February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
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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 11, NOVEMBER 1995
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and NASA's
Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observing System, Natl. Res. Council, 96 pp.,
Sep. 1995. Natl. Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418
(800 624 6242 or 202 334 3313).
(See News, this issue--Nov. 1995.) Based on a July 1995 workshop, this
review generally endorses the scientific basis of the program and its research
direction. It emphasizes the need to maintain a balanced program of space-based
and ground-based observations and laboratory and field research; to ensure the
development and successful implementation of integrated scientific plans across
agency boundaries; to maintain strong links with international global change
research and observation programs; and to obtain timely scientific guidance on
priorities and program balance and direction. Regarding NASA's huge Earth
Observing System satellite program, it backs the overall plan through 2004 but
suggests changes in the multi-billion-dollar EOS Data and Information System
(EOSDIS) and one of the three planned large satellites. EOSDIS should be handled
by academia and the private sector in competition, which will help give
scientists fast and complete access to the data with a minimum of bureaucracy.
Our Changing Planet: The FY 1996 U.S. Global Change Research Program,
152 pp., 1995. Obtain from Global Change Research Info. Off..
Prepared by a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council as
a supplement to the President's fiscal-year 1996 budget. Provides a
well-illustrated synopsis of research concerns, recent progress, and remaining
goals in four major areas: seasonal to interannual climate fluctuations, climate
change over the next few decades, stratospheric ozone depletion and increased
ultraviolet radiation, and changes in land cover and in terrestrial and marine
ecosystems. Constituting over half the report are summaries of specific research
results with references to published literature.
The Emerging International Regime for Climate Change: Structures and
Options After Berlin, M. Grubb, D. Anderson, Eds., 96 pp., Sep. 1995 $10.95
Based on a June 1995 high-level workshop at the Royal Institute for
International Affairs, in which negotiators and leading analysts examined the
implications of the Berlin Conference of Parties to the U.N. Convention on
Climate Change, and topics such as the future of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, prospects for emission reductions, and North-South relations.
Summarizes the issues and positions set out, and includes selected papers from
Partnership for the Planet: An Environmental Agenda for the
United Nations (Worldwatch Paper 126), H.F. French, 71 pp., July 1995, $5.
Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036 (tel: 202 452 1999;
fax: 202 296 7365).
Reviews U.N. environmental activities on this 50th anniversary of the
creation of the United Nations. Concludes that unless key environmental
initiatives are maintained and strengthened, no single government will be able
to protect its citizens from such global threats as skin cancer caused by ozone
depletion, disrupted weather patterns caused by climate change, or the further
collapse of oceanic fisheries. Makes four recommendations: (1) upgrade the U.N.
Environment Program into a full-fledged, operational agency, and move it from
Nairobi to a center of U.N. power such as Geneva or New York; (2) provide
adequate financial resources for its programs; (3) ensure the implementation of
major environmental conventions such as the global warming and biological
diversity treaties; (4) democratize global environmental governance, by opening
U.N. deliberations to non-governmental organizations, and giving a voice to
local communities affected by World Bank and U.N. development projects.
Mainstreaming the Environment: The World Bank Group and the
Environment Since the Rio Earth Summit, Fiscal 1995, Summary, World Bank
Environ. Dept., 59 pp., Sep. 1995.
Documents how the World Bank has sought to be an active partner in
implementing the "Rio imperatives." Explores progress in activities
specifically targeted toward improving the environment, through implementation
of the Global Environment Facility and the Montreal Protocol. Also examines more
broadly how environmental concerns are being incorporated throughout all the
Bank's activities, as the Bank seeks to incorporate the environment into
sectoral and national strategies.
The World Bank and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
29 pp., Mar. 1995. Available from World Bank Global Environ. Coord. Div., 1818 H
St. NW, Washington DC 20433 (tel: 202 473 1155; fax: 202 676 0581).
An overview of Bank activities specifically related to the climate
Canadian "State of the Environment" publications, available at
no charges from State of the Environment Directorate, Environ. Can., Ottawa ON
The State of Canada's Climate: Monitoring Variability and Change
(SOE Rep. 95-1), 52 pp., May 1995. Begins with an introductory chapter on
climate variability and change, followed by chapters on temperature,
precipitation and cloudiness in Canada. Lake ice data corroborate temperature
trend patterns, showing an average shortening of the winter ice season by about
a week. On a national scale, precipitation has been decreasing since 1948;
regional increases have occurred mainly over eastern and northern Canada.
Cloudiness has also increased since the 1950s. Interpretation of these
observations is limited; the report is intended mainly as a base for further
National Environmental Indicator Series: Climate Change (SOE Bull.
95-2), 5 pp., Winter 1995 update. Combines a summary of why climate change is an
issue, and what Canada is doing about it, with time plots of three indicators:
fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and
global and Canadian average temperatures.
National Environmental Indicator Series: Energy Consumption (SOE
Bull. 95-1), 4 pp., Winter 1995 update. Combines a summary of why energy
consumption is an issue, and what Canada is doing about it, with time plots of
global and Canadian energy and fossil fuel consumption.
The Way Things Really Are: Debunking Rush Limbaugh on the
Environment, L. Haimson, M. Oppenheimer, D. Wilcove, 18 pp., 1995. Single
copies, no charge from Environ. Defense Fund, 257 Park Ave. S., New York NY
10010 (tel: 212 505 2100; fax: 212 505 2375).
In his book The Way Things Ought To Be, conservative talk-show host
Rush Limbaugh has fueled the anti-environment backlash with his unsupported
opinions that environmental scientists are "frauds." This pamphlet
lists several examples of erroneous statements by Limbaugh followed by
scientific facts and their sources in the scientific and professional
The Climate Change Debate: Seven Principles for Practical Policies,
European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), 24 pp., Dec. 1994. No charge from
ERT, Ave. H. Jaspar 113, 1060 Brussels, Belg. (tel: 32 2 534 3100; fax: 32 2 534
Created as a working document in the climate change debate in Europe. Calls
for, among other things, the European Union to pursue a "no regrets"
approach, so that all actions taken will be worth doing regardless of
uncertainties surrounding climate change. Policy instruments should be designed
to be economically attractive and to improve industrial competitiveness.
Storm in a Teacup? or How Serious is Global Warming?, 16 pp.,
Feb. 1995. Umwelt Bundes Amt (Federal Environ. Off.), Postfach 330022, 14191
Berlin, Ger. (tel: 49 30 231 455; fax: 49 30 231 5638).
Lists 10 arguments against actions to mitigate global warming, with the
official German government response to each.
The Social Construct of Climate and Climate Policy (Max-Planck
Inst. Meteor. Rep. 137), N. Stehr, H. von Storch, 1994. Contact Nico Stehr,
Dept. Sociol., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2H4, Can.
Uses historical examples to distinguish between climate change, defined as
long-term changes in weather characteristics, and short-term weather variability
and rare extremes. The distinction is important because only the social
construct (or impression) of climate change ultimately shapes climate policy.
Discusses implications for climate policy under several scenarios. For instance,
if climate does not change, but the public expects a change, then any extreme or
multiyear anomaly will be interpreted as evidence of climate change and will
instigate policy responses.
Global Warming: Limitation of General Circulation Models and Costs of
Modeling Efforts (GAO/RCED-95-164), 35 pp., July 1995. Single copies free
from U.S. General Accounting Office, POB 6015, Gaithersburg MD 20877 (202 275
General circulation models have become more accurate in recent decades, but
major uncertainties still limit their predictive abilities. This report
identifies factors limiting the accuracy of model predictions, and federal
outlays for model development through the U.S. Global Change Research Program
for fiscal years 1992-94.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations