Another positive feedback loop
Scientificblogging reports on the link between atmospheric water vapor and greenhouse gases:
The water vapor feedback mechanism works in the following way: as the atmosphere warms due to human-caused increases in carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons, water vapor increases, trapping more heat in the atmosphere, which in turn causes a further increase in water vapor.
Basic theory, observations and climate model results all show that the increase in water vapor is roughly 6 percent to 7.5 percent per degree Celsius warming of the lower atmosphere.
The authors note that their findings, when taken together with similar studies of continental-scale river runoff, zonal-mean rainfall, and surface specific humidity, point toward an emerging human-caused signal in the cycling of moisture between the atmosphere, land and ocean.
“This new work shows that the climate system is telling us a consistent story,” Santer said. “The observed changes in temperature, moisture, and atmospheric circulation fit together in an internally- and physically-consistent way.”