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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 #d91feb1

"Free Radicals within the Antarctic Vortex: The Role of CFCs in the Antarctic Ozone Loss," J.G. Anderson (Dept. Chem., Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), D.W. Toohey, W.H. Brune, Science, 251(4989), 39-46, Jan. 4, 1991.

Discusses three lines of evidence that define the link between global release of CFCs to episodic disappearance of ozone from the Antarctic stratosphere during the austral spring. Recent advances, including improved absolute calibration for ClO and BrO concentrations as encountered in the lower Antarctic stratosphere, have been essential for defining the link.

Item #d91feb2

"The Dynamics of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex and Its Relation to Springtime Ozone Depletions," M.R. Schoeberl (NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), D.L. Hartmann, ibid., 46-53.

Recent aircraft data show that gradients of potential vorticity and conservative trace species are large at the transition from mid-latitude to polar air, implying that inward mixing of heat and constituents is strongly inhibited and that the perturbed polar stratospheric chemistry of the ozone hole is isolated from the rest of the stratosphere until the vortex breaks up in late spring. It appears that the Antarctic ozone hole could reach larger dimensions than so far observed, but the Northern Hemisphere has a smaller theoretical maximum for column ozone depletion, about 40 percent of that observed in Antarctica.

Item #d91feb3

"Future Changes in Stratospheric Ozone and the Role of Heterogeneous Chemistry," G.P. Brasseur (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), C. Granier, S. Walters, Nature, 348(6302), 626-628, Dec. 13, 1990.

Even if the agreed upon international protocol is followed, reactions on the surfaces of sulfuric acid aerosol particles could produce significant ozone depletion into the beginning of the next century, especially if a major volcanic eruption occurs.

Item #d91feb4

"The Influence of Solar Forcing Trends on Global Mean Temperature since 1861," P.M. Kelly (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), T.M.L. Wigley, ibid., 347(6292), 460-462, Oct. 4, 1990.

Considered the role of long-term solar irradiance changes associated with sunspot fluctuations. Concluded that compared to the well-established observational and theoretical basis for the influence of increased greenhouse forcing, the case for a solar effect on recent changes in global climate is extremely speculative. (See Research News, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--Feb. 1991.)

Item #d91feb5

"Ecosystem Approach to a Global Nitrous Oxide Budget," P.A. Matson (NASA-Ames, Moffett Field CA 94035), P.M. Vitousek, BioScience, 40(9), 667-672, Oct. 1990.

Discusses the nitrogen oxide budget for various types of tropical forests as a function of soil fertility, including the role of elevation and of human disturbance. The approach examines fluxes of trace gases by considering gradients of factors that control fluxes and ecosystem properties and processes.

Item #d91feb6

"AGU Planet Earth Committee Report: Implementation," A.M. Dziewonski (Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), W.M. Kaula, Eos, 71(51), 1871, Dec. 18, 1990. With some exceptions, plans for new spaceborne systems to be part of the Mission to Planet Earth are well underway, but the already launched LANDSAT and GOES systems are not as feasible as they might be. Interpretation of measurements needs adequate attention because of the vastly increased volume of data to be generated by systems like EOS. Modeling will require the use of gifted scientists and state-of-the-art mainframe computers.

"____________: Biosphere Interactions," P. Sellers (Univ. Maryland, College Pk.), J.J. McCarthy, ibid., 71(52), pp. 1883-1884, Dec. 25, 1990. Reviews ongoing studies relating to the short time-scale, biophysically-controlled interactions between the land biosphere and the atmosphere, with some reference to those components of the biota that change relatively slowly as a result of climate change. To acquire a quantitative understanding on time scales of hours to years, theories and measurements will need to reach a high level of realism and precision, with a determined initiative in modeling and experimentation.

"_____________: The Impact of Man," M.G. Wolman (Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md.), ibid., pp. 1884-1886. Understanding and predicting the human impact on the Earth requires expanded measurement and improved modeling. However, the rational response to scientific findings may require measures of great cost to society, such as shifting from fossil fuel to other energy sources. Scientists should demand better support for the work needed to reduce uncertainty, but must give policy makers well considered advice about the risks involved.

Item #d91feb7

"Memo to U.S. Energy Executives: Don't Forget Global Warming," J.A. Howes (Intl. Energy Group, Washington, D.C.), Publ. Util. Fortnightly, 12-13, Dec. 20, 1990. If the world-wide global warming environmental movement reaches its goal of an international agreement on regulating greenhouse gases, a new approach may be needed in allocating customer and corporate resources.

Item #d91feb8

"A Sustainable World," E.S. Woolard (Chairman & CEO, DuPont Corp., 1007 Market St., Wilmington DE 19898), Chem. & Industry, No. 22, 738-740, Nov. 19, 1990. Believes that industry can develop powerful, purposeful environmental programs without retreating to prehistoric lifestyles, if corporate managers have the will to do so.

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