Regional Implications of Future Climate Change
Michael Graber, Ariel Cohen and Mordechai Magaritz, Editors
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Israel Ministry of the Environment, Jerusalem, 1993. XIV + 304 pp. $40.
This book presents the proceedings of an international scientific conference that took place in Israel in 1991 and was probably the first in the world to focus on regional, rather than global, implications of climate change.
Since the conference was held in Israel, where the shortage of water is already acute, the proceedings concentrate on the potential adverse effects of climate change on the water supply of the region. The problem is made quite clear in the opening statement by Dr. Uri Marinov, then Director General of the Ministry of the Environment, whose efforts made the conference possible.
The book is subdivided into sections on climate changes during the last 10,000 years, expected regional changes based on numerical models, environmental implications and potential international impacts of global warming. Papers are included on possible conclusions from global climate models regarding future precipitation trends in the region (Kay, Smith et. al., Zangvil et. al., Druyan and Rind); on the effects of climate change on artificial rain experiments (Rosenfeld, Levin); and on the potential water supply of the region (Stanhill, Ben-Zvi).
The extensive evidence available in Israel from archeological and archeo-botanic sources regarding past climates in the Middle East is presented in papers by Issar, Waisel, Klein, Liphschitz and Biger, Nir and Naveh. The impact of past climate change on the human history of the region is discussed by the late Prof. Neumann.
Also included is a paper describing methods developed in Holland that can be used in the future to protect coastal areas from the rising sea (Waterman); a paper on the effects of climate change on soil processes (Yaalon); a study describing possible impacts of the escalating atmospheric CO2 concentrations on agriculture (Rosenberg and Crosson); a summary of the possible effect on climate of biogenic sulfur compounds (Georgii); and an analysis of the ecological effects of climate change (Safriel).
Finally, the proceedings include an overview of the physics of the phenomenon of atmospheric warming (Graber and Cohen), and a summary of studies carried out by the UNEP Mediterranean regional unit regarding the effects future climate change might have on some Mediterranean countries (Jeftic).
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