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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 #d89jan14

OZONE DESTRUCTION MECHANISM ISOLATED. The National Science Foundation has announced research results that identify the chemical mechanism leading to the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole in the Southern Hemisphere spring. Ground-based Antarctic measurements made by scientists from the State University of New York at Stony Brook implicate chlorine monoxide, originating from chlorofluorocarbon emissions, confirming a mechanism proposed last year by Mario Molina of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Bromine compounds appear to play a minor role.)

Item #d89jan15

ARCTIC OZONE INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY. Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other research organizations from the United States and European countries are using instrumented aircraft, balloons and satellite data to investigate ozone-depleting processes in the Arctic stratospheric polar vortex. The field experiment was planned for January 1 through February 15, 1989, a time when polar stratospheric clouds, implicated in chlorine-related ozone destruction, are expected to form. The following give more details on this and other recent research on ozone depletion:

"First-Footers to Seek Arctic Ozone Hole," New Scientist, p. 4, Dec 24-31, 1988.

"Ozone Depletion Spreads Around the Globe," ibid., p. 16, Dec. 10. At a London meeting, scientists called for global monitoring of ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground through the ozone layer, and a total ban on CFCs.

"Deeper Ozone Hole Predicted for Next Year," ibid. A biennial oscillation in stratospheric air circulation suggests Antarctic ozone depletion will be stronger in 1989.

"Acid Drops Hint at New Ozone Problem," ibid., p. 34, Dec. 3. Experiments indicate the type of reactions involved in Antarctic ozone destruction may also occur at lower latitudes.

"Dynamics Weaken the Polar Hole," M.R. Schoeberl, Nature, 420-421, Dec. 1. How atmospheric circulation mechanisms weakened this year's Antarctic ozone hole.

"Clouds Without a Silver Lining," R. Monastersky, Science News, 249-251, Oct. 15. Summarizes the growing understanding of the role of polar stratospheric clouds in ozone destruction.

"Coming Soon: The Next Ozone Hole," D. MacKenzie, New Scientist, 38-39, Sep. 1. Covers results of an August meeting of atmospheric scientists in Göttingen, West Germany and their concerns over research funding and the extent to which "safe" CFC alternatives will destroy ozone.

Item #d89jan16

IGBP RESEARCH PLAN DEVELOPS. A comprehensive plan for a decade of global research was discussed by scientists at a meeting of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) in Stockholm in October 1988. Initiated by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) in 1986, the IGBP intends to describe and understand the physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the Earth system, the unique environment it provides for life, changes that are occurring, and the influence of human actions. The three major program components are modeling of earth system processes on a regional to global scale, observation and modeling of key phenomena across the globe, experimental research on processes relevant to global-scale cycles. National committees have been established in over 20 countries, including some developing nations. Based on discussions at the Stockholm meeting, detailed plans will be developed for several programs of research to begin in 1990. Close contact with other major international projects will insure the best use of resources. A fundamental component of the program will be a worldwide network of Geosphere-Biosphere Observatories. The IGBP is currently funded by national governments, the ICSU, the United Nations and private foundations, but continued funding will be necessary through individual national programs.

Temporary headquarters for the IGBP is the office of its executive director, Thomas Rosswall, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Box 50005, S-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden (tel. +46-8-166448; telefax +46-8-166405). A series of reports being issued on the developing program is available; a "Global Change News" series began on p. 299 of Ambio, XVII(4), 1988. The United States contribution is coordinated by the Committee for Global Change (CGC); contact John Perry or Ruth DeFries at the National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418 (202-334-2000). Further information is contained in the following:

Intl. Environ. Rptr., 590-591, Nov. 1988. Discusses the Stockholm meeting.

"The Science of the Thin Green Smear," New Scientist, 24-26, Nov. 19. Discusses problems faced in organizing IGBP, pressures to emphasize short-term goals, and needed improvements in large computer models.

"The--IGBP: Towards a Plan for Action," "NAS/NRC Committee on Global Change," Earthquest (issued quarterly by Univ. Corp. Atmos. Res., POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), 15-16, Summer 1988. Includes activities of the U.S. committee.

"First IGBP Topic: Past Global Change," Eos, p. 1652, Dec. 20. At the October Stockholm meeting, the first scientific steering committee was established; it will study records of past global change over a full glacial-interglacial cycle.

"Second Meeting on IGBP," ibid., p. 1598, Nov. 22. An account of a planning meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 1988.

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