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 6, JUNE 1997
"Permafrost Zonation and Climate Change in the Northern Hemisphere:
Results from Transient General Circulation Models," O.A. Anisimov (State
Hydrol. Inst., 23 Second Line, 199053 St. Petersburg, Russia), F.E. Nelson, Clim.
Change, 35(2), 241-258, Feb. 1997.
The global patterns and local details of permafrost distribution are highly
responsive to climate fluctuations. A dimensionless term, the frost index, was
used in conjunction with three transient-CO2 simulations to compile maps of
permafrost zonation for the mid-21st century. All three scenarios showed
reductions in the area occupied by each permafrost zone. Reductions in the areal
extent of permafrost predicted from two of the three simulations are much less
than those indicated by equilibrium doubled-CO2 simulations.
"Catastrophic Implications of Global Climatic Change in the Cold
Regions of Eurasia," J. Demek (Dept. Geog., Palacky Univ., Svobody 26,
Olomouc 771 46, Czech Republic), GeoJournal, 38(3), 241-250,
If models are correct that annual air temperatures in this region could
increase by 3-6° ;C in the next century, these large changes would produce
serious and far reaching environmental problems in areas underlain by
permafrost. These could include maintenance and repair for roads, airports,
buildings, pipelines and reservoirs. Melting permafrost could also contribute to
global warming through release of billions of tons of stored carbon and methane.
"Apex Marine Predator Declines Ninety Percent in Association with
Changing Oceanic Climate," R.R. Veit (Dept. Zool., Box 351800, Univ.
Washington, Seattle WA 98195), J.A. McGowan et al., Global Change Biology,
3(1), 23-28, Feb. 1997.
Three time series of pelagic bird abundance collected in disparate portions
of the California Current reveal a 90% decline in the abundance of Sooty
Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) between 1987 and 1994. This decline has
occurred while sea surface temperatures have increased and is not a local
phenomenon or the result of a short-term distributional shift. If the observed
warming of these waters is an irreversible manifestation of a changing global
climate, the impact upon this bird population seems likely to be profound.
"Climate Change and Recreation in Nahanni National Park Reserve,"
T. Staple (Faculty of Environ. Studies, Univ. Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1,
Can.), G. Wall, The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien,
40(2), 109-120, 1996.
Assessed the possible implications of climate warming on water-based
recreation in this Canadian national park, where doubled CO2 is expected to
increase annual mean temperature and precipitation. Although little change is
expected in river recreation, the experience of it may be altered through
landscape changes associated with increased forest fire and shifting ecological
life zones. Warmer temperatures would extend the visitor season by four weeks in
the fall and could have positive economic impacts. Park managers should consider
potential climate change now in their long term strategies.
"Climate Change and Deep Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste,"
P.N. Swift (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Compliance Dept., MS-1341, Sandia Natl.
Lab., Albuquerque NM 87185), Clim. Change, 33(3), 337-341, July
This editorial essay states that instead of seeking an absolute answer,
scientists should pose questions in terms of uncertainty when estimating the
performance of the disposal system. However, no amount of research can eliminate
uncertainty in 10,000-year predictions. Preliminary work at one site suggests
that uncertainties related to climate change are of secondary importance
compared to others, and common sense suggests that this type of disposal must be
one of the future human activities least sensitive to uncertainties about
"Climate Change and Fish Production in the Northeast Pacific: The
Missing Links," M. Baumann (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. British Columbia, 6270
Univ. Blvd., Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Can.), P.H. LeBlond, World Resource
Review, 8(2), 139-157, June 1996.
A simple model of fish prey-production shows that the increased fish
production observed since the early 1970s may come from structural changes in
energy transfer and a regime shift from long to short food chains, driven by
climate forcing. Detailed ecosystem analysis under different climate scenarios
can provide information for long-term negotiated fisheries management, but will
not be useful for annual predictions of fish stock response to climatic
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