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 4, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1991
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
Special Issue: Evaluation Review, 15(1), Feb.
1991. Edited by Steve Rayner, Global Environ. Studies Ctr., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab.,
Oak Ridge TN 37831. Published by Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Rd., Newbury Pk.
CA 91320. Contains selected papers from the international workshop Managing
the Global Commons: Decision Making and Conflict Resolution in Response to
Climate Change (Knoxville, Tenn., Aug. 1-4, 1989). Social scientists
attempted to develop a better understanding of how the world will react to a
growing perception of increasing environmental changes from climate change, when
obvious remedies appear to conflict with economic development.
"The Role of International Law: Formulating International Legal
Instruments and Creating International Institutions," P.C. Szasz (formerly
U.N. Off. Legal Affairs; Sharp's Ldng., Box 253, Germantown NY 12526)), 7-26.
International Agreements and Cooperation in Environmental Conservation and
Environmental Resource Management," P.S. Thacher (World Resources Inst.,
1709 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20006), 27-45.
"Bargaining among Nations: Culture, History and Perceptions in Regime
Formulation," R.D. Lipschutz (Pacific Inst., 1681 Shattuck Ave., S. H,
Berkeley CA 94709), 46-74.
"A Cultural Perspective on the Structure and Implementation of Global
Environmental Agreements," S. Rayner, 75-102.
"Cross-National Differences in Policy Implementation," S. Jasanoff
(Prog. Sci. Technol. & Soc., Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), 103-119.
"Global Thinking, Local Acting: Movements to Save the Planet,"
L.P. Gerlach (Dept. Anthropol., Univ. Minn., Minneapolis MN 55455), 120-148.
"Developmental and Geographical Equity in Global Environmental Change:
A Framework for Analysis," R.E. Kasperson (CENTED, Clark Univ., Worcester
MA 01610), K.M. Dow, 149-171.
"The Greenhouse Effect in Central North America: If Not Now, When?"
T.R. Karl (Global Clim. Lab., Nat. Clim. Data Ctr., NOAA, Fed. Bldg., Asheville
NC 28801), R.R. Heim et al., Science, 251(4997), 1058-1061, Mar.
Examined the predictions of climate models with the record over the past 95
years in the central U.S., finding that the signs of some trends are consistent
with models, while others are not. None of the changes were significant except
for maximum and minimum temperatures, but these were not predicted by the
models. If the models are correct, it will take 40 years before statistically
significant precipitation changes are detected and 50-60 years before projected
changes in temperature are detected.
"Positive about Water Feedback," R.D. Cess (Inst.
Terr./Planet. Atmos., SUNY, Stony Brook NY 11794), Nature, 349(6309),
462-463, Feb. 7, 1991. Discusses implications of the following paper, which
supports the conventional view (recently challenged by Lindzen) that atmospheric
water vapor provides a positive feedback to increasing greenhouse gases.
"Positive Water Vapour Feedback in Climate Models Confirmed by
Satellite Data," D. Rind (NASA-Goddard, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025),
E.-W. Chiou et al., ibid., 500-503.
"Could Reducing Fossil-Fuel Emissions Cause Global Warming?"
T.M.L. Wigley (Clim. Res. Unit., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), ibid.,
CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels should warm the atmosphere, while
the SO2 emissions, through production of sulfate aerosols, could result in
cooling. Examined the sensitivity of the climate system to simultaneous changes
in CO2 and SO2 emissions and concluded that it is possible that the increased
radiative forcing from lowered SO2 concentrations could more than offset
reductions in radiative forcing due to reduced CO2 emissions.
"Predicting Ecosystem Responses to Elevated CO2 Concentrations,"
H.A. Mooney (Dept. Biol. Sci., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), B.G. Drake,
et al., BioScience, 41(2), 96-103, Feb. 1991.
Discusses what can be predicted about the CO2 response of plants from
physiological measurements and what has been learned from field observations.
Gives results from direct tests of the CO2 response of whole ecosystems and
indicates the promise and problems of the approaches used. Concludes there is an
urgent need for additional research on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to
elevated CO2 and climate change. This would include direct experimentation on
intact ecosystems, with plots large enough to encompass feedbacks.
Special Issue: "Global Environmental Change and
International Relations," Millennium: J. Intl. Studies, 19(3),
Winter 1990. Published by Millennium Pub. Group, London Sch. Econ., Houghton
St., London WC2A 2AE. Single copy price US$10/Can$12/£5.
"Global Environmental Change and International Governance," O.R.
Young (Inst. Arctic Studies, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover NH 03755), 337-346. In the
study of international environmental regimes, five themes have emerged:
structural, power-based, interest-based, cognitive and contextual. Further
inquiry should be broadened to include such problems as preparatory activities
leading to institutional bargaining, the problems associated with North-South
interactions and the role of non-state actors.
"Obtaining International Environmental Protection through Epistemic
Consensus," P.M. Haas (Dept. Political Sci., Univ. Massachusetts, Amherst
MA 01003), 347-363. Epistemic communities are transnational networks of
knowledge-based communities that are politically empowered through their claims
to exercise authoritative knowledge and motivated by shared causes and
principled beliefs. Although an epistemic community helped create the existing
regime to protect the ozone layer, agreements are unlikely to be achieved by the
same process in the global warming issue.
"Economics and the Global Environmental Challenge," D. Pearce
(Dept. Econ., Univ. Coll. London, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT, UK), 365-387.
After laying out a "constant natural capital" framework, argues that
international agreement on ozone layer protection fits into this structure.
Concludes that pollution taxes and tradeable permits are more likely to achieve
internationally agreed global environmental targets than are command-and-control
"The Environmental Challenges in Eastern Europe," C. ZumBrunnen
(Geog. Dept., Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), 389-412.
"Institutional and Legal Responses to Global Climate Change," G.
Plant (Intl. Law., London. Sch. Econ., Houghton St., London WC2A 2AE, UK),
413-428. In confronting global climate change, decision makers will decide
whether to reform existing international institutions or create new ones. The
most plausible scenario involves an enhanced status and role for the U.N.
Environment Program, along with its rationalisation within the U.N. system.
"North-South Issues, Common Heritage of Mankind and Global Climate
Change," K. Ramakrishna (Intl. Environ. Law., Woods Hole Res. Ctr., Woods
Hole MA 02543), 429-445. The experience of the Law of the Sea Convention cannot
be used as a model for a law of the atmosphere. The more general concept, the
common heritage of mankind, also is difficult to apply.
"Planetary Geopolitics," N. Brown (Atmos. Impacts Res., Univ.
Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK), 447-460.
"Nylon Production: An Unknown Source of Atmospheric Nitrous Oxide,"
M.H. Thiemens (Dept. Chem., Univ. California, La Jolla CA 92093), W.C. Trogler,
Science, 251(4996), 932-934, Feb. 22, 1991. Nylon manufacture,
for which N2O is a byproduct, may account for about 10% of the increase in
"New Estimates of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Biomass Burning,"
W.R. Cofer III (Atmos. Sci. Div.,NASA-Langley, Hampton VA 23665), J.S. Levine et
al., Nature, 349(6331), 689-691, Feb. 21, 1991.
Measurements made over a large prescribed fire using a real-time in situ
technique from simultaneous grab-bottle sampling. The results from 27 small
laboratory biomass test fires also help clarify the validity of earlier
assessments. Concluded that biomass burning contributes about 7% of atmospheric
N2O, as opposed to earlier estimates of several times this value.
Correspondence (p. 467) among Jastrow, Lindzen et al. on the recent
review by Hansen and Lacis of the relative importance of greenhouse gas
emissions from various countries; correspondence (pp. 468-469) regarding
greenhouse gas budgets by Enting and Rodhe. Nature, 349(6309),
Feb. 7, 1991.
"Impact of Desertification on Regional and Global Warming,"
R.C. Balling Jr. (Lab. Climatol., Arizona State Univ., Tempe AZ 85287), Bull.
Amer. Meteor. Soc., 72(2), 232-234, Feb. 1991.
Identification of greenhouse signals in temperature records are hindered by
spurious trends. Widespread desertification is producing an additional
statistically significant warming trend in land-based temperature records over
the past century (4.99 x 10-3° C per year compared to areas with no
desertification). Any greenhouse-driven desertification may amplify regional and
"Rapid Changes in the Range Limits of Scots Pine 4000 Years Ago,"
A.J. Gear (Environ. Res. Ctr., Univ. Durham, South Rd., Durham DH1 3LE, UK), B.
Huntley, Science, 251(4993), 544-547, Feb. 1, 1991.
Pine forests, present in Northern Scotland 4000 years ago, expanded then
retreated rapidly by 70-80 km. Despite the rapidity of this response to climate
change, it occurred at rates slower by an order of magnitude than those
necessary to maintain equilibrium with forecast climate changes attributed to
the greenhouse effect.
"Calculating National Accountability for Climate Change," A.L.
Hammond (World Resour. Inst., 1709 New York Ave. NW, 7th Fl., Washington DC
20006), E. Rodenburg, W.R. Moomaw, Environment, 33(1), 11-15,
33-35, Jan.-Feb. 1991.
Various methods are currently used to assess national contributions to
greenhouse warming. However, in assessing climate input parameters nations vary
in their measuring ability, organizational structures and application of
standard methods, such that the accuracy and timeliness of most national-level
data bases are poor. Proposes a realistic and workable method of making national
comparisons and tracking trends in anthropogenic greenhouse emissions.
"Three Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,"
S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 300, Boulder CO 80307), ibid., 25-30.
Reviews reports from the three IPCC working groups. At first dubious about
the advisability of undertaking the two-year study leading to these reports,
Schneider now concludes that they have provided a major opportunity for
scientists and others to engage in responsible discussions about global warming,
its potential impacts and possible solutions.
"Potential Impacts of Contemporary Changing Climate on Caribbean
Coastlines," F.J. Gable (Coastal Res. Ctr., Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst.,
Woods Hole MA 02543), D.G. Aubrey, Ocean Shoreline Mgmt., 13(1),
Management of the region's coastal areas has been hindered by lack of
understanding of complex coastal ecosystems and by the shortage of experts in
coastal science and policy. Because of the wide diversity in storm exposure,
local tectonics and land use, nations of the wider Caribbean cannot rely solely
on a generic response to climate change. They should begin appropriate research
and planning to set forth a response to global change.
"Factors That May Influence Responses of the U.S. Transportation
Sector to Policies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions," E.L. Hillsman
(Ctr. Global Environ. Studies, Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., POB 2008, 4500N, MS-6206,
Oak Ridge TN 37831), F. Southworth, Transport. Res. Record, No. 1267,
1990. Published by Transport. Res. Bd., Nat. Res. Council, Washington, D.C.
Although technical options to reduce CO2 emissions exist, policies must
recognize the fragmentation of responsibility for key transportation activities
and the need to coordinate decision making. Some of the diverse groups include
vehicle suppliers, transportation service suppliers, consumers, fuel suppliers,
and infrastructure developers.
"Environmental Impact of Fires in Kuwait," R.D. Small
(Pacific-Sierra Res. Corp., 12340 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90025),
Nature(6313), 11-12, Mar. 7, 1991. Estimates of smoke mass produced by
destruction of Kuwait's oil wells and refineries and of the smoke stabilization
altitude do not support any of the purported climatic impacts. Only a small
increase in the global CO2 budget results.
Special Issue: "Biology and Palaeobiology of Global Climate
Change," Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 5(9), Sep.
1990. Published by Elsevier Trends Journals, 68 Hills Rd., Cambridge CB2 1LA,
Contains an introduction and 12 referenced articles by specialists on such
topics as: climatic change and influences on species as evidenced by the fossil
record; patterns of terrestrial biological communities; ocean productivity;
microevolutionary consequences. Includes a detailed two-page illustration of
characteristics of greenhouse gases.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations