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 2, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1989
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Trace Gas Emissions From Chaparral and Boreal Forest Fires,"
W.R. Cofer III (Atmos. Sci. Div., MS 483, NASA Langley Res. Ctr., Hampton VA
23665), J.S. Levine et al., J. Geophys. Res., 94(D2), 2255-2259,
Feb. 20, 1989.
Using measurements taken at very low altitudes, authors report the mixing
ratios of CO2, CO, CH4, nonmethane hydrocarbons, H2 and N2O in the atmosphere
after biomass burnings at mid-latitudes. Results show emission ratios highest
during smoldering combustion and during vigorous flaming combustion. Also
presents for the first time emission ratios determined for C2H6, C2H4, C3H8 and
"A Model of Biogeochemical Cycling of Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Oxygen,
and Sulphur in the Ocean: One Step Toward a Global Climate Model," G.
Shaffer (Oceanog. Inst., Univ. Gothenburg, Box 4038, S-400 40, Gothenburg,
Sweden), ibid., 94(C2), 1979-2004, Feb. 15, 1989.
Develops a continuous, one-dimensional advection-diffusion model that
focuses on biogeochemical cycling forced by river input of nutrients. Presents
functional forms for circulation, mixing and biogeochemical processes. Derives
overall constraints, defines chemical regimes, and chooses standard values for
the physical, biological and geochemical parameters. Presents general solutions
as well as specific solutions for the different regimes and studies the
sensitivity to variations of parameters. Discusses cycling of P, N, O and S
based on model output rates of the biogeochemical processes and the chemical
reactions at redox boundaries. Also discusses all results with directions for
future work. Provides extensive reference list.
"Changing Composition of the Global Stratosphere," M.B. McElroy
(Div. Appl. Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), R.J. Salawitch, Science,
243(4892), 763-770, Feb. 10, 1989.
Reviews current understanding of stratospheric chemistry, with particular
attention to the effects of human activity. Models are in good agreement with
measurements for a variety of species in the mid-latitude stratosphere, except
for O3 at high altitude. Rates calculated for loss of O3 exceed rates for
production by about 40% at 40 km. The rapid loss of O3 beginning in the
mid-1970s at low altitudes over Antarctica in the spring is due primarily to
catalytic cycles involving halogen radicals and reactions on surfaces of polar
stratospheric clouds. Similar effects could occur in northern polar regions and
in cold regions of the tropics. Drastic reductions in the emission of industrial
halocarbons are needed to reverse damage to stratospheric O3; the Montreal
Protocol should be more stringent and extended to chemicals not presently
"The Greenhouse Effect: Science and Policy," S.H. Schneider
(NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), ibid., 771-780.
Reviews scientific issues surrounding the greenhouse effect. Explains
projections of greenhouse gas concentrations, estimations of global climatic
response, projection of regional climatic responses, validation of climatic
model forecasts, and scenarios of the environmental impact of CO2 increase.
Reviews appropriate policy responses and considers three classes of actions:
engineered countermeasures to minimize potential effects, adaptive strategies
to let society adjust to environmental change, and prevention policies that
could insure against the possibility of large future environmental change.
Suggests tie-in strategies that provide widely agreed societal benefits even if
the predicted change does not occur. Also suggests that delaying policy
responses is not a scientific question but a value judgment.
"Coping With Drought: Toward a Plan of Action," D.A. Wilhite
(Intl. Drought Info. Ctr., Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.), W.E. Easterling, Eos,
97, 106-108, Feb. 14, 1989.
Following suggestions from participants to the International Symposium and
Workshop on Drought, a ten-step planning process was recommended to facilitate
drought preparedness through the development of contingency plans at national
and provincial or state levels of government. Offers two recommendations to help
develop plans: convene an international meeting to identify common elements of a
model drought plan and data needed, and develop a drought-planning information
"The Polar Regions: Research in a Changing World," P.E. Wilkniss
(NSF Div. Polar Prog., Washington DC 20550), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
70(2), 160-164, Feb. 1989.
Discusses changes in polar exploration and access. Observes that the Global
Change/IGBP programs need an organized community to offer political and economic
support to further polar research. Notes that the prediction of ozone depletion,
the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, and the first description of the
hole's detailed structure were the result of the creativity and perseverance of
"Cloud-Radiative Forcing and Climate: Results from the Earth
Radiation Budget Experiment," V. Ramanathan (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ.
Chicago, Chicago IL 60637), Science, 243(4887), 57-63, Jan. 6,
Presents quantitative estimates of the global distributions of shortwave
(SW) and longwave (LW) forcing from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
(ERBE). Develops the cloud-radiative forcing concept, and describes global
variations in the forcing on the basis of the ERBE data. Notes the SW and LW
components of cloud forcing are about ten times as large as the expected value
of radiative forcing from a doubling of CO2. Shows that small changes in the
cloud-radiative forcing fields can play a significant role as a climate feedback
"Greenhouse Warming: Comparative Analysis of Nuclear and Efficiency
Abatement Strategies," B. Keepin (Rocky Mtn. Inst., 1739 Snowmass Creek
Rd., Snowmass CO 81654), B. Kats, Energy Policy, 16(6), 538-561,
Compares the feasibility, relative cost and effectiveness of the two
strategies. Principal findings are: even a massive worldwide nuclear power
program sustained over several decades could not solve the greenhouse problem;
improving efficiency of energy usage is the key to reducing climatic warming
caused by combustion of fossil fuels and improving electrical efficiency is
nearly seven times more cost-effective than nuclear power for abating CO2
emissions in the U.S. Reviews historical experience of nuclear power, focusing
on developing countries. Provides an appendix with details of calculations and
analyses used in the text. Extensive reference list.
"Traffic and the Greenhouse Effect," R. Swart (Rijksinstituut
voor Volksgezonheid en Milieuhygiene, Bilthoven, Neth.), Lucht Omgev.,
5(4), 126-129, Dec. 1988. In Dutch.
Estimates of future emissions of CO and hydrocarbons have been made based on
scenarios for car ownership and technological development. Major uncertainties
are caused by the rather unpredictable development of private car ownership in
highly populated third world countries. Suggests that CO2, CO, NO2 and
hydrocarbon emissions can be limited by increasing fuel efficiency and
additional technical measures, a fuel switch, or limitation of car ownership and
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations