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I would say that H2O circulation is much more "fluid" that CO2 circulation: the circulation times scales are days against years. The atmosphere obviously cannot balance out the growth of anthropogenic CO2.

We do not have to worry that we would emit too much water wapour, say, with hydrogen cell cars - the additional H2O would be a tiny fraction of the atmospheric H2O flow. But higher H2O potential as greenhouse gas means that fluctations of H2O circulation can determine very much of how the greenhouse effect would develop. By standard assumptions, H2O circulation is determined by physical causes and effects - there might be dominant positive or negative feedbacks; or by deterministic or stochastic chaos - if the basic underlying dynamical system is chaotic. But it is also possible that the atmosphere reacts to increasing greenhouse stresses (whether anthropogenic or "natural" or accidental) as a cybernetic system, and that compensating (or possibly "rebooting") event sequences are already in place.

by das monde on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 12:59:05 AM EST
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