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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 #d94feb27

Energy, 18(12), Dec. 1993 (Pergamon Press), contains the following six papers from the second symposium (Sep. 1992) on global warming sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Roughly 40 experts have begun meeting annually to discuss recent developments that are possibly controversial and capable of adding insight to the topic. An introductory article (pp. 1223-1227) by W. Nierenberg of Scripps gives helpful background and context for each paper.

"Does Fossil Fuel Consumption Lead to Global Warming?" S.E. Schwartz (Brookhaven Natl. Lab, Upton NY 11973), 1229-1248. The cooling influence of sulfate aerosols produced by fossil fuel combustion may overwhelm warming from CO2 in the short term, but only because fossil fuel combustion has rapidly increased recently. In the long term the warming effect of CO2 is likely to dominate.

"Issues and Concerns about Global Atmospheric Ozone," D.J. Wuebbles (Lawrence-Livermore Natl. Lab., POB 808, Livermore CA 94550), D.E. Kinnison, 1249-1262. Reviews current scientific understanding and the responses that governments are taking.

"Tide Gauges Measure Tectonic Movements," K.O. Emery (Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), D.G. Aubrey, 1263-1271. Gives a thorough evaluation of the many factors that can influence observed sea level changes, which complicate the detection of any general rise in sea level related to climate change.

"Solar Activity Variations and Global Temperature," E. Friis-Christensen (Danish Meteor. Inst., Lyngbyvej 100, DK-210 Copenhagen, Denmark), 1273-1284. The author, who recently published evidence of a correlation between the length of the solar sunspot cycle and the observed global temperature record, reviews previous work on the topic and presents further work of his own.

"Evidence on the Climate Impact of Solar Variations," S. Baliunas (Harvard Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophys.), R. Jastrow, 1285-1295. Observations of the sun and a number of solar-type stars suggest a physical explanation for the correlation discussed in the previous paper. Application of the idea to the history of solar surface magnetic activity since the Maunder minimum indicates that variations in solar irradiance are capable of explaining the half-degree global warming observed during the last 100 years. (This work and reactions to it are discussed in a research news article in Science, pp. 1372-1373, Nov. 26, 1993.)

"Atmospheric CO2 Residence Time and the Carbon Cycle," C. Starr (Electric Power Res. Inst., POB 10412, Palo Alto CA 94303), 1297-1310. Explores a drastic departure from the conventional approach to the global carbon cycle by dropping the assumption that the increase in CO2 of the last 100 years is solely due to anthropogenic sources. This leads to the conclusion that only 19% of the observed increase is anthropogenic; the rest is due to a change in the natural carbon cycle.

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