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 The Real Global Warming

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PostSubject: The Real Global Warming   Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:45 pm

Just some facts about global warming to destroy the whole global warming hoax

Are greenhouse gases like a blanket around the Earth?

No, for the same reason that they don't behave like an actual greenhouse, they simply do not behave as a barrier to convective activity and so aren't "like a blanket."



So, greenhouse is all about carbon dioxide, right?

Wrong. The most important players on the greenhouse stage are water vapor and clouds. 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.
Important distinction:

Because the greenhouse effect and its players vary with altitude and latitude there is often confusion over differing statements regarding the greenhouse potential of constituent gases.

Given the present composition of the atmosphere, the contribution to the total heating rate in the troposphere (the portion of the atmosphere of most interest -- it is the region from the surface to basically the top of the active weather zone) is around 5% from carbon dioxide and around 95% from water vapor.

However, in the stratosphere, the contribution is about 80% from carbon dioxide and about 20% from water vapor, although this makes a relatively small contribution to total greenhouse effect.

Naturally, calculations for the total atmosphere yield different results yet again, as does consideration of latitude and season but the net effect in which we are interested is that which can realistically be expected to have significant effect on life at the surface, thus average tropospheric greenhouse at 95:5% water to carbon dioxide and other minor greenhouse gases.

The net total atmosphere greenhouse effect then is about 90% water (as vapor and cloud droplets) and 10% carbon dioxide and other minor greenhouse gases.

Remember that atmospheric properties in the Polar winter are tremendously different from the tropics, say during the monsoon rain season. Thus people may be correct citing widely varying greenhouse figures, always providing they are specific about the where and when. Unless otherwise specified this document refers to global net total atmosphere yearly average effect 90:10 H2O:CO2.

The adjacent radiation absorption window graphic gives an idea of which molecules absorb various wavelengths.

Where the shaded portions completely span between 2 lines it indicates that particular wavelength is fully absorbed and the "window" is saturated (or said to be "closed"). Once a window approaches saturation adding more gases with the same properties will do nothing exciting.

This point seems to cause a bit of confusion for some people so perhaps consider multiple shades on a window with each shade blocking half the light coming through. Pull one shade and you reduce the light source by half, pull another and you block half the light coming through the first shade, etc.. The effect of each shade diminishes as you keep adding more until eventually you get no additional effect - you have saturated or blocked the radiation window and it makes no real difference if you double or quadruple the number of shades again.


Well, I heard that carbon dioxide is bad -- it's pollution, isn't it?

There seem to be a few things that your informant forgot to tell you -- like carbon dioxide being an essential trace gas that underpins the bulk of the global food web.

Estimates vary, but somewhere around 15% seems to be the common number cited for the increase in global food crop yields due to aerial fertilization with increased carbon dioxide since 1950. This increase has both helped avoid a Malthusian disaster and preserved or returned enormous tracts of marginal land as wildlife habitat, land that would otherwise have had to be put under the plow in an attempt to feed the growing global population.

Commercial growers deliberately generate CO2 and increase its levels in agricultural greenhouses to between 700ppmv and 1,000ppmv to increase productivity and improve the water efficiency of food crops far beyond those in the somewhat carbon-starved open atmosphere. CO2 feeds the forests, grows more usable lumber in timber lots meaning there is less pressure to cut old growth or push into "natural" wildlife habitat, makes plants more water efficient helping to beat back the encroaching deserts in Africa and Asia and generally increases bio-productivity.

If it's "pollution," then it's pollution the natural world exploits extremely well and to great profit. Doesn't sound too bad to us.
But we're responsible for all the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect?

Gracious no! Humans can only claim responsibility, if that's the word, for abut 3.4% of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually, the rest of it is all natural (you can see the IPCC representation of the natural carbon cycle and human perturbation here or a simple schematic from Woods Hole here).

Half our estimated emissions fail to accumulate in the atmosphere, "disappearing" into sinks as yet undetermined. Humans' total accumulated carbon contribution could account for perhaps a quarter of the total non-water greenhouse gases (that is, accounting for all the increase since the Industrial Revolution regardless of source and irrespective of whether warming from any cause might result in an increase in natural emission to atmosphere -- we're simply claiming the lot as anthropogenic or human-caused here).

Assuming that water vapor accounts for about 70% and clouds (mostly water droplets) accounts for another 20%, thus water in it's various forms is 90% of the total greenhouse effect, leaving 10% for non-water greenhouse effect (we know we cited 95% above -- see "important distinction"). Of this remaining 10%, mainly atmospheric carbon, humans might be responsible for 25% of the total accumulated atmospheric carbon, meaning 0.25 x 0.1 = 0.025 x 100 = 2.5% of the total greenhouse effect.

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PostSubject: Re: The Real Global Warming   Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:46 pm

Well, how much does carbon dioxide heat the Earth?

Oh my, we were afraid you were going to ask that. Because so many of the atmospheric processes are still being sorted out and quantified this is a non-trivial task. But alright, here goes.

What we can do is plot some of the more common estimates -- note that these are something of a curve-fitting exercise on our part because we don't have the full papers and workings at hand. Stay with us while we run through a couple of rough sketch graphs, following which we'll try a different approach to see if we can't narrow the possibilities.

co2greenhouse-X2.png (16665 bytes)We'll offer three of the more commonly used and/or discussed estimates for the amount of cooling Earth would experience for a hypothetical zero-CO2, cloud-free atmosphere

1. Lindzen (5.3 °C clear sky, 3.53 °C with 40% cloud),
2. Charnock & Shine (12 °C clear sky), C&S are the big number guys in the estimation game (both these from Physics Today, 1995),
3. Kondratjew & Moskalenko (7.2 °C, commonly cited but we are not sure why, perhaps because Houghton used their estimate in his book, 'The Global Climate', 1984).

Here these estimates are simply scripted up to produce the following graphs and the numbers are imprecise, merely adequate to give everyone a reasonable look at how carbon dioxide fits into the picture.

Note also that there is still dispute over whether water would (does) act as a positive or negative "feedback" (multiplier effect) since water vapor and droplets (clouds) affect both incoming Solar radiation and outgoing Earth radiation.

Our simple script is logarithmic (remember our example of adding more shades over a window) but does not allow for complete saturation of radiative wavelengths, likely increases in evapo-transpirative cooling, increases in albedo (bright clouds reflecting more incoming solar radiation) nor any variation by latitude and so will progressively overestimate potential warming from CO2 alone. No matter, it does quite well enough to demonstrate the principle.

You can see how much this little script has overshot the mark since Lindzen states explicitly that a doubling from 300ppmv to 600ppmv of atmospheric carbon dioxide would result in only 0.5 °C warming. Rather obviously, Lindzen's calculations do not suggest a particularly large greenhouse influence on post-Industrial Revolution temperatures and, significantly, this does not include clouds, so CO2 would really only be a fraction of the total effect shown (Lindzen states 0.22 °C if calculated with 40% cloud cover).

co2greenhouse-X4.png (17247 bytes)Despite our over-estimation of the numbers on the graph it should be apparent there is only moderate warming potential from carbon dioxide emissions. These have all been plotted simultaneously so you can see the range of estimates for incremental change in temperature driven by greenhouse gases and below we show for a quadrupling of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas relative to pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Since some people are not familiar with logarithmic effect, we'll just point out a few features from the above graphs. Note the diminishing effect in all cases -- the first half of pre-IR greenhouse-driven temperature increment in each estimate is achieved by less than 20 parts per million carbon dioxide (20ppmv CO2), it then took adding thirteen times as much again to repeat the performance (to 280ppmv). The estimated temperature increment range for a doubling of pre-IR CO2 (graphed as 300ppmv to 600ppmv) is just +0.6 °C to +1.5 °C and for a quadrupling (to 1200ppmv) +1.3 °C to +2.9 °C.

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PostSubject: Re: The Real Global Warming   Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:47 pm

WHY IS MARS POLAR ICE CAPS MELTING IF THERE IS NO CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS IN MARS?



In a paper published in the journal Nature, she suggests that such winds can stir up giant dust storms, trapping heat and raising the planet’s temperature.

Fenton’s team unearthed heat maps of the Martian surface from Nasa’s Viking mission in the 1970s and compared them with maps gathered more than two decades later by Mars Global Surveyor. They found there had been widespread changes, with some areas becoming darker.

When a surface darkens it absorbs more heat, eventually radiating that heat back to warm the thin Martian atmosphere: lighter surfaces have the opposite effect. The temperature differences between the two are thought to be stirring up more winds, and dust, creating a cycle that is warming the planet.

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PostSubject: Re: The Real Global Warming   Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:49 pm

GRAPHS:



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 activites 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.


The chart at left summarizes the % of greenhouse gas concentrations in Earth's atmosphere from Table 1. This is not a very meaningful view though because 1) the data has not been corrected for the actual Global Warming Potential (GWP) of each gas, and 2) water vapor is ignored.

But these are the numbers one would use if the goal is to exaggerate human greenhouse contributions:

Man-made and natural carbon dioxide (CO2) comprises 99.44% of all greenhouse gas concentrations (368,400 / 370,484 )--(ignoring water vapor).

Also, from Table 1 (but not shown on graph):

Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 additions comprise (11,880 / 370,484) or 3.207% of all greenhouse gas concentrations, (ignoring water vapor).

Total combined anthropogenic greenhouse gases comprise (12,217 / 370,484) or 3.298% of all greenhouse gas concentrations, (ignoring water vapor).

The various greenhouse gases are not equal in their heat-retention properties though, so to remain statistically relevant % concentrations must be changed to % contribution relative to CO2. This is done in Table 2, below, through the use of GWP multipliers for each gas, derived by various researchers.

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PostSubject: Re: The Real Global Warming   Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:52 pm

SOURCES:

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

http://junkscience.com/Greenhouse/index.html

http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Warming_Proxies.html]

http://eetd.lbl.gov/HeatIsland/LEARN/

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