By JR on Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Al Gore is still making it up as he goes along
He recently gave a TED talk. See here. An excerpt:
"The warmer oceans are evaporating much more water vapor into the skies. Average humidity worldwide has gone up four percent. And it creates these atmospheric rivers. The Brazilian scientists call them "flying rivers." And they funnel all of that extra water vapor over the land where storm conditions trigger these massive record-breaking downpours. This is from Montana. Take a look at this storm last August. As it moves over Tucson, Arizona. It literally splashes off the city. These downpours are really unusual"
He didn't really have a chance of being right. Since there has been no significant global warming for over 18 years (the small El Nino effect for 2015 excepted), it cannot have influenced anything, including the water content of the atmosphere. But let us check anyway. Below is a record of water vapor in the atmosphere. The levels in fact show a slight decline.
Sad, isn't it? For further interseting evidence see a rigorous 2008 paper in Geophys. Res. Letts ("Towards a robust test on North America warming trend and precipitable water content increase") which showed that the slight warming between 1979 to 2006 had NO discernible effect on atmospheric water content. Pesky stuff, that water vapor! It clearly does not believe in global warming.
The big mystery is why the audience at TED didn't run Big Al out of town on a rail. But I suppose that is a bit old-fashioned these days. Gore himself is a lot wetter than the atmosphere.