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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 #d88oct20

"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.

Item #d88oct21

"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.

Item #d88oct22

"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.

Item #d88oct23

"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.

Item #d88oct24

"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.

Item #d88oct25

"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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