The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Will warming increase humidity, which will increase warming?  (Read 1631 times)

Bill Malone

  • Guest
Bill Malone  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Doc. All the best from Scotaland.

I refer to one of your excellent articals, Dr Eric Wolff from the British Antarctic Survey.

Mention was made to the ongoing Idea that we cannot control water vapour in the atmosphere.

My common sence informs me that as Ocean and Atmospheric temperatures rise, partly due to human generation of green house gases, then this will increace water evaporation and hold more vapour in the atmosphere thus increasing cloud formation and providing more greenhouse effects on a compounding basis.

I am still recovering from a catestophic formal education, not all the states fault, and the teachers did what the could under stress, but concequently I can't always trust my own common sence which may well be misinformed.

I would very much appreciate any feed back on the above and your totaly free to use this on radio or anywhere u so wish.

Thanking you for much informal education.

Yours thankfully

Billy.

PS. I can't beleive that I have actualy writen an email which according to the spell checker, has no speeling mistooks:-)

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 17/06/2010 14:30:05 by _system »


 

Offline frethack

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
Will warming increase humidity, which will increase warming?
« Reply #1 on: 17/06/2010 15:45:16 »
My common sence informs me that as Ocean and Atmospheric temperatures rise, partly due to human generation of green house gases, then this will increace water evaporation and hold more vapour in the atmosphere thus increasing cloud formation and providing more greenhouse effects on a compounding basis.

Good question.

There is no "one size fits all" answer to the question, but in general, further warming will increase the atmospheres ability to hold water vapor.  Not all clouds act as a blanket to increase warming though.  Low tropospheric clouds, such as cumulus clouds, have a high optical density and tend to reflect incoming solar radiation back to space, which provides a general cooling effect.  Icy stratospheric clouds tend to be transparent to incoming shortwave radiation, but more opaque to outgoing longwave radiation, which provides a general warming effect.  My understanding is that this effect is more prominent toward the polar regions.  Im sure that there are exceptions to this, as cloud formation and effects are not well understood at present.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Will warming increase humidity, which will increase warming?
« Reply #1 on: 17/06/2010 15:45:16 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length