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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 #d91jan14

New Publication. The Journal of Marine Systems, which debuted in 1990, is emphasizing several areas of interdisciplinary research, including climate change. The journal of the European Association of Marine Sciences and Techniques, it is published by Elsevier Science Publishers (POB 330, 1000 AH Amsterdam, Neth; POB 882 Madison Sq. Sta., New York NY 10159). Sample copies are available; subscriptions cost US$184.25; Dfl. 328. Request authors' guidelines from G. Rowe, N. Amer. Editor (Dept. Oceanog., Texas A&M Univ., College Sta. TX 77843; or K. Kremling, Editor (Inst. Meereskunde, Univ. Kiel, D├╝sternbrooker Weg 20, 2300 Kiel 1, FRG). See Eos, 1840, Dec. 4, 1990.

Item #d91jan15

"Ocean Flux Studies: A Status Report," R.A. Jahnke (Skidway Inst. Oceanog., POB 13687, Savannah GA 31416), Rev. Geophys., 28(4), 381-398, Nov. 1990.

Although studies have not yet produced an accurate, comprehensive description of the marine carbon cycle, recent measurements will soon allow a fundamental improvement in understanding. Satellite-deployed sensors, and moored and free-drifting observation systems are revealing new mesoscale features and determining temporal variability of surface and subsurface water characteristics. These will provide the framework by which individual measurements of ocean processes and material fluxes can be extrapolated throughout ocean basins and over decadal time scales.

Item #d91jan16

"Heterogeneous Production of Cloud Condensation Nuclei in the Marine Atmosphere," D.A. Hegg (Dept. Atmos. Sci., AK-40, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), Geophys. Res. Lett., 17(12), 2165-2168, Nov. 1990.

Relates model calculations to the ability of newly-created marine atmospheric particles to activate cloud condensation nuclei in cumuliform clouds and to the role of aqueous sulfate production in increasing the particle size sufficiently to activate nuclei in marine stratiform clouds. These results relate to a possible climate feedback loop involving cloud condensation nuclei production from oceanic emissions of dimethyl sulfide.

Item #d91jan17

"Sulphate Aerosol and Climate," R.J. Charlson (addr. immed. above), J. Langner, H. Rodhe, Nature, 349(6296), 22, Nov. 1, 1990. A comment on the work of T.M.L. Wigley. Proposes an alternative, yet complementary explanation to Wigley's suggestion, that the Northern Hemisphere may be warming more slowly than the Southern Hemisphere, that also takes into account the effect of anthropogenic aerosol.

Item #d91jan18

The following are exchanges of letters between Richard Lindzen and others concerning the former's views on predictions of global warming:

"Greenhouse Warming and the Tropical Water Budget," Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 71(10), 1464-1467, Oct. 1990.

"New Greenhouse Reports," Science, pp. 1093-1094, Sep. 7, 1990.

Item #d91jan19

"Influence of Penetrating Solar Radiation on the Heat Budget of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean," M.R. Lewis (Code EEC, NASA, Washington DC 20546), M.-E. Carr et al., Nature, 347(6293), 543-545, Oct. 11, 1990.

Shows that visible solar radiation, usually assumed to be absorbed at the sea surface, in fact penetrates to a significant degree to below the upper mixed layer of the ocean which interacts actively with the atmosphere. The net effect is a reduction of the heat input into the upper layer. These results provide an explanation for the discrepancy between observed sea surface temperatures and those predicted by models.

Item #d91jan20

"Ocean Acoustic Tomography," R.C. Spindel (Appl. Phys. Lab., Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), P.F. Worcester, Sci. Amer., 262(10), 94-99, Oct. 1990.

Describes the use of low-frequency sound waves, analogous to other tomographic techniques employed in medicine and seismology. Among the applications is measuring spatially averaged currents and temperatures over regions extending thousands of kilometers. In principle, it should be possible to measure the temperatures of most of the world's waters simultaneously, which may provide clues to global warming. Also under study are ways of integrating tomographic data with those from free-drifting sensors, survey ships and moored instruments.

Item #d91jan21

"Sensitivity of the Thickness of Arctic Sea Ice to the Optical Properties of Clouds," J.A. Curry (Dept. Meteor., Penn. State Univ., 503 Walker Bldg., University Park PA 16802), Annals Glaciol., 14, 43-46, 1990.

Uses a one-dimensional thermodynamic model of sea ice to assess the potential of pollution aerosol to modify cloud optical properties, which in turn could perturb the radiation balance at the surface of the pack ice. Results show that for a constant liquid/ice aerosol water path, increasing cloud droplet concentration and the associated reduction in drop size results in an altered surface radiation balance, contributing to an increase in the sea ice thickness. A coupled sea-ice atmosphere model is needed to address all the processes involved, including the feedback mechanisms.

Item #d91jan22

"Environmental Effects on Acoustic Measures of Global Ocean Warming," A.J. Semtner Jr. (Dept. Oceanog., Naval Postgrad. Sch., Monterey CA 93943), R.M. Chervin, J. Geophys. Res., 95(C8), 12,973-12,982, Aug. 15, 1990.

Results from a global eddy-resolving ocean model are used to assess the importance of oceanic mesoscale eddies and seasonal fluctuations in perturbing acoustic travel time over long distances. Neither were found to be large enough to obscure the anticipated signal of global change in the ocean.

Item #d91jan23

"Climate Change and Methane," E. Nisbet (Dept. Earth Sci., Univ. Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ, UK), Nature, 347(6288), 23, Sep. 6, 1990.

Recent suggestions that past rapid climate changes were driven by methane (that had been trapped during glaciation at high latitudes) emitted from northern gas fields and gas hydrates are compatible with recent reports that warming took place in two abrupt pulses, 13,000 and 10,500 years ago.

Item #d91jan24

"Particle Production Associated with Marine Clouds," D.A. Hegg (Dept. Atmos. Sci., AK-40, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), L.F. Radke, P.V. Hobbs, J. Geophys. Res., 95(D9), 13,917-13,926, Aug. 20, 1990.

Measured vertical profiles of Aitken nuclei, cloud condensation nuclei, sulfate, and SO2 concentrations in the marine atmosphere under relatively clean conditions. Discusses the implications of these results in relation to the dimethyl sulfide-cloud-climate hypothesis.

Item #d91jan25

"Satellites and Our Understanding of the Surface Energy Balance," R.T. Pinker (Dept. Meteor., Univ. Maryland, College Pk. MD 20742), Global Planet. Change, 2(3-4), 321-342, Aug. 1990.

Reviews the evolution of the concepts of physical climatology, satellite capabilities to supplement voids in global observations of surface energy budgets, future needs and prospects for improved satellite observations, and other topics.

Item #d91jan26

Discussion between K. Banse and J.H. Martin et al., on iron limitation of phytoplankton production in the subarctic Pacific, Limnol. Oceanog., 35(3), 772-775, 1990.

Item #d91jan27

"Planning for Chemical Air-Sea Exchange Research," B.J. Huebert (Grad. Sch. Oceanog., Univ. Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882), T.S. Bates et al., Eos, 71(35), 1051, 1057, Aug. 28, 1990. Gives an extensive description of MAGE (Marine Aerosol and Gas Exchange), a field program designed to understand the chemical, physical and biological components of chemical exchange including radiatively active gases.

Item #d91jan28

"Grassland Biogeochemistry: Links to Atmospheric Processes," D.S. Schimel (NASA-Ames, SLE 239-12, Moffett Field CA 94035), W.J. Parton et al., Clim. Change, 17(1), 13-25, Aug. 1990.

Presents a model of carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry for grasslands in the central U.S. based on laboratory, field and modeling studies. Simulations of the geography of C and N biogeochemistry fit well with observed data. A study of the effects of changing climate, using information from a global climate model, showed that increases in temperature and changes in precipitation caused increases in decomposition and long-term CO2 from grassland soils. Nutrient interactions are a major control over vegetative response to climate change.

Item #d91jan29

"A Comparison of Ship and Coastal Zone Color Scanner Mapped Distribution of Phytoplankton in the Southeastern Bering Sea," F.E. M├╝ller-Karger (Dept. Marine Sci., Univ. S. Florida, 140 7th Ave. S., St. Petersburg FL 33701), C.R. McClain et al., J. Geophys. Res., 95(C7), 11,483-11,499, July 15, 1990.

Examined 21 Coastal Zone Scanner images of the southeastern Bering Sea to map the near-surface distribution of phytoplankton during 1979 and 1980 and compared this to the mesoscale distribution of phytoplankton inferred from ship sampling. Suggests region-specific pigment algorithms for proper quantitative interpretation of remote sensing data from this area.

Item #d91jan30

"Remote Sensing of Biomass in the Tropics," Y.J. Kaufman (NASA-Goddard, Code 913, Greenbelt MD 20771), C.J. Tucker, I. Fung, ibid., 95(D7), 9927-9939, June 20, 1990.

Describes a new method based on remote sensing of particulates that uses daily meteorological satellite data, with resolution of 1 km2, to monitor the extent of current biomass burning. During the three months of the dry season in Brazil there were up to 8000 fires a day each contributing 4500 t of CO2, 750 t of CO and 26 t of CH4 to the atmosphere. Results were compared to estimates of global emissions.

Item #d91jan31

"Consumption of Atmospheric Methane by Tundra Soils," S.C. Whalen (Inst. Marine Sci., Univ. Alaska, Fairbanks AK 99775), W.S. Reeburgh, Nature, 346(6280), 160-162, July 12, 1990.

Results from laboratory experiments show that for methane concentrations ranging from below to well above ambient, moist soils consume methane rapidly, while in non-waterlogged soils, equilibration with atmospheric methane was fast relative to microbial oxidation. Concludes that lowering of the water table in the tundra as a result of a warmer, drier climate will decrease methane fluxes and could cause these areas to provide a negative feedback for atmospheric methane.

Item #d91jan32

"The Near U.V. Absorption Spectra of Dimethyl Sulfide, Diethyl Sulfide and Dimethyl Disulfide at T=300K," C.H. Hearn, E. Turcu, J.A. Joens (Dept. Chem., Florida Intl. Univ., Miami FL 33199), Atmos. Environ., 24A(7), 1939-1944, 1990. In general, results are in good agreement with previous measurements, but new spectral features including a previously unobserved vibrational progression for diethyl sulfide are discussed.

Item #d91jan33

"Measurement of Concentrations of Natural Ice Nuclei," E.K. Bigg (12 Wills Ave., Castle Hill, 2154 N.S.W., Aust.), Atmos. Res., 25(4), 397-408, June 1990.

Because of their influence on cloud properties and precipitation formation, the changes in concentrations of ice nuclei with time must be examined if predictions of global warming are to be accurate. If ice nuclei are biogenic in origin, feedback between climate and ice nucleus production is possible. Of the techniques currently available to detect ice nuclei, only the membrane filter method is feasible on a sufficiently wide scale, with sufficient frequency and at various altitudes. However, certain precautions must be observed.

Item #d91jan34

"Climatic Variability on the Scale of Decades to Centuries," C.W. Stockton (Lab. Tree-Ring Res., Univ. Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721), Clim. Change, 16(2), 173-183, Apr. 1990.

Examines documentation of the range of variability experienced for various regions in the western United States and North Africa. The recent high water levels of the Great Salt Lake and other lakes in the western United States and the prolonged drought in north Africa are examples discussed in detail.

Item #d91jan35

"Infrared and Millimeter-Wave Measurements of the Environment: Status and Prospects," N. Keen (Max-Planck Inst. Radioastron., D-5300 Bonn 1, FRG), Intl. J. Infrared & Millimeter Waves, 11(3), 323-352, 1990. Reviews remote-sensing and terrestrial measurements of the environment while considering some physical phenomena.

Item #d91jan36

"AGU on EOS," W.G. Ernst, T.E. Graedel et al., Eos, 401, Apr. 17, 1990.

Because of the potential impact of the space-based Earth Observation System (EOS) on many areas of geophysics, the American Geophysical Union has adopted and published a formal position on the scientific aspects of EOS and will actively promote its goals.

Item #d91jan37

"Natural Sulfur Emissions into the Atmosphere," V.P. Aneja (Dept. Marine Sci., N.C. State Univ., POB 8208, Raleigh NC 27695), J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 40(4), 469-476, Apr. 1990.

Reviews natural atmospheric sulfur emission rates for important components of the sulfur cycle. The biogeochemical cycling of sulfur and its circulation through the atmosphere are not yet adequately explained because of uncertainties in measurements of biogenic sulfur emissions and the role of living plants as sources of sulfur. It is unreasonable to extrapolate these data to balance the global sulfur cycle.

Item #d91jan38

"Decadal Oscillations of the Air-Ice-Ocean System in the Northern Hemisphere," M. Ikeda (Dept. Fish. Ocean., Bedford Inst., Dartmouth, N.S. B27 4A2, Can.), Atmos. Ocean., 28(1), 106-139, Mar. 1990.

Decadal oscillations of ice cover have been observed particularly in the Barents Sea and on the Labrador Shelf since 1950. Describes a possible air-ice-ocean coupling for Barents Sea ice and atmospheric circulation. In addition, a mechanistic, two-level ocean model suggests that the Arctic-Atlantic system resonates with variable wind stresses at a decadal time scale. Weak decadal variations in external forcing can be amplified in the air-ice-ocean system.

Item #d91jan39

"Relationship of Intensive Evaporation from the Ocean to Mean Global Temperature," N.Z. Ariel (State Hydrol. Inst., USSR), E.K. Byutner, O.A. Shebshaevich, Soviet Meteor. Hydrol., No. 5, 7-13, 1989 (publ. 1990). Eng. transl. of Meteor. i Gidrol., No. 5, 11-18, 1989.

Estimates the variation of the intensity of evaporation from the ocean, based on the equation of energy balance of the Earth's surface. Concludes that with a 1 K increase in temperature, the evaporation from the ocean increases by 2.5%.

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