There certainly has been a great deal of discussion about the climate in the past several decades. During the 1970’s there was concern over the possibility of global cooling, while more recently there has beenwidespread fear of global warming.
Everyone admits that the global climate is extremely complex. It appears that in the distant past the earth’s climate has undergone significant changes. More recently, some scientists are predicting severe consequences from a much more modest global climate change.
As scientists seek to understand any physical process they need to isolate the effect and influence of individual variables. In terms of the climate, there is a complex interaction of the sun and the earth’s atmosphere, and it is difficult to isolate the effect of individual components. The composition of the earth’s atmosphere is usually given as consisting of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon and 0.04% (380 parts per million) carbon dioxide, plus other trace gases. It also, however, contains a significant amount of water vapor, which varies widely with atmospheric conditions.
Recently, the component of the atmosphere that has generated a great deal of interest is carbon dioxide. Because the levels of carbon dioxide are so low, it is difficult to directly measure the effect of any change in concentration. In the absence of direct measurements on the effect of changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide on the climate, mathematical models have been designed. Of necessity, these models have contained certain assumptions and simplifications. It is by using these models that scientists have predicted the dire consequences of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
There is more to calling something “scientific” than using numbers. While obtaining some numerical results from a model is necessary in order to meet the demands of the scientific method, that, in itself, is not sufficient. Those numerical results must be compared to actual measurements, i.e. data. Data is the language of science.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of water vapor on climate. Water vapor is much more abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and its physical properties make in more important as well. Thus, it should be possible to measure its effect on temperature.
to download PDF file and read Earth’s Climate Engine by Dr. Daniel M. Sweger, AB (Physics, Duke University, 1965) and Ph.D. (Solid State Physics, American University, 1974)