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Trump’s methane proposal an assault on the environment
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:15 pm    Post subject: Trump’s methane proposal an assault on the environment Reply with quote

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/29/trump-to-roll-back-methane-climate-change-regulations.html

The Trump administration announced plans on Thursday to weaken regulation on climate-changing methane emissions, drawing immediate backlash from those who anticipate the rule will harm the environment and exacerbate global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule would loosen restrictions on oil and gas sites to monitor and repair methane leaks from pipelines and storage facilities. The standards enacted under former President Barack Obama required oil and gas companies to install controls to curb those emissions. The new rule would be the latest move by the Trump administration to roll back Obama-era emission regulations on major oil and gas industries, which are the main source of methane emissions in the U.S.

Carbon dioxide is the most substantial greenhouse gas, and methane is the second. However, methane has 80 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide during the first 20 years in the atmosphere and accounts for nearly 10% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. “EPA’s proposal delivers on President Trump’s executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “The Trump Administration recognizes that methane is valuable, and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use. Since 1990, natural gas production in the United States has almost doubled while methane emissions across the natural gas industry have fallen by nearly 15%. Our regulations should not stifle this innovation and progress.” The EPA estimates that the proposed rule would save the oil and natural gas industry $17 million to $19 million a year, for a total of $97 million to $123 million from 2019 through 2025.

Continues......

The NY Times reports on the 84 Environmental Rules being rolled back under Trump:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks.html
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my understanding the most important greenhouse gas is in fact water vapour with then carbon dioxide and methane taking second and third place. The potency of methane as a greenhouse gas I don't dispute but newspapers need to get their facts right. Except for that the article seems reasonable.

Reading the article further it seems that the large oil companies will ignore the relaxation in regulations.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



Joined: 19 May 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
From my understanding the most important greenhouse gas is in fact water vapour with then carbon dioxide and methane taking second and third place. The potency of methane as a greenhouse gas I don't dispute but newspapers need to get their facts right. Except for that the article seems reasonable.

Reading the article further it seems that the large oil companies will ignore the relaxation in regulations.


Good for you, knowing that the most awesome greenhouse gas on this planet is water vapor.

And the companies will generally ignore the change, for similar reasons that the car companies decided to go along with California emissions requirements, rather than the recently relaxed requirements from the Trump administration.

It is just too much of a pain in the butt to suddenly take a sigh of relief and begin wasting a commodity worth some $$ just because some idiot government regulator says it is okay. It also helps to game out the future and realize 5 minutes after a different administration gets back in control, all the old pain the butt regulations that a company just spent $$ complying with will be reinstated.

Much to do about nothing really, but people have to find something to whine about, and Don the Con provides them plenty of ammo.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
From my understanding the most important greenhouse gas is in fact water vapour with then carbon dioxide and methane taking second and third place. The potency of methane as a greenhouse gas I don't dispute but newspapers need to get their facts right. Except for that the article seems reasonable. ..............


Water vapour might well be the most important greenhouse gas, depending on how you define most important. The level of water vapour in the atmosphere on average tends to be fairly constant at any given temperature and mix of other gases. Raise the temperature and the level of water vapour goes up until a new stable level is achieved.

How is the temperature raised? By variations in the level of solar radiation and by changes in the levels of other greenhouse gases which themselves tend to be fairly constant over time. At the moment the level of solar radiation is static or falling slightly so should be causing less water vapour and cooling. Except, of course, if humans are burning vast quantities of fossil fuel and consequently emitting equally vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. Those vast quantities of CO2 are destabilising the balance of the atmosphere and heating it so the water vapour then increases as a result of the warming and creates further warming.

So which is the most important greenhouse gas in this situation? I would say the CO2. The same thing could be said for methane as the two are the cause of there being more water vapour in the atmosphere.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:

How is the temperature raised? By variations in the level of solar radiation and by changes in the levels of other greenhouse gases which themselves tend to be fairly constant over time.


Eccentricity in the earth's orbit?

Natural variability (sort of like signal noise in the natural climate system), all the geologic reasons of course;

Continental drift, volcanoes, continental basalt flows, all sorts of those covered in the geologic sciences.

Then of course we have the COOL ones, mainly cosmic collisions (and gamma bursts!) which are great things to worry about and make humans altering the CO2 levels by 0.016% over a century seem pretty minor.

Turns out, other biologics have that changed the world climate as well, and then we can consider other things like the axis tilt of the planet (it does change!), carbon dioxide content of the oceans, ocean currents (bringing us back to basic plate tectonics), even vegetation coverage.

All cool and interesting interrelated and moving parts...some folks just seem to want to discuss their favorites I suppose. I say we bring back the Azolla!!

kenneal-lagger wrote:

So which is the most important greenhouse gas in this situation?



Water vapor of course , because I'm not trying to slice and dice the basics to dance around the answer.

Kenneal-lagger, you provided a wonderful video showing how many thousands of years humans have been participating in twiddling the planets thermostat. Seems like everyone wants to turn it into a more instant form of doom and panic. But doomers gotta doom, right?

Simplifying all the mechanisms done to a favorite in order to drive the conversation to that favorite is just as silly as those peak oilers who wanted to attach bell shaped curves to everything and leave it at that.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fully aware of Milankovich cycles, RGR but they act over thousands of years. All those other things also act on the climate but what is changing most rapidly at the moment is CO2 and to a lesser extent methane. The warming from these is causing more water vapour to be taken up into the atmosphere to cause further warming. So what is the main driver of the warming at present? CO2 and, to a lesser extent, methane.

If you ask what is the main cause of the warming it is water vapour but the main driver is the increase in CO2.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
I'm fully aware of Milankovich cycles, RGR but they act over thousands of years.


There are many cycles, and cycles within cycles when it comes to the world's ever changing climate. I don't doubt you were familiar with them, only mentioning that a fascination with a single metric seems so....singular....in the multi-faceted aspects of climate change.

Lest we forget, people became quite one dimensional with their peak oil hysteria, and look what happened to them and their claims! Smile


kenneal-lagger wrote:

All those other things also act on the climate but what is changing most rapidly at the moment is CO2 and to a lesser extent methane. The warming from these is causing more water vapour to be taken up into the atmosphere to cause further warming. So what is the main driver of the warming at present? CO2 and, to a lesser extent, methane.


I provided the list to the top 10 greenhouse gases, feel free to argue with the particular scientific explanation provided...which didn't include your previous waffling as to which was most important because of...you know...single dimensional thinking.

kenneal-lagger wrote:

If you ask what is the main cause of the warming it is water vapour but the main driver is the increase in CO2.


Well, it does appear that by changing a trace gas in the atmosphere 0.016% higher, humans are effecting their environment. Have been for thousands of years, according to that wonderful video you provided.

Do you remember the part where the geologist discussed the "noise" in the system? Quite an important piece that the singularly minded tend to not mention unless poked to admit that singular thinking isn't really best in this debate. Certainly the thermometer watchers tend to be singularly minded in this regard, and are unfortunately a substantial component of the current debate in my opinion.
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Lurkalot



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless chemistry has changed since my time at school i seem to recall that burning hydrocarbons produces CO2 and H2O and all that water is in effect "new " water that has been locked away , like the carbon , for millions of years. Or to put it another way arguing about which is worse seems to me to be a moot point considering we are pumping millions of tonnes of each into the atmosphere.
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ReserveGrowthRulz



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lurkalot wrote:
Unless chemistry has changed since my time at school i seem to recall that burning hydrocarbons produces CO2 and H2O and all that water is in effect "new " water that has been locked away , like the carbon , for millions of years. Or to put it another way arguing about which is worse seems to me to be a moot point considering we are pumping millions of tonnes of each into the atmosphere.


Even more amusingly, none of it might be near as important as real threats to the planet.
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Lurkalot



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are you saying we shouldn't worry that something might be a problem because there's a bigger something to worry about instead?
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lurkalot wrote:
Unless chemistry has changed since my time at school i seem to recall that burning hydrocarbons produces CO2 and H2O and all that water is in effect "new " water that has been locked away , like the carbon , for millions of years. Or to put it another way arguing about which is worse seems to me to be a moot point considering we are pumping millions of tonnes of each into the atmosphere.


It is the water as vapour in the atmosphere which is important. Quite a bit of water will come out of a car exhaust as liquid water and this has no global warming potential.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lurkalot wrote:
So are you saying we shouldn't worry that something might be a problem because there's a bigger something to worry about instead?


The question is even tougher than that!

Which is more ethically reasonable? Turn the entire world Amish, save it from our consumptive lifestyle, CO2 emissions crash, all dreams come true...and a big rock wipes out all humans in 15 years, the Amish lifestyle we adapted not being conducive stopping dino-killers.

Alternatively, we strip mine and pollute 3/4's of the planet, turning it into a toxic cesspool, kill off 90% of the population along the way....but we build an absolutely wonderful planetary shield, ensuring the continuation of our species...albeit not in a particularly pleasant biosphere.

The answer to that question can be quite revealing about the person doing the answering.

My opinion is we need to worry about all sorts of things. Focusing on just a favorite reveals individual myopia, nothing more. The better question is, when we can't even agree on any ONE thing being our downfall in a particular time frame, how can we honestly be expected to sort out and prioritize the issues in any logical fashion?

Certainly all of us who went through the peak oil fear meme have direct experience with how fast our favorite schemes can come off the rails, right? Back then, doomer buy in had that being the downfall of the species. When that didn't work out, did they began asking honest questions about why it went wrong? Or did natural doomer instincts take over and they just ran out and found the next? Pick a favorite and presto...we are now discussing just CO2 emissions. Rather than the absolute myriad of interesting things that can kill us all off.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Lurkalot wrote:
Unless chemistry has changed since my time at school i seem to recall that burning hydrocarbons produces CO2 and H2O and all that water is in effect "new " water that has been locked away , like the carbon , for millions of years. Or to put it another way arguing about which is worse seems to me to be a moot point considering we are pumping millions of tonnes of each into the atmosphere.


It is the water as vapour in the atmosphere which is important. Quite a bit of water will come out of a car exhaust as liquid water and this has no global warming potential.

The amount of "new water" being released into the atmosphere is tiny in comparison to the amount available for transpiration by plants and evaporation from the ocean surface. Let the ocean surface temperature rise by a couple of degrees C (as we have) and the rate of evaporation increases increasing the total water vapor in the atmosphere.
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BritDownUnder



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:

The amount of "new water" being released into the atmosphere is tiny in comparison to the amount available for transpiration by plants and evaporation from the ocean surface. Let the ocean surface temperature rise by a couple of degrees C (as we have) and the rate of evaporation increases increasing the total water vapor in the atmosphere.

In other words a positive feedback effect. I don't think the rate of release is that important - just a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour full stop.

In my opinion the worst effects of water vapour and methane releases will be from natural releases that are increased by the increasing global temperatures as a result of the warmer atmosphere being able to hold more water vapour (scientifically it is due to the higher saturated vapour pressure of a warmer gas). Methane could be released from natural sources such as deep ocean clathrates and melting arctic tundra. In my opinion, man-made releases of methane and in particular fugitive releases of methane from the fossil fuel industry will not be a significant global warming factor.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:

The amount of "new water" being released into the atmosphere is tiny in comparison to the amount available for transpiration by plants and evaporation from the ocean surface. Let the ocean surface temperature rise by a couple of degrees C (as we have) and the rate of evaporation increases increasing the total water vapor in the atmosphere.

In other words a positive feedback effect. I don't think the rate of release is that important - just a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour full stop.

In my opinion the worst effects of water vapour and methane releases will be from natural releases that are increased by the increasing global temperatures as a result of the warmer atmosphere being able to hold more water vapour (scientifically it is due to the higher saturated vapour pressure of a warmer gas). Methane could be released from natural sources such as deep ocean clathrates and melting arctic tundra. In my opinion, man-made releases of methane and in particular fugitive releases of methane from the fossil fuel industry will not be a significant global warming factor.

Do you discount the latent heat and CO2 emissions from a hundred years of fossil fuel burning that now has grown to some 125+/- million barrels of oil a day equivalent? I think that is the real cause of the problem and also something we have no ability to stop before the fossil fuels run out.
In the mean time we must deal with whatever adverse effects come from this burning of fossil fuels and sound leadership about how to proceed on that front is sorely lacking.
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