February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 5, MAY 1991
"Time for Action," R. Monastersky, Sci. News, pp.
200-202, Mar. 30, 1991.
Based on the climate convention conference, Feb. 1991, where some delegates
had hoped to complete a draft climate treaty. However, only basic organizational
tasks were accomplished. Summarizes views of developed, developing, and island
"Our Climatic Future," R.M. White (Pres., Nat. Acad. Eng.) Environment,
pp. 19-20, 38-41, Mar. 1991.
Discusses both scientific and diplomatic concerns, noting that "over
the next two years, diplomats will determine the fate of the planet." The
climate issue provides a context for examining ways countries will deal with
other issues that relate to how humanity can sustain a world in which economic
development and environmental protection can exist.
"How Plankton Change the Climate," P. Williamson, J. Gribbin,
New Sci., pp. 48-51, Mar. 16, 1991.
Plankton, the most abundant form of oceanic life, may affect the planet far
more than expected. The Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) is the main marine
project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program. Examples of studies
are plankton "blooms," changes in plankton near the poles and related
feedback mechanisms, and the relationship between plankton and previous climate
"Gazing into Our Greenhouse Future," J.R. Luoma, Audubon,
pp. 52-59, 124-129, Mar. 1991.
Likens the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., to a "Temple
of Science"--at once futuristic and cathedralish. Summarizes research on
climate modeling with supercomputers, particularly with regard to feedback
mechanisms. Also looks at those who argue for and against regulations to
decrease greenhouse warming.
"Emission Credits: A Flexible Alternative for Immediate Action to
Halt Global Warming," B. Wason, Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 117-119,
Feb. 27, 1991.
Suggests that problem solving on climate can begin even before a final
international agreement is in place. Considers how a market-oriented emission
credit system could stimulate development and investment in technology that
provides cost-effective solutions. Emission credits could address North-South
inequities; however, technical assistance would be needed for Third World
"CO2: A Balancing of Accounts," Options, pp. 10-13,
Dec. 1990. Published by IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria.
Summarizes an IIASA study by Yasuma Fuhjii, who developed a novel approach
to the problem of climate change and international burden-sharing which is based
on a system of intergenerational carbon accounts. Every person has an equal
emission quota irrespective of the country of residence or the generation to
which he or she belongs. It takes into account populations with low per capita
energy use along with population growth.
"Energy Efficiency No. 1," Industry & Environ.,
Feb.-Mar. 1990. "Energy Efficiency No. 2," ibid.,
Apr.-May-June 1990. Published by U.N. Environ. Prog., Industry/Environ. Off.,
Tour Mirabeau, 39-43 quai A. Citroën, 75739 Paris Cedex, France.
Contains numerous articles by international authors that are neither too
specialized and scientific nor too general. The policy choices and research and
investment decisions made in the coming years will determine the types of
technologies used and the infrastructure and facilities built. They will also
form the foundation of economic activity during the next century and determine
the level and types of emissions to be released. Among the topics covered:
report of the IPCC energy and industry subgroup; energy conservation and
efficiency; policy perspective on industrial energy efficiency; technology
assessment and policy options regarding energy and environment; the new
conservation utility approach.
"The Global Environment and Multinational Corporations," N.
Choucri (Director, MIT Technol. & Develop. Prog.), Technol. Rev.,
pp. 52-58, Apr. 1991.
Environmentalists and policy makers have emphasized understanding processes
such as energy use and population growth and have largely ignored institutions,
agents and markets. This omission could impede innovation and forestall
prospects for managing the world's environment. Multinational corporations
(e.g., CFC manufacturers) are major environmental actors as producers, managers
and distributors; they are also central to the solution and must enter into a
partnership with nature. Suggests formation of a corporate consortium on the
"Cars Come to the End of the Road," M. Hamer, New Sci.,
pp. 32-33, Mar. 23, 1991.
Although cars have dictated transportation policy worldwide for 40 years,
their domination must end; so concluded those attending a conference, Transport
and Society, in Britain. Cars contribute 11% of Britain's CO2. Governmental
action (reducing the speed limit, improving fuel efficiency, greater use of
diesel engines) could help reduce these emissions. Demand could be reduced by
building fewer new roads.
"Voyage into Unknown Skies," R. Monastersky, Sci. News,
pp. 136-137, Mar. 2, 1991. A robotic airplane weighing 400 kg and designed to
fly to 25 km will be tested this summer. It has the potential to carry
instruments to the Ant-arctic ozone hole.
"Climate Now," J. Gribben, New Sci., 4 pp., Mar. 16,
1991. No. 44 in the "Inside Science" series.
Explains why the Earth experiences a variety of wind patterns (trades,
doldrums, westerlies) and how changes in climate could influence these patterns.
In addition to surface currents, the ocean influences climate through its
convection, an "oceanic conveyor belt." Climatic shifts from one
stable state into another may be associated with reversals of this conveyor
belt; human interference with climate through added greenhouse gases could
result in such a reversal.
"Hot Science in Cold Lands," J. Carey, Nat. Wildlife,
pp. 4-12, Apr.-May 1991.
Reviews several issues confronting the polar regions, including the ozone
hole. Since ultraviolet radiation levels have increased dramatically in
Antarctica, biological effects will show up there first. These regions also
serve as tests of international political resolve to find the right balance
between protection and exploitation.
"Domestic Energy Alternatives," Publ. Util. Fortnightly,
pp. 12-19, Jan. 15, 1991. Examines some home-grown and environmentally
responsible fuel alternatives to "black gold," including natural gas,
biomass, solar, wind and geothermal energy sources, as well as clean coal
"Calculating Reality," E. Corcoran, Sci. Amer., pp.
100-109, Jan. 1991. Computer architects are scrambling to design the next
generation of supercomputers. These will enable scientists to model nature
(especially climate change) more closely.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations