Archives 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
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
Human Health and Global Climate Change. Summary of the Proceedings, P.B.
Phelps (for the Natl. Inst. of Medicine), 64 pp., 1996 (Natl. Acad. Press).
Concluded that changes in the global climate could pose significant risks to
human health, both direct (heat waves, floods, cancer) and indirect (changes in
food production and in vector-borne disease). Although complete data is lacking,
this should not excuse inaction: the precautionary principal should apply.
Possible actions include creating a global surveillance and response network;
increased coordination among nations and scientific disciplines;
multidisciplinary research on the links between global climate change and human
health; improved environmental health training; and a public outreach program of
information and education.
Assessment of Global Change. Characterizing Key Policy Issues, R.S. Turner,
F.M. O'Hara Jr., 26 pp., Feb. 1996 (ORNL).
Proceedings from a multidisciplinary, multi-agency workshop (Washington,
June 1994) designed to define key policy issues related to global climate change
and the types of information pertaining to these issues that decision makers
would find most useful. Out of hundreds of issues about the process of
integrated climate change assessment, the group settled on over 70 to analyze
for common concerns and areas of significance. Five major conclusions were drawn
by the steering committee, and future tasks identified.
A Review of the
Economic Impacts of AOSIS-Type Proposals to Limit Carbon Dioxide Emissions,
44 pp., May 1996 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by WEFA Group and H.
Zinder & Assoc.
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has proposed a protocol to the
Framework Convention on Climate Change that would require countries of the OECD,
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to limit CO2 emissions to
20% below 1990 levels by 2005. These countries would incur large economic costs
if an AOSIS-type proposal were adopted, and the impact on the U.S. would be
greater than for the other countries.
The United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Future of Small Island States,
W.C. Burns, 47 pp., Mar. 1996, $15 (GreenLife).
Focuses on the plight of these nations that are most vulnerable to climate
change. Looks at the prospective role of the UN FCCC in protecting their
interests and suggests measures to ensure their survival.
Measuring Up to
the Year 2000 Aim of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. A Comparative
Analysis of Eight Selected National Communications [Australia, Canada,
Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.S. and U.K.], 37 pp., Nov. 1995 (Global
Climate Coalition). Prepared by the EOP Group Inc.
The 36 Annex I countries that are parties to the FCCC are required to report
on policies and measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to protect and
enhance greenhouse gas sinks. This report explores the feasibility of developing
a common set of criteria that could be used to evaluate and compare these
documents. A number of major problems and uncertainties in projecting future
levels of greenhouse gas emissions were identified. Since greenhouse gas
emissions are correlated to economic growth, imposing limits on emissions
without a full understanding of the relationships between emissions and economic
activity could hinder future economies. Recommends several improvements in the
assumptions, methodology and reporting of results in the communications.
Economically Rational Response to the Berlin Mandate, 56 pp., Nov. 1995
(Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by Charles River Assoc.
Describes the tools of economic analysis available for evaluating the
proposals likely to be tabled in the negotiating process, the questions that
need to be addressed in designing a U.S. strategy, and the conclusions about
economically rational policies that appear to be emerging from economic
Facts and Fallacies About Climate Change and Weather Extremes, 28 pp., Feb.
1995 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by N.J. Macdonald, J.P. Sobel et al.,
Examined historical land, water and satellite weather data, interviewed
scientists, reviewed literature, and analyzed global weather data. Concludes
that no convincing observational evidence has been found to show that
hurricanes, violent tornados and other extreme events are more common now than
they were 50-100 years ago. Deaths in the U.S. caused by extreme weather
disasters have declined during the latter part of this century, but property
damage has increased because population has increased in areas where severe
weather is likely.
series: Elements of Change (Aspen Global Change Inst.).
Elements of Change 1994. Part I: Climate Radiation Feedbacks; Part II:
Anticipating Global Change Surprises: Part III: Biological Invasion as a Global
Change, $25 (1995). (See separate listing for Part I in Global
Climate Change Digest, Reports/Climate Change SCience/Cloud-Radiation
Feedbacks, Mar. 1996.)
. . .1994. Part III, $7 (1995). This section of the 1994 edition has
been made available separately.
. . .1995. Part I: Changes in Global Vegetative Patterns and Their
Relationships to Human Activity; Part II: Improving the Effectiveness of the
Climate Convention; Part III: The Metro-Agro-Plex as a Geographical Unit of
Analysis for Regional and Global Change, $25 (1996).
These reports are developed from the Institute's annual summer program in
which a group of culturally and scientifically diverse researchers from the
natural and social sciences come together to advance knowledge of a selected
topic in global change.
Statement on the
Status of the Global Climate 1995, Apr. 1996 (WMO). Available on the
Internet at http://www.wmo.ch/
Despite extreme climate anomalies and weather events worldwide, 1995 proved
to be the warmest since 1861, based on land temperature records and sea surface
temperatures measured by ships. Prepared in cooperation with climate centers in
several countries, the report attributes this warming to various factors,
including global warming. The ozone hole began earlier and lasted longer than in
any previous recorded year, and ozone in the lower stratosphere was again almost
totally destroyed. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4
increased, following a slowdown in 1992 and 1993. The Atlantic Ocean saw the
most active hurricane season since 1993, and there was near record heat in
Europe and the U.K. Abundant rain returned to northwest Africa and several other
Assessment, Apr. 1996. Produced by the National Weather Service Climate
Prediction Ctr., Camp Springs, Md. Available on the Internet at
http://nic.fb4.noaa.gov; printed copies
very limited. Highlights appear in Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., p. 789,
Highlights include reporting of the second highest estimated global mean
land surface temperature since 1951. Precipitation extremes dominated large
parts of the U.S., with near record flooding in several areas and a brief,
deadly heat wave in the Midwest and East. The 1995 Atlantic hurricane season was
the second most active since 1871.
Global Warming and
the Greenhouse Effect: A Primer, W.C. Burns, 55 pp., Apr. 1996, $15
Presents an overview of the climate change debate, drawing upon current
scientific evidence, including causes, effects and possible remedies through the
Damage and the Benefits of Mitigation, 40 pp., 1995, £30 (IEA).
A summary of two longer reports, Greenhouse Issues (Editions 17 and
18), that examine various fossil fuel based "cradle-to-grave" fuel
cycles, each containing CO2 capture and sequestration facilities.
This report is one of the first to include a comprehensive assessment of global
warming impacts and how they vary with time and geography, as well as the
potential for beneficial impacts.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations