Let's Talk Global Warming

Episode 7: Water Vapor

March 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Let's Talk Global Warming
Episode 7: Water Vapor
Show Notes Transcript

Water Vapor is a fundamental part of the water cycle... and a greenhouse gas? This episode is all about how Water Vapor effects the global warming and other greenhouse gases.

Water Cycle:

https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Hydrologic_cycle

Water Vapor: 

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatesciencenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html

Music:
“News Theme” by Kevin MacLeod licensed under CC BY. Edited to be shorter but content was not changed. 

Link to Song Profile: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4122-news-theme/

Link to Author’s Profile: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/artists/profile/9-kevin-macleod/

Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

speaker 0:   0:00
Welcome to Let's Talk Global Warming. My name is Stevie. Just as a reminder. This is a purely informational channel in all of my fax come from verified and dependable sources, all of what you can. Check yourselves the links in the description of this episode. Today, we're wrapping up our talk about greenhouse gases with water vapor, which is widely regarded by scientific circles as one of the most important greenhouse gases. The thing about water vapor is, is that it doesn't have sources like all the other greenhouse gases do. As we go through this, you'll understand why that's the case. This all starts with the water cycle according to energy education by the University of Calgary. In the water cycle, water found in waterways or pulled on the ground is heated by solar energy in turn into vapor in a process called evaporation. Water can also be turned into vapor in a process called transpiration, where water vapor is emitted from the leaves of plants. Either way, the water vapor enters the atmosphere where it cools and collects two forms to form clouds in a process called condensation. When the clouds become too dense, it rains, snows or hails in the water returns to the ground, starting the cycle over again. First, we're faced with a positive feedback loop of the cycle. Ah, positive feedback loop is when an event occurs and something is increased because of it. The positive feedback loop for water. Baber works so that increased levels of water vapor act like a greenhouse gas and and more heat to the atmosphere. It does this by acting as a greenhouse gas itself and by making the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere already more powerful. So as more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Water vapor levels increase, which adds another greenhouse gas to the mix and makes the greenhouse gases up there even warmer. I think about it this way. If I have a cup of coffee that has gotten cold and is mostly empty, and I put hot coffee in it, the temperature of the coffee increases in the same way water vapor added to greenhouse gases makes a greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hotter, while the water vapor itself is also hot. So if we stopped releasing greenhouse gases, we would also slow down the production of water vapor as the earth stops forming as much. It is because of this loop that the American Chemical Society says that 60% of warming comes from water vapour. No greenhouse gases means no water vapor. Too many greenhouse gases means too much water vapor. Now there's also a negative feedback loop, with a result that is a little more promising. A negative feedback loop is a cycle where an event occurs that results in the decrease of something else. To explain this negative feedback loop, let me backtrack. Backed. When I talked about the water cycle, I mentioned that in a process called condensation, water cools in the atmospheres and settles to form clouds. The negative feedback loop predicts that as more water vapors added, more clouds will form. Clouds actually mirrors and reflect the solar energy back into space. Because there's less solar energy being reflected on the earth, the earth is experiencing less warmth. So while water vapor does enhance the greenhouse effect and make it worse, it also reflects solar energy back into space in the form of clouds, which decreases the amount of solar energy reaching earth. Water vapor is pretty much the double edged sword of climate change, all the information about positive and negative feedback loops came from the American Chemical Society. In case any of you once read more about it, we've now gone through all the greenhouse gases. Next, I'm going to a quick summary video of all the greenhouse gases together, which will come out very soon. And then we'll be moving on to new topics such as fossil fuels in the Arctic. I'm so sorry this episode is so short, and I know you've all waited for it. But as I said earlier, I promised my next episode will be out much sooner, likely this week until then, if you have any questions or there's a climate change topic you'd like me to talk about, don't forget to come below or on the Instagram Post Post associate with this episode. And if you haven't already subscribe to this podcast and follow me on Instagram at talking underscore about underscore Global underscore warming. Spread the word about this channel so that more people can be informed about global warming and we can take true steps to saving our world from climate change. Thanks for listening