[ RadSafe ] RE: extremism

Bob Casparius caspar at aecom.yu.edu
Thu Mar 22 13:57:59 CDT 2007

The National Climate Data Center even says that any increase in water vapor 
in the atmosphere is due to increases in atmospheric temperature. 
Therefore, the increased atmospheric temperature must be due to something 
other than increased water vapor. And if there is increased water vapor in 
the atmosphere it is due to increased atmospheric temp.

The following is from http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/gases.html

"Water Vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which 
is why it is addressed here first. However, changes in its concentration is 
also considered to be a result of climate feedbacks related to the warming 
of the atmosphere rather than a direct result of industrialization. The 
feedback loop in which water is involved is critically important to 
projecting future climate change, but as yet is still fairly poorly 
measured and understood.

As the temperature of the atmosphere rises, more water is evaporated from 
ground storage (rivers, oceans, reservoirs, soil). Because the air is 
warmer, the relative humidity can be higher (in essence, the air is able to 
'hold' more water when its warmer), leading to more water vapor in the 
atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is 
then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus 
further warming the atmosphere. The warmer atmosphere can then hold more 
water vapor and so on and so on. This is referred to as a 'positive 
feedback loop'. However, huge scientific uncertainty exists in defining the 
extent and importance of this feedback loop. As water vapor increases in 
the atmosphere, more of it will eventually also condense into clouds, which 
are more able to reflect incoming solar radiation (thus allowing less 
energy to reach the Earth's surface and heat it up). The future monitoring 
of atmospheric processes involving water vapor will be critical to fully 
understand the feedbacks in the climate system leading to global climate 
change. As yet, though the basics of the hydrological cycle are fairly well 
understood, we have very little comprehension of the complexity of the 
feedback loops. Also, while we have good atmospheric measurements of other 
key greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, we have poor 
measurements of global water vapor, so it is not certain by how much 
atmospheric concentrations have risen in recent decades or centuries, 
though satellite measurements, combined with balloon data and some in-situ 
ground measurements indicate generally positive trends in global water vapor."

The website: http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html

That Steven Dapra sites appears to be promoting coal as an energy source, 
which is another source of CO2 when burned. This makes you wonder if they 
are not bias in their presentation of global warming. Check out the 
discussion of strip mining:



At 01:50 PM 3/22/2007, Johansen, Kjell wrote:
>In his reply to Ruth  Sponsler, Steve Dapra talks about the need to
>concentrate on the science and not on positions taken by extremists.
>Steve, next, mentions the lack of focus on water vapor, which he quotes
>from a website as being the major Greenhouse gas.  It is my
>understanding from meteorology classes that while water vapor acts as a
>green house gas, the amount of water vapor in the air depends upon the
>temprature.  Increasing the CO2  in the atmosphere  traps more heat
>which in turn generates the water vapor by evaporating liquids. Long
>story short, without the driving force of carbon dioxide, and other
>gases such as methane (which has about 16x more forcing power than CO2),
>there would not be much water vapor to ta act as a greenhouse gas. So,
>to answer the question
>" would it be correct to say that blaming global warming on man-made
>greenhouse gases is an "extremist" position? "
>I would say NO!!!
>I find that the climate scientists are doing a pretty good job of
>describing the cause and effect of global warming.  It is a form of
>reverse hubris to think that humanity can not effect global climate
>change.   The biogeochemical cycles of this planet have some
>selfcorrecting mechanisms which flow naturally from well known chemical
>and physical processes.  To suddenly (200 years is sudden on the
>geological time scale) dump large amounts of carbon which has been
>sequesterd in the earth for millions of years into the atmosphere and
>expect that the earth's biogeochemical cycles will not be upset is not
>logical.  Try pouring 10 gallons of water into a 1 gallon bucket with
>only a few holes in it.  If you pour fast enough, the flux into the
>bucket will exceed the flux out of the bucket and the water level will
>rise.  The gas concentrations from the ice cores show tha over a very
>long time span, higher temperatures are associated with higher CO2 and
>CH4 concentrations.  The models predict higher temperatures in the
>future.  To claim that the models may be wrong and that nothing has to
>be done ignores the fact that they could be wrong in that they are
>underestimating the consequences.
>Therefore, I conclude that the extremist position is the one taken by
>the person who sits around wanting more conclusive proof before taking
>any action to lower the consequences of global climate change.
>Kjell Johansen
>Whitefish Bay, WI
>The opinions expressed are my own and are not in any way attributable to
>my employment.
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