Water Vapor Spotted On Five Hot Jupiters!

The search for planets beyond our own Solar System proved to be a long, frustrating, and difficult endeavor–that is, until 1992 when the first exoplanets were successfully spotted circling a small, dense stellar corpse called a pulsar. Finally, in 1995, the first exoplanet was found in orbit around a main-sequence (hydrogen-burning), normal, Sun-like star. The exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b (51 Peg b, for short), was a “roaster”, a so-called hot Jupiter planet that hugged its parent-star, 51 Pegasi b, fast and close in a hellishly hot orbit. Planet-hunting astronomers have now succeeded in spotting many, many more exoplanets dwelling beyond our own Sun than the eight major planets that inhabit our Solar System. In December 2013, NASA astronomers announced that they had found dim signatures of water in the atmospheres of a quintet of remote exoplanets orbiting three different suns–and they did this using the venerable Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST’s) high-performance Wide Field Camera 3.

The distance to even the nearest star beyond our own Sun is so extremely vast that it must be measured in light-years. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum and, therefore, one light-year is six trillion miles! The nearest star to our own Sun is actually a triple star system named Alpha Centauri, which is about four light-years from our Solar System–or 24 trillion miles!

Many times during the last century, excited astronomers announced what they thought was the very first detection of a planet beyond our Sun’s family, and then looked on miserably as other astronomers failed to confirm their “discoveries.”

However, back in 1992, Dr. Alexander Wolszczan of Pennsylvania State University finally succeeded. Dr. Wolszczan, after carefully studying radio emissions emanating from a compact millisecond pulsar, dubbed PSR B1257+12–a dense little stellar relic dwelling in the Virgo constellation, which is situated approximately 1,300 light-years away–determined that it was being orbited by several very weird planets.

A pulsar is a relatively small sphere of approximately 12 miles, or so, in diameter. It is the collapsed core of what was once a massive main-sequence star that, after devouring its necessary supply of hydrogen fuel, perished in the brilliant fireworks display of a supernova conflagration. Pulsars, which are wildly spinning young neutron stars, contain up to 1,000,000,000 tons of star-stuff squeezed by gravity into a volume about the size of an apricot! Pulsars sport a density that is about 1,000,000 billion times the density of water!

51 Peg b

In 1995, Dr. Michel Mayor and Dr. Didier Queloz of Switzerland’s Geneva Observatory announced that they had discovered the first strong evidence of a planet orbiting a remote star that was like our own Sun. However, this great discovery left bewilderment in its wake. The newly discovered exoplanet, 51 Peg b, hugged its parent-star–51 Pegasi–very closely. At a mere 4,300,000 miles from its star, it orbits 51 Pegasi every 4.2 days!

51 Peg b is also a huge gas-giant, like Jupiter in our own Solar System!

However, then-existing theories of planet formation indicated that giant Jupiter-like planets must be born only at considerably greater distances from their stellar parents. So, what was the enormous 51 Peg b doing so close to its fiery parent-star?

In October, 1995, Dr. Geoffrey W. Marcy and Dr. R. Paul Butler confirmed the Swiss team’s discovery from the Lick Observatory’s three-meter telescope poised atop Mount Hamilton in California. 51 Peg b proved to be only the tip of the iceberg–it was the first discovery of an entirely new and unforeseen class of exoplanets termed hot Jupiters, which are enormous gas-giant planets that orbit their stellar parents in extremely close, roasting orbits. Since the discovery of 51 Peg b a generation ago, many other hot Jupiters have been spotted by planet-hunting astronomers in search of faraway worlds beyond our own Solar System.

New theories were developed to explain hot Jupiters. Some astronomers suggested that these “roasters” were essentially enormous molten rocks; while others postulated that they were gas-giant planets that formed about 100 times farther away from their stars and were boomeranged back through near collisions with other sister planets–or even by a companion star of their own stellar parent.

One particularly interesting theory is that hot Jupiters form at a distance comparable to Jupiter’s average distance from our Star, and then slowly lose energy due to interactions with the disk of gas and dust (protoplanetary accretion disk) from which they are born. The newborn giant planet, therefore, spirals into the inner solar system from its more distant, cooler place of birth.

Hot Jupiters may be doomed worlds, destined to crash to a flaming death inside the stellar furnaces of their murderous parent-stars. Until that time, these “roasters” orbit their stars fast and close, slowly cooking in their hellish orbits.

A New Exoplanet Quintet!

Using HST, two teams of astronomers announced in 2013 that they had spotted dim signs of water in the atmospheres of five faraway worlds.

The five exoplanets–WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b, and X0-1b–all circle nearby stars. The strengths of their own water signatures vary. For example, HD209458b displays the strongest signal, while WASP-17b sports by far the puffiest atmosphere. The water signatures for the other trio of exoplanets are also consistent with the presence of water.

It’s not that water hasn’t been spotted before in some exoplanet atmospheres. However, what distinguishes these more recent studies, is that the astronomers’ objective was to conclusively compare and measure the attributes and intensities of signs of water on multiple exoplanets.

“We’re very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets. This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets, for example hotter versus cooler ones,” explained Dr. Avi Mandell to the press on December 4, 2013. Dr. Mandell is the lead author of an Astrophysical Journal paper, published the same day, that describes the findings for WASP-12b, WASP-17b, and WASP-19b. Dr. Mandell is a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The studies of this bequiling, watery quintet of alien worlds, were part of a large census of exoplanet atmospheres that was led by Dr. L. Drake Deming of the University of Maryland in College Park. Both teams of scientists used HST’s Wide Field Camera 3 to study in detail the absorption of light through the atmospheres of those distant worlds. The studies were accomplished in a range of infrared wavelengths where the water signature–if it was there–would show up. The teams then compared the intensities and shapes of the absorption profiles. The consistency of the signatures indicated to them that they were seeing the presence of water. The observations also highlight HST’s continuing value in exoplanet research.

“To actually detect the atmosphere of an exoplanet is extraordinarily difficult. But we were able to pull out a very clear signal, and it is water,” said Dr. Deming to the press on December 4, 2013. Dr. Deming’s team reported their results for the two planets HD20945b and XO-1b in a September 10, 2013 paper, also published in the Astrophysical Journal. Dr. Deming’s team used a new technique that employed longer exposure times. This increased the sensitivity of their measurements.

In order to discover the composition of an exoplanet’s atmosphere, astronomers observe the planet as it transits (passes in front of) its glaring parent-star. The scientists then look at which wavelengths of light are being transmitted and which are partly being absorbed.

The signatures of water were all less intense than the astronomers had expected, and they now think this may be due to a layer of dust or haze that cloaks each of the five exoplanets. This veiling cloak of dust or haze can diminish the intensity of all signals emanating from the atmosphere–in much the same way that fog on our own planet can mute the colors in a photograph. Also, the veil of haze can change the profiles of water signals, as well as that of other important molecules, in a particular way.

The quartet of worlds are all hot Jupiters–just like 51 Peg b, the very first exoplanet to be spotted in orbit around a Sun-like star. The astronomers were at first surprised that all five of the exoplanets seemed to be veiled in haze. However Dr. Deming and Dr. Mandell both noted that other scientists are also discovering hazy veils around distant worlds.

“These studies, combined with other Hubble observations, are showing us that there are a surprisingly large number of systems for which the signal of water is either attenuated or completely absent. This suggests that cloudy or hazy atmospheres may in fact be rather common for hot Jupiters,” Dr. Heather Knutson told the press on December 4, 2013. Dr. Knutson, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, is a co-author on Dr. Deming’s study.

Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, who has spent most of his career searching the depths of Space for exoplanets, has more recently decided to alter his focus, and search for something just a bit more precious–and elusive: extraterrestrial intelligence. Dr. Marcy, who was recently named the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair for SETI at the University of California at Berkeley, is a pioneer in the search for planets beyond our own Sun. His work has resulted in the discovery of more than 110 exoplanets–including the first system of worlds orbiting a distant star.

Dr. Marcy, along with several other pioneering astronomers who were the first to spot exoplanets, is pegged to win a future Nobel Prize. He said in a recent interview with George Dvorsky:

“I would love to know if other intelligent beings exist elsewhere, and if so, is our nearest neighbor a few light years away or thousands of light years away… (W)e should keep any open mind, answering the dry, cold, and frightening question, ‘Are we alone?’ An answer either way, yes or no, will be shocking for we Homo sapiens.

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Innovations in Fireplaces

Innovations in fireplaces and fireplace accessories have been developing over the years due to the huge demand on a greener environment, a less wasteful society and a more effective solution. We’ve come a long way since our little houses on the prairie. So, it’s time we caught up with ourselves.

Fireplace Insert

The fireplace insert has been around for years. But, it doesn’t have to be used for just bringing an old fireplace back to life. A fireplace insert can be used for putting a fireplace anywhere. You don’t need to have a fireplace in the living room or the den.

The bedroom makes a great place for a fireplace. Not only the bedroom, but it’s easy to put a fireplace in the hallway, the patio and even the bathroom. In fact, there is no place where you can’t put a fireplace. The fireplace insert makes it possible.

Gel Fuel

Gel fuel is a fairly new innovation that allows us to burn a real flame in the fireplace, but for a cleaner environment. The Isopropyl Alcohol burns into a clean water vapor that doesn’t damage the home or pollute the atmosphere. But even though the gel fuel is not supposed to be considered a heating element, it burns very hot and can heat a room in no time at all.

Fireplace Mantels

Fireplace mantels have come the farthest. A wooden frame around a fireplace is old news. Of course, you can still have that if that is your taste. But, there are floating mantels that you can stagger over the fireplace and on the sides.

Ventless Fireplace

The ventless fireplace is exactly how it sounds. It is a fireplace that doesn’t require a chimney or a hearth. It doesn’t require a hole in the wall for any venting at all. As stated before, the gel fuel burns clean so there is no need for a venting system.

Fireplace Screen

Fireplace screens are also an interesting innovation. They’re not just glass and screen anymore. You can have a screen of just about any design. They keep the sparks from jumping out of a traditional unit. But, they also dress up a ventless even though they are not necessary as far as safety is concerned.

Fireplace Aroma

Fireplace aroma is a great innovation. You can make your home smell literally link anything you want. Fresh Linen when you aren’t even doing any laundry. Wisconsin Pine when you have tile floors and brick walls. Coffee Bean when you don’t have any coffee in the machine. It’s easy to do when you allow the heat to make the aroma oil waft around your home.

Fireplaces and accessories have been around for years. But, we keep making things better because that’s in our nature. We can’t help ourselves. We have plenty of choices and when we stretch our imaginations, we literally have no limits.

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How Water Vapor Affects A Building Structure

Water Vapor (“WV”) can have harmful effects on buildings and structures and can damage buildings in the form of dry rot, corrosion, and mold growth. In recent years, scientific studies have been conducted on how it affects structures and what can be done to make structures more resistant to its effects.

What is Water Vapor And What Are Its Effects?

WV is the gaseous form of water in the air that creates condensation in the exterior and interior of buildings and can pass through walls or is spread by air currents. Materials can be either porous or non-porous to water vapor. Porous materials include wood, insulation, and other building masonry materials that readily absorb WV and once overloaded, create liquid and condensation. This creates a perfect storm of conditions for rot and mold.

Where Does Water Vapor Occur?

  • How Does It Get In?
  • Vapor Drive
  • Perm rating

Condensation can be found in walls, roof cavities, and the interior windows of structures. In general, the most common places condensation develops are within the wall, under wallpaper, the ceiling, and around window areas. Outside, condensation can build up on the roof and the exterior walls of a building. The most common way water vapor gets in is by air leaks found on a structure, such as wall openings but it can also be spread by mechanical means like air conditioning units. Also, the more humid the climate you live in, the more water is found in a home or building. Diffusion is another method WV creates condensation. Diffusion happens when water molecules move from a high moisture level to a low moisture level.

When WV passes through a fixed surface like a wall, the force of the water molecules is called the vapor drive. The greater the concentration of water molecules and the more extreme temperature difference, the greater the vapor drive. Vapor drive causes condensation to occur on cool surfaces. Each part of a building and its materials will have a different resistance to vapor drive. This is called a perm rating.

How To Keep Water Vapor At Bay

Perm is short for permanence and it uses such factors, as permeability and thickness of materials, for resistance to vapor drive.

  • Perm Ratings
  • Air Barrier And Vapor Barrier Explained
  • Types Of Air Barriers
  • Types Of Vapor Barriers

A Perm Rating of a Class I vapor material stops WV while Class III is considered permeable to water. Since WV is transported by air and vapor diffusion, there are two methods to stop water vapor.

Air barriers protect buildings from moisture transported by air while vapor barriers stop water vapor from vapor diffusion. Air barriers come in different forms and shapes and enclose and seal all six sides of a structure to protect it and control air leaks. They can range from spray-on foam to flexible wraps. They are usually placed in the exterior side of a building because it allows for an easy set-up and less complications. However, air barrier should always be placed where there are high amounts of water vapor in the building. That is because wetness from diffusion is highest in those areas as it moves to a lower moisture levels. Vapor barriers are usually installed and restrict water diffusion through the building. Examples of vapor barriers include membranes, coatings, and foam insulation.


Water vapor creates problems in homes or structures including dry rot and mold. It is important to remember there are two ways to stop and restrict water vapor. A vapor barrier stops water diffusion and an air barrier stops the flow of water vapor in the air; they are often used in conjunction with one another.

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Global Warming: The Role of Water Vapor

The Earth’s Temperature: Certainly, the average temperature of the Earth has varied greatly over the last million years, from about 2°C (36°F) during the ice ages to about 15°C (59°F) during the warmer interglacial periods. We are now in an interglacial periodic and the Earth’s average temperature for the last century averages 13.9°C (57°F). Much of the research on the Earth’s temperature has been an attempt to understand the coming and going of the ice ages. We now know that the Earth’s temperature is correlated with the Milankovitch cycles, which affect how much sunlight the Earth receives, but that is not the whole story. That greenhouse gases play a role in warming the Earth was shown by Joseph Fourier in the 1820s. Using the differential equations he developed for heat transfer, Fourier calculated that the Earth, considering its size and its distance from the Sun, should be considerably colder than it actually is. He proposed the Earth must be kept warmer by its atmosphere, which acts much as the glass in a greenhouse. The actual amount of warming that could be attributed to the greenhouse effect was later found from the Stephen Boltzmann law, developed in the early 1900s. If the Earth had no atmosphere, its average temperature would be 33°C lower, at -19.0°C (-2.2°F). Without greenhouse gases, the Earth would be a frozen block of ice.

Greenhouse Gases: Heat energy leaves the Earth as infrared radiation, which makes up a part of the spectrum that is absorbed by many molecules as they vibrate. As infrared radiation leaves the Earth, it is absorbed then reemitted in all directions, some of it going back toward the Earth where it further warms the Earth. In the 1850’s, John Tyndall’s infrared research found that nitrogen and oxygen, the major components of the atmosphere, do not absorb infrared radiation. He discovered that the molecules responsible for the greenhouse effect were water vapor and carbon dioxide. Water varies from a trace up to about 4% depending on the humidity; carbon dioxide’s concentration was about 0.0028% in Tyndall’s time. In spite of their low concentration, CO2 and H2O both absorb strongly in the infrared region of the spectrum. Also, radiation leaving the Earth must traverse several kilometers of atmosphere, greatly increasing the probability of the radiation being absorbed and readmitted. Carbon dioxide plays a large role for its concentration, as it absorbs strongly in regions of the infrared spectrum where water does not.antiquesinvestors anytimefunding appdealers appraisalanalyst approvedlawyers areavoip armdirectory armlenders artistmovie atlantisguide attorneybiographies automotiveserv automotiveservicesst automotr autoservicesst bodyhealth9 bodyhealth99 bornseller bowldirectory broadcastlisting broadcastrealtime broadjournal brokersquad buffalobakeries buyingtvs byemedia calendarpens ellustrate employeeverified employment101 equityinsiders espressotalk excecutiveseats excellentrewards execirseking extrainsider extremelaws ezscrapbooks familyconvention fantasticgrass faqexchange faxfarm featuredcard fedlocator fencingmart financeclass financecost financeservs financialacces findingimages findingturkey finestbling flashkeys flavorblog flexiblehold flexphones floorhours flowerstate footballcelebrations foreclosurecities formopinion forumtruth forwardcity fraternityfriends fraudpod freakymates fridgesearch frugaldate fruitlaw fullinsider funnytutor gravityadv10 gravityadvertising10 healthylifest healthylifest1 jiangkriktravel memorabiliapage memorabiliarecords mencritic menenzyme mensfederation mentorself metroflorists mitzvahblog mlsfile mobilecycles moldsearch momentummarket mommyapproved mommylesson monetizationinfo mortgagehole motionglobe movieevening movingjokes multisection namemovies namerecipe nameseizer nashvillelocations nbapayroll netinstitution newspaperconference newspaperpro newsscholar newstemps noinsuranceagent nomalpractice nomoratorium notebookessentials nowsavers nurseaction nycestate nyclocals offshoretravels oilkuwait onlybeverages onlyincentives onlyplates orthodeals owlville paidvalue paneljobs partyaccommodations paydayloane9 pensiontracker personaljokes pestalerts petsden petupdate phantomfund phonesbooks phoneyourself photoconference photographeremployment picsales plasticsurgeryparty podcrypt podpark poemwall pointzip pokeraddress popcowboy popjudge poppath pranksearch prepaidtelevision prepties preservefuel pressinterview printingalert prizeholdings processreport produceethanol programwire prospecttalk protectwrap publishapps pullcable purchasingbroker pushacross quakebot quarterreporter radiodiscussion raftingsales randomsearching ranktech rateddomain readycostumes recruitinglocal relayimage relayshow remoteshack repjournal reservationlounge residencerewards retaileralerts retromenu revenuemobile reversewish rhodeislandbargains roboage robojeep rougenation rvmortgage salonopenings saltlakecityflower sandwichmall sanjosebakeries satellitescreen sciencewireless scientificblackjack scificlubs scottsdalechurches scriptupdate scrubpoker seetennis seniorcommander seosavers sharedcustomer shopdrives shortleases simivalleyinfo sitterbiz sleepsaround smokingmask snowcities solarseason soloshower solutionlinks spainrates specialdisc splashtoy stagesinger stagesync stlouislighting stressmethods strictlypayroll stubagent studyodds stuffedcheese stylishtees stylistspace sundayrush superbapps surplusdirectory survivallesson survivaltests survivormart sweatmachines sweetfloss swimmingtub syndicatesearch tahoespace talkpays 2017mantap adventurebroker affiliatebee affordablepromotion affordablevaccines agentabuse agentpatrol amateurcredit analystbot analystexam anniversaryforum antihot auditnetonliness costumestyles euro-hostels1 financetips99 financialtipss financialtipss1 gamingwest gresiks heathlifes heathylifes9 hotelstravel kontonlngaceng kontonlngaceng9 lakidek lawsuitconsultant lawyerscredentials maleweekend managerassociates marketcities marketingadv marketingadvertise marketingstickers medbuilder medicationprovider megarush rambutanx skincustomize taxableequivalentyield travelbusinesstips traveltips9 virginiatouris9 whoseeker wifidiary wikiblast wilddorm wirelessdialog wirelessschedule womanjudge wordupdates workplaceevaluation workplacehistory worstclass wrestlingbeat

Recent research by Kiehl and Tenebreth on the Earth’s energy budget identified five naturally occurring gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The gases, along with their contribution in both clear sky and cloudy conditions, are listed in the table.

Each of the greenhouse gases has several absorption bands, and there are some regions of the spectrum where the bands overlap, as noted in the table. Once clouds form, the liquid droplets absorbed broadly across most of the infrared region, so cloud formation reduces the contributions of the other gases. Overall, clouds and H2O account for about 75% of the greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases for about 25%. Some of the coldest nights on Earth are when the humidity is low and the night is still and clear, as the contribution of H20 is reduced far below the 60% given in the table.

The average residence time of a water molecule in the atmosphere is only about nine days. Because precipitation removes water from the air in such a short time, the concentration of water in the air varies from a trace in cold arid region up to about 4% in warm humid regions. The average residence time in the atmosphere of CH4 is 12 years, while the residence times of NO2 and CO2 are more than a century. Gases with long half-lives reside in the atmosphere long enough to become evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere. Ozone (O3), which has a residence time of a few months, is constantly being formed in the atmosphere from photochemical processes, many of which are initiated by methane and hydrocarbons.

The Limit of Humidity: The pressure of the atmosphere is made up of contributions from all the molecules in the atmosphere and the share that each gas contributes is called its partial pressure. The amount of water in the air can be measured by its partial pressure. There is a limit on the amount of water the air can hold as the humidity becomes 100% when the partial pressure equals the saturated vapor pressure, and the air can hold no more water.

The saturated vapor pressure depends only on the temperature and is listed in the table at the right.That limit of water in an air mass can be reached by water evaporating from the surface until the partial pressure reaches the saturated vapor pressure given in the table. Alternatively, the limit can be reached when a mass of air is cooled until its saturated vapor pressure is lowered to the air’s partial pressure. Any further decrease in temperature will cause air to be oversaturated and cloud formation and precipitation is likely to occur. For example, at the equator, where the temperature averages 26°, water will evaporate until it reaches the saturated vapor pressure of 25.2 mmHg. However, over the Arctic Ocean where the temperature averages 1°C, the air is saturated at 4.9 mmHg. Not surprisingly, the air can hold almost 5.1 times as much water at the equator. Or, on a clear night, when the temperature drops until the saturated vapor pressure is less than the air’s partial pressure, dew will form. The weatherman usually reports the temperature when that will happen as the “dew point”.

CO2 Controls the Temperature: One of the great mysteries confronting science in the 1800’s was the cause of the ice ages. The role that greenhouse gases had in keeping the Earth warm provided a clue for Arrhenius, who thought that changes in their concentration might be the cause of the coming and going of the ice ages. He set out to find the climate sensitivity, the temperature change expected if the concentration is doubled, for the individual greenhouse gases. Arrhenius understood that the concentration of water vapor in the air was limited by its saturated vapor pressure, which is dependent on the temperature. How then, could an increase in H2O increase the temperature when it was itself limited by the temperature? Carbon dioxide has no such limitation, so Arrhenius turned his attention to finding the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide. Though Arrhenius’s model was simple and the calculations were laborious, he found that doubling the carbon concentration would increase the temperature of the earth by about 5°C. However, the increase in temperature would allow a greater concentration of water vapor in the air which would amplify the warming. Thus, the concentration of CO2 acts as a regulator of water vapor, and ultimately determines the planet’s long-term equilibrium temperature. Recent work using better data and models have found that the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide is in the range of 3 to 4°C, and carbon dioxide has been proposed as the “control knob” for the Earth’s temperature. Still, water vapor and clouds contribute the most to greenhouse warming, and their contribution is considered to be a positive feedback to the increasing carbon dioxide concentration.

No one in Arrhenius’s day could imagine how the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration could possibly double, and some of Arrhenius’ contemporaries proposed setting some poor quality coal seams on fire to ward off another Ice Age. That proved not to be unnecessary as in 1900 Arvid Hgbom, a volcanologist, calculated that industrial sources were adding CO2 to the atmosphere at roughly the same rate as volcanoes. No one thought much of it as, at that rate, it would take centuries for the amount of CO2 to increase significantly. However, no one imagined that we would burn fossil fuels at today’s rate, putting 30 billion tons of CO2 into the air each year. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has increased by 40% since Arrhenius’s day, and the temperature of the Earth has increased by about 0.85°C, well in line with Arrhenius’s predictions.

Alternate Theories: There are a number of alternate theories as to why the Earth is warming, and most of the recent ones center around water and clouds, as that is still an active area of research. The most easily dismissed one is that water vapor is responsible for global warming rather than carbon dioxide. Arrhenius showed that was false over 100 years ago, yet some Skeptics are still saying it. Another theory, credited to Svensmark, is that cosmic rays from the stars produce charged particles that promote cloud formation. There is little evidence that the cosmic rays reaching Earth have increased and there are plenty of particulates in the air to seed clouds besides the charged particles. Another theory is Iris Effect which has been promoted by Richard Lindzen, mostly in op-ed pieces that are not peer-reviewed. His theory is that the earth’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases is low as the increasing surface temperature at the equator will cause the rising columns of moist air to rain out more moisture, leaving less to form high ice clouds, known to be a positive forcing. Aside from the fact that it seemed a little unreasonable to claim that more moisture in the air will lead to fewer high clouds, other climate scientists have found significant errors in Lindzen’s published works.

A recent paper in Remote Sensing by Roy Spencer attributes global warming to cloud formation and it was claimed to “blow a gaping hole in global warming theory.” Its main theory was that clouds were driving global warming, rather than being a feedback mechanism. The paper was quickly refuted by climate scientists by pointing out that Spencer’s model of the Earth’s atmosphere was terribly inadequate. There is also evidence that Spencer’s paper gained publication by gaming the peer review system. Another theory comes from Roger Pielke Jr., who claims that hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming less frequent and destructive, based on an economic analysis of storm damage. Global warming is likely to increase the probability of severe storms, so his work has been used to discount global warming. However, his theories stand in sharp contrast to the number of events and the amounts paid out in storm damage by Munich Re (the fourth and fifth graphs), a large secondary insurance company, that analyzed the issue without the benefit of some of Pielke’s assumptions.

The final theory, which would be laughable if it weren’t repeated by many Skeptics to discredit climate science, is that climate scientists have created the CO2 global warming theory purely for their own economic benefit. The greenhouse gas theory was developed, and the main points understood by the end of the 19th century, long before any of today’s climate scientists were even born. Fourier, Tyndall, and Arrhenius established that H2O and CO2 were main factors in warming the earth, with changes in CO2 concentrations being the primary driving force and H2O being a feedback to changes in the CO2 levels. Research since then has confirmed their findings, and their theories have been borne out by the global warming we have experienced since their day. It is hard to believe that any credible scientist would reject such well-established theories.

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