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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d92apr1

"Will Sea Levels Rise or Fall?" S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Nature, 356(6364), 11-12, Mar. 5, 1992.

Miller and de Vernal recently proposed that global warming could initiate ice-sheet growth and contribute to sea-level fall (Nature, p. 244, Jan. 16, 1992; GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST, Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest, Mar. 1992). While this is plausible, several considerations discussed here show the opposite outcome is equally plausible, especially when recent observations of the Greenland ice dome by Zwally are considered on a regional rather than global basis.

Item #d92apr2

"Ozone Depletion: Ultraviolet Radiation and Phytoplankton Biology in Antarctic Waters," R.C. Smith (Dept. Geog., Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA 93106), B.B. Prézelin et al., Science, 255(5047), 952-959, Feb. 21, 1992.

Results from a six-week cruise in the Antarctic marginal ice zone show that enhanced UV from ozone depletion combined with surface water stratification alters the balance of spectrally dependent phytoplankton processes. A minimum 6-12% reduction in primary production was estimated to be associated with ozone depletion for the duration of the cruise. While the estimated overall decrease in phytoplankton activity based on this result does not appear to constitute a significant contribution to greenhouse warming, the ecological consequences of this alteration to the marginal ice zone remain to be determined.

Item #d92apr3

Two items from Nature, 355(6363), Feb. 27, 1992:

"Cold Comfort in the Greenhouse," J.T. Kiehl (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), 773.

While the following paper by Ramaswamy et al. finds that the global warming effect of CFCs is roughly offset by the cooling resulting from ozone depletion, this global average picture ignores the complexities of the climate system, and it would be wrong to conclude that CFCs are benign. Stratospheric ozone loss increases the latitudinal gradient of greenhouse forcing, which could have important dynamic effects.

"Radiative Forcing of Climate from Halocarbon-Induced Global Stratospheric Ozone Loss," V. Ramaswamy (Atmos. Ocean Sci., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08542), M.D. Schwarzkopf, K.P. Shine, 810-812.

Compares the radiative forcing of the surface-troposphere system resulting from observed decadal ozone losses, with that due to increasing concentrations of the other main radiatively active gases. Significant negative radiative forcing results from ozone losses in middle to high latitudes, in contrast to the positive forcing at all latitudes caused by CFCs and other gases. Results suggest that the net decadal contribution of CFCs to greenhouse climate forcing is substantially less than previously estimated.

Item #d92apr4

"Indirect Chemical Effects of Methane on Climate Warming," J. Lelieveld (Max Planck Inst. Chem., POB 3060, D-6500 Mainz, Ger.), P.J. Crutzen, Nature, 355(6358), 339-342, Jan. 23, 1992.

Shows that the climatic effects of methane have previously been overestimated, particularly by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, largely due to neglect of the height dependence of certain atmospheric radiative processes. Switching from coal and oil to natural gas as an energy source should reduce global warming, unless present estimates of leakage from gas production and distribution are too low.

Item #d92apr5

"Land Use and Land Cover Change," Ambio, 21(1), 122, Feb. 1992. A brief description of a program to investigate the role of human-induced land cover change in altering global cycles, developed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the International Social Science Council.

Item #d92apr6

Special Feature: "The Future of Remote Sensing in Ecological Studies," P.A. Matson, S.L. Ustin, Eds., Ecology, 72(6), Dec. 1991. Contains the following three papers, all stressing the need for ecologists to provide input to the U.S. program Mission to Planet Earth. Reprints of the 29-page section are available for $3 from Bus. Mgr., Ecological Soc. America, Arizona State Univ., Tempe AZ 85287.

"What Does Remote Sensing Do for Ecology?" J. Roughgarden (Dept. Biol. Sci., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), S.W. Running, P.A. Matson, 1918-1922. Describes a few of the ways that remotely sensed data have been used to develop and test ecological questions on coarse spatial scales.

"Mission to Planet Earth: The Ecological Perspective," D.E. Wickland (Earth Sci. Div., NASA, Washington DC 20546), 1923-1933. Describes the types of platforms and sensors that will become available as part of Mission to Planet Earth.

"Opportunities for Using the EOS Imaging Spectrometers and Synthetic Aperture Radar in Ecological Models," S.L. Ustin (Dept. Land, Air, Water Resour., Univ. California, Davis CA 95616), C.A. Wessman et al., 1934-1945. Describes in detail the ecological uses of data expected from three sensors to be carried aboard the Earth Observing System.

Item #d92apr7

Reviews on ozone depletion:

"Stratospheric Ozone Depletion," F.S. Rowland (Dept. Chem., Univ. California, Irvine CA 92717), Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem., 42, 731-768, 1991. A lengthy review with nearly 100 references.

"Polar Stratospheric Clouds and the Ozone Hole," P. Hamill (San Jose State Univ., San Jose, Calif.), O.B. Toon, Physics Today, 34-42, Dec. 1991. Reviews the growing understanding of the roles of nitric acid and water-ice clouds.

Item #d92apr8

"Tropical Forests: Effects of Destruction vs. Preservation," J. Josephson (ES&T, Washington, D.C.), Environ. Sci. Technol., 25(7), 1204-1206, 1991.

Discusses a presentation at the 1991 AAAS annual meeting by J. Shukla, who has modeled regional climatic changes in the tropics that would result from continued deforestation.

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