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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d96feb69

Iron fertilization: New research provides the first documentation that wind-blown iron particles boosted marine productivity in Antarctic waters during the ice age. (See Kumar paper, Prof. Pubs./Carbon Cycle, this Digest issue--Feb. 1996.) The idea was first postulated by John Moss in the 1980s, and has stimulated schemes for deliberate stimulation of marine phytoplankton by iron "fertilization," as a way of reducing atmospheric CO2. Following the Kumar paper in this issue is one by Murray, which failed to find evidence of the mechanism in sediments from a different part of the world, the equatorial Pacific.

Item #d96feb70

New ocean-atmosphere program: Major oceanographic studies involve high-cost facilities and require a long planning phase. Detailed planning will begin this year for next decade's successor to the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), tentatively named the Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS). SOLAS will focus on marine biogeochemistry as it affects and is affected by climate. To project future carbon fluxes on a 50-100 year time scale, global climate models will need regional and global information on biogeochemical responses to future changes in ocean mixing and circulation patterns, which now seem increasingly likely to occur. (See article by Andrew Watson of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, IGBP Newsletter, p. 14, Dec. 1995.)

Item #d96feb71

"Millennial Climate Oscillation Spied," R.A. Kerr, Science, pp. 146-147, Jan. 12, 1996. Analysis of sediment cores presented at the latest American Geophysical Union meeting indicates a temperature oscillation of about 2,000 years throughout the Holocene Epoch, the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age. The latest cool phase of the oscillation, which is presumably still running, may have been the Little Ice Age of 300 years ago. Several researchers are investigating the possibility that the oscillation is related to solar variability.

Item #d96feb72

"Indonesian Policies Stymie Global Circulation Experiment," J. Mervis, Science, pp. 23-24, Jan. 5, 1996. Four times in the last nine months, Indonesian military officials have refused permission for U.S. and Australian research vessels to take a close look at the South Java current as part of the 30-nation World Ocean Circulation Experiment. Indonesia is bound by the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty to allow such research. However, there is a mindset within that government and several others that foreign scientists are trying to acquire secret knowledge of their country's territorial waters, or that the data are a valuable natural resource that should not be removed.

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