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Water builds the heat in Europe
news.bbc ^ | Saturday, 12 November 2005, 09:16 GMT | Richard Black

Posted on 11/12/2005 11:31:33 PM PST by dila813

Water vapour rather than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the main reason why Europe's climate is warming, according to a new study.

The scientists say that rising temperatures caused by greenhouse gases are increasing humidity, which in turn amplifies the temperature rise.

This is potentially a positive feedback mechanism which could increase the impact of greenhouse gases such as CO2.

The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The scientists involved have used research networks and weather stations across Europe to measure temperature, humidity and longwave radiation, which plays a key role in the greenhouse effect.

Not from the Sun

"We observed that between 1995 and 2002, the amount of longwave radiation coming downwards to the Earth in Europe increased significantly, whereas solar radiation did not," said study leader Rolf Philipona, from the World Radiation Center in Davos, Switzerland.

Longwave radiation comes from molecules of gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour which have absorbed solar radiation after it has hit the Earth's surface and been reflected back up through the atmosphere.

"We wondered if this effect was simply because of a temperature increase at the surface - you would just get more radiation going up, and so more coming back down," Dr Philipona told the BBC News website.

"But we allowed for this, and for the impact of extra clouds, but still we found an increase."

The researchers calculated that this increase is partly down to higher concentrations of the gases such as carbon dioxide which are often described as causing the "man-made greenhouse effect"; but increased water vapour appears to have a larger effect, accounting for about 70% of the observed temperature rise.

Not all regions of Europe are affected equally.

Between 1995 and 2002, Eastern states appear to have warmed by a rate equivalent to about 2C per decade - considerably faster than their western counterparts.

According to the new study, that may well be down to humidity differences; broadly speaking, humidity has risen fast in the east but not in the west, where evaporation may be limited by the dryness of the Iberian peninsula.

Undervalued water

 
The ASRB unit at Gornergrat in the Alps measures longwave radiation
 
Although rising concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and other gases are almost certainly driving the global rise in temperature observed in recent decades, the natural greenhouse effect - without which the world would be considerably colder - is largely down to atmospheric water vapour.

Because human activities change its concentrations very little, it is generally not mentioned in discussions of modern-day greenhouse warming.

But climate scientists have been aware for decades that mechanisms involving water vapour could amplify temperature increases, and have attempted to model these effects in computer simulations.

Researchers sceptical about projections of human-induced climate change base their criticism partly on what they see as flawed simulations of water vapour and clouds.

So will this discovery force a re-evaluation of climate models? William Ingram, from the UK's Meteorological Office and Oxford University, believes not.

"This careful study confirms that this aspect of the climate system is behaving broadly as expected," he told the BBC News website.

"It is therefore consistent with projections by the scientific consensus."

Local hotspots

Arctic ice disappearing fast
Heat makes plants warm planet

But Rolf Philipona believes there might be regional implications which had not been appreciated before.

"There will be some parts of the world affected by strong feedback and others not - perhaps even a drying in some places," he said.

"We would see that water vapour would go up where there is enough water on the ground."

An increased concentration of water vapour is just one of the feedback mechanisms which could change or amplify the progress of human-induced global warming.

Others include:

melting of ice, leading to a greater absorption of sunlight
the conversion of forests from net absorbers of carbon dioxide to net producers
the release of trapped methane from permafrost.
Recent studies indicate that the first two of these mechanisms may already be in train.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: globalwarming
cool, the truth comes out!
1 posted on 11/12/2005 11:31:34 PM PST by dila813
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To: dila813

Someone will find a way of blaming this on man and more specifically the U.S.


2 posted on 11/12/2005 11:36:51 PM PST by Dat
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To: dila813

this is what I've been saying for the past 10 years. It's common sense/knowledge...but don't try to know better than a scientist...you got a PhD, you know better...and get paid better for being believed as knowing better.


3 posted on 11/12/2005 11:37:28 PM PST by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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To: dila813
Arctic ice disappearing fast

Baloney juice!

4 posted on 11/12/2005 11:50:28 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: dila813
The socialist's er... enviromentalists won't like this.
5 posted on 11/12/2005 11:51:25 PM PST by Fenris6 (3 Purple Hearts in 4 months w/o missing a day of work? He's either John Rambo or a Fraud)
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To: dila813
They can't predict tomorrow's weather.. But let them tell us that it is going to be extremely hot 100 years from now. In addition, lets transfer all our smog producing factories to China, because ala Kyoto, they don't count as far as emissions go...
6 posted on 11/13/2005 12:04:01 AM PST by IranIsNext
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To: dila813

First, if the sun isn't putting out more energy, then why are the ice caps on Mars melting?

Second, Most of Europe and North America were covered with ice around 15,000 years ago. Obviously it got significantly warmer since that then. If everything is man's fault, what happened then?

Clearly the planet is not static. It is constantly changing. To think we can just freeze the climate into a particular state is just plain foolish.


7 posted on 11/13/2005 12:16:32 AM PST by DB ()
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To: DB

Oops... "... since then."


8 posted on 11/13/2005 12:18:13 AM PST by DB ()
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To: DB
First, if the sun isn't putting out more energy, then why are the ice caps on Mars melting?

It's those two rovers the eeeevil U.S. sent to Mars. They're really SUVs. *twirling moustache* Muah-hahahahaha!

9 posted on 11/13/2005 12:20:39 AM PST by Prime Choice (Never excuse treason as "dissent.")
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To: Prime Choice
Cool, or is that hot, Terra forming rovers!
10 posted on 11/13/2005 12:22:46 AM PST by DB ()
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To: dila813
increased water vapour appears to have a larger effect, accounting for about 70% of the observed temperature rise.

Solution: coat the ocean surface with a thin layer of whale oil...

11 posted on 11/13/2005 12:26:30 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: dila813

This is backpedaling, from earlier claims that man made CO2 is the major cuprit in "Global Warming" I say, "Global Warming" is a problem, every time it happens. And it has happened over and over again in geologic time. As far back as the Coal Age, we had considerable increase in "Global Warming" resulting in ecological changes worldwide. As recently as the Middle Ages, palm trees grew in Southern England. This is clear, and the connection between man made CO2 and "Global Warming" isn't.


12 posted on 11/13/2005 12:28:16 AM PST by Richard Axtell (We are approaching the Abyss, let's not let them steer us over the edge...)
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To: dila813

This is just more proof of the deadly threat posed by dihydrogen monoxide. Ban it now!


13 posted on 11/13/2005 2:14:13 AM PST by karlito
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To: dila813
Just will not give up the big lie will they? Sorry but all the observable data says the claims about Solar Radiation is a fraud. Sun Spot activity has had direct, proved impact on historical weather. To claim there has been "no change" begs the question of HOW long have you measure for it? To say there is "no change" if the measurement period was say the last year, would indicate a POLITICAL agenda and data being manipulated to fit the political agenda of the Socialist in Drag in the "Climatology" mob.
14 posted on 11/13/2005 4:23:15 AM PST by MNJohnnie (Looks like the Iraqi Terrorists are getting tired of committing Suicide-By-Marine-Corps,)
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To: Dat
Someone will find a way of blaming this on man and more specifically the U.S.

Let me be the first: Its all Starbuck's fault! Brewing steaming coffee and frothing milk is just ruining the planet.

15 posted on 11/13/2005 4:44:23 AM PST by evolved_rage
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To: dila813

Oh, great! now we have to ban water?


16 posted on 11/13/2005 4:53:31 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: dila813

Go to Phoenix and look what adding water to the landscape has done to the region. This once healthy location - for people with breathing problems - has now the same water and vegation as any major city in America. No hot dry summers, now hot hummid summers.


17 posted on 11/13/2005 5:26:36 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: q_an_a

Does this mean that the emissions from the burning cars in France are part of the problem since water is used to put out the fires?


18 posted on 11/13/2005 6:06:35 AM PST by sitkaspruce
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To: dila813
None of the computer models can deal with water vapor or clouds. Both are major league players in the climate.

That's part of what makes the whole "Global Warming" media show such a joke.

19 posted on 11/13/2005 6:31:50 AM PST by capt. norm (Two wrongs do not make a right. It usually takes me at least three..)
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To: dila813

I find it fascinating that the temperatures have not been this warm in Italy since the 1700s, which of course was a very bad year for key industrial output across the world /sarc.



I'd like scientists to start researching the phenomenon in the US of the freeze line moving north annually by miles, early freezes, then unseasonably warm temperatures for November/December, followed by unusually cold temps in March through June. I'd like to know if our planet's magnetic fields are changing to the point of a major change in the poles.


20 posted on 11/13/2005 7:28:26 AM PST by sully777 (The Religion Of Peace apparently kills!)
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To: dila813
"We would see that water vapour would go up where there is enough water on the ground."

Brilliant, these europeans.

21 posted on 11/13/2005 8:43:20 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: dila813
Eventually, it will get up to 300% humidity, the lakes and seas will boil away, and murders will occur whenever some smartass European talks about how much better dry heat is than the other kind!
22 posted on 11/13/2005 9:09:18 AM PST by dr_who_2
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To: sitkaspruce

too timely for a Sunday.


23 posted on 11/13/2005 12:50:20 PM PST by q_an_a
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To: Dat

Oh, I can hear the greens advocating bans on crop irrigation already.

"Dry farming, for the earth!"

Better invest in those hydroponics now.


24 posted on 11/13/2005 8:57:11 PM PST by LibertarianInExile (Let O'Connor Go Home! Hasn't She Suffered Enough? Hasn't The CONSTITUTION Suffered Enough?)
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