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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 3, SEPTEMBER 1988

NEWS...
METHANE AND GLOBAL WARMING


Item #d88sep4

See PROF. PUBS./ATMOSPHERIC METHANE, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Sep. 1988, for annotations of the papers mentioned in the following articles.

"Ice Age Air Reveals Greenhouse Gas Story," R. Monastersky, Science News, May 7, 1988, p. 295. Swiss researchers from the University of Bern have provided the first indication that levels of the greenhouse gas methane have varied throughout periods of glaciation, according to Ralph Cicerone of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (see Stauffer et al. article). Methane levels were determined from Antarctic and Greenland ice cores.

"Methane Linked to Warming," R.J. Cicerone, Nature, July 21, 1988, p. 198. There is strong evidence that global methane concentrations have increased by about 1 percent per year since 1978 or earlier. Recent ice core analyses by Stauffer et al. and Raynaud et al. indicate methane has fluctuated during several recent glacial cycles. This information will help clarify several features of Earth's atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry and climate, such as the role of methane production by wetland bacteria. Methane concentration, like that of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons, has increased above values of at least the past 160,000 years, and human activities are clearly involved.

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