February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1997
BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS...
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Past and Future Rapid Environmental Changes. The Spatial and
Evolutionary Responses of Terrestrial Biota (NATO ASI Ser. I: Global
Environ. Change, Vol. 47), B. Huntley, W. Cramer et al, Eds., 523 pp., 1997,
Topics covered include evolutionary responses to past changes such as the
late Quaternary, mechanisms enabling evolutionary responses, and predicting
future changes. Concludes that forecasted global environmental changes pose a
severe threat to the integrity of ecosystems worldwide and to the survival of
Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse (NATO
ASI Ser. I: Global Environ. Change, Vol. 49), H.N. Dalfes, G. Kukla, H. Weiss,
Eds., 728 pp., 1997, $319 (Springer).
Looks at the reasons for the sudden collapse of ancient civilizations in
Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. Recent discoveries strongly support the suspected
link of the collapse with climate change, including a major shift of
precipitation patterns. In a contemporary world facing global warming, a number
of lessons can be learned from the experiences of these societies.
Review of the Potential Effects of Climate Change in the United
Kingdom, 272 pp., 1996, £31.50 pbk. (U.K. Dept. of Environ.)
Prepared by the U.K.'s Climate Change Impacts Review Group. Provides an
updated assessment of the potential impacts of climate change in the U.K., and
gives a new evaluation of possible adaptive responses at local and national
Global Change and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems (Ecol. Studies
Vol. 124), E.C. Oechel, Ed., 440 pp., 1996, $99.95 (Springer).
Because global warming is likely to have the greatest impact at high
latitudes, the Arctic is an important region for detecting climate change and
for studying its effects on terrestrial ecosystems. This book looks at current
and anticipated impacts of global climate change on Arctic organisms,
populations, ecosystem structure and function, biological diversity, and the
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence: Causes, Consequences and
Strategies, J.D. Milliman, B.U. Haq, Eds., 384 pp., 1996, $189 (Kluwer).
Frequently absent in the discussion of sea level rise is the role played by
subsidence (natural and anthropogenic) of low-lying coastal areas, which can
have a far greater local effect than the eustatic rise of the sea. To explore
subsidence, this book uses case studies from locations like Bangkok, Bangladesh,
Venice, the Niger and Mississippi deltas. It also discusses economic,
engineering and policy responses to be considered if the effects of local sea
level rise are to be mitigated.
Greenhouse: Coping with Climate Change, W. Bouma, G.I. Pearman,
M.R. Manning, Eds., ca. 650 pp., 1996, £90 (CSIRO).
Contains a selection of papers from the Australian-New Zealand
Conference on Climate Change.
Carbon Dioxide and Terrestrial Ecosystems, G.W. Koch, H.A.
Mooney, Eds., 443 pp., 1996, $79.95 (Academic Press).
Consists of over 20 chapters on the effects of elevated CO2 on trees and
forests, unmanaged herbaceous ecosystems, and crops. Reviewed by W.P. Cropper
Jr. (Ecology, p. 1956, Sep. 1996), who concludes that this book
represents an excellent summary of the state of current research on this
subject, and it provides a clear identification of significant unresolved
issues. Issues of scale are important in many studies, and several chapters deal
with them. The chapters on crop responses and on trees may place may place more
emphasis on biochemistry and highly managed ecosystems than some readers might
prefer. Despite some minor reservations, the book is unhesitatingly recommended
to ecologists interested in this subject.
Currents of Change: El Niño's Impact on Climate and Society,
M.H. Glantz, 194 pp., 1996, $59.95/£40 hbk., $19.95/£14.95 pbk.
Explains how widely dispersed climatic extremes might have a common origin
in the phenomena of El Niño-the periodic warming of sea surface water in
the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The author is concerned that
there is too much emphasis on developing the ability to forecast El Niño,
and not enough on the value of using existing information. According to reviewer
G. Philander (Nature, p. 35, Jan. 2, 1997), Glantz has written an
absorbing book that is mainly concerned with the impacts of climate changes on
society, and that emphasizes detailed descriptions of how and when El Niño
has brought floods, droughts and other disasters, not on scientific
explanations. Although the author is not a physical scientist, the reviewer
commends him for attempting to bridge the gulf between scientists and those who
benefit from science.
Water Resources Management in the Face of Climatic/Hydrologic
Uncertainties, Z. Kaczmarek et al, Eds., 408 pp., 1996, $160 (Kluwer).
Prepared by the Water Resources Project of the Institute for Applied Systems
Analysis. It presents an overview of the impacts of climate change on water
resources including: river runoff; water quality, temperature, use, and demand;
reservoir management; and planning. Several case studies demonstrate the
application of climate change impact assessment methodologies and demonstrate
insights into catchment-, river-basin-, and national-scale impacts of climate
change for Africa, Europe and North America.
Effects on Coniferous Forests and Grasslands (SCOPE No. 56), A.I.
Breymeyer, D.O. Hall et al., 400 pp., 1996, $95 (Wiley).
Called a landmark in the study of these two key ecosystems, which until
recently have received little attention. This SCOPE (Scientific Committee on
Problems of the Environment) project examined how these systems will respond to
global climate change, and how they might ameliorate or contribute to climate
change in the future.
Expert Consultation on Global Climate Change and Agricultural
Production, F. Bazzaz, W. Sombroek, Eds., 300 pp., 1996, $115 (Wiley).
Reports on the results of experiments to assess the effects of climate
change on crops and livestock production. Issues covered include the CO2
anti-transpiration effect, the adverse effects of elevated UV-B radiation and
ozone on plant growth and productivity and on livestock, and combined effects of
several variables. Concluding chapters give an idea of the overall global
picture and examine the world hydrological cycle, the regional availability of
water resources, and changes in soil conditions.
Global Warming, River Flows and Water Resources, N.W. Arnell, 120
p., 1996, $42 (Wiley).
Reviews the potential effects of global warming on river flows and water
resources. Covers methodologies for climate change impact assessments,
techniques for defining credible climate change scenarios, and models for
hydrological analysis. Also considers the implications of changes in river flows
for water uses and river and floodplain activities.
Climate Change and Human Health in the Asia Pacific, 1996 (Venue
Consists of papers from a conference (Canberra, Australia, Sep. 1996) that
was convened by Greenpeace Australia and the Australian Medical Association.
Among the concerns expressed is the susceptibility of the Asia Pacific region to
the effects of global warming, in part because of the limited capacity of many
populations to respond to rapid change. Cities, such as Jakarta, provide fertile
soil for new pathogens to develop. Other areas would also be subject to shifts
in the occurrence of vector-born diseases and could be ill equipped to combat
them. Aboriginal Australians have not been fully considered, and the adaptation
responses for them may actually be different from those of nonindigenous
Insects in a Changing Environment, R. Harrington, N.E. Stork,
Eds., 535 pp., 1995, $60 (Academic Press).
These proceedings from the 17th Symposium of the Royal Entomological
Society consist of five parts: introduction and magnitude of the task;
effects of climate change; impacts of gases and pollutants; land use changes;
and miscellaneous. Reviewed by D. Pimentel (Clim. Change, pp. 125-127,
Sep 1996), who summarizes the volume, and considers it an excellent reference
source for those interested in the complex interactions of insects and potential
environmental damage. Pimentel points out some deficiencies; for example, the
book does not cover the impact of pesticides, which may affect the physiology of
the target crop and thus its insect pests.
Global Change and Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems (Ecological
Studies No. 117), J. Moreno, W.C. Oechel, Eds., ca. 527 pp., 1995, £86.50
The effects of global climate change on these ecosystems will have major
social and political ramifications. This volume looks at processes from the leaf
through landscape levels.
Birds and Climate Change, J.F. Burton, 376 pp., 1995, £24.99
(Christopher Helm/A & C Black, London).
Intended primarily for naturalists, zoologists, climatologists and
interested lay persons. Chapters begin with the most recent Ice Age and its
effects, and continue chronologically to 1950. The effects of the period of "Climatic
Amelioration" (1850-1950) is analyzed in five chapters, then the period
1950 to 1980, with the final chapters concerned with responses of birds to
global warming and with future changes of climate and the reactions of wildlife
to them. Reviewed by M. Walker (Weather, pp. 108-109, Mar. 1996), who
comments that the book is packed with fascinating information and very readable.
The author is most confident when writing about birds, but tends to oversimplify
climatological matters, overuses the vague term "climatic amelioration,"
and does not distinguish clearly between climatic change and climatic
variability (a minor criticism, the reviewer states).
Reviews of Previous Entries: Impacts of Climate Change
Mountain Environments in Changing Climates, M. Beniston, Ed., 445
pp., 1994, $125 (Routledge).
Reviewed by F. MacDonald (Prog. Phys. Geog., pp. 563-564, Dec.
1995), who calls this work an important step towards a greater understanding of
the relationship between climate change and mountain systems. Information from a
variety of different disciplines (climatology, hydrology, biology, ecology, and
economics) were successfully brought together at the conference (Davos, Switz.)
and in the book in a truly multidisciplinary way.
As Climate Changes: International Impacts and Implications, K.M.
Strzepek, J.B. Smith, Eds., 340 pp., 1995, $55.96 hbk./$23.96 pbk. (Cambridge).
Reviewed by R.A. Pielke Jr. (Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., pp.
1869-1870, Aug. 1996), who concludes that the volume will be of use to
sectoral/area experts and may serve as an introductory text. However, it falls
short of its own objective of completing the circle connecting climate
scientists, impacts researchers and policy makers. New Scientist (p. 51,
Sep. 1996) contains a brief comment by P.D. Moore that this is a valuable source
book that tackles specific problems such as the global food supply, sea level
rise, global vegetation types.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations