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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

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



Item #d91dec1

"Reduced Antarctic Ozone Depletions in a Model with Hydrocarbon Injections," R.J. Cicerone (Dept. Geosci., Univ. California, Irvine CA 92717), S. Elliott, R.P. Turco, Science, 254(5035), 1191 ff., Nov. 22, 1991.

Uses a numerical model to explore the possible benefits of injecting ethane or propane into the Antarctic stratosphere. Annual injections of 50,000 tons of either hydrocarbon could suppress ozone loss, but under some circumstances ozone depletion could be increased. Key uncertainties include initial concentrations of nitrogen oxide species and poorly defined chemical and physical processes. Delivering and distributing the hydrocarbons would be difficult.

Item #d91dec2

"Length of the Solar Cycle: An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate," E. Friis-Christensen (Danish Meteor. Inst., Lyngbyvej 100, DK-2100, Copenhagen O/, Denmark), K. Lassen, Science, 254(5032), 698-701, Nov. 1, 1991.

(See Research News, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Dec. 1991.) Demonstrates that the record of the variation of the precise length of the roughly 11-year sunspot cycle over the past 130 years is very highly correlated with long-term variation of the Northern Hemisphere land air temperature. This suggests a close connection between the Earth's climate and solar activity.

Item #d91dec3

"The Greenhouse Index," Environment, 33(8), 2-4, Oct. 1991. Objections by G. Marland to an index of national greenhouse gas accountability suggested by Hammond et al. in a previous issue, and their response.

Item #d91dec4

"Volcanic Shade Causes Cooling," J.F. Luhr (Global Volcanism Prog., Smithsonian Inst., NHB-119, Washington DC 20560), Nature, 354(6349), 104-105, Nov. 14, 1991. Pumice ejected in the June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo contained the anhydrite CaSO4. The eruption released an SO2-rich cloud which could lead to global-scale cooling at the Earth's surface in the next few years, counteracting expected global warming. Details of the composition of the Pinatubo eruption are reported by Bernard et al., ibid., p. 139.

Item #d91dec5

"Coal-Bed Methane in the UK," C. Mitchell (Sci. Policy Res., Univ. Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, E. Sussex BN1 9RF, UK), Energy Policy, 19(9), 849-854, Nov. 1991.

Although British Coal estimates 1987 methane emissions from UK coal mining to be 0.8 + or - 0.2 million tons, this number cannot be verified until relevant data are released. Based on an approach developed by the U.S. EPA, emissions were 1.19-2.21 million tons. Both estimates indicate a lost resource and a major contribution to greenhouse gases.

Item #d91dec6

Two related articles from Nature, 353(6347), Oct. 31, 1991:

"Chaos in Ocean Heat Transport," C. Covey (Lawrence-Livermore Nat. Lab., MS L-264, Livermore CA 94551), 796-797. Results of the following paper by Weaver et al. raise the question of whether the chaotic nature of oceanic circulation limits climate predictability, just as the chaotic nature of the atmosphere limits the predictability of weather.

"Freshwater Flux Forcing of Decadal and Interdecadal Oceanic Variability," A.J. Weaver (Dept. Meteor., McGill Univ., 805 Sherbrooke St. W, Montreal, Que. H3A 2K6, Can.), E.S. Sarachik, J. Marotze, 836-838. Numerical experiments show the importance of freshwater flux forcing in exciting oceanic variability, and possibly self-sustained oscillations. Such variability may be important in interpreting observations of decadal and interdecadal variability in the air-sea-ice climate system.

Item #d91dec7

"Keeping Global Change Honest," W.S. Broecker (Lamont-Doherty Observatory, Palisades NY 10964), Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 5(3), 191-192, Sep. 1991.

The lure of global change funding encourages exaggeration of the relevance of research projects to the greenhouse warming problem, making the task of policy makers more difficult. An example is the claim by the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) that biological cycling of carbon in the ocean plays a key role in the uptake of CO2; marine biology probably has a negligible impact. (See related article in Science, p. 845, Aug. 23, 1991, and subsequent comment by C. Wunsch, ibid., p. 357, Oct. 18.)

Item #d91dec8

"The Atmospheric Input of Trace Species to the World Ocean," R.A. Duce (Sch. Oceanog., Univ. Rhode Island, Narragansett RI 02881), P.S. Liss et al., ibid., 193-259.

A lengthy analysis that assesses current data and develops global-scale estimates of the atmospheric fluxes of trace elements, mineral aerosol, nitrogen species (particularly those that can be utilized as nutrients), and synthetic organic compounds.

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