February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 7, JULY 1991
GENERAL INTEREST AND COMMENTARY
Clim. Change, 18(1), Jan. 1991.
"Global Warming and the Credibility of Science," J.A. Laurmann
(Univ. California, 3372 Martin Rd., Carmel CA 93923), 107-109. Expresses concern
that the rhetoric being used in presentations of the threat of global warming
may endanger the long-term credibility of science. Because of large
uncertainties relating to the greenhouse gas question, biased or one-sided
depictions can easily pass undetected; opposite conclusions can be drawn
depending upon which extremes in the ranges of uncertainty are chosen. Suggests
"The Greenhouse Marathon: A Proposal for a Global Strategy,"
vii-xii. A guest editorial concluding that it will take 40 years to deal with
the climate change question; a goal, a route and a good start are needed.
"The Use of General Circulation Models to Predict Regional Climatic
Change," S.L. Grotch (Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., MS L-264, POB 808,
Livermore CA 94550), M.C. MacCracken, J. Clim., 4(3), 286-303,
Reviews the performance of current versions of general circulation models,
which are in broad agreement that a doubling of CO2 will result in a global
annual average surface air temperature increase of 2.5-4.5 K. At finer spatial
scales, however, the range of changes in temperature and precipitation predicted
by different models is much broader. Many shortcomings are also apparent in
their simulations of the present climate, indicating the need for further
Nature, 351(6325), May 30, 1991.
"Simulations of the Effect of a Warmer Climate on Atmospheric Humidity,"
A.D. Del Genio (NASA-Goddard, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), 382-385. Tests
the recently proposed hypothesis that sinking air around deep cumulus clouds
will provide a negative feedback to greenhouse warming. In two versions of a
climate model, upper-level humidity increased with warming (contrary to the
hypothesis), despite drying of the upper troposphere by cumulus clouds. Model
results are consistent with recent satellite estimates of water vapor feedback.
"Climate Response to Smoke from the Burning Oil Wells in Kuwait,"
S. Bakan et al., K. Hasselmann (Max Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundesstr. 55, D-2000
Hamburg 13, Ger.), 367-371. Using a coupled atmosphere-ocean GCM with an
interactive soot transport mode and extended radiation scheme, found a decrease
in surface air temperature of about 4° C in the Gulf region. Changes
outside the region, including those to the Indian summer monsoon, are
"Environmental Effects from Burning Oil Wells in Kuwait," K.A.
Browning (Meteor. Office, London Rd., Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SZ, UK), R.J.
Allam et al., 363-367. Most smoke from the fires will remain in the lowest
kilometer of the troposphere. Beneath the plume, daylight is severely reduced
and daytime temperatures drop. Changes in the Asian summer monsoon and in
stratospheric ozone concentrations are unlikely.
"Increasing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Environmental
Decisions: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Effluent Fees--A Critical Review," L.
Lave (Dept. Econ., Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), H. Gruenspecht,
J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 41(5), 680-693, Apr. 1991.
Evaluates and summarizes the related literature, noting that environmental
decisions are complicated by pervasive uncertainty and the lack of consensus on
goals and tradeoffs. Economic analysis of pollutant abatement does not
contradict what thoughtful non-economists have concluded; rather it provides a
much sharper focus. Used thoughtfully for exploring uncertainties and values, it
is extremely helpful in managing environmental programs, though application is
"Changing Ozone--Evidence for a Perturbed Atmosphere," S.A.
Penkett (Atmos. Chem., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), Environ. Sci.
Technol., 25(4), 631-635, Apr. 1991.
There is compelling evidence that O3 concentrations in the Northern
Hemisphere are increasing steadily, principally from transport and biomass
burning. Although this will ameliorate losses in the stratosphere to some
extent, more damage will be caused to vegetation and the vertical atmospheric
temperature profile will be influenced. Discusses regional and background O3
formation, regional O3 exposure levels, and international studies.
"Use of Satellite Data to Constrain the Model-Calculated Atmospheric
Lifetime for N2O: Implications for Other Trace Gases," M.K.W. Ko
(Atmos./Environ. Res. Inc., 840 Memorial Dr., Cambridge MA 02139), N.D. Sze,
D.K. Weisenstein, J. Geophys. Res., 96(D4), 7547-7552, Apr. 20,
Satellite measurements of N2O in the stratosphere and mesosphere, in
combination with calculations from a chemical-dynamical model, indicate that
previous models may have underestimated the magnitude of vertical transport over
the tropics and that the calculated lifetimes for N2O and CFC source gases could
be 30% shorter than previously reported. A shorter CFC lifetime would imply a
more rapid decrease in atmospheric Cl content, once the CFC emissions stop,
making it possible to reach the pre-ozone hole values of 2 ppbv as early as
2045. Determination of the lifetime of CFC-11 is particularly important, since
it is used to define ozone depletion potentials, chlorine loading potentials and
greenhouse warming potentials for CFC replacements.
"Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Native, Fertilized and
Cultivated Grasslands," A. Mosier (Agric. Res. Service, USDA, POB E, Ft.
Collins CO 80522), D. Schimel et al., Nature, 350(6316),
330-332, Mar. 28, 1991.
Measurements of CH4 uptake and N2O emissions in native, nitrogen-fertilized
and wheat-growing prairie soils indicate that nitrogen-fertilization and
cultivation can both decrease CH4 uptake and increase N2O production, thereby
contributing to the increasing atmospheric concentrations of these important
"The Sustainable Biosphere Initiative: An Ecological Research
Agenda--A Report from the Ecological Society of America," J. Lubchenco,
A.M. Olson et al., Ecology, 72(2), 371-412, 1991. Address
reprint requests to Ecol. Soc. Amer., Pub. Affairs Off., 9650 Rockville Pike,
S-2503, Bethesda MD 20814.
Authored by 16 members of the society's Committee for a Research Agenda for
the 1990s. Documents a major assessment to define research priorities in terms
of both advancement of the field and the potential for improving the human
condition. (See Research News, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--July
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations