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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 #d95dec57

"Back to the Little Ice Age," P.D. Moore (Div. Life Sci., King's Coll., Campden Hill Rd., London W8 7AH, UK), Nature, 377(6551), 684-685, Oct. 26, 1995.

Little progress has been made in using paleoecological techniques to study the possible response of arctic vegetation to global warming because of the lack of trees there. However, Cassiope tetra-gona, a member of the heather family, produces leafy shoots in which it is possible to detect annual growth. In J. Functional Ecology, 9, 650-654, 1995, Havstrom et al. report on finding the remains of fossil Cassiope that showed reduced growth and flowering rates during the Little Ice Age. Such studies might provide the basis for predicting the response of arctic plants to projected future changes in climate.

Item #d95dec58

"Assessing Ecological Implications of Climatic Change: Can We Rely on Our Simulation Models?" H. Hänninen (Faculty For., Univ. Joensuu, POB 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland), Clim. Change, 31(1), 1-4, Sep. 1995.

Ecological models are often validated with data gathered in natural conditions. If the model is then used to assess the implication of climate change without subjecting it to further tests, the assumption is made that precision, in the case of present climate, guarantees the realism of the model and precision in the case of changing climate. Examines this assumption by reviewing studies on the implications of climate change for boreal forests in Finland. Found that the precision of a model in predicting ecosystem functioning under present climate conditions does not guarantee the realism of the model nor the precision for predictions under changing climate conditions.

Item #d95dec59

"The Suppression of Evapotranspiration by Rising Levels of Atmospheric CO2," J.G. Lockwood (Univ. Leeds,U.K.), Weather, 50(9), 304-308, Sep. 1995.

The rise of the daily minimum temperature has occurred at a rate three times that of the maximum from 1951 to 1990. This asymmetry will affect long-term changes in water balance because most vegetation transpiration takes place during daytime and will respond to changes in daytime maximum temperatures rather than changes in the mean. However, rising CO2 concentrations enhance the bulk canopy resistance of dry vegetation and suppress transpiration. If atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise with only a small increase in maximum temperature, transpiration will continue to be suppressed; if maximum temperature rises significantly, the opposite effect might be observed.

Item #d95dec60

"Interdependency of Fire and Global Change: The Southern U.S. as an Example," J.I. Zerbe (USDA For. Serv., One Gifford Pinchot Dr., Madison WI 53705), World Resour. Rev., 7(2), 221-230, June 1995.

A discussion of ecological and policy implications. Climate warming can cause forests to be drier and lead to an increase in severity and extent of wildfires, with increased CO2 emission. Climate-driven changes in the structure and composition of plant communities may alter susceptibility to fires. A better understanding of the complex interactions with their many unknowns and variables will require an integration of global climate and ecosystem modeling.

Item #d95dec61

"The Responses of Species to Climate over Two Centuries: An Analysis of the Marsham Phenological Record, 1736-1947," T.H. Sparks (Inst. Terres. Ecol., Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE17 2LS, UK), P.D. Carey, J. Ecol., 83(2), 321-329, Apr. 1995.

Examines the Marsham (Norfolk, U.K.) data for the first indications of spring, in relation to monthly temperature data and annual rainfall data and for unexplained trends. Concludes that, if commonly used climate scenarios are accurate, most or all of the indications of spring noted in the Marsham record will occur earlier in the calendar year.

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