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 5, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1992
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"A Sequential Decision Strategy for Abating Climate Change,"
J.K. Hammitt (RAND, 1700 Main St., Santa Monica CA 90407), R.J. Lempert, M.E.
Schlesinger, Nature, 357(6376), 315-318, May 28, 1992.
Proposes a two-phase policy consisting of a near-term period (1992-2002)
followed by a least-cost abatement policy to limit global mean temperature rise
to a target amount. Uses a simple climate/ocean model to compare the costs of
two alternatives during the first phase: moderate emissions reductions (by
energy conservation only), or aggressive reductions (conservation plus switching
to other fuel sources). The moderate option is less expensive if the allowed
temperature increase is large; otherwise, the aggressive option is cheaper.
"Strengthening the Montreal Protocol: Does It Cool Down the
Greenhouse?" M.G.J. den Elzen (RIVM, POB 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), R.J.
Swart, J. Rotmans, Sci. Tot. Environ., 113(3), 229-250, Mar. 31,
Evaluates the global warming implications of ozone protection policy options
using the Institute's Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect (IMAGE),
a science-based policy model. Methylchloroform, halons, and those HCFCs and HFCs
with lower global warming potentials than HCFC-22 contribute only marginally to
the greenhouse effect. From the perspective of global warming, the use of these
alternatives could be tolerated during a transition period if they help avoid
further growth of the total production of HCFCs after replacement of the present
Two papers from Sci. Tot. Environ., 112 (2-3), Mar. 1992,
by C. Kroeze (Dept. Environ. Sci., Univ. Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130,
1018 VZ Amsterdam, Neth.) and L. Reijnders:
"Halocarbons and Global Warming, II," 269-290. Uses an improved
zero-dimensional computer model to calculate the future use of CFCs, halons and
H(C)FCs and their warming impacts. The renewed Montreal Protocol may result in
an equilibrium temperature increase at the Earth's surface of
0.38° -0.75° C by 2100 when H(C)FCs are used unrestrictedly to
replace CFCs and halons, although this warming could be reduced 40% by better
housekeeping and handling of halocarbon wastes. A phase-out of HCFCs by 2035,
which is under discussion, could result in either more or less warming depending
on the properties of the chemicals used to replace them and the extent of
emission controls employed.
"Halocarbons and Global Warming, III," 291-314. Estimates impacts
of specific halocarbons and their applications based on expected use through the
year 2100. Refrigeration and mobile air conditioning (and HCFC-22 and HFC-134a)
will contribute most to warming if H(C)FCs are used unrestrictedly to replace
CFCs and halons. If HCFCs are phased out and replaced by HFCs, the greatest
contribution to warming will be from HFC-134a, -143a and -125.
"Extreme Events in a Changing Climate: Variability is More Important
Than Averages," R.W. Katz (ESIG, NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), B.G.
Brown, Clim. Change, 21(3), 289-302, July 1992.
Uses statistical theory to show that the frequency of extreme events (which
serve as a catalyst for concern about climate change) depends more on changes in
the variability than in the mean. Climate model experiments should be designed
to detect changes in climate variability, and policy analysis should not rely on
scenarios of future climate involving only changes in means.
The following are three of seven articles from an issue of Impact
of Sci. on Society (No. 166, 1992) devoted to "Ennironment
and Development." (Published jointly by UNESCO and Taylor & Francis
"The Ocean and Climate," R.W. Stewart (4249 Thornhill Cr.,
Victoria, B.C. V8N 3GC, Can.), 163-170. Overview of the importance of the ocean
in the climate system, and the types of research needed to improve our
understanding. Adapted from material developed for the Second World Climate
"The Evolution of Global Environmental Change: Issues and Research
Programs," M.F. Price (Dept. Geog., Univ. Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK),
171-182. Describes the evolution of concern over global environmental change and
of related international research programs, emphasizing the link between the
natural and social sciences.
"Climatic Change and Desertization," H.N. Le Houérou
(CNRS-CEFE, B.P. 5051, 34033 Montpellier Cedex, France), 183-201. The possible
future increase in global temperature will only accelerate the process of
desertification, to the detriment of life and the economy of many developing
"Canada, Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect," L. Hughes
(Dept. Math., St. Mary's Univ., Halifax, N.S. B3H 3C3, Can.), S. Scott, Intl.
J. Energy, Environ., Econ., 1(2), 111-117, 1991.
Considers the impact of Canadian CO2 emissions on the greenhouse effect in
light of recommendations from the 1988 Conference on the Changing Atmosphere. A
computer model shows that unless steps are taken immediately, Canada will not be
able to meet the conference's proposed CO2 emission reduction of 20% of 1988
levels by the year 2005, let alone meet any more substantial cuts that may be
"Climate Hazards, Climatic Change and Development Planning,"
W.E. Riebsame (Dept. Geog., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), Land Use
Policy, pp. 288-296, Oct. 1991.
The threat of global warming calls for new approaches to development
planning and expansion of the repertoire of options that will help avoid
premature action or paralysis by uncertainty. Options should include actions
that are easily and cheaply implemented and reversed. Planners should seek
strategies that link the uncertain threat of climatic change to current
certainties: current natural hazards, and the contribution to current
environmental problems of resource management systems.
Special issue: "An Annotated Bibliography on the Greenhouse
Effect and Climate Change," M.D. Handel (Phillips Lab./GPAS, Hanscom Air
Force Base, MA 01731), J.S. Risbey, Clim. Change, 21(2), 97-255,
June 1992. Discusses over 600 articles, reports and books selected to facilitate
rapid introduction to important issues and findings. Topics include
observations, theory and modeling, policy issues, history of the study of the
greenhouse effect, and other causes of climate change. The following editorial
by the same authors precedes the bibliography:
"Reflections on More Than a Century of Climate Change Research,"
91-96. Examines the consequences of the shift in research focus from present and
past climates to prediction of future climate change due to human activity.
Suggests future research.
"The Long-Term Ecological Effects of Pollutants; Some Issues,"
L.W. Blank (ERL Ltd., 106 Gloucester Pl., London, UK), A.J. Crane, R.A.
Skeffington, Sci. Tot. Environ., 116(1-2), 145-158, May 1, 1992.
Considers three case studies: increased emissions of CO2, excess nitrogen
deposition to natural vegetation, and acid rain. Three sources of pollutants are
involved: natural processes, natural human functions, and industrial processes
related to energy consumption (from which emissions can be reduced but not
eliminated). The sum of these sources produces an "irreducible"
background pollution level, the ecological consequences of which need further
"Access and Assimilation: Pivotal Environmental Information
Challenges," H. Benking, U.B. Kampffmeyer (Isestr. 63, 2000 Hamburg 13,
Ger.), GeoJournal, 26(3), 323-334, Mar. 1992.
Gives a lengthy, illustrated description of the Harmonization of
Environmental Measurement project (HEM) established by UNEP under the Global
Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS). Key design elements are a multilingual
thesaurus and hypertext applications. Compares features of a number of existing
national and international monitoring programs.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations