- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
It is interesting that when presented with facts regarding the relative strengths of greenhouse gases (water, carbon dioxide and methane), some people try to distract you by presenting opinions of colleagues rather than scientific facts. A scientific fact is measurable. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments. Scientists who maintain that carbon dioxide and methane are the principal causes of global warming have no such data to present.
Further, honest scientific inquiry dictates that you first ask the question: Are there any other factors that could impact global warming besides greenhouse gases? And the answer is yes. They include variation in solar intensity, fluctuation in ocean currents, volcanic activity, tectonic plate movement and variations in the Earth’s orbit (Milankovitch cycles).
The climate is going to change, and man can do nothing about it. Get over it. You have as much chance of controlling the climate as you do controlling earthquakes.
Let’s assume that greenhouse gases are the principal cause of global warming (this is called a theory, by the way, not a fact). OK, then what are the major components of greenhouse gases? First and foremost is water vapor, which varies from 1 percent to 4 percent by volume at sea level, or 0.4 percent when averaged across the entire atmosphere. Next is carbon dioxide, which is at .039445 percent, followed by methane at .000179 percent. These are scientific facts that are measurable and repeatable and are not subject to the opinions of the scientific community or their computer models.
So, what’s the conclusion? Water vapor is 25 to 100 times greater in volume than carbon dioxide at the earth’s surface, or 10 times greater in volume when averaged over the entire atmosphere. Further, water vapor is more than 1,000 times greater in volume than methane. So, am I going to lose sleep over carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere? Not a chance.
Finally, in the interest of academic freedom, I hope that students challenge their college professors when they proclaim popular theories as scientific facts. Demand to see measurable and repeatable data. That’s what real science is all about.
Phil Zalesak, Tall Timbers