Global Warming and Greenhouse Effect Misnomers

1st, let’s admit that to say anything against the beaten path on this can bring much trouble for yourself as it has been made a political issue nearly from the beginning.

2nd, This post should NOT be posted in “THEORY” but probably in the “MYTHS BUSTED” section if we only look at the real science that was out there before it ever became a issue to the general public’s eyes. I will hold my opinions to the end of the post.

3rd, For background, you should know that I do consider myself a environmentalist as a form of personal practice and do not preach to others how they should do things unless they ask. Meaning, for example, that I do not use chemicals in my house or yard unless I have explored other means of doing whatever it is I’m trying to do. Much like a diet, it is a lifestyle thing.

So, let’s look at the real science and for those that have not been exposed to the “claim” and I should say theory of global warming, I’ll just touch it briefly as so not to bore those of us that are tired of hearing it.

The claim is that by burning fossil fuels, which will have a by-product of carbon dioxide, we are accelerating the warming of the earth that by most admissions, is warming on it’s own anyway (still warming from a ice age yet to reach it’s peak). The theory makers have tied the increase of carbon dioxide and warming periods of the earth together using CO2 samples taken from radio carbon dated core samples in the arctic ice.

Was this bad science… no, but is a poor theory to jump to a single conclusion ignoring existing science because we already know that when the oceans warm, they release carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.  In short, they have been measuring the effect, not the cause. Something more needs to be said about the idea of carbon dioxide being that strong of a greenhouse gas or a gas that retains heat energy. Also I think we are failing to realize other data in those core samples. That would be when the CO2 was at it’s peak, the earth then went into a new ice age. There are many other stronger greenhouse gasses that include methane and the most powerful of all by any contrast that nobody in science will dispute, …WATER VAPOR!

It is water vapor that is has the most significant impact on surface temperatures and it has more than 20 times the impact of carbon dioxide. Many of the anti-fossil fuel folks will dismiss this and I am not sure why. Because the increase in water vapor comes from the same source… fossil fuel. Many of you did not know that. It could be a observation that the folks telling us about global warming know not enough about science of chemistry.  If you doubt that, please look it up on your own or I will give you a quick link from a google search I just found for you to reference.   opens in a new window/tab.

So here is the chemistry of the combustion for methane (natural gas)

CH4[g] + 2 O2[g] -> CO2[g] + 2 H2O[g] + energy

Stated in English, it says that a single molecule of methane and two molecules of O2 burning will create a single molecule of carbon dioxide and two molecules of water (in vapor form because of temperature at combustion) and give off energy in the process. Notice twice as much water vapor is directly produced here than CO2.

If you have a high efficiency natural gas or propane furnace, you know that you need to capture that water and send it to a drain. That high efficiency furnace is extracting enough heat in it’s exchanger that the water vapor begins to condensate in the heat exchanger tubes. Did you know that the exhaust on you car normally rusts out from the inside out. Water vapor again. Your muffler has a small port or hole in it to let that water out if it. This allows water to escape if it condenses there during the time your car has not yet reached normal running temperature where it will not condense in the pipes. Put your hand near the tail pipe when running and your hand will soon feel wet.

It does not matter what kind of hydrocarbon structure you are burning, the result will be the same, Bio-fuels and methanol included. But it must be said that when burning something like coal, as it is not a pure hydrocarbon structure, it will yield the same and many other substances that are found in coal like sulfur, mercury and arsenic. But water vapor is the major output from all fossil fuel burns as they are all hydrocarbon structures. You will not find a man of science or more importantly a chemist disagree with any of that.

Remember that you never destroy matter, you only change it’s form. Notice in the formula above, every atom is accounted for.

I found it interesting that I was going to site a Wikipedia page about greenhouse gasses and water vapor but they only list irrigated fields as a source of water vapor entering the atmosphere. But they do show it as the most powerful greenhouse gas by far. Oh what the heck here it is…

So think about how much water vapor is created by every furnace, automobile, electric power plant, steel mill, stream generator and more where fossil fuels are burned. It’s not so hard to conceive it. After all, many were ready to believe the same source with carbon dioxide because it is there so says the chemistry. Even a nuclear power plant with those large cooling towers, using nearby river water to cool the steam pipes generates a lot of water vapor from water itself.

Since we use over 65 million barrels of just oil per day, that would be about 1400 million (1.4 billion) gallons of new water created every day from just oil consumption. That is over 500 billion gallons of water every year from just oil. That would be about a cubic mile of new water created from just oil consumption every two years.  There are under 3000 cubic miles of water in Great Lake Erie. I have yet to find a way to properly calculate from natural gas and other fossil fuels but I think you could just at least double those numbers for a close total mainly from natural gas and coal. The gasoline, propane, diesel, acetylene and others would be calculated in the oil section as they is refined from oil. Despite all fact that water vapor is only temporary because it eventually will condense to water one way or another, the continuous generation of water vapor has a direct effect of surface temperatures and this seldom thought about fact.

The rise of oceans helps speed-up the polar ice cap melts. Ice caps melting helps contribute to air temperature rise. But the rise of ocean levels is not entirely caused by what we have described above but it does have some impact on it. Man has made a big impact in this area and it is everywhere man develops the earth for his own needs. In fact it is also the culprit for water shortages in many areas. What is it…

Water drainage.

I want you to think of the volume of water that would normally be returning into the earth that is diverted away by every road, shopping center and industrial center parking lot and rooftop and all the water that we pump from the ground from wells. And where does that water go that is not returning to the earth…

From the local drainpipe, to a nearby stream or river and to the ocean. We have accelerated the rise of the oceans and melting of the ice caps. That process in total, increases water temperatures of the oceans and warming of the air and the whole cycle accelerates exponentially.

My opinion on this disinformation mess…

First,  I should say that the earth is a very complex item. It would be unwise to blame any one thing for the cause of something that happens that you find unpleasant or as a disaster.

Carbon dioxide is not the culprit and I get a little hot under the collar when I think of the world spending a large portion of their GDP to sequester CO2. It is all about water and water vapor. We need to take the politics out of this issue.

Water vapor is by far the largest retainer of infra-red heat energy. All be it that the effect is temporary till the moisture condenses and adds to the rising oceans. This is why “steam heat” (not hot water heat) was always considered most efficient because the vapor in the air retained the heat longer. Watch what happens to your overnight temperatures if there are no clouds at night (and no front is moving in).

The planet of Mars has more carbon dioxide in it’s air (most abundant element of air on mars) as the earth has nitrogen (earths most abundant air element)  and it is so cold on Mars that even the CO2 freezes at it’s poles. Dry ice as we call it on earth. That’s
colder than -109.3°F or -78.5°C .  CO2 has no liquid state or there would be oceans of it on mars. It is only as a gas or frozen. If the idea that CO2 is as dangerous as we have been made to believe, it would be very hot on Mars or at least hot enough to keep the CO2 itself from freezing. I am not saying it has zero impact, just not enough to have a significant impact on temperatures. Guess what… Mars has no water vapor in it’s atmosphere or it obviously would be a warmer planet that we could easily adapt for survival as it would be pretty close to are own except for the next fact that also is very significant.

Interesting fact you should know when thinking about this stuff… The earth gets 80% of it’s kinetic heat from within the earth. Not from the sun. Who is monitoring it’s changes ? It has not yet been attempted.

So are we contributing to the warming of the earth? Absolutely. The amount and exact proportion of cause and effect is in question. But know that we have been on a warming trend in North America since the mini ice age of 800A.D. What caused that… my best guess is that weather patterns were dramatically changed, mainly the jet stream because of volcano’s erupting somewhere along the pacific rim over a long period. After all, it only lasted 400 years for the worst of it. There is nothing to say that under water volcanic activity has not contributed to ocean warming.

Sequestering water and water vapor is cheaper and makes more sense. Especially if you can read and understand the above.

Requiring the use of dry wells to sequester water in every parking lot that would be capable of replacing to the ground a one inch level of rain of the area of the lot before any run-off can occur is one of the smartest things we can do.

Most of the new flooding that we see in and around cities can be attributed to major parking lots and roadway run-off attached to systems that were not originally designed to handle the volume of water they now receive. In the end, it would save you tax money and probably hikes in your insurance rates. Not to mention all of the infrastructure that would be needed (tax money again) to be put in place in areas where wells have run dry.

I am not anti-fossil fuel but I do think we need some diversity of what kind of energy we use and who and how many control it’s production and distribution.

I remember the history of the best minds of science telling us that we might incinerate the atmosphere with a nuclear bomb. Then, a short time later, it was said that the earth’s atmosphere was to large and the atom blasts were to puny. And the nuclear tests continued, each time notes were taken and the blasts get larger and larger and the notes were not released to the public. But when much of the data was declassified, some of those folks began talking about those notes and they talked about just how close we came to actually destroying the atmosphere with 50 – 80 megaton bombs. This data was shared with countries like USSR and China to stop the above ground tests. I believe that the USSR has their own testimonials to similar observations. We even shared our computer modeling technology for the A-bomb to get them to stop testing above ground. We did however continue to test the atom bombs underground to stop that risk.

The moral of that story should be obvious, being a expert or a scientist does not always make you correct. But the best question is…   Can you afford to be wrong ? Can you tell the difference between a theory and a fact ? Just something to think about going forward.