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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 #d88oct6

"Volcanos Poised to Blow another Ozone Hole," New Scientist, p. 42, Sep. 1, 1988. Understanding the contribution of volcanos to the halogen content of the stratosphere is important as a benchmark for evaluating the human contribution, and because of the possibility that an explosive eruption could push the atmosphere over a critical threshold content as other contributions rise. Scientists from Europe and India have determined the recent yearly increases in two important halons, CBrClF2 and CBrF3, to be 12 and 5 percent per year, respectively.

Item #d88oct7

"A Silver Lining for the Greenhouse?" B.J. Spaulding, Chemical Week, p. 41, Aug. 3, 1988. Greenhouse and outdoor growth chamber experiments show that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide could increase crop yields by 30 percent on average. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Bruce Kimbal at the Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, greater crop productivity could in turn benefit producers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. Increased carbon dioxide would influence different plants' performances depending on the particular photosynthetic pathway involved. An 18-acre test site has been established near Yazoo City, Mississippi for further testing.

Item #d88oct8

"La Niña's Big Chill Replaces El Niño," R.A. Kerr, Science, pp. 1037-1038, Aug. 26, 1988. The appearance of a pool of cold water in the tropical Pacific, the counterpart of the warmer-than-normal El Niño that has characterized the last several years, is expected to result in a dry winter in the southeastern United States and offset the recent higher temperatures viewed by some as the start of greenhouse warming. El Niño was clearly behind the warm years of 1987 and 1983, but La Niña could temporarily return the globe to cooler temperatures typical of the 1950s or even the 1920s.

Item #d88oct9

"Germany Prepares to `Glide' into the Ozone Layer," D. Mackenzie, New Scientist, p. 35, August 18, 1988. Part of West Germany's contribution to European research on the ozone layer is an instrumented aircraft called Egrett, to be ready in 1989. Being constructed of carbon and glass fiber by a glider manufacturer, it will carry 1000 kilograms of equipment, and a pilot and a scientist for six hours, up to 15 kilometers altitude.

Item #d88oct10

"New Ways to Chill Earth," R.A. Kerr, Science, pp. 532-533, July 29, 1988. The latest evidence supporting the role of carbon dioxide in alternating ice ages comes from an ice core analyzed by French and Soviet scientists from the Soviet Vostok Station on the Antarctic ice sheet. Based on the 160,000-year record, they estimate carbon dioxide accounts for about 50 percent of the ten degree centigrade temperature difference between glacial and interglacial periods. Other workers have investigated the roles of methane, dimethylsulfide, and aerosol particles.

Item #d88oct11

"Europeans Seek a Lift through the Arctic's Ozone Hole," R. Milne, D. MacKenzie, New Scientist, p. 28, June 23, 1988. At a meeting called by John Pyle, chair of the British government's stratospheric ozone review group, European chemists recommended that a research aircraft should be the focus of a large program to investigate the ozone layer, to be coordinated by the European Economic Community. The group also called for significant strengthening of the Montreal protocol.

Item #d88oct12

"Canadians Confirm Ozone Hole in Arctic," S. Dayton, New Scientist, p. 47, June 9, 1988. An Environment Canada scientist has confirmed the depletion of ozone over the Arctic, based on balloon-borne ozonesonde measurements. The results agree with satellite observations in showing depletion in the winter of 1985-86, but indicate none in 1986-87.

Item #d88oct13

"The Oceanic Key to Climatic Change," J. Gribbon, New Scientist, pp. 32-33, May 19, 1988. Ocean biological productivity is related to the differing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during and between ice ages. The April 1988 workshop, Productivity of the Ocean, Past and Present held in Berlin, indicated that studies of ocean productivity will become one of the main growth areas of environmental research. Participants agreed on recent claims that ocean surface waters contain several times more dissolved carbon than had been previously thought, and that ideas about the biological productivity of the oceans may need some revision. Episodic events such as the spring bloom of plankton are especially important.

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