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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 1, JANUARY 1991

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
GENERAL INTEREST AND COMMENTARY


Item #d91jan1

"On the Limitations of General Circulation Climate Models," P.H. Stone (Ctr. Global Change, MIT, Cambridge MA 02139), J.S. Risbey, Geophys. Res. Lett., 17(12), 2173-2176, Nov. 1990.

Because general circulation models calculate large-scale dynamical and thermodynamical processes and their associated feedbacks from first principles, they are believed to have an advantage over simpler models in simulating global-scale climate changes. However, because their simulations relating to heat transport depart from observations, the authors question whether they are better than simpler models for simulating temperature changes associated with climate change experiments.


Item #d91jan2

"Climatic Change Due to Solar Irradiance Changes," T.M.L. Wigley (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), S.C.B. Raper, ibid., 2169-2172.

Used solar irradiance reconstructions dating to 1874 to estimate the effect of the sun on global-mean temperature and found that the overall range of modeled temperature variations is extremely small, 0.05° C.


Item #d91jan3

"The Space Shuttle's Impact on the Stratosphere," M.J. Prather (NASA-Goddard, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), M.M. Garcia et al., J. Geophys. Res., 95(D11), 18,583-18,590, Oct. 20, 1990.

Chlorine enhancement at the current rate of shuttle launches is small, <<0.6% above background. Other emitted gases have smaller global effects, but the impact of particulate alumina is uncertain.


Item #d91jan4

"Is Recent Climate Change across the United States Related to Rising Levels of Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases?" M.S. Plantico (Nat. Clim. Data Ctr., NOAA, Asheville NC 28801), T.R. Karl et al., ibid., 95(D10), 16,617-16,637, Sep. 20, 1990.

Analysis of observations for 23 geographic regions showed various seasonal and regional differences from 1948 to 1987, although the mean temperature does not show a significant trend. Several features of this recent climate change agree qualitatively with model-predicted impact of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases, but observed trends do not appear in line with model results. Possible explanations for the discrepancy are given.


Item #d91jan5

"Synthesis of Nitric Oxide during the Formation of an Artificially Ionized Level in the Atmosphere," G.M. Milikh (Dept. Phys., Clemson Univ., Clemson SC 29634), ibid., 16,451-16,456.

Artificial ionization of layers of the atmosphere by powerful microwave transmitters is being studied for possible application to communication services (radio and TV). Synthesis of NOx molecules, which are aggressive to ozone and might cause serious damage to the ozone layer, is a possible negative impact. When compared to existing natural sources, concludes that a world-wide net of artificially ionized layers does not appear to be of environmental concern.


Item #d91jan6

"The Gloomy Greenhouse: Should the World Phase Out Fossil Fuels?" J. Rotmans (RIVM, POB 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), R. Swart, Environ. Mgmt., 14(3), 291-296, May-June 1990.

Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations would require an emissions reduction of >>50% by 2025. Using the Dutch Integrated Model for the Assessment of the Greenhouse Effect (IMAGE), found that suggested emissions reductions could be adequate to prevent global temperature change from moving beyond past climatic experience. Although the reductions are technically feasible, major social and economic impediments must be removed, but a complete phase-out of fossil fuels would not be necessary.


Item #d91jan7

"Warming in the 1980s," M.I. Budyko (State Hydrol. Inst., USSR), P. Ya. Groisman, Soviet Meteor. Hydrol., No. 3, 1-5, 1989 (publ. 1990). Eng. trans. of Meteor. i Gidrol., No. 3, 5-10, 1989.

Compared observed variation of air temperature and atmospheric precipitation in the extratropical Northern Hemisphere in the first half of the 1980s with earlier estimates of climatic variations during the Holocene warming, in an attempt to predict greenhouse warming through analogy to past climatic epochs. The variation in winter surface air temperatures in the first half of the 1980s generally agrees with a projection based on past epochs, while agreement for precipitation variations did not.


Item #d91jan8

"Next Steps on Global Warming," Nature, 348(6298), 181-182, Nov. 15, 1990. An unsigned editorial that argues for the need for a better mechanism to assess the consequences of the accumulation of greenhouse gases than the IPCC has proved to be. Suggests a permanent institution, which would produce regular, pointed, authoritative reports.


Item #d91jan9

"Evaluating Ozone Depletion Potentials," ibid., p. 203. Extensive discussion among several researchers regarding our present capability to determine the future impact of CFC alternatives on stratospheric O3. See also related items on pp. 410 and 432, ibid., Oct. 4, 1990.


Item #d91jan10

"IPCC's Climate Change Mindset," B.J. O'Brien (12 Caithness Rd., Floreat Pk., W. Australia 6014, Aust.), ibid., 348(6296), 9, Nov. 1, 1990.

Correspondence arguing that continuing uncertainties about climate may be less of a threat to rational forward planning than unwarranted certainties (or mindsets) of several years' standing, which are difficult to identify among the handful of real facts that support a large number of policy proposals.


Item #d91jan11

"Climate Research Review," M. Allen (Dept. Atmos. Phys., Univ. Oxford, U.K.), Energy Policy, 585-587, July-Aug. 1990. Discusses research involving climate simulations and observational evidence from the recent climate record. Concludes that either we already have evidence of unnatural warming, or the prognosis for future warming as a result of current emissions looks exceedingly bleak.


Item #d91jan12

"Deforestation in the Tropics and Proposals to Arrest It," F. Le Tacon (Ctr. Recherches For. Nancy, Champenoux, 54280 Seichamps, France), J.L. Harley, Ambio, 19(8), 372-378, Dec. 1990.

Included in a special issue focusing on how some specific environmental and resource problems facing Third World countries are being tackled by Third World researchers. Covered are crops, forestry, sustainable livestock production, aquaculture, ethnopharmacology and biogas. This article summarizes the causes of tropical forest destruction and remedies to reverse this trend that would be tailored to various countries. Concludes that there is a need for research in forest production, the economic use of wood and the elimination or use of waste. Suggests that the International Foundation for Science broaden the distribution of its research grants in Third World countries.


Item #d91jan13

"Intensive Sustainable Livestock Production: An Alternative to Tropical Deforestation," E. Murgueitio (Convenio Interinstitucional para la Producción Agropecuaria del Valle del Cauca, AA7482 Cali, Columbia), ibid., 397-400.

Preservation of the ecological riches and biological diversity of tropical forests demands a complex, aggressive strategy. Intensive livestock production models based on true tropical resources offer real alternatives to the pressures of extensively grazed beef. A model developed for Columbia uses perennial crops (sugarcane and legume forage trees) with complementary livestock (pigs and African hair sheep). Better sugarcane management and feeding livestock in confinement would allow existing grazing areas to become more productive and reduce the pressure to further colonize remaining forest land.

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