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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 #d89jun22

Review of the Report to Congress: The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States (EPA-SAB/EC-89-106), Global Climate Change Subcommittee, Science Advisory Board, 23 pp., Apr. 1989. Available from Sci. Advisory Bd. Staff Off., U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460.

Documents the completed external review that began with a public review meeting in November 1988. The report on effects is judged to be a good overview of the very complex subject, representing a good initial effort on the part of EPA staff to translate available science into an assessment of consequences, but may best be viewed as a starting point suitable for stimulating discussion in the United States and worldwide. The use of general circulation model results to generate climate change scenarios is reasonable for an initial assessment, even though such models are not intended to represent regional details. The study of impacts should be expanded beyond the United States because of the global nature of the causes and effects of the problem. A large number of specific suggestions are made for individual chapters.

Item #d89jun23

Farming in the Greenhouse--What Global Warming Means for American Agriculture, J.R. Ward, R.A. Hardt, T.E. Kuhule, 34 pp., Mar. 1989. Natural Resources Defense Council (1350 New York Ave. NW, S. 300, Washington DC 20005; 202-783-7800), $5.50.

If predictions of some climate models for greenhouse warming are correct--greater than average temperature increases in midwestern grain belts, more frequent heat waves and droughts, and diminished soil moisture--U.S. agriculture and the economy could be seriously damaged, notwithstanding experimental evidence of increased crop yield by carbon dioxide "fertilization." Farmers will be limited in their ability to adapt to such changes because of scarce water supplies, poor soils at northern latitudes, and the existing vulnerability of agriculture to weather conditions. Recommended are a global reforestation initiative to establish carbon-storing forest cover on 10 million acres of rural land, strict conservation of soil and water, in addition to a comprehensive, international approach to mitigation of global warming.

Item #d89jun24

Ominous Future under the Ozone Hole: Assessing Biological Impacts in Antarctica, M.A. Voytek, 69 pp., Mar. 1989. Environmental Defense Fund, 1616 P St., NW, S. 150, Washington DC 20036 (202-387-3500).

Assesses impacts by reviewing current knowledge of increased ultraviolet light exposure on terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and examines the distribution and nutritional requirements of Antarctic species. Among the serious potential impacts identified: terrestrial plant production could be reduced by 20-25%; terrestrial animals could suffer from reduced plant food; the marine food chain could be seriously affected through influences on sea ice algae, water column phytoplankton, bacteria, protozoa and krill; and reduced ocean productivity would contribute to increased global carbon dioxide levels. Recommends internationally coordinated research spearheaded by the United States, and lists specific research recommendations.

Item #d89jun25

Report of the First U.S.-Canada Symposium on Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes Basin (Joint Rep. No. 1), 210 pp., Jan. 1989. National Climate Program Office/NOAA (Rockwall Bldg., Code CP, 11400 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD 20852; 301-443-8646), or Canadian Climate Center (4905 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ont. M3H 5T4, Can.; 416-739-4431).

The symposium, also sponsored by the U.S. EPA and the Midwestern Climate Center, was conducted in September 1988 to bring together representatives of municipal, state, provincial and federal government agencies and universities concerned with agriculture, water and natural resources, transportation, energy, conservation and environmental policy. They concluded there is a high probability of climate change occurring over the next 50 years in the Great Lakes Basin, and that now is the time to translate past management and historical experiences into future programs aimed at insuring availability of the widest possible management options. Recommended is a joint U.S.-Canadian integrated study as a regional pilot project for an international response to global climate change; this suggestion is being considered by the main organizers. The report contains edited papers and reports and conclusions of the various panels.

Item #d89jun26

Effects of Global Warming on the Great Lakes: The Implications for Policies and Institutions, 32 pp., Nov. 1988. By Center for the Great Lakes (435 N. Michigan Ave., S. 1408, Chicago IL 60611; 312-645-0901), for U.S. EPA.

The study identified changes in existing policies and institutions that would be needed to adapt to impacts of various types found by previous EPA-sponsored studies. These include modifications of the International Joint Commission's regulations controlling outflows from Lakes Superior and Ontario, and objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Conflicts would arise over ownership and management of newly exposed shorelines if water levels decrease. With successful management, the region's abundant water supplies could provide a competitive advantage in attracting economic development, but significant changes would occur in many sectors.

Item #d89jun27

A First Look at the Potential Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Energy Demand (TERA Analysis 88-3), 18 pp., Oct. 1988. American Gas Assoc., 1515 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22209 (703-841-8400); no charge.

Summarizes a preliminary study that compares total energy use and seasonal cycles of use for an earth-warming and a no-earth-warming scenario, based on the Total Energy Resource Analysis (TERA) Model.

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