A New FACE
Popular Databases Updated
Celebrating BER's 50th Anniversary
United States-China Meetings on CO2 Research
CDIAC Staff Changes
CO2 Conference in Australia
New Databases Available online from CDIAC
Databases Currently Available
New NDPs from CDIAC
Recent and Relevant
A free-air CO2-exposure (FACE) facility is being constructed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study forest-level responses to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Towers, arranged in four rings, each 25 meters in diameter, will rise above the forest canopy and encircle 12-meter-tall sweetgum trees (Liquidambar styraciflua) in a closed-canopy stand. CO2 will be released from vent pipes suspended from the towers to expose the sweetgum trees to concentrations of the gas that are 200 ppm above ambient. Researchers will note changes in the trees and soil to gain insight into the biological and physical interactions that govern how a forest ecosystem responds to atmospheric changes.
Funding for the facility came from the ORNL Director's Research and Development Program. When construction is completed, the facility's operation will be supported by DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research.
The National Science Foundation has joined with ORNL in funding the facility. Rich Norby, who will lead the work, explained the purpose of the research this way: "Efforts to understand how eastern deciduous forests will be affected by CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere have heretofore been addressed by studying components of the forest system (individual small trees and specific processes), but it is now time to make the critical leap to measuring the integrated response of an intact forest ecosystem, with a focus on stand-level mechanisms."
The planned research will address the essential features of a forest stand and how these features could influence forest responses to increased CO2. The objectives are to
The results of these analyses will be used for modeling and assessment of potential global-change impacts.
Studies at the Oak Ridge facility will complement research conducted at a similar facility constructed by Brookhaven National Laboratory in a loblolly pine forest at Duke University. The Oak Ridge FACE site will be a user facility, open to researchers from universities and other research laboratories interested in pursuing questions relevant to forest response to elevated CO2.
Further information about the ORNL|
FACE Facility can be obtained from:
Richard J. Norby
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6422
Fax: (865) 576-9939
Charging for federally sponsored research data is again being discussed as the U.S. Government considers privatization of federal research data centers and various laws and treaties attempt to apply the concept of intellectual property rights to numeric data sets. One problem in determining charges for data is that research data have no identifiable intrinsic value. An oil company planning to run a pipeline near a wetland might be quite willing to spend thousands of dollars for one Landsat scene, but a university researcher who needs dozens or hundreds of Landsat scenes for a global-change research project often can hardly afford to pay for just the media costs. Fair market value is easily set only when most users want the product for about the same purpose. Research data, on the other hand, have many uses.
Some suggest a tiered pricing policy, categorizing users as commercial and research and charging them different rates. But tiered pricing is hard to implement. How should we categorize a university researcher who has an oil-company grant to improve a production process? Is such a user academic or commercial? And what about a person employed by an international oil company but who works on long-term climate predictions? Is that person commercial or research?
The charging process itself is a burden, even if the data center only charges the "marginal cost of reproduction" for the data. Because most research data centers are relatively small operations, it could easily cost $50 to process the user's check or credit-card transaction. The $7 CD-ROM thus becomes a $57 item. To understand how research data should be fairly priced, we have to understand why the data and the research programs that produce them exist in the first place. Most research data result from a long chain of events, and their storage at and dispersal from a data center are not the final steps. Nobody ever convinced Congress to fund a major research project by arguing that its purpose was to fill centers with data to sell. Research programs exist because of their expected benefits to society. After data are transferred to a center, the research process continues: the data are distributed to researchers, the data are analyzed, and the resulting knowledge ultimately benefits society. The researchers who analyze data are merely one step in the process of delivering the benefits of scientific research to the public. The real end users of the process are not the researchers, but members of society. If anybody should pay for data, the true end users (i.e., members of society) should; and under the current system of distribution, they already do.
To maximize benefits to society, we must maximize the analysis step
that produces new knowledge. To do that, we must get as much good
data into as many people's hands as possible. Hence, data should be
available for the lowest possible cost (free, if at all possible).
Low data prices should be offered not only to program-supported
researchers but to anyone for any reason. Any other pricing policy
for a federally sponsored research data center or national research
program chokes data distribution and limits ultimate benefits.
Paul Kanciruk, Manager
Environmental Information Analysis Program
ORNL Environmental Sciences Division
Ron Prinn (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and his colleagues participating in the ALE/GAGE/AGAGE global network program have made available updates and revisions to the Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment ( GAGE) data and the first version of the Advanced GAGE (AGAGE) database. The Atmospheric Lifetime Experiment ( ALE) and GAGE databases offer measurements from six sites with some records through December 1995. The first AGAGE database offers data through March 1996 from three sites (Cape Grim, Tasmania; Mace Head, Ireland; and Trinidad Head, California). The ALE/ GAGE/AGAGE databases contain high-frequency gas chromatographic measurements of methane, nitrous oxide, CFC-113, CFC-11, CFC-12, methyl chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride.
The time series containing estimates of annual global, regional, and national CO2-emissions from fossil-fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring has been updated by CDIAC's Gregg Marland and Tom Boden. It is now available over the Internet via ftp, on tape, and on diskette. The database, which consists of 28 files requiring approximately 15 MB of space, contains annual CO2-emissions estimates for 1950 through 1994 and the underlying energy, cement, and flaring statistics used to calculate them.
|These updates are available as DB1001 and NDP030 on CDIAC's Web site (http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov). The updates are also available in ale_gage_Agage and ndp030 in the ftp area (cdiac.esd.ornl.gov).|
For 50 years, the Department of Energy's Biological and Environmental Research Program has exploited the promise of energy technologies while shedding light on their benefits and consequences for the public health and environment. The program has assessed the health effects of radiation, tracked the regional and global movement of energy-related pollutants, developed advanced medical diagnostic tools, pioneered treatments for human disease, and established the world's first Human Genome Program. Many of these efforts have been conducted in cooperation with the National Research Council.
To celebrate these 50 years of accomplishments, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Research Council will cosponsor a symposium, "Serving Science and Society: The Legacy and the Promise of the Agency's Biological and Environmental Research" on May 21-22, 1997, at the National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, in Washington, D.C.
Some of the featured speakers and their subjects include:
Ari Patrinos, Director of the Office of Health and Environmental Research, will present a broad perspective of the BER Program's history, accomplishments, and mission, providing a context for the other speakers. Panels will discuss the priorities, challenges, and expected benefits of BER-sponsored initiatives for the next decade; and exhibits will highlight key research-program achievements.
Representatives from the scientific community, government, industry, academia, and the media are invited to attend the symposium. To register, contact the National Research Council at email@example.com or by fax at 202-334-1687.
More information about the symposium is available on the World Wide Web at
The Eighth Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)/U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Meeting on Collaborative Research on CO2-Induced Climate Change was held in Beijing on Aug. 12-14, 1996. At the meeting, presentations were made on the analysis of general circulation models, the preparation and analysis of proxy and instrumental climate data, large and regional-scale climate research, and atmospheric-trace-constituent measurements.
At the meeting, CDIAC researcher Dale Kaiser reported that significant decreases in total cloud amount have occurred over a large part of Northern China from 1954 to 1990. Coupled with his recent findings regarding increasing cloud amounts over neighboring portions of the former Soviet Union, this analysis of Chinese data shows that important regional climate changes that warrant further investigation are occurring over East Asia.
The Institute of Geography of the CAS announced the availability of its new World Wide Web pages that detail the literature and documentary evidence being used to reconstruct the climate for China during the past 2000 years.
Other Chinese scientists reported on the effects that industrial sulphur dioxide emissions have on the climate of China. Their data indicate that these effects are becoming very pronounced and that the emissions are responsible for decreasing the daily maximum temperatures over much of China (mainly in the south).
The meeting also provided the occasion for Professor Tao of CAS to present CDIAC with updates through 1993 for two Chinese databases previously published as a CDIAC numeric data package (NDP-039). CDIAC will now quality-assure the new data and publish an update to the database. This extension of the database marked an important milestone in CDIAC's involvement with the CAS.
Immediately following the CAS/DOE meeting, the Second Chinese Meteorological Association/DOE Science Team Meeting on Regional Climate Research was held. The CMA/DOE meeting consisted primarily of presentations about the four tasks undertaken in this relatively new CMA/DOE joint research activity:
At this meeting, Panmao Zhai of the CMA's National Climate Center (NCC) discussed the possibility of working with CDIAC on further research on Chinese cloud data, and other investigators from the CMA laid plans for further cooperation in the area of data exchange and analysis. CMA agreed to send several unique databases to CDIAC and to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina. The databases will allow broad research into Chinese climate from the early 1950s through 1994. In exchange, CDIAC and NCDC will send several key databases (e.g., the Global Historical Climatology Network Database and the Comprehensive Aerological Reference Data Set) to the CMA.
The DOE/CMA agreement and the annual meetings between U.S. researchers and their Chinese counterparts should be particularly beneficial for CDIAC and the climate-change research community in the coming years. The CMA and NCC will provide updates of the Chinese climate databases already available as well as data analysis and interpretation.
During the first week of March, the CHAMMP Science Team and Model Development project investigators met in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the annual Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team meeting. The conference involved both parallel and joint sessions with the ARM participants, and each CHAMMP Science Team principal investigator presented a 15-minute overview highlighting his or her project's accomplishments.
The CHAMMP Program's five-year collaboration with the DOE High Performance Computing and Communication (HPCC) program to support the supercomputing centers at Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratories has been successfully concluded.
During calendar 1997, the CHAMMP program will be integrated with the other DOE climate-modeling activities to become the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program. Grant applications from universities will be solicited this spring in the areas of climate dynamics, numerical methods, model parameterization, and possibly other topics. Existing grants will be extended until November 30, 1997, with additional supplemental funding if necessary. Winners of the competition this summer will have projects with start dates of December 1, 1997. The role of DOE and other laboratories is still being defined. A separate meeting will be held with DOE laboratory investigators and representatives to develop a plan for groups that are not part of the major laboratory activities.
Contact Dave Bader (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pat Crowley (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
The current CHAMMP Newsletter on the CHAMMP home page (http://www.epm.ornl.gov/chammp/news/) features the science article "Modeling Ocean Circulation" by Albert J. Semtner. In this article, Semtner notes that ocean numerical models have become quite realistic during the past several years because of improved methods, faster computers, and global data sets. Models now treat basin-scale to global domains while retaining the fine spatial scales that are important for modeling the transport of heat, salt, and other properties over vast distances. Simulations are reproducing observed satellite results on the energetics of strong currents and are properly showing diverse aspects of thermodynamic and dynamic ocean responses ranging from deep-water production to El Niño. Now models can represent not only currents but also the consequences for climate, biology, and geochemistry over time spans of months to decades. However, much remains to be understood from models about ocean circulation on longer time scales, including the evolution of the dominant water masses, the predictability of climate, and the ocean's influence on global change.
Robert M. Cushman
Once again, change has come to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Rich Daniels, CDIAC's resident geographer, has moved to Olympia, Washington, for a position with that state's Department of Ecology, where he will be involved in activities related to the issue of coastal-zone development. That certainly relates to the excellent work that Rich did at CDIAC in the compilation of data on coastal vulnerability to rising sea level. (You will recall his role in the production of NDP-043A and NDP-043B, which included data for the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, respectively; NDP-043C, for the U.S. West Coast, should be published soon.) Among the other highlights of Rich's work with CDIAC was the publication of several databases on the role of land-use change in the global carbon cycle.
If you wish to reach someone at CDIAC concerning data on coastal vulnerability to rising sea level, contact Bob Cushman ((865) 574-4791; firstname.lastname@example.org); for information on land-use change, contact Antoinette Brenkert ((865) 574-7322; email@example.com).
Since 1981, the international scientific community has met at approximately four-year intervals to assess the global carbon cycle from the point of view of ocean carbon, atmospheric carbon dioxide, the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, total global carbon cycle modeling, and observations.
The 5th International Carbon Dioxide Conference is to be held Sept 8-12, 1997, in Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia, which is located on the Great Barrier Reef. The conference will be chaired by Graeme Pearman and will address the recent advancement of knowledge of the global carbon cycle and our capability to predict future levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
More than 300 attendees are expected, bringing together active senior and young members of the international community in a broad range of disciplines. Limited support is available from the conference organizers to assist graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to attend the conference; preference will be given for those presenting papers and/or posters. Note that Australia requires travelers from all countries other than New Zealand to obtain visitors visas from an Australian consulate before admitting them into the country.
Registration for the conference and for hotel accommodations can be accomplished electronically at the conference's home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.dar.csiro.au/pub/events/co2_conf/. The proceedings of the meeting will be published in Tellus. Additional information can be obtained from Paul N. Holper at
97CO2 Conference Secretariat
Division of Atmospheric Research
Aspendale, 3195, Victoria
Telephone: 61 3 9239 4661
Fax: 61 3 9239 4444 E-mail: 97CO2@dar.csiro.au
The AmeriFlux (CO2) Network is a cooperative effort among independent research programs funded by the Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USDA Forest Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, U.S. Global Change Research Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and others. These programs are designed to
The Network's first meeting was held in St. Louis, Mo., October 29-30, 1996. At the meeting, Roger Dahlman of the Department of Energy's Office of Health and Environmental Research discussed the rationale behind establishing the CO2 flux network. DOE's main interest in the network is the quantification of the spatial and temporal patterns of CO2 exchanges in major ecosystems/biomes and managed systems. Such data are necessary to develop site-specific calibration data for carbon-cycle models, to scale CO2 fluxes from local to regional fluxes, and to obtain information on the processes controlling CO2 flux.
Antoinette Brenkert, a staff member of CDIAC's Data Systems Group, introduced CDIAC to the meeting participants, summarized some of the areas CDIAC is presently involved in, and discussed the archiving of data. She also listed a series of questions about the format, volume, frequency, quality control, synthesis, and documentation of the network data for discussion and resolution by the group.
Since the St. Louis meeting, Antoinette has set up an AmeriFlux home page on the World Wide Web. It explains the purpose of the Network and shows on a map sites conducting research related to CO2 flux. Links are provided to site-specific web pages that describe the individual research projects. The URL for the home page is
A measurement tower is installed at the Harvard Forest,
a mixed deciduous forest dominated by red oak and
red maple, in Petersham, Massachusetts.
The data gathered is being shared
as part of the AmeriFlux Network.
CDIAC Home Pages
Since CDIAC made its debut on the World Wide Web in May 1995, its web site has been visited by more than 17,500 different systems, with users downloading literally hundreds of thousands of files.
In November 1996, the CDIAC home page was redesigned by Tommy Nelson. The new design offers users increased convenience by providing buttons that lead directly to pages on Products and Services, What's New, CDIAC's Newsletter, Top 10 (products requested), Focus Areas, FAQ (frequently asked questions), and About CDIAC and the World Data Center-A (general information). In addition, function buttons allow users to perform textual searches and to send comments to CDIAC. The new features are intended to make it easier for users to find the information that they are interested in or to help link them to other sites that could provide useful and relevant information.
CDIAC will continue working to make all of its data and information holdings available online (both on its home page and its FTP site) and to assist users in obtaining these holdings. Many of CDIAC's data products are continually being updated, and the Web makes this updated information available to users more quickly than some traditional means.
We encourage you to routinely browse CDIAC's home page at http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/.
In 1995, Alex Kozyr introduced CDIAC's oceanographic home page. It discusses the data-management support provided by CDIAC for DOE's Global Survey of CO2 in the Oceans. The page has links to DOE's Global Change Research Program and to major oceanographic experiments and institutions. With it, you can list the oceanographic data and documentation currently available from CDIAC and identify all the CO2-related data sets currently being processed at CDIAC.
Five oceanographic numeric data packages have been published online. They are the same publications as the hard copies, with all the figures and tables. Through the online publication you can access and copy all data files you need quickly and cost-effectively.
Since 1995, Alex has expanded the site to include the inventory of underway measurements of surface water and air CO2 partial pressure (pCO2). It contains data from transects of the oceans carried out under the World Ocean Circulation Experiment. Through this site, principal investigators who measure pCO2 while under way are offered an electronic metadata submission form, the easiest way to transfer their metadata to CDIAC for archiving.
The home page's URL is http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/oceans/.
CDIAC Home Page