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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d95jan9

Two related items in Nature, 372(6501), Nov. 3, 1994:

"Rapid Climate Transitions in a Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model," S. Rahmstorf (Inst. Meereskunde, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Ger.), 82-85. Recent geochemical data suggest that rapid climate fluctuations in the North Atlantic at the end of the last glacial resulted when ocean circulation switched between a warm, deep mode and a cold, shallow mode. The simulations presented here show this kind of transition, triggered by a brief freshwater pulse, resulting in a drop in sea surface temperature by up to 5·C within 10 years.

"Conveying Past Climates," E. Boyle (Dept. Earth Sci., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), A. Weaver, 41-42. The fact that in the previous study a small change in the treatment of heat flux caused sweeping changes in the behavior of the model is a cautionary lesson.

Item #d95jan10

"Smudging the Fingerprints," T.R. Karl (NCDC, NESDIS, NOAA, 37 Battery Park Ave., Asheville NC 28801), Nature, 371(6496), 380-381, Sep. 29, 1994.

Comments on a recent paper concerning detection of climate change by D.J. Karoly et al. (Dept. Math., Monash Univ., Clayton, Vic., Australia 3168; tel: 613 565 44130; fax: 613 565 44030), published in Climate Dynamics, 10, 97-105, 1994 (Springer). The method of Karoly et al. for detecting a possible "fingerprint" of climate change entails testing for differences between observed and modeled fields of vertical temperature change in the upper troposphere and stratosphere. They do not claim detection of climate change, but their work illustrates many of the complexities of such an attempt. Karl discusses these, and the scientific requirements for improving our confidence in predicting the effects of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Item #d95jan11

"A Report on Workshops: General Circulation Model Study of Climate-Chemistry Interaction," W.-C. Wang (Atmos. Sci. Res. Ctr., State Univ. New York, 100 Fuller Rd., Albany NY 12205), I.S.A. Isaksen, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 75(9), 1671-1675, Sep. 1994.

Summarizes discussions in two workshops held in 1992 and 1993 on the climatic effects of changes in levels of atmospheric ozone and sulfate aerosols.

Item #d95jan12

"A Comparison of GCM Sensitivity to Changes in CO2 and Solar Luminosity," S. Marshall (Dept. Geog., Univ. N. Carolina, Charlotte NC 28223), R.J. Oglesby et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 21(23), 2487-2490, Nov. 15, 1994.

Experiments with the NCAR climate model are compared using a formal sensitivity analysis. Since the nature of the model response does not seem to be sensitive to the nature of the forcing, validation of model performance using warm climates of the recent past may be a good indication of its ability to model future warming from CO2.

Item #d95jan13

"Early Trends in the Global Tropospheric Abundance of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon-141b and 142b," S.A. Montzka (CMDL, NOAA, 325 Broadway, Boulder CO 80303), R.C. Myers et al., ibid., 2483-2486.

Reports the first global time series of two HCFCs that are considered interim CFC replacements because they also contain chlorine. Results suggest that HCFCs are currently used extensively to replace CFCs in selected applications; measured tropospheric levels are significantly higher than expected based on available emission estimates and consumption predictions.

Item #d95jan14

"Global Warming and the Phosphorus Cycle," N.P. Tarasova (Mendeleev Univ. of Chem. Technol., Miusskaya Sq. 9, Moscow 125190, Russia), Y.V. Smetannikov, V. Yu Balitsky, World Resour. Rev., 6(3), 336-342, Oct. 1994.

Compares a general dynamic system for soils and several years of field monitoring to determine how changes in climate and other environmental conditions influence the phosphorous cycle. The nutrient effects of phosphorous are highly temperature sensitive; greenhouse-induced climate change could seriously alter the cycle.

Item #d95jan15

Discussion of an article by Penner et al. (GCCD, p. 3, March 1994) concerning the uncertainty of climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 75(12), 2312-2316, Dec. 1994.

Item #d95jan16

"Is Sea Level Rising or Falling?" Nature, 371(6497), 481, Oct. 6, 1994. Comment on article by Sahagian et al. (GCCD, p. 3, Feb. 1994) concerning the effects on sea level of anthropogenic modifications to the hydrologic cycle.

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