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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

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VOLUME 10, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1997

BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS...
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Item #d97feb49

Past and Future Rapid Environmental Changes. The Spatial and Evolutionary Responses of Terrestrial Biota (NATO ASI Ser. I: Global Environ. Change, Vol. 47), B. Huntley, W. Cramer et al, Eds., 523 pp., 1997, $239 (Springer).

Topics covered include evolutionary responses to past changes such as the late Quaternary, mechanisms enabling evolutionary responses, and predicting future changes. Concludes that forecasted global environmental changes pose a severe threat to the integrity of ecosystems worldwide and to the survival of some species.


Item #d97feb50

Third Millennium BC Climate Change and Old World Collapse (NATO ASI Ser. I: Global Environ. Change, Vol. 49), H.N. Dalfes, G. Kukla, H. Weiss, Eds., 728 pp., 1997, $319 (Springer).

Looks at the reasons for the sudden collapse of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. Recent discoveries strongly support the suspected link of the collapse with climate change, including a major shift of precipitation patterns. In a contemporary world facing global warming, a number of lessons can be learned from the experiences of these societies.


Item #d97feb51

Review of the Potential Effects of Climate Change in the United Kingdom, 272 pp., 1996, £31.50 pbk. (U.K. Dept. of Environ.)

Prepared by the U.K.'s Climate Change Impacts Review Group. Provides an updated assessment of the potential impacts of climate change in the U.K., and gives a new evaluation of possible adaptive responses at local and national levels.


Item #d97feb52

Global Change and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems (Ecol. Studies Vol. 124), E.C. Oechel, Ed., 440 pp., 1996, $99.95 (Springer).

Because global warming is likely to have the greatest impact at high latitudes, the Arctic is an important region for detecting climate change and for studying its effects on terrestrial ecosystems. This book looks at current and anticipated impacts of global climate change on Arctic organisms, populations, ecosystem structure and function, biological diversity, and the atmosphere.


Item #d97feb53

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Subsidence: Causes, Consequences and Strategies, J.D. Milliman, B.U. Haq, Eds., 384 pp., 1996, $189 (Kluwer).

Frequently absent in the discussion of sea level rise is the role played by subsidence (natural and anthropogenic) of low-lying coastal areas, which can have a far greater local effect than the eustatic rise of the sea. To explore subsidence, this book uses case studies from locations like Bangkok, Bangladesh, Venice, the Niger and Mississippi deltas. It also discusses economic, engineering and policy responses to be considered if the effects of local sea level rise are to be mitigated.


Item #d97feb54

Greenhouse: Coping with Climate Change, W. Bouma, G.I. Pearman, M.R. Manning, Eds., ca. 650 pp., 1996, £90 (CSIRO).

Contains a selection of papers from the Australian-New Zealand Conference on Climate Change.


Item #d97feb55

Carbon Dioxide and Terrestrial Ecosystems, G.W. Koch, H.A. Mooney, Eds., 443 pp., 1996, $79.95 (Academic Press).

Consists of over 20 chapters on the effects of elevated CO2 on trees and forests, unmanaged herbaceous ecosystems, and crops. Reviewed by W.P. Cropper Jr. (Ecology, p. 1956, Sep. 1996), who concludes that this book represents an excellent summary of the state of current research on this subject, and it provides a clear identification of significant unresolved issues. Issues of scale are important in many studies, and several chapters deal with them. The chapters on crop responses and on trees may place may place more emphasis on biochemistry and highly managed ecosystems than some readers might prefer. Despite some minor reservations, the book is unhesitatingly recommended to ecologists interested in this subject.


Item #d97feb56

Currents of Change: El Niño's Impact on Climate and Society, M.H. Glantz, 194 pp., 1996, $59.95/£40 hbk., $19.95/£14.95 pbk. (Cambridge Univ.).

Explains how widely dispersed climatic extremes might have a common origin in the phenomena of El Niño-the periodic warming of sea surface water in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The author is concerned that there is too much emphasis on developing the ability to forecast El Niño, and not enough on the value of using existing information. According to reviewer G. Philander (Nature, p. 35, Jan. 2, 1997), Glantz has written an absorbing book that is mainly concerned with the impacts of climate changes on society, and that emphasizes detailed descriptions of how and when El Niño has brought floods, droughts and other disasters, not on scientific explanations. Although the author is not a physical scientist, the reviewer commends him for attempting to bridge the gulf between scientists and those who benefit from science.


Item #d97feb57

Water Resources Management in the Face of Climatic/Hydrologic Uncertainties, Z. Kaczmarek et al, Eds., 408 pp., 1996, $160 (Kluwer).

Prepared by the Water Resources Project of the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. It presents an overview of the impacts of climate change on water resources including: river runoff; water quality, temperature, use, and demand; reservoir management; and planning. Several case studies demonstrate the application of climate change impact assessment methodologies and demonstrate insights into catchment-, river-basin-, and national-scale impacts of climate change for Africa, Europe and North America.


Item #d97feb58

Effects on Coniferous Forests and Grasslands (SCOPE No. 56), A.I. Breymeyer, D.O. Hall et al., 400 pp., 1996, $95 (Wiley).

Called a landmark in the study of these two key ecosystems, which until recently have received little attention. This SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) project examined how these systems will respond to global climate change, and how they might ameliorate or contribute to climate change in the future.


Item #d97feb59

Expert Consultation on Global Climate Change and Agricultural Production, F. Bazzaz, W. Sombroek, Eds., 300 pp., 1996, $115 (Wiley).

Reports on the results of experiments to assess the effects of climate change on crops and livestock production. Issues covered include the CO2 anti-transpiration effect, the adverse effects of elevated UV-B radiation and ozone on plant growth and productivity and on livestock, and combined effects of several variables. Concluding chapters give an idea of the overall global picture and examine the world hydrological cycle, the regional availability of water resources, and changes in soil conditions.


Item #d97feb60

Global Warming, River Flows and Water Resources, N.W. Arnell, 120 p., 1996, $42 (Wiley).

Reviews the potential effects of global warming on river flows and water resources. Covers methodologies for climate change impact assessments, techniques for defining credible climate change scenarios, and models for hydrological analysis. Also considers the implications of changes in river flows for water uses and river and floodplain activities.


Item #d97feb61

Climate Change and Human Health in the Asia Pacific, 1996 (Venue Marketing).

Consists of papers from a conference (Canberra, Australia, Sep. 1996) that was convened by Greenpeace Australia and the Australian Medical Association. Among the concerns expressed is the susceptibility of the Asia Pacific region to the effects of global warming, in part because of the limited capacity of many populations to respond to rapid change. Cities, such as Jakarta, provide fertile soil for new pathogens to develop. Other areas would also be subject to shifts in the occurrence of vector-born diseases and could be ill equipped to combat them. Aboriginal Australians have not been fully considered, and the adaptation responses for them may actually be different from those of nonindigenous Australians.


Item #d97feb62

Insects in a Changing Environment, R. Harrington, N.E. Stork, Eds., 535 pp., 1995, $60 (Academic Press).

These proceedings from the 17th Symposium of the Royal Entomological Society consist of five parts: introduction and magnitude of the task; effects of climate change; impacts of gases and pollutants; land use changes; and miscellaneous. Reviewed by D. Pimentel (Clim. Change, pp. 125-127, Sep 1996), who summarizes the volume, and considers it an excellent reference source for those interested in the complex interactions of insects and potential environmental damage. Pimentel points out some deficiencies; for example, the book does not cover the impact of pesticides, which may affect the physiology of the target crop and thus its insect pests.


Item #d97feb63

Global Change and Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems (Ecological Studies No. 117), J. Moreno, W.C. Oechel, Eds., ca. 527 pp., 1995, £86.50 (Springer).

The effects of global climate change on these ecosystems will have major social and political ramifications. This volume looks at processes from the leaf through landscape levels.


Item #d97feb64

Birds and Climate Change, J.F. Burton, 376 pp., 1995, £24.99 (Christopher Helm/A & C Black, London).

Intended primarily for naturalists, zoologists, climatologists and interested lay persons. Chapters begin with the most recent Ice Age and its effects, and continue chronologically to 1950. The effects of the period of "Climatic Amelioration" (1850-1950) is analyzed in five chapters, then the period 1950 to 1980, with the final chapters concerned with responses of birds to global warming and with future changes of climate and the reactions of wildlife to them. Reviewed by M. Walker (Weather, pp. 108-109, Mar. 1996), who comments that the book is packed with fascinating information and very readable. The author is most confident when writing about birds, but tends to oversimplify climatological matters, overuses the vague term "climatic amelioration," and does not distinguish clearly between climatic change and climatic variability (a minor criticism, the reviewer states).

Reviews of Previous Entries: Impacts of Climate Change

Item #d97feb65

Mountain Environments in Changing Climates, M. Beniston, Ed., 445 pp., 1994, $125 (Routledge).

Reviewed by F. MacDonald (Prog. Phys. Geog., pp. 563-564, Dec. 1995), who calls this work an important step towards a greater understanding of the relationship between climate change and mountain systems. Information from a variety of different disciplines (climatology, hydrology, biology, ecology, and economics) were successfully brought together at the conference (Davos, Switz.) and in the book in a truly multidisciplinary way.


Item #d97feb66

As Climate Changes: International Impacts and Implications, K.M. Strzepek, J.B. Smith, Eds., 340 pp., 1995, $55.96 hbk./$23.96 pbk. (Cambridge).

Reviewed by R.A. Pielke Jr. (Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., pp. 1869-1870, Aug. 1996), who concludes that the volume will be of use to sectoral/area experts and may serve as an introductory text. However, it falls short of its own objective of completing the circle connecting climate scientists, impacts researchers and policy makers. New Scientist (p. 51, Sep. 1996) contains a brief comment by P.D. Moore that this is a valuable source book that tackles specific problems such as the global food supply, sea level rise, global vegetation types.

  • Guide to Publishers
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