Breaking wind news. Do not worry about methane.

Break wind is the habit of cows,

far more than clean air act allows.

Let’s collect all their gas,

give the cows some pizzazz;

the food a methanotrop chows.

 

Gretacowbreak

 

Fear not, dear Greta: This is the solution.

On second thought it isn’t. Methane, even if it is a much stronger greenhouse gas than even CO2 when analyzed by itself , is an irrelevant gas.

Water vapor has already absorbed the very same infrared radiation that Methane might have absorbed. (You cannot absorb more than 100% of the radiation emitted in any given band)

Guest essay by Dr. Tom Sheahen

Q: I read that methane is an even worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and cattle are a big source of methane emissions. How are they going to regulate that? Not just cattle, but dairy cows as well! That doubles the worry.

Fortunately, there is really nothing to worry about, scientifically. The main thing to worry about is over-reacting politicians and another layer of unnecessary government regulations.  

To understand methane’s role in the atmosphere, first it’s necessary to understand what absorption means. When light passes through a gas (sunlight through air, for example), some molecules in the gas might absorb a photon of light and jump up to an excited state. Every molecule is capable of absorbing some particular wavelengths of light, and no molecule absorbs all the light that comes along. This holds true across the entire electromagnetic spectrum – microwave, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet.

The process of absorption has been studied in great detail. In a laboratory set-up, a long tube is filled with a particular gas, and then a standard light is set up at one end; at the other end of the tube is a spectrometer, which measures how much light of each wavelength makes it through the tube without being absorbed. (Mirrors are placed so as to bounce the light back and forth several times, making the effective travel path much longer; this improves the precision of the data.) From such measurements, the probability of radiation being captured by a molecule is determined as a function of wavelength; the numerical expression of that is termed the absorption cross-section.

If you carried out such an experiment using ordinary air, you’d wind up with a mixture of results, since air is a mixture of various gases. It’s better to measure one pure gas at a time. After two centuries of careful laboratory measurements, we know which molecules can absorb which wavelengths of light, and how likely they are to do so.

All that data is contained in charts and tables of cross-sections. Formerly that meant a trip to the library, but nowadays it’s routinely downloaded from the internet. Once all the cross-sections are known, they can be put into a computer program and the total absorption by any gas mixture (real or imaginary) can be calculated.

The many different molecules absorb in different wavelength regions, known as bands. The principal components of air, nitrogen and oxygen, absorb mainly ultraviolet light. Nothing absorbs in the visible wavelength range, but there are several gases that have absorption bands in the infrared region. These are collectively known as the GreenHouse Gases (GHG), because absorbing infrared energy warms up the air – given the name greenhouse effect.

The adjacent figure shows how six different gases absorb radiation across the infrared range of wavelengths, from 1 to 16 microns (mm). The vertical scale is upside-down: 100% absorption is low, and 0% absorption (i.e., transparency) is high.

methane_absorption_spectra

It’s important to realize that these are shown on a “per molecule” basis. Because water vapor (bottom bar of the figure) is much more plentiful in the atmosphere than any of the others, H­2O absorbs vastly more energy and is by far the most important greenhouse gas. On any given day, H2O is a percent or two of the atmosphere; we call that humidity.

The second most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which (on a per-molecule basis) is six times as effective an absorber as H2O. However, CO2 is only about 0.04% of the atmosphere (400 parts per million), so it’s much less important than water vapor.

Now it’s necessary to scrutinize the figure very carefully. Looking across the wavelength scale at the bottom, H2O absorbs strongly in the 3-micron region, and again between 5 and 7 microns; then it absorbs to some degree beyond about 12 microns. CO2 has absorption bands centered around 2.5 microns, 4.3 microns, and has a broad band out beyond 13 microns. Consequently, CO2 adds a small contribution to the greenhouse effect. Notice that sometimes CO2 bands overlap with H2O bands, and with vastly more H2O present, CO2 doesn’t matter in those bands.

Looking at the second graph in the figure, methane (CH4) has narrow absorption bands at 3.3 microns and 7.5 microns (the red lines). CH4 is 20 times more effective an absorber than CO2in those bands. However, CH4 is only 0.00017% (1.7 parts per million) of the atmosphere. Moreover, both of its bands occur at wavelengths where H2O is already absorbing substantially. Hence, any radiation that CH4 might absorb has already been absorbed by H2O. The ratio of the percentages of water to methane is such that the effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. The amount of CH4 must increase 100-fold to make it comparable to H2O.

Because of that, methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas. The high per-molecule absorption cross section of CH4 makes no difference at all in our real atmosphere.

Unfortunately, this numerical reality is overlooked by most people. There is a lot of misinformation floating around, causing needless worry. The tiny increases in methane associated with cows may elicit a few giggles, but it absolutely cannot be the basis for sane regulations or national policy.

So, dear Greta, go back to school and learn some physics, some chemistry, and learn how nature really functions. Then you would not be as worried any more. There is a great temperature regulator, called water vapor. Yes, water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, and without it the earth would be so cold that no life would be possible. Not only that, but water vapor is a condensing gas, and it forms clouds, which are the main regulator of temperature here on earth.

Have you ever noticed that it is cooler in the shadow?

And by the way, what are methanotrop bacteria?

Methane-utilizing bacteria (methanotrophs) are a diverse group of gram-negative bacteria that are related to other members of the Proteobacteria. These bacteria are classified into three groups based on the pathways used for assimilation of formaldehyde, the major source of cell carbon, and other physiological and morphological features. The type I and type X methanotrophs are found within the gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria and employ the ribulose monophosphate pathway for formaldehyde assimilation, whereas type II methanotrophs, which employ the serine pathway for formaldehyde assimilation, form a coherent cluster within the beta subdivision of the Proteobacteria. Methanotrophic bacteria are ubiquitous. The growth of type II bacteria appears to be favored in environments that contain relatively high levels of methane, low levels of dissolved oxygen, and limiting concentrations of combined nitrogen and/or copper. Type I methanotrophs appear to be dominant in environments in which methane is limiting and combined nitrogen and copper levels are relatively high. These bacteria serve as biofilters for the oxidation of methane produced in anaerobic environments, and when oxygen is present in soils, atmospheric methane is oxidized. Their activities in nature are greatly influenced by agricultural practices and other human activities. Recent evidence indicates that naturally occurring, uncultured methanotrophs represent new genera. Methanotrophs that are capable of oxidizing methane at atmospheric levels exhibit methane oxidation kinetics different from those of methanotrophs available in pure cultures. A limited number of methanotrophs have the genetic capacity to synthesize a soluble methane monooxygenase which catalyzes the rapid oxidation of environmental pollutants including trichloroethylene.

Sounds excitig, doesn’t it. Harvesting methane, put it into warm water (about 45C) and let the bacteria do their job, producing fish food. It may even be profitable.

 

The end of beans and hot dogs as a low cost food in New York City. A Limerick.

Headline: NYC Vows to Start ‘Phasing Out’ Hot Dogs to Save the Planet as Part of Their Own $14B Green New Deal.

A favorite, low cost food in the U.S has always been hot dogs and beans. If NYC gets their way this is about to change, making life more difficult for the struggling people living from hand to mouth on a limited budget.

Here is the Limerick:

It’s true that you are what you eat

and hot dogs are bad – processed meat.

The De Blasio crowd

say it clear, say it loud.

With beans you fart methane – more heat.

 

Cut methane by 40%? California tries to legislate flatulence. A limerick.

On September 19, 2916 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 1383) that requires the state to cut methane emissions from dairy cows and other animals by 40% by 2030.  The bill is yet another massive blow to the agricultural industry in the state of California that has already suffered from the Governor’s passage of a $15 minimum wage and a recent bill that makes California literally the only state in the entire country to provide overtime pay to seasonal agricultural workers after working 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day (see “California Just Passed A $1.7 Billion Tax On The Whole Country That No One Noticed“).

According to a statement from Western United Dairymen CEO, Anja Raudabaugh, California’s Air Resources Board wants to regulate animal methane emissions even though it admits there is no known method for achieving the the type of reduction sought by SB 1383.

cowbackpacksMaybe like this?

In Climate Change remedy tools

both Kerry and Jerry are fools.

Do away with methane,

no more fart? That’s insane.

Enteric digestion still rules.

112815_cow_digestion_730_free

More terror worse than ISIS. First HFC’s, then Methane. Obama, Kerry, Sanders, Clinton full of delusion. A Limerick.

The air in the air Londonderry

is terror, says charlatan Kerry.

HFC’s must depart,

next we go for the fart:

Desist! No more dairy in Derry!

From European Commission Global Methane Reduction Actions
Methane emissions vary considerably by sector with the agriculture sector accounting for 50% of the total emissions. The development of the top six sources of anthropogenic methane emissions between 1990 and 2010 in the EU are shown below and demonstrate the success of the EU and national efforts.
While agriculture and waste are accounting for 81 % of total EU methane emissions fugitive emissions from the energy sector are below
the global figures and account for 19 %. Oil &Gas and coal exploration are a minor source and are expected to decline over the next decades.
Meanwhile back in North America: The time is right for a continental approach to methane reductions. June 2016, President Peña Nieto, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau met in Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS), and energy and environment issues were ripe topic for trilateral cooperation.

After all, it was North American action at NALS that catalyzed global action on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), another dangerous greenhouse gas, when the three countries proposed a joint amendment to the Montreal protocol in 2009. Similarly, cooperative action on methane at the next NALS would further solidify the countries’ climate leadership and could catalyze global action. Without question, Mexico joining the United States and Canada methane reduction goal of 40-45% is the largest climate commitment NALS can deliver.

 

Cut Methane 40-45%? Climate hysteria gone crazy. A Limerick

cowbackpacksA Message that EPA sent.

Cut Methane by 40%.

No more rice, no more beef,

no more milk, no more cheese.

And yet, it will not make a dent.

What is the EPA belching out now?

Let us go over the main contributors to Methane gas generation. methane_sources

The biggest contributor to Methane generation worldwide is Rice paddies, with about 20%. Of this U.S.A. has 1.2% of the worldwide rice production, so if we eliminate domestic rice production we will reduce the our Methane budget by a quarter of one percent, assuming people switch to potatoes and pasta.

Next, also about 20% of the Methane generation are wetlands. These swamps are most cherished by environmentalists, since they are spawning grounds for all kinds of life. No one seriously wants to drain all swamps anymore, so no cuts there.

Third, with about 12% are Ruminants, Methane belching from cows and people eating beans. We could make a dent in this methane production if people totally switched their diet. Maybe a fart-tax would price beef and dairy products out of the market? Don’t forget bean-tax!

Fourth is termites with about 8%. No, Orkin would not be able to handle this. Besides, Orkin uses strong poisons.

Fifth, also about 8% is Biomass burning. Our country is already doing much better than the rest of the world. Much of this burning is sticks and straws and cow-chips for the third world dinner fire.

Sixth is landfills , also about 8%. The largest landfills are already being fitted with methane recovery pipes, which is good. We may recover yet another couple of percent of the Methane budget.

Seventh is coal mining, contributes about 8% world-wide. Obama has promised to obliterate coal mining in the U.S. Unfortunately for him China is consuming over half of the world’s coal, so even if we did away with all coal mining, that would reduce the world-wide Methane budget by less than 2%.

Eighth is gas production, about 8%. The U.S. petroleum industry already burns off the methane, converting it to CO2,  or recovers it as fuel. Not so worldwide. There can be improvements there, but not more than 2% of the worldwide budget.

Next is Methane wells in the ocean bottom and algae blooms in waters over fertilized by nitrates. This is probably under-estimated at 5%. U.S. has done great strides in for example the Chesapeake Bay, but more can be done. We could possibly gain 1% in the Methane budget from ocean cleanup.

The result? No way can we reduce Methane output by 40 – 45% unless we totally change our standard of living, our eating habits and our life-style.

How much reduction in global temperature would it give us? Less than 0.1C!

It turns out that there exists methane-eating bacteria, and they grow better with increased temperature, stripping the coal atom from methane, converting the rest to methyl alcohol and digesting that too. The Arctic, rich in methane eating bacteria may well be a methane sink, not a methane source.

Any takers?

Background: NY Times, Business day:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to propose as soon as Tuesday the first-ever federal regulation to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, by the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry, officials familiar with the plan said on Monday.

The proposed rule would call for the reduction of methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, the officials said. The proposal was widely expected, after the Environmental Protection Agency said in January that it was working on such a plan.

The new rules are part of Mr. Obama’s broad push for regulations meant to cut emissions of planet-warming gases from different sectors of the economy. This month, Mr. Obama unveiled the centerpiece of that plan, a regulation meant to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a move that could transform the way the nation produces and consumes electric power.

The new rules on methane could create a tougher regulatory scheme on the nation’s fossil fuel production, particularly on the way that companies extract, move and store natural gas.

Environmental advocates have long urged the Obama administration to crack down on methane emissions. Most of the greenhouse gas pollution in the United States comes from carbon dioxide, which is produced by burning coal, oil and natural gas. Methane, which leaks from oil and gas wells, accounts for just 9 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution — but it is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so even small amounts of it can have a big impact on global warming.

The oil and gas industry has resisted methane regulations, insisting that new rules could stymie a booming natural gas industry and that voluntary industrywide standards are sufficient to prevent methane leaks. Mr. Obama is pressing efforts to cut harmful emissions as he works toward forging a United Nations global warming accord in Paris in December. The aim of the accord is to commit every nation to enact policies to cut greenhouse gases. The United States has already submitted a plan to the United Nations laying out how it will cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Growing GMO modified rice eliminates Methane pollution. An inconvenient truth for Green Heads. A Limerick.

gmo-riceA true GMO revolution.

Grow rice without Methane pollution.

Half the world fed with rice.

Feed the hungry, how nice.

“Green heads” will explode: – Wrong solution.

In addition to a near elimination of greenhouse gases associated with its growth, SUSIBA2 rice produces substantially more grains for a richer food source. The new strain is shown here (right) compared to the study’s control. Image courtesy of Swedish University of Agricultural Science

Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/29/the-perfect-storm-for-environmentalists-gmo-engineered-rice-reduces-greenhouse-gas-emissions-to-near-zero/

A majority of people are worried about GMO food. Yet we all eat it, knowing or not. The modification gene in this rice is taken from a gene in barley. It works by producing more starch instead of more roots. Test plantings in China yielded 90% reduction in Methane production compared to unmodified rice.

One possible downside: Less roots may mean less minerals absorbed, and more starch may mean less protein as a percentage of the rice.

Cut dairy emissions 25% by 2020. Fart tax anyone? A

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

Cows-heading-homecowbackpacksPicture left: The cows are coming home to get milked, well nourished from a healthy grass diet
Picture right: Research cow from Argentina fitted with a methane collecting backpack. This cow is fed feedlot style.

You cannot accuse EPA to be lax;
It works very hard to propose a fart tax.
They are running on fumes:
Tax the bovine perfumes!
Throw all the bums out! Let us give them the axe.