February 28, 2007
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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
GENERAL INTEREST & COMMENTARY
"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.
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
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.
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
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Index of Abbreviations