Bill McKibben’s Methane Terror

Bill McKibben is now terrified of Methane.Screenshot 2016-03-26 at 07.21.12 AMScreenshot 2016-03-26 at 07.21.28 AM

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry | The Nation

Methane was 2 PPM in 1984, and it is 2 PPM now. Screenshot 2016-03-26 at 07.28.22 AM

Radiative transfer models show that Methane has almost no impact on downwelling longwave radiation, This is because it is very low concentration, and because it overlaps with the absorption/emission spectra of H2O.

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46 Responses to Bill McKibben’s Methane Terror

  1. W*T H*L*B*T says:

    Jesus, they tried this one years and years ago and got laughed at which was the main reason they switched their attention to CO2.

    • Andy DC says:

      We must immediately ban all Mexican and Indian Food or else we will all die!

    • alakhtal says:

      Damn lying whore! I’ll take Bill Mckibben Junkscience prophecies seriously when oil at $135 ain’t nose-diving beneath at $18. WTF! Where the hell he’s then? “That’s because fossil fuels are the problem in global warming—and fossil fuels don’t come in good and bad flavors,” he concluded in his article. “Coal and oil and natural gas have to be left in the ground. All of them.” WTF! “I couldn’t agree with you more.” I mean “I totally agree with you!” but I needed to hear that from Bill Mckibben on Oct 24, 2013.WTF!

  2. Henry P says:

    Sorry Tony,
    If I look at the data you quote, it seems to gone up by about 10% from 1984 to now.
    (from 1.6 to 1.8 ppm).
    Your graph is not scaled correctly. I

    • The graph is scaled correctly. Your thought process is not.

    • Henry P says:

      I wanted to say: I would have scaled 1-5 ppm instead of 0 – 1000000?

      • Billy says:

        Because a correctly scaled graph would make it look like methane levels have increased when Tony wants to say they haven’t.

        • Henry P says:

          It looks to me that the CH4 concentration in the air has increased somewhat, [unless it is due to changed accuracy/ changed measuring equipment over time?] but if this is man made? [most CH4 is formed from decaying wood].
          There are pockets of methane underneath certain places like the Bermuda Triangle and above mainland Scotland. If that is released due to some movement of the crust, it can cause big ships to sink….There are quite of few ships there and the presence of methane around the water at the bottom of the seabed there is unmistakable.
          Either way, CH4 is not a “strong” greenhouse gas, as explained down the thread. The net effect of more CH4 in the air is probably that ofcooling, rather than warming. The same can also be said for CO2.

        • Billy says:

          I didn’t say anything about the cause of the increase in methane levels or its role as a greenhouse gas. I was agreeing with you that the graph is incorrectly scaled.

        • Sparks says:

          The graph is correctly scaled, Parts Per Million (PPM) that’s what reality looks like and how ridiculous CO2 and CH4’s relationship with “global temperature” actually is…

      • AndyG55 says:

        oh wong gwaff…… wong graff !!!!

        Is Henry, Marty’s brother?

      • AndyG55 says:

        This is the same mathematical illiterate that thinks an R² = 1 for 4 points on a parabola actually means anything.

    • Steve’s graph is scaled to indicate that the methane concentration even with the slight increase is not significant.

      • Billy says:

        OK, but only if “not significant” means “not apparent when the graph scale is one million times the range of the data the graph depicts.” With that definition I’d bet he could also make a graph showing that the yearly inrease in the national debt is not significant.

        • Nobama says:

          There has been a GIGANTIC eensy teensy itsy bitsy increase in the microscopic concentration of .0000014! Okay, AND it overlaps with H2O. But it’s DANGEROUS!!

  3. gator69 says:

    We would first note that we have never stated that the reason for the currently observed methane emissions were due to recent climate change.

    In fact, we explained in detail the mechanism of subsea permafrost destabilization as a result of inundation with seawater thousands of years ago.

    We have been working in this scientific field and this region for a decade. We understand its complexity more than anyone. And like most scientists in our field, we have to deal with slowly improving understanding of ongoing processes that often incorporates different points of views expressed by different groups of researchers.

    Extensive Methane Venting to the Atmosphere from Sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    Natalia Shakhova1,2,*,†, Igor Semiletov1,2,*, Anatoly Salyuk2, Vladimir Yusupov2, Denis Kosmach2, Örjan Gustafsson3
    Science 05 Mar 2010:
    Vol. 327, Issue 5970, pp. 1246-1250
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1182221

    So McKibben et al blames US citizens for yet another natural event. When the Yellowstone Caldera blows, will that be my fault too?

    • RAH says:

      If the Yellowstone Caldera blows we probably won’t give a thought to what any discredited dumbass like McKibben has said or will say. Many of us will be too busy tryng to just survive real catastrophic short term climate change. I remember how that relatively little bang at Mt. Saint Hellens effected those down wind in the immediate vicinity and how Mt. Penitubo on the other side of the world caused a summer that never was for us here. From what I’ve read it seems a massive outbreak of erruptions at Yellowstone would be a life ender and world changer that would exceed anything modern humans have had to endure.

      • gator69 says:

        Yep, Yellowstone will be an even bigger deal again someday, it is just a matter of time. It could be disastrous for humanity, or it could fizzle. Either way, you wouldn’t want to be vacationing there when it happens. (It is also another good reason for food storage)

        BTW – Yellowstone and the Tetons are a favorite destination of mine, I usually stay just outside of Jackson. That area is an adult playground, and a unique destination for an old backpacker, and geology student like me.

      • Robertv says:

        What about a nice BIG Earth directed solar flare ?

        • RAH says:

          Ah hell! We could all be dead any second of any day before we knew what was happening. A Gama ray burst from a super nova within 25 light years or a being oriented at the wrong place at the wrong time to a black hole that is even 100 light years or more away would end it all for us in seconds. And we wouldn’t even know it’s coming. Flash burn those on the side of the earth facing the burst are dead and those on the side facing away live a little longer but suffer more but without an atmosphere are gone within minutes.

  4. Henry P says:

    Here is the IR spectrum of methane

    • Henry P says:

      The IR spectrum of methane shows that there is not much absorption in the 5-15 um range where earth emits predominantly.
      Hence, it follows that methane is not even a strong “greenhouse” gas as it is largely transparent to earth’s emissions.

      • Henry P says:

        The high absorption of methane at 2 and 3 um suggests to me that the net effect of more methane in the air is that of cooling rather than warming. The sun emits strongly in the 0-5 um range, hence incoming sun rays will be deflected at those wavelengths.
        To prove that this is indeed what is happening, you can look it up in table in figure 6.

        Click to access turnbull06a.pdf

        The yellow is the 2um peak that can be measured at earth again via moon.
        [the origin of this radiation was: sun-earth-moon-earth]
        Note that Turnbull only measured up to 2.5 um, so we miss seeing the 3 um peak, which is even larger…

  5. scott allen says:

    If you think the article was amusing, try reading the comments section.
    One person bragged about attending a conference with 20,000 others (American Geophysical Union) discussing the issue (just think of the carbon footprint that had).
    Another reader touted how good ethanol was and how it affected methane production in feed animals. (of course not explain how ethanol produces more CO2 than it saves).
    Another reader was almost brought to tears from the wonderful prose.
    I would guess that these people, just like Leonardo DiCaprio, have larger carbon foot prints than 90% of other americans. Article also talked of bio mass for energy consumption. this was done in Britain at the Tilbury power plants, they switched from burning locally available cheap coal to bio mass fuel. The bio mass fuel is actually wood and wood by product pelletized and kiln dried. So where do they get these pellets from, the east coast of the US which cuts down trees pelletizing them spending thousands of gallons of fuel to dry the pellets, then spending thousands of gallons of fuel to ship them to Britain . All in the name of “green” energy,

    • Henry P says:

      agree that a bit of ethanol is good for people
      especially mixed with some coca cola?

    • Moors710 says:

      Ethanol is a good speciality fuel that can be used in engines designed for it. Most racing has gone for the even better performance of methanol. Hydrocarbons, containing much more carbon give much better mileage and are better transportation fuels. Ethanol is a solution for some racing vehicles as it gives more engine power for the available air(related to engine displacement) with the trade of worse mileage as it is a lower energy fuel. Alcohols are not a well considered alternative for transportation.
      If ethanol were a truly superior fuel, we would be synthesizing it from oil, gas and coal;instead we synthesize more aromatics as they are better for long distance transport.
      We will use renewable fuels when they are more economical to produce. In the current state of oil gas and coal production that will not be generally true for several hundred years (300 to 500 years depending on the figures we use). In that time technology is likely to have presented other alternatives.

      • catweazle666 says:

        Back in the 1960s UK there was a pump petrol (gas to you Cousins) Cleveland Discol that had an octane rating of 106 that contained ethanol.

        It required a substantial amount of enrichment to work properly, but worked extremely in the likes of my cast iron engined 650cc Triumph Tiger 110 with atmosphere liquifying compression ratio.

        There was another high octane fuel National Benzole Mixture that contained benzine, I used to put it in 1930s competition stuff with needleless track Amal carburettors.

        That was in the days before we got paranoid about fuel consumption and other such trivialities, of course.

  6. Don says:

    Move over CO2, CH4 is the new star of the AGW crowd. LOL

  7. Henry P says:

    Wishing you all a Good Passover and a Blessed Easter.
    The tomb was empty:

  8. Methane is natural. Not only is natural gas natural, but swamp gas is too. And farts.

  9. Steve Case says:

    The “Popular” press reports methane as 29, 72, 84 and even over 100 times more powerful than CO2 as a Green House Gas. They never explain why.

    • RAH says:

      Because it stinks? 🙂

      • Methane is actually odorless. They have to add smell to it so that people know that they have a gas leak.

        • AndyG55 says:

          Quite correct. 🙂

          On a commercial basis, a butyl- type molecule is added.

          On a natural basis, there could be many other “aromatic” hydrocarbons or even sulphur compounds formed with it, hence the “stink”

        • Our Creator added thiol and sulfide gas for the same reason. We can tell when somebody is farting like the devil.

        • Henry P says:

          Actually, like CO2, CH4 is not even a poison.

          There is no TLV (MAK) value.
          However, like CO2, it is heavier than air, meaning that when the concentration becomes too high, it displaces the oxygen, and you will die of asphyxiation.
          [testing with rabbits with increasing CO2 content showed that the rabbits would not die as long as you kept the 21% O2 constant.]

        • Andy Oz says:

          methyl mercaptan

        • cdquarles says:

          Um, Henry, normal methane would have a molecular weight of 16, or half that of normal molecular oxygen. Air’s molecular weight is the weighted average of the molecular weights of the components of the mixture. If I am remembering correctly, that means for the US standard atmosphere, the molecular weight of air is a bit under 30. That makes nitrogen ‘lighter’ than air and oxygen ‘heavier’ than air, but no one talks about that.

          By the kinetic theory of gases, there’s no such thing as lighter than air or heavier than air for any molecular gas or vapor. At a fixed kinetic energy, the thermodynamic temperature is the geometric mean of each component’s kinetic energies, which implies that the more massive components have a slower translation velocity. The constant motion of gas molecules will ensure an even mixture, provided there are no other processes occurring simultaneously, over time.

        • Henry P says:

          sorry, yes,
          I think you may be right
          the report I quoted is confusing.
          First it says methane is heavier than air and later in in the [same] report it says it is lighter than air.
          I am confused.

  10. Figaro says:

    Methane is an odourless gas. You smell mercapthanes added to it in nat gas or volatiles from partially digested protein in the case of bean ingestion.

  11. Andy Oz says:

    I was gonna say that the world has 0.15ppb too many Bill McKibben’s in the atmosphere.
    He definitely adds a disproportionate amount of methane to the world.

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