paul314
So that "climate-friendly" alternative to coal and oil is potentially much worse, in a time when it's crucial to minimize greenhouse forcing? Who could have seen that one coming.
VincentWolf
So were screwed right? Since we can't stop producing the fertilizers and the industry won't agree with these results and will fight for hundreds of years that this report is in error and their not responsible. Just like the cigarette industry. Mankind let the genie out of the bottle when they created 'capitalism' which is just another word for 'suicide'.
Smokey_Bear
VincentWolf - Gosh dang evil capitalism! Just curious, what method do you believe we should live by?
rude.dawg
So if the US fertilizer industry emits 100 times more methane than estimated, then doesn't that mean that methane may not be as big a factor as we thought? Won't that mean that methane is just a hundredth as potent a greenhouse gas as we thought?
What happens if we realise anthropogenic greenhouse gases are actually a hundred times more than estimated? Won't that mean they're only a hundredth as potent as we thought?
bhtooefr
@rude.dawg: It's also worth noting that global fossil fuel CO2 emissions in 2018 were estimated at 37.1 Gt (or Pg).
28 Gg of methane, or at the 84x GWP given, 2.352 Tg CO2 equivalent emissions, is a tiny, tiny fraction of that relative to predictions - it's equivalent to 0.006% of the global CO2 emissions.
But, if so much of this is just leakage, this is some low-hanging fruit to deal with, at least.
MartinVoelker
Those sensor vehicles are amazing, a scientist friend from NOAA uses them regularly for field work. James Balog's new film "the human element" also showcases one. The precision and sensitivity is astounding. Too bad their results are not so benign.
Nobody
I'm a little suspicious of these numbers. If there are only two dozen plants and this is such a hazard, why don't they monitor ALL of them??? Why are the results in grams while CO2 is usually in tons??? To make the numbers sound bigger and more ominous??? Why are they using a Google car??? Since this is measuring leaks, are six plants actually representative??? Given the possible interference of cattle operations, dairy farms, and cross country gas pipelines, how random was the data??? I don't doubt there could be a problem that needs more study but the way this is presented smells.
Robt
@VincentWolf Autonomous farm vehicles will soon be spraying pesticides with pinpoint accuracy, reducing the quantity used by almost 80%. Fertilizer application is more involved but hopefully that won’t be too far behind.
christopher
SICK TO DEATH of climate morons.
Do the math !!!
ALL that Methane is 0.0000000000000001% of the problem, and there is a 99.99999999999999% chance that even if we did 100.000000000000% of everything we possibly coiuld to fix the problem, it would ake 0.00000000000% difference to the dierction of the climate.
In all seriousness - go look at the SCALE of the WHOLE PROBLEM. It's big. Very big. Like - quite a lot bigger than you think. Bigger, in fact, than you can even comprehend. Nobody likes how big that problem is, but, like it or not, you can't do anything to change it. That's another thing nobody likes, but pretending otherwise isn't helping.
We may as well get everyone to blow at the sun to try and move it away a bit - that's got the same probability of making a difference.
EZ
In response to Mr. Howe. It's hard to say how to make capitalism go away but maybe we can make it more responsible. Since most capitalistic ventures are done by large corporations that have the capital to pursue new products and processes, we can't eliminate them. However, maybe they can be made more responsible so they don't destroy the ground we walk on, such as making each corporate board member personally liable if it can be proven that their corporation took actions to jeopardize planet earth. Maybe they would be a little more conscientious of their fellow earth inhabitants welfare. Just a thought.