Methane


Methane is a harmless gas that is emitted by a number of natural sources.  There is no reason to impose costly environmental restrictions on business and industry to reduce the production of methane gas.  Methane is one component of the 'greenhouse effect' in the atmosphere, but global warming is not a problem.  All greenhouse gases are essential to life on Earth.  Legislative regulations will not reduce or eliminate natural sources of methane, but they will put the brakes on the U.S. economy.




Bid to revoke Obama-era methane rules fails in U.S. Senate.  The U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected a resolution to revoke an Obama-era rule to limit methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to free the drilling industry from what he sees as excessive environmental regulation.

Cow emissions can now be regulated in California.  California Gov.  Jerry Brown kept up his assault on climate change Monday [9/19/2016], pushing through a law meant to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from dairy farms and landfills. [...] Brown's approval of Senate Bill 1383 goes after short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane, black carbon, and HFC gases, per the AP.

Crazy California Legislators Approve Cow [Emission] Legislation to Curb Gas Emissions.  Cows could literally be exploding thanks to new legislation.  If this wasn't California you would know it was a spoof.  However, nothing is too strange for California. [...] Costs will be passed on to consumers of course.  No one mentions what the price of a gallon of milk will rise to after this goes into full effect, but you can bet it won't be cheaper.

From Fracking to Flatulence:  The All-Out Assault on Methane.  What is the "biggest unfinished business for the Obama administration?"  According to a report from Bill McKibben, the outspoken climate alarmist who calls for all fossil fuels to be kept in the ground, it is "to establish tight rules on methane emissions" — emissions that he blames on the "rapid spread of fracking."  McKibben calls methane emissions a "disaster."  He claims "methane is much more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide" and that it does more damage to the climate than coal.  Methane, CH4, is the primary component of natural gas.

Obama administration announces historic new regulations for methane emissions from oil and gas.  The Obama administration on Thursday [5/12/2016] announced a set of much-anticipated — and first ever — steps to regulate oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas second only to carbon dioxide in its role in the climate debate.  The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new rule that will target emissions from new or modified oil and gas wells — and prevent 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by the year 2025, the agency said.  And while this would not apply to the vast numbers of existing rigs, well pads and auxiliary equipment that have driven a historic boom in domestic oil and gas production, the agency also signaled that it plans to regulate these as well.

E.P.A. Methane Leak Rules Take Aim at Climate Change.  The Obama administration on Thursday [5/12/2016] unveiled the first federal regulations to control emissions of potent planet-warming methane gas that could leach from new oil and gas wells, the next step in President Obama's effort to combat climate change.  The methane rules, the final version of draft regulations put forth last year by the Environmental Protection Agency, require oil and gas companies to plug and capture leaks of methane from new and modified drilling wells and storage tanks, not older, existing wells.

Methane models
Methane mendacity — and madness.  What is 17 cents out of $100,000?  If you said 0.00017 percent, you win the jackpot.  That number, by sheer coincidence, is also the percentage of methane in Earth's atmosphere.  That's a trivial amount, you say:  1.7 parts per million.  There's three times more helium and 230 times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. [...] Equally relevant, only 19% of that global methane comes from oil, natural gas and coal production and use.  Fully 33% comes from agriculture:  12% from rice growing and 21% from meat production.  Still more comes from landfills and sewage treatment (11%) and burning wood and animal dung (8%).  The remaining 29% comes from natural sources:  oceans, wetlands, termites, forest fires and volcanoes.


Natural methane bubbles
More Burning Water Fracking Hype:  Aussie CSIRO says Methane Emissions are "Natural".  An Aussie Green politician has attracted publicity, by "setting fire" to water in an Australian river, as part of a propaganda attack against local gas fracking operations.  But CSIRO scientist Damian Barrett has been quick to dismiss the scare, stating that methane seeps are well known in the area, and that the methane in the video is likely from natural sources.


California's Ongoing Suicide Watch.  Two headlines from the past week tell the story.  First, you may have heard about a massive natural gas leak out near Newhall over the past few months.  This was not a leaking production field, but was a huge underground gas storage formation that Southern California Edison draws from in the summer to run natural gas "peaker" plants when electricity demand soars during hot weather.  Now that the leak is filled, the state has ordered than the underground formation not be refilled for the time being.

Workers cap massive gas leak plaguing Los Angeles-area neighborhood.  A blowout at a natural gas well that leaked uncontrollably for 16 weeks and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes was plugged Thursday [2/11/2016], a utility said.

President Obama's Methane Rule Threatens to Stymie U.S. Energy Growth and Innovation.  In 2015 President Obama and his EPA cronies unveiled a plethora of new regulations that will surely send energy costs skyrocketing and stymie the ongoing renaissance in U.S. energy development.  Regulations such as the Clean Power Plan, Ozone Standard, and the Waters of the U.S. Rule all pose a threat to efficient and affordable energy.  On top of these costly new rules, President Obama will use the EPA in 2016 to once again impose his regulatory agenda on the American consumer and energy industry.  For 2016 the EPA is set to push new regulations to cut methane emissions once again targeting the already overregulated energy industry.  According to the EPA's own estimates, this new rule will cost $180 to $200 million in 2020, with costs possibly reaching $500 million in 2025.

Efforts to plug Porter Ranch-area gas leak worsened blowout risk, regulators say.  Southern California Gas Co.'s effort to plug its leaking natural gas well involves higher stakes than simply stopping the fumes that have sickened many residents of Porter Ranch.  The company also is trying to avoid a blowout, which state regulators said is now a significant concern after a seventh attempt to plug the well created more precarious conditions at the site.

Cows and methane
The methane makers.  The man behind one of the most influential reports on climate change, Lord Stern, has highlighted the impact meat production has on greenhouse gas emissions.  Part of it comes through methane made by the animals as they digest food.  So which farm animals expel the most methane?


California Governor's Sister Sits on Board of Company Responsible for Methane Leak.  The sister of Gov. Jerry Brown of California (D.) sits on the board of an energy company that owns a facility responsible for what is being called the "worst environmental disaster since BP" as thousands of residents have been displaced from their homes due to a methane gas leak that is expected to continue until spring.  A gas valve ruptured at California's Aliso Canyon Storage Facility in October in the city of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley.  Multiple residents of the town were struck with symptoms including headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea as 2,300 households were forced to flee their homes; thousands more may be relocated in the near future.

Methane gas leak plaguing Los Angeles neighborhood still months from fix.  The escape of tons of natural gas from storage under a Los Angeles neighborhood is not likely to be fixed for at least another two months because of the specific dynamics of the leak, according to officials. [...] The natural repository is huge — nearly one cubic mile at a depth of a mile and a half, according to the newspaper — and holds natural gas brought from as far away as Canada.

"Unstoppable" California Gas Leak Now Being Called Worst Catastrophe Since BP Spill.  This is, indeed, the biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; and for now, there is no way to stop it.  This methane disaster is worse than can be sufficiently described in words, because while it's estimated well over 100,000 pounds of methane spew into the atmosphere every hour, the leak can't be halted, at least until spring.  Even then, that stoppage depends entirely on the efficacy of a proposed fix — which remains a dubiously open question.  According to the California Air Resources Board, methane — a greenhouse gas 72 times more impactful in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide — has been escaping from the Aliso Canyon site with force equivalent "to a volcanic eruption" for about two months now.

Landfills: The climate threat in trash.  While efforts to avert disastrous climate change zoom in on cars, industry and power plants belching harmful gases into the air, a potent source of global warming is stealthily stewing underground:  rotting trash.  Landfills packed with decomposing dinner leftovers and grass clippings are among the world's top sources of methane — one of the most powerful heat-trapping gases contributing to the Earth's warming.

The Editor says...
Yes, but all that trash had to go somewhere, and even if it had been left in the city streets to rot, it would still be rotting.

EPA Moves to Limit Methane Emissions.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its proposed regulations intended to slash methane emissions from oil and gas production by almost half.  The proposal is part of the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to curb global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [...] EPA's proposal would limit emissions from new or modified natural gas wells by requiring energy producers to find and repair leaks at oil and gas wells and capture gas escaping from wells that use fracking.  The rules would not apply to existing wells, which number in the thousands.

Claim: Arctic sea ice plays a pivotal role in the Arctic methane cycle.  The ice-covered Arctic Ocean is a more important factor concerning the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere than previously assumed.  Experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) report on the newly discovered interactions between the atmosphere, sea ice and the ocean in a recent online study in the journal Nature's Scientific Reports.

Energy Department smashes pumpkins for causing climate change.  How scary are your jack-o'-lanterns?  Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which claims the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the trash, says the Energy Department's website, becoming part of the "more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year."  Municipal solid waste decomposes into methane, "a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide," Energy says.

The Editor says...
Decaying vegetation produces carbon dioxide and methane, in your front yard, at the city dump, and in the most remote forest.  This isn't a new development, and it does not cause catastrophic global warming, which is obvious because if greenhouse gases caused global warming, the catastrophic warming (that has only recently become a concern) would have started thousands of years ago.

Methane Regulation: Some Personal Recollections.  The White House-EPA plan to control methane emissions is but the latest effort against our domestic energy industry and would simply raise costs to consumers.  It acts like an energy tax, but with no money flowing into the US Treasury — a pure waste of resources.  EPA is apparently unaware that the generally believed greenhouse (GH) effectiveness of methane (when compared to a molecule of CO2) is too high by a factor of about 100.  In addition, atmospheric methane levels are roughly 200 times less than those of CO2 — yielding a GH overestimate of about 20,000.  This display of recent scientific ignorance has brought back memories of 45 years ago.

Methane Madness: Science Does Not Support White House Policy.  Methane has many sources, both natural (about half) and anthropogenic.  The major natural sources are wetlands, swampy areas and bogs; the human-related sources are traditional agricultural ones, related to the growth of world population:  rice paddies and cattle raising (flatulence from ruminants).  More recent sources also include landfills and leaks from oil and gas operations.  Coalmines also emit some methane that occasionally cause explosions there.  There are also many natural sinks of methane, including ozone and hydroxyl (OH) radicals in the troposphere (lower atmosphere).  The combination of sources and sinks leads to an atmospheric lifetime of approximately 10 years.

EPA Targets Fracking With New Global Warming Rules.  The Obama administration has released new regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas drilling as part of the president's effort to show the U.S. is serious about tackling global warming ahead of the United Nations climate summit this year.  The EPA has proposed rules for oil and gas wells that will cut 340,000 to 400,000 short tons of methane emissions in 2025.  The agency is also proposing methane rules for hydraulically fractured, or fracked, wells along with gas "transmission" equipment in the downstream sector of the energy industry.

Methane emissions falling
Obama EPA keeps seizing private property and churning out economy-destroying regulations.  Just last week, EPA proposed rules aimed at reducing methane emissions at oil and natural gas facilities by 40-45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels, part of meeting Obama's environmental goals and establishing his legacy.  The agency says the proposal is a "common sense plan" to reduce methane, which EPA estimates to have 20 times more of a warming effect than carbon dioxide.  But industry interests say even though natural gas production has jumped dramatically in recent years in the United States, methane levels are already on a downward trend.


EPA Targets Methane Emissions, Provokes Ire From Congressional Republicans.  The Obama administration made major waves on Tuesday [8/18/2015] when it proposed the first ever federal regulations that would require the nation's oil and gas industry to cut emissions of methane.  Congressional Republicans contend it's further proof of the administration's collusion with environmental lobbyists to advance its climate-change agenda despite the lack of science to support it and regardless of the significant economic impact it is expected to have.  The proposal aims to cut methane by 40 to 45 percent by 2025 and would require drillers to stop leaks and capture lost gas in wells intended to extract only oil, as part of a larger push by the Obama administration to cut emissions.  Earlier this month, Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030 and increase the proportion of the nation's electricity generated by renewable sources to 28 percent.  According to The Hill, that regulation is "one of the most expensive EPA regulations ever," as states will have no choice but to implement a carbon tax, cap-and-trade, or dramatic energy efficiency mandates in order to achieve this target.

Climate Hysteria and Methane Madness: Belching Cows, Fracking, and Obama's EPA Mandates.  Is methane an even worse climate villain than CO2? In the run-up to this year's UN Paris Summit on global warming, President Obama, radical NGOs, and professional alarmists in the media are hyping the "threat" that methane (CH4) supposedly presents to the planet.  In January, President Obama announced plans for new EPA mandates aimed at cutting methane emissions by nearly one-half over the next decade.  Hence, the federal regulators are busily crafting and ordering new limits on emissions from cows and other gassy critters, manure piles, landfills, sewers, and motor vehicles, etc.  But the main targets, of course, are the coal, oil, and natural-gas industries.  Coal and oil, especially, have been in the crosshairs, while, until recently, natural gas was the darling of environmentalists, who promoted it as the "clean energy" alternative to its "dirty" hydrocarbon cousins.  However, now that natural-gas production has taken off and is actually replacing significant amounts of coal and oil, its erstwhile champions have turned on it with a vengeance.

Methane Sources & Sinks.  Natural sources of methane include wetlands, gas hydrates, permafrost, termites, oceans, freshwater bodies, non-wetland soils, and other sources such as wildfires.

Methane.  Natural sources of methane have conventionally thought to be dominated by wetlands. Where soils are waterlogged and oxygen concentrations are low or zero, a group of microorganisms called methanogens may produce large amounts of methane as they respire carbon dioxide to derive energy.  Wetland methane emissions are thought to comprise around 80 percent of the total natural methane source, with methane release from termites, methane hydrates (frozen deposits of methane), and the emission from the oceans also being important.  Total annual methane emissions from natural sources are estimated to be around 250 million tonnes.

About Methane.  Wetland methane emissions dominate the natural sources of methane.  Global emissions from natural sources total around 250 million tonnes each year.

Sources of Methane Emissions Still Uncertain: Study.  Climate scientists still haven't figured out the reason for the so-called "pause" in global warming — more accurately, a slowdown in the rate of warming over the past decade or so — even as emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide continue to increase.  But there's another sort of pause, involving a different greenhouse gas, that baffles them as well.  From 1999 through 2006, methane concentrations in the atmosphere stopped increasing after more than a decade of strong growth.  Then they took off again.

An avalanche of environmental regulations is coming.  The Wednesday [11/26/2014] ozone announcement would require factories, refineries and other facilities to cut back on their emissions.  It comes just after the EPA put off its announcement of the required blending volumes this year for the Renewable Fuel Standard, a delay sure to ignite a lobbying and political fracas next year as supporters defend it from changes or an outright repeal.  The Obama administration is also due to release an interagency strategy to reduce emissions of methane, a short-lived but potent greenhouse gas that is 25 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Interior Secretary Jewell Plugs Methane Reduction to Deal With 'Climate Change'.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, just back from a submarine trip to the Arctic Circle, says she's seen the melting ice up close, and "there is no question... that the impact of climate change is everywhere."  She said the United States, as the world's largest economy, has a "responsibility to be part of the solution," and she said the solution includes policy changes.

Obama EPA To Regulate Bovine Emissions.  It's our lust for cheeseburgers that's dooming the planet through climate change, the Obama administration said in a Climate Action Plan released Friday [3/28/2014] that seeks to save us all from ruminant livestock.  Having already blamed the Industrial Revolution for what we used to call weather and temperatures that have flat-lined for 15 years, the White House is now targeting American agriculture abundance by slashing methane emissions from cows by 25% by 2020.

White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda.  As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.  This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.  The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020.  Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.  Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well.

Natural Gas Fracking is Not Causing a Methane Spike.  Natural gas fracking is not causing a spike in U.S. methane emissions, the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data show.  The data debunk assertions by global warming alarmists that recent declines in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions — caused largely by the increasing use of low-carbon natural gas power — are being offset by rising methane emissions from natural gas fracking.

Cow Flatulence Has a 'Larger Greenhouse Gas Impact' Than Previously Thought; Methane Pushes Climate Change.  According to the new research, livestock's noxious flatulence accounts for a large portion of the methane gas being released into the atmosphere.  Researchers say cows are producing twice as much methane gas as scientists previously believed.  The states producing the most methane gas were Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas — which also happen to have a lot of cows, oil and gas.

Global methane emissions are driven by Soviet leaks, volcanoes and El Niños.
The true story of the drivers of methane.  Methane is a greenhouse gas associated with grazing animals and decaying plant material in swamps and marshes. It has been claimed as a factor contributing to global warming because of an alleged warming effect that is assumed by the IPCC to be 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.  However, when calculated correctly[i] on the basis of atomic weight, the actual multiplier is only 7 and, moreover, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is about 200 times less that that of CO2.  Methane in the atmosphere is broken down to CO2 and water over a period averaging some 12 years.

Earthquakes 'contribute to global warming by releasing greenhouse gas from the ocean floor'.  Earthquakes may contribute to global warming by releasing greenhouse gas from the ocean floor, a study suggests.  Scientists uncovered evidence that a large earthquake in 1945 released more than seven million cubic metres of methane into the North Arabian Sea.  The discovery exposes a natural source of greenhouse gas emissions that has not been considered before, they claim.

Methane Emissions to the Atmosphere: Natural Vegetation.  The impetus for global cooling due to carbon sequestration by Earth's peatlands historically has been — and currently is — significantly greater than the global warming potential produced by their emissions of methane.

Atmospheric Methane Concentrations.  Atmospheric methane's contribution to anthropogenic climate forcing is estimated to be about half that of CO2 when both direct and indirect components to its forcing are summed, and nearly all models project atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations will increase for at least the next 3 decades, with many of the scenarios assuming a much larger increase throughout the 21st century.  A quick fact-check, however, reveals that observations lie far below the model projections [...]

Where did BP's methane clouds end up?  As black, murky oil fulminated from the Gulf of Mexico sea floor last summer some scientists were more concerned about large amounts of unseen hydrocarbons gushing forth.  They worried this methane, as much as half the flow from the wellhead, would spread in large clouds that would eventually leave sizable areas of the Gulf hypoxic, starving marine life of oxygen. ... Yet only about 120 days after the initial well blowout, the levels of methane surveyed across wide areas of the Gulf were actually a tad lower than what scientists characterize as "normal" levels.

Did someone mention the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Natural Gas Needs No Dinosaurs to Form.  Credible scientists have now demonstrated that methane, the main ingredient of natural gas, can form inorganically, as a result of natural processes that involve no biological material whatsoever — no dead dinosaurs, no rotting ancient forests, not even any little plankton trapped in the soil.

Arctic methane emissions have been going on for ages.  Scientists returning from a seaborne expedition to the Arctic say that the ongoing panic in some quarters regarding runaway emissions of methane from the chilly polar seas — and associated imminent global-warming disaster — appears to be unjustified.

Did dinosaurs cause climate change?  Dinosaurs may be partly to blame for a change in climate because they created so much flatulence, according to leading scientists.  Professor Graeme Ruxton of St Andrews University, Scotland, said the giant animals spent 150 years emitting the potent global warming gas, methane.  Large plant-eating sauropods would have been the main culprits because of the huge amounts of greenery they consumed.

Arctic Ocean could be source of greenhouse gas: study.  The Arctic Ocean could be a significant contributor of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, scientists reported on Sunday [4/22/2012].  Researchers carried out five flights in 2009 and 2010 to measure atmospheric methane in latitudes as high as 82 degrees north.  They found concentrations of the gas close to the ocean surface, especially in areas where sea ice had cracked or broken up.  The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, wonders if this is a disturbing new mechanism that could accelerate global warming.

The Editor says...
That would only be a "a disturbing new mechanism" to people who want to control and tax all "greenhouse gas" emissions.  This methane source is beyond anyone's control.

"Methane Time Bomb in Arctic Seas  — Apocalypse Not".  As you can probably tell from the headline, the research team, led by Igor Dmitrenko, did not find that global warming, current and future, was going to have much of a dramatic impact on the release of methane from the Arctic seas.  This is a fairly significant finding because methane — which has about 20 times the impact on the greenhouse effect that carbon dioxide does on a molecule by molecule basis — has the potential to act as a large amplifier (positive feedback) to a warming climate.

Mystery methane belched out by megacities.  The Los Angeles metropolitan area belches far more methane into its air than scientists had previously realised.  If other megacities are equally profligate, urban methane emissions may represent a surprisingly important source of this potent greenhouse gas.

The Editor says...
I find it extremely hard to believe that a bunch of scientists have just now discovered that urban methane is a big problem.  It is far more likely that this new study is the first step towards a cap-and-trade scheme for methane as well as CO2.  As in the case of CO2, there is nothing that can be done to reduce urban methane emissions, short of crippling the economies of the offending cities.  This is just another excuse to fund more "research" and eventually impose additional taxes.

Global Warming Feedback Loop Caused by Methane, Scientists Say.  In the ongoing debate over global warming, climatologists usually peg carbon dioxide as the most dangerous of the atmosphere's heat-trapping gases.  But methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, might be even more problematic.

Methane levels no longer rising, say scientists.  Levels of an important greenhouse gas have stopped growing, say U.S. scientists.  Methane levels have stayed nearly flat for the past seven years, following a rise during the two previous decades, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine.

Tibetan meadows emit methane.  A three-year field study on the Tibetan plateau has shown that plant species differ in their ability to emit or consume methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  This could shed fresh light on the role of plants in global methane budgets.  The saga began in early 2006 when Frank Keppler, of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and his colleagues, revealed that plants — thought to be helping combat climate change by taking in carbon-dioxide — may collectively emit millions of tonnes of methane.

The Editor says...
There seems to be no shortage of news items about new discoveries in the field of atmospheric science.  This just goes to show how little is known about how the earth works.  Yet the public schools continue to teach students that the earth formed itself.

More methane a mystery.  Levels of climate-warming methane — a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide — rose abruptly in the earth's atmosphere last year, and scientists who reported the change don't know why it occurred.

The Editor says...
Sometimes unexpected things happen in the atmosphere, and when they do, all the computer models and predictions are then invalid.

This is being discovered just now -- just as the public grows tired of hearing about CO2?  What a coincidence!
As Arctic Ocean warms, megatonnes of methane bubble up.  Deep in the Arctic Ocean, water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor.  Over 250 plumes of gas have been discovered bubbling up from the sea floor to the west of the Svalbard archipelago, which lies north of Norway. ... Just because it fails to reach the surface doesn't mean the methane is harmless, though, as some of it gets converted to carbon dioxide.

The Editor says...
In order to believe that methane release is the result of man-made global warming, you would have to believe, among many other improbable things, (1) that global warming extends all the way to the floor of the Arctic Ocean, and (2) that a fraction of a degree of warming is enough to cause this methane production, and (3) that it's reasonable to ignore the global cooling over the last ten years.

But really, is the claim of "megatonnes" of methane really plausible?  Let's run the numbers.  A "tonne" is a metric ton -- 1,000 kilograms.*  The density of methane at 59°F. and standard atmospheric pressure is 0.68 kg per cubic meter.*  Thus, since one kilogram of methane occupies 1.47 cubic meters, a tonne would occupy 1,470 cubic meters, or about 52,000 cubic feet, and a megatonne of methane gas would take the form of a cloud 1.47x10^9 cubic meters in size, or about 52 billion cubic feet.  That's a lot of flammable gas bubbling up.  Even if the gas is under several atmospheres of pressure, deep under the ice-cold ocean, that's still a huge volume of gas.  It is difficult to believe that such a volume of gas does not reach the surface, but is instead "converted to carbon dioxide."  By what process is methane converted to carbon dioxide?  Spontaneous underwater combustion?

More panic:
Methane's role in global warming underestimated.  Greenhouse gas calculations blame carbon dioxide too much for global warming, and methane too little, suggest researchers Thursday [10/29/2009].  In the journal Science, a team led by Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York finds that chemical interactions between greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide cause more global warming than previously estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other efforts.

Methane Madness.  Even before the exposure of factual errors and potential misconduct at the IPCC, the East Anglia Climate Centre, and other organizations, the public in America and elsewhere (Australia, New Zealand, and even Britain) had begun to doubt the claims of climate scientists.  Now, with these disturbing revelations concerning the way climate science actually works, the public has become even more skeptical.  Maybe that's why climate science has shifted its attention to methane.

Lakes emit greenhouse gases: Swedish scientist.  Greenhouse gas emissions from inland waters are greater than previously thought, a Swedish-led study has found. ... Inland waters, including lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers, are often substantial methane sources in the terrestrial landscape.

Most Significant Global Warming Tipping Point Theory Bites the Dust.  A scientific study on the results of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill has yielded some surprising results that appear to disprove fears of methane release as a global warming "tipping point" to catastrophic warming.  The theory as currently incorporated by most climate models requires "tipping points" to go from mild anthropogenic warming to catastrophic global warming.  The most plausible and significant of these potential tipping points has always been the release of methane triggered by warmer temperatures.

'Fountains' of methane 1,000m across erupt from Arctic ice.  The Russian research vessel Academician Lavrentiev conducted a survey of 10,000 square miles of sea off the coast of eastern Siberia.  They made a terrifying discovery — huge plumes of methane bubbles rising to the surface from the seabed.  'We found more than 100 fountains, some more than a kilometre across,' said Dr Igor Semiletov, 'These are methane fields on a scale not seen before.  The emissions went directly into the atmosphere.'

The Editor says...
There is no treaty or law in the world that can stop enormous natural sources of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor.  Nor is there any need.  This is all part of a completely natural process and there is no reason for concern or any action on our part.

'Fountains' of methane 1,000m across erupt from Arctic ice.  The Russian research vessel Academician Lavrentiev conducted a survey of 10,000 square miles of sea off the coast of eastern Siberia.  They made a terrifying discovery — huge plumes of methane bubbles rising to the surface from the seabed.  'We found more than 100 fountains, some more than a kilometre across,' said Dr Igor Semiletov, 'These are methane fields on a scale not seen before.  The emissions went directly into the atmosphere.'

The Editor says...
There is no treaty or law in the world that can stop enormous natural sources of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor.  Nor is there any need.  This is all part of a completely natural process and there is no reason for concern or any action on our part.



It's the cows!

Now California's Climate Cops are Going After the Cows.  California is sliding slowly into the abyss.  It's not enough that 9,000 companies have packed up and moved to more tax-friendly states.  The Bay Area is so expensive that few can afford to live there.  Progressives run the place like their own personal slot machine.  The California Air Resources Board has issued regulations to cut the state's greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but the board is getting worried about their climate agenda.  It could all be ruined by natural phenomena.  They've gone after the oil producers, the manufacturers and now they are going after the cows. It's methane, which "according to the board is a 'short-lived climate pollutant with an outsized impact on climate change in the near term.'"  "Cow manure and 'enteric fermentation' (flatulence) account for half of the state's methane emissions."

The Editor says...
Methane from cows is not a pollutant.  It is part of a natural cycle that has been going on for as long as cows, termites and volcanoes have been around.  And if cows are responsible for half of the methane emissions in the state, then the state doesn't have a serious problem.  There will always be cows, and the cows will do what cows do.  In any case, if California reduces its methane emissions to zero, but Mexico and Nevada do not, then what has been gained?

On the other hand, methane buildup can be deadly.
Wisconsin farmer, 16 cows dead after being overcome with manure fumes.  A coroner revealed Tuesday [8/16/2016] that a Wisconsin farmer and more than a dozen cows died when they became overcome by fumes from a huge manure holding tank.  According to WAOW-TV, Michael Biadasz, 29, was found by other farmers early Monday when they arrived at Biadasz Farms near Amherst to haul away manure from the football field-sized tanker.  Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman said that the deaths of Biadasz and at least 16 cows are under investigation, but that they were probably overcome by methane or sulfur oxide.  Rifleman said the farmer agitated the tank and that this, along with warm upper air temperatures, created a deadly dome of air.

Gassy German cows cause barn explosion.  The blast, caused by a concentration of gas emitted by a group of 90 cows, damaged the roof of their cow shed — leaving one of the animals injured.

The cows missed the movie.  Two British news reports could not have come at a better time for Fred Singer, a scientist and global-warming denier, who has incurred the wrath of global-warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore.  The Independent reported Sunday that a new U.N. report found that livestock is responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gases.  In other words, in the universe of global-warming alarmism, cow gas does more damage to [the] Earth than SUVs.

Global warming is in deep manure.  President Obama's agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced at the Copenhagen climate change summit that methane gas emissions from the U.S. dairy industry will be reduced by 25 percent by 2020.  Step aside big oil and big industry, now we have big cow flatulence causing global warming.

Did someone mention Copenhagen?

Cows With Gas:  India's Contribution to Global Warming.  Indolent cows languidly chewing their cud while befuddled motorists honk and maneuver their vehicles around them is an image as stereotypically Indian as saffron-clad holy men and the Taj Mahal.  Now, however, India's ubiquitous cows — of which there are 283 million, more than anywhere else in the world — are assuming a more menacing role as they become part of the climate-change debate.

Of Flatulent Cows and Liberal Madness.  The other day we were once again warned about that dire danger to our existence — cow flatulence.  It just so turns out that the gaseous emissions of the bovine digestive tract account for more greenhouse gasses than all the SUVs, airplanes, trucks and cars combined.  In other words, as far as global warming is concerned cows pose a greater threat to our survival than transport.  And this according to the UN no less.

Ruminant Animals Are Not Kyoto Villains.  Dr Gerrit van der Lingen explains why emissions of methane from cattle and sheep should not be part of any emissions trading system in New Zealand:  New Zealand's contribution to global anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas emissions (AGHGE) is only 0.1 percent.  AGHGE are mainly from agriculture and fossil fuel use.  One of the most abundant greenhouse gases comes from ruminant animals (cattle and sheep, with a minor contribution from goats and deer), which produce methane (CH4) through enteric fermentation.  According to the MAF, 98.7% of agricultural methane comes from ruminant enteric fermentation.  Most of that gas is released into the atmosphere by burping, accounting for almost half of all New Zealand's AGHGE.

Cow 'emissions' are more damaging to the planet than CO2 from cars.  Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment.  It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush:  it is the cow.  A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife.  And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.

Cow burps make for bad air Down Under.  Belching and flatulence in cows and sheep annually produce 90 percent of Australia's methane emissions in the agricultural sector, a recent study shows.  In an effort to monitor Australia's national greenhouse gas inventory, Australian researchers went about calculating methane emissions from belching bovines and other livestock.

The world's top destroyer of the environment.  A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife.  And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.  The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats.

Killer cow emissions:  It's a silent but deadly source of greenhouse gases that contributes more to global warming than the entire world transportation sector, yet politicians almost never discuss it, and environmental lobbyists and other green activist groups seem unaware of its existence.  That may be because it's tough to take cow flatulence seriously.  But livestock emissions are no joke.

UN downgrades man's impact on the climate.  Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year.  The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 percent.

Wake up and Smell the Ammonia.  A new report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization shows that the global livestock sector is responsible for a higher share of greenhouse gas emissions than transport.  Livestock account for 9 percent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, 37 percent of methane emissions, 64 percent of ammonia emissions, and 65 percent of global nitrous oxide.  Livestock affect climate through the process of deforestation caused by expansion of pastures, off-gassing from manure, and "enteric fermentation by ruminants", a fancy name for methane cow burps.

Farmers fear wind of change.  Australia is likely to become the only country in the world other than New Zealand to impose an [emissions trading scheme] on agriculture.  Government modelling in NZ shows farm profitability plummeting to zero.  Under calculation methods imposed on Australia by the Kyoto Protocol, a fully grown cow is deemed to emit the equivalent of two tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.  With 30 million cattle in Australia, that makes cows a major emitter.

Eat Kangaroos, Save the Planet.  Australian sheep and cattle producers should consider shifting to kangaroos to help reduce emissions of "greenhouse gases," a major report on climate change says.  Unlike sheep and cows, kangaroos release a negligible amount of methane when they belch and emit wind.  Methane is one of the group of gases blamed by many scientists for global warming.

Smelling an activist rat.  Heather Mills  — celebrity divorcee and green extremist — last year urged us to stop drinking the milk of cows.  Milking ex-husband Paul McCartney may have been fine, but Mills felt milking cows was going too far.  You see, the burps of these gassy beasts were heating the world to hell, she told a press conference.  "There are many other kinds of milk available.  Why don't we try drinking rats' milk and dogs' milk?"  And with that, she roared off in a Mercedes four-wheel drive, trailing clouds of hypocrisy.

Global warming set to shake our eating habits.  Climate change is likely to deprive us of the pleasures of eating beef and lamb, instead forcing us to contemplate platefuls of kangaroo meat and threatening another Australian table staple — seafood.  A report to be released by the CSIRO today says changes in temperature, ocean currents, rainfall and extreme weather events could cost Australian fisheries tens of million of dollars.

Nitrous Oxide:  Nitrous oxide — or N2O — is known to be destructive of stratospheric ozone.  In addition, in the words of Crutzen et al. (2007), it is "a 'greenhouse gas' with a 100-year average global warming potential 296 times larger than an equal mass of CO2."  One of the main sources of N2O is agriculture, which in Finland accounts for almost half of that nations's N2O emissions (Pipatti, 1997).  Moreover, with N2O originating from microbial N[itrogen] cycling in soil — mostly from aerobic nitrification or from anaerobic denitrification (Firestone and Davidson, 1989) — there is a concern that CO2-induced increases in carbon input to soil, together with increasing N[itrogen] input from other sources, will increase substrate availability for denitrifying bacteria and may result in higher N2O emissions from agricultural soils as the air's CO2 content continues to rise.

Climate change experts target cow flatulence.  Britain's finest scientific minds have turned their attention to a problem that they claim is threatening the future of the entire planet -- farm animal flatulence.  Experts at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen say the average cow contributes as much to global warming as a family car that travels 12,000 miles.

Bovine flatulence blows up the atmosphere faster than autos.  Environmental alarmists and much of the media refuse to look at other industries and other reasons carbon dioxide is pumped into the air. … According to a United Nations report released in late November (and widely ignored by the media), bovine flatulence is responsible for 18 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  By contrast, it is estimated that the U.S. auto fleet accounts for 6 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Our Carbon Hoofprint.  In 2006, a 400-page report by the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organization fingered livestock and the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the No. 1 contributor to so-called climate change.  The FAO report, titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats.  But mostly it puts the blame on the world's 1.5 billion cattle. ... The FAO says livestock produce 35% to 40% of the methane put into the atmosphere.

EPA 'Cow Tax' Could Charge $175 per Dairy Cow to Curb Greenhouse Gases.  Call this one of the newest and innovative ways your government has come up with to battle greenhouse gas emissions.  Indirectly it could be considered a cheeseburger tax, but one of the suggestions offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act is to levy a tax on livestock.

Cow farts collected in plastic tank for global warming study.  Experts said the slow digestive system of cows makes them a key producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide.  In a bid to understand the impact of the wind produced by cows on global warming, scientists collected gas from their stomachs in plastic tanks attached to their backs.

Ads target meat-eaters on greenhouse.  Australians tucking into a juicy steak in front of the tele are being asked to consider how their meal impacts on climate change.  Meat-eaters are the focus of a $400,000 television, print and billboard advertising campaign launched today linking methane emissions from cows to global warming.

Reference material:
A report called Livestock impacts on the environment was published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

No more beef if Britain hopes to cut carbon emissions.  Roast beef and diary products may have to disappear from the British diet if the country is to meet its pledge to cut carbon emissions by 80%, a government report has warned.  It found that the greenhouse gases generated by agriculture, and especially by Britain's 10.5m cows, will seriously undermine any attempt to meet the targets.

Burping of the lambs blows roast off menu.  Give up lamb roasts and save the planet.  Government advisers are developing menus to combat climate change by cutting out "high carbon" food such as meat from sheep, whose burping poses a serious threat to the environment.  Out will go kebabs, greenhouse tomatoes and alcohol.  Instead, diners will be encouraged to consume more potatoes and seasonal vegetables, as well as pork and chicken, which generate fewer carbon emissions.

'Cow Tax' Uproar Underscores Greenhouse-Gas Divide.  Is the Environmental Protection Agency preparing to slap a "cow tax" on bovines for their contribution to global warming?  The agency says no.  But in recent weeks, farmers and livestock ranchers have flooded the EPA with letters warning of catastrophic consequences if such a tax was imposed.

New Zealand seeks to curb livestock's gas emissions.  Over thousands of years of evolution, sheep, cattle and other cud chewers developed a nasty habit.  They burp and break wind a lot.  That gives New Zealand a distressing gas problem.  The country's 4 million people share two islands in the South Pacific with 40 million sheep, 9 million beef and dairy cattle and more than a million farmed deer, all producing the methane that many climate scientists say is one of the worst culprits behind global warming.

The Editor says...
Sheep and cattle have been around for thousands of years, through warm weather and cold, and if they were in any way responsible for "global warming", then the warming would not be a recent development.  If the Earth is warming, it must be due to a force more powerful than cows.

Tax cows, hogs for passing gas, burping?  For farmers, this stinks:  Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if the federal government decides to charge fees for air-polluting animals.  Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which they contend is a possible consequence of an Environmental Protection Agency report after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases amount to air pollution.

Report says claims of livestock causing global warming are false.  It is becoming difficult to keep pace with the speed at which the global warming scam is now unravelling. The latest reversal of scientific "consensus" is on livestock and the meat trade as a major cause of global warming — one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to eco-vegetarian cranks. Now a scientific report delivered to the American Chemical Society says it is nonsense.

No -- It's the termites!

Before you go pointing fingers at the cows, keep in mind that termites produce 11% of the naturally occurring methane in the atmosphere, and swamp gas accounts for almost all the rest.  (Another report puts the termite figure at five percent.)  Each termite produces only about half a microgram per day, but there are so many of them in the world that together they produce about 20 million tons per year.*.

Taxing Termites, Wetlands, Volcanoes and Sacred Cows?  Carbon dioxide is produced whenever animal or vegetable matter is burnt, digested or rots.  So when do we start taxing the big-time emitters such as termites?  There are trillions of them quietly munching their way through timber, dead trees and grass.  Then we have all the rice paddies, swamps and wetlands emitting that other dastardly natural gas, the Will-o-the-Wisp, methane.  And who is going to chase India's 280 million sacred cows with gas collection bags? [...] It is obvious that the whole war on carbon is futile and will have no measurable effect on Earth's atmosphere or Australia's climate.

Global-warming theory and the eugenics precedent.  Fifteen years ago it was estimated that the digestive tracts of termites produce about 50 billion tons of CO2 and methane annually.  That was more than the world's production from burning fossil fuel.  Additionally, cattle, horses and other ruminant animals are huge producers of both CO2 and methane, but, being unable to respond to our demands on this issue, their activity is ignored.  When it comes to methane, another greenhouse gas, termites are responsible for 11 percent of the world's production from natural sources.

No -- It's the moose!

Burping moose bad for the environment.  Amidst all the talk about carbon dioxide emissions and global warming comes news that Norway's national mascot may be contributing to the destruction of the environment, through burping and other bodily functions.

Belching moose add to global warming.  A grown moose belches out methane gas equivalent to 2,100 kilograms (4,630 pounds) of carbon dioxide a year, contributing to global warming, Norwegian researchers said Wednesday [8/22/2007].  That is more than twice the amount of CO2 emitted on a round-trip flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Oslo to the Chilean capital Santiago, according to Scandinavian Airlines.

No -- It's all kinds of things!

Aquatic life emits gases.  Mussels, freshwater snails and other underwater creatures emit a potent greenhouse gas as they feed, according to a study that adds a small aquatic dimension to the impact of wildlife on global warming.  The animals, also including worms and insect larvae, emitted nitrous oxide — commonly known as laughing gas — as a by-product of their digestion when nitrate was present in water.

Shepherd or shoot goats in the name of climate change.  A single one-way Boeing 747 flight from Chicago to London emits about 200 tons of carbon dioxide, or about 5,000 times the annual emissions from a gasoline-powered lawn mower of a homeowner.  It appears that emissions savings from O'Hare goats will be relatively small.  But what about methane emissions from the herd?

Mysterious Poop Foam Causes Explosions on Hog Farms.  You see, starting in about 2009, in the pits that capture manure under factory-scale hog farms, a gray, bubbly substance began appearing at the surface of the fecal soup.  The problem is menacing:  As manure breaks down, it emits toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide and flammable ones like methane, and trapping these noxious fumes under a layer of foam can lead to sudden, disastrous releases and even explosions.  According to a 2012 report from the University of Minnesota, by September 2011, the foam had "caused about a half-dozen explosions in the upper Midwest ... one explosion destroyed a barn on a farm in northern Iowa, killing 1,500 pigs and severely burning the worker involved."

Earthquakes 'contribute to global warming by releasing greenhouse gas from the ocean floor'.  Earthquakes may contribute to global warming by releasing greenhouse gas from the ocean floor, a study suggests.  Scientists uncovered evidence that a large earthquake in 1945 released more than seven million cubic metres of methane into the North Arabian Sea.  The discovery exposes a natural source of greenhouse gas emissions that has not been considered before, they claim.



Back to the Environmental Issues Page
Back to the The Global Warming Page
Back to the Home page

Bookmark and Share

Custom counter developed in-house

Document location http://akdart.com/methane.html
Updated May 13, 2017.

 Entire contents Copyright 2017 by Andrew K. Dart