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 Collection: Environmental Policy Collection
Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast Study, Phase I
This document, part of the Synthesis and Assessment Products described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan. Climate affects the design, construction, safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and systems. The prospect of a changing climate raises critical questions regarding how alterations in temperature, precipitation, storm events, and other aspects of the climate could affect the nation's roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports, and waterways. Phase I of this regional assessment of climate change and its potential impacts on transportation systems addresses these questions for the region of the U.S. central Gulf Coast between Galveston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. This region contains multimodal transportation infrastructure that is critical to regional and national transportation services. The significance of various climate factors for transportation systems was assessed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12034/
Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change
From the perspective of terrestrial ecosystems, the most important component of global change over the next three or four decades will likely be land-use/cover change. It is driven largely by the need to feed the expanding human population, expected to increase by almost one billion (109) people per decade for the next three decades at least. Much of this increase will occur in developing countries in the low-latitude regions of the world. To meet the associated food demand, crop yields will need to increase, consistently, by over 2% every year through this period. Despite advances in technology, increasing food production must lead to intensification of agriculture in areas which are already cropped, and conversion of forests and grasslands into cropping systems. Much of the latter will occur in semi-arid regions and on lands which are marginally suitable for cultivation, increasing the risk of soil erosion, accelerated water use, and further land degradation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12039/
Best Practice Approaches for Characterizing, Communicating, and Incorporating Scientific Uncertainty in Decision Making
This report discusses the current state of understanding about the characteristics and implications of uncertainty related to climate change and variability to an audience of policymakers, decision makers, and members of the media and general public with an interest in developing a fundamental understanding of the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12036/
Summary for Policymakers:Scientific-Technical Analyses of Impacts, Adaptations and Mitigation of Climate Change - IPCC Working Group II
This summary of assessment provides scientific, technical and economic information that can be used, inter alia, in evaluating whether the projected range of plausible impacts constitutes "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system," as referred to in Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and in evaluating adaptation and mitigation options that could be used in progressing towards the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12062/
Ozone
In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11991/
Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan
Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety of time scales, dominates the health of complex marine ecosystems, regardless of fishing or other environmental pressure. We are only now beginning to compile quantitative documentation of such variability, and consequently our knowledge concerning its causes remains at the level of hypotheses. Understanding of the role of variability in the functioning of marine ecosystems is essential if we are to effectively manage global marine living resources such as fisheries during this period of tremendously increased human impact, and concurrent dependence, on these resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11997/
Ozone
Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. Depending on where ozone resides, it can protect or harm life on Earth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11990/
Solid Waste Disposal Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances. HSWA - the Federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments - are the 1984 amendments to RCRA that focused on waste minimization and phasing out land disposal of hazardous waste as well as corrective action for releases. Some of the other mandates of this law include increased enforcement authority for EPA, more stringent hazardous waste management standards, and a comprehensive underground storage tank program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11995/
Ozone
The term "ozone depletion" means more than just the natural destruction of ozone, it means that ozone loss is exceeding ozone creation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11992/
Report of the First Session of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The first session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9 to 11 November 1988. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11887/
Highways of a Global Traveler: Tracking Tropospheric Ozone
On the stage of global change, ozone plays the role of both hero and villain. This brief document discusses about the tracking of Tropospheric Ozone, where ozone forms and where it travels have become key concerns for international health and economic policy-making. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11880/
Anthropogenic Ozone Depletion: Status and Human Health Implications, USGCRP Seminar, 13 November 1995.
In this USGRP Seminar, speakers answer the following questions: what is the status of the Earth's ozone layer? Is the Montreal Protocol working? How much time will be necessary for nature to restore the ozone layer? What are the human health effects of increased ultraviolet radiation associated with depletion of the ozone layer? Who is at risk? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11841/
Annual Report on the Environment in Japan 2004
The annual report includes an overview of the diffusion of environmentalism in Japan and the world during FY 2003. The report details the environmental issues and the environmental conservation measures by the Japanese government in FY 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11847/
Signals of Human-induced Climate Warning, USGCRP Seminar, 10 October 1995.
There is increasing evidence that the global climate is changing: global temperatures have risen about 1 F over the past century, mountain glaciers are melting back, sea level is rising. But how is the climate of the United States changing? Are these changes like others being experienced around the world? Is the US climate becoming more or less variable? Are we having more or fewer climatic extremes? This USGCRP seminar addresses these questions in the context of the anthropogenic influences on atmospheric composition and climate digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11840/
Annual Report on the Environment in Japan 2005
The annual report describes the environment of Japan in FY 2004. It includes an overview on efforts to build a Low Carbon Society, as well as the environmental issues and environmental conservation measures led by the Japanese government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11848/
Arctic Flora and Fauna: Status and Conservation
What is the overall state of the Arctic environment? The aim of this report is to answer the many aspects of this seemingly straightforward question. Although several national and international efforts have looked at parts of the Arctic, this is the first attempt to assess the state of Arctic flora and fauna as a whole. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11844/
Annual Report on the Environment in Japan 2006
The document reports on the state of the environment of Japan in FY 2005. It consists of an overview on population decline and the environment of Japan. It also describes the origins of Japan's environmental problems, citing the example of Minamata disease. In the second part of the report, it summarizes the environmental issues and government environmental conservation measures in Japan, FY 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11849/
Annual Report on the Environment and the Sound Material-Cycle Society in Japan 2007
The annual report summarized the FY2006 status of the environment and the establishment of a sound material-cycle Society in Japan. It provides an overview of Global Warming and the technologies for mitigating Global Warming. The report also describes the government's role in environmental conservation, and the formation of a sound material-cycle society. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11843/
Annual Report on the Environment and the Sound Material-Cycle Society in Japan 2008
This document reports the global and Japanese trends in creating a low carbon, material-cycle society. It also describes the policy measures taken by Japan towards establishing such a society. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11845/
Hurricanes! USGCRP Seminar, 11 December 1995.
In this USGRP Seminar, speakers try to answers questions like:What is the current status of hurricane track prediction? What caused the record number of Atlantic tropical storms in 1995? Are we witnessing a change in the number and frequency of tropical storms? Do these storms represent a changing climate? What will tropical storms be like in a greenhouse warmer world? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11842/
Report of the Second Session of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The Panel at its second session stressed the complexity of the climate change and related issues, such that a fine balance would have to be struck between available scientific evidence for climate change and the uncertainties in that knowledge base. The structure of the report was examined and approved. Panel also The panel also discussed on the first session if the IPCC Bureau and adopted various draft reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11888/
Policy Issues In Implementing Effective Application Of Weather Services To The Management Of The Nation's Highway System: Position Papers
This document contains positions papers of a policy forum for weather and highways developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with additional support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this document (Panel 3), panelists discuss policy issues affecting the use of weather information in managing the U.S. Highway System. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11884/
Report of the Third Session of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The Third session of the IPCC highlighted the magnitude of the global environmental problem and emphasized the need of improving our knowledge base and preparation for cooperative preventive actions. The Panel also emphasized the need for the marriage of science and politics in the good sense of the word. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11889/
IHDP Global Carbon Cycle Research: International Carbon Research Framework
The degree to which carbon flows balance each other - human activities leading to carbon emissions into the atmosphere, vegetation and oceans soaking it up - is the subject of vigorous debate. It is not yet possible to define quantitatively the global effects of human activities such as forestry and agriculture, and may never be so. However, studies to determine these effects have emerged as critical for understanding how the earth's climate will evolve in the future. Global concern about the potential implications of the behaviour of the carbon cycle under anthropogenic stress includes concepts of system instability and large scale change. To contribute to understanding this behaviour, and our potential responses to it, requires a thorough investigation of both biophysical and social systems. Until recently, most scientific assessments of such risks focused on the anatomy of conceivable environmental changes themselves, devoting little attention to either the human driving forces or the ecosystems and societies that might be endangered by the changes. Recently, however, questions about the linkage and interaction of social, ecological, and biogeochemical systems are emerging as a central focus of policy-driven assessments of global environmental risks. The approach used here is to accept humans as an integral part of the carbon cycle, not as an agent perturbing an otherwise natural system - indeed, this approach assumes there is no independence of the different components of the carbon cycle. The human dimensions research community sees this critical and necessary re-conceptualisation as the foundation of a new approach to studying the interaction between human and environmental systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11886/
Public (Federal, State, Local) And Industrial Development Of Strategies And Plans To Effectively Respond To Weather Information: Position Papers
This document contains positions papers of a policy forum for weather and highways developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with additional support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this document (Panel 2), panelists discuss strategies to respond to weather and climate information. There are many opportunities to improve the highway system through an inclusive approach, taking into account the strengths of the research community, the private sector and the state and federal practitioners. As a first step, the weather community must better understand the mission and expectations of the highway manager and the highway manager must be able to understand the limitations and near term improvements of the weather community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11883/
Carbon Sequestration - Field Hearing
This brief document contains remarks by Dr. James Mahoney to the U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11854/
Climate Regime Beyond 2012: Key Perspectives (Long-Term Targets), 2nd Interim Report
This report presents the international developments related to Long-Term Targets for controlling climate change, the significance of establishing Long-Term Targets, the conditions precedent to debating Long-Term Targets, temperature increases and related impacts due to climate change, the approaches to establishing Long-Term Targets, and the agenda for the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11859/
Assessment and Review of the Climate Change Policy Programme, Interim Report
This interim report provides an assessment and review of the Japanese Climate Change Policy Programme. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11856/
Global Environmental Change and Food Systems: Science Plan and Implementation Strategy
Recent years have seen a greatly increased understanding of how global environmental change will affect crop and animal productivity and these results pave the way for broader analyses of global environmental change impacts on food production. However, there is a need to think beyond productivity and production - food security is the ultimate concern, as it is of greater relevance to societal well-being and hence policy-making. To address this broader concept of food security, research and policy formulation needs to be set within the context of food systems, rather than just food supply. This will allow a more thorough understanding of the links between food security and the environment, and make clearer where technical and policy interventions in food systems might be help them adapt to global environmental change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11868/
Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types
This report on Definitions and Methodological Options to Inventory Emissions from Direct Human-Induced Degradation of Forests and Devegetation of Other Vegetation Types is the response from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1 to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)2 . The report was prepared in cooperation with the preparation of the other report under the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme (IPCC-NGGIP), on Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF). The report discusses: Alternative definitions and provides possible framework definitions for countries to consider; Methodological options to inventory emissions from degradation and devegetation activities; Approaches to reporting and documentation; and Implications of methodological and definitional options for accounting under the provisions of Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol (including issues of scale, costs and accuracy). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11864/
Challenges and Successes in Technology Roadmap Implementation: Lessons Learned from Public and Private Sector Roadmaps
This document is a PDF version of MS Powerpoint presentation by Jack Eisenhauer and Ross Brindle from Energetics Incorporated (www.energetics.com) to Energy Technology Roadmaps Workshop, organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA). This event was held in Paris, France on May 15-16, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11869/
Federal Register Volume 62, No. 78, Pages 19884 to 19887, April 23, 1997
The United States Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. This specific Executive Order (E.O.) 13045 - Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks - was issued by President William J. Clinton in 1997. The order applies to economically significant rules under E.O. 12866 that concern an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children. Environmental health risks or safety risks refer to risks to health or to safety that are attributable to products or substances that the child is likely to come in contact with or ingest (such as the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink or use for recreation, the soil we live on, and the products we use or are exposed to). When promulgating a rule of this description, EPA must evaluate the effects of the planned regulation on children and explain why the regulation is preferable to potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11866/
Declaration of the Earth Observation Summit
This single page document is a declaration of the participants of the Earth Observation Summit held in Washington DC, adopted on July 31, 2003. An affirmation for the need for timely, quality, long-term, global information as a basis for sound decision making. Also establishes an ad hoc Group on Earth Observations aimed at developing a global observing strategy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11863/
Effective Sea System and Case Studies
This report describes SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment), and case studies demonstrating the merits of SEA in Europe and North America. The report is aimed at helping readers understanding and implementing SEA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11865/
Policy Statements on Data Management for Global Change Research
This document is the final version of the "Data Management for Global Change Research Policy Statements." The overall purpose of these policy statements is to facilitate full open access to quality data for global change research. They were prepared in consonance with the goal of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and represent the U.S. Government's position on the access to global change research data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11862/
Science Plan and Implementation Strategy
The IGAC Science Plan and Implementation Strategy lays out the scientific objectives and key research issues of the atmospheric chemistry project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) as both IGAC and IGBP enter their second phase. It also lays out a framework for addressing these objectives and issues, recognizing the need for collaboration with partner programmes and projects. The scientific focus of this document emerged from the first decade of IGAC research, much of which was conducted in the context of focused, intensive measurement campaigns. The scope of IGAC in its next phase includes both regional characterisation and the extension into issues that cross more expansive boundaries in space, time and discipline. While local and regional-scale atmospheric chemical composition will be a primary focus, it is now clear that issues such as intercontinental transport and transformation of chemically active species and the interactions between atmospheric chemistry and climate must also be addressed in order to better understand atmospheric chemical composition and to provide guidance to the public and policy-making community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11885/
Present And Near-Term Potential In Applying Weather Information To Improve The Highway System: Position Papers
This document contains positions papers of a policy forum for weather and highways developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with additional support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this document (Panel 1), panelists describe proposals to improve the U.S. Highway System with weather information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11882/
Grassland Law of the People's Republic of China
This Law is established in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China with a view to improving the protection, management and development of grasslands and ensuring their rational use; protecting and improving the ecology; modernizing animal husbandry; enhancing the prosperity of local economies of the national autonomous areas; and meeting the needs of socialism and people's livelihoods. The law was adopted at the 11th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress and promulgated by Order No. 26 of the President of the People's Republic of China on June 18, 1985, and effective as of October 1, 1985 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11881/
Earth System Governance: People, Places, and the Planet
This science plan elaborates upon the concept of Earth system governance, defined as the interrelated systems of formal and informal rules and actor-networks that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating, and adapting to environmental change within the normative context of sustainable development. The notion of governance here refers to a less hierarchical and more decentralized system than traditional governmental policy-making, inclusive of non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations, indigenous communities, and international organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11867/
Clouds in the Balance
This feature article provides a summary of study about the role of clouds in the balance. Until recently, scientists were uncertain whether clouds had an overall net cooling or heating effect on the Earth's climate. But recent studies show that, in the tropics, a "near cancellation" between shortwave cooling and longwave warming exists, which indicates that the amount of incoming radiant energy is roughly equal to the amount of outgoing radiation. However, small changes in tropical cloudiness can disrupt this precarious balance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11860/
The Clean Air Act
The United States Clean Air Act is legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to control air pollutiants on a national level. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11957/
Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [As Amended Through P.L. 105-394, November 13, 1998]: An Act for the development and control of atomic energy
The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to promote the "utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes to the maximum extent consistent with the common defense and security and with the health and safety of the public." Since the abolition of the AEC, much of the AEA has been carried out by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. When EPA was formed, however, the AEC's authority to issue generally applicable environmental radiation standards was transferred to EPA. Other federal and state organizations must follow these standards when developing requirements for their areas of radiation protection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11950/
Arctic Flora and Fauna: Recommendations for Conservation
This booklet contains a series of recommendations from the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group. It is intended to serve as a set of strategic guidelines for all parties interested in Arctic conservation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11851/
Revised Research Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
This Revised Research Plan is an update to the 2003 Strategic Plan of the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), a document that was developed via a thorough, open and transparent multi-year process involving a wide range of scientists and managers. The Strategic Plan has long-term value to CCSP, but like any strategic plan, it must be supplemented by shorter-term revisions that take into account both advances in the science and changes in societal needs, and CCSP has an ongoing long-range strategic planning process to ensure that these needs are met. The Revised Research Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Research Plan) draws on CCSP's long-range planning process and provides this update, in compliance with the terms of the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990. In the Research Plan, the reader will find several things: 1) an updated statement of vision, goals and capabilities consistent with CCSP's current Strategic Plan but reflecting both scientific progress and the evolution of the Program based on accomplishments and evolving societal and environmental needs; 2) a description of the relationship of the Research Plan to the current Scientific Assessment; 3) highlights of ways in which the program is evolving in the context of the progress made over the years 2003-2007 since the Strategic Plan was put in place, and a description of the priorities that have emerged as a result; 4) a description of research plans for the coming years, in order to build upon the work envisioned in the Strategic Plan and begun over the past four years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11855/
Climate Change: State of Knowledge
This brief report describes that the Earth's climate is predicted to change because human activities are altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The buildup of greenhouse gases-primarily carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons-is changing the radiation balance of the planet. The basic heat-trapping property of these greenhouse gases is essentially undisputed. However, there is considerable scientific uncertainty about exactly how and when the Earth's climate will respond to enhanced greenhouse gases. The direct effects of climate change will include changes in temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and sea level. Such changes could have adverse effects on ecological systems, human health, and socio-economic sectors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11852/
The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa
This report describes the strategy for the Miombo Network Initiative, developed at an International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) intercore-project workshop in Malawi in December 1995 and further refined during the Land Use and Cover Change (LUCC) Open Science Meeting in January, 1996 and through consultation and review by the LUCC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). The Miombo Network comprises of an international network of researchers working in concert on a 'community' research agenda developed to address the critical global change research questions for the miombo woodland ecosystems. The network also addresses capacity building and training needs in the Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (SAF) region, of the Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training (START). The research strategy described here provides the basis for a proposed IGBP Terrestrial Transect study of land cover and land use changes in the miombo ecosystems of Central Africa. It therefore resides administratively within the LUCC programme with linkages to other Programme Elements of the IGBP such as Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE). The report provides the framework for research activities aimed at understanding how land use is affecting land cover and associated ecosystem processes; assessing what contribution these changes are making to global change; and predicting what effects global change in turn could have on land use dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. The key issues identified are: patterns, causes and rates of change in land cover in relation to land use; consequences of land-use and land-cover changes on regional climate, natural resources, hydrology, carbon storage and trace gas emissions; determinants of the distribution of species and ecosystems in miombo; and fundamental questions of miombo ecosystem structure and function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11998/
New Source of Natural Fertilizer Discovered in Oceans
New findings suggest that the deep ocean is teeming with organisms that produce essential natural fertilizers. A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team led by Jonathan Zehr, a marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has discovered a previously unknown type of photosynthetic bacteria that fixes nitrogen, converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form other organisms can use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11994/
The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa
The Kalahari Transect is proposed as one of IGBPs Transects (see Koch et al. 1995 [IGBP Report 36]). It is located so as to span the gradient between the arid subtropics and the moist tropics in southern Africa, a zone potentially susceptible to changes in the global precipitation pattern. Its focus is the relationships between the structure and function of ecosystems and their large-scale biophysical and human drivers (climate, atmosphere and land use). The Kalahari Transect spans a strong climatic gradient in southern Africa, from the arid south to the humid north, while remaining on a single broad soil type, the deep sands of the Kalahari basin. The vegetation ranges over the length of the transect from shrubland through savannas and woodlands to closed evergreen tropical forest, with land uses ranging from migratory wildlife systems, through pastoralism, subsistence cropping to forestry. The objectives of the Kalahari Transect activity are to: build an active network of regional and international researchers around the issue of ecosystem structure and function in savanna woodlands undergoing climatic and land use change; quantify the current and future role of southern African savanna woodlands in the global carbon, water and trace gas budgets and the degree of dependence of these budgets on climate and land use change; develop a predictive understanding of future changes in southern African savannas and woodlands on sandy soils, including their capacity to deliver forage, timber and other products. A five year project is proposed, commencing in 1997. The project revolves around four themes: vegetation structure, composition and dynamics; biogeochemistry, trace gas emissions and productivity; resource use and management and water and energy balance. These themes define the minimum set of processes necessary for understanding of the Kalahari system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11999/
The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988 to assess the scientific and technical literature on climate change, the potential impacts of changes in climate, and options for adaption to and mitigation of climate change. Since its inception, the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies and other products which have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists and other experts. This Special Report, which has been produced by Working Group II of the IPCC, builds on the Working Group's contribution to the Second Assessment Report (SAR), and incorporates more recent information made available since mid-1995. It has been prepared in response to a request from the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It addresses an important question posed by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, namely, the degree to which human conditions and the natural environment are vulnerable to the potential effects of climate change. The report establishes a common base of information regarding the potential costs and benefits of climatic change, including the evaluation of uncertainties, to help the COP determine what adaptation and mitigation measures might be justified. The report consists of vulnerability assessments for 10 regions that comprise the Earth's entire land surface and adjoining coastal seas: Africa, Arid Western Asia (including the Middle East), Australasia, Europe, Latin America, North America, the Polar Regions (The Arctic and the Antarctic), Small Island States, Temperate Asia and Tropical Asia. It also includes several annexes that provide information about climate observations, climate projections, vegetation distribution projections and socioeconomic trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11996/
Ozone
The amount and distribution of ozone molecules in the stratosphere varies greatly over the globe. Ozone molecules are transported around the stratosphere much as water clouds are transported in the troposphere. Therefore, scientists observing ozone fluctuations over just one spot could not know whether a change in local ozone levels meant an alteration in global ozone levels, or simply a fluctuation in the concentration over that particular spot. Satellites have given scientists the ability to overcome this problem because they provide a picture of what is happening daily over the entire Earth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11993/