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, NUMBERS 10-11, OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1996
CLIMATE MECHANISMS & FEEDBACKS
on High Sea-Surface Temperatures," D.E. Waliser (Inst. Terrestrial &
Planetary Atmos., State Univ. N.Y., Stony Brook NY 11794), World Resource
Review, 8(3), 289-310, Sep. 1996.
The ocean has an immense mediating effect on the Earth's weather and
climate, suggesting that our ability to predict surface temperature changes over
land under a scenario of climate change will only come from an understanding of
the climate controls on the surface temperatures over the oceans. This review
summarizes the progress of research on the topic over the last five years, much
of which rests on results from recent large-scale field and operational
programs. Further progress hinges on continued support for such programs,
especially for high-quality, long-record climate monitoring programs.
Two related items from
Nature, 382(6590), Aug. 1, 1996.
"Communication Between Oceans," A.L. Gordon (Lamont-Doherty Earth
Observ., Rte. 9W, Palisades NY 10964), 399-400. The results of the following
paper may settle the past 10 years of debate over the global ocean circulation
"An Estimate of Global Ocean Circulation and Heat Fluxes," A.M.
Macdonald (College of Ocean & Atmos. Sci., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis OR
97331; e-mail: email@example.com), C. Wunsch, 436-439. Presents the first
dynamically and kinematically consistent estimate of the magnitude and structure
of global ocean circulation and its associated heat fluxes, derived by
integrating hydrographic velocity data over the rapid spatial variations that
they show. The simplest interpretation of the complex results shows two nearly
During the Last Deglaciation in Antarctica," P.A. Mayewski (Leibniz Lab. für
Altersbestimmung und Isotopenforschung, Christian-Albrechts Univ., 24118 Kiel,
Ger.), M.S. Twickler et al., Science,
272(5268), 1636-1638, June 14, 1996.
Compares rapid climate change events in the Northern and Southern
Hemispheres based on examination of changes in atmospheric circulation developed
from two ice cores. Cores from central Greenland and from a new site in East
Antarctica display similar variability, suggesting that rapid climate change
events occur more frequently in Antarctica than previously demonstrated.
Efflux in Winter as a CO2 Source and Cause of Seasonality in
Atmospheric CO2," S.A. Zimov,..F.S. Chapin (Dept. Integrative
Biol., Univ. Calif., Berkeley CA 94720), Clim. Change, 33(1),
111-120, May 1996.
Three years of monitoring show a consistent CO2 efflux from
forest tundra of the Russian North throughout the year. Results provide one
explanation for the observation that the highest atmosphere CO2
concentration and greatest seasonal amplitude occur over high latitudes, rather
than mid-latitudes. Winter respiration, an exothermic process that produces
enough heat to warm soils and promote further decomposition, probably
contributed substantially to the winter CO2 efflux. Through this
process, small changes in surface heat flux associated with global warming could
release large quantities of organic carbon that are presently stored in
Ozone-Lightning Climate Feedback," R. Toumi (Dept. Phys., Imperial College,
London SW7 2BZ, UK), J.D. Haigh, K.S. Law, Geophys. Res. Lett., 23(9),
1037-1040, May 1, 1996.
Tropospheric ozone is an important greenhouse gas, and one of its major
sources in the upper troposphere are the nitrogen oxides produced by lightning.
Recent work has shown that lightning frequency may be very sensitive to changes
in the surface temperature. Experiments with a two-dimensional atmospheric model
described here show the possibility of a positive climate feedback mechanism
through ozone production by lightning.
Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling: A Thermostat for the Tropics," D.-Z. Sun (NCAR,
POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Z. Liu, Science, 272(5265),
1148-1150, May 24, 1996.
Records of past climates as well as modern observations suggest that the
maximum tropical sea-surface temperature (SST) is somehow limited to below 305K;
negative feedback from cirrus clouds has been proposed as a mechanism. This
paper offers an alternative hypothesis, illustrated using a simple box model,
involving dynamic coupling between atmospheric winds and ocean currents.
Consumption by Montane Soils: Implications for Positive and Negative Feedback
with Climate Change," M.S. Torn (Earth System Science, Univ. Calif., Irvine
CA 92717), J. Harte, Biogeochem., 32(1), 53-67, Jan. 1996.
Three years of field observations of methane uptake in montane meadow soils,
plus laboratory measurements indicate that soil drying may diminish methane sink
strength, providing a mechanism for positive feedback between methane and
climate warming, as suggested by ice core data.
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