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 3, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1990
OF GENERAL INTEREST
"Model Calculations of the Relative Effects of CFCs and Their
Replacements on Stratospheric Ozone," D.A. Fisher (Du Pont Exper. Sta.,
Wilmington DE 19880), C.H. Hales et al., Nature, 344(6266),
508-512, Apr. 5, 1990.
Because hydrohalocarbons are destroyed by reaction with atmospheric hydroxyl
radicals in the troposphere, they have significantly shorter atmospheric
lifetimes than CFCs, and are being examined as CFC replacements. Model
calculations show that chlorine-containing hydrohalocarbons have less effect on
ozone, by an order of magnitude, than CFCs.
"Model Calculations of the Relative Effects of CFCs and Their
Replacements on Global Warming," D.A. Fisher (address immed. above), C.H.
Hales et al., ibid., 513-516.
Uses two separately developed atmospheric models to simulate the chemical
reactions and radiative balance of the atmosphere. Results of the two models
agreed well after normalizing calculated effects with respect to CFC-11, using
consistent assumptions about chemical lifetimes. Concludes that the potential of
the replacement compounds to affect global warming is an order of magnitude less
than that of CFCs, chiefly because of shorter atmospheric lifetimes.
"Relative Contributions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Global
Warming," D.A. Lashof (Nat. Resour. Defense Council, 1350 New York Ave. NW,
Washington DC 20005), D.R. Ahuja, ibid., 529-531.
Proposes an index of global warming potential for methane, carbon monoxide,
nitrous oxide and CFCs relative to that of carbon dioxide, and applies this to
determine the source of recent increases in greenhouse forcing to help establish
a basis for policy development. Carbon dioxide emissions account for 80% of the
contribution to global warming of current greenhouse gas emissions, but only 57%
of the increase in radiative forcing during the 1980s.
"The Global Effects of Tropical Deforestation," R.A. Houghton
(Woods Hole Res. Ctr., Woods Hole MA 02543), Environ. Sci. Technol.,
24(4), 414-421, Apr. 1990.
Considers the effects of tropical deforestation on emissions of trace gases
and on the earth's atmosphere and climate, emphasizing the effect from CO2
emissions. Explains three strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from
tropical forests. Urges policies to stabilize CO2 in the atmosphere that include
a reduction of fossil fuel use, an end to deforestation, and an increase in the
area of forests.
"Precise Monitoring of Global Temperature Trends from Satellites,"
R.W. Spencer (Marshall Space Flight Ctr., Code ES43, Huntsville AL 35812), J.R.
Christy, Science, 247(4950), 1558-1560, Mar. 30, 1990.
Analysis of the first 10 years (1979-1988) of satellite measurements of
lower atmospheric temperature changes reveals a monthly precision of 0.01° C
and large temperature variability on time scales from weeks to several years,
but no obvious trend for the 10-year period.
"Observational Constraints on the Global Atmospheric CO2 Budget,"
P.P. Tans (CIRES, Campus Box 216, Univ. Colo., Boulder CO 80309), I.Y. Fung, T.
Takahashi, ibid., 1431-1435, Mar. 23, 1990.
Comparison of observations with general circulation model results shows that
the observed differences between the partial pressures of CO2 in the surface
waters of the Northern Hemisphere and the atmosphere are too small for the
oceans to be the major sink of fossil fuel CO2. Therefore, a large amount of the
CO2 is apparently absorbed on the continents by terrestrial ecosystems.
"Cloud Albedo, Greenhouse Effects, Atmospheric Chemistry, and
Climate Change," J.E. Penner (Lawrence Livermore Lab., Univ. Calif., POB
808, Livermore, Calif.), J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 40(4),
456-461, Apr. 1990.
Summarizes recent research in trends in long-lived species such as CO2, CH4,
N2O and CFCs; trends in short-lived species such as NOx and SOx; and changes in
cloud optical properties. Explains the need to develop 3-D global chemistry and
climate models to evaluate the effects of these emissions and understand
quantitative changes in climate that may occur in the future.
"The United States Global Change Research Program (US/GCRP): An
Overview and Perspectives on the FY 1991 Program," R.W. Corell (Nat. Sci.
Foundation, Washington DC 20550), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 71(4),
507-511, Apr. 1990.
The United States Global Change Research Program represents an integrated,
government-wide scientific effort designed to document, understand and predict
changes in the global environment to provide the foundation for national and
international policy making. The proposed budget details a coordinated program
of research that involves seven agencies and includes a major new initiative:
the Earth Observing System, EOS. (See REPORTS/EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE, this
Global Climate Change Digest issue--June 1990.) Issues: Toward a Strategic
Plan for A&WMA," D.G. Fox (USDA-For. Serv., Rocky Mountain For. &
Range Exper. Sta., Fort Collins CO 80526), J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc.,
40(3), 376-377, Mar. 1990.
Proposes that the Air and Waste Management Association is the appropriate
organization to facilitate the necessary debates over global change, to provide
professional leadership, to educate the public, and to aid in the formulation of
responsible policies. The Association has made global change one of its major
themes; suggestions for Association initiatives on this topic are welcomed by
"A First Approach to Assessing Future Climate States in the UK Over
Very Long Timescales: Input to Studies of the Integrity of Radioactive Waste
Repositories," C.M. Goodess (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. East Anglia, Norwich
NR4 7TJ, UK), J.P. Palutikof, T.D. Davies, Clim. Change, 16,
As part of the UK disposal safety assessment program, time-dependent models
of the repository environment are being developed. Two methods are being
employed: the Milankovitch theory and an empirical analysis of the long-term
reconstructed climate record. The climate sequence established using these
methods will form the basis for studying related processes, such as erosion and
groundwater movement and transfer by vegetation, and their implications for
radioactive waste disposal.
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