Friday, October 15, 2010

NASA: Carbon Dioxide, Not Water Vapor, Causes Global Warming

(Oct. 15) -- The Earth's atmosphere is a complicated place. Somewhere in that swirling, shifting mixture of air, water and other gasses is the key to keeping us earthlings alive -- or  to cooking us.

Carbon dioxide has always received the most media attention as the leading cause of climate change, and a new study from NASA does more than concur with this assessment: It finds CO2 is overwhelmingly responsible for raising Earth's temperature.

Led by Andrew Lacis at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the study found that while water vapor and clouds account for 75 percent of the planet's greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide and other noncondensing gases -- such as methane, nitrous oxide and ozone -- are the key components that provide feedback mechanisms for amplifying and sustaining the greenhouse effect. More >>>