The View From 1776
Friday, January 16, 2009
Comments From Elsewhere About Man-Made Global Warming
Well, if you really must have peer-reviewed scientific sources, here’s one discussing the role of water vapor on atmospheric heat. Hm, probably a bit more technical than most care to wade through (I happen to love this stuff), so here’s the short version.
Estimates of the heat trapping effect of water vapor versus CO2 and all other GHGs vary anywhere from 90% to 10% up to about 97% to 3%. 98% of all GHGs are natural whereas less than 2% are man-made ( http://www.globalwarming.org/node/34 ; not in dispute). Of this 2%, perhaps half is CO2 and half is water added as a feedback caused by the CO2 increase (positive feedback though not actually proved yet). There is a lot of speculation concerning even this 1% because it is not yet known how much is the product of a natural planetary temperature rise (warmer water holds less CO2 and other dissolved gases than cold water, releasing any excess above saturation) and how much artificial. There is also the question of time lags between observation and effect. For example and staying with ocean sequestration of CO2, we know it takes decades for the gas to bubble out of the oceans, so we can see CO2 increases even as temperatures fall.
You can get the lay skeptical version of AGW at: http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/ - but even that is a lot to absorb if all you are looking for is the source of the “night desert cooling” assertion. We do know desert temperatures drop drastically at night for the same reason the heat up so much during the day, because these are areas recieving almost no cloud cover allowing the heat to escape ( http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/wea00/wea00251.htm ).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harold-ambler/mr-gore-apology-accepted_b_154982.html - source of the original quote that Thomas referenced
http://www.globalwarming.org/node/135 - partially answers question of water vapor’s far larger role, though it admits role of water is poorly understood (as is role of CO2, aerosols, and most other feedbacks)
http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-101/ - Dr. Spencer (climatologist) nicely explains why CO2 and greenhouse effect are overstated and how feedbacks dominate the picture anyway; including some unrelated to GHGs.
Probably far more important (and potentially rendering whole AGW argument moot) is the role of nonlinear mechanisms like the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation and heat vent). This, if valid, should kill the warming argument outright because it represents a natural planetary mechanism for eliminating excess heat totally unaccounted for in the climate models (unaccounted because they have no means yet to model it).
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