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 2, FEBRUARY 1991
"Two Scientists Say Global Warming May Lead to Drop in World Sea
Levels," Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 21, Jan. 16, 1991. These findings
from two leading British geographers at Edinburgh University, David Sugden and
Nick Halton, contrast with the recent conclusions of the IPCC. They presented
evidence at the annual meeting of the Institute of British Geographers that the
East Antarctic ice sheet has been relatively stable under past warm climatic
periods, but expanding slightly and contributing to lower sea level.
"World's Rice Crop Vulnerable to Changing Atmosphere," C. Joyce,
New Scientist, p. 34, Jan. 12, 1991. In research at the University of
Maryland, elevated CO2 increased the yield of seed in test plots of rice by 20
percent. But exposure to increased UV-B corresponding to a 10-percent thinning
of the ozone layer at the equator negated any increase. Yield of soybeans did
increase with combined CO2 and UV-B.
"Wavering Stars Give Clues to a Little Ice Age," J. Gribbin,
New Scientist, p. 19, Dec. 15, 1990. Analysis of fluctuations in the
magnetic activity of stars by S. Baliunas and R. Jastrow (Nature, p.
520, Dec. 6) suggests that variations in solar output can explain climatic
fluctuations such as the Little Ice Age of the 17th century. Jastrow has argued
(in the controversial Marshall Institute report) that solar variations can
explain the slight warming observed so far in the 20th century. However, T.
Wigley and M. Kelly have concluded that the projected greenhouse warming for the
early 21st century will overwhelm such solar variations. (See their paper in
Nature, p. 460, Oct. 4, 1990; listed in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest &
COmmentary, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--Feb. 1991).
Environment Update, Dec. 1990 (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 50490,
Palo Alto CA 94303).
"Evaluating the Effects of Global Warming on Plant Species," p. 6.
EPRI and the Nature Conservancy are creating a data base to determine effects on
the biology, ecology and biogeography of 14,000 vascular plant species native to
North America. This will improve the understanding of the relationships among
shifting habitat zones, species dispersal and habitat requirements, which is
crucial to future decisions on species preservation if climate changes.
"Seaweeds and Halophytes to Remove Carbon from the Atmosphere," p.
7. Describes a preliminary evaluation of the cultivation of halophytes (plants
that grow in saline soils) and seaweeds using the world's continental shelves,
inland deserts and salt deserts, as an alternative to reforestation, which would
occupy land that might be required for food production. Overall, halophyte
farming appears to be a more effective medium for carbon storage than tree
plantations, while seaweed cultivation appears too expensive using present
"Bleached Reefs--Is a Warm-Water Cycle Stripping Corals of Their
Lifeblood?" R.N. Langreth, Science News, pp. 364-365, Dec. 8, 1990.
Discusses the work of several scientists who have been investigating recent
episodes of coral bleaching in the Caribbean, thought by some to be caused by
warming waters and a possible signal of greenhouse warming. (See also Science
article, p. 213, Oct. 12, 1990, listed in Research News, GLOBAL CLIMATE
CHANGE DIGEST, Dec. 1990.)
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