Earth Science News  





. More Reasons To Hate Humidity

File image.
by Staff Writers
College Station TX (SPX) Feb 25, 2009
Here's yet another reason to hate humidity: it expands global warming, says a Texas A and M University professor.

Andrew Dessler, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences who specializes in research on climate, says that warming due to increases in greenhouse gases will lead to higher humidity in the atmosphere.

And because water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas, this will cause additional warming. This process is known as water vapor feedback and is responsible for a significant portion of the warming predicted to occur over the next century.

"It's a vicious cycle - warmer temperatures mean higher humidity, which in turn leads to even more warming," Dessler explains.

The perspective by Dessler and co-author Steven Sherwood of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales is published in the current issue of "Science" magazine.

In the article, they review and summarize the peer-reviewed evidence in support of a strong water vapor feedback and conclude that the evidence supporting it is overwhelming.

"For years, there was a debate over this mechanism, with some even questioning if the water vapor feedback existed at all. But recent work on this feedback has moved its existence and strength beyond argument," Dessler adds.

Predictions of significant global warming over the next 100 years by climate models require a strong water vapor feedback. Recent estimates suggest the earth will warm from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius (4 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next century - a scenario that could have devastating long-term consequences.

"Everything shows that the climate models are probably getting the water vapor feedback right, which means that unless we reduce emissions, it is going to get much, much warmer on our planet by the end of the century," he adds.

Many scientists believe such warming rates are already happening.

They can point to the summer of 2003, when a prolonged heat wave gripped Europe. According to the Earth Policy Institute, more than 35,000 people died that summer, with France recording over 14,000 deaths and Germany more than 7,000.

Additionally, warmer temperatures are having an adverse effect in the Arctic, where rapid loss of ice is now occurring.

"The only possible way future warming won't be significant is if there exists some sort of off-setting negative feedback, which has yet to be discovered," Dessler notes.

"Most scientists, myself included, judge that to be a pretty unlikely possibility."

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Texas A and M University
The Air We Breathe at TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Scientist Models The Mysterious Travels Of Greenhouse Gas
Chicago IL (SPX) Feb 19, 2009
The global travel logs of greenhouse gases are based on atmospheric sampling locations sprinkled over the Earth and short towers that measure the uptake or release of carbon from a small patch of forest. But those measurements don't agree with current computer models of how plants and soils behave.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Midnight Oil reunite for wildfires relief concert
  • Indonesian mud victims to receive compensation: company
  • One killed in Romanian military lab explosion
  • China quake victims clash with police: rights group

  • 2008 Was Earth's Coolest Year Since 2000
  • Climate change risk underestimated: study
  • US, China pledge joint effort on economy, climate change
  • China says willing to work with US on climate change

  • Counting Carbon
  • Five Things About The Orbiting Carbon Observatory
  • Google shoots down 'Atlantis' pictures
  • Scientists Find Black Gold Amidst Overlooked Data

  • Secrets Behind High Temperature Superconductors Revealed
  • Revolutionary Method Generates New Template For Microelectronics
  • Electricity Systems Can Cope With Large-Scale Wind Power
  • BP to pay 179 million dollars to settle Texas pollution case

  • McMaster Researchers Discover New Mode Of How Diseases Evolve
  • Climate Change May Alter Malaria Patterns
  • Hong Kong bird tests positive for H5N1
  • China bird flu not pandemic, but be prepared: UN

  • Bizarre Bird Behavior Predicted By Game Theory
  • Great Lake's Sinkholes Host Exotic Ecosystems
  • Urban elephants ply Bangkok streets in search of tourist dollars
  • Synthetic Biology Yields Clues To Evolution And The Origin Of Life

  • Arsenic And Old Toenails
  • Dozens hit by food poisoning in NE China: state media
  • Proposed treaty to reduce mercury use
  • Nigeria to clamp down on e-waste imports: minister

  • Appalachian History Gives New Perspective of How Workers View Jobs
  • Virtual Games Players Stick Close To Home
  • Now You See It, Now You Don't
  • Study: Forensics rely on flawed science

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement