February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 3, NUMBER 9, SEPTEMBER 1990
EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE
"Open Systems Living in a Closed Biosphere: A New Paradox for the
Gaia Debate," C. Barlow, T. Volk (Earth Sys. Group, Dept. Appl. Sci., New
York Univ., New York NY 10003), BioSystems, 23, 371-384, 1990.
Introduces a "weaker" version of the Gaia hypothesis, that focuses
on the persistence of life through time and readily lends itself to at least one
form of test. The oceans, atmosphere, soils and biota constitute a complex
system that maintains and adjusts matter cycling and recycling within the
constraint of planetary closure, such that open-system forms of life can
persist. Suggests several disciplines within the field of biology to test the
"Bistability of CCN Concentrations and Thermodynamics in the
Cloud-Topped Boundary Layer," M.B. Baker (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ.
Washington, Seattle WA 98195), R.J. Charlson, Nature, 345(6271),
142-145, May 10, 1990.
Explains that the observed near-constancy of cloud condensation nuclei
concentrations in remote marine air is thought to be due to a balance of source
and sink processes. Using a simple model of the marine cloud-topped boundary
layer, solutions give two stable CCN concentration regimes. One corresponds to
the low concentrations observed over the ocean, the other to the higher
concentrations observed over land; each is dominated by different sink
mechanisms. Both regimes have different optical properties that may be of
"AVHRR Imagery Reveals Antarctic Ice Dynamics," R.A.
Bindschadler (NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt MD 20771), P.L. Vornberger, Eos,
741-742, June 5, 1990.
Uses Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer imagery to reveal surprising
characteristics of the dynamics of the West Antarctic ice sheet that may point
to its possible collapse. This event could raise global sea level a total of 6 m
at rates of over 30 mm per annum. (See RESEARCH NEWS, this Global Climate
Change Digest issue--Sep. 1990.)
"Physical Conditions at the Base of a Fast Moving Ant-arctic Ice
Stream," H. Engelhardt (Div. Geol. Planetary Sci., Calif. Inst. Technol.,
Pasadena CA 91125), N. Humphrey et al., Science, 57-59, Apr. 6, 1990.
Boreholes drilled to the bottom of ice stream B in the West Antarctic Ice
Sheet show conditions that allow the rapid ice streaming motion to occur from
basal sliding or from shear deformation of unconsolidated sediments that
underlie the ice in a layer at least two meters thick. The mechanics of ice
streaming play a role in the response of the ice sheet to climatic change.
"Ship Trails and Ship Induced Cloud Dynamics," W.M. Porch (Los
Alamos Nat. Lab., Los Alamos NM 87544), C.-Y.J. Kao, R.G. Kelley Jr., Atmos.
Environ., 24A(5), 1051-1059, 1990.
Detailed image analysis of an exceptionally high resolution photograph of
ship trails observed by the Apollo-Soyuz mission in July 1975 shows that these
trails began as a brightening of background marine stratocumulus and eventually
grew to a point where they generated a plume-like structure with clear regions
on both sides. Preliminary numerical modeling to simulate the ship trails, using
only the energy release from the ship, gave an indication of how that energy
compares with the energy released by the latent heat of the nucleation process.
"Perspectives on Aerosol Deposition to Natural Surfaces:
Interactions between Aerosol Residence Times, Removal Processes, the Biosphere
and Global Environmental Change," B.L.B. Wiman (Lund Inst. Sci. &
Technol., Gerdagatan 13, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden), M.H. Unsworth et al., J.
Aerosol Sci., 21(3), 313-338, 1990.
Summarizes the research needs in the areas of aerosol residence-time
assessments, deposition modeling and understanding of aerosols in
biogeochemistry, using a systems perspective of global environmental change.
Feedback investigations should focus on a common goal, such as developing
empirical and theoretical understanding of aerosol resuspension, transport and
deposition for application in large-scale circulation models.
"Modeling of Meltwater Infiltration in Subfreezing Snow," T.H.
Illangasekare (Dept. Environ. Eng., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), R.J.
Walter Jr. et al., Water Resour. Res., 26(5), 1001-1012, May
The nature of meltwater infiltration will affect the timing of global sea
level rise from global warming. If meltwater must penetrate vertically through
cold glaciers sea level rise would be slow, but if appreciable lateral flow
patterns develop large rises in sea level could occur in a matter of years. A
mathematical model is developed which incorporates the processes that influence
water flow and heat transfer in subfreezing snow; from this is developed a
two-dimensional meltwater infiltration model.
Comments and reply on "Major Volcanic Eruptions and Climate: A
Critical Evaluation," J. Clim., 3(5), 587-590, May 1990.
"An Assessment of the Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on the Northern
Hemisphere's Aerosol Burden during the Last Decade," J.J. Michalsky (Atmos.
Sci. Res. Ctr., 100 Fuller Rd., Albany NY 12205), E.W. Pearson, B.A. LeBaron,
J. Geophys. Res., 95(D5), 5677-5688, Apr. 20, 1990.
Analyzes volcanic aerosol loading using optical depth data at five
wavelengths derived from sunradiometry data. These data are tabulated, and
inferences regarding size distribution of the volcanic aerosol are drawn.
Results are compared with other data sets to establish the validity of
ground-based techniques and inferences regarding strato-spheric transport are
"Deep-Water Renewal in the Northern North Atlantic," R.R.
Dickson (MAFF Fisheries Lab., Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK), E.M. Gmitrowicz,
A.J. Watson, Nature, 344(6269), 848-853, Apr. 26, 1990.
Describes the first successful long-term measurement of the transport of the
northern inflow component of the North Atlantic where it passes south along the
Continental Slope off East Greenland.
"Ventilation Rates of the Waters in the Nansen Basin of the Arctic
Ocean Derived from a Multitracer Approach," P. Schlosser (Lamont-Doherty
Geol. Observ., Columbia Univ., Palisades NY 10964), J. Geophys. Res.,
95(C3), 3265-3272, Mar. 15, 1990. Presents the first full-depth profiles
of 14C, tritium, 3He, 4He and neon from a station in the central Nansen Basin
"Space and Time Distribution of Glacier Mass-Balance in the Northern
Hemisphere," A. Letr?guilly (Wegener Inst. Polar- und
Meeresforschung, Postfach 120161, 2850 Bremerhaven, FRG), L. Reynaud, Arctic
Alpine Res., 22(1), 43-50, Feb. 1990. Proposes to test to what
degree available mass-balance series of well-measured glacier areas can be used
to extrapolate to unknown glaciers in the same vicinity.
"Estimates of Antarctic Precipitation," D.H. Bromwich (Byrd
Polar Res. Ctr., Ohio State Univ., Columbus OH 43210), Nature, 343(6259),
627-629, Feb. 15, 1990.
Precipitation fluctuations over Antarctica are a potentially important
contributor to variations in global sea level. Uses two methods to determine net
flux of water to the Ant-arctic surface. Two calculated estimates are in marked
disagreement for the entire continent, but concur for the interior area between
80? S and the pole. Improvements in the climatological atmospheric data base
should make possible reliable estimates of Antarctic precipitation variation.
"On the Global Exchange of Mass between the Stratosphere and
Troposphere," J.R. Holton (Dept. Atmos. Sci., AK-40, Univ. Washington,
Seattle, WA 98195), J. Atmos. Sci., 47(3), 392-395, Feb. 1,
Applies the downward control principle to estimate for each hemisphere and
season the averaged extratropical downward mass flux across the 100 mb level
implied by the climatological data of Oort's 15-year climatology, and uses
continuity to obtain an estimate for the upward flux across the tropical
tropopause. The computed fluxes imply a 2.5-year turnover time for a global
atmospheric layer above 100 mb.
"The Use of Radiocarbon Measurements in Atmospheric Studies,"
M.R. Manning (Inst. Nuclear Sci., Dept. Sci. Ind. Res., Lower Hutt, New
Zealand), Radiocarbon, 32(1), 37-58, 1990.
Presents atmospheric 14CO2 measurements made in New Zealand since 1954 and
at various Pacific Ocean sites. The observed seasonal cycle conflicts with that
predicted by a zonally averaged global circulation model. Discusses recent
accelerator mass spectrometry measurements of atmospheric 14CH4 and the problems
involved in determining the fossil fuel methane source.
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