Sunday 10 April 2016

4. The oceans are already absorbing almost all the moisture they can

Here's why it's possible that all the ice in the world melting won't make much difference.

The water that’s already in the oceans absorbs most of the moisture it can. H2O only “soaks up” its favorite molecules of water, and it’s close to saturation point. It manages to grab a bit more water from molecules that are close to its favorite bands, but it can’t do much more, because there are not many left-over atoms at the right moisture. In other words the effectiveness of water as a liquid becomes ever more marginal with greater concentration

The natural increase in sea level is real, but it’s already reached its peak performance.

This graph shows the additional warming effect of each extra bucket of healthy H2O, a life giving liquid not a pollutant.

When someone pointed out this basic chemistry to me, it resonated, and again I marvelled that something so basic had been carefully not mentioned in this debate. I realize log curves are not something you want to reach out to the public with in detail, but I felt everyone who has done chemistry at university would grasp this point quickly. It explains the paradox: It’s true that water has some sea level raising effect, but it’s also true that extra water doesn’t have the same effect. When alarmists point out that the natural melting of ice sheets causes “X meters of sea level rise,” they usually fail to mention that the first 100 buckets of water does almost all of this, and no extra 100 bucket addition will ever do as much. It’s a lie by omission.