“Climate Impacts of Fossil Fuels in Today’s Energy Systems” by Dr. L. Schernikau and Prof. W. H. Smith

Lars Schernikau

Lars and Bill Smith analyzed new information published over past year by the IPCC and IEA on methane and carbon dioxide. Some of the analysis confirms what we knew before, i.e. that about half of CO2 that is emitted to the atmosphere actually doesn’t end up airborne and thus cannot contribute to global warming… it is taken up by nature and contributes to greening of the Earth (also confirmed by NASA). All sources are well documented in the paper including links.
Other analysis results are rather surprising, which even the authors didn’t expect. For this, however, “IPCC’s Global Warming Potential GWP” needs to be accepted (see Lars’ YouTube video for a short introduction).

A short summary of 4 main points from the paper:
As per IPCC and IEA data, applying simple mathematics

1. Methane makes up a large portion of warming from green-house gases – this is ignored by CO2 taxation or decarbonization regulation also pushed from banks

  • 40% of methane comes from natural sources + 25% from agriculture (total 65%)
  • at 20y GWP – about Half of current “GHG warming” comes from natural CH4 emissions and agriculture (at 100y GWP this number reaches just over 30%)

2. As a result, currently globally coal makes up ~15% of all GHG p.a. (CO2eq) over 20y horizon (or ~25% over 100 years)

  • Fyi, we know that coal accounts for ~40% of global man-made CO2 emissions, which is correct, but does not consider methane

3. As a result – on average, LNG is “worse for the climate” than all coal (please keep in mind the authors have nothing against LNG or natural gas, quite the contrary… they are amazing energy resources we and we need them urgently… these are only logical conclusions from IPCC and IEA data)

  • It only takes 2% additional methane emissions from LNG production, transportation, and processing compared to coal to be on par in terms of global warming, over 20 years (over 100 years it is about 5%)
  • Current LNG supply chains surpass these values, though this is difficult to document

4. As a result – on average, Surfaced mine coal is “better for the climate” than all natural gas on average

The point is not to favor coal over gas or the other way around, but to analyze what IPCC and IEA reported numbers would mean. With a large portion of green-house gas warming stemming from methane (much of it natural and from agriculture), we may start to see the world differently.

These are quite eye-opening analysis outcomes that would result in significant energy policy adjustments especially after COP26’s anti-coal agenda.

  • logically, based on this information, CO2 taxation and all most decarbonization efforts (see ESG metrics in large conglomerates or banks) are leading to unwanted market distortions

Lars and Bill conclude that investment in al reliable, affordable, sustainable ways of producing electricity (including coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, and more) are urgently required to eradicate poverty, enable economic growth, and avoid a global energy shortage. USC – Ultra super critical power plant technology (and if really needed + CCUS) is the answer to minimizing the negative impact that our quest for affordable and reliable electricity has on our planet.
I hope you find this interesting and invite you to feedback as usual.

Have a good pre-holiday season and I remain with best regards,

Ps1: detailed calculations are given in below table. please note that the below table uses updated new 2021 IEA published methane data. The paper attached still uses end of 2020 IEA data and will be updated later… the changes between the two years are noticable and are in favor of gas

Ps2: for your reference, below two prior published research/articles, both of which are very much worth reading:
Schernikau, Lars, and William Smith. “How Many Km2 of Solar Panels in Spain and How Much Battery Backup Would It Take to Power Germany.” SSRN Electronic Journal, April 2021. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3730155 (auch in Deutsch verfügbar über den o.g. Link)
Excellent Article on Renewables “Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires?” published at Cement Review in Oct 2020 (republished here at Musica-Project.eu) (auch in Deutsch verfügbar, schreibt mir einfach zurück)

Available at SSRN Electronic Journal
Google search «climate impact schernikau»
Climate Impacts of Fossil Fuels In Today’s Energy Systems
Dr. Lars Schernikau | Prof. William H. Smith

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December 19, 2021 6:15 am

and the half that isn’t…..is coming…directly or indirectly from China

until they stop this “we” have to do something….and admit it’s China

….it’s all the world’s biggest scam and total BS

December 19, 2021 6:43 am
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 19, 2021 7:14 am

If you double the 1.7 ppm of CH4 in the atmosphere, using Modtran you get .15 C increase, which is just background noise in the readings, plus to be real would require doubling of rice paddies, natural gas production, pine forests, whatever are current methane emitters…
Look out for a scam here….where reducing virtual methane emissions allows people to claim CO2 offsets.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 19, 2021 5:53 pm

Speaking of CC scams, this is a bit OT but funny..

Steve Case
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 19, 2021 7:22 am

If you follow that old WUWT link, I asked: 

The climate sensitivity of CH4 is about (___)C° per doubling in the atmosphere, Can anyone fill in the blank? 

There were two answers 0.11C° 0.45C° and that’s how much warming if CH4 doubles, not how much warming by the end of the century. Methane’s concentration by 2100 might go up 25%. So 25% of 0.11° and 0.45° might be as much as 0.03°to 0.1° So let’s give it 0.07°C ± 0.03° by 2100. In other words essentially nothing. If anyone can put up a link that says it’s anymore than that, I’d like to see it.  

Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 8:04 am

“…Methane’s concentration by 2100 might go up 25%….”

Doubtful. CH4 is just not that long lived in the atmosphere. It is lighter than air so finds its way to the upper atmosphere where is is decomposed by sunlight and/or ozone to C02 and water.

So the net effect is even less than you state.

Steve Case
Reply to  Fraizer
December 19, 2021 9:03 am

You can Google “Methane NOAA” and easily arrive at NOAA’s
Global Monitoring Laboratory where you will find a nice table of
Annual Increase in Globally-Averaged Atmospheric Methane.

The average increase taken from that table is 6.7 ppb and so
2100-2022 = 78 and 78 x 6.7ppb 522 ppb and methane is in
the atmosphere at 1890 ppb so an increase of 522 would come
to an increase 522 ÷ 1890 = 0.28 so I rounded that off to 25%.

I really don’t care how long a molecule of CH4 lasts in the
atmosphere. NOAA says it’s increasing by 6.7 ppb every year.
This meme of longevity of individual molecules is just another
layer of misdirection and bullshit from the climate cult. By 2100
business as usual there should be, if their table and graph are
correct, about 2.5 ppm of methane in the atmosphere which is
up about 25% from today.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 9:46 am
Steve Case
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
December 19, 2021 10:17 am

Thanks for that + + + + + + + ….. + I really appreciate that! Your link to the abstract says:

“…while climate sensitivities to CH4 and N2O are almost undetectable at 0.06K and 0.08K respectively.”

And that’s 0.06K per doubling of CH4 So that’s maybe 0.012K by 2100 which agrees with some of what I posted above. I’m adding that link to my methane file, and bookmarks (-:

Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 11:16 am

Steve, If you’re still asking, I just showed with the Modtran run at double todays CH4 that doubling CH4 results in .15C increase….but you can get a range of about 1/2 to double that depending on what cloud type and relative humidity assumptions you make for your Modtran base and new cases….other models give other answers…

I don’t know if you have run UChicago’s Modtran yourself….but it is relatively painless…
The default is a good starting point….you might want to change the data boxes to “fixed relative humidity” and some “local conditions” that you think is more representative of the planet’s 65% cloud cover…… click anywhere off the data input screen to “run”…save this as the background case…..then change CH4 ppm AND adjust the offset temperature (really the amount of “global warming”) by trial and error until the difference between the present run and the background case is zero. Voila, the answer….Then do over and over with whatever other changes you want to test until you get a feel for results/ parameter changes.

Modtran is pretty good on emission/absorption by radiative gases, less good on cloud albedo where it is rather parametric relative to GCMs (so better or not?). “Students” of Atmospheric Radiative Gas phenomena owe a debt of gratitude to U Chicago and Dr. David Archer for his efforts to keep this program running and updated. Even though sceptical types might dislike Dr. Archer’s RealClimate comments from time to time.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Steve Case
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 19, 2021 11:53 am

I don’t know if you have run UChicago’s Modtran yourself….but it is relatively painless…

Some time ago, long time, I looked at Modtran and more or less went screaming into the night. All it did was crash because it wanted exact inputs in the right format which obviously I wasn’t providing. Maybe I will look at it again.

Anyway, 0.15K comes pretty close to 0.04K by 2100, a figure that I’ve come by working backward from the IPCC’s Global Warming Potential numbers.

At the end of the day, it looks like there is no reason on God’s green earth why natural gas should be banned anywhere.

In The Real World
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 19, 2021 7:35 am

And nobody has produced any real facts that prove that CO2 has any measureable effect on climate .
Even if you believe it has any effect , the amounts of it are so tiny as to be insignificant .
CO2 makes up 415 parts per million of the atmosphere . 97% of that is produced naturally .So 12 parts per million are from human causes .
With the UK at 1% of world emissions , that totals 1 part in 10 million parts of atmosphere .
[ the US is about 1 part in 1 million }

Anybody who claims that those tiny amounts can effect the climate does not know what they are talking about , or is deliberately lying to further their agenda .

Reply to  In The Real World
December 19, 2021 2:52 pm

CO2 has a significant impact on the biosphere. That can alter climate.

The GHE is pure drivel so the radiative properties of CO2 in the atmosphere does not need consideration. The surface temperature is regulated by water dominated processes on the surface and in the atmosphere. Water emodies powerful feedback mechanisms that regulate energy flow at well defined upper limit of 30C and lower limit of -2C.

Bill Everett
Reply to  RickWill
December 19, 2021 3:28 pm

Short-time local surface temperature change may be regulated by water dominated processes but the temperature change at issue is longer-time temperature change on a global scale. Atmospheric CO2 resulting from human activity is at a far too low level to have any noticeable effect upon temperature measurements. The annual human activity contribution of atmospheric CO2 from 1960 through 2020 was less than one tenth of one PPM. Considering that 10000 PPM are required to reach one percent of atmosphere, the annual human activity CO2 contribution is microscopic enough to pass for net zero without further action.

Steve Case
December 19, 2021 6:47 am

Sounds like this guy is a shill for the coal industry. From the article:

Methane makes up a large portion of warming from green-house gases
Half of current “GHG warming” comes from natural CH4 emissions and agriculture
LNG is “worse for the climate” than all coal 
Surfaced mine coal is “better for the climate” than all natural gas on average

I didn’t see the actual rise in global temperature projected by methane anywhere in the article.

Over the years that I’ve been banging on about methane and how much it actually contributes to global warming, business as usual, i.e., an increase in methane of about 6-7 ppb annually would be less than 0.1°C by the end of the century. If anyone can say it’s more than that, I’d like to see the link. Indeed trying to find out how much methane will run-up global temperatures is an elusive quest.

Does methane make up a large portion of greenhouse warming? No
Really? Half of GHG warming comes from natural CH4? No
Is LNG worse than coal? Pull my other leg
Is coal is better for the climate than all natural gas on average? B.S.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 7:56 am

Their analysis is based on published IPCC and IEA data, not their own.

Steve Case
Reply to  Kalsel3294
December 19, 2021 8:13 am

Their analysis was difficult to follow, but it had the flavor
of one of those “2+2=5 proofs” you can find on the internet

Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 6:21 pm

Is that better or worse than a green blob shill?

Joseph Zorzin
December 19, 2021 7:15 am

meanwhile, off topic, sorry: “See Bill Nye’s warning about ‘doomsday’ glacier”
yes, from Bill Nye, the science dufus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBeDPY2Xs-w&t=415s

December 19, 2021 7:28 am

Natural gas has a relatively short life in the atmosphere because it is oxidized to CO2. Natural emissions of natural gas are much greater than anthropogenic emissions so the idea of limiting the emissions of anthropogenic emissions of natural gas to reduce the rate of rise in “global average temperature” is at best a pipe dream. At worst it is a lie.

Natural gas is most likely our best renewable bio-fuel. It’s production and use in garbage dumps and sewage treatment plants has been around for a long time. It burns clean and efficiently. Four hydrogen atoms are burned for each carbon atom. Then here in the US we don’t have to produce it because nature has gifted us with many years of use. So build more storage, pipe lines, and NLG terminals. Share our nature’s gift with the rest of the world. Let supply meet demand and lower inflation as well as collect more taxes. Frack on!

Steve Case
Reply to  Fred Haynie
December 19, 2021 7:54 am

The Climate Bolsheviks don’t agree with you. Just a day or so ago, they banned natural gas in New York City to begin in 2030. And didn’t I just see that they aren’t allowing pipelines to transport natural gas across New York to supply the New England states? Maybe that’s not true, I don ‘t know, but in any case CH4 bans are becoming popular with the Climate Cult.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 10:03 am

The “green progressives” are riding a dead horse with a broken spear in there war on fossil fuels. They are destined to loose there seats of power as there supporters start feeling the pain.

Steve Case
Reply to  Fred Haynie
December 19, 2021 10:38 am

I’d say that what we are seeing is more akin to the “Tet Offensive” than your horse & spear analogy. But unlike “Tet” there isn’t any real opposition. People are too well off in the west to really mount any real pushback. Individuals have too much to lose. You’re right, they have to feel pain, and by then the New Age Bolsheviks may well have reached their goal, and will say about Climate Change, “Never Mind

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Case
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Case
December 19, 2021 12:24 pm

Politicians always have to give the appearance of doing something to get re-elected. It doesn’t matter if it has no impact on the ‘problem,’ or even if it makes it worse, as long as they can spin it to make it appear that they are looking out for the voters.

December 19, 2021 7:49 am

The movement of CO2 in the atmosphere interests me. The source and sinks of it are all at the surface, much the same as water vapour it must return to earth for the cycle to continue. It is not as if that in the atmosphere is excess to the requirements of plant life, rather the availability of it is a limiting factor to growth, when it is made available at concentrations in excess of that in the atmosphere plant growth increases.
Is it that rather than the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere being the issue, the reason why it is not being sufficiently sequestered naturally by plant life the real issue?

December 19, 2021 8:02 am

CH4 is not a fossil fuel. It is the second most abundant gas on Titan and Triton. It is just natural.

If the authors are correct in the ascertain about CH4 causing a large portion of the warming from GHG’s then they should be able to show that those moons are far warmer than they should be.

Reply to  mkelly
December 19, 2021 8:25 am

The major greenhouse gas on planet earth is water vapour. The theory is that water vapour amplifies any warming from other greenhouse gases, but if that is the case it must also amplify warming from all sources including the sun.

Ron Long
Reply to  mkelly
December 19, 2021 9:32 am

Let’s send Mikey Mann to Triton to find out.

December 19, 2021 8:28 am

At current levels (420ppm CO2 and 1.7ppm CH4) vs. preinsdustrial levels of 280ppm CO2 and 0.7ppm CH4, CO2 provides a forcing of ~1.25W/m2 and CH4 ~0.55W/m2. Or alternatively the relation is 70% to 30%.

CH4 however is and stays relatively short lived.

December 19, 2021 8:35 am

Dead Link — 404 page….

Excellent Article on Renewables “Can renewable energy sources supply the world with a large share of the energy it requires?” published at Cement Review in Oct 2020 (republished here at Musica-Project.eu) (auch in Deutsch verfügbar, schreibt mir einfach zurück)

Dana H Saylor Sr.
December 19, 2021 8:43 am

In the fog of irrational thinking about energy and the environment it’s refreshing and enlightening to see a rational analysis of the cost/benefit of fossil fuels in today’s energy system. Doctor Schernikau and Professor Smith clearly state the case supported by the unequivocal facts. Kudos!

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Dana H Saylor Sr.
December 19, 2021 9:19 am

IPCC’s Global Warming Potential GWP is a bunch of bullshit. The spectrographic IR profile of methane is too small to worry about and in any case is overlapped by H2O vapour. Furthermore its lifetime in atmosphere is very short.

Bruce Cobb
December 19, 2021 9:05 am

Yawn. I don’t accept anything the IPeCaC says.

Mike Jonas(@egrey1)
December 19, 2021 12:01 pm

The article says: “Other analysis results are rather surprising, which even the authors didn’t expect. For this, however, “IPCC’s Global Warming Potential GWP” needs to be accepted“.
I take this to mean that if you assume the IPCC’s GWP is correct then you get these results. IOW it doesn’t mean that the IPCC’s GWP is correct.
The results indicate that the IPCC’s GWP is incorrect (see comments here by DMacKenzie, Steve Case and others).

The paper being analysed is therefore both BS (based on a false assumption from the IPCC) and valuable (disproves that assumption from the IPCC).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 20, 2021 8:32 am

I think you nailed it, Mike.

December 19, 2021 2:45 pm

When is this silliness going to stop?

The so-called most powerful “greenhouse” gas has a residence time in the atmosphere of a week. 522,000,000,000,000 tonne of it gets turned over every year.

Where the whole GHE nonsense clearly fails is the this so-called most powerful “greenhouse gas” also exists in the atmosphere as a liquid and solid. The solid phase overpowers anything that the other two phases contributes and it is a cooling agent able to turn day into night.

Atmospheric water is most dominantly a cooling agent. It cools for 9 months of the year and warms for three.

Worrying about other “greenhouse gasses” makes no more sense than worrying about how many fairies can dance on a pin head.

Dave Fair
December 19, 2021 4:05 pm

I get it. It used to be “give renewables to the Third World gratis.” Now add to that free coal-fired electricity. What’s not to like? Well, maybe except for the Western world’s poor.

Gary Pearse
December 19, 2021 5:02 pm

Anothe clumsy attempt to move goalposts. Climateers have recently admitted that models are running “away too hot and we don’t know why” – Gavin Schmidt. They’ve been told why by sceptics over the past few decades. They can’t bring themselves to say that CO2 isn’t the T control knob after all.

They took heart when the 18yr Dreaded Pause was interrupted by the 2015-16 el Niño that does what they do – end! Suffering through the following 6+yrs of cooling, they accepted that we may go through a 30yr cooling- code for ‘natural variation’ swamps the puny CO2 effect.

Now, they need a substitute evil molecule connected to FF and man’s production and burning of them. There was big fanfare about methane a dozen years ago and how powerful a GHG it is even though it was only 1.7ppmv. The trouble is, a dozen years later, it’s still only 1.7ppmv. With all the new production, no change in atmospheric methane and worse, it converts to a tiny bit of of CO2 and H20 in a few days.

NASA advises that they no longer update methane data on their page for it. Why, if it’s so important? Because they don’t want to report the same 1.7ppmv every year, seems like a good guess.

December 19, 2021 5:45 pm

about Half of current “GHG warming” comes from natural CH4 emissions and agriculture

What is current GHG warming? Is this relative to having no greenhouse gases at all, or relative to what the preindustrial levels were? Are natural CH4 emissions increasing?

December 19, 2021 7:17 pm

I enjoyed the article about Spain’s capacity to power Germany but got a

“404SendinBlue” email error

at the second link.

Howard Dewhirst
December 19, 2021 10:32 pm

I had understood that although a CH4 molecule has ~30 times stronger forcing than CO2, its relative contribution is no more than 1/10th that of CO2 and that, like CO2, it is saturated and so adds 1/10th of very little warming. Also atmospheric CO2 is increasing 300 times faster than CH4 so is having progressively even less effect?

December 20, 2021 1:48 am

Weren’t there about 4 billion bison roaming the plains of North America?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Damon
December 20, 2021 8:39 am

Something like that. And the world didn’t overheat.

Methane is such a minor player that it can be ignored, as far as climate change is concerned.

Howard Dewhirst
December 27, 2021 9:51 pm

Methane may be a more energetic GHG, but it is in such small quantities it has not more than 10% of the effect of CO2, and the latter is increasing 300 times faster than CH4

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