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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 #d97jun34

"Permafrost Zonation and Climate Change in the Northern Hemisphere: Results from Transient General Circulation Models," O.A. Anisimov (State Hydrol. Inst., 23 Second Line, 199053 St. Petersburg, Russia), F.E. Nelson, Clim. Change, 35(2), 241-258, Feb. 1997.

The global patterns and local details of permafrost distribution are highly responsive to climate fluctuations. A dimensionless term, the frost index, was used in conjunction with three transient-CO2 simulations to compile maps of permafrost zonation for the mid-21st century. All three scenarios showed reductions in the area occupied by each permafrost zone. Reductions in the areal extent of permafrost predicted from two of the three simulations are much less than those indicated by equilibrium doubled-CO2 simulations.

Item #d97jun35

"Catastrophic Implications of Global Climatic Change in the Cold Regions of Eurasia," J. Demek (Dept. Geog., Palacky Univ., Svobody 26, Olomouc 771 46, Czech Republic), GeoJournal, 38(3), 241-250, Mar. 1996.

If models are correct that annual air temperatures in this region could increase by 3-6° ;C in the next century, these large changes would produce serious and far reaching environmental problems in areas underlain by permafrost. These could include maintenance and repair for roads, airports, buildings, pipelines and reservoirs. Melting permafrost could also contribute to global warming through release of billions of tons of stored carbon and methane.

Item #d97jun36

"Apex Marine Predator Declines Ninety Percent in Association with Changing Oceanic Climate," R.R. Veit (Dept. Zool., Box 351800, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195), J.A. McGowan et al., Global Change Biology, 3(1), 23-28, Feb. 1997.

Three time series of pelagic bird abundance collected in disparate portions of the California Current reveal a 90% decline in the abundance of Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) between 1987 and 1994. This decline has occurred while sea surface temperatures have increased and is not a local phenomenon or the result of a short-term distributional shift. If the observed warming of these waters is an irreversible manifestation of a changing global climate, the impact upon this bird population seems likely to be profound.

Item #d97jun37

"Climate Change and Recreation in Nahanni National Park Reserve," T. Staple (Faculty of Environ. Studies, Univ. Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1, Can.), G. Wall, The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien, 40(2), 109-120, 1996.

Assessed the possible implications of climate warming on water-based recreation in this Canadian national park, where doubled CO2 is expected to increase annual mean temperature and precipitation. Although little change is expected in river recreation, the experience of it may be altered through landscape changes associated with increased forest fire and shifting ecological life zones. Warmer temperatures would extend the visitor season by four weeks in the fall and could have positive economic impacts. Park managers should consider potential climate change now in their long term strategies.

Item #d97jun38

"Climate Change and Deep Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste," P.N. Swift (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Compliance Dept., MS-1341, Sandia Natl. Lab., Albuquerque NM 87185), Clim. Change, 33(3), 337-341, July 1996.

This editorial essay states that instead of seeking an absolute answer, scientists should pose questions in terms of uncertainty when estimating the performance of the disposal system. However, no amount of research can eliminate uncertainty in 10,000-year predictions. Preliminary work at one site suggests that uncertainties related to climate change are of secondary importance compared to others, and common sense suggests that this type of disposal must be one of the future human activities least sensitive to uncertainties about climate change.

Item #d97jun39

"Climate Change and Fish Production in the Northeast Pacific: The Missing Links," M. Baumann (Dept. Oceanog., Univ. British Columbia, 6270 Univ. Blvd., Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Can.), P.H. LeBlond, World Resource Review, 8(2), 139-157, June 1996.

A simple model of fish prey-production shows that the increased fish production observed since the early 1970s may come from structural changes in energy transfer and a regime shift from long to short food chains, driven by climate forcing. Detailed ecosystem analysis under different climate scenarios can provide information for long-term negotiated fisheries management, but will not be useful for annual predictions of fish stock response to climatic variability.

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