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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 #d94jul17

"Diurnal Temperature Range for a Doubled Carbon Dioxide Concentration Experiment: Analysis of Possible Physical Mechanisms," M. Verdecchia (Dip. Fisica, Univ. Studi, L'Aquila, Italy), G. Visconti et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 21(14), 1527-1530, July 1, 1994.

Climate simulations for a doubling of CO2 over the European region show that soil moisture is an important influence on diurnal temperature range, and illustrate the radiative and cloud mechanisms involved. Results are consistent with early observations of a negative correlation between changes in precipitation and in diurnal temperature range.

Item #d94jul18

"Global and Hemispheric Temperature Trends: Uncertainties Related to Inadequate Spatial Sampling," T.R. Karl (NESDIS-NOAA, Fed. Bldg., Asheville NC 28801), R.W. Knight, J.R. Christy, J. Clim., 7(7), 1144-1163, July 1994.

Investigates the spatial sampling error inherent in long-term (50-100 year) and short-term (10-30 year) trends, using climatic data and output of doubled-CO2 GCM simulations. Results imply that the errors associated with century-scale trends of temperature are probably an order of magnitude smaller than the observed global warming of about 0.5°C over the past hundred years. Errors in decadal trends are larger, and positive biases are likely during the 1980s due to oversampling of the Northern Hemisphere.

Item #d94jul19

"Zinc and Carbon Co-limitation of Marine Phytoplankton," F.M.M. Morel (Parsons Lab., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), J.R. Reinfelder et al., Nature, 369(6483), 740-742, June 30, 1994.

Experiments with a marine diatom show, as has already been postulated for iron, that zinc may limit ocean production and influence the global carbon cycle. Results may also be important for the interpretation of Ù13C measurements in seawater and sediments.

Item #d94jul20

Two related items in ibid.:

"Outlook Becoming Hazier," T.M.L. Wigley (Univ. Corp. Atmos. Res., POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), 709-710. Discusses from a technical standpoint the implications of the following paper, which indicate the complicated interaction between the radiative effects of aerosols and greenhouse gases. It may take longer than we thought to reduce uncertainties in climate predictions.

"Response of the Climate System to Atmospheric Aerosols and Greenhouse Gases," K.E. Taylor, J.E. Penner (Global Clim. Res. Div., Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab., POB 808, Livermore CA 94551), 734-737. Climate simulations of these two types of radiative forcing indicate that for equal magnitudes of forcing, the temperature response is greater for CO2 than for aerosols. The global response to aerosol forcing has a different pattern than the forcing itself. Accurate climate predictions require separate treatment of these effects.

Item #d94jul21

"Failure of Climate Regulation in a Geophysiological Model," J.E. Lovelock (Coombe Mill, St. Giles on the Heath, Launceston PL15 9RY, UK), L.R. Kump, ibid., 732-734.

Uses a simple model of the feedback between climate and marine algae (through dimethyl sulfide emissions) and plants on land (through fixation of CO2). In glacial conditions, both provide negative feedbacks; at present temperatures, algae lose their strong climatic influence; and at global temperatures above 20°C, both ecosystems are in positive feedback. The latter conditions have existed in the past, so there must be other climate-regulating mechanisms that operate is such a warm regime.

Item #d94jul22

"Discussion on the recent estimate of sea-level rise by Sahagian et al. in relation to IPCC estimates, Nature, 369(6482), 615-616, June 23, 1994.

Item #d94jul23

Two items in Nature, 369(6481), June 16, 1994:

"Drowned Trees Record Dry Spells," F.A. Street-Perrott (Environ. Change Unit, Mansfield Rd., Oxford OX1 3TB, UK), 518. Comments on the following paper, which provides new evidence for the global significance of the Medieval Warm Period and demonstrates the importance of hydrological fluctuations in climate change in addition to more commonly studied temperature variations.

Item #d94jul24

"Extreme and Persistent Drought in California and Patagonia During Mediaeval Time," S. Stine (Dept. Geog. & Environ. Studies, California State University, Hayward CA 94542), 546-549. Study of relict tree stumps in present-day lakes, marshes and streams suggests that California's Sierra Nevada experienced century-long drought periods prior to AD~1350, with runoff much lower than during any of the persistent droughts of the last 140 years. If these droughts were associated with the Medieval Warm Epoch, they could recur under future warming.

Item #d94jul25

Special issue: "The Medieval Warm Period," M.K. Hughes (Lab. Tree Ring Res., Univ. Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.), H.F. Diaz, Eds., Clim. Change, 26(2-3), Mar. 1994. A hardbound edition is available from Kluwer Acad. Pub., POB 322, 300 AH Dordrecht, Neth.; or POB 358, Accord Sta., Hingham MA 02018.

Contains 13 papers that resulted from a workshop (Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 1991). Topics include glacial and tree-ring evidence; evidence from regions of North and South America, Europe and China; solar activity; and ENSO-sensitive records.

Item #d94jul26

"Snow Cover and Climate," J. Cohen (Dept. Geol. Sci., Columbia Univ., New York, N.Y.), Weather, 49(5), 150-156, May 1994.

A review with recent references, emphasizing quantification of snow cover change under greenhouse warming.

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