CO2 and climate: Where is the water vapor feedback?

  • Sh. B. Idso


Results of previously published empirical studies are used to demonstrate that the water vapor feedback mechanism, so important to the calculation of a significant climatic effect for a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration, appears to be counter-balanced by another feedback mechanism of opposite sign. At high temperatures (low latitudes) the two effects essentially negate each other; while at lower temperatures (high latitudes) their respective strengths have yet to be determined. What is known to date tends to indicate that the climatic consequences of increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will be significantly less than what is routinely predicted by the general circulation models of the atmosphere in use today.


General Circulation Model Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Water Vapor Feedback Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration Radiative Perturbation 
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CO2 und Klima: Wo verbleibt die Wasserdampf-Rückkopplung?


Resultate früher veröffentlichter, empirischer Studien werden benützt, um zu zeigen, daß der Wasserdampf-Rückkopplungsprozeß, der für die Berechnung eines signifikanten Klimaeffektes durch die Verdoppelung des atmosphärischen CO2 so ausschlaggebend ist, durch einen anderen Rückkopplungsprozeß entgegengesetzten Vorzeichens ausgewogen zu sein scheint. Bei hohen Temperaturen (niederen Breiten) halten sich die beiden Effekte annähernd die Waage, während bei niederen Temperaturen (hohen Breiten) die Größenordnung dieser Effekte erst bestimmt werden muß. Unsere bisherigen Erkenntnisse deuten an, daß die klimatischen Folgen einer Erhöhung der atmosphärischen Kohlendioxidkonzentration erheblich geringer sein werden, als durch die Resultate der gegenwärtig in Verwendung befindlichen allgemeinen Zirkulationsmodelle vorhergesagt wird.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sh. B. Idso
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Water Conservation LaboratoryPhoenixUSA

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