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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 12, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1999

JOURNAL ARTICLES...
SOCIAL ASPECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE


Item #d99jan23

“Assessing the Vulnerability of Coastal Communities to Extreme Storms: The Case of Revere, MA., USA,” G. E. Clark et al.,Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 3 (1), 59-85 (1998).

Vulnerability of areas of a coastal city were mapped and assessed in terms of the income and resources of the residents, race and ethnicity, educational level, lifelines (e.g., transportation and communication capabilities), transience, immigrants, value of built environment and housing, disabilities, residents’ age, and family structure (size). This allowed visualizing areas of higher and lower vulnerability (i.e., the ability of the community to coastal hazards), simulating the effects of potential hazards (storms, floods, etc.), and identifying opportunities for improving hazard management.


Item #d99jan24

“Do Fuel Efficiency Improvements Really Increase Travel?” David Bernstein,World Resource Rev. 10 (3), 384- 391 (1998).

No.


Item #d99jan25

“Far Reach of the Tenth Century Eldgjá Eruption, Iceland,” R. B. Stothers,Climatic Change 39 (4), 715-726 (1998).

A massive volcanic eruption in Iceland about AD 934 has been dated by stratigraphic analysis of the local geology, carbon dating of trees burned by the lava, deposition in Greenland ice layers, and historic accounts of the Viking settlements established there during that period. Although this was during the Dark Ages, historic documents from across Europe can be pieced together to gain insight into the ecological, social, health, and economic effects of the extended climate change induced by the eruption:

  • The Sun was dimmed over Ireland, Portugal, Germany, and France, even appearing blood red for a short while.
  • Exceptionally cold weather was experienced in Europe and the Middle East; Baghdad received unusual heavy snowfalls; in Constantinople, the earth was frozen for 120 days; a long and bitterly cold winter occurred in Ireland; the Meuse River near Liège was frozen from November to March.
  • Agriculture was reported as unproductive in Iran.
  • Famine followed across the Middle East.
  • Pestilence was described in France and Iran.

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