30% Of The Methane In The Atmosphere

That evil, nasty gas responsible for so much of the global warming that we all see about us, is potentially caused by:
1) The vast herds of cows that exist solely to keep us supplied with Big Macs
2) SUVs and minivans (but oddly not celebrities’ Gulfstreams)
3) The bean burritos Ken has for breakfast every day
4) Virgin rainforests
I guess some virgins need to be sacrificed.

To their amazement, the scientists found that all the textbooks written on the biochemistry of plants had apparently overlooked the fact that methane is produced by a range of plants even when there is plenty of oxygen.
The amount of the gas produced increased when the air was warmer, and when there was more sunlight. The paper estimates that this unexplained phenomenon could account for between 10 and 30 per cent of the world’s methane emissions.
The possible implications are set out in Nature by David Lowe of New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, who writes, “We now have the spectre that new forests might increase greenhouse warming through methane emissions rather than decrease it by sequestering carbon dioxide.”

Defend Gaia.
Cut down a tree.
Update: Near the end of the article is this gem:

Michael Keller of the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, who carried out the study, said the new process discovered by the German scientists provided a plausible solution to the puzzle.
But he warned against making any assumptions at this stage about what it meant for the climate impact of forests until much more was known about the way this new phenomenon operates in different conditions and among different species.
Dr Keller said: “We know that when deforestation takes place we liberate large quantities of carbon dioxide, and indeed methane, into the atmosphere. We may be replacing that forest with vegetation which produces more methane.
“Until we know how this process works it is really unwise to come to any conclusions.”

Ain’t it amazing that whenever data appears that goes against their cherished beliefs we’re sternly cautioned against “rushing to conclusions; it’s not good science, old chum” whereas they conveniently forget that this whole global warming hullaballoo has been one yuge stampede by themselves, leftist groups and the MSM.

15 Responses to “30% Of The Methane In The Atmosphere”

  1. The_Real_JeffS says:

    The thing about global warming that gets me steaming (heh heh!) is all of the doom sayers talking about something they don’t understand. As a teenager, I was told that the glaciers were returning. Then air pollution would force me to wear breathing masks outside. Then it was nuclear winter. And now it’s global warming.
    Make up your minds, fools!
    On the bright side, my brothers would say that I am a major source of methane, but it’s nice to see that someone else is being blamed! Thanks, Ken!

  2. Cullen says:

    Amen, Bingley.
    Jeff, for some reason, it appears to be anathma to a scientist to admit they don’t know something. There are some theories that I don’t mind accepting as fact — gravity would be the most obvious I think. What I can’t stand are the things being taught as fact such as global warming and evolution, that there are many unknowns to. You can teach evolution of species, there’s ample proof, but evolution as the origin of species is only speculation. We have seen that global warming exists, yet the scientist change their minds every so often as to why it happens. I wish the textbooks would reflect this uncertainty. I think it would help develop a healthy curiosity in our students.

  3. Cut down a tree.
    And where does our resident arborist (re: KRAUT, destroyer of all things shady and GREEN) stand on the methane question?

  4. (OH, don’t even GO there, Cullen, or I’ll be forced to put a Wiccan whomping on you.)

  5. Cullen says:

    I don’t think we should destroy all things shady and green. Just the ones in our way.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    You come near my burly maple and you’re toast Cullen!

  7. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Cullen, the anathma for the scientists is pure ego. Engineers have a similar problem. Getting either to admit to a mistake is a major chore. They are competing for grants and budgets, hence the idiocy.
    The non-scientists (and non-engineers) are simply doomsayers, waiting for the end of humanity. Screw ’em.

  8. Cullen says:

    Oh, no worries, Bing. I want to stay on amazingly good terms with you when it comes to that Maple. I mean, you know, just a board or so when you cut it down, that’s all I ask.

  9. Susanna says:

    Pave the world!

  10. Nightfly says:

    Kraut’s probably too busy celebrating with his chainsaw to come in and say hello right now…

  11. John says:

    Cullen, it is most definitely not anathema to a scientist to admit he or she was wrong or does not know something – it’s what we do every day. My advisor called it “getting rewired so your mental model corresponds to reality”.
    Not knowing something is the whole reason we get grant money from the government – so we can find out what we don’t know.
    However, Jeff S came real close to the problem in this case: there is publication bias in the Global Warming area where pubs that do not toe the party line do not get favorable reviews and those investigators do not get grant prioritization.
    Even then, when you look at something like this:
    (see the third item down) you see that there is no consensus in the community that deals with this stuff. It’s the jackass jounralists and Greenies who blow what should be slowly developing theories into “scientific fact”.
    I had a stab at Global Warming and ID on my blog a while back:

  12. Mr. Bingley says:

    Susanna, when I was in college I tried to do my part in that noble endeavor: I was head of the Committee to Pave the Lawn for a few years.

  13. The_Real_JeffS says:

    John, I admit to being immersed within a moribound and entrenched bureaucracy. So my observations might be biased.
    But I would point out that your comments, while valid, are applicable only to ethical scientists. I’m not convinced that all that many scientists still live for the scientific method. Rather, they are looking to maintain their budget levels.
    OTOH, it’s the splashy dudes that make the news, not the quiet plodders who do things right. So I bow to your wider experience.

  14. John says:

    “I’m not convinced that all that many scientists still live for the scientific method.”
    I disagree. However, if your “moribound and entrenched bureaucracy” involves the US government, I’d say yes, most of the bureaucratic researchers are that way. One of the biggest pricks I encountered in Academia was a former NIST researcher.
    But as I said in the other thread, indvidual scientists are often protective of their babies, in defiance of good scientific practice (see my crackerjack post on Carl Sagan) so science as an institution counts on a lot of peckerwoods in the system trying to shoot each other down. THAT is the danger of politically motivated funding and publication bias.

  15. Mr. Bingley says:

    It may be that the scientists who get the press, and thus are the only ones that most of us see, fit better with JeffS description.

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