Dirty air and methane

Dirty air from fossil fuel consumption is protecting us from global warming more so than previously expected. A chemical interaction between air pollutants and methane reduces the potency of methane – a greenhouse gas thirty times more powerful than CO2: “Atmospheric methane concentrations rose unexpectedly during the lockdowns of 2020. It now seems that this was due to warm, wet weather in the Northern Hemisphere and, ironically, a slowdown in air-pollutant emissions.” READ MORE

We collapse if we do, we collapse if we don’t. Catch 22. #TalkCollapse

2 thoughts on “Dirty air and methane

  1. Improved global wetland carbon isotopic signatures support post-2006 microbial methane emission increase

    The two papers together are stronger in making the case.

    I found the first paper tedious and its conclusion a restatement of the obvious.

    The researcher is a professional coward. It’s in his language.

    His results “imply”, not “demonstrate”, or “confirm”, or “prove”.

    His results “imply” that warmer wetter swamps decay faster than colder frozen ones and probably produce more methane. Which “could” act as a positive feedback “in the (undefined) ‘future'”.

    See how qualified and ambiguous that conclusion is?

    The researcher is a coward. I have little respect for their work.

    The second paper concludes:

    We use a process-based biogeochemistry model to calculate the stable carbon isotopic composition of global wetland methane emissions. We estimate a mean global signature of −61.3 ± 0.7‰ and find that tropical wetland emissions are enriched by ~11‰ relative to boreal wetlands.

    Our model shows improved resolution of regional, latitudinal and global variations in isotopic composition of wetland emissions.

    Atmospheric simulation scenarios with the improved wetland isotopic composition suggest that increases in atmospheric methane since 2007 are attributable to rising microbial emissions.

    Our findings substantially reduce uncertainty in the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane emissions from wetlands and improve understanding of the global methane budget.

    It’s a much stronger paper.

    Together the two papers tell you, that as the planet is warming up, it’s producing more methane.

    Lots more. Way more than we expected it would.

    Because, both papers indicate that warming up tropical swamps and melting boreal permafrost causes them to emit methane. The second paper quantifies it by using isotope measurements to show that most of the increases in the levels of atmospheric methane since around 2007, have been from microbial activity and not from human “leaks”.

    We have crossed another tipping point.

    A “methane heat spike” is coming up in about 30 years.

    Think of it as the “second wave” of warming.

    Liked by 1 person

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