US to tackle methane in climate change push (Update)

Mar 28, 2014
A natural gas-fired power station stands on October 1, 2009 in Long Beach, California

The White House pledged Friday to clamp down on US emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas produced by cattle and natural gas production that contributes to climate change.

The bid is the latest by President Barack Obama's administration to find ways to tackle climate change in the face of staunch opposition by rival Republican lawmakers.

The United States is the largest greenhouse gas emitter after China.

Methane makes up some nine percent of US emissions but the environmental effect is some 20 times as potent as that of the most common greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

Cow manure is a leading source of methane. The White House said that the dairy industry and federal departments would unveil in June voluntary plans to reduce the sector's emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

Separately, the Environmental Protection Agency will meet experts on methane emissions from oil and gas to see if there is a need for more regulations, which would be unveiled by the end of 2016, the White House said.

Within the current year, the agency will propose new standards on landfills and a separate federal body, the Bureau of Land Management, will update regulations to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas production on public lands, it said.

The White House did not set an overall goal on reducing methane but said it was committed to Obama's target of cutting overall greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

Many environmentalists say that the commitment by the United States and other countries is nowhere close to the reduction levels needed to avert worst-case scenarios of climate change.

Scientists with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been meeting this week in Yokohama, Japan to hammer out the latest part of a massive report on the issue.

A draft, seen by AFP, says that global warming has resulted in reduced yields of wheat, rice and corn, and spells out the possibility of increased floods, drought and conflict if emissions are unchecked.

Obama has pledged action on climate change but increasingly focused on actions he can take without Congress. A proposal for broader restrictions on greenhouse emissions died in the Senate in 2010 amid opposition by lawmakers close to industry.

Explore further: Global warming may increase methane emissions from freshwater ecosystems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lots of carbon dioxide equivalents from aquatic environments

Mar 24, 2014

Large amounts of carbon dioxide equivalents taken up by plants on land are returned to the atmosphere from aquatic environments. This is the conclusions from a study carried out by two students at Linköping University, Sweden.

Breaking down the impact of greenhouse gases

Oct 23, 2012

It's called the global warming potential or GWP for short and it bundles together the importance of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases on future climate change.  Researchers from DOE's Pacific ...

Recommended for you

World greenhouse emissions threaten warming goal

13 hours ago

Emissions of greenhouse gases are rising so fast that within one generation the world will have used up its margin of safety for limiting global warming to 2°C (3.6°F), an international team of scientists ...

Tens of thousands join London climate march

14 hours ago

Tens of thousands of people in London joined a global day of protest Sunday to demand action on climate change, among them British actress Emma Thompson who said the challenge to save the planet was like ...

UN summit to test commitment to climate fund

14 hours ago

A global fund created to spearhead climate change financing faces a key test at a UN summit this week when it looks to the leaders of the industrialised world to stump up billions of dollars to fill its underflowing ...

User comments : 21

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Maggnus
3.8 / 5 (10) Mar 28, 2014
Separately, the Environmental Protection Agency will meet experts on methane emissions from oil and gas to see if there is a need for more regulations, which would be unveiled by the end of 2016, the White House said


OMG this will send Rygg and some other paranoids into apoplexy! This should get interesting lol!!
mememine69
2.2 / 5 (12) Mar 28, 2014
Unlike evolution and comet hits and smoking causing cancer, science isn't 100% certain that THE END IS NEAR so why are you remaining "believers" "believing" it will? YOU can't "believe" more than science does or did you even know what the consensus really was; a tired old consensus "95%". Find us one IPCC warning that "believes" as much as you doomers do.
Do not tell innocent children that science "believes" as much as you do.
JohnGee
3.8 / 5 (10) Mar 28, 2014
Mememine, your argument isn't nearly as clever as you must think it is.
Maggnus
3.4 / 5 (10) Mar 28, 2014
Mememine, your argument isn't nearly as clever as you must think it is.
Not just that, its stinted and patently ridiculous.

"There's no global warming because scientists are certain that a comet will hit Earth but science can't say with 100% certainty what changes global warming will bring."

There is actually less certainty that a comet will hit the planet than there is that co2 loading of the atmosphere will cause the planet to warm, and the time frames are far less. But even that isn't the point really; "let's not believe because it's not certain what the changes will be".

It beggars the mind that such denialistic stupidity exists!
aksdad
2 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2014
The bid is the latest by President Barack Obama's administration to find ways to tackle climate change

Except there is scant evidence that humans are significantly contributing to climate change--something that has happened naturally (and very slowly, just as now) throughout the history of the earth. Also the latest IPCC reports are showing the potential impacts are far less severe than initially estimated.

In addition, the EPA reports methane emissions in the U.S. are already decreasing (8% since 1993)...

http://epa.gov/cl...ch4.html

...and carbon dioxide emissions are down 12% since 2008...

http://www.yalecl...issions/

...without any regulation.

Why do we need to regulate methane and carbon dioxide?
Vietvet
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2014
It's going to be fun seeing rggys' aka WhiteBikerTrash reaction to the story in The Gaurdian
http://www.thegua...-systems
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2014
Thought I'd post some interesting tidbits articles like these never publish:

Earth's atmosphere is: 0.00017% Methane

Earth's atmosphere is: 0.040% CO2

By contrast the Venusian & Martian atmospheres are 95% carbon dioxide.

Methane has the heat capture capability 34 times that of CO2.

0.00017/0.04= 0.00425 percent of methane to carbon dioxide, dividing in terms of percent.

or the inverse:

0.04/0.00017= 235.3 times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than methane, not even close to the 34:1 heat capture ratio between the two gases.

Nitrogen is 78% of the atmosphere. 78/0.04=1950 times more nitrogen than carbon dioxide.
Oxygen is 20% of the atmosphere. 20/0.04= 500 times more oxygen than carbon dioxide.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2014
"After years of advice that healthy eating requires a reduction in high-fat-food consumption, with food like butter cream and chocolate deemed the worst offenders, a leading heart scientists has warned that the UK's National Health Service guidelines must be urgently revised. Dr. James DiNicolantonio insists that diets which restrict saturated fat intake do not lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease or aid in lengthening life spans. Dr. DiNicolantonio is so worried about what he brands a misinterpretation of "flawed data" that he as called for a new public health campaign to admit "we got it wrong."

Sugar and carbohydrates are what Dr. DiNicolantonio identifies as the real offenders when it comes to raising cholesterol and fuelling the country's obesity epidemic. "
http://www.toront...-for-you

Why were so many scientists wrong?

The failure of this science has the same roots as the failing climate science predictions.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2014
"The heart expert points out that the warnings against saturated fats date back to the 1950s when research suggested a like between a high intake of fatty food and deaths from heart disease. But the study's author draw conclusions from six countries but chose to ignore a further 16 which did not bolster his hypothesis.

DiNicolantonio adds, "It seemingly led us down the wrong 'dietary road' for decades to follow. This stemmed from the belief that since saturated fat increase total cholesterol (a flawed theory to begin with) they must increase the risk of heart disease." "
http://www.toront...-for-you

Parallels to AGWism abound: correlation is causation; lobbyists; significant economic interests on all sides; no way to conduct experiments under controlled conditions to test theories; egos (Ornish, Atkins, etc.)
Maggnus
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2014
Thought I'd post some interesting tidbits articles like these never publish:
Well come on Mr Engineer, don't leave us all hanging! And this all means...?
aksdad
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2014
It's going to be fun seeing rggys' aka WhiteBikerTrash reaction to the story in The Gaurdian

The author of the Guardian article is a true believer in the doctrine of catastrophic human-caused global warming, so believers will enjoy it (the article, not the IPCC report) and skeptics will grimace or laugh.

The lede "climate change felt 'on all continents and across the oceans'" is from the draft of the IPCC WGII AR5 Summary for Policymakers. There is a footnote attached to that comment in the draft which says:

"Attribution of observed impacts in the WGII AR5 links responses of natural and human systems to climate change, not to anthropogenic climate change, unless explicitly indicated."

In other words, climate change is real (it always has been) and affects everyone but it's not necessarily caused by humans.

Far from being a "blockbuster report", there's a lot of toning down previous dire forecasts. Google "Climate Forecast: Muting the Alarm" for another view.
aksdad
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2014
Well come on Mr Engineer, don't leave us all hanging! And this all means...?

Perspective.

That's what it means. It's the thing that's always missing when climate alarmists pontificate. When you put alarmist numbers in perspective it's not very alarming at all. Here's more perspective:

About 4% of yearly carbon dioxide emissions are generated by humans. 96% is from natural sources.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2014
I didn't read the article and don't plan to.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2014
I didn't read the article and don't plan to.

I refer to the Guardian article.
Vietvet
4 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2014
I didn't read the article and don't plan to.

I refer to the Guardian article.

You can't take the truth?
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2014
Well come on Mr Engineer, don't leave us all hanging! And this all means...?

Perspective.

That's what it means. It's the thing that's always missing when climate alarmists pontificate. When you put alarmist numbers in perspective it's not very alarming at all. Here's more perspective:

About 4% of yearly carbon dioxide emissions are generated by humans. 96% is from natural sources.

Thanks for confirming the source of the imbalance!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2014
Truth will set you free:
"Then the 1992 UN Rio Conference, led by Canadian tycoon Maurice Strong, developed Agenda 21, a bureaucratic justification for tying population growth to other perceived evils such as global warming.

Strong ultimately conceived of and implemented the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which essentially was engineered to determine that mankind controls the climate. Designating carbon dioxide as an evil, the IPCC created an agenda for stifling economic growth wherever it was occurring. As with so many of our worst politicians, the IPCC is well-described by journalist H. L. Mencken's famous quote, repeated by Ball: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Read more: http://dailycalle...xLmictPb
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2014
Unlike evolution and comet hits and smoking causing cancer, science isn't 100% certain that THE END IS NEAR


Since when does science arrive at a direct conclusion? You're kidding yourself.

It doesn't even use 100% for those other things.
Maggnus
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2014
Perspective.

That's what it means. It's the thing that's always missing when climate alarmists pontificate. When you put alarmist numbers in perspective it's not very alarming at all. --SNIP--


No, it's deception. That is the thing that always underlies a series of unconnected, unexplained data sets when denialists obfuscate. When you consider the actual science, the real studies and the actual hard numbers being put forward by scientists studying in a broad range of disciplines, it becomes clear that there is cause for concern.

Tell you what askdad. I challenge you to put forward 5 scientifically reviewed papers written in the last 5 years that state that global warming is not occurring or that human caused loading of the atmosphere is not responsible for the warming.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 29, 2014
See AGWites rig the game?
Demand 'peer' reviewed research no govt agency will pay for.
Real scientists will always be trying to find fault with their theories.
Experiments are still conducted to validate Einstein's theories, but the American Physical Society claimed AGW is indisputable. Relativity is disputable but not AGW?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) Mar 31, 2014
Unlike evolution and comet hits and smoking causing cancer, science isn't 100% certain that THE END IS NEAR

So let me get this straight: If you're just 95% sure (the confidence interval currently held by climate models) of getting into a fatal accident you will not don your safety belt, because you "aren't sure"?
Tell me: do you wear a safety belt? Even though the chance of getting in an accident (or being fined for not wearing it) is quite low? Sounds like double standard to me...

We should react based on
a) how likely a scenario is
b) how catastrophic it can be

And climate change figures high in both categories. So why exactly shouldn't we be concerned?

About 4% of yearly carbon dioxide emissions are generated by humans. 96% is from natural sources.

The latter is part of a cycle while the former is a net addition. See the difference?