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Flatulent planet

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:18 am
by brian livesey
The gas methane is up to 28 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Researchers are warning that methane emissions are increasing far more rapidly than CO2 and that the amount has soared over the past two years.
Although methane accounts for only 9 per cent of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere compared to 82 per cent for CO2, the former's potency is far higher. It's reckoned that about 40 per cent of methane is produced naturally, such as in wetlands and marshes, but the rest comes mainly from human activities, including oil and gas wells.
Flatulent cattle have been added to the equation, and recent research published in the journal "Environmental Research Letters" says that cattle are seriously undermining efforts to slow global warming, as the demand for meat consumption increases. Rice paddies also encourage methane-producing microbes. Livestock numbers have reached 1.5 billion for cattle alone ( it could be argued that before farming arose, there might have been equal numbers, if not more, of wild herbivores roaming the planet without adverse effects; has anyone done the maths on this? ).
Researcher Marielle Saunis, one of the lead authors of the paper said, "If we want to be below a 2C temperature increase, we should not follow this track and need to make a rapid turnaround ... When it comes to methane, there has been a lot of focus on the fossil fuel industry, but we need to look just as hard, if not harder, at agriculture."

Re: Flatulent planet

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:20 pm
by Cliff
Dear Brian
With regards Global Warming, from what your post suggests "methane" may be an extremely big problem which I think, some scientists have previously on occasion suggested. Does this mean that tackling CO2 emissions created by humans maybe at best just scratching the surface of supposed Global Warming ?
It makes one wonder if all these jollies (since 1999 I think) when Academics and Politicians travel to world wide conferences across the globe may in the end be a joke. It might have been better if the academics & politicians had stayed put continuing doing some methane research in their academies, rather than creating CO2 Air miles and making after -(extravagant methane creating)- dinner speeches.
Best wishes from Cliff

Re: Flatulent planet

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:18 am
by brian livesey
As you know Cliff, the global warming issue is very complex. Sea ice is definitely retreating, as are glaciers. A problem here is that some Earth processes occur so slowly compared to the human lifespan that a long-term natural change could be confused with change resulting from human activities.
The Ice Age hasn't yet ended because there's still ice at the poles. Current warming might signal another interglacial on the way, although some researchers insist that the warming is too rapid to be natural.

Re: Flatulent planet

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:51 pm
by Brian
Is it not the potential very rapid release of huge amounts methane clathrates from melting tundra regions that we should be concerned with, rather than belching cows? :?

Re: Flatulent planet

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:16 am
by brian livesey
As you say Brian, methane is the biggest ultimate threat, including large deposits of frozen methane under the seabed.
A constant rise in temperature due to increasing CO2 levels would reach a critical point where the methane starts to boil off in earnest - a process referred to as the runaway greenhouse effect. The urgent need at the present time is to bring down CO2 emissions.

Re: Flatulent planet

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:33 pm
by Cliff
Dear Brian & Brian
Perhaps the answer might be to reduce the World's human population down 90%.
Best wishes from Cliff