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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 9, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1996

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
GENERAL INTEREST & COMMENTARY


Item #d96jun1

"Decline in the Tropospheric Abundance of Halogen from Halocarbons: Implications for Stratospheric Ozone Depletion," S.A. Montzka (CMDL, NOAA 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), J.H. Butler et al., Science, 272(5266), 1318-1322, May 31, 1996.

Previous studies have shown that tropospheric chlorine attributable to anthropogenic halocarbons peaked near the beginning of 1994 and has started to decrease. The authors have estimated the effect of this trend on stratospheric ozone, concluding that the amount of reactive chlorine and bromine there will reach a maximum between 1997 and 1999. Concentrations will decline thereafter if limits outlined in the adjusted and amended Montreal Protocol are not exceeded in future years.


Item #d96jun2

"A Welfare-Based Index for Assessing Environmental Effects of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," J.K. Hammitt (Dept. Health Policy, Harvard Sch. Public Health, 718 Huntington Ave., Boston MA 02115), A.K. Jain et al., Nature, 381(6580), 301-303, May 23, 1996.

The global warming potential (GWP) compares the relative contributions of greenhouse gases to the radiative forcing of the atmosphere and thus to climate change. Since it does not measure the effects of climate change, it does not provide an adequate basis for policy decisions. This paper proposes an alternative economic damage index (EDI), and uses a simple climate model to compare corresponding values of EDI and GWP for a range of scenarios. The values of the indices are broadly similar in both magnitude and uncertainty, but the prospects of reducing these uncertainties by future research are better for the EDI.


Item #d96jun3

Two related items in Nature, 381(6578), May 9, 1996:

"Lakes Under a Three-Pronged Attack," E. Gorham (Dept. Ecology, Univ. Minnesota, St. Paul MN 55108), 109-110. The following and another recent study (Global Climate Change Digest, Prof. Pubs./Of Gneral Interest, Mar. 1996) demonstrate how the penetration of lake waters by harmful ultraviolet radiation is related to acid rain, climate warming and stratospheric ozone depletion. With ozone depletion expected to increase, further reduction of sulfur emissions becomes a more urgent matter. The situation also highlights several concerns relating to many environmental problems, including an interdisciplinary approach, long-term investigations lasting decades, and the value of ecosystem manipulation experiments.

"Increased UV-B Penetration in a Lake Owing to Drought-Induced Acidification," N.D. Yan (Dorset Res. Ctr., Ontario Ministry of Environ., Box 39, Dorset ON P0A 1E0, Can.), W. Keller et al., 141-143. Ten years of observations of rainfall and lake chemistry near Sudbury, Canada, suggest that a fall in dissolved organic carbon concentrations, and a consequent increase in UV penetration in lakes, can result when drought exposes near-shore sediments containing reduced sulfur previously deposited from the atmosphere. The sediment sulfur is re-oxidized, resulting in the release of acid to the lake and a decrease in dissolved organic carbon, which allows increased UV transmission through lake water.


Item #d96jun4

"Democratising the Global Economy by Ecologicalising Economics: The Example of Global Warming," T.N. Jenkins (Inst. Rural Studies, Univ. Wales, Aberystwyth SY23 3DD, UK), Ecol. Econ., 16(3), 227-238, Mar. 1996.

Argues that continued reliance on conventional economic models for human progress is largely responsible for an economic development path which is both unsustainable and undemocratic. Uses data on global warming to show that its damage is directly attributable to economic activity; the benefits of the economic growth which contributes to warming go to the economically articulate, while the consequent disbenefits in terms of environmental damage go to the economically inarticulate. Presents an alternative development model which attempts to account for the ecological debt owed by developed countries to developing ones.

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