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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 #d90apr23

"An Empirical Model of Total Solar Irradiance Variation Between 1874 and 1988," P. Foukal (Cambridge Res. & Instrumentation Inc., Cambridge MA 02139), J. Lean, Science, 247(4942), 556-558, Feb. 2, 1990.

Results suggest that the mean total irradiance has been rising steadily since about 1945, with the largest peak so far at about 1980 and another large peak expected during the current solar cycle 22. It is doubtful that this rise can contribute greatly to global warming, unless the temperature increase of about 0.02° C that it produces in current energy balance models seriously underestimates the sensitivity of climate to solar irradiance changes.

Item #d90apr24

"The Origin of Non-Sea-Salt Sulphate in the Mount Logan Ice Core," M.C. Monaghan (Dept. Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, Chicago IL 60637), G. Holdsworth, Nature, 343(6255), Jan. 18, 1990.

Reports 210Pb/137Cs ratios measured in the ice core and in soil cores collected at nearby low-altitude sites. Concludes that the apparent lack of an increase in non-sea-sulfate shows that anthropogenic oxidized sulfur compounds probably have not affected a large part of the middle or upper troposphere in the remote Northern Hemisphere.

Item #d90apr25

Correspondence concerning transient decreases and long-term trends in Arctic ozone, based on ground observations from Norway. S.H.H. Larsen (Inst. Phys., Univ. Oslo, Blindern, 0316 Oslo 3, Norway), T. Henriksen, Nature, 343(6254), 124, Jan. 11, 1990.

Item #d90apr26

"On Trends in Historical Marine Wind Data," V.J. Cardone (Oceanweather Inc., S. 1, 5 River Rd., Cos Cob CT 06807), J.G. Greenwood, M.A. Cane, J. Clim., 3(1), 113-127, Jan. 1990.

Compilations of surface winds from ship reports since 1854 show a number of long-period variations, including a trend toward strengthening winds over the past three decades; investigators disagree as to whether this trend indicates a real change in the climate system or an artifact of changes in measurement techniques. The authors find that the apparent surface wind strengthening is a consequence of the increasing use of anemometers in place of sea-state estimates. Even after correction, the pre-1950 winds appear to be weaker than the post-1950 winds; the absence of universal standards for sea state and Beaufort force before 1946 may explain this. Discusses possible remedies to detect surface winds trends if they exist.

Item #d90apr27

"A Ten-Year Decrease in the Atmospheric Helium Isotope Ratio Possibly Caused by Human Activity," Y. Sano (Lab. Earthquake Chem., Univ. Tokyo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113, Japan), H. Wakita et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 16(12), 1371-1374, Dec. 1989.

A recent decrease observed in the 3He/4He ratios of 20 air samples from several sampling sites and dates is consistent with a significant flux of a low-ratio helium source to the atmosphere. The magnitude of this flux, 0.48-2.9 x 1016 cm3 STP He/year, is compatible with estimates of the anthropogenic release of Earth crustal helium from gas and oil production. Because of the inert chemistry of helium, quantification of this change may provide a marker against which to calibrate the absolute flux and retention of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere.

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