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Item #d97nov1

"How To Make Kyoto a Success." Correspondence by D.G. Victor and G.J. MacDonald ((IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria; e-mail:, and by M. Jefferson (World Energy Council, 34 St. James's St., London SW1A 1HD, UK; e-mail:,Nature, 389(6653), 777, Oct. 23, 1997.

Victor and MacDonald call for strict limits on industrial gases such as SF6, perfluorocarbons, CF4, and C2F6, and for countries to implement the laws, regulations and policies they must adopt to put international commitments into place. Concerning emissions reductions, Jefferson warns that although there is a huge potential for change over the next century, we must be realistic about what can be achieved by 2005 or 2010.

Item #d97nov2

"Student's Understanding of Climate Change: Insights for Scientists and Educators," M.V.R. Gowda (Sci. & Public Policy Prog., Univ. Oklahoma, 100 E. Boyd, Rm. S202, Norman OK 73019), J.C. Fox, R.D. Magelky,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78(10), 2232-2240, Oct. 1997.

A survey of high school students' knowledge and attitudes about climate change shows misconceptions including inflated estimates of temperature change, confusion between ozone depletion and global warming, unwarranted perception of warmer weather, and a belief that all environmentally harmful acts cause climate change. Analysis shows these misconceptions arise from low levels of information, reliance on the televised news media, use of judgmental heuristics, confusion between weather and climate, and "fuzzy environmentalism," wherein students perceive disparate environmental harms as significantly interrelated. But the study also reveals that students have a high level of trust in scientists and teachers, suggesting that those individuals can help correct misconceptions and ensure that people adopt effective environmentally protective measures.

Item #d97nov3

"Global Warming," M. Hulme (Clim. Res. Unit, Sch. Environ. Sci., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.),Progress in Phys. Geog., 21(3), 446-453, Sep. 1997.

An essay on some recent themes in climate change research. The growing number of social scientists that are grappling with the social, psychological and economic processes through which climate change may alter human behavior is welcome, if only because it steers thinking away from ideas of climatic determinism that some impact studies are in danger of embracing. Newer, improved climate model simulations and paleoclimatic data sets are needed before the detection of anthropogenic climate change will be more robust.

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