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Arthur S. Lodge     |     home
Correspondence with the journal "For A Change   "   |   IPCC Report: Serious Omissions
IPCC Report: Serious Omissions
What is the main greenhouse gas?

Lodge to  For A Change, March 22:

Water vapour absorbs over five times more terrestrial radiation than all other greenhouse gases combined.

Noble to Lodge, May 1:

Your letter… is based on erroneous information. … Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas….. See, for example, "Summary for Policymakers, a report of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, January 2001". [1]

Lodge to Noble, June 22:

I can find nothing in your summary reference [1], or in the full report [2] on which the summary is based, that supports your claim that carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas. Hartmann's fig. 12.1 [3] (p.321) indicates instead that carbon dioxide is the main man-made greenhouse gas. Hartmann also states (on p.27): "Water vapor and clouds provide about 80% of the current greenhouse effect". I have found similar statements made by several other people on the Internet. One of them also states that the average water vapor content of the atmosphere is about 1%, whereas the carbon dioxide content is only about 0.03%.

Should carbon dioxide generation be reduced?

Noble to Lodge, May 1:

Nearly all experts agree that it ( the Kyoto Accord)  is a step in the right direction.

Lodge to Noble, June 22:

Where political science is involved, the views of a majority may not always be a guide to the wisest plan. In discussing the proposed implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, Lomborg [4] states: "the effect of Kyoto on the climate will be miniscule - in the order of 0.13 deg. C in 2100, or the equivalent of putting off the temperature increase just six years….. The cost of such a Kyoto pact, just for the US, will be higher than the cost of providing the entire world with clean drinking water and sanitation."

IPCC Report: Serious Omissions

The following important points are not to be found in the IPCC report [1, 2].

There is evidence that "changing CO2 levels are the result of global temperature variations rather than the cause of them" ([5], p.72).
There is a striking correlation between sunspot activity and global temperature observed from AD1600-2000 (see, e.g. [5], fig.9.1, p.55). This remarkable figure is neither given nor mentioned by the IPCC. The correlation suggests that global temperature variations have not been significantly affected by any human activity.
One group of scientists believes that the present levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases are already absorbing all of Earth's infra-red radiation and hence that an increase in carbon dioxide concentration will have no further effect on global temperatures because there is no more available radiation to be absorbed. Another group of scientists disputes this. ([5], p.73)


[1]  Summary for Policymakers, a report of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, January 2001.     This report may be downloaded as a pdf file from

[2] The full report Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis may be downloaded as a set of pdf files from the site

[3]  Global Physical Climatology, Dennis L. Hartmann  (Academic Press, San Diego, 1994).

[4]  The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press, 2001), p.318.

[5]  The Workings of Earth's Climatic System, Tony Scott (November, 2000); references are to the full version which may be downloaded from: