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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 8, NUMBER 11, NOVEMBER 1995

REPORTS...
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY


Item #d95nov63

A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and NASA's Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System, Natl. Res. Council, 96 pp., Sep. 1995. Natl. Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418 (800 624 6242 or 202 334 3313).

(See News, this issue--Nov. 1995.) Based on a July 1995 workshop, this review generally endorses the scientific basis of the program and its research direction. It emphasizes the need to maintain a balanced program of space-based and ground-based observations and laboratory and field research; to ensure the development and successful implementation of integrated scientific plans across agency boundaries; to maintain strong links with international global change research and observation programs; and to obtain timely scientific guidance on priorities and program balance and direction. Regarding NASA's huge Earth Observing System satellite program, it backs the overall plan through 2004 but suggests changes in the multi-billion-dollar EOS Data and Information System (EOSDIS) and one of the three planned large satellites. EOSDIS should be handled by academia and the private sector in competition, which will help give scientists fast and complete access to the data with a minimum of bureaucracy.


Item #d95nov64

Our Changing Planet: The FY 1996 U.S. Global Change Research Program, 152 pp., 1995. Obtain from Global Change Research Info. Off..

Prepared by a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council as a supplement to the President's fiscal-year 1996 budget. Provides a well-illustrated synopsis of research concerns, recent progress, and remaining goals in four major areas: seasonal to interannual climate fluctuations, climate change over the next few decades, stratospheric ozone depletion and increased ultraviolet radiation, and changes in land cover and in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Constituting over half the report are summaries of specific research results with references to published literature.


Item #d95nov65

The Emerging International Regime for Climate Change: Structures and Options After Berlin, M. Grubb, D. Anderson, Eds., 96 pp., Sep. 1995 $10.95 (Brookings).

Based on a June 1995 high-level workshop at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, in which negotiators and leading analysts examined the implications of the Berlin Conference of Parties to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, and topics such as the future of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, prospects for emission reductions, and North-South relations. Summarizes the issues and positions set out, and includes selected papers from the workshop.


Item #d95nov66

Partnership for the Planet: An Environmental Agenda for the United Nations (Worldwatch Paper 126), H.F. French, 71 pp., July 1995, $5. Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036 (tel: 202 452 1999; fax: 202 296 7365).

Reviews U.N. environmental activities on this 50th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations. Concludes that unless key environmental initiatives are maintained and strengthened, no single government will be able to protect its citizens from such global threats as skin cancer caused by ozone depletion, disrupted weather patterns caused by climate change, or the further collapse of oceanic fisheries. Makes four recommendations: (1) upgrade the U.N. Environment Program into a full-fledged, operational agency, and move it from Nairobi to a center of U.N. power such as Geneva or New York; (2) provide adequate financial resources for its programs; (3) ensure the implementation of major environmental conventions such as the global warming and biological diversity treaties; (4) democratize global environmental governance, by opening U.N. deliberations to non-governmental organizations, and giving a voice to local communities affected by World Bank and U.N. development projects.


Item #d95nov67

Mainstreaming the Environment: The World Bank Group and the Environment Since the Rio Earth Summit, Fiscal 1995, Summary, World Bank Environ. Dept., 59 pp., Sep. 1995.

Documents how the World Bank has sought to be an active partner in implementing the "Rio imperatives." Explores progress in activities specifically targeted toward improving the environment, through implementation of the Global Environment Facility and the Montreal Protocol. Also examines more broadly how environmental concerns are being incorporated throughout all the Bank's activities, as the Bank seeks to incorporate the environment into sectoral and national strategies.


Item #d95nov68

The World Bank and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, 29 pp., Mar. 1995. Available from World Bank Global Environ. Coord. Div., 1818 H St. NW, Washington DC 20433 (tel: 202 473 1155; fax: 202 676 0581).

An overview of Bank activities specifically related to the climate convention.


Item #d95nov69

Canadian "State of the Environment" publications, available at no charges from State of the Environment Directorate, Environ. Can., Ottawa ON K1A 0H3.

The State of Canada's Climate: Monitoring Variability and Change (SOE Rep. 95-1), 52 pp., May 1995. Begins with an introductory chapter on climate variability and change, followed by chapters on temperature, precipitation and cloudiness in Canada. Lake ice data corroborate temperature trend patterns, showing an average shortening of the winter ice season by about a week. On a national scale, precipitation has been decreasing since 1948; regional increases have occurred mainly over eastern and northern Canada. Cloudiness has also increased since the 1950s. Interpretation of these observations is limited; the report is intended mainly as a base for further analyses.

National Environmental Indicator Series: Climate Change (SOE Bull. 95-2), 5 pp., Winter 1995 update. Combines a summary of why climate change is an issue, and what Canada is doing about it, with time plots of three indicators: fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and global and Canadian average temperatures.

National Environmental Indicator Series: Energy Consumption (SOE Bull. 95-1), 4 pp., Winter 1995 update. Combines a summary of why energy consumption is an issue, and what Canada is doing about it, with time plots of global and Canadian energy and fossil fuel consumption.


Item #d95nov70

The Way Things Really Are: Debunking Rush Limbaugh on the Environment, L. Haimson, M. Oppenheimer, D. Wilcove, 18 pp., 1995. Single copies, no charge from Environ. Defense Fund, 257 Park Ave. S., New York NY 10010 (tel: 212 505 2100; fax: 212 505 2375).

In his book The Way Things Ought To Be, conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has fueled the anti-environment backlash with his unsupported opinions that environmental scientists are "frauds." This pamphlet lists several examples of erroneous statements by Limbaugh followed by scientific facts and their sources in the scientific and professional literature.


Item #d95nov71

The Climate Change Debate: Seven Principles for Practical Policies, European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), 24 pp., Dec. 1994. No charge from ERT, Ave. H. Jaspar 113, 1060 Brussels, Belg. (tel: 32 2 534 3100; fax: 32 2 534 7348).

Created as a working document in the climate change debate in Europe. Calls for, among other things, the European Union to pursue a "no regrets" approach, so that all actions taken will be worth doing regardless of uncertainties surrounding climate change. Policy instruments should be designed to be economically attractive and to improve industrial competitiveness.


Item #d95nov72

Storm in a Teacup? or How Serious is Global Warming?, 16 pp., Feb. 1995. Umwelt Bundes Amt (Federal Environ. Off.), Postfach 330022, 14191 Berlin, Ger. (tel: 49 30 231 455; fax: 49 30 231 5638).

Lists 10 arguments against actions to mitigate global warming, with the official German government response to each.


Item #d95nov73

The Social Construct of Climate and Climate Policy (Max-Planck Inst. Meteor. Rep. 137), N. Stehr, H. von Storch, 1994. Contact Nico Stehr, Dept. Sociol., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2H4, Can.

Uses historical examples to distinguish between climate change, defined as long-term changes in weather characteristics, and short-term weather variability and rare extremes. The distinction is important because only the social construct (or impression) of climate change ultimately shapes climate policy. Discusses implications for climate policy under several scenarios. For instance, if climate does not change, but the public expects a change, then any extreme or multiyear anomaly will be interpreted as evidence of climate change and will instigate policy responses.


Item #d95nov74

Global Warming: Limitation of General Circulation Models and Costs of Modeling Efforts (GAO/RCED-95-164), 35 pp., July 1995. Single copies free from U.S. General Accounting Office, POB 6015, Gaithersburg MD 20877 (202 275 6241).

General circulation models have become more accurate in recent decades, but major uncertainties still limit their predictive abilities. This report identifies factors limiting the accuracy of model predictions, and federal outlays for model development through the U.S. Global Change Research Program for fiscal years 1992-94.

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