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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 #d97mar76

Ocean brake on warming: Based on historical observations of sea surface temperatures, a team of researchers have proposed that global warming by greenhouse gases is being partly offset by fluctuations of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific involving upwelling of cool water. (See Cane et al., PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Mar. 1997.) The theory provides an alternative explanation why climate models (which do not account for the mechanism) predict a larger global warming response to greenhouse gases over the past century than has been observed. Anthropogenic aerosols have been proposed recently to explain the discrepancy, but their radiative effects remain uncertain and under debate. The research is discussed in New Scientist, p. 16, Feb. 22, 1997.

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