Skip to comments.Water vapor accounts for a whopping 90% or more of Earth's greenhouse effect! CO2 very minor player
Posted on 02/15/2010 5:52:36 AM PST by ETL
Three article excerpts...
So, greenhouse [effect] is all about carbon dioxide, right?
Wrong. The most important players on the greenhouse stage are water vapor and clouds [clouds of course aren't gas, but high level ones do act to trap heat from escaping, while low-lying cumulus clouds tend to reflect sunlight and thereby help cool the planet -etl]. Carbon dioxide has been increased to about 0.038% of the atmosphere (possibly from about 0.028% pre-Industrial Revolution) while water in its various forms ranges from 0% to 4% of the atmosphere and its properties vary by what form it is in and even at what altitude it is found in the atmosphere.
In simple terms the bulk of Earth's greenhouse effect is due to water vapor by virtue of its abundance. Water accounts for about 90% of the Earth's greenhouse effect -- perhaps 70% is due to water vapor and about 20% due to clouds (mostly water droplets), some estimates put water as high as 95% of Earth's total tropospheric greenhouse effect (e.g., Freidenreich and Ramaswamy, 'Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,' Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264).
The remaining portion comes from carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone and miscellaneous other 'minor greenhouse gases.' As an example of the relative importance of water it should be noted that changes in the relative humidity on the order of 1.3-4% are equivalent to the effect of doubling CO2.
Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System
Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect(4). Interestingly, many 'facts and figures' regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.
Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC's, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).
Human activities contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small-- perhaps undetectable-- effect on global climate.
Water Vapor Confirmed As Major Player In Climate Change
ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2008) Water vapor is known to be Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change.
Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide NOW!!
Drain the oceans immediately! Someone call algore.
Damn stuff made my car rust.
Additionally, it is the chief cause of death by drowning.
It should be banned IMMEDIATELY!!!
Gorebal Warming is falling apart faster than obozo’s HC plan.
Pray for America’s Freedom
Evil capitalists like the Coca-Cola company actually market it to KIDS and sell it in plastic bottles like a soft drink! The bastards are selling it to kids!!! Oh, the humanity...
Thanks. I was under the impression that CO2 was a more effective greenhouse gas, and that water vapor was so critical only due to its abundance. Are you sure, pound for pound, water vapor is a more effective greenhouse gas than CO2?
The DoD requires that minority and female soliders drink the stuff! It’s like the Tuskegee Experiment all over again!
Google “Harvard and MIT debunk global warming”
Many scientists say the figure is 95%
B U M P
“Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide NOW!!”
Shhhhhh! Please don’t give EPA any more bright ideas. For all we know, they may be already drafting an executive order to accomplish this objective since after all, ANY policy can be justified if it is in service of averting the doomsday that Al Gore has assured us will be ushered in by global warming.
And water vapor is so sneaky and such a silent killer, I bet you do not even know you are breathing it right now.
That's nothing compared to what the French have been up to! They sell it to us straight, and infuse it with Co2 to make
it even more of an environmental threat! I never did trust them!