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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




Item #d94jan46

"The Role of Whitings in CO2 Circulation and Sequestration," R.A. Goldstein (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 10412, Palo Alto CA 94303), Air & Waste, 44(1), 53, Jan. 1994.

A brief synopsis of the current interest in and state of research on whitings, clouds of very fine calcium carbonate crystals of unknown origin that appear for one day to two weeks in the ocean, producing a CO2 flux into the ocean.

Item #d94jan47

"Isotopic Heterogeneity of Water in Transpiring Leaves: Identification of the Component That Controls the d18O of Atmospheric O2 and CO2," D. Yakir (Dept. Environ. Sci., Weizmann Inst. Sci., Rehovot 76100, Israel), J.A. Berry et al., Plant, Cell & Environ., 17(1), 73-80, Jan. 1994.

Results from two direct but independent approaches have implications for a variety of environmental studies, and suggest new ways of measuring the global carbon cycle.

Item #d94jan48

Four items from Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7(4), Dec. 1993:

"The Biosphere as an Increasing Sink for Atmospheric Carbon: Estimates from Increased Nitrogen Deposition," D.W. Schindler (Dept. Zool., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2E9, Can.), S.E. Bayley, 717-733. Estimates based in part on recent ecosystem-scale nutrient studies indicate that 1.0-2.3 Gt/yr of global C storage may be stimulated by anthropogenic increases in N deposition in the past century.

"Methane Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emission in Tallgrass Prairie: Effects of Biomass Burning and Conversion to Agriculture," C.M. Tate (Water Resour. Div., USGS, Box 25046, MS 413, Denver CO 80225), R.G. Striegl, 735-748. Compares measurements on unburned and annually burned tallgrass prairie and adjacent agricultural plots in Kansas, to determine influences of land use, soil depth and temperature, and crop management.

"Terrestrial Ecosystem Production: A Process Model Based on Global Satellite and Surface Data," C.S. Potter (Johnson Controls, NASA-Ames, Moffet Field CA 94035), J.T. Randerson et al., 811-841. The model approach described is aimed at seasonal resolution of global climatic and edaphic controls on patterns of terrestrial ecosystem production and soil microbial respiration.

"Dissolved Organic Matter and the Glacial-Interglacial pCO2 Problem," D. Paillard (Lab. Modél. Clim. & Environ., CEA-DSM, Ctr. d'études de Saclay, Orme des merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette, F-91191, France), M. Ghil, H. Le Treut, 901-914. Applies an analytical and a numerical box model to investigate systematically the effects of a broad range of oceanic circulation changes on atmospheric CO2, including the effect of long-lived dissolved organic matter.

Item #d94jan49

"Amounts, Dynamics and Sequestering of Carbon in Tropical and Subtropical Soils," W.G. Sombroek (FAO, Via della Terme di Carcalla, 00100 Rome, Italy), F.O. Nachtergaele, A. Hebel, Ambio, 22(7), 417-426, Nov. 1993.

Refines current estimates of organic soil carbon pools using the recent FAO/Unesco Soil Map of the World, emphasizing the role of sound organic-matter management. Explores the possibilities for soil-carbon sequestering to offset climate change, and the possible effects of climate change on the soil-carbon pool. Recent research on the CO2 fertilization effect and the associated antitranspiration effect due to elevated CO2 indicate that a positive influence on soil organic carbon levels is likely.

Item #d94jan50

"The Effect of Changing Land Use on Soil Radiocarbon," K.G. Harrison (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observ., Palisades NY 10964), W.S. Broecker, G. Bonani, Science, 262(5134), 725-726, Oct. 29, 1993.

Radiocarbon measurements support the perception that cultivation has reduced the agricultural reservoir of soil carbon in humus; the loss is from the fast cycling portion of the humus.

Item #d94jan51

"GLOCO: Modeling the Global Carbon Cycle," R. Goldstein (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 10412, Palo Alto CA 94303), EPRI J., pp. 47-50, Oct.-Nov. 1993.

Describes a desktop computer model for clarifying the dynamics of the carbon cycle, planning experimental research, and analyzing policy options.

Item #d94jan52

Special issue: "Terrestrial Biospheric Carbon Fluxes" (workshop papers), Water, Air, Soil Pollut., 70(1-4), Oct. 1993. (See GCCD, Dec. 1993.)

Item #d94jan53

Two items from Tellus, 45B(4), Sep. 1993:

"Modelling Feedback Mechanisms in the Carbon Cycle: Balancing the Carbon Budget," J. Rotmans (Nat. Inst. Public Health & Environ. Protect.--RIVM, POB 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, Neth.), M.G.J. Den Elzen, 301-320. Evaluates the role of a number of feedback processes using a coupled carbon cycle and climate model. Makes future projections of CO2 concentration, finding lower levels than projected in the IPCC estimates. Sensitivity analyses show a wide range of possible outcomes.

"A Modelling Study of the Effects of Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Concentration, Temperature and Atmospheric Nitrogen Input on Soil Organic Carbon Storage," M.U.F. Kirschbaum (Div. Forestry, CSIRO, POB 4008, QVT, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia), 321-334. Investigates whether the world's soils are currently a net source or net sink for carbon, using a model of soil organic matter coupled to a simple biochemically-based productivity model. Over the past 130 years, there may have been an increase in soil organic carbon storage in warmer regions, whereas in colder regions, it probably decreased.

Item #d94jan54

"The Mutable Carbon Sink," J. Taylor (Ctr. for Resour. Studies, Australian Natl. Univ., Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia), Nature, 366(6455), 515-516, Dec. 9, 1993.

Discusses the apparently contradictory conclusions of the following two papers in Global Biogeochem. Cycles (Sep. 1993) concerning the role of the northern temperate forests in the CO2 budget.

Item #d94jan55

Three items from Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7(3), Sep. 1993:

"Can Climate Variability Contribute to the 'Missing' CO2 Sink?" A. Dai (Dept. Geolog. Sci., Columbia Univ., 2880 Broadway, New York NY 10025), I.Y. Fung, 599-609. Analysis using empirical models and climatic data shows that climate perturbations of the past several decades have caused vegetation to absorb CO2 equivalent to roughly half that required to balance the carbon budget, mostly in the mid-latitude Northern Hemisphere.

"Is Carbon Accumulating in the Northern Temperate Zone?" R.A. Houghton (Woods Hole Res. Lab., POB 296, Woods Hole MA 02543), 611-617. Recent analyses showing an accumulation of carbon in northern temperate forests neglect carbon emissions from plant material initially held in those forests. When these are accounted for, the net flux is close to zero, showing that the forests do not account for the "missing" carbon sink.

"Evaluation of the 13C Constraint on the Uptake of Fossil Fuel CO2 by the Ocean," W.S. Broecker (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observ., Palisades NY 10964), T.H. Peng, 619-626. The current data base is too inaccurate to use the 13C budget to determine ocean uptake, as proposed by Quay et al.; tracer-verified ocean GCMs offer much better estimates.

"Geochemical Cycles in an OGCM. Part I: Preindustrial Tracer Distributions," E. Maier-Reimer (M. Planck Inst. Meteor., 20146 Hamburg, Ger.), 645-678. A state-of-the-art report on the Hamburg model of the oceanic carbon cycle.

Item #d94jan56

"Oceanic 13C/12C Observations: A New Window on Ocean CO2 Uptake," P.P. Tans (CMDL, NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), J.A. Berry, R.F. Keeling, ibid., 7(2), 353-368, June 1993.

Develops equations for the rate of change of C isotope ratios in the atmosphere and oceans in terms of d13C quantities. Use of the ratio has advantages, but requires accurate measurements.

Item #d94jan57

"Changes in Soil Carbon Inventories Following Cultivation of Previously Untilled Soils," E.A. Davidson (Woods Hole Res. Ctr., POB 296, Woods Hole MA 02543), I.L. Ackerman, Biogeochem., 20(3), 161-193, Mar. 1993.

Uses data from several recent studies to reexamine the conclusions of previous reviews, and confirms the general conclusion that 20-40% (best estimate 30%) of the soil C is lost following cultivation.

Item #d94jan58

"What Atmospheric Oxygen Measurements Can Tell Us About the Global Carbon Cycle," R.F. Keeling (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), M.L. Bender et al., Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 7(1), 37-68, Mar. 1993.

An analysis using a 2-D model to relate changes in the O2/N2 ratio to sources of O2 shows that measurements of the seasonal O2 variations can place new constraints on large-scale marine productivity. Measurements of the north-south gradient and depletion rate of O2 can help determine the rates and geographical distribution of net C storage in terrestrial ecosystems.

Item #d94jan59

"Conservation Tillage Impacts on National Soil and Atmospheric Carbon Levels," J.S. Kern (ManTech Environ. Technol. Inc., U.S. EPA Environ. Res. Lab., Corvallis OR 97333), M.G. Johnson, Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J., 57(1), 200-210, Jan.-Feb. 1993.

Calculated changes in soil organic C content and fossil fuel C emissions in the contiguous U.S. in response to adoption of conservation tillage, through the year 2020. For 76% conversion to conservation tillage, the soil organic carbon benefit is equivalent to 0.7-1.1% of the total projected U.S. fossil fuel C emissions over the period.

Item #d94jan60

"Biomass and Carbon Storage of the North American Deciduous Forest," D.B. Botkin (Dept. Biolog. Sci., Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA 93106), Biogeochem., 20(1), 1-17, Jan. 1993.

The new estimate presented here is lower than previous ones, and together with previous estimates for the boreal forest, begins to reveal a pattern of overestimation of global C storage by vegetation in the global C budget. Discusses reasons and implications.

Item #d94jan61

"Assessment, Based on a Climosequence of Soils in Tussock Grasslands, of Soil Carbon Storage and Release in Response to Global Warming," K.R. Tate (DSIR, Lower Hutt, N.Z.), J. Soil Sci., 43(4), 697-707, Dec. 1992. (See GCCD, Dec. 1993.)

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