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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 #d95feb10

"Global-Mean Temperature and Sea Level Consequences of Greenhouse Gas Concentration and Stabilization," T.M.L. Wigley (Clim. Res. Unit., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), Geophys. Res. Lett., 22(1), 45-48, Jan. 1, 1995.

Uses models previously employed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to calculate scenarios of future CO2 levels stabilized at 350-750 ppmv, to the year 2500. Uncertainties are large, but results show that even with concerted efforts at stabilization, substantial increases in temperature and sea level can be expected over the next century. Sea level could continue to increase for many centuries after stabilization due to the extremely long time scales associated with the deep ocean (thermal expansion) and with large ice sheets.

Item #d95feb11

"Atmospheric Effects of the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption," M.P. McCormick (Div. Atmos. Sci., NASA-Langley, Hampton VA 23681), L.W. Thomason, C.R. Trepte, Nature, 373(6513), 399-404, Feb. 2, 1995.

This extensive review concludes that the June 1991 eruption put an end to several years of globally warm surface temperatures, and in combination with anthropogenic reactive chlorine, led to record low levels of stratospheric ozone. The event caused the largest perturbation in this century to the particulate content of the stratosphere, providing a rare and valuable opportunity to test dynamic, chemical and radiative models of the climate system that are being used to estimate future climate perturbations from anthropogenic emissions. Much more work is needed to fully exploit the data from this natural experiment.

Item #d95feb12

"On the Effects of Stratospheric Circulation Changes on Trace Gas Trends," S.M. Schlauffer (NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), J.S. Daniel, J. Geophys. Res., 99(D12), 25,747-25,754, Dec. 20, 1994.

Proposes a mechanism that could have contributed to the decrease in the trends of atmospheric levels of methane, nitrous oxide and CO2 that occurred in 1992. Increased stratospheric circulation caused by heating from the volcanic aerosols injected by the Mount Pinatubo eruption could have caused greater exchange between the stratosphere and troposphere, diluting the tropospheric levels of those trace gases.

Item #d95feb13

Two related items in Nature, 373(6509), Jan. 5, 1995:

"Ice Sheets and Sea Level," D. Bromwich (Byrd Polar Res. Ctr., Ohio State Univ., 125 S. Oval Mall, Columbus OH 43210), 18-19. Discusses implications of the following paper.

"Dominant Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on Snow Accumulation in Greenland over the Past 18,000 Years," W.R. Kapsner (Earth Sys. Sci. Ctr., Pennsylvania State Univ., Univ. Pk. PA 16802), R.B. Alley et al., 52-54. Study of the GISP ice core indicates that atmospheric circulation, not temperature, has been the primary control on snow accumulation in central Greenland over the past 18,000 years. In a greenhouse-warmed world, circulation changes may be more important than temperature effects in determining snow accumulation in Greenland and how its ice sheet affects sea-level.

Item #d95feb14

"Massive Iceberg Discharges as Triggers for Global Climate Change," W.S. Broecker (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observ., Rte. 9W, Palisades NY 10964), Nature, 372(6505), 421-424, Dec. 1, 1994.

Evaluates current understanding of large and abrupt climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores and evidenced in ocean sediments, suggesting that at six times during the past glaciation, huge armadas of icebergs have spread from Canada across the northern Atlantic. Of practical concern is whether the climate system could be kicked into alternate modes of operation as greenhouse gases increase.

Item #d95feb15

"Putting Declining Amphibian Populations in Perspective: Natural Fluctuations and Human Impacts," J.H.K. Pechmann (Savannah River Ecol. Lab., Univ. Georgia, P.O. Drawer E., Aiken SC 29802), H.M. Wilbur, Herpetologica, 50, 65-84, 1994.

Provides theoretical, empirical and philosophical perspective on whether to interpret declines and disappearances of amphibian populations as natural or anthropogenic events, concluding that the evidence is equivocal. Concern about the status of amphibian populations is clearly warranted, but formulation of appropriate null hypotheses and further study are still needed.

Item #d95feb16

"The Current State and Future Direction of Eulerian Models in Simulating the Tropospheric Chemistry and Transport of Trace Species: A Review," L.K. Peters (Dept. Chem. Eng., Virginia Polytechnic Inst., Blacksburg VA 24061), C.M. Berkowitz et al., Atmos. Environ., 29(2), 189-222, Jan. 1995.

Central improvements that would result in a "third generation" model involve feedback processes between meteorology and chemistry, aerosol formation in cloud development, and impacts of chemical perturbations on radiation, climate and biogeochemical cycles. Also includes a comparison of characteristics of existing models, and extensive references.

Item #d95feb17

"Atmospheric Wet Deposition of Nutrient Elements: Correlation with Harmful Biological Blooms in Northwest Pacific Coastal Zones," J. Zhang (Dept. Marine Chem., Ocean Univ. Qingdao, 5 Yushan Rd., Qingdao 266003, China), Ambio, 23(8), 464-468, Dec. 1994.

Provides evidence of a correlation between harmful plankton blooms and episodic atmospheric deposition of nutrients in coastal oligotrophic zones. In the Yellow Sea, where there is little influence of waste runoff from land, atmospheric deposition may be the major source of nutrient elements for the euphotic zone.

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