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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 #d90aug1

"Global Climate Change and US Agriculture," R.M. Adams (Dept. Agric. Resour. Econ., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis OR 97331), C. Rosenzweig et al., Nature, 345(6272), 219-223, May 17, 1990.

Uses two global climate models, crop-growth models and an economic model to provide quantitative estimates of possible CO2-induced climate changes on U.S. agriculture. Results imply the following: because of possible changes in domestic and foreign production, the role of the United States in agricultural export may change; patterns of agriculture may shift in response to changes in regional crop yields and in crop irrigation requirements; future impacts on natural resources will change and use of irrigation may increase in more humid regions. The impact on the U.S. economy strongly depends on which climate model is used.

Item #d90aug2

"Iron in Antarctic Waters," J.H. Martin (Moss Landing Marine Lab., Moss Landing CA 95039), R.M. Gordon, S.E. Fitzwater, ibid., 345(6271), 156-158, May 10, 1990.

Tests the hypothesis that Antarctic phytoplankton suffer from iron deficiency, which prevents them from blooming and using up the luxuriant supplies of major nutrients found in vast areas of the southern oceans. Oceanic iron fertilization aimed at the enhancement of phytoplankton production may turn out to be the most feasible method of stimulating the active removal of greenhouse gas CO2 from the atmosphere. (See NEWS, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Aug. 1990.)

Item #d90aug3

"A Comparison of the Contribution of Various Gases to the Greenhouse Effect," H. Rodhe (Dept. Meteor., Stockholm Univ., S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden), Science, 248(4960), 1217-1219, June 8, 1990.

Considers the global warming impact of CO2 emissions relative to methane associated with use of natural gas fuel. Concludes that natural gas is preferable to other fossil fuels with respect to the greenhouse effect as long as its leakage can be limited to 3% to 6%.

Item #d90aug4

"Preliminary Assessment of the Greenhouse Warming Implications of Halocarbon Substitutes for CFC-11 and CFC-12," D.C. Montague (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), R.L. Perrine, Atmos. Environ., 24A(5), 1331-1339, 1990.

Controlling the production, use and release of CFCs is predicted to reduce warming significantly. Computed temperature increases are sensitive to the assumed growth rates of CFC-11 and CFC-12 over the next 30 years, but thereafter the effects due to the possible substitutes HCFC-142b and HFC-134a become increasingly important. HCFC-22 will assume a major future warming role unless its anticipated production growth rate is reduced.

Item #d90aug5

"Increase in the Stratospheric Background Sulfuric Acid Aerosol Mass in the Past 10 Years," D.J. Hofmann (Dept. Phys., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), Science, 248(4958), 996-1000, May 25, 1990.

Measurements made at Laramie, Wyoming, indicate that the background or nonvolcanic stratospheric acid aerosol mass at northern mid-latitudes has increased by about 5 + or - 2% per year during the past 10 years. Whether this increase is natural or anthropogenic could not be determined at this time because of inadequate information on sulfur sources, in particular, carbonyl sulfide. An increase in stratospheric sulfate levels has important climatic implications and has heterogeneous chemical effects that may alter the concentration of stratospheric ozone.

Item #d90aug6

"Ice-Core Record of Atmospheric Methane Over the Past 160,000 Years," J. Chappellaz (Lab. Glaciol. Géophys. de l'Environ., BP 96, 38402 St. Martin d'Hères Cedex, France), J.M. Barnola et al., Nature, 345(6271), 127-131, May 10, 1990.

Methane measurements along the Vostok ice core point to changes in sources of methane and also show that methane has probably contributed, like carbon dioxide, to glacial-interglacial temperature changes. Changes in CH4 could be due to fluctuations in wetland areas induced by climatic changes. The participation of CH4 and associated chemical feedbacks to warming during deglaciations represents about 30% of that due to CO2.

Item #d90aug7

"Changes in the Global Concentration of Tropospheric Ozone Due to Human Activities," A.M. Hough (Environ. Med. Sci. Div., Harwell Lab., Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 ORA, UK), ibid., 344(6267), 645-648, Apr. 12, 1990.

Uses a global tropospheric model to simulate the chemistry of the pre-industrial and present atmospheres. Global tropospheric concentration of ozone will continue to increase at a rate faster than during the past 100 years. The potential for further increases in tropospheric ozone needs to be taken into account when assessing the impact of air pollution emissions and the adequacy of measures to control them.

Item #d90aug8

SPECIAL ISSUE: Earth Processes and Global Changes, K.J. Hsü, W.U. Henken-Mellies, Eds., Global and Planetary Change, 2(1/2), May 1990. Proceedings from the Workshop on Global Changes, Past and Present, sponsored by IUGS, UNESCO, Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences, and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Interlaken, Switzerland, Apr. 1989). Includes 16 background papers in addition to the four working group reports listed below.

"Introduction to Earth Processes and Global Changes," K.J. Hsü (Geol. Inst., E.T.H.-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland), W.U. Henken-Mellies, 1-4. The Workshop 1 report shows how studies of the ocean-atmosphere system at different modes of operation in the past will help to identify where the man-made changes of the system are heading. Problems related to shorter time scales included studies of the cause of sudden climatic changes at the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas, and predictions of the implications of anthropogenically induced changes during the next decades and centuries. Workshop 2 topics included identification of past and present sea level change. Workshop 3 reported on anthropogenically induced global change, while Workshop 4 assessed the extent of the present man-induced extinction event. It is anticipated that an IUGS/UNESCO program Earth Processes and Global Changes will be established.

"Contributions from the Oceanic Record to the Study of Global Change on Three Time Scales--Report of Working Group 1, Interlaken Workshop for Past Global Changes," N.J. Shackleton (Dept. Quaternary Res., Univ. Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3RS, UK), T.H. Van Andel et al., 5-37.

"Global Change and the Terrestrial Record--Report of Working Group 2--" N. Rutter (Dept. Geol., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton, Alta. T6G 2E3, Can.), B. Ammann et al., 39-45.

"Anthropogenically Induced Global Change--Report of Working Group 3--" H. Apsimon (Environ. Geochem. Res. Ctr., Imperial Coll. Sci., Technol. Med., London SW7, UK), I. Thorton et al., 97-111.

"Biotic Systems and Diversity--Report of Working Group 4--" R.E. Ricklefs (Dept. Biol., Univ. Penn., Philadelphia PA 19104), E. Buffetaut et al., 159-168.

Item #d90aug9

"Biomass of the North American Boreal Forest--A Step Toward Accurate Global Measures," D.B. Botkin (Dept. Biol., Univ. Calif., Santa Barbara CA 93106), L.G. Simpson, Biogeochem., 9(2), Mar. 1990.

Field measures of tree and shrub dimensions were used with established biomass equations in a stratified two-stage cluster sample design to estimate the aboveground ovendry woody biomass. Values were much lower than previous estimates used in analysis of the global carbon budget. Discusses the biased nature of earlier estimates that contribute to this large difference, and implications of the new estimate for our understanding of the global carbon cycle.

Item #d90aug10

SPECIAL ISSUE: Energy and Environment, D. Pearce, Ed., Energy Policy, 17(2), Apr. 1989. The following four articles are included:

"Energy and Environment--Editor's Introduction," D. Pearce (London Environ. Econ. Ctr.), 82-83.

"Energy and Environment in the Long Term," A.C. Fisher (Agric. Econ., Univ. Calif., Berkeley CA 94720), 84-87. Addresses long-term environmental impacts under the headings of: the choice of discount rate, alternative welfare criteria and the choice of money measure of welfare change.

"The Greenhouse Effect and Intergenerational Transfers," C.L. Spash (Dept. Econ., Box 3985 Univ. Sta., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), R.C. d'Arge, 88-96. Intergenerational compensation can be achieved by investment in capital or technology, or by bequest, and is ethically required regardless of any other action.

"Energy and Environment: The Challenge of Integrating European Policies," S. Owens (Dept. Geog., Univ. Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK), C.W. Hope, 97-103. Integration of the environmental dimension into other fields is now a specific objective of EC environmental policy. Some fundamental political, economic and institutional changes are necessary if environmental considerations are to be applied to energy policies, rather than just to their results.

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