A new theory by Vladimir Shaidurov postulates that we may have been atrributing the warming of the Earth to the wrong greenhouse gas. Rather than carbon dioxide, Shaidurov presents evidence that past temperature variations can be linked to water vapor concentrations in the far upper reaches of our atmosphere.
He believes the initiating event of the current global warming behavior is not the accumlation of carbon dioxide from human activities, but was set in motion by the air-burst explosion of the Tungus on June 30th, 1908. This force of this explosion is now estimated to have had a force equal to fifteen million tons of TNT. The force of this explosion forced water vapor into the upper atmosphere where a stable layer of water vapor and ice crystals formed. This layer acts in the classic greenhouse fashion reflecting infrared energy back to the surface of the earth gradually raising the earth’s temperature.
Shaidurov’s paper “Atmospheric hypotheses of Earth’s global warming” is under consideration for publication in the journal Science First Hand, published by Russian Academy of Sciences (Editor-in-Chief, Acad. Dobretsov, Vice-President Russian Academy of Sciences, President of Siberian Branch RAS). A preprint is available online and was published originally as University of Leicester Technical Report No. Ma-05-15.
From the Leicester press release:
As such, Shaidurov has concluded that only an enormous natural phenomenon, such as an asteroid or comet impact or airburst, could seriously disturb atmospheric water levels, destroying persistent so-called ‘silver’, or noctilucent, clouds composed of ice crystals in the high altitude mesosphere (50 to 85km). The Tunguska Event was just such an event, and coincides with the period of time during which global temperatures appear to have been rising the most steadily — the twentieth century. There are many hypothetical mechanisms of how this mesosphere catastrophe might have occurred, and future research is needed to provide a definitive answer.