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Global Climate Change Digest

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Item #d96oct137

Butterflies and climate change: A study finding a shift in the range of a certain butterfly, reported in the Aug. 29 issue of Nature, claims to present "the clearest indication to date that global warming is already influencing species' distributions." (See Parmesan article in Prof. Pubs./Of Gen. Interest, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--Oct.-Nov. 1996; Science News, p. 135, Aug. 31; New Scientist, p. 9, Aug. 31; The New York Times, p. C4, Sep. 3.) In the Times article, the author of the study also states "I cannot say that climate warming has caused the shift; what I can say is that it is exactly what is predicted from global warming scenarios...." The Sep. 16 issue of World Climate Report, a biweekly research review that takes a skeptical attitude toward climate change, highlighted this qualification. It also points out that the study did not attempt to determine the temperature history in the study region (western North America), and presents temperature data showing no trend there over the past few decades.

Item #d96oct138

IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Program): The latest two issues OF its Global Change Newsletter have special themes of wider interest.

No. 27 (Sep. 1996) is a special 32-page issue on "Data and Information"—the development of quality data sets for use in IGBP projects and the scientific community at large.

No. 26 (June 1996) reports on the first IGBP Congress in its 10-year history, held in April 1996 in Bad M√ľnstereifel, Germany. It marked the entry of the IGBP into a new phase in which program integration and synthesis of results are becoming a reality. One article discusses ways of communicating the results of IGBP research to the world at large in the year 2000, using the mass media.

Item #d96oct139

Trees siphon CO2: Researchers from Duke University (Durham, N.C.) are finding that trees may move CO2 from the atmosphere to soil where it can be dissolved and stored for centuries in ground water. Preliminary results presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (Aug. 14, Providence, R.I.) imply that the rate of growth of CO2 might be slower than indicated by the growth of emissions. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 758, Aug. 21, 1996).

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