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 1, JANUARY 1992
"The Greenhouse Debate: Time for Action?" Eos, 72(53),
593, 596-597, Dec. 31, 1991. In a 1991 Nature paper (Mar. 19, p. 219),
M. Schlesinger (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ. Illinois, Urbana IL 61801) and X. Jiang
argued that a 10-year delay in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has only a
small effect on the projected warming in the year 2100. Here they respond to
challenges to their view by J.S. Risbey (Ctr. Global Change Sci., Mass. Inst.
Tech., Cambridge MA 02139), M.D. Handel and P.H. Stone.
"The Case against Climate Aid," P. McCully, The Ecologist,
21(6), 244-251, Nov.-Dec. 1991. (Contact Editor, The Ecologist,
Agric. House, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1DU, UK.)
Extensive financial aid is considered by many an essential component of an
international response to global warming, but the history of aid and technology
transfer is one of discredited economic theories, corruption and failure.
Emphasis on these approaches obscures the urgent need for radical changes in
First World consumption patterns and global economic and political structures.
"Leaking Gas in the Greenhouse," M.K. Wallis (School Math.,
Univ. Wales, POB 915, Cardiff CF2 4AG, UK), Nature, 354(6353),
428, Dec. 12, 1991. Presents calculations showing that replacing leaky gas mains
in the U.K. could significantly reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane,
and be profitable for utilities.
"Pragmatics in the Greenhouse," M.J. Grubb (Roy. Inst. Intl.
Affairs, 10 St. James's Sq., London SW1Y 4LE, UK), D.G. Victor, C.W. Hope, ibid.,
354(6352), 348-350, Dec. 5, 1991.
In the "comprehensive approach" to a climate policy favored by the
U.S., all sources and sinks of greenhouse gases are treated as a unit rather
than individually. This approach is unworkable because the level of scientific
uncertainty differs for various sources and sinks. A "two list"
approach is proposed, one for well-quantified sources and sinks, and another,
transitional list for those still poorly defined. As a result of future
research, items might move from the transitional to the quantified list, or new
items might be added to the transitional list.
Two items from Nature, 354(6350), Nov. 21, 1991:
"Methane on the Greenhouse Agenda," K.B. Hogan (Off. Air
Radiation, US EPA, 401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460), J.S. Hoffman, A.M.
Thompson, 181-182. Reduction of methane emissions would have a significant
impact on global warming; cost-effective approaches for doing this are proposed.
"Efficiency of Climate Policy," J.D. Scheraga (Office Policy,
Plan. Eval., US EPA, 401 M St. SW, Washington DC 20460), N.A. Leary, 193.
Analysis using the U.S. EPA GEMINI model shows that CO2 emissions are stabilized
at the lowest social cost when a carbon tax is imposed at the level of primary
"Climatic Impacts: The Cinderella of Global Change Research Funding?"
A. Henderson-Sellers (School Earth Sci., Macquarie Univ., NSW 2109, Australia),
Clim. Change, 19(3), 267-270, Oct. 1991.
Lack of financial support for climatic impact research in Australia and
elsewhere results largely from adherence to the current, cosy disciplinary
structure of research, which must be changed so that genuine interdisciplinary
research will no longer be devalued as "second best."
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