Water Vapour And Climate Change

How is it that a settled science keeps finding things never expected?

For example, the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission was launched in January 2009 and will make a series of five flights over three years covering more than 24,000 miles to sample the atmosphere in some of the most inaccessible regions of the world. Read HIPPO background here.

The goal of the mission is the first-ever, global, real-time sampling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases across a wide range of altitudes in the atmosphere, from pole-to-pole.

Professor Mark Zondlo of Princeton University has taken measurements of water vapour in the atmosphere, from 14 km high to just above the sea ice, using a vertical cavity surface mini laser hydrometer.

Watch Zondlo video here.

Here are some of Professor Zondlo’s observations so far:

We don’t really know how clouds are formed. Water vapour impacts the climate more than any other gas.

What we are finding is surprising. Large plumes of water vapour exist in areas we never expected to find them.

Learning how this fits into the puzzle is crucial for predicting climate and making smart policy decisions.

What does that mean? It means the climate models used so far were nothing more than junk, thus the same applies for their predictions. They completely neglected the water vapour factor (and who knows what other factors).

Climate forecasting is best left to real forecasters, and not tainted modelers.

5 responses to “Water Vapour And Climate Change”

  1. Dan Pangburn

    From 2001 through 2009 the atmospheric CO2 increased by 18% of the total increase from 1800 to 2001 while the average global temperature has not increased significantly and the trend of yearly averages through 2009 is down. The El Nino that made early 2010 look a bit warmer than the trend, peaked in March, 2010 and average global temperature is now dropping rapidly.

    Research, with latest findings regarding projected temperature trends is reported at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true. It presents a rational equation that accurately calculates the average global temperatures since 1895 with a coefficient of determination of 0.88. That means that it explains 88% of the measured temperatures for 114 years and counting. The best that GCMs have done is significantly less than this. The equation predicts that the trend of average global temperatures will be down. The above link and sub links, including links to the temperature data reported by the five reporting agencies, track the data back to the published credible sources.

    As the atmospheric CO2 continues to increase and the average global temperature does not, perhaps the comments of ill-informed people will subside.

    1. DirkH

      Very interesting; my own thoughts have led me to the conclusion that the first derivative of the CO2 concentration is proportional to the temperature anomaly, or at least to a part of it. The formula in the paper you link to incorporates such an influence. Very good… it slowly becomes a more and more widespread conclusion. Thanks for the link!

  2. DirkH

    The plane is a GulfStream:

    Looks like Professor Zondlo is the Paris Hilton of researchers 😉

  3. Derek

    ” What does that mean? It means the climate models used so far were nothing more than junk, thus the same applies for their predictions. They completely neglected the water vapour factor (and who knows what other factors). ”

    Spot on.
    Not to mention an assumed / invented warming mechanism modelled, AND admitted as after the fact (by UK MET office), invented to give the right answer cooling factors (proven by Richard S Courtney in 1999)

    We will first need some global metrics we can trust.

    If there is a trustable / reliable / realistic global climate metric at present, can someone please name it, I do not know of a single one.

    No wonder “we” do not know a thing about “climate”,
    “we” are patently barking up the wrong tree completely.

    A new climate science paradigm is overdue,
    but it is on it’s way.
    Surface heating and retension / release,
    no greenhouse effect required.

  4. Brian H

    Here’s a nice re-modeling which explictly emphasizes H20:

    Summary from the end of the .doc:
    This document has described how Greenhouse Gases actually work. Near the surface

    Greenhouse gases release heat stored in the atmosphere
    Because some of that heat comes from conduction, convection, and the evaporation of water, Greenhouse gases always release more heat than they capture via IR radiation
    As a result, increasing the Greenhouse gas concentration will not make the atmosphere warmer

    The primary effect of Greenhouse gases in the lower troposphere is easily seen in the morning temperature inversions. The fact that the temperature of the bulk of the Troposphere does not vary between day and night provides primary evidence that the atmosphere is IR opaque at the frequencies that Greenhouse Gases absorb. The actual saturation distance can be seen by simply looking at the morning temperature inversions. The knee between 100m and 800m above the surface is proof that IR radiation only travels that far before being completely absorbed.

    The maximum surface temperature is smaller when liquid water is available (Jacksonville), higher when it is not (Tucson). The daily surface temperature variations are smaller when water vapor is present (Jacksonville), and greater when it is not (Tucson). This is because

    Liquid water absorbs lots of energy when it evaporates
    At night, atmospheric water vapor returns more heat to the ground (via dew, fog and frost) than IR emissions return.
    The daily surface temperature variations are smallest when clouds are present.

    The plots show that the height and temperature of the Tropopause are related to the amount of water vapor at the surface. Higher water vapor (Jacksonville) produces a lower temperature (demonstrating that water vapor is the main Greenhouse Gas) than a very dry atmosphere (Anchorage).

    Because both the Troposphere and the Stratosphere are warmer than the Tropopause, none of the IR radiation released by CO2 located in the Tropopause is released to space or returns to the surface. Instead, CO2 in both the Troposphere and the Stratosphere transfer energy to the CO2 located in the Tropopause and that heat is released to space by the water molecules located there.

    Additional heat is released to space at the mesopause by CO2.
    [My emphasis]

    Note the crucial roles and importance of tropopause and mesopause. RTWT

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