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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d92mar27

"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. 1992.

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 future analysis.

Item #d92mar28

"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.

Item #d92mar29

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 examined.

"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 given.

Item #d92mar30

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.

Item #d92mar31

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.

Item #d92mar32

Two items from Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 72(11), Nov. 1991:

"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.

Item #d92mar33

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.), 20,703-20,709.

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 data.

Item #d92mar34

"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 no trend.

Item #d92mar35

"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), 201-210, 1991.

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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