Possible negative feedback loop negating global warming


Expert Member
Mar 10, 2009
Came across this earlier...

A new study authored by Susan Solomon, lead author of the study and a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. could explain why atmospheric carbon is not contributing to warming significantly. According to the study, as carbon levels have risen, the cold air at high altitudes over the tropics has actually grown colder. The lower temperatures at this "coldest point" have caused global water vapor levels to drop, even as carbon levels rise.

Water vapor helps trap heat, and is a far the strongest of the major greenhouse gases, contributing 36–72 percent of the greenhouse effect. However more atmospheric carbon has actually decreased water vapor levels. Thus rather than a "doomsday" cycle of runaway warming, Mother Earth appears surprisingly tolerant of carbon, decreasing atmospheric levels of water vapor -- a more effective greenhouse gas -- to compensate.

Describes Professor Solomon, "There is slow warming that has taken place over the last 100 years. But from one decade to another, there can be fluctuations in the warming trend."

The study was published in the prestigious journal Science.

The new research could help explain why despite tremendously higher carbon levels, the planet was not inhospitable hundreds of millions of years ago. By lowering water vapor levels, the planet might have been able to compensate, at least partially, for atmospheric carbon levels nearly 10 times higher than today's.

Admittedly the picture is still not clear about how our planet reacts to changes in atmospheric composition. Other factors may also be at play in helping the Earth balance temperatures, including ocean currents and solar activity. Ironically, no global warming model appears to accurately consider changing water vapor levels, and few offer decent consideration to solar activity. Thus much of the model based research used to predict warming is likely badly flawed.

Despite the fact that current evidence points to a minimum role of carbon in affecting our planet's climate, the expensive movement to ban or restrict carbon globally retains significant momentum. It remains to be seen whether politicians choose to consider the latest unbiased research, or instead forge ahead on a crusade against the rather weak greenhouse gas.


And something to feast on, apparently CO2 levels were at 3000 ppm during the age of the dinosaurs, yet these days its languishing in the 300-400 ppm levels. Didn't lead Earth to become Venus-like did it?