Saving Gaia with Bovine Tailpipe Intervention


Never mind that in 2006 it was reported that levels of the second most important greenhouse gas, methane, have stabilized.

Scientists are now working to create a new “tootless” grass for bovine enjoyment which will help cut methane emissions from the bovine tailpipes. What next? A moratorium on baked beans at BBQs? Editing out that scene from Blazing Saddles so that school kids don’t get bad ideas that might harm the earth?

According to the Scientific American article: “During the two decades of measurements, methane underwent double-digit growth as a constituent of our atmosphere, rising from 1,520 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) in 1978 to 1,767 ppbv in 1998. But the most recent measurements have revealed that methane levels are barely rising anymore — and it is unclear why.”

From NewScientist: “Although this is good news, it does not mean that methane levels will not rise again, and that carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.”

Indeed, methane has made a small uptick in the last year.

Actually, NewScientist is wrong. CO2 is not the biggest “gorilla” of greenhouse gas on planet earth. It’s water vapor. Our earth would be much colder without water vapor in the atmosphere…it would be much like Mars. I seem to recall seeing a figure for average global temperature of about -14°F with water vapor absent.

So many of the climate models focus solely on CO2, but they leave out water vapor as clouds in the equations, or assume water vapor is static.

CO2 is far from being the most potent greenhouse gas. Chloroflourocarbons (CFC’s) commonly used as refrigerants as far worse at trapping infra-red in our


Of naturally created GHG’s, Methane is 23 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than CO2. Nitrous Oxide is even worse at 296. So far no emergency legislation has been authored to eliminate the effect of cows or dental surgeons. The Kyoto treaty does not address these other gases either.

Here is a gauge of various gases and their “GWP”:

Global Warming Potentials Of Gases

(100 Year Time Horizon)



Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1

Methane (CH4) 23

Nitrous oxide (N2O) 296


HFC-23 12,000

HFC-125 3,400

HFC-134a 1,300

HFC-143a 4,300

HFC-152a 120

HFC-227ea 3,500

HFC-43-10mee 1,500

Fully Fluorinated Gases

SF6 22,200

CF4 5,700

C2F6 11,900

C4F10 8,600

C6F14 9,000

The concept of the global warming potential (GWP) was developed to compare the ability of each greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere relative to another gas. In this case, CO2 is the reference gas. Methane, for example, has a GWP of 23 over a 100-year period. This means that on a kilogram for kilogram basis, methane is 23 times more potent than CO2 over a 100-year period.

The interesting thing here is that this stabilization of methane levels in our atmosphere happened all by itself, and the scientists are clearly baffled as to an explanation. But that doesn’t seem to phase anyone promoting research to prevent cow tooting.


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There’s nothing in the USHCN specs about siting a station near the cow pasture. Do we have a lurking warm-bias in the rural stations now? 😉 On the other hand, that cow can hardly be a lights=0 situation.
REPLY: There’s nothing in the CRN specs either, but that’s another post.


OK, wheres the obnoxious Evil Carbon to put a Gore face on your pastoral portrait?
REPLY: Comments from Evil Carbon automatically go into the SPAM filter now, since he’s just pushing t-shirts and has nothing to contribute.

A. Fucaloro

The surface concentration of CO2 on Mars is about 15x that of the surface concentration of CO2 on Earth.

Joe S

You have read that Estonia has imposed a tax on cow flatulence, huh?
Governments all over the world are salivating at the revenue prospect of this newfound “Greenhouse Gas Hook”.

Jerker Andersson

That picture gets 10/10!
It really adresses a seriouis issue, are those rural stations really that rural? Maybe they should be renamed rearal. 🙂
Ok, lets try to get serious again.
That list with differents gases GWP is a bit misleading imo. While it may be accurate on how strong different greenhouse potential different gases have it does not reflect the reality.
It would make more sense to set up a list that shows GWP with the concentrations that currently are present in our atmosphere, including water vapor.

Steve Keohane

What a great photo. I remember one evening, about 1988 standing on my front patio with my 12 year-old daughter, with the mooing of the cattle in the dark fields below us. I made a joke, referencing bovine GHG emmissions, and suggested they should be equiped with pilot lights, providing an amusing contemplation of jets of flame in the dark.


Terrence and Phillip: Part of the Problem.


You need to multiply the GWPs by the current concentration to get actual contribution to ‘GW’
– also for Water Vapour…
– I read somewhere is works out at about 90-95% water vapour, 5-10% CO2
– and not very much for the others…

Andrew Upson

Yer ‘orrible!
Sorry, that was the latent Kiwi in me coming out.
Anyway, I’m guessing that things like rotting vegatation/sea life/other natural processes/garbage/etc probably puts a whole lot more methane into the air than cow toots. I seem to recall that there was even enough methane stored in the ice in parts of the Arctic that you could actually set a chunk of ice on fire. Maybe the levelling off of the methane concentrations is related to the ice now trapping more than it has been releasing lately?

Bruce Cobb

From the article: Cows’ production of methane is down to the microflora in their gut that helps them to digest their food. As these microbes break down the grass’ cellulose, methane is produced as a by-product, the majority of which is burped up.
So, to be correct, although perhaps not as humorous, there should be flames coming out of the cow’s mouth, not back end.
From NewScientist: “Although this is good news, it does not mean that methane levels will not rise again, and that carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.”
Since this statement says “it does not mean”, and includes “that C02 remains the 800-pound gorrilla…” in the same sentence, then I agree that the fact methane levels aren’t rising does not mean that C02 remains the 800 pound gorilla. Never was, of course. More like a 2-oz. (just a guess) baby bird.

Arch Stanton

Actually, although water vapor does contribute the most of any single GHG to our current climate, it is not considered to be a radiative forcing factor at this time because it is not changing the climate. It is considered to be a feedback factor though because water vapor is largely dependent upon air temp.
“…Radiative forcing is a measure of how the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system is influenced when factors that affect climate are altered…” AR4 FAQ 2.1
Radiative forcing is a function of both the warming tendency of the gas and it’s concentration. For this reason, at this time CO2 is considered to be about 3 times stronger (has 3 times the global warming potential) as far as radiative forcing goes than methane (because methane is much less common in the atmosphere). CO2 is considered to be about 10 times as strong as N2O when it comes to radiative forcing.
Therefore the statement “carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.” is technically correct, even though CO2 does not currently contribute as much to our planet’s current climate as water vapor does.
Those interested in more information about this and how these values were derived and their use should check out the AR4 Chapter 2.

Arch Stanton

(OK… the gorilla statement is figuratively correct if not technically correct.) 😉

Robert Wood

New Scientist: “Although the World has not ended, that doesn’t mean that the World will not be end”

Frank Ravizza

Has anyone else noticed how the media refers to CO2 emissions as “carbon emissions”? If it were carbon we were emitting it would cause cooling.


I put the AR4 in the fiction section. Clearly C02 is not important or else it would not be cooling now or would not have cooled in the 1970s.
Other factors are more important.
Just because the IPCC fabricated an idea about Co2 being the most potent GHG does not make it so.

Dave Andrews

This “stabilisation” of atmospheric methane was also noted in the following paper from NOAA back in 2003.
‘Atmospheric methane levels off: Temporary pause or a new steadystate?’
E. J. Dlugokencky
NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
S. Houweling
National Institute for Space Research (SRON), Utrecht, The Netherlands
L. Bruhwiler, K. A. Masarie, P. M. Lang, J. B. Miller,1 and P. P. Tans
NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Received 8 July 2003; revised 8 July 2003; accepted 2 September 2003; published 8 October 2003.

[1] The globally-averaged atmospheric methane abundance
determined from an extensive network of surface air
sampling sites was constant at 1751 ppb from 1999
through 2002. Assuming that the methane lifetime has been
constant, this implies that during this 4-year period the global
methane budget has been at steady state. We also observed a
significant decrease in the difference between northern and
southern polar zonal annual averages of CH4 from 1991 to
1992. Using a 3-D transport model, we show that this change
is consistent with a decrease in CH4 emissions of 10 Tg
CH4 from north of 50N in the early-1990s. This decrease in
emissions may have accelerated the global methane budget
towards steady state. Based on current knowledge of the
global methane budget and how it has changed with time, it is
not possible to tell if the atmospheric methane burden has
peaked, or if we are only observing a persistent, but
temporary pause in its increase. INDEX TERMS: 0330
Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Geochemical cycles;
0365 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Troposphere—
composition and chemistry; 1610 Global Change: Atmosphere
(0315, 0325). Citation: Dlugokencky, E. J., S. Houweling,
L. Bruhwiler, K. A. Masarie, P. M. Lang, J. B. Miller, and P. P.
Tans, Atmospheric methane levels off: Temporary pause or a new
steady-state?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(19), 1992, doi:10.1029/
2003GL018126, 2003″
I note that Ed Dlugokencky is quoted in the Scientific American report but doesn’t say anything like “yes, we noticed this 5 years back and I can’t understand why there have been all these scare stories in the media about methane.”

Steve Moore

I originally thought that you meant “faze” instead of “phase” in the last sentence, but with the “phase shifting” the AGW crowd will soon be going through, I decided you were making a very clever joke.


As always BBQ is the answer.

Bob D

Whether or not H2O is regarded as a green house gas, one surely has to take into account the current concentrations of H2O (and other gases) when ranking the real GWP of an increment in any other gas. If so, one would note that the absorption spectra of methane and water have such considerable overlap that added methane has a very low GWP.

[…] UPDATE 5/10/08:  Interesting discussion of methane (cow farts in particular) and other greenhouse gases at Saving Gaia With Bovine Tailpipe intervention. […]

Bill Illis

You NEVER hear the global warmers talk about Methane’s stabilization but some of the newest Methane numbers show an increase again.
Here’s Mauna Loa’s numbers up to March 2008.
Here’s the global averages for the four main GHGs.

Kevin B

Actually, although water vapor does contribute the most of any single GHG to our current climate, it is not considered to be a radiative forcing factor at this time because it is not changing the climate. It is considered to be a feedback factor though because water vapor is largely dependent upon air temp.

So what they’re saying is that:
Water vapour = more warming = more water vapour = more warming …
is not true.
CO2 = more warming = more water vapour = more warming …
is true?
As for taxing flatulent cows, the Estonian government will be really surprised when the farmers turn to producing subsidised biofuels or building golf courses on their land, thus bringing about food shortages.


I am with Jerker and Phil in wanting to see an expanded data table.
You might even do water vapor at zero and 35 degrees C.


“So many of the climate models focus solely on CO2, but they leave out water vapor”
Ocean currents, Solar Wind (sunspots), and who knows what else.

“One message from our study is that in the short [ed: ten to twenty years] term, you can see changes in the global mean temperature that you might not expect [ed: since only Mankind, not Nature, can affect Climate Warm – er – Change] given the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” said Noel Keenlyside from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences.
If you wonder what this sentence means, it means “Our models, if correct, imply that the IPCC projections for the next 15-20 years are incorrect.”
Recall the words that are being used when a controversial published article disagrees with a detail of a skeptic’s theory: we typically read about one last nail in the coffin of an oil industry stooge. 😉 But when 2,500 hacks are proved wrong in a completely essential aspect of their paper – the projection of temperatures for the whole next decade -, a very different language must be chosen, right?


…In 1905, PDO switched to a warm phase.
…In 1946, PDO switched to a cool phase.
…In 1977, PDO switched to a warm phase.
…In 1998, PDO showed “a few” cool years.
…In 2008, PDO seems to be switching to a cool phase.
Note that the cool phases seem to coincide with the periods of cooling (1946-1977) and the warm phases seem to coincide with periods of warming (1905-1946, 1977-1998).


That GHG potential is very useful!
What Phil said earlier, except I have heard the CO2 figure as high as 30% (I don’t believe that, though).
If it is 5% of GH effect, the rating of water vapor would be somewhere between 1/25 and 1/150 (half that for 10%). Does anyone have a more precise figure?


The IPCC positive feedback formula:
Increased CO2 (warming) –> increased water vapor (warming) –> decreased ice cover/albedo (warming) –> “tipping point” (runaway warming)
The AquaSat negative feedback observations:
Increased CO2 (warming) –> increased cloud cover/increased albedo (cooling), increased precipitation –> stabilized ice cover/albedo


The argument for CO2 is essentially this:
For thousands of years the temperature was perfectly stable (big, big lie) and when mankind came along and added 3% more CO2 into the atmosphere it tipped the balance into runaway global warming (also a big lie).

Mike Graebner

Actually water vapor can be a negative feedback (
At Craig James’ blog ( he has an interesting post about water vapor.


So, the period of the dinosaurs lasted for 150 million years or so. How much Methane did the average dinosaur produce? A little bit more than cows I would deduce.

Waters primary function seems to be moving heat from the surface to further out in the atmosphere. The turbulent processes are what seems to make keep that surface temp relatively stable (day vs night). The vapor absorbs more heat, but the net probably isn’t a big deal. It’s probably like the nitrogen phase change on pluto making it 10C cooler than expected. If the water cycle doesn’t slow down, it won’t warm us up.


I noticed that methane concentrations were less than 2000 pp billion. That tells me that it doesn’t take much human activity to change it. I do know that there is much less methane flaring from oilfields today than 30 years ago. That could explain part of it (oilfield flaring is likely < 99% efficient, so some always escapes). Today, methane is not flared but captured for fuel and chemical use (methanol, urea, etc.). The other big source is coal mining. Could be a shift there regarding the type of mining and the type of coal (low sulfer coal, etc.) mined nowadays.

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Retired Engineer

“Scientists are now working to create a new “tootless” grass for bovine enjoyment which will help cut methane emissions from the bovine tailpipes.”
Eurocrats should love this. After banning GM ‘frankenfoods’ for people, we’ll now make ‘tootless’ grass for Bessie. Big Mac’s will never be the same.
(Andrew: are you sure this isn’t left over from the first of last month ?)

Hmmmmm they must have been humming as old rhyme my father used to say some years ago.

Beans beans the musical fruit
the more you eat the more you toot,
the more you toot the better you feel,
let’s have more beans at every meal.
This study is getting very close to squat.
some one is getting desperate to find something to stay on top.
Bill Derryberry

Mike Kelley

It is still snowing here in Southern Montana. Kind of a late spring, reminiscent of the 1970’s.

Bruce Cobb

Therefore the statement “carbon dioxide remains the 800-pound gorilla of climate change.” is technically correct, even though CO2 does not currently contribute as much to our planet’s current climate as water vapor does.
Wrong, Arch. The 800-pound gorilla of climate change is actually the sun. Doh.

I just love this title. But I am kinda confused with the tooting. The ScienceDaily article you linked just mentions the burbing of cows as the process that releases methane. This is ‘consistent with’ what my Swiss farming stepmom taught me about the four stomaches of a cow. In between the stomaches they gulp and chew the cud. Mooh.
And this is from your amazing link regarding the consequence of the prototype (burbless?) grass:

However, some scientists suggest that a cow’s absolute methane emissions might go up.
Alistair Macrae, a lecturer in farm animal health and production at the University of Edinburgh, UK, says a diet too rich in highly digestible carbs can actually increase the amount of methane a cow belches out. This is because gut microflora convert more of these sugars into propionic acid, which creates a more acidic environment resulting in more methane.
Ian Givens, a professor of animal science, at the University of Reading, UK, says that more digestible forage could push up a cow’s absolute methane emissions but productivity gains would mean less methane per unit of milk.
Beever agrees and says, ‘It could increase methane emissions but it could also increase milk yields, effectively cutting the amount of methane produce per litre of milk.’

This reminds me of an old Swiss story and movie about a cow that ate from a very special grass in a canyon. It didn’t produce any milk. And suddently it would produce by far more milk than the other cows. It thus became cow queen in a cow festival. When marching in on top of a parade, the cow collapsed and died – because of overfeeding and overmilking.

Harold Pierce Jr

ATTN: Phil and Everbody!
For a detailed, step-by-step calculation of the contribution of water vapor to the greenhouse effect, GO:
Monte Hieb is a mine safety engineer and works for the W. Virgina Dept. of Mines, and knows about the chemistry and physics of gases. Use legal size paper if you want to print out this file for study. I highly recommend that you print out file so it is at hand for ready reference. As a matter of fact print out copies and send them to you Congressional and state representatives.
Also checkout some of the articles re global warming and climate change at this site. Be sure to take a quick look at the fossil pics. I could never quite figure out how these are found in underground coal mines in these mountains of solid rock.

Ed Reid

Coal seam methane extraction prior to mining the coal provides methane for fuel and chemical uses, reduces methane release during mining and reduces mining hazards. That’s a “threefer”!
There have also been major programs over the past 30 years to reduce leakage from the natural gas transmission and distribution systems in the US.
Also, venting natural gas once was common in the middle eastern oil fields; now, the market for LNG has changed that picture.

Harold Pierce Jr

The reason water vapor is not included as a forcing factor is that the is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere. The absolute amount water vapor per unit volume of the air fluctuates so rapidly that it would be extremely difficult to incorparate these variations into models.
As a matter of fact this also applies to CO2, but most modellers ignore this. They also use the wrong conc of CO2 in the initialization parameter. The actual conc or abs.amount of CO2 in real or ambient air at 15 deg C, 1 atm pressure and 1% abs humidity is about 366 ml/cu meter. The value for standard dry air is 388 ml/cu meter or ppmv.
The conc of CO2 in the atmosphere based air samples analyzed at Mauna Loa or any site is referenced to standard dry air, which is air at 273.2 K. and 1 atm. pressure and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases.
In the tropics at 30 deg C and 1 atm. pressure with 4% abs humidity, the abs amount of CO2 is about 336 ml/cu meter but the rel conc would be still be 388 ppmv.
Most people, like 100%, haven’t got the foggest idea what 388 ppmv means. This improper use of rel conc of CO2 in climate models is a fatal flaw, and this is why the mid-troposphere is not warming according to model predictions, er, projections.
Now it has been known for quite sometime (since ca 2003) that there is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere. Go over to ESL and locate images from the AQUA-AIRS satellites. And watch the video of the changing CO2 conc especially over the continents.
Don’t happen to have the links, but I will find them and post them here.
For more info about standard dry air, GO:


I can’t believe anyone is having a cow about this still. This whole exaggerated threat of gastric bovine methane (from their burps is all rather dumb. For starters total heads of cattle in the USA roughly equal 17th c bison population (100 million).
If methane’s really a threat, which at the moment is a 58 ppm CO2 equivalent (hey, anyone know what the CH3 IR absorption curve is like?) then the biggest potential source of it is the boreal tundra permafrost which is being progressively thawed by soot deposition. This is what V. Ramanathan & C. Zender have told everyone who’ll listen: Mitigate the soot ASAP and you can buy some time. And my guess is that in the interim, as soot levels fell, we’d also acquire a fair amt of improved science that’d ease the worries about CO2.
BTW the country with the biggest cattle population is India, with 400 mil. Bad, evil India. They need to stop having sacred cows… or plow-pulling oxen Convert to industrial, diesel (soot spewing) sacred agricultural machinery now!


Here is a good table already made for us!!
Covers percentages of gases, including water vapor, and their relative effect.
Also includes data on natural/man made percentages.

Robert Wood

Check out Ad Hoc Hypothesis in Wikipedia … he he.

Harold Pierce Jr said: “The reason water vapor is not included as a forcing factor is that the is no unifrom spatial and temporal distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere. The absolute amount water vapor per unit volume of the air fluctuates so rapidly that it would be extremely difficult to incorparate these variations into models.”
Actually Harold, the reason the IPCC doesn’t include it is because “since it’s not man made, it’s irrelevant.”
I’ve been attempting to write an article on the role of water vapor for “The Mysterious Climate Project” but continually run into a brick wall over all the different numbers floating around due to it being a “moving target” as you suggested. As most know, water comes in the solid form (ice), the liquid form, and as vapor. Unfortunately, water in the atmosphere can morph between all three depending on conditions.
According to Atmospheric Physicist Fred Singer, I should use a figure of 95% for water’s role in the overall scheme of things… and after much research into other’s papers (including “Water Vapor Rules”), I think I’ll go with that number.
By the way, have you ever wondered why the Pogies assigned “1” to the GWP of CO2? The short answer is if they assigned it to water, CO2 low number would be a laughing stock by comparison (my theory)!
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

[…] Curbing Bovine Flatulence May 11, 2008 — thoughtfulconservative A tip of the conservative ball cap to Watts Up With That? […]

Arch Stanton

KuhnKat (07:29:17) wrote :
“Here is a good table already made for us!!…”
LOL, I guess it is made for you if you are prone to believe propaganda because you like its sound rather than questioning it.
Let’s check out Singer’s claim to 95% of the GHG effect being attributed to water vapor; he is very clear about his sources:
a) Can’t access this paper from 1993.
This is a policy statement and not a peer reviewed paper. It can get away with saying anything that sounds good. The 95% statement is made but it is unsubstantiated as to where it came from. In the same paragraph it makes the long disproved “saturated gas argument” that claims that because the H2O absorption spectrum largely overlaps with the CO2 absorption spectrum therefore CO2 is inconsequential.
This is viewpoint piece in Science.
I quote from the first line:
“Modern climate change is dominated by human influences, which are now large enough to exceed the bounds of natural variability.”
Second paragraph:
“Various atmospheric gases contribute to the greenhouse effect, whose impact in clear skies is 60% from water vapor, 25% from carbon dioxide, 8% from ozone, and the rest from trace gases including methane and nitrous oxide (1).”
Source (1) is
J. T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth 97 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Available here:
They state that H2O vapor is responsible for 60% of the warming in a clear sky. (table 3)
Singer gets an A+ for creative writing on this one.
This is an article from the DOE from 14 years ago. It cites few sources (one of which is a textbook from 1950). Although it does make the 95% claim, it is clear that this value is for the troposphere only. It also makes the statement that “Carbon dioxide adds 12 percent to radiation trapping which is less than the contribution from either water vapor or clouds”.
This is a very dated statement and only someone desperate for a source would cite it; particularly since it (once again) does not back up Singer’s 95%claim.
d) Personal Communication– Dr. Richard S. Lindzen
‘nuff said.
This reproduction of a talk given to businessmen in 2004. No sources are cited other than Mauna Loa and Vostok data and the empty claim that: “At present there have been literally hundreds of studies carried out showing a similar correlation” [concerning sun spots and global mean SST]. I don’t even see the 95% claim made in the talk. (maybe it is there I honestly did not look very hard).
This curious and undated document also does not support the 95% claim (it states 90% but makes no claim to a source.) I’m not sure who was being facetious here; the reporter or the EPA. (Did this really happen?)
g) Air and Water Issues
I can’t access this document. But they apparently cite Lomborg and refer to GHGs as “satanic”.
This opinion piece cites no source other than personal opinion for it’s >95% claim.
This obscure magazine article cites no source for its claim that water vapor is responsible for 96-99% of GHG effect.
There you go. Out of 7 sources I can trace not one scientifically backs up his claim that 95% of the GHG effect is from H2O and a couple of them contradict it.

Alex Cull

New Scientist has a definite pro-AGW bias, as has been pointed out by its former editor Nigel Calder. It’s no surprise really that they would downplay water vapour and the sun, and focus on methane and CO2.
Just thinking about bovine methane emissions. Is there any way these could be tapped on an industrial scale as a form of biofuel?
Another kind of “wind farm” perhaps?

Harold Pierce Jr

RE: Monte Hieb’s Calculations
I went over his article and calculations, and I couldn’t find the conc of water vapor he used. However, his calculation are correct if you set the conc of water vapor at 1% or 10,000 ml /cu meter. This is mean global average conc in the atmosphere.
If we make the zero order approximation that water vapor and CO2 absorb the same amounts of IR per molecule, then contribution of water vapor to the greenhouse effect is: % contibution = 10, 000 ml/10,000+380 x100 = 96.3.
In the tropics with 5% water (i.e., 100% rel hum at 30-35 deg C), water’s contribution to the greenhouse effect is 99.3% since the amount of CO2 is 366 ml/cu meter.
Water’s contribution is actually much higher because water molecules absorbs IR much more efficiently than CO2 because it has permanent electric dipole and CO2 does not. IR cannot be absorbed by a molecule unless there is change in the electric dipole moment. CO2 is a weak absorber of IR becuse its transient electric dipole is generated by collisions with nirogen and oxygen and this process is dependent upon pressure and temperature.
Molecules that absorb IR DO NOT re-emit this radiation due to the high rate of collision deactivation of the excited states with nitrogen and oxygen. This process is called radiative transfer.
Yikes! The Sun has started to shine here in Metro Vancouver, and I now have no excuses (i.e., rain) for not mowing the grass.
I’ll get back to you with some ref’s.

Just Artiego

My new invention to control that cow’s emanations:
It’s the Bovine Utensil to Trap and Treat Potentially Lethal and Unhealthy Gases. The commercial name? That’s what acronyms are for: The ButtPlug.
Can you imagine the sales pitch?
Protect the Earth now! Insert a ButtPlug in your cows!

In our news today;
“AUSTRALIAN agricultural output will double over the next 40 years, with climate change predicted to increase, rather than hinder, the level of production.
A recent spate of reports forecasting the decline of Australian agriculture because of climate change have greatly exaggerated, and even completely misreported the threat of global warming, according to senior rural industry figures. ”,25197,23681267-11949,00.html