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Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC): Implementation Strategy

Description: The Implementation Strategy of the Land-Use and Land-Cover Change (LUCC) project specifies in greater detail the activities and projects that will fulfil the mandate outlined in the LUCC Science/Research Plan published in 1995. The project, a joint initiative of IGBP and IHDP, is addressing important global change questions on the local, regional and global scale. The planned and ongoing activities involve a wide community of natural and social scientists. The new understanding of land-use and land-cover change dynamics following from the work carried out under the LUCC Implementation Strategy will be of crucial importance to the global environmental change research community as well as to decision-makers at the local, regional and global levels.
Date: 1999
Creator: Scientific Steering Committee and International Project Office of LUCC

El Niño and health

Description: El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate event that originates in the Pacific Ocean but has wide-ranging consequences for weather around the world, and is especially associated with droughts and floods. The irregular occurrence of El Niño and La Niña events has implications for public health. On a global scale, the human effect of natural disasters increases during El Niño. The effect of ENSO on cholera risk in Bangladesh, and malaria epidemics in parts of South Asia and South America has been well established. The strongest evidence for an association between ENSO and disease is provided by time-series analysis with data series that include more than one event. Evidence for ENSO's effect on other mosquito-borne and rodent-borne diseases is weaker than that for malaria and cholera. Health planners are used to dealing with spatial risk concepts but have little experience with temporal risk management. ENSO and seasonal climate forecasts might offer the opportunity to target scarce resources for epidemic control and disaster preparedness.
Date: 1999
Creator: Kovats, R Sari; Bouma, Menno J & Haines, Andy

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

Description: 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.
Date: November 13, 1998
Creator: United States. Congress.

Global Wetland Distribution and Functional Characterization: Trace Gases and the Hydrologic Cycle

Description: The IGBP Wetlands workshop (Santa Barbara, CA, USA,16-20 May 1996) was held for the purpose of identifying data and research needs for characterizing wetlands in terms of their role in biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles. Wetlands cover only about 1% of the Earth's surface, yet are responsible for a much greater proportion of biogeochemical fluxes between the land surface, the atmosphere and hydrologic systems. They play a particularly important function in processing methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulphur as well as in sequestering carbon. Considerable progress has been made in the past 10 years regarding wetlands and methane: a global digital dataset of wetlands (Matthews and Fung 1987) was produced and global observations of methane have been combined with global three-dimensional atmospheric modelling (Fung et al. 1991) to constrain modelled fluxes of methane from high-latitude wetlands. Furthermore, significant advances have been made in understanding the biogeochemical processes that control fluxes of methane and other trace gases. The progress has made clear that present wetland classification schemes do not accurately reflect their roles in these processes because they have been based on wetland attributes such as dominant plant types which do not reflect differences in the functions of wetlands regarding biogeochemical cycles. Further, traditional wetland classifications cannot be distinguished on the basis of global remotely sensed observations. Consequently, it has been impossible to accurately quantify the distribution of key fluxes on the basis of observed land cover. The workshop developed a wetland parameterization scheme based on observable quantities to better incorporate wetlands into global land surface characterization schemes so that the relation between land cover and biogeochemical fluxes can be more accurately determined. An improved understanding of this relation will make it possible to better use observed or historical changes in land cover to infer changes in biogeochemical fluxes, including the cycles ...
Date: 1998
Creator: Sahagian, Dork & Melack, John

Inter-American Convention on Sea Turtles : message from the President of the United States transmitting Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, with annexes, done at Caracas December 1, 1996, (The "Convention"), which was signed by the United States, subject to ratification on December 13, 1996

Description: This treaty provides the legal framework for member countries in the Americas and the Caribbean to take actions for the benefit of sea turtles
Date: 1998
Creator: United States. President (1993-2001 : Clinton) & Albright, Madeleine Korbel

Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Description: The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."
Date: 1998
Creator: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Organization)

Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop Final Report: Circles of Wisdom

Description: The Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop was held on October 28 through November 01, 1998, as part of a series of workshops being held around the U.S. to improve the understanding of the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the Nation. This workshop was specifically designed by Native Peoples to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather variability on Native Peoples and Native Homelands from an indigenous cultural and spiritual perspective and to develop recommendations as well as identify potential response actions. Native Peoples, with our spiritual traditions and long community histories of change, adaptation, and survival in specific regions, are providing a unique contribution to the assessment and understanding of climate change as well as to the development of sustainable economies in this country.
Date: 1998
Creator: Maynard, Nancy, G.

Past Global Changes (PAGES) Status Report and Implementation Plan

Description: This document summarizes progress made thus far by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) programme element of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). The document also outlines the implementation plans for most of the Foci, Activities and Tasks currently within the PAGES remit. The plan first introduces the scope and rationale of PAGES science and explains how PAGES is organized structurally and scientifically to achieve its goals. For all of the palaeosciences relevant to IGBP goals, PAGES has sought to identify and create the organizational structures needed to support continued work and progress. Models intended to predict future environmental changes must, in order to demonstrate their effectiveness, be capable of accurately reproducing conditions known to have occurred in the past. Through the organization of coordinated national and international scientific efforts, PAGES seeks to obtain and interpret a variety of palaeoclimatic records and to provide the data essential for the validation of predictive climate models. PAGES activities include integration and intercomparison of ice, ocean and terrestrial palaeorecords and encourages the creation of consistent analytical and data-base methodologies across the palaeosciences. PAGES has already played a crucial role in the archiving, management and dissemination of palaeodata. This is fully summarized in the recently published Global Palaeoenvironmental Data Workshop Report (95-2). The growing significance of this type of activity is evidenced by the steep increase in consultation and use of the data currently in the public domain and accessible electronically, and by the growing importance of such data for model validation and intercomparison.
Date: 1998
Creator: Oldfield, Frank

START Implementation Plan 1997-2002

Description: The primary goals of the SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training in global change science (START), which is co-sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP); the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP); and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) are to promote regional global change science and to enhance the capacity of individuals, institutions and developing regions to undertake such research. START capacity building initiatives include the recognition that human capacity building is much more than training and that, as with all development, sustainable development is best. Once-off training exercises are easy to organize, but are the least effective method of capacity enhancement and result in large cost/benefit ratios. In contrast, sustained development of human capacity through continual involvement with research maximizes efficiency and minimizes the cost/benefit ratio. START seeks to enhance regional global change research while at the same time enhancing the individual and institutional capacity to conduct such research. The details as to how START operates, and how it plans to encompass its vision and meet its objectives are given in the START Implementation Plan.
Date: 1998
Creator: Fuchs, Roland; Hassan, Virji & Fleming, Cory

The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability

Description: 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.
Date: November 1997
Creator: Watson, Robert T.; Zinyowera, Marufu C.; Moss, Richard H. & Dokken, David J.

Report of the Thirteenth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Description: The Panel approved various draft reports including the draft report of the 12th session. The Panel noted the draft decision paper (introduced by Dr. Watson) on the TAR, and after extensive discussions and amendments, the panel approved the decision line by line. The panel deferred the decision on the adoption procedure for the the report underlying the summary for policymakers of the synthesis report.
Date: September 1997
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Federal Register Volume 62, No. 78, Pages 19884 to 19887, April 23, 1997

Description: 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.
Date: April 23, 1997
Creator: [Clinton, William J.]

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Description: 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.
Date: 1997
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)

The Kalahari Transect: Research on Global Change and Sustainable Development in Southern Africa

Description: 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.
Date: 1997
Creator: Scholes, R.J. & Parsons, D.A.B.

The Miombo Network: Framework for a Terrestrial Transect Study of Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Miombo Ecosystems of Central Africa

Description: 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.
Date: 1997
Creator: Desanker, Paul V.; Frost, Peter G. H.; Justice, Christopher O. & Scholes, Robert J.

The National Environmental Policy Act: A Study of Its Effectiveness After Twenty-five Years

Description: This report provides a detailed perspective on how the National Environmental Policy Act has affected federal agency decision making. The report summarizes how the Act has been implemented, how federal agency performance aligns with the intent of NEPA's framers, reactions from the public, NEPA stakeholders, and federal decision makers, and future challenges with ensuring the Act's continued effectiveness.
Date: January 1997
Creator: United States. Executive Office of the President.

Ocean Biogeochemistry and Global Change

Description: 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.
Date: 1997
Creator: Joint Global Ocean Flux Study

Predicting Global Change Impacts on Mountain Hydrology and Ecology: Integrated Catchment Hydrology/Altitudinal Gradient Studies: A workshop report

Description: Documentation resulting from an international workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, 30 March - 2 April 1996. The following themes were addressed by the working groups: 1. "Role of ecology and hydrology for the sustainable development in mountain regions" (the "human dimensions"). 2. "Coupled ecological and hydrological studies along altitudinal gradients in mountain regions", with a sub-group dealing with the "Assessment of the spatial distribution pattern of basic water balance components." 3. "Impacts of global change on the ecology and hydrology in mountain regions", with a sub-group on the "Identification of global change impacts on hydrology and ecology in high mountain areas."
Date: 1997
Creator: Becker, Alfred & Bugmann, Harald

Protocol with Mexico amending Convention for Protection of Migratory Birds and Game Mammals : message from the President of the United States transmitting a protocol between the government of the United States of America and the government of the United Mexican States amending the Convention for Protection of Migratory Birds and Game Mammals, signed at Mexico City on May 5, 1997

Description: This treaty between the United States and Mexico deals with hunting ducks and collecting duck eggs by indigenous people in North America. This treaty amends the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Canada and the United States.
Date: 1997
Creator: United States. President (1993-2001 : Clinton) & Albright, Madeleine Korbel

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme Agreement : message from the President of the United States transmitting agreement establishing the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, done at Apia on June 16, 1993

Description: The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme is to promote cooperation in the South Pacific islands region and to provide assistance in order to protect and improve the environment and to ensure sustainable development.
Date: 1997
Creator: United States. President (1993-2001 : Clinton) & Albright, Madeleine Korbel

The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems

Description: 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.
Date: 1997
Creator: Walker, Brian & Steffen, WIll