This paper examines two major areas of uncertainty in the prediction of the impact of trace gas emissions on climate. The first is socioeconomic factors which determine the rate of such processes as resource use, industrial production or land conversion. The second is the feedback between the earth`s land surface and climate. Since the land surface is the source of trace gas emissions, both natural and anthropogenic changes of vegetation will affect the nature and quantity of emissions. This paper demonstrates large-scale land surface changes which have taken place naturally or from human activities, either intentionally or inadvertently, and describes the dwindling availability of natural resources, using water as an example. Vegetation is also examined as both a response to and a determining factor in climate. Hence, the intricate feedback between vegetation and climate complicates any attempt to predict climatic change. Better quantitative assessment of all relationships and processes is required to achieve realistic forecasts of global change. (au) 31 refs.
Nicholson, S E 
- Florida State Univ., Dept. ofMeteorology, Tallahassee, FL (United States)