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Global Climate Change Digest

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



Item #d93jan23

"Deforestation of the Amazon: A Brazilian Perspective," L.M. Trapasso (Dept. Geog., Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green KY 42101), GeoJournal, 26(3), 311-322, Mar. 1992.

Various alternative perceptions of deforestation were documented by the author in a nonjudgmental manner based on personal observation and the Brazilian media. Topics include governmental actions and research on the Amazon, the Amazon as a frontier, the lure of mineral wealth, the "debt for nature" question, and environmental martyrdom.

Item #d93jan24

"Empirical Evidence for the Effect of Tropical Deforestation on Climatic Change," C. Clark (2 Shute Lane, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0BJ, UK), Environ. Conserv., 19(1), 39-47, Spr. 1992.

Attempts to estimate the global climatic impacts of reducing tropical rainforest area, based on observed relationships between forest cover and rainfall in the Caribbean. Results suggest that deforestation will have a larger effect on climate than has been expected, and that rainforest destruction should be halted.

Item #d93jan25

"Brazilian Policies that Encourage Deforestation in the Amazon," H.P. Binswanger (World Bank, 1818 H St. NW, Washington DC 20433), World Devel., 19(7), 821-829, July 1991.

Shows how general tax policies, special tax incentives, the rules of land allocation and the agricultural credit system all accelerate deforestation, by increasing the size of land holdings and reducing the chances of the poor to farm. These provisions must change before afforestation projects can succeed. Specific recommendations are made.

Item #d93jan26

"Global Deforestation and CO2 Emissions: Past and Present. A Comprehensive Review," M.A.F. Bueno (Inst. de Estudos Avancados, Univ. de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil), M.E.M. Helene, Energy & Environ., 2(3), 235-282, 1991.

Reviews the causes of deforestation and the consequent CO2 emissions, using a historical perspective and emphasizing such factors as area, biomass content and deforestation rates. New approaches for calculating biomass have narrowed the range of estimates; the most uncertain factor in biotic carbon emissions is the burning efficiency.

Item #d93jan27

"Changes in the Landscape of Latin America between 1850 and 1985," For. Ecol. Mgmt., 38, 1991.

""I. Progressive Loss of Forests," R.A. Houghton (Woods Hole Res. Ctr., POB 296, Woods Hole MA 02543), D.S. Lefkowitz, D.L. Skole, 143-172.

Reduction in forest area was estimated from changes in the major uses of land. Between 1850 and 1985, 28% of the forest area was replaced by some other type of ecosystem. Alternative data and assumptions lead to an estimate of 25-30% reduction; satellite imagery eliminates most uncertainty after 1975.

"II. Net Release of CO2 to the Atmosphere," R.A. Houghton, D.L. Skole, D.S. Lefkowitz, 173-199.

The estimated net release of carbon over the period was 30 x 1015 g; primary land uses responsible were pastures (42%), croplands (34%), degraded lands (19%) and shifting cultivation (5%). Half the total release occurred after 1960, when the last two categories became more important.

Item #d93jan28

"Estimation, by Remote Sensing, of Deforestation in Central Rondônia, Brazil," T.A. Stone (Woods Hole Res. Ctr., POB 296, Woods Hole MA 02543), I.F. Brown, G.M. Woodwell, For. Ecol. Mgmt., 38, 291-304, 1991.

Data from the LANDSAT and NOAA AVHRR satellites show that cleared area increased from 230 km2 in 1980 to 3390 km2 in 1986, with the majority of new clearings in the range of 10-1000 ha. The majority of clearing was for pasture, not roads, but road building allows access and virtually guarantees future clearing by settlers or squatters.

Item #d93jan29

"Tropical Deforestation: Balancing Regional Development Demands and Global Environmental Concerns," W.B. Wood (Off. of the Geographer, U.S. Dept. State, Washington DC 20520), Global Environ. Change, 1(1), 23-41, Dec. 1990.

Presents an ecopolitical framework for analyzing the role of various actors in tropical deforestation, and the political jurisdictions within which they operate. Deforestation may have limited impact on global warming, but will affect millions of subsistence inhabitants.

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