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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d97dec46

"Correlation Between Rate of Sea-Level Change and Frequency of Explosive Volcanism in the Mediterranean," W.J. McGuire (Ctr. Hazard Res., Univ. College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK; e-mail:, R.J. Howarth et al., Nature, 389(6650), 473-476, Oct. 2, 1997.

Presents a statistical analysis relating the frequency of explosive activity of Mediterranean volcanoes to the rate of late Quaternary sea-level change. The correlation supports a mechanism by which the climate-driven growth and decay of large ice sheets can influence the eruptions of distant volcanoes via changes in sea level. (The possible connection with sea-level change from a warming climate is discussed in New Scientist, pp. 32-34, Oct. 11, 1997.)

Item #d97dec47

"Projections of Global Mean Sea Level Rise Calculated with a 2D Energy-Balance Climate Model and Dynamic Ice Sheet Models," J.R. de Wolde (Inst. Marine & Atmos. Res., Utrecht Univ., POB 80 005, 3508 TA Utrecht, Neth.; e-mail:, P. Huybrechts et al., Tellus, 49A(4), 486-502, Aug. 1997.

Projects changes in surface air temperature and global mean sea level for the IPCC radiative forcing scenarios, and compares results to similar calculations in the IPCC second assessment based on a different model. Temperature projections are similar, but projections of sea level rise are 30-50% smaller than for IPCC, apparently because of differences in the models used.

Item #d97dec48

"Spatial Variations in the Rate of Sea Level Rise Caused by the Present-Day Melting of Glaciers and Ice Sheets," C.P. Conrad (Dept. Earth Sci., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139; e-mail:, B.H. Hager, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24(12), 1503-1506, June 15, 1997.

The redistribution of surface water mass associated with the melting of glacial ice causes uplift near areas of mass depletion, depression of seafloors, and changes in the Earth's gravitational field that perturb the ocean surface. As a result, many tide gauge and satellite measurements are in error by up to 20%. Discusses implications under plausible scenarios of future climate change.

Item #d97dec49

"Ocean Chemistry of the Fossil Fuel CO2 Signal: the Haline Signal of 'Business as Usual,'" P.G. Brewer (Monterey Bay Aquarium Res. Inst., POB 628, Moss Landing CA 95039; e-mail:, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24(11), 1367-1369, June 1, 1997.

Calculates that the chemical change in sea water through the next century caused by increasing CO2 will lead to a sea level rise of about 1.6 mm.

Item #d97dec50

"North and Northeast Greenland Ice Discharge from Satellite Radar Interferometry," E.J. Rignot (Jet Propulsion Lab., 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena CA 91109; e-mail:, S.P. Gogineni et al., Science, 276(5314), 934-936, May 9, 1997.

Results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise.

Item #d97dec51

"Rapid Sea Level Rise Soon from West Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse?" C.R. Bentley (Geophys. & Polar Res. Ctr., Univ. Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706; e-mail: bentley@, Science, 275(5303), 1077-1078, Feb. 21, 1997.

A glaciologist comments on theoretical and observational evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could collapse, with a subsequent rapid rise in sea level. Cites evidence of stability in the recent past, to conclude that it is difficult to see how climate warming (whether anthropogenic or natural) could trigger a collapse in the next century or two. It is questionable whether ice shelf thinning would have any drastic effect on the inland ice.

Item #d97dec52

"Global Mean Sea Level Change: Correction," Science, 275(5303), 1053, Feb. 21, 1997.

A necessary correction to TOPEX/POSEIDEN satellite data (originally reported in a May 1995 paper) brings that data in agreement with historical tide gauge measurements.

Item #d97dec53

"A Possible Change in the Mass Balance of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets in the Coming Century," A. Ohmura (Swiss Fed. Inst. Technol. (ETH), Winterhurerstr. 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switz.; e-mail:, M. Wild, L. Bengtsson, J. Clim., 9(9), 2124-2135, Sep. 1996.

The high-resolution ECHAM3 GCM simulates precipitation and surface energy balance of high latitudes with high accuracy, opening new possibilities for investigating the future mass balance in those regions. A simulation for doubled CO2 shows that ice mass loss in Greenland nearly balances mass accumulation in Antarctica, so that the sea level change of the next century may be determined more by thermal expansion of seawater and the mass balance of other small glaciers.

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