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 3, MARCH 1992
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"Potential Climate Impact of Mount Pinatubo Eruption," J.
Hansen (NASA Goddard Inst. Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), A.
Lacis et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 19(2), 215-218, Jan. 24,
1992. (See also Prof. Pubs./Mt. Pinatubo Eruption, this GLOBAL CLIMATE
CHANGE DIGEST issue--Mar. 1992.)
A preliminary assessment using the GISS global climate model indicates that
stratospheric aerosols created by the eruption will cause a dramatic but
temporary break in recent global warming trends. The cooling will peak in late
1992, and should overwhelm global warming associated with an El Niño that
appears to be developing. Discusses the effect of the predicted global cooling
on such practical matters as the severity of the Soviet winter and the dates of
"The View from 1996: A Future History on the Human Dimensions of
Global Environmental Change," R.C. Rockwell (Exec. Dir., Inter-univ.
Consortium for Political & Social Res., Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48109),
R.H. Moss, Environment, 34(1), 12-18; 33-38, Jan.-Feb. 1992.
This planning document, written as a history, was created to survey
interesting questions for social science research on global environmental
change, to consider the institutions that will be important in doing the
research, and to identify institutional and programmatic impediments. Much of
the discussion centers on the IGBP System for Analysis, Research and Training
(START), the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (HDGEC) program of
the International Social Science Council, and the World Climate Research
"U.S.-Japanese Space Relations at a Crossroads," J.M. Logsdon
(Dir., Space Policy Inst., G. Washington Univ., Washington DC 20052), Science,
255(5042), 294-300, Jan. 17, 1992.
There are a number of scientific, Earth observation and public service
communication missions under discussion between the U.S. and Japanese technical
communities and governments; Japan is particularly interested in contributing
its space capabilities to global change research. The United States needs to
develop a strategy with respect to future U.S.-Japan space relations that
balances national security and scientific and economic interests. This requires
an accurate understanding of the character and content of the Japanese space
"Will Greenhouse Warming Lead to Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheet
Growth?" G.H. Miller (INSTAAR, Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), A. de
Vernal, Nature, 355(6357), 244-246, Jan. 16, 1992.
Examination of the age and distribution of glacial sediments over the past
130 thousand years, together with marine and terrestrial proxy records of
climate, suggest that initial ice-sheet growth at the beginning of the last
glacial cycle occurred at high northern latitudes under climatic conditions
similar to the present. Results support the idea that expected greenhouse
warming, coupled with decreasing summer insolation, may lead to more snow
deposition than melting at high northern latitudes, and thus to ice-sheet
"Leaking Gas and Greenhouse," R. Herbert (British Gas, 152
Grosvenor Rd., London SW1V 3JL, UK), ibid., p. 196. Letter arguing that
accelerated replacement of gas mains would not be an effective means of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, contrary to the conclusion of a previously published
"On the Evaluation of Ozone Depletion Potentials," S. Solomon
(Aeronomy Lab., NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), M. Mills et al., J.
Geophys. Res., 97(D1), 825-842, Jan. 20, 1992.
Observations of methane, CFC-11 and ozone losses are used, along with
insights from models and observations regarding the relationships among tracers,
to develop a semi-empirical framework for evaluating depletion potentials. The
potentials for compounds with relatively long stratospheric lifetimes such as
HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b are likely to be larger than predicted by gas phase
chemical models; for compounds with short lifetimes, such as CCl4 and CH3CCl3,
gas phase models likely overestimate depletion potentials.
"Increase in Global Atmospheric Concentrations of Mercury Inferred
from Measurements over the Atlantic Ocean," F. Slemr (Fraunhofer Inst.
Atmos. Environ. Res., Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, D-8100 Garmish-Partenkirchen, Ger.),
E. Langer, Nature, 355(6359), 434-437, Jan. 30, 1992.
While previous analyses of dated soil, peat bog and lake-sediment records
indicate that deposition of atmospheric mercury may have doubled since the
beginning of the nineteenth century, this conflicts with most mercury budgets,
in which natural sources dominate. Measurements presented here spanning
1977-1990 indicate that atmospheric mercury has increased 1.46% per year in the
Northern Hemisphere, and suggest that anthropogenic rather than natural sources
are more important.
"Global Warming: Evidence for Asymmetric Diurnal Temperature
Change," T.R. Karl (NCDC-NOAA, Fed. Bldg., Asheville NC 28801), G. Kukla et
al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(12), 2253-2256, Dec. 1991.
Yearly and monthly mean maximum and minimum surface temperatures compared
for large areas of the U.S., the former Soviet Union and the People's Republic
of China show that most of the warming observed over the past four decades can
be attributed to an increase of mean minimum (mostly nighttime) temperatures.
Mean maximum temperatures show little change. The causes are uncertain, but some
evidence suggests that changes in cloud cover play a direct role. Results imply
either that climate model projections of greenhouse warming are improperly
representing the relative changes in mean maxima and minima, or that the
observed warming in a considerable portion of the Northern Hemisphere landmass
is significantly affected by factors unrelated to an enhanced greenhouse effect
from human activities. (See ibid., 19(2), 219, Jan. 24, 1992,
for corrections to figures and tables in this paper.)
Polar Ozone Depletion. Can. J. Phys., 69(8-9),
Aug.-Sep. 1991, contains six papers on ozone depletion as part of a special
issue on Earth observations. Three are listed below; the other three are in the
Stratospheric Ozone section.
"Possible Influence of Long-Term Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in
the Tropical Pacific on Global Ozone," W.D. Komhyr (ARL, NOAA, R/E/AR4, 325
Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), S.J. Oltmans et al., 1093-1102.
Explores a negative correlation between June-August sea surface temperatures
in the eastern equatorial Pacific, and late October total ozone at the South
Pole. The downward trend in ozone observed over the globe in recent years may
have been at least partly meteorologically induced. Since ozone has a lifetime
ranging from hours to years in different portions of the atmosphere, changes in
atmospheric dynamics have the potential for changing total ozone abundance.
"Global Ozone Trends from a Reanalysis of TOMS Data," W.F.J. Evans
(Environ. Resour. Studies, Trent Univ., Peterborough, Ont. K9J 7B8, Can.), F.E.
Bunn, A.E. Walker, 1103-1109.
Correction of satellite measurements of total ozone for a -0.70% annual
drift shows that global ozone depletion occurred at a rate of 0.224% per year
over the period 1979-1988. Depletion is most rapid in the southern polar zone,
remaining well above the global rate even during the absence of the ozone
thinning phenomenon (0.47% per year). This decrease is alarmingly greater than
predicted by scenario models.
"Polar Ozone Depletion: Current Status," G.S. Henderson (Dept.
Geol., Univ. Toronto, Toronto, Ont. M5S 3B1, Can.), J.C. McConnell et al.,
Reviews scientific understanding of the springtime depletion observed to
occur severely over the Antarctic and in a much weaker fashion over the Arctic.
Concludes that adherence to the revised Montreal Protocol should result in
reduced polar ozone depletion, but the time constant for the atmosphere to
return to pre-CFC levels is 60-100 years.
Two items from Space Power, 10(2), 1991:
"Solar Power Satellites--Energy Source for the Greenhouse Century,"
M.I. Hoffert (Dept. Appl. Sci., New York Univ., 26-36 Stuyvesant St., New York
NY 10003), S.D. Potter, 131-151.
Application of an energy-CO2-economics model shows an energy shortfall if
energy demands are to be met while limiting CO2 emissions. Consideration of
photovoltaics, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and solar power satellites shows
that satellites are the most feasible alternative. Analysis shows that 2.45 GHz
technology is more promising for solar power satellites than laser or 35 GHz
"Project Phoenix--Confronting Global Warming with Solar Power,"
C.L. Owen (Inst. Design, Illinois Inst. Technol., 10 W. 35th St., Chicago IL
60616), 157-184. Describes a plan for constructing satellites 9 km in diameter
in lunar orbit from material obtained on the Moon, and towing them into
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations