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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 #d95apr138

Cloud absorption revised: Several recent studies have come to the conclusion that clouds absorb much more incident solar radiation than predicted by theory, or as calculated in climate models. If correct, the finding has profound implications for understanding of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and for climate projections. (See Chem. Eng. News, p. 33, Feb. 13 1995, and CLOUDS AND CLIMATE section in PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST).

Item #d95apr139

Methane hydrates: Recent independent studies show that (a) methane hydrates are unlikely to cause strong positive feedback to global warming (see Harvey paper, PROF. PUBS./GEN. INTEREST/GLOBAL WARMING SCI.); (b) the burden of methane stored in hydrates is considerably less than originally estimated by Roger Revelle ten years ago (see Science, pp. 127-1272, Mar. 3 1995). Also, a panel of experts at the recent AAAS meeting proposed that tapping the methane stored in hydrates as an energy source, without inadvertently releasing methane to the atmosphere, is one of the great engineering challenges of the age. (See The New York Times, p. C5, Feb. 21.)

Item #d95apr140

California coastal warming since 1951 is associated with declines in the abundance of zooplankton, and the fish and bird populations that feed on it, suggesting that if ocean surfaces warm globally the biological impact could be devastating. (See Science News, p. 151, Mar. 11 1995. Also see: "Climatic Warming and the Decline of Zooplankton in the California Current," D. Roemmich, J. McGowan, Science, 267(5202), 1324-1326, Mar. 3, 1995.)

Item #d95apr141

"Tropical Trouble: Two Decades of Pacific Warmth Have Fired up the Globe," R. Monastersky, Science News, pp. 154-155, Mar. 11. This addition to a spate of recent articles on the unusual behavior of El NiƱo in the past several years focuses on climate model experiments by Nicholas Graham, reported in the Feb. 3 issue of Science. (See Global Climate Change Digest, Mar. 1995) Explains how his results raise important questions about how future warming will affect precipitation.

Item #d95apr142

"Cool Reception for Warming Predictions," J. Emsley, New Scientist, p. 19, Oct. 8. The notion that rising levels of CO2 are enhancing global warming has been questioned in two studies by British scientists. One concerns the mechanisms of radiant energy transfer (see "The Roles of Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapour in Warming and Cooling the Earth's Troposphere," J. Barrett, Spectrochim. Acta, 51A(3), 415-417, Mar. 1995.). The other relates to the fact that the Earth's mean temperature during the Cretaceous period was similar to today's, even though the CO2 level was up to eight times the present. (See Sellwood article, Global Climate Change Digest, p. 3, Sep.). Correspondence on the controversial views is printed in subsequent issues of New Scientist (p. 50, Nov. 5; p. 51, Dec. 3).

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