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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 #d95sep19

"Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Supply," C. Rosenzweig (NASA Goddard Inst. Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), D. Hillel, Consequences, 1(2), 22-32, Summer 1995.

A review and perspective piece for the nonspecialist. Computer models that include the direct benefits of enhanced CO2 on plant growth predict that greenhouse warming will generally benefit agriculture in the U.S., Canada and Australia, and diminish agricultural productivity in the lower latitude, developing countries that can least afford a drop in food production or the needed adjustments in agricultural practices. The authors counter two prevailing notions: a threshold of climate change below which no policy response is needed, and blind faith in agriculture as a self-correcting process. These notions, plus the arguments of some plant scientists that the physiological effects of enhanced CO2 will be overwhelmingly positive, may lull decision makers and the public into undesirable complacency regarding global warming.

Item #d95sep20

"Greenhouse Effect and Food Program in Russia," O.D. Sirotenko (Russian Res. Inst. of Agric. Meteor.), V.N. Pavlova, Russian Meteor. & Hydrol., No. 7, 1-10, 1994.

Summarizes simulations of the effect on agriculture of climate change and elevated CO2 and tropospheric ozone, against the background of anthropogenic soil degradation. If global warming and climate aridity coincide with increasing soil degradation in Russia's major agricultural regions, a 30% reduction of grain yield and a 10% drop in plant growth by the year 2030 are possible. At the same time, the calculations show that technological progress can counter these trends significantly.

Item #d95sep21

"Was Low Atmospheric CO2 During the Pleistocene a Limiting Factor for the Origin of Agriculture?" R.F. Sage (Dept. Botany, Univ. Toronto, 25 Willcocks St., Toronto OH M5S 3B2, Can.), Global Change Biol., 1(2), 93-106, Apr. 1995.

Examines the possibility that the rise in atmospheric CO2 from below 200 to near 270 Ámol/mol, that occurred between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, may have prompted the human transition from foraging to food-producing economies.

Item #d95sep22

"Stochastic Characterization of Regional Circulation Patterns for Climate Model Diagnosis and Estimation of Local Precipitation," E. Zorita (LOYDC, Univ. Curie, 4 Pl. Jussieu, Tour 14, Paris 75252, France), J.P. Hughes et al., J. Clim., 8(5), Part II, 1023-1042, May 1995.

Examines two statistical approaches for linking large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and daily local rainfall, that could be used to determine the impact of altered climate regimes on local precipitation. The selection characteristics of analogs used in one of the approaches are similar for observations, a control run, and a 2 x CO2 run, indicating that analogs for possible altered climates can be found in the historical record.

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