95global

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide, from combustion of fossil fuels, helps to hold heat in our atmosphere. Although the "greenhouse effect" is hotly debated in this country, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1989, which enlisted the aid of a distinguished group of scientists. After a thorough review of the evidence, these scientists concluded, almost unanimously, that the global warming phenomena was real and required immediate attention. Since that time, industrial nations have continued to drag their feet in response to curbing greenhouse emissions. Some evidence also indicates that global warming may be dynamically accelerating, and that it can increase ozone depletion.

LOCAL EFFORTS
The Atmosphere Alliance
Nonprofit organization sponsored by Earth Island Institute, dedicated to informing the public of the cause and effects of the Greenhouse and ozone depletion phenomena, as well as political and corporate backlash activities which prevent effective response. The Alliance has also succeeded in launching a "green jobs" program in Olympia modeled after one in Toronto, which will retrofit buildings to reduce energy and water waste.

NEWSLETTER: NO SWEAT NEWS. This newsletter provides a wealth of information from numerous sources concerning the multifaceted aspects of global environmental change. It also includes information on energy and sustainability issues, green economics, and corporate front groups, which espouse environmental principles, but work for the maximization of corporate profit. PO Box 10346, Olympia, WA 98502/360-352-1763

NATIONAL EFFORTS
Union of Concerned Scientists
Originally formed by scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this organization of scientists is concerned with energy use and global environmental issues. This organization has issued a "Warning to humanity", which has been signed by 1670 scientists, including 104 Nobel laureates, as of April 93. The text of this warning includes the following: "A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated" To do this, "We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the Earth's systems we depend on."... "No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity greatly diminished" NEWSLETTER: Nucleus
Two Brattle Square
Cambridge MA 02238

INFORMATION

"Unlikely Alliance" Ariel Sabar. Whole Earth review, Winter 1994. pp 17 f. Discuses the increasing cost of claim payments by insurance companies as a result of natural catastrophes since 1987. The insurance industry is concerned, because, among other things, the National Hurricane Center has predicted a sharp rise in the number and severity of hurricanes over the next decade. Our natural climate may benefit from this situation, since "To the extent that we can identify industries that are losers under a global warming future, you break the monolithic image of industry as pro fossil fuel." Some environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, have proposed working with the insurance industry. / article,1

Hot Enough For You? Rhys Roth, NO SWEAT NEWS, Summer, 94. A global average surface temperature increase of .9 deg F; over the last century, along with a predicted 1.8 deg F cooling in the stratosphere indicate a recent period of global warming. Computer simulations of 1000 years of natural climate fluctuations indicate that temperatures varied by as much as .9 deg F, but not for any period longer than 60 years. Physical confirmation of the current global temperature increase may be seen in the retreat of mountain glaciers, Deep sea temperature increases, an increase in tree turnover rate in tropical forests, migration of mountain plants to higher elevations, bleaching(dying) of coral reefs, and climate disasters. /news letter article,2

"Temperatures on the rise in deep Atlantic" Richard Monastersky. Science News; Vol. *, *,* pg 295. While retracing Columbus' route to the new world, scientists detected an increase in water temperatures in the subtropic Atlantic. Water temperatures at some depths have increased by as much as 0.32 deg C. since the 1950s. This finding is roughly in keeping with predictions about global warming. / article,1

"Rooting around for missing carbon" Richard Monastersky. Science News; Vol. *, *,* pg 180. Estimates indicate fossil fuel combustion and deforestation release roughly 6.5 billion tons of CO2 each year. Only 3 billion tons remains in the atmosphere, and the oceans absorb about 2 billion tons. Scientists have been wondering what happened to the remainder. Research by Myles J. Fisher and his colleagues at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali Columbia report that deep rooted grasses in South American pastures may absorb a substantial quantity of CO, and so help to explain the CO2 deficit. /article,1

"Consensus reached on climate change causes" Richard Monastersky. Science News; vol. 146, Sept 24, 1994. p 198. Although facing many uncertainties regarding climate change, the worlds climate scientists still agree on what causes it. Hundreds of top researchers from more than 80 countries agreed that greenhouse gas pollutants resulting from human activity represent the most important forces effecting climate. The report, issued by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) also indicated that the limits discussed at the Rio de Janeiro climate conference in 1992 will not stop the accumulation of greenhouse gases. To stabilize concentrations at even twice the 1994 levels, nations will need to decrease their emissions to well below 1990 levels. /article,1

U.S. emits greenhouse gases at record pace. Seattle Times, ***, 1994. The U.S. emitted more greenhouse gases in 1993 than ever before, despite a plan by the Clinton Administration to use a voluntary program to stabilize these emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. /news clip,1

Emissions goal may be out of reach; efforts reexamined on global warming. Gary Lee, Washington Post Staff Writer, 09/03/94. In 1992, 156 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The Bush administration, stating that many scientists doubt the global warming premise balked at the agreement. in 1993 however, President Clinton signed the treaty. Now, two years after the Rio earth summit, many leading industrial countries, including the U.S., admit they cannot meet that goal. The U.S. is having trouble achieving the reductions for several reasons. Among them, low oil prices have increased consumption, according to Howard Geller, a climate change expert for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. /news clip,1

Global warming Earth's biggest problem, Gore says. Seattle Times, April 22, 1994. Describes Vice President Al Gore's Earth Day 94 speech, which equates industry's denial of the validity of the greenhouse effect with the tobacco industry's denial of the effects of smoking of human health. Also describes the administration's modest attempts to stabilize greenhouse emissions./news clip,1

"Tropical Trouble: Two decades of Pacific warmth have fired up the globe" Richard Monastersky. Science News; Vol. 147 March 11, 1995 pp 154-155. El Nino is often cited as the cause of unusual climatic conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Recent studies however, indicate that there may be a connection between pacific warming and global temperature increase. This article notes that several scientists plugged actual pacific ocean temperatures into climate simulation models. The resulting simulated global temperature distributions matched actual temperature distributions closely. What is causing Pacific warming? The effect may be due to natural climate patterns, which are being accelerated by the presence of atmospheric greenhouse gases./article,1

Crumbling ice shelf a sign of what man hath wrought. Solveig Torvik. Seattle PI May 95. Reports on the breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf on the continent of the Antarctic. Many scientists believe global warming is now taking place naturally, as it has in the past, with one significant difference: the presence of manmade greenhouse gasses which could greatly accelerate the warming process./news clip,1

"Climate Change, Insects, and Plague" Paul Epstein and Ross Gelbspan. No Sweat News, Summer 95. (Reprinted with permission of the authors. The original article appeared in The Washington Post "Outlook" section March 19, 1995). Describes the role of warmer climate and greater daily temperature fluctuations in insect proliferation and spread of disease. /newsletter,2

Vanishing Zooplankton. J. Kaiser, Science News, Vol. 147, Mar 11, 1995. Fish and some species of birds have become less abundant off the coast of southern California recently. John McGowen of Scripps institution of Oceanography reports a 1.2 to 1.6 deg C change in the temperature of surface water since 1951, along with an 80% drop in the population of zooplankton. Researchers suggest that the temperature increase has resulted in reduced upwelling of nutrients phytoplankton need to survive. Zooplankton, which feed on phytoplankton, are therefore reduced in numbers. This may help to explain why California fishing production had dropped by 35% since the 1950s. The scientists say the warming off the coast of California could reflect a natural trend, but that it could also result from manmade contributions. If ocean temperatures continue to raise they report, the biological impacts could be devastating./article,1

"Deadly microbes: a major threat" Seattle Times, April 9, 95. A general article concerning the global increase in disease. The reasons cited for this increase include population growth, sexual behavior, loss of forests, jet travel, increased resistance of microbes to antibiotics, and global warming. /news clip,1

"The unscientific origins of our obsession with viruses" Malcom Gladwell. New Republic July 17 & 24, 1995, PP 38f. Criticizes current eco books, such as Hot Zone, by Richard Preston , and The Coming Plague, by Laurie Garrett, for playing on the readers fear of apocalypse. He notes the book Plagues and Peoples, by William McNeill, (1977), which discussed the well established correlation between exploration, development and disease. He also notes in these books the lack of confidence in science to solve infectious disease problems. Gladwell predicts not extinction, but a series of local "visitations" which will burn themselves out. Unfortunately Mr. Gladwell fails to consider the further complication brought about by global climate change./article,2

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Northwest on rise. Aug 18, 95 PI. Despite its reputation as environmentally conscious, the Northwest appears to be leading North America in boosting greenhouse gas emissions, reports john Ryan, of Northwest Environment Watch. Twice in the past 25 years the region has seen a reduction in these gases. This was when shortages in oil drove up energy prices in the early 70's. /news clip,1