Monday, February 1, 2010

Water vapor - Effect on climate change

According to the latest scientific study the water vapor plays much bigger role in global warming phenomenon than previously expected, and according to the new study a 10 percent drop in water vapor ten miles above Earth's surface significantly increased the impact on global warming. The results of this study could also explain the mystery of why temperatures have not risen as fast in the last ten years as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.

The satellite images show that water vapor was increasing in the 1980s and 1990s, and then dropping after 2000, and according to the scientists these ups and downs occurred precisely in a narrow altitude region of the stratosphere where they played the biggest possible role on climate.

Water vapor is one of the less known greenhouse gases, not as famous as its close relatives carbon dioxide, and methane but still important part of greenhouse gases family that plays crucial role in climate change.

Satellite images show that water vapor in the stratosphere decreased by about 10 percent in the last 10 years, and reasons for that are still unknown. Though we still don't know the reason of this decrease, this was quite helpful scenario that was mainly responsible for cooling by causing surface temperatures to increase about 25 percent more slowly than they would have otherwise, with the ongoing increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Scientists have also concluded that an increase in stratospheric water vapor in the 1990s likely had the opposite effect of increasing the rate of warming by about 30 percent. Once the mystery what triggers the increase and decrease in stratospheric water vapor gets solved we will know much more about the role of water vapor in climate change.

No comments:

Post a Comment