Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:25 AM GMT on July 27, 2013

Share this Blog
24
+

Greenhouse Emissions of Agriculture

In the last blog there was a comment by peregrinepickle on the emissions from agriculture. It started:

“It sounds like they may be putting the cart before the workhorse with this study. A 2010 survey of the literature found that too few studies on GHG emissions and the impact of various alternative farming practices have been done in US agricultural regions, including the Great plains Ironically, more research is being done in this vein in China. So it seems premature to appeal to US farmers re: willingness to adopt certain practices before knowing exactly where you are going with it.

Agriculture, compared to other sources, is not a huge contributor to GHGs, relative to the contributions by industry, transportation, and utilities. In the US farming is responsible for 6% of the overall emissions of the six major GHGs. However, farming does contribute about 25% of all CH4 emissions in the US, which is major, as this gas is 21-33 times more potent in warming potential than CO2.”

Back in April and May I wrote two entries on the emissions from agriculture (first entry, second entry). These two entries highlighted both the complexity of calculating the greenhouse emissions related to agriculture as well as suggested some of the controversy associated with the calculation. The controversy is especially high in the calculation associated with livestock.

The amount of direct fossil fuel emissions from use of fuels in machinery and pumps for agriculture is modest, as stated in peregrinepickle’s comment. Those numbers are based on a 2010 inventory by the Environmental Protection Agency. Here is a link to the chapter that details the agricultural inventory. The greenhouse gas emissions compiled in the chapter on agriculture are for greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, especially methane and nitrous oxide. For the EPA inventory, the carbon dioxide associated with agriculture is accounted for in the energy inventory. Additional emissions and removal of greenhouse gasses are calculated with land use, land change and forestry. The national forests are part of the Department of Agriculture.

The accounting with soils and forests influences, greatly, the budget of emissions associated with agriculture. Based on soil management agriculture can remove and store substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. In the U.S. agriculture is a mature and extensive enterprise, and we are not aggressively converting forest to agricultural land. In fact, the amount of forest is increasing and, therefore, can be accounted as an agricultural removal of carbon dioxide. This fact of increasing forest land is not the case in much of the world. World-wide, deforestation as forest is converted to agricultural use, especially rangeland, accounts for much of the carbon footprint of agriculture. Phil Robertson in an article to appear in the Encyclopedia of Agriculture estimates the total greenhouse gas footprint of agriculture is between 26 and 36 percent (thank you Professor Robertson). This range seems soundly based in the synthesis of research, and the number I would quote based on the current state of knowledge.

As detailed in Livestock’s Long Shadow and stated in the entirety of peregrinepickle’s comment, the impact of agriculture reaches far beyond the relevance to climate change. Notably there are impacts on water quality and land quality, and, in my opinion, the impact of nitrogen (fertilizer) pollution is one of the most under appreciated sources of environmental degradation. Management of this whole portfolio of environmental impacts is one of the special challenges of the agricultural sector of human activities.

The mix of greenhouse gas emissions, the details of the practice of land use, the role of biological processes, and the potential to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them in soil and biomass characterize the climate impact of agriculture. Agriculture is also vulnerable to climate change. Since agriculture is a highly competitive, market-dependent undertaking, market response to weather and climate can amplify weather-related impacts. Agriculture becomes more entangled with the climate problem, when we consider the possibility of biofuels to replace some of our fossil fuels. This complexity complicates the accounting of climate impacts, but also offers some of our best opportunities to improve our management of the environment. Agriculture is no doubt an important player in our management of climate change, and notably absent in President Obama recent speech on climate change.

A primary source of agricultural information is Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. An often cited document is the 2006 documentLivestock’s Long Shadow. There has been much criticism of this report, especially in its calculation of the emissions of the transportation sector. The original authors did modify their specific statements about transportation. As noted in an earlier blog in this series, there is substantial controversy about the impact of agriculture. Therefore, I end here with a set of reference materials that I have used.

EPA National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

PDF of Agriculture Chapter of EPA Inventory of Emissions

Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Chapter 8: Working Group 3: IPCC 2007

Energy Efficiency of Conventional, Organic and Alternative Cropping …

Livestock and Climate Change

and to appear

Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions and their Mitigation, G. Philip Robertson, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 363 - 313

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Science scares the weak minded.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 361. FLwolverine:
There are 16 comments to this video. All except one oppose the message: why can't TWC just talk about weather! Quit pushing this liberal carbon tax #%^*+*^%! Alarmists!

Sigh.

Tis indeed an impressive collection of stupid and bile.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 357. Patrap:
Earth: Scary Scenario by 2100?
There are 16 comments to this video. All except one oppose the message: why can't TWC just talk about weather! Quit pushing this liberal carbon tax #%^*+*^%! Alarmists!

Sigh.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2317
Quoting 359. yoboi:



I would have never guessed that you are stubborn.....:)

I'm modest, too. I've never met or heard of anyone as modest as me. lol
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
359. yoboi
Quoting 355. Birthmark:

Well, let's see...we discuss ice extent, area, concentration, and volume. Sometimes clouds slow melting, sometimes they increase melting. Sometimes storms cause divergence and sometimes they cause compaction. Sometimes air temperatures are very important, other times not so much.

What's confusing? LOL

Having grown up (or failed to grow up) in upstate NY, I had hoped that my experience with ice might prove useful in understanding the Arctic sea ice. I'm still hopeful, but only because I'm stubborn.



I would have never guessed that you are stubborn.....:)
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Greenland experiences record high temperatures


Link





So little melt with such high temps??? What gives???



Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
Earth: Scary Scenario by 2100?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 349. barbamz:
Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

Of course, that's the real problem with AGW/CC. If the rate of warming was natural, then there really wouldn't be a compelling problem. Such warming rates might even be beneficial.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 343. yoboi:



They have me confused about the artic......but thats not a hard thing to do.....

Well, let's see...we discuss ice extent, area, concentration, and volume. Sometimes clouds slow melting, sometimes they increase melting. Sometimes storms cause divergence and sometimes they cause compaction. Sometimes air temperatures are very important, other times not so much.

What's confusing? LOL

Having grown up (or failed to grow up) in upstate NY, I had hoped that my experience with ice might prove useful in understanding the Arctic sea ice. I'm still hopeful, but only because I'm stubborn.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 336. Snowlover123:
NSIDC has fallen behind 2009 and 2010 now. I don't think we'll get an extent higher than 2009 though.


Someone over on the ASIF posted an interesting link: http://myocean.met.no/ARC-MFC/

Don't know how accurate it is and I detest the colors since they are very difficult for me to differentiate, but it looks interesting.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 327. Snowlover123:


I was under the impression that you were predicting major compression of the ice pack because of the thin ice from this Vortex, thus major losses on the SIE and SIA datasets. If that's not what you predicted, I apologize. Of course, you have clearly and unambiguously stated that the ice extent minimum will be from 3.7-4.2 million kilometers^2 on the SIE datasets. We will see who is right with the minimum, or at least, who is closer to being right.

CT SIA had a small loss of -40 K.

JAXA had a moderate loss of -68 K.

I am under no obligation to account for your impressions. :)

My 3.7-4.2 guess applies to NSIDC Extent. (Calling it a prediction gives me undeserved and unearned gravitas.)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Climate change deniers are "ignorant, out of touch or crazy"

The Fossil Fool Party

Self-sabotage in action
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From Salon:

Global warming’s new natural disaster: "Himalayan tsunamis"

June megafloods killed as many as 6,000 in the town of Kedarnath -- and experts expect more to come

By Jason Overdorf


A view of damaged houses is seen following monsoon rains in Trivada, India, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
(Credit: Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo)


NEW DELHI, India — This summer’s devastating "Himalayan tsunami" is a grim omen for the future of the millions of people living downstream from the majestic mountain range.

The June floods wiped out the Hindu pilgrimage town of Kedarnath and may have killed as many as 6,000 people.

But the scale of the disaster could be dwarfed by future flooding, experts warn.

"The Kedarnath floods may be only a small precursor to never-seen-before mega floods," Maharaj K. Pandit, director of Delhi University’s Center for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain & Hill Environments, told India Today.

According to preliminary studies, dozens of houses were smashed and hundreds of religious pilgrims were swept away when a lake above the eighth century Kedarnath Temple burst its natural dam of loosely packed glacial sediment, sending a sudden deluge of water down on the town.

Many now believe it was an accident waiting to happen — and similar accidents will happen again and again as the region gets warmer.

Rising temperatures due to global warming are fast creating thousands of glacial lakes across the region. The growing volume of meltwater is dangerously increasing the risk of sudden glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), according to the Kathmandu-based International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

As the volume of water increases, so does the pressure on the dams of ice or glacial sediment, called moraine, which hold the lake in place on the side of the mountain. Once that pressure reaches the tipping point, heavy rainfall from a sudden cloudburst, a landslide, or an earthquake can breach the dam, sending a deadly torrent of ice, rock and water down on the people living below.

The results can be catastrophic.

[...]

"When you talk about glacial lakes, in Nepal alone there are more than 1,400 lakes, and if you talk about the whole Himalayan Range … there are about 20,000 glacial lakes," Pradeep Mool, who monitors the risk of glacial lake outbursts for ICIMOD.

More than 200 of these lakes have been classified as potentially dangerous. Some of them — like a 250-acre lake holding 5 billion gallons of meltwater high in the mountains of the northeast Indian state of Sikkim — could affect people living hundreds of miles downstream.

Precious few of these lakes even existed a few decades ago.

"When I look at some of the lakes, especially in the Nepal Himalayas, where I have done detailed field work, [it's shocking how fast they have grown]," Mool said.

"In the case of Imja lake, for instance, there was no lake there at all 50 years back. When I ask the people, they say ‘It was a tiny pond when I was a kid.’ Now it’s already about 580 meters wide and 2.3 kilometers long and about 100 meters deep."

Complete article here>>
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last one for today, I hope ;) Wow, so many climate related news to digest every day!

Waste water set to 'drought proof' Perth
AAP, August 01, 2013 1:34PM

TREATED waste water from toilets, showers and washing machines will be pumped back into Western Australia's water system following a three-year trial.

The state took another step towards becoming the first in Australia to rely on recycled waste water for drinking, after the trial at a $50 million treatment plant was successfully completed.

Officials are satisfied the treated water is safe for human consumption - with every one of the 62,300 water samples passing strict health and safety guidelines.

They have now revealed progression to the next stage, where seven billion litres of treated water will be returned to the system via ground aquifers.

The recycled water will start flowing in 2016. ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years
August 1, 2013

The planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change. Stanford climate scientists warn that the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift in the past 65 million years.

If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive.

Although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already "baked into the system," how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.

The findings come from a review of climate research by Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor of environmental Earth system science, and Chris Field, a professor of biology and of environmental Earth system science and the director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution. The work is part of a special report on climate change in the current issue of Science.


More see link above.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Extreme wildfires likely fueled by climate change
August 1, 2013

Climate change is likely fueling the larger and more destructive wildfires that are scorching vast areas of the American West, according to new research led by Michigan State University scientists. ...

The MSU-led study, which appears in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, predicts the trend will continue in the western United States.

"Our findings suggest that future lower atmospheric conditions may favor larger and more extreme wildfires, posing an additional challenge to fire and forest management," said Lifeng Luo, MSU assistant professor of geography and lead author on the study.

The researchers analyzed current and future climate patterns projected by multiple regional climate models and their effect on the spread of fire in a mountainous region that includes Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The study focused on August, the most active month for wildfires in the western United States.


More see link above
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
China Shatters Records in Historic Heat Wave

Back To News »
By: Nick Wiltgen
Published: July 31, 2013



Hundreds of millions of Chinese residents are sweating out an exceptional heat wave, with major cities such as Shanghai recording new all-time record high temperatures.

Weather historian Christopher C. Burt of Weather Underground reports that Shanghai, China's largest city, has broken its all-time record high in records reaching back to 1873, reaching 105.1ºF on July 26. The misery has been compounded by brutally warm nights; the city's low July 30 only dipped to 88ºF, with the heat index dropping no lower than 99ºF.

Shanghai, where average July highs are in the mid 80s to low 90s, hit the century mark 14 different days in July, including the last nine days in a row.

China's Xinhua news agency reported at least 10 deaths from heat stroke in Shanghai alone as of July 30.

Burt said a swath of provinces in the east-central part of the country have taken the brunt of the prolonged heat wave, likely experiencing their warmest July in modern history. He noted the coastal city of Ningbo reached 108.9ºF on July 26 to establish the highest temperature ever recorded at a coastal location in East or Southeast Asia.

The South China Morning Post said large crowds of people thronged subway stations in several Chinese cities, seeking the air-conditioned tunnels as a relief from the extreme and prolonged heat. The newspaper's website said Changsha, the capital of Hunan, established a new record of 25 consecutive "high-temperature days," days when the mercury topped 95ºF.

Little relief is expected in this region, as triple-digit heat is likely to persist well into early August across these same areas, along with widespread lows in the 80s.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 345. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Here is my opinion on the Arctic, Yoboi. Once the sea ice has melted/flowed from the Arctic and exposes this vast amountl of water to the direct sunlight, then I do not see any way that the climate would not also be changed. I do not see anything in the Laws of Physics that would prevent further change to the climate. Quite likely this will be a change that we could not recover from nor adapt to. But, as I said, this is my opinion and I do not have the science to support my opinion.


Rookie - I just saw this today:
Link

"Polar Ecosystems Acutely Vulnerable to Sunlight-Driven Tipping Points"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 343. yoboi:



They have me confused about the artic......but thats not a hard thing to do.....


Here is my opinion on the Arctic, Yoboi. Once the sea ice has melted/flowed from the Arctic and exposes this vast amountl of water to the direct sunlight, then I do not see any way that the climate would not also be changed. I do not see anything in the Laws of Physics that would prevent further change to the climate. Quite likely this will be a change that we could not recover from nor adapt to. But, as I said, this is my opinion and I do not have the science to support my opinion.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate

Here at Skeptical Science, there is an ongoing effort to combat disinformation from with those who maintain that climate change is a non-issue or non-reality. From time to time, however, individuals or groups overhype the impacts of climate change beyond the realm of plausibility. Some of this is well-intentioned but misguided. For those who advocate climate literacy or for scientists who engage with the public, it is necessary to call out this stuff in the same manner as one would call out a scientist who doesn’t think that the modern CO2 rise is due to human activities.

Many overblown scenarios or catastrophes seem to involve methane in the Arctic in some way. There are even groups out there declaring a planet-wide emergency because of catastrophic, runaway feedbacks, involving the interplay between high latitude methane sources and sea ice.

About a week ago, a Nature article by Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope, and Peter Wadhams came out analyzing the "Vast Costs of Arctic Change." The Whiteman article is an honest and thoughtful commentary about the economic impacts of a changing Arctic climate. I will not comment on their economic modeling here, but rather on a key scenario assumption that they use which calls for vast increases in Arctic-sourced methane to the atmosphere. In this case, they have in mind a very rapid pulse of 50 Gigatons of carbon in the form of methane emanating from the East Siberian Shelf (see image, including Laptev and East Siberian sea). Note: 1 GtC= 1 Gigaton of carbon = 1 billion tons of carbon. Whiteman et al. essentially assume that this "extra methane" will be put in the atmosphere on timescales of years or a couple decades. This article has been widely publicized because it calls for an average of 60 trillion dollars on top of all other climate change costs. Since this was discussed in a prediction context rather than as a thought experiment, it demands analysis of evidence.

In this article, I will argue that there is no compelling evidence for any looming methane spike. Other scientists have spoken out against this scenario as well, and I will encompass some of their arguments into this piece. In summary, the reason a huge feedback is unlikely is because of the long timescale required for global warming to reach some of the largest methane hydrate reservoirs (defined later), and because no evidence exists for such an extreme methane concentration sensitivity to climate in the past record. Permafrost feedbacks are of concern, but there is no basis for assuming a dramatic "tipping point" in the atmospheric methane concentration.

Read more...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
343. yoboi
Quoting 340. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I already had a good idea as to where you were going (AMO) when you stated your belief that the Greenland ice sheet melt would likely be less aggressive for the next 1-3 decades. This would not be a bad bet to make if the past performances will hold true for current and future performances. Alas, all is not the same now. Have there been enough other changes made already to have an impact on the performance of the AMO? Has what may have once been the sure bet suddenly turned into a fool's bet? I believe that this is likely to become the case as we get further into the future with this.

Why do you keep using an artist's brush to try to paint the Empire State building? You concentrate so hard on one small area that you will never see the big picture. Since you understand what is happening on the global scale and our influence as to what is happening, why do hold up a piece of the 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and try to convince anyone that this is what the big picture looks like? Again, I must ask, what is your agenda here?



They have me confused about the artic......but thats not a hard thing to do.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Ice-free Arctic was responsible for super-warm Pliocene Epoch, research finds

It was only just in May that we hit the 400 parts per million milestone — as recorded by instruments at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Evidence shows that the “carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere reached 400 ppm — between 3 and 5 million years ago during the Pliocene — Earth was about 3.5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (2 to 5 degrees Celsius) than it is today. During that time period, trees overtook the tundra, sprouting right to the edges of the Arctic Ocean, and the seas swelled, pushing ocean levels 65 to 80 feet higher. Scientists’ understanding of the climate during the Pliocene has largely been pieced together from fossil records preserved in sediments deposited beneath lakes and on the ocean floor.”

“When we put 400 ppm carbon dioxide into a model, we don’t get as warm a planet as we see when we look at paleorecords from the Pliocene,” stated Jim White, director of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and co-author of the new study. “That tells us that there may be something missing in the climate models.”

Scientists have proposed several hypotheses in the past to explain the warmer Pliocene climate. One idea, for example, was that the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, the narrow strip of land linking North and South America, could have altered ocean circulations during the Pliocene, forcing warmer waters toward the Arctic. But many of those hypotheses, including the Panama possibility, have not proved viable.

For the new study, led by Ashley Ballantyne, a former CU-Boulder doctoral student who is now an assistant professor of bioclimatology at the University of Montana, the research team decided to see what would happen if they forced the model to assume that the Arctic was free of ice in the winter as well as the summer during the Pliocene. Without these additional parameters, climate models set to emulate atmospheric conditions during the Pliocene show ice-free summers followed by a layer of ice reforming during the sunless winters.

In the model simulation, year-round ice-free conditions caused warmer conditions in the Arctic because the open water surface allowed for evaporation. Evaporation requires energy, and the water vapor then stored that energy as heat in the atmosphere. The water vapor also created clouds, which trapped heat near the planet’s surface.

“We tried a simple experiment in which we said, ‘We don’t know why sea ice might be gone all year round, but let’s just make it go away,’ ” stated White, who also is a professor of geological sciences. “And what we found was that we got the right kind of temperature change and we got a dampened seasonal cycle, both of which are things we think we see in the Pliocene.”

“Basically, when you take away the sea ice, the Arctic Ocean responds by creating a blanket of water vapor and clouds that keeps the Arctic warmer.”

more at RawStory.com (Planetsave)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Duke Energy to cancel proposed Levy County nuclear plant

Duke Energy will kill the $24.7 billion nuclear plant it planned to build in Levy County, according to state Rep. Mike Fasano.

"It's my understanding from a very good source that Duke Energy will announce after the close of the markets today that they will not be building the nuclear power plants in Levy County," said Fasano, R-New Port Richey.

Duke spokesman Sterling Ivey told the Tampa Bay Times the utility is issuing a press release about an announcement at 4:15 this afternoon.

Duke, and its predecessor Progress Energy, have steadfastly supported the project, despite an ever ballooning price tag. When first proposed by Progress in 2006, the estimated cost was $4 billion to $6 billion with a completion date of 2016. Most recent estimates put the cost at almost $25 billion, coming online in 2024.

Under a controversial Florida law, consumers have been paying for Levy in advance of construction. Legislators promised the "advance fee'' would get nuclear projects built both faster and cheaper.

In the case of Levy, it did neither. In fact, the Levy site remains empty.

Thursday's announcement follows Duke's decision in February to mothball its existing nuclear plant in Crystal River. Progress broke that plant during a botched equipment upgrade in 2009. The advance fee forces Duke customers to pay for that upgrade as well.

The bottom line: Duke customers may end up paying roughly $3 billion for Crystal River and Levy.

The advance fee law does not require Duke to refund any of the money that has already been spent on the Levy project.

more at TampaBay.com
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 337. Snowlover123:


I don't deny that Methane and CO2 contribute to Global Warming. There are fluctuations though that operate on multidecadal timeframes that can mask the warming signal. Look at what has happened to Alaska in the last decade because of natural variation alone.

From the paper:

"During the first decade of the 21st century most of Alaska experienced a cooling shift, modifying the long-term
warming trend, which has been about twice the global change up to this time. All of Alaska cooled with the exception of
Northern Regions. This trend was caused by a change in sign of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which became
dominantly negative, weakening the Aleutian Low."


I already had a good idea as to where you were going (AMO) when you stated your belief that the Greenland ice sheet melt would likely be less aggressive for the next 1-3 decades. This would not be a bad bet to make if the past performances will hold true for current and future performances. Alas, all is not the same now. Have there been enough other changes made already to have an impact on the performance of the AMO? Has what may have once been the sure bet suddenly turned into a fool's bet? I believe that this is likely to become the case as we get further into the future with this.

Why do you keep using an artist's brush to try to paint the Empire State building? You concentrate so hard on one small area that you will never see the big picture. Since you understand what is happening on the global scale and our influence as to what is happening, why do hold up a piece of the 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and try to convince anyone that this is what the big picture looks like? Again, I must ask, what is your agenda here?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
This artile from DeSmogBlog relates directly to the previous comment

Industry Influence To Blame For Tavares, Florida Explosion

This post originally appeared on RingofFireRadio.com.

On July 29th, an explosion at a gas plant in Tavares, Florida injured eight people, leaving five of them in critical condition. Three months prior to that, a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas killed 14 people and left numerous people injured and homeless. And three years before that, an oil rig operated by BP, Transocean, and Halliburton exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 people and destroying an entire ecosystem.

Countless other explosions, oil leaks, gas leaks, and other industrial “accidents” occurred all over the country in between these three major events, and every one of them has something in common: They were all allowed to happen thanks to a lack of sufficient safety regulations. And the lack of oversight was the work of politicians who are on the dole of industries that consistently put the health of their profits over the safety of their workers and the public.

Mike Papantonio, a senior partner with the Florida law firm of Levin, Papantonio said, “When you follow the money on stories like these, you’ll almost always find out that industry money was enough to convince corrupt politicians that people are expendable and safety isn’t as important as the next election cycle. This is becoming the norm in our post-Citizens’ United political arena.”

In Florida, the site of the most recent explosion, the energy industry is the top campaign donor for political races, lobbying, and other political expenditures. And what do they get in return for the millions they give politicians in the Sunshine State? Tea Party Florida Governor Rick Scott and Republicans in Washington gave them the gift of a budget cut – a cut that dangerously lowered the budget of government agencies that oversee public and workplace safety. The result is fewer regulators, fewer inspections, and more injuries.



This is the exact same scenario that played itself out in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. Analyses by writers like David Sirota writing for Salon.com tell us that the industry’s fingerprints are all over the deregulation and lack of safety inspections that could have easily prevented the deadly explosion. But, in true Republican fashion, industry money won the day, and the workers at that Texas fertilizer plant were the ones who paid the ultimate price for corporate greed and political corruption.

And the story repeats itself again in the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, where the industry had such a cozy relationship with the government and regulators that the company was actually allowed to fill out their own safety inspection reports!

When it comes to buying political influence, no other industry is more powerful than the dirty energy industry. They consistently spend more on lobbying and campaign donations than any other industry, and as a result, they are able to write their own rules, consumers be damned.





Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 322. Birthmark:

In practice there is very little that Congress can actually do if the failure to enforce is because of a Presidential decision. They would most likely have to reach some deal with the President. Theoretically, they could impeach, convict, and remove the President from office but that has never occurred in our history.


Actually, the responsiblity for failure to enforce environmental regulation rests squarely on the shoulders of the Congress, especially the Republican cotrolled House which has continuously has filed to cut funding for enforcement. The Republican minority in the Senate has blocked or held up most of President's appointments in these areas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 332. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yes, there is natural variability in the long term trend. But this is nothing more than noise that must be filtered out to know the long term trend of our adding CO2 into the atmosphere. There has already been a large amount of heat energy captured by the greenhouse gases and much of it is being transported to the deep oceans now. But, for how long? Decades and perhaps centuries, buy who really knows? Our planet is still capturing more and more heat energy due to the greenhouse gases, even as we speak. What happens to your optimism when we see other forces of natural variability come into play? Such as a strong, extended El Nino cycle in conjunction with increased solar activity.

Along with our adding CO2 to the atmosphere is the fact that methane levels are also climbing. The additional heat energy that we have helped to capture is causing methane pockets to warm and enter the atmosphere as well. I know that you have seen this graphic before. It has been posted many times here before.



Image source

Now we both know that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than is CO2. Methane also persists in our atmosphere for a shorter period of time than does CO2. We both also know that one of the components that methane breaks down to is ..... CO2.

Now let us look at what is happening in the Arctic region. As we lose more and more sea ice during the melt seasons the open waters are taking in more and more of the heat energy due to a reduced albedo effect. What do you suppose these warmed waters are going to do the ice sheets on Greenland? Will it warm the air over Greenland? Will it faster melt the glacial ice as it enters the waters around Greenland? Will this not help speed up the flow of the glaciers towards the water?

I wish that I could share in your optimism that these natural variations will forestall any increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet for the next 1-3 decades. I do not.

I have no doubt that you are an informed and intelligent individual. This only causes me confusion as to why the Laws of Physics so easily escape you where they concern greenhouse gases. I don't think that they do. I think that you have an agenda here that is not based on the science at all. What is your agenda here, SnowLover123?


I don't deny that Methane and CO2 contribute to Global Warming. There are fluctuations though that operate on multidecadal timeframes that can mask the warming signal. Look at what has happened to Alaska in the last decade because of natural variation alone.

From the paper:

"During the first decade of the 21st century most of Alaska experienced a cooling shift, modifying the long-term
warming trend, which has been about twice the global change up to this time. All of Alaska cooled with the exception of
Northern Regions. This trend was caused by a change in sign of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which became
dominantly negative, weakening the Aleutian Low."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NSIDC has fallen behind 2009 and 2010 now. I don't think we'll get an extent higher than 2009 though.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
335. yoboi
Quoting 329. FLwolverine:
Lots.

The laws enacted by the Congress are referred to as the United States Code.

"The Code of Laws of the United States of America[1] (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, or U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States. It contains 51 titles[2] (along with a further 4 proposed titles[3]). The main edition is published every six years by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, and cumulative supplements are published annually.[4][5] The current edition of the code was published in 2012, and according to the Government Printing Office, is over 200,000 pages long." From Wikipedia. There are several websites that offer access if you google "us code"

But a lot of what spathy is talking about is the regulations that are put in place to allow the laws to be applied. These are the Code of Federal Regulations, CFR. You can look at them here Link

Just to give you an idea: the last time I looked at the tax code, it was in two volumes of 1000+ pages each, in fine print on thin paper. And that's only a small part of the whole CFR.




Thanks for the link....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
334. yoboi
Quoting 330. greentortuloni:


I can't believe I am actually bothering to respond to you, but to answer your question there are only two laws:

1. You are responsible for the mess you make.
2. Nature bats last.

The denialists think both of these laws are inventions.

The first because it gets in the way of profit for people too stupid to be able to succeed without leaning on others.

The second because it implies consequences that can't be bribed, bought or swindled.



Thanks for the response.....Hope you are having a great day.......
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Quoting 328. Snowlover123:


.........I can see there being a period of roughly 1-3 decades or so where Greenland sees less harsh melts than in recent years.


I can see that same period that you do, however, it will not occur for another 200 years or more when 90% of Greenland's Ice Sheet is gone, the global sea levels are 20-30 meters higher than today, the global population has been pared to far less than 1 Billion people and there are no more fossil fuels to be burned. So therefore, you can pride yourself in a correct statement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 328. Snowlover123:


There is natural variability on the long term trend though. I can see there being a period of roughly 1-3 decades or so where Greenland sees less harsh melts than in recent years.


Yes, there is natural variability in the long term trend. But this is nothing more than noise that must be filtered out to know the long term trend of our adding CO2 into the atmosphere. There has already been a large amount of heat energy captured by the greenhouse gases and much of it is being transported to the deep oceans now. But, for how long? Decades and perhaps centuries, buy who really knows? Our planet is still capturing more and more heat energy due to the greenhouse gases, even as we speak. What happens to your optimism when we see other forces of natural variability come into play? Such as a strong, extended El Nino cycle in conjunction with increased solar activity.

Along with our adding CO2 to the atmosphere is the fact that methane levels are also climbing. The additional heat energy that we have helped to capture is causing methane pockets to warm and enter the atmosphere as well. I know that you have seen this graphic before. It has been posted many times here before.



Image source

Now we both know that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than is CO2. Methane also persists in our atmosphere for a shorter period of time than does CO2. We both also know that one of the components that methane breaks down to is ..... CO2.

Now let us look at what is happening in the Arctic region. As we lose more and more sea ice during the melt seasons the open waters are taking in more and more of the heat energy due to a reduced albedo effect. What do you suppose these warmed waters are going to do the ice sheets on Greenland? Will it warm the air over Greenland? Will it faster melt the glacial ice as it enters the waters around Greenland? Will this not help speed up the flow of the glaciers towards the water?

I wish that I could share in your optimism that these natural variations will forestall any increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet for the next 1-3 decades. I do not.

I have no doubt that you are an informed and intelligent individual. This only causes me confusion as to why the Laws of Physics so easily escape you where they concern greenhouse gases. I don't think that they do. I think that you have an agenda here that is not based on the science at all. What is your agenda here, SnowLover123?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting 322. Birthmark:

In practice there is very little that Congress can actually do if the failure to enforce is because of a Presidential decision. They would most likely have to reach some deal with the President. Theoretically, they could impeach, convict, and remove the President from office but that has never occurred in our history.
Agreed. Congress's power is in controlling the purse strings and, as we have seen recently, confirming appointments to the various executive agencies, as well as the ultimate remedy of impeachment.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2317
Quoting 326. yoboi:



How many laws are there?????


I can't believe I am actually bothering to respond to you, but to answer your question there are only two laws:

1. You are responsible for the mess you make.
2. Nature bats last.

The denialists think both of these laws are inventions.

The first because it gets in the way of profit for people too stupid to be able to succeed without leaning on others.

The second because it implies consequences that can't be bribed, bought or swindled.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 326. yoboi:



How many laws are there?????
Lots.

The laws enacted by the Congress are referred to as the United States Code.

"The Code of Laws of the United States of America[1] (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, or U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the United States. It contains 51 titles[2] (along with a further 4 proposed titles[3]). The main edition is published every six years by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, and cumulative supplements are published annually.[4][5] The current edition of the code was published in 2012, and according to the Government Printing Office, is over 200,000 pages long." From Wikipedia. There are several websites that offer access if you google "us code"

But a lot of what spathy is talking about is the regulations that are put in place to allow the laws to be applied. These are the Code of Federal Regulations, CFR. You can look at them here Link

Just to give you an idea: the last time I looked at the tax code, it was in two volumes of 1000+ pages each, in fine print on thin paper. And that's only a small part of the whole CFR.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2317
Quoting 321. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Better news than before this. How long do you estimate that this better news will hold? ... Don't answer. Let us just hope it remains this way the rest of year. That would be far better than last year. I just somehow cannot see a prolonged period of lower melt seasons going forward. Do you?


There is natural variability on the long term trend though. I can see there being a period of roughly 1-3 decades or so where Greenland sees less harsh melts than in recent years.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 319. Birthmark:

Please quote my "failed prediction." Methinks thou hast misread. ;)

EDIT TO ADD:
Here is what I said about 2.5 days ago: "The storm is over now, but there is still considerable cloudiness. We'll know when we know. These satellites don't do particularly well when there is cloudiness present. But don't be surprised in the next few days if we see one or more daily drops of 200000kmsq in extent or more. "

Where is the failed prediction?


I was under the impression that you were predicting major compression of the ice pack because of the thin ice from this Vortex, thus major losses on the SIE and SIA datasets. If that's not what you predicted, I apologize. Of course, you have clearly and unambiguously stated that the ice extent minimum will be from 3.7-4.2 million kilometers^2 on the SIE datasets. We will see who is right with the minimum, or at least, who is closer to being right.

CT SIA had a small loss of -40 K.

JAXA had a moderate loss of -68 K.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
326. yoboi
Quoting 293. spathy:
Hi all.
I will chime in with the health issues of fossil fuel use. (and more)
That is a great tool to change attitudes on our dependence of use.
Changing minds,not forceful laws is the best path.
Earlier there was talk about surge and ocean rise. What about habitat destruction and sea grass and barrier islands etc..

There are laws and regulations (here in the US),that deal with these problems.
These regulations and laws could do great good for our coastlines.
There are countless rules regulations and standards that deal with water quality,construction silt runoff,pesticide and nutrient runoff.
I could go on and on.

Please answer me these few questions.
How well do you think the existing rules, regulations,legislation is being adhered to?

How well are your representatives in the countless over-site committees making sure the law and regulation is enforced?

What grade would you give on enforcement?



Follow that train of thought and answer how much good will further legislation and regulatory mandate do?

We as a non involved and or uninformed society seem to want yearly legislation to fix what has already been fixed and then ignore the fix to search for another Governmental law to fix it again.

Just do me a favor and think about this for a few seconds.

How much cleaner ,more environmentally responsible, how much more (add proper adjective) would we be if we just adhered to the mile high stacks of legislation and the atmospheric stack levels of regulatory mandates?

Then ask yourself...
Why do I pin my hopes on new laws and regulations?
Answer..
It feels good.
So why dont we as a society just demand that existing laws and regulations be enforced?


I want you all to answer that question!
You know at least part of the answer.
But I want you to type it out so it sinks into your psyche.

Hint
Florida has a distracted driving law.
Why the need for additional laws relating to Texting,farding,,eating etc...?

Answer:
Neither you or I ,and also our elected officials can possibly know all the rules/regulations/laws that are on the books.
What does that mean?
Answer:
Our Governance is too large and convoluted for the Citizen or the Representative to even partially comprehend.
Solution: slowly comprehensively clear the weeds and at every step adhere to the one constant rule of law in the United States of America.

Why are there thousands of miles of silt fencing within construction areas that are completely useless?

Why are there environmental atrocities happening everywhere within the US when there are laws and regulations to address them?

When was the last time you contacted your rep that holds a high place on an over-site comity?

And this site talks of added influence and regulation via the World body?

Pretty scary from a "State" that says a governance of and by the people.

Our American path now consists of legislation without enforcement.
And the loudest voices demand more legislation.

Where should your bullhorn be directed and what should it be demanding?

More ignored ,incalculable,undecipherable,unenforced, ignored feel good fixes?
Or demand accountability and reform of the existing laws and regulations? Then start to add to the rule of law.


Just think about the big picture I put forth to you.
Please!

Now where do you start?







How many laws are there?????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Quoting 297. spathy:
So in this blog wouldnt the greater duty to show Comity be owed to me. Especially when I attacked no one,and only pointed out my perceived state of things only to ask what the reader thought of as a solution.
Now just whom needs to understand the meaning and use of comity?
Oh, for heaven's sake, spathy! Brian likes wordplay. You said "over-site comity" when you meant "oversight committee", which would have been clever, if unintentional, if you hadn't gotten all bent out of shape and stomped all over it.

Nobody showed you any discourtesy, although I think it is quite arrogant of you to say there is a "duty" to show comity to you, considering how you often come on here lashing out at everyone in sight and insulting Dr Rood.
(Edited to add: and you certainly proved this point in your responses to Birthmark!)


There are some interesting points buried in your tirade, but the issue of smaller government (not governance) is decidedly off topic for this blog.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2317
It's that time of the page again.



Merry August to all, and to all a good melt!
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 320. spathy:
So your view of our separation of powers is that the Legislative body enacts laws and if the executive branch doesnt enforce them,the legislative body cant do anything about it?

NOT!


Ok really I must call it a night.


In practice there is very little that Congress can actually do if the failure to enforce is because of a Presidential decision. They would most likely have to reach some deal with the President. Theoretically, they could impeach, convict, and remove the President from office but that has never occurred in our history.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 317. Snowlover123:


Well, Greenland Melt Extent has sunk back to only slightly above average values. I guess that is good news.



Better news than before this. How long do you estimate that this better news will hold? ... Don't answer. Let us just hope it remains this way the rest of year. That would be far better than last year. I just somehow cannot see a prolonged period of lower melt seasons going forward. Do you?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting 316. Snowlover123:


Seems like after your failed prediction, you've gone on the aggressive, which isn't too much of a surprise.

Just admit you were wrong and move on.

Please quote my "failed prediction." Methinks thou hast misread. ;)

EDIT TO ADD:
Here is what I said about 2.5 days ago: "The storm is over now, but there is still considerable cloudiness. We'll know when we know. These satellites don't do particularly well when there is cloudiness present. But don't be surprised in the next few days if we see one or more daily drops of 200000kmsq in extent or more. "

Where is the failed prediction?
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting 300. Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Well, at least that is a bit of good news. Do you have any more good news for us?


Well, Greenland Melt Extent has sunk back to only slightly above average values. I guess that is good news.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 310. Birthmark:

LOL. Have you *seen* the Arctic sea ice the last couple of days? (Trick question. No one has.) And the worst part is the most interesting places have tended to be cloudiest the last couple of days. The numbers you are citing are at this point little more than model output. They may well be right...or not.

Storms don't melt ice, silly. This time of the year water melts ice. Storms churn up the water and break the ice into smaller pieces. It is those pieces that then melt.



Think that that's gonna last through the melt season? lol


Seems like after your failed prediction, you've gone on the aggressive, which isn't too much of a surprise.

Just admit you were wrong and move on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
#311

Statement makes no sense. Legislators enact law, they don't enforce it. That is the purview of the executive branch. It's fundamental to the separation of powers in the Constitution. Read it.

....Use their power and not usurp it....

What?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 301. cyclonebuster:


That was a weak cyclone. A stronger one is forming now.



I don't see any sign whatsoever of a stronger cyclone than the one we just saw forming on the 18z GEFS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 363 - 313

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24Blog Index

Top of Page

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.