Dropping Water Vapor Levels are Naturally Negating Carbon's Warming Effects
January 29, 2010 4:00 PM
The Earth seems to be naturally blocking warming effects of increased carbon levels by dropping water vapor levels.
Mother Earth appears to be solving the carbon-based warming "problem" for us
The U.S. is currently considering legislation that would enact steep restrictions on carbon emissions. Already burdened from high insurance costs, high taxes, and a struggling economy, Congress is asking Americans to shoulder another load -- an estimated cost of
$1,600 per citizen per year
to fight warming. And internationally climate change proponents have suggested other major lifestyle restrictions, such as
bans on meat consumption
and air travel.
Recently there has been a rash of incidents in which climate alarmists have been embarrassingly caught falsifying data or exaggerating facts and figures. James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a leading climatology center, was found to have several
curiously increased sets of temperature data
in his studies, which he claimed were the result of a pesky Y2K bug. At England's East Anglia University, emails leaked from the prestigious Climate Research Unit that revealed that the university's researchers
intentionally falsified data temperature data
and suppressed scientists who criticized warming. The incident led to the center's director and prominent warming advocated, Phil Jones, to "temporarily" step down.
And most recently Rajendra Pachauri, an Indian official who was curiously appointed head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) despite not having any formal climate training, was forced to
retract statements in a 2007 report
which has been used by countries worldwide as a basis for the need to adopting sweeping emissions restrictions. Mr. Pachauri, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Al Gore, for his warming work, is now being pressured to resign.
Despite the apparent bias of many climate researchers, they do have one thing right; carbon levels have risen notably over the twentieth century from about 300 ppm to 375 ppm. While still far from the estimated levels of around 3,000 ppm during the time of the dinosaurs (appr. 150 MYA), the rising levels do mark a legitimate trend. However, there is increasing evidence that the rising carbon, contrary to alarmist reports is actually having remarkably little effect on global temperatures.
A new study authored by Susan Solomon, lead author of the study and a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. could explain why atmospheric carbon is not contributing to warming significantly. According to the study, as carbon levels have risen, the cold air at high altitudes over the tropics has actually grown colder. The lower temperatures at this "coldest point" have caused global water vapor levels to drop, even as carbon levels rise.
Water vapor helps trap heat, and is a far the strongest of the major greenhouse gases, contributing 36–72 percent of the greenhouse effect. However more atmospheric carbon has actually decreased water vapor levels. Thus rather than a "doomsday" cycle of runaway warming, Mother Earth appears surprisingly tolerant of carbon, decreasing atmospheric levels of water vapor -- a more effective greenhouse gas -- to compensate.
Describes Professor Solomon, "There is slow warming that has taken place over the last 100 years. But from one decade to another, there can be fluctuations in the warming trend."
The study was
in the prestigious journal
The new research could help explain why despite tremendously higher carbon levels, the planet was not inhospitable hundreds of millions of years ago. By lowering water vapor levels, the planet might have been able to compensate, at least partially, for atmospheric carbon levels nearly 10 times higher than today's.
Admittedly the picture is still not clear about how our planet reacts to changes in atmospheric composition. Other factors may also be at play in helping the Earth balance temperatures, including ocean currents and solar activity. Ironically, no global warming model appears to accurately consider changing water vapor levels, and few offer decent consideration to solar activity. Thus much of the model based research used to predict warming is likely badly flawed.
Despite the fact that current evidence points to a minimum role of carbon in affecting our planet's climate, the expensive movement to ban or restrict carbon globally retains significant momentum. It remains to be seen whether politicians choose to consider the latest unbiased research, or instead forge ahead on a crusade against the rather weak greenhouse gas.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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