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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 #d89jul2

Scientific experts on climate modeling and analysis of climatic data participated in an international Workshop on Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climate Changes at Amherst, Massachusetts, in May 1989. The group concluded that while the average global surface air temperature has risen (unevenly in time and space) by about 0.5° C during the past 100 years, this change cannot be attributed with any degree of confidence to the human-caused rise in concentrations of greenhouse gases observed over the same period. Improvement in our ability to project future climate will best be achieved by the further development of climate models, acquisition and analysis of climate data, and observational studies of climate processes; providing the resources for these tasks should be an international priority.

A recent article in Science includes discussion with several participants of the workshop on the uncertainties involved in assessing any effect of greenhouse gases now or in the future. It focuses on the controversial testimony before Congress of James Hansen, in June of 1988 and again in May 1989. Hansen, who directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, believes greenhouse warming has been detected. ("Hansen Against the World," R.A. Kerr, 1041-1043, June 2, 1989.)

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