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GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
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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 5, NUMBER 5, MAY 1992

REPORTS...
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY


Item #d92may63

1992 IPCC Supplement, 70 pp., Feb. 1992. IPCC Secretariat, World Meteor. Org., Case Postale 2300, 1211 Geneva 2, Switz.

(See News, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--May 1992.) Findings since 1990 either confirm or do not justify alteration of the major conclusions of the first IPCC Assessment. Among the seventeen significant new developments are the following: decreased radiative forcing from stratospheric ozone depletion roughly balances increased forcing from CFCs; the cooling effect of sulfate aerosol resulting from sulfur emissions may have offset a significant part of the greenhouse warming of the past several decades; better understanding of the usefulness and uncertainty of global warming potentials of greenhouse gases has been achieved; scenarios for predictions of warming and its impacts have been improved; transient (rather than steady-state) global model simulations have been successfully used to confirm predicted rates of warming; observations show that warming over the northern midlatitude continents has occurred mainly at night.

The finding on sulfur emissions warrants a revision of the estimated rate of warming of 0.3 C per decade for Scenario A of the 1990 assessment: the rate is likely to be reduced, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, by an amount dependent on the future magnitude and regional distribution of sulfur emissions.


Item #d92may64

Global Warming: The Economic Stakes, W.R. Cline, 128 pp., Apr. 1992, $12. Inst. for Intl. Econ., 11 Dupont Circ. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202-328-9000).

A summary of a forthcoming book-length analysis, The Economics of Global Warming, which goes beyond estimates of the costs of abatement of greenhouse gases to examine the benefits of avoiding future warming, over a much longer time frame than usually examined. The damage to the U.S. economy over the next 300 years is likely to total 6% of gross national product, and could reach 20% under an alternative, high-damage scenario. Advocates an aggressive global initiative to limit the greenhouse effect, including in a first phase a "best efforts" (but not legally binding) commitment to limit carbon emissions by the year 2000 to their 1990 levels, combined with increasing carbon taxes. If the scientific outlook warrants, a stronger regime would begin after the year 2000.


Item #d92may65

Reforestation: A Tool for Offsetting Carbon Dioxide Emissions. An Environmental Briefing (EN.3026.1.92), Mar. 1992. Free to Elec. Power Res. Inst. members; one copy free to nonprofit organizations; others, inquire. EPRI Distrib. Ctr., POB 23205, Pleasant Hill CA 94523 (510-934-4212).

An overview that summarizes scientific principles, examines practical considerations, and presents details from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's research on optimizing site-specific carbon sequestration and biomass yields in the U.S. Also reports on related research on seaweeds and halophytes.


Item #d92may66

Forests and Global Warming (Background Paper: BP-254E), T. Curran (Res. Branch, Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Ont., Can.), 58 pp., 1991. NTIS: MIC-92-00313; $27.

Describes the relationship of Canada's forests to climate change and global warming. Documents the types of Canadian forests, their economic roles, use as a carbon sink, methods of forest management, and positive and negative results of fire.


Item #d92may67

Scientist surveys (see News, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--May 1992):

Global Warming: What the Experts Say--What the Media Reports, 10 pp. summary, 1992. No charge from Ctr. Sci., Technol., and Media, Two Wisconsin Circ., S. 700, Chevy Chase MD 20815 (301-718-9602).

Scientists' Agreement and Disagreement about Global Climate Change: Evidence from the Surveys, T.R. Stewart, J.L. Mumpower, P. Reagan-Cirincione, 25 pp., Apr. 1992. No charge from Ctr. for Policy Res., Milne Hall, Rm. 300, State Univ. N.Y., Albany NY 12222 (518-442-3850).


Item #d92may68

The following three publications are available at no charge from Climate Network Europe, 44 rue du Taciturne, 1040 Brussels, Belgium (tel: 32 2 231 0180).

International NGO Directory, 102 pp., Feb. 1992. A directory of the Climate Action Network, a coalition of more than 100 nongovernmental organizations, who share a concern for the greenhouse effect and wish to cooperate in developing and implementing short- and long-term strategies.

Everything You ever Wanted to Know about Climate Change: An Annotated Bibliography of Key Publications on Climate Change, 84 pp., June 1991. Energy, transportation, agriculture and policy specialists chose and reviewed the ten most significant publications on climate change in their fields. Intended to raise public awareness and understanding of the issues.

Global Warming and the EC Budget: Recommendations to the European Parliament in the Debates on the 1992 Budget, 64 pp., May 1991. NGOs from the Climate Action Network drew up alternative options for the EC energy budget, and have made recommendations in other important sectors of EC policy relating to CO2 strategy.


Item #d92may69

Uncertainties with Respect to Biogenic Emissions of Methane and Nitrous Oxide (ENR92-03), K.M. Lemon, L.A. Katz, N.J. Rosenberg, 1992, $5. Publications, Resources for the Future, 1616 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202-328-5086).

A discussion paper estimating the amounts of CH4 and N2O from various biogenic sources. Suggests ways to reduce uncertainties associated with these estimates and options for curtailing the emissions themselves. Concludes that the burden for curtailing the greenhouse effect lies with producers of CO2.


Item #d92may70

Life Support: Conserving Biological Diversity (Paper 108), J.C. Ryan, 62 pp., Apr. 1992, $5. Order from Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202-452-1999).

Details an unprecedented, world-wide biological collapse that is resulting in a massive wave of extinctions, concluding that climate change from CO2 emissions is likely to accelerate this. Rapidly rising temperatures will overwhelm the ability of many species and ecosystems to adapt. Discusses protection of ecosystems, conservation beyond parks, living with diversity, greenhouse biology and ecological integrity.


Item #d92may71

World Resources 1992-1993, World Resour. Inst., 384 pp., Feb. 1992, $19.95. Available in paperback from WRI Publications, POB 4852, Hampden Sta., Baltimore MD 21211 (800-822-0504; 301-338-6963); also distributed in hardback by Oxford Univ. Press.

Published in collaboration with the U.N. Environment Programme and U.N. Development Programme, this report serves as a desk reference for essential data on natural resources and the environment, including energy use and tropical deforestation. Among the highlights are the first global estimates of land degradation, which since World War II has damaged soils in an area larger than that of India and China combined. A special report looks at global development patterns and shows that despite a surge of world economic growth and notable social progress by many developing countries, the economic gap between rich and poor countries has widened.


Item #d92may72

Trends '91: A Compendium of Data on Global Change (ORNL/CDIAC-46), T.A. Boden, R.J. Sepanski, F.W. Stoss, Eds., 700 pp., 1991. All data is also available on IBM-format floppy diskettes. Available (no charge) from Carbon Dioxide Info. Anal. Ctr., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831.

This second issue in the series expands the coverage of sites recording atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 and updates records previously reported. New data include: historical data from ice cores for N2O; modern records for atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11, CFC-12 and N2O; regional CO2 emission estimates; global and hemispheric temperature-anomaly records from satellites.


Item #d92may73

Recommendations for Creation of the Global Change Research Information Office [GCRIO], Ad Hoc Task Group on a Global Change Research Information Office, 70 pp., Nov. 1991. Keith W. Russell (Chair, GCRIO Task Group), Nat. Agric. Lib., USDA, 10301 Baltimore Blvd., Beltsville MD 20705 (301-344-3834).

These are among the recommendations: (1) establish and staff the GCRIO as soon as possible as a medium-sized operation that initially would serve as a "front office" for receipt of requests for information from foreign citizens and institutions; (2) maintain close ties with other government agencies and private organizations to assure high levels of mutual awareness of resources, services and products; (3) assess users' needs regularly; (4) expand the target audience to include U.S. citizens and organizations.

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