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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 761473, 12 pages
Research Article

Applying Econometrics to the Carbon Dioxide “Control Knob”

Emeritus Faculty, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 13 December 2011

Academic Editor: Donald H. Stedman

Copyright © 2012 Timothy Curtin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper tests various propositions underlying claims that observed global temperature change is mostly attributable to anthropogenic noncondensing greenhouse gases, and that although water vapour is recognized to be a dominant contributor to the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) effect, that effect is merely a “feedback” from rising temperatures initially resulting only from “non-condensing” GHGs and not at all from variations in preexisting naturally caused atmospheric water vapour (i.e., [H2O]). However, this paper shows that “initial radiative forcing” is not exclusively attributable to forcings from noncondensing GHG, both because atmospheric water vapour existed before there were any significant increases in GHG concentrations or temperatures and also because there is no evidence that such increases have produced measurably higher [H2O]. The paper distinguishes between forcing and feedback impacts of water vapour and contends that it is the primary forcing agent, at much more than 50% of the total GHG gas effect. That means that controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide is unlikely to be an effective “control knob” as claimed by Lacis et al. (2010).