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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 #d92apr31

Two items from Tellus, 44B(1), Feb. 1992:

"Variations and Distributions of CO2 in and over the Equatorial Pacific during the Period from the 1986/88 El Niño Event to the 1988/89 La Niña Event," H.Y. Inoue (Geochem. Div., Meteor. Res. Inst., Nagamine 1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan), Y. Sugimura, 1-22.

The large interannual variation in CO2 flux estimated from the observations made could affect the growth rate of global CO2. The delta 13C of atmospheric CO2 suggests enhanced releases of CO2 from the biosphere for the period between 1987 and 1988, but a relatively important role of air/sea CO2 exchange between 1988 and 1989.

"The Incompatibility of Ice-Core CO2 Data with Reconstructions of Biotic CO2 Sources (II). The Influence of CO2-Fertilised Growth," I.G. Enting (Div. Atmos. Res., CSIRO, Pvt. Bag 1, Mordialloc, Victoria 3195, Australia), 23-32.

Revises an earlier analysis, which found a discrepancy between CO2 data from ice cores and direct estimates of the release of biotic CO2 from land-use changes of the recent past. A major new factor included in this analysis--the role of CO2-enhanced growth--increases the discrepancy of the first analysis. A possible explanation is that some of the early increase in CO2 concentrations (since 1700) reflects a recovery from a perturbation associated with the little ice age.

Item #d92apr32

"Projecting Future Concentrations of Atmospheric CO2 with Global Carbon Cycle Models: The Importance of Simulating Historical Changes," A.W. King (Environ. Sci. Div., Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831), W.R. Emanuel, W.M. Post, Environ. Mgmt., 16(1), 91-108, Jan.-Feb. 1992.

Compares simulations from eight global carbon cycle models with observations of atmospheric CO2 from Siple Station, Antarctica, and Mauna Loa. Results reinforce previous assessments, that estimates of CO2 emissions derived by reconstruction of historical land-use changes are incompatible with atmosphere-CO2 exchange codified in carbon cycle models and with the observed history of changes in atmospheric CO2. Caution is required in interpreting atmospheric CO2 projections from models that have not yet resolved basic inconsistencies among emission estimates, models of oceanic uptake, and atmospheric observations.

Item #d92apr33

"Mount Etna CO2 May Affect Climate," K. Caldeira (Earth Syst. Sci. Ctr., Pennsylvania State Univ., Univ. Pk. PA 16802), Nature, 355(6359), 401-402, Jan. 30, 1992. Recent estimates imply that CO2 emissions from Mount Etna could have climatic consequences, producing atmospheric pCO2 variations of about two-thirds the glacial-interglacial pCO2 difference.

Item #d92apr34

"The Global Carbon Cycle and Climate Change: Responses and Feedbacks from Below-Ground Systems," R.K. Dixon (ERL, EPA, 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis OR 97333), D.P. Turner, Environ. Pollut., 73(3-4), 245-262, 1991.

Below-ground processes will strongly influence the response of the biosphere to climate change and are likely to contribute to positive or negative feedbacks. Equilibrium estimates of changes in below-ground C storage due to doubled CO2 range from a possible sink of 41 Pg to a possible source of 101 Pg. Components of the terrestrial biosphere could be managed to sequester or conserve carbon and mitigate accumulation of greenhouse gases.

"Hierarchy Theory as a Guide to Mycorrizal Research on Large-Scale Problems," E.G. O'Neill (ESD, Oak Ridge Nat. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831). Hierarchy theory provides a paradigm that illustrates the need for mycorrhizal research (on small-scale processes) to help solve large-scale problems, and suggests criteria for research priorities. The relevant concepts of the theory are presented and applied to a series of examples from mycorrhizal research.

Item #d92apr35

"Terrestrial Carbon Storage Resulting from CO2 and Nitrogen Fertilization in Temperate Grasslands," J.H.M. Thornley (Inst. Terr. Ecol., Bush Estate, Midlothian, Penicuik EH16 0QB, UK), D. Fowler, M.G.R. Cannell, Plant, Cell, Environ., 14(9), 1007-1011, Dec. 1991.

Carbon sequestration was simulated under various environmental conditions with a temperate grassland model. Results suggest that CO2 and nitrogen fertilization may contribute appreciably to the missing carbon sink needed to balance the global carbon budget.

Item #d92apr36

"Physical Variation of Water Vapor, and the Relation with Carbon Dioxide," W.G. Egan (Natural Sci. Dept., York College/CUNY, Jamaica NY 11451), A.W. Hogan, H. Zhu, Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(12), 2245-2248, Dec. 1991.

Analysis of the long-term NOAA CO2 flask sample records shows an inverse correlation between the seasonal variation of CO2 concentration and water vapor at all stations examined. Factors determining this relationship are considered; for instance, experiments with a Fourier transform spectrometer show CO2 to be removed from an airstream in proportion to water vapor precipitated. Authors propose that the interaction of CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere provides temporary sinks that can influence the CO2 budget.

Item #d92apr37

"Timing of Late Quaternary Productivity Pulses in the Panama Basin and Implications for Atmospheric CO2," T.F. Pederson (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada), B. Nielsen, M. Pickering, Paleoceanog., 6(6), 657-678, Dec. 1991.

High-resolution variations in percent Corg and delta 18Oforam records obtained from a Panama Basin core are discussed in terms of iron input, upwelling history and other factors. There is no evidence for a flux of CO2 into the surface ocean in this area at any time during the past 50 kyr despite increasing production. These observations weaken the influence on CO2 drawdown postulated for increased glacial productivity at low latitudes.

Item #d92apr38

"Concentration and Carbon Isotopic Composition of Atmospheric CO2 in Southern Poland," T. Kuc (Inst. Phys., Acad. Mining, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland), Tellus, 43B(5), 373-378, Nov. 1991.

Measurements made since 1983 near Krakow yield useful information on the degree of anthropogenic changes. Trends detected over 1983-1988 for measured delta 14C, delta 13C and CO2 concentration are, respectively, -10.7% yr-1, -0.038% yr-1 and 1.0 ppmv yr-1.

Item #d92apr39

"Regional Analysis of the Central Great Plains: Sensitivity to Climate Variability," I.C. Burke (Dept. For. Sci., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins CO 80523), T.G.F. Kittel et al., BioScience, 41(10), 685-692, Nov. 1991.

Uses tools such as remote sensing and geographic information systems to determine the potential effects of short-term climate variation and long-term climate trends on net primary production and carbon balance of grassland ecosystems in the central U.S. Comparison of these effects with those of land management shows that management decisions may be more important than climate change for the near-future carbon balance.

Item #d92apr40

"Carbon Ratios in the Amazon," M.I. Bird (School Earth Sci., Australian Nat. Univ., POB 4, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia), A.R. Chivas, W.S. Fyfe, Nature, 354(6351), 271-272, Nov. 28, 1992. The carbon-isotope composition of organic matter in fluvial sedimentary sequences offers the possibility of investigating past vegetation changes in the Amazon basin and their relationship to glacial cycles.

Item #d92apr41

"Potential Net Primary Productivity in South America--Application of a Global Model," J.W. Raich (Marine Biol. Lab., Woods Hole MA 02543), E.B. Rastetter et al., Ecol. Applic., 1(4), 399-429, 1991.

Uses a mechanically-based ecosystem simulation model to describe and analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP), and predict major carbon and nitrogen fluxes and pool sizes at continental to global scales. Data from intensively studied field sites is combined with continental-scale information on climate, soils and vegetation to estimate NPP in each of 5888 grid cells over South America at monthly time steps. Presents preliminary analyses for the scenario of natural vegetation everywhere, as a prelude to evaluating human impacts on NPP.

Item #d92apr42

"Different Methods of Modeling the Variability in the Monthly Mean Concentrations of Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa," F. Martín (Cátedra de Física del Aire, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Univ. Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain), A. Díaz, J. Geophys. Res., 96(10), 18,689-18,704, Oct. 20, 1991.

Three different models for CO2 concentrations were analyzed: a univariate stochastic model, curve fitting, and a model with exogenous variables (monthly fuel combustion data and smoothed sea surface temperature off the Peruvian coast). The last performed best, and suggested that the CO2 trend has risen about 0.5 ppm per El Niño event.

Item #d92apr43

"Seasonal and Annual Carbon Fluxes in a Boreal Forest Landscape," G.B. Bonan (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), ibid., 96(9), 17,329-17,338, Sep. 20, 1991.

Ecosystem process models were used to estimate seasonal and annual landscape carbon fluxes for a site near Fairbanks, Alaska. On average the landscape absorbed 74 g C m-2 yr-1. Uptake by trees was the dominant C flux; C loss during microbial respiration was of secondary importance. If valid for the circumpolar taiga, results extrapolate to an uptake of 0.85 to 1.11 Gt yr-1.

Item #d92apr44

"Changes in the Landscape of Latin America between 1850 and 1985," For. Ecol. Mgmt., 38, 1991.

"I. Progressive Loss of Forests," R.A. Houghton (Woods Hole Res. Ctr., POB 296, Woods Hole MA 02543), D.S. Lefkowitz, D.L. Skole, 143-172.

Reduction in forest area was estimated from changes in the major uses of land. Between 1850 and 1985, 28% of the forest area was replaced by some other type of ecosystem. Alternative data and assumptions lead to an estimate of 25-30% reduction; satellite imagery eliminates most uncertainty after 1975.

"II. Net Release of CO2 to the Atmosphere," R.A. Houghton, D.L. Skole, D.S. Lefkowitz, 173-199.

The estimated net release of carbon over the period was 30 x 1015 g; primary land uses responsible were pastures (42%), croplands (34%), degraded lands (19%) and shifting cultivation (5%). Half the total release occurred after 1960, when the last two categories became more important.

Item #d92apr45

"Releases of Carbon to the Atmosphere from Degradation of Forests in Tropical Asia," R.A. Houghton (addr. above), Can. J. For. Res., 21(1), 132-142, 1991.

After estimating the range of net annual flux of carbon from the forests, this paper goes on to analyze how the estimates are influenced by two related uncertainties. One is uncertainty in estimates of biomass present in the forest; the other is the role of degradation, or the use of forest biomass other than for lumbering (such as grazing, harvest of fuelwood, or deliberate burning).

Item #d92apr46

"Glacial pCO2 Reduction by the World Ocean: Experiments with the Hamburg Carbon Cycle Model," C. Heinze (Inst. Meereskunde, Univ. Hamburg, Troplowitzstr. 7, D-2000 Hamburg 54, Ger.), E. Maier-Reimer, K. Winn, Paleoceanog., 6(4), 395-430, Aug. 1991.

With sensitivity experiments, investigated the role of chemical and biological parameters and different circulation regimes in the 80 ppm reduction of atmospheric CO2 during the last glaciation. None of the experiments alone could explain all observed tracer changes; more effort should be devoted to realistically reproducing the ice age ocean circulation field, making use of the forthcoming glacial radiocarbon data base.

Item #d92apr47

"Initial Measurements of CO2 Concentrations (1530 to 1940 AD) in Air Occluded in the GISP 2 Ice Core from Central Greenland," M. Wahlen (Scripps Inst. Oceanog., La Jolla CA 92093), D. Allen et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(8), 1457-1460, Aug. 1991.

Results for preindustrial times indicate constant atmospheric CO2 levels of 280 ± 5 ppmv between 1530 and 1810 AD, after which concentrations rise abruptly. The record smoothly connects to direct observations from Mauna Loa.

Item #d92apr48

"Some Aspects of Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Indian Plant Biota," L.S. Hingane (Indian Inst. Tropical Meteor., Pune-411005, India), Clim. Change, 18(4), 425-435, June 1991.

Estimated for 1980 the net primary production and the total pool of carbon in forests, cultivated land, and grassland in India, and the CO2 fluxes due to deforestation and firewood consumption. The total pool of carbon in the forest ecosystem is very low considering the size and climate of the country; CO2 emissions due to firewood combustion are very high.

Item #d92apr49

"Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogenous Gases in the Soil Atmosphere," R.G. Amundson (Dept. Soil Sci., 108 Hilgard Hall, Univ. California, Berkeley CA 94720), E.A. Davidson, J. Geochem. Exploration, 38, 13-41, 1990.

A review with extensive references of the environmental factors which control the biological production of CO2, N2, N2O and NO in soil, and the processes by which these gases move through the soil.

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