first time, scientists can clearly
see two dramatic meltwater surges 14,200 to 13,600 and 11,500 to 10,900 years
ago, when sea levels rose at a rate of more than nine feet per century.
"Ozone Depletion Quickens at Both Poles," New Scientist,
p. 32, Aug. 4, 1990. Discusses balloon observations made by University of
Wyoming workers in Antarctica and by Canadian scientists in the Arctic. (See
Deshler and Evans articles, Global Climate Change Digest, PROF.
PUBS./STRATOSPHERIC OZONE CHEMISTRY, June 1990.)
"NASA Announces Comprehensive Global-Scale Environmental Studies to
Improve Modeling," J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., pp. 1024-1025, July
1990. Gives an overview of the NASA Mission to Planet Earth Program, and its
space-based Earth Observing System (EOS).
"Paleoclimatic Aspects of El Niņo/Southern Oscillation,"
Eos, p. 982, July 17, 1990. This brief summary of a May workshop
(Boulder, Colo.) includes discussion of the response of the oscillation to
varying boundary conditions, which must be understood before the effect of
global climate change on this important feature of the atmosphere can be
"AGU Position on `Our Changing Planet: FY 1991 U.S. Global Change
Research Program,'" Eos, p. 746, June 5, 1990. Summarizes
modifications to the President's global change research budget recommended by an
American Geophysical Union panel of reviewers.
"Climate and Water," G.E. Stout, Eos, pp. 339, 347,
Mar. 20, 1990. An extensive summary of the December 1989 International
Seminar on Climatic Fluctuations and Water Management (Cairo, Egypt).
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Index of Abbreviations