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
"Surface-Level Ozone: Climate Change and Evidence for Trends,"
A.S. Lefohn (ASL Assoc., 111 N. Last Chance Gulch, Helena MT 59601), D.S.
Shadwick et al., J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 42(2), 136-144, Feb.
Reviews surface measurements of this greenhouse gas to investigate baseline
and regional increases from the mid-1800s to the present. The data suggest some
increase in background levels, and that surface ozone in Europe may have risen
over the past 10-25 years. However, the identification of trends is often a
function of the period selected for analysis. It is important to expand
worldwide monitoring at remote locations to provide an adequate data base for
"Monthly Summaries of Merchant Ship Surface Marine Observations and
Implications for Climate Variability Studies," R. Michaud (Canadian Space
Agency, Ottawa, Ont., Can.), C.A. Lin, Clim. Dynamics, 7(1),
45-55, Feb. 1992.
The interannual fluctuations of the surface heat budget of the North
Atlantic were computed using the trimmed monthly summaries of the Comprehensive
Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) for 1950-1979, and compared with computations
using ocean weather stations. Long-period trends in the surface heat budget
south of 40° N implied by COADS are not true climate trends, but result in
part from a gradual increase in the magnitude of reported winds over the years.
Special Issue: Clim. Dynamics, 6(3-4),
Jan. 1992, contains 18 papers from the symposium Past and Present Climate
Dynamics: Reconstruction of Rates of Change (Locarno, Switz.; Sep. 1990). As
explained in an introductory editorial (pp. 123-125) by K. Kelts (Limnol. Res.
Ctr., Univ. Minnesota, Minneapolis MN 55455), based on lessons from the past,
participants concluded that climate and ecological systems can change abruptly;
regional climates may have several possible stable configurations with sudden
switches possible. The three papers listed here involve trend analysis.
"Window Technique for Climate Trend Analysis," T. Szentimrey
(Hungarian Meteor. Serv., POB 38, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary), T. Faragó,
S. Szalai, 127-134.
Presents a technique based on orthogonal functions for detecting anomalous
subperiods in an observational data series that depend on the time period of
observation used for a particular trend detection study. It emphasizes the
detection of changes in the series rather than postulating a particular trend
function. Illustrations are given using average annual temperature data for the
Northern Hemisphere and for Hungary.
"Evidence for Recent Warming from Perturbed Geothermal Gradients:
Examples from Eastern Canada," J.-C. Mareschal (Inst. Phys. du Globe, 4 pl.
Jussieu, F-75252, Paris, France), 135-143.
Recent variations of the Earth surface temperature can be inferred from
borehole temperature measurements. Tests performed with synthetic data show it
is possible to reconstruct the long-term changes in ground temperature during
the past 300 years. Data from eastern Canada show a warming of 1-2° C over
the past 100-200 years. The relationship between air and ground temperatures is
"Radioisotopic Evidence of Perturbations of Recent Sedimentary Record
in Lakes: A Word of Caution for Climate Studies," J. Dominik (Inst. F.-A.
Forel, Univ. Genève, 10 route de Suisse, CH-1290 Versoix, Switz.), J.-L.
Loizeau, D. Span, 145-152.
The rate of climatic change estimated from the gradient of signals recorded
in lake sediments may be erroneous if post-depositional perturbations, such as
erosion or physical or biological mixing, are overlooked. Several examples are
Two letters in Nature, 355(6360), Feb. 6, 1992:
"Antarctic Global Warming?" J. Splettstoesser (1 Jameson Point
Rd., Rockland ME 04841), 503. The disappearance of a snow ramp between
Stonington Island and the mainland relates to the question of the stability of
the West Antarctic ice sheet.
"Greenhouse Indicators in Kenya," S. Hastenrath (Dept. Meteor.,
Univ. Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706), P.D. Kruss, 503-504. The recent drastic
wastage of Mount Kenya's glaciers indicates that significant climatic change is
occurring in East Africa.
Two items from Geophys. Res. Lett., 18(12), Dec. 1991:
"Influence of Spatially Variable Instrument Networks on Climatic
Averages," C.J. Willmott (Dept. Geog., Univ. Delaware, Newark DE 19716),
S.M. Robeson, J.J. Feddema, 2249-2251.
Inadequate observing-station locations over the last century have produced
incomplete, uneven and biased samples of the spatial variability of climate. New
high-resolution climatologies are intensively sampled and integrated to
illustrate the effects of biases, which make suspect the ability of station
networks to represent climate through time.
"Recent Trends in Stratospheric Total Ozone: Implications of Dynamical
and El Chichón Perturbations," S. Chandra (NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt
MD 20771), R.S. Stolarski, 2277-2280.
An apparent decrease in total ozone of 5-6% during the winter of 1982-83
following the eruption of El Chichón seen in reprocessed Nimbus-7 TOMS
data is largely explained by the quasi-biennial oscillation; at most 2-4% of the
decrease can be attributed to El Chichón. Interannual variability and
planetary wave activity can introduce apparent seasonal trends that could affect
assessment of total ozone changes caused by chemical perturbations.
Two items from Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 72(11), Nov.
"Effects of Recent Thermometer Changes in the Cooperative Station
Network," R.G. Quayle (Global Clim. Lab., NCDC-NESDIS-NOAA, Fed. Bldg.,
Asheville NC 28801), D.R. Easterling et al., 1718-1723.
Replacement of many thermometers with thermistors in the National
Weather Service network over the past five years has introduced a change
in average temperature of -0.1° C, and a change in mean daily maximum
temperature change of -0.7° C, both climatically important variables.
Since the national climatic data base includes records of instrumentation, the
authors are reasonably confident that corrections developed here can be used to
produce a homogeneous time series.
"Overcoming Biases of Precipitation Measurement: A History of the USSR
Experience," P.Ya. Groisman (NCDC-NOAA, Fed. Bldg., Asheville NC 28801),
V.V. Koknaeva et al., 1725-1733.
Reviews the history of precipitation measurement in the USSR to illustrate
the types of problems that must be addressed before reliable estimates of
precipitation can be made for climate studies. Various methods for overcoming
biases in the record have been devised using information about measurement
procedures, instrument comparisons and field studies.
Two items from J. Geophys. Res., 96(D11), Nov. 20, 1991:
"Trends in Total Ozone at Toronto between 1960 and 1991," J.B.
Kerr (Atmos. Environ. Serv., 4905 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ont. M3H 5T4, Can.),
Ground-based measurements show total ozone decreased by about 4.2% during
the 1980s because of a decrease in the late winter-early spring season of about
7.0%, consistent with revised TOMS satellite data. The trend is distinct from
previous fluctuations, which were presumably due to natural variability, and
occurs at other stations.
"Intercomparison of Total Ozone Data Measured with Dobson and Brewer
Spectrophotometers at Uccle (Belgium) from January 1984 to March 1991, Including
Zenith Sky Observations," H. De Backer (Belgian Meteor. Inst., Ave.
Circulaire 3, B-1180 Brussels, Belg.), D. De Muer, 20,711-20,719.
Although seven years of quasi-simultaneous observations reveal a significant
relative drift between the two instruments of 0.1% per year, this disappears
when a strong, downward SO2 trend at the site is accounted for. The question of
SO2 tendency must be addressed in any trend analysis using Dobson total ozone
"Annual Variation of Atmospheric Carbonyl Sulfide in the Marine
Atmosphere in the Southern Indian Ocean," N. Mihalopoulos (Ctr. Faibles
Radioactivités, Lab. mixte CNRS-CEA, Ave. de la Terrasse, 91198
Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France), J.P. Putaud et al., J. Atmos. Chem., 13,
73-82, July 1991.
Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant sulfur gas in the free
troposphere and may be the primary precursor of the background stratospheric
sulfate layer. Comparison of tropospheric background COS data from Amsterdam
Island with those obtained in the Southern Hemisphere in the past 12 years shows
"Long-Term Variation of Solar UV-B (290-330 nm) Observed at the
Earth's Surface," R.P. Kane (Inst. Pesquisas Espaciais, CP 515 BR-12201 Sao
Jose Campos, SP, Brazil), Pure Appl. Geophys., 136(2-3),
Estimates the individual influences on UV-B of solar irradiance variations,
the quasi-biennial oscillation of stratospheric ozone, cloudiness and the El
Chichón aerosol, over the last decade and a half. Compares results to
measurements made at three U.S. locations and Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps. A
lack of consistent results leads the author to suspect some source of error in
the measurements that requires scrutiny.
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Index of Abbreviations