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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
June 2, 2008

Global Warming Notes

Water Vapor, And A Real Scientific Consensus

I've told people several times now that I'm not going to post anything more on global warming because there's nothing more to be said that hasn't been said, and there's too much else going on in life that calls for time and attention. But every time something further comes up that it's just not possible to let by. In one of the eternal exchanges on the subject that I read recently, a doomsday advocate began with, "Carbon dioxide raises the Earth's temperature by 330C . . ." From there he went on to supply an estimate of the rate of increase of atmosphereic CO2 claimed to result from human activities, and hence to derive the kinds of figures we've all heard as a projection of the consequential warming that can be expected in the future.

But the realilty simply isn't so. It's a classic case of blaming the squashed table on hypothetical mice while ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room. Yes, the Earth's temperature is about 330C above what it would be at this distance from the Sun without a greenhouse effect. But 95% of that effect is due to water vapor, just about all of which is produced by natural causes. However, you can't tax it, blame it on your favorite villains, feel moralistically superior and guilty over it, or use it as a justification for imposing your ideology on a world that doesn't share it. So, astounding as it may seem, the reaction of those who would send us all back to being serfs on the global financial plantation--just as with the elephant--is simply to ignore it.

Without water vapor, CO2 makes up around 99% of all greenhouse gases in terms of concentration, of which the human contribution works out at 3%--which sounds significant and scary, and is the kind of statistic banded around and used as the basis for calculations like the one described above. When water vapor is factored in, along with the relative effectiveness of the various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the contribution of man-made CO2, which is what all the panic is about, drops to 0.117%--a factor of 25 less. Or to put it another way, a difference of a little over one cent in $100.

For a full explanation with all the relevant working, tables, and charts, see "Water Vapor Rules The Greenhouse System" at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

But it seems that the world of science might finally be waking up and starting to rebel against the misrepresentations and politicizing being perpetrated in its name. Dr. Arthur Robinson of Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine recently announced at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. that over 31,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 PhDs,have signed a petition rejecting the theory of man-made global warming. See at http://www.petitionproject.org/

For a comprehensive collection of references on "The Other Side of the Global Warming Debate," grouped under topic headings, see James Marusek at http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/OSGWD.htm

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