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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d91aug23

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.

Item #d91aug24

"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.

Item #d91aug25

"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 1984.

Item #d91aug26

"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.

Item #d91aug27

"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.

Item #d91aug28

"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.

Item #d91aug29

"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 acid.

Item #d91aug30

"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.

Item #d91aug31

"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.

Item #d91aug32

"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.

Item #d91aug33

"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.

Item #d91aug34

"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.

Item #d91aug35

"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. 28, 1991.

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 two decades.

Item #d91aug36

"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.

Item #d91aug37

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.

Item #d91aug38

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 satellite-based measurements.

Item #d91aug39

"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. 1990.

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 necessary.

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