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
FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1998
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Biological and Physical Signs
of Climate Change: Focus on Mosquito-borne Diseases," P.R. Epstein (Ct. for Health
& Global Environ., Harvard Med. Sch., 260 Longwood Ave., Boston MA 02115; e-mail:
PEPSTEIN@warren.med.harvard.edu), H.F. Diaz et al.,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79(3),
409-417, Mar. 1998.
The authors, mostly earth or life scientists, review biological (plant and insect)
data, glacial findings, and temperature records taken from mountainous regions. At high
elevations, the overall trends regarding glaciers, plants, insect ranges, and shifting
isotherms show remarkable internal consistency, and there is consistency between model
projections and the observed changes. Chemical and physical changes in the
atmospherecompounded by large-scale land use and land-cover changeshave begun
to affect biological systems. Discusses implications for public health as well as for
developing an interdisciplinary approach to the detection of climate change.
"Preserving the Atmosphere as
a Global Commons," M.S. Soroos (Dept. Political Sci., N. Carolina State Univ., Box
8102, Raleigh NC 27695; e-mail: email@example.com),Environment, 40(2), 6-13,
32-35, Mar. 1998.
The four international agreements dealing with the atmosphere as a common
resourceon nuclear tests, ozone depletion, transboundary air pollution and
climatehave contributed little to developing a general law of the atmosphere. This
article proposes that the U.N. develop and adopt a nonbinding "Declaration of
Principles on the Preservation of the Atmosphere," which would have several immediate
functions and could be the foundation for a future major international treaty on the
"Global Change in Local
Places," R.W. Kates (Torrie-Smith Assoc., 255 Centrum Blvd., S. 302, Orléans ON K1E
3V8, Can.; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), R.D. Torrie,Environment, 40(2), 5,
39-41, Mar. 1998
Discusses new interest in a "bottom-up" approach to both science and policy,
that would enhance the ability of individual localities to do their own scientific
assessments and then to act on them. One example, sponsored by NASA through the
Association of American Geographers, utilizes the untapped scientific competence and local
knowledge of institutions of higher learning that focus primarily on teaching rather than
research. Another is the Toronto-based International Council for Local Environmental
"A Dim Future for Boreal
Waters and Landscapes," D.W. Schindler (Dept. Biol. Sci., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB
T6H 2E9, Can.; e-mail: email@example.com),BioScience, 48(3), 157-164,
Reviews the cumulative effects of climatic warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid
precipitation and other activities that are taking their toll on the ecosystems of the
boreal zone, which contain one of the Earth's largest terrestrial carbon pools. Our
descendants will know a much different boreal landscape than we have today.
"Global Climate Change: The
Kyoto Protocol," C.V. Mathai (Arizona Public Service Co., POB 53999, M/S 8931,
Phoenix AZ 85072),EM, pp. 13-16, Feb. 1998. Published for environmental managers by
the Air & Waste Management Assoc., One Gateway Ctr., Third Fl., Pittsburgh PA 15222
(tel: 412 232 3444; fax: 412 232 3450).
Summarizes the major provisions of the Protocol, prospects for ratification and entry
into force, and the outlook for related activities in the U.S. in 1998.
Two related items in Science,
279(5355), Feb. 27, 1998:
"Sea Floor Records Reveal Interglacial Climate Cycles," R.A. Kerr, 1304-1305.
New ocean sediment records described in the next paper show that the Earth's climate
varies on regular cycles lasting from 1200 to 6000 years, in glacial and interglacial
periods alike. This comment explains why the finding offers a mixed message of reassurance
and warning about the future of our own climate.
"Abrupt Climate Events 500,000 to 340,000 Years Ago: Evidence from Subpolar North
Atlantic Sediments," D.W. Oppo (Dept. Geol. & Geophys., Woods Hole Oceanog.
Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), J.F. McManus, J.L. Cullen, 1335-1341.
"Geothermal Evidence for
Deforestation Induced Warming: Implications for the Climatic Impact of Land
Development," T.J. Lewis (Pacific Geosci. Ctr., 9860 W. Saanich Rd., Sidney BC V8L
4B2, Can.; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), K. Wang,Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(4),
535-538, Feb. 15, 1998.
Analyses of temperatures from boreholes in previously forested areas in western Canada
disclose sudden increases of one to two degrees in ground surface temperature at the times
of deforestation at each site. A warming of the ground surface over a large area of
Central Canada, synchronous with the deforestation of southern Ontario and neighboring
regions in the nineteenth century, may be an example of climate change linked to the
widespread creation of agricultural lands.
"Reduced Sensitivity of Recent
Tree-Growth to Temperature at High Northern Latitudes," K.R. Briffa (Clim. Res. Unit,
Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; e-mail: email@example.com), F.H. Schweingruber et
al.,Nature, 391(6668), 678-682, Feb. 12, 1998.
During the second half of this century, decadal-scale trends in wood density and summer
temperatures have increasingly diverged. The cause is unknown, but it must be incorporated
into dendroclimatic reconstructions as well as estimates of future atmospheric CO2
concentrations based on carbon-cycle models.
"A Road Map for U.S. Carbon
Reductions," J. Romm (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, US DOE,
Washington DC 20585), M. Levine et al.,Science, 279(5351), 669-670, Jan. 30,
Identifies technologies with potential for widespread application that could help
satisfy the challenging Kyoto agreement. If used in combination with international carbon
trading, Americans will not have to reduce their travel, turn down their thermostats, or
decrease manufacturing output to meet the nation's carbon reduction goal.
"Changes in the West Antarctic
Ice Sheet Since 1963 from Declassified Satellite Photography," R. Bindschadler (Code
971, NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), P. Vornberger,Science, 279(5351),
689-691, Jan. 30, 1998.
Presents observations showing that dramatic changes are occurring in one area of West
Antarctica. The results do not resolve the question of the stability of the West Antarctic
Ice Sheet, but they show that large changes in ice velocity can occur with even small
changes to either external forcings or internal dynamics.
"Tropical Cyclones and Global
Climate Change: A Post-IPCC Assessment," A. Henderson-Sellers (Chancellory/R&D,
Roy. Melbourne Inst. Technol., POB 71, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org), H. Zhang et al.,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79(1), 19-38,
Gives a detailed update of projected trends in tropical cyclones, based on
thermodynamic estimation of the "maximum potential intensities" (MPI). Recent
studies indicate that the MPI of cyclones will remain the same or undergo a modest
increase of up to 10-20%. This predicted change is small compared with observed natural
variations, and known omitted factors could operate to mitigate this intensification.
Contrary to popular belief, the broad geographic regions affected by tropical cyclones is
not expected to change significantly.
"The Pros and Cons of Carbon
Dioxide Dumping," C. Hanisch (Nashville, Tenn.),Environ. Sci. & Technol., 32(1),
20A-24A, Jan. 1, 1998. The complete article is also available on this Web site: http://pubs.acs.org.
Discusses current views on, and experiments with large-scale sequestration of CO2
in the ocean or underground, a controversial approach to climate change mitigation.
"On the Difference in Impact
of Two Almost Identical Climate Scenarios," R.S.J. Tol (Inst. Environ. Studies, Vrije
Univ., De Boelelaan 1115, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Neth.; e-mail: email@example.com),Energy
Policy, 26(1), 13-20, Jan. 1998.
Focuses on the differences in impacts of climate change for alternative scenarios of
climate stabilization, which have been largely ignored in previous studies. Shows that no
stabilization path is unambiguously preferred, although over most of the assumption space
explored, there appears to be a preference for earlier reduction of greenhouse gases.
"A General Model for CO2
Regulation: The Case of Denmark," G.T. Svendsen (Dept. Econ., Aarhus Sch. Business,
Fuglesangs Allé 20, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark; e-mail: GTS@HHA.DK), Energy Policy, 26(1),
33-44, Jan. 1998.
Uses the case of Denmark to show that a mixed design of permit market, bubbles and tax
may be preferable for national CO2 regulation, for economic, political, and
"The Kyoto Negotiations on
Climate Change: A Science Perspective," B. Bolin (Dept. Meteor., Univ. Stockholm, 106
91 Stockholm, Swed.; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org),Science, 279(5349),
330-331, Jan. 16, 1998.
The past chairman of the IPCC analyzes the Kyoto agreements in terms of the IPCC's
climate change assessments. Comments on targets and timetables, atmospheric CO2
levels, sources and sinks, and tradable emission permits. Concludes that the conference
did not achieve much with regard to limiting the buildup of greenhouse gases; only with
new cooperation among countries will it represent a step toward the ultimate objective of
the climate convention.
"Growth of Fluoroform (CHF3,
HFC-23) in the Background Atmosphere," D.E. Oram (Sch. Environ. Sci., Univ. E.
Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; e-mail: D.E.Oram@uea.ac.uk), W.T. Sturges et al.,Geophys.
Res. Lett., 25(1), 35-38, Jan. 1, 1998.
Presents the first assessment of this important, unregulated greenhouse gas, which is
increasing in the atmosphere at a rate of 5% per year. It has a long atmospheric lifetime,
and its cumulative emissions through 1995 have a global warming equivalent to 1.6 billion
tons of CO2.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations