"This year’s string of record-breaking disasters – from deadly wildfires and
catastrophic floods to record-high ocean temperatures and record-low sea ice in
Antarctica – seems like an acceleration of human-induced climate change.
And it is. But not only because greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. What
we are also observing is the long-predicted water vapour feedback within the
Since the late 1800s, global average surface temperatures have increased by
about 1.1°C, driven by human activities, most notably the burning of fossil
fuels which adds greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and methane) to the
As the atmosphere warms, it can hold more moisture in the form of water vapour,
which is also a greenhouse gas. This in turn amplifies the warming caused by
our emissions of other greenhouse gases.
Some people mistakenly believe water vapour is a driver of Earth’s current
warming. But as I explain below, water vapour is part of Earth’s hydrological
cycle and plays an important role in the natural greenhouse effect. Its rise is
a consequence of the atmospheric warming caused by our emissions arising
especially from burning fossil fuels."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics