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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



Item #d88oct54

"Oceanic Phytoplankton, Atmospheric Sulphur, Cloud Albedo and Climate," R.J. Charlson (Dept. Atmos. Sci. AK-40, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), J.E. Lovelock et al., Nature, 326(6114), 655-661, Apr. 16, 1987.

The major source of cloud-condensation nuclei (CCN) over the oceans appears to be dimethylsulfide, which is produced by planktonic algae in sea water and oxidized in the atmosphere to form a sulfate aerosol. Because the reflectance of clouds is sensitive to CCN density, biological regulation of climate is possible through the effects of temperature and sunlight on phytoplankton population and dimethylsulfide production. To counteract the warming due to doubling of atmospheric CO2, an approximate doubling of CCN would be needed.

Item #d88oct55

Subsequent correspondence on this article is found on p. 526 of the Dec. 10, 1987 issue, in which D. Blanchard and R. Cipriano argue that sea-salt particles can contribute significantly as a source of CCN, suggesting that a biological regulation of the climate is less obvious.

Item #d88oct56

"Climate Forcing Implications from Vostok Ice-Core Sulphate Data," M.R. Legrand (Lab. Glaciologie, BP 96 38402, St. Martin d'Héres Cedex, France), R.J. Delmas, R.J. Charlson, Nature, 334(6181), 418-420, Aug. 4, 1988.

The hypothesis that the number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (mainly the sulfate particles produced by the oxidation of dimethylsulfide emitted from the ocean) influences marine stratus cloud albedo, and hence global climate, is examined using the non-seasalt sulfate (nss-SO42-) profile that was recently obtained along the 160 kyr Vostok (Antarctica) ice core. Finds a 20-46% increase in nss-SO42 in full glacial vs. interglacial periods, and spectral evidence for a possible link between CO2 and dimethylsulfide emissions.

Item #d88oct57

"Climatic Impact of Ice-Age Aerosols," L.D.D. Harvey (Dept. Geog., Univ. Toronto, 100 St. George St., Toronto M5S 1A1, Can.), Nature, 334(6180), 333-335, July 28, 1988.

Data from Antarctic, Greenland and Devon Island ice cores indicate that large increases in the atmospheric aerosol loading occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) of about 18,000 yr BP. Using an energy balance climate model, it can be shown that plausible increases in the atmospheric aerosol optical depth during the LGM could have caused a further global mean cooling of 2-3° C, thereby making a significant contribution to the climatic cooling of the LGM.

Item #d88oct58

"The Effect of Model Structure on Projections of Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climatic Change," T.M.L. Wigley (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), Geophys. Res. Letters, 14(11), 1135-1138, Nov. 1987.

The transient response of global mean temperature to greenhouse gas forcing between 1765 and 2030 is studied using two types of ocean model, a pure diffusion model and an upwelling diffusion model. Results are similar for both types of models, with a greenhouse gas contribution to future global warming for 1985-2030 shown to be approximately 1.6 times the warming between 1880-1985, independent of model type and model parameters.

Item #d88oct59

"Possible Climatic Implications of Depletion of Antarctic Ozone," M. Lal (Ctr. Atmos. Sci., Indian Inst. Tech., Hanz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India), A.K. Jain, M.C. Sinha, Tellus, 39B(3), 326-328, July 1987.

Recent satellite data confirm that the column abundances of ozone at Antarctica are among the lowest recorded anywhere on the globe. Radiative-convective model calculations demonstrate that this depletion of Antarctic ozone could lead to a surface cooling of about 0.47° K, which is in contrast to that observed from climatological temperature records and must be investigated.

Item #d88oct60

"A Clarification of My Position on the CO2/Climate Connection," S.B. Idso (U.S. Water Conserv. Lab., Phoenix AZ 85040), Climatic Change, 10(1), 81-86, Feb. 1987.

In rebuttal to previously published criticisms of his work, the author points out that he did not try to perform an energy balance of the atmosphere but tried to identify different perturbations to the earth's climate system and establish how the surface air temperature responded to those perturbations. Concludes that the final result to surface temperature due to doubling of CO2 is essentially negligible compared to the background climatic noise of the past century. It is so small that one should consider the possibility of an inverse CO2 greenhouse effect in some parts of the world.

Item #d88oct61

"A Clarification of Certain Issues Related to the CO2--Climate Problem," G.L. Potter (Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., Univ. Calif., Livermore CA 94550), J.T. Kiehl, R.D. Cess, ibid., 87-95.

In response to Idso's conclusions, the authors present a tutorial on climatic response to climatic forcing to clarify some misconceptions. The issue of the overlap of the CO2 infrared absorption bands by the H2O continuum is dealt with first, followed by the problems inherent in Idso's concept of a surface response function.

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