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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d98mar1

"Biological and Physical Signs of Climate Change: Focus on Mosquito-borne Diseases," P.R. Epstein (Ct. for Health & Global Environ., Harvard Med. Sch., 260 Longwood Ave., Boston MA 02115; e-mail:, H.F. Diaz et al.,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79(3), 409-417, Mar. 1998.

The authors, mostly earth or life scientists, review biological (plant and insect) data, glacial findings, and temperature records taken from mountainous regions. At high elevations, the overall trends regarding glaciers, plants, insect ranges, and shifting isotherms show remarkable internal consistency, and there is consistency between model projections and the observed changes. Chemical and physical changes in the atmosphere—compounded by large-scale land use and land-cover changes—have begun to affect biological systems. Discusses implications for public health as well as for developing an interdisciplinary approach to the detection of climate change.

Item #d98mar2

"Preserving the Atmosphere as a Global Commons," M.S. Soroos (Dept. Political Sci., N. Carolina State Univ., Box 8102, Raleigh NC 27695; e-mail:,Environment, 40(2), 6-13, 32-35, Mar. 1998.

The four international agreements dealing with the atmosphere as a common resource—on nuclear tests, ozone depletion, transboundary air pollution and climate—have contributed little to developing a general law of the atmosphere. This article proposes that the U.N. develop and adopt a nonbinding "Declaration of Principles on the Preservation of the Atmosphere," which would have several immediate functions and could be the foundation for a future major international treaty on the atmosphere.

Item #d98mar3

"Global Change in Local Places," R.W. Kates (Torrie-Smith Assoc., 255 Centrum Blvd., S. 302, Orléans ON K1E 3V8, Can.; e-mail:, R.D. Torrie,Environment, 40(2), 5, 39-41, Mar. 1998

Discusses new interest in a "bottom-up" approach to both science and policy, that would enhance the ability of individual localities to do their own scientific assessments and then to act on them. One example, sponsored by NASA through the Association of American Geographers, utilizes the untapped scientific competence and local knowledge of institutions of higher learning that focus primarily on teaching rather than research. Another is the Toronto-based International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

Item #d98mar4

"A Dim Future for Boreal Waters and Landscapes," D.W. Schindler (Dept. Biol. Sci., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB T6H 2E9, Can.; e-mail:,BioScience, 48(3), 157-164, Mar. 1998.

Reviews the cumulative effects of climatic warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid precipitation and other activities that are taking their toll on the ecosystems of the boreal zone, which contain one of the Earth's largest terrestrial carbon pools. Our descendants will know a much different boreal landscape than we have today.

Item #d98mar5

"Global Climate Change: The Kyoto Protocol," C.V. Mathai (Arizona Public Service Co., POB 53999, M/S 8931, Phoenix AZ 85072),EM, pp. 13-16, Feb. 1998. Published for environmental managers by the Air & Waste Management Assoc., One Gateway Ctr., Third Fl., Pittsburgh PA 15222 (tel: 412 232 3444; fax: 412 232 3450).

Summarizes the major provisions of the Protocol, prospects for ratification and entry into force, and the outlook for related activities in the U.S. in 1998.

Item #d98mar6

Two related items in Science, 279(5355), Feb. 27, 1998:

"Sea Floor Records Reveal Interglacial Climate Cycles," R.A. Kerr, 1304-1305. New ocean sediment records described in the next paper show that the Earth's climate varies on regular cycles lasting from 1200 to 6000 years, in glacial and interglacial periods alike. This comment explains why the finding offers a mixed message of reassurance and warning about the future of our own climate.

"Abrupt Climate Events 500,000 to 340,000 Years Ago: Evidence from Subpolar North Atlantic Sediments," D.W. Oppo (Dept. Geol. & Geophys., Woods Hole Oceanog. Inst., Woods Hole MA 02543), J.F. McManus, J.L. Cullen, 1335-1341.

Item #d98mar7

"Geothermal Evidence for Deforestation Induced Warming: Implications for the Climatic Impact of Land Development," T.J. Lewis (Pacific Geosci. Ctr., 9860 W. Saanich Rd., Sidney BC V8L 4B2, Can.; e-mail:, K. Wang,Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(4), 535-538, Feb. 15, 1998.

Analyses of temperatures from boreholes in previously forested areas in western Canada disclose sudden increases of one to two degrees in ground surface temperature at the times of deforestation at each site. A warming of the ground surface over a large area of Central Canada, synchronous with the deforestation of southern Ontario and neighboring regions in the nineteenth century, may be an example of climate change linked to the widespread creation of agricultural lands.

Item #d98mar8

"Reduced Sensitivity of Recent Tree-Growth to Temperature at High Northern Latitudes," K.R. Briffa (Clim. Res. Unit, Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; e-mail:, F.H. Schweingruber et al.,Nature, 391(6668), 678-682, Feb. 12, 1998.

During the second half of this century, decadal-scale trends in wood density and summer temperatures have increasingly diverged. The cause is unknown, but it must be incorporated into dendroclimatic reconstructions as well as estimates of future atmospheric CO2 concentrations based on carbon-cycle models.

Item #d98mar9

"A Road Map for U.S. Carbon Reductions," J. Romm (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, US DOE, Washington DC 20585), M. Levine et al.,Science, 279(5351), 669-670, Jan. 30, 1998.

Identifies technologies with potential for widespread application that could help satisfy the challenging Kyoto agreement. If used in combination with international carbon trading, Americans will not have to reduce their travel, turn down their thermostats, or decrease manufacturing output to meet the nation's carbon reduction goal.

Item #d98mar10

"Changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Since 1963 from Declassified Satellite Photography," R. Bindschadler (Code 971, NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), P. Vornberger,Science, 279(5351), 689-691, Jan. 30, 1998.

Presents observations showing that dramatic changes are occurring in one area of West Antarctica. The results do not resolve the question of the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but they show that large changes in ice velocity can occur with even small changes to either external forcings or internal dynamics.

Item #d98mar11

"Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Change: A Post-IPCC Assessment," A. Henderson-Sellers (Chancellory/R&D, Roy. Melbourne Inst. Technol., POB 71, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia; e-mail:, H. Zhang et al.,Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79(1), 19-38, Jan. 1998.

Gives a detailed update of projected trends in tropical cyclones, based on thermodynamic estimation of the "maximum potential intensities" (MPI). Recent studies indicate that the MPI of cyclones will remain the same or undergo a modest increase of up to 10-20%. This predicted change is small compared with observed natural variations, and known omitted factors could operate to mitigate this intensification. Contrary to popular belief, the broad geographic regions affected by tropical cyclones is not expected to change significantly.

Item #d98mar12

"The Pros and Cons of Carbon Dioxide Dumping," C. Hanisch (Nashville, Tenn.),Environ. Sci. & Technol., 32(1), 20A-24A, Jan. 1, 1998. The complete article is also available on this Web site:

Discusses current views on, and experiments with large-scale sequestration of CO2 in the ocean or underground, a controversial approach to climate change mitigation.

Item #d98mar13

"On the Difference in Impact of Two Almost Identical Climate Scenarios," R.S.J. Tol (Inst. Environ. Studies, Vrije Univ., De Boelelaan 1115, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Neth.; e-mail:,Energy Policy, 26(1), 13-20, Jan. 1998.

Focuses on the differences in impacts of climate change for alternative scenarios of climate stabilization, which have been largely ignored in previous studies. Shows that no stabilization path is unambiguously preferred, although over most of the assumption space explored, there appears to be a preference for earlier reduction of greenhouse gases.

Item #d98mar14

"A General Model for CO2 Regulation: The Case of Denmark," G.T. Svendsen (Dept. Econ., Aarhus Sch. Business, Fuglesangs Allé 20, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark; e-mail: GTS@HHA.DK), Energy Policy, 26(1), 33-44, Jan. 1998.

Uses the case of Denmark to show that a mixed design of permit market, bubbles and tax may be preferable for national CO2 regulation, for economic, political, and administrative reasons.

Item #d98mar15

"The Kyoto Negotiations on Climate Change: A Science Perspective," B. Bolin (Dept. Meteor., Univ. Stockholm, 106 91 Stockholm, Swed.; e-mail:,Science, 279(5349), 330-331, Jan. 16, 1998.

The past chairman of the IPCC analyzes the Kyoto agreements in terms of the IPCC's climate change assessments. Comments on targets and timetables, atmospheric CO2 levels, sources and sinks, and tradable emission permits. Concludes that the conference did not achieve much with regard to limiting the buildup of greenhouse gases; only with new cooperation among countries will it represent a step toward the ultimate objective of the climate convention.

Item #d98mar16

"Growth of Fluoroform (CHF3, HFC-23) in the Background Atmosphere," D.E. Oram (Sch. Environ. Sci., Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK; e-mail:, W.T. Sturges et al.,Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(1), 35-38, Jan. 1, 1998.

Presents the first assessment of this important, unregulated greenhouse gas, which is increasing in the atmosphere at a rate of 5% per year. It has a long atmospheric lifetime, and its cumulative emissions through 1995 have a global warming equivalent to 1.6 billion tons of CO2.

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