China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising At ‘Alarming Rate’

From the place you’d least expect….CNN


Chinese methane emissions are rising at an alarming rate despite recent government regulations aimed at curbing the climate-changing pollutant, a new report has revealed.

A study released in the journal Nature on Tuesday shows a steady growth in China’s methane emissions, primarily from the country’s massive coal mining sector, undermining Beijing’s claims to be leading the world on climate change action.

“Methane emissions in China appear to be increasing, business as usual. We were unable to detect any impact of regulations on the country’s methane emissions,” the report’s lead researcher Scot M. Miller told CNN.

China is among the world’s largest emitters of methane. While methane is less prevalent in the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps “28 times more heat” according to the Global Carbon Project.

In 2010 the Chinese government enacted a series of new polices requiring methane from coal mining to be captured, or to be converted into carbon dioxide. But scientists found that the policies had failed to curb overall emissions.

China’s annual methane emissions increased by 50% for at least five years after government regulations were passed in 2010. The jump is equivalent to the total emissions of other large nations such as Russia and Brazil.

Full essay here


The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07891-7

China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions

Abstract

Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

Some data:

Methane emissions estimates for China and India. a CH4 emissions estimates for China from this study, Bergamaschi et al.10, Thompson et al.12, UNFCCC35, Peng et al.6, the EDGAR v4.3 inventory4, and the US EPA9; and b for India from this study, Ganesan et al. 28, UNFCCC53, and US EPA9. We find a trend in emissions from both countries for 2010–2015, though the trend for India is uncertain. Note that uncertainty estimates for this study are 95% confidence intervals, and uncertainty bounds for Bergamaschi et al.10 reflect the range of different inversions that use different datasets (e.g., in situ, satellite). Estimates marked with an asterisk are for anthropogenic emissions only. Furthermore, the dashed green line represents the posterior emissions estimate after subtracting the wetland emissions model, biomass burning inventory (GFED), and termite emissions.

 

Map of CH4 emissions estimates. Total CH4 emissions (anthropogenic plus natural) estimated using GOSAT observations and the inverse model (2010–2015 mean). CH4 emissions from China are highest in provinces with large coal production and coal formations that contain high amounts of CH4 (e.g., Shanxi, Guizhou, and Anhui; refer to Supplementary Fig. 1). Note that the inverse modeling emissions estimate is highly uncertain for any individual grid box, but those uncertainties decrease at increasing spatial scales (Supplementary Fig. 2)

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52 thoughts on “China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising At ‘Alarming Rate’

  1. “Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world………………….., but these emissions may be changing;”
    “These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions”

    ….so, no change

    • Never confuse sucking up to gain access to the Chinese market, with reality. You spout off what the Chinese are really doing, you aren’t going to be doing one damned cent of business in China, ever. You also better not visit there, because you will disappear. The Chinese are openly and violently retaliatory to so much as the perception of being disparaged. So the “no discernible impact” is a required insert phrase.

  2. It’s good to see India, China and South East Asia stepping up to the plate and taking over the responsibility of producing the extra CO2 needed to enhance World-wide plant growth and agricultural and arboreal production. There are severe failures in this regard going on in the US, Europe and Australia.

  3. Chinese leadership spouts off whatever will shut up Americans and Europeans, and talk a line to placate them, and then do exactly what they want. If anyone complains, China blockades their imports, resulting in a cone of silence.

  4. “While methane is less prevalent in the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps “28 times more heat” according to the Global Carbon Project.”

    What a load of twaddle!

      • Your link shows methane is 0.066% of total greenhouse warming while CO2 is 0.117%. However, methane’s concentration is only 0.471% while CO2 in 99.438%.

        As your link states, “The various greenhouse gases are not equal in their heat-retention properties though, so to remain statistically relevant % concentrations must be changed to % contribution relative to CO2. This is done in Table 2, below, through the use of GWP multipliers for each gas, derived by various researchers.”

        Table 2 then shows methane as being 21 times higher in terms of heat retention.

        How did you get that so wrong?

        The value of 28 comes from the measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of methane gas will absorb over a given period of time relative to the emissions of 1 ton of CO2 over 100 yrs. Over shorter time periods, the value is higher.

          • The GWPF of 21 is an old number. It was increased to 28 in the IPPC Fifth Assessment Report.

            Also, the GWPF is based on the weight of emssions, not on atmospheric concentration. Since CO2 has a molecular weight of 44 versus 16 for CH4, the GWPF for methane needs to be multiplied by 16/44 for an equal volume in the atmosphere.

          • What is ignored is CH4 absorbs at frequencies CO2 and H2O do not! So ALL the LWIR at those frequencies is absorbed by CH4 and CH4 alone. There is no overlap as with CO2 and H2O. It’s not really “trapping” more “heat” at all. And at ~1.8ppMILLION/v is barely measurable.

            And as I said in another post, at least termites get a mention. They are the biggest contributor of CH4, they have been around on this rock a little bit longer than humans and fossil fuels, they are this rock are STILL here not matter how much we try to kill it with CO2.

          • And yet the spectrographs show very little absorption of IR in 3 small places on the wavelength axis.

  5. So what , the more the better. If the Western Green folk s are so concerned about the danger to the world, then let them travel to China. That way when they disappear “we will be rid of them. .

    When will the likes of Kyoto now called Paris , have a re-think about the term of Developing nations.

    Both India and China have the Nuclear Bomb, plus very big military, so how can they ever be considered as “Poor” developing nations”

    MJE

    MJE.

    • I argued that from the get go that calling China and India developing nations in an emission framework is just perverse they are members of the G20 who should all be excluded.

    • “Developing nation” is just one of the obfuscations used by the IPCC. If CO2 emissions are so deadly to world population why would it be OK to allow any country to produce it? Think about that for a minute if you don’t understand it.

  6. As per the graph showing fuel use by type for China: Fossil fuels 86%, renewables 3%.

    I believe it’s time the climate activist campaigners realize they are wasting their time and efforts trying to get carbon emissions down here in the U.S. when we see the dramatic increase in fossil fuel usage in China (and probably elsewhere in East Asia) since around 2000. The solar and wind energy numbers for China are about as laughable as they are here in the U.S.

    Coal usage appears to have leveled off in China since around 2010, but there appears to be little reason for those with a firm belief in and commitment to the alarmist narrative to be hopeful. I am left wondering at what point they might begin to realize that increases in emissions are not doing to the climate what they think emission increases are supposed to do. I suspect it is a long ways off.

    It is going to continue to be a rough life for the alarmist believers as long as the refuting evidence that throws CAGW into doubt remains suppressed and ignored in the much of the MSM and on alarmist blog sites. Each new increase in GHG ppm numbers will throw the alarmists into a higher level of panic and desperation.

    State and local govts here in the developed world with their quaint little renewable energy mandates are in their own dream land if they think they can stop the GHG rise. Meanwhile, the New England Pats win yet another Super Bowl and life goes on…..

    • “Meanwhile, the New England Pats win yet another Super Bowl and life goes on…..”

      All good things have their run is the sun, and then they’re done. Like youth. I’m old enough to remember the 1980’s where the Pats were serious laughing stock dumpster divers for a decade or more. This is the Belichik-Brady Era — It will pass and New England will become like the NY Jets or the Cleveland Browns for a while. Then the Pats will recover. The magic of Belichik is he got Brady fresh out of UMich as the 199th draft pick in 2000 (think about — the Greatest NFL QB ever went in round 6 of the draft) . Stroke of luck. The difference being the Kraft family ownership with the New England media market money allows them to buy the best free agency talent only second to Jerry Jones at Dallas. And Dallas is dumpster diving now or a while. It takes time to find the right magic mix again — a Decade Mirabilis.

      • I agree with you Joel. Brady is going to be 42 next season–one serious injury is likely all it will take for him to call it quits. 199th draft pick in round 6, and he has this kind of a career in the NFL. Goes to show that you just never know.

        Don’t know if Aaron Rogers’ career will last as long as Brady’s has. We Packer fans will just have to wait and see if he does—and if he gets us to one or two more Super Bowls. Can’t say I’m going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

        As for New England, no team should be allowed to go to the Super Bowl nine times and win six of them during the career of one QB (sarc). NFL should ban it. May be a long time before that happens again.

  7. Since those Gases don’t produce any Greenhouse effect anyway there is nothing alarming about it , let them go at it

    • ‘They’ say methane has a residence time of approx. 8 years in the atmosphere. ‘They’ also say that CO2 has a residence time of 200 years, which I think is bunk, given the annual variation in atmospheric CO2. link

      ‘They’ need long residence times to support the CAGW narrative. Shorter residence times would disrupt the alarmist arithmetic and demonstrate that they have a very tenuous grasp of the CO2 (and CH4) budget.

      Anyway, according to the graph in the linked page, it looks like methane is asymptotically approaching 2 ppm.

  8. An example of what cognitive dissonance looks like is as follows.

    CNN wrote: “China is among the world’s largest emitters of methane.”

    What the scientists abstract starts out with: “Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world.”

    CNN can’t even admit to itself or its readers what is right there in the first sentence of the abstract.

    • Yup. They just make up numbers for natural methane emissions, even more than they do for the human ones. Yet next week they’ll be back to saying that a warming Arctic tundra and melting permafrost is contributing the godsquillion amounts that are going to destroy the planet just like it, err…,didn’t do on previous occasions of a warming biosphere during inter-glacials.

      They know nothing, with enormous uncertainty, and just make it up as they go along. The whole methane catastrophe thing is complete drivel. Even Gavin Schmidt says so occasionally.

      • CNN can’t admit that without China cutting back soon (and not… “sometime after 2030”), nothing the US or Europe can do on emissions will substantively matter regarding global GHG emission totals and the climate model prognostications.

  9. From Wikipedia:

    Baizuo (… literally “white left”) is a derogatory Chinese neologism used to refer to Western leftist liberal elites. … the term is defined as referring to those who are hypocritically obsessed with political correctness in order to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority motivated from an ignorant and arrogant Western-centric worldview who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours.

    A related term is shèngmǔ (… literally “holy mother”, title for the mother of an emperor), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are guided by emotions and a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy, represented by celebrities.

    The term baizuo was apparently coined in a 2010 article published on Renren Network, entitled The Fake Morality of the Western White Left and the Chinese Patriotic Scientists … Baizuo was here used to criticize to the policies of the Democratic Party with regard to “minorities”, perceived as granting advantages to African-Americans and Mexicans, but not Asians. …

    After the 2016 United States presidential election, the term came to be more widely used, e.g. in reference to the policies of Angela Merkel in the European migrant crisis, or in reference to the perceived double standards of liberal Western media, such as the bias on reporting about Islamist attacks in Xinjiang.

    • The 2018 civil trial of Harvard University admissions practices discriminating against Asian-Americans only reinforces Baizuo in the Chinese mind… and rightly so.

      The Judge has yet to rule on that case (Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University). Judge Allison D. Burroughs will hear an additional set of arguments from both Harvard and plaintiff Students for Fair Admissions on Feb. 13.

    • “Baizuo (… literally “white left”) is a derogatory Chinese neologism used to refer to Western leftist liberal elites. … the term is defined as referring to those who are hypocritically obsessed with political correctness in order to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority motivated from an ignorant and arrogant Western-centric worldview who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours.”

      I think the Chinese are looking from the outside in, and characterized the the Democrats in the U.S. perfectly.

      When Trump went to China the Chinese press were very defferential to him. Then the next day the Chinese read how Trump’s visit to China is characterized by the American Leftwing Media and they realize that the Leftwing Media is just a propaganda organ of the Democrats and now the Chinese are more skeptical of the American news media than are Republicans!

      The Chinese see the American Leftwing News Media for what they are, a bunch of liars, and the Chinese don’t trust the American Leftwing News Media. Isn’t that funny. Sometimes the Chinese get it right.

  10. Can anyone comment on how accurate any emissions data is? How is it determined and what is the error associated with the data?

  11. IBUKI GOSAT:
    “The IBUKI observed carbon dioxide and methane at accuracy levels of 4 ppm (*1) and 34 ppb (*2) , respectively, at a 1,000-km mesh.”

    Unsurprisingly, the IBUKI GOSAT pages do not define or describe it’s accuracy, beyond claiming a 40% increase in CO₂ measurement.
    An always dodgy method.

    “Methane emissions estimates for China and India. a CH4 emissions estimates for China from this study,

    Estimates marked with an asterisk are for anthropogenic emissions only. Furthermore, the dashed green line represents the posterior emissions estimate after subtracting the wetland emissions model, biomass burning inventory (GFED), and termite emissions. “

    The dashed green line of estimated anthropogenic emissions are immediately below total CH₄ emissions on the chart.

    “Total CH4 emissions (anthropogenic plus natural) estimated using GOSAT observations and the inverse model (2010–2015 mean).

    Note that the inverse modeling emissions estimate is highly uncertain for any individual grid box”

    N.B. that measuring CH₄ using a 1,000 km mesh, as in the first blockquote I quote above, make those small grid areas depicted on their map somewhat impossible.

    Instead, their alleged CH₄ numbers and grids are driven by their estimates and inverse model.
    i.e. it is another model showing what the researchers believe.

  12. (Apologies in advance for the sarcasm dripping down your screens.)

    What?!? China is a major emitter of CO2 and other greenhouse gases?!?
    Who knew?

    Didn’t they sign on to something-something-something, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, pinky swear, triple dog dare, swear on a stack of Bibles ironclad commitment to reduce their CO2 emissions… eventually? In geologic time?… Before the Second Coming?

    The nerve of those sneaky bastards!

  13. In 2010 the Chinese government enacted a series of new polices requiring methane from coal mining to be captured, or to be converted into carbon dioxide. But scientists found that the policies had failed to curb overall emissions.

    You can collect methane from coal before mining the coal, by wells and fracking; you can also trap methane from abandoned coal mines. But you won’t see reduction in emissions from coal mines for years, maybe decades. As far as trapping methane from an active coal mine, I can’t see any way of doing it when you need to have people down there doing the work. The only safe thing you can do with methane in coal mines is ventilate and vent it to the atmosphere.

    If there’s an economically feasible way of converting CH4 to CO2 when it’s present in concentrations at a fraction of 1 percent in vented air, perhaps some bright spark here knows about it.

    • Coal bed gas (i.e., dominantly methane) has been and is being produced and removed from active underground coal mines for decades. This activity has occurred in many mines in the USA and Great Britain, and also in China, Australia, Mexico, and other countries. In many cases, the extracted gas has been and is being beneficially used. It is a mature industry but very site specific.

  14. I’ve read that China’s new-ish coal gasification process is what is creating this extra methane. It’s possible that the Chinese diplomats who pledged to reduce methane emissions didn’t realize this would occur. (It’s likely they’d have made those pledges anyway if they had known, of course.)

  15. Of course if there were to be any campaign in any country against both the Indian and Chinese producing excessive amounts of “Greenhouse gas”, they would be labelled as “Raciest”

    How dare we of the West say anything against countries such as India and China, when they are just poor undeveloped countries trying to catch up with the Greedy Western Countries.

    MJE

  16. There is one major concern I have.

    The Keeling net CO2 in atmosphere curve is approximated mathematically by the formula:

    ppm = 0.013 t^2 + 0.518 t + 310.44 where t = the time in years since 1950

    The UK workplace safety law for ppm CO2 is 5000 ppm.
    setting the equation = 5000 and using the quadratic formula of (-b +/- ( (b^2 -4ac)^ 1/2)) / 2a

    gives t= 580. Adding that to 1950 gives the year 2530. That is only 511 years away where we would choke to death on CO2 according to the UK workplace safety laws. I know that some places have long term limit exposure up to 8000 ppm but you get the point. Now we can worry about this or we can say 511 years is so far into the future that who in the hell cares. Howeverthe alarmists will not let this go aftertheir warming theory completely falls apart. This does bother me because the thought of mankind choking on his/her prosperity is a worry even if it is 511 years away.

    However I still have a feeling in my gut that the CO2 numbers will either level off or they are fraudulent in the 1st place. Why arent more government agencies measuring the CO2 in the atmosphere? I wish Denmark would do it. I trust the Danes.

  17. I am always annoyed that the sun and water vapour are the two drivers of any warming and we can do nothing about them so we prattle on about just about anything and everything that has no impact whatso ever on the climate.

  18. I guess sovereign virtue signaling does not work all the time. It sure works domestically in that command and control society.

  19. Chinese annual coal consumption versus England’s total coal production :
    DECC’s spreadsheet gives England’s total coal production from 1853 to present day as 2,540 million tons: Using 1.4 tons of Coal as 1 Ton Oil Equivalent, I get England’s total coal production, over the period, as 1,800 Million TOE.
    So it looks as if China consumes as much coal in 9 months as England managed to produced over the whole 165 years.
    🙂

  20. The BP China ‘Fuel use by type’ chart is ‘stacked’, so my eyeballing from the chart of China’s coal use is an overestimate:
    The BP spreadsheet puts China’s coal consumption at 1892.6 Million TOE for 2017.
    Which is still slightly more than England’s total production since 1853 (1,814 Mtoe).

    For the first decade (1853-1862) the DECC Coal production figure is aproximately 5 Mtoe a year, rising pretty linearly by 2.5 Mtoe/year every decade. Whilst one cant extrapolate that trend backwards. However the aproximation that China consumes Englands total historical coal production, every year, is perhaps not far wrong (?)

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