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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 12, NUMBER 5, MAY 1999

RECENT BOOKS AND PROCEEDINGS

Item #d99may28

Observations of Surface-to-Atmosphere Interactions in the Tropics, Michael Garstang and D. R. Fitzjarrald, 416 pp., 1999, $75.00/hbk (Oxford University Press).

Called the firebox of the atmosphere, the tropics absorb more energy from the Sun than they lose through longwave emissions. The excess energy activates processes across the globe. This book examines the interactions between the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere and considers how the planet’s fluid systems accommodate the radiation imbalance between the tropics and the cooler regions of the Earth.


Item #d99may29

China Environment Yearbook 1998 (English Edition), 300 pp., 1999, US$165.50/hbk (Hans Consultants).

This yearbook has 28 basic sections, each covering a specific topic, such as special collections; reports on environmental protection in China; the establishment and enforcement of policies, statutes, and standards; environmental management of construction projects; comprehensive treatment and control of the urban environment; prevention and control of pollution; nature conservation; environmental research; monitoring; education; newspapers; international exchange; major environmental accidents; and statistics.


Item #d99may30

Numerical Methods in Atmospheric and Oceanic Modelling, C. A. Lin, René Laprise, and Harold Ritchie (Eds.), 633 pp., 1997, Can$79.95/hbk (Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society/NRC Research Press).

This volume is dedicated to André Robert, a major developer of numerical weather prediction and the models on which it is based. The first two chapters review his life and career, and the others contain peer-reviewed papers on atmospheric and oceanic modeling, including four of Robert’s papers being published posthumously. Reviewing the book in Eos 80 (17), 196 (Apr. 27, 1999), Tom Rosmond says that the list of authors reads like a Who’s Who of the modern modeling community and that “the book is must” for such modelers; even students will find portions “an introduction to the methods” of the field.


Item #d99may31

Global Warming Yearbook: 1998, Lelani Arris (Ed.), 1999, $197/pbk ($207 outside of North America), (Cutter Information).

This publication is a compendium of articles from the 1998 issues of Cutter Information’s Global Environmental Change Report. The more than 280 articles cover such topics as summaries of the international negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol, sustainable development, emissions trading, and energy efficiency; summaries of technical articles on global warming, carbon sources and sinks, coral bleaching, Antarctic ice shelves, plankton, wildlife, and tree growth; and reports of technological developments in fuel economy, wind energy, fuel cells, alternative refrigerants, cogeneration, energy labeling, and emissions reductions.


Item #d99may32

Transportation and Global Climate Change, D. J. Santini and D. L. Greene (Eds.), 357 pp., 1993, $30.00 pbk (ACEEE).

This book is based on presentations by transportation experts at the 1991 conference, “Transportation and Global Climate Change: Long-Run Options.” Those participants recognized that global climate change has no “quick fix” but requires a long-run strategy. They stressed that such a strategy must be comprehensive and must address growing global demand; energy efficiency; and alternative noncarbon energy sources. It focuses on the transportation sector’s role in global warming and what can be done about it. The book attempts to put the problem of the U.S. transportation system into perspective among worldwide systems. In addition, the effects of engine-technology improvements, fuel choice and production, vehicle design, commercial transportation requirements, transportation choices by consumers, and government policies are also examined.


Item #d99may33

Human Choice and Climate Change, Steve Rayner and E. I. Malone (Eds.), 1714 pp., 1998, $250/hbk, $100/pbk (Battelle Press).

This four-volume set assesses social-science research relevant to global climate change from a wide-ranging interdisciplinary perspective. Taking human choice within social institutions as the starting point, noted researchers examine climate-change issues in the context of societal issues, such as population and consumption; cultural, institutional, and economic arrangements for human well-being; and the social processes by which decisions are made from local to global levels. It seeks to provide relevant, practical insights into relationships among people and their environments, scientists and policymakers, and people with differing world views. Reviewing the book in Nature [397, 664 (Feb. 25, 1999)], Paul Ekins points out that one departure point of the work is asking some fundamental questions, such as why do scientists choose to study climate change, how do they form a scientific consensus, how are policy instruments chosen, and why did the international community choose to address climate change? But this compilation of essays and technical papers covers a multitude of topics, from the “hegemonic myth [of] global vulnerability and fragility” to models of the climate system and its changes to possible impacts and their mitigation. Ekins says that one of the main points of the work is “the distinction between two styles of social science: the descriptive paradigm that ?analyzes social systems in terms of natural science metaphors’ and the interpretive approach that ?refers to the analysis of values, meaning, and motivation of human agents.’ Human Choice and Climate Change contains good examples of both.” The last chapter wraps up the publication with ten recommendations to policymakers:

  • View the issue of climate change holistically.
  • Recognize that institutional limits to global sustainability are at least as important as environmental limits.
  • Prepare for the likelihood that social, economic, and technological change will be more rapid and have greater direct impacts on human populations than climate change.
  • Recognize the limits of rational planning.
  • Employ the full range of analytic perspectives and decision aids in climate-change policymaking.
  • Design policy instruments for real-world conditions rather than try to make the world conform to a particular policy model.
  • Incorporate climate-change concerns into other, more immediate issues such as employment, defense, economic development, and public health.
  • Take a regional and local approach to climate policymaking and implementation.
  • Direct resources to identifying vulnerability and promoting resilience, especially where the impacts will be largest.
  • Use a pluralistic approach to decision making.
  • Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Technologies for Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ), P. W. F. Riemer, A. Y. Smith, and K. V. Thambimuthu, 777 pp., 1998, $210/hbk (Elsevier Science).

This book is the proceedings of a conference on the subject held in Vancouver in 1997. It contains more than 100 papers presented at the meeting plus invited speeches and panel discussions. It covers the topics of enhancing sinks and stores of carbon, maximizing joint benefits, improved energy technologies, activities of the Asian Development Bank, energy use for transport, and transmission and end uses of energy. Reviewing the book in Energy [23 (10), 911 (1998)], S. S. Penner says that “The interested reader will find a wealth of novel ideas, descriptions of potentially useful advances in science and technology, discussions of political challenges, and many new tools aimed at making AIJ an effective worldwide adjunct in GHG mitigation. Unfortunately, the possible roles of nuclear fission and breeder technologies, as well as fusion energy, are essentially ignored while discussions on improved methods for fossil-fuel utilization are not exhaustive.”

  • Guide to Publishers
  • Index of Abbreviations

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