February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 8, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1995
warming, snowfall, and sea level: A recent study that
compared snowfall amounts and ambient temperature over an
18,000-year sample of ice core shows that snow accumulation in
Greenland could increase more than previously thought in response
to rises in global temperature. Consequently, the IPCC estimates
of future sea level rise could be too low. (See Science News,
p. 7, Jan. 7 1995. Also see Two related items in Nature, 373(6509),
Jan. 5, 1995: "Ice Sheets and Sea Level," D. Bromwich,
"Dominant Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on Snow
Accumulation in Greenland over the Past 18,000 Years," W.R.
Kapsner, R.B. Alley et al., 52-54).
climate models: Current climate models fail to simulate the
mild continental temperatures that geological data show existed
during the Eocene period. A recent paper shows that more detailed
representation of the surface characteristics of the North
American continent could resolve the discrepancy. (See Nature,
p. 221, Nov. 17 1994; New Scientist, p. 18, Nov. 5 1994.
And see: "Equable Climates During the Early Eocene:
Significance of Regional Paleogeography for North American
Climate," L.C. Sloan, Geology, 22(10),
881-884, Oct. 1994.
"Chilly Ice-Age Tropics Could Signal Climate
Sensitivity," R.A. Kerr, Science, p. 961, Feb. 17.
The idea that the tropics remained warm even during ice ages, is
based on the 1976 CLIMAP study. Now there are increasing
challenges to this view, and some researchers are considering
mechanisms that might have cooled the tropics during ice ages as
well, and that could shape the course of future greenhouse
Beat Detected in Ice Age Rhythm," R. Monastersky, Science
News, p. 118, Feb. 25. New evidence shows that icebergs
flooded the North Atlantic during the last ice age every 2,000
years or so in concert with fluctuations in air temperatures. The
results provide a long-sought link between climate records in the
ocean and those drawn from the Greenland ice cap, and cause
experts to wonder if similar flip-flops could occur in the
present climate. (See "Iceberg Discharges into the North
Atlantic on Millennial Time Scales During the Last
Glaciation," G.C. Bond, R. Lotti, Science, 267(5200),
1005-1010, Feb. 17, 1995)
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