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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 #d95aug4

"Impacts of a Projected Depletion of the Ozone Layer," F.R. de Gruijl (Dermatology Dept., Univ. of Utrecht Hospital, Neth.), Consequences, 1(2), 12-21, Summer 1995.

A comprehensive, peer-reviewed synopsis of current understanding of impacts on humans and ecosystems. A reduction of 7% in the amount of stratospheric ozone, the amount expected in summer for middle latitudes by the end of the century, could increase the incidence of cataracts in humans 3-4%, and increase non-melanoma skin cancer 12-15%. If the ozone layer were restored to a thickness characteristic of the 1960s, health risks would be reversed; but even by the most optimistic scenarios the adverse effects of UV-B radiation due to ozone depletion will persist into the next century.

Item #d95aug5

"Continued Decline of Total Ozone over Halley, Antarctica, Since 1985," A.E. Jones (Brit. Antarctic Surv., High Cross, Madingley Rd., Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK), J.D. Shanklin, Nature, 376(6539), 409-411, Aug. 3, 1995.

Reviews the status of the Antarctic ozone hole based on the continued total ozone measurements at Halley station. The springtime ozone hole continues to deepen, and the ozone loss extends into January and February, so that significant increases in UV-B radiation can be expected at the surface in Antarctica during the summer. A signal of ozone loss is now apparent in the spring and summer stratospheric temperature records.

Item #d95aug6

Two related items in Nature, 376(6538), July 27, 1995:

"Potential Accumulation of a CFC-Replacement Degradation Product in Seasonal Wetlands," T.K. Tromp (Atmos. & Environ. Res. Inc., 840 Memorial Dr., Cambridge MA 02139), M.K.W. Ko et al., 327-330. Previous estimates have shown that future concentrations of the degradation product trifluoroacetate (TFA) would remain below concentrations thought to inhibit plant growth. But the model analysis presented here indicates that in conditions of high evapotranspiration, TFA could reach appreciable concentrations in the local surface waters of seasonal wetlands within a few decades, under some conditions.

"CFC Alternatives Under a Cloud," S.E. Schwartzbach (USFWS Field Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento CA 95825), 297-298. Discusses the serious concerns for ecosystems related to the findings of the previous paper, and needed research.

Item #d95aug7

Two related items in Science, 269(5221), July 14, 1995:

"Methyl Chloroform and the Atmosphere," A. Ravishankara (ARL, NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), D.L. Albritton, 183-184. The findings of the following paper imply that compliance with the Montreal Protocol will decrease the amount of chlorine-containing species in the atmosphere, and they have several scientific implications.

"Atmospheric Trends and Lifetime of CH3CCl3 [methyl chloroform] and Global OH Concentrations," R.G. Prinn (Dept. Earth Sci., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), R.F. Weiss et al., 187-192. Methyl chloroform is involved in ozone depletion, and the hydroxyl radical (OH) concentrations determined from its atmospheric lifetime provide lifetimes of most other hydrogen-containing gases involved in the ozone layer and climate. Global measurements of methyl chloroform presented here indicate rising concentrations before and declining concentrations after late 1991, and a substantially lower lifetime than previously estimated due to a 20% higher estimate of global OH. The deduced OH concentration shows little change from 1978 to 1994.

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