CO2 Plant Transpiration Reduction Is a 9.1 Factor Larger Global Warming Driver Than CO2 GHG.

CO2 is not the big driver.

Solution: Increase Ocean Evaporation (<4% of CO2 Reduction Cost)
By David R. Motes

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is real and caused by increasing CO2.  However, it is not driven by the prevailing CO2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) theory, but rather by a much larger CO2 induced Plant Transpiration Reduction (PTR).

This PTR is caused by an increased plant Water Use Efficiency (WUE, consensus science) from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and is a 9.1 factor larger AGW driver than the CO2 GHG theory.  The proposed ocean evaporation solution below costs <4% of the prevailing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) solutions and is only ~2% of the US federal budget.  This paper uses only consensus scientific data, facts, and diagrams from CO2 GHG proponent sites such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), and the IEA (International Energy Agency) to make all the calculations presented.  Our paper is only calculations and explanations with no new data or theories.





Global surface relative humidity has fallen steadily on land and oceans since prior to 1971.  The photo on the right is a proposed solution- floating ocean evaporator. 

The linked full 23-page paper pdf includes all calculations, discussions, figures, references, an abstract and David’s email and may be viewed or downloaded at (periodically updated).  The 5 main quantified facts along with a proposed new cost-effective solution follow:

  1. CO2 PTR drives AGW, not CO2 GHG. Using the NOAA solar energy balance below, the CO2 PTR radiative energy imbalance (watts/m2) is a 9.1 factor larger than the IPCC CO2 GHG energy imbalance. Thus, the CO2 GHG energy imbalance is relatively small in comparison to PTR.  Explaining this large PTR impact on surface temperatures- The NOAA energy balance below quantifies that a huge 51% of the sun energy reaching the earth is removed by evaporation (Latent Heat) or reflected / absorbed by clouds (produced by that same evaporation), thus transporting that 51% sun energy back to the troposphere for subsequent radiation to space.  This quantitative comparison between PTR science and CO2 GHG theory is this engineering paper’s most compelling calculation.

  1. PTR is generated by a CO2 induced 0.70%/year plant Water Use Efficiency (WUE) increase. In the photosynthesis reaction, higher CO2 concentration allows plants to use less water (WUE increase), causing less plant evapotranspiration (consensus IPCC fact). Per the Hydrologic Balance (Figure 1 above), a significant 15% of all evaporation is from plant evapotranspiration on land.  Man generated the atmospheric CO2 increase, causing the WUE increase, thus yielding less evaporation on land. and resulting in our current global warming. This PTR explains the global relative humidity decline above (Figure 2 above) and particularly the more severe land relative humidity decline. These declines were both much more than predicted by IPCC Global Circulation Models (GCMs), which unfortunately do not include any WUE impact.
  2. Solar elliptical cycles drove the below 800k year geologic correlation between CO2 and temperature, not CO2 GHG. As calculated in the linked paper, solar elliptical cycles increased temperatures by 10oC, which caused a 35% ocean CO2 solubility decrease, which resulted in the measured atmospheric CO2 increase from 180 to 280ppm. Conversely, using the IPCC’s max factor, CO2 GHG contributed only 17% of the total 10oC temperature rise.


  1. The prevailing CO2 GHG theory that a small 129 ppm CO2 increase caused a temperature rise of 1.5 °C (since 1880) is not quantifiable. The Stefan–Boltzmann law of thermal radiation (assuming no feedbacks) calculates only 0.46°C AGW (vs an actual of 1.5°C) when CO2 increased from 292 to 421ppm (1880 to 2023). The GHG theory needs a tripling from feedbacks to generate the temperature rise, unlike PTR.  That same 44% CO2 increase (1880 to 2023) did greatly increase photosynthesis and plant WUE which quantitatively drove the measured 1.5 °C increase.

CO2 is not the big driver

​While CO2 GHG theory is proven science and does contribute to AGW, it is just not as big an AGW driver as PTR.  This CO2 GHG theory does not fit the 2 distinctly different CO2 / temperature historical and geological correlations and cannot be modeled directly using GHG infrared absorbances, but is instead modelled using empirical factors.

Burning fossil fuels releases additional CO2 into the atmosphere causing AGW via PTR, not GHG.  This paper presents a practical, new, green solution.  The implementation advantages of our ocean evaporation solution (per Figure 2 above) over the prevailing CO2 emission reduction plans follow:

  1. Ocean evaporation uses proven, reliable technology that is substantially more cost effective: <4% of the current CO2 GHG solutions and only ~2% of the US federal budget.
  2. Other advantages- Higher success probability, simpler, practical, uses existing technology, more environmentally friendly, and probably reduces severe weather events.
  3. The proposed CO2 fossil fuel emission reduction plans focus on reducing the 8% CO2 emissions driver, while completely ignoring the 92% plant biomass CO2 driver. Conversely, our “increased ocean evaporation solution” increases that large (92%), green photosynthesis driver.

Our paper is a quantitative determination of the cause of AGW, focusing on engineering calculations, versus the hereto date presentations of CO2 GHG data and theories.  The authors calculated the energy imbalance and surface temperature impacts using only peer-reviewed consensus IPCC scientific data and then summarized these quantified facts into a logical explanation as provided in the link below.

This fresh chemical engineering perspective from a high-altitude sheds new quantified insights on the old climate change debate.  These new engineering calculations identified a potential new root cause of AGW, while revealing a much more cost-effective and greener solution (a potential paradigm shift).  The purpose of this introduction is to entice reading the full paper.  Again, click the 23-page paper pdf at for all the details.

David Motes is a 46-year professional chemical engineer residing in Houston, TX.

7 responses to “CO2 Plant Transpiration Reduction Is a 9.1 Factor Larger Global Warming Driver Than CO2 GHG.”

  1. John Hultquist

    CO2 induced Plant Transpiration Reduction (PTR) . . .

    … is an interesting idea. However, apparently both aquatic and land plant growth has also increased so there is, also, an increase in total transpiration. What the compensatory effects are might dilute the message.

    Still, this can be added to the list of things to consider, such as more transparent atmosphere from cleaner ocean transport, among others.

    1. David R. Motes

      John, I am David Motes, the author. Facts: 1. Aquatic submerged plants do not transpire. 2. Plant biomass is decreasing (not increasing) per NASA, full paper on docdroid link, page 20, Figure 13. 3. Total transpiration is decreasing, not increasing.

  2. DMA

    “Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is real and caused by increasing CO2.”
    Maybe–but not quantified, dangerous, nor likely the cause of the bulk of the recent warming that also is not well quantified (see Pat Franks recent work on temperature measurement uncertainty. Spending any money on this undefined “problem” is likely wasted effort and certainly outside our ability to do a cost – benefit analysis.

  3. Jim

    Interesting. Someone gets the cycle close, but not quite correct. And still comes with the wrong baddie. Interesting. And the big baddies are mentioned but not blamed. But, global warming is good, it grows food for our cattle, making steaks, hamburgers and roasts. We would not like snowball earth. And not many of us would survive.

  4. Climate Fakery Part 20 – Newsfeed Hasslefree Allsort

    […] CO2 Plant Transpiration Reduction Is a 9.1 Factor Larger Global Warming Driver Than CO2 GHG. […]

  5. David R. Motes

    Commentators, I am the author, David R. Motes. I agree with all your facts, but disagree with most of your opinions. I encourage you to click iside the article above (or the paste below) and read the 24-page paper on docdroid which will address almost all your issues. I concentrate on calculations, not data and a theory. If the concept can not be calculated, it probably has no validity. For example on John’s comment, aquatic plants such as photoplankton do no transpire. The full 23-page paper is almost nothing but quantifications. I appreciate your interest. David.

  6. mfgeo

    Where is the 23-page paper you are referring to? The link in the original post and the link in the August 7 reply both return a 4-page document that appears to be the same as the original post.

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