With CO2 driven global warming becoming more discredited by new scientific evidence every day, the world's meddling climate regulators are casting about for a new gas to demonize. Last year the US Environmental Protection Agency was reportedly thinking of even classifying water vapor as a pollutant, due to its central role in global warming. Because water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for the majority of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, water vapor emissions during human activities—such as the processing and burning of fossil fuels—are again coming under increasing scrutiny by government regulators.
has shown that water vapor, gaseous H2O, plays an important part in regulating Earth's temperature. It has long been known that H2O is responsible for the majority of “greenhouse” warming. In fact, calculations show that removal of all greenhouse gases, leaving only water vapor, would decrease the absorption of infrared energy re-radiated by Earth's surface by only 34 percent. While water vapor in the atmosphere is highly variable, ranging from only trace amounts to as much as 4%, the overall average amount of H2O has been rising in recent decades.
According to a PNAS report
by B, D. Santer et al. the recent increase in water vapor is primarily due to human-caused increases in GHGs and not to solar forcing or volcanic eruptions. Satellites have observed an increase in atmospheric water vapor of about 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988. Observations show the increase in water vapor is around 6 to 7.5% per degree Celsius warming of the lower atmosphere. The study described the research this way:
Results from current climate models indicate that water vapor increases of this magnitude cannot be explained by climate noise alone. In a formal detection and attribution analysis using the pooled results from 22 different climate models, the simulated "fingerprint" pattern of anthropogenically caused changes in water vapor is identifiable with high statistical confidence in the SSM/I data. Experiments in which forcing factors are varied individually suggest that this ﬁfingerprint ‘‘match’’ is primarily due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases and not to solar forcing or recovery from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Our ﬁndings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth’s atmosphere.
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