February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
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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 11, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1998
Annual Energy Outlook 1999, Energy Information Administration,
U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 1998.
Forecasts of the annual supply of, demand for, and prices of energy in
the United States through 2020 are presented. These projections are based
on results from the EIAs National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). It
forecasts that U.S. carbon emissions from energy use will increase an
average of 1.3% per year, from 1,480 million metric tons in 1997 to 1,790
million metric tons in 2010 and 1,975 million metric tons in 2020. This
increase is predicted on the basis of observations of rising energy
demand, declining nuclear power, and slow growth of renewable energy
resources. Relative to the 1990 level of 1,346 million metric tons,
emissions would be 33 and 47% higher, respectively, in 2010 and 2020.
Projected emissions in 2020 are higher by 19 million metric tons than
predicted just a year ago because of higher forecasts for energy demand
and levels of coal-fired electricity generation.
Impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on U.S. Energy Markets and Economic
Activity, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Dept. of Energy,
Washington, D.C., October 1998.
In this study, the Energy Information Administration has used a set of
assumptions to predict U.S. energy demand, production, fuel use, fuel
prices, and consumption in the next few decades (the reference case)
and then calculated what would be needed to change those values to meet
the U.S. targets under the Kyoto Protocol. It found that meeting the
targets will call for significant market adjustments:
- Reductions in CO2 emissions will reduce coal use by 18
to 77% from that projected in the reference case in 2010; particularly
affected would be the electricity-generation industry.
- Petroleum use will have to be reduced 2 to 13%; mainly affected
would be the transportation sector.
- Energy consumers will need to use 2 to 12% more natural gas in 2010
and 2 to 16% more renewable energy.
- The operating life of existing nuclear units will have to be
- If these ends were to be achieved via market-based means, average
delivered energy costs would increase 17 to 83%.
- The amount prices would rise is uncertain, but the more stringent
the need for domestic emission reductions, the more costly the
adjustment process would be.
Country Study: Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Communications
Directorate, Environment Canada, Downsview, Ont., 1997-1998; also
available at http://www.ec.gc.ca/climate/ccs/ccs_e.htm.
The Canada Country Study is an attempt to answer questions about the
regional impact of climate change or its impact on specific sectors. A
national assessment of potential climate impacts in Canada, the Study
responds to commitments under the UNFCCC. It reviews existing knowledge on
climate-change impacts and adaptation, identifies gaps in research, and
suggests priority areas where new knowledge is needed. The Canada Country
Study consists of six regional scientific reports (British Columbia and
Yukon, Arctic, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic); twelve sectoral
studies (agriculture, built environment, energy, fisheries, forestry,
human health, insurance, recreation and tourism, transport, unmanaged
ecosystems, water resources, and wetlands); and eight reports on
cross-cutting issues (changing landscapes, costing, domestic trade and
commerce, extra-territorial issues, extreme events, integrated air issues,
sustainability, and two economies). Particular concerns expressed in the
report include disruption of the subsistence hunting of the indigenous
Inuit and degradation of their lands; melting of the permafrost; extension
of forests into the tundra, destroying wildlife habitat; and displaced
wildlife. A perceived benefit would be the opening of the Northwest
Passage to shipping and the unveiling of the northern slope for oil
exploration and development. The Canada Country Study will form an
integral part of Canadas contribution to the third IPCC assessment
report on the global impacts of climate change to be released in 2001.
Approaching the Kyoto Targets: Five Key Strategies for the United
States, Howard Geller, Steven Nadel, R. Neal Elliott, Martin Thomas,
and John DeCicco, ACEEE, Washington, D.C., $18, August 1998.
This study indicates that the United States can achieve more than 60% of
the carbon-emissions reduction necessary to meet the Kyoto Protocol target
through actions that will save consumers and businesses money. Five
strategies were identified that would stimulate widespread
energy-efficiency improvements in all sectors of the American economy:
- Implementing new-appliance and -equipment efficiency standards and
the initiation of related voluntary programs,
- Establishment of a public-benefit trust fund as part of the
restructuring of the electric-utility industry,
- Employing fuel-economy standards and market incentives to improve
vehicle fuel economy,
- Removing barriers that inhibit the greater use of combined heat and
power systems, and
- Setting efficiency standards for power plants.
According to the study, these five initiatives could cut U.S. carbon
emissions in 2010 by 310 million tons per year, 17% of the emissions that
would be expected in 2010 given business-as-usual trends and policies. At
the same time, they would actually save consumers money. Furthermore, the
emissions reductions could nearly double by 2020 as efficiency
improvements continue to be made and as more appliances, buildings,
vehicles, and power plants are replaced.
Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998, WMO Ozone Report
No. 44, WMO/UNEP, Geneva, Switzerland, 1998.
The results of the latest WMO/UNEP scientific assessment of ozone
depletion confirm the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol on Substances
that Deplete the Ozone Layer and indicate that full recovery of the Earths
protective ozone shield could occur by the middle of the next century if
the Protocol is fully implemented. However, the life of the chemicals
already released in the atmosphere will keep the depletion going for
years, yet. Ozone-depleting compounds in the troposphere peaked in 1994
and are now slowly declining. However, bromine is still increasing. In the
northern polar latitudes, in six of the past nine years, ozone over the
North Pole has declined 25 to 30% from the 1960s average. The Antarctic
ozone hole has appeared annually, with ozone losses usually exceeding 50%.
Only over the middle latitudes has the ozone decline slowed in comparison
with the previous measurements (in 1994). The abundance of ozone-depleting
substances in the stratosphere is expected to peak by the year 2000.
However, when changing atmospheric conditions are combined with natural
ozone variability, detecting the start of the ozone layer recovery may not
be possible for perhaps another 20 years. Without the Montreal Protocol,
however, the ozone decline would have been much stronger and would have
continued for many more decades.
Climate, Infectious Disease, and Health: An Interdisciplinary
Perspective, Rita R. Colwell and Jonathan A. Patz, American Academy of
Microbiology, Washington, D.C., 1998.
For many infectious diseases, principally those that are vectorborne,
incidence is related to climate or weather. Rainfall and temperature, in
particular, affect the occurrence of many infectious diseases by
influencing vector population size. Important links also exist between
climate and waterborne, airborne, soilborne, and foodborne diseases.
Weather disturbances like El Niño can have a dramatic impact on
the incidence of such diseases as malaria, Rift Valley fever, cholera, and
hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Higher quality and more comprehensive data
(in microbiology, epidemiology, ecology, oceanography, climatology,
atmospheric sciences, and marine biology) are needed to better understand
how weather and climate affect the prevalence and occurrence of infectious
disease so accurate predictive models of disease outbreaks can be
Coordination of Flexible Instruments in Climate Policy, Bjart J.
Holtsmark and Knut H. Alfsen, Report 1998:4, CICERO, Oslo, Norway, 1998,
free; also available at
The Kyoto Protocol is a logical starting point for choosing domestic
policy instruments for addressing climate concerns. Three mechanisms have
been identified that will probably be used to achieve the objectives of
the Protocol: emissions trading, joint implementation (JI), and the clean
development mechanism (CDM). These mechanisms, therefore, are reasonable
candidates for national greenhouse-gas (GHG) abatement efforts. An
analysis of these mechanisms and the domestic policy instruments they
might spawn indicated that:
- The international market for quotas will be competitive only if
governments do not dominate it. Rather, private entities should be
allocated quotas by their respective governments and be allowed to trade
on the international market. Such a system would induce cost-effective
divisions of abatement efforts on both the domestic and the
- Limiting the permit market to only a few industries and imposing
emission taxes on other parts of the economy will reduce
cost-effectiveness unless the emission tax varies in parallel with the
- Grandfathering national permits will not reduce the number of plant
shutdowns unless there are restrictions on the possibilities for selling
the grandfathered quotas. But such limitations would reduce the
cost-effectiveness of the instrument, might be banned by the
international quota market, and may already be in conflict with the
rules for free trade in the European Economic Area.
- A GHG tax is a cost-effective instrument if the tax rates do not
vary across sources and sectors. In principle, the domestic emitters
could be allowed to acquire quotas through the flexible mechanisms
internationally and have the emission tax repaid in accordance with the
acquired number of quotas. Allocating tradable permits is, however,
probably a more convenient method for linking domestic abatement to
- CDM supplements the ordinary quota market. The relationship between
JI and emissions trading is somewhat unclear. The development of the
rules for JI and quota trading are needed to elucidate that
Preferred and Alternative Methods for Estimating Air Emissions, Volume
VIII: Greenhouse Gases, ICF Inc., USEPA, Washington, D.C., 1998, free;
also available at
The Emission Inventory Improvement Program (EIIP) Greenhouse Gas
Committee has developed a review draft on greenhouse gases. The 15-chapter
volume describes methods for performing inventories of greenhouse gas
emissions to help states align their practices with those used nationally
and internationally. To develop the report, representatives from 12 states
reviewed current methods and suggested alternatives based on their
experience. The volume uses the Data Attribute Rating System to rank
different methods for the quality of activity data and emission factors.
Scores are assigned to four data attributes: measurement/method; source
specificity; spatial congruity; and temporal congruity. With these DARS
scores, an inventory preparer can rate the emission factor and activity
data for the methods that are under consideration. The volume gives a
general overview of estimating GHG emissions and then details measurement
of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, industrial processes, natural gas
and oil systems, coal mining, municipal waste management, domesticated
animals, manure management, rice fields, agricultural soils, forest
management and land-use change, burning of agricultural crop wastes,
municipal wastewater, vehicular combustion, and stationary combustion.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations