Global climate change

Global climate change

Atmospheric Environment Vol. 24A, No. I I, p. i, 199R). (}004~,981/90 $3,1~) + (L{I0 Pergamon Press pie Printed in Great Britain. EDITORIAL GLOBAL ...

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Atmospheric Environment Vol. 24A, No. I I, p. i, 199R).

(}004~,981/90 $3,1~) + (L{I0 Pergamon Press pie

Printed in Great Britain.




A . S. LEFOHN It is now well known that the chemical composition of the global atmosphere is changing. There are predictions that we will see a warming of the Earth, with a consonant change in the physical and biological processes that take place on our planet. Computer simulations project the spectre of ocean levels rising 35-100 cm in the next 100 years. Within the next 100 years, simulations predict that the global mean temperature may rise by 1-3°C, while polar regions may warm by 3-10°C, However, greenhouse effect predictions are not universally accepted by all scientists. Some question the assumptions built into the models and argue that if the Earth grew warmer, clouds would compensate by cooling the planet. Some recommend that governments should wait for more substantial proof before imposing expensive pollution controls on the automobile and manufacturing industries. Others suggest extensive research on alternative energy sources and the efficacy of pollution controls. The effect of aerosols also can be a cooling of the Earth. Again, different models give quantitatively different answers. There are those who feel that the impacts are sufficiently severe to necessitate curtailing activities that produce aerosols. Dr David Moore, in commenting on the 40th Anniversary of Pergamon Press in June 1988, discussed possible future directions for Atmospheric Environment. He recommended that the Journal provide its readers with scientific and technical information about new sustainable processes and energy systems that can help alleviate today's and tomorrow's environmental problems. He urged that Atmospheric Environment encourage its contributors to focus on the spectrum of air pollution problems associated with the implementation of these new systems. As we more into the 1990s, the recommendations of Dr Moore are timely. In the 1990s, Atmospheric Environment will continue to publish contributor's works in those areas previously covered. To meet the challenges of determining possible effects on humans, ecosystems, and the global climate, it will be necessary to extend the linkages among the physical and biological sciences. Atmospheric Environment encourages articles exploring the concepts and bracketing the uncertainties associated with possible global climate changes. The Journal hopes contributors will share the most comprehensive information possible about changes that may be occurring in our atmosphere, as well as the resultant changes that may be occurring in our ecosystem. Humans have become very efficient in collecting environmental monitoring data. Our present challenge is to develop and apply the tools that will allow us to interpret these data in more useful ways. Atmospheric Environment will describe these data and explore their possible meanings. We are already committed to a special issue on the role of aerosols in global climate, compiled from the proceedings of an interesting symposium at the annual meeting of the American Association for Aerosol Research last October. We will continue to find space for good papers on these subjects. We encourage our readership to send us such papers.

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