The rise in levels of water vapour high above the Earth’s surface is likely to amplify the effects of global warming, according to scientists and the human activities are to be blamed for this.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research found that humans are the cause of elevated amounts of water in the upper troposphere directly and hence increasing global warming.
Computer simulations were carried out by the scientists at the University of Miami which predicted that as burning fossil fuels warms the climate, concentrations of water will increase.
They discovered that moistening of the atmosphere tends to absorb more heat, hence raising the temperature even more, which ultimately leads to severe effects of global warming.
After measuring water levels in the upper troposphere, the findings of the scientists were put to comparison with climate model predictions of water circulation between ocean and atmosphere.
It is interesting to note that the results depicted that increasing levels of water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere is not explainable by natural forces, such as changes in solar activity or volcanoes for instance. They did appear to be somehow connected to the emission of the greenhouse gases (gases that contribute to global warming) such as carbon dioxide, though.
Lead scientist Professor Brian Soden said: “The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapour in the upper troposphere.”