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Item #d96aug61

A new "fingerprint?" Newly published research involving several climate models is being described by some scientists as the closest demonstration yet of a human influence on recent climate. (See lead papers in Prof. Pubs./Of Gen. Interest, this Digest issue--Aug. 1996.) The study compared model predictions of the combined effects of CO2, anthropogenic sulfate aerosols, and declining levels of stratospheric ozone, on air temperature in both the troposphere and the stratosphere, over the period 1963-1987. This work and reservations expressed by some other scientists are discussed in Science, p. 34, July 5.

Item #d96aug62

Growing season altered: Atmospheric measurements newly reported by Charles D. Keeling and colleagues indicate that the Northern Hemisphere growing season begins a week earlier than it did just 20 years ago. The researchers attribute this and other alterations in the CO2 cycle to the response of vegetation to recent temperature increases. (See paper in Prof. Pubs./Of Gen. Interest, this Digest issue--Aug. 1996, and Science News, p. 21, July 13; New Scientist, p. 7, July 13; The New York Times, p. C8, July 16.)

Item #d96aug63

Sea level error: NASA scientists have discovered a computer error which reduces by a factor of two the estimate of global sea level rise over the past several years based TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite measurements. The new estimate of 1-3 mm per year is now consistent with results from tide gauges. See (all 1996): The New York Times, p. C4, July 30; New Scientist, p. 13, Aug. 3; Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 6, Aug. 9.

Item #d96aug64

"Did Water Vapor Drive Climate Cooling?" M. Carlowicz, Eos, pp. 321-322, Aug. 13, 1996. In a lecture presented at the AGU Spring Meeting, geochemist Wallace Broecker proposed that water vapor, particularly in the tropics, is the only atmospheric component capable of warming and cooling the Earth on a short time scale.

Item #d96aug65

"Colonial Legacy Unlocks Arctic Secrets," V. Kiernan, New Scientist, p. 12, July 20, 1996. Unique, detailed records of hunting and fishing catches kept when Greenland was a colony of Denmark could provide clues about how the Arctic marine ecosystem might respond to global warming.

Item #d96aug66

"Greenland's Ice Holds Key to Climate Puzzle," V. Kiernan, New Scientist, p. 7, July 6, 1996. A European team has started drilling a third ice core on the Greenland ice cap, intended to resolve conflicting conclusions from the GISP2 and GRIP ice cores concerning climatic fluctuations in the period 113,000 to 125,000 years ago. This is a key issue for climatologists because climatic conditions today are thought to parallel that period.

Item #d96aug67

"Sizable Temperature Rise Would Affect [Asia's] Grain Output..," Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 459, May 29, 1996. Findings of the first comprehensive study of global warming's impacts on Asian agriculture were released in July. Conducted by the Japanese Environment Agency's National Institute for Environmental Studies and Nagoya University, the study concludes that India's winter wheat production could fall by 60 percent, and China's corn production by 40 percent, if average global temperature rises 2.5 C.

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