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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
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

REPORTS...



GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY

Item #d96jun38

Conference on Human Health and Global Climate Change. Summary of the Proceedings, P.B. Phelps (for the Natl. Inst. of Medicine), 64 pp., 1996 (Natl. Acad. Press).

Concluded that changes in the global climate could pose significant risks to human health, both direct (heat waves, floods, cancer) and indirect (changes in food production and in vector-borne disease). Although complete data is lacking, this should not excuse inaction: the precautionary principal should apply. Possible actions include creating a global surveillance and response network; increased coordination among nations and scientific disciplines; multidisciplinary research on the links between global climate change and human health; improved environmental health training; and a public outreach program of information and education.


Item #d96jun39

Integrated Assessment of Global Change. Characterizing Key Policy Issues, R.S. Turner, F.M. O'Hara Jr., 26 pp., Feb. 1996 (ORNL).

Proceedings from a multidisciplinary, multi-agency workshop (Washington, June 1994) designed to define key policy issues related to global climate change and the types of information pertaining to these issues that decision makers would find most useful. Out of hundreds of issues about the process of integrated climate change assessment, the group settled on over 70 to analyze for common concerns and areas of significance. Five major conclusions were drawn by the steering committee, and future tasks identified.


Item #d96jun40

A Review of the Economic Impacts of AOSIS-Type Proposals to Limit Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 44 pp., May 1996 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by WEFA Group and H. Zinder & Assoc.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has proposed a protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change that would require countries of the OECD, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to limit CO2 emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2005. These countries would incur large economic costs if an AOSIS-type proposal were adopted, and the impact on the U.S. would be greater than for the other countries.


Item #d96jun41

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Future of Small Island States, W.C. Burns, 47 pp., Mar. 1996, $15 (GreenLife).

Focuses on the plight of these nations that are most vulnerable to climate change. Looks at the prospective role of the UN FCCC in protecting their interests and suggests measures to ensure their survival.


Item #d96jun42

Measuring Up to the Year 2000 Aim of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. A Comparative Analysis of Eight Selected National Communications [Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.S. and U.K.], 37 pp., Nov. 1995 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by the EOP Group Inc.

The 36 Annex I countries that are parties to the FCCC are required to report on policies and measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to protect and enhance greenhouse gas sinks. This report explores the feasibility of developing a common set of criteria that could be used to evaluate and compare these documents. A number of major problems and uncertainties in projecting future levels of greenhouse gas emissions were identified. Since greenhouse gas emissions are correlated to economic growth, imposing limits on emissions without a full understanding of the relationships between emissions and economic activity could hinder future economies. Recommends several improvements in the assumptions, methodology and reporting of results in the communications.


Item #d96jun43

Toward an Economically Rational Response to the Berlin Mandate, 56 pp., Nov. 1995 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by Charles River Assoc.

Describes the tools of economic analysis available for evaluating the proposals likely to be tabled in the negotiating process, the questions that need to be addressed in designing a U.S. strategy, and the conclusions about economically rational policies that appear to be emerging from economic research.


Item #d96jun44

Changing Weather? Facts and Fallacies About Climate Change and Weather Extremes, 28 pp., Feb. 1995 (Global Climate Coalition). Prepared by N.J. Macdonald, J.P. Sobel et al., Accu-Weather Inc.

Examined historical land, water and satellite weather data, interviewed scientists, reviewed literature, and analyzed global weather data. Concludes that no convincing observational evidence has been found to show that hurricanes, violent tornados and other extreme events are more common now than they were 50-100 years ago. Deaths in the U.S. caused by extreme weather disasters have declined during the latter part of this century, but property damage has increased because population has increased in areas where severe weather is likely.


Item #d96jun45

A continuing series: Elements of Change (Aspen Global Change Inst.).

Elements of Change 1994. Part I: Climate Radiation Feedbacks; Part II: Anticipating Global Change Surprises: Part III: Biological Invasion as a Global Change, $25 (1995). (See separate listing for Part I in Global Climate Change Digest, Reports/Climate Change SCience/Cloud-Radiation Feedbacks, Mar. 1996.)

. . .1994. Part III, $7 (1995). This section of the 1994 edition has been made available separately.

. . .1995. Part I: Changes in Global Vegetative Patterns and Their Relationships to Human Activity; Part II: Improving the Effectiveness of the Climate Convention; Part III: The Metro-Agro-Plex as a Geographical Unit of Analysis for Regional and Global Change, $25 (1996).

These reports are developed from the Institute's annual summer program in which a group of culturally and scientifically diverse researchers from the natural and social sciences come together to advance knowledge of a selected topic in global change.


Item #d96jun46

Statement on the Status of the Global Climate 1995, Apr. 1996 (WMO). Available on the Internet at http://www.wmo.ch/

Despite extreme climate anomalies and weather events worldwide, 1995 proved to be the warmest since 1861, based on land temperature records and sea surface temperatures measured by ships. Prepared in cooperation with climate centers in several countries, the report attributes this warming to various factors, including global warming. The ozone hole began earlier and lasted longer than in any previous recorded year, and ozone in the lower stratosphere was again almost totally destroyed. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 increased, following a slowdown in 1992 and 1993. The Atlantic Ocean saw the most active hurricane season since 1993, and there was near record heat in Europe and the U.K. Abundant rain returned to northwest Africa and several other regions.


Item #d96jun47

1995 Climate Assessment, Apr. 1996. Produced by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Ctr., Camp Springs, Md. Available on the Internet at http://nic.fb4.noaa.gov; printed copies very limited. Highlights appear in Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., p. 789, Apr. 1996.

Highlights include reporting of the second highest estimated global mean land surface temperature since 1951. Precipitation extremes dominated large parts of the U.S., with near record flooding in several areas and a brief, deadly heat wave in the Midwest and East. The 1995 Atlantic hurricane season was the second most active since 1871.


Item #d96jun48

Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect: A Primer, W.C. Burns, 55 pp., Apr. 1996, $15 (GreenLife).

Presents an overview of the climate change debate, drawing upon current scientific evidence, including causes, effects and possible remedies through the UN FCCC.


Item #d96jun49

Global Warming Damage and the Benefits of Mitigation, 40 pp., 1995, 30 (IEA).

A summary of two longer reports, Greenhouse Issues (Editions 17 and 18), that examine various fossil fuel based "cradle-to-grave" fuel cycles, each containing CO2 capture and sequestration facilities. This report is one of the first to include a comprehensive assessment of global warming impacts and how they vary with time and geography, as well as the potential for beneficial impacts.

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