Skip to content

Water Vapor The Next Demon Gas

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.

Recent research 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.

Here SSM/I data refers to microwave radiometry measurements made with the satellite-borne Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I). According to the researchers, the observed changes in temperature, moisture, and atmospheric circulation fit together in an internally and physically consistent way. Results from the SSM/I dataset can be seen in the figure below, taken from the paper.

Water Vapor The Next Demon Gas ssmi water vapor data 500
Figure 1. from Santer et al./PNAS

The lower curve, labeled (B), represents the stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD), which registers the amount of small particles in the atmosphere. SAOD can be seen to peak after after major volcanic eruptions, events that are known to have a cooling effect on climate. Naturally Santer et al. found a “discernible human influence” on water vapor levels which, of course, has implications for ongoing anthropogenic global warming. “These findings, together with related work on continental-scale river runoff, zonal mean rainfall, and surface specific humidity, suggest that there is an emerging anthropogenic signal in both the moisture content of earth’s atmosphere and in the cycling of moisture between atmosphere, land, and ocean,” they conclude. Then again, they attributed all water vapor from evaporation due to rising global temperatures rise to humans—direct emissions are another story.

The US EPA’s 2009 report on the Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases states, “water vapor is not tracked in this indicator, as it is generally accepted that human activities have not increased the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere.” Furthermore, “no emissions control measures could significantly and directly affect atmospheric concentrations of water vapor.” No kidding. But this has not stopped the EPA from thinking about regulating water vapor for some time now.

According to EPA Director of the Department of Pollutant Decrees, Ray Donaldson: “Back before carbon dioxide was dangerous, we simply assumed that water vapor was also benign. But all reputable scientists now agree that the increased water vapor content of the atmosphere from such sources as burning of fuels and power plant cooling towers will also enhance the greenhouse effect, leading to potentially catastrophic warming.” Of course the EPA and various green NGOs find pollutants in every human activity. Asked for their position on the matter, Greenpolice spokesperson Rainbow Treetower stated, “Our basic policy is, if it’s good for people, it’s bad for the planet.” Thank goodness Mr. Donaldson added, “right now, we are not so concerned about the water vapor exhaled by people. That is low on our list of priorities.” I guess we can all continue to exhale.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) estimates that nearly two out of every three gallons of fresh water used in the Southeastern US is used to cool power plants. This amounts to around 40 billion gallons of water daily—about equal to the freshwater used for public supply across the entire country. One can draw similar conclusions for other regions in the developed world. During the heat waves in Europe a few years back France had to reduce output from several of its nuclear plants because for lack of cooling water. Does this mean that the EPA is right, that we humans need to rein in our H2O emissions?

When you think about the amount of energy released in a typical tropical storm, all of which comes from water vapor condensing back into liquid or solid H2O, it seems improbable that direct human water vapor emissions from cooling towers could have much of an impact on climate. To put this in perspective, a DOE white paper, “Water Vapor from Thermoelectric Power Plants, Does it Impact Climate?,” found that the total amount of water released from processing and burning all the world’s fossil fuel reserves at once would yield about 1 x 1016kg of water vapor. Spreading the effect of the conversion over 100 years gives a water vapor emissions rate of 1 x 1014kg water vapor per year. The current amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is 1.3 x 1016kg water. By this estimation, human emissions from power generation is less than 1% of the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere or 0.02% of annual rainfall worldwide (5 x 1017kg water).

This estimate only accounts for power generation. Estimates for cooling water vapor emissions come in at around 25 gigatons per year, boosting the human “industrial activity” total to 125 gigatons, still under 1% and still just a drop in the bucket. Others would include evaporation from the surface of man-made reservoirs and waterways, but this is the beginning of a slippery slope. If you want to find the largest source of water vapor directly attributable to humans look to crop irrigation, which uses 70% of the freshwater consumed world wide. But that opens the door to arguments of how much water would have evaporated if left undisturbed.

The evaporation of irrigation water has been estimated to cause a globally averaged surface cooling of 0.15 Wm–2. The surface cooling rate can be as large as 30 Wm–2 in highly irrigated areas. Of course this means that somewhere else within the atmosphere all that latent heat will get released when the water vapor turns into precipitation. The heat doesn’t disappear, it just gets moved to somewhere else in the troposphere—this process is heat neutral with respect to total climate system energy. Besides, if the choice is between irrigation and mass starvation any would be regulators would risk being drawn and quartered. It is plain to see why even climate change fanatics have stayed clear of water vapor regulation in the past.

As it turns out, despite the clamoring of green alarmists, nuclear power plants circulate significant volumes of water in the process of generating electricity but actually consume a small amount of water relative to other uses. Nuclear power plants circulate water to cool equipment, continuously returning the water to its source—comparatively little is turned into water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. For comparison, a combined cycle gas turbine plant needs only about one third as much engineered cooling as other thermal plants, since much heat is discharged in the turbine exhaust (along with a lot of that nasty CO2).

All power plants require some type of cooling, water is just usually the most convenient method. In fact, where availability of cooling water is limited, cooling does not need to be a constraint on new nuclear generating capacity. Alternative cooling options for nuclear and other types of power plants are available, though at slightly higher cost. It also seems that the WRI report was rather selectively myopic in its comparison.

Of all the freshwater consumed in the United States, electricity generation accounts for 3.3 percent—less than half of the freshwater consumed by residential use (6.7 percent), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. What is seldom mentioned by the diehard anti-nuke crowed is that nuclear power plants consume less water per unit of energy produced than some forms of renewable energy.

Bottom line, unless you are willing to make the stretch and blame evaporation from the oceans due to the past century’s temperature rise on humans, people just are not a major impact on atmospheric water vapor. The reasons why water vapor levels rise and fall remain a mystery. In particular, scientists are at a loss to explain why variations in the stratosphere can have such an impact on temperatures at the surface. According to NOAA researcher Susan Solomon, “it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect.” With science befuddled a number of climate change adherents are sticking with CO2, no matter what the research says.

Dave Britton from the UK Met Office reportedly said that the new water vapor research highlights the complexity of climate science. “But it does not challenge the basic science that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released from human activity are warming the planet,” he said.

In a similar vein, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate science at the Met Office, said: “Whatever’s causing this change from decade to decade is having an influence at the surface. But it is a small variation on top of the long term increase in man-made greenhouse gases.” While +30 to -25% doesn’t sound like a small variation to this observer, it’s good to know that many of the climate change faithful are sticking with CO2—perhaps they will all go down with that rapidly sinking ship.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Climate Change.

Tagged with , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?