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The Role of Water Vapor in Warming of the Climate - from 'Global Warming or Global Governance'
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This video clip from the documentary "Global Warming or Global Governance" talks about the proportional roles that various greenhouse gasses have in warming the climate.

The overwhelming majority of all greenhouse gasses is water vapor and clouds, with water vapor making up 96.9% of the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and Carbon Dioxide comprising less than 2%.

Many proponents of CO2 caused global warming claim that water vapor is highly variable across the Earth and from season to season, so therefore it is not important. Additionally, they claim CO2 has far greater potential as a greenhouse gas than a small amount would otherwise indicate. Although there is some truth to these claims, water vapor remains the dominant greenhouse gas.

At any one time, water vapor accounts for 36% to 76% of the total greenhouse gas effects, if clouds are included, it jumps to 66% to 86%, Carbon Dioxide comes in a distant third by accounting for only 9% to 27%. Man's activities account for only 3% of the total Carbon Dioxide, so at a maximum, man is responsible for only about 1% of all the potential greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

We see the greenhouse power of water vapor every day. Temperatures in the desert can easily reach 110 degrees F during the summer, and during the night the temperature can easily drop down to 65 degrees, a drop of 45 degrees F. The change is so large because of very low water vapor in the desert. Conversely, because the humid deep south has high levels of water vapor, daytime temperatures rarely go over 100 degrees F, and drop to only 80 degrees at night, a difference of only 20 degrees. That represents a 25 degree difference between the deserts and the humid areas in day / night temperatures, all due to the amount of water vapor.

We also see the greenhouse effect of clouds on a regular basis. The temperature may drop to 50 degrees at night when it is clear, but it remains at 65 degrees when it is cloudy, a difference of 15 degrees or more between clear and cloudy weather.

The greenhouse power of water vapor and clouds dwarfs that of Carbon Dioxide. And remember, only a tiny amount of the Carbon Dioxide greenhouse effect is caused by man.

Professor Tim Patterson, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Carleton: "If you want to categorize greenhouse gasses ... Greenhouse gasses number one, two, three and four is water vapor, with Carbon Dioxide being a distant five. CO2 has an influence, but it is certainly not enough for us to worry about."

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