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 8, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1995
absorption revised: Several recent studies have come to the
conclusion that clouds absorb much more incident solar radiation
than predicted by theory, or as calculated in climate models. If
correct, the finding has profound implications for understanding
of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and for climate
projections. (See Chem. Eng. News, p. 33, Feb. 13 1995,
and CLOUDS AND CLIMATE section in PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST).
hydrates: Recent independent studies show that (a) methane
hydrates are unlikely to cause strong positive feedback to global
warming (see Harvey paper, PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST/GLOBAL
WARMING SCI.); (b) the burden of methane stored in hydrates is
considerably less than originally estimated by Roger Revelle ten
years ago (see Science, pp. 127-1272, Mar. 3 1995). Also,
a panel of experts at the recent AAAS meeting proposed that
tapping the methane stored in hydrates as an energy source,
without inadvertently releasing methane to the atmosphere, is one
of the great engineering challenges of the age. (See The New
York Times, p. C5, Feb. 21.)
coastal warming since 1951 is associated with declines in the
abundance of zooplankton, and the fish and bird populations that
feed on it, suggesting that if ocean surfaces warm globally the
biological impact could be devastating. (See Science News,
p. 151, Mar. 11 1995. Also see: "Climatic Warming and the
Decline of Zooplankton in the California Current," D.
Roemmich, J. McGowan, Science, 267(5202),
1324-1326, Mar. 3, 1995.)
"Tropical Trouble: Two Decades of Pacific Warmth Have Fired
up the Globe," R. Monastersky, Science News, pp.
154-155, Mar. 11. This addition to a spate of recent articles on
the unusual behavior of El Niņo in the past several years
focuses on climate model experiments by Nicholas Graham, reported
in the Feb. 3 issue of Science. (See Global Climate
Change Digest, Mar. 1995) Explains how his results raise
important questions about how future warming will affect
"Cool Reception for Warming Predictions," J. Emsley, New
Scientist, p. 19, Oct. 8. The notion that rising levels of CO2
are enhancing global warming has been questioned in two studies
by British scientists. One concerns the mechanisms of radiant
energy transfer (see "The Roles of Carbon Dioxide and Water
Vapour in Warming and Cooling the Earth's Troposphere," J.
Barrett, Spectrochim. Acta, 51A(3), 415-417, Mar.
1995.). The other relates to the fact that the Earth's mean
temperature during the Cretaceous period was similar to today's,
even though the CO2 level was up to eight times the
present. (See Sellwood article, Global Climate Change Digest,
p. 3, Sep.). Correspondence on the controversial views is printed
in subsequent issues of New Scientist (p. 50, Nov. 5; p.
51, Dec. 3).
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