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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 #d94mar15

"Quantifying and Minimizing Uncertainty of Climate Forcing by Anthropogenic Aerosols," J.E. Penner (Atmos. Microphys., Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab., POB 808, L-262, Livermore CA 94550), R.J. Charlson et al., Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 75(3), 375-400, Mar. 1994.

Estimates the uncertainty in the clear sky influence on the Earth's radiation balance of a variety of anthropogenic aerosol types. Presents a vigorous research strategy for reducing uncertainties, which could allow these effects to be incorporated into climate models in the next several years. Because estimates of the cloudy sky influence are little more than guesses, it is not possible to quantify their uncertainty, and only exploratory research is recommended in the near future.

Item #d94mar16

"Model Assessment of the Role of Natural Variability in Recent Global Warming," R.J. Stouffer (GFDL, POB 308, Princeton NJ 08542), S. Manabe, K. Ya. Vinnikov, Nature, 367(6464), 634-636, Feb. 17, 1994.

Evaluates the observed global warming trend of about 0.5·C per century since the late nineteenth century, using a 1,000-year climate simulation from a model of the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land system. The model shows interannual and interdecadal variations in temperature similar to those observed, but no temperature change as large as 0.5·C per century is sustained for more than a few decades. This suggests that the observed trend is not a natural feature, but may have been induced by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases and anthropogenic aerosols.

Item #d94mar17

"Satellite Greenhouse Signal," J.R. Christy (Earth Syst. Sci. Lab., Univ. Alabama, Huntsville AL 35899), R.T. McNider, Nature, 367(6461), 325, Jan. 27, 1994.

Briefly presents satellite measurements of the global average temperature of the lowest 7 km of the atmosphere for 1979-1993, with the effects of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Mount Pinatubo removed. The result shows an upward temperature trend of 0.09·C per decade, one-quarter of the rise projected by climate models for greenhouse warming. Concludes that the observed rise could be from greenhouse gases, but other, less quantifiable effects may be involved.

Item #d94mar18

"Solar Variability: Implications for Global Change," J. Lean (Ctr. Space Res., Naval Res. Lab., Washington DC 20375), D. Rind, Eos, 75(1), 1, 5-7, Jan. 4, 1994.

Reviews recently renewed scientific attention to solar variability as a natural factor, in addition to volcanic emissions, against which any anthropogenic influence is cast. Solar variability has probably been responsible for climate changes over the past several centuries, and may prove significant for future climate changes. Discusses needed research.

Item #d94mar19

"Anomalous Methane," J. Rudolf (Inst. Atmos. Chem., Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Ger.), Nature, 368(6466), 19-20, Mar. 3, 1994.

Presents a brief analysis of possible reasons for the abrupt decrease in the upward trend of methane reported by Dlugokencky et al. (GCCD, Jan. 1994.) The evidence is inconclusive for all of the mechanisms examined (gas distribution in Russia, biomass burning, Mt. Pinatubo effects); the near future trend of methane should shed light on the question.

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