IU8. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)

Report to the 1999 IUPAP General Assembly

SCOPE is extensively engaged in providing essential contributions on improved knowledge on the behaviour of nature, the many fluxes and cycles within the ecosystem under the influence of interferences and pollution caused by mankind.

So far, since 1971 the extensive and comprehensive reviews and findings of about 60 SCOPE projects, in most cases carried out by commitees of scientific experts, in some cases by single authors, have been published as books.

A complete list of the so far 58 numbered SCOPE-reports is attached to this letter. One example of an outstanding report by a single author is

"The Work of Nature  (How the Diversity of Life Sustains us)"  by Yvonne Baskin (Island Press, 1997)

Concerning the interaction of IUPAP with SCOPE I can only report on my own rather restricted activity since my nomination as delegate in 1995.

I have not been able to attend to SCOPE General Assembly Meetings during this time:

  • the IXth Meeting in Tokyo 1995 with the main topic: Biosphere Services and Human Utilization, especially focused on Asian paddy rice fields

  • the Xth Meeting in Piscataway, NJ, 1998 with the main topic: The Commons revisited: An American perspective, especially focused on New Jersey as a microcosm.
  • I did attend the ICSU Strategy meeting on Science and Technology for Earth Management (STEM) at Paris in April 1996 together with 11 more participants from different Institutions affiliated with ICSU.

    My recollections of the main findings of this meeting are as follows:

    • The scientific knowledge on risks and facts of the rapid deterioration of the living condition on earth for a still expanding world population is extensively available.

    • An abundant manifold of options for a change to sustainable earth management by mankind has been identified e.g. in the 1st and 2nd Assessment Reports of the IPCC.

    • The major deficiency up till now is to communicate these findings and options to the public and especially to decision makers in politics and economy. In doing so it should be emphasized how to implement proper options in a way to be profitable for everybody in our societies.

    • The participants of STEM agreed on the attached report to the ICSU general assembly. In this report it is proposed to install a temporary committee,to act as a catalyst for the realization of some of the options mentioned. This committee has to be independent from politics and economy to guarantee credibility and authority of the scientific community.

    These findings hold true by large too for SCOPE.

    SCOPE provides a wealth on information on many more environmental problems than IPCC does mainly restricted problems related to climate change. But our society, especially decisionmakers in politics and economy do not take proper note of this knowledge provided. To disseminate the knowledge provided by SCOPE to decisionmakers a proper intergovernmental panel within the United Nations like the IPCC of UNEP and WHO might be helpful.

    I wonder wether IUPAP via ICSU might suggest to establish such a panel to better disseminate scientific findings especially on environmental problems to our society.

    List of SCOPE-reports:

    1. Global Environmental Monitoring, 1971, 68 pp (out of print)

    2. Man-Made Lakes as Modified Ecosystems, 1972, 76 pp (out of print)

    3. Global Environmental Monitoring Systems (GEMS):Action Plan for Phase 1, 1973, 132 pp (out of print)

    4. Environmental Sciences in Developing Countries, 1974, 72 pp (out of print)

      Environment and Development, proceedings of SCOPE/UNEP Symposium on Environmental Sciences in Developing Countries, Nairobi, February 11-23, 1974, 418 pp (out of print)

    5. Environmental Impact Assessment: Principles and Procedures,2nd edition 1979, 208 pp (out of print)

    6. Environmental Pollutants: Selected Analytical Methods, 1975, 277 pp (out of print)

    7. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sulphur: Global Cycles, 1975, 129 pp (out of print)

    8. Risk Assessment of Environmental Hazard, 1978, 132 pp (out of print)

    9. Simulation Modelling of Environmental Problems, 1978, 128 pp (out of print)

    10. Environmental Issues, 1977, 242 pp (out of print)

    11. Shelter Provision in Developing Countries, 1978, 112 pp (out of print)

    12. Principles of Ecotoxicology, 1978, 372 pp (out of print)

    13. The Global Carbon Cycle, 1979, 491 pp (out of print)

    14. Saharan Dust: Mobilization, Transport, Deposition, 1979, 320 pp (out of print)

    15. Environmental Risk Assessment, 1980, 176 pp (out of print)

    16. Carbon Cycle Modelling, 1981, 404 pp (out of print)

    17. Some Perspectives of the Major Biogeochemical Cycles, 1981, 175 pp (out of print)

    18. The Role of Fire in Northern Circumpolar Ecosystems, 1983, 344 pp (out of print)

    19. The Global Biogeochemical Sulphur Cycle, 1983, 495 pp (out of print)

    20. Methods for Assessing the Role of Chemicals on Reproductive Functions,(SGOMSEC 1), 1983, 568 pp (out of print)

    21. The Major Biogeochemical Cycles and Their Interactions, 1983, 554 pp (out of print)

    22. Effects of Pollutants at the Ecosystem Level, 1984, 443 pp (out of print)

    23. The Role of Terrestrial Vegetation in the Global Carbon Cycle:Measurement by Remote Sensing, 1984, 247 pp (out of print)

    24. Noise Pollution, 1986, 446 pp (out of print)

    25. Appraisal of Tests to Predict the Environmental Behaviour of Chemicals, 1985, 680 pp (out of print)

    26. Methods for Assessing Risk of Chemical Injury: Human and Non-human Biota and Ecosystems (SGOMSEC 2), 1985, 680 pp (out of print)

    27. Climate Impact Assessment, eds. R.W. Kates, J.H. Ausubel and M. Berberian, 1985, 625 pp (ISBN 0471906344)

    28. Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War

      Vol. I - Physical and Atmospheric Effects, eds. A.B. Pittock,T.P. Ackerman, P.J. Crutzen, M.C. MacCracken, C.S. Shapiro and R.P. Turco, 1986, 350 pp, 2nd edition 1989, softcover (ISBN 0471924695)

      Vol. II - Ecological and Agricultural Effects, eds. M.A. Harwell and T.C. Hutchinson, 1985, 576 pp, 2nd edition 1989, softcover (ISBN 0471924717)

    29. The Greenhouse Effect, Climatic Change and Ecosystems, eds. B. Bolin, B.R. Dvvs, J. Jdger and R.A. Warrick, 1989, 2nd edition, 574 pp,softcover (ISBN 0471926353)

    30. Methods for Assessing the Effects of Mixtures of Chemicals (SGOMSEC 3),1987, 894 pp (out of print)

    31. Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic in the Environment,eds. T.C. Hutchinson and K.N. Meema, 1987, 360 pp (ISBN 0471911267)

    32. Land Transformation in Agriculture, eds. G. Wolman and F. Fournier, 1987,531 pp (ISBN 0471912883)

    33. Nitrogen Cycling in Coastal Marine Environments, eds. T.H. Blackburn and J. Sorenson, 1988, 451 pp (ISBN 0471914045)

    34. Practitioner's Handbook on the Modelling of Dynamic Change in Ecosystems,ed. J.N.R. Jeffers, 1988, 196 pp (ISBN 0471105198)

    35. Scales and Global Change: Spatial and Temporal Variability in Biospheric and Geospheric Processes, eds. T. Rosswall, R.G. Woodmansee and P.G. Risser, 1988, 376 pp (ISBN 0471918288)

    36. Acidification in Tropical Countries, eds. H. Rodhe and R. Herrera, 1988,424 pp (ISBN 0471918709)

    37. Biological Invasions: A Global Perspective, eds. J.A. Drake, H.A. Mooney, F. di Castri, R.H. Groves, F.J. Kruger, M. Rejmanek and M. Williamson,1989, 528 pp (ISBN 0471920851)

    38. Ecotoxicology and Climate with Special Reference to Hot and Cold Climates (IPCS 9), eds. P. Bourdeau, J.A. Haines, W. Klein and C.R. Krishna Murti, 1989, 392 pp (ISBN 0471918318)

    39. Evolution of the Global Biogeochemical Sulphur Cycle, eds. P. Brimblecombe and A.Y. Lein, 1989, 224 pp (ISBN 047192251X)

    40. Methods for Assessing and Reducing Injury from Chemical Accidents (SGOMSEC 6-IPCS 11), eds. P. Bourdeau and G. Green, 1989,320 pp (ISBN 0471922781)

    41. Short-term Toxicity Tests for Non-Genotoxic Effects (SGOMSEC 4-IPCS 8), eds. P. Bourdeau, E. Somers, G.N. Richardson and J.R. Hickman, 1990, 353 pp (ISBN 0471925063)

    42. Biogeochemistry of Major World Rivers, eds. E.T. Degens and J.E. Richey, 1991, 382 pp (ISBN 0471926760)

    43. Stable Isotopes: Natural and Anthropogenic Sulphur in the Environment, eds. H.R. Krouse and V.A. Grinenko, 1991, 466 pp (ISBN 0471926469)

    44. Genetically Designed Organisms in the Environment, eds. H.A. Mooney and G. Bernardi, 1990, 180 pp (ISBN 0471926779)

    45. Ecosystem Experiments, eds. H.A. Mooney, E. Medina, D. Schindler, E.-D. Schulze and B.H. Walker, 1991, 296 pp (ISBN 0471929263)

    46. Methods for Assessing Exposure of Human and Non-human Biota (SGOMSEC 5-IPCS 13), eds. R.G. Tardiff and B.D. Goldstein, 1991, 442 pp (ISBN 0471929549)

    47. Long-term Ecological Research: An International Perspective, ed. P.G. Risser, 1991, 320 pp (ISBN 0471930059)

    48. Sulphur Cycling on the Continents: Wetlands, Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Associated Water Bodies, eds. R.W. Howarth, J.W.B. Stewart and M.V. Ivanov, 1992, 376 pp (ISBN 0471931535)

    49. Methods to Assess Adverse Effects of Pesticides on Non-target Organisms (SGOMSEC 7-IPCS 16), ed. R.G. Tardiff, 1992, 304 pp (ISBN 047193156X)

    50. Radioecology after Chernobyl: Biogeochemical Pathways of Artificial Radionuclides, eds. Sir Frederick Warner and R.M. Harrison,1993, 400 pp (ISBN 0471931683)

    51. Biogeochemistry of Small Catchments, eds. B. Moldan and J. Cerny, 1994, 432 pp (ISBN 0471937231)

    52. Methods to Assess DNA Damage and Repair: Interspecies Comparisons,(SGOMSEC 8-IPCS 19), eds. R.G. Tardiff, P.H.M. Lohman and G.N. Wogan, 1994, 304 pp (ISBN 0471942561)

    53. Methods to Assess the Effects of Chemicals on Ecosystems (SGOMSEC 10-IPCS 23), eds. R.A. Linthurst, Ph. Bourdeau and R.J. Tardiff,1995, 436 pp (ISBN 0471959111)

    54. Phosphorus in the Global Environment - Transfers, Cycles and Management, ed. H. Tiessen, 1995, 480 pp (ISBN 0471956910) Greenhouse Earth, A. Nilsson, 1992, 236 pp (ISBN 0471936286)

    55. Functional Roles of Biodiversity: A Global Perspective, eds. H.A. Mooney, J.H. Cushman, E. Medina, O.E. Sala, and E.-D. Schulze, 1996, 496 pp (ISBN 0-471-95601-5)

    56. Global Change: Effects on Coniferous Forests and Grassland, eds. A.I. Breymeyer, D.O. Hall, J.M. Melillo, and G. Agren, 1996, 480 pp (ISBN 0-471-96837-4)

    57. Particle Flux in the Ocean, eds. V. Ittekkot, P. Schdfer, S. Honjo, and P.J. Depetris, 1996, 396 pp (ISBN0-471-96073-X)

    58. Sustainability Indicators: A Report on the Project on Indicators of Sustainable Development, 1997, 440 pp

    Klaus Heinloth (Germany)

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