Skip to comments.Greenhouse theory smashed by biggest stone (most potent greenhouse gas is H2O)
Posted on 03/28/2006 5:52:41 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
A new theory to explain global warming was revealed at a meeting at the University of Leicester (UK) and is being considered for publication in the journal "Science First Hand". The controversial theory has nothing to do with burning fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
According to Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the apparent rise in average global temperature recorded by scientists over the last hundred years or so could be due to atmospheric changes that are not connected to human emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of natural gas and oil. Shaidurov explained how changes in the amount of ice crystals at high altitude could damage the layer of thin, high altitude clouds found in the mesosphere that reduce the amount of warming solar radiation reaching the earth's surface.
Shaidurov has used a detailed analysis of the mean temperature change by year for the last 140 years and explains that there was a slight decrease in temperature until the early twentieth century. This flies in the face of current global warming theories that blame a rise in temperature on rising carbon dioxide emissions since the start of the industrial revolution. Shaidurov, however, suggests that the rise, which began between 1906 and 1909, could have had a very different cause, which he believes was the massive Tunguska Event, which rocked a remote part of Siberia, northwest of Lake Baikal on the 30th June 1908.
The Tunguska Event, sometimes known as the Tungus Meteorite is thought to have resulted from an asteroid or comet entering the earth's atmosphere and exploding. The event released as much energy as fifteen one-megaton atomic bombs. As well as blasting an enormous amount of dust into the atmosphere, felling 60 million trees over an area of more than 2000 square kilometres. Shaidurov suggests that this explosion would have caused "considerable stirring of the high layers of atmosphere and change its structure." Such meteoric disruption was the trigger for the subsequent rise in global temperatures.
Global warming is thought to be caused by the "greenhouse effect". Energy from the sun reaches the earth's surface and warms it, without the greenhouse effect most of this energy is then lost as the heat radiates back into space. However, the presence of so-called greenhouse gases at high altitude absorb much of this energy and then radiate a proportion back towards the earth's surface. Causing temperatures to rise.
Many natural gases and some of those released by conventional power stations, vehicle and aircraft exhausts act as greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide, natural gas, or methane, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are all potent greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide and methane are found naturally in the atmosphere, but it is the gradual rise in levels of these gases since the industrial revolution, and in particular the beginning of the twentieth century, that scientists have blamed for the gradual rise in recorded global temperature. Attempts to reverse global warming, such as the Kyoto Protocol, have centred on controlling and even reducing CO2 emissions.
However, the most potent greenhouse gas is water, explains Shaidurov and it is this compound on which his study focuses. According to Shaidurov, only small changes in the atmospheric levels of water, in the form of vapour and ice crystals can contribute to significant changes to the temperature of the earth's surface, which far outweighs the effects of carbon dioxide and other gases released by human activities. Just a rise of 1% of water vapour could raise the global average temperature of Earth's surface more then 4 degrees Celsius.
The role of water vapour in controlling our planet's temperature was hinted at almost 150 years ago by Irish scientist John Tyndall. Tyndall, who also provided an explanation as to why the sky is blue, explained the problem: "The strongest radiant heat absorber, is the most important gas controlling Earth's temperature. Without water vapour, he wrote, the Earth's surface would be 'held fast in the iron grip of frost'." Thin clouds at high altitude allow sunlight to reach the earth's surface, but reflect back radiated heat, acting as an insulating greenhouse layer.
Water vapour levels are even less within our control than CO2 levels. According to Andrew E. Dessler of the Texas A & M University writing in 'The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change', "Human activities do not control all greenhouse gases, however. The most powerful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapour, he says, "Human activities have little direct control over its atmospheric abundance, which is controlled instead by the worldwide balance between evaporation from the oceans and precipitation."
As such, Shaidurov has concluded that only an enormous natural phenomenon, such as an asteroid or comet impact or airburst, could seriously disturb atmospheric water levels, destroying persistent so-called 'silver', or noctilucent, clouds composed of ice crystals in the high altitude mesosphere (50 to 85km). The Tunguska Event was just such an event, and coincides with the period of time during which global temperatures appear to have been rising the most steadily - the twentieth century. There are many hypothetical mechanisms of how this mesosphere catastrophe might have occurred, and future research is needed to provide a definitive answer.
Obviously, tackling this problem will cost even more than we thought [/sarcasm]
We must eradicate all water from the planet immediately or we will all fry!
It sure makes more sense than the fossil fool theory. There were no fossil fuels burning back in the 13th? century when we went through the last temp rise. There are more trees in the USA today than when our Columbus discovered this place. Trees put H2O into the air. Makes more sense than the bearded smelly wackos goofy theory's.
bump for later
This is dumb, Everyone know that global warming is caused by Fox News and Republicans.
"the apparent rise in average global"
Apparent to whom? Not to anyone smarter then an M&M.
GW is a politicial idology not a science.
Notice, we never had global warming problems until everyone started drinking all that bottled water. Now they're all sweating and raising the temperatures and ruining the earth.
Did you RTFA?
Thought it might interest you.
Plus the water vapor rises more easily than CO2. A moloecule with two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom is considerebly lighter than O2 or N2 (oxygen and nitrogen respectively) and its part of the reason why moisture laden air rises and convection works. (heat transfer is the other part of it).
Water also has a high specific heat, meaning it can hold more thermal energy, per unit of its weight. That's why our oceans make such a good heat sink. Water can absorb heat without its own temperature rising as much as most other substances, due to its hydrogen bonds.
This study is sure to be ignored and its author's reputation smeared. Too many paychecks depend on the fossil-fuel-is-evil theory.
Bingo. That's why the 'global warming' liberals have been avoiding the subject. As long as CO2 can be nade the culprit, it was possible to connect it to mankind and industry....the two biggest enemies of liberalism.
They wanted to get control over energy, and thus have control over virtually all of man's activities. That's why people like George Soros et al sunk so much money into research grants paying scientists to reach foregone conclusions about global warming and ignoring all else.
Why else would they feel the need to realease another global warming scare story every few days?
Or one fifteen megaton bomb?
What kind of doofus wrote this piece of drivel?
While the author of the article discusses global warming caused by greenhouse gases (including H2O), Shaidurov's theory has little to do with greenhouses gases.
I know this just gets in the way of a good rant about the greenhouse gas theory of global warming -- rant away.
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