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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d97oct50

Antarctic ice decline: An Australian researcher has used whaling records to determine a surprising and abrupt 25% decline in Antarctic ice area in the past few decades. (See papers in the Sep. 4 issue of Nature, PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Oct. 1997; and news articles in New Scientist, p. 4, Sep. 6, and Science News, p. 148, Sep. 6.)

Item #d97oct51

Brightening sun? A study which combined separate satellite records concludes that the sun is brightening enough to warm the Earth's atmosphere by 0.4° C over a century, but the results are controversial. (See papers in the Sep. 26 issue of Science, [PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Oct. 1997]; and Science News, p. 197, Sep. 27.)

Item #d97oct52

Alaska thaws: The permafrost in Alaska is melting due to an Arctic warming trend over the past three decades, which is most intense in Alaska and northwestern Canada. The topic was discussed at the regional climate impact workshops being held by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. (See New Scientist, p. 4, Oct. 11, 1997; Earth, p. 14, Oct. 1997.)

Item #d97oct53

Ice station SHEBA--an icebreaker ship deliberately frozen into the Arctic ice pack with 50 scientists aboard--is the center of the largest research project ever undertaken in the region. For about a year, the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic experiment will study natural climatic feedback processes that determine climate, particularly the role of the ice sheet and the open leads of water that develop in it. (See New Scientist, p. 16, Sep. 27,1997; The New York Times, Section C, Oct. 28.) In a related development, the U.S. Navy has declassified a treasure chest of data about the Arctic seafloor, collected by submarines between 1957 and 1982. (See Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, pp. 369-370, Sep. 2, or contact the U.S. Arctic Res. Comm., tel: 703 525 0111.)

Item #d97oct54

Cement kiln emissions of CO2 are three times higher than previously thought, according to a French researcher, because earlier studies ignored those from fossil fuels used in production. Cement production will soon account for 10 percent of global CO2 emissions. (See New Scientist, p. 14, July 19, 1997.)

Item #d97oct55

"Biosphere 2 in Transition," E.K. Wilson,Chem. Eng. News, pp. 30-34, Aug. 4, 1997. The giant greenhouse in the Arizona desert is becoming a new kind of research lab for global-change studies, as Columbia University works to foster high quality science in the once controversial facility.

Item #d97oct56

"Resurgent Forests Can Be Greenhouse Gas Sponges," A.S. Moffat,Science, pp. 315-316, July 18, 1997. Recent evidence suggest that forests store much more carbon than had been thought, because earlier studies had neglected the huge amounts of carbon stored in peat and other organic matter in soils. The new picture of forest dynamics could help explain the "missing sink" in the carbon cycle, and has implications for forest management and joint implementation projects in the tropics and at higher latitudes.

Item #d97oct57

"Is Ozone Doomed by Supersonic Plume?" E. Friebele,Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, pp. 296-297, July 22, 1997. Summarizes current research on the effects of supersonic aircraft exhaust on the stratospheric ozone layer. The U.S. Congress has just committed $2 billion through the year 2002 for NASA's High Speed Research Program to study the problem.

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