‘Dodgy’ greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord

‘Dodgy’ greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord

SOURCE: BBC DATE: Aug 8, 2017 SNIP: Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found. Air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy. However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted. Levels of some emissions from India and China are so uncertain that experts say their records are plus or minus 100%. Prof Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research, in Oslo, said: “The core part of Paris [is] the global stock-takes which are going to happen every five years, and after the stock-takes countries are meant to raise their ambition, but if you can’t track progress sufficiently, which is the whole point of these stock-takes, you basically can’t do anything. “So, without good data as a basis, Paris essentially collapses. It just becomes a talkfest without much...
How frozen farmers’ fields are an unexpected culprit in climate change, according to a new study

How frozen farmers’ fields are an unexpected culprit in climate change, according to a new study

SOURCE: National Post DATE: April 11, 2017 SNIP: Across Canada, the last of the snow and ice is melting away from a vast expanse of farmers’ fields, making way for the planting of this year’s crops. And — suggests a new Canadian study — making an unexpectedly large contribution to greenhouse gases and climate change. Strange as it might seem, the thawing of frozen cropland burps nitrous oxide into the atmosphere at rates far greater than previously thought, meaning agriculture’s role in producing the greenhouse gas has been greatly underestimated, according to research from the Universities of Guelph and Manitoba. Nitrous oxide — commonly known as laughing gas and used as a dental anesthetic — accounts for well under 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s almost 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping energy, the greenhouse effect believed to be warming the...
Effect of methane on climate change could be 25% greater than we thought

Effect of methane on climate change could be 25% greater than we thought

SOURCE: Phys.org DATE: January 10, 2017 SNIP: Methane emissions caused by human activity may have a bigger impact on global warming than previously thought, scientists have found. Research led by the University of Reading indicates that emissions of methane due to human activity have, to date, caused a warming effect which is about one-third of the warming effect due to carbon dioxide emissions – this methane contribution is 25% higher than previous estimates. The scientists calculated that, while carbon dioxide remains by far the most significant gas driving human-induced climate change, methane, while much less abundant, is even more potent than previously thought. They found that a one tonne emission of methane has the equivalent warming effect of 32 tonnes of carbon dioxide – up from the previous estimate of...
Methane surge needs ‘urgent attention’

Methane surge needs ‘urgent attention’

SOURCE: BBC DATE: December 12, 2016 SNIP: Scientists say they are concerned at the rate at which methane in the atmosphere is now rising. After a period of relative stagnation in the 2000s, the concentration of the gas has surged. Methane (CH4) is a smaller component than carbon dioxide (CO2) but drives a more potent greenhouse effect. Researchers warn that efforts to tackle climate change will be undermined unless CH4 is also brought under tighter control. Quite why methane has suddenly spiked is not obvious. After barely moving between 2000 and 2006, the concentration in the atmosphere ticked upwards from 2007, and then jumped sharply in 2014 and 2015. In those final two years, methane rose rapidly by 10 or more parts per billion (ppb) annually. It is now just above...
Hydropower isn’t carbon neutral after all, WSU researchers say

Hydropower isn’t carbon neutral after all, WSU researchers say

SOURCE: Seattle Times DATE: September 28, 2016 SNIP: Washington State University researchers have learned that reservoirs produce much more methane, a potent greenhouse gas, than previously understood. In their paper to be published next week in BioScience, the researchers reported that reservoirs of all sorts are important sources of the potent greenhouse-gas methane. The gas is produced by decomposing organic material underwater. More than 1 million dams constructed globally have provided a variety of services important to people. But their environmental effects are profound, from blocked migration of fish, to impoundment of woody debris and other organic materials carried by rivers. Add to the list the generation of potent greenhouse gases, so called because they block the radiation of heat from the Earth and reradiate it to the atmosphere, raising the global average temperature of the planet. Per molecule, methane is far more efficient at trapping and reradiating heat to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, also adding to the importance of the...