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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



Item #d91nov30

"Snow on Sea Ice: Competing Effects in Shaping Climate," T.S. Ledley (Dept. Space Phys., Rice Univ., POB 1892, Houston TX 77251), J. Geophys. Res., 96(D9), 17,195-17,208, Sep. 20, 1991.

Uses a coupled energy balance climate-thermodynamic sea ice model to investigate three effects of snow on sea ice and leads: its insulating property, a tendency to cool, warm and melt more easily than ice, and its higher albedo. Results show that the albedo effect dominates and tends to cool climate, and that snow on sea ice is an important factor in climatic change.

Item #d91nov31

Two articles from: Nature, 353(6341), Sep. 19, 1991.

"No Limit to Global Warming," 219-220. Comments on the mechanism proposed by Ramanathan and Collins.

"Abrupt Deep-Sea Warming, Palaeoceanographic Changes and Benthic Extinctions at the End of the Palaeocene," J.P. Kennett (Marine Sci. Inst., Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA 93106), L.D. Stott, 225-229. Indications of rapid global warming and oceanographic changes about 57 million years ago suggest a decoupling of the deep and shallow ecosystems, and a transient change in ocean circulation that had long-term effects on environmental and biotic evolution.

Item #d91nov32

"Deglacial Meltwater Discharge, North Atlantic Deep Circulation and Abrupt Climate Change," L.D. Keigwin (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), G.A. Jones et al., J. Geophys. Res., 96(C9), 16,811-16,826, Sep. 15, 1991. Uses paleogeochemical data from the deep and surface ocean to extend earlier observations for a close relationship between surface ocean conditions and deep-ocean response, and demonstrates the sensitivity of the deep-ocean circulation to surface ocean salinity change.

Item #d91nov33

"Ice-Age Methane Variations," T.J. Crowley (Applied Res. Corp., 305 Arguello Dr., College Sta. TX 77840), Nature, 353(6340), 122-123, Sep. 12, 1991. Comparison of methane variations with other data suggests that northern wetlands could be the source of methane changes during the ice age.

Item #d91nov34

"Global Warming and Regional Rainfall: The Difference between Average and High Intensity Rainfalls," B. Yu (Dept. Biogeog., Australian Nat. Univ., GPO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia), D.T. Neill, Intl. J. Clim., 11(6), 653-661), Sep.-Oct. 1991.

Comparison of rainfall during cold and warm periods within instrumental records has helped to develop quantitative climate scenarios of possible global warming. Although greater rainfall occurred in southeastern Australia during a Southern Hemisphere warm period in the latter part of this century, data indicate that high intensity rainfall does not necessarily follow the same pattern.

Item #d91nov35

Four articles from: J. Geophys. Res., 96(D8), Aug. 20, 1991.

"The Earth's Radiation Budget and Its Relation to Atmospheric Hydrology. 1. Observations of the Clear Sky Greenhouse Effect," G.L. Stephens (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins CO 80523), T.J. Greenwald, 15,311-15,324.

Analyzes data relating the clear sky components of the radiation budget to sea surface temperature (SST) and microwave-derived water vapor amount, using two sets of satellite data. Defines a greenhouse parameter and establishes a linear relationship between it and precipitable water (w). Uses a nongray 1-D climate model to demonstrate how the observations and the model differ from simple ideas of gray body equilibrium. Study results are consistent with conventional ideas about the operation of a positive feedback between the greenhouse effect, SST and w.

"...2. Observations of Cloud Effects," G.L. Stephens, T.J. Greenwald, 15,325-15,340.

Satellite data show that the impact greenhouse effect of clouds is significant, especially for deep convective clouds over warm ocean, and increases with the liquid water path of clouds, in direct contrast to many recent model studies. The most important influences of clouds on the radiation budget are related to their macrophysical properties, not their microphysical properties, which have received more attention recently.

"Volcanic Disturbances in the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer over Tsukuba, Japan, Observed by the National Institute for Environmental Studies Lidar from 1982 through 1986," S. Hayashida-Amano (Nat. Inst. Environ. Studies, Onogawa 16-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-21, Japan), Y. Sasano, Y. Iikura, 15,469-15,478.

"Analysis of Five-Year Aerosol Data from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II," C. Brogniez (Lab. Optique Atmos., Univ. Sci. Tech. Lille, Batiment 5, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France), J. Lenoble, 15,479-15,497. Aerosol extinction coefficients measured at 1.02 microns averaged over a 10 latitude band and short periods of nearly five days are used for latitudinal and seasonal studies. The most evident feature is an exponential decrease confirming the decay of the influence of El Chichon.

Item #d91nov36

Two articles from: Rev. Geophys., 29(3), Aug. 1991.

"The Emergence of Concurrent High-Resolution Physical and Bio-Optical Measurements in the Upper Ocean and Their Applications," T.D. Dickey (Dept. Geol. Sci., Univ. So. California, Los Angeles CA 90089), 383-413. Reviews new capabilities for studying the upper ocean that have emerged over the past decade, and gives examples of recent data sets obtained from ships, the Research Platform FLIP, moorings and drifters. Discusses the needs for complementary remotely-sensed and in situ data for analysis and modeling.

"State of Balance of the Cryosphere," F.J. van der Veen (Byrd Polar Res. Ctr., Ohio State Univ., Columbus OH 43210), 433-455. The current state of balance of terrestrial ice sheets and glaciers is poorly known, and there is an urgent need to improve current estimates and to monitor ice sheets continuously for changes in volume and extent. A program based on satellite observations, combined with ground-based surveys over many years or decades, appears warranted.

Item #d91nov37

"Reconstruction of Past Climate Changes in Salinity and Climate Using a Diatom-Based Transfer Function," S.C. Fritz (Limnol. Res. Ctr., Univ. Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis MN 55455), S. Juggins et al., Nature, 352(6337), 706-707, Aug. 22, 1991. Application of a diatom-based transfer function, for reconstructing past changes in salinity of lakes to a late-glacial and Holocene sediment record from North Dakota, demonstrates the utility of the technique in reconstructing past changes in regional climate.

Item #d91nov38

"Evaluating the Climatic Effect of Doubling Atmospheric CO2 via an Analysis of Earth's Historical Temperature Record," S.B. Idso (Off. Clim., Arizona State Univ., Tempe AZ 85287), R.C. Balling Jr., Sci. Tot. Environ., 106(3), 239-242, July 15, 1991. Comparing the Earth's historical temperature record with data on historical increases in greenhouse gases suggests that a doubling of the atmosphere's CO2 content would raise the global mean surface air temperature by less than 0.4 C.

Item #d91nov39

Fossil Fuel and Biomass Burning Effect on Climate--Heating or Cooling?" Y.J. Kaufman (Code 613, NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), R.S. Fraser, R.L. Mahoney, J. Clim., 4(6), 578-588, June 1991.

Analyzes two competing effects of emissions from fossil fuel and biomass burning associated with deforestation: heating by greenhouse gases and cooling through alteration of droplet size distributions and cloud albedos from SO2 emissions. Finds that the cooling effect from coal and oil burning may presently range from 0.4 to 8 times the heating effect, while biomass burning is much more likely to cause a net warming. Future increases in fossil fuel burning may saturate the cooling effect, which is estimated to be only 0.1 to 0.3 of the heating effect under doubled CO2 concentrations.

Item #d91nov40

"Refraction of Sound Waves at Polar Latitude," W. Munk (Scripps Inst. Oceanog., 0225, 9500 Gelman Dr., La Jolla CA 92093), J. Geophys. Res., 96(C4), 7015-7022, Apr. 15, 1991. An analysis motivated by the recent Heard Island experiment examines the nature of sound transmission in the ocean using the 1960 Perth to Bermuda antipodal transmission.

Item #d91nov41

"Rainfall-Albedo Feedback to Climate," G.W. Paltridge (Inst. Antarctic Studies, Univ. Tasmania, GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia) Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 117(499), 647-650, Apr. 1991. Discusses a potentially large positive feedback which has yet to be considered in any climate model--the change in land-surface vegetation with change in rainfall.

Item #d91nov42

"Biological Control of Surface Temperature in the Arabian Sea," S. Sathyendranath (Dept. Oceanog., Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, N.S. B3H 4J1, Can.), A.D. Gouveia et al., Nature, 349(6304), 54-56, Jan. 3, 1991. Model calculations using remotely sensed data on ocean color from the Arabian Sea show that the distribution of phytoplankton influences the seasonal evolution of sea surface temperature. This mechanism may be an important influence on ocean-atmosphere interactions.

Item #d91nov43

"Planktonic Dimethylsulfide and Cloud Albedo: An Estimate of the Feedback Response," J.A. Foley (Ctr. Climate Res., Univ. Wisconsin, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison WI 53706), K.E. Taylor, S.J. Ghan, Clim. Change, 18(1), 1-15, Jan. 1991.

Develops a simple model incorporating empirically based parameterizations to account for the biological control of cloud droplet concentrations, in a first attempt to estimate the strength of the DMS-cloud albedo feedback mechanism. Finds that the feedback reduces the global climatic response to imposed perturbations in solar insolation by less than 7%, suggesting the mechanism will be unable to substantially reduce climate sensitivity.

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