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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d89sep18

The Impacts of Global Warming on California--Interim Report, J. Anderson et al., 160 pp., June 1989. Available from California Energy Commission (Public Info. Office, 1516 9th St., Sacramento CA 95814; 916-324-3298).

This first legislatively mandated report of the Commission's Intergovernmental Relations Committee will be followed by a final report due June 1990. After examining the scientific debate on global warming, it found a high degree of risk that the state will experience a 1.5° to 4.5° C warming by about 2050. Most of the report examines likely impacts to the state; significant risk is found in the following areas: water resources (decreased snowpack and summer flows, increased pollution problems); forestry (higher stress from summer heat and dryness, susceptibility to fires, insects and disease); rising ocean level (a one-meter rise would triple the size of the San Francisco Bay system); natural habitat (reduced coastal wetland habitats, heat and dryness effects on plants and animals). Less severe risks were identified for electric energy demand, regional air quality and human health, and the California economy; the effects for agriculture are unclear. The last chapter outlines response policies to be evaluated in the final report.

Item #d89sep19

Carbon Dioxide Reduction through Electrification of the Industrial and Transportation Sectors, Energy Research Group Inc. (Waltham, Mass.), July 1989. Work conducted for Edison Electric Institute; a seven-page executive summary is available (1111 19th St. NW, Washington DC 20036; 202-778-6400).

Concludes that the use of highly efficient electric technologies in several traditionally fossil-fueled applications has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Reductions in combustion products depend on relative technology efficiencies and the mix of fossil and lower-polluting non-fossil fuels used to generate electricity. A minimum reduction of 17% in emissions could be realized in the industrial sector by substituting such electrotechnologies as induction and infrared heating; an 8.2% reduction could be realized in the transportation sector by substituting various electric vehicles for those powered by fossil fuels. Additional research is needed to further quantify technological opportunities for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Item #d89sep20

Global Climate Change Conference: Policy Recommendations, National Governor's Association, 59 pp., July 1989. Available from Off. Pub. Affairs, NYS Dept. Environ. Conserv., 50 Wolf Rd., Albany NY 12233 (518-457-5400).

Work groups at this meeting of scientists and public policy experts formulated policy recommendations on energy, environment, investment strategies, land use, natural resources, education and population. Scientific work groups reported the status of topics such as sea level and agricultural effects. Major recommendations include a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and elimination of CFC production by year 2000; fuel efficiency for new cars of 42 miles per gallon; establishment of strict technology-forcing emission and efficiency standards; various controls on land use and building codes; discouragement of coastal development; consideration by business planners of the viability of investments in a warmer world.

Item #d89sep21

Implications of Global Climate Policies, 14 pp., June 1989. Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K St. NW, S. 400, Washington DC 20006 (202-887-0200).

Intended to inspire informed policy choices on the part of U.S. decision makers at the July 1989 economic summit in Paris, this report maintains that effective and sustainable action to deal with potential global climate change requires a greater analysis of the economic, competitive and foreign policy implications than has been undertaken. Economic and energy security risks associated with a unilateral commitment are identified, as are outstanding questions.

Item #d89sep22

Drive for Clean Air: Natural Gas and Methanol Vehicles, INFORM, June 1989. Bound book copies available from INFORM, 381 Park Ave. S, New York NY 10016 (212-689-4040); $65 + $2.50 handling.

Compares the relative merits of two major vehicle fuel alternatives to gasoline and diesel--natural gas (methane), and methanol, an alcohol manufactured mainly from natural gas. Both can be made from coal or biomass. Natural gas is found to have significantly greater benefits, including lower carbon dioxide emissions. In light of the study findings, continued U.S. government focus on methanol is unwarranted.

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