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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 #d91may30

"Sea-Level Rise and Earthquakes," R. Bilham (Dept. Geol. Sci., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), S. Barrientos, Nature, 350(6317), 386, Apr. 4, 1991. Comments on the need to account for seismic deformation of ocean basins in estimates of future sea level rise.

Item #d91may31

"The Significance of Coral Reefs as Global Carbon Sinks--Response to Greenhouse," D.W. Kinsey (Great Barrier Reef Marine Pk., Townsville QA810, Australia), D. Hopley, Global & Planet. Change, 3(4), 363-377, Mar. 1991.

Coral reefs are net carbon sinks of 111 million tons yr-1, the equivalent of 2% of present day anthropogenic CO2 emissions. If present trends of recolonization of coral reefs continue, in 100 years that figure could rise to 4% under a greenhouse scenario of rising sea level. However, reefs could "drown" due to inability to match the rate of sea level rise if that rate exceeds 6-8 mm yr-1.

Item #d91may32

"Greenhouse Effect and Coastal Wetland Policy: How Americans Could Abandon an Area the Size of Massachusetts at Minimum Cost," J.G. Titus (US EPA, 401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460), Environ. Mgmt., 15(1), 39-58, Jan.-Feb. 1991.

Although the U.S. land area can accommodate the landward migration of wetlands, the U.S. lacks funds to purchase inundated coastal wetlands and lacks legal authority to prohibit further development. Proposes that property owners along coastal lowlands use coastal lands now as they choose and that a legal mechanism be set up to ensure that land is abandoned if necessary. The expense would be less than under other mechanisms discussed.

Item #d91may33

"Global Coastal Hazards from Future Sea Level Rise," V. Gornitz (Inst. Space Studies, NASA-GSFC, New York NY 10025), ibid., 379-398.

The consequences of global sea level rise would be spatially non-uniform because of several factors. Developed a coastal hazards data base to provide an overview of the relative vulnerabilities of the world's coastlines and compiled information on seven variables for the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico. A coastal vulnerability index has been designed to flag high-risk areas; results for the eastern U.S. are presented as a test case.

Item #d91may34

"Subsidence, Accretion and Sea Level Rise in South San Francisco Bay Marshes," Limnol. Oceanog., 35(6), 1389-1395, Sep. 1990. For three sites studied, marsh accretion as a result of sedimentation and peat formation has been able to compensate for high rates of subsidence and the low rate of sea level rise, and to maintain the elevation of the marsh surface above mean high water.

Item #d91may35

"A Search for Accelerations in Records of European Mean Sea Level," P.L. Woodworth (Proudman Oceanog. Lab., Bidston Observ., Birkenhead, Merseyside L43 7RA, UK), Intl. J. Climatol., 10(2), 129-143, Mar. 1990.

Overall, European tide gauge records since 1870 show little evidence for acceleration, either positive or negative, in regional mean sea levels. A conceptual study of possible future sea level change at Newlyn in the United Kingdom has shown that the large rises in mean sea level, anticipated as a result of the greenhouse effect, should become apparent in the tide gauge records by the early years of the next century.

Item #d91may36

"Spectroscopic Analysis of Global Tide Gauge Sea Level Data," A. Trupin (Dept. Phys., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), J. Wahr, Geophys. J. Intl., 100(3), 441-453, Mar. 1990. Global averages of tide gauge data support the post-glacial model results and suggest that the data are capable of resolving changes in sea level at the mm yr-1 level.

Item #d91may37

"Sea-Level Rise or Coastal Subsidence?" R.W. Stewart (Ctr. Earth, Ocean Res., Univ. Victoria, POB 1700, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y2, Can.), Atmos.-Ocean, 27(3), 461-477, Sep. 1989.

Sea level rise is so variable in some parts of the world that crustal movements rather than eustatic sea level rise better explain the variations. Doubts of the reasons for past sea level rise should be taken into account when considering possible future rises brought on by climatic change.

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