That worrisome “Methane Beast” apparently is still not awake.

OK Leland Palmer, I told you on several occasions where you tried to steer threads towards Methane that you should wait until WUWT had a thread that was relevant – here you go, have at it. – Anthony

The Ups and Downs of Methane

Reposted from World Climate Report

One of the indisputable facts in the field of global climate change is that the atmospheric build-up of methane (CH4) has been, over the past few decades, occurring much more slowly than all predictions as to its behavior (Figure 1). Since methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas (thought to have about 25 times the warming power of CO2), emissions scenarios which fail to track methane will struggle to well-replicate the total climate forcing, likely erring on the high side—and feeding too much forcing into climate models leads to too much global warming coming out of them.


Figure 1. Atmospheric methane concentrations, 1985-2008, with the IPCC methane projections overlaid (adapted from: Dlugokencky et al., 2009)

 

Figure 2 shows the year-over-year change in the methane concentration of the atmosphere, and indicates not only that the growth rate of methane has been declining, but also that on several occasions during the past decade or so, it has dropped to very near zero (or even below) indicating that no increase in the atmospheric methane concentration (or a even a slight decline) occurred from one year to the next.


Figure 2. Year-to-year change in atmospheric methane concentrations, 1985-2008, (source: Dlugokencky et al., 2009)

This behavior is quite perplexing. And while we are not sure what processes are behind it, we do know one thing for certain—the slow growth of methane concentrations is an extremely cold bucket of water dumped on the overheated claims that global warming is leading to a thawing of the Arctic permafrost and the release of untold mega-quantities of methane (which, of course, will lead to more warming, more thawing, more methane, etc., and, of course, to runaway catastrophe).

To some, the blip upwards in methane growth in 2007 (Figure 2) was a sure sign that the methane beast was awakening from its unexpected slumber. Climate disaster was just around the corner (just ask Joe Romm).

But alas, despite the hue and cry, in 2008 the increase in methane, instead of equaling or exceeding the 2007 rise, turned out to be only about half of the 2007 rise. And together with information on from where it seemed to emanate (the tropics rather than the Arctic), it cannot be taken as a sign that the slow methane growth rate during the past decade was coming to an end as a result of an Arctic meltdown.

Here is how NOAA methane-guru Ed Dlugokencky and colleagues put it in their publication last week describing recent methane behavior:

We emphasize that, although changing climate has the potential to dramatically increase CH4 emissions from huge stores of carbon in permafrost and from Arctic hydrates, our observations are not consistent with sustained changes there yet.

The factual portion of their conclusion remains the same, with or without the inclusion of the final word (but it sure was nice of them to throw it in there as a bone to climate catastrophists the world over).

Reference

Dlugokencky, E. J., et al., 2009. Observational constraints on recent increases in the atmospheric CH4 burden. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L18803, doi:10.1029/2009GL039780.

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161 thoughts on “That worrisome “Methane Beast” apparently is still not awake.

  1. Do you think that it is really possible for anything to have an exact target; such as hitting the moon with a rocket since the moon is in a constant orbiting motion? The earth orbits the sun with the speed of light, the moon is smaller than earth and it is orbiting slower than earth plus it is rotating on it’s axis at a very slow rate. Plus all this is dependent on the gravity of the sun. Earth rotates on it’s axis at 1,000 miles in one hour, all planets in our galaxy are insync with earths rotation; all this stuff is traveling so fast in the universe that it seems almost impossible to be able to hit a target since there is constant motion.

    The earth orbits the sun at the speed of light, the moon orbits the earth; plus all these other planets are in constant orbiting motion, yet connected to the rotation of the earth.

    It looks in my mind like all this stuff works like the internal structure of a big wrist watch

  2. Temperatures in Arctic in 40ties had been similar to present times. Why the catastrophic release of methane did not happen that time, and why it should happen now?

  3. As Bill Clinton stated, “It’s the economy stupid”, less people can afford steak these days. As the cow population goes, so blows the methane!

  4. If warming –> methane –> more warming –> more methane –> …

    Then why is the methane still there?

  5. When someone says something like this:

    The earth orbits the sun at the speed of light,

    I begin to doubt their competence and their sanity.

  6. I see the concentration is in ppb.

    So, CH4 is 25 times as potent at C02, but roughly 1/225 the concentration?

  7. Is it acceptable for me to highjack a methane thread?

    As you might be aware snow has forced the postponement of game three of the Philadelphia Phillies-Colorado Rockies playoff.
    Already the AGW propaganda machine is spinning up damage control, scheduling the cartoon feature Ice Age: The Meltdown as alternative broadcasting.

    I want them to go bonkers trying to dream up new coverups!

    So inspite of my lifelong love affair with the Oakland A’s for the remainder of this season I am a Rockies fan.

    Hope you become a Rockies fan too.

  8. Smokey, that is a funny graphic. Sometimes I wonder, how can people be THAT stupid! But obviously, people are THAT stupid. The last paragraph in that graphic was hilarious. Like the global warming advocates, it starts with an unprovable idea and extrapolates from there.

  9. @yaakoba

    You got some of the numbers right, but missed a few decimal points on the “speed of earth orbiting the sun.”

    And it’s a dang good thing, too, because if the earth were traveling at the speed of light, a lot of REALLY weird things would be happening, per Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

    Speed of light is roughly 186,000 miles per second. (300,000 kilometers/sec)

    Earth’s orbital speed is approximately 18.6 miles per second.

    (Calculate the circumference of a circle (earth’s orbit) using 93 million miles as the radius, and the time to orbit the sun as 365.25 days. Divide the circumference (in miles) by the time (convert that to seconds) and the result is 18.6 miles per second). Here endeth the lesson.

    Gotta watch those pesky decimal places…they make a difference from time to time…

  10. The IPCC declared that human activity was responsible for most methane emissions whih why when the rise in methnane level stopped some years ago many AGW proponents were dismayed. After all there jsut as many cows and sheep as before.

    The idea that melting permafrost would release huge amounts of CO2 and methane also has little merit. Frozen soil is biologically inactive but once it warms biological processes start so vast releases do not occur. The CO2 Science website has an excellent archive on this.

    As for releases from undersea methane hydrates the pressure is too great and deep ocean temperatures too cold for any change in temperature above the thermocline to affect them.

    Kindest Regards

  11. Can there be a thread here without someone asking if they can hijack it?

    How about getting your own blog – no one cares about your bright ideas.

  12. Smokey, it’s too bad that sea level rise like that won’t happen in that region. They already have problems with water supply and coastal towns attract more tourism than inland towns. Sea level rise would be a boon for Israel and its neighbours! :)

  13. RE:
    Yaakoba (12:52:01) :

    Do you think that it is really possible for anything to have an exact target; such as hitting the moon with a rocket since the moon is in a constant orbiting motion? The earth orbits the sun with the speed of light, the moon is smaller than earth and it is orbiting slower than earth plus it is rotating on it’s axis at a very slow rate. Plus all this is dependent on the gravity of the sun. Earth rotates on it’s axis at 1,000 miles in one hour, all planets in our galaxy are insync with earths rotation; all this stuff is traveling so fast in the universe that it seems almost impossible to be able to hit a target since there is constant motion.

    The earth orbits the sun at the speed of light, the moon orbits the earth; plus all these other planets are in constant orbiting motion, yet connected to the rotation of the earth.

    It looks in my mind like all this stuff works like the internal structure of a big wrist watch

    The Earth orbits the Sun at a distance of approx 149,600,000k (r)
    The orbital diameter is thereby 299,200,000k (d)
    The orbital circumfrence is 939,964,505k
    There are 365.25 days in a year so the earth travels 2,573,482.5k per day
    or 107,243k per hour (you are currently traveling at this speed around the sun even if you are in orbit around the earth)
    The moon orbits the earth at a distance of 384,000k (r)
    The orbital diameter is thereby 768,000k (d)
    The orbital circumfrence is 2,412,743
    There are 29.5 days in the lunar cycle (granted the sidreal period is slightly shorter) so the moon travels 81,788k per day.
    So traveling to the moon requires approx 2 days travel time so we just need to aim 160,000k ahead of the moons location to hit it

  14. Has anyone explained adequately the creation of methane calthrates on the ocean floor? I can’t seem to find anything that speaks of CO2 sequestration in deep ocean water to form methane without the inference of decaying organic matter/sediment. Everything I find speaks of breaking down methane CH4 to make CO2 + H2O. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Methane

    Is it possible that under the high pressure on the ocean bottoms that CO2 reacts via some chemcial vs organic process using H2O to become CH4 and liberates O2? (CO2 + H2O -> CH4 + O2)

  15. If Peter L. Ward (not Peter D. Ward) is correct, SO2 is a major atmospheric driver of climate change, and CO2 is a bit player. (See http://www.tetontectonics.org/Climate.html ) If SO2 levels start to rise again because of “unscrubbed” coal-fired plants being built in China and India, we are likely to see increasing methane levels again due to decreasing oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere. This will give AGW supporters new life and support to their real agenda, social/political change. Ward’s hypothesis should be looked at seriously by CO2 skeptics since, if he is correct, changes due to SO2 may be interpreted by the press and the public as being caused by CO2 with resultant huge social/political/economic consequences. Give it a read.

  16. When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?

  17. Would someone please explain to me how methane absorbs more heat into the atmosphere than is already absorbed by water vapor.

    I found absorption spectra for various atmospheric gasses at the following link.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007_06_01_archive.html

    AFAICT, methane has absorption at around 8 um. This seems to be completely within one of water’s absorption bands. The blackbody radiation of the earth is somewhere around there (albeit mostly longer wavelengths).

    Looking at the graph, it appears that all the radiation at around 8 um will be absorbed whether methane is present or not.

    What am I missing here? At least carbon dioxide can absorb energy in a band where water doesn’t otherwise absorb all the available radiation.

  18. Yeah, the melting permafrost is just bubbling with the stuff. That is why if you go up there and light a match……………

  19. “CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O
    Has anyone considered that methane burns?”
    Back2Bat

    Indeed. That was why, some time ago, The Register pointed out that a really committed Green would carry a small cigarette lighter everywhere, to light his farts….

  20. Gas (oil) companies have spent a lot of time and effort to reduce venting of natural gas (methane) over the last decade or so. Maybe this is a partial explanation of why the rate of increase has slowed?

  21. dscott (14:39:40) :

    Has anyone explained adequately the creation of methane calthrates on the ocean floor? I can’t seem to find anything that speaks of CO2 sequestration in deep ocean water to form methane without the inference of decaying organic matter/sediment. Everything I find speaks of breaking down methane CH4 to make CO2 + H2O. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Methane

    Is it possible that under the high pressure on the ocean bottoms that CO2 reacts via some chemcial vs organic process using H2O to become CH4 and liberates O2? (CO2 + H2O -> CH4 + O2)
    ____________________________________________
    I’m sure there are some good references on this that we could find without too much trouble, but my rough understanding is that some bacteria release methane as they decomponse organic material on the ocean floor, and methane acts as a nucleus to water molecules in a structure that freezes at deep-ocean temperatures. By the way, we might speculate that a higher-than-typical amount of energy is being sequestered on the ocean floor at present, bound up in carbohydrate and methane, as high levels of atmospheric CO2 spur photosynthesis in the surficial ocean.

  22. Thank you Roger and Bryan for the clarification.
    In police work it is virtually impossible to shoot the target of a moving object.

  23. I always thought the stuff about methane was the most ridiculous part of AGW. Sure there are now millions and millions of cows, sheep etc. But they are feeding on the same pastures that not so long ago fed Mammoths, Woolly Rhinos, Mastodonts, Bison, Aurochs and goodness knows how many millions of other animals that are sadly no longer with us.

  24. MarkB (14:16:15) :

    Can there be a thread here without someone asking if they can hijack it?

    How about getting your own blog – no one cares about your bright ideas.

    Somone rolled out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.
    If you don’t care, you should. There is an unending stream of propaganda outlets ready to repeat global warming swill without batting an eye.

    The reality is an orphan.

    Today mother nature gave our orphan a break in the form of the Colorado Rockies.
    Imagine if they make it all the way to the World Series!

    God I hope. Go Rockies!

  25. ” Michael (14:51:41) :

    When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?”

    No

  26. Terryskinner (16:11:42) :
    Mammoths, Woolly Rhinos, Mastodonts, Bison, Aurochs and goodness knows how many millions of other animals that are sadly no longer with us.

    That’s our fault too dontcha know.

  27. Andrew (15:26:09) has a good point about reduced natural gas losses. This 2006 Nature letter notes the same slower rise in methane, and quantifies the causes. They say it is mainly due to anthropogenic factors, with wetlands emission adding to the ups and downs.

  28. About those cows. Part of the AGW mystic is the push for “Organic” farming. Which means no more industrial fertilizer (which is made primarily from that nasty old fossil fuel ). Which means that in order to properly fertilize the farm land to grow enough food to feed nearly 7 billion people, we would need an additional 4 billion cows crapping on it. Hmmm. How about that? Steak and eggs anyone? :)

  29. Can we plot the methane concentration as well as the curve for mad cow disease? Maybe there is a correlation there?!?

  30. ‘ “When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?”

    “No” ‘

    But what if their increased mass causes them to become black holes?

    But in any case, behold the products of the government school system.

    Liberty anyone?

  31. Methane hydrates/clathrates won’t be released unless either a lot of ocean water gets sequestered in glacial ice (i.e. we get a new ice age to lower sea levels), which will lower water pressure in the deep seas, or else a magma incursion occurs in the area of a sizable methane deposit.

    As for arctic warming, a warming from -30 to -29 isn’t going to release anything. The 2007 blip might be related to the large arctic sea ice melting (lot of methane seeping up from the sea floor gets trapped in the ice) but that was a one time release, the ice is reforming, the polar bears are happy, all is well.

    One reason for the drop in methane may be that with the reducing in prevalence of toxic pesticides in the watershed, more organisms are able to fill out the ecological pyramid so more plant matter is being processed through to CO2 rather than inefficiently as methane.

    As for proxies, frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to see some climatologist to create a “UFO Proxy” that measures the rate of methane release by the number of UFO sightings, on the rationale that most UFO sightings are methane swamp gas releases…

  32. “Methane consuming archaeobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria, acting together, are responsible for consuming most of the methane in the world’s oceans, according to a team of microbiologists and geoscientists. “Past research had shown that there is a consortia of these two very different single-celled organisms, and indirect tests indicated they might be the source of methane consumption,” said Dr. Christopher H. House, assistant professor of geosciences at Penn State”.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=5566

  33. I keep asking this off-topic question, but nobody will even yell at me for, being Off Topic.

    What is the connection between the sulfates-that-are-good-for-the-AGW-problem, and the SO4 that made the acid rain that was killing the trees and all?

  34. tallbloak and Taylor, thank you for the info. So based on experimentation we know that free floating CH4 in high pressure salt water will turn into a hydrate.

    Now how does the CO2 become CH4 at these depths? Other than organic, is there any chemical process in which CO2 + 2(H20) (under high pressure) become CH4 + 2(O2)? Are we saying most if not all the free floating CH4 forming these hydrates comes from decaying organic matter?

  35. The Canadian Press represented by reporter Bob Weber ran a piece in the Globe and Mail entitled “bubbling cauldrons of gas” in September and quoted Andrew Weaver stating that the IPCC had not taken Methane in their predictions…

    Let’s quote: “But one thing is certain: The fact it hasn’t been factored into previous global warming predictions means forecasts even as recent as the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change are too conservative.
    “[Methane] was not considered in any of the predictions at all,” says Andrew Weaver, a Canadian researcher and one of the IPCC authors. ”

    Yet it is clear IPCC had projections for Methane, in clear contradiction with Weaver’s comment. Page 37 of the SYR AR4 2007 report, Methane is clearly mentioned. Did the Canadian Press amend their story in any way? Nope.

  36. Mike Lorrey:

    The 2007 blip might be related to the large arctic sea ice melting

    There was no large amount of ice melting in the arctic in 2007. What happened was that unusually strong winds from an unusual direction blew a lot of arctic ice (it floats so can be blown by wind) into the Atlantic where it melted. Nothing about the reduction of ice in 2007 was related to temperature in the arctic.

  37. [‘ “When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?”

    “No” ‘

    But what if their increased mass causes them to become black holes?]

    Neither one of you understand relativity at all.

  38. I thought my bf was a lot quieter these past couple years. And you can’t argue with figure 2.

    As for fewer cows due to the economic downturn. Not so. Ranchers cut down on insemination and keep yearlings for a year instead of sending them to slaughter. Supply and demand is thus equalized and the overall size of the herd is maintained.

  39. Opening sentence of the article:

    OK Leland Palmer, I told you on several occasions where you tried to steer threads towards Methane that you should wait until WUWT had a thread that was relevant – here you go, have at it. – Anthony

    Where is Leland? Is he hiding out in his methane-proof bunker?

    Earth to Leland! Come out, come out, wherever you are…

  40. @ Larry Sheldon (17:35:38) : RE: sulfates. Sulfur (usually in the form of those nasty tree killing kind ) is also necessary for crop production – especially corn. Since we started filtering out sulfates from power plants, sulfur levels in the soil have decreased significantly, resulting in farmers having to add sulfur (at a cost to them and the consumer ) to their farmland in order to maintain and increase yield to feed all those hungry mouths and provide good corn for the ethanol industry. There have been some articles in the farm journals about it. One of those unintended consequences. Funny how things work isn’t it?

  41. Ahem,

    Methane spontaneously oxidises to CO2 – takes about 10 years in the atmosphere.

    Given we have started to use natural gas as a power source because it’s supposed to be cleaner, then that use would convert methane faster into CO2 than nature itself. Hence a decline in atmospheric methane coupled with an increase in CO2 could be explained by this mechanism but you would need the numbers to see if the hypothesis stacks up.

    Also of interest is the timing of the decline – 1998 ore thereabouts – and as higher temperatures stimulate chemical activity.

    And then if the methane is plutonic and is initially produced by a deep bhot biosphere, then a drop in global temperature might be likened to lowering the temperature of bacteria in a petri dish – lowering temperatures would in both cases diminish biological activity and hence production of methane.

    I am assuming that the Earth’s internal thermal state is powered by the electric currents entering and leaving the polar regions. If they reduce in power density, so will the rest of the system in due time.

  42. dscott (14:39:40) :

    Bacteria “farts” are largely responsible; Locally, gas seepage from the sub-surface also contributes a source of methane.

    What’s all this talk of converting CO2 to CH4 ???- the other way around is common (any time we burn nat gas) but in reverse??? You are losing me there.

  43. Larry Sheldon

    Actually you may not be off topic at all. Atmospheric SO4 and methane seemed to be related. (See my prior post and reference to study be Peter Ward: http://www.tetontectonics.org/Climate.html ). In brief, his hypothesis is that SO2 is oxidized to SO4 in the atmosphere by OH, H2O2, and/or O3. (Methane, CO, and other gases are also oxidized by them.) In moderate amounts, the SO4 aerosols block incoming radiation and causes global cooling. This is what happened after Mt. Pinatubo erupted causing global temps to fall. In larger amounts, the SO2 consumes the oxidizing agents in the atmosphere (OH, H2O2, and O3) causing increased methane leading to global warming. The increased SO4 also causes acid rain. It’s a bit more complicated than this, but check out the paper. It’s worth a read.

  44. “Is it acceptable for me to highjack a methane thread??

    There’s an “Open Thread”–the 2nd item (at present) on the sidebar. Post it there.

  45. Well, while we are wildly speculating ill put my tuppence worth in… Clearly this is a result of land development through the draining of wetlands(they dont call ch4 swamp gas for no reason)… mostly by us dairy farmers;-) i want carbon credits for the swamps drained on my property dammit!

  46. “Larry Sheldon (17:35:38) :

    …….and the SO4 that made the acid rain that was killing the trees and all?”

    A skewed comment. As a chemist I am quite sure that the “acid rain” is already a once-upon-a-time story. The culprit of deforestation up to the 70s is now regarded as gaseous SO2 released directly from mining and coal- and oil-burning industries without desulfuration equipment. At higher concentration SO2 is toxic to living organisms, as exempllified by the use, from ancient Roman period and most probably from Greek period, for keeping wine safe from bogus bacteria (the “sulfite” seen on the labels of Caliofornian wines is an aqueous solution of SO2). As you may know the desulfuration in developed countries began in the 70s (from 1971 in Japan), and thereafter essentially no damage on forestry has been observed.

    In Japan the Environment Agency began monitoring of the rain pH in 1983 and continued till 2005, and the pH value remains 4.8 +/- 0.2 throughout, which exactly coincides with the value expected from the atmospheric SO2 concentration (4~5 ppb) and the dissolution equilibrium constant and acid dissociation constant of SO2.

    So don’t worry and you’d better forget about the once-claimed “acid rain” if you live in a developed country.

  47. Many landfills are now capturing and using huge amounts of methane from landfills that used to seep into the atmosphere. Landfill design these days incorporate specific features for the drawing off of this gas and it is used for energy. A town local to me uses the methane from their landfill to heat their high school.

  48. Michael (14:51:41) :
    When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?

    No.

  49. As I see it, there are only two possible explanations for all the hysterical posturing about disappearing permafrost and the catastrophic methane release that is supposed to occur as a result. It’s either abysmal ignorance or willful deception. Permafrost is a phenomenon of subsoils. Even on the North Slope, where the earth is frozen to depths of 800′ to over 2000′ the permafrost is covered by a seasonally active layer which varies from 2′ to 6-8′, which thaws every summer. Even in the unlikely event that permafrost declines were to continue according to the most hyperbolic projections, the soils affected at the margin would be more than 7′ underground and, unless the climate of the Arctic were to come to resemble that of southern Missouri, would be unlikely to see temps much more than a few degrees above freezing. Hardly a condition to create a “bubbling cauldron” of gaseous emissions. In addition, permafrost areas are covered by tundra vegetation and the warming that decreases the permafrost would have an even more profound effect on the growth of the various plants in the area. Indeed, there have been several studies which suggest that warming of permafrost regions will turn them into net sinks for carbon by increasing the CO2 uptake of plants.
    The methane scare really took off several years ago with the publication of studies that indicated that carbonaceous material in Arctic soils was much greater than had been thought previously. What all the hysterical pronouncements that accompanied those studies failed to credit was that the presence of all that carbon was an indication that the Arctic region had to have been exposed to numerous episodes of warming over time for the dead plants to be created in the first place.
    Loss of permafrost will have some ill affects for infrastructure, although those are probably exaggerated as well, since design measures which allow a structure to survive in a permafrost environment would also serve to protect it from a loss of the permafrost’s support.
    The most unpredictable consequences would likely be on the hydrology of the areas affected, since the permafrost layer tends to limit vertical movement of water and create subsurface ponding and horizontal flows and changes in the behavior of water could have significant effects which will be almost impossible to model.

  50. @Yaakoba: Welcome aboard. You are in for the ride of your life if you hang in here and pay attention. This site is populated with a lot of people with a lot of alphabet soup after their names and by people like you and me who just want to know what the hell is going on. Some of the alphabet soup guys are decidedly unfriendly and will cut you to the quick in a New York second. This is the nature of the beast. Do not internalize it, learn from it.
    Other alphabet guys are obviously teachers, and their natures are exhibited by quite long posts which demonstrate esoteric points to the level of ad naseum. But, their natures require them to inform. Deal with that, Google their points and move on. In time you will come to understand that the Anthropogenic Global Warming threat, so beloved of political forces which have an agenda not frequently addressed on this web site, is [snip].
    Once you understand that, do what guys like us do. Get in peoples’ faces. Demand proof of their claims. Get politically active, demand that your representative and senator provide you proof that the AGW they are voting to tax you about is a fact.
    People with alphabets do not engage in direct action on public issues unless they are perpetrating a fraud. The alphabets here are not going to gird their loins, indeed they would require a study to know what loins are, so the salvation of the world as we know it is up to you and to me, as it always was.
    Fight the fraud.

    P

  51. Roger Sowell (14:09:01) and link to @yaakoba

    Okay, so even if you get the arithmetic correct you still need to understand the motions of the solar system. Consider that Sun will not stand still while Earth moves about it; nor Earth for Moon. An analogy: Think of two cars going down a 3 lane freeway. One is in the center lane traveling at a fairly constant speed. The second car is behind the first and traveling forward also. The driver of the second car now speeds up while pulling into the right lane, accelerates, and moves past the first car. Then the driver steers left and in front of the first car but continues into the left-most, or third lane and then decelerates just enough that the first car now moves past and into the lead again. That having occurred, the car in the third lane pulls into the center lane while again accelerating to keep pace. The second car has just ‘circled’ the first car. Repeat.

    Draw this on a sheet of paper and show the path of both cars – for the car in the center lane the result is easy—more or less a straight line. I’ll let you two figure out all the other stuff.

  52. Sodium bisulfite (NaHSO3) is used in wine but also it is what is responsible for the strong nose effect of the Dijon mustard.

  53. papertiger (13:52:39) :

    > Is it acceptable for me to highjack a methane thread?

    No. If you have something worth calling attention to, use the Tips & Note
    thread. This weekend you can also use the Open Thread.

    Why would anyone want to hijack a thread? It doesn’t gain you
    much respect. It’s sort of like tacking a small pork-barrel spending
    bill to a larger certain to pass, e.g. to raise the debt ceiling.

  54. Mike Lorrey (17:29:04) :
    most UFO sightings are methane swamp gas releases…

    …refracting the light from Venus.

  55. Slightly OT – but may interesting to many on this side of the pond.

    I tried to post a link to this CH4 story on a UK Guardian CIF thread yesterday – it never appeared, confirming a distinct change in moderation policy there over the past few weeks.

    I’ve been posting (polite and accurate) sceptical comments on CIF for around a year now. Increasingly, over that time, climate threads (particularly Monbiot’s) developed into long running, ding-dong battles between believers & sceptics.

    It was noticeable during this time that the more forthright sceptic’s posts were post-moderated more frequently than those of the more vocal ” true believers” – showing a , perhaps unsurprising, degree of bias at the Guardian. Still – it was possible to briefly see all posts and observe any moderation bias.

    However, starting with the Yamal Tree-ring story a couple of weeks ago – everything has changed at the UK’s most “ethical” newspaper. On all CIF threads dealing with climate, most posts containing obviously sceptical comments or links never make it to publication. “Your comment is awaiting moderation” is as far as it gets.

    This is obviously done by pre-screening usernames or IP’s – since the more abusive “believer” posts still appear briefly before being mnoderated.

    Basically – CIF debates now mainly consist of warmists agreeing with each other, with the odd mild sceptic input from unscreened newbies.

    Sorry to be long winded – but I think that the news should spread that the UK’s premier liberal newspaper is now operating this soviet approach to reader’s opinions.

    Maybe CIF noe stands for “Comment Is Futile”.

  56. Re: tokyoboy (19:09:54) :
    As a chemist ………….the pH value remains 4.8 +/- 0.2 throughout, which exactly coincides with the value expected from the atmospheric SO2 concentration (4~5 ppb) and the dissolution equilibrium constant and acid dissociation constant of SO2.
    _______________________________________
    As a chemist, what would you say would be the pH value expected from the atmospheric CO2 concentration (387,000 ppb) and the dissolution equilibrium constant and acid dissociation constant of CO2?

  57. tokyoboy (19:09:54) : As a chemist …….. In Japan the Environment Agency began monitoring of the rain pH in 1983 and continued till 2005, and the pH value remains 4.8 +/- 0.2 throughout, which exactly coincides with the value expected from the atmospheric SO2 concentration (4~5 ppb) and the dissolution equilibrium constant and acid dissociation constant of SO2.

    Sorry about this being a bit OT but I want to know. So what would be the pH value expected from the atmospheric CO2 concentration (387,000 pp[b]) and the dissolution equilibrium constant and acid dissociation constant of CO2?

  58. @ vg (19:36:10)
    That’s pretty amazing. A report from the BBC on climate change that actually gives a fairly well balanced view? A report that uses the term ‘skeptics’ and not ‘climate change deniers’? A report that gives the views of both AGW believers (e.g. the Met Office) and of skeptics? A report that boldly states that there has been no global warming since 1998? A report that admits that some climate models are now predicting global cooling over the next few decades?
    One might say this is ‘unprecedented’…..
    Chris

  59. O’s Peace Dividend (formerly Goreacle Report).
    …-

    “Manitoba snowfall amount rare for October

    Winnipeg had a lot of snow dumped on it Friday.

    Rob Paola, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said 10 centimetres of snow fell across the city Friday, with most coming between 6 p.m. and midnight.

    He said southern Manitoba doesn’t often see such large amounts of snow this early in October.

    “It is unusual. It has happened though, on a couple of occasions,” Paola said yesterday. “But it’s unusual to see this much snow this early.”

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/10/11/11371826-sun.html

    …-

    “Wind turbine in Sheffield broken by wind for second time

    Blade on a wind turbine in Sheffield has broken in strong winds for the second time in 15 months.

    Manufacturers of the 190ft high turbine, one of three owned by Sheffield University, are now investigating the damage at the site close to the city’s Parkway link road to the M1.

    A blade on the same turbine was broken 15 months ago and residents who live close to the site at Catcliffe, near Rotherham, have expressed fears that they could pose a danger to local people.

    Martin Oldfield said : “I’m worried about them from a safety point of view as they are quite close to the road and a supermarket where a lot of people go.

    “There are workmen up there now starting work on repairing it but now that it’s happened a second time clearly there is a serious issue.

    “There was one bright side – as soon as the blade snapped off the TV signal instantly improved and I could see all my programmes properly again.””

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2359863/posts

  60. I think a lot of the early snowfalls in the US are an effect of the remnants of Super Typhoon Melor. The main event is supposed to hit early in the week, peaking tues/weds. This system may be part of the reason why Alaska has been warm while California is below par. The UK is warm at the moment.

  61. On Anthony’s Blog bring what you got, make it lucid and make your case, not politics, as a chap said there are a lot of abcs behind names, no one gets kicked for being a warmer, they get kicked for being political or being dumb, or lying.

    Me I used to be a banker, I had a lot of deals cross my desk, but they had to make the case on money. AGW is not cutting it. My ABC is B.App Sci math. Not business.

    There is no business case that I can see and I trained under auditors in Business finance, Commerce as they say.

  62. maz2 (05:05:59) :

    I was born in Catcliffe village.

    Some time back they expanded the village down the hill & onto the flood plain to the East.

    Two, perhaps three years back, the flood plain did what flood plains do, (flooded), & with it lots of homes.

    Strangely, it wasn’t the fact they had built on the flood plain that was blamed.

    DaveE.

  63. The upper range of the predictions is from continuing the 1985-1992 growth path.
    The lower range continues the 1992-2000 growth level.

  64. “When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?”

    Nope, that’s sounds stupid also. Sounds like you picked up your physics by reading a couple of popular articles on the subject. Speeds are relative, not absolute. Thus in relationship to some other objects in the galaxy you are moving pretty darn fast right now. Are you feeling crushed?

    Even acceleration doesn’t crush you as you “approach” the speed of light, because it depends on the type of acceleration you are experiencing. Is it due to being in a gravitational field or is it due to being pushed on. Acceleration due to gravity in free fall doesn’t crush. Even in the case of being pushed on it is relative to the push not the speed. One could “approach the speed of light” with very low acceleration if one kept it up for long enough.

    Furthermore, high acceleration due to gravity is most likely to happen near a black hole. In that case you tend to be stretched out (not crushed) due to changes in the strength of the gravitational field. Gravity near your toes being more if near the black hole than near your scalp. Thus your toes are under a higher acceleration than you scalp and they get separated shortly thereafter.

    Yaakoba is either a ten year old, a troll pretending to be of the “enemy” camp, a nut, or someone very ignorant of science. Best to ignore him. In fact maybe you are one of those also.

  65. Back2bat,

    “But in any case, behold the products of the government school system. Liberty anyone?”

    Are you saying that just because we eliminate public education everyone is going to pursue college level physics competence? I doubt it. In fact, people will pursue what they feel is most appropriate. It’s likely many will not bother to learn physics at all. Is that a good or a bad thing? I don’t know. Does Enya need to learn physics to be a productive member of society?

  66. Although I think fears of massive amounts of methane bubbling up is a little overblown, I don’t think a leveling off of methane levels at this point disproves such fears. The temperatures have been pretty flat so it’s kinda expected. Had temperatures risen and methane leveled off, now that would have shot a big hole in any concerns about methane.

  67. The latest numbers on Methane from Barrow Alaska (which has the highest numbers of the measurement stations and the most seasonal variation) up to a few days ago,

    … shows that Methane might be stabilizing again. The smoothed trendline has turned down at least.

    Mauna Loa’s measurements (which are about 80 ppb lower than Barrow and seems to lag the high latitude numbers like from Barrow) look like the recent growth might be slowing as well.

    The South Pole (which is about 150 ppb lower than Barrow), well it is hard to tell what is happening.

  68. What I want to see are the ph levels at the lakes and rivers before and after the acid rain mitigation.
    Did that great big government imposition on the private sector have any positive benefit?
    Was the demonization of coal power warranted in even the slightest bit?

    Go Rockies!

    World Series played with snowmen in the bullpen – think about it.

  69. “One of those unintended consequences. Funny how things work isn’t it?”

    No, it isn’t. Especially when anybody could see it coming.

  70. Maybe with sufficient funding a couple of those scientists will figure out how to rub two sticks together and ignite some of that methane. At this hour it is 14F in Cut Bank, MT with a forecast low of -1F tonight…and it’s only October 11th.

  71. There may be some confusion spread here regarding the effects of methane compared to CO2. ALL gases absorb in certain ranges of the spectrum. When there is very little of the gas, as in the case of methane, absorption is rougly linear. As the amount of gas increases, and reaches the concentration of CO2, absorption is rougly proportional to the square root of ln N, and the broadening of the wings is roughly proportional to the square root of N, where N is the ratio of the increase of the gas. Methane is not INHERENTLY a more powerful greenhouse gas that H20 or CO2. It has a greater effect because there is so little of it. See

    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys440/lectures/curve/curve.html+

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voigt_profile

  72. dscott (04:50:19) :

    If the oceans are the CO2 sink of the world, then what happens to all the CO2 that collects in the ocean depths?
    ___________________________

    It precipitates out as limestone.

  73. Couple of random comments….

    I have found that generally, questions asked and comments made politely and somehow connected to the thread are either ignored, or are treated with respect and addressed. It doesn’t seem to me to matter whether the question or comment is “silly” or is deeply erudite and informed. Hostility is met with hostility, or evaporates.

    On the quality of education remarks–the chemistry and physics being discussed nearby is stuff I learned in high school (if not from my own readings or conversations with my parents (neither of whom were formally trained beyond “business school” or junior college. It does appear to me that education is deteriorating rapidly.

    I know what the chemical represention is (have since I was small). The question I posed was intended to point out that artifically altering (or trying to) the chemical makeup of the atmosphere to combat a poorly understood effect has, if “successful” a high probability (which I don’t know how to quantify) of having “unintended consequences”.

    And lastly–is the Mt. Pinatubo – snow-in-my-backyard-in-early-Autumn thing another way of saying “sh*it happens”, natural events occur, we reallyn are not so significant in the Grand Scheme Of Things?

  74. Somebody said, a few days ago, a memorable phrase:

    Greenhouse gases are gases in a greenhouse

    We should focus more in time than in temperature itself. It is quite different a minimum temperature of say -10°C at 6 am. than the same temperature along all 24 hours. It is quite different a three months summertime with a maximum temperature of 30°C than one month “summertime”.
    Here is where the global warmers sophysm rests upon. They show us averages, temperature anomalies,etc., etc. which in reality mean nothing.
    The same with mountain glaciers disappearing due to warming climate. Really they are made of frozen water and evaporation is needed as a precondition of any glacier growth.
    Also the same with methane: Just look at saturn moons. If methane would increase there won´t be any temperature increase but the contrary.
    Etc.,etc.

  75. DaveE (06:22:31) :

    maz2 (05:05:59) :

    I lived and worked on the Southern Oregon coast-Port Orford, and Coos Bay.I had a place near the Ocean,I will put up with wind,snow and the occasional
    Mountain Lion,in NE Oregon but I will never live near,as in 1/4 mi from the Ocean,
    again.That said,I am amazed at the stupidity of developers.I am a Realtor,but I have
    some sense as to where to build.When I lived in Port Orford, the local city council that
    was hijacked by Greens,had this brilliant idea,”lets build the bestest,most good for
    the environment sewage treatment plant _Ever_!”So, they dug into the sand berm
    separating the Ocean from the local lagoon,Garrison lake.When the Big Nino of ’98
    hit the berm wasn’t there.It was a mere sand spit.See, the berm was dug into
    to place a giant septic tank.Then the North Pacific had his way with the tank,and the lake, and the homes that were built near the lake-including ones that were curiously
    built on the berm now nearly removed,and breakers in the lake.My old home was
    about 75 feet above lake and now Ocean,but I didn’t appreciate the waves working the sand hill that my home was built on.One big problem was the lake now is flooding everything.This was due to the outlet being plugged by the sand that was displaced for the now sea-going sewage ‘holding’ tank.So the city engineer, and a
    local contractor quietly dug put the outlet-at great risk to themselves.Opened the
    lake.This upset the city manager-who promptly called the State,turning the Engineer
    in.Which got the city in trouble not the engineer.So, the problem resolved itself,
    after the fines and the loss of oh, 3 miliion tax dollars,the Ocean calmed Nino went
    back to his watery lair,and the Greenies were booted out. The Tank made a nice artificial reef, probably off the coast of Japan,as that was the general direction of travel. I moved from there to Coos Bay and then to Eastern Oregon.Never will I live
    there again.Oh the City Council passes a resolution blaming the loss of the
    tank the lake problems and the fact that there were some homes lost,on:
    Global Warming.Not stupidity,not the realization that the old driftwood buried in the sand meant that at one time the _Ocean had been there!!!_ but it was the fault of
    me driving my Ford Explorer,problem solved…
    Oh for the folks in England the climate of the Southern Oregon coast is very like Cornwall-except the ocean is a lot colder…

  76. *********************
    Nick Stokes (17:06:48) :
    Andrew (15:26:09) has a good point about reduced natural gas losses. This 2006 Nature letter notes the same slower rise in methane, and quantifies the causes. They say it is mainly due to anthropogenic factors, with wetlands emission adding to the ups and downs.
    *********************
    Well, OF COURSE, it is due to anthropogenic factors! What else could it be??

  77. Larry Sheldon

    Yes Sh*t happens and we are less than insignificant in the whole scheme of things. There are lots of people (Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Mann et al ) whose egos won’t let them admit that the sum of all their knowledge doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

  78. dscott:

    Is it possible that under the high pressure on the ocean bottoms that CO2 reacts via some chemcial vs organic process using H2O to become CH4 and liberates O2? (CO2 + H2O -> CH4 + O2)

    The actual reaction is one of carbon reacting with oxygen at high temperature to render methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. It is a means of making fuel for gas turbines from a carbon source such as oil shale or coal or even municipal waste.

    I have always thought that the source of the carbon dioxide in the CO2 clathrates was carbonic acid, i.e. carbon dioxide dissolved in water. Maybe someone can say otherwise.

    The source of methane in the methane clathrates is not known to me, but methane leaking from natural gas deposits on the continental shelf is the most reasonable possibility.

    As far as bacteria making use of CO2 goes methane has a heat of formation of -17.89 kcal/mole while carbon dioxide is -94.06 and water is -57.98. One does not make energy available going from CO2 plus water to CH4 plus oxygen.

  79. What amount or percent of the total methane comes from garbage dumps? In SF we are told to sort our garbage to protect the environment. How much more methane is produced in garbage dumps compared to methane produced my composting?

  80. “When objects approach the speed of light they crush themselves to death. Can I say this without sounding stupid?”
    “No” ‘
    But what if their increased mass causes them to become black holes?

    Neither one of you understand relativity at all.”

    Paulp

    Understanding is not a requirement for climate science. What is needed is belief and obedience….

  81. I didn’t think “green house gasses” were “gasses in a green house”.

    I thought the intentions were to claime that certain gasses acted like the glass in a green house.

    I thought the gasses inside a green house were essentially the same as the gasses outside of it with some variation due to controlled circulation with the outside, recent applications of fresh fertilizers, sunlight, and so on.

    My understanding of the way “warming” occurs inside the greenhouse (control of cold air intrusion from the outside, operation of heaters, decaying of materials of various kinds) is very different from the postulated (but so far as I know, undemonstrated) mechanism in the free atmosphere involves the absorption of energy at one frequency and re-radiation at another. The part I don’t understand in the free-air scenario is where the “extra” heat posited comes from.

  82. “Are you saying that just because we eliminate public education everyone is going to pursue college level physics competence?” Brian

    No but if they do choose to take physics the odds are better they will learn something instead of just thinking they learned something.

  83. Since we started filtering out sulfates from power plants, sulfur levels in the soil have decreased significantly, resulting in farmers having to add sulfur

    Wonder if there has been a corresponding decrease in the need for lime application.

  84. On the other hand, NE Oregon families without heirs have sold high and dry tracks of land up South Fork to rich people from outside the area, who think living in a forested area that has a generation history of low snow impact is a good bet. Now their high forested and now snow buried log homes ain’t worth frozen spit. To see this on a much larger scale, travel over Tollgate and see “for sale” signs scattered every few feet from the Umatilla County side to the Union County side. Apparently warmers don’t like shoveling snow, just hate to have their floor to ceiling picture windows obscured with snow drifts, or their beautiful deer high and well constructed wood post fence pushed over by snow heaved from snow plows.

    The one that just tickles me is the guy who is rebuilding his beautiful deer high and well constructed wood post fence exactly like it was originally built last summer, and the summer before that.

    Anybody who buys land on a CO2=warmer bet is no better at “figuring” than the dolt who buys CO2 futures.

  85. Yaakoba (16:07:09) :

    Thank you Roger and Bryan for the clarification.
    In police work it is virtually impossible to shoot the target of a moving object.

    So if I’m moving, the police will not hit me during the commission of a crime?

    By the way, earlier this week I got to watch a team of astronomers attempt to video the crash of a rocket into the moon. Not actually the crash itself, but the expected plume from the crash.

    It didn’t work out because the plume was too small to be seen from Earth using the refracting telescope used.

    But it sure was fun to watch the attempt.

    Anyway, not only was NASA able to hit the moon, they were able to hit a specific crater on the moon at a specific time. Everything involved was in the process of moving. Earth, moon, rocket, etc.

    Unlike climate models on computers, which have lots of problems because no one understands all the variables in climate, computer models of spacecraft trajectories are very precise. Particularly from Earth to Moon. For interplanetary voyages, course corrections have to be made as variations in dust, comets, solar winds, asteroids will affect the spacecraft. But it can be done.

  86. Don E (09:47:49) :

    Nothing more that a state in the carbon cycle. The methane, should you collect it, is an energy source. The energy stored is from photosynthesis (solar !!!). If you fail to trap the methane (either in your compost or the dump) the CH4 reacts quickly in the atmosphere to produce C02 + 2 H20 and release the solar energy stored.
    Just back to square one. SF is operating on the assumption that it is accomplishing something by taking your compost materials. It is better used by you to return to the soil that which came out, and grow your precious food.
    Recycling is good: Sending your greens to the dump is not one of those good ideas.

  87. Don’t know, but you might check with your local Extension Service. It would be local/regional in any case. Always best to take a soil sample before dumping stuff on it.

  88. Larry Sheldon (17:35:38) :

    I keep asking this off-topic question, but nobody will even yell at me for, being Off Topic.

    What is the connection between the sulfates-that-are-good-for-the-AGW-problem, and the SO4 that made the acid rain that was killing the trees and all?

    They are, essentially, one and the same. The sulfate aerosols are anything that contains the sulfate ion (SO3^-2). This comes from the oxidation of SO2 by ozone or hyrogen peroxide in the atmosphere. Once dissolved in rainwater, or absorbed onto wet soil or water surfaces sulfates become acidic. Some acid rain is probably also dissolved SO2, which makes a weak acid, and NOx, which makes nitric, nitrious acids when dissolved in water.

  89. I exchange LOP tags for fence upkeep on the ranch. The family that keeps my fences in good repair has several children who fill those tags every year. While elk tend to be more stationary when stalked, deer are much more skittish. But if you know where to aim by understanding how deer move, you can hit a moving target. Even if you are just a kid.

  90. I think I may have underestimated the intensity of the current solar minimum. The affects may be much more severe than I originally thought it would be. Now I’m starting to get scared about how bad the cold will affect the planet.

    I found video
    Snow balls at Rockies/Phillies game?

    http://www.mefeedia.com/news/24291970

  91. rbateman (10:18:41) :

    Recycling is good: Sending your greens to the dump is not one of those good ideas
    Recycling, the best way to reduce jobs and GDP, because every item you recycle it is one less item to be sold.

  92. @ Dean (10:18:26) :

    “Yaakoba,

    If hitting a moving target were ‘nearly impossible’, duck hunters would starve to death. ”

    Yaakoba probably buys that business about not being able to hit a man running away from you in the back with a bullet. As the story goes, the bullet must first travel 1/2 the distance, etc. and you can never get to zero simply by halving the successive distances. Trouble is, the bullet doesn’t know that.

  93. Moderator,
    How about gathering all the video of the snowed out Phillies/Rockies Playoff game and posting it as a thread topic?

    [Reply: That is Anthony’s call. You should post your suggestion in Tips ‘n’ Notes. ~ dbs, mod.]

  94. Baseball players are acclimated to playing in warm weather, unlike football players. It may be too dangerous to risk the players health making them play in the brutally cold weather.

  95. I’m downloading all the baseball snow day video to re upload on Youtube. The MSM is not giving us much snow event video for a reason, but they can’t possibley ignore the sports snow news in the cities that the snow shut out the games in. They do try hard in isolating the video to those cities thou because of the powerful affect of actual video.

  96. Yesterdays alternative programming for the Philies/Rockies game was
    Ice Age: the Meltdown.
    Today’s alternative programming is The Day After Tomorrow.

    They won’t be able to keep that up for long…

    … if the Rockies win.

  97. Pamela Gray 910:31:32) , What is an LOP ? Land owner privilege ? I believe that in Idaho land owners can obtain permits to harvest big game on their property even in restricted hunt areas . I’m a bird hunter so I don’t really keep up with it .

  98. Don’t know, but you might check with your local Extension Service.

    The reason I said that about lime is that generally sulfur and lime are used mainly for pH adjustment. You use lime to bring the pH up, sulfur to bring it down. Reduction in sulfur emissions from power plants would also result in rain being less acidic downwind of the plant. If the soil downwind of the plant has high pH, more sulfur would need to be added. If the soil is more acidic, less lime would be required if the pH of the rain is now higher.

    But yeah, it is always better to have the soil tested and have it brought to the proper pH than simply adding X tons of lime because “that’s the way we have always done it”.

  99. Adolfo, who made my “made from plastic pop bottles” cute warmup outfit? And if it was supposed to be given to me instead of sold, where do I go to get my money back?

    Much of what we buy is packaged in stuff we throw away. In times past, food came in barrels and you scooped it out. What’s wrong with buying local goods shipped in bulk? If there is a package around it, odds are, we didn’t make it, we imported it, thus it is not a part of our GNP. I have no problem with buying things I want, even if it is imported. I do have a problem with what to do with all the stuff it comes in. Especially if that packaging is also not a part of our GNP.

    I wonder what the stats are on this topic? It is an interesting one.

  100. Land Owner Preference tags for big game. It is based on your acres. The family property I manage gets 6 tags for a mix of big game.

  101. Michael (11:26:54) :

    ~snip~

    [Open Thread would be the appropriate place to post that. ~dbs, mod.]

    Surveying the last 20 posts, I thought I was on the open thread. :-)

  102. I am Yaakoba, a 47 year old strawberry blonde female. I firmly believe that those who insult others to feel good about their selfs, must feel insulted about their selfs. To error is human.

    I am a volunteer with the Denver Police Department and also a graduate of the Citizens Police Academy.

    People lie all of the time.

  103. Pamela Gray (10:11:26) :

    On the other hand, NE Oregon families without heirs have sold high and dry tracks of land up South Fork to rich people from outside the area, who think living in a forested area that has a generation history of low snow impact is a good bet. Now their high forested and now snow buried log homes ain’t worth frozen spit.

    Yep,I agree, the company I work for has a couple of those places listed.Sometimes it’scold enough for that spit to freeze before it hits the ground.Morgan lake area is also one for snow impact.”Gee it’s so close to LaGrande!” uh huh. Noticed also that the local warmists have gone strangely quiet now summer’s over.I think after this winter’s over there are going to be a lot of people looking for land in Arizona and
    Florida….

  104. “Curiousgeorge (17:09:26) :

    About those cows. Part of the AGW mystic is the push for “Organic” farming. Which means no more industrial fertilizer (which is made primarily from that nasty old fossil fuel ). Which means that in order to properly fertilize the farm land to grow enough food to feed nearly 7 billion people, we would need an additional 4 billion cows crapping on it. Hmmm. How about that? Steak and eggs anyone? :)

    You can bet the whack jobs believe in organic farming and in juicing fruits and veggies – that throw away all the pulp and fiber and wastes much of the fruit and veggies. Of course, most tend to be anti meat or at least anti beef and anti dairy. All those bovine methane emitters are pure evil. If you’ve noticed a slight disconnect there with the source of organic fertilizer and the supposed need to eliminate those useless methane emitters – congrats – it means you’re above the level of the mental retardation present in many of these people. It almost is enough to make one wonder if their diet is responsible. If these people weren’t so dangerous, they’d be rolling on the floor funny to watch.

  105. On the whole, I would consider myself a climate sceptic, in the open sense rather than the negative sense. I do believe that the science is not yet closed, not because there is any doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but because CO2 is by no means the dominant greenhouse factor and because we do not as yet understand all of the complex nature of our climate. For the BBC to run a reasonably balanced article entitled, What Happened to Global Warming there must be clear and growing indications that the science is not yet finally settled.

    My comment now is however more about the open nature, or lack of, climatology in particular and science in general. Here and on Climate audit, Anthony, Steve and others have been consistent in calling for more openess in the science with which I would heartily agree. Recent events have illustrated wonderfully how access to and analysis of the underlying data behind scientific propositions can transform the debate.

    The peer review process and the way that science is conducted has developed over many years and has great merit. It was of course designed for scientists to check each others work for accuracy and merit. Over time, and inevitably, it has become somewhat of a club, where a certain group of people are in and others are out. This is not a critiscm – this system has developed for good reasons so that the effort used to run the system was appropriate to the benefits gained. As science got bigger in scope it also fragmented as more and more specialisations developed and it became impossible for any one individual to keep in touch with any more than a handful of them.

    In parallel with the increase in scope of science we have also seen the values expressed in society change around us as well. In recent decades we have seen a greater and greater focus on individual and organisational success. This is most obvious in business where making large amounts of money is seen as a great success but this is not exclusively the case. In science too, there is a success attitude that while by no means dominant has become more and more influential with scientists wanting to succeed and publish the paper that makes a difference and gives them greater status. Where business has infiltrated science this becomes even more obvious with science used to support the financial aims of large corporations. The claims of some scientists to personal ownership of data even where it has been publically funded is perhap the tips of the (rapidly melting?) iceberg.

    There are currently two, and almost certainly connected, big changes happening. The first is the beginnings of the emergence of a new set of values in the world, as clearly represented by Anthony and Steve et al, that the ownership of important scientific data and discoveries, and thus by implication ultimately science itself, should be by humanity for the good of all and not by individuals and corporations for the good of themselves.

    The second change is technologial and it is the freedom of information exchange that the internet has brought. Previously, publishing information, scientific or otherwise, was expensive. Now it is in contrast, very cheap. The cost benefit balance of publication that helped to create the relatively closed peer review process has swung inexorably in the opposite direction. But, the organisations and values that built up around and to protect the old paradigm have not yet experienced sufficient dissonance for them to accept the coming of a new model of openness. But it is coming.

    Many of the scientists out there have spent many years with the, now growing old, paradigms of ownership of data and the club nature of scientific progress. The new paradigm threatens their values and in some cases their personal esteem if things are seen to change, especially if any of their work is seen to have any kind of flaws in the public eye. What they have not yet seen, or been able to accept, is the massive benefits of an open review system, backed up, for the forseeable future at least, by formal systems, run through the internet.

    For those scientists who do recognise the merits of the new system there will be great benefits as their work begins to be supported by the wider community on the internet instead of simply being questioned by it which leads to the inevitable conflict of interests. The benefits to humanity of more open systems will lead to a much accelerated scientific process for those willing to engage it.

    However, I also want to express some concern about the nature of some of the comments here on WUWT and on Climate Audit that to me seem to polarise the debate into us and them positions. If the debate, in its entirety, especially the comments, were framed more positively then I think we would have more chance of engaging the scientific community. Individual scientists faced with peer pressure, loss of control, a fear of loss of esteem etc are far less likely to jump to a new paradigm when that paradigm does not seem too welcoming.

    I believe that we are on the cusp of a big change in science, championed by this blog and others like it.

    As an aside, I wonder if someone over at Google would be willing to look at a Scientific Data Project. Imagine a way for any scientist, or in fact anyone with an interest in scientific exploration, to be able to tag a folder on their web site as scientific information or documents and for Google to then automatically archive and version everything in there for global access and review. I wonder…

    jon – http://righttobe.wordpress.com

  106. Back2Bat (14:19:14) :

    CH4 + 2O2 = CO2 + 2H2O

    Has anyone considered that methane burns?

    Yes indeeded. Many coal bed methane wells are being drilled in areas with coal. cal bed methane is being sold for heating. Of course many of these drillers are penny stock companies.

  107. The major sources of methane in the atmosphere are supposed to be from “rotting” vegetation. That rotting can take place inside or outside an animal, and bacteria basically are responsible. The major actual sources are wetlands and quite specifically wet farmlands such as rice cultivated areas, and large forested areas. Thus the highest methane concentrations are found over SE Asia and over the boreal forests of East Siberia and to a lesser extent over Canada and over Amazonia. Emissions from bacteria in animals is a minor source. The reason it figures at all is that the only methane sources counted in Kyoto are animals despite the realities of the impact of those sources.

  108. Terryskinner (16:11:42) – I believe you are onto something there. Methane emissions from dinosaurs… Must have been HUGE! They must have farted themselves to their own extinction!

  109. Hey moderator – you’ve made a couple snips for off-topic. How about leaving a clue as to what the topic was, that others might learn the parameters for a particular thread ?

    Specific concern is for the lightspeed/gravity posts.

  110. dscott:

    My, I have had my troubles with typos today. In my post of (09:28:50) this morning…

    “…actual reaction is one of carbon reacting with oxygen”

    should read

    “…actual reaction is one of carbon reacting with steam…”

    The reaction is called water-gas for this reason.

  111. if you want a good idea of larger critters contributions, try termites. Really big critters like people and cows and dinos have far lower metobolic rates than do smaller ones like humming birds or insects. That means things like methane production per unit mass are much higher for the small ones than the large. Also, the total biomass of the smaller ones outweighs the mass of the larger ones substantially. Of course bacteria is the leading biomass, outweighing us big critters and insects alike.

  112. While I’m in the neighborhood, I think we’re pretty safe from permafrost methane releases doing anything.

    The last (Eemian) interglacial was several whole degrees warmer than present, and for a couple thousand years. It’s recorded in the Vostok Antarctic cores, so we can see that methane rose with the temperature to above today’s levels, but it also subsided with the temperature without causing any runaway climate catastrophe. Its decline matched the temp decline much more closely than did the CO2 decline.

  113. Pamela Gray (11:49:44) : Your “made from plastic pop bottles” (sweater perhaps) and dangerous, because it is flammable, could have been replaced by a new, elegant, warmer, non flammable and peruvian made natural alpaca wool sweater. (which btw you can get it at US$10 here in Peru!!). So, by using garbage someone didn´t eat today.

  114. Keeping our garbage piles manageable (cuts down on methane) is a worthwhile endeavor. I see nothing wrong with turning it into profits. In fact, I would say that making money out of garbage is the ultimate capitalistic endeavor.

  115. @Pamela Gray: “In fact, I would say that making money out of garbage is the ultimate capitalistic endeavor”.

    Yep, China is doing that in an unbelievably enormous way. They use packaging, though. Garbage has always been a money maker. You could ask the Mob.

  116. Bill Illis (07:36:31) :

    What do you make of the seasonality and the timing of the max/min at different locations? It seems Antarctica peaks in July (Southern winter), Alaska peaks in January (Northern winter). This doesn’t seem to fit with human activity or rotting vegetable matter.

  117. My friends are going to protest Senator Lindsey Graham tomorrow. I gave them some tips for sinage.

    Signs to use. (Argue the Science)

    Solar Minimum = Global Cooling

    It’s the Sun Stupid!

    It’s the Sun’s Fault, Man’s Not to Blame.

    Don’t Tax Me Bro, It’s the Sun’s Fault Not Mine.

    Earth to Graham, The Sun has Been Asleep For Two Years.

    Who Turned Down The Sun?

    The Sun Got the Memo, The Planet’s Getting Colder

  118. Adolfo Giurfa (10:34:58) :

    Say what? My post was about sending biodegradables to the dump to avoid the methane, which is natural anyway. And the topic is “No methane increase like the IPCC predicted”. Wasting fossil fuels to send biodegradables to the dump, that are better used in your garden, to address a non-issue is a result of a failure to see the throughput.
    Green HyperVentilating due to Methane hysteria.

  119. coaldust (07:16:55) :

    Very interesting. A combustion engine with a ozone producing device (air passing through electrical shortcircuiting) to be injected in the carburator simultaneously with CH4.

  120. rbateman (02:01:45) :

    Adolfo Giurfa (10:34:58) :

    Say what? My post was about sending biodegradables to the dump to avoid the methane, which is natural anyway
    Biodegradability involves methane production. Wherever is that “Bio” there is carbon and hydrogen (stuff we all living things are made of), when decomposing produces ammonia NH3 and CH4 (methane). BTW flies smell NH3 (protein decomposition) and are attracted by garbage.
    Anyway, my point is that one of the Green religion’ s dogmas, that of recycling, it is wrong. It decreases production and jobs. Also, recyling of cattle remains to feed cattle originated the “mad cows disease”.

  121. ” Adolfo Giurfa (08:48:29) : ”

    It also tickles me when the greenies claim that recycling paper and using electronic means “saves trees”. It doesn’t. Old growth natural trees are not cut for paper, they are cut for lumber. Trees for paper are farmed and the paper companies are the single largest planter of trees on the planet. When you reduce the need for new pulp, you reduce the number of trees PLANTED by the paper companies. They are still going to cut the ones they have already planted but when that harvest is complete, they aren’t likely to replant if the demand isn’t there. The land then gets sold for other use.

    Reducing your use of paper and recycling what you do use results in fewer trees growing, not more.

  122. I have yet to see any convincing evidence that much purported “permafrost melting” is actually happening, en masse, across broad swaths. All I’ve seen is anecdotal, typically, photographic “evidence” consisting of point observations at road cuts, mines, home sites, and other diggings.

  123. Pamela Gray (17:58:09) :
    Keeping our garbage piles manageable (cuts down on methane) is a worthwhile endeavor. I see nothing wrong with turning it into profits. In fact, I would say that making money out of garbage is the ultimate capitalistic endeavor.

    Pamela, you have aptly described computer generated AGW research.

  124. So Ikeep reading this claim that Methane is 25 times more potent as a GHG than CO2. Would somebody please explain that.

    Does that mean that the long wave IR capture crossection of a CH4 molecule is 25 times the area of that for a CO2 molecule; or does that mean that CH4 captures a 25 times wider spectrum of LWIR than CO2 (13.5-16.5 microns roughly); or does that mean that CH4 operates at a LWIR spectral location where the earth’s emittance is 25 times higher;(where the heck could that be) or is it some combination of those.
    The CH4 IR absorptions spectrum I have is mighty puny.

    We are constantly told that the CO2 absorption band is almost “saturated” at today’s CO2 levels, and that only increases with the Log of the CO2 abundance.

    I thought that CH4 in the atmosphere decays to something else in the presence of sunlight.

    “25 times more potent” sounds like a description of a poison potion; not a scientific measure of energy absorption.

    Where’s the data?

    George

  125. coaldust (07:16:55) :

    “How about CH4 + 2O3 -> CO2 + 2H2O +O2?”

    This would be equivalent to CH4 + 3O2, which already happens. It takes extra energy to make ozone, which mostly happens in the higher regions of the atmosphere, thanks to ultraviolet light.

  126. Roger Sowell (14:09:01) : “Gotta watch those pesky decimal places…they make a difference from time to time…”

    Tell that to the IPCC! :-)

    TIM CLARK (13:56:28), that was a good one!

  127. Gee, 1998 had high methane, 2005 had low.
    And,1998 was a hot year, and 2005 was colder.

    It’s almost like the swamps and marshes make more swamp gas when it’s hotter…

    Oh, wait, they do.

    For this we need public funded PhDs, published papers, and computer toys?

    All we have here is the typical relatively stable natural level with relatively minor variations back and forth from natural process. Bounded in place by some as yet unidentified natural NEGATIVE feedback process.

    Trees do not grow to infinity.
    Frogs to not expand their population to cover the globe.
    Cow Pies to not pile up endlessly to the heavens above.
    Phosphorus and Nitrogen are endlessly recycled.
    Even the crustal plates are both created and destroyed.
    And guess what,

    CO2 and even methane to not build up to infinity nor do they enter positive feedback loops to damnation. They hit natural negative feedback processes and wobble back and forth inside modestly stable zones driven by simple natural processes.

    When it is hot, fermentation makes a bit more, that then reacts faster with ozone, oxygen, and other oxidizers; and dissolves to faster in rainwater; and is eaten faster by various bacteria and thus drops again.

    There was a time that scientists admired the durability and stability of nature, before they started to believe their own stories designed to scare the children…

    Is there any way to get some adult supervision in the “science” departments of today? (There was a time I admired folks with Nobel Prizes and who called themselves scientists. Now, not so much…)

  128. dscott (14:39:40) : Has anyone explained adequately the creation of methane calthrates on the ocean floor? I can’t seem to find anything that speaks of CO2 sequestration in deep ocean water to form methane without the inference of decaying organic matter/sediment. Everything I find speaks of breaking down methane CH4 to make CO2 + H2O.

    Aerobic fermentation gives CO2. Anaerobic fermentation gives methane.

    Look up “gobar gas” and google “anaerobic methane fermenter” then stand back.

    So literally “crap” washes out to sea, gets buried on the ocean floor, and does an anaerobic fermentation to methane. At a cold enough temperature and high enough pressure, this combines with water in the muck and makes the clathrate. Pretty simple, really.

  129. Larry Sheldon (17:35:38) : I keep asking this off-topic question, but nobody will even yell at me for, being Off Topic
    What is the connection between the sulfates-that-are-good-for-the-AGW-problem, and the SO4 that made the acid rain that was killing the trees and all?

    They are the same stuff. Greens like to pretend that if people make the sulphates it is evil and if volcanoes make it it is good; but that is a political evaluation not a technical one.

    One of my favorite ways to “fix AGW” (if it were real) that I like to toss at AGW advocates is the “Sulphate Stratospheric Seeding Airplanes” at negative cost.

    Yes, negative cost.

    The present global fleet of aircraft have multiple fuel tanks and there is a preferred order to use them. One for takeoff, different ones for high altitude cruising (where it is easier to “trim” the aircraft for weight and balance changes as fuel is burned).

    So all we need to do is put high sulphur fuel into the “cruise” tanks of the world aviation fleet and we’re done. Oh, and the cost is negative because all we need to do is STOP taking the sulphur out at the refineries in the first place, and that saves money.

    We would continue to use low sulphur fuel for takeoff and landing. That way the “evil” sulphates are kept out of smog and the “good” sulphates are put in the stratosphere to “solve global warming”.

    So far all it gets me is dirty looks, but I like that ;-)

  130. Maybe Leland is like me–has a great deal of difficulty dealing with on-topic discussions.

    Who is Leland Palmer, anyway?

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