Guardian Panicking About Methane

By Paul Homewood

h/t Paul Kolk

I can only conclude that Guardian reporters are all neurotic. Take this piece of hysteria from Damian Carrington:




Vast releases of gas, along with future ‘methane bombs’, represent huge threat – but curbing emissions would rapidly reduce global heating

More than 1,000 “super-emitter” sites gushed the potent greenhouse gas methane into the global atmosphere in 2022, the Guardian can reveal, mostly from oil and gas facilities. The worst single leak spewed the pollution at a rate equivalent to 67m running cars.Separate data also reveals 55 “methane bombs” around the world – fossil fuel extraction sites where gas leaks alone from future production would release levels of methane equivalent to 30 years of all US greenhouse gas emissions.Methane emissions cause 25% of global heating today and there has been a “scary” surge since 2007, according to scientists. This acceleration may be the biggest threat to keeping below 1.5C of global heating and seriously risks triggering catastrophic climate tipping points, researchers say.


Maybe the silly Carrington would not panic so much if he understood some of the basic facts about methane:

1) Methane is a short lived gas; its concentration in the atmosphere declines by about a half every ten years. Any methane emitted today will virtually have disappeared by 2050, which is when we are all supposed to be worried about.

Indeed all we have to is maintain the current rate of emissions for atmospheric concentrations to level off quickly.


2) Methane concentration in the atmosphere has been rising rapidly since the 1980s, and no doubt before. There is nothing “scary” about the surge since 2007:


3) If methane really has been responsible for 25% of global “heating”, and the IPCC actually reckon the figure is actually higher at around 30 to 50%, then clearly we don’t have to worry about carbon dioxide.

Given that at least a part of the warming since the Little Ice Age is natural, the amount of residual warming caused by CO2 is so small as to be inconsequential.

4) Although in theory methane is a powerful GHG, in the real atmosphere its effect is irrelevant because the absorption bands of methane are already dominated by water vapour:

5) GHG effects are logarithmic, so any extra methane in the atmosphere has progressively less and less effect.

So why all the panic, Damian?


March 9, 2023 at 05:29AM

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