CO2 Does Not Drive Global Temperature

Water vapor results in clouds, rain and life
Water vapor is essential to life, just as is carbon dioxide. Photo: Pearl Lake Blue Water 986435 Michael Kirsh via Morguefile

Carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature. You wouldn’t know that from the mainstream media and from what presidents and pundits have said regarding our carbon footprints.

First of all, CO2 is not the major greenhouse gas on this planet. Water vapor is and by a long shot. Estimates place the H2O greenhouse dominance between 60 and 95%, leaving CO2 a distant second. There is far more water vapor than CO2 in our atmosphere—up to 5.00% H2O and only 0.04% CO2.

Secondly, H2O, as a gas, absorbs a broader range of infrared than does CO2. This means water vapor has a far larger footprint than carbon dioxide on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Thirdly, paleoclimate records show that CO2 and global temperature have a very poor correlation. We should realize that correlation never guarantees causation; but causation requires correlation. Without strong correlation, we cannot say that CO2 drives global temperature.

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