Saving Gaia with Bovine Tailpipe Intervention

 

Never mind that in 2006 it was reported that levels of the second most important greenhouse gas, methane, have stabilized.

Scientists are now working to create a new “tootless” grass for bovine enjoyment which will help cut methane emissions from the bovine tailpipes. What next? A moratorium on baked beans at BBQs? Editing out that scene from Blazing Saddles so that school kids don’t get bad ideas that might harm the earth?

According to the Scientific American article: “During the two decades of measurements, methane underwent double-digit growth as a constituent of our atmosphere, rising from 1,520 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) in 1978 to 1,767 ppbv in 1998. But the most recent measurements have revealed that methane levels are barely rising anymore — and it is unclear why.”

From NewScientist: “Although this is good news, it does not mean that methane levels will not rise again, and that carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.”

Indeed, methane has made a small uptick in the last year.

Actually, NewScientist is wrong. CO2 is not the biggest “gorilla” of greenhouse gas on planet earth. It’s water vapor. Our earth would be much colder without water vapor in the atmosphere…it would be much like Mars. I seem to recall seeing a figure for average global temperature of about -14°F with water vapor absent.

So many of the climate models focus solely on CO2, but they leave out water vapor as clouds in the equations, or assume water vapor is static.

CO2 is far from being the most potent greenhouse gas. Chloroflourocarbons (CFC’s) commonly used as refrigerants as far worse at trapping infra-red in our
atmosphere.

Of naturally created GHG’s, Methane is 23 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than CO2. Nitrous Oxide is even worse at 296. So far no emergency legislation has been authored to eliminate the effect of cows or dental surgeons. The Kyoto treaty does not address these other gases either.

Here is a gauge of various gases and their “GWP”:

Global Warming Potentials Of Gases
(100 Year Time Horizon)
GAS GWP
========================
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1
Methane (CH4) 23
Nitrous oxide (N2O) 296

Hydrofluorocarbons
HFC-23 12,000
HFC-125 3,400
HFC-134a 1,300
HFC-143a 4,300
HFC-152a 120
HFC-227ea 3,500
HFC-43-10mee 1,500

Fully Fluorinated Gases
SF6 22,200
CF4 5,700
C2F6 11,900
C4F10 8,600
C6F14 9,000

The concept of the global warming potential (GWP) was developed to compare the ability of each greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere relative to another gas. In this case, CO2 is the reference gas. Methane, for example, has a GWP of 23 over a 100-year period. This means that on a kilogram for kilogram basis, methane is 23 times more potent than CO2 over a 100-year period.

The interesting thing here is that this stabilization of methane levels in our atmosphere happened all by itself, and the scientists are clearly baffled as to an explanation. But that doesn’t seem to phase anyone promoting research to prevent cow tooting.

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108 thoughts on “Saving Gaia with Bovine Tailpipe Intervention

  1. There’s nothing in the USHCN specs about siting a station near the cow pasture. Do we have a lurking warm-bias in the rural stations now? ;-) On the other hand, that cow can hardly be a lights=0 situation.

    REPLY: There’s nothing in the CRN specs either, but that’s another post.

  2. OK, wheres the obnoxious Evil Carbon to put a Gore face on your pastoral portrait?
    ======================================

    REPLY: Comments from Evil Carbon automatically go into the SPAM filter now, since he’s just pushing t-shirts and has nothing to contribute.

  3. The surface concentration of CO2 on Mars is about 15x that of the surface concentration of CO2 on Earth.

  4. That picture gets 10/10!

    It really adresses a seriouis issue, are those rural stations really that rural? Maybe they should be renamed rearal. :)

    Ok, lets try to get serious again.
    That list with differents gases GWP is a bit misleading imo. While it may be accurate on how strong different greenhouse potential different gases have it does not reflect the reality.

    It would make more sense to set up a list that shows GWP with the concentrations that currently are present in our atmosphere, including water vapor.

  5. What a great photo. I remember one evening, about 1988 standing on my front patio with my 12 year-old daughter, with the mooing of the cattle in the dark fields below us. I made a joke, referencing bovine GHG emmissions, and suggested they should be equiped with pilot lights, providing an amusing contemplation of jets of flame in the dark.

  6. You need to multiply the GWPs by the current concentration to get actual contribution to ‘GW’
    – also for Water Vapour…

    – I read somewhere is works out at about 90-95% water vapour, 5-10% CO2
    – and not very much for the others…

  7. Yer ‘orrible!

    Sorry, that was the latent Kiwi in me coming out.

    Anyway, I’m guessing that things like rotting vegatation/sea life/other natural processes/garbage/etc probably puts a whole lot more methane into the air than cow toots. I seem to recall that there was even enough methane stored in the ice in parts of the Arctic that you could actually set a chunk of ice on fire. Maybe the levelling off of the methane concentrations is related to the ice now trapping more than it has been releasing lately?

  8. From the article: Cows’ production of methane is down to the microflora in their gut that helps them to digest their food. As these microbes break down the grass’ cellulose, methane is produced as a by-product, the majority of which is burped up.
    So, to be correct, although perhaps not as humorous, there should be flames coming out of the cow’s mouth, not back end.

    From NewScientist: “Although this is good news, it does not mean that methane levels will not rise again, and that carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.”

    Since this statement says “it does not mean”, and includes “that C02 remains the 800-pound gorrilla…” in the same sentence, then I agree that the fact methane levels aren’t rising does not mean that C02 remains the 800 pound gorilla. Never was, of course. More like a 2-oz. (just a guess) baby bird.

  9. Actually, although water vapor does contribute the most of any single GHG to our current climate, it is not considered to be a radiative forcing factor at this time because it is not changing the climate. It is considered to be a feedback factor though because water vapor is largely dependent upon air temp.

    “…Radiative forcing is a measure of how the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system is influenced when factors that affect climate are altered…” AR4 FAQ 2.1

    Radiative forcing is a function of both the warming tendency of the gas and it’s concentration. For this reason, at this time CO2 is considered to be about 3 times stronger (has 3 times the global warming potential) as far as radiative forcing goes than methane (because methane is much less common in the atmosphere). CO2 is considered to be about 10 times as strong as N2O when it comes to radiative forcing.

    Therefore the statement “carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.” is technically correct, even though CO2 does not currently contribute as much to our planet’s current climate as water vapor does.

    Those interested in more information about this and how these values were derived and their use should check out the AR4 Chapter 2.

    Arch

  10. (OK… the gorilla statement is figuratively correct if not technically correct.) ;-)

    Arch

  11. New Scientist: “Although the World has not ended, that doesn’t mean that the World will not be end”

  12. Has anyone else noticed how the media refers to CO2 emissions as “carbon emissions”? If it were carbon we were emitting it would cause cooling.

  13. I put the AR4 in the fiction section. Clearly C02 is not important or else it would not be cooling now or would not have cooled in the 1970s.

    Other factors are more important.

    Just because the IPCC fabricated an idea about Co2 being the most potent GHG does not make it so.

  14. This “stabilisation” of atmospheric methane was also noted in the following paper from NOAA back in 2003.

    ‘Atmospheric methane levels off: Temporary pause or a new steadystate?’
    E. J. Dlugokencky
    NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    S. Houweling
    National Institute for Space Research (SRON), Utrecht, The Netherlands
    L. Bruhwiler, K. A. Masarie, P. M. Lang, J. B. Miller,1 and P. P. Tans
    NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    Received 8 July 2003; revised 8 July 2003; accepted 2 September 2003; published 8 October 2003.

    [1] The globally-averaged atmospheric methane abundance
    determined from an extensive network of surface air
    sampling sites was constant at 1751 ppb from 1999
    through 2002. Assuming that the methane lifetime has been
    constant, this implies that during this 4-year period the global
    methane budget has been at steady state. We also observed a
    significant decrease in the difference between northern and
    southern polar zonal annual averages of CH4 from 1991 to
    1992. Using a 3-D transport model, we show that this change
    is consistent with a decrease in CH4 emissions of 10 Tg
    CH4 from north of 50N in the early-1990s. This decrease in
    emissions may have accelerated the global methane budget
    towards steady state. Based on current knowledge of the
    global methane budget and how it has changed with time, it is
    not possible to tell if the atmospheric methane burden has
    peaked, or if we are only observing a persistent, but
    temporary pause in its increase. INDEX TERMS: 0330
    Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Geochemical cycles;
    0365 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Troposphere—
    composition and chemistry; 1610 Global Change: Atmosphere
    (0315, 0325). Citation: Dlugokencky, E. J., S. Houweling,
    L. Bruhwiler, K. A. Masarie, P. M. Lang, J. B. Miller, and P. P.
    Tans, Atmospheric methane levels off: Temporary pause or a new
    steady-state?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(19), 1992, doi:10.1029/
    2003GL018126, 2003″

    I note that Ed Dlugokencky is quoted in the Scientific American report but doesn’t say anything like “yes, we noticed this 5 years back and I can’t understand why there have been all these scare stories in the media about methane.”

  15. I originally thought that you meant “faze” instead of “phase” in the last sentence, but with the “phase shifting” the AGW crowd will soon be going through, I decided you were making a very clever joke.

  16. Whether or not H2O is regarded as a green house gas, one surely has to take into account the current concentrations of H2O (and other gases) when ranking the real GWP of an increment in any other gas. If so, one would note that the absorption spectra of methane and water have such considerable overlap that added methane has a very low GWP.

  17. Pingback: Scientists Tackle New Global Warming Threat « Innocent Bystanders

  18. You NEVER hear the global warmers talk about Methane’s stabilization but some of the newest Methane numbers show an increase again.

    Here’s Mauna Loa’s numbers up to March 2008.

    Here’s the global averages for the four main GHGs.

  19. Actually, although water vapor does contribute the most of any single GHG to our current climate, it is not considered to be a radiative forcing factor at this time because it is not changing the climate. It is considered to be a feedback factor though because water vapor is largely dependent upon air temp.

    So what they’re saying is that:
    Water vapour = more warming = more water vapour = more warming …
    is not true.

    But:
    CO2 = more warming = more water vapour = more warming …
    is true?

    As for taxing flatulent cows, the Estonian government will be really surprised when the farmers turn to producing subsidised biofuels or building golf courses on their land, thus bringing about food shortages.

  20. I am with Jerker and Phil in wanting to see an expanded data table.

    You might even do water vapor at zero and 35 degrees C.

  21. “So many of the climate models focus solely on CO2, but they leave out water vapor”

    Ocean currents, Solar Wind (sunspots), and who knows what else.

    —–

    “One message from our study is that in the short [ed: ten to twenty years] term, you can see changes in the global mean temperature that you might not expect [ed: since only Mankind, not Nature, can affect Climate Warm – er – Change] given the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” said Noel Keenlyside from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences.

    If you wonder what this sentence means, it means “Our models, if correct, imply that the IPCC projections for the next 15-20 years are incorrect.”

    Recall the words that are being used when a controversial published article disagrees with a detail of a skeptic’s theory: we typically read about one last nail in the coffin of an oil industry stooge. ;-) But when 2,500 hacks are proved wrong in a completely essential aspect of their paper – the projection of temperatures for the whole next decade -, a very different language must be chosen, right?

    —–

    …In 1905, PDO switched to a warm phase.
    …In 1946, PDO switched to a cool phase.
    …In 1977, PDO switched to a warm phase.
    …In 1998, PDO showed “a few” cool years.
    …In 2008, PDO seems to be switching to a cool phase.

    Note that the cool phases seem to coincide with the periods of cooling (1946-1977) and the warm phases seem to coincide with periods of warming (1905-1946, 1977-1998).

  22. That GHG potential is very useful!

    What Phil said earlier, except I have heard the CO2 figure as high as 30% (I don’t believe that, though).

    If it is 5% of GH effect, the rating of water vapor would be somewhere between 1/25 and 1/150 (half that for 10%). Does anyone have a more precise figure?

  23. The IPCC positive feedback formula:

    Increased CO2 (warming) –> increased water vapor (warming) –> decreased ice cover/albedo (warming) –> “tipping point” (runaway warming)

    The AquaSat negative feedback observations:

    Increased CO2 (warming) –> increased cloud cover/increased albedo (cooling), increased precipitation –> stabilized ice cover/albedo

  24. The argument for CO2 is essentially this:

    For thousands of years the temperature was perfectly stable (big, big lie) and when mankind came along and added 3% more CO2 into the atmosphere it tipped the balance into runaway global warming (also a big lie).

  25. So, the period of the dinosaurs lasted for 150 million years or so. How much Methane did the average dinosaur produce? A little bit more than cows I would deduce.

  26. Waters primary function seems to be moving heat from the surface to further out in the atmosphere. The turbulent processes are what seems to make keep that surface temp relatively stable (day vs night). The vapor absorbs more heat, but the net probably isn’t a big deal. It’s probably like the nitrogen phase change on pluto making it 10C cooler than expected. If the water cycle doesn’t slow down, it won’t warm us up.

  27. I noticed that methane concentrations were less than 2000 pp billion. That tells me that it doesn’t take much human activity to change it. I do know that there is much less methane flaring from oilfields today than 30 years ago. That could explain part of it (oilfield flaring is likely < 99% efficient, so some always escapes). Today, methane is not flared but captured for fuel and chemical use (methanol, urea, etc.). The other big source is coal mining. Could be a shift there regarding the type of mining and the type of coal (low sulfer coal, etc.) mined nowadays.

  28. Pingback: Skeptics Global Warming | New Grass to Cut Methane in Livestock Flatulence

  29. “Scientists are now working to create a new “tootless” grass for bovine enjoyment which will help cut methane emissions from the bovine tailpipes.”

    Eurocrats should love this. After banning GM ‘frankenfoods’ for people, we’ll now make ‘tootless’ grass for Bessie. Big Mac’s will never be the same.

    (Andrew: are you sure this isn’t left over from the first of last month ?)

  30. Hmmmmm they must have been humming as old rhyme my father used to say some years ago.

    Beans beans the musical fruit
    the more you eat the more you toot,
    the more you toot the better you feel,
    let’s have more beans at every meal.

    This study is getting very close to squat.

    some one is getting desperate to find something to stay on top.

    Bill Derryberry

  31. It is still snowing here in Southern Montana. Kind of a late spring, reminiscent of the 1970’s.

  32. Therefore the statement “carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.” is technically correct, even though CO2 does not currently contribute as much to our planet’s current climate as water vapor does.
    Wrong, Arch. The 800-pound gorilla of climate change is actually the sun. Doh.

  33. I just love this title. But I am kinda confused with the tooting. The ScienceDaily article you linked just mentions the burbing of cows as the process that releases methane. This is ‘consistent with’ what my Swiss farming stepmom taught me about the four stomaches of a cow. In between the stomaches they gulp and chew the cud. Mooh.

    And this is from your amazing link regarding the consequence of the prototype (burbless?) grass:
    1)

    However, some scientists suggest that a cow’s absolute methane emissions might go up.

    Alistair Macrae, a lecturer in farm animal health and production at the University of Edinburgh, UK, says a diet too rich in highly digestible carbs can actually increase the amount of methane a cow belches out. This is because gut microflora convert more of these sugars into propionic acid, which creates a more acidic environment resulting in more methane.

    Ian Givens, a professor of animal science, at the University of Reading, UK, says that more digestible forage could push up a cow’s absolute methane emissions but productivity gains would mean less methane per unit of milk.

    Beever agrees and says, ‘It could increase methane emissions but it could also increase milk yields, effectively cutting the amount of methane produce per litre of milk.’

    This reminds me of an old Swiss story and movie about a cow that ate from a very special grass in a canyon. It didn’t produce any milk. And suddently it would produce by far more milk than the other cows. It thus became cow queen in a cow festival. When marching in on top of a parade, the cow collapsed and died – because of overfeeding and overmilking.

  34. ATTN: Phil and Everbody!

    For a detailed, step-by-step calculation of the contribution of water vapor to the greenhouse effect, GO:

    http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html.

    Monte Hieb is a mine safety engineer and works for the W. Virgina Dept. of Mines, and knows about the chemistry and physics of gases. Use legal size paper if you want to print out this file for study. I highly recommend that you print out file so it is at hand for ready reference. As a matter of fact print out copies and send them to you Congressional and state representatives.

    Also checkout some of the articles re global warming and climate change at this site. Be sure to take a quick look at the fossil pics. I could never quite figure out how these are found in underground coal mines in these mountains of solid rock.

  35. Chris,

    Coal seam methane extraction prior to mining the coal provides methane for fuel and chemical uses, reduces methane release during mining and reduces mining hazards. That’s a “threefer”!

    There have also been major programs over the past 30 years to reduce leakage from the natural gas transmission and distribution systems in the US.

    Also, venting natural gas once was common in the middle eastern oil fields; now, the market for LNG has changed that picture.

  36. The reason water vapor is not included as a forcing factor is that the is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere. The absolute amount water vapor per unit volume of the air fluctuates so rapidly that it would be extremely difficult to incorparate these variations into models.

    As a matter of fact this also applies to CO2, but most modellers ignore this. They also use the wrong conc of CO2 in the initialization parameter. The actual conc or abs.amount of CO2 in real or ambient air at 15 deg C, 1 atm pressure and 1% abs humidity is about 366 ml/cu meter. The value for standard dry air is 388 ml/cu meter or ppmv.

    The conc of CO2 in the atmosphere based air samples analyzed at Mauna Loa or any site is referenced to standard dry air, which is air at 273.2 K. and 1 atm. pressure and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases.

    In the tropics at 30 deg C and 1 atm. pressure with 4% abs humidity, the abs amount of CO2 is about 336 ml/cu meter but the rel conc would be still be 388 ppmv.

    Most people, like 100%, haven’t got the foggest idea what 388 ppmv means. This improper use of rel conc of CO2 in climate models is a fatal flaw, and this is why the mid-troposphere is not warming according to model predictions, er, projections.

    Now it has been known for quite sometime (since ca 2003) that there is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere. Go over to ESL and locate images from the AQUA-AIRS satellites. And watch the video of the changing CO2 conc especially over the continents.

    Don’t happen to have the links, but I will find them and post them here.

    For more info about standard dry air, GO: http://www.uigi.com.air.html

  37. I can’t believe anyone is having a cow about this still. This whole exaggerated threat of gastric bovine methane (from their burps is all rather dumb. For starters total heads of cattle in the USA roughly equal 17th c bison population (100 million).

    If methane’s really a threat, which at the moment is a 58 ppm CO2 equivalent (hey, anyone know what the CH3 IR absorption curve is like?) then the biggest potential source of it is the boreal tundra permafrost which is being progressively thawed by soot deposition. This is what V. Ramanathan & C. Zender have told everyone who’ll listen: Mitigate the soot ASAP and you can buy some time. And my guess is that in the interim, as soot levels fell, we’d also acquire a fair amt of improved science that’d ease the worries about CO2.

    BTW the country with the biggest cattle population is India, with 400 mil. Bad, evil India. They need to stop having sacred cows… or plow-pulling oxen Convert to industrial, diesel (soot spewing) sacred agricultural machinery now!

  38. Harold Pierce Jr said: “The reason water vapor is not included as a forcing factor is that the is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere. The absolute amount water vapor per unit volume of the air fluctuates so rapidly that it would be extremely difficult to incorparate these variations into models.”

    Actually Harold, the reason the IPCC doesn’t include it is because “since it’s not man made, it’s irrelevant.”

    I’ve been attempting to write an article on the role of water vapor for “The Mysterious Climate Project” but continually run into a brick wall over all the different numbers floating around due to it being a “moving target” as you suggested. As most know, water comes in the solid form (ice), the liquid form, and as vapor. Unfortunately, water in the atmosphere can morph between all three depending on conditions.

    According to Atmospheric Physicist Fred Singer, I should use a figure of 95% for water’s role in the overall scheme of things… and after much research into other’s papers (including “Water Vapor Rules”), I think I’ll go with that number.

    By the way, have you ever wondered why the Pogies assigned “1” to the GWP of CO2? The short answer is if they assigned it to water, CO2 low number would be a laughing stock by comparison (my theory)!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  39. Pingback: Curbing Bovine Flatulence « Musings of a Thoughtful Conservative

  40. KuhnKat (07:29:17) wrote :

    “Here is a good table already made for us!!…”

    LOL, I guess it is made for you if you are prone to believe propaganda because you like its sound rather than questioning it.

    Let’s check out Singer’s claim to 95% of the GHG effect being attributed to water vapor; he is very clear about his sources:

    a) Can’t access this paper from 1993.

    ***********

    b),http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/PMichaels_Jun98.pdf

    This is a policy statement and not a peer reviewed paper. It can get away with saying anything that sounds good. The 95% statement is made but it is unsubstantiated as to where it came from. In the same paragraph it makes the long disproved “saturated gas argument” that claims that because the H2O absorption spectrum largely overlaps with the CO2 absorption spectrum therefore CO2 is inconsequential.

    **************

    b) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/302/5651/1719

    This is viewpoint piece in Science.

    I quote from the first line:

    “Modern climate change is dominated by human influences, which are now large enough to exceed the bounds of natural variability.”

    Second paragraph:

    “Various atmospheric gases contribute to the greenhouse effect, whose impact in clear skies is 60% from water vapor, 25% from carbon dioxide, 8% from ozone, and the rest from trace gases including methane and nitrous oxide (1).”

    Source (1) is

    J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth 97 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
    Available here:

    http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf

    They state that H2O vapor is responsible for 60% of the warming in a clear sky. (table 3)

    Singer gets an A+ for creative writing on this one.

    *******************************

    c) http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/environment/appd_d.html

    This is an article from the DOE from 14 years ago. It cites few sources (one of which is a textbook from 1950). Although it does make the 95% claim, it is clear that this value is for the troposphere only. It also makes the statement that “Carbon dioxide adds 12 percent to radiation trapping which is less than the contribution from either water vapor or clouds”.

    This is a very dated statement and only someone desperate for a source would cite it; particularly since it (once again) does not back up Singer’s 95%claim.

    **************************

    d) Personal Communication– Dr. Richard S. Lindzen

    ‘nuff said.

    e) http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=010405M

    This reproduction of a talk given to businessmen in 2004. No sources are cited other than Mauna Loa and Vostok data and the empty claim that: “At present there have been literally hundreds of studies carried out showing a similar correlation” [concerning sun spots and global mean SST]. I don’t even see the 95% claim made in the talk. (maybe it is there I honestly did not look very hard).

    f) http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm

    This curious and undated document also does not support the 95% claim (it states 90% but makes no claim to a source.) I’m not sure who was being facetious here; the reporter or the EPA. (Did this really happen?)

    *********************

    g) Air and Water Issues

    I can’t access this document. But they apparently cite Lomborg and refer to GHGs as “satanic”.

    ***************************

    h) http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/ci/31/special/may01_viewpoint.html

    This opinion piece cites no source other than personal opinion for it’s >95% claim.

    i) http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/sci_and_techn-glacial_expansion_03-04.pdf

    This obscure magazine article cites no source for its claim that water vapor is responsible for 96-99% of GHG effect.

    There you go. Out of 7 sources I can trace not one scientifically backs up his claim that 95% of the GHG effect is from H2O and a couple of them contradict it.

  41. New Scientist has a definite pro-AGW bias, as has been pointed out by its former editor Nigel Calder. It’s no surprise really that they would downplay water vapour and the sun, and focus on methane and CO2.

    Just thinking about bovine methane emissions. Is there any way these could be tapped on an industrial scale as a form of biofuel?

    Another kind of “wind farm” perhaps?

  42. RE: Monte Hieb’s Calculations

    I went over his article and calculations, and I couldn’t find the conc of water vapor he used. However, his calculation are correct if you set the conc of water vapor at 1% or 10,000 ml /cu meter. This is mean global average conc in the atmosphere.

    If we make the zero order approximation that water vapor and CO2 absorb the same amounts of IR per molecule, then contribution of water vapor to the greenhouse effect is: % contibution = 10, 000 ml/10,000+380 x100 = 96.3.

    In the tropics with 5% water (i.e., 100% rel hum at 30-35 deg C), water’s contribution to the greenhouse effect is 99.3% since the amount of CO2 is 366 ml/cu meter.

    Water’s contribution is actually much higher because water molecules absorbs IR much more efficiently than CO2 because it has permanent electric dipole and CO2 does not. IR cannot be absorbed by a molecule unless there is change in the electric dipole moment. CO2 is a weak absorber of IR becuse its transient electric dipole is generated by collisions with nirogen and oxygen and this process is dependent upon pressure and temperature.

    Molecules that absorb IR DO NOT re-emit this radiation due to the high rate of collision deactivation of the excited states with nitrogen and oxygen. This process is called radiative transfer.

    Yikes! The Sun has started to shine here in Metro Vancouver, and I now have no excuses (i.e., rain) for not mowing the grass.

    I’ll get back to you with some ref’s.

  43. My new invention to control that cow’s emanations:

    It’s the Bovine Utensil to Trap and Treat Potentially Lethal and Unhealthy Gases. The commercial name? That’s what acronyms are for: The ButtPlug.

    Can you imagine the sales pitch?
    Protect the Earth now! Insert a ButtPlug in your cows!

  44. In our news today;

    “AUSTRALIAN agricultural output will double over the next 40 years, with climate change predicted to increase, rather than hinder, the level of production.

    A recent spate of reports forecasting the decline of Australian agriculture because of climate change have greatly exaggerated, and even completely misreported the threat of global warming, according to senior rural industry figures. ”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23681267-11949,00.html

  45. So, if I understand the bottom line of Harold Pierce Jr’s explanation of radiative transfer based on absorption of IR by water vapor vs CO2 (folks – that’s a BIG assumption, but here goes): essentially, water vapor absorbs IR, then re-radiates the absorbed energy. This quality makes it a greenhouse gas. Given its approximate atmospheric concentration and that water molecules have a permanant dipole, it is an efficient one (amounting to at least a 96.3% contribution globally), vs. the more limited ability of CO2 to do the same. Both absorb and re-radiate IR energy: water vapor efficiently (dipole +) and CO2 inefficiently (dipole -). That seems to be the key point, if I understand the thread.

    So, on that basis, CO2 would have a minor contribution climate change, somwhere in the range of ~4% to <1%.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume these figures are somewhere in the ballpark of reality. The question then becomes, in my mind, how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere can be factored out of the overall CO2 load (?) and attributed specifically to anthropogenic sources? For example, isn’t the ocean a significant reservoir of CO2, which is released (or absorbed) according to whether the oceans warm or cool? Ditto other GHGs.

    I recall reading (unreferenced source, like a George Will column) that the human contribution was in the realm of 3%. That sets the human contribution to greenhouse warming from CO2 to about a maximum of 0.1%-0.2% (eg, 4% X 3% = 0.12%) – don’t know about the other GHGs. This figure seems absurdly low, but even so, it suggests that we mortals have only a very minor, if not negligible effect on climate change globally. I’d love to see some actual figures on what the human contribution of CO2 is to the global CO2 load.

    Thanks, y’all for putting up with an absolute novice!

    Anthony, the cow picture was absolutely perfect!

  46. My apologies to Dr Singer to whom I erroneously attributed the weak references to. They should have been attributed to Monte Heib.

  47. ArchStanton,

    thanks for your effort.

    I have to admit that the chart is rather fun, especially since three papers have come out in the last 2 years debunking the so-called greenhouse effect of CO2 that the IPCC, and warmers in general, need for their catastrophe.

    So, you can not find any support for the effects of H2O. I will do the same as the warmers continuously do to us Sceptics who question their position.

    Read AR4. It is in there. The necessary FEEDBACK to get CO2 amped is now a connection to H2O!!!! But, as with most of their pseudo science of feedbacks and forcings, there is little physical or well known about it.

    Sorry about that!!

    As has been mentioned by several people in this thread, H2O comes in many styles and effects. It can be positive feedback or negative. Kinda like some of the people here in San Francisco!!!

  48. Re: Harold Pierce, Jr.
    Actually, CO2 has 4 vibrational modes,3 of which are ir active, though 2 of these are at the same frequency (technical term: doubly degenerate). In any event, CO2 molecules do not need to collide with other molecules in order to absorb ir radiation or vibrate in all of thir modes. Molecules vibrate even at low temperatures (zero point energy— a manifestation of the uncertainty principle).

  49. Arch Stanton cited:

    “f) http://www.ecoenquirer.com/EPA-water-vapor.htm

    This curious and undated document also does not support the 95% claim (it states 90% but makes no claim to a source.) I’m not sure who was being facetious here; the reporter or the EPA. (Did this really happen?)”

    Interesting, I stumbled across this site just this afternoon. I didn’t read that article, but had you read some others you would have figured it out. I started with the Levitating Island article, http://www.ecoenquirer.com/levitating-islands.htm , which was more intriguing than I expected. “Pristine Alaskan Glacier Turns Into Tropical Wasteland” at http://www.ecoenquirer.com/Frosty-Cove-Alaska.htm made the seriousness of the site clear, and “More Polar Bears Suffering Heat Exhaustion” at http://www.ecoenquirer.com/polar-bear-heat.htm convinced me the site will need further study. The photo of the bear hugger is a bit misleading.

    A check with whois showed that the domain name is owned by someone you just apologized to. The person in Alabama….

    It’s been around for years, but not updated lately. Do others here know about it? I would have expected several references by now. Hopefully with tongue properly implanted and not like http://www.sott.net/signs/editorials/signs20060308_EcoEnquirerAWasteofCyberspace.php

    Hey – I just noticed that dhmo.org does note DHMO contributes to global warming and the “Greenhouse Effect”, and is one of the so-called “greenhouse gasses.”

    At least some people enjoy climatology. :-)

    -Ric

  50. @Ric
    Looking at the photo of the bear-hugger, I’d say it’s at least 75″F over there!
    That bear needs a cold beer quick.

  51. Alex Cull, I laugh at ‘wind farm’, but you’ve probably predicted the future; HVAC barns. A fart is a terrible waste to waste.
    =============================

  52. Arch Stanton said: “LOL, I guess it is made for you if you are prone to believe propaganda because you like its sound rather than questioning it.

    Let’s check out Singer’s claim to 95% of the GHG effect being attributed to water vapor; he is very clear about his sources”

    Nice try, Arch. But I’ll take Singer’s information over anything you can offer. I’ve known Singer for over 10 years and consider him a scientist of impeccable integrity who wouldn’t jeopardize his reputation for anyone or anything.

    As I said in my post, I’ve been researching water’s role in the GHE for quite awhile and have wrestled with just about every scenario imaginable. From figures as high as 99%, to Singer’s (and others) 95% , and onto the 67% quoted by the IPCC, the actual amount seems to be as illusive as quick silver. But for the purpose of reporting the best available number, I’ll settle for the 95% figure until proven otherwise.

    You and your other Pogie friends seem to thrive on demonizing the names of all opposed to your nonsense. Surprise, surprise: your stature is coming to an abrupt end! You can only lie, deceive, and manipulate others for a given time. As the truth finally emerges, you’re going to be left with a reputation in rags and the laughing stock of those in the scientific and academic communities who stood by their guns and against the exploitation and destruction of the scientific method.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  53. ATTN: A. Fucaloro

    I’m one of those pot-boiling organic chemist whose routinely use IR spectroscopy, but I’m not particulary knowledgeable about the details of the gas-phase molecular spectroscopy of small molecules. Thanks for the info. However, isn’t there some controversy about contribution of collision-induced dipole moments vs those from natural vibrations to absorption of IR at moderate pressure (i.e., ca 1 atm)?

  54. Has anyone seen any empirical data on the water vapour content of the atmosphere?

    For such an important metric in the global warming field, someone should be studying it. I have searched for this data before and found absolutely nothing.

    There has been an increase in low cloud cover in the middle and higher latitudes (which might be related to water vapour or not I don’t know) but even an increase in low cloud cover could be responsible for all the increased temperature in the last century. Precipitation patterns across the globe have not changed much – a small increase in the US that I am aware of.

    Where is the empirical water vapour data?

  55. EUREKA!

    ATTN: Everbody!

    I have finally found a really nice IR spectrum of ambient air which shows the absorptions of H2O and CO2 that are on scale. GO:

    http:www.nzclimatescience.images/PDFs/ccr.pdf

    See page 12 of this article and note the conditions of the air. There is a fairly large amount of water vapor in the air at 28 deg C and 76% rel humidity.

    The most important part of the spectrum is at the far right side. The author mentions the maximum in the OLR IR spectrum from earth is at 500 wavenumbers.

    Joel M. Kauffman is a biochemist and somewhat of a gadfly on certain health issues.

    I recommend that you printout this article for ready reference.

  56. On an unrelated note, watching the excellent “What the Romans Did For US” series on History International, the narrator was talking about the first Roman landing on the British Isles, and made a side remark, “The ocean has receded quite a bit in the last 2000 years…” So, how about all that “unprecedented” nonsense?

  57. I think the thing here is that water vapor makes up 95% of GHGs in the atmosphere, not that it makes up 95% of the GHG effect. Big difference.

  58. Satire for one is deadly serious for another.

    I am thinking campfire coffee and sliced beef off the spit.

  59. I’ll be happy when I don’t have to see this flaming cow…

    REPLY: Oh you just wait, I have more pictures. ;-)

  60. As others have pointed out, most bovine methane comes from the front end raher than the rear. But I really did enjoy your photoshopped picture.

    I recently emailed the makers of Beano (really works) that the active ingredient be commercialized to prevent bovine flattulence, possibly save the planet, and increase their sales by billions. It didn’t get very far. Some nincompoop answered me that it was only approved for human use, not for animal use.

  61. Jeff, I guessed as much, but there is actually a very simple explanation as well. What you are seeing would be the shadows of the early morning rain-clouds over the various island at dawn. Alas, Frosty Cove is just a tiny bit too obvious. Funny, though.

  62. Bill Illis said: “Has anyone seen any empirical data on the water vapour content of the atmosphere?”

    Bill, I’ve spent over 1,000 hours researching that very subject since last September with no answer in sight. I’ve interviewed dozens of scientists (mostly climatologists), read hundreds of papers, and I can’t get a definitive answer to what is as you describe, the most important metric of all. The only thing I can say is that it’s MASSIVE and dwarfs all other GHGs in comparison.

    One has to remember, climatology is in its infancy. And if there’s one thing to will come out of the AGW hoax, it will be a better understanding of the world in which we live, including our atmosphere.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  63. One thing I never saw mentioned was how much CO2 is absorbed by the plants the Cows eat.

    I figured out that even with the 23 times the GWF that Methane has over CO2, due to the large amounts of grass or grain that are eaten by cows, depending on how you figure it, they absorb 5 to 7 times the Green House Gas Effect then they emit.

    Let me find the numbers and get them to ya here in a few!

  64. Pierre Gosselin said: “I’ll be happy when I don’t have to see this flaming cow…”

    Anthony replied: “Oh you just wait, I have more pictures.”

    How about one with an old fashioned spark plug afterburner mounted about 3″ from her butt? You could hang a small battery from her underbelly and tie the whole thing together with a solar cell. During the day the solar cell would keep the battery charged and when the cell wasn’t charging, a relay would allow the flow of the battery’s current to enter a coil and onto the spark plug.

    The cow pasture would look great at night, and besides, it would create jobs for all those hired to extinguish the resulting fires. Damn. I’m a genius!

    I don’t want to leave my name

  65. Tony. It’s pretty obvious when you look at the picture. But the satire is still funny.

  66. For Arch and others who question how much influence water vapour has on the greenhouse effect, here’s a practical way to get a feel for the numbers.

    Spend 24hrs in a desert.

    By day the temperature can get into the high forties C. By night the temp is in the low single figures.

    Now cross the mountains to the west and spend the day on the same latitude in the coastal plain.

    By day the temp can get into the low forties, but by night the temp will stay in the low twenties.

    Measure the temperatures, humidity and CO2 levels in both places.

    Calculate the average temperature in each place and observe the amount humidity, (water vapour) brings to the greenhouse effect.

    In the desert at night you’ll also get a great view of the stars, (but wrap up warm.)

  67. Ric Werme (and others),

    Thank you for your comments and further research. Indeed I had not looked at any of the other articles at Ecoenquirer. :-)

    Thank you also for background on the domain name. I have now added whois to my favorites.

    Arch

  68. McGrats (05:41:04)

    That’s the best you can do? You acknowledge that the proportionate contribution of CO2 as a greenhouse gas (BTW we are not talking about a forcing factor here) is difficult to pin down so you will believe your personal acquaintance over published data? You will believe a source that cites a reference that has the approximate credibility of the Onion to back up his arguments (and even then it doesn’t back them up)?

    Do you expect your website to be credible or just to spread half baked propaganda?

    About forcing factors: In order for something to be a forcing factor it has to change in the amount of influence it has on the climate (change in quantity). CO2, methane, albedo, these are all changing therefore they are currently forcing factors. They are “forcing” the climate to change. Water vapor is really not changed directly by human activities enough to be a forcing factor. This is why the IPCC does not consider it as such even though it is universally acknowledged as the most influential single GHG. (Funny how so many poorly informed folks think that this is somehow disputed by someone.) Because water vapor is very sensitive to temperature its atmospheric level is being changed indirectly by the other forcing factors. Therefore its value as a feedback mechanism is included in climate models under the appropriate forcing factor, but you will not find it listed individually as such.

    “You and your other Pogie friends seem to thrive on demonizing the names of all opposed to your nonsense. Surprise, surprise: your stature is coming to an abrupt end! You can only lie, deceive, and manipulate others for a given time. As the truth finally emerges, you’re going to be left with a reputation in rags and the laughing stock of those in the scientific and academic communities who stood by their guns and against the exploitation and destruction of the scientific method.”

    Pogie? Oh brother, do you jump to conclusions! Everyone should be as fortunate as I am to pay so much in taxes.

    Destruction of scientific method??? You, the one who accepts (until proven otherwise) arguments from people who cite facetious articles as references imply that you are the defender of the scientific method?

  69. Kevin B,

    I have acknowledged (multiple times) that H2O vapor is the single most dominant GHG (although not a forcing factor of the world’s climate). Why would your experiment help us to quantify H2O vapor’s contribution to the global climate? If it really were responsible for 95% of the GHG effect wouldn’t we expect the nights on the desert get closer to 5K (or whatever the temperature of outer space is?)

  70. Arch, if, when the whole global warming deal blew up, we had installed well maintained, reliable measuring devices for temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in rural areas in both low and high humidity zones we would have had twenty or thirty years worth of high quality data on which to base our theories.

    Instead, we opted for relying on the old weather stations and spent the money on international conferences and speculative models.

    Trying to model climate is a worthwhile endeavor, but without reliable data to develop the theories and test the models out, the well known GIGO principle comes into play.

  71. The way I understand it, at sea level or near ground level (I realize these can be drastically different things) CO2 absorption bands are saturated and overwhelmed by H2O IR absoption, since the bands overlap. But at higher altitudes the bands separate once again, which is why the mid-to-upper Troposphere should be warming faster than the surface. That the observations don’t show any warming at those altitudes, it can be concluded that CO2 has a minimal effect.

  72. Oh and Arch. Spending twenty four hours in the desert gives you a good insight into what the ‘greenhouse effect’ is and how big a role water vapour plays in it, and the contrast between a desert where the sweat comes out and evaporates instantly at two in the afternoon and a coastal resort where the sweat drips of you and your cold glass of beer seems to leak all over you at two in the morning also gives a hint.

    And I also found it good for the soul. (I wasn’t joking about the stars.)

  73. I’ve put together a table showing greenhouse gases by pre-industrial numbers, additions broken down by source (natural and anthropogenic), and another table with the GWP added. I also calculated percentages and more. The table can be found at http://www.climateclinic.com/html/gwp.html.

    Constructive criticism, suggestions, and comments welcome. Pogies… forget it! I wouldn’t waste my time reading your junk.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  74. In the vein of “one is innocent unless proven guilty,” should not the AGW proponents be made to first “prove” the hypothesis that increased CO2 = increased global mean temperature, despite contrary empirical data over the past decade? All the heavy science quoted above is great inside the glass walls of academia, but moot if Mother Earth, under the spell of an anemic Solar Cycle 24, Chilean volcanoes, etc., does not abide by any of it!

    Remember, 99% of the Earth’s history has been inhospitable to us soft, pink humans! How in God’s name can we suddenly effect a change counter to Earth’s “normal” state of glaciacian? BTW the “normal” state is FAR worse than the worst scenerio the AGW types can gin up!

    BOTH sides above sound like a school yard full of 5 year olds!

  75. Pingback: Los pedos de las vacas « PlazaMoyua.org

  76. Pierre Gosselin (08:41:42) :

    “I’ll be happy when I don’t have to see this flaming cow…

    REPLY: Oh you just wait, I have more pictures. ;-)”

    For the back-path CH4 travel, I think flaming nostrils would look good. That and some dragon wings. Closing in on someone strapped in but not secure in his F50.

  77. If it really were responsible for 95% of the GHG effect wouldn’t we expect the nights on the desert get closer to 5K (or whatever the temperature of outer space is?)

    Arch, here’s an experiment to try.

    Take a large sealed vessel and fill it with a mixture of 20% Oxygen and 80% nitrogen and suspend a temperature sensor in the vessel.

    Apply heat to the bottom of the vessel. You will notice that the temperature of the gasses in the vessel will begin to rise. This is because the molecules of gas in contact with the bottom of the vessel will get excited as the heat gets through the vessel. These excited molecules will rise up through the gas and bounce of other molecules causing them to get excited. As the rising molecules pass up through the gas, other less excited molecules will sink to the bottom to replace them, where these in turn will contact the hot surface and get excited themselves.

    These effects are known as conduction and convection, (a.k.a the forgotton modes of heat transfer.)

    Record the rise in temperature of the gas and then remove the heat source. Record the fall in temperature of the gas. Note that the temperature does not drop of instantly but falls gradually till it matches the temperature of the vessel.

    Now take a vessel filled with the same proportions of O2 and N and add 5% water then repeat the experiment. Pay particular attention to the slope of the temperature graph after the heat source has been removed. You can repeat this experiment with other proportions of water vapour up to 5%.

    Take another vessel filled with O2 and N, but this time add a smidgeon of CO2, (say 380 ppm/v), and repeat the experiment. Again observe the slope of the decay.

    Double the amount of CO2in the mix. Heck, whack it up to 1000ppm/v and repeat.

    Using the results of these tests, build a computer model which can accurately recreate the global mean temperature for the past 100 yrs and accurately predict global mean temperature for the next 100 yrs.

    Oh, and when you visit the desert, if your very careful you might see, just as dawn breaks, insects and the lizards that prey off them sipping from the tiny drops of dew on the shady sides of dunes. Desert air is dry, but seldom completely dry.

  78. Arch:
    “If it really were responsible for 95% of the GHG effect wouldn’t we expect the nights on the desert get closer to 5K”

    That is patently absurd. There’s PLENTY of water vapor in the desert. Obviously not as much as in other places, but clearly more than you appear to think is there.

  79. Arch; actually there is an anthropogenic imput into H2O levels into the atmosphere, and, therefore, by your definitions an increase in H2O forcing; since 1945 the amount of water dammed has increased drastically; this has the effect of increasing water surface area, since that water now in dams would otherwise be in the ocean and under its surface; with an increased water surface the amount of evaporation must increase; it is, therefore inappropriate for IPCC not to include H2O as a direct forcer.

    The CO2 issue of forcing is rather ‘forced’; the IPCC give a forcing value to increased levels of CO2 based on its ‘forcing’ of a stable (which is incorrect for the reason above) quantity of H2O to increase its forcing effect. The other problem I have with the forcing effect of CO2 is its alleged heat trapping and transfer properties; Harold and Fucaloro, amongst others, have touched on the complex facility of CO2 to absorb IR; Wien does not appear to have a limiting effect on CO2 absorbtion because the temperatures are not sufficient to shift the wavelength to non-absorbant windows; Beer and the linear-sq root-log decline also appears to not be a dampener of CO2 sensitivity because of the difference between the rate of excitation due to thermal excitation and the rate of collisional deexcitation; Fucaloro’s observation seems to confirm that. Given that, what is the limit to CO2 heat trapping and transfer properties other than limiting the amount in the atmosphere and waiting for the ‘opaqueness’ of the stuff already there to gradually lesson?

  80. ATTN: Everbody!

    I have finally found a really nice IR spectrum of ambient air which shows the absorptions of H2O and CO2 that are on scale. GO:

    http:www.nzclimatescience.images/PDFs/ccr.pdf

    The JSE is a very dubious source. They also think Dowsing is something that should be taken seriously.

  81. Grass species are highly influenced by water, temp, soil, and grazing pressure. Even if they were were to alter ryegrass, which is the most used grass, they would maybe affect 2-3% of the grazing done by bovines. That leaves 97% of the grass niche unfilled.

    These researchers are full of cowpoop.

  82. Jeff Alberts said: “The JSE is a very dubious source. They also think Dowsing is something that should be taken seriously.”

    Jeff, as far as I’m concerned at this point, I can’t comment on whether the article is any good or not. I did download it and print it out for later reading and found the first couple of pages interesting. It seems like the only time I have left for reading anymore is when I’m sitting on the thunderjug.

    However… With respect to dowsing, that’s another matter. As a lifelong researcher, I’m inclined to try just about anything once. And I did just that with a “dowsing rod” I purchased over the ‘net.

    Jeff, I couldn’t believe my eyes, that dowsing rod located an old well on my property as well as a PVC sewage line (that did not have a trailer wire imbedded in it). I opened the well and sure enough… water. As far as the PVC pipe is concerned, it always has some type of water in it whether it’s raw sewage or dishwater.

    It was an interesting experiment, and one I’ll always remember!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  83. Jack, you need to read up in the Ideomotor Effect, and go to Randi.org. Dowsing always works, when the dowser knows where the items he’s looking for are. When he doesn’t, no better than chance.

    As for water, you can drill pretty much anywhere and eventually hit water.

  84. Jeff Alberts (said: “Jack, you need to read up in the Ideomotor Effect, and go to Randi.org. Dowsing always works, when the dowser knows where the items he’s looking for are. When he doesn’t, no better than chance.”

    This may be true. However in my case, I had no idea a well had ever been on my property much less capped off and buried under ~8″ of grass. I also had no idea a drainage pipe was in that location. I had thought the drainage pipe would have gone under a porch instead of around it since the porch was relatively new in relation to the house.

    As far as being able to just about drill anywhere and hit water, in this case, therein lies the snag: it turns out all homes in this area had wells but because they ran dry, they had to bring in a municipal supply. The amount still in the well was very small.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  85. Jeff, the so-called “Ideomotor Effect” appears to be little better than a form of pop psychology. Skepticism is about keeping an open mind about things, not being closed-minded. Dowsing has neither been proven to work, scientifically, nor has it been disproven. Einstein himself, while perhaps not a believer in it, thought there was something to it.
    Regardless of what you think about dowsing, it has no bearing on the article at JSE.

  86. cohenite said: “Arch; actually there is an anthropogenic imput into H2O levels into the atmosphere, and, therefore, by your definitions an increase in H2O forcing; since 1945 the amount of water dammed has increased drastically; this has the effect of increasing water surface area, since that water now in dams would otherwise be in the ocean and under its surface; with an increased water surface the amount of evaporation must increase; it is, therefore inappropriate for IPCC not to include H2O as a direct forcer.”

    Here’s a better one: the products of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels are of course CO2, but also H20. If I balance the equation properly, isn’t (by vol) half of the tailpipe emission water vapor? If so, that’s a lot of forcing right there.

  87. “So many of the climate models focus solely on CO2, but they leave out water vapor as clouds in the equations, or assume water vapor is static.”

    This is simply not true.

    Not sure what “vapor as clouds” means; clouds are condensed water or ice suspended colloidally.

    If by “the” climate models you mean GCMs, i.e., models built from small scale physics, this claim is in any case false. All GCMs include dynamic water vapor. It is obviously crucial to have water vapor as one of the varying quantities, since without tracking water vapor you can’t have realistic storm patterns emerge from first principles. No GCMs have “static” or “left out” clouds or water vapor.

    REPLY: I beg to differ. I’ll let my buddy Craig James at WOOD-TV explain it in his posting That darned water vapor

  88. Jack, dowsing has failed every legitimate test. Your experience is anecdotal, since no controls were in place, no witnesses, etc.

    Personally I don’t believe in the Ideomotor Effect, I believe in con men.

  89. That’s where the GCMs fall flat. Sure they take water vapor into account. If it weren’t for the positive reinforcement of increased water vapor, CO2 warming wouldn’t matter for beans.

    Trouble is, there ain’t no positive reinforcement.

    The water vapor won’t oblige by forming high-level cirrus clouds or hanging around as ambient vapor as the models predict. Instead a big chunk of it appears to be going into low-level cloud cover which increases albedo and acts as a negative reinforcement, leading to homeostasis. Which is why we had 10 years of flat temps in spite of the PDO, AMO, NAO, and AO blasting away at max. warm plus a 4% CO2 increase to boot.

    Now PDO is gone south and Solar Cycle 24 is dudding out on us.

    DeVries. (Rhymes with “Freeze”.)

  90. OK, so anthropogenic sourced increases in atmospheric H2O are coming from dams and fossil burning; and if the current Spencer (and others) thesis is that atmospheric H2O is a negative feedback then increases in H2O are a cooling forcer.

    But if CO2 does have a heating effect is that effect limited by such negative feedbacks or something inherent in the CO2 heat ‘trapping’ process. The Kauffman paper shows the spectographic sensitivity of CO2 to be at 15 and about 10 microns. Richard Petschauer in this paper shows the same thing;

    http://www.junkscience.com/jan08/Global_Warming_Not_From_CO2_20080124.pdf

    So the effect of CO2 is dwarfed by H2O and cutailed by the H2O negative feedback, but presumably the CO2 heating potential will persist if CO2 levels are maintained or increased. The Stefan-Boltzmann emmissions roughly double from 0F to 100F and the Wien peak energy wavelength moves about plus or minus 10% during that range which occurs diurnally and regionally. Given that the CO2 sensitivity is so concentrated it appears that the SB/Wien combo can put a brake on CO2 heating regardless of the difference between the rate of IR excitment and the much quicker rate of collisional deexcitment because the wavelength shift will prevent, or drastically reduce, IR excitment; in fact if IR excitment is mitigated, the quicker rate of collisional deexcitment will act as an additional cooler with the CO2 molecules losing or transfering their heat and not recapturing more.

  91. “cohenite (18:11:16) :

    OK, so anthropogenic sourced increases in atmospheric H2O are coming from dams and fossil burning;”

    I apologize for not having hard data, but I suspect that agricultural irrigation needs to be added to the list. Anyone who has flown across the Great Plains and appreciates a good window seat has seen hundreds or thousand of the circular “center pivot irrigation systems” that have a well in the origin and a half-mile long radial arm with sprinkler heads. They cover a huge area and must release vastly more water vapor than dam pools do. Much like burning fossil fuel, they tap “fossil water” and put it back into the hydrologic cycle. Hmm, I wonder how much influence they have on ocean levels.

    I finally got close to one, well, the end of the arm, at least, on a bicycle tour through Oregon, Idaho, and Montana in 2003.

    http://www.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/resource/tour/38/38scene3_e.php

    As long as I have the floor:

    2003 was hot – a couple days before the heat broke (and the forest fires took over) I bought a thermometer and recorded 106F in the shade under my handlebar bag, but above hot pavement. See http://wermenh.com/biketour/idaho.html et al. Nightfall in that area doesn’t help much – canyon walls are volcanic rock that soak up heat during the day to bake bicyclists at night.

    If you want to see serious desert cooling, the area around Flagstaff Arizona is good. Flat ground, porous soil, few plants, thin dry air. When the sun goes down the ground just can’t offset the radiational cooling. Here in New England, radiation cooling is usually limited by dew or frost. Especially on humid summer nights, dew forms and releases the latent heat in water vapor and what was a nice exponential curve flattens out.

  92. Sorry, but the amount of CO2 we’re putting into the atmosphere is small, the amount of H2O we’re putting in has got to be infinitesimal next to the amount already in the atmosphere at any given time. And in most cases we’re just moving water around, not adding new water which has been “locked away” for millions of years (as if that makes a difference). This whole discussion is silly.

  93. Since water vapor is a highly significant contributor to global temperature, I am wondering about the amount of added water vapor due to jet aircraft travel. Everyone knows that the number and size of jet aircraft in the air has increased substantially over the last three or four decades. They do burn a significant amount of fuel, but does anyone know of actual studies that put their contribution in perspective? Comments?

  94. cohenite: I too have wondered about irrigation adding H2O to the atmosphere,
    esp. those center pivots. I suspect most irrigation is from wells, and thus contradictory to Jeff Alberts assertion. Just the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer must be a big deal. With a total weight of the atmosphere at 5.7 X 10^16 tons (CRC Handbook) and an estimated 3.36 X 10^17 tons of water we have pumped from this aquifer alone in 50 years, 1955-2005, and a standard 1% (can’t find the source for this) concentration of H2O in the atmosphere, this seems like it could have an impact especially when considered globally.

  95. I’m sure some of the water evaporated, only to fall as rain all over again and drain down to the same or other aquifers. But compared to the amount of evaporation from the oceans, it’s less than a drop in the bucket.

  96. I came across this blog post yesterday. Okay, it was on a site called “Tree Hugger”, but but it was very interesting. They were reporting on a recent study by the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, FAO (links are provided in the article). And basically, the contention of the study is that with proper land management many semi-arid locations could not only support significantly more livestock, but do so in a way that would mitigate runoff and promote carbon sequestration. Not only that, they also make the point that cow poop (actually, ruminant poop in general) is an essential part of the whole cycle. In other words, it’s a win/win situation all the way around. Eat meat, be sustainable, teach others to be more sustainable, and get that warm fuzzy feeling I hear you get when you think you’re saving the earth from certain catastrophe. Except this is much more than just a feeling — assuming they’re right.

    It was a pretty interesting read. And if you don’t have time to read the entire study, do check out the slide presentation (it’s available in both powerpoint and pdf formats).

  97. Pingback: MIT scientists baffled by global warming theory, contradicts scientific data « CCRcreations’s Blog

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