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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 #d93may101

Hearings on U.S. global change research were held in both the Senate and the House on March 30. John Gibbons, the President's science advisor, emphasized the need to expand the research beyond its current focus on hard science by including issues such as the impacts of change and how to adapt to them. Another theme, voiced by atmospheric scientist James Anderson, was the need for a better balance between large, expensive projects and smaller, more flexible ones aimed at answering specific mechanistic questions, such as why ozone is thinning over the Northern Hemisphere. (See Chem. Eng. News, p. 8, Apr. 5 1993; Eos, p. 162, Apr. 6 1993; Environ. Rptr. Curr. Devel., p. 3088, Apr. 2 1993.)

Item #d93may102

Special Section: "Evolution of Atmospheres," Science, Feb. 12. Contains the following lengthy perspective pieces, in addition to the four technical reviews listed in Professional Publications / General Interest - Science":

  • "Is the Geological Past a Key to the (Near) Future?" E. Culotta, pp. 906-908. To develop climate simulations that can be trusted, modelers are turning to evidence from the past, turning paleoclimatology into (in the words of one researcher) "an applied science."
  • "Searching for Clues to Ancient Carbon Dioxide," T. Appenzeller, 908-909. Earth scientists are now finding ingenious ways of reading the record of past carbon dioxide balances in sedimentary rock and deep-sea sediment. The techniques are so new that their interpretation remains an uncertain art.
  • "Earth Scientists Look NASA's Gift Horse in the Mouth," G. Taubes, 912-914. From the start of the Earth Observing Program, launched in 1989, critics argued that the grandiose project would gather huge amounts of undigestible data and would siphon away financial resources from other--perhaps more worthy--efforts at climate monitoring. Although NASA has modified the program in response to critical reviews and budget cuts, the controversy seems to be growing.

Item #d93may103

"Ecologists Put Some Life into Models of a Changing World," Y. Baskin, Science, pp. 1694-1696, Mar. 19, 1993.

This lengthy survey of efforts to link ecological models of Earth vegetation with general circulation models of the atmosphere and ocean is based on a January workshop for biological, physical and social scientists from 50 countries, sponsored by the IGBP in Ensenada, Mexico. Participants were impressed by the progress made in ecological models in the last few years. Summarizes results of one model showing that the fertilization effect of rising CO2 would first help, then hinder, efforts to slow the buildup of greenhouse gases.

Item #d93may104

"Government to Fund 1 Million Study on Environmental Effects of UV-B Radiation," Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 302, Apr. 21. The four-year program, to be carried out at seven universities and research institutes across Britain, will examine mechanisms of effects on crops and ecosystems through laboratory and field experiments. Species will be bred for increased tolerance to UV-B.

Item #d93may105

"Can Basic Science Ever Find a Good Home in Biosphere 2?" T. Watson, Science, Mar. 19. Biologist John Corliss, formerly with NASA, has a challenging new job: bringing scientific respectability to the glass-enclosed ecosystem in the Arizona desert that is an odd hybrid of commercial tourist attraction, New Age venture, and research project. (See related BioScience paper in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Int.--Sci.)

Item #d93may106

"Environmental Impact of Population Growth," R. Naylor, P. Matson, Eos, pp. 178-179, Apr. 13. An account of the August 1992 Aspen Global Change Institute, Food, Conservation and Global Environmental Change: Is Compromise Possible? Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines explored multidisciplinary approaches to decision making on the problem.

Item #d93may107

"Global Science at the Coastal Interface: Fluxes, Forcing Factors and Feedbacks," P. Williamson, Ambio, p. 59, Feb. Describes a new IGBP core project established to determine the role of coastal systems in global change. The science plan is now available from Patrick Holligan, Plymouth Marine Lab., Prospect Pl., Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK.

Research Opportunities

Item #d93may108

The Climate and Global Change Program of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration is accepting proposals for fiscal year 1994 on a wide range of topics. Letters of intent are due June 4; proposals Aug. 8. Contact NOAA/Off. Global Progs., 1100 Wayne Ave., S. 1225, Silver Spring MD 20910 (301-427-2089).

Item #d93may109

The U.S. Department of Energy is soliciting proposals to support the experimental and theoretical study of radiation and clouds in conjunction with its Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. Contact Off. Energy Res., ER-74, U.S. DOE, Washington DC 20585 (301-903-4208).

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