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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
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

NEWS...
RESEARCH NEWS


Item #d91feb80

"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.


Item #d91feb81

"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.


Item #d91feb82

"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).


Item #d91feb83

Environment Update, Dec. 1990 (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 50490, Palo Alto CA 94303).


Item #d91feb84

"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.


Item #d91feb85

"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 technologies.


Item #d91feb86

"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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