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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 7, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1994

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS... OF GENERAL INTEREST: METHANE AND CO2: CYCLES AND FEEDBACKS


Item #d94Aug1

"Are Wetlands the Key to the Ice-Age Cycle Enigma?" L.G. Franzén (Dept. Phys. Geog., Göteborg Univ., Reutersgaten 2C, S-413 20 Gothenburg, Swed.), Ambio, 23(4-5), 300-308, July 1994.

Presents a new theory suggesting that the glacial intervals of the Quaternary are generated by peat growth in temperate wetlands, which draws down the amount of carbon in the atmosphere leading to cooler conditions. Glacial erosion and transport reverses the process, exposing stored carbon so that it returns to the atmosphere. If the theory is correct, the present rapid anthropogenic increase of CO2 will initiate an incomparable interglacial epoch.


Item #d94Aug2

"Effect of Increasing Methane Concentration on Ammonium Inhibition of Soil Methane Consumption," G.M. King (Darling Marine Ctr., Univ. Maine, Walpole ME 04573), S. Schnell, Nature, 370(6487), 282-284, July 28, 1994.

Ammonium strongly inhibits soil methane consumption by an uncertain process, and ammonium concentrations in many soils have increased in recent years as a result of changes in land use and precipitation chemistry. Field and laboratory data presented here show that ammonium inhibition increases with methane concentration, a mechanism that could provide a positive feedback on future atmospheric methane concentrations.


Item #d94Aug3

Two related items from Nature, 370(6486), July 21, 1994:

"Imbalance in the Budget," F. Joos (Phys. Inst., Univ. Bern, 3012 Bern, Switz.), 181-182. Discusses the development of carbon budget estimates based on atomic bomb isotopes, in reference to the following article.

"Radiocarbon Evidence for a Smaller Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Sink Than Previously Believed," V. Hesshaimer (Inst. Umweltphys., Univ. Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, D-69120 Heidelberg, Ger.), M. Heimann, I. Levin, 201-203. Applies a simple model of the global carbon cycle to a compilation of bomb detonation dates and strengths and the atomic bomb 14C inventory in the stratosphere. The global oceanic bomb 14C inventory should be revised downwards, implying that oceans take up 25% less anthropogenic CO2 than has been believed.


Item #d94Aug4

"Stimulation of Methane Emission by Carbon Dioxide Enrichment of Marsh Vegetation," J.W.H. Dacey (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), B.G. Drake, M.J. Klug, Nature, 370(6484), 47-49, July 7, 1994.

Field measurements show that marsh sites exposed to twice the ambient concentration of CO2 for a week had higher emissions of methane. Future CO2 increases may lead to significant increases in methane emissions from wetlands.


Item #d94Aug5

"Methane Production in Terrestrial Arthropods," J.H.P. Hackstein (Dept. Microbiol., Catholic Univ., Toernooiveld, NL-6525 ED Nijmegen, Neth.), C.K. Stumm, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 91(12), 5441-5445, June 1994.

More than 110 representatives of the different taxa of terrestrial arthropods were screened to investigate the origins of biogenic methane. Symbiotic methanogenic bacteria occur in the hindguts of nearly all tropical representatives of millipedes, cockroaches, termites and scarab beetles. The world population of methane-producing arthropods constitutes an enormous biomass, which can contribute significantly to atmospheric methane.


Item #d94Aug6

"Turning Attention to Reservoir Surfaces, a Neglected Area in Greenhouse Studies," C.A. Kelly (Dept. Microbiol., Univ. Manitoba, Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2, Can.), J.W.M. Rudd et al., Eos, 75(29), 332-333, July 19, 1994.

Outlines research issues related to reservoirs as sources or sinks of CO2 and methane, focusing on experiments in northern Quebec.

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