February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 1, NUMBER 4, OCTOBER 1988
OF GENERAL INTEREST
"Modelling the Future: A Joint Venture," D. Rind (NASA, Inst.
Space Studies, New York NY 10025), A. Rosenweig, C. Rosenweig, Nature,
334(6182), 483-486, Aug. 11, 1988.
To improve linkages between climate and economic models, climate modelers
must improve regional forecast accuracy and economic models must include
explicit climate-sensitive functions. The spatial mismatch between geometric
grids must be overcome to develop a useful global climate-economic model. Proper
use of models will not be to predict extreme calamities but to run alternate
simulations and investigate potential magnitudes of total costs, relative gains
and losses, and possible courses of action to minimize disruption or maximize
opportunity. More work is still necessary to prepare for instead of simply react
to climate change.
"Climatic Changes of the Last 18,000 Years: Observations and Model
Simulations," J.E. Kutzbach (Ctr. Climatic Res., Univ. Wisconsin, 1225 W.
Dayton St., Madison WI 53706), T. Webb III et al., Science, 241(4869),
1043-1052, Aug. 26, 1988.
COHMAP (Cooperative Holocene Mapping Project) uses geologic data and models
to investigate the global and regional dynamics of climate change during the
last 18,000 years. This data has been systematically compared with the model
simulations of past climates. The project's central goal is an improved
understanding of the physics of the climate system, particularly the response of
tropical monsoons and mid-latitude climates to orbitally induced changes in
solar radiation, and to changing glacial-age boundary conditions, such as
ice-sheet size. Comparisons of paleoclimatic data with the model simulations are
important because models provide a theoretical framework for evaluating
mechanisms of climatic change, and such comparisons help to evaluate the
potential of general circulation models for predicting future climates.
"Ozone Hole Bodes Ill for the Globe," R.A. Kerr, Science,
241(4867), 785-786, Aug. 12, 1988.
Discusses the results from the Polar Ozone Workshop in Snowmass, Colorado,
last May. It appears that in the late 1970s chlorine exceeded some critical
level, below which nitrogen naturally dominated chlorine and protected ozone.
Now with nitrogen tied up in ice particles, chlorine is released in
ozone-destroying form. Analyses of observations from the past 30 years imply
that the hole could be self-reinforcing through connections between ozone,
temperature and sulfuric acid aerosols which may all play a part in ozone loss.
"Response of Northern Forests to CO2-Induced Climate Change,"
J. Pastor (Natural Resour. Res. Inst., Univ. Minnesota, Duluth MN 55811), W.M.
Post, Nature, 334(6177), 55-58, July 7, 1988.
Reports on investigation into the possible responses of northeastern North
American forests to a warmer and generally drier climate, by driving a linked
forest productivity/soil process model with climate model predictions
corresponding to a doubling of CO2. The greatest changes occurred at the current
boreal/cool temperate forest border. Simulated productivity and biomass
increased on soils that retained adequate water for tree growth and decreased on
soils with inadequate water. The simulated responses of the forests were results
of a positive feedback between carbon and nitrogen cycles, bounded by negative
constraints of soil moisture availability and temperature.
"Antarctic Ice Core: CO2 and Climatic Change Over the Last Climatic
Cycle," C. Lorius, Eos, 681-684, June 28, 1988.
A deep ice core from Vostok station provides a record of atmospheric climate
and CO2 that is representative of global changes over the last interglacial
cycle (160,000 years), and contributes to understanding of climatic changes
caused either by natural processes or human influences. A remarkably close
association was found between the climatic and CO2 records which indicates a
fundamental link between the climate system and the carbon cycle, although the
processes involved are not clearly understood. CO2 concentrations may have
played a major role in the observed climatic record.
"The Relationship Between Volcanic Eruptions and Climate Change:
Still a Conundrum?" S. Self, M.R. Rampino, Eos, 69(6), 74
ff., Feb. 9, 1988.
Provides a brief historical overview of the relationship between volcanic
eruptions and climate change, and a review of the various databases used in
evaluating volcanic events and assorted climatic change. Today it is accepted
that for an eruption to affect weather and climate it must produce not only a
significant quantity of fine ash but also gases that form sulfuric acid
aerosols, in amounts in excess of a few megatons, and it must inject these
materials into the stratosphere above about 20 km. The aerosols then have a
significant lifetime and can be spread locally.
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