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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 9, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1996

NEWS...
CLIMATE CHANGE ASSESSMENT


Item #d96jun89

The Second Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last fall was formally published in three volumes this month by Cambridge University Press. (See Books, this Digest issue--June 1996.) The synthesis and summary for policymakers are available as a booklet from IPCC, WMO Bldg., CP 2300, 1211 Geneva 2, Switz..

In March, the European Science and Environment Forum published a set of papers by scientists questioning the IPCC conclusions. (See Books, this Digest issue--June 1996, and News, April 1996.) Now three more critiques have appeared, from the World Energy Council, the Western Fuels Association, and the Marshall Institute. (See Reports, this Digest issue--June 1996.)

The World Energy Council considers potential climate change a serious although uncertain threat. Its major concerns with the assessment are that the underlying uncertainty has not been sufficiently publicized, and that it does not sufficiently stress the urgency to undertake "minimum regret" actions now, as insurance against climate change. The Council's review is discussed at length in Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, May 24, 1996, and more briefly in Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 361-362, May 1, 1996.

The Western Fuels document is the first of an annual research review from the Global Climate Coalition, a U.S. industry consortium. It contains contributions from five climatologists that clearly differ from the IPCC conclusions concerning the detection and prediction of anthropogenic climate change. The review consolidates much of the material that has appeared in the biweekly World Climate Report, also funded by Western Fuels.

The Marshall Institute report asserts that anthropogenic greenhouse gases account for at most only a few tenths of a degree of observed global warming. (For excerpts and comments, see Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 339-340, Apr. 17, 1996.)

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