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 11, NOVEMBER 1990
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
Global Environmental Change--Human and Policy Dimensions, 1(1),
Dec. 1990. A quarterly journal to debut in December, published with support of
the U.N. University, which will contribute news and reports from its Human
Dimensions of Global Change (HDGC) Program. Free sample copies, subscription
details, and authors' guidelines are available from the publisher: Butterworth
Sci. Ltd. (Attn. Jane Skinner), Westbury House, Bury St., Guildford, Surrey GU2
5BH, UK (tel: (0483) 300966). In the U.S. and Canada contact Promo. Dept.,
Butterworths, 80 Montvale Ave., Stoneham MA 02180; 617-438-8464. Direct
manuscripts (3 copies) to Penny Street at the U.K. address. Estimated annual
subscription rate: £95.
Papers should relate to these general concepts: human contributions
to worldwide environmental changes and the diversity of human responses
to the impacts of global change. Suggested themes are: effects of global
environmental changes on different geographic scales; trends in levels of risk,
exposure and vulnerability; methods for assessing surprises, risks and impacts;
adaptive and preventive strategies; institutional arrangements for managing
global change; collection, communication and interpretation of global change
"Progress Towards a Quantitative Understanding of Antarctic Ozone
Depletion," S. Solomon, Nature, 347(6291), 347-354, Sep.
27, 1990. Review article.
Although a decade ago the prospect of the stratospheric ozone layer being
depleted by half at certain latitudes would have been considered preposterous,
now this has been proven beyond reasonable scientific doubt for the Ant-arctic.
The chemistry of the region is highly unusual because of its extreme cold
temperatures which greatly enhance susceptibility to chlorine-catalyzed ozone
"Effect on Global Warming of Wind-Dependent Aerosol Generation at
the Ocean Surface," J. Latham (Dept. Pure/Appl. Sci., Inst. Sci. Technol.,
Univ. Manchester, Manchester M60 1QD, UK), M.H. Smith, ibid., 372-373.
Assessments of the influence of clouds on global warming are hindered by
poor understanding of feedback mechanisms. One negative feedback involves
increased wind speeds over oceanic regions with resultant emissions of sea salt
aerosol. Calculations indicate that an increase in wind speeds of 5-10 m s-1
would produce increased cloud albedo sufficient to compensate for predicted
levels of global warming.
"The Ice-Core Record: Climate Sensitivity and Future Greenhouse
Warming," C. Lorius (Lab. Glaciol. Environ., BP 96, 38402 St. Martin
d'Heres, Cedex, France), J. Jouzel et al., ibid., (6289), 139-145, Sep.
13, 1990. Review article.
Data from ice cores are unique because they provide access in the same
samples to both climate and climate forcing. They have been used to show that
climate and greenhouse-gas concentrations were intensely interactive. Evaluating
climate sensitivity from the points of view of paleoclimatologists and modelers
has given relative agreement. Still urgently needed is an understanding of the
physical, chemical and biological processes by which subtle changes in
insolation are amplified to induce long-term changes in global climate.
"Ozone Loss in the Arctic Polar Vortex Inferred from High-Altitude
Aircraft Measurements," M.H. Proffitt (Aeronomy Lab., NOAA, 325 Broadway,
Boulder CO 80303), J.J. Margitan et al., ibid., (6288), 31-36, Sep. 6,
Although the Arctic polar vortex in winter is "chemically primed"
for O3 depletion, observed depletion does not match that of the Antarctic,
possibly in part a result of the flux of ozone-rich air through the vortex.
Using N2O as a chemically conserved tracer, significant O3 loss was identified;
correlation with elevated ClO suggests anthropogenic CFC emissions as a cause.
Disagreement of results with model studies suggests the importance of accounting
for poorly understood polar vortex dynamics.
"Global Biomass Burning: Atmospheric, Climatic and Biospheric
Implications," J.S. Levine (Atmos. Sci., NASA-Langley, Hampton, Va.), Eos,
pp. 1075-1077, Sep. 11, 1990.
Reports on the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference by the same
title (Mar. 1990, Williamsburg, Va.). Nearly half the 114 papers were authored
by experts from outside the U.S. Summarizes topics such as: the view from space;
biomass burning in tropical, temperate and boreal ecosystems; gaseous and
particulate emissions; contributions of biomass burning to global budgets for
carbon and nitrogen species and ozone; the greenhouse effect and climate.
"The Global Warming Debate Heats Up: An Analysis and Perspective,"
S.H. Schneider (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
71(9), 1292-1303, Sep. 1990.
Analyzes many key topics concerned with the issue--from the media to
modeling. Public responses to the prospect of global climate change are either
adaptation or prevention. Economists, for example, favor adaptation such as
making water distribution systems more flexible. A prevention strategy might
slow the rate of greenhouse-gas production by improving energy efficiency. The
best strategies have "high leverage": they help solve more than one
problem with a single investment (improved energy efficiency has both
environmental and economic benefits, for instance).
"Signals of Atmospheric Pollution in Polar Snow and Ice," E.W.
Wolff (Brit. Antarctic Survey, Res. Council, High Cross, Madingley Rd.,
Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK), Ant-arctic Sci., 2(3), 189-205, Sep.
1990. Review article.
Measurements of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic and Arctic ice have shown
that the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased by 25% in the last 200
years; the CH4 content has more than doubled. A close correspondence between
greenhouse gases and temperature during the last glacial cycle has been
demonstrated. Cautions that local pollution could hamper studies of global
"Sun and Dust Versus Greenhouse Gases: An Assessment of Their
Relative Roles in Global Climate Change," J.E. Hansen (NASA-Goddard, 2880
Broadway, New York NY 10025), A.A. Lacis, Nature, 346(6286),
713-719, Aug. 23, 1990. Review article.
Climate forcing, an imposed natural or anthropogenic change, modifies the
planetary radiation balance and therefore the planetary temperature. One of the
most important natural forcings, solar variability, will not counteract the
effects of greenhouse warming. Despite uncertainties in estimates of temperature
changes that could result from increased burning of fossil fuels, policy makers
can move to reduce the ultimate magnitude of the experiment that humans now
carry out on earth. Suggests actions relating to CFCs, energy efficiency,
recycling, reforestation, alternative energy sources, and population.
"Global Environmental Research: Who's Doing What?" A. Clayson
(10 Square Alboni, F-75016, Paris, France), Ambio, 19(5),
270-272, Aug. 1990. Summarizes the missions and major research programs and
gives contacts for further information for these international organizations:
WMO, IIASA, WHO, UNEP, UNESCO.
"Declining Amphibian Populations: A Global Phenomenon?" A.R.
Blaustein (Dept. Zoology, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis OR 97331), D.B. Wake,
Tree, 5(7), 203-204, July 1990.
The world-wide decline of all types of amphibian populations is alarming
because of the potentially huge impact on other organisms above and below them
in the food chain, including humans. Declines have been attributed to causes
like acidic deposition and harvesting for food, but many seem to be occurring
without human influence; and there may be synergistic interactions with
increased ultraviolet radiation and higher temperatures from global warming.
This article reports on a National Research Council workshop (Irvine, Calif.,
Feb. 1990), at which long-term research was recommended to study factors
"Trends in Atmospheric Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation: Mechanisms
and Observations for the Northern Hemisphere," J.E. Frederick (Dept.
Geophys. Sci., Univ. Chicago, 5734 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637), Photochem.
Photobiol., 51(6), 757-763, June 1990. Review article.
Although a wintertime decrease in atmospheric ozone over the Northern
Hemisphere has been established, any systematic change in annual mean UV-B
levels over the past 20 years has been extremely small. Major determining
factors for surface UV-B irradiance have been variable cloudiness and regional
air pollution levels, and future changes in the Northern Hemisphere are likely
to be spread over several decades. Extrapolations from results of
photobiological laboratory experiments to the biosphere must be done carefully.
"Global Climatic Issues in the Coastal Wider Caribbean Region,"
F.J. Gable (Coastal Res. Ctr., Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543),
J.H. Gentile, D.G. Aubrey, Environ. Conserv., 17(1), 51-60,
Some of the most pronounced warming during the 1980s was observed in the
lower latitudes, including the wider Caribbean, which is considered one of the
regions most vulnerable to the perturbations and uncertainties of environmental
change. Important potential impacts to the natural and human environments are
identified that are associated with sea level rise and the increased frequency,
intensity and seasonality of tropical storms.
"Global Climate Change and Agriculture: An Economic Perspective,"
R.M. Adams (Dept. Agric., Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Ore.), Amer. J.
Agric. Econ., 71(5), 1272-1279, 1989.
Discusses the potential for climate change from the build-up of greenhouse
gases and CFCs. At some point increases in these gases will alter the world's
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Index of Abbreviations