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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

WEB-BASED INFORMATION

Item #d99may34

New Version of UNFCCC Home Page. The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been on the World Wide Web since 1995. A new third-generation website, http://www.unfccc.de, updates and consolidates information from the previous sites, adds several new features and resources, and operates at a higher response rate. The site provides Parties, representatives of observer organizations, and others interested in the UNFCCC process with a one-stop source of news, data, information and documents. Information is organized under seven main headings: What’s New (information about forthcoming events, new documents, press releases, and job openings), The Secretariat (under development), Programmes (under development), Resources (information resources developed and maintained by the secretariat and links to partner organizations), Sessions (information about the sessions of the Conference of the Parties, the Subsidiary Bodies, and workshops), News Room (press releases, Internet video broadcasts from previous sessions, and the IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin Website), and Site Information (about the development of the UNFCCC Website and its organization). The site now offers all official documents currently available in electronic form from all sessions and in all languages; essential information on the status of each Party’s participation in the Convention; and a series of interactive databases that are searchable by country, gas, and time period.


Item #d99may35

New USGCRP Newsletter. Acclimations is a bimonthly newsletter describing the progress on the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. It is being published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.The National Assessment is studying a wide range of topics (water resources, forests, etc.) to judge their responses to climate change and variability. Reports on these studies are expected to be published later this year and will serve as input for the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The newsletter is available on the Web at http://www.nacc.usgcrp.gov.


Item #d99may36

EPA Issues Regulations on Atmospheric Emissions. In a press release dated May 20, 1999, the EPA announced final regulations for 14 industries that will reduce air toxic emissions by nearly 40,000 tons annually. Besides toxics, the rules will also reduce levels of respiratory pollutants, such as ground-level ozone and particulates. Additionally, oil-production facilities and natural-gas production, transmission, and storage facilities must cut levels of the global-warming gas methane by 8000 tons a year. These rules have been developed and issued under the authority of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Rules for 29 other industries had already been issued, resulting in total air toxic reductions of at least one million tons per year. The rules can be accessed at the EPA website, http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg under the heading Recent Actions.


Item #d99may37

Energy Efficiency Reports. Energy Efficiency Update No. 22, May 1999, has been issued by the International Energy Agency. It describes the energy-efficiency policies in place, being considered, or being upgraded in the countries of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. For each country, the policies of various sectors (e.g., the public sector and the transport sector) are described. It is available at http://www.iea.org/pubs/newslett/eneeff/table.htm.


Item #d99may38

Experiences in Emissions Trading. At its March 15-16, 1999, meeting, the Annex I Expert Group on the UNFCCC held a roundtable discussion at which seven countries presented their recent experience and current thinking on national frameworks for emissions trading. Such systems may provide an incentive for private entities to engage in early greenhouse-gas-emission reductions, allowing their countries to meet their commitments under the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The presentations are available on the internet at http://www.oecd.org/env/cc/domestic.htm.


Item #d99may39

World Soil Maps. The Land and Water Development Division of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has brought up its World Reference Base for Soil Resources on the Web at http://www.fao.org/ag/AGL/agls/wrb/Default.htm. It includes full-color maps that show the global distribution of 29 dominant soil groups. The World Reference Base is based on the Revised Legend of the FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World, which was published in 1988, finalized in 1997, and presented at the World Congress of Soil Science in Montpellier, France, in August 1998. The World Reference Base contains not only the global WRB soil map but also individual maps of all the reference soil groups, from acrisols to vertisols, with the exception of anthrosols, which are considered widespread but very localized.


Item #d99may40

Northern Research Activity Database Online. The Arctic Institute of North America has published its Northern Research Activity Database on its website at http://www.ucalgary.ca/aina/. The database contains more than 10,500 records and describes research projects conducted in Canada’s three northern territories since 1974. It was prepared with the cooperation of the organizations that licence research in northern Canada. It can be searched by subject, geographic region, investigator, organization, year, and keyword. The amount of information in an individual record varies greatly, depending on the nature of the work described and the information-gathering agency. Most records contain fairly good abstracts and often have phone numbers and postal and e-mail addresses for the principal investigator.


Item #d99may41

Bibliographic Databases on Entomology and Agriculture. Two major international databases of entomological and agricultural literature are now available for free on the WWW. AGRICOLA, including both the journal-article database from 1979 to the present and the catalog of the USDA National Agricultural Library, is available at http://www.nal.usda.gov/ag98/ag98.html. AGRIS, the database of agricultural journal articles compiled by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, is available at http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/AGRICULT/Default.htm.


Item #d99may42

Global Forest Watch.  The World Resources Institute has recently launched the Global Forest Watch at http://www.wri.org/wri/. It is an independent, worldwide forest-monitoring network that combines advanced satellite technology, GIS, and field information to continually monitor development within the world’s large tracts of forest. It also provides a comprehensive assessment of the conditions of those ecosystems.


Item #d99may43

U.S. West Coast Database.  The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has put “A Coastal Hazards Data Base for the U.S. West Coast” online in HTML at http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ndp043c/43c.htm. This numeric data package, originally published in November 1997 as report number ORNL/CDIAC-81, NDP-043C, was originated by Vivien Gornitz of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and edited by CDIAC. It describes the contents of a digital data base that may be used to identify coastlines along the U.S. West Coast that are at risk to sea—level rise. Earlier data packages covered the East Coast and Gulf Coast. The data package contains information on elevation, geology, geomorphology, sea—level trends, shoreline displacement (erosion/accretion), tidal ranges, and wave heights. It also provides several algorithms for combining these data to calculate a coastal vulnerability index.

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