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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 3, MARCH 1999

REPORTS

Prices and page numbers may be approximate. Obtain reports or further information from sources named in parentheses at the end of each citation; addresses are listed at the end of this section.


Item #d99mar26

The Draft 1999 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (1990—1997): Draft for Public Comment, 248 pp. USEPA, Office of Policy, Washington, D.C. [March 1999]. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/inventory/ 1999-inv.html.

The Inventory summarizes annual U.S. emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 for 1990 to 1997 by source category and sector. It also presents estimates of emissions of VOCs, NOx, and CO derived by methods recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This report is required by the Rio Treaty (Earth Summit), under which the United States and other developed countries agreed to submit annual greenhouse-gas- emission reports to the Secretariat of the Convention. The Inventory provides a basis for the ongoing development of a system to identify and quantify emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases in the United States, serves as part of the U.S. submission to the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and contributes to the updates to the U.S. Climate Action Report.


Item #d99mar27

Guidelines for the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, Verification, and Certification of Forestry Projects for Climate Change Mitigation, LBNL-41877, Edward Vine, Jayant Sathaye, and Willy Makundi, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., March 1999, 125 pp. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ccm/ccPubs.html.

The United States and other countries are implementing climate-change-mitigation projects to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions or sequester carbon. Standardized guidelines are needed to accurately determine the impact of these programs on emissions, to increase the reliability of data for estimating benefits, to provide real-time planning data, to introduce consistency and transparency, to enhance the credibility of the projects with stakeholders, to reduce costs, and to reduce financing costs. Such guidelines are provided for (1) evaluating changes in the carbon stock by modeling, remote sensing, and field/site measurement; (2) establishing a credible baseline (free riders) and calculating changes to the carbon stock (project leakage, positive project spillover, and market transformation); (3) verifying and certifying project impacts; (4) including environmental and socioeconomic impacts in the evaluation of forestry projects; (5) reporting estimated changes in carbon stock for monitoring, evaluating, and verifying these changes, and (6) assuring quality.


Item #d99mar28

Global Climate Change: Carbon Emissions and End-Use Energy Demand, RL30036, Richard Rowberg, Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1999, 18 pp. Available online at http://www.cnie.org/nle/crsnew.html.

This report presents an analysis of the potential impacts on specific end uses of meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets. Demand for each energy source is calculated with Energy Information Administration data and forecasts, and carbon emissions are calculated. Energy-demand reductions called for by the Kyoto Protocol are then calculated for each end use. By 2008, total carbon emissions from energy use for the specified end uses is 1,721 million metric tons compared with 1,464 in 1996. Five end uses (light-duty vehicles, freight trucks, residential appliances and machinery, industrial machinery, and communications and information equipment) comprise more than 70% of the increase in carbon emissions. Under the Kyoto Protocol, energy demand for each of the end uses would have to decline by about 29% below the levels now forecast for 2008, about 20% below the actual 1996 values. For 2012, the required reductions would be about 31%. Reductions of that magnitude would require substantial increases in energy efficiency and/or significant reductions in the services provided. For example, the average fuel economy of the light-duty vehicle fleet would have to be more than 29 mpg. If the reduction were to be met solely by driving less, annual passenger car travel would have to drop to about 10,300 miles.


Item #d99mar29

State of the Reefs: Regional and Global Perspectives. International Coral Reef Initiative, S. C. Jameson, J. W. McManus, and M. D. Spalding, 1995. U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., 33 pp. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.ogp.noaa.gov/misc/coral/sor/.

To provide a needed comprehensive understanding of the status and trends of coral-reef ecosystems, this report examines general patterns in the status and trends of these ecosystems today, what would be the consequences of coral- reef ecosystem degradation to human populations, and some of the major coral-reef management and research programs. Preliminary recommendations for conserving these valuable resources are also suggested. It finds that coral-reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure, and the threats are primarily from human interaction. In some cases, natural disturbances further compound the effects of anthropogenic stress. Of the 600,000 km2 of coral reefs worldwide, about 10% have been degraded beyond recovery, and another 30% are undergoing significant decline. As a result, the reefs are inadequate to preserve the current biodiversity and fishery production in any part of the world except eastern Australia. If effective integrated coastal resources management is not implemented, two-thirds of the world's reefs may become depleted of corals and associated biota within two generations. The coral-reef ecosystems that are at the greatest risk are in South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean. Rapid population growth and migration to coastal areas exacerbate the problem through

  • overexploitation of reef resources,
  • excessive domestic and agricultural pollution, and
  • poor land-use practices that increase sedimentation of rivers.

Integrated-coastal-zone-management strategies are recommended to manage the coral-reef ecosystems of the world through

  • public education (including education in the use of traditional forms of reef tenure and management, education on sustainable-use practices and education to stabilize population growth),
  • community development,
  • economic incentives,
  • legal and institutional restructuring,
  • well-managed marine protected areas,
  • regulation and enforcement of reef-resource exploitation,
  • management of tourism and recreational activities,
  • management of land-based activities and coastal development, and
  • coral-reef monitoring, mapping, database creation, and restoration.

These management techniques must be oriented toward long-term sustainability of reef resources and designed to be adaptive to different cultures/governments and changing situations.


Item #d99mar30

Wildland Fires and the Environment: A Global Synthesis, UNEP/DEIAEW/TR.99-1, J. S. Levine et al., 46 pp., 1999, free (UNEP/GRID-North America); also available online at http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/.

In Southeast Asia, South and Central America, Africa, Europe, Russia, China, and the United States, relatively small-scale, human-initiated fires for land clearing and land-use change quickly developed into uncontrolled large-scale and widespread fires during 1997 and 1998, a consequence of El Niño-related extreme drought. In Southeast Asia, tens of millions of people were exposed to high levels of fire-produced gases and particulates for weeks at a time. The poor atmospheric visibility there was responsible for the crash of a commercial airplane and the collision of two ships at sea. In general, countries were not prepared to react to these fires. Fire-control and air-quality-monitoring systems did not provide the information needed by decision makers. Although naturally induced (e.g., lightning-strike) fires remain a vital process that initiates natural cycles of vegetation succession and maintains ecosystem viability, fires initiated by humans (as much as 90% of all fires) can have negative impacts on global and regional atmosphere, the planet’s climate, and human health.

The authors recommend establishing an international fire-coordination center to provide leadership and direction in fire prevention, training, monitoring, suppression, and assessment by:

  • Monitoring global fire risk, predicting drought conditions, mapping risk according to vegetation and fuel types, and reporting fire-risk danger to local authorities;
  • Developing a global satellite fire-detection and reporting system and identifying communication protocols and requirements to convey information to local fire-management offices;
  • Developing a global fire-monitoring system that uses satellite and ancillary data to provide immediate information on fires and to map fire extent, smoke plumes, and fire intensity;
  • Serving as an information clearinghouse on geospatial data, international contacts, and fire-suppression resources and providing training in fire suppression; and
  • Developing guidelines for regulation of burning, establishing guidelines for management of combustible fuels, and raising public awareness of the danger of uncontrolled burning.
  • Agriculture & Global Climate Change: A Review of Impacts to U.S. Agricultural Resources, Richard M. Adams, Brian H. Hurd, and John Reilly, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Arlington, Va., February 1999, 36 pp., free. Also available online at http://www.pewclimate.org/report4.html.

Economic assessments indicate that global climate change of the magnitudes currently being discussed (+0.8°C to +4.5°C) could lower global production but would have only a small overall effect on U.S. agriculture in the next 100 years. However, the distribution of effects across the United States might be significant because some regions will gain and others lose. Regions like the Northern Great Plains and Midwest may have increased productivity while the Southern Great Plains, Mississippi delta, the Southeast, and portions of the corn belt could see agricultural productivity fall. Warming beyond 4.0°C is expected to decrease agricultural production in most of the United States and substantially limit global production. Other key findings on the effects of climate change on agriculture are:

  • Crops and livestock are sensitive to climate changes in both positive and negative ways, and indirect effects (responses to pests, water quality, and extreme events) are not well understood.
  • Food production responds to changes in crop and livestock productivity as influenced by climate or technological changes, agricultural management practices, crop and livestock prices, input costs, and government policies.
  • Consideration of the adaptations people will make is critical to the assessment of climate-change impacts but is difficult to predict because they are influenced by many factors.
  • Improved assessment of the impacts of climate change depends on better climate-change forecasts.
  • Agriculture can adapt to climate change by changing planting and harvest dates, rotating crops, selecting crops and crop varieties for cultivation, consuming less irrigation water, employing fertilizers more carefully, and altering tillage practices. But some factors (such as the incidence and severity of agricultural pests, diseases, soil erosion, UV-B irradiance, changes in temperature and precipitation, droughts, and floods) not included in today’s assessments could change this conclusion; such influences are largely unmeasured and have not been incorporated into estimates of impacts.
  • The extent of adaptation will depend on such factors as information flow, access to capital, and the flexibility of government programs and policies.

Agriculture is also a source of greenhouse-gas emissions, and changes in management can reduce emissions from such sources as rice paddies, livestock, cultivated soils, and feedlots. Agriculture can also reduce atmospheric CO2 by tree planting and other sequestration programs and by growing biofuel crops that displace fossil fuels.

Report Sources

Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC, 20540-7000; tel: 202-707-5000; WWW: http://crs.loc.gov.

Lawrence Berkeley Natl. Lab., 1 Cyclotron Dr., Berkeley, CA, 94720.

Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 350, Arlington, VA, 2220; tel: 703-516-4146; WWW: http://www.pewclimate.org.

UNEP/GRID-North America, EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD, 57198; tel: 605-594-6107; fax: 605-594-6119; e-mail: singh@edcmail.cr.usgs.gov; WWW: http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/.

U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, 20520; WWW: http://www.state.gov.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 401 M. St., SW, Washington, DC, 20460; WWW: http://www.epa.gov.

  • Guide to Publishers
  • Index of Abbreviations

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