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 4, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1991
Nature, 352(6330), July 4, 1991.
"The Arctic as a Bellwether," J.E. Walsh (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ.
Illinois, Urbana IL 61801), 19-20. Discusses the Arctic as an early indicator of
global climate change, as background for the following article. The results of
the latter are inconclusive, but the Arctic bears close watching over the next
decade or two.
"Recent Variations in Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Covers," P.
Gloersen (NASA-Goddard, Code 971, Greenbelt MD 20771), W.J. Campbell, 33-36.
Variations in extent of sea-ice cover and areas of open water at both poles were
observed from 1978 to 1987 by satellite. Statistical analysis shows that ice
extent and open-water areas within the ice cover decreased in the Arctic, but
there was no trend in the Antarctic.
"Comparisons of Observed Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature
Records," J.B. Elsner (Dept. Meteor., B-161, Florida State Univ.,
Tallahassee FL 32306), A.A. Tsonis, Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(7),
1229-1232, July 1991.
Despite large values of linear cross-correlation among three 100-year data
sets, the long-term trends are significantly different according to the
bootstrap procedure. This calls for caution in relying on any particular data
set for assessing global climate change.
"Expansion and Contraction of the Sahara Desert from 1980 to 1990,"
C.J. Tucker (NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), H.E. Dregne, W.W. Newcomb, Science,
253(5017), 299-301, July 19, 1991. Satellite data show that over the
10-year period the Sahara ranged from 8,633,000 km2 in 1980 to 9,982,000 km2 in
"High Salinity in the North Sea," M.R. Heath (Marine Lab., POB
101, Aberdeen AB9 9DB, UK), E. W. Henderson et al., Nature, 352(6331),
116, July 11, 1991. Exceptionally high salinity observed in 1990 may signal the
start of further changes.
"Total Ozone Trends Deduced from Nimbus 7 TOMS Data," R.S.
Stolarski (NASA-Goddard, Code 916, Greenbelt MD 20771), P. Bloomfield, R.D.
McPeters, Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(6), 1015-1018, June 1991.
Recent improvements in analysis of data from the Total Ozone Mapping
Spectrometer have led to a calibration technique for removing drift. A
statistical model fitted to the data shows a linear trend between
65° N and 65° S of -0.26% per year over an 11.6-year period. At
50° N the trend is -0.5% per year, and is -.8 % per year in winter.
"Evidence for a 50% Increase in H2O2 over the Past 200 Years from a
Greenland Ice Core," A. Sigg (Phys. Inst., Univ. Bern, Sidlerstr. 5,
CH-3012 Bern, Switz.), A. Neftel, Nature, 351(6327), June 13,
1991. The observed increase in hydrogen peroxide spans the last two hundred
years, but most of it occurred in the past 20 years, indicating human activities
may be responsible.
"Ground-Based Infrared Measurements of HNO3 Total Column Abundances:
Long-Term Trend and Variability," C.P. Rinsland (NASA-Langley, Hampton VA
23665), R. Zander, P. Demoulin, J. Geophys. Res., 96(D5),
9379-9389, May 20, 1991. Infrared solar absorption spectra recorded in the Swiss
Alps and in Arizona show no significant long-term trend in atmospheric nitric
"The Solar UV Related Changes in Total Ozone from a Solar Rotation to
a Solar Cycle," S. Chandra (NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), Geophys.
Res. Lett., 18(5), 837-840, May 1991.
In Nimbus-7 TOMS data, total ozone changes about 1.5% over a solar cycle
because of a six-percent change in the solar UV flux near 200 nm. In the case of
solar rotation, sensitivity to solar UV change is a factor of 2-3 less than for
the solar cycle case.
"An Exploratory Analysis for Long-Term Trends in Atmospheric CO2
Concentrations," M.Ya. Antonovsky (IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria), V.M.
Buchstaber, Tellus, 43B(2), 171-187, Apr. 1991.
Discusses a new statistical approach for analyzing monitoring data, and
applies it to CO2 data from a global network of stations. A parabolic
parameterization of the long-term tendency of the field of data is proposed;
this model constructed for the first 15 years of the record evaluates well the
tendency for the next 15 years. Addresses how to correlate projections of
different models for the carbon cycle, and different scenarios of the annual
release of carbon into the atmosphere, with the projections that reflect
parameterization of the trends of monitoring data.
"Recent Warming in Eastern Canada Inferred from Geothermal
Measurements," H. Beltrami (GEOTOP, Univ. du Qu?bec ? Montr?al,
P.O. 8888, sta. A, Montr?al H3C 3P8, Can.), J.-C. Mareschal, Geophys.
Res. Lett., 18(4), 605-608, Apr. 1991. Inversion of borehole
temperature measurements from several sites in eastern Canada suggest a warming
of 1-2° C in the last 100 years for most sites.
"A New Self-Calibration Method Applied to TOMS and SBUV Backscattered
Ultraviolet Data to Determine Long-Term Global Ozone Change," J.R. Herman
(NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), R. Hudson et al., J. Geophys. Res.,
96(D4), 7531-7545, Apr. 20, 1991.
The new method described corrects overestimates of the rate of ozone
depletion determined from the currently archived TOMS and SBUV (version 5) data.
New climatological low-ozone profiles have been incorporated into the TOMS
algorithm appropriate for the Antarctic ozone hole. The new version 6 data show
a global average total ozone trend of -2.9% over 11 years, and compare well with
Dobson station data.
"Solar Total Irradiance Variations and the Global Sea Surface
Temperature Record," G.C. Reid (Aeron. Lab., NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO
80307), J. Geophys. Res., 96(D2), 2835-2844, Feb. 20, 1991.
A simple relationship between irradiance and the envelope of the sunspot
cycle was derived from various measurements of total irradiance over the past 25
years, and was used to drive a one-dimensional model of the thermal structure of
the ocean from the time of the Maunder Minimum of solar activity to the present.
Results indicate that solar variability has been an important contributor to
global climate variations in recent decades, although the role of greenhouse
gases is becoming more important.
"Interdecadal Oscillations and the Warming Trend in Global
Temperature Time Series," M. Ghil (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ. California, Los
Angeles CA 90024), R. Vautard, Nature, 350(6316), 324-327, Mar.
Singular spectrum analysis was used to analyze the time series of global
surface air temperatures for the past 135 years, allowing a secular warming
trend and a small number of oscillatory modes to be separated from the noise.
The amplitudes of the oscillatory components limit our ability to predict
whether the inferred trend of 0.005° C per year will continue, and could
postpone incontrovertible detection of the greenhouse warming signal for one or
"Temperature Trends in the Lower Mesosphere," A.C. Aiken
(NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(3),
416-419, Mar. 1991.
Ten-year (1980-1990) temperature trends were examined using lidar and
satellite data for 55 km altitude, the level where the largest atmospheric
temperature changes due to greenhouse gases are expected. The data show
temperature decreases that are as large as, and in some cases exceed,
predictions based on current models. At 44° N, trends of -0.10% and -0.14%
per year were indicated respectively by ground-based lidar and satellites.
Atmos. Environ., 25A(2), 1991.
"An Analysis of Surface Ozone Data Measured at the End of the 19th
Century in Zagreb, Yugoslavia," I. Lisac (Geophys. Inst., Univ. Zagreb,
Horvatovac bb, 41001 Zagreb, Yugoslavia), V. Grubisic, 481-486. A 12-year record
of surface ozone data collected by Schoenbein's method was analyzed and
calibrated. A comparison of ozone data from 1893-1900 with 5 months of
measurements in 1975 showed an increase of volume fractions from 36 to 67 ppb
for daytime and from 30 to 56 ppb for night.
"Uncertainties in Surface Ozone Trend at Hohenpeissenberg," P.S.
Low (Clim. Res. Unit., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), T.D. Davies et
al., 511-515. Demonstrates that the uncertainty due to SO2 and NO2 could have a
significant effect on the apparent upward trend in surface O3, and possibly lead
to its overestimation by a factor of three. The effect of the uncertainty due to
this interference on the long-term surface O3 trend also needs to be evaluated.
J. Geophys. Res., 96(D2), Feb. 20, 1991.
"Ozone Depletion in the High Latitude Lower Stratosphere: 1979-1990,"
L.B. Callis (NASA-Langley, Hampton VA 23665), R.E. Boughner et al., 2921-2937.
Various aspects of ozone depletion below altitude 25 km are determined from
archived SAGE, SAGE II and SBUV satellite data. In addition, comparison of
two-dimensional model simulations of O3 changes over the period with data
suggest that by 1985, significant declines in global O3 were caused by:
destruction by odd N associated with long-term variations in the flux of
precipitating relativistic electrons (2.6%), solar UV flux changes (1.8%), the
dilution effect associated with the Antarctic ozone hole (1.2%), and atmospheric
increases in CH4, N2O and CFCs (0.4%).
"Long-Term Changes in the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Relative to
World Primary Standard Dobson Spectrometer 83," R.D. McPeters
(NASA-Goddard, Code 916, Greenbelt MD 20771), W.D. Komhyr, 2987-2993. The
calibration of the Nimbus 7 SBUV and TOMS instruments was checked by comparing
with a standard Dobson instrument at Mauna Loa observatory over eight summers.
The satellite measurements began to drift downward after about 1983, probably
because the diffuser plate used to measure solar flux suffered an uncorrected
wavelength dependent degradation. Accurate measurements of long-term global
ozone change will require a coherent system incorporating both ground- and
"Discontinuities in the Long-Term Northern Hemisphere 500-Millibar
Heights Dataset," S.J. Lambert (Canad. Clim. Ctr./CCRN, 4905 Dufferin St.,
Downsview, Ont. M3H 5T4, Can.), J. Clim., 3(12), 1479-1484, Dec.
The homogeneity of the data set was assessed using time series of simple
statistics. Several discontinuities coinciding with major analysis changes were
found, indicating that care is needed in studies where homogeneous data are
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Index of Abbreviations