• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 7:41am
CommentLetters

Carbon dioxide cuts cannot be solution to global warming

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 June, 2013, 1:41am

Tania Willis' letter ("Personal action now unavoidable to halt planet's destruction", June 1) quoted Al Gore and Jim Hansen in labelling carbon dioxide as the primary global warming pollutant. She has fallen short in showing why the 7.2 million people in Hong Kong must hold their breath because of the undesirable consequences claimed by her.

"Climate Change: A Summary of the Science", based on the consensus opinion of Royal Society scientists and issued in September 2010, provides the best synopsis on the current science on climate change.

It shows where the science is well established and where there remains substantial uncertainty.

Measurements from the earth's surface and space, together with modelling, show that, in addition to clouds, the gases that make the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect are water vapour, followed by carbon dioxide. There are smaller contributions from many other gases, including ozone, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

Therefore the effectiveness of reducing the second most important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide alone is questionable. Carbon dioxide alarmists must also explain:

Why carbon dioxide is labelled as a pollutant when it is an essential, life-supporting part of earth's ecosystem;

Why the current 400 parts per million level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is more important to global temperatures than clouds and water vapour;

Why global temperatures failed to correlate with the steady increase in carbon dioxide levels over the past 100 years;

Why changes in carbon dioxide levels lag temperature rise by some 800 years in Antarctica ice core records spanning 800,000 years;

Why the cessation of all commercial flights over Canada and the United States for three days after the September 11 terrorist attacks increased the diurnal temperatures measured over the US by more than 1 degree Celsius (this is explained by higher daytime temperatures and lower nighttime temperatures caused by the disappearance of contrails, Water vapour being the main component of contrails);

Why temperatures measured at the Hong Kong Observatory's headquarters are nearly always higher than at its Waglan Island station, especially at night; and

Why the observed extreme weather events are within the range of known natural variability.

Because carbon dioxide is not the main cause of global warming, reducing carbon emission cannot be the solution to limiting the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.

Wyss Yim, Pok Fu Lam

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

3

This article is now closed to comments

Chris Aikman
Yes, water vapor has a stronger infrared blanketing effect than carbon dioxide, and is thus more effective as a greenhouse gas. However, water vapor regulates its concentration in the atmosphere by a naturally occurring process called precipitation. It happens.
dynamco
HKU's Prof Wyss gets it half right:
Water vapor significance in climate change
www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html
www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Climate/Climate-Change-Water-Vapour.aspx
‘While there is far more water vapor in the atmosphere than other greenhouse gases, the other greenhouse gases play an important role in influencing our climate. The increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases is largely responsible for the observed warming of 0.74°C over the 20th century. This warming has had a ‘positive feedback’ as a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor – enhancing human induced warming by about 50 per cent.’
However just take a look at the readings for Tap Mun on the EPD website-an island with no trucks and massive NOx readings. Our major polluter in HKG is shipping + prevailing winds R easterlies hence the NOx and SOx on Tap Mun. The previous incompetent administration did zero to prohibit local sales of high sulfur bunker fuel nor to negotiate the imposition of an Emissions Control Zone in our waters which are the busiest in the world passing to Shenzhen and Shanghai as well as our port and southwards. Our diesel truck fuel is limited in parts per million sulfur yet bunker fuel is 2.75 -4% sulfur. USA has a 200 nautical mile ECA and the Baltic and North sea also have ECAs whereas here we were stuck with abuser Tsang and useless frequent flyer Edward Yau. OGV's all carry dual tanks + they should be forced to use Lo sulfur fuel in our waters.
captam
Yim must be an aspiring actor for the oil industry-funded 'Climate Change Denial clique". Read Routledge's Handbook on Climate Change and Society, published 2010.
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or