Natural feedback or human activities? A new study points to agricultural and industrial sources as the main cause to the soaring atmospheric methane

Peer-Reviewed Publication

SCIENCE CHINA PRESS

Atmospheric methane concentration over the past decades
IMAGE: MONTHLY MEAN GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC BURDEN OF METHANE AND METHANE GROWTH RATE AS ANALYZED FROM MEASUREMENTS COLLECTED BY NOAA’S GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS REFERENCE NETWORK. CREDIT: NOAA GLOBAL MONITORING LABORATORY view more  CREDIT: ©SCIENCE CHINA PRESS

Climate change is causing rapid warming in the arctic and tropical regions where natural wetland store large pools of carbon and emit methane. As climate continues to warm, there is widespread concern that wetland methane emissions will increase and contribute even more to atmospheric greenhouse gases and climate change. Since 2007, atmospheric methane concentrations have increased at rapid rates, with 2020 having the largest observed methane increase since systematic measurements began. The precise causes are difficult to quantify because methane is emitted from a diverse number of natural and human-activities, and the removal of methane is from complex chemical processes. Here, using new data on methane stable isotopes, combined with thousands of potential emissions scenarios, a new study confirms that emissions from anthropogenic sources, including agriculture, landfill/waste, and fossil fuel industry, are clearly the driver for the renewed rise of the potent greenhouse gas since 2007, while global wetlands play a minor role with a contribution of less than 20%.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with 80 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and responsible for almost half of the global warming since the industrial revolution. Methane is also a precursor to ground-level ozone pollution and thus tackling methane emissions would bring short-term climate benefits as well as improve air quality. Since 2007, atmospheric methane concentrations have been increasing rapidly, and even more so since 2014, and the causes for the increase have been debated in terms of the contribution from natural processes versus human activities.

According to the Global Carbon Project’s Global Methane Budget, roughly one-third of global methane emissions come from microbes in natural wetlands that produce methane when decomposing organic material where no oxygen is available. Human activities are known account for about 60 percent of global methane emissions, which include agriculture, landfills and waste, and oil and gas activities, each accounting for 20–25% of global methane emissions. This means that any changes in natural wetlands to the rising temperature could potentially have a significant influence on atmospheric methane levels.

The scientists tested a comprehensive set of emission scenarios using data from different greenhouse gas inventories and wetland models. They found that the emissions scenarios assuming large wetland methane increases did not match the observed atmospheric isotopic record. In contrast, the methane emission sources linked to human activities better matched the observed atmospheric isotopes. The work provides a detailed attribution of methane growth to agricultural emissions that increased by almost 20% from 2000 to 2017 driven by rising livestock populations, landfills and waste emissions rising by 10 million metric tonnes, largely attributing to an over 40% increase in the world urban populations from 2000 to 2017. The emissions from oil and natural gas industry have increased by 5 million metric tonnes with large uncertainty, and coal production increased by 40% globally from the same period.

“Increased human activities clearly emerge as the main cause of rising atmospheric methane concentrations. No evidence for strong natural feedback of climate on wetland methane emissions exists for now despite its potential dominant role in the future as the temperature goes higher”. says Zhen Zhang, an Earth-systems researcher at University of Maryland College Park who led this study.

“This study shows the value of observing methane isotope signatures as a technique to isolate and better understand methane sources. Sustained and strategic observations of methane over wetland regions are needed to detect climate change feedbacks, which become more likely each year as climate warms.” said Benjamin Poulter, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The recent 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also highlighted methane mitigation as an essential component to addressing climate change. This study demonstrates that mitigation in sectors dominated by human activities would have a significant impact on the growth of atmospheric methane.

“Good news is the natural feedback is still not that strong. But without substantial mitigation actions, we will lose the opportunity to control methane as we will have no solution with the natural feedback once it’s there”. said Zhen Zhang.

###

See the article:

Anthropogenic emissions are the main contribution to the rise of atmospheric methane (1993-2017)

https://academic.oup.com/nsr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nsr/nwab200/6425695


JOURNAL

National Science Review

DOI

10.1093/nsr/nwab200 

1.9 10 votes
Article Rating
127 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 2:19 am

I believe cows produce around 1.3 to 1.5 tonnes of methane annually, out of a total of 570 million tonnes. Now tell me again why cow’s methane emissions are important… And since termites produce around 20 million tonnes, shouldn’t we be focusing our methane reduction efforts on termites?

Old Goat(@khazi22)
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 2:24 am

Methane’s great stuff. We can burn it!

Sara
Reply to  Old Goat
November 18, 2021 4:31 am

Hear, hear! Break out the kilebasa and hot dogs and ground beef! Party on!!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Sara
November 18, 2021 9:48 am

Can’t wait for that “final” BBQ, when ALL meat is banned, I for one am going to pig-out on every chunk of Beef/Pork/Lamb/Venison I can get my hands on!!!

The Saint
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 18, 2021 6:58 pm

Methane is worth capturing. After all, it is the same stuff as natural gas. Vast methane releases have occurred in the oceans and even are assumed to have sunk several ships caught in such releases.

Last edited 2 months ago by The Saint
Sara
Reply to  The Saint
November 19, 2021 6:24 am

The Bermuda Triangle, which is awash in pockets of methane on the Atlantic coast, is notorious for swamping ships and sinking them.

MarkW
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 6:12 am

For the most part, cows replaced buffalo. I doubt the overall methane releases changed all that much.

pigs_in_space
Reply to  MarkW
November 18, 2021 12:41 pm

From what I understand one of the greatest threats to urban environments comes from wild boar.
They have been such a free bonus card by the greenies in most of the EU, populations have grown and multiplied to levels which are unthinkable.
If we are to go after the poor cow which gives us loads of benefits, perhaps we should be going after the feral stuff first.

It tastes absolutely magnificent on a BBQ!

The Saint
Reply to  pigs_in_space
November 18, 2021 7:15 pm

Reminds me of a little poem I heard many years ago.

I kissed the little brown eyed cow who gives us milk and cheese;
Now I’m in the hospital with hoof and mouth disease.

Sara
Reply to  pigs_in_space
November 19, 2021 6:25 am

Does ham from a wild boar have the same fine quality as a hog raised by Hoomans? Just asking, in case I want to use it to make bean soup again.

StephenP
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 6:33 am

The UK has 10 million cattle, India has 305 million, Brazil has 255 million, the world total is 1000 million so even if we get rid of all the UK cattle I cannot see it making any significant difference to the world methane emissions from cattle.
Good luck to anyone who tells the Indians to kill off any proportion of their ‘ sacred ‘ cows.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 7:32 am

In the science of doom creation, this should be called “intestinal transition”: from BS*** to BF***. In the European Union, “S2F”. Sort of.

Last edited 2 months ago by Joao Martins
Joel O’Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 18, 2021 8:28 am

in the US, “FJB” works to convey a proper response to the contrived climate problems.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
November 18, 2021 10:15 am

They cheer on the woke with “Let’s Go Brandon!” The green profiteers don’t realize the chant is often directed at them.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 18, 2021 9:16 am

Here in the States the Beef Council promoted their product with a television commercial narrated by Robert Mitchum that closed with the tag line “Beef! Its what’s for dinner.”

We need a new Commercial, warning us of the impending Central Authoritarian takeover: “Fear, its what’s for dinner.”

Dave Fair
Reply to  Bill Powers
November 18, 2021 10:16 am

“Insects! Its what’s for dinner.”

Kevin McNeill
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 18, 2021 11:18 am

In my world it would be called S4B.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 7:47 am

Graeme#4,
The collectivists at the core of Climastrology, like their brethren in the CCP, feel a close kinship with the mighty termite; and believe that humans should think and behave similarly!
It’s hard to conceive of trying to reduce a population that you hold in such high regard; that’s why collectivists will only work to radically reduce human population, never termites!

Graham
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 18, 2021 1:11 pm

Take note of the graph of methane emissions included in this artical above.
The emissions flatlined from 1999 till 2008 for ten years so where was the problem ?
Over this time world coal extraction was steady at 4,7 billion tonnes .From then till now coal production has soared to over 8 billion tonnes and methane emissions have increased at the same rate.
I presented this graph to a select committee hearing that our socialist green government held around New Zealand to take submissions on their flawed Zero Carbon Bill.
This graph proves that methane from all sources was breaking down at the same rate as emissions .
Where was the problem with enteric methane emissions? Or for that matter methane .
Of course the Select Committee ignored every submission opposing their Zero Carbon Bill and they passed the flawed bill into law .
Methane is such an extremely small portion of the atmosphere and it is broken down in the upper atmosphere into CO2 and H2Oin 8 to 10 years .
Blame the Coal not the COW if you think that methane is a problem .

AndyHce
Reply to  Graham
November 18, 2021 7:15 pm

The report above revealed it:

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with 80 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and responsible for almost half of the global warming since the industrial revolution

They’ve just been kidding us about CO2 being such a big stinker.

Old England
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 19, 2021 1:46 am

Except that as Coe et al find : ” the effects of doubling methane and nitrous oxide are negligible due to the prior saturation of absorption lines by the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere.”

So in reality the ‘methane scare’ is just another piece of unscientific nonsense … but hey when did the IPCC do actual science.

Sara
Reply to  Graeme#4
November 19, 2021 6:42 am

I’m thinking of marketing a t-shirt with a photo of a lovely dairy cow on it, and the legend below the cow will be “FART PROUDLY!

All organisms produce gaseous exhalations from their nether regions. It’s what makes the world go ’round.

H.R.
Reply to  Sara
November 20, 2021 12:37 pm

Sara: “It’s what makes the world go ’round.”


Only if everyone is facing West. 😜

Gregory Woods
November 18, 2021 2:36 am

Climate change is causing rapid warming in the arctic and tropical regions

Oh really? The numbers, please, before it gets too hot…

griff
Reply to  Gregory Woods
November 18, 2021 10:01 am

‘Arctic warming three times faster than the planet, report warns’

Arctic warming three times faster than the planet, report warns (phys.org)

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2021 10:24 am

So what? The high Northern Hemisphere reacts strongly to transitory global temperature changes. It cools just as fast; look at Arctic temperature variations over the instrumental period.

The Antarctic has been cooling. There has been no appreciable global warming in over 20 years, certainly not the warming predicted by the UN IPCC CliSciFi models.

Philo
Reply to  Dave Fair
November 19, 2021 3:40 am

The last 20 years starts with 10 years of no temperature change. The last 10 years show little, if any, warming. The beginning of the global Solar Grand Minimum predicted 20 years ago. The Solar models, built by very smart astronomers, predict another 1-20 years of no temperature increase, and probably 2-3 degrees more cooling before the Sun finally picks up its tempo again.
Don’t throw away your sweaters yet!!

The Sun drives the whole solar system, with some help from galactic sources.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2021 1:20 pm

If the all the ice melts, then it will be easier to access all the resources up there, not to mention shipping will get a lot cheaper.

Of course the lack of ice will also mean a huge increase in the amount of heat escaping to space.

On the other hand, the Antarctic is cooling. griff never mentions that part.

Last edited 2 months ago by MarkW
LdB
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2021 3:11 pm

Melt baby melt … one day the long dreamed of ice free arctic will happen.

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2021 3:15 pm

More than a century ago, Arrhenius understood that, by any sane measure, the Arctic is much TOO COLD. How is that not obvious? If anyone needed proof that climate alarmism is cray cray, this should do it: climate alarmists actually complain that the ARCTIC is too HOT.
comment image

DonM
Reply to  Dave Burton
November 19, 2021 10:08 am

“equable” and better…

That is the true & honest take on any climate change toward warmer.

DonM
Reply to  griff
November 19, 2021 10:05 am

In the spring it warms three or four times faster.

In the fall it cools three or four times faster.

The summer is nice & consistent … I haven’t been there in the winter season.

I suggest that you visit over the next three or four years and report back.

Ron Long
November 18, 2021 2:37 am

Atmospheric methane at 1,900 ppb (parts per billion), or 1.9 ppm (parts per million) at 80 times greenhouse effect compared to CO2, is equivalent to 152 ppm CO2. But wait a minute, the second (lower) part of the “methane measurements” chart shows a change of 270 ppb methane in 37 years, or 0.27 ppm methane, at 80 times more effective means equivalent adding of 21.6 ppm of CO2 in 37 years, a contribution rate of 0.6 ppm CO2 added per year. Never mind. Who thinks cows fart more than dinosaurs did? Brandon maybe.

WILLIAM ABBOTT
Reply to  Ron Long
November 18, 2021 3:15 am

Hydrocarbon seeps are routinely discovered and added to the massive underwater catalog of these geological phenomena. Hundreds of thousands of tons of oil and gas seep into the gulf of Mexico annually. Who knows the true volume of the Campos and Santos basin seeps off the coast of Brazil? We know it is beyond anything we have seen before. And we no NOTHING about the Southern ocean.

0.00017% of the atmosphere is transitory methane gas. Cow farts? Give me a break. These clowns need to regulate ocean oil seeps.

Scissor
Reply to  WILLIAM ABBOTT
November 18, 2021 4:30 am

If collecting methane from seeps is economic, then this seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

Methane from agriculture ought to have C14 whereas seeps ought to have none. So, it seems that this could be used to better understand source apportionment. Of course, emissions from termites would also contain C14.

I wonder how much coal bed methane is released in coal mining. I blame someone or something other than myself.

Richard Page
Reply to  Scissor
November 18, 2021 5:35 am

They messed up the carbon isotope ratios in atmospheric CO2, still have no clue as to the sources and yet now they want us to believe they are 100% confident that they know what they’re talking about with methane? I have zero confidence in their scientific credentials and this latest paper – this, once again, is a thinly veiled attack on meat consumption by an activist fringe vegan/vegetarian minority.

Graham
Reply to  Richard Page
November 19, 2021 12:22 am

Well said Richard Page.
Enteric methane was introduced by activists at the Kyoto climate accord.
John Maunder from New Zealand attended the first two climate conferences in Villach in Austria and the second in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
He told me that methane from livestock was never mentioned at those conferences .
All forage consumed by farmed livestock has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere and the very small amount of methane expelled during digestion breaks down in the upper atmosphere in 8 to 10 years into CO2 and H20.
Not one additional molecule of CO2 or atom of carbon is is added to the atmosphere .The process is a cycle that can never raise levels of CO2 or CH4.
This artical never mentioned coal .
Oil and gas exploration and gas pipelines and pumping stations did release a lot of fugitive methane emissions untill steps were taken in the nineties to restrict leaks and capture gas from oil wells that was flared off in some cases but just released into the atmosphere in many countries.
The graph in this artical shows a steady rise till 1999 then a flat-line for ten years .
Coal production was stable over those years at around 4.7 billion tonnes per year .
From 2008 till now coal production has soared to 8.2 billion tonnes .
A large amount of methane is locked up in coal seams and is released during mining and transport and 2.7 tonnes of CO2 is released for every tonne of coal used .
This is not rocket science to work these things out .
Blame the COAL and leave the COWS alone to feed the world .

Abolition Man
Reply to  WILLIAM ABBOTT
November 18, 2021 8:03 am

William,
Obviously, further study is needed! We must recommend closer observation, at the source, by those who believe that methane from cows is a problem!
For many researchers this will require the reversal of their rectal/cranial inversion; then they can put their minds fully into their work!
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t CH4 break down fairly rapidly when exposed to oxygen?

Sara
Reply to  WILLIAM ABBOTT
November 19, 2021 6:31 am

Mr. Abbot, I beg to disagree. The ‘clowns’ need to be told to go pound sand and get out of the way of real progress.

November 18, 2021 2:56 am

The radiative theory of climate change is junk science.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Philip Mulholland.
November 18, 2021 3:43 am

Surely you are not suggesting there is a relationship between Climate Science & the smelly brown stuff that comes out of cows???

fretslider
November 18, 2021 2:56 am

“As the document explained, CO2 emissions don’t just affect the weather. They also impact on equality, social justice and almost every issue of concern. Here’s a sample:

[[[Concerted climate action can be key to securing stability, avoiding or mitigating conflict, preventing climate-induced migration, and resolving national and regional conflicts and crises. Preventing further climate change can also be a crucial factor in securing a new and more inclusive wave of multilateral participation, while driving support for the socio-economic advancement of developing countries.’]]]

In short, it seems reducing CO2 can pretty much solve all the world’s problems.

After explaining that climate change is a great threat to global food security, as it ‘reduces crop yields and results in food shortages’, the document states: ‘At the same time, agriculture is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change, adversely affecting food security.’

We at COP26 were not only expected to condemn the Industrial Revolution, as everyone from Boris Johnson to Greta Thunberg had been doing – we were also supposed to damn the agricultural revolution, too?

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/11/17/cop26-where-democracy-goes-up-in-flames/

As Orwell wrote, two legs bad….

Tim Gorman
Reply to  fretslider
November 18, 2021 4:42 am

After explaining that climate change is a great threat to global food security, as it ‘reduces crop yields and results in food shortages’”

Really? Then why have we been seeing consecutive record food harvests globally for the past 20 years? Just one more prediction that hasn’t come true. The polar bears are doing fine. The Artic and Antarctic still have ice. Tornado’s haven’t destroyed America, neither have hurricanes.

No one listens to the guy on the street corner saying the world is going to end tomorrow, it’s too easy to look around and see that it isn’t so. The same thing applies to global warming. Fewer and fewer people listening with every failed prediction.

fretslider
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 18, 2021 6:03 am

Really? Then why have we been seeing consecutive record food harvests globally for the past 20 years? “

My thoughts exactly

Alan the Brit
Reply to  fretslider
November 18, 2021 10:04 am

Please stop being factual, the greens hate facts that contradict their very limited views of the world!!!

AndyHce
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 18, 2021 7:27 pm

It causes mental distress. People win law suits because of that.

MarkW
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 18, 2021 6:16 am

“Really? Then why have we been seeing consecutive record food harvests globally for the past 20 years? “

My guess would be (in no particular order):
Fewer frosts
Slightly longer growing seasons
CO2 fertilization
Advancing agricultural technology
Better seeds

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
November 18, 2021 3:39 pm

Most of the seed improvement has been for insect resistance, drought resistance, and higher yields. Not for higher temperature resistance.

Advancing ag tech has been mostly concerned with more efficient machines for planting and harvesting, not for actual crop growth.

So it’s mostly been the other stuff you listed – fewer frosts (I would have said that’ part of a longer growing season), longer growing seasons, and CO2 fertilization (which helps with water usage efficiency by the plants).

MarkW
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 18, 2021 4:07 pm

I was giving a list of all the things that could have increased crop levels, since that was the question.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 18, 2021 10:03 am

The Human evil population is feeding more people on less land through great scientific-based agricultural inventions & discoveries, than ever before in our 2 million year history (give or take a couple of years)!!! Human beings, we’re fantastic creatures, but we are affected/afflicted from time to time by the mentally infirm who seek to create a New World Order, with them in charge of the asylum, of course!!! Globalists are deadly Human beings seeking population reduction in the most economic way possible, primarily through that age-old enemy of Humanity,……..hunger & starvation & if not natural, by disease, natural or otherwise!!! I suspect the “otherwise” will be the use of fracked natural gas because it’s so economical to extract, especially without fabricated imposed taxation to limit its viability & superiority, over wind & solar taxpayer funded unreliable energy, backed up by fossil fuel gas & nuclear (I say fossil nuclear, it’s very old & it’s what creates the heat at the centre of the Earth powerful enough to melt solid rock into liquid form!!!)

AndyHce
Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 18, 2021 7:30 pm

Perhaps they recognize the deterioration of the soil. Human bodies rotting in the fields are probably as good for soil improvement as anything else.

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
November 18, 2021 10:41 am

Yep, the science is settled and no debate on any topic was allowed at COP26 because … the leaders said so. So why not just have a COP of the leaders and leave the rest of the tens of thousands of attendees at home and save a little money to give to the Third World?

David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 3:09 am

Stop eating meat? Cut meat consumption by 40%. Data tells the truth and numbers do not lie. Total methane emissions from all sources including wetlands and fossil fuels are about 614,000,000 tons/year. Residual atmospheric methane is 0.00018% (1.8 parts/billion). 1.4 billion cows emit 86 million tons of methane annually which is 14% of total emissions. Therefore 14% of – residual CH4 – 0.00018% is 0.0000238% that is 2.38 trillionths of atmospheric CH4. Atmospheric methane needs to be at least 100 times more prolific to have even the slightest influence on climate. Insofar as UK cows are concerned which are 0.69% of the global total at 0.0000000229908% of 0.00018%. Methane The Irrelevant GHG. Methane The Irrelevant GHG. (CH4) has narrow absorption bands at 3.3 microns and 7.5 microns (the red lines). CH4 is 20 times more effective an absorber than CO2 – in those bands. However, CH4 is only 0.00018% (1.8 parts per billion) of the atmosphere. Moreover, both of its bands occur at wavelengths where H2O is already absorbing substantially. Hence, any radiation that CH4 might absorb has already been absorbed by H2O. The ratio of the percentages of water to methane is such that the effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. The amount of CH4 must increase 100-fold to make it comparable to H2O. Because of that, methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas. The high per-molecule absorption cross section of CH4 makes no difference at all in our real atmosphere. It cannot contribute to atmospheric warming or climate change.

MikeHig
Reply to  David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 3:35 am

You beat me to it on the point about methane’s potential absorption being swamped by water vapour!
How do the climateers address this “inconvenient truth”?
Or do they just ignore it / sweep it under the carpet?

fretslider
Reply to  MikeHig
November 18, 2021 3:38 am

You’ve answered your own question, there.

Richard Page
Reply to  MikeHig
November 18, 2021 5:37 am

I’m with fretslider on this – it’s definitely option b.

Rhs
Reply to  David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 5:55 am

Sorry, this has been changed into a numbers game where all change is qualifilibly bad.
No one has time to actually look at quantifiable numbers, they just aren’t scary enough and don’t make for alarming headlines.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Rhs
November 18, 2021 9:00 am

Not to mention, of course, that cow farts and cows in general are from classic renewable carbon sources. They essentially eat the waste carbon from China’s industrial complex via grass and distiller’s dry grain as it wafts across the Pacific to the US and Europe.

Come on you vegan and vegetarian blatherers and similar drains on society, stop it with the blah blah blah-ing and get digesting some ribeye steaks and the like.

Dave Fair
Reply to  David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 10:46 am

Please, David, quit using science in an emotional/ideological debate.

LRShultis
Reply to  David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 12:06 pm

Wow, the innumerate must have just had brain farts. Hope none of that has polluted the atmosphere.

Graeme#4
Reply to  David Roger Wells
November 18, 2021 11:05 pm

The problem with that emission figure for cows David, is that I believe it includes ALL sources of manure, whether the cows actually produced that manure or not. (If I’m wrong on this, somebody please correct me.) so the emissions figure is vastly inflated.

Bob Tisdale(@bobtisdale)
Editor
November 18, 2021 3:17 am

The article ends:
“’Good news is the natural feedback is still not that strong. But without substantial mitigation actions, we will lose the opportunity to control methane as we will have no solution with the natural feedback once it’s there’. said Zhen Zhang.”

Moo!

fretslider
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 18, 2021 4:31 am

And the key phrase…

we will lose the opportunity to control 

MarkW
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 18, 2021 6:18 am

The vast majority of the identified feedbacks have turned out to be negative, some strongly negative.
If one or two weakly positive feedbacks are identified, so what?

Steve Case
November 18, 2021 3:44 am

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with 80 times more warming potential than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and responsible for almost half of the global warming since the industrial revolution.
_____________________________________

How long is this 80 times more powerful nonsense going to persist?

From ten days ago here at WattsUpWithThat:

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #478

Three Papers: From 2019 to 2021 physicists W. A. van Wijngaarden & W. Happer produced three papers: 1) Methane and Climate; 2) Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases; and 3) Relative Potency of Greenhouse Molecules.

The abstract of Methane and Climate states:

So, the contribution of methane to the annual increase in forcing is one tenth (30/300) that of carbon dioxide. The net forcing increase from CH4, and CO2 increases is about 0.05 W m-2 year-1. Other things being equal, this will cause a temperature increase of about 0.012 C year.
_____________________________________

You read that right, the annual increase of CO2 and Methane combined will produce a temperature increase of about 0.012C per year, so methane’s contribution at one tenth that of CO2 would be about 0.001 per year. By the end of the century, that might be as much as 0.09C. Or essentially nothing.

And the Climate Crazies are writing regulations over this.

fretslider
Reply to  Steve Case
November 18, 2021 6:07 am

Their ‘regulations‘ will have an overwhelming impact your life and the standard of it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steve Case
November 18, 2021 10:51 am

No, it is the Deep State writing the regulations.

November 18, 2021 4:02 am

Climate change is causing rapid warming in the arctic and tropical regions where natural wetland store large pools of carbon and emit methane

Tom Abbott
Reply to  zee raja
November 18, 2021 5:25 am

That rapid warming in the arctic may be coming from the ocean.

ATheoK
Reply to  zee raja
November 18, 2021 6:01 am

Wrong.
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2021.png

Few temperature sensors over a massive area combined with infilled and swaged, (Temperatures from temperature stations up to 1200 kilometers distant are used to adjust and infill), temperature data

MarkW
Reply to  ATheoK
November 18, 2021 6:20 am

The few sensors that do exist are in or near the various towns in the region.

ATheoK
Reply to  MarkW
November 22, 2021 5:19 pm

The few sensors that do exist are in or near the various towns in the region.”

You are absolutely correct on that point!

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ATheoK
November 18, 2021 3:33 pm

If you view the temperature profile as a sine wave then the profiles at two separate sites can be described as f(t) = sin(t) and g(t) = sin(t + ⱷ) where ⱷ is the phase difference between the two stations based on distance.

If you are using temperatures from these two stations to infill an unknown temperature then the correlation between the two temperatures should be high and so should the correlation between the two temperatures and the unknown.

If you calculate the correlation factor for these two stations it turns out to be cos(ⱷ).

For the correlation to be greater than .8 the two stations need to be within 50 miles of each other. If the temperature to be infilled is midway between the two known profiles then it needs to be about 25 miles from each of them.

I haven’t done a rigorous analysis to see if my distance estimates are correct but even if I’m off by a factor of 10 it would still invalidate much of the infill and averaging that is done today.

ATheoK
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 22, 2021 5:39 pm

Inventing data for a unique data point is absurd.
No matter how neat or cool the formula or process.

the two stations based on distance”

Nonsense.
Are the stations using the exact same sensor?

  • Each sensor is absolutely identically housed, down to the mm in height, distance from buildings, distance from plant growth, distance from water, located in the same wind path?
  • Locate where the prevailing wind is exactly the same?
  • Located at exactly the same altitude?
  • That the temperature reading occurred at exactly the same point in time and in perfect alignment to sun position…?

Otherwise, the synthetic infilled or adjusted data point is pure delusion and makes a mockery of science.

I once had a development team absolutely swear that their super duper workhour estimate generator provided the most accurate workhour tracking program ever.

At their workplace test trial, thousands were paid improperly, hundreds of supervisors spent a lot of overtime submitting timecard corrections trying to correct the paychecks.

Turns out, the super duper workhour estimate program was only analyzed at how well the workhours tallied nationwide.
Then they made a very similar climate alarmist claim, that the errors canceled and employees in the field would just have to learn to live with it.

That claim lived for a few hours, before the executive responsible, whom never worked at a field office, was confined to his cube. He wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone, he wasn’t allowed to interact with the programming teams, he wasn’t even allowed to give progress reports at executive meetings.

He and his team proved that fancy mathematics and cool formulae may emulate or imitate reality, they are unable to replace reality, especially real data points.

Joel O’Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  zee raja
November 18, 2021 8:34 am

The greening of tundra and increase polar seas primary productivity means sinks are increasing faster than GHG sources.

philincalifornia
Reply to  zee raja
November 18, 2021 9:03 am

Are you talking about climate change, or bogus climate change. Please specify.

Dave Fair
Reply to  zee raja
November 18, 2021 10:55 am

Climate change also causes rapid cooling in the Arctic. Additionally, there has been no rapid warming in the tropics. Increased transfer of a small percentage of the tropical heat to the Arctic causes large changes to the energy balance in that cold, relatively dry region.

2hotel9
November 18, 2021 4:13 am

All well and good, except methane is not “soaring”. Just more proof that leftards lie, even in China.

Sara
November 18, 2021 4:29 am

“As climate continues to warm, there is widespread concern that wetland methane emissions will increase…” – article

Happy to know that it is not just farting and belching cows producing all that gas.

OK, if methane – a very useful byproduct of natural plant emissions (don’t ask) – is a product that presents a problem in the minds of the Greenbeaners, then mine it, bottle it, and sell it on the markets. It’s fuel, isn’t it? It’s the source of the gas that runs my furnace and warms my home and cooks food on my stove, so what is the problem with methane, again?

It’s a useful product that Mother Nature has put together for our personal use, so I do NOT understand the issue here. Mine it, clean it up, sell it to the population to heat their homes and cook their food. Problem solved.

H B
Reply to  Sara
November 18, 2021 11:18 am

Simple just drain them use the fertile land that results for something useful like food production

November 18, 2021 4:33 am

Diseased trees are also a significant source of methane emissions according to a study by researchers at the Yale School of Forestry. Estimated methane emissions from unmanaged upland forests are equivalent to burning 40 gallons of gasoline per acre per year. So, by utilizing those diseased trees for firewood, wood pellets, and/or biomass, we are also greatly reducing those methane emissions. https://gfmc.online/media/2012-media/08-2012-media/news_20120808_usa1.html 

Support forestry and the American Forest Products Industry and all the wood products that we all use. Good forestry also improves wildlife habitat, protects critical watersheds, and reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Mike Leonard, Consulting Forester, Petersham, MA

Tim Gorman
November 18, 2021 4:51 am

The work provides a detailed attribution of methane growth to agricultural emissions that increased by almost 20% from 2000 to 2017 driven by rising livestock populations, landfills and waste emissions”

Since when are landfills and waste emission “agricultural emissions”?

Rising livestock populations feed more people and depend upon more feedstock like grass and corn for livestock feed. So we must be seeing more grass and corn being grown to support the increased livestock populations. Which also, in turn, means we are *not* seeing “for now despite its potential dominant role in the future as the temperature goes higher”. Higher temps are supposed to imply crop failure – but we aren’t seeing any crop failures. We are seeing *higher* crop harvests.

The authors can’t even be consistent in their own document. Unfreakingbelievable!

Gottlob
November 18, 2021 4:56 am

Hello, ling time reader, first time poster at WUWT. Thanks to the same folks in here for helping me realize I’m not alone.

Another overlooked point about cattle and methane is that the methane is produced by microbial fermentation of grasses if pasture raised, or grains (grass seeds) otherwise. What would happen if the cattle weren’t grazing on it? In the case if grasses when they die off I assume soil microbes would ferment it and emit methane similarly. In the case of grains, they would be used for something else like feeding the growing human population, and as Biden demonstrated in Glasgow, humans fart too.

So what does it matter where the microbial fermentation takes place? Inside a cow, the soil or a human?

Arguably from an entropy cascade point of view the cow is more effectient as it converts low grade, diffuse energy and protein into concentrated form (meat, milk, butter).

If Elon Musk announced tomorrow Tesla were developing automated, solar powered self driving vehicles to roam pastures, prairies and steppes harvesting edible protein and energy from diffuse grasslands into concentrated form there would be a clamor to invest.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Gottlob
November 18, 2021 8:22 am

Gottlob,
Welcome to the best comments section on the Internet!
I don’t think your RoboCow concept will shield Elon Musk from the mob pursuing him for being a rich, white, heterosexual male! He must be destroyed for daring to succeed; and the protein source must be limited to the chosen few, as increased virility and intelligence could result from too much high quality protein!

Gottlob
Reply to  Gottlob
November 18, 2021 8:44 am

That should have read ‘sane people’

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Gottlob
November 18, 2021 12:18 pm

the cow is more effectient as it converts low grade, diffuse energy and protein into concentrated form (meat, milk, butter).

I presume that you need to provide trampolines for the cows to make butter?

But seriously, as you say in a roundabout way, cows, like all animals, are by their very nature, ‘carbon’ neutral. I detest these carbon cycle deniers.

Tom Abbott
November 18, 2021 5:12 am

From the article: “As climate continues to warm”

You are assuming too much.

Steve Case
November 18, 2021 5:13 am

The article says:

Since 2007, atmospheric methane concentrations have increased at rapid rates, with 2020 having the largest observed methane increase since systematic measurements began.
_________________________________________

What is systematic is cherry picking

Mesurements began in 1984 not 2007

NOAA provides a graph:
comment image

The NOAA website provides the data, so the graph can be duplicated with a trend line. It looks like this:
comment image

Here’s a LINK to the graph if it doesn’t show after three tries at editing.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Case
Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
November 18, 2021 5:21 am

Forgot to add the link the the NOAA page, you can click on it here

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steve Case
November 18, 2021 11:07 am

Typical CliSciFi lies and abuse of data to push an ideological narrative.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Steve Case
November 18, 2021 12:20 pm

What happened in 2004?

November 18, 2021 5:17 am

Methane is harmless. Here is my take on the new international control agreement announced at COP26:

https://www.cfact.org/2021/11/04/cop-26-methane-madness/

fretslider
Reply to  David Wojick
November 18, 2021 6:09 am

“Methane is harmless. “

Except in a crowded lift (elevator)

Last edited 2 months ago by fretslider
Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  fretslider
November 18, 2021 8:37 am

DMacKenzie
Reply to  David Wojick
November 18, 2021 8:15 pm

Covered here at WUWT by Dr, Tom Sheahan 8 years ago…
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/11/methane-the-irrelevant-greenhouse-gas/

ATheoK
November 18, 2021 5:43 am

Assumptions, estimates and models… How wonderful, Not!

MarkW
November 18, 2021 6:11 am

I remember a paper that was discussed here on WUWT about 10 years ago, that found that the growth of moss and other plants in the arctic when temperatures warmed, more than compensated for any increased methane releases.

Bill Rocks
November 18, 2021 6:11 am

What happened in 2004-2005 when the rate of growth of atmospheric methane decreased? What can we learn from that and does it matter?

Ruminants, termites rice paddies and other wetlands, land fills and many natural gas seeps. The methane generator in all of these is anaerobic microbial life. For how many billion years has this been happening on earth?

max
November 18, 2021 6:19 am

It’s all about perspective. If the graph was 1000 units high, the scary curve would only go 1/3 the height. That’s not the manmade portion, that’s the total. If you had 1900 pbb sugar in water, would you even taste it?

Chris*
November 18, 2021 6:36 am

Every carbon based life form that dies and rots in an anaerobic environment produces methane. Soggy backyard compost bins produce methane.
Once it is in the atmosphere and carried to the equatorial regions, Methane is broken down by UV light. The Hydrogen atoms bond with O2 and the Carbon atoms bond with O2 . Thus CH4 becomes CO2 and 2H2O.

Is this methane scare away to reduce quality protein and its benefits to human life.? It’s certainly not about animal welfare, as millions of birds and animals are poisoned and shot each year to protect almond crops and soy crops.

Killing millions of Bison and big herbivores in Africa did not have any impact on the Climate.

Lindsay
Reply to  Chris*
November 18, 2021 8:55 am

If increasing CO2 is any indication, which didn’t flinch during the major reduction of human emissions during the global COVID lockdown, then increasing methane is also a natural phenomenon.
 
https://rclutz.com/2021/11/06/ipcc-data-rising-co2-is-75-natural/
 
https://scc.klimarealistene.com/2021/10/new-papers-on-control-of-atmospheric-co2/

SCBoater
November 18, 2021 6:59 am

RE: consumption of meat and the cows it comes from, how many buffalo existed in North America in 1800?

Current cattle numbers seem to be in the same general range?

Net effect on bovine farts+burps = ~0?

Last edited 2 months ago by SCBoater
Steve Z
November 18, 2021 8:25 am

There are a lot of false assumptions in this article. Even the “consensus” of proponents of AGW recognize that methane absorbs about 20 times as much infrared radiation as CO2 per molecule, not 80 times as postulated in the article.

The graph accompanying the article shows that average methane concentrations rose from 1630 ppb to 1890 ppb from 1984 through 2020, or a rise of 260 ppb in 36 years, or an average of 7.2 ppb/year (0.0072 ppm/year). If methane absorbs 20 times more IR radiation than CO2, this is equivalent to 0.144 ppm/year of CO2.

CO2 concentrations have been rising at a rate of about 2.8 ppm/year over the same period. This would mean that the share of IR radiation absorbed by methane would be about 0.144/(2.8+0.144) or about 4.9%, not “half” as postulated in the article.

The article over-estimated the relative effect of methane by an order of magnitude (factor of 10). Considering that the source of this article is “Science China Press”, this is not surprising. We still haven’t heard the truth about the origin of the Covid-19 virus either.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steve Z
November 18, 2021 11:19 am

Any true scientific discussion of the warming potential of methane would include the information on the overlapping of the radiation bands of methane with the vastly more abundant H2O. Even a cursory glance at the TOA radiation band profiles shows H2O’s bands almost completely obscuring the two small methane bands.

Chris Nisbet
November 18, 2021 8:27 am

It may not be worse than we think.
I remember hearing about one study from NZ that reckons its agricultural emissions might be near net zero.

https://news.aut.ac.nz/news/sheep-and-beef-farms-near-carbon-neutral

The good news is that they reckon about half of NZ emissions comes from agriculture, so if agricultural emissions amount to about 0, the other half also amounts to about 0.
Job done!

Oddly, it hasn’t had much coverage by MSM.

JontheTechnologist
November 18, 2021 8:29 am

We must be winning the CO2 debate. Now Methane is the big culprit weather control knob
that they claim to want to control. Methane has a short residence time in the atmosphere due to its volatility.

n.n
November 18, 2021 8:30 am

Vegans.

gringojay
Reply to  n.n
November 18, 2021 11:50 am

Well …

DA5C6136-1B8D-4974-AE7E-DE55CA69EC86.jpeg
MarkW
Reply to  n.n
November 18, 2021 1:24 pm

Vegetarian is an old Indian word. It means “bad hunter”.

Olen
November 18, 2021 8:36 am

Throw it all against the wall and see what sticks.

It is not helpful to find problems and invent solutions to a problem that has not been proven to exist. And attacking the food and energy supply can only bring pain.

Mark BLR
November 18, 2021 8:58 am

They found that the emissions scenarios assuming large wetland methane increases did not match the observed atmospheric isotopic record.

From the actual paper regarding CH4 measurements from wetlands in the tropics :

The latitudinal gradient of the growth rate for CH4 sources (Fig. S4) suggests that WET CH4 in the tropics has an important impact on the IAV of the CH4 growth rate, albeit the current limited understanding of WET CH4 is due to a significant deficiency in WET CH4 measurements in the tropics, especially for Africa [21].

However, it is difficult to distinguish CH4 from wetlands and livestock, as the signatures of the two sectors are similar and the spatial distributions are possibly co-located [3], suggesting a critical need for more measurements to provide better constraints on δ13C-CH4 values in the tropics.

Despite this, there are considerable uncertainties in modelled WET CH4 due to scarcity of measurements for the tropics [40]. We conclude that the hypothesis of a large increase from natural wetlands driving the decrease in atmospheric δ13C-CH4 values cannot be reconciled with process-based wetland CH4 models.

It isn’t quite “models all the way down”, but it’s close.

– – – – –

Climate change is causing rapid warming in the arctic and tropical regions …

GISS provide annual “zonal” data for the GISTEMP dataset (graphed below from 1960).

An argument can be made that the warming over the last 50 years or so in the Arctic can be qualified as “rapid”, but not so much for “the tropics”.

GISS_Zonal_1960-2020.png
Dave Fair
Reply to  Mark BLR
November 18, 2021 11:50 am

One can draw at least two conclusions from looking at the graph of GISS’s interpretation of global temperature changes: 1) The tropics (and Southern Hemisphere) determine overall global temperature changes (the Arctic can warm rapidly without affecting average global temperatures significantly), and 2) Over the 60-year period shown (during an upswing in cyclic temperature changes) global temperatures only increased an estimated approximately 1 C (1.7 C/century) during a period of rapid atmospheric CO2 increases.

Color me unconvinced that mankind’s emission of GHGs is an existential threat.

Bjarne Bisballe
November 18, 2021 10:05 am

Methane is a low weight gas, so a ton of is a lot more molecules compared to a ton of CO2. Ton to ton methane is 80 time more active as greenhouse gas than CO2, but per molecule (ppm) it is only 30 times.

Gordon A. Dressler
November 18, 2021 11:19 am

Hmmm . . . just wondering if the authors of the “peer-reviewed” National Science Review article cited above accounted for the likelihood of methane being released from decomposing methane hydrates currently existing at certain ocean depths, as the world’s oceans gradually heat up from the last global glacial interval, which only started happening some 12,500 years ago.

I can image it is extremely difficult to measure the amount of methane coming out of methane hydrates over all of the world’s oceans. I am not aware of any large scale scientific effort to do such.

“Huge amounts of methane are stored around the world in the sea floor in the form of solid methane hydrates. These hydrates represent a large energy reserve for humanity. Climate warming, however, could cause the hydrates to destabilize. The methane, a potent greenhouse gas, would escape unused into the atmosphere and could even accelerate climate change . . . In the open ocean, where the average bottom-water temperatures are around 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, methane hydrates occur starting at depths of around 500 meters . . . In very cold regions like the Arctic, methane hydrates even occur on the shallow continental shelf (less than 200 metres of water depth) or on the land in permafrost, the deep-frozen Arctic soil that does not even thaw in the summer . . . It is estimated that there could be more potential fossil fuel contained in the methane hydrates than in the ­classic coal, oil and natural gas reserves. Depending on the mathematical model employed, present calculations of their abundance range between 100 and 530,000 gigatons of carbon. Values between 1000 and 5000 gigatons are most likely. That is around 100 to 500 times as much carbon as is released into the atmosphere ­annually by the burning of coal, oil and gas. — source: https://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-1/ocean-chemistry/climate-change-and-methane-hydrates/ , my underlining emphasis added.

Since the above article make no mention whatsoever of methane hydrates in the oceans being a possible source of increasing atmosphere methane, I assert the claimed “new study confirms that emissions from anthropogenic sources, including agriculture, landfill/waste, and fossil fuel industry, are clearly the driver for the renewed rise of the potent greenhouse gas since 2007” lacks scientific credibility.

November 18, 2021 11:45 am

The relevant absorption band for CH4 is at wavenumbers where earth radiation is way low, the CH4 population is less than 2 ppmv and any energy absorbed by CH4 molecules is thermalized and redirected to water vapor molecules from which much of the outward directed radiation around an altitude of 4 km makes it all the way to space. There won’t be any significant effect on climate from methane.

TOA with BB (CC & bar).jpg
Geoffrey Williams
November 18, 2021 1:52 pm

The Methane (CH4 @ 2ppmv) climate change mantra doesn’t do a thing for me.
Just (2) parts per million is so small looks like the proverbial piss in the ocean to me.
And what do we know of methane levels in the past, could they have been much lower ?
I don’t care about their chemistry, their physics nor their graphs, just feeble attempts to frighten.
Its just a load of bullshit and squashed tomatoes in my opinion . .

Geoffrey Williams
November 18, 2021 2:03 pm

CH4 we now is 2ppmv !! That’s good enough for me just a piss in the ocean . .

dyugle
November 18, 2021 2:05 pm

I am confused about methane being 80 times more potent than CO2. Climate models use a doubling of CO2 to generate 4 degrees of warming. Is doubling methane 80 times worse?
Methane goes from 700 ppb to 1800 bbp from 1750 to 2010.

https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/atmospheric-concentration-of-ch4-ppb-1

Something smells and I am not sure that it is the methane.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  dyugle
November 18, 2021 8:49 pm

It’s based on adding a tonne of methane versus a tonne of CO2. Since there are already a lot of tonnes of CO2, adding another doesn’t change much, while adding a tonne of methane causes a higher fractional increase. It’s just a playing with numbers scare tactic. If they thought about the way a calorimeter works, heat input is by photons, of course, and the limit is simply the ratio of specific heats of the two gases….CO2 .846 kJ/kg-K, CH4 2.254 kJ/kg-K, but both about 30 J/mol-K The CH4 can absorb more heat instantaneously due to more available molecular vibration modes, but it also radiates more away since it’s not going to get warmer than its surroundings….but the photons had to come from somewhere else before they were absorbed (and reradiated), so actual effect of a few ppb of CH4 increase compared to CO2 at 400 ppm is irrelevant.

They do sophisticated line by line IR spectrums to come up with this stuff…..but in the end……(CO2 ppm/ CH4 ppm) x (M.Wt. CH4/ M.Wt. CO2) = 400/1.8x 16/44 = 80 for “global warming potential”, making the relationship of GWP to Bullshit hopefully clearer.

Last edited 2 months ago by DMacKenzie
Gunga Din
November 18, 2021 2:08 pm

In a post about Gore … er … uh … Kerry bringing up methane at COP(whatever) was signaling that after fossil fuels, the next target of the Greens would be our food.
(Same BS. Different gas.)

Gordon A. Dressler
November 18, 2021 2:09 pm

Speaking of methane, didn’t I hear that President Joe Biden asked Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Britain’s Prince Charles, to “pull his finger” at a meeting during COP26?

I may not have the details of that exactly right. 🙂

November 18, 2021 2:50 pm

Positive feedbacks, which supposedly would greatly increase methane (CH4) emissions from natural sources, are mostly hypothetical, and at the scales needed to have much effect they are frankly implausible.

The fact that a study run by climate alarmists has verified that those hypothetical positive feedbacks aren’t happening to a significant extent is encouraging. Yet, despite confirmation from their own work that natural processes are not producing methane at a significantly accelerated rate, they still fret about it, and still believe that “without substantial mitigation actions, we will lose the opportunity to control methane.” It is a discouraging confirmation that groupthink is generally more influential than evidence, even among those who fancy themselves “scientific.”

The dominant methane feedback is negative, not positive. It is the simple fact that the atmospheric lifetime of methane is only about a decade, and higher atmospheric methane levels accelerate the natural oxidative processes which remove it.

Most climate alarmists assume that as long as mankind continues to produce GHGs and release them into the atmosphere, the concentrations of those gases in the atmosphere will continue to rise. But that is untrue, except for gases, like carbon tetrafluoride (CF4), which have extremely long atmospheric lifetimes.

As is the case for CO2 (but even more quickly), the rise in atmospheric methane level must plateau unless human emissions of the gas continue to increase, simply because the processes which remove CO4 (and CO2) accelerate as the atmospheric concentration rises.

Assuming the Pranther et al CH4 atmospheric lifetime estimate of 9.1±0.9 years (which the AMS uses), we can calculate that the rate of increase in CH4 level (which averages about 0.01 ppmv/year) is only about 1/60-th of the rate of the CH4 removal processes, and only about 1/35-th the rate of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. That means atmospheric CH4 level responds very quickly to changes in CH4 emission rate, and if the CH4 emission rate were to cease increasing then the level of CH4 in the atmosphere would rise at most only a few percent before plateauing.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Burton
Reply to  Dave Burton
November 18, 2021 3:57 pm

Clarification: “a few percent” means percentage of the current CH4 level, not percentage of the atmosphere.

If anthropogenic CH4 emissions were to plateau at the current level then the atmospheric CH4 concentration would soon cease rising; if anthropogenic CH4 emissions were to decrease by just 3% then the atmospheric CH4 level would immediately plateau (as happened from 1999 to 2006); and if anthropogenic CH4 emissions were to decrease by substantially more than that then the CH4 level would decline instead of continuing to rise.

Pat from kerbob
November 18, 2021 9:23 pm

But it was much warmer in the MWP when the tundra thawed and forests were much farther north and no runaway warming then.

spock
November 19, 2021 2:07 am

This will be great for sales of my patented cow fart stoppers! Im going to sell a gazillion of them.

cow fart stopper.jpg
Shoki Kaneda
November 19, 2021 6:18 am

If we stop sending agricultural and industrial products to urban parasites, that would help in several ways.

Marty Cornell
November 19, 2021 7:29 pm

Where to start… “Methane … [is] responsible for almost half of the global warming since the industrial revolution.” From 1850 to the present, that would be half of 1.1C, or 0.55C. The credibility of the press release is thus destroyed.

%d bloggers like this: