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 12, NUMBER 5, MAY 1999
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: Whats
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 Partys
participation in the Convention; and a series of interactive databases
that are searchable by country, gas, and time period.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Canadas 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.
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.
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
worlds large tracts of forest. It also provides a comprehensive
assessment of the conditions of those ecosystems.
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 sealevel rise. Earlier
data packages covered the East Coast and Gulf Coast. The data package
contains information on elevation, geology, geomorphology, sealevel
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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Index of Abbreviations