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09/13/2011

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Guy Spier

Ion, you are knocking down a straw man:

I have no disagreement on the warming & little on the role of CO2.

But ell me this:

What is the role of methane as a greenhouse gas? If it has a role that is as big (or bigger) than carbon, what do you propose to do to regulate methane?

Warm regards

Ion Yadigaroglu

Yes, we must prohibit flatulence!

See http://www.epa.gov/methane/scientific.html.

Methane is important but a distant second to CO2 (although 21X more potent than CO2 on a per molecule basis), and it also disappears much faster with 12 year half life. It is regulated along with CO2 and other gases under e.g. the European Trading System. The main sources are related to agriculture. For instance, when you drain peatlands the biomass in the soil decays rapidly releasing large amounts of methane - one reason why deforestation to plant palm trees is a terrible idea.

A scary issue is that there are huge amounts of methane trapped in the frozen grounds. The tundra is melting and the methane bubbling up. It is one of the possible bad "runaway" scenarios where climate change happens much faster than the base case scenario.

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081203/full/news.2008.1275.html

--Ion

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I have no disagreement on the warming & little on the role of CO2.

But ell me this:

What is the role of methane as a greenhouse gas? If it has a role that is as big (or bigger) than carbon, what do you propose to do to regulate methane?

Warm regards

Ion Yadigaroglu

Methane is more potent than CO2 (21x) but there is much, much less of it, and it doesn't last very long in the atmosphere compared to CO2. So it is not as important to regulate it. Its contribution to overall greenhouse effect is small and reversible.

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