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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 #d96jun92

Climate change, acid rain & UV interaction: In February, Schindler et al. reported how acidification can lead to the increased penetration of UV light in lakes (see Global Climate Change Digest, Research News, Mar. 1996) Now another study shows how the lower lake levels that could occur with climate change could also increase UV penetration. (See two related papers Nature papers in Prof. Pubs./Of Gen. Interest, this Digest issue--June 1996.)

Item #d96jun93

Ozone will begin to recover in the stratosphere after about 1998 as anthropogenic chlorine and bromine concentrations peak there. (See first paper in Prof. Pubs./Of Gen. Interest, this Digest issue--June 1996, and New Scientist, p. 7, June 8, 1996.)

Item #d96jun94

Natural warming cycle: Evidence from deep-sea sediments and ice cores suggests that the Earth's climate exhibits a natural temperature fluctuation with a period of two to three thousand years. The Little Ice Age may have been the manifestation of the latest cooling cycle, but the cycle is irregular enough that even if it was, it is not clear whether we are now entering a phase of natural warming. (See New Scientist, p. 15, Jan. 6, 1996, and O'Brien paper in Prof. Pubs./Paleoclimatolgy, this Digest issue--June 1996.)

Item #d96jun95

GISP2, GRIP compared: Results from the two independent cores drilled in the Greenland ice cap were compared at a workshop last September that is summarized in Eos (pp. 209-210, May 28, 1996) and in Nature (see Peel paper, Prof. Pubs./Paleoclimatolgy, this Digest issue--June 1996). One outcome was evidence for the high sensitivity of the Arctic regions to climate change.

Item #d96jun96

"Repeat of Thirty-Year-Old Experiment Could Prove or Disprove Global Warming," D.A. Walker, Eos, p. 191, May 14, 1996. Thirty years ago, the Navy conducted experiments on sound propagation in the mid-Pacific Ocean. If the tests were repeated, the original data would provide a baseline to determine if the ocean has warmed. This could be the most cost-effective method for providing scientists with rapid and reliable evidence for or against global warming. The author, an earth scientist at the University of Hawaii who wants to carry out the work, asserts he has been hampered by arcane Navy rules regarding formerly classified data, as discussed in New Scientist, p. 11, May 25, 1996.

Item #d96jun97

"Biosphere 2 Begins Fight for Credibility," C. Macilwain, Nature, p. 275, Mar. 28, 1996. Columbia University has assumed full management of the Biosphere 2 complex in Arizona, and will begin a modest program of controlled experiments in biogeochemistry and plant physiology, including effects of elevated CO2 on plants. The research advisory panel favored this approach over more qualitative ecosystem studies, at least at the present. (See also "Secrets from Another Earth," G. Walker, New Scientist, pp. 31-35, May 18, 1996.)

Item #d96jun98

"Land Use and Land Cover Change: An Analysis," D. Skole, IGBP Newsletter, pp. 4-7, No. 25, Mar. 1996. The chair of the scientific steering committee of this IGBP Core Project gives an overview of its recently published science plan. (Contact IGBP Secretariat, Royal Swed. Acad. Sci., Box 50005, S-104 05 Stockholm, Swed.)

Item #d96jun99

"Tropical Smogs Rival Big City Smoke," F. Pearce, New Scientist, p. 4, May 18, 1996. Tropospheric ozone formation in parts of the Southern Hemisphere resulting from biomass burning can reach levels that rival those in large Northern Hemisphere cities. The problem was discussed by atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen at a conference called by the European Commission's environmental research program, which is concerned about loss of funds for European climate researchers. But Crutzen said the money should be spent on research in the tropics; failure to do so and to involve Third World scientists could undermine future climate treaties. (See next entry.)

Item #d96jun100

"Cold Shoulder for Climate Research," F. Pearce, ibid., p. 7, May 25. At a meeting called to celebrate European achievements in climate research, a stream of scientists and officials warned of an impending collapse in budgets for studies of climate and the global environment. Governments are no longer interested in global environmental issues because economic concerns dominate.

Item #d96jun101

"A Skeptic Asks, Is It Getting Hotter, Or Is It Just the Computer Model?" W.K. Stevens, The New York Times, pp. C1, C8, June 18, 1996. Profiles Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a highly accomplished atmospheric scientist who has become an outspoken greenhouse skeptic. His position is based largely on a distrust of climate models, particularly the manner in which they handle the effects of water vapor in the atmosphere.

Item #d96jun102

"Living Sea Walls Keep Floods at Bay," F. Pearce, New Scientist, p. 7, June 1, 1996. A study of the sea defenses around the Gulf of Tonking in Vietnam, conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Mangrove Ecosystems Research Center in Hanoi, shows that mangroves are more effective than concrete at keeping out the sea.

Item #d96jun103

"Great Plains or Great Desert? A Sea of Dunes Lies in Wait," W.K. Stevens, The New York Times, pp. C1, C9, May 28, 1996. New evidence presented at a meeting of the American Quaternary Association indicates that there have been several times during the Holocene when drought was more severe on the American Great Plains than during the 1930s Dust Bowl days. These conditions were seen most recently in the 18th and 19th centuries, before the region was heavily settled, and could conceivably be touched off again by a period of warming, either natural or anthropogenic.

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