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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 #d89aug32

"What Gaia Hath Wrought--The Story of a Scientific Controversy," F. Lyman, Technol. Rev., 54-61, July 1989.

Develops the history and status of Lovelock's Gaia theory, which views the earth as a living organism. Lovelock maintains that if there were no life on earth its atmosphere would be more like that of Venus or Mars, consisting almost entirely of carbon dioxide and nitrogen rather than the percentages of nitrogen and oxygen that do exist. Despite the controversy of Gaia, critics acknowledge Lovelock's contributions towards encouraging interdisciplinary study of the environment.

Item #d89aug33

"The End of the Ice Ages?" J. Gribbin, New Sci., 48-52, June 17, 1989.

Explains the three main cycles that are the basis of the astronomical theory known as the Milankovic Model of the coming and receding of ice ages. Shows how the ice cores have helped to support the theory that changes in concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere affect the global temperature and may be partly determined by astronomical influences. Suggests that human activities may cause unpredictable changes in these cycles and end the cycles of ice ages.

Item #d89aug34

"Nations Forge Antarctica Development Treaty," Sierra Club, Nat. News Rep., 21(11), 3-5, June 15, 1989.

Outlines the issues surrounding the international debate over opening Antarctica to mineral and energy development. Antarctica is the best place on earth to monitor and learn about global climate and human-induced problems of global warming and ozone depletion, because global pollution trends are trapped in layers of the ice. Mineral development is incompatible with this unique research site.

Item #d89aug35

Special Section--LANDMARC, 12(3), May/June 1989. This issue is subtitled "Coal & Climate--Is Politics Overriding Science?" It deals with coal and energy issues as viewed by the National Coal Association (1130 17th St. NW, Washington DC 20036).

"Greenhouse Debate: Politics in a Clouded State," K. Maize, pp. 4-8. Suggests that, if global warming is not occurring as some scientists believe, no one could make a convincing case that the cost of controlling CO2 should be internalized by business and industry. Enumerates global warming legislation introduced by the 101st Congress in four areas: research bills, environmental policy bills, energy policy bills and CFC policy bills.

"Environmentalists Continue 'Panic' and 'Crisis' Strategy," R.L. Lawson, p. 9. The president of the coal industry suggests that, to counteract panic strategy on environmental issues, one must gather solid information on what is really happening and do a better job of disseminating it to Congress, the media and the public. Maintains that the success of this challenge will determine the future of the coal industry as well as the country.

"Climate and CO2--Many Questions Remain," P.J. Michaels, pp. 10-11. Suggests that policy should be commensurate with the state of scientific knowledge. Reviews areas that indicate complexities of CO2 and climate associations such as: 1) changes in trace gas concentrations, 2) the spatial and temporal distribution of observed warming, 3) trends in the diurnal range and 4) the urbanization problem.

"What Goes Around Comes Around," F.L. Koucky, pp. 12-13. Archaeological studies of moraines in the Ohio River Valley have added to the knowledge of how the earth came out of the ice ages. Suggests clear evidence of climate cycles of 550 to 600 years that are worldwide. Maintains that the next 280 years should see a slow cooling of the earth.

"A Green Fix to the Global Warmth," S.L. Postel, pp. 14-17. Explains reforestation's potential to help avert climatic change as well as stabilize the livelihoods of third world people. Explains successful worldwide efforts at planting trees and suggests global target areas for reforestation by the year 2000.

"Temperature Change is International Business," M.R. Copulos, pp. 18-21. Outlines the clash between the developed and undeveloped nations in dealing with environmental problems. Suggests that, by working together and recognizing that change will have to be incremental, the world can solve its pressing environmental dilemmas.

"Federal Research Probes All Phases of Warming Hypothesis," A. Patrinos, pp. 22-25. The manager of the Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Research Program reviews the national and international research since 1978. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide adequate scientific knowledge to underpin policy decisions by the government and others regarding the greenhouse effect.

"Debate Over Crop Impact Grows," W.L. Decker, pp. 26-27. Outlines complex difficulties facing agriculture if it is to keep ahead of any potential problems from increased atmospheric CO2. Explains that time is required for testing new technology in farm situations; this is usually followed by adoption of techniques by progressive elements of the farm populations and finally by the general farm population.

Item #d89aug36

"Pinning Down Clouds," J. Horgan, Sci. Amer., 260(5), 22-23, May 1989.

A recent comparison of 12 global climate models from six countries showed that, with cloud-feedback equations included, the models' forecasts diverged by a factor of three. Modelers are now working together to find answers to the role of clouds in climate changes.

Item #d89aug37

"Will Climate Change Complicate African Famine?" C.F. Hutchinson, RFF (Resour. for the Future, 1616 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036), No. 95, 5-7, Spring 1989.

Suggests that drought alone is usually incapable of creating famine but that economic and political issues will likely contribute more to the threat of future famine in the Sahel than will global climate change. A strategy of sound agricultural development would help to fight effects of droughts.

Item #d89aug38

"Are Things Warming Up?--How Climate Changes Could Affect Texas," R. Jensen (Texas Water Resour. Inst., College Sta. TX 77843), Texas Water Resour., 15(1), 1-6, Spring 1989.

Climate change may have direct impacts on Texas' water supplies. Droughts could be more common, coastal areas may be threatened by more violent storms and increased flooding and erosion. Suggests research may be the best defense to changes by developing water saving strategies, better reservoir management, alternative fuels and improved long-term weather forecasts. (See related entry in REPORTS/IMPACTS, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--August 1989.)

Item #d89aug39

"Looking for Mr. Greenhouse [Part I]," R. Monastersky, Sci. News, 135(14), 216-221, Apr. 8, 1989.

Explains reasons for hesitation amongst climate researchers to connect the rising levels of greenhouse gases with climatic warming. First, for some unknown reason, the Northern Hemisphere cooled in the middle part of this century, even while greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere. Secondly, there is a possibility that the historical records have painted a false picture of climate change during the last century.

Item #d89aug40

"Global Change: The Scientific Challenge [Part II]," ibid., 135(15), 232-235, Apr. 15, 1989.

Research in the next decade holds the key to understanding the environmental problems of the next century. Satellite monitoring of ocean currents, vegetation, weather and other parameters will provide the necessary data to assess global changes. Super computers will aid in the development of trusted models and ultimately in answers to all aspects of global change.

Item #d89aug41

"Murder in Acre--Global Warming and Sustainable Development," M. Willrich, Amicus J., 11(2), 10-13, Spring 1989.

It is widely believed that cattle ranchers in Brazil hired a professional gunman to kill Francisco Mendes, president of the Rubber Tappers Union and leader of alternative and sustainable economic development to save the rain forests. Suggests urgent need to address social, economic, political, educational and cultural issues within the Third World and between the Third World and industrialized nations to enhance the quality of life for all people.

Item #d89aug42

"The Greenhouse Constituency," P. Beckman, Chief Executive, No. 50, 40 ff, Mar.-Apr. 1989.

Some experts believe the increase in temperature is actually part of a normal warming and cooling trend. Anti-industrialists are making counter claims to attack industry and focus on the damage caused by industry burning fossil fuels. However, a major portion of the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 come from natural sources such as animals, volcanoes and swamps and only a small portion from burning fossil fuels.

Item #d89aug43

"Climate of Fear: The Greenhouse Effect May Be Mostly Hot Air," J.R. Laing, Barron's, 69(9), 6-7, 20-22, Feb. 27, 1989.

Two scientists challenge the validity of the greenhouse effect. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin believes that there are problems with the world temperature data used by proponents of the greenhouse effect. Frank Koucky of the College of Wooster, Ohio, claims to have identified a 570-year cycle of alternate global warming and cooling, indicating that the earth has reached the peak of the latest warming cycle and will become cooler in the next fifty years.

Item #d89aug44

"How Green is Your Company?" L. Bruce, Intl. Management, 44(1), 24 ff, Jan. 1989.

Consumers consider environmental protection an important political issue, and companies are beginning to make business practices environmentally sound. However, this approach, as well as meeting regulations, has a high price tag. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that the price of adjusting to the greenhouse effect will reach three to four percent of the world GNP within the next three decades.

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