[ RadSafe ] RE: extremism

Johnston, Thomas Tom_Johnston at nymc.edu
Fri Mar 23 11:22:07 CDT 2007

There was an interesting segment on national network news about several
major colleges prohibiting the use of Wikipedia as a reference for any
college work. Just a note to pass along. Buyer, er, Reader Beware.
But I am sure most of you know not to trust all online sources


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Bob Casparius
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 10:04 AM
To: Steven Dapra; radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] RE: extremism


This is from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

Water vapor is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas and accounts for the

largest percentage of the greenhouse effect. Water vapor concentrations 
fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not directly affect water 
vapor concentrations except at very local scales.

In <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/Climate_model>climate models an 
increase in atmospheric temperature caused by the greenhouse effect due
anthropogenic gases will in turn lead to an increase in the water vapor 
content of the troposphere, with approximately constant 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//wiki/Relative_humidity>relative humidity.

The increased water vapor in turn leads to an increase in the greenhouse

effect and thus a further increase in temperature; the increase in 
temperature leads to still further increase in atmospheric water vapor;
the feedback cycle continues until equilibrium is reached. Thus water
acts as a positive feedback to the forcing provided by human-released 
greenhouse gases such as CO2<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/#_note-7>[9]
has never, so far, acted on Earth as part of a runaway feedback).
in water vapor may also have indirect effects via cloud formation.

Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 
Assessment Report chapter lead author 

Mann considers citing "the role of water vapor as a greenhouse gas" to
"extremely misleading" as water vapor can not be controlled by 
The IPCC report has discussed water vapor feedback in more 


At 09:26 PM 3/22/2007, Steven Dapra wrote:
>March 22
>         My thanks to Bob Casparius for posting this very clear NCDC 
> explanation of the role of water vapor, accompanied by the explanation
> 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
> that was said on the site. (See the end of Bob's posting.)       I do
> 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
> 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
> 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
> of that is from bomb production, however some of it is from reactor
> too -- at least I assume it is.  I could stand to be corrected on that
>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
>>to something other than increased water vapor. And if there is
>>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,
>>is why it is addressed here first. However, changes in its
>>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
>>still fairly poorly measured and understood.
>>As the temperature of the atmosphere rises, more water is evaporated
>>ground storage (rivers, oceans, reservoirs, soil). Because the air is 
>>warmer, the relative humidity can be higher (in essence, the air is
>>to 'hold' more water when its warmer), leading to more water vapor in
>>atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water
>>is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth,

>>thus further warming the atmosphere. The warmer atmosphere can then
>>more water vapor and so on and so on. This is referred to as a
>>feedback loop'. However, huge scientific uncertainty exists in
>>the extent and importance of this feedback loop. As water vapor
>>in the atmosphere, more of it will eventually also condense into
>>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
>>to global climate change. As yet, though the basics of the
>>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,
>>it is not certain by how much atmospheric concentrations have risen in

>>recent decades or centuries, though satellite measurements, combined
>>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
>>which is another source of CO2 when burned. This makes you wonder if
>>are not bias in their presentation of global warming. Check out the 
>>discussion of strip mining:
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Robert Casparius
Radiation Safety Officer
Department of Environmental Health & Safety

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