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Consensus Study Report


Global warming continues to gain importance on the international agenda and calls for action are heightening. Yet, there is still controversy over what must be done and what is needed to proceed.

Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming describes the information necessary to make decisions about global warming resulting from atmospheric releases of radiatively active trace gases. The conclusions and recommendations include some unexpected results. The distinguished authoring committee provides specific advice for U.S. policy and addresses the need for an international response to potential greenhouse warming.

It offers a realistic view of gaps in the scientific understanding of greenhouse warming and how much effort and expense might be required to produce definitive answers.

The book presents methods for assessing options to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, offset emissions, and assist humans and unmanaged systems of plants and animals to adjust to the consequences of global warming.

Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1992. Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming: Mitigation, Adaptation, and the Science Base. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

944 pages |  6 x 9 |  Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-309-04386-1
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xxvi
Part One: Synthesis 1-2
1 Introduction 3-4
2 Background 5-11
3 The Greenhouse Gases and Their Effects 12-28
4 Policy Framework 29-35
5 Adaptation 36-47
6 Mitigation 48-64
7 International Considerations 65-67
8 Findings and Conclusions 68-72
9 Recommendations 73-83
Individual Statement by a Member Of The Synthesis Panel 84-86
Part Two: The Science Base 87-88
10 Introduction 89-90
11 Emission Rates and Concentrations Of Greenhouse Gases 91-99
12 Radiative Forcing and Feedback 100-110
13 Model Performance 111-116
14 The Climate Record 117-134
15 Hydrology 135-139
16 Sea Level 140-144
17 A Greenhouse Forcing and Temperature Rise Estimation Procedure 145-152
18 Conclusions 153-154
Part Three: Mitigation 155-156
19 Introduction 157-170
20 Framework for Evaluating Mitigation Options 171-200
21 Residential and Commercial Energy Management 201-247
22 Industrial Energy Management 248-285
23 Transportation Energy Management 286-329
24 Energy Supply Systems 330-375
25 Nonenergy Emission Reduction 376-413
26 Population 414-423
27 Deforestation 424-432
28 Geoengineering 433-464
29 Findings and Recommendations 465-498
Part Four: Adaptation 499-500
30 Findings 501-507
31 Recommendations 508-514
32 Issues, Assumptions, and Values 515-524
33 Methods and Tools 525-540
34 Sesitivities, Impacts, and Adaptations 541-652
35 Indices 653-656
36 Final Words 657-658
Individual Statement by a Member of the Adaptation Panel 659-660
Appendixes 661-662
A Questions and Answers About Greenhouse Warming 663-691
B Thinking About Time in the Context of Global Climate Change 692-707
C Conservation Supply Curves for Buildings 708-716
D Conservation Supply Curves for Industrial Energy Use 717-726
E Conservation Supply Data for Three Transportation Sectors 727-758
F Transportation System Management 759-766
G Nuclear Energy 767-774
H A Solar Hydrogen System 775-778
I Biomass 779-785
J Cost-Effectiveness of Electrical Generation Technologies 786-791
K Cost-Effectiveness of Chlorofluorocarbon Phaseout—United States and Worldwide 792-797
L Agriculture 798-807
M Landfill Methane Reduction 808-808
N Population Growth and Greenhouse Gas Emissions 809-811
O Deforestation Prevention 812-813
P Reforestation 814-816
Q Geoengineering Options 817-835
R Description of Economic Estimates of the Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Emissions 836-839
S Glossary 840-846
T Conversion Tables 847-848
U Prefaces from the Individual Panel Reports 849-854
V Acknowledgments from the Individual Panel Reports 855-857
W Background Information on Panel Members and Professional Staff 858-868
Index 869-918

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