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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 #d95jun18

"Using Paleoclimates to Predict Future Climate: How Far Can Analogy Go?" C. Covey (Global Clim. Res. Div., Lawrence-Livermore Natl. Lab., POB 808, Livermore CA 94550), Clim. Change, 29(4), 403-407, Apr. 1995.

An extensive comment on the disagreement between GCMs and paleodata, which should be cause for concern among those who subscribe to the conventional wisdom. The disciplines of geology and meteorology must be brought together if we are to fully confront theory with observation.

Item #d95jun19

"The MECCA Analysis Project," A. Henderson-Sellers, W. Howe (Climate Impacts Ctr., Macquarie Univ., N. Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia), K. McGuffie, Global & Planetary Change, 10(1-4), 3-21, Apr. 1995. Part of a special issue, "Results from the Model Evaluation Consortium for Climate Assessment (MECCA)," T. Kittel, Ed. Single copies are available from Elsevier Sci. Pub., POB 330, 100 AH Amsterdam, Neth. gpc

This lead paper summarizes the first phase of experiments designed to quantify the uncertainties inherent in climate model projections of climate changes and their impacts, and to demonstrate how these uncertainties bear on policy decisions.

Item #d95jun20

"Climate of the Earth: An Overview," M.B. McElroy (Dept. Earth Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), Environ. Pollut., 83, 3-21, 1994.

A 10,000-year Norwegian climate record provides a context for discussing possible changes in climate today arising from the build-up of industrially related greenhouse gases. Makes somewhat pessimistic comments concerning the prospects for meaningful near-term predictions of the response of climate to this build-up. Studies of past climates can play a valuable role in developing credible models for the future.

Item #d95jun21

"Computer Simulations of Terrestrial Carbon and Atmospheric Interactions," E.L. Mueller, J.R. Kramer (Dept. Geol., McMaster Univ., Hamilton ON L8S 4M1, Can.), ibid., 113-120.

A maximum change from agriculture to forest has a small effect on abating emission increases. Controlling emission rates at 5.1 ยด 1015 g C/a will result in almost a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 in 200 years; reducing emission rates to 1960 levels now would still result in an increase.

Item #d95jun22

"On the Scientific Basis for Global Warming Scenarios," R.S. Lindzen (Ctr. Meteor. & Phys. Oceanog., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), ibid., 125-134.

A review that takes care to distinguish the issue of changes in radiative forcing at the Earth's surface from the issue of changes of climatic response to this forcing. With respect to the latter, predictions of warming depend on the presence of large positive feedbacks that amplify the response. The largest of these in current models involves upper tropospheric water vapor, but this appears to be largely a model artifact, and models may even have the wrong sign for this feedback. The response of climate to major volcanic eruptions may provide a test of the climate system's amplification because of the possibility that the response delay of the ocean-atmosphere system is proportional to the system gain.

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