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 6, JUNE 1989
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations