the polar bear climate change photo

Started Mar 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
TomFid Senior Member • Posts: 2,411
Re: The Answer Is

Counting molecules is silly when they have different horizontal and vertical distributions and different IR properties. The radiative effects of water vapor and other GHGs are more or less as Dominic reports; 95% 5% is a red herring.

Natural CO2 fluxes between the atmosphere and ocean and biosphere are indeed an order of magnitude larger than human emissions from fossil fuels and land use change. However, those fluxes were near equilibrium (i.e. uptake by ocean = release from ocean) for centuries before the industrial revolution. The increase (from emissions > uptake) since the 1700s is entirely attributable to human activity. This should be intuitively obvious because the ocean and biosphere are currently taking up carbon, not releasing it, and thus partially compensating for emissions. It's confirmed by isotope ratio changes. There is no mystery source of CO2 (volcanoes are sometimes raised as such, but they are actually a very small source).

Tom

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