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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 3, MARCH 1997

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
A CENTURY OF CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH


Item #d97mar11

Special issue: Ambio, 26(1), Feb. 1997. Henning Rodhe and Robert Charlson are guest editors for this collection of papers, which were presented at a workshop (Stockholm, Apr. 1996) organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the International Meteorological Institute. The workshop commemorated the centenary of the publication by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius of a fundamental paper, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground," the first attempt to quantify the influence on the Earth's surface temperature of changes in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. This special issue contains summaries of most of the workshop's presentations, which constitute a summary of our current knowledge.


Item #d97mar12

"Svante Arrhenius and the Greenhouse Effect," H. Rodhe (Dept. Meteor., Stockholm Univ., S-10691 Stockholm, Swed., e-mail: rodhe@misu.su.se), R. Charlson, E. Crawford, 2-5.

An introductory paper summarizing the most significant achievements of Arrhenius on the topic. Also provides a realistic explanation of the fundamental physical processes contributing to the greenhouse effect.


Item #d97mar13

"Arrhenius's 1986 Model of the Greenhouse Effect in Context," E. Crawford (Inst. d'Histoire des Sciences, 7 rue de l'Univ., F-67000 Strasbourg, France), 6-11.

The model arose from debates in the Stockholm Physics Society concerning the causes of the Ice Ages; immediate reactions to to it related to that problem. Only since the 1970s has the work of Arrhenius received much wider attention due to the concern over global warming resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.


Item #d97mar14

"Carbon Dioxide Warming of the Early Earth," G. Arrhenius (Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), 12-16.

The author of this paper, a grandchild of Svante Arrhenius, discusses in detail the latter's theories regarding the role of CO2 in the early development of the Earth's atmosphere.


Item #d97mar15

"A Review of the Contemporary Global Carbon Cycle and as Seen a Century Ago by Arrhenius and Högbom," M. Heimann (Max Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundestr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Ger.; e-mail: heimann@dkrz.de), 17-24.

Reviews some current observational constraints to addressing two fundamental problems concerning the global carbon cycle: its response to anthropogenic perturbations, and feedbacks resulting from climate change. Compares this with the problems as seen by Arrhenius and his colleagues 100 years ago.


Item #d97mar16

"Direct Climate Forcing by Anthropogenic Sulfate Aerosols: The Arrhenius Paradigm a Century Later," R.J. Charlson (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Box 351640, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), 25-31.

Reviews the historical development of the understanding and quantification of direct aerosol effects on climate. Compares the respective approaches to these problems, which were both developed in Sweden, albeit almost a century apart.


Item #d97mar17

"Palaeoclimate Sensitivity to CO2 and Insolation," A. Berger (Inst. d'Astronomie & Geophys., Univ. Catholique, 2 Chemin du Cyclotron, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belg.), M.-F. Loutre, 32-37.

Uses experiments with the Louvain-la-Neuve two-dimensional climate model to explain why and how solar energy received on Earth varies on the geological time scale, and to account for the relative roles of that insolation forcing and feedbacks related to albedo and water vapor.


Item #d97mar18

"Greenhouse Effect, Atmospheric Solar Absorption and the Earth's Radiation Budget: From the Arrhenius-Langley Era to the 1990s," V. Ramanathan (Ctr. Atmos. Sci., Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), A.M. Vogelmann, 38-46.

Evaluates the model of Arrhenius in view of a century of further research on the Earth's radiation budget and supporting fields such as quantum mechanics. Arrhenius' model was remarkably successful and remains an excellent reference work for learning the approach of using direct observations for modeling. Discusses two constructs of the model that were not recognized by earlier studies, and reviews results of studies from the 1950s and 1960s.


Item #d97mar19

"Early Development in the Study of Greenhouse Warming: The Emergence of Climate Models," S. Manabe (GFDL, POB 308, Princeton NJ 08542), 47-51.

This account of climate model development by one of the world's foremost modelers emphasizes work from the 1960s to the present.


Item #d97mar20

"Assessing the Treatment of Radiation in Climate Models," A. Slingo (Hadley Ctr., Meteor. Off., London Rd., Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SY, UK), 52-57.

Discusses how radiation modeling schemes can now be compared with observations, and some of the issues those comparisons have raised. Highlights work at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting and results of the Hadley Centre Climate Model.


Item #d97mar21

"A Numerical Simulation of Anthropogenic Climate Change," L. Bengtsson (Max Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundestr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Ger.), 58-65.

Presents results of a specific transient climate change experiment at high spatial resolution, carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, and discusses how it evolved from the pioneering study by Arrhenius.


Item #d97mar22

"Climate Research: The Case for the Social Sciences," H. von Storch (Inst. Hydrophys., GKSS Res Ctr., Geesthacht, Ger.), N. Stehr, 66-71.

The history of climate impacts research has been dominated by the doctrine of "climate determinism," which holds that a region's climate influences human social conduct, attitudes and abilities. A more realistic form of impact research is needed as a basis for policy concerning anthropogenic climate change. Rejects the view that the problem should be handled with an "optimal control" approach that merely balances abatement costs against damage costs. Instead, impact research must recognize the interactions between society and climate by drawing extensively on social science expertise. Social scientists could help understand the process by which society constructs climate-related knowledge and beliefs, the dynamics of social preferences, and even the role of natural scientists (who are influenced by various subjective and social mechanisms).


Item #d97mar23

"From Arrhenius to Megascience: Interplay Between Science and Public Decisionmaking," A. Elzinga (Dept. Theory of Sci. & Res., Univ. Göteborg, S-412 98 Göteborg, Swed.), 72-80.

The majority of the paper focuses on Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius and the major themes in his ideal of science: what constitutes a good scientific explanation; how science ideally develops; and the relationship between research and decision-making in society. These views of 100 years ago are then used as background to examine the complex intertwining of research and politics that developed after World War I. Discusses how policy determination of scientific agendas introduces an organized social dimension, in which the drive for consensus may contradict the ideal of a "Darwinian struggle of hypotheses" advocated by Arrhenius. Offers a model of mutually-reinforcing credibility cycles, linking science and politics, for understanding the social dynamics of scientific climate change research.

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