JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Global methane emissions driven by Soviet leaks, volcanoes and El Ninos, not cows

CSIRO wants to stop methane emissions: but can they get a grant to stop El Nino’s and cap volcanoes?

This type of trans-Siberian cow used to emit a lot of methane.

Tom Quirk sent me a short note to point out that the big rise in global methane almost certainly was man-made — at least up to the mid 1980′s, but in the last 20 years, the culprit for rising methane appears to be volcanoes and El Ninos. (Note the timing of the spikes in the graph below, as methane pours into the atmosphere some years, but barely changes in most other recent years).

Apparently, the man-made emissions in the 70s and 80s were largely due to leaky pipes in the Soviet Union. Natural gas was dirt cheap up til the mid 1970′s. It was so cheap the Russians didn’t bother to plug those flawed pipes. But as prices rose (and after a big nasty explosion in 1982*) they got serious, fixed the pipes and stopped a lot of the out-gassing.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is spending millions and killing camels in the hope of reducing global methane and changing the weather.

There are many graphs of atmospheric methane levels showing ominous unnatural rises, but the driving forces become so much clearer if we look closely at the annual change in methane levels.   — Jo

————————————————————

The true story of the drivers of methane

Guest Post: Tom Quirk

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.

The CO2-equivalent contribution of methane from grazing animals is estimated by various Australian government agencies to be 5 to 10% of national emissions of greenhouse gases.  However, these estimates also show no increase in methane from agricultural emissions over the last 20 years.

Recent research shows that the increase in atmospheric methane levels since about 1940 can be explained by the dramatic increase in natural gas (fossil methane) use and leakage from badly managed transmission and distribution systems in the Northern Hemisphere[ii].  With the improvement of these systems leakage has been reduced and there has only been a slight methane increase since 1990 – the level has in fact varied with El Ninos and La Ninas (Figure 2) and methane from grazing animals has not made a measureable contribution.

This graph shows how much methane changes year by year over the last 1,000 years:

Figure 1: Annual changes in atmospheric methane in parts per billion derived from ice core up to 1990 1990 and direct atmospheric measurements from 1983 to 2011 AD [iii]. Data source CSIRO [iv].

The next graph shows those same annual changes during just the last century:

Figure 2: Annual changes in atmospheric methane in parts per billion derived from direct atmospheric measurements from 1983 to 2011 AD. The annual increase in atmospheric methane from 2000 to 2011 is 2.5 ppb/year, about the rate at the end of the nineteenth century. The peaks in the direct atmospheric measurements reflect the influence of El Ninos. The peak in 1991 is an indirect effect from the eruption at Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991 and the 1998, 2007 and 2010 El Nino’s are marked by dashed lines. Data source CSIRO [iii]


Grazing animals only release carbon in methane that has been removed from the atmosphere by the pastures they consume.  This process, which recycles carbon over the short term, is carbon neutral as methane is broken down in the atmosphere to form CO2 which is recycled to plants with no net additions to the atmosphere. It is the same as the CO2 closed cycle for human energy needs.  Indeed, this same closed cycle is recognised to justify biofuels.  Accordingly there is no cause for concern about methane from grazing animals.

The contribution that methane might make to future global temperature changes has been overestimated in computer projections.  The IPCC scenarios assume that methane contributions to the atmosphere will continue to grow at rates of 12 parts per billion per year whereas for the last 10 years the rate has been less than 3 parts per billion per year (Figure 2). This extreme assumption of 12 parts per billion per year is used in the CSIRO modelling for sea level changes.

The inclusion of methane in the carbon tax regime and the resources devoted to reducing methane from farming practices, are both inappropriate and unnecessary.

 


[i] Flood, W. 2011, The methane misconceptions. Energy & Environment 22, 233-239,(2011)

[ii] Quirk, Tom, 2010, Twentieth Century Sources of Methane in the Atmosphere, Energy & Environment · Vol. 21, 251-266, (2010) and International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, Erice, 19-24 August 2010, 364-374.

[iii] The early part of the twentieth century shows an annual rise in atmospheric methane until the 1920s and then a gentle decline until the 1940s. Town gas or coal gas was first introduced in the early nineteenth century for street lighting and then for home and industrial use. The gas contained 20% to 30% methane. It was distributed by pipes made in sections from caste iron and later steel and joined by flanges that were bolted together with a gasket to prevent leakage. These were not tight seals and there was an estimated 3% to 5% leakage. The rise in atmosphere methane in the nineteenth and early twentieth century may well come from town gas and the fall after the 1920s is simply a reflection of reduced usage of town gas during the depression of the 1930s.

[iv] CSIRO data from Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center [CDIAC]

 

*PS: Funny story about the big gas explosion in Siberia in 1982 — as the tale of the Farewell Dossier goes, the Russians badly needed software from the West to control its pipe network, so (it’s said) the CIA arranged for them to buy a doctored version as a form of sabotage. Others disagree. There is a lot of interesting discussion out there.

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85 comments to Global methane emissions driven by Soviet leaks, volcanoes and El Ninos, not cows

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I worry a whole lot more about the state of world politics than I do about methane. Global warming has been shown by the past 20 years to be a total joke.

    Let’s get on with life.


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    • #
      Michel Lasouris

      Roy, hardly a joke. Wrongheaded, even scandalously immoral, but far, far too expensive to us all ever to be considered funny.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Michel,

        A very good point. It’s not really a joke at all. It’s a rather deadly serious problem.

        On the other hand, absent all the damage and the money wasted it would be hilarious. I can’t think of anything more comical than the foibles of the foolish, the power hungry and the dishonest. And I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t just a game to some of them. But you never can know the motivation for sure.


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  • #

    Atmospheric methane is at most, what, 20 parts per billion? That’s 1 part per 50 million. Think about that. Like bogus ocean acidification, with temperatures in a 15 year stall, the hockey stick debunked, and no evidence of a causal correlation between temps & CO2, the dispirited alarmists are grasping at straws, and this is just another empty scare like ocean acidification that the scare mongers are trying to throw onto the pile, kind of like flak shot randomly into the sky at unseen aircraft, they’re shooting wildly all the time, especially with they’re never ending bogus predictions of doom.
    “We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective [lying] and being honest [ineffective].” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989
    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Environmental Studies, UCSB
    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, ex ipcc chair
    “[in twenty years {2008}] the West Side Highway [and thus much of Manhattan] will be under water.” -James Hansen (1988), NASA
    “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Jo aught to keep a list of failed predictions, as a static page, on this site perhaps under “Find Things”? A good name might be “Bull Emissions”.

      That would say a lot more about the veracity (or lack thereof) of this “science”, than anything else could. No amount of evidence can prove a theory to be correct, but it only takes one experiment to prove it wrong.

      Those five quotes would be a good start.


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      • #
        amcoz

        Trouble is RW, the morons that will take over after we’re all gone will have not learnt how to read, let alone think, and, hence, will only hear what they are commanded to do: by hog breeders, particularly, you know, the ones drawing on the public teet and yelling alarmist sounds in order to sound more important than the plebs, who will then happily give them more money to perpetuate the alarm to make them more frightened; and on, and on it, goes until, ………..? ‘Arm-a-gettin’ out of here before I cause too much controversy.


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      • #

        That’s a good idea. If anyone has time to help by sending in “failed predictions” pages I will tag them and make a link.


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        • #
          Bob Campbell

          I’ve got quite a lot of them collected in Word docs of brief description, link and date.
          I don’t know how

          Maybe some guidelines established first to have them more accessible like – what, when, when-failed etc. But just getting a jumble of many hundreds might not be very useful.

          One I have is from 4 April 13, on the plan by 4 to row the NW passage this summer to inspire action to save the arctic and the bears. Oh yeah, another Pen Hadow style stunt I thought. At this time they have hardly moved because of too much ice. Starting in July it was to take 3 or 4 months.


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        • #

          Joanne, one problem is that there is not going to be a whole ton of fully failed (past the due date) predictions, and so, Bob, there’s not going to be the problem of “many hundreds” of them. That’s because the warmists are usually talking in longer time frames, as 2050 or 2100. Regardless, the more we can put in one place, the better. But we certainly have enough to make the critical point I try to make.

          Further, there’s a lot more predictions that are near the due date but are obviously going to fail. Like let’s say it’s a prediction for 2020 or 2030 etc where maybe they said it would be 5°C warmer or Florida would be under water, and since the prediction it may be near 0° warmer and the beaches at Fort Lauderdale and up and down the FL coast appear to the naked eye to be essentially exactly like they were decades ago (so, a far cry from the ocean flooding central and all of FL!). So, predictions could be categorized as “past due” or near past due, what ever.


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        • #

          [I felt more comfortable breaking my long comment in to 2 comments, so, continued:]

          Sometimes you have to kind of work with the text to get it into proper “quote” form. Some predictions may have to be “translated” from an interview or a journalistic reporting of something said. And very importantly, we’re not talking about changing the meaning of the quotes, but you do need to make them short by using the ellipsis (…), and use brackets [blah blah] to express the obviously implied (but real) meaning or shorten lengthy text or to clarify for impact the actual meaning that was poorly expressed by the predictor. Again, no hanky panky, just working with the text to make it short and sweet but true to the unabridged text’s meaning.

          I think the shorter versions of predictions will be in practice much more useful. Perhaps have a shortened prediction (if it needs to be shortened), but then also a link (or popup?) to the full lengthier text and context of the prediction. I hope this makes sense, though maybe my words here could benefit from being abridged!

          And Olaf, um, yeah, of what importance is a couple of decimal points? I knew methane was rare, but ok, so it’s 18 parts per 10 million. So, 1 part per 500,000, I should have made that point and it would be just as striking.


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        • #
          blackadderthe4th

          @Joanne Nova
          August 4, 2013 at 11:07 am

          ‘If anyone has time to help by sending in “failed predictions”’

          How about this one, ClimateGateIII will blow open the AGW scam, I paraphrase of course.


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    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Atmospheric methane is at most, what, 20 parts per billion?

      Actually Eric, CH4 is around 1800ppb. Jo’s chart lists the anomaly (change), not the total atmospheric composition. Although I got this chart from a warmist site, it’s correct. In any case, if CH4 is some 23x more “dangerous” than CO2, then 1800ppb CH4 amounts to around 42ppm CO2. You’re right though – nothing to worry about.


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Leaking Russian gas pipelines?

    Definitely not something considered by the grand poohbahs of the IPCC.

    But then there are so many thing the grand poohbahs do not, or refuse to, consider in their alarmist ponderings on global climate.

    UHI, the current global temperature plateau, the Antarctic ice cap, the true state of the polar bears, the regular downward adjustment of historical temperatures, Mannian maths, Lewandowsky fantasies, the non-acidification of the oceans, changes in energy output of our variable star the Sun, the evidence of the geological record such as changes in CO2 always follow changes in temperature and not vice versa, the weather is not becoming more violent, the conflict of interests of most ‘climate scientists’, climate computer models which are generally inaccurate and/or nonsense, etc., etc.


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  • #
    blackadderthe4th

    Are volcanoes currently a serious source of GHGs? No way!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xNOu4aFGGA


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Well, I did watch your “proof” and I join with others in saying DON’T BOTHER FOLLOWING YOUR LINKS.

      Previously I stated that “you didn’t think logically”, and I think I should correct that by leaving off the last word.

      Your presenter claimed that the Antarctic ice sheet formed when CO2 was at 450 ppm. although he did admit there were higher estimates. Not surprising as most consider the CO2 was around 1000-1100 ppm. but let us stay with your preferred figure.
      450 ppm CO2 causes ice to form in Antarctica, therefore CO2 rising from 400 ppm will cause warming???? Why am I wasting time on you? Go back to your teacher and ask for another project.


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      • #
        blackadderthe4th

        ’450 ppm CO2 causes ice to form in Antarctica’ and who says that? He does not say ’causes’, but states that the co2 level is about 450 but as we continue adding to the co2 levels we will have an ice free world! Because co2 is a GHG!

        ‘ therefore CO2 rising from 400 ppm will cause warming????’ simple basic science! Why am I wasting time on you? Go back to your teacher and ask for some more education!


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        • #
          Olaf Koenders

          FullBladderthe4th, why are you here? By your unscientific and incorrect rants I’d say you’re lonely. Go find a friend, an imaginary one preferably to save a real human from being tortured.


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          • #
            Heywood

            “FullBladderthe4th, why are you here?”

            To increase his view count on YouTube of course and to abuse punctuation in the written language by overuse of the exclamation mark.

            I suspect he might also be promoting his boyfriend R. Alley. I do wonder who plays the big spoon.

            He gets a little narky when you refuse to watch his propaganda though, and claims some sort of ‘victory’ if you don’t fall for his thread bombing spam techniques. A little sad really.


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            • #
              AndyG55

              YouTube videos made by a person with a mental age of 14.

              He thinks they are actually scientific, but they are a total load of TRIPE and Bladderdash.

              They are pointless and meaningless TRASH, of extremely poor quality, and a waste of anyone’s viewing time.


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              • #
                blackadderthe4th

                ‘they are a total load of TRIPE and Bladderdash’ by your standards perhaps, but the reason I can see so far ahead is because I’m standing on the shoulders of giants, where as you are only standing on their toes!


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              • #
                Heywood

                “I’m standing on the shoulders of giants, where as you are only standing on their toes!”

                Wow. Tickets much?

                No BA4, you are doing nothing of the sort.


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                Ace

                No addertwat (I wont say “black” because by attributing that to yourself you cast a slur on every black person and black blazer or black leather clothing that ever existed, black boots will be spinning in their cobblers) ..we see so far ahead because we stand on the shoulders of giants whereas you talk [snip crass]


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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            He’s in the pay of big youtube. That’s why he’s here.


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          • #
            AndyG55

            He also totally reinforces the idea that ALL agw believers are moronic twerps.

            He is probably the dopiest troll that we have EVER had, and that is saying something.


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          • #
            blackadderthe4th

            @Olaf Koenders

            FullBladderthe4th, why are you here?’ to keep the AGW anti-science mafia up to date! Otherwise this site will be a mere back slapping club! By the way what ever happened to Climategate III? It was all over the web not so long ago claiming to have more dubious emails, but now the silence is deafening!


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            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              There are rumours, within political and journalistic circles, that all three tranches of Climategate emails are being collectively used as the basis of a book.

              If those rumours are true, it should make for some interesting reading, because it would bring any fraudulent collusion between the players, to systematically doctor the results, into stark relief.


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        • #
          Andrew McRae

          A question for you, BA4,

          If CO2 over 450ppm has such a strong greenhouse effect, why is it that CO2 levels of 580ppm (at ~60My ago) were significantly warmer than the Quaternary period (ie today geologically) BUT CO2 levels of 870ppm (at 170Mya) and 1000ppm (at 250Mya) were cooler than the Quaternary period?
          CO2 levels: Rothman 2002.
          http://www.pnas.org/content/99/7/4167/F4.expansion.html

          This peer-reviewed published scientific data seems to suggest that CO2 has very little greenhouse effect.


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          • #
            blackadderthe4th

            ‘BUT CO2 levels of 870ppm (at 170Mya) and 1000ppm (at 250Mya) were cooler than the Quaternary period?’ I suspect you have fallen for the rookie mistake of thinking only co2 levels have an influence on the climate, when in fact there are other factors to consider, such as the Earth’s orbit. However it is agreed it is the only forcing factor that is having an influence presently.


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            • #
              Olaf Koenders

              Bladder you mental midget. Congratulations on recognising “other factors” such as orbit have an effect, but then you break off your rudder and crash right back into the CO2 rock by saying it doesn’t at the moment. That’s asshat at its best.

              Since we fall into a deep ice age roughly every 110,000 years, how is this interglacial NOT influenced by Milankovitch Cycles and how is 0.039% CO2 going to have an effect when it was much higher in the past DURING deep ice ages?

              The only exercise your feeble mind is getting is by sidestepping the facts.


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              • #
                blackadderthe4th

                ‘Since we fall into a deep ice age roughly every 110,000 years’ but there is not one due for another 10,000-20,000 years, hence it is not a factor presently!

                ‘and how is 0.039% CO2 going to have an effect when it was much higher in the past DURING deep ice ages?’

                And this is part of the answer!

                CO2 300,000 ppm but snowball Earth

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrm1KXttqDA


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              • #

                So CO2 is NOT the driving force of climate and humans are not either. The sun, albedo, etc are in the driving forces. No matter how much CO2 we put into the atmosphere, something in nature can always overcome it. That’s why it stopped heating the atmosphere and went into the oceans–nature chose. You are in fact admitting that humans do not control weather or climate. Thanks. We needed that.


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          • #
            Heywood

            Sorry Andrew, but apparently a YouTube video featuring BA4s boyfriend trumps peer reviewed literature. Don’t forget, he is apparently standing on the shoulders of giants…


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    • #

      Fascinating–I had no idea deep ocean temperatures could be measured thousands of years in the past. How ever did they manage that? Oh, and stable climate for “x” years–the advocates (warmists) camp will slap you down for that one. Maybe more study before more videos, assuming any study went into this?


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        … deep ocean temperatures could be measured thousands of years in the past. How ever did they manage that?

        Scene 1: As titles end, frame rotates to scientist (wearing a white coat, with welding glasses on his forehead), standing next to a suppository shaped vessel emblazoned with the name “TimCruzer One,” being interviewed by a reporter.

        Reporter: “Professor, will your device actually travel through time?”

        Professor Bladder: “Oh yes indeed; in fact it is traveling forwards through time, as we speak.”

        Reporter: “And it is totally water-tight?”

        Professor Bladder: “Definitely. We filled it full of water last Wednesday, and then applied ‘Cellays Window Sealant’ to make it 100% water proof, as guaranteed on the packet.”

        Reporter: “And what about withstanding the pressure?”

        Professor Bladder: “My dear fellow, this is a University, we are under constant pressure to obtain funding for our projects, a little more pressure is of no consequence.”

        Reporter: “And who will crew your machine?”

        Professor Bladder: “Well normally I would, but I have another grant application to prepare, so I have selected a young student from the School of Visual Arts to act as crew.”

        Reporter: “Will will it be safe?”

        Professor Bladder: “Of course it will. If, in the unlikely event that something should go wrong, nobody will miss a Visual Arts student, they never turn up for lectures anyway.”

        Reporter: “Finally Professor, when will this epic attempt to measure deep ocean temperatures, thousands of years in the past, be made?”

        Professor Bladder: “The week before last.”

        Reporter: “Thank you, Professor”

        Professor Bladder: “That is quite all right. Say, you wouldn’t care to help me pull this cork out of the machine, would you?”


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      Rod Stuart

      The gomer that is proselytising in that video will certainly get a shock when he realises the extent to which ice is building in the Antarctic in the last couple of weeks, and the fact that the high Arctic has just had half the normal number of frost-free days. I wonder if these goof balls have any “Oh shit” moments when their predictions get blasted into oblivion by ole Mother Nature?


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    • #
      handjive

      Quote: blackadderthe4th
      August 4, 2013 at 3:38 am ·

      “Are volcanoes currently a serious source of GHGs? No way!”

      Neither are ruminating animals.

      Prof debunks flatulence as major cause of global warming
      In 2006, the United Nations concluded that the livestock industry was a big contributor to climate change.
      In its report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the U.N. concluded that livestock were contributing 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases — allegedly more than the entire world’s transpiration.
      Mitloehner convinced the U.N. to recant its claim in 2010.

      UN admits flaw in report on meat and climate change
      .
      Don’t expect blackadderthe4th to post a video on those fat facts too soon. Or this one:

      The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the report to forecast that Himalayan glaciers might vanish within 25 years.


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  • #
    Joe V.

    JoNova on Radio 2GB (873) this morning coming up Now (@5am) after the News.
    I think my Internet player might have a 15 minute delay or something.


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      Joe V.

      A vigorous and convincing delivery.
      Some interesting turns of phrase:- (I paraphrase)
      ’90% of ‘carbon’ trading stopped on Belgium when the tax avoidance loophole was closed’
      ‘I hesitate to say none, but yes almost no funding to research the alternative point of view’
      ‘Trading in air that might contain some CO2′

      Was it really 3am ? When do you ever sleep in Perth ?


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  • #
    Joe V.


    It’s not really a market in carbon either. I mean we’re not trading in lead pencils”.

    :-)

    How do you put lead in the pencil of a ‘carbon market’ ?


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  • #
    Joe V.

    When a super tanker of Carbon Credits doesn’t turn up

    :-)
    Come on, i’m too much fun. Stop me.


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  • #
    Dan Pangburn

    Any credible change to the level of non-condensing greenhouse gases doesn’t have, has never had and will never have significant effect on average global temperature.

    GW ended before 2001. http://endofgw.blogspot.com/

    AGW never was. http://climatechange90.blogspot.com/2013/05/natural-climate-change-has-been.html


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  • #

    So the Soviet Union turns out to the cause of the increase methane levels, just like it was the cause of the shrinking the Aral Sea and other environmental disasters. All because their target was economic growth and development. Only they failed at that too, so after 70 years of communism, with vast tracts of arable land they still could not feed their own people, and huge levels of natural resources could not be converted into high levels of economic prosperity.
    The modern environmentalists have the opposite problem. They concentrate on constraining greenhouse emissions in particular and protecting the environment in general. As a result they do not care about economic prosperity. Further, the policies to “combat climate change” are proving to be every bit as incompetent at the Soviet’s policies to generate economic growth.


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    cohenite

    Thanks Tom and Jo for a good piece. Also of interest are Japanese plans to mine methane deposits on the ocean floor.

    In addition Dick Smith is advocating nuclear and apparently Australia is now awash with oil, particularly near the Barrier Reef.

    And nobody is talking about Thorium even though Australia has the World’s 2nd largest deposits.

    Peak energy is nowhere in sight and since AGW has been disproved there would seem to be no reason to invest in the obscenely expensive illusion of renewable energy.


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  • #
    Olaf Koenders

    I remember Chris Monckton enlightening us about the leaking Russian CH4 pipeline back in 2009/10 in some of his presentations/interviews. I saw it on a YouTube vid but can’t remember which one, considering I’d have to go through HOURS of them. Anyone have a reference?


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  • #
    Albert

    Going to the middle of the desert to kill camels including pregnant camels and their young is just an exercise in cruelty


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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Off topic, re: Electoral murmurings.

    I have received two political phone surveys in the last two days.

    The first one yesterday was completely automated with pre-recorded voice and touch tone multi-choice response. (It was like being polled by SkyNet.) It asked about which party I preferred, plus gender and age.

    The second one was this afternoon from Ask Australia in Perth, by a real human this time. They also asked who I voted for in 2010, and which of the LNP or ALP I’d pick on two-party-preferred basis. I found it strange they also asked which party I was going to vote for “ALP, LNP, or Greens”. I quizzed if they were the only options because there were more options than these 3 available in the real election.
    “Yes you can choose Other Party or Independent here but I’m not supposed to read those options out.”
    Whaaaat? That doesn’t sound like an unbiased poll gathering technique to me.
    They asked who would make a better PM, Rudd or Abbot, which is fair enough I guess.
    They also asked “if the LNP was ready for government”. Who EVER asks that question? This is push polling!

    Am wondering if any other Australian-based frequent readers here have received some political polling in the last 3 or 4 days.


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    Bulldust

    ***NEWSFLASH***

    The election is on 7 September 2013:

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/politics-live-august-4-2013-20130804-2r74i.html

    I am shocked to be honest … does this mean Kev is foregoing a junket to St Petersberg (G20 Leaders Summit)?


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      Bulldust

      I can only assume that he was pushed into this by Labor colleagues scared the polls will sour over time. No way he choose to miss the G20 meeting lightly.


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        MemoryVault

        I too am gobsmacked, BD.

        I’d have bet money he wouldn’t miss the G20 – oh, hang on, I did.

        I think “pushed into this” might be a tad on the light side.
        The only way I can imagine this happening is that someone had a metaphorical gun to his head.


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        Bulldust

        The number of times he has referred to Abbott and tobacco companies is embarrassing. What’s this about a ‘clean’ election campaign. He also called Aboott a “climate change denier” at least once.

        Now he is asking why we were AAA rated if the economy is in bad shape… heck they rated CDO’s triple AAA weeks before the GFC collapsed the market.

        The man has no shame … he fires off glib comments and moves on to new tpoics much like typical blog trolls.

        One thing is for sure, Rudd has all the superficial charm of the quintessential psychopath.


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      Joe V.

      It was Andrew Bolt I think, I heard saying early this morning Kev would be forced to declare over these next two days.
      I don’t know if that might have been a recording from earlier though.


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    manalive

    The rise in atmosphere methane in the nineteenth and early twentieth century may well come from town gas and the fall after the 1920s is simply a reflection of reduced usage of town gas during the depression of the 1930s …

    Is it possible that the apparent rise in the ice core record can also be partly due to a slow release, decay or leakage of the methane indicator i.e. that previous centuries had a similar pattern as the last which has faded from the record over time?
    If that’s a stupid question forgive me, I’m not a scientist.


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      Graeme No.3

      Town gas contained very little methane, being a mixture of carbon monoxide (the toxic bit), carbon dioxide and hydrogen (and a little water vapour and sulphur gases).

      I would draw your attention to the big increase in the number of horses in the towns and cities. The disposal of horse manure became a very big problem. Cornelius Vanderbilt thought he’d cheated his son over 2 loads of manure from his stables but William Henry Vanderbilt took them as scow loads from the wharf (50 tons instead of 4 tons). Surprisingly the old bastard was delighted.

      But imagine a stable with 50 tonnes of manure piled up. Bound to have been giving off methane.

      See also The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 – http://bytesdaily.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894.html


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    pat

    before i listen to jo on the radio (thanx for the link Joe V.), i’m wondering how much of Spain’s austerity was triggered by the country’s investment in the CAGW scam?

    VIDEO: 2 Aug: BBC: Spanish austerity’s brain drain
    Research and development in Spain has been cut by around 40% in the past five years.
    The Spanish government says the private sector needs to do more, but many scientists are simply leaving Spain and taking their work abroad…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23564926


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      Graeme No.3

      Pat; there was that report claiming that the subsidies for ‘renewables’ cost 2.5 jobs for every ‘green’ job created by them, but by and large I feel the problem was the global turn down and the collapse of the housing market. There was an enormous number of houses built in Spain up to 2008, over a million. These became unsaleable and the developers went bust and the banks that financed them likewise.

      Actually the Spanish, and Irish, government budgets were in surplus and the public debt under control. Had either of them let the bad banks go under, they may well have been in much better shape; but the EU never gave them that option, for reasons never explained. It is too late now, both countries are in depression.

      Spain can’t afford to subsidize the wind and solar industries anymore. (Wind was given either €75 or €95 per MWh (roughly $120 or $150 v coal around $50) and this made electricity more expensive for the ordinary citizen. Solar ran up to $300. With so many unemployed the Government has cut those prices drastically. All building of solar plants has stopped, and I don’t think there is much activity with new turbines.


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    pat

    Graeme No.3

    agreed on Spain. however, the investment and cost to the public of the renewables didn’t help.

    jo, the interview was – as expected – wonderful. i had this ready to post before hearing it, but it fits in well with what u had to say:

    this headline says all we need to know about The Australian’s Giles Parkinson:

    (WITH GRAPHS) 2 Aug: RenewEconomy: Giles Parkinson: HSBC: 7 clues why IPCC reports will spark global climate action
    A new analysis by global investment bank HSBC underlines this last point, and suggests that the upcoming reports to be released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – its first update in six years – will provide more impetus for decisive action to reduce greenhouse gases, and precipitate a range of new policy initiatives…
    The economists – Zoe Knight and Nick Robbins – expect that the new evidence to come to light in the new reports will provide further evidence that scientific indicators and weather extremes are moving in a manner consistent with global warming, and precipitate a new round of action. Indeed, they say there is clear evidence that this is already occurring.
    This has important considerations not just for policy-makers but also investors, given that these reports are likely to cause more funds managers to reflect on the implications of a “carbon budget” that would provide absolute limits on the burning of fossil fuels.
    Here are the 7 key reasons the HSBC economics provide that support their conclusions…
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/hsbc-7-clues-why-ipcc-reports-will-spark-global-climate-action-84480


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    pat

    CAGW-pusher HSBC in the news again today:

    4 Aug: BBC: ‘Havoc’ as HSBC prepares to close diplomatic accounts
    HSBC bank has reportedly asked more than 40 diplomatic missions to close their accounts as part of a programme to reduce business risks.
    The Vatican’s ambassadorial office in Britain, the Apostolic Nunciature, is among those said to be affected…
    The Foreign Office has been in touch with HSBC, stepping in to help diplomats open other bank accounts…
    The Mail on Sunday reported that the High Commission of Papua New Guinea and the Honorary Consulate of Benin have also been asked to move their accounts within 60 days…
    John Belavu, minister at the Papua New Guinea High Commission, said: “We’ve been banking with HSBC for 22 years and for them to throw us off in this way was a bombshell.”…
    HSBC was fined $1.92bn (£1.26bn) by US authorities last year after it was blamed for alleged money laundering activities said to have been conducted through its Latin American operations by drug cartels.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23565506

    Dec 2012: Rollingstone: Matt Taibbi: Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke
    Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.
    The banks’ laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space..
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213


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    JohnM

    Maybe Tom’s barking up the wrong tree. The spikes in Cape Grim data might correspond to El Nino events but that doesn’t mean that El Nino events caused extra methane. Methane that’s produced in Victoria’s north, perhaps on the dairy land around Shepparton, probably hardly registers on any methane monitoring unless the winds are carrying it in the appropriate direction. El Nino events encourage those northerly winds across Victoria and down to Tasmania.

    Did the El Nino cause the methane? Maybe a small fraction, but not a lot.

    Did the El nino cause the northerly winds that caused the methane to be recorded on the monitoring? Yes, very likely.


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    Peter Lang

    Tom Quirk,

    Another excellent research effort. Thank you.


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    Roguewave

    Has anyone asked why the bother with methane as its long wave absorption characteristics share that of water vapor, which has already saturated the wave length making further methane in the atmospher immaterial?

    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/FOS/Climate_Change_Science.html


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    Rod Stuart

    I haven’t noticed in this article any reference to pipeline maintenance.
    I can speak to this as I have over 20 years experience in the business in Western Canada.
    Did you ever wonder what is required to do maintenance on a high pressure natural gas pipeline? Pipeline operators run pigs on a regular basis. Scraper pigs and caliper pigs perform the functions of cleaning the pipe wall (to decrease the Renald’s Number) and to measure the pipe diameter variations for future pig runs. Smart pigs run about every five years to detect corrosion. When corrosion is discovered, it becomes necessary to cut out a joint and replace it. In order to do so, the pipe must be evacuated and purged with nitrogen. Evacuation has traditionally entailed a “blowdown”. Blowing down fifty miles of 42 inch diameter pipe from 100 atmospheres is impressive. The sound waves generated rattle your guts. In the last quarter century, a great deal of this has been accomplished with pump down compressors, but prior to about 1990, it was released to atmosphere. In Australia, that still is the case. I only mention it because it represents far more release than any “leaks”. Being a non-condensible hydrocarbon whose absorption wavelength is similar to water vapour, it has a negligible effect on anything. Except aircraft. It is mandatory to register a planned blowdown with CASA so that it can be advised in NOTAMS. Methane is less dense than air, so it rises rapidly, mixing with air. Not advisable to fly aircraft through it.


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      Andrew McRae

      That’s interesting. Thanks for that.
      I would not have guessed the companies would waste valuable gas so readily when there are other options available.


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        Rod Stuart

        There was a long period 1950 through to about 2000 that wholesale gas was worth a nominal dollar per million BTU’s. And then only if pipelines and process facilities were there to transport it. Hence, not worth recovery. In the Middle East through most of that time they flared natural gas as it wasn’t worth producing. Up until the 1990′s most gas turbine driven compressor sets were equipped with gas expanders for starters. The energy in the compressed gas expands to produce several hundred horsepower for about 20 minutes per start attempt. In the case of sweet gas it was released. In the case of sour gas it was flared. Natural gas, at least in easily recoverable wells, was often just a by-product of the oil production business. Without a gathering pipeline to move it anywhere it was pretty much useless. Most of that easily recoverable product, at least the known stuff in North America is purposely produced from shale now. I have no doubt this would have had an impact on measurable methane, although being less dense than air it goes straight up like helium.


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    jim west

    How can “the actual multiplier” decrease when calculated on the basis of atomic weight? If the original factor of 21 is based on the relative effect of each molecule (which I think it is), then won’t basing it on weight actually increase that to around 60? i.e. each methane molecule weighs around 1/3 as much as a CO2 molecule, so per unit weight it is roughly 21 x 3 times as powerful?


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    Curt

    The funny thing is that present claims of high methane emissions from fracked natural gas in the US use leakage rates from Russian gas fields and pipelines from the Soviet era…


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    Bruce

    When I was somewhat younger, I visited Tinaroo Lake / Dam in North Queensland.

    Apart from its size, the most striking feature was the almost overpowering smell of Hydrogen Sulphide integral with the spray from the floodgates.

    This was apparently coming from the immense mass of decaying vegetation on the dam floor behind the wall.

    Given that Methane is also produced by anaerobic decomposition of plant matter, could there be a lot of this about in both natural and artificial lakes, oceans etc?


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