Sunday, March 27, 2016
Fracking, methane and Bill McKibben
Well-known Warmist preacher Bill McKibben has an article out under the heading: "Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry". He is easily terrified in the hope that we will be too. Like a lot of articles in Leftist publications, it is VERY long-winded. I sometimes wonder about that. If they had purely factual statements to make there would surely be no more than a few paragraphs needed. Readers will note that my posts are very short. If you know what you are talking about, it doesn't take long to say it.
Anyway, I will not attempt to reproduce any of the huge rant concerned. The point of the article can indeed be presented with great brevity. McKibben says that fracking releases methane into the atmosphere and that methane there will soon fry us with global warming. So he wants to stop fracking!
Such a simple story and so wrong. It's probably true that atmospheric methane levels have increased as a result of leaks from fracking but does that matter?
No. It is true that methane can absorb some heat from the electromagnetic radiation that we get from the sun. And molecule for molecule, it absorbs a lot more heat than does CO2.
Warmists normally stop the discussion there. But the atmosphere is a complex thing and we have to look at methane in the context of what normally goes on in the whole atmosphere. And it so happens that water vapour absorbs the same wavelengths that methane does. And there is a heck of a lot more water vapour in the atmosphere than methane. So the water vapour will already have intercepted most or all of the wavelengths that methane might -- leaving no heating effect due to methane. The effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. So methane is a POTENTIAL warming gas but not an ACTUAL one. No foreseeable increase in methane would generate any increase in warming.
Isn't it strange that in his long article Bill McKibben found no space to discuss that matter? Just another climate crook.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).