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 11, NOVEMBER 1991
EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE
"Snow on Sea Ice: Competing Effects in Shaping Climate," T.S.
Ledley (Dept. Space Phys., Rice Univ., POB 1892, Houston TX 77251), J.
Geophys. Res., 96(D9), 17,195-17,208, Sep. 20, 1991.
Uses a coupled energy balance climate-thermodynamic sea ice model to
investigate three effects of snow on sea ice and leads: its insulating property,
a tendency to cool, warm and melt more easily than ice, and its higher albedo.
Results show that the albedo effect dominates and tends to cool climate, and
that snow on sea ice is an important factor in climatic change.
Two articles from: Nature, 353(6341), Sep. 19, 1991.
"No Limit to Global Warming," 219-220. Comments on the mechanism
proposed by Ramanathan and Collins.
"Abrupt Deep-Sea Warming, Palaeoceanographic Changes and Benthic
Extinctions at the End of the Palaeocene," J.P. Kennett (Marine Sci. Inst.,
Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA 93106), L.D. Stott, 225-229. Indications of
rapid global warming and oceanographic changes about 57 million years ago
suggest a decoupling of the deep and shallow ecosystems, and a transient change
in ocean circulation that had long-term effects on environmental and biotic
"Deglacial Meltwater Discharge, North Atlantic Deep Circulation and
Abrupt Climate Change," L.D. Keigwin (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole
MA 02543), G.A. Jones et al., J. Geophys. Res., 96(C9),
16,811-16,826, Sep. 15, 1991. Uses paleogeochemical data from the deep and
surface ocean to extend earlier observations for a close relationship between
surface ocean conditions and deep-ocean response, and demonstrates the
sensitivity of the deep-ocean circulation to surface ocean salinity change.
"Ice-Age Methane Variations," T.J. Crowley (Applied Res. Corp.,
305 Arguello Dr., College Sta. TX 77840), Nature, 353(6340),
122-123, Sep. 12, 1991. Comparison of methane variations with other data
suggests that northern wetlands could be the source of methane changes during
the ice age.
"Global Warming and Regional Rainfall: The Difference between Average
and High Intensity Rainfalls," B. Yu (Dept. Biogeog., Australian Nat.
Univ., GPO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia), D.T. Neill, Intl. J. Clim.,
11(6), 653-661), Sep.-Oct. 1991.
Comparison of rainfall during cold and warm periods within instrumental
records has helped to develop quantitative climate scenarios of possible global
warming. Although greater rainfall occurred in southeastern Australia during a
Southern Hemisphere warm period in the latter part of this century, data
indicate that high intensity rainfall does not necessarily follow the same
Four articles from: J. Geophys. Res., 96(D8), Aug. 20,
"The Earth's Radiation Budget and Its Relation to Atmospheric
Hydrology. 1. Observations of the Clear Sky Greenhouse Effect," G.L.
Stephens (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins CO 80523), T.J.
Analyzes data relating the clear sky components of the radiation budget to
sea surface temperature (SST) and microwave-derived water vapor amount, using
two sets of satellite data. Defines a greenhouse parameter and establishes a
linear relationship between it and precipitable water (w). Uses a
nongray 1-D climate model to demonstrate how the observations and the model
differ from simple ideas of gray body equilibrium. Study results are consistent
with conventional ideas about the operation of a positive feedback between the
greenhouse effect, SST and w.
"...2. Observations of Cloud Effects," G.L. Stephens, T.J.
Satellite data show that the impact greenhouse effect of clouds is
significant, especially for deep convective clouds over warm ocean, and
increases with the liquid water path of clouds, in direct contrast to many
recent model studies. The most important influences of clouds on the radiation
budget are related to their macrophysical properties, not their microphysical
properties, which have received more attention recently.
"Volcanic Disturbances in the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer over Tsukuba,
Japan, Observed by the National Institute for Environmental Studies Lidar from
1982 through 1986," S. Hayashida-Amano (Nat. Inst. Environ. Studies,
Onogawa 16-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-21, Japan), Y. Sasano, Y. Iikura,
"Analysis of Five-Year Aerosol Data from the Stratospheric Aerosol and
Gas Experiment II," C. Brogniez (Lab. Optique Atmos., Univ. Sci. Tech.
Lille, Batiment 5, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France), J. Lenoble,
15,479-15,497. Aerosol extinction coefficients measured at 1.02 microns averaged
over a 10° latitude band and short periods of nearly five days are used
for latitudinal and seasonal studies. The most evident feature is an exponential
decrease confirming the decay of the influence of El Chichon.
Two articles from: Rev. Geophys., 29(3), Aug. 1991.
"The Emergence of Concurrent High-Resolution Physical and Bio-Optical
Measurements in the Upper Ocean and Their Applications," T.D. Dickey (Dept.
Geol. Sci., Univ. So. California, Los Angeles CA 90089), 383-413. Reviews new
capabilities for studying the upper ocean that have emerged over the past
decade, and gives examples of recent data sets obtained from ships, the Research
Platform FLIP, moorings and drifters. Discusses the needs for complementary
remotely-sensed and in situ data for analysis and modeling.
"State of Balance of the Cryosphere," F.J. van der Veen (Byrd
Polar Res. Ctr., Ohio State Univ., Columbus OH 43210), 433-455. The current
state of balance of terrestrial ice sheets and glaciers is poorly known, and
there is an urgent need to improve current estimates and to monitor ice sheets
continuously for changes in volume and extent. A program based on satellite
observations, combined with ground-based surveys over many years or decades,
"Reconstruction of Past Climate Changes in Salinity and Climate Using
a Diatom-Based Transfer Function," S.C. Fritz (Limnol. Res. Ctr., Univ.
Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis MN 55455), S. Juggins et al., Nature,
352(6337), 706-707, Aug. 22, 1991. Application of a diatom-based
transfer function, for reconstructing past changes in salinity of lakes to a
late-glacial and Holocene sediment record from North Dakota, demonstrates the
utility of the technique in reconstructing past changes in regional climate.
"Evaluating the Climatic Effect of Doubling Atmospheric CO2 via an
Analysis of Earth's Historical Temperature Record," S.B. Idso (Off. Clim.,
Arizona State Univ., Tempe AZ 85287), R.C. Balling Jr., Sci. Tot. Environ.,
106(3), 239-242, July 15, 1991. Comparing the Earth's historical
temperature record with data on historical increases in greenhouse gases
suggests that a doubling of the atmosphere's CO2 content would raise the global
mean surface air temperature by less than 0.4° C.
Fossil Fuel and Biomass Burning Effect on Climate--Heating or Cooling?"
Y.J. Kaufman (Code 613, NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), R.S. Fraser, R.L.
Mahoney, J. Clim., 4(6), 578-588, June 1991.
Analyzes two competing effects of emissions from fossil fuel and biomass
burning associated with deforestation: heating by greenhouse gases and cooling
through alteration of droplet size distributions and cloud albedos from SO2
emissions. Finds that the cooling effect from coal and oil burning may presently
range from 0.4 to 8 times the heating effect, while biomass burning is much more
likely to cause a net warming. Future increases in fossil fuel burning may
saturate the cooling effect, which is estimated to be only 0.1 to 0.3 of the
heating effect under doubled CO2 concentrations.
"Refraction of Sound Waves at Polar Latitude," W. Munk (Scripps
Inst. Oceanog., 0225, 9500 Gelman Dr., La Jolla CA 92093), J. Geophys. Res.,
96(C4), 7015-7022, Apr. 15, 1991. An analysis motivated by the recent
Heard Island experiment examines the nature of sound transmission in the ocean
using the 1960 Perth to Bermuda antipodal transmission.
"Rainfall-Albedo Feedback to Climate," G.W. Paltridge (Inst.
Antarctic Studies, Univ. Tasmania, GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia)
Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 117(499), 647-650, Apr. 1991.
Discusses a potentially large positive feedback which has yet to be considered
in any climate model--the change in land-surface vegetation with change in
"Biological Control of Surface Temperature in the Arabian Sea,"
S. Sathyendranath (Dept. Oceanog., Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, N.S. B3H 4J1,
Can.), A.D. Gouveia et al., Nature, 349(6304), 54-56, Jan. 3,
1991. Model calculations using remotely sensed data on ocean color from the
Arabian Sea show that the distribution of phytoplankton influences the seasonal
evolution of sea surface temperature. This mechanism may be an important
influence on ocean-atmosphere interactions.
"Planktonic Dimethylsulfide and Cloud Albedo: An Estimate of the
Feedback Response," J.A. Foley (Ctr. Climate Res., Univ. Wisconsin, 1225 W.
Dayton St., Madison WI 53706), K.E. Taylor, S.J. Ghan, Clim. Change,
18(1), 1-15, Jan. 1991.
Develops a simple model incorporating empirically based parameterizations to
account for the biological control of cloud droplet concentrations, in a first
attempt to estimate the strength of the DMS-cloud albedo feedback mechanism.
Finds that the feedback reduces the global climatic response to imposed
perturbations in solar insolation by less than 7%, suggesting the mechanism will
be unable to substantially reduce climate sensitivity.
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Index of Abbreviations