Facts About Methane Ignored to Support Climate Narrative

Guest essay by By Walter Starck

Science is, above all, a search for understanding based on a primacy of reason and evidence, with all findings subject to revision in accord with further evidence or more comprehensive explanation. The highest achievement in science is to discover a new or better understanding that can extend or replace an existing one.

The other major systems of organized understanding are ideology and religion. In these systems, understanding derives from what is deemed to be revealed truth, which is unethical even to question. Reason and evidence are subordinated to a supporting role that’s restricted to selected examples that accord with belief. The highest achievement here is not to discover truth, as that is accepted to be known with absolute certainty, but rather to defend such belief from any questioning and to maintain it without change or doubt, regardless of any and all reason and evidence that does not support it.

In this regard, climatology—and to an increasing extent, much of the field of biology—has ceased to be science. It has instead become a hybrid of ideology and religion, employing selected science to lend authority to existing beliefs, more like Scientology than any actual science.

This selective use of blatantly misleading and even provably false scientific claims to promote a quasi-religious ideology is nowhere more exemplified than in the claims involving the role of methane from livestock as a potent source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions contributing to dangerous climate change. Although the evidence clearly refuting this nonsense is compelling, readily available, and not controversial, it is simply being ignored.

Now consider some relevant facts about methane:

· Methane (chemical symbol CH4) is claimed to be a potent greenhouse gas, an idea based on its estimated effect compared to CO2. However, this is highly uncertain and can vary from 21 to 84 or more times greater than CO2, depending on the methods used for estimation. These high multiples derive mainly from a strong level of infrared absorption in the IR bandwidth of methane and a hypothetically lengthy persistence of many years in the atmosphere, due to a low rate of sequestration in natural sinks compared to CO2.

· What is conveniently ignored is that the IR absorption spectrum of methane is limited to two quite narrow bands. Although CO2 is a weaker absorber of IR, it has a much wider bandwidth of absorption and is about 200 times more concentrated in the atmosphere than methane. Also, due to constant turbulent mixing in the atmosphere, it makes little difference to temperature if absorption of particular amounts and wavelengths of backradiated IR occurs in a few centimetres or over a few meters. In either instance, a similar amount of heat energy is being mixed into the lower atmosphere.

methane_absorption_spectra

Figure1 shows how six different gases absorb radiation across the infrared range of wavelengths, from 1 to 16 microns (mm). The vertical scale is upside-down: 100% absorption is low, and 0% absorption (i.e., transparency) is high.

· In the case of methane, and unlike CO2, it also breaks down chemically in the atmosphere, with a half-life of only about five years.

· Even more importantly, the IR absorption spectrum of methane is overlapped by that of water vapor, which has a hugely broader IR absorption spectrum. It is also on average about 10,000 to 20,000 times more abundant in the atmosphere than is methane. No matter how little or how much methane is in the atmosphere, all the IR in its absorption spectrum is still going to be absorbed, if not by methane, then by water vapor. More methane adds nothing to the effect on temperature.

· Cellulose is the most abundant structural component of plants. Its decomposition by various microbes and digestion by a wide range of animal life generates methane. This is pervasive across all vegetated land. Such natural generation of methane is similar to what is being attributed to livestock. Plant material not eaten by livestock is only consumed by something else or decomposed by microbial activity with similar amounts of methane being produced.

· Trees are also major emitters of methane, both through their own metabolism and by acting as conduits bringing methane generated by microbial activity in the soil up into the atmosphere. A recent study has found that the Amazon rainforest is a major global source of methane.

· The bottom line is that reducing livestock has little or no effect on the amount of methane being generated from an area of land.

· Most of the land used for the grazing of livestock is either unneeded or unsuitable for agriculture. Grazing lands, however, are also shared by a wide range of wildlife that benefit from the year-round water supplies, improved pasturage, weed and pest control, as well as controls on hunting, which grazing also provides. Graziers tend to have high regard for the flora, fauna, and natural features of their land and take pride in being good custodians of it.

The whole idea of becoming vegans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of methane from livestock displays an extraordinary level of scientific, environmental, and economic ignorance. This goes well beyond just not knowing or being mistaken. It entails a profound ignorance compounded by understanding so little it is not even possible to recognize one’s own ignorance. This way of thinking is then made malignant by believing it should be imposed on everyone else for their own good.

The more one considers the multiple unrealities of what is coming to be called the Green New Deal (GND), the more it appears that the most effective solution may simply be to just try it. Doing so would immediately squelch the endless arguments and polarization. As the unfolding EU experience already indicates, recession with rising costs of living and unemployment plus chronic government deficits would begin to accelerate.

With a fully implemented GND, the capacity of government to pander to those who vote for a living would soon cease to exist. Then, with an overwhelming majority of the electorate having to do something others actually want or need in order to earn a living, a much-improved level of common interest would be restored. Being primates, we will probably always find things to incessantly squabble about, but we’ll be without the impossible levels of polarization that currently plague us.

It appears that when life gets too easy, we start to find petty concerns to obsess over. Doing something really stupid and suffering the consequences very effectively serves to reconnect us to reality. Climate change and the new version of Green politics provides a rich opportunity for such a correction.


Walter Starck, a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, is one of the pioneers in the scientific investigation of coral reefs. He received his Ph.D. in marine science from the University of Miami in 1964.

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167 thoughts on “Facts About Methane Ignored to Support Climate Narrative

  1. “Even more importantly, the IR absorption spectrum of methane is overlapped by that of water vapor, which has a hugely broader IR absorption spectrum. ”

    Actually only a small amount is overlapped, but doesn’t really matter much since CH4 absorb so little IR in the first place.

    • One can use extensive data bases of IR absorption characteristics of these gases and the MODTRAN model and the present concentration of CH4 and CO2 in the atmosphere to calculate the relative amount of absorption of each. Doing this says CO2 absorbs about 4 times the IR as does CH4. The IV assessment report from the IPCC gives about the same ratio, or CH4/CO2 ~0.25, nowhere near the large ratios one reads about.
      Overlap of H2O and CH4 absorption (also CO2) is mitigated because H2O gives its final emission at lower altitudes (because it condenses at cold altitudes), but CH4 has considerable molecules above that. Thus, some of the overlap IR released by H2O is absorbed again by higher CH4, and the CH4 emission rate controls the IR output at those wavelengths. I don’t know if IPCC and MODTRAN consider this.

      • Water isn’t going to re-lease any absorbed IR, is it?

        If water vapor absorbs the IR, heats up slightly.., whatever light it releases is going to be in lower bandwidth because of the lower energy level. It’s not going to get hotter then the whatever is releasing the light in the first place so it’s light is going to be lower. Am I wrong in thinking that?

        Genuinely curious.

        • Nate:
          Those IR frequencies at which absorbing gases absorb and emit are fixed and not dependent on the temperature of the gases themselves. The rate that IR is emitted is dependent on temperature. Local gas temperature depends on transference of molecular kinetic energy gained by the molecule when IR is absorbed (or in a collision) to other molecules. This is kinetic energy, not internal bond energy associated with IR frequencies.

          • And in collision with other molecules co2 represents some of the lowest levels of energy in the spectrum with its low frequency vibration. Comparing with colliding cue balls on a pool table with different kinetic energy due to their velocities, co2 is the slowest ball on the table. So what is the effect of co2 interacting with other molecules? Reduction of average kinetic energy. Which atmospheric spectrum from space shows, where co2 lies steady at a very low intensity, emitting like a blackbody at ~220K in surroundings at 255K. That´s what cooling looks like.

        • Not sure I understand your question. Water vapour cools the planet through convection and rainfall. All heat is released at some stage. Please rephrase.

          • Water evaporation into vapor cools the planet’s surface and warms the atmosphere, but does not cool the planet as a whole, to counteract solar heating. Convection moves that atmospheric heat around and also does not cool the planet. Only IR escape to space does that. Thus, what controls the rate of that IR release determines the rate of planet cooling.

          • Not only that. Evaporation cools both water surface and the air above it, this principle is used in evaporative coolers. The heat is then carried away from where it was absorbed, internally in the water molecules. This is heat transfer away from the surface, heat transfer is how we cool things down. Compare to sweating, same process. When condensating the water molecules dump their heat far away from where it was absorbed. This is how cooling by heat transfer works, heat is transported away from hot areas to cold areas and dumped. While dumping the heat, clouds form which blocks the heat flow from the sun. So, at the same time heat from the system is dumped away from where it was absorbed, more heat is blocked from coming in. And then, as you say, rain cools the surface.

            I can´t see any part of that which is a warming process. It´s cooling from start to finish. We live on a water cooled planet.

        • You seem to have a misunderstanding. No “greenhouse” gas catches and holds on to energy. They simply interact with radiation at their characteristic frequencies. The laws of physics are reversible, so every frequency at which they absorb, they also radiate. The rate at which they do so depends on temperature. I think you have been misled by the extremely misleading term, “greenhouse”, with its implication of an actual barrier (glass) that prevents free movement of hot air. IMHO, we have been remiss in letting the alarmists get away with using this term. All suggestions for a better one are welcome.

      • IIRC , AR4 claimed a ration of 20 or 22 x time more “powerful” for CH4 as a gas , maybe you can state in what context they use 0.25 ?

        MODTRAN and HITRAN are thorough , detailed mulit-layer models, where gas concentrations can be defined independently for all layers. These are not mickey mouse climate modeller’s video games, they were developed by the US Navy for assessing capabilities of satellite surveillance. If correctly used they are probable most reliable part of the whole computer modelling game.

        • See the AR4 graph titled “Radiative forcing of climate between 1750-2005”. There CH4 is given about the same relative effect as halocarbons, and CO2 about four times larger. H2O is not given because it is highly variable over time and space, and is the largest uncertainty in climate sensitivity.

      • It does not matter much what is above water vapor layer, because water vapors are already making insulating sheet above ground.
        Imagine that you have very thick wool coat, additional micrometer layer on it from outer side really does not make difference.

        • Not a good analogy. That is because the temperature of the final IR emission to space controls the rate of IR loss at those frequencies, not the thickness of the CH4 or CO2 layer. This is the T^4 emission rate effect. And greater altitudes usually (not always) imply colder atmosphere.

          • …and also because convection. Convection and phase change combine to create rising and falling air which turn into currents which turn into thunderstorms which punch a hole right through any insulating properties of the atmosphere, which turn into hurricanes which turn into weather. Absorption/radiative properties of any particular component are meaningless because they have an actual affect on atmospheric temperature only when/if that atmosphere is completely static, which the atmosphere (nor ocean) never is. And that right there is the end of the CO₂ as thermostat knob myth. And the same with trying to turn the whole It’s-All-Our-Fault myth into a CH₄ as thermostat knob myth.

          • Well… not really.

            “Prevost also showed that the emission from a body is logically determined solely by its own internal state”

            Planck:

            “the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes place inside of this element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle)”

            https://archive.org/details/theoryofheatradi00planrich/page/6

            It can´t be argued that the atmosphere is part of the internal state of the Surface. Planck says it is true for ALL cases, no exceptions. He goes on:

            “A body A at 100◦ C. emits toward a body B at 0◦ C. exactly the same amount of radiation as toward an equally large and similarly situated body B0 at 1000◦ C. The fact that the body A is cooled by B and heated by B0 is due entirely to the fact that B is a weaker, B0 a stronger emitter than A. ”

            So, in the first pages of Planck´s book the greenhouse effect is smashed to pieces. He is very clear, everything said about how the greenhouse effect works stands in obvious opposition to Planck and Prevost. Not a good position for the greenhouse effect.

    • I wondered about that hand-waving assertion as well. There are reasonably accurate radiative models of the atmosphere, I’m pretty sure there are freely available online versions of HITRAN available. This is one of few areas where they can claim “basic science” has it covered.

      The concentration of methane is so low that its effects are still in the linear range, not saturated like CO2 where it become logarithmic. If methane is so low despite all the natural sources, it obviously does not last long. IMO the major point to check on IPCC claims is the time it remains before being oxidised to CO2 and water vapour.

      That is much less certain than arguing about the well established physics of radiation transfer, that is where they will be making “expert assessments” in place of “basic physics” to exaggerate the effect of methane as a pretext for pushing there moralistic veganism. This is another climatic false flag operation.

  2. “It entails a profound ignorance compounded by understanding so little it is not even possible to recognize one’s own ignorance. This way of thinking is then made malignant by believing it should be imposed on everyone else for their own good.”

    A very good definition of “Dangerously Stupid”.

    “It appears that when life gets too easy, we start to find petty concerns to obsess over.”
    My daughter calls these: “1st World problems”

    • Not altogether different to cognitive dissonance. While “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver complains over China’s control over demonstrations in Hong Kong about democracy, he constantly promotes everything anti-Trump and is quite happy to destroy democracy in the country he now calls home. GND-believers need a taste of it for themselves, because it’ll be less than a week before they realise how stupid they were, and they’ll be very busy trying to deny it.

      • I’m pretty sure Trump does NOT equal democracy.
        A shonky realestate dealer and reality TV star making unilateral decisions on wars, armies, international relations and trade?
        Somehow bypassing all the normal structures of military command and advisers, and all the structure of congress and a senate?

        If that’s how democracy is supposed to work, we are all in deep trouble.

        • It’s not democracy, it’s republic.
          The constitution defines who is in charge. No mention of “advisers” there.

    • The bottom line is that reducing livestock has little or no effect on the amount of methane being generated from an area of land.

      This idea of cattle grazing on wild prairies is fine. Sadly this is not always the happy, healthy life that many livestock can enjoy. The same arguments do not apply to feedlots where cattle a treated, not like living animals but like nuts and bolts in a machine and do not even have the space to turn around.

      To not even mention this massive industrial use of cattle displays “profound ignorance compounded by understanding so little it is not even possible to recognize one’s own ignorance.”

      Sadly this author is just as selective and biased in his arguments as the John “Rommel” Cook and his fake science crew at SkS.

      It seems that Heartland are applying the principal of fighting fire with fire as fight BS with BS. I don’t think that helps anything.

    • It’s not stupid or ignorant — it’s very much intentional since the Left, Greens and vegans use “by any means necessary”. Vegans are either Seventh Day Adventists or have been lured to veganism from the influences of the church. See Dr. Gary Fettke wife’s site that explains the history of the vegan diet, for example, https://isupportgary.com/articles/aussie-gps-medical-evangelists-for-sda-church
      The short version is it all started some 150 years ago based on the belief that humans should only eat “God appointed diet of grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables” based on what Adam and Eve ate in Eden.
      Then money (business interests) got involved.

      A fascinating story showing how far this movement has developed the power to control energy issues as well as diet and medicine and the food industry.

  3. Since the free energy of methane oxidation to CO2 and water is so large and negative (at ordinary T and P), and there is so much dust in the air to catalyze the oxidation, I don’t think methane persists very long in the atmosphere anyway.

    It’s just something else for greenies to try to control other people with.

  4. Methane is 0.00018% of the air, or 1.8 parts per million.
    So alarmists are telling us that 2 molecules of hot methane are able to significantly heat up 999,998 molecules of nitrogen and oxygen?

    • “So alarmists are telling us that 2 molecules of hot methane are able to significantly heat up 999,998 molecules of nitrogen and oxygen?”

      Yes, those methane molecules are feisty little devils! That can happen when you get stuck in some cow’s colon for a few hours…

  5. With a fully implemented GND, the capacity of government to pander to those who vote for a living would soon cease to exist. Then, with an overwhelming majority of the electorate having to do something others actually want or need in order to earn a living, a much-improved level of common interest would be restored. Being primates, we will probably always find things to incessantly squabble about, but we’ll be without the impossible levels of polarization that currently plague us.

    1 – So the GND would be a good idea?
    2 – Who votes for a living? As far as I can tell, being paid to vote is illegal in most places.
    3 – Most people think the current levels of polarization is due to the ease with which we can sequester ourselves into information silos on the internet.

  6. “What is conveniently ignored is…….”
    I cant imagine that the overlap in the absorbtion spectrum is ignored.

    • It is both. Just as ‘CO2’ is the accepted molecular formula and symbol for carbon dioxide. Similarly, ‘C’ is the accepted elemental formula and symbol for elemental carbon. And technical accuracy requires it is always incorrect to refer to CO2 as ‘carbon’ or ‘C’, in either technical or non-technical articles. Doing so is a glaring error and immediately makes ones accuracy with other technical details suspect.

      • I respectfully disagree, as a practicing chemical scientist, the term “symbol” is this case is not quite right. Of course, we understand the meaning.

        A chemical or molecular formula is typically used for specifying the elemental composition of a molecule. Sometimes abbreviations will be used for chemicals, such as MeOH for methanol. The formula can be used as a symbol for a compound, which I don’t object to, I am just objecting to the way that the terminology is being use.

        I agree with the definition that is described in chemistry textbooks like the definition here: https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-chemical-symbol-604909

        • I’m a Ph.D. chemist.

          CH4 is just fine for textual remarks in fields that don’t have subscripts. Everyone here knows what CH4 means, namely it is the molecular formula for methane and it is completely unambiguous. Your objections are essentially meaningless, at least picayune or pedantic.

          • That was not my point, I agree that CH4 is fine in this context.

            My objection was calling CH4 the “chemical symbol” when formula is clearly the correct term, by convention, and you appear to agree with me on that. I don’t like typos or grammatical errors either.

          • I was once in a discussion, many moons ago, where I was discussing methane/CH4 and it’s impact on global warming. I was told, without any shadow of doubt, CH4 had 4 “carbons”. I tried to get more detail but ended up giving up.

        • A distinction without a difference in everyday application. Time to up date the dictionary to reflect practical, accepted usage.

        • A better example is H2O. Everyone is familiar with H2O and make fun of dihydrogen oxide, but in reality it does not exist (outside a lab). The common water molecule is H402. Slightly heavier than air, unlike methane, yet floats in its vapor form. Having “six” atoms in a molecule allows it to absorb a much larger segment of the IR spectrum. A larger molecule than methane and 300,000 times? more abundant in the atmosphere.

  7. “…discover a new or better understanding that can extend or replace an existing one.”
    Speaking of science – I have some – you bring some.

    The atmosphere and its albedo reflect away 30% of the incoming solar energy making the earth cooler. Remove the atmosphere, the earth receives 25% to 40% more kJ/h and as a result gets hotter. Radiative GreenHouse Effect theory claims exactly the opposite.

    That the earth without an atmosphere would be similar to the moon, blazing hot lit side, deep cold dark, is not just intuitively obvious, but that scenario is supported by UCLA Diviner lunar mission data and studies by Nikolov and Kramm (U of AK).

    This actual and indisputable fact negates, refutes and tosses RGHE theory straight onto the long established rubbish heap of failed scientific theories together with Vulcan, phlogiston, Martian canals, luminiferous aether, spontaneous generation, tabula rasa, phrenology and cold fusion.

    Zero RGHE, Zero CO2 warming, Zero man caused climate change.

    Since the earth is actually hotter without an atmosphere, making RGHE just another failed theory doomed to the dumpster, all the handwavium, pseudo-science, thermodynamic nonsense pretending to explain RGHE follows close behind.

    • Rick
      The RGHE hypothesis is now falsified by data analysis. See( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfRBr7PEawY ) for radiosonde evidence that the atmosphere obeys the ideal gas law and no greenhouse effect is present. Adding more radiatitively active gasses to the atmosphere increases absorption and emission equally so no warming happens. It will be interesting to see how the climate activists respond to this work when it is published.

      • The terrestrial surface is warmed by incoming energy from the sun and upwelling energy from the molten core. You can nitpick and bicker about the relative amounts elsewhere.
        The temperature of that surface will rise according to the combined specific heat transfer capacity, kJ/kg C, of the various components.
        Energy leaves the surface by upwelling through the atmosphere moving by both non-radiative and radiative heat transfer processes.
        Qin = Qleaving at some equilibrium temperature.
        To move fluid through a hydraulic resistance requires a pressure difference.
        To move current through an electrical resistance requires a voltage difference.
        To move energy (heat) through a thermal resistance requires a temperature difference, e.g. Qcond = U A (Tsurf – Ttoa)
        Qleaving = Qnon + Qrad
        Qnon = conduction+convection+advection+latent
        Surface emissivity = Qrad/(Qnon+Qrad)
        The large Qnon presence above the oceans precludes a 0.97 emissivity. (TFK_bams09)
        For the surface to radiate as a BB requires the contiguous participating media of the atmosphere to be gone, i.e. a vacuum.
        In the grand tradition of classical science I have performed an experiment that demonstrates this.
        https://principia-scientific.org/debunking-the-greenhouse-gas-theory-with-a-boiling-water-pot/
        Can you say the same about P V = nR T? This equation works fine for explaining a compressed air receiver tank or an ICE combustion chamber or a propane bottle on a BBQ grill. It says nothing about the source or destination of energy moving through the atmosphere.
        K-T’s 396 upwelling is a theoretical “what if” calculation for a surface with 100 % radiation and zero physical reality.
        Which means the 333 upwelling/downwelling loop does not exist. Even if it did, 0.04% would still have negligible effect.
        A measured upwelling 396 is an error caused by those who do not understand how IR instruments are designed, fabricated, calibrated and applied. IR instruments don’t measure power flux, they measure relative/comparative/referenced temperatures and infer power flux based on an assumed emissivity and assuming 1.0 is assuming wrong.
        Zero RGHE, Zero GHG warming, Zero CAGW.

        • “IR instruments don’t measure power flux, they measure relative/comparative/referenced temperatures and infer power flux based on an assumed emissivity and assuming 1.0 is assuming wrong.”

          Not doubting you, but I find this interesting, could you provide some sources with more specific information about this subject? Thanks

          • Probably not. I might be alone on this.
            Might ask Apogee, Kipp Zonen and Eppley, IR manufacturers.

            IR instruments are designed around thermocouples and thermopiles which are arrays of fine T/Cs.
            A T/C is a junction of dissimilar metals that demonstrate a temperature/mv relationship. Different types have different ranges and applications: Types J, K T and E are popular.
            An array is pointed at a hot calibration source, the T/C warms and generates a mv signal which is processed into a displayed temperature. Calibration looks at the source temperature and mv signal and adjusts the circuits to display the source temperature.
            This procedure assumes the source is a BB, i.e. energy heating the source and leaving the source are equal.

            However, this procedure is performed in ambient air which means some of the heating energy is leaving by non-radiative process and the source temperature is then reduced below the BB temperature.
            So the emissivity of the source is not BB but rad/(non+rad).
            When this instrument is applied in the field it has a built in assumption of 1.0 emissivity.
            The Apogee instruction booklet actually warns the user of this possible error.

          • If you look at the equation:

            Ld=Uemf/s+σT^4

            Ld=downwelling radiation
            Uemf/S=Net radiation, heat loss from the sensor, negative(-W/m^2)
            σT^4=Emissive Power of sensor assumed to be equal to surface emission

            For Ld with 255K atmosphere and 288K surface:
            Ld=Uemf/S+σT^4=-150+390=240W/m^2

            It gives DLR 240W/m^2, equal to the atmosphere emissive Power, while the surface heat loss/transfer is only 150W/m^2. How can the surface transfer less than the atmosphere? If we rearrange for Surface upward transfer on the right, we can see what´s wrong:

            -σT^4=Uemf/S-Ld
            -σ288^4=-150W/m^2-240W/m^2

            This shows that the same equation that gives a positive Ld at 240W/m^2 for the 255K atmosphere, at the same time gives negative output for the surface. If this was correct only the atmosphere transfers heat to the surface. Uemf/S shouldn´t be set as negative, it´s supposed to be:

            σ(288^4-255^4)=150W/m^2

            Pyrgeometers use the SB-equation wrong to produce a false value. The only thing measured by the thermopile is the rate of heat loss from the sensor to the colder lowest 25m of the atmosphere.

        • NCS
          You say “Can you say the same about P V = nR T?”
          I believe that is what Soon, Connolly and Connolly are saying with their analysis of 20 million radiosonde records. Michael is quite emphatic: “The data from the weather balloons has shown categorically there is no greenhouse effect”.

        • Surface emissivity = Qrad/(Qnon+Qrad)

          This is not a correct definition of radiative emissivity.
          Emissivity= Energy radiated from the surface/Energy radiated from a perfect emitter.

          Can you say the same about P V = nR T? This equation works fine for explaining a compressed air receiver tank or an ICE combustion chamber or a propane bottle on a BBQ grill.

          PV=nRT does not apply in an IC combustion chamber, for example in the compression phase PV^𝜸 is constant not PV. Propane cylinders contain liquid propane not gas.

          • A perfect emitter must also be a perfect absorber.
            (Qnon+Qrad) = The energy perfectly absorbed = the energy imperfectly emitted.
            Emissivity = Qrad not perfectly emitted / (Q non + Q rad) Perfectly absorbed and perfectly emitted in a perfect situation, i.e. a vacuum where Q non = 0.

            There is no upwelling 396 W/m^2 perfectly emitted from the surface.
            There is no net downwelling /”back”/looping 333 W/m^2 for GHGs to “trap” and perpetually reradiate.

            By reflecting 30% of ISR the albedo, which exists only with the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler.
            Remove the atmosphere and the albedo goes with it, more kJ/h reaches the surface and the earth gets warmer.
            RGHE postulates the exact opposite of these very real observations and is therefore incorrect.

            No RGHE, No GHG warming, No man caused climate change.

    • This will be a useful reference for you in future discussions:

      “Prevost also showed that the emission from a body is logically determined solely by its own internal state”
      Planck:
      “the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes place inside of this element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle)”
      https://archive.org/details/theoryofheatradi00planrich/page/6
      It can´t be argued that the atmosphere is part of the internal state of the Surface. Planck says it is true for ALL cases, no exceptions. He goes on:
      “A body A at 100◦ C. emits toward a body B at 0◦ C. exactly the same amount of radiation as toward an equally large and similarly situated body B0 at 1000◦ C. The fact that the body A is cooled by B and heated by B0 is due entirely to the fact that B is a weaker, B0 a stronger emitter than A. ”
      So, in the first pages of Planck´s book the greenhouse effect is smashed to pieces. He is very clear, everything said about how the greenhouse effect works stands in obvious opposition to Planck and Prevost. Not a good position for the greenhouse effect.

      Enjoy! 😉

      • Thanks,

        It’s not that complicated.

        One of the bogus thermodynamic notions of climate science ‘splaining how the atmosphere warms the earth is the premise that a hot surface and a cold surface radiate towards each other going “boink” somewhere in between and cancelling/subtracting to produce a net energy output.

        For instance, from the K-T diagram and assorted clones: the 16 C, 289 K, BB LWIR upwelling from the surface meets 333 W/m^2 LWIR downwelling from the GHGs to produce a net of 63 W/m^2 that proceeds to the ToA. With more GHGs the downwelling increases, the net decreases and the earth warms.

        The following equation is often cited: Qnet = σ * A * (Thot^4 – Tcold^4).

        In a closed system containing a hot surface and a cold surface, energy will flow from the hot to the cold until equilibrium is reached and both surfaces are at the same temperature.
        To reverse this flow requires work to move energy from the cold surface back to the hot surface, aka a refrigeration loop.
        And how much work would that require?

        Qwork = σ * A * (Thot^4 – Tcold^4)

        So, some climate scientist pulled an equation he doesn’t understand from Wiki and mis-applied it to explain how GHGs “warm” the atmosphere that warms the earth.

        Except the atmosphere doesn’t warm the earth, by reflecting 30% of ISR the albedo/atmosphere cools the earth.

        A nonsense explanation for a nonsense premise.

  8. It’s such a pity the National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, Royal Society … have their own ideas about science and the “scientific method” and categorically ignore the experts here at WattsUp.

    • Yes indeed. When it comes to climate science at least, they have thrown actual science out the window, accepting what amounts to an ideology instead. They aren’t even interested in the truth.

    • Yes Dennis, it is a pity;
      Those Society’s should stop using flawed computer muddles & political agendas, & revert to observational science, just like their founders used to do !

    • Nothing to do with experts at WUWT.

      Every group you mention has revenue streams to protect and alarmism to promote to keep that revenue flowing. They are what is known as corrupt at the administrative levels.

      Scratch the surface and you will quickly learn the APS and ACS members do not support the unscientific claims by their activist leaders.

      Try reading the writings of Freeman Dyson and many of the famous physicists of the 20th Century.

  9. Regarding “Plant material not eaten by livestock is only consumed by something else or decomposed by microbial activity with similar amounts of methane being produced.” Far from true. Ruminants produce much more methane than other herbivorous animals for the same amount of plant biomass consumed. As for decomposition: Methane production varies widely with how anaerobic the decomposition process is.

    • Donald,

      Thanks for making this point. I’d add that 60% of the mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cows and pigs. 36% are humans. 4% wildlife. I’d be interested to know what percentage of the livestock are cows.

      Over a 20 year period, CH4 absorbs 84 times the radiation as an equal mass of CO2. The quantities may be relatively minute, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a difference.

      Sorry, Walter Starck, but you are no atmospheric chemist. There’s no reason to take your word for something that is far better understood by those with expertise in the area. Nice try.

      Few people are advocating veganism for everyone. That wouldn’t be ethical, considering the importance of protein in the diet. But Americans in general eat far more meat than we need to; cutting back on beef would probably make us healthier. It’s a way of making those who are concerned about climate change look like nutty radicals to suggest they all think we should ban all fossil fuels everywhere, eat only plants, destroy the economy, etc.

      • How are those percentages calculated? Certainly not numbers. Biomass?

        By the way pigs aren’t ruminants.

      • “Over a 20 year period, CH4 absorbs 84 times the radiation as an equal mass of CO2. The quantities may be relatively minute, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a difference.”

        There are approximately 225 times more CO2 molecules per unit volume of air than there are methane molecules. So even if the 84x number is correct, ignoring all other things, atmospheric methane absorbs 2.7 times less IR than CO2 does. If a methane molecule absorbs 25 times more IR than CO2 does, then atmospheric methane absorbs 9 times less IR than CO2 does. That’s almost an order of magnitude less.

        • It’s actually worse than that the molecular weight of CO2 is 44 and linear, the molecular weight of CH4 is 16 and symmetrical. If we are going to use crazy classical physics and momentum you have another magnitude of variation for collisions.

      • Kristi Silber “60% of the mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cows and pigs. 36% are humans. 4% wildlife”

        Curious what percentage of your 4% “wildlife” is rodents – but even at the full 4%, you’re claiming there are nine times more people than rodents?

        [ “There’s no reason to take your word for something that is far better understood by those with expertise in the area. Nice try.” ]

      • “Over a 20 year period, CH4 absorbs 84 times the radiation as an equal mass of CO2.”
        No, it’s closer to 8 than 84. The embellishment of its influence gets larger with every repetition. It astounds me. To do the math from another angle, 84×1.8ppm= The equivalent of 150 ppm carbon dioxide making the total equivalent of 550 ppm in the atmosphere… Where’s the heat? No warming trend in 20 years tells me the sky is not falling and the warmathology doomsday cult can be ignored. (anaerobic bacteria has been making natural gas for 3 billion years to the grand total of 1.8 ppm, which is as close to zero as any atmospheric gas can get. There is more helium in a sample at 4 ppm)

    • ‘2Methane production varies widely with how anaerobic the decomposition process is.”

      Yes indeed. Most methane is produced anaerobically in wetlands. Drain all swamps!

    • Donald L. Klipstein
      October 14, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      “Ruminants produce much more methane than other herbivorous animals for the same amount of plant biomass consumed.”

      Is this just because they’re ruminants using anerobic decomposition or is there some other process at work? Do you have any thoughts on why Envisat satellite data shows such poor correlation with cattle numbers and CH4 emissions? The correlation seems to be more with rainforests and Siberian tundra than with cattle I seem to remember.

  10. Methane makes up just 0.000187% of earth’s atmosphere…. That’s Scary Bad!
    CO2 makes up just 0.041% of earth’s atmosphere…. and that’s Scarier Worser!
    Combined, they make up just 0.041% of our atmosphere, by volume and…
    OMG! Like – They’re gonna burn up the planet in the next 12 years!!!
    /sarc off

    Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf negligible gas molecules?

    • Those arguing against AGW effect of increase of CO2 have been telling two stories that disagree with each other. One is that CO2’s absorption spectrum is already saturated, so adding CO2 won’t change anything. (Figure 1 disagrees with this.) The other is that CO2 is a “trace gas” and therefore negligible. Figure 1 does not have a statement as to whether or not the absorption spectra of various greenhouse gases is for average presence of them in Earth’s atmosphere for relevance to their greenhouse gas effect, although I have seen elsewhere similar absorption spectra with statements that they are for relevance in Earth’s atmosphere, at least for CO2 and water vapor.

      As for negligibility of trace gases: Consider that something with presence of one part in a thousand or even per 10,000 where the total pressure is around .3 to 1 percent of Earth’s average surface atmospheric pressure can be so dominant and strong in emission spectrum (from ground state, so similarly having an absorption spectrum) that this is used in the most efficient light bulbs ever having significant deployment since the 1950s (low pressure sodium vapor lamps at 180 lumens/watt), and the most efficient lightbulbs having high common use, as weighted by light produced (fluorescent lamps using low pressure mercury vapor at partial pressure of millionths to about 1/100,00 of 1,000 milibars.)

      • “One is that CO2’s absorption spectrum is already saturated, so adding CO2 won’t change anything. (Figure 1 disagrees with this.)”

        It is a very close approximation to reality though. Here is an easily worked version of MODTRAN:

        http://lorelei.uchicago.edu/modtran/

        Press “Save this run to background”

        Double the amount of CO2 to 800 ppm

        Not much difference eh? The most visible change is actually in the center spike in CO2 absorption band where CO2 is so saturated that radiation to space is from the stratosphere and actually increases with more CO2

        • I tried this, and I saw the deepest downward spike dip lower. And total IR radiation decreased. Although I agree with radiation to space at wavelengths where CO2 is most absorbing (and emitting) being from high altitudes. The stratosphere is cooling, as predicted.

      • Donald,
        You are claiming a carefully engineered and constrained volume of metal vapors with electrical charge applied is analogous to our nascent earth atmosphere? Really? That is so far beyond an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison attempt, it is frankly ludicrous.

        • It is apples and oranges, but shows that trace gases can have a lot more than trace effects in terms of radiation physics. The metal vapor atoms that have strong spectral effects in these lamps are not ionized.

          For that matter, mercury at room temperature and exposed to air produces a vapor so strongly absorbing of its 253.7 nm line that a plume of mercury vapor from a small open container of mercury casts a shadow on a fluorescent object being irradiated by a low pressure mercury vapor germicidal lamp. The vapor pressure of mercury vapor in air saturated with mercury vapor at 20 degrees C is about 1.72 millionths of average sea level atmospheric pressure.

  11. Regarding “Even more importantly, the IR absorption spectrum of methane is overlapped by that of water vapor, which has a hugely broader IR absorption spectrum. It is also on average about 10,000 to 20,000 times more abundant in the atmosphere than is methane. No matter how little or how much methane is in the atmosphere, all the IR in its absorption spectrum is still going to be absorbed, if not by methane, then by water vapor. More methane adds nothing to the effect on temperature.”:

    Figure 1 shows methane’s absorption bands being at wavelengths where absorption by water vapor is moderately weak. Although the atmosphere has more water vapor than methane, methane is more strongly absorbing of IR in its absorption bands than water vapor is in its absorption bands.

      • I tried this, and doubling atmospheric methane from 1.7 to 3.4 PPM decreased radiation to space by .88 W/m^2 with surface temperature unchanged. The CO2 change that I found matching this was increasing from 400 to 480 PPM.

  12. Since you’re in part talking about cattle, a very little discussed reality is that there are microbes that live in pasture soil that eat methane as their only food source (methanotrophs).

    I have looked for, but never found research about what percentage of cattle burbs raised on pasture are eaten by methanotrophs before the methane actually mixes with the bulk atmosphere. I’m convinced it is a relatively high percentage and I’ve seen some claims that it is actually above 100%.

    If it being above 100% makes no sense, let me give you some reasoning for how it might be possible.

    With pure ungrazed grass (such as a golf course) the methane density of the air directly above the atmosphere is only 1.8 PPM methane. That isn’t enough for methanotrophs to live on, so all there is is dormant spores. Thus no methane is eaten by methanotrophs.

    But, for grazed pasture there is a lot cow burped methane floating just above the surface. Plenty of food for methanotrophs, so they are alive and well. But they are so successful, they eat all of the burbed methane, plus some of the background methane!

    What the truth is, I don’t know. I’ve spent some time looking but not found any solid answers.

  13. Regarding “However, this is highly uncertain and can vary from 21 to 84 or more times greater than CO2, depending on the methods used for estimation.”: 80-84 is how many times more joules of heat is stopped from being radiated away into space over a 20 year period by a given quantity of added methane than by the same quantity of added CO2 (at a given global temperature). 1/4 of that is how many times as many joules of heat is stopped from being radiated away by a given quantity of added methane in comparison to the same quantity of added CO2 (at a given global temperature) in the long run. The difference is because the atmospheric lifetime of methane is much shorter than 20 years and the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is longer than 20 years.

  14. “the more it appears that the most effective solution may simply be to just try it. Doing so would immediately squelch the endless arguments and polarization.”

    Your belief in people becoming more rationale if allowed to fail is NOT based in historical fact. People will in fact double-down until they destroy their own civilization, culture, or country, rather than face the facts about being wrong. Only those not somehow vested in the original belief would in fact become evermore resistive. This entire narrative is about power and control.

    Most people are not trained in science or skeptical thinking – colleges certainly do not teach either anymore. They are not even interested. They follow the most “group-acceptable” ideas and charismatic leaders – which is why Hollywood idiots are often effective spokespersons.

    If you allow your institutions of higher learning (colleges and universities) to be overtaken by agenda-minded activists (or social warriors) who have no understanding of science, then you have lost the battle of of remaining a rationale society. We are just about there. The new generation of young men and women do not seem to understand or care, so it isn’t going to get better.

    It will not matter that the hypothesis of catastrophic climate change is flat-out wrong, they will migrate to a new equally false narrative to keep going after power and control.

    • Spot on, Robert. I often have fantasized about just letting the left take over for a few years and letting the inevitable consequences lead to a new awakening of the founding principles of freedom. Withdrawing like John Galt and his followers. But now I know it would make no difference, because being on the left is never having to say you are wrong.

  15. Regarding “In the case of methane, and unlike CO2, it also breaks down chemically in the atmosphere, with a half-life of only about five years.:

    This is a bit of an exaggeration of the shortness of the atmospheric lifetime of methane. Most sources say half life of 6-8 years.

  16. How do you know you’ve met a vegan?
    Don’t worry they will tell you a few times in the first couple of minutes!

    I’ve watched a number of videos in which ex-vegans tell their stories of this diet and the ills that it has caused them. Sounds like a cult, sort of like AGW people

    • There are few true Vegans, most cheat to get the Vitamin B12 they need, and the rest haven’t been at it long enough to notice the ill health effects yet.

  17. Brian Valentine, of October 14th, the question could also b e “”Why do our politicians take any notice of these two people ?””

    That explanation about the properties of Methane is the best I have ever read, my thanks.

    MJE VK5ELL

  18. No, we don’t need to implement the GND just so we can learn how bad an idea it is, any more than we need to put our hand a red hot stove top to find out how bad an idea that is. Some of those bad effects could be very long term.

  19. The radiative greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or anywhere else in solar system for that matter. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction as well. In order to rid the Earth of so called greenhouse gases we need to get of all manifestations of H2O and hydrocarbons including all hydrocarbon based life. Doing so will have virtually no effect on global temperatures. What we need to cool the Earth’s surface is to lower the surface pressure. The molecule that contributes most to the Earth’s current surface pressure. Currently there is no practical way of significantly reducing N2 is the Earth’s atmosphere.

  20. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) co-introduced the Super Pollutants Act of 2019 that would regulate methane to some degree in the US. IMO, either the guy is highly ignorant (which I doubt), or he’s a sleeper pretending to be something he’s not while pursuing a pernicious agenda. While everyone is focused on CO2, he’s pushing a backdoor, incremental approach to regulating methane as part of his Green Real Deal (thesis, antithesis, synthesis). If passed, this law would be the first step to, among other things, eventually regulating the beef industry with the goal of eventually making beef too expensive to eat via a methane tax. Everyone needs to be aware of his sleight of hand and work to thwart his treachery.

  21. An excellent article about methane, which (as a commenter above said) should be required reading for any climate change alarmist.

    A few issues were not addressed in this article. Some warming alarmists claim that permafrost contains clathrates, or hydrates of methane, which they claim could emit methane to the atmosphere if the permafrost melted. What is Dr. Starck’s evaluation about how much methane could be emitted from clathrates?

    Other warmists worry about accidental emissions of methane in the production of petroleum or natural gas. Since natural gas is about 85 – 90% methane, any losses of methane mean losses of valuable product for a producer of oil or natural gas, which they would seek to minimize in order to maximize production and profits, regardless of the environmental impacts.

    Also, while CO2 concentrations have been increasing at a rate of about 3 ppm per year for decades, despite the known sinks in the ocean and by photosynthesis, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have been stable at about 1.8 ppm. Apparently, both man-made and natural emissions of methane have either been decomposed chemically, or may escape the atmosphere. Methane has a molecular weight of 16 (less than the other gases in the atmosphere N2 = 28, O2 = 32, CO2 = 44), so it has a higher mean molecular speed at the same temperature, and will tend to rise through the atmosphere, and some may escape Earth’s gravity.

    • Steve Z: “[…] and some may escape Earth’s gravity.”

      Aha! The real reason astronauts wear those suits. It’s stinky-poo up there ;o)
      .
      .
      .
      @Walter Starck – I particularly enjoyed the first four introductory paragraphs. That was a very tidy delineation of science from faith of any sort.

    • It would photooxidize in the presence of ozone and monoatomic oxygen long before it got through the ozone layer 50 – 150 km up.

  22. Atmospheric methane —
    And wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctilucent_cloud) says …

    Noctilucent clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth. They consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight. Noctilucent roughly means “night shining” in Latin. They are most often observed during the summer months from latitudes between 50° and 70° north and south of the Equator. They are visible only during local summer months and when the Sun is below the observer’s horizon, but while the clouds are still in sunlight. Recent studies suggest that increased atmospheric methane emissions produce additional water vapor once the methane molecules reach the mesosphere – creating, or reinforcing existing noctilucent clouds.[1]
    [my bold]

    So how did that (relatively heavy) methane get so high in the atmosphere? I don’t suppose that anyone has actually quantified by observation and physical measurements, what the methane levels are in the mesosphere, or indeed at all levels of the atmosphere.

    • The CH4 molecule isn’t “relatively heavy”. It is actually much lighter than oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and slightly lighter than water vapor.

  23. “Such natural generation of methane is similar to what is being attributed to livestock.”

    To the best of my knowledge, CH4 is CH4, regardless of created by cows or microbes.

    • The CH4 from cows is created by microbes. Cellulose can only be broken down by microbes. Whether they live in the soil, in swamps or inside cows or termites is immaterial.

      Incidentally there is a theory that the long and severe glacial/low CO2 interval from the late Devonian into the Permian (with huge coal deposits) was due to the evolution of decomposers lagging the evolution of forests.

  24. I believe that termites may produce the same amount of methane as livestock. Difficult to count their numbers though. If some folks claim that we should reduce livestock numbers, then surely we should also reduce termite numbers.

  25. It’s not just the marxist left that wants to stop meat eating for idealistic and political reasons; the capitalist right wants to create opportunities for great profit by throttling back the consumption of beef. How does that work? One way is for fake meat companies to give stock options to legislators who push legislation to regulate methane via a methane tax. That makes real meat more expensive and fake meat relatively less expensive. Consequently, the fake meat business booms, and large stock holders become rich. That’s one way how legislators become millionaires in Congress.

  26. Cows are Climate Change Neutral.

    Enjoy your steak in full confidence that your eating habits are doing no harm to the Earth’s atmosphere or climate.

  27. I think that the problem with science is that, ever since the Germans invented the research university, science has been funded by government.

    When you mix honey and ordure, you get ordure.

    And when you mix science and politics you get politics.

  28. “a hypothetically lengthy persistence of many years in the atmosphere”

    How about some evidence? The persistence used in calculations is in fact 12.4 years (AR5 Table 8.7.1) which is derived from time to oxidation.
    “What is conveniently ignored is that the IR absorption spectrum of methane is limited to two quite narrow bands.”

    Where is the evidence that it is ignored? The band structure is the basis of any calculation of IR absorption, as AR5 8.7.1.2 explains. The narrowness of the bands results in mathane having only a quarter of the effect of CO2.

    “Plant material not eaten by livestock is only consumed by something else or decomposed by microbial activity with similar amounts of methane being produced.”
    Wrong. Methane can only be produced by breakdown of cellulose in an anaerobic environment – ie with exclusion of oxygen. Livestock rumens can do that; bacteria can’t, unless the material is buried or in anaerobic swamp etc.

      • From your link:
        “Most of the methane from natural sources in Earth’s atmosphere is thought to originate from biological processes in anoxic environments.”

        • There’s an awful lot of important grey area between the two. It is more helpful to consider “low oxygen” rather than “anoxic”.

          It is also helpful to consider the staggering large amounts of methane hydrates in the ocean. These add some perspective to the ridiculous theories espoused about what effect a few ruminants will have munching on a small fraction of the vegetation on a small fraction of the land area.

          Like the author, I also consider it to be one of the most outrageous stories foisted on us (yet) by the global warmers in cahoots with the vegans and militant vegetarians.

        • Nick they are both right……one is just the boundary layer…it moves up and down and that’s what makes it work

    • Bacteria can’t produce methane. Whew, we’re safe than from the bacteria contained in permafrost. No more permafrost bomb…that was sure close

    • Nick. Not being familiar with the fine details of the models as you are, you may be able to help me. Do the models attenuate the incoming /outgoing IR with increasing optical depth which would be fairly important where absorption bands overlap for more trace ghgs.

    • Nick Stokes
      October 14, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      “Livestock rumens can do that; bacteria can’t, unless the material is buried or in anaerobic swamp etc.”

      Nick, so are you saying that 100g of grass decomposed by termites will produce less CH4 than if digested by a ruminant?

      What do you see as the reason for the Envisat discrepancy between ruminant numbers and global CH4 emissions? There seems to be a very poor correlation and also there’s the huge northern and southern hemisphere difference.

  29. The IPCC says that by mass, methane has a Global Warming Potential of 86 including feedbacks, 85 without. That is to say they are claiming that it is 85 times more powerful than CO2. This figure has increased over the years as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased. You can be sure that the GWP of methane will increase substantially when the IPCC’s AR6 is released. That is really nuts if you think about it.

    On average methane increases a few parts per billion ppb annually. By the end of the century that might amount to as much as 0.5 parts per million (ppm). What the GWP says is a similar increase in CO2 of 0.5 ppm will cause 1/85th the temperature rise caused by 0.5 ppm methane So an increase in temperature due to an increases in CO2 from 400 to 400.5 ppm can be calculated and multiplied by 85. Then because methane’s mass is less than CO2 (16/44) the final answer is multiplied by 0.36. It comes out to be about 0.05 deg Celsius or nearly nothing and unmeasurable.

    Here’s the article in Nature and link where this nonsense comes from:

    Model calculations of the relative effects of CFCs and their replacements on global warming
    Donald A. Fisher, Charles H. Hales, Wei-Chyung Wang, Malcolm K. W. Ko & N. Dak Sze
    Nature volume 344, pages513–516 (1990)

    Abstract:
    Halocarbons can contribute to global warming by absorbing long-wave radiation. Concern over the depletion of stratospheric ozone has led to inter-national agreements that restrict future uses of fully halogenated compounds, such as chloro-fluorocarbons CFC-11 and -12. But most compounds proposed as replacements also absorb long-wave radiation, and so their potential contributions as greenhouse gases need to be assessed. Model calculations show that the replacement compounds have an effect about an order of magnitude less than that of their regulated counterparts.

    If you’re still not convinced, try to find out how much methane, business as usual, is on course to run up global temperatures by 2100. You won’t find the answer to that anywhere.

  30. “The other major systems of organized understanding are ideology and religion. In these systems, understanding derives from what is deemed to be revealed truth, which is unethical even to question. Reason and evidence are subordinated to a supporting role that’s restricted to selected examples that accord with belief. The highest achievement here is not to discover truth, as that is accepted to be known with absolute certainty, but rather to defend such belief from any questioning and to maintain it without change or doubt, regardless of any and all reason and evidence that does not support it.”

    You can define religion that way if you want to, but I would strongly disagree. That’s not my understanding or practice of religion. Religion is as much seeking to discover truth as science is, perhaps more so. The questions religion seeks to answer are different than scientific questions (mostly). Nevertheless, the objective is the same – seeking truth.

  31. To me the elephant in the room remains natural submarine emissions from continental shelves. Huge areas of the shelves are yet to be explored. I am yet to see any quantification of this source, mainly because it would be hellishly difficult.

    I suspect that emissions from farmed ruminants are insignificant when compared with natural sources.

    M

  32. …didn’t like the bit about religion at the outset but let’s let that go. I’ll keep reading. Religion works best where science cannot go. Different realms. No conflict.

    • Exactly.
      It can be fun watching willfully obtuse materialists twist themselves into knots in order to bitterly cling to their religious belief that there is no God.

  33. Not to mention that on a hot day the methane slowly combusts when exposed to oxygen and ceases to be methane anyway.

  34. “The whole idea of becoming vegans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of methane from livestock displays an extraordinary level of scientific, environmental, and economic ignorance. This goes well beyond just not knowing or being mistaken. It entails a profound ignorance compounded by understanding so little it is not even possible to recognize one’s own ignorance. This way of thinking is then made malignant by believing it should be imposed on everyone else for their own good.”

    Ehh…seems like a bit of a slam against vegans based on one claim some of them may make. Not going to argue that being vegan is going to reduce methane levels, but there are many valid healthful, environmental and economic reasons to be vegan. This country in insanely overweight as a whole. Eating more nutrient dense vegan meals would not be a bad thing. However, no way this should be imposed on a society against their will.

  35. What makes cows/cattle so special with regards to methane? Prior to the dominance of cows/cattle there were millions of bison here in the US, not to mention all the other ruminants. Ruminants are everywhere in the world and they all emit methane to one degree or another. The ignorance and/or duplicity of the alarmism crowd is disgusting.

  36. Beef is not the only product we get from cows. The loonies want to ban milk, cheese, yoghurt and ICE CREAM, too. If the kids knew that ice cream was on the list of climate taboo foods, they might not want to join the How Dare You movement. Somebody should tell Ben and Jerry about this.

  37. “It appears that when life gets too easy, we start to find petty concerns to obsess over.”

    Such a small observation … and so pertinent!

  38. “In this regard, climatology—and to an increasing extent, much of the field of biology—has ceased to be science. It has instead become a hybrid of ideology and religion, employing selected science to lend authority to existing beliefs, more like Scientology than any actual science.”

    Just because you don’t understand it (and clearly you don’t) doesn’t make it a belief. What is the above but a belief?

    • “In this regard, climatology—and to an increasing extent, much of the field of biology—has ceased to be science. It has instead become a hybrid of ideology and religion, employing selected science to lend authority to existing beliefs, more like Scientology than any actual science.”
      Just because you don’t understand it (and clearly you don’t) doesn’t make it a belief. What is the above but a belief?

      It has become a religion, Kristi, insofar as “the science is settled” and no discussion or even presentation of said science, let alone critical viewpoints, is allowed in the majority of mainstream media. From the BBC, for example, we get only unsupported tabloid-level scare stories going well beyond even the most serious claims of the IPCC and no dissenting voice will be heard. It is even their official policy.

    • Kristi,

      When you now have 52 (or, more) genders and biological males can claim they are women and vice versa, yes, biology has ceased to be a science.

  39. Looks mostly overlapped, but what the heck, mild warming is a benefit to the planet.

    The real issue is lack of WV increase, with no feedback the warming from CO2 (and CH4, whcih breaks down into CO2) is beneficial. Add in it’s greening effect and it is of staggering benefit.

    What is the figure, something like 3.5 trillion $ of agriculture is due to man made CO2?

  40. Buried in this article is a comparison between climate science and Scientology. I have no idea whether that’s fair, but do quite like the term which occurred to me as a result: “Climate Scientology”. Somebody has probably already thought of this.

  41. “The more one considers the multiple unrealities of what is coming to be called the Green New Deal (GND), the more it appears that the most effective solution may simply be to just try it.”

    This might be so if we were the only country on the planet. But we are not. The national security implications of the catastrophe that attempting it would result in are enormous.

  42. “No matter how little or how much methane is in the atmosphere, all the IR in its absorption spectrum is still going to be absorbed, if not by methane, then by water vapor. More methane adds nothing to the effect on temperature.”

    err wrong.

    next

  43. Another interesting peer-reviewed paper on the subject:
    Glatzle, Albrecht. (2014). Severe Methodological Deficiencies Associated with Claims of Domestic Livestock Driving Climate Change.
    Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B 2. 2. 586-601.

  44. All this is assuming that the composition of the atmosphere has any effect upon its temperatures, because of “greenhouse effect”. Just a quick study of other planets show that this is not so – the temperatures of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune are exactly what they are based solely on the distance from the Sun and the density of the atmosphere. If that is so for those planets, why should it not be for Earth?

  45. “It appears that when life gets too easy, we start to find petty concerns to obsess over.”
    This is true, and the source of all the doomsayers.

    “Doing something really stupid and suffering the consequences very effectively serves to reconnect us to reality. Climate change and the new version of Green politics provides a rich opportunity for such a correction.”
    It would also result in massive human suffering and death. I would prefer a more reasoned (intelligent) solution that doesn’t involve totalitarianism, reeducation camps, and a collapse of the world economy.

  46. “As the unfolding EU experience already indicates, recession with rising costs of living and unemployment plus chronic government deficits would begin to accelerate.”

    Oh well!

  47. In your opening you mischaracterized religious understanding of truth.

    The encyclical of Saint Pope John-Paul II, Fides et Ratio. He begins with this beautiful image;
    “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth;”

  48. “Plant material not eaten by livestock is only consumed by something else or decomposed by microbial activity with similar amounts of methane being produced.”

    Maybe. However, if that plant material is consumed by urban man, rather than a ruminant, the cellulose will be excreted as waste and degraded in sewage treatment plants by around 50% aerobic degradation (CO2) and 50% anaerobic degradation (CH4) (Verachtert et al, 1982). This particular point is a matter of gas yields from different pathways of cellulose degradation under different foodstuff consumption circumstances. We need more data analysis and less assertions about half-truths, before reaching any form of conclusion.

  49. “Most people make decisions based on emotion.” Ian was right, or at least close to the mark. My rejoinder was that maybe we would want an engineer who is building a bridge to do some (unemotional) analysis first. I could see a crack forming in his certainty that emotional based decisions were always the best.

    “Science is, above all, a search for understanding …”
    I would argue that this, your first premise, could be stated more simply as, “Science is, above all, a search for the truth.” But what about the decisions we make every day, all day long. In the real world, we don’t often have enough information to even begin an analysis. The use of logical fallacies in the absence of information or data upon which to base our decision is then rational, as it’s all we’ve got to go on. Go with the crowd, or with the experts unless your gut tells you something else. In many real world situations, the use of logical fallacies is rational, as it may be expected to lead you to a better decision than if you flipped a coin.

    Many of this Blog’s readership over the years, have provided questions and insights into how people are often misled, how they reason, and how those of us who are “deniers” can go about convincing those who are “believers” that there are leaks in their dike. The “believers” may not have a technical background, and may be motivated by simply wanting to do “what is right”. Of course, there are others …

    But enough of this; to my point now! A few years ago I met someone who marketed seminars and workshops in a system called the Enneagram. This is a non-scientifically proven framework for understanding how people reason and make decisions (my simplified definition for our purpose here).

    “The other major systems of organized understanding are ideology and religion.”
    Just as the author’s second premise provides a total of three systems for “organized understanding”, the Enneagram system provides three basic systems designated as: the Head, the Body and the Heart. The Head represents logical or scientific reasoning; the Heart represents emotion; but the Body is a bit harder to understand. Think of professional athletes getting into trouble all the time. They don’t always think with their head or their heart. Some might say, the Body favors physical action: just do something, and even if it turns out to be wrong, you will have eliminated this possibility. The conflicts inherent in the author’s premises are viewed in the Enneagram as a pole connecting/separating any two of these three perspectives and generate conflicts as well.

    I’m not trying to plug the Enneagram. I’m just presenting a simple framework for thought. Rather than immediately stating your position logically, listen to what the other is saying. Is he or she a Body Type or a Heart Type? Can you phrase your argument in those terms?

    Decades ago, circa 1990, I briefly met a lady in her 30s who would later become a multi-millionaire as an extremely successful Management Consultant. I would later learn that she had experienced a mid-life crisis, and had begun a study of the Enneagram that helped her to reshape her life.

    I’m just offering some new food for a different way of thinking.

  50. “Dennis Horne October 15, 2019 at 3:53 pm
    Where on Earth did you get such nonsense? Provide link please.”

    Annie get your gun.

    Dennis get your links:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=correct+the+albedo+for+no+clouds+the+equilibrum+temperature+is+%2B1C+rather+than+-18C&client=ms-android-huawei&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

    __________________________________________

    Without warranty:

    “How does cloud cover affect the rate of absorption?

    on Surface Temperatures. The greenhouse effect is not only produced by the greenhouse gases, clouds absorb long wavelength (infrared) radiation from the surface of the Earth and radiate some of it back down.

    … The albedo of low thick clouds such as stratocumulus is about 90 percent.”

    w/o2:

    “PEOPLE ALSO ASK

    Are clouds positive or negative feedback?

    The albedo of increased cloudiness cools the climate, resulting in a negative feedback; while the reflection of infrared radiation by clouds warms the climate, resulting in a positive feedback.

    wikipedia.org › wiki

    Cloud feedback – Wikipedia”

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