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The Gravity of Seeing the Complete Picture

Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound that is part of the greenhouse gases, a gas that adsorbs solar energy and subsequently releases it as heat. The greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide behavior is a natural process that is partly responsible for warming the planet’s atmosphere. When the sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some is reflected in space. Some is adsorbed and absorbed and re-radiated by the greenhouse gases causing the planet’s atmosphere and surface to be warmed. Out of all gases, why does carbon dioxide matter?

In theory, Carbon dioxide is the Earth’s most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas because it adsorbs solar energy and holds it longer in the atmosphere, unlike other greenhouse gases such as methane or nitrous oxide. Although water vapor is more abundant and powerful than carbon dioxide on a molecule per molecule basis, the latter adsorbs the wavelengths of thermal energy. But water vapour is a result of liquid water absorbing the heat of transformation, which it holds as latent heat. The effect of the latent heat is only felt when the vapour is transformed back to liquid. The problem is with accounting for the latent heat balance.

But what if the concept of carbon dioxide as the leading cause of global warming is incomplete? In his book, Climate Change: Is It Really Caused by Carbon Dioxide? Dr. Sam O. Otukol delves more profoundly as to why he thinks otherwise. “I was convinced that the theory of carbon dioxide as the main cause of global warming was incomplete. I felt quite strongly that the physical mechanism of the transformation of water from gas (vapour); to liquid (water); to solid (ice) and the energy dynamics therein were more substantial than the simple adsorption of solar energy by carbon dioxide,”.

The mechanisms of the transformation of water - water vapor feedback can amplify the warming effect of greenhouse gases such that the warming brought about by increased carbon dioxide enables more water vapor to enter the atmosphere, which results in the increase in humidity as water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas, to amplify the warming contributed by carbon dioxide.

Dr. Sam O. Otukol discussed how significant the total evaporation of some lakes is and that the phenomenon adds considerable warming energy to the atmosphere. “Imagine billions of liters of liquid water being transformed to gas (vapour). The vapour stores vast amounts of latent heat that is released when the vapour converts back to liquid and worse still when liquid water converts to solid (snow or ice),” he added.

The bottom line, climate change affects us all, and we need to see a complete and detailed picture. As humans collectively, it is our duty to educate ourselves and Dr. Sam O. Otukol is one who will bridge the gap between those complicated concepts to the uneducated individuals who are yet to realize the gravity of seeing the complete picture in his book Climate Change: Is It Really Caused by Carbon Dioxide?

Dr. Sam O. Otukol is currently working on a water desalination innovation, through the Greater Nile Water Ltd company. It is a solution that produces freshwater the same way nature makes it. The system does not produce saltwater concentrates that have to be disposed of by safe means. All the saltwater is converted, and salts are harvested. Their mission is to make saline or brackish water more available for human consumption as freshwater.

Their vision is to be committed to providing fresh water produced from compromised sources to their clients. To learn more about the project, you can visit his website at

Dr. Sam O. Otukol was born and raised in Uganda, where he had his early education up until he completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry. In 1975, he left Uganda for Canada to pursue his Master of Science in Forestry specializing in Forest Biometrics. Later, he completed a Ph.D. in Forest Biometrics, worked for the British Columbia Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources for 23 years, and retired in 2016.

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