Just What Is CH For?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, it seems like climate alarmists have noticed that all their hysterical screeching about carbon dioxide (CO2) isn’t having the desired effect. So they’re turning to a new villain, methane (CH4). Here’s Nature, which used to be a serious scientific journal, moaning that methane is “soaring” to new heights.

Figure 1. Page from Nature magazine, original here.

Now, anyone who knows me knows what I did after seeing that—I went and got the data to see what’s going on. We have data from a couple of sources—modern measurements, and ice cores. The Nature article only showed the change since 1984, but I always start with a long overview to give context to the data. Here’s the change in atmospheric methane since 1750.

Figure 2. Changes in airborne methane since 1750. Ice core data to 1980, modern measurements from 1984 onwards

Now, there are a couple of puzzles in this data. First, nobody knows the cause for the slowdown in methane rise that started about 1985 and ended around 2005.

Next, nobody knows why the rise started again. From the Nature article:

The growth of methane emissions slowed around the turn of the millennium, but began a rapid and mysterious uptick around 2007. The spike has caused many researchers to worry that global warming is creating a feedback mechanism that will cause ever more methane to be released, making it even harder to rein in rising temperatures.

“Methane levels are growing dangerously fast,” says Euan Nisbet, an Earth scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, UK. The emissions, which seem to have accelerated in the past few years, are a major threat to the world’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5–2 °C over pre-industrial temperatures, he says.


(In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried”? Near as I can tell, these guys sit up nights looking for things to be worried about, and when they seize on something, they try to convince us that we all should be worried about it too … but I digress.)

In any case, just how fast are the methane levels rising? To investigate that, here’s a graph of the five-year “trailing trend”. This is the trend of the change over the five years previous to each year of record.

Figure 3. Changes in the five-year trailing trends of the rise in atmospheric methane.

Call me crazy, but I’m not seeing what the “worried researcher” described as methane levels “growing dangerously fast” … they’re only growing a third as fast as they were in 1985.

My conclusion?

I’m not going to be concerned until such time as the trend starts getting up somewhere around the 1985 levels.

My best to everyone, whether you’re worried or not …


MY USUAL: When you comment PLEASE quote the exact words you are discussing. I can defend my own words and I’m happy to do so. But I can’t defend your interpretation of my words.


Beck Ice Core Data

Law Dome Ice Core Data

Modern CH4 Data

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February 9, 2022 10:08 am

One third of our methane comes from growing rice and another third from domestic animals, mostly in poor countries.

Reply to  David Wojick
February 9, 2022 10:16 am

When does the great slaughtering of western-grown animals begin….for the cause and the children?

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 9, 2022 10:25 am

Canada is doing our part, we slaughtered 600,000 chickens in the fraser valley during the november flood.
In attention to flood control caused this, so “we” did this, yes.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 9, 2022 12:06 pm

Let us start with the dogs that bark constantly, especially at night. Of course, it is the dog’s owners that are really responsible, so maybe they should go together.

Hans Erren
Reply to  AndyHce
February 9, 2022 10:03 pm

Watch out for the dog that doesn’t bark, a tell tale sign, as Sherlock Holmes noted

Reply to  AndyHce
February 10, 2022 11:53 am

Reminds me of the old tale:-

Man and wife trying to sleep whilst dog next door barks and barks.
“Ruddy dog will drive me mad. Every night, bark , bark, bark”.
“Don’t moan at me, do something about it.”
Next day, talking to neighbour “That’s a fine dog! I wish I had a dog like that.
Would you think of selling me that dog for £500?”
Money changes hands and dog goes next door to new home.”
That night “Bark, bark, bark”.
Old fellow starts laughing.
Wife:- “What the hell are you laughing at?”
“Ha ha ha. Now we’ll see how he likes it!”

That tale has as much to do with the terrors of Methane, as the genius psyentists’s modelling has to do with reality.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 9, 2022 5:29 pm

Imagine the squeals if we told them to go sort out some termites to compensate.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 9, 2022 8:03 pm

Been tried. Didn’t work well for the Xhosa. I don’t expect much different results with the CO2 pandemic.



Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 10, 2022 2:21 am

Just get rid of the cattle in India and Brazil and you will halve the number of cattle in the world, although I think the Indians would have something to say about that as the cow is sacred to Hindus.
In the US about 60 million buffalo were killed off in the 1800s and mostly replaced by cattle, so no overall change there.

Last edited 1 year ago by StephenP
Ron Long
Reply to  David Wojick
February 9, 2022 10:40 am

Let’s nuke ’em, that will fix the problem.

Pat from Tyers
Reply to  Ron Long
February 9, 2022 12:24 pm

There’s no CO 2 in nuclear fallout.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pat from Tyers
February 9, 2022 1:41 pm

But there is in the fires caused from heat during the initial blast

John Tillman
Reply to  Bryan A
February 9, 2022 2:02 pm

Heat precedes the blast wave.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Ron Long
February 9, 2022 8:05 pm

Nukes are much overrated.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Wojick
February 9, 2022 10:49 am

Methane’s estimated mean half-life in Earth’s atmosphere is 9.1 years, according to IPCC in 2013. How that figure was estimated, I don’t know. Nowadays higher linger times are bandied about.

CO2’s half-life is usually given as over a century, but I’m dubious.

Reply to  John Tillman
February 9, 2022 12:31 pm

CO2 is mostly gone in 6 years or so. About 25% of the total atmospheric CO2 content is replaced every year by the great flux. Those long times are actually the speculative estimate of how total CO2 would reduce if our emissions stopped. Nothing to do with residence time, but often confused with it.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Wojick
February 9, 2022 12:34 pm

Yes, IPCC is confused about a lot of things.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  John Tillman
February 10, 2022 12:50 am

I disagree! The UNIPCC isn’t at all confused, it has an agenda & is determined to see it through, a One-World globul guvment, un-elected, un-democratic, un-accountable, & un-sackable!!! We had a cracker of a slimy Socialist politician called Peter Mandelson who tried to convince us that we are/were living in a “post-democratic” World. Being a true Socialist he only consorted with millionaires & enjoyed the trappings of their wealth & life-styles!!! We’ve heard all the slimy claims before up to & including the “temporary” suspension of democracy to fight Climate Change!!! However, being a cynical old git I view the word “temporary” with deep suspicion. I note that when the Earth’s climate changed in the past, early Humans didn’t bother “fighting” change, they adapted to it & amazingly, we’re still here, go figure!!!

Reply to  David Wojick
February 10, 2022 11:59 am

Methane molecules continually bumping into Oxygen molecules.

Yielding CO2, H20 and loads of energy.

Yet it takes 6 years for this to happen?
Call me skeptical….

Mike McMillan
Reply to  John Tillman
February 9, 2022 8:35 pm

CO2 half-life is around 10 years, judging from the bomb spike data.
comment image

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 9, 2022 11:28 pm

Pulse decay time. 5400 Mt is in the atmosphere. 600 Mt is added in a year, but on the same date next year, the atmosphere has only 5420 Mt before new 600 Mt next year are added – Out of 6000 Mt at a given moment only 5420 will be in the atmosphere next year on the same date, if nothing more is added. Decay per year is 9.7 percent. Half life is then appox 7 years

Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
February 10, 2022 12:31 am

Bjarne, the extra uptake of CO2 doesn’t depend of the yearly addition of CO2, but of the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere compared to the equilibrium CO2 level for the current average ocean surface temperature, which is about 295 ppmv.

The real CO2 pressure is 415 μatm (~ppmv), that is 120 μatm above equilibrium. The uptake has a linear relationship with the pressure difference between atmosphere and oceans (and water in the plant leaves). For a linear decay rate the decay rate to 1/e (37%) of the initial pulse is easy to calculate:

tau = cause / effect

In 1959: 25 ppmv extra CO2 in the atmosphere, sink rate 0.5 ppmv/year, tau = 50 years, half life time 34.7 years
In 1988: 60 ppmv extra, 1.13 ppmv/year, tau = 53 years, half life time 36.8 years
In 2012: 110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year, tau = 51.2 years or a half life time of 35.5 years.

Looks very linear to me, widely within the borders of accuracy of the emission inventories and natural sink capacity variability…

The amount present in the atmosphere plays no role at all for the decay rate, only the CO2 partial pressure does, but it does for the residence time.
The residence time in the case of huge bidirectional seasonal flows is quite small (around 4 years), but that doesn’t change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is all exchange, not change and near all caused by temperature changes.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
February 10, 2022 12:58 am

I should have mentioned that the gas is methane, not CO2 which does not decay

Charles Higley
Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
February 10, 2022 6:14 am

This is simply not true. It does have a reasonably short half-life largely due to biological processes and ocean solubility.

Both CO2 and methane “decay” with a ~5-year half-life, which means that they are both rather short-lived in the real world.

Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Charles Higley
February 10, 2022 7:05 am

Mass of 1 ppm CH4 is 2800 Mt
Concentration: 1.9 ppm (approx 5400 Mt)
emission, one year: 0.24 ppm (600 Mt)
Increas, one year: 0.007 ppm (20 Mt)
What is wrong?

Reply to  Charles Higley
February 10, 2022 7:20 am

Charles, both the biosphere and the oceans don’t increase their uptake instantly at the same rate as a CO2 increase in the atmosphere…

Most natural processes are temperature controlled: diurnal, seasonal, multi-year and multi-millennia… The largest CO2 fluxes are seasonal and bidirectional: from the oceans to the biosphere in spring/summer and reverse in fall/winter. That are huge flows which give the short residence time of 4-5 years.

That says nothing about how an extra shot CO2 into the atmosphere behaves.
For the biosphere an increase of 10% CO2 in the atmosphere may give 5% more growth over many years and for the ocean surface waters that is only 1% more uptake with a half life of less than a year, due to the limited buffer capacity of the oceans for CO2 (still 10 times than for fresh water).
The main sink is in the deep oceans, but that has a limited exchange rate with the atmosphere via the sinks near the poles and the upwellings near the equator…
The average decay rate of the current CO2 level above equilibrium is measured and is around 50 years.

Reply to  Bjarne Bisballe
February 10, 2022 7:04 am

If you mean the chemical decay, of course that is right…

Last edited 1 year ago by Ferdinand Engelbeen
Bjarne Bisballe
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
February 10, 2022 1:22 am

Anyhow, interestig read

bob boder
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
February 10, 2022 2:27 am


Added Co2 to the atmosphere is in a way “forced” because of the anthropogenic component, however many of the sinks are also “forced” as in plant and algae’s sequestration, so I am not so sure your comments are as cut and dry as you make them out to be.

Reply to  bob boder
February 10, 2022 8:43 am

bob, the net sink rate of every year can be calculated from two known variables: how much is emitted by humans (from sales taxes) and how much the increase in the atmosphere is. The net difference is what nature has absorbed or added.
In the past 60+ years it was near always more absorption than addition, with only a few El Niño years borderline.

The net absorption is all natural (there are not much human made sinks), that gives the sink rate for the extra CO2 pressure of any given year in the past and if that is a linear process (which is the case, at least for the ocean waters), the e-fold decay rate is an easy formula…

bob boder
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
February 10, 2022 9:58 am


Can you and/or Willis explain something to me? each year there is a rise and fall in the Mauna Loa readings (10 to 15 PPM), I believe they correspond with the the norther winter/summer cycle. One thing that puzzles me why is the transition so abrupt? the slopes in both direction seem to be pretty steady and the transition from rise to fall is very sharp and from fall to rise appears to go dead stop for a short time and then launch off at a steep rise. .

bob boder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 11, 2022 3:28 am

Just seems to me that since the transition in the north is from is 2 to 3 months in both the spring and fall that the transition would be longer. the graph you posted has source transition as remarkably quick looks like maybe 3 weeks at the most. Was just curious.

Reply to  bob boder
February 11, 2022 10:10 am

Bob, de transitions over the seasons are huge, according to the IPCC:
In spring/summer:
60 PgC absorbed by new leaves and further growth of plants.
50 PgC released by the warming ocean surface.
In fall/winterL
60 PgC released by fallen leaves and all year round rotting/eaten plants
50 PgC absorbed by the cooling ocean surface.

The difference of 10 PgC is the amplitude of the net seasonal change you can see in the MLO (and other NH) data. That is about 5 ppmv amplitude.
The NH is mainly land and the extra tropical forests are largely deciduous wood, which has a strong uptake in spring, that gives the fast drop. Release of CO2 has a peak in fall from fallen leaves, but is more widespread over a year, even mid-winter under a snow deck…
For the oceans the release/uptake is directly proportional to the water temperature.

In the SH, oceans and land are more or less in equilibrium for releases/uptake and there is hardly any seasonal amplitude.

That vegetation is the main cause of the amplitude can be seen in the δ13C variation over the seasons: if the main cause is vegetation then CO2 and δ13C are changing in opposite directions, if the oceans are the main cause, the changes are in parallel…

Jim Ross
Reply to  bob boder
February 11, 2022 10:40 am

I agree with you about the ‘abruptness’ of the switch between the spring/summer reduction in atmospheric CO2 and the increase during autumn/winter (and vice versa). Generally, at Mauna Loa the drop is about 6 ppmv each year and the increase is about 8 ppmv (with variations largely due to ENSO/Pinatubo), hence the long term increase of about 2 ppmv per year. However, to get a better understanding of what is happening at Mauna Loa, which is at a latitude of close to 20degN, I recommend focussing initially further north as the evidence points to the Boreal forests (approx 50degN to 70degN) being a key driver of the seasonal cycle in the Northern Hemisphere. I don’t have time to go into further detail right now, but would strongly recommend you take a look at the video available here:
Watch how the CO2 levels increase/decrease first at these higher latitudes which then ‘pull up’ and ‘pull down’ the values further south, with only a minor affect into the Southern Hemisphere.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 11, 2022 1:57 am

If a pulse decay takes 30-40 years – does that mean any effort to “stop the rise” will have no real effect on temperatures for a generation even if the CAGW panic mongers are right?

bob boder
Reply to  c1ue
February 11, 2022 3:32 am

I think the point that both WE and FE are making is that the pulse decay is irrelevant to CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, its simply source vs sinks. Is some how the sinks are larger than the source then concertation will decrease, right now its the opposite. There is a temperature component but its minor.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 10, 2022 9:32 am

Does it really matter? We aren’t concerned which CO2 molecules are in the atmosphere. As long as the ocean outgasses to make up for the ones that decay, we will be even.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  John Tillman
February 10, 2022 12:40 am

I dare say that the half-life will be adjusted to produce the worst possible outcomes for the planet. Curious how throughout Human history fear has been used to create conditions for manipulation & control, & still used today in a Human society that’s never been better educated & enlightened in said Human history, so I take such claims with a pinch of salt!!! However, I’m just a cynical 64 year old grumpy old man, & enjoying it!!!

Charles Higley
Reply to  John Tillman
February 10, 2022 6:10 am

This was a mistake of honesty on the part of the IPCC because they had not realized that they could demonize methane for their purposes. I bet they claim longer times now.

Study averages place methane at about 5 years for half-life. The IPCC was claiming 100–500 years for CO2, but NASA did not want to be outdone and claimed 1000 years for CO2. This is so political that it turns a scientists’s stomach.

John Tillman
Reply to  David Wojick
February 9, 2022 12:48 pm

Burning methane to make electricity is why the US met Kyoto enission reduction goals, unlike those industrial nations that signed the accords.

James H
Reply to  John Tillman
February 9, 2022 7:46 pm

If methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, and of course burning CH4 converts it to CO2, then gas-fired power might be by far the best for the climate!

Eric Vieira
Reply to  David Wojick
February 10, 2022 2:05 am

The methane comes from decomposing grass.. Be it on the field or in the cow’s stomach makes no difference. The ICCP has been misrepresenting methane vs. livestock data since the beginning. Right now there’s another “natural phenomenon” coming up: Gates, Vanguard, Blackrock and co. want to sell us lab meat, so meat from livestock must go…

Charles Higley
Reply to  Eric Vieira
February 10, 2022 6:16 am

Actual studies of methane release by the biomass of melting permafrost has shown that, when the life wakes up, it quickly becomes a carbon sink as it craves carbon for growth and does NOT just sit there and rot.

Charles Higley
Reply to  David Wojick
February 10, 2022 6:06 am

Another thing not often mentioned is that the half-life of methane and CO2 in the atmosphere is only about 5 years. NASA would like to claim the it’s 1000 years for CO2, trying to pretend that most of the CO2 from the last 1000 years is still in the atmosphere (and it’s then all our fault). There are quite a number of studies on CO2 half-life, with an average around 5 years. Methane data indicates the same thing.

A 5-year half-life means that these gases turnover quite quickly and do NOT accumulate in the atmosphere. That makes the warmist arguments very weak and thus meaningless.

Reply to  Charles Higley
February 10, 2022 8:51 am

Charles, turnover or residence time indeed is 4-5 years, but that has nothing to do with the removal time of an extra injection of CO2, whatever the source, that needs some 50 years (far below the 1000 years of the IPCC).

Compare it to the difference between turnover time of goods (thus capital) through a factory and the financial gain (or loss…) the same factory makes…

Alexander Vissers
Reply to  David Wojick
February 11, 2022 6:16 am

How would we know? With 2/3 of the surface area being oceans and all? Permafrost dew?

Richard Brown
February 9, 2022 10:10 am

Once again, a doom laden load of crap from ‘scientists’ who are ‘seeing’ things that aren’t there. It’s a good job there are scientists like Willis who can provide the actual truth.
When methane is no longer the bad boy, what other gases should we expect to hit the headlines?

Last edited 1 year ago by mrbluesky
Reply to  Richard Brown
February 9, 2022 10:25 am

Water vapor?

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 9, 2022 10:43 am

Let’s see them ban that.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Philip
February 9, 2022 1:13 pm

no more hot steamy showers!

Jacques Dumon
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 9, 2022 8:17 pm

No more hydrogen powered cars !

Reply to  Jacques Dumon
February 9, 2022 9:56 pm

No more laughing gas!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Philip
February 10, 2022 12:56 am

Well, be honest it is a deadly substance, apparently if you breath enough of it in its solid form, it can be fatal!!! 😉

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 10, 2022 12:58 am

PS I recommend to those you may not have seen it, go on You Tube & hunt down Penn & Teller’s petition for banning Dihydrogen-Monoxide, it’s staggering how many young people (mostly) were only too willing to sign it!!!

Max P
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 9, 2022 10:54 am


Reply to  Max P
February 9, 2022 11:29 am

Very dangerous oxidant – should be banned immediately 🙂

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Brown
February 9, 2022 8:13 pm

… what other gases should we expect to hit the headlines?

Anything synthetic, i.e. man-made.

Reply to  Richard Brown
February 9, 2022 9:06 pm


On the outer Barcoo
February 9, 2022 10:14 am

A carbon-based life-form decrying the existence of carbon beggars belief.

Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
February 9, 2022 10:59 am

All living things are pollution.

Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
February 9, 2022 11:17 am

And then they came for my carbon …..

Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
February 9, 2022 12:07 pm

The worshipers of death are a large cult.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  AndyHce
February 9, 2022 1:17 pm

with the equivalent of Jesuits

February 9, 2022 10:20 am

I’ll be honest, as I’ve gotten older my methane contribution has definitely increased.

Reply to  Steve
February 9, 2022 10:41 am


Bryan A
Reply to  Drake
February 9, 2022 1:42 pm

and Quintitto

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  Steve
February 9, 2022 2:01 pm

Eating lots of cabbage sprouts beans and ognions will cause a methane global climate catastrphe! 🙂

Reply to  Frederik Michiels
February 9, 2022 3:06 pm

The vegans did it.

Reply to  Frederik Michiels
February 9, 2022 11:01 pm

Methane madness?

Pythagoras died because of an aversion to beans. He was being pursued by a crazed mob of democrats [that’s little d not big D] and was caught on the edge of a field of beans. Apart from geometry Pythagoras and his followers came up with theories about why people should have nothing to do with beans. Adhering to his principles he would not cross the bean field and was beaten to death by the democrats [little d not big D].

Reply to  Steve
February 9, 2022 7:14 pm

Once you are 60, never assume it’s just methane.

Reply to  Steve
February 9, 2022 9:07 pm

With the benefit of practising control, I reckon I have become marginally more tuneful as well.

February 9, 2022 10:24 am

They can switch the claimed cause all they want but it won’t help them sell their scam any more effectively.

Reply to  Rah
February 9, 2022 12:08 pm

You underestimate politicians and other group thinkers.

John in Oz
Reply to  AndyHce
February 9, 2022 1:32 pm

and the sheeple

Eyes Wide Open
February 9, 2022 10:25 am

Too much methane? Excuse me . . . .

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Eyes Wide Open
February 9, 2022 11:24 am

Did you hear about the teacher who would not toot (pass gas) in public? He was strictly a private tutor.

Sal Minella
Reply to  Eyes Wide Open
February 9, 2022 1:43 pm

Solution: Butt plugs and crack pipes for all!

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Sal Minella
February 9, 2022 8:41 pm

That’s in the Brandon Health Care initiative, at least the crack pipes are.

Pat from Kerbob
February 9, 2022 10:29 am

Its been noted here before that scientology alarmism states methane is 85x more greenhousy than CO2.

But 1.9ppm x 85 is only 161.5ppm vs CO2 current 420ppm which means its still 2.6X less greenhousy than CO2?

So if CO2 is nothing what is CH4?

Am i a denier?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
February 9, 2022 10:59 am

It is not just the concentration and the absorption properties, but how the absorption curves overlap with the other gasses already in the atmosphere.
Methane overlaps nearly completely with existing atmospheric components.
I think that 80x crap is just more made up warmista malarkey.
Their perfect record of being wrong about absolutely everything is intact.

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David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 9, 2022 12:44 pm

So, it would appear that a bit of extra methane just might have some measurable impact on a planet like Mars, with essentially no suspended water vapor to cover the same IR absorption as you have for methane? On planet Earth, however, where we *do* have plenty of water vapor, the expectation should be *zero* impact from adding a bit of methane!

The challenge to alarmists then should be “show us where you’ve actually measured the impact of methane on the Earth’s atmosphere (say, I, plaintively, not expecting a reasonable answer from educated idiots).

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
February 9, 2022 8:18 pm

Were they being objective, they would report methane in the same units as CO2. The fact that they move the decimal point to make the CH4 number look bigger means they are more interested in stampeding the sheep.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 10, 2022 5:49 am

Of course! Methane is 1,900,000 parts per trillion!! And everybody knows that nearly 2 million of anything is scary!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 9, 2022 10:43 pm

But I mean by just taking them at their word, it’s still nothing.

Steve Case
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
February 9, 2022 12:08 pm

Methane is 85 times more powerful than a similar MASS of CO2. By 2100 methane is on course to increase about 0.5 ppm. A similar mass of CO2 would be about 0.2 ppm. So if CO2 increases from 420 to 420.2 ppm, how much would that run up temperature? Then multiply that by 85. It comes to less than 0.1 degrees Celsius.

Mike Smith
February 9, 2022 10:38 am

Willis, I am worried that global warming is going to change the smell of the methane I produce.

Any chance you could write a paper to allay my concerns?

Reply to  Mike Smith
February 9, 2022 11:00 am

The increased smell of snow is going to overwhelm the increased smell of whatever is in your intestinal gas, at least according to the other post by WaPo here this morning

The methane part doesn’t smell at all, of course. It’s all that hydrogen sulfide and various organic compounds released by bacteria in the human digestive system that smells, or stinks rather.

Last edited 1 year ago by Duane
Reply to  Duane
February 9, 2022 2:46 pm

But snow is a thing of the past. Our children will not know what snow is. Hence smell of snow will not outsmell what comes from human orifices.

Reply to  Mike Smith
February 9, 2022 11:50 am

Blame the dog.

Reply to  Mr.
February 9, 2022 3:13 pm

My heeler/border collie cross runs away when she pass gas. My Chihuahua doesn’t even twitch when he does it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  mal
February 9, 2022 8:22 pm

Your big dog has more brain mass.

Ron Long
February 9, 2022 10:38 am

Whoa! the current atmospheric methane content is 1,900 parts per billion? That’s about 2 parts per million. Two parts per million might be enough gold to make a gold mine, but that amount flying around in the atmosphere, mixing it up with water vapor, CO2, unicorn farts, etc, shirley can’t be significant? Willis reveals reality again!

Bryan A
February 9, 2022 10:39 am

There is an interesting jump in CH4 levels of around 200ppb between the 1980 (core) and 1984 measurements databases. I didn’t see in the metadata when the core samples were extracted. I wonder what the discrepancy between measurements would be if a new top portion core was gathered and compared with measurements?

Reply to  Bryan A
February 9, 2022 1:45 pm

Since snow became a thing of yesteryear circa 2000, there is no new top to core for a sample. Unfortunately, we must rely on the models for sole source of ‘data’ on this topic.

February 9, 2022 10:40 am

Climate Change causes everything else bad, so it must be causing CH4 levels to increase. And since Climate Change causes everything bad, it must also be causing CO2.

February 9, 2022 10:49 am

I wonder if people actually read these “findings” anymore or even care when a “guess what else AGW is doing now” article appears.

Nicholas McGinley
February 9, 2022 10:51 am

It takes one thousand parts per billion to equal 1 part per million.
That is why I am not and will not be worried about this, even if we do once again have 1985 levels of increase.

Tom Halla
February 9, 2022 10:53 am

The data in figure 3 looks very much like there was a measurement artifact at some point.

Bar Code
February 9, 2022 10:53 am

Pull my finger

odds on
Reply to  Bar Code
February 9, 2022 2:21 pm

Maybe we should “flare” the problem at its source

bob boder
Reply to  Bar Code
February 10, 2022 9:43 am


Mike Dubrasich
February 9, 2022 10:53 am

“I’m not going to be concerned until such time as the trend starts getting up somewhere around the 1985 levels.”

Not me. I’m not concerned now and won’t be later. Warmer Is Better. Embrace Life.

February 9, 2022 11:01 am

This past Sunday I watched a PBS documentary on methane in the Arctic. The concern was that the permafrost seems to be melting allowing methane to escape from deep underground. Further, as the melting occurs the buried vegetation will rot and vast unknown amounts of methane will be produced.

The scientists interviewed said that this issue is not covered in climate models.

I guess the science isn’t settled.

Reply to  mkelly
February 9, 2022 12:14 pm

A few studies have reported that the growth in methane eating bacteria is so fast with warming that thawing tundra appears to be a more a methane sink than source.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  mkelly
February 9, 2022 1:21 pm

and those scientists don’t bother to think about how much CO2 will be sequestered by the new forests that will develop up there- along with the nice increase in wildlife populations

Reply to  mkelly
February 9, 2022 5:50 pm

The permafrost line has moved from the US-Canada border to the Arctic circle in the last 80 centuries….seems beneficial so far….

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  mkelly
February 9, 2022 8:46 pm

They downplayed it, but CO2 is produced along with CH4.


Rud Istvan
February 9, 2022 11:01 am

Some observations drawn from a methane post here about 8 years ago, provided also in the commentary to the previous methane post by Homewood: ‘Methane: the irrelevant greenhouse gas’, post by Dr Tom Sheahan 4/11/2014.

In the lab, methane has 84x the GHE of CO2. But in the lab, the data is from a long tube of dry air plus only the one test gas.

In fact, the methane absorption bands almost perfectly overlap water vapor, while CO2 does not. That means that in the real world atmosphere, methane has almost NO GHE because it is almost completely ‘blocked’ by water vapor. So however much is in the atmosphere matters not at all until it exceeds water vapor, which averages about 2%. Never gonna happen. Ever.

Methane concern (in forms including this, melting permafrost, and leaky wells) is just more scientific illiteracy, which the warmunists have in abundance. Other examples include AR4 ocean acidification (ignored buffering), coral bleaching (expelling then repopulating with other symbionts within about a year NOT a problem), and disappearing summer Arctic sea ice threatening polar bears (Polly’s do about 85% of their annual caloric intake on spring ice during the seal whelping season).

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 9, 2022 6:01 pm

Double methane in Modtran to 3.8 ppm from 1.9 ppm, which means twice as many rice paddies, termites, cow pastures, leaky pipelines…etc..and you only get 0.17 C increase…

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 7:12 am

Which means that each methane molecule would produce one molecule of CO2 and 2 of H2O, therefore never more than 2 and 4 ppm respectively. Hardly relevant, it seems to me.

Jan de Jong
February 9, 2022 11:10 am

Anything we can measure nowadays can be a candidate for source of worry. Life was easier when witches were the obvious problem.

Reply to  Jan de Jong
February 9, 2022 12:15 pm

easier for whom?

Reply to  AndyHce
February 9, 2022 3:17 pm

Not for the so called witches.

Reply to  mal
February 9, 2022 7:12 pm

But the warlocks had fun.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  mal
February 10, 2022 6:33 am

Now look here, the English justice system of yore was a very fair & balanced legal system! The ladies concerned were given ample time to confess their obvious mortal links with beelzebub when tethered to the ducking stool, but if they refused to confess, they were dried out on a very nice bonfire, so were clearly treated with courtesy & respect!!! Sarc off!!!

February 9, 2022 11:18 am

This confirms the Earth and it’s atmosphere are in constant change as are worry warts.

February 9, 2022 11:18 am

Well, if it was not the CO2 gas that is warming the earth, then it won’t be the CH4 either….


February 9, 2022 11:24 am

They are trying to justify a ban on fracking when some global wormers are starting to consider methane a transition energy source. The rise in emission rates is natural as there is more anaerobic decomposition of all kinds of biological material both on land and in the sea.

February 9, 2022 11:28 am

CH is Pure Cane Sugar, and the brown stuff is PERFECT for chocolate chip cookies.

Seriously, this is like Food Network 101 stuff here…

John Tillman
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
February 9, 2022 12:38 pm

California-Hawaii cane sugar and Utah-Idaho beet sugar. Those were the days!

Boff Doff
February 9, 2022 11:38 am

It may be best to allow all of the charlatans to jump on board the CH4 bus before debunking it. It is useful to have incontrovertible evidence of someones incompetence and dishonesty during less obvious debates.

February 9, 2022 11:47 am

Even the 1985 rate of change of 23 ppd/yr is meaningless. Ch 4 is approximately 0.0002% of the atmosphere and it is impossible for that small amount gas to impact the climate especially if you consider it readily interacts with O2 to create water vapour.

Jim Traynor
February 9, 2022 11:55 am

I would assess the impact of the fall of USSR for decline, and NG displacing coal in US for increase starting around 2005 (EIA).

While at Shell Oil I recall hearing how both Shell and Chevron discovered considerable NG leaks in USSR infrastructure as they went in after the fall of the Soviets. 5-10% losses compared to .05% in much of the developed world??

Steve Case
February 9, 2022 11:57 am

Only one question needs to be asked:

Business as usual, how much is methane on track to increase global temperature by 2100?

If any one says that it’s more a few one hundredths of a degree Celsius they need to show their work.

Nick Schroeder
February 9, 2022 12:00 pm

More data to take on the unicorn balloons and echo-chamber voices.

Attached is a slide for SURFRAD data at Table Mountain, Boulder, CO 6/18/21. There are 1,440 1-minute data points.

Column 13 is downwelling solar insolation, “dw_solar real” or the 160 on the K-T diagram.
Column 14 is upwelling insolation, “uw_solar real” or the 63 on the K-T diagram.
Column 25 is the difference between the two or what I have demonstrated is the non-radiation, kinetic energy, heat transfer processes and NOT “back” radiation.

Column 17 is the downwelling IR, dw_ir or the 333 on the K-T diagram.
It’s not real.
Column 20 is the upwelling IR, uw_ir, or the 396 in the K-T diagram. This is the theoretical, S-B BB result for the GROUND temperature not the 10 m “surface” air temperature. In this case, Column 14/column 20 is the emissivity. Just as with the K-T et. al. balances applying this emissivity to the raw uw_ir measurement makes the uw/dw_ir loop disappear while the balance remains.
It, too, is not real.

A plot of the ground versus 10 m air temps is revealing.
During the night the 10 m temp is slightly higher than the actual ground temperature.
As day breaks the ground temperature rises much faster than the 10 m temp and during much of the day is much higher than the 10 m temp.
The ground is a heat sink that absorbs energy during the day and releases it during the night.

When the correct emissivity is applied there is no GHG energy loop.

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 9, 2022 2:22 pm

there is no GHG energy loop.

Correct. If there was a GHE that had any impact on the surface temperature then it would be possible to get open ocean surface temperature higher than 30C and lower than -1.8C. Those limits are controlled by ice on ocean surface and the persistence of ice in the atmosphere.

What ever people choose to believe about a “Greenhouse Effect” it has no influence on Earth’s energy balance.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  RickWill
February 10, 2022 2:28 pm

If “back” radiation were real there would be refrigerators w/o power cords.
I have not seen any.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 9, 2022 7:04 pm

161 makes it to the surface, per LoT 1 161 is ALL that can leave. 1 is left behind. 160-17-80=63
Really, real reality.

396 – (40+23) = 333 is 100% imaginary.
Don’t know which version K-T this is.
The 374/22 should be 333/40/23.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 9, 2022 8:23 pm

The numbers are different because the K-T model divides all by 4 to average the discular over the spherical TOA. A rather dumb thang to.
SURFRAD uses actual measurements.
Both use the same general and erroneous concept.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 2:27 pm

“…is that one is a measurement at a single time at a single location, and the other is a long-term global average.”
No, one is a model and the other actual data.

If the upwelling is imaginary (It is.) then the downwelling must also be imaginary. I can tweak an IR instrument w emissivity to display anything I want.

“…ignore the Stefan-Boltzmann equation…”

While you ignore the evidence for emissivity which is part of that equation.

BTW do you have a link for that graphic?

Reply to  Nick Schroeder
February 11, 2022 10:43 am

I know, it is to no avail to the adepts of the no-back-radiation-theory, but back-radiation is really measured at a lot of places and is around 300 W/m2, as good as ground radiation is measured and higher than the back-radiation:

If you think that they all used some imaginary equipment, then I think you should change your opinion…

Moreover, two stations have measured back radiation in extreme fine detail with spectral analyses, which did give them even the small changes of CO2 back radiation over the seasons in the period 2000-2010:
Or in detail:

You can’t tweak spectral analyses that easy…

Bob boder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 3:51 am

Every time I see these graphs I wonder how the near surface temperature can ever be lower then the actual surface temperature.

Nick Schroeder
Reply to  Bob boder
February 10, 2022 2:33 pm

There is the1.5 m (USCRN) or 10 m (SURFRAD) surface temperature and the real actual ground temperature (some USCRN sites).
They are all different because the sun heats the ground during the day above the air temperature and at night cold air settles in and the air temp can be higher than the ground.
aka weather.

Peter Plail
February 9, 2022 12:09 pm

The methane is due to the increase in the number of people eating vegan and vegetarian diets. It is all those beans and pulses wot dun it.

Bob boder
Reply to  Peter Plail
February 10, 2022 3:52 am

Meat eaters rise up

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Peter Plail
February 10, 2022 6:41 am

No idea what it’s like elsewhere in the World, but here in the UK, my experience of vegetarians & vegans is that they are constantly telling me how bad meat eating is, & alleging how bad it is for the planet. However, I never try to impose my views upon them, ever, & I defend their right to their views, right or wrong!!! I seem to recall reading an article online some years back about how if everyone on the planet went vegetarian & or vegan, say goodbye to the worlds rain-forests & jungles, as the land would have to be turned over for agricultural production to feed 7 billion Human beings!!!

H. D. Hoese
February 9, 2022 12:15 pm

“In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried…”
I see this in marine biological papers quite often, some from those educated over two generations ago. I don’t collect words like “Unfortunately” and others that give away their advocacy, and a “need to increase funding” is not rare as in one I just read this AM. It’s a good education in linguistics, hard to hide motivations. Part of it is including management solutions with the science– It’s bad but we can fix it sort of thing. It always seems to be associated with a slant (bias) in their research which unfortunately can cover their valuable part, if any, but does occur.

Rich Lentz
February 9, 2022 12:33 pm

Amazing what you can do when graphing “data” to provide “concern.”
When a Long period is used for “smoothing” data . not only is the “Data” smoothed the inflection points of the data being graphed are shifted so that it is no longer in phase with the actual event. If you then take another set of “data” and shift it by a different time period you can create the false impression that Data “A” is Leading, Lagging or even Synchronized with Data “B.” Basically you have taken the data and put it through a “Filter” to achieve your desired result to sell your rotten tomatoes. Especially dangerous when one of these datasets has an inherent, dominant, bias increasing (or decreasing) the values in the dataset over a long period. Like the inherent increase in Global Temperature of the Earth upon exiting an Ice Age.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
February 9, 2022 1:02 pm

I’m just being silly here 🙂

Rich Lentz
February 9, 2022 1:02 pm

Has anyone performed a global analysis of the total leakage of Methane in mines and Volcano emissions, including underwater, and the relationship to the fluctuation due to gravitational pull on the Earth from the planets in our solar system? Wasn’t there an “Alignment” of the planets back around 2000?

February 9, 2022 1:08 pm

Democrats better devise some method of keeping the economy alive when several million Truckers go on a general strike and park their rigs on the DC Beltway and all around town…with a few hundred thousand pick-up trucks (with provisions for a few months) in the mix.

Why would Truckers do that? I suspect $6 to $7 diesel fuel might suffice… and that’s a certainty if investment funds for developing domestic oil reserves don’t materialize pretty soon.

Joseph Zorzin
February 9, 2022 1:09 pm

gee, 1,900 parts per billion? same as 19,000 parts per trillion- sound scarier

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 12:59 pm

Holy shit!!!

February 9, 2022 1:50 pm

Methane has a lower explosive limit of 5% in air. Until any location gets to that level, methane is zero risk.

It would make sense to collect it from productive sources and burn it in a controlled manner. That happens in old tips around Australia and gas drainage systems in coal mines.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  RickWill
February 9, 2022 8:52 pm

Every sewage treatment plant in world produces methane in their digesters. They usually flare it off, with some losses.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 10, 2022 2:02 am

In the UK they collect it and use it to power sewage plant and water pumping.

In fact they generate it from sewage.


Tom in Florida
Reply to  griff
February 10, 2022 1:00 pm

Speaking of methane produces……..

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
February 10, 2022 7:44 pm

In fact they generate it from sewage.

Yes, that’s what I said.

It could also be used to create distilled water to be sold as a by-product, or added to the outflow to dilute undesirable leftover contaminants.

Gary Kerkin
February 9, 2022 2:03 pm

The Nature article was based on NOAA data. What Nature did not say is that in that NOAA date the composition of CH₄ is expressed on a dry air basis. Without the presence of water (usually expressed in percentages—parts per hundred) changes in CH₄ (expressed in parts per billion) might look significant. When the presence of water is included any changes in methane are lost in the noise of the measurements!

Brian Hatch
February 9, 2022 3:04 pm

Ice is an unstable, plastic rock. The graph from 1750 to 1980 may show that methane in ice deteriorates at a steady rate and not the methane level at the time the ice formed.

Rich Lentz
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 8:31 am

Could that be caused by bacteria?

Reply to  Rich Lentz
February 11, 2022 11:00 am

There are some extremophiles in ice which (hardly) survive the cold temperatures (-20 to -40 C) of Antarctica, but that mainly is restricted to dust inclusions and restricted to DNA repair to survive for hundred thousands of years…
See: https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/101/13/4631.full.pdf
Chapter K is about the Vostok ice core at -40 C.
For CO2 that gives less than 1 ppmv difference.
How much that influences CH4 is unknown.

For glacier ice, the temperatures are much higher and bacteria can produce a lot of CO2 and CH4, as in the same chapter is indicated…

Tom Abbott
February 9, 2022 4:04 pm

From the article: “Here’s Nature, which used to be a serious scientific journal”

Used to be. Not any more. They have been totally corrupted by the Human-caused Climate Change scam.

February 9, 2022 4:28 pm

My guess is that the decline in the amount of methane is about the time that natural gas became valuable as a commodity and started to be injected to support increased oil production or sold outright as its own commodity. Up until then (if the reservoir relied on solution gas as a drive mechanism) it was routinely flared at the wellhead. Just a thought.

February 9, 2022 4:42 pm

Does it correlate with volcanlc activity?

bob boder
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 4:02 am

Rising tide of communism?

Jim Ross
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 10, 2022 9:08 am

“Despite lots of folks looking, nobody to date has found a reason for either the flattening or the recent increase in methane.”
As usual, you go straight to the key issue! The absence of a reasonable hypothesis for the major changes in growth rate of atmospheric methane is indeed a critical limitation of current scientific knowledge. There a couple of interesting (to me, at least) characteristics of atmospheric methane growth. Firstly, the data show that the level of atmospheric methane at any particular time increases globally from south to north. This has been known for a long time and it does not appear to be an issue of calibration errors between observatories (see, for example: https://gml.noaa.gov/publications/showpub.php?pubid=5226). Here are the NOAA data from Barrow, Alaska (BRW), Mauna Loa (MLO) and the South Pole (SPO):
comment image
The seasonal cycle is larger further north, as it is with CO2, but so are the mean values; in addition, the offsets are maintained as the growth rate changes. This latitudinal consistency in growth rate is even clearer on this other NOAA plot using a common baseline for methane content:
comment image
There is very little growth of atmospheric methane from the late 1990s until late-2006 at which time there is a major increase in rate of growth. This change appears to be virtually synchronous globally, despite the existence of the latitudinal offsets. The question is then: how does an increase in atmospheric methane occur at virtually the same time at the South Pole as it does in Alaska, unless the primary source of the increase is essentially global in nature and there is a different physical process controlling the latitudinal gradient in values?
The other point shown on the above figure is the change in the 13C/12C ratio (δ13C) of atmospheric methane. The incremental methane since 2007 clearly has a net δ13C that is lower (more negative) on average than the pre-2007 atmospheric methane content. This has long been an annoyance to those wishing to blame fossil fuels for the increase in atmospheric methane, since lower δ13C values are much more likely to arise from biogenic sources than from fossil fuels. Indeed, a recent NOAA study strongly supports this view:
(h/t to “Scissor” who commented on Kip Hansen’s WUWT post on methane yesterday)
Whatever the source is for the recent (post 2007) increase in atmospheric methane, how could global warming be the cause when there was a slowdown in growth during the 1990s and essentially no growth from the late 1990s until 2007? There seems to be a logic flaw in there somewhere!

Reply to  Jim Ross
February 11, 2022 11:15 am

Jim, there doesn’t need to be global sources of methane, as there is about a 10% per year mix of air between NH and SH via the ITCZ.
Thus even if the main sources of CO2 and CH4 are for 90% in the NH, they are mixed all over the globe, with a 6 months delay between ground stations (like Barrow) and Mauna Loa and up to 2 years between Barrow and the South Pole.

CH4 during the warmer previous interglacial (the Eemian) was around 700 ppbv, including a lot of melted permafrost. The level over the Holocene also was around 650-700 ppbv up to about 1750 and increasing since then. The increase may be from coal mining, natural gas exploration and leaks, rice and cattle…
These are all increasing over time, but nobody knows the ratio between these sources…

Jim Ross
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
February 11, 2022 12:08 pm


Please show me the data that contradicts the NOAA plots that I showed above, and which supports your view that there is a 2 year delay between Barrow and South Pole methane data. Perhaps I need new glasses, but I see Barrow at 1900 ppb in 2012 whereas as the South Pole is still at 1800 ppb in 2017 (five years later).

Reply to  Jim Ross
February 12, 2022 8:34 am


The lags are for CO2 and implicitly also for CH4, but CO2 is not destroyed in the atmosphere, while CH4 reacts with OH radicals, ozone and other oxidants and is slowly destroyed between the main sources in the NH at ground level and MLO at 3400 meter and the south pole at 2300 m and behind the ITCZ barrier…

Last edited 1 year ago by Ferdinand Engelbeen
Andy Pattullo
February 9, 2022 6:48 pm

The rise and fall of methane levels seems to follow a tight correlation with the dimensions of the over-stuffed bowels of climate bureaucrats. Who would have thought it.

February 9, 2022 7:52 pm

“In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried”?”
That may be a little harsh. Worrying works. 97% of the stuff I worry about never happens.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Wescom
February 9, 2022 8:58 pm

And for the same reason that blowing a whistle keeps the pink elephants away.

Clyde Spencer
February 9, 2022 8:09 pm

In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried”?

There was a time, not so long ago, that the model for the ideal scientist was one who was a disinterested, or dispassionate observer. In other words, objective. I’m afraid that what now passes for a scientist is someone who has a concern and goes out looking for evidence to support their concern.

February 9, 2022 9:03 pm

Lordy, we have temperatures not getting anywhere close to the forecast rises based on CO2 alone.

Now we have methane to contend with as well?!?!

Peter Hannan
February 9, 2022 11:52 pm

Anyone checked the populations of methanogenic archaea? Or if there’s some factor impeding its oxidation, and so extending its half-life of 9.1 years?

February 10, 2022 12:51 am

In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried”?

Worry has been weaponized.
A nuanced from of weaponized victimhood.
Beware those furrowed foreheads!

Julian Flood
February 10, 2022 12:54 am

The CH4 levels in the atmosphere could be reduced by 11% overnight be exterminating all termites which harbour methane excreting bacteria in their gut. Well, it makes as much sense as most climate science.

BTW, global warming is partly caused by oil spills smoothing water surfaces – various mechanisms. Another part cause is nitrate/phosphate/silica pollution feeding oleaginous plankton which also contribute to smoothing. See also the Permian/Triassic extinction. Article sitting in CR’s in tray.

February 10, 2022 12:56 am

The spike has caused many researchers to worry that global warming is creating a feedback mechanism that will cause ever more methane to be released!”
Yet again a non-scientific biased cause and effect “confusion”
First it was average global temperatures caused by CO2 increases.This was measurable and therefore verifiable. Historic records showed Increased temperatures before CO2 increases and temperature rises without CO2 changes. Data didn’t support this so they changed to Climate Change – something that is far less quantifiable and therefore challengeable and has always happened regardless of CO2 levels.
Now its methane, as CO2 hat let the alarmists down! What’s next!

Bruce Cobb
February 10, 2022 3:31 am

CO2 is nothing to worry about, and methane is less than nothing to worry about. That trend graph is mystifying though. The spike upward from about 1950 to 1980 and then the crash from 1980 to about 2010 is weird.
But yeah, the Alarmunists need methane to help pad their anti-carbon anti-West and anti-democracy portfolio. Maybe they can keep the whole scam going for a few more years. The prisons will still be there.

Charles Higley
February 10, 2022 5:59 am

Ice cores and modern data cannot be put together. They are two different data sets from very different sources.

The world’s leading ice core scientist, Jaworowski (sp?), has indicated that the trauma and micro-fracturing of ice cores during extraction and decompression can loose up to 50% of the contained gases, ignoring any chemical processes that might consume methane while at depth. This means that the ice core values of 800 ppb methane would have been 1600 ppb, which is pretty much what it is today. The same is true for CO2 in ice cores. This is meaningless scientifically.

It is simply ingenuous to pretend that ice core data of gases are absolute values, they clearly are not and cannot be, and thus the data cannot be commingled with Mauna Loa gas measurements.

Reply to  Charles Higley
February 10, 2022 9:14 am

Sorry, but Jaworowski was specialized in radio-isotopes fallout in ice cores, never performed any CO2 or methane measurements in ice cores. His ideas from 1992 were completely refuted already in 1996 by Etheridge e.a. who drilled three ice cores at Law Dome and measured CO2 top down from the surface to full depth.

One simple point: if one measures 800 ppbv in ice and in the laboratory atmosphere it is 1600 ppbv, one would expect that CH4 goes from the outside air to inside the ice, not reverse if there were cracks in the ice…

See further: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html

Reply to  Charles Higley
February 12, 2022 9:04 am


In addition to what Willis said, here the graph of the firn and ice CO2 levels measured by Etheridge in de Law Dome drillings, where he used special equipment to measure the CO2 levels in the firn from near the surface to where the bubbles were closed at about 72 meters depth. At that depth the CO2 levels were about 10 years older that in the atmosphere, as the overlap with direct measurements at the south pole did show. At the same depth, the ice was already 40 years old (yearly layers at Law Dome are quite visible with 1.2 meter ice equivalent snow per years!), thus an age difference of 30 years between ice and included gas.
On the other side: CO2 levels in the firn of still open pores at closing depth and already closed pores in the ice were exactly the same.

Jaworowski published his objections in 1992, Etheridge his measurements in 1996, but Jaworowski still repeated his objections many years later.

When I confronted him with the age difference (for the Siple Dome ice core) in personal correspondence, he said that there were frequent melt layers in all ice cores, which is not true at all: none in Law Dome, one in the Siple Dome, for which the ice age – gas age difference was adjusted by Neftel…

February 10, 2022 6:26 am

Well, the alarmunists have been bleating about the various possible causes for whatever climate change of the moment they could possibly come up. None of ’em worked to their satisfaction to shut down the world, all the while further enriching the elite via guilt payments to save the planet…the children…humanity…endangered species…etc. Nothing stuck on the wall, so its back to that evil methane. I suggest that anyone who truly believes this crap stops eating, thereby curtailing methane output, all the while stop breathing, thereby reducing the dreaded CO2 levels. Its just the right thing to do for the cause they push on the rational thinking folks.

February 10, 2022 6:35 am

There is very little real science in the entire concept of “FEEDBACK” of thermal energy resulting from the thermal excitation of “greenhouse gases”. If that were true, people would be heating their homes with liquid crystal display thermometers. They respond to a wide range of thermal variations and must feedback enormous thermal energy. (RIGHT)

Reply to  Jim
February 10, 2022 10:14 am

Jim, why do you think that undercooled victims are packed in alu foil? Because these reflect near all residues of heat the victim itself has left.

If you surround a heat source (even if that is the solar heated surface) with something that reflects some (even if it is only 1%) of the outgoing radiation, the surface will heat up, or you are destroying energy…

Kevin kilty
February 10, 2022 7:09 am

What does it take to obtain a job sinecure in which you can study something so narrow day in and day out for 40 years? These must rank among the lowest productivity employment of all time.

By the way, that trend from 1850 to 1960 or so mirrors population growth pretty nicely — 5 grams of methane per person per day. Just sayin’ 🙂

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 10, 2022 7:30 am

On more serious note I have spent some time on gas well pads in western/southwestern Wyoming. The recent “worry” about methane, which is possibly about to become ludricrous regulation to make your home heating bill spike outta’ sight, has some of the gas producers putting expensive monitors around the perimeter of these large gathering and processing operations. These sensors are capable of sub ppb sensitivity to methane whilst the background air is nearly 2,000 ppb. Then the pneumatics on the pads are run by methane releases — permitted releases, which I can smell when the valves operate.

Lots of rent seekers running around proposing expensive technical, sciency sorts of solutions for a non-problem.

Danley Wolfe
February 10, 2022 7:17 am

The post’s title almoist too clever/cute to be understood. CH? Swiss Confederation (Confoederatio Helvetica) ? Certified hypnotherapist? The U.S. vice president K(C)amala Harris? Yes methane is a potent greenhouse gas 25-30 times more than CO2 on a molecular / concentration basis. This is well known .. for a long time. Ban oil and gas fuels and send us back to literally the dark ages. Stupid is … as stupid does. Break out the cow bladder panties.

peter dimopoulos
February 10, 2022 12:53 pm

Stop Methane emissions…Eat Beef, daily if possible. I’m doing my part; are you?

February 11, 2022 7:06 am

In passing, can I say how bored I am by scientists and researchers who are “worried”?

In passing, I’m worried and quite certain that it’s worse than I thought. Much worse. Run away! It’s smellier than the smelliest smelly smell !!! I can’t breathe! We need to stop the passing now!

Dave Goodridge
February 12, 2022 8:39 am

How do you refute Eschenbach’s logarithmic CO2 argument? Simply by pointing out that the anthropogenic increase of CO2 is exponential, not linear, as clearly proven by the measurements taken at the Scripps Institute on Mauna Loa from 1959 to present, and that it completely overcomes the diminishing effect of a logarithmic response. When you do the math you find that the anthropogenic CO2 increase is close to a remarkably steady 2.22% a year, and the slope of the logarithm for this can be calculated as d/dx(ln(1.0222^x)) = ln(1.0222), where x is the incremental year. Ln(1.0222) = 0.022, so 0.022x is a constant, positively sloped straight line. The slope of the log for the total atmospheric CO2 is currently less than 0.022 (it is currently about 0.0073) due to the effect of the 280 PPMv “always been there” part of the CO2, but as the exponentially increasing anthropogenic addition becomes a larger and more dominant part of the total atmospheric CO2 the slope will increase to approach 0.022. That means that the response to the actual CO2 increase is a line curving upwards, not slanting to the right and becoming flatter, the way a logarithmic response to a linearly increasing CO2 would. We are on track to have about 50% of the atmospheric CO2 attributable to human activity by 2053 +/-. Eschenbach and other deniers that cling to the logarithmic response as an argument against global warming simply do not understand the math.

Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 12:59 pm

Well, you did use my exact words but then revealed that you entirely missed the “anthropogenic” point. I did NOT say the Mauna Loa readings (which are for the total, the pre-industrial 280 ppmv PLUS the anthropogenic additions) showed the 2.22% increase. I stand by the “remarkably steady,” as the anthropogenic growth curve has an R-squared of 0.9979. Also I should not have conflated you with the armies of angry but innumerate denier trolls out there. But anyway, perhaps a picture is in order here, q.v., below. BTW I’d like to hear your response to my “Modtran” remarks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Goodridge
Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 12, 2022 4:10 pm

Thanks, Willis. Since the total CO2 is a bastard mix of the constant “already there” 280 ppmv + the new anthropogenic CO2 being added and therefore is neither a linear nor a true exponential function (yet) amenable to my Excel trend line calculation, so, yes, I calculate the anthropogenic (Keeling minus 280 ppmv) which is demonstrably exponential, to get its trend line, then use that trend line equation to generate a CO2 curve that yields “total” CO2 levels, anthropogenic trend + 280 ppmv. That yields a 2020/2021 increase slope of 0.0073 (or 0.73%) as I stated in my original post. I don’t think that using an average of annual increases should be used in a situation where the annual percentage increases are, well, increasing. Even though the annual increases are not linearly increasing, to get close I plotted a linear trend line of the annual increases (which is very noisy data) and the least-squares regression has, as expected, a slope of 0.0073. But, as I said in my original post, that slope is increasing as the anthropogenic portion of CO2 becomes larger and more dominant, so that the “total” CO2 growth rate will get closer and closer to that of the exponentially increasing anthropogenic portion. God knows, we MUST do something about that.
Please note that in my image from the 2010 WUWT I used your equation, log base 2, for the total CO2 concentration, not the just anthropogenic CO2. I’m not sure where the “+233.6” in that equation came from, but using your equation with the actual Mauna Loa CO2 data, forcing is not only not “tapering off” but actually accelerating, as seen in the plot. Perhaps you can elucidate.
Thanks for taking the time!

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Goodridge
Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 15, 2022 4:56 pm

I know you are very busy attending to other posts in this forum, but I would really like to hear your defense of the WUWT post (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/) where your equation “Forcing = 2.94 x log2(CO2) + 233.6″ was shown to reveal an INCREASE in forcing, contradicting the “Modtran Results” artful insinuation that it is “tapering off.” My experience in online fora is that, when I challenge a contrary assertion whose author could not defend it, that author “leaves the building.” Have you left the building?
Many thanks,
Dave G.

Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 16, 2022 5:33 am

No, you were not “all ready to answer it,” because you don’t have an answer, and your followers here will see that your original post has been exposed for what it is, a fraud. I will not miss you.

Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 16, 2022 11:21 am

Willis, the best way for you to put me in my place is to demonstrate, in a calm, rigorous way, why my challenge to you is baseless and wrong. Why won’t you do that? I can take the heat. If you leave it the way is is, you will be seen as not credible in the subject area. I’ll honor your statement that you tell the truth as best you know it, but you must show how you got to know it. You haven’t done that. You can’t say that actual downward forcing is tapering off due to the logarithmic nature of CO2 just because you say so. It isn’t, as shown in my chart provided you.

I wish you no ill will.

Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 16, 2022 3:33 pm

Wow. “[Y]our demand that I explain things” is what we should all expect as a professional obligation in any technical field. That’s what I did for 30 years as an electrical engineer. Evidently you don’t feel any obligation to defend your assertions, apparently expecting your readers to swallow them without question, examination or challenge, and getting angry if any of them doesn’t. Pretty arrogant, I’d say.

In future, if I drop in to WUWT on occasion, I will read your posts with close interest.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Goodridge
Dave Goodridge
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
February 16, 2022 4:51 pm

Well, Willis, since you have lowered the bar to where you call me a “lying slimebag,” I can take off the gloves and say that you are a technically innumerate imposter who has little or no understanding of the mathematics or physics required to speak about the subject matter. Your credentials include that you were educated in massage therapy, carpentry and building construction and other areas that have nothing whatsoever to do with climate science. You do, in fact, prey upon similarly uninformed soldiers in the culture wars (they love you, and some call you “Dr. Eschenbach” – ha!). You are helpless to answer for your preposterous post insinuating a “tapering off” of downward forcing because you just don’t understand the CO2 response to an exponential CO2 increase, and you don’t have the balls to admit you don’t know.
Yes, I will be watching. Sorry your insecure ego considers that a “threat.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave Goodridge
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