[ RadSafe ] RE: extremism

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Thu Mar 22 20:26:40 CDT 2007

March 22

         My thanks to Bob Casparius for posting this very clear NCDC 
explanation of the role of water vapor, accompanied by the explanation of 
what we *do not* know.

         So there is no confusion or uncertainty on anyone's part, that 
link I offered was not to my site, nor do I necessarily accept everything 
that was said on the site. (See the end of Bob's posting.)       I do not 
know if the site was promoting coal or not and can't comment on that.  Bob 
suggested that the site might be biased in its discussion of global warming 
and his suggestion may well be true, I don't know.  It cannot be said often 
enough that *everyone* has a bias, and we might do well to keep that in 
mind.  With respect to strip mining, it may not be a pretty sight, however 
it has nothing to do with global warming.  The UMTRA project left us with 
some rather large tailings piles.  I know some of that is from bomb 
production, however some of it is from reactor fuel too -- at least I 
assume it is.  I could stand to be corrected on that point.

Steven Dapra
sjd at swcp.com

At 02:57 PM 3/22/07 -0400, Bob Casparius wrote:
>The National Climate Data Center [NCDC] 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:


More information about the RadSafe mailing list