The perfect storm for environmentalists: GMO engineered rice reduces greenhouse gas emissions to near zero

From the DOE/PACIFIC NORTHWEST NATIONAL LABORATORY and the “you can hear green heads exploding” department comes this bit of news sure to short circuit some people that are anti GMO but think the planet is doomed unless we do something about the threat of greenhouse gas emissions.

Tiny grains of rice hold big promise for greenhouse gas reductions, bioenergy

Discovery delivers high starch content, virtually no methane emissions

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

Rice serves as the staple food for more than half of the world’s population, but it’s also the one of the largest manmade sources of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth. It also packs much more of the plant’s desired properties, such as starch for a richer food source and biomass for energy production, according to a study in Nature.

With their warm, waterlogged soils, rice paddies contribute up to 17 percent of global methane emissions, the equivalent of about 100 million tons each year. While this represents a much smaller percentage of overall greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, methane is about 20 times more effective at trapping heat. SUSIBA2 rice, as the new strain is dubbed, is the first high-starch, low-methane rice that could offer a significant and sustainable solution.

Researchers created SUSIBA2 rice by introducing a single gene from barley into common rice, resulting in a plant that can better feed its grains, stems and leaves while starving off methane-producing microbes in the soil.

The results, which appear in the July 30 print edition of Nature and online, represent a culmination of more than a decade of work by researchers in three countries, including Christer Jansson, director of plant sciences at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and EMSL, DOE’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. Jansson and colleagues hypothesized the concept while at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and carried out ongoing studies at the university and with colleagues at China’s Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Hunan Agricultural University.

“The need to increase starch content and lower methane emissions from rice production is widely recognized, but the ability to do both simultaneously has eluded researchers,” Jansson said. “As the world’s population grows, so will rice production. And as the Earth warms, so will rice paddies, resulting in even more methane emissions. It’s an issue that must be addressed.”

Channeling carbon

During photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is absorbed and converts to sugars to feed or be stored in various parts of the plant. Researchers have long sought to better understand and control this process to coax out desired characteristics of the plant. Funneling more carbon to the seeds in rice results in a plumper, starchier grain. Similarly, carbon and resulting sugars channeled to stems and leaves increases their mass and creates more plant biomass, a bioenergy feedstock.

In early work in Sweden, Jansson and his team investigated how distribution of sugars in plants could be controlled by a special protein called a transcription factor, which binds to certain genes and turns them on or off.

“By controlling where the transcription factor is produced, we can then dictate where in a plant the carbon – and resulting sugars – accumulate,” Jansson said.

To narrow down the mass of gene contenders, the team started with grains of barley that were high in starch, then identified genes within that were highly active. The activity of each gene then was analyzed in an attempt to find the specific transcription factor responsible for regulating the conversion of sugar to starch in the above-ground portions of the plant, primarily the grains.

The master plan

Upon discovery of the transcription factor SUSIBA2, for SUgar SIgnaling in BArley 2, further investigation revealed it was a type known as a master regulator. Master regulators control several genes and processes in metabolic or regulatory pathways. As such, SUSIBA2 had the ability to direct the majority of carbon to the grains and leaves, and essentially cut off the supply to the roots and soil where certain microbes consume and convert it to methane.

Researchers introduced SUSIBA2 into a common variety of rice and tested its performance against a non-modified version of the same strain. Over three years of field studies in China, researchers consistently demonstrated that SUSIBA2 delivered increased crop yields and a near elimination of methane emissions.

Next steps

Jansson will continue his work with SUSIBA2 this fall to further investigate the mechanisms involved with the allocation of carbon using mass spectrometry and imaging capabilities at EMSL. Jansson and collaborators also want to analyze how roots and microbial communities interact to gain a more holistic understanding of any impacts a decrease in methane-producing bacteria may have.

###

Reference: J. Su, C. Hu, X. Yan, Y. Jin, Z. Chen, Q. Guan, Y. Wang, D. Zhong, C. Jansson, F. Wang, A. Schnurer, C. Sun. Expression of barley SUSIBA2 transcription factor yields high-starch low-methane rice, Nature July 22 (online), 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nature14673

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July 29, 2015 12:34 pm

hurray!

Reply to  Richard Tol (@RichardTol)
July 29, 2015 2:29 pm

Big deal for two reasons. Rice yields in best practice countries like Japan and China had topped out about a decade ago after semidwarf stains like IR8 became ubiquitous. Now there is another boost. China, however has been wafflish on GMO except for homebrew.

JJM Gommers
July 29, 2015 12:37 pm

Of course, this is controversional for te greenies. After Syngenta.!

LeeHarvey
July 29, 2015 12:42 pm

I had something pithy written, but IE8 is an asshole.
The crux of it – What do they mean by?:

With their warm, waterlogged soils, rice paddies contribute up to 17 percent of global methane emissions, the equivalent of about 100 million tons each year.

RD
Reply to  LeeHarvey
July 29, 2015 1:04 pm

So true re: IE8

July 29, 2015 12:43 pm

Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea! Of Course this only matters if you are just a cuddly, love humanity too, kind of environmentalist. If you are a “human beings have to go” green Nazi then the breakthrough is nothing to crow about.

Mac
July 29, 2015 12:48 pm

Obama wont like it for sure. It feeds people and starves greenies.

JB
Reply to  Mac
August 1, 2015 7:38 am

Win win.

Bloke down the pub
July 29, 2015 12:55 pm

Been here before. It’s well known that most reliable way to cut CO₂ emissions is to go nuclear, but Greens just stick their fingers in their ears and go ‘La La La’.

Mark Bofill
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
July 29, 2015 1:15 pm

That’s exactly correct. The response will be great, but we just can’t risk it. It’s much easier for them to cheerlead feel good non solutions than actually solve problems.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Mark Bofill
July 29, 2015 3:55 pm

Its all about destroying capitalism.
1) You don’t want to solve REAL problems, you want to make them worse. The more costly a non-solution is, the better. The more destruction that a non-solution to a real problem causes, the better.
2) You also want to promote wasteful solutions to problems THAT DON’T REALLY EXIST. Nothing is more destructive than spending resources on trying to solve a non-existent problem — catastrophic global warming being the poster child for this.
Eugene WR Gallun

Reply to  Mark Bofill
July 31, 2015 8:10 am

“…we just can’t risk it.”
But they can risk the well-being of poor people around the world by depriving them of affordable portable energy.

July 29, 2015 1:02 pm

LeeHArvey – wouldn’t that mean that 17% of global methane emissions equals 100 million tons? At least that’s how I read it; an attempt to let the reader know both the absolute quantity and its proportion of total emissions.

LeeHarvey
Reply to  Randy Bork
July 30, 2015 5:28 am

If they mean 100 MT, then they should just say that.
Saying ‘the equivalent of’ implies that they’re fudging the numbers.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  LeeHarvey
July 30, 2015 9:36 am

Maybe it is the same as the methane emissions from 100m tons of BS which as we have been told is a prodigious source. If so, it is a tautology.

RD
July 29, 2015 1:08 pm

This is great news. Perhaps they can add a gene to express beta-carotene, too!

Ric Haldane
Reply to  RD
July 29, 2015 2:04 pm

It exists under the name of Golden Rice. Lots of vitamin A. In the Philippines, a bus loaded with “militant farmers” arrived at a test field and cut it all down. It is suspected that Greenpeace paid for the bus. What a shame. The Philippines has a lot of sick blind children that a diet with enough vitamin A, would be of great benefit.

Andyj
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 2:36 pm

There is no vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines. The cure does not need chemists who need a 1st world wage. High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits. Where there is a lack of “A”, they grow best. The irony is noted.comment image

Peter
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 2:49 pm

AndyJ, I think you may have never worked with health Authorities in on pf these countries. There are Philippines Government estimates of the massive benefits to the poor in these countries. I have stood on the back of a truck handing out suppliments to the poor. The Golden Rice story is direct evidence of genocidal tendancies of Greenpeace. There other examples

Gary Hladik
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 3:09 pm

Ric, I’m betting RD already knew about Golden Rice. RD, funny comment.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 4:07 pm

Andyj
Rice is their basic food. Poor people do not have access to an organic grocer like you. Even if they did they don’t have the money to buy those things on a regular basis.
Obviously your “white privilege” blinds you to the reality of the lives of the colored poor of the world. Tsk. Tsk. Opposition to advances in nutrition for poor people of color is “soft racism”.
Eugene WR Gallun

RD
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 5:38 pm

Indeed, golden rice has a transplanted gene that expresses for beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in human metabolism. The fact that the rice discussed in this paper produces more starch at higher yield is wonderful all by itself. More carbon is being transformed to useful energy for people. Great! Less methane is a bonus. I’ll take it. And a GMO that decreases a GHG is priceless…..Schadenfreude to the misanthropic anti-GMO crowd.

clipe
Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 29, 2015 6:51 pm

http://waste360.com/mag/waste_death_toll_rises
You have to see Manilla ‘dumpster diving’ to believe it. I have.

Djozar
July 29, 2015 1:13 pm

So essentially we’re going to eliminate carbon by eating it?

Francisco
Reply to  Djozar
July 29, 2015 1:21 pm

Won’t we fart it then?

RD
Reply to  Djozar
July 29, 2015 1:23 pm

You either didn’t read the article or have no reading comprehension, or both.

Old Huemul
Reply to  Djozar
July 29, 2015 2:10 pm

Of course you eat carbon. What do you think you eat every day? Carbon is the basis of your diet, whatever your food preferences. That chemical element, C, is the basic ingredient of all food (peppered with some nitrogen, traces of other minerals like iron or calcium, and various vitamins). Your body cells and your entire body run on carbon, i.e. by burning carbon in the form of glucose, a simple carbohydrate made of water and carbon.

tgasloli
July 29, 2015 1:21 pm

I’m not sure this article makes any sense. I rather doubt that all the methane producing microbes in the mud and water of a rice paddy are dependent on the rice plant’s roots for nutrients. I suspect this is really another case of tying irrelevant (but in this case worth while) research to the GHG funding bonanza.

Dinsdale
Reply to  tgasloli
July 29, 2015 2:09 pm

They had to spin it against greenhouse gasses to beg for more money

ozspeaksup
Reply to  tgasloli
July 30, 2015 4:20 am

yup yet another GMO is your friend using agw as a base
sorry but they can grow rice in less water and mud
been done and produced ok
soo tell me again why another GMO moneyspinner from big aggro is just sooo good?
I AM going to enjoy sending it to my warmist agw believer mates though.
I dont like greenpeas but I like GMO as little

Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 30, 2015 4:51 pm

To zspeaksup July 30, 2015 at 4:20. Using the phrase “…big aggro…” classifies you as a warmist stooge.

Taphonomic
July 29, 2015 1:32 pm

It would boggle greenies even more if Monsanto markets the rice.

July 29, 2015 1:41 pm

How the heck can someone weigh a gas that’s lighter than air? Do they put the scale above the methane?

James Strom
Reply to  Dahlquist
July 29, 2015 2:10 pm

Methane was weighed only once, on the Apollo 12 mission, when it was put on the scale in an environment without any other atmosphere. ;>)

Evan Jones
Editor
Reply to  Dahlquist
July 29, 2015 4:19 pm

By using a mass metric, not a weight metric.

July 29, 2015 1:51 pm

What does this do to the taste? People who eat rice as their staple food are pretty particular about it…

James Strom
Reply to  Michael Moon
July 29, 2015 2:11 pm

Have you read up on golden rice? It wouldn’t pay to be too fussy if the replacement food will preserve your eyesight or that of your children.

July 29, 2015 1:53 pm

A true GMO revolution.
Grow rice without methane pollution.
Half the world fed with rice.
Feed the hungry, how nice.
“Green heads” will explode: – Wrong solution.
http://lenbilen.com/2015/07/29/growing-gmo-modified-rice-eliminates-methane-pollution-an-inconvenient-truth-for-green-heads-a-limerick/

Joe
July 29, 2015 1:54 pm

All we have to do is remove the EPA deemed tipping point dangerous pollutant CO2 from the air, and viola, no more worries about genetically modified rice. Poor people will then depend on the IPCC for salvation. While waiting, apparently there is a romantic (or is it voyeuristic?) novel the could read.

Jon Lonergan
Reply to  Joe
July 29, 2015 3:01 pm

“Viola”? What tune are you playing here?

1saveenergy
Reply to  Jon Lonergan
July 30, 2015 1:33 am

Hope you’re not going to harp on with bass viol comments !!

Reply to  Jon Lonergan
July 30, 2015 5:10 pm

voila

July 29, 2015 2:00 pm

“…methane is about 20 times more effective at trapping heat.”
If CO2 and Methane are “trapping heat”, where is that heat going. We know, it is Hiding. I say BS to all these ‘studies’ aimed at reducing gas that traps heat in a lab/test tube but doesn’t warm the earth with any significance even with increased emissions to the atmosphere.
The excess heat is being expelled to space, thus no problem.

Jon Lonergan
Reply to  kokoda
July 29, 2015 3:04 pm

No it’s being sucked into volcano’s and buried underground. That’s why volcano’s are so hot 😉

Jon Lonergan
Reply to  Jon Lonergan
July 29, 2015 3:06 pm

Sorry about the apostrophes autofill took over

David
Reply to  kokoda
July 29, 2015 3:26 pm

Yes, and putting a blanket on your bed doesn’t keep you any warmer, because the excess heat is all ‘expelled to space’, eventually. But I wouldn’t throw out the blankets just yet. Come winter, you may detect a tiny flaw in your argument.

AndyG55
Reply to  David
July 29, 2015 5:26 pm

Hey, does anyone know of any type of blanket that COOLS you when you get too hot ?

ghl
Reply to  David
July 29, 2015 7:26 pm

David
Blankets prevent convection, GHGs aid convection.

July 29, 2015 2:08 pm

There’s a couple assumptions that I’m going to make:
First the article implies that rice either leaks carbohydrates through their roots, or the roots die and sloth off while growing,
Secondly the rice is growing in a flooded paddy where the ground is oxygen-starved due to being inundated and the bacteria are anaerobic methanogenic.
in this case the GMO rice would reduce methane generated by the organism in the water-logged soil. The world’s farmers are moving away from the traditional rice cultivation and toward a system of rice intensification which produces larger yields, uses much less water and is better suited to small scale market gardens and farms more typical in third-world nations. Quite possibly this will be a big benefit to large agri-bussiness style rice farms, but it will be interesting to see if it benefits the SRI style rice production even more.

Jerry Henson
July 29, 2015 3:01 pm

Plants do not eat methane.They eat the residue left by the methanotrophs which do.
The reason rice paddies produce methane when flooded is that the natural gas which
provides the energy to fuel topsoil is forced to the surface faster than the resident
culture can consume it. During drier time, the culture can consume the available energy
at their normal speed.(I have explained topsoil creation previously on this blog)
They are measuring the wrong thing. The cultivar changes none of the above,
The cultivar still eats only processed natural gas. Not just methane.

Editor
Reply to  Jerry Henson
July 30, 2015 5:02 am

Natural gas? That’s a fossil fuel, should people be fracking rice paddies? 🙂

Glenn999
Reply to  Jerry Henson
August 1, 2015 12:44 pm

curious about your comments on topsoil. Could you point the way to your previous posting? Thanks.

Eliza
July 29, 2015 3:26 pm

AWif you keep posting stuff like this we is all gonna die of boredom haahah LOL. BTW I think the whole issue of climate change/global warming for warmistas and skeptics and deniers is about to become a non issue. Sorry! but it was obvious from way back. No one is really interested anymore

Paul Coppin
July 29, 2015 3:37 pm

GHGs to zero?
How does it do that? Is it inedible?

RD
July 29, 2015 3:43 pm

Lewis^,
Starch is stored glucose and is in the grains – not leaves, which are largely cellulose (another carbohydrate). Regardless, methane is a product of bacterial metabolism that is feeding opportunistically from the plant roots. Anyway, the authors have data and you have uniformed opinion. Whom to believe?

redress
July 29, 2015 3:45 pm

Hi Lewis…..rice leaf is very high in Silica (8 to 14%) compared with alfalfa hay (1 to 2%). Silica is indigestible and decreases digestibility of the feed to most herbivores. As such Silica is natures natural defense against herbivores.
The leaves also have quite a sharp edge, and tiny small hairs which also contributes.
Rice straw is also low in protein ( 2 to 7%) and high in Oxalates which decrease the absorption of calcium. When harvested, rice straw…..it hardly qualifies as hay, must be treated with supplements to make it acceptable to stock, even then it is of low quality.
Harvesting rice straw for animal feed is usually only done in times of drought.

Reply to  redress
July 29, 2015 5:44 pm

dunno but we never, ever, expected to use straw as forage here in the western US. Bedding yes! Never as food so I’m sort of at a loss when you start talking about it as a possible food for animals.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  redress
July 30, 2015 9:41 am

Rice straw pellets make very good cooking fuel.

Dems B. Dcvrs
July 29, 2015 3:54 pm

“Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth”
All sounds great. But before releasing this modified Rice into wild, perhaps we should take hard look as some past human foul-ups. Such as Johnson Grass, Cane Toads, Killer Bees, Snakehead fish, Starlings, Kudzu, European Rabbit, Asian Carp, and Tumbleweed.

Editor
Reply to  Dems B. Dcvrs
July 30, 2015 5:12 am

Yeah, given they’re using a barley gene, maybe we should gain more experience with growing barley. 🙂

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  Ric Werme
July 30, 2015 10:28 am

If global temperatures start hiking south as some seem to think they will, we’ll have ample opportunity.

Alan Robertson
July 29, 2015 4:55 pm

The Greens are not interested in feeding more people, the Greens are interested in having fewer people to feed.

July 29, 2015 5:08 pm

This is green head-popping good news! Now, what about nuclear power?

Reply to  Nicholas Tesdorf
July 29, 2015 5:45 pm

+100

jarlgeir
July 29, 2015 5:48 pm

Traditional rice moves methane from the soil into the atmosphere where the sun will convert the methane into CO2 and water vapour. Problem solved..
It is claimed that this rice leaves the methane in the soil, saving humanity from a dangerously enlarged methane footprint. But what about the increased accumulation of methane in the soil with this newfangled rice?
Now the greenies have two reasons to burn the labs and destroy the rice…..

mellyrn
July 29, 2015 6:13 pm

My issue with GMOs is our human track record. We’re all pretty much too young to remember radium-laced super bread, radium tonic water, radium suppositories and other products when the science of radioactivity was new. Some of us may remember shoe-store fluoroscopes, where the x-rays were “hot” enough to produce “live” images of one’s foot bones in the shoe — not too bad for the customer, but ultimately hell for the shoe sales staff who had to work next to it hour after hour, day after day.
Shoe-store x-ray machines continued in use into the ’70s. I work with radiation scientists who can still remember handling — bare-handed — millcurie amounts of radioactive materials.
Eventually we caught on that this wasn’t such a good idea; I daresay, though, that the worry-warts of 1920 were laughed at much as the GMO worry-warts are today. Fine; go experiment on yourselves; leave me out of it, please.

Steve C
Reply to  mellyrn
July 30, 2015 12:11 am

Agreed, mellyrn. Decades, maybe centuries, from now humans may have acquired enough knowledge about genetics actually to have some idea what they are doing when they patch bits of genes from different species together. Right now, they do not, as witness how quickly the use of “Roundup-resistant” crop plants resulted in “Roundup-indifferent” weeds developing. Nature has millions of years of experience at making genes work; we don’t.
Someone up the page was arguing that this stuff is good because the poor in third-world countries “don’t have organic food stores” from which to select a range of foods to improve their nutrition. FFS. With the agricultural knowledge we already have, and by doing something about the economic parasites who distort the markets in foodstuffs to the point where the world’s poor can no longer afford to “compete” for the food to keep them alive, it would be an incomparably less destructive option simply to distribute the food we already have properly.
As there are no known disbenefits from CO2 emission, this rice’s “breakthrough feature” is irrelevant at best. Plus, we don’t know (or even have the faintest idea) what problems will result when (not if) the corrupted genes of this stuff head off into the wild like “Roundup-resistance” did. Children, matches, explosive store. And, of course, there is no way you or I can opt out of the genetically mutated environment they’re building.
I find it depressing how readily many who can see through the big-money pseudoscientific scam of global warming are apparently taken in by the big-money pseudoscientific scam of genetic mutilation.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Steve C
July 30, 2015 9:44 am

Cheap food is not necessarily a great thing for all. If food is very cheap, how does a farmer make a living? A great many poor people are farmers, They are poor because food is very cheap, or the person who owns the land takes almost all the income by ‘clever means’ involving loans.
I wish it was simple. It is not.

Reply to  mellyrn
July 30, 2015 1:45 am

I think you are are more than able to keep yourself out of it, mellryn. On the other hand, based on a lot of what I’ve seen, your type usually seems to instead want to prevent others from getting the benefits.

Zeke
July 29, 2015 6:42 pm

“Rice serves as the staple food for more than half of the world’s population, but it’s also the one of the largest manmade sources of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth.”
This is a
http://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/0dxtgIPfE28OE/0x600.jpg?fit=scale&background=000000
sales pitch for a quality in a product that no one in their right mind would ever possibly desire.
If the Boomer Generation gets enamored of this idiotic green product, they will try to mandate it. They have already done us enough favors.
The methane angle of sales
http://images.wisegeek.com/woman-showing-pie-chart-in-office.jpg
will in effect justify the destructive green policies against beef and dairy cattle. Cattle are also “manmade sources of atmospheric methane” — which is a
http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/491550/Images/pushy-salesman.png
“potent greenhouse gas.”
Sign here.

Zeke
July 29, 2015 6:50 pm

We had an insurance salesman in chief and got Obamacare, which the House tried to repeal 30 times.
Hillary Clinton will be selling solar panels and worthless windturbines.
And we should expect an electric car salesman from the National Republican Committee.
But methane-free rice salesman has to be scraping the bottom of the bottom.
http://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/0dxtgIPfE28OE/0x600.jpg

Stevan Makarevich
July 29, 2015 7:05 pm

To AndyG55
July 29, 2015 at 5:26 pm
“Hey, does anyone know of any type of blanket that COOLS you when you get too hot ?”
Although not a blanket, you could do as we used to do here in Phoenix before air conditioners: cover yourself with a wet sheet. The evaporation will cool you down indeed.

ghl
Reply to  Stevan Makarevich
July 29, 2015 7:36 pm

I suspect using Alfoil as a blanket would cool you in most circumstances.

Kauaibrad
July 29, 2015 7:54 pm

Utter B.S.

Frank K.
July 29, 2015 7:57 pm

Does this mean Neil Young has to write ANOTHER three chord song???? Noooo!!
“Neil Young’s New Song Attacks Starbucks for GMO Use”
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/alatheia-larsen/2015/06/02/neil-youngs-new-song-attacks-starbucks-gmo-use
(Starbucks = Monstanto?? What’s a left-wing eco-hypocrite to do??)

Louis Hunt
July 29, 2015 8:13 pm

“Researchers created SUSIBA2 rice by introducing a single gene from barley into common rice…”
OK, but can this franken-barley-rice be made into a decent beer?

Reply to  Louis Hunt
July 30, 2015 6:58 am

Finally, someone asks the important question!

Tony Drew
July 29, 2015 8:26 pm

Sounds great — but what happens to the viability of the rice paddie by reducing the methane factor the life cycle loop? Does it become less agri-friendly?

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
July 29, 2015 8:37 pm

I this there are two issues, namely the methane emission and its contribution to global warming and the other issue is the inputs going in to the production of the GMO paddy. Let us see the first issue:
Natural variability component plays an important role in temperature along with seasonal and annual variations — extremes [USA temperature presents a 60-year cycle. Since 1920 the measured data showed two 30 year above the average part of the cycle and one 30-year below the average part]. Secondly, the equation that relate anthropogenic greenhouse gases with global warming component. That means, equation along with the constants that relates the global temperature rise in association with anthropogenic greenhouse gases under greenhouse effect — and its share in global temperature rise that include local and regional components. Without this, there is no use of talking temperature rise. The feedback sum – sensitivity factor is monotonically declining from SAR to AR5 [IPCC’s]. This may further decline in AR6, AR7, etc and thus change in temperature with increasing CO2/Methane may reach a plateau like in ‘b’ that given below figure – here ‘a’ relates to naturally existing CO2/Methane in the atmosphere component of relative temperature change: Relative Stress: S. J.Reddy]- Agric. For. Meteorol., 1995, 77:113-120. So, the methane issue is not of importance.
As a food, is the GMO rice acceptable to people and the fodder is useful to animal. Whether it is GMO or non-GMO they yield under chemical inputs and irrigation. Chemical inputs create air, water, soil & food pollution. The methane component could be controlled through traditional system. Srivari paddy system of cultivation.
All the hype on methane is to corporatize the paddy seed like cotton and increase the farmers suicides. Journals will publish such articles as it is within the perview of the editorial committee members.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
July 30, 2015 9:48 am

Thanks Dr Reddy.
Methane is a much more potent GHG than CO2, but there isn’t any to speak of. Why then to we speak of it? Ideas?

johann wundersamer
July 29, 2015 8:41 pm

‘Andyj
July 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm
There is no vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines. The cure does not need chemists who need a 1st world wage.
High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits. Where
there is a lack of “A”, they
grow best. The irony is noted.’
the vegan keyword is renewable, performed bottom up in the toilet.
4 specialized stomaches in a cow is 3 times returning to dump for vegans.
mod. it’s yours.

Joel O'Bryan
July 29, 2015 8:49 pm

As a biologist I see long-term negative implications for this rice on the soil quality and fertility for 3rd world countries and econmies that cannot afford expensive fertilizers.
Imagine if you will, taking antibiotics so that your “nasty” commensal bacteria in your gut is wiped-out Should you be healthier? Think again. It will make you quite ill as pathogenic bacteria takeover and your immune system goes nuts.
The natural strains of rice, cultivated for thousands of years with little or no need for exogenous fertilizer, has evolved to feed the soil bacteria around its roots. That the bacteria does something it needs. Fix nitrogen maybe. Protect against pathogenic bacteria strains, maybe. Breakdown dead material to provide more nutrients. Just like our gut commensal bacteria, the roots of rice have commensal bacteria they feed.

601nan
July 29, 2015 8:56 pm

“Mars Needs Women.”
Great! Earth will coral the lot and sequester the smelly mess on a big ass space ship, without douche and tampons, and blow the fucker up in low earth orbit so the stinking bits of the load can burn up on re-entry to Earth.
Ha ha
Looks like NASA Mars Colonization Plan. And since each Astronaut is US National Property, they, NASA, collect the death insurance benefits and then have a one big ass drunk party.
Ha ha

joelobryan
Reply to  601nan
July 30, 2015 7:33 am

OTT.

Peter Foster
July 30, 2015 2:17 am

Would someone please inform me as to the basis for the statements that methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Methane absorbs in the same region as water. At average humidity (2.5%) there are 14700 water molecules for each methane (1.7 ppm) A graph of absorption in the infra red 7 to 8.5µm range shows the total absorption by all gases to be almost totally due to water with methane having virtually no additive effect whatsoever.
This is logical given the relative proportion of methane to water.
The longevity of a molecule in the atmosphere is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is the concentration and whether that is increasing or not, doubling methane would still leave some 7000 water to methane so still likely to have little to no effect.
Think of it in terms of that photon of IR leaving the Earth. If it is going to hit a molecule and be absorbed it is far more likely to hit a water than it is to hit a methane, so what is the physical basis for the claim that it is so much more dangerous than CO2 or Water.

wayne
Reply to  Peter Foster
July 30, 2015 3:19 am

“Would someone please inform me as to the basis for the statements that methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2”
Yes, i have read the same.. ignorable. Seems doubling CH4 is equivalent to raising the relative humidity from 53.3% to 53.301%, maybe 53.302%, same “backradiation” effect…. did you not feel the awesome downwelling surge on that increase? Oh, with no atmospheric temperature change, no “backradiation” effect, right? Now where in the world did that “hot spot” go to? Now with co2 at 1/20th the effect and 235 times the concentration what is it’s R.H. equivalent? R,H, –> 53.312%, maybe 53.324% ? /sarc off
Something to think about though.
Physical basis… none as far as I can tell. The real basis for such statements… money… grants or investment market manipulations.
You are perfectly correct for questioning the physical relevance.

Mike McMillan
July 30, 2015 3:10 am

Water green, CO2 red, methane in yellow:
http://www.rockyhigh66.org/stuff/atmospheric_ghg_absorption3.png

Tim
July 30, 2015 6:38 am

Surely this could have nothing to do with the goal of global food domination and monopolization of seeds.

July 30, 2015 7:59 am

We get there in the end. Rice keeps most of the world alive. When you can’t grow anything else, it’ll do despite its shortcomings, and engineering can go some way to fixing that.
https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/the-big-green-killing-machine-what-is-vad/
Pointman

Juan
July 30, 2015 8:15 am

GMO gives you cancer. Just look at the stats from US vs Europe.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Juan
July 30, 2015 9:53 am

Juan: More than 99% of people with cancer drank filtered, treated water. It’s a correlation that is highly significant.

RD
Reply to  Juan
July 30, 2015 10:12 am

ROFL

RWturner
July 30, 2015 11:11 am

But aren’t the soil microbes incredibly important for the recycling of nutrients and other processes?

July 30, 2015 12:40 pm

“but it’s also the one of the largest manmade sources of atmospheric methane,”
If rice emits methane, something I didn’t know, then the methane is rice produced it isn’t manmade. It doesn’t matter if human planted most of the rice, the methane still isn’t manmade.

The other Phil
Reply to  tomwtrevor
August 2, 2015 3:48 pm

Sorry, that’s not how it works. Greenhouse gases from farming are counted as man-made, whether emanating from rice or cows or other ruminants. Which makes sense.

July 30, 2015 1:31 pm

GMO’s have something important in common with climate alarmism: money has made “scientists” into liars. In both cases, the lies are serious enough to threaten your life.
Climate alarmism denies photosynthesis, the very basis of all life. Also we evolved with bodies that metabolize all nutrients to CO2, so our physiology is set for some optimum amount. The amount in the blood is very tightly controlled. The sparse information we have suggests that the atmospheric optimum is many times higher than present, never mind a mere doubling. You will live longer, and with more vitality, bounce and happiness with more carbon dioxide. I believe our society’s strong craving for soda pop is a desire for more carbon dioxide. This is also part of the attraction for champagne, wine and beer.
GMO “scientists” and advocates have been told by seemingly top qualified sources that GMOs have been extensively tested for 20 years longer than they have even existed, and have been proven absolutely safe. In fact, few tests have been done and those few have produced dozens of statistically significant results in rodents. Cancer has come up more than once. Many farmers have reported fertility problems in farm animals, and I suspect that is the one that will eventually wake up humanity and shut GMO production down.
GMO advocates also think no humans have ever been harmed. The industry has successfully covered up the first human consumable, an amino acid supplement named L-tryptophan, which helps people fall asleep. All of a sudden, this had to be pulled from the market when deaths and the most agonizing disease doctors (!) had ever seen was associated with it. This turned out to be one manufacturer who used a genetically engineered bacterium to produce the L-tryptophan. This was brushed off as a failure of filtration, especially when a few cases turned up from earlier batches from the same mfr. But the deadly strain was version 5. Strain 1 was wild-type; and strains 2,3,4,5 were increasingly modified to produce more tryptophan. Strain 5 produced 80 deaths and thousands of severe disabilities that surely also shortened life. In context, it is hardly comforting that the 4th strain also caused a few deaths.
Potentially, the anti-GMO people are our friends in the battle for climate truth. They know about “science” lies. They want healthy life. They are often aware of Restoration Agriculture, and that will enable them to be “right” enough to face the fact that they have been lied to about CO2. CO2 makes healthier life. You can probably get them interested in researching “climate optimum,” and that means higher temperatures anyway.
If we are going to win the battle for climate truth and sensible policies, we have got to find groups like this and work with them.

RD
Reply to  ladylifegrows
July 30, 2015 3:25 pm

I don’t see this skeptic joining forces with anti-science, anti-GMO ideologues, ever.

Khwarizmi
Reply to  ladylifegrows
July 30, 2015 7:58 pm

I don’t see this skeptic joining forces with anti-science, anti-GMO ideologues, ever.
================================
Anti-science is the art of intentionally thwarting scientific investigation.
It can mean burying inconvenient data, such as the genetically engineered Tryptophan disaster that occurred before the public was even aware that GM products were on the market, or it can mean whitewashing the disaster when people are aware of it by trying to blame hippies and the dietary supplements industry for promoting the use of an essential amino acid.
Science is the pursuit of explanatory fitness: it is not the pursuit of profits from technology regardless of the consequences.
* Anti-science by the FDA banned the sale of the essential amino acid L-Tryptophan from established safe (non-GM) sources.
* Anti-science by Showa Denko destroyed all traces of the GM bacteria, preventing us from testing the procedure and knowing with 100% certainty what went wrong.
* Anti-science from Mercke & the FDA suppressed negative results that allowed doctors to prescribe the deadly but very profitable Vioxx.
* Anti-science discourages and disparages investigation into non-patentable therapies, because you can’t turn them into a “blockbuster” so that you can “make a killing” on the market/.
I’m not against GMO, btw. I’m against proprietary life™ and all the anti-science employed to promote it.

Randy
July 30, 2015 3:55 pm

Wow. This will change the GM debate fast in many countries. Few will care about the methane aspect, but a major boost to yields is a no brainer. Main roadblock is that the worlds poorest cant afford to buy seed yearly, so for it to be fully embraced might need it to be stabilized into something you can save your own seed from.

Patrick
July 30, 2015 8:18 pm

“While this represents a much smaller percentage of overall greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, methane is about 20 times more effective at trapping heat.”
What rubbish! It does nothing of the sort.

The other Phil
Reply to  Patrick
August 2, 2015 3:51 pm

Of course it does, you can look it up. Or you can pretend.

Peter Foster
Reply to  The other Phil
August 3, 2015 1:13 am

In that case could you please explain the physical basis for such a claim. A photon of IR of the right wavelength is either absorbed or not absorbed. So how can methane be so much more effective than water. pointing readers to some web site that makes such a claim does not mean it is correct. If you cannot explain the physical basis for such a claim then perhaps it is you who should do some research.

July 31, 2015 8:11 am

Sounds like the research is an advance in the science of developing plants, but the current result is not a worthwhile product.

Glenn999
August 1, 2015 12:41 pm

doesn’t anyone care about the microbes? oh the humanity, err the microbity. trillions will starve to death.

August 7, 2015 2:22 pm

Hooking up with Monsanto is like hooking up with the UN IPCC, same agenda same elitists supporters. These gmo’s are just another despotic rule over poor indigenous people who will stay poor and completely dependent on corporate foods. If you want to help the poor allow them to mine and utilize their own energy resources first and foremost. Enough of this phony altruism.

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