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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1998

RECENT BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS

Information given in the annotations is frequently taken from publishers’ promotional literature. Prices and page numbers may be approximate; contact publisher for details and additional information on content. Publishers are named in parentheses at the end of each citation. In most cases, books advertised by publishers with an expected publication date are not listed here until actually in print.


Item #d98aug23

1998 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Energy Efficiency in a Competitive Environment, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 10 volumes, 1998, $200 pbk/$100 CD-ROM (ACEEE).

These are the proceedings from the tenth biennial ACEEE Summer Study. The 258 papers included cover the topics: technologies, design, and performance analysis of energy-efficient residences and commercial buildings; program design, implementation, and evaluation of energy-efficiency programs; international collaboration and global- market issues; deregulation of the electric utility industry and the role of energy-service companies; market transformation; information technologies, consumer behavior, and nonenergy benefits; sustainable development, climate change, energy planning, and policy formation; and building-industry trends.


Item #d98aug24

Plant Functional Types: Their Relevance to Ecosystem Properties and Global Change, T. M. Smith, H. H. Shugart, and E. I. Woodward, Eds., 369 pp., 1997, $80 hbk/$44.95 pbk (Cambridge Univ. Press).

This work resulted from a 1993 workshop conducted by the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems Project to develop ways of grouping plants together to make it easier to predict vegetation response to environmental changes. It is presented in five sections: (1) a history of the concept of functional groups in ecology, (2) approaches to and limitations in developing functional classifications, (3) the usefulness of such groups for specific ecosystems, (4) the application of functional groupings to vegetation models, and (5) a critique of the use of functional groups in ecological research. The book was reviewed by Sebastian Catovsky in Ecology 79 (5), 1843-1844 (1998). He felt “the book outlines the current state of our knowledge about the use of functional classifications in global change research, and represents a useful reference point upon which future work can build.”


Item #d98aug25

Climatic Variation in Earth History, E. J. Barron, 25 pp., 1996, $17.50; Biological Consequences of Global Climate Change, C. A. Ennis and N. H. Marcus, 53 pp., 1996, $19; Population Growth, J. E. Jacobsen, 43 pp., 1996, $18.50; Clouds and Climate Change, G. E. Shaw, 21 pp, 1996, $17; and The Earth-Sun System, John Streete, 34 pp., 1996, $18 (Univ. Sci. Books).

This series of booklets was designed to supplement college texts by providing information about global change to nonscience majors. It was reviewed by L. A. Coleman in Ecology 79 (1), 349-350 (1998). Although he felt that the population publication was well done, he had numerous criticisms of the other contributions. He felt that some of the material presented was well beyond the capabilities of a typical student; that many of the figures were unclear, too sophisticated or complicated, poorly designed or executed, unnecessary, or absent when called for. His assessment was summed up in his opinion that he “would not recommend adopting these booklets as required texts.”


Item #d98aug26

The Costs of Kyoto: Climate Change Policy and Its Implications, J. H. Adler, Ed., 171 pp., 1997, $15 (Competitive Enterprise Inst.)

This collection of papers from a 1997 conference is a broad compilation of views in opposition to the Kyoto treaty, representing industry, labor, scientists, and economic policy analysts. It predicts dire consequences from any limitations on carbon emissions and presents a series of essays on policymaking, scientific certainty, and risk analysis. It is reviewed by Richard Wilk in Environment 40 (7), 25-26 (1998).


Item #d98aug27

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change, J. H. Seinfeld and S. N. Pandis, 1326 pp., 1997, $115 (John Wiley & Sons).

This update of Seinfeld’s 1986 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics of Air Pollution adds to the treatment of tropospheric pollution, aerosols, and particulates much new material on ozone depletion, climate change, and atmospheric-chemistry models. It is reviewed in Environment 40 (7), 26 (1998) by J. L. Steinfeld, who says that it “provides the technical background that is needed to arrive at appropriate decisions affecting the future of the Earth’s atmosphere.”


Item #d98aug28

Earth from Above: Using Color-Coded Satellite Images to Examine the Global Environment, C. L. Parkinson, 175 pp., 1997, $24 (Univ. Sci. Books).

This book is from one of the authors of the Atlas of Satellite Observations Related to Global Change (1994) and of Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling (1986). In the Preface of this work, she states that its purpose is to “familiarize the uninitiated with satellite data and with the reading of color-coded satellite images of the Earth.” The book discusses a broad array of climatic and environmental topics (such as atmospheric ozone, sea ice, snow cover, sea-surface temperature, land cover, and aerosols and particulates from volcanic eruption with effective sample images. But rather than being a comprehensive data catalog, it is an explanatory introduction to satellite imaging. It is reviewed by Curt Covey in Global and Planetary Change 18, 73 (1998), where he says that it provides “enjoyable reading for anyone concerned with global change.”

Additional Reviews of Previous Entries

Item #d98aug29

Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, 2nd ed., J. T. Houghton, 251 pp., 1997, $59.95 hbk/$22.95 pbk (Cambridge Univ. Press). (Global Climate Change Digest, Nov. 1997)

Reviewed by Dexter Hinkley in Ecology 79 (6), 2211 (1998), who comments that “Sir John has prepared a remarkably ?complete briefing’.” Also reviewed by D. L. Hartmann in Eos 79 (3), 396 (1998), who states that “Houghton summarizes the work of all three working groups [of the IPCC first assessment] succinctly for the scientifically literate reader. This second edition updates the 1994 edition to incorporate material from the 1995 [second assessment] report. ... Houghton’s compact book is an accessible, well-researched, and broadly based introduction to the immensely complicated global warming problem.”


Item #d98aug30

Economics and Policy Issues of Climate Change, W. D. Nordhaus, Ed., 336 pp., 1998, $45 (Resources for the Future).

This book provides technical summaries of the conclusions from the 1995 IPCC assessment in an effort to make that material more accessible. It also contains critiques of the information and reasoning used to derive some of the report’s conclusions. The critiques and rejoinders aim to put the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC conclusions in a clearer perspective, and to identify priorities for further research. The book attempts to bridge gaps between analytical specialists and decision makers as well as their technical advisers, who are in need of well-informed but accessible counsel on climate-change issues. According to Nordhaus, “This book includes contributions by 19 eminent analysts, who tackle the social and economic aspects of climate change and offer their views on the most difficult issues (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, the discount rate, and the impacts and costs of climate change) as well as the framework issues of how to think about such long-run and uncertain problems.”

The book results from a workshop held in Snowmass, Colo., in August 1996. The early chapters review analytical issues critical to social and economic understanding of climate change. Later chapters address specific economic questions surrounding climate-change policy.

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