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Global Climate Change Digest

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



Afforestation and regional climate: Meteorological records examined by NOAA scientists show that extensive tree planting carried out along the edge of the Gobi Desert since the 1950s has significantly reduced dust storms in China. This decreased dust transport should have atmospheric effects on larger scales, and has implications for the large-scale afforestation projects being considered by several countries to counter global warming. (See Science News, p. 406, June 25, and Parungo article in Prof. Pubs./Trend Analysis.)

Climate stability during the last ice age is examined in a feature article in Science News (pp. 74-76, July 30), which discusses recent findings on apparent glacial surges known as Heinrich events. An underlying concern is whether any such instability could be triggered as greenhouse gases rise.

Methane response to CO2: Recent field experiments provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that rising levels of CO2 could lead to increased emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, particularly from rice paddies. (See news articles in Science News, p. 22, July 9 and Chemistry & Industry, p. 545, July 18, and Dacey paper in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest.)

Methane from insects: An extensive survey shows that three other classes of arthropods besides termites contain methane-producing bacteria; the total contribution to methane emissions is substantial. (See Science News, p. 410, June 25, and Hackstein article in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest.)

El Niño effects linger: Combined observation and modeling shows that the influence of the strong El NiƱo of 1982-83 are still present in the Pacific Ocean and are still influencing climate in North America, complicating detection of anthropogenic climate trends. (See Science News, p. 84, Aug. 6; The New York Times, p. C4, Aug. 9; and Aug. 4 Nature papers in Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest.)

Item #d94Aug120

"Joint Arctic Expedition Under Way to Study Climate Change," Eos, pp. 386-387, Aug. 23. Summarizes the goals and approach of the 55-day expedition known as the U.S./Canada 1994 Arctic Ocean Section, launched in late July with about 70 scientists from a variety of disciplines.

Item #d94Aug121

"Planned Reductions Threaten EOS [Earth Observing System] Data Studies," K. Steffen, W. Emery et al., Eos, p. 341, July 26. Presents arguments against the proposed closure of up to three of the Distributed Active Archive Centers for EOS data. Includes a separate response by a NASA representative.

Item #d94Aug122

"Ozone Meter 'Gets It Wrong,'" F. Pearce, New Scientist, p. 7, July 2. Geophysicist Fred Singer argued at a Society of Chemical Industry meeting in London that the decline in stratospheric ozone observed by Dobson meters may actually reflect a fall in levels of sulfur dioxide. Debating him was Joe Farman of the British Antarctic Survey, who accused Singer of being extremely selective with his data.

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