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Global Climate Change Digest

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



Item #d92sep1

"Realistic Mitigation Options for Global Warming," E.S. Rubin (Dept. Eng. & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), R.N. Cooper et al., Science, 257(5067), 148-149, 261-266, July 10, 1992.

An analysis for the U.S. suggests that a variety of measures are available to slow or reduce greenhouse emissions at low cost, perhaps even with a net cost savings, with ancillary benefits such as reduction in urban air pollution. The U.S. should focus first on energy conservation and efficiency measures that reduce emissions of CO2 and methane. Experience with initial undertakings should be used to resolve some of the current uncertainties regarding implementation costs. Greenhouse warming should become a factor in planning the future energy supply mix of the U.S. and other nations, using a systems approach that considers interactions and externality costs across the entire fuel cycle. Since many of the most cost-effective mitigation options may be found in developing countries, assistance by developed nations to undertake these options may prove less costly than measures aimed at their industrial domestic economies. The U.S. and other nations should give much higher priority to the study of mitigation and adaptation strategies, commensurate with the current research efforts in the earth and environmental sciences.

Item #d92sep2

Special issue: Environ. Policy and Law, 22(4), Aug. 1992, is devoted to the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. It contains texts of several documents including the conventions on climate change and biological diversity, and portions of others, as well as editorial and other comments on the outcome of the conference. Published by IOS Press, Van Diemenstraat 94, 1013 CN Amsterdam, Neth. (tel: +31 20-638-21-89; fax: +31 20-620-34-19).

Item #d92sep3

"Between Stockholm and Rio," Lord Zuckerman (Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), Nature, 358(6384), 273-276, July 23, 1992.

A lengthy analysis of progress toward solving global environmental problems made in the interval between the two international conferences which addressed them.

Item #d92sep4

"On an International Framework Convention on Climate Change: Global Climate Change in the Context of Global Change," K. Ya. Kondratyev (Inst. Lake Res., Acad. Sci., Sevastyanov Str. 9, 196199 St. Petersburg, Russia), Il Nuovo Cimento, 15C(1), 87-97, Jan.-Feb. 1992.

Critically analyzes the recommendations of the IPCC report submitted to the 1990 Second World Climate Conference. The report is biased toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and underplays the uncertainty of biospheric factors such as the global carbon cycle and of socioeconomic threats to the environment such as population growth. Discusses key components of a convention on climate change, and the need for a Global Climate Observing System.

Item #d92sep5

"A Serious Look at Geoengineering," D.W. Keith (Dept. Eng. & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), H. Dowlatabadi, Eos, 73(27), 289, 292-293, July 7, 1992.

Recent reports from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Office of Technology Assessment have discussed deliberate intervention in the climate system (geoengineering) to offset the effects of anthropogenic forcing of climate, but options were not considered systematically. This article presents a more systematic analysis and urges a balanced research program on geoengineering options, such as ocean disposal of CO2, ocean fertilization, solar shields, and injection of sulfur dioxide or particles into the stratosphere to increase planetary albedo.

Item #d92sep6

"Accelerating Ozone Layer Protection in Developing Countries," M. Munasinghe (World Bank, Washington, D.C.), K. King, World Development, 20(4), 609-618, Apr. 1992.

Developing countries abound with opportunities for early, low unit abatement cost phase-out of ozone-depleting substances through well-designed policies and projects. However, the Montreal Protocol tends to focus instead on project-level incremental cost minimization, and does not provide incentives for early action. Remedies to these shortcomings are proposed.

Item #d92sep7

"Alternatives to CFCs and Global Warming: A Systems Approach to Evaluating Net Contributions," S.K. Fischer, M. McFarland (DuPont Chemicals, 1007 Market St., Wilmington DE 19898), MRS Bull. (Mater. Res. Soc.), 17(3), 39-42, Mar. 1992.

CFCs are greenhouse gases, but evaluation of their overall contribution to global warming should account for their contributions to energy efficiency in many applications, which reduce warming by reducing emissions of CO2. Incorrect decisions can be made if entire systems are not considered carefully in evaluating impacts of alternative technologies; in some cases there are no significant differences between alternative technologies that use substances with differing global warming potentials.

Item #d92sep8

"Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone," M. McFarland (address immed. above), J. Kaye, Photochem. & Photobiol., 55(6), 911-929, 1992.

A detailed review covering the sources of stratospheric chlorine, projections of future chlorine concentrations, the photochemistry of stratospheric ozone, and recent developments in the science of ozone chemistry and in substitutes for CFCs.

Item #d92sep9

"A Vision of Clean Air," A.H. Legge (Alberta Res. Council, 6815 8th St. NE, Calgary, Alberta T2H 7H7, Can.), T. Guidotti et al., J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 42(7), 888-891, July 1992.

Presents a vision of the atmosphere whereby the legislative/regulatory view and the scientific view are linked to achieve the goals of a healthy atmosphere and sustainable development, as has been proposed for the Canadian province of Alberta.

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