Non-partisan, independent presentation of climate data. No political ideology, agenda, or financial incentive. Just the data and the trends from published peer-reviewed research, no matter what it shows. We don't cherry pick. Site owner is a Ph.D. geologist who attempts to present the data in as simple a format as possible, so everyone can understand. Choose a subject from the list, or just scroll down. Data is presented in at-a-glance format with minimal analysis. Climate change is much more than just temperatures.

We don't post often, as there is no need to repost the same data over and over. But we do post data from scientists who have boots on the ground and are doing the dirty fieldwork to collect data.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Carbon Dioxide Forcing

A spectrum of the greenhouse radiation showing the effects of carbon dioxide versus other greenhouse gases (Evans et al., 2006):

And the IPCC's illustration of carbon dioxide forcing relative to other factors:

So it's clear that carbon dioxide is a strong greenhouse gas. But what about water vapor? Water vapor is also a strong greenhouse gas, but it stays relatively constant and falls out of the atmosphere quickly (as compared to carbon dioxide which stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years). More importantly, water vapor is a positive feedback in the climate and is very sensitive to carbon dioxide warming. That is, when carbon dioxide increases and the globe warms, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increases as well, due to increased evaporation, and this causes the atmosphere to get even warmer. This is a well known process, and current climate models take this into account.