The Week That Was: August 3, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Confusing Planet: Our planet is a complex place, no doubt confusing global warming headline seekers. About 71%of the surface is water (ocean), 29% is land. Water warms and cools far more slowly than land. Complicating matters further, the dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, slowing the nighttime cooling of water and land masses even further, where it is present.
Making matters even more complex is that about 81% of the Southern hemisphere is water and 19% is land. For the Northern Hemisphere, about 61% is water and 39% is land. Land area varies by latitude. About 68% of the land is in the Northern Hemisphere, only 32% in the Southern Hemisphere. By latitude, the highest percentage of land area is between 30 degrees North and 60 degrees North. [The distribution of land areas has changed significantly over the past 750 million years, making any paleo-earth studies of the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide on temperatures difficult. One cannot assume the ocean currents were the same as today.]