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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 1, NUMBER 5, NOVEMBER 1988

REPORTS


Item #d88nov5

An Analysis of the Carbon Dioxide Provisions of S. 2666

--The Global Environmental Protection Act of 1988, 23 pp., Sep. 1988. Oceans & Environ. Prog., Off. Technol. Assess. (600 Penn. Ave SE, Washington DC 20003; 202-228-6853).

A preliminary analysis of reductions of CO2 emissions from utilities, automobiles and appliances required by the bill, which was introduced by Senator R. Stafford (see NEWS, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Nov. 1988). The several scenarios considered all assume the bill's efficiency standards will be achieved by the specified dates. Most are achievable with current technology; advanced technology or increased acceptance of nuclear power will be necessary to meet the bill's requirements for 2010 and after. Overall, with the bill's provisions, CO2 emissions by 2030 could range from 20% below 1985 levels to no change. Electric utility emissions alone by 2045 could range from slightly less than 1985 levels to 1.5 times as much, provided technologies are rapidly adopted, or half as much with decreased electricity demand. Emissions from automobiles could be 50-70% lower than 1985 by 2030; those from appliances could be held constant.


Item #d88nov6

Turning Down the Heat--Solutions to Global Warming: An Analysis of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Resources, and other Options versus New Nuclear Power Development, N. Rader, A. Antypas et al., 101 pp., Sep. 1988. Pub. by Public Citizen and Safe Energy Commun. Council. Order from Pub. Cit. Critical Mass Energy Proj., 215 Penn. Ave. SE, Washington DC 20003 (202-546-4996); $20 (8 p. exec. summ., $1.50).

Evaluates the role of nuclear power as a partial solution to the greenhouse gas problem and finds that it satisfies none of the necessary criteria: rapid implementation, acceptable economic and environmental costs for the U.S., and treatment of the sources of emissions. Discusses in detail problems with nuclear power as a solution--hidden costs, nuclear waste, safety problems, decommission, public opinion, and problems with the proposed "new generation" of reactors.

The report finds that at least two-thirds of the carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of coal and oil for generating electricity and use in homes, businesses and industry could be displaced by the year 2000 through modest investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and selected natural gas technologies. It discusses institutional and technical factors affecting development of natural gas and renewable options, and summarizes the status of eight renewable technologies currently used.


Item #d88nov7

Offsetting New CO2 Emissions, D.J. Dudek, 19 pp., Sep. 1988. Environ. Defense Fund, 257 Park Ave. S, New York NY 10010 (212-505-2100).

Proposes a policy to slow the growth of CO2 emissions whereby new CO2 sources would be required to offset emissions through afforestation. Used as an example are all fossil-fueled generating stations proposed to be constructed during 1987-96, although the concept could apply to other types of sources. Of several offset options considered, forest planting under the existing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the most cost effective. This approach would reinforce the CRP goals of reducing erosion and surplus agricultural production, boost lagging forest signups for the CRP, and help satisfy timber, wildlife habitat and recreational demands. Acreage to offset CO2 would be about one-quarter the land authorized for the CRP, and could be secured for $1.01-1.94 billion depending on the degree of cost sharing. The plants used in the example would account for about 3% of total U.S. CO2 emissions.


Item #d88nov8

Future Concentrations of Stratospheric Chlorine and Bromine (EPA 400/1-88/005), J.S. Hoffman (Div. Global Change, Off. Air & Rad., U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency), M.J. Gibbs (ICF Inc., Universal City, Calif.), 150 pp., Aug. 1988. Request from U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460.

Presents a method for evaluating risks of ozone depletion that avoids the uncertainties currently involved in linking atmospheric Cl and Br levels to projected ozone depletion, by relating rates of emissions to stratospheric levels of Cl and Br. The report evaluates potential changes to those levels under several emissions scenarios including the Montreal Protocol, the reductions in ozone depleters necessary to stabilize levels of Cl and Br, and Cl levels associated with various scenarios of timing, coverage and stringency of the Montreal Protocol.

Under the protocol, Cl and Br levels will rise substantially; an immediate 100% reduction in the use of fully halogenated compounds and a freeze in methyl chloroform would be needed to stabilize Cl and Br over the next 100 years. Future Cl growth has several sources, but projected levels are influenced by the extent to which partially halogenated compound use increases as they are substituted for chemicals foregone under the protocol. The timing of any phaseout affects the magnitude of Cl compound increases and the time for them to return to 1985 levels.


Item #d88nov9

Present State of Knowledge of the Upper Atmosphere 1988: An Assessment Report (NASA Ref. Pub. 1208), R.T. Watson and Ozone Trends Panel, M.J. Prather and Ad Hoc Theory Panel, M.J. Kurylo and NASA Panel for Data Evaluation, 200 pp., Aug. 1988. Earth Sci. & Applic. Div., NASA Off. Space Sci. & Applic., Washington DC 20546. Avail. from Nat. Tech. Info. Svc., Springfield VA 22161 (703-487-4600).

The sixth of a series of reports mandated by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977. Consists of (a) the executive and chapter summaries of the international Ozone Trends Panel report (see Global Climate Change Digest, NEWS, July 1988); (b) model predictions of future ozone changes by a panel of theoreticians; (c) a panel review of the status of kinetics and photochemistry data. Among the key findings:

(a) Undisputed observational evidence shows concentrations of gases that influence stratospheric ozone levels continue to rise from human activities. Calculations using two-dimensional photochemical models predict these increases would have caused a small decrease in global ozone from 1969 to 1986 (up to 2% in the mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere). Model results are generally consistent with observations; observed changes may be due wholly or in part to the increased abundance of trace gases, primarily CFCs. Evidence strongly indicates recent springtime ozone depletions over the Antarctic are related to anthropogenic chlorine species.

(b) Models show that growth in trace gases other than chlorinated species (CH4 and CO2) will have a major impact on stratospheric ozone. Current predictions of future changes are similar to those of the previous assessment (Atmospheric Ozone 1985; see Global Climate Change Digest, REPORTS, Oct. 1988). Current models do not adequately simulate the Antarctic ozone hole, and cannot predict whether its effects will appear elsewhere.

(c) Most changes to the recommended kinetic and photochemical data base since the previous evaluation have been minor; the most significant advances relate to reactions involving stratospheric aerosols.


Item #d88nov10

NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Program: Research Summaries 1986-1987, 363 pp., Jan. 1988.

Supplements the preceding report to Congress; consists mainly of 1-2 page progress reports of individual projects funded by the program. Broad areas of research are field measurements, laboratory and theoretical studies, data analysis, interdisciplinary methane research, assessments.


Item #d88nov11

Greenhouse Effect, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Wetlands (EPA/230/05-86/013), J.G. Titus, ed., 152 pp., July 1988. Request from Off. Policy, Planning & Eval. (PM-221), U.S. Environ. Prot. Agency, Washington DC 20460 (202-382-4332).

Drafted between 1984 and 1986 and under review until publication last July, this report finds that extensive areas of coastal wetlands are subject to loss by sea level rise since they are usually within a few feet of sea level. New wetlands cannot form where land adjacent to existing wetlands is developed and protected from the rising sea. Case studies of potential impacts based on field data are presented for wetlands near Charleston, South Carolina, and Long Beach Island, New Jersey. A first attempt to estimate nationwide impact based on topographic maps follows, with discussion of measures wetland protection officials can take now. The report neither examines the impact of sea level rise on specific federal programs, nor recommends specific policy changes.

Some of the specific conclusions: sea level rise could become a major cause of coastal zone wetland loss; a five-foot rise would cause 80% loss in the case studies. Louisiana would be most vulnerable, and loss would depend on whether developed areas immediately inland are protected by levees and bulkheads. Federal and state agencies should begin now to determine how to mitigate wetland loss, because such loss does not decrease the need to implement existing wetland protection policies.

This report is undergoing further revision. The EPA Sea Level Rise Project (address above) has request forms for some two dozen recent and future reports, and future drafts that are available to those willing to review them. They cover assessments of impacts on economic development, beach erosion control strategies, salinity of estuaries and aquifers, and coastal drainage and sewage systems. Many focus on specific regions of the country.


Item #d88nov12

Climate Crisis--The Societal Impacts Associated with the 1982-83 Worldwide Climate Anomalies (E.87.III.D.9), M. Glantz, R. Katz, M. Krenz, eds., 105 pp., 1987. UN Environ. Prog. and Environ. & Soc. Impacts Grp., Nat. Ctr. Atmos. Res. (Boulder, Col.). Available from UN Pubs., Rm. DC2-0853, New York NY 10017, or Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switz.; $20.

Consists of 13 papers from a November 1985 workshop in Lugano, Switzerland on the possible relationships between climatic disturbances of 1982-83 and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event of that year. The case studies from various parts of the world portray the regional climatic anomalies and identify some of the societal and environmental impacts.

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