16 February 2016

AGW water-vapour-feedback theory disproved by satellite observations

AGW theory says that CO2 can cause some warming, for example 1C for a doubling of CO2; but that the resulting water vapour feedback will cause an extra 2C or so of warming, which is where the real AGW danger comes from. (Scared yet?)

Climate models [1, 2, 3] and observations show that each 1C of warming causes about a 7% increase in water vapour, which in turn causes a further 2C of warming.

Well, water vapour did just increase by about 7% over course of the year of 2015, but little happened to earth's average temperature; maybe a 0.2C warming at most over the same period:
The red line in the above graph (data here) is of anomaly in RSS observations of precipitable water vapour by satellite between latitudes of 60S to 60N with respect to the 1988-2007 average. Blue line is global temp anomaly in lower troposphere between latitudes 70S to 82.5N. Anomaly in degrees C with respect to 1978-1998 average. (Data here.)
From 2013 to December 2015, water vapour went from 0.4 to 2.1 kg/m2, a 1.7 kg/m2 difference. Average water vapour for earth is about 25 kg/m2 (conversion factor 1 kg/m2 = 1 mm = 0.1 g/cm2):

A 1.7mm increase over 25mm average is a 7% increase in water vapour. 7% is roughly the expected increase in global average temperature from a 1C warming cause by carbon dioxide. 

A 7% water vapour increase is the amount that, according to the warm-mongers, we're supposed to turn our society upside down for, to 'fight climate change'. But this event actually just occurred...and nothing happened to global average temperature (GAT).


Assume earth is 33C warmer than what you'd expect given its distance from sun, albedo etc.  Water vapour greenhouse effect is about 60% or more according to various definitions, which means the expected warming from a 7% increase is about 1.4C to 2C.

According to satellite observations, earth actually warmed by 0.2C over that same time. It was likely related to the El Nino warming in the Pacific.  But let's do what warmists do and assume all the warming came from carbon dioxide. That leaves 1.2 to 1.8C missing in action. Just gone.

So, either earth just cooled 1.2C to 1.8C over the year 2015 (I'd like to see the warmists defend that point of view) or, there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect.

Maybe the warming went straight into the ocean without first warming the air?! If you're going to interpret the Tyndall absorption experiment as proof of a greenhouse effect, then why not abandon all the principles of thermodynamics? 

So why shouldn't the air warm the ocean without first warming itself? That's the number one warmist excuse for the pause. And it makes about as much sense as the greenhouse effect, i.e. none.

Perhaps the warming effect of water vapour occurs only in the first few ppm, like CO2? If so, that also ruins the IPCC water-vapour positive-feedback theory. Either way, the AGW theory is ruined by satellite observations such as

The real reason there's no change to GAT, is that there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect. 

No: you can't get warmer by having your electromagnetic radiation move outward be trapped and reemitted back on to yourself.  If this was possible mutual radiation in the universe would multiply energy indefinitely until the universe ended in infinite heat death -- that's how illegitimate the greenhouse effect concept is.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics prohibits net energy moving from the cooler sky to the warmer ground. Nor can you count energy coming from the sun twice.  Nor does CO2 reduce earth's emissivity.

The greenhouse effect is a 
concept similar to someone flying by hoisting themselves by the seat of their pants....i.e. quite impossible:

Pictorial representation of the impossible greenhouse effect

Notice in the graph at the top of the post that water vapour and temperature mostly track closely.  This is not because the water vapour is forcing a temperature increase via the greenhouse effect, but because the higher temperature causes more evaporation.

If water vapour really was a powerful greenhouse gas, it implies earth has a positive feedback: the increased water vapour causes more evaporation, which in turn causes more warming.

This implies earth has an inherently unstable average temperature. Yet earth tends to have a fairly flat average temperature, not one that's subject to wild self-reinforcing fluctuations.

Over the shorter term of the Holocene, the fluctuations of average temperature  are small:

And over the longer term of two billion years, the fluctuations of the average are roughly within a 15C envelope of temperature variation:

More importantly, now we have these current satellite observations to show that water vapour can increase by a substantial amount, like 7%, and nothing happens to earth's average temperature.

This adds to other satellite observations that show earth's spectrum of emission to space hasn't appreciably changed in response to atmospheric CO2 rise.


The warming power of earth's greenhouse gas envelope is 0 degrees Celsius, not 33C. Deserts get colder at night than moister areas because water vapour changes the adiabatic lapse rate, allowing heat to escape more easily at night -- not because of a greenhouse effect.

If water vapour was such a powerful greenhouse gas, why is the drier desert so much warmer during the day than the humid coastal areas? (The answer is: clouds).

Luke warmer sceptics (i.e. the majority of sceptics, such as Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Anthony Watts, Lord Monckton, Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr & Jr...etc) never look for this sort of evidence, for it defies their basic beliefs.

This is the nature of scientific dogma: it's a calcification of the intellect that stops one from advancing one's knowledge.  Pray you are not one of these consensus-believers, for consensus is the death of fundamental scientific discovery.

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