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Item #d95mar1

"Public Perceptions of Global Warming," R.A. Berk (Dept. Sociol., Univ. California, Los Angeles, Calif.), D. Schulman, Clim. Change, 29(1), 1-33, Jan. 1995.

Applies factorial survey methods to a sample of over 600 residents of southern California to determine public attitudes concerning global warming, particularly willingness to pay (WTP) to prevent various hypothetical climate scenarios. On the whole, the public is able to understand and evaluate rather complicated climate scenarios, but there are gaps in the public's ability to understand climate change. The public apparently does not fully appreciate the consequences of seemingly small climate changes, nor the effects of climatic variation. Results on the impact of microclimate on WTP show that climate change will be experienced and evaluated locally, and policy makers can expect public opinion to vary substantially by locale. Discusses why the contingent valuation estimates presented here, although promising, are not ready for consideration by policy makers, and discusses other aspects of opinion research.

Item #d95mar2

Two related items in Clim. Change, 29(2), 123-130, Feb. 1995:

"Recasting U.S. Federal Environmental R&D Programs: An Editorial Comment," R. Bierbaum (Off. Sci. & Technol. Policy, Exec. Office of the President, Washington, D.C.), R. Watson, 123-130. Takes stock of the progress toward improving federal programs, noting that for the first time the U.S. has a comprehensive, coordinated, Cabinet-level body, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and highlighting its activities to date. Addresses criticisms from the Carnegie Commission, the National Research Council and others, and presents steps to be taken for the future.

"Linking Science More Closely to Policy Making: Global Climate Change and the National Reorganization of Science and Technology Policy," R.D. Glasser (Ctr. Natl. Security Studies, Los Alamos Natl. Lab., Los Alamos, N. Mex.), 131-143. Examines national trends on this topic, and the evolution of efforts to forge these links in the Clinton administration, particularly with regard to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Although there is some concern that the NSTC exists only by executive order with no budgetary authority, and that it could result in the growth of a large bureaucracy, its creation is laudable. There is some indication that lessons learned through the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program are being applied to global change research in that more funds are being directed toward assessments. Nevertheless, science, policy assessments, and policy action are uneasy partners.

Item #d95mar3

"Finger on the Carbon Pulse: Climate Change and the Boreal Forests," K. Jardine (Greenpeace, Canada), The Ecologist, 24(6), 220-224, Nov.-Dec. 1994.

Cites studies showing that global warming may already be affecting boreal forests, as evidenced by increases in intensity and frequency of fires, storms, and insect attacks. As forests decline, there will be a massive net release of carbon, triggering a runaway greenhouse effect.

Item #d95mar4

"Shifting Uses for Natural Resources in a Changing Climate," R. Darwin (Econ. Res. Service, U.S. Dept. Agric., 1301 New York Ave NW, Rm. 408, Washington DC 20005), J. Lewandrowski et al., World Resour. Rev., 6(4), 559-569, Dec. 1994.

In contrast to most previous studies of the impacts of climate change on world agricultural systems, this study links economic activities to land resources that are determined by climate. It also accounts for farmers adopting their crop mix to altered climate conditions. Despite negative impacts in some regions, climate change will have a relatively small (±3%) impact on the long term ability of global agriculture to meet future food demands. This depends, however, on the ability to shift crop production to new locations, even across national borders, which could in turn damage fragile ecosystems.

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