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 10, NUMBER 7, JULY 1997
"Greenhouse Wars," F. Pearce, New Scientist, pp. 38-43,
July 19, 1997.
A substantial examination of the views of the more vocal scientific skeptics
on climate change and how their views compare with those of more mainstream
scientists, an exchange which often rises to a "crossfire of personal and
professional abuse." The discussion focuses on a major deviation of climate
model simulations from observations. For the past two decades, the observed
warming at the ground has failed to penetrate the atmosphere above. Models do
not show this feature, suggesting they are not properly simulating climate
feedbacks involving water vapor or the degree to which the world will warm as
greenhouse gases rise.
"The Coming Climate," T.R. Karl, N. Nicholls, J. Gregory, Scientific
American, pp. 78-83, May 1997.
Explains how meteorological records and computer models permit insights into
some of the broad weather patterns of a warmer world. Simplistic predictions
that scorching summers, more cyclones and heavier rainfall are in store can be
far off the mark; these experts, who contributed to the IPCC assessment of
climate change, offer a more realistic view.
"Greenhouse Forecasting Still Cloudy," R.A. Kerr, Science,
pp. 1040-1042, May 16, 1997. (See Global Climate Change Digest, NEWS,
"Earth at a Crossroads," special issue of Nucleus,
Summer 1997. (Union of Concerned Scientists, Two Brattle Sq., Cambridge MA
02238; e-mail: ucsusa.org; WWW: http://www.ucsusa.org)
Published as part of the Union's campaign to help enact strong emission
agreements at Kyoto in December. Articles summarize the global warming problem,
relate greenhouse gas emissions to local air pollution, and discuss the roles of
transportation emissions and wind energy.
"Storm Warnings Rattle Insurers," B. Hileman, Chemical &
Engineering News, pp. 28-32, Apr. 14, 1997.
Extreme weather events (blizzards, high winds, floods) have become more
frequent in many countries over the past six years. In the U.S., only a few
areas have escaped experiencing 100-year weather events. At the same time,
insurance claims have been rising. Many reinsurance industry leaders in Europe,
Japan and the U.S. have decided that these rising costs probably result from
human-induced climate change, and they have been active at the U.N., pushing for
limits on greenhouse gases. Discusses whether global warming or other factors
(like natural variability) are at the root of the rising amount of insurance
"The Use and Abuse of Climate Models," K.E. Trenberth, Nature,
pp. 131-133, Mar. 13, 1997. (See Global Climate Change Digest, PROF.
PUBS./GEN. INTEREST & POLICY, Apr. 1997.)
"How Much Food Will We Need in the 21st Century?" W.H. Bender,
Environment, pp. 7-11, 27-28, Mar. 1997. (See Global Climate Change
Digest, PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST & COMMENTARY, June 1997.)
"A Pacific Response to Climate Change," J. Hay, Tiempo,
pp. 1-10, Mar. 1997. (Contact Mick Kelly, Sch. Environ. Sci., Univ. E. Anglia,
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.)
The most significant and immediate consequences of climate change to Pacific
Island states are likely to be related to changes in rainfall, soil moisture,
prevailing winds, sea level and patterns of wave action. Assessments for this
region will have little validity if they ignore the local dominance of
subsistence economies, customary land ownership and village-based decision
making, and the limited capacity to adapt to or mitigate climate change.
Discusses specific policy responses and regional action strategies that can be
undertaken in these states.
"Rowland: CFCs to Foreign Affairs," Chemical &
Engineering News, pp. 44-49, Feb. 17, 1997.
An interview by R.J. Seltzer with Nobel Laureate F. Sherwood Rowland, who is
currently foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences. Rowland
discusses how regulations on stratospheric ozone depletion were put together,
and comments that because of that issue's special characteristics, it's not
possible to generalize the process to other issues. He predicts that ozone
depletion probably will not worsen significantly in the Southern Hemisphere, but
could in the north.
"Industrial Agriculture--Driving Climate Change?" P. Bunyard."
(See PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--July
"You've Got to Give a Little," V. Kiernan, New Scientist,
p. 50, Oct. 26, 1996.
Discusses the Chlorine Game, a model role-playing game invented by
Lawrence Susskind et al. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which
participants are assigned various roles in negotiating an international
environmental treaty. The value of this teaching tool is in the way it teaches
the realities of negotiation, and connects technique and context. When diplomats
have played the Chlorine Game, they have noted its more informal
approach (allowing brainstorming rather than repetitions of government policies)
is better suited to examining alternatives with an eye toward developing a
solution acceptable to all nations.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations