Water World

This posting just points to a very well done page that calculates the relative contributions to the greenhouse effect as used by the AGW thesis, by various gasses. In particular, it includes water vapor. The result is a conclusion that human caused CO2 is not relevant to global temperature. Something I have said before, but without the nice graphs and calculations.

It really is all about the water on our water world.


Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System

Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Water World

  1. oldbrew says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Let’s put this up for discussion as the role of WV often gets buried in all the focus on man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

  2. edmh says:

    You will find relevant calculations even encompassing the WV input from the now old news Geocraft site


    Other relevant quantified denialist data making CAGW look stupid is to be found


  3. omanuel says:

    Thanks, E. M. Smith, for this post and for your effort to tell AGW propaganda artists to include water vapor in their calculations.

    The problem is that their goal is not climate modulation, but CO2 elimination.

    Best wishes for Memorial Day weekend!

  4. In the “geocraft” assessment the multiplier for methane is nonsense see https://cementafriend.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/methane-good-or-bad/
    Methane does not burn in the atmosphere so just going by the wavelength absorption or by measured emissivities/absorptivities (eg table 5-9 of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook) the multiplier (or CO2 equivalence) for methane is in the range 0.1 to 0.2 depending on temperature.
    If one assumes that methane is oxidised in the atmosphere (which it is not) and ignores water vapor (which is one of the points of the article) then the multiplier is 1. There are no other if or buts about residence time etc. Methane contributes nothing to the the supposed greenhouse effect and should thus not be called a greenhouse gas.
    Also, table 5-9 in the Chmical Engineering Handbook has an emissivity for NO which is an order of magnitude smaller than methane. NOx should then also be dismissed as a so-called greenhouse gas. The AGW alarmists ignore real data are just make-up nonsense figures to plug into their rubbish models.

  5. gymnosperm says:

    Repeated often to seemingly deaf ears: fossil fuel combustion produces TWICE as many molecules of water as CO2. For all our efforts atmospheric water seems flat or declining.

  6. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    Thanks for the tables. I have often wanted to see how water vapor relates to CO2, and here it is.
    A side effect of water vapor is clouds and rain/snow, that also have large impacts on temperature and climate.

  7. tom0mason says:

    gymnosperm you beat me to it, but here goes anyway –
    Yes since the dawn of the industrial age men has been mining fossil fuels that he burns for the energy it releases. In doing so it has also released into the atmosphere many Gigatons of a dangerous, possibly climate altering, gas called water vapor.
    Oh, and along the way some minor gas called CO2 gets released as well.

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    WATER is the working fluid of our Earth’s Fume Scrubber and Air Conditioning system. The conditions we enjoy are a direct result of Isolation on water under pressure caused by the mass of Oxygen/Nitrogen gas we live under.
    Sorry Trekies, a class M desert planet can not have a human breathable atmosphere. Only a wet class E planet will do. As volcanism decreases so will the mass of gasses we live under decrease under the on-sought of the solar wind. Always colder then before. To maintain conditions that we might survive we need more not less industrial efforts.

    Anyone that studies all the options realizes that more Fission power is the only real solution to long term energy needs. Dependable low cost energy is the only solution to improving the lives of all people as well as protecting the environment. The AGW mime is all ready dying as a believable argument. Now the argument must shift to these futile attempts to generate civilization growing amounts of energy with Greenie renewables. Just as the last 18 years of no real surface temperature increases has made a lie of all the computer climate model projections, The pending non-dependability of electric service must be broadcast as well as these massive cost increases to the citizens. When the people are freezing in the dark and wondering where their next meal will happen, there must be no doubt. Liberal Progressive Ecoloons are the cause! We don’t need them.

    Prophecies say that things will get so bad that the Liberal Progressive mantra will lose all popular support and will be thoroughly discredited. Be fore warned and protect those around you, those others must suffer to learn their lessons . pg

  9. FTOP_T says:

    Exactly p.g.,

    Meanwhile raptor populations and fish habitat end up decimated by our drive to renewables. All while the GE(s), Teslas, and Halliburtons of the world rake in billions through subsidies during this “transformation” to high cost low yield fuel which starves the world’s break baskets. You almost can’t make this stuff up.

  10. The models are wrong because they incorporate the radiation only theory of climate change whereas conduction and convection are also involved as a negative feedback mechanism. The phase changes of water work with conduction and convection to make the negative system response more efficient than it would be without water vapour.

    Even in the absence of water vapour the system would stabilise at a surface temperature of 288K though I do agree that the dominant control ‘knob’ for atmospheric temperatures is our oceans:


    The models assume that surface temperature must rise if GHGs increase but it doesn’t.

    The models assume that the Earth’s surface at a temperature of 288K radiates at 288K but it simply does not. It radiates at 255K because the other 33K is diverted to near surface collisional activity which exerts a constant upward pressure gradient force in order to hold the mass of the atmosphere off the surface against the downward gravitational force. See ‘hydrostatic balance’.

    GHGs can only try to interfere with the outward flow of 255k but they obviously fail because 255K gets out to space regardless. Changes in the speed of the convective cycle negate the GHG attempt to block outgoing radiation.

    The truth is that the mass of an atmosphere causes a decline in emission of photons with depth and / or density and Earth’s surface temperature then has to rise by 33K so that 255K can escape to space.

    The dry adiabatic lapse rate slope tracks the rate at which photon emission from the surface declines according to the mass of the atmosphere above it.

    The climate models would be more accurate if the element of assumed human caused warming from more CO2 were removed.

    That element was only inserted in the first place because climate science did not know what was causing the small amount of warming observed during the closing years of the 20th century.

    It was a fundamental error and must be reversed.

  11. Eric Barnes says:

    Good to see you commenting Stephen. I saw a post on the “Ministry of Propaganda” post at WUWT for about 1/2 hour. It seems the mere mention of conduction or convection is verboten there now. The luke-warmers are a very touchy lot these days. :)

  12. Thanks Eric.

    I’ve been getting my comments through at WUWT and even Willis has been less touchy than he was though still somewhat condescending.

    Nor does Leif argue with me any more concerning my proposition that solar wavelength and particle variations affect tropopause heights via changes in the balance of ozone creation / destruction. A recent paper goes a long way towards agreeing with me.

    My point about S-B not being applicable to Earth’s surface and atmospheric mass / density reducing photon emissions in favour of collisional activity with depth along the lapse rate slope would appear to completely rebut the radiative theory but it has taken me 8 years to narrow down their error to those simple points despite incredible obfuscation.

    I just need to wait now until that message sinks in more widely.

    Other sceptics need to pass it on wherever possible and a reference to me having been the first to point it out would be nice.

    I don’t think anyone else has said that mass density reduces photon emissions (radiation) below the S-B figure and that the DALR is the embodiment of that fact.

    Our 288k surface is radiating photons at a rate commensurate with 255K and not at 288K contrary to all other pronouncements.

  13. Eric Barnes says:

    It’s somewhat disappointing that not only the main proponents of Global Warming (scientists and bureaucrats), but also “skeptics” are stridently defending the radiation only paradigm. Your observations, along with EM, Konrad and Huffman explain how there is no danger of a runaway GHE and should be recognized IMO. I’m often reminded of Bretz


    I’d like to think the tide will turn, but I have a bad feeling this one will take decades.

  14. Eric Barnes says:

    And to set the record straight, I lost track of which post I’d replied to. So, rather than blame Anthony for any nform of censorship, it is only my memory that is at fault. Happens more than I’d care to admit these days. :)

  15. wayne says:

    Quoted yet again, bolded:

    Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

    It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

    This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

    Thank E.M. for displaying this for all to see and read. It is absolutely crucial for all to understand. That as stated, any co2 effect fades into the background where it belongs.

  16. Gibo says:

    It is a pity that the author of this page http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html
    included a bullshit link from http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm
    the Greenpeace spokesman Rainbow Treetower is a bit obvious. and the disclaimer on that site..
    All content on this site, being a mixture of parody, satire, and lame humor, is for entertainment purposes only. If any content is found to be offensive or objectionable in any way, please accept our apologies… but we also suggest that you get a life.

  17. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, looks like they got gaffed with that one. A scan of the other links looks reasonably sound. Since that one only really is linking the claim that EPA wants to class water as a pollutant (and given the insanity of claiming CO2 is a pollutant, it isn’t beyond the pale of reality…) I’d be willing to overlook it.

    Also note that it isn’t cited as any particular reference point in the article above the link. That is, it isn’t used as justification for any of the material presented or concluded. Given that, I can’t even say if the author knew or did not know it was a parody page. FAIK, he might have put it in the list of references just as a humor bit to demonstrate how whacky the EPA has become that a parody page could have an article saying that water was plausibly next on their agenda of how to control the world. (Or just likes humor). Given the recent “water grab” in California, it is very clear that “Eco-Nuts” are on the march to grab and control water in the West at a minimum. So parody is shading into reality in California.

    So absent a “motivation” for the link, I just see it for what it is; a bit of humor. (It isn’t like web pages are being published in peer reviewed journals and can’t have a bit of fun.)

Comments are closed.