Water Vapor most dominant greenhouse gas

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Misty, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Misty
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    Misty Gold Member

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    "Water vapor is Earth's most dominant greenhouse gas*
    It comes as a surprise to many, but water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere. It accounts for about 60% of the greenhouse effect of the global atmosphere, far exceeding the total combined effects of increased carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and other greenhouse gases."

    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/description/
     
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  2. FuelRod
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    FuelRod Gold Member

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    We need to do something about the oceans.
     
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Explaining how the water vapor greenhouse effect works

    What the science says...
    Select a level... Basic Intermediate
    Increased CO2 makes more water vapor, a greenhouse gas which amplifies warming


    When skeptics use this argument, they are trying to imply that an increase in CO2 isn't a major problem. If CO2 isn't as powerful as water vapor, which there's already a lot of, adding a little more CO2 couldn't be that bad, right? What this argument misses is the fact that water vapor creates what scientists call a 'positive feedback loop' in the atmosphere — making any temperature changes larger than they would be otherwise.

    How does this work? The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere exists in direct relation to the temperature. If you increase the temperature, more water evaporates and becomes vapor, and vice versa. So when something else causes a temperature increase (such as extra CO2 from fossil fuels), more water evaporates. Then, since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, this additional water vapor causes the temperature to go up even further—a positive feedback.

    How much does water vapor amplify CO2 warming? Studies show that water vapor feedback roughly doubles the amount of warming caused by CO2. So if there is a 1°C change caused by CO2, the water vapor will cause the temperature to go up another 1°C. When other feedback loops are included, the total warming from a potential 1°C change caused by CO2 is, in reality, as much as 3°C.

    The other factor to consider is that water is evaporated from the land and sea and falls as rain or snow all the time. Thus the amount held in the atmosphere as water vapour varies greatly in just hours and days as result of the prevailing weather in any location. So even though water vapour is the greatest greenhouse gas, it is relatively short-lived. On the other hand, CO2 is removed from the air by natural geological-scale processes and these take a long time to work. Consequently CO2 stays in our atmosphere for years and even centuries. A small additional amount has a much more long-term effect.


    So skeptics are right in saying that water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. What they don't mention is that the water vapor feedback loop actually makes temperature changes caused by CO2 even bigger.
     
  4. AmberR108
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    AmberR108 Rookie

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    I find this amusing because your SN is Misty.
     
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  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    And you can show us how this works in a laboratory setting, right, Miss Cleo?

    And you can show how it causes "wider and wider swings with an overall warming" (BBC - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling? Phil Jones - No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade))

    And you can show how the feedback loops causes CO2 to leave the oceans and simultaneously absorbed by the oceans in quantities that are turning the oceans acidic, right?

    It sounds to me like you just make it all up.

    In fact, I know you make it all up because you never once posted a single lab experiment demonstrating ANY of what you allege
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  6. Ernie S.
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    Ernie S. Platinum Member

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    Gotta tax them damned whistling teapots!
     
  7. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    Put me down for a couple thousand vapor credits please. :thup:
     
  8. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Al Gore is going to corner the water vapor market
     
  9. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Vostok ice cores going back 400,000 years show an 800 year lag between temperature increases and increase in CO2. So clearly CO2 is a passive passenger on the Global warming bus. Moreover if it worked as Old Rocks alleges (it doesn't) you'd see CO2 increases BEFORE increases in temperature. But the below chart, spanning the past 400,000 years shows that clearly not the case

    Science. Ain't it wonderful?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  10. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    The warmer the air over the oceans the more water vapor?
    So the warmer the more greenhouse gas?
     

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