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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d98jul114

Abrupt climate changes were the focus of two recent meetings. At the spring 1998 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, a few scientists challenged established dogma by suggesting that the tropical Pacific, not just the North Atlantic, may have been involved in rapid fluctuations. (See conference commentary in Nature, pp. 422-423, July 30, 1998.) At a June conference in Snowbird, Utah, researchers discussed the likelihood that global warming could shut down the "conveyor belt" ocean current that warms northern Europe and adjacent Asia. (See "Warming's Unpleasant Surprise: Shivering in the Greenhouse?" Science, pp. 156-158, July 10.)

Item #d98jul115

U.S. program faulted: Supporters of the U.S. Global Change Research Program in the Clinton Administration and members of the scientific community are taking the program to task for neglecting pivotal scientific questions, poor coordination, and an emphasis on space hardware over research. In response to a National Research Council review of the program (see Reports/Of General Interest, April-May 1998), program officials have assembled five groups to review priorities and set criteria. A draft plan is to be submitted to the White House by September. (See news article in Science, pp. 1682-1684, June 12.)

Item #d98jul116

Amphibian decline: Worldwide amphibian declines, especially at high altitudes, remain a mystery. Some clues point to chemicals, but increased UV radiation and warmer temperatures are also candidates that cannot be ruled out. (See Chem. Eng. News, pp. 20-21, June 15, 1998, and pp. 40-41, May 25.) An unprecedented international summit on amphibian health was recently held in San Francisco to develop a multidisciplinary, international research program. (See New Scientist, p. 21, July 25.)

Item #d98jul117

"Temperature Rise Could Squeeze Salmon," N. Williams,Science, p. 1349, May 29, 1998. A review of a 40-year database on the influence of water temperature on salmon distribution suggests that the modest increases in sea surface temperatures expected from global warming could make the species disappear from much of the North Pacific Ocean. The study appears in the April 1998 issue of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.

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