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More Evidence Water Vapor Is Dominant Influence on Temperatures

Joe Bastardi · Dec. 7, 2018

This may seem revolutionary given all the emphasis put on CO2 as the so-called “climate control knob.” But we have a classic case of direct linkage to water vapor occurring, with high-latitude warming and the cold seasons revealing this most vividly. More water vapor means more clouds. In fact, the cooler it is, the easier it is to create clouds, as condensation processes are faster. So increased water vapor is likely to have its biggest effect on temperatures at the coldest time of the year.

CO2 cannot be causing what you’ll see below.

For instance, maximum temperatures for the nation during the front five days of the month were 2.34°F below average.

Minimum temperatures were 2.77°F above average.

For the front five days of December, this is a record spread! Now look at the water vapor so far:

The nation is well above average.

This is obviously making averages warmer by buoying nighttime lows. But more clouds also limit daytime highs (less solar energy). Isn’t it interesting how nature will develop a natural cap? We are actually lessening the range in temperatures a bit, which would imply less volatility. It is happening also between the poles, which are warming during their respective cold seasons but not so during their warm seasons. This lessens the temperature gradients between the poles and temperate regions where life thrives. (I have shown that previously.) That is a good thing, by the way, as it implies less, not more, weather clashes.

Clearly, this is the result of moisture availability. And as we run deeper into winter, you are witnessing the direct linkage between water vapor and temperatures. Weatherbell.com has had a cold, stormy winter forecast since August. This is what we have out currently:

The first-flake-to-last-flake snow map shows percentages relative to average. Let’s say you average 10 inches of snow during any given year and you are in the core. This map says you should get 16.7 inches or more of snowfall accumulation this winter. This is a very cold forecast from so far out. This is the October update, which supplements the cold forecast we inititally put out in August.

If we are right, anyone want to bet the cold and snow will be blamed on “climate change”? You can see no such link to CO2, nor can you attribute CO2 to any of this. It’s right there with the water vapor. What is the source of extra water vapor? Let me guess — could it be the oceans?


The oceans are slow to change and are a product of decades and years of various influences. The late Dr. William Gray’s paper on these influences can give you greater insight into this.

You defy logic and common sense blaming something that you can’t even construct a saturation mixing ratio chart for because there is no temperature-CO2 link that we can use. Moreover, there is a chart right before our very eyes that links water vapor to temperatures, and the weather naturally responds to it. That is proven science.

At a certain temperature air can only contain so much water vapor. Saturate the air increase with water vapor, and what has to happen to the temperature?

The column on the extreme left shows how the change in temperature vs. water vapor goes to near 0. For instance, the increase of about .1 gram/kg of water vapor at -40 corresponds to a 10-degree increase in temperature. What does this mean in layman’s terms? It takes far less water vapor to achieve higher temperatures in areas where average temperatures are naturally lowest. Temperature is not a linear measure of energy.

There is no such chart for CO2.

By the way, it starts snowing there more during the colder time of the year. While temperatures overall are warmer, the dirty little secret is that it’s still cold. So snow is increasing in the Northern Hemisphere in the early part of the year — again evidence of nature fighting back. It’s also evidence of increased water vapor in colder areas, which, due to the nature of water vapor, leads to higher temperatures (more cloud cover). The rule of thumb is that the lower the temperature, the more water vapor will act to raise the temperature. The higher the temperature, the more it can limit it. So it has less affect on maximum temperatures and in very warm areas.

Look at November’s snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, courtesy of the Rutgers snow lab:

The moral of this story? You are seeing evidence of “climate change” right in front of you. It is natural. And guess what is causing it? The most important greenhouse gas we have — water vapor, not CO2. Where can we trace the increase in water vapor? We can trace it to natural cyclical processes of the warmer oceans, which contain 99.9% of the energy of the ocean-atmospheric system.

In the end, it comes down to what H.L. Mencken said many years ago: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it.” That is likely what this is all about.


Joe Bastardi, a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting, is a contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”

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