Gaslighting Meat

Joe Biden made some nonsensical commitments to cutting back greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in the next nine years, while trying to bring millions of new people into the country. One of the reasons he did this was apparently to demonize meat.

Experts say Americans WILL have to cut back on meat | Daily Mail Online

For many years climate alarmists have been accusing cows of causing global warming.

Cows wear BACKPACKS to capture methane emissions | Daily Mail Online

“Let’s Talk Science” says that CO2 causes 76% of the greenhouse effect on Earth and methane causes 16%. They say that CH4 traps 30 times as much heat as CO2.

Cows, Methane, and Climate Change | Let’s Talk Science

Arrhenius made the same mistake in the 19th century of not recognizing water vapor as the dominant greenhouse gas, and the claim of 30X for methane is a baseless number which climate alarmists have been steadily inflating for decades.

Global-Warming-Potential-Values

In the real world, Water vapor and CO2 are the only significant greenhouse gases. Methane comprises less than 2 ppm of the atmosphere and has very narrow spectral bands.

File:Atmospheric Transmission.png – Wikimedia Commons

I generated the graph below from the RRTM radiative transfer model used by NCAR. It shows the amount of downwelling longwave radiation (DLWR) for H2O, CO2 and CH4 when concentration of each gas is varied from 1% to 100% of current levels. Varying concentrations of H2O produce large changes in DLWR, CO2 much less, and CH4 produces almost no change.  Methane is not a significant greenhouse gas on earth.

Five years ago, Scientific American said meat consumption was having staggering impacts on global warming, implying that 1.7 ppm CH4 was burning up the planet.

People Still Don’t Get the Link between Meat Consumption and Climate Change – Scientific American Blog Network

And a few months later they said we may have to move to Titan, which has an atmosphere rich in CH4 and temperatures of -300F.

Let’s Colonize Titan – Scientific American Blog Network

According to the experts 1.7 ppm CH4 is burning up Earth and making it uninhabitable – but Titan is incredibly cold despite having so much methane in their troposphere that it comes down as rain.

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31 Responses to Gaslighting Meat

  1. The Wikimedia plot showing a difference between upwelling and downwelling irradiance can only mean the Earth has been heating up for as long as there have been greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, so after four billion years the Earth should be as hot as the Sun. What actually is being plotted? If the NCAR model contains the same assumptions, it is jusr a case of garbage in/garbage out, no matter how beautifully coded the duff equations are. For thermal equilibrium it is impossible for the total downwards irradiance to differ from the total upward radiance. The spectral distribution of the power does not change the area under the curve integrated over the spectrum. Either the energy will accumulate indefinitely, or the power balance has not been fully accounted. You can no more ‘trap’ radiant energy than you can catch sunbeams in a bucket.

  2. Note that the amount ‘transmitted’ is not the amount radiated. According to Kirchoff’s Law, at equilibrium, every Joule absorbed is re-radiated. This must be the case otherwise the Law of Conservation of Energy is violated. Greenhouse gases do not possess a sense of direction by which they can re-radiate preferentially downwards. The whole greenhouse effect is merely a consequence of disgracefully incompetent energy accounting.

    • Solar Mutant Ninjaneer says:

      Yes Gordon, heat absorbed at earth’s surface must eventually be emitted to space at the top of the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases only slow the rate of transmission through the atmosphere.

      The temperature difference between the earth’s surface and the top of the atmosphere is driven by heat transfer. The heat of compression (adiabatic heating and cooling) works to support this temperature gradient (lapse rate), but it is fundamentally a heat transfer problem. Greenhouse gases only impede the radiative component.

      Solar heat absorbed by the earth’s surface (about 163 W/m2) is transferred by both radiation and convection in parallel. With convection being the dominate mechanism, accounting for well over half of the 163 W/m2, any increase in temperature caused by the increased radiative thermal resistance from additional CO2 or methane in the atmosphere is significantly diluted by convection.

      Climate models are fundamentally flawed in that they assume all of the heat absorbed at the earth’s surface is transferred by radiation or is transferred by radiation and convection in series to the top of the atmosphere. Aside from obviously not being a series process, this assumption violates thermodynamic law. The most that can possibly be transferred by radiation from earth’s surface to the top of the atmosphere through a vacuum is less than 150 W/m2. Through a radiatively participating media like the troposphere filled with greenhouse gases, and largely covered by radiation barriers called clouds, the radiative component is substantially less than the 150 W/m2 theoretical maximum and much less the 163 W/m2 needed to satisfy the first law of thermodynamics. This is the radiatively transmitted amount that Gordon is referring to.

      A good analogy is the calculation of heat loss through windows, in which all three modes of heat transfer need to be considered. For cold climates double or even triple panes of glass are typically employed to minimize convective heat loss. To reduce radiative losses, modern windows employ low-emissivity coatings, which like CO2 only affect radiative losses. Heat loss calculations through windows correctly treat convection and radiation as separate parallel mechanisms and apply the reduced heat loss only to the radiative component. Climate scientist apply the increased thermal resistance from the increased CO2 or CH4 to all of the energy transferred (convective and radiative), but should only apply it to the radiative component. This fundamental error along with the ridiculous notion that increased temperature from the additional CO2 or CH4 increases water vapor, which amplifies the greenhouse effect, results in over predicting warming by a factor of between 5 and 10. Instead of a climate sensitively from doubling CO2 in the atmosphere of 1.5 to 5C, the sensitively is more like 0.15 to 0.5C.

      As a PhD engineer formally educated in the thermal sciences and who has worked with many physicists over my career at a major national laboratory and elsewhere, I am shocked, but not surprised. I have seen it before as physicists are often so specialized that they miss the “big picture.” Thermodynamics can be difficult, especially when applying it to the real world.

      • Dead right! I concur whole heartedly.

      • Rosco says:

        “Solar heat absorbed by the earth’s surface (about 163 W/m2) is transferred by both radiation and convection in parallel”

        It is high time everyone stopped acknowledging this BS – the solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface is NOT about 163 W/m2 all the time.

        To use this stupidity as a starting point is insane.

        At 180°C a surface absorbs ~2390 W/m2 per hour. At minus 18°C a surface absorbs ~239 W/m2 per hour.

        Anyone should see ten hours at ~239 W/m2 per hour cannot possibly induce the same thermal effect as ~2390 W/m2 in one hour !

        The Solar radiation reaching Earth’s surfaces can easily reach 1,000 W/m2 during the day and zero at night.

        1,000 W/m2 can induce temperatures of the order of 91°C. The fact that the hottest surface temperature on Earth is ~71°C and the hottest temperature on the Moon is ~120°C proves our atmosphere shields us from the true power of the Sun – it does NOT make the surface hotter than the Sun can.

        Besides IF the ludicrous 163 W/m2 has any bearing on reality how can solar panels with ~15% efficiency and 1 m2 surface area be rated at 200 – 300 Watts ?

        • Solar Mutant Ninjaneer says:

          Roscoe, the 163 W/m2 is the average over a year and it is appropriate to use it in a first order estimate of the overall energy balance. This is a legitimate way to get a good estimate of the energy balance. I used it routinely throughout my 40 year career as a solar thermal R&D engineer. And to answer the question, “how much would global temperature be expected to increase as a result of doubling CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, assuming everything else remains constant?”, it is more than adequate. Sure insolation can be over 1000 W/m2 on a bright sunny day, (I’ve measured direct normal insolation at as high as 1080 W/m2 and total hemispherical can be much higher.)

          The point is on average about 163 W/m2 is absorbed on an average square meter of earth’s surface. This accounts for day and night and the cosine effect of radiating a sphere. It also factors out insolation reflected and absorbed in the atmosphere.
          With an average top of the atmosphere temperature of about 255K and an average surface temperature of about 14C or 287K, the most that can theoretically be transmitted to the top of the atmosphere from earth’s surface is about 146 W/m2. But because of greenhouse gases and clouds it will be much less. I would estimate it at somewhere between 40 and 60 W/m2. This is the transmitted amount discussed by Gordon.

          Doubling the amount of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases the thermal resistance to radiative transfer through the atmosphere by about 2.5%. The fundamental error of climate models is that the 2.5% increase in thermal resistance to the 163 W/m2, not to the 40 to 60 W/m2 (or whatever it is).

          • Conrad Ziefle says:

            The best I can find on a quick hunt is that the solar insolation at Earth is 1.3kW/m^2. This is at the normal to the surface. This dilutes at all other angles, so a very small part of the earth is getting that flux at any given moment in time, plus that is attenuated by the atmosphere.
            Anyway when they rate solar collectors, I think they do it with lamps normal to the surface which then gives the maximum output ever possible, making them somewhere between 12% and 22% efficient at best depending on the design materials. I’m afraid that a lot of people believe that solar collectors can suck in radiation over a larger area than the surface area of the collector. They’re magical!!

      • Conrad Ziefle says:

        Tony, you are the man! You can pull more data together faster and explain it better than anyone! Putting all the absorption characteristics of the various gases on top of each other gives instant perspective. Somehow we need to extend your reach. Every high school science student needs to read your material, not the global climate change BS. However, I just can’t figure out why they are going after methane. Seems to me, they should be going after O2 and O3 first.

        Kirchhoff’s Law says α = ε for each λ. So since water vapor is an absorber of long wave radiation it seems that clouds would also be a massive emitter of radiation to space. So the water vapor cycle would be a conveyor belt of energy transmission to space.
        I also find the term “green house” gas objectionable, because it makes people think that these gases form a big dome over the planet. But gases do nothing to inhibit convection and conduction, and green houses do. So they are not the same.

      • Robert B says:

        “but it is fundamentally a heat transfer problem. Greenhouse gases only impede the radiative component.”
        Only impedes direct radiation from the surface to space. You just need a little to do this because of the huge path length. It doesn’t hamper the warmer first km from heating the colder atmosphere above. If anything, it should improve, until a point, and a temperature gradient of about 6.4 per km rather than 9.8 per km fits that. So 34°C warmer 10 km up than without GHG, and you get your balance back.

    • Rosco says:

      “According to Kirchoff’s Law, at equilibrium, every Joule absorbed is re-radiated. This must be the case otherwise the Law of Conservation of Energy is violated.”

      BUT this does NOT imply every joule has a thermal effect !

      There are countless examples where copious amounts of energy are absorbed by objects with no thermal effect – ie an increase in temperature as calculated by the SB law.

      Titan – “It’s very cold because of its distance from the Sun,”

      But Saturn has temperatures in its atmosphere hotter than the surface of the Sun

      “Due to its distance from the Sun, Saturn is a rather cold gas giant planet, with an average temperature of -178 °Celsius. But because of Saturn’s tilt, the southern and northern hemispheres are heated differently, causing seasonal temperature variation.

      And much like Jupiter, the temperature in the upper atmosphere of Saturn is cold, but increases closer to the center of the planet. At the core of the planet, temperatures are believed to reach as high as 11,700 °C.”

      • Are you claiming that the energy absorbed simply vanishes? Either it increases the temperature of the body, causes evaporation and is absorbed as latent heat or is converted into some other form of energy. The SB law explicitly states that there is a thermal effect of radiation. In thermal equilibrium what is absorbed is re-radiated, if it is not, the system is NOT in thermal equilibrium. The ridiculous notion that radiation is ‘blocked’ comes from mis-application of Beer’s law to uniform illumination, when it applies to losses along a line of sight. The power is attenuated because energy is radiated out of the beam, it is not simply prevented from reaching the sensor by some intrinsic ‘blocking’ property of the gas.

        I have become painfully aware that climate scientists have difficulty distinguishing power from energy, and appear completely naive regarding the Laws of Thermodynamics. The value of 236 Watts per square metre arises from averaging over day and night and over latitude. You are correct that all of this reaches the surface. Heat is then transported by radiation and convection away from the surface. At the surface it is about 30-50% convection but by the tropopause it is 100% radiation. That is power, it is not temperature.

        In the presence of convection, temperature is not given by the Stefan Bolzmann Law, which is I think, what you actually mean to say. Then temperature distribution is given by the interchange of enthalpy and gravitational potential energy as the gas circulates in the atmosphere. The circulation pattern is well known, and in any case it is impossible for gas to rest in stratified layers in a negative temperature gradient, each layer is unstable under bouyancy forces.

        Applying the adiabatic equations, and including latent heat, the temperature lapse rate in the tropopause is readily calculable. Heat is conveyed through the troposphere, but there is no net heat or work added to the gases there. The process is adiabatic.

  3. John Sturges says:

    The Youtube post contains an excellent series of charts summarizing the scientific data. Well articulated!!

  4. The Dark Lord says:

    They say that CO2 traps 30 times as much heat as CO2.
    did you mean CH4 traps 30 times as much heat as CO2 …

    • Richard says:

      CO2 traps heat for .4 of a second and gives it back, CO2 is not a warming gas, even when heated to 2300F during fusion welding the molten puddle of metal does not cause CO2 to get hot, CO2 is an inert gas
      Where this belief comes from is Al Gore slept thru his professors class who was experimenting to use CO2 to measure temperatures from ice core samples- Al Gore has been preaching CO2 as the evil gas since 1980s

      OMNI Magazine- Revelle, who died in 1991, started the remarkable series of measurements of atmospheric CO2 during the Intergovernmental Geophysical Year in 1957. As a visiting professor at Harvard University, he taught a freshman course attended by then-student Al Gore. In his frightening best-seller, Earth in the Balance, Gore claims Revelle as his mentor.

  5. Saturn and its moons are roughly 10 times as far from the Sun as is Earth, so Titan would get 1% of the solar energy (more correctly, the power per unit area) as does Earth.

    Only this morning, I came across a “climate science” article, on “quillette.com” (through claes johnson’s list of sites), and went to see if it was good (debunking the “consensus science”) or bad (promoting the insanity). It was the latter, and when I checked the author, it was Lawrence Krauss, another of the self-serving, consensus-mongering elite, of the Carl Sagan variety. Publicity whores, not good, honest scientists. Spreading muck everywhere, and nonchalantly, condescendingly.

    The world has not seen an insane cult of this depth and breadth, for perhaps ever; and climate so-called science is just one of their arms. Of course, this fact of their ascendence makes them giddy with cultist excitement, and all-consuming tyranny.

  6. Robert B says:

    It’s very cold because of its distance from the Sun, but shouldn’t there be a run away greenhouse effect. So much methane that it has rivers and lakes of the stuff.

    • paul courtney says:

      Mr. B.: There is no greenhouse effect, IMHO, because there are no enviro-activists there. See, there’s lotsa methane but NONE OF IT HUMAN-CAUSED! Now, if humans “colonized” Titan (sounds rayciss already) and burned some of that methane to survive, everything would make sense. Enter the enviro-activist claiming that the human CO2 would burn the place up right quick. Why, by 2021, that place could heat up to -200C, and it would be our fault. So obviously we need to stop humans from destroying Titan NOW.

  7. Rosco says:

    But But But I was told Methane is a “fossil Fuel” so what happened to all the dinosaurs ob Titan ???

    • arn says:

      The same happened to them as on earth.

      As result of constant methan farting the atmosphere overheated and killed them all long time ago :)

      Though something tells me that your comment is more of a hidden hint towards
      organic vs anorganic fossil fuel theories.

  8. Charles Hilgey says:

    Biden and the government have absolutely not legal right to determine what and how much we eat. This is UnConstitutional in many ways.

    • paul courtney says:

      Charles: Isn’t it funny how this always cuts one way? If a study showed that a vegan diet caused global warming, it would never see the light of day.

  9. Liam says:

    Using my school science:

    CO2 is in the air
    Plant traps CO2, makes proteins and sugars and fats.
    Beast eats plant and makes proteins and sugars and fats.
    Beast releases excess CO2 and CH4 to air and soil.
    CH4 decays to CO2 in the air.
    That to me is circular. What came from the air goes back to the air, as has been going on ever since a ruminant beast walked the earth. And there were plenty of ruminants before we ever raised beef cattle.

    Ah but the CH4?
    CH4 decays to CO2 in 10 or 11 years.
    Therefore the amount of atmospheric CH4 from animals is stable in quantity.
    The only way to increase that CH4 block is to increase the number of ruminants.
    Therefore the amount of heating from CH4 (even if it did exist) is stable.

    And left uneaten, grass will die away at the end of the summer releasing its trapped CO2 anyway. Are this crowd trying to interrupt the cycle of life?

    ‘I eat beast’
    The is the only bit I left out! I’m not sure I’d have much will to live if they stop me eating meat and butter! Ah, imagine being forced onto a diet of soya beans and lettuce, (never mind the environmental implications of the intensive tillage).

    It looks like diet science is as poor as climate science. There are some very well thought out arguments on the internet for low carb and carnivore diets and the dramatic benefits for heart disease, diabetes and auto-immune disease sufferers. But again, like Tony, these scientists are fighting ‘the industrial complex’.

  10. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    While travelling along the Arkansas River in May of 1871, Colonel Richard Irving Dodge rode through an unbroken herd of bison for more than 25 miles. As a keen observer and self taught naturalist, Dodge noted the density of the herd averaged 15 to 20 bison/acre. After consulting with local travelers and hunters, he concluded that the herd was at least 50 miles long. Based on his observations, that single immense herd covered ~1,250 square miles and contained 12 to 16 million animals.

    Approximately thirty years earlier, (1839), Thomas Farnham travelled through a large herd of bison along the Santa Fe Trail for 3 days, and over an estimated distance of 45 to 50 miles. Farnham reported that he could see bison for ~15 miles in all directions, suggesting this herd covered up to ~1,350 square miles. At 15 to 20 bison / acre, it would have contained 13 to 17.25 million bison.

    The most widely-cited estimate for the number of bison in North America (west of the Mississippi) when Columbus arrived is 60 million animals. However, this number comes from a paper written in 1929, after bison were nearly extinct. It was written by a researcher named Ernest Thompson Seton, who relied on a previous estimate made by a researcher named William Hornaday. In his 1889 paper, Hornaday (a thoughtful scientist who preferred to err on the side of caution) arbitrarily reduced the size of Colonel Dodge’s herd (12 to 16 million animals) to only 4 million. Based on nothing, he was ‘almost certain’ that the herd Colonel Dodge observed must have been wedge-shaped rather than rectangular, and he therefore slashed Colonel Dodge’s estimate by more than two-thirds. Later, when Seton wrote his paper, he not only used Hornaday’s arbitrarily conservative estimate, but he also presumed that a herd like the one Colonel Dodge observed would range over an area of ~200,000 square miles. By dividing the total area of the plains and prairies of North America (the area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, and from Great Slave Lake in Canada to the Rio Grande) by 200,000, he calculated this region could support 15 such herds. And multiplying 15 herds x 4 million animals per herd gave him his pre-columbian bison population guesstimate of ~60 million. Unfortunately, this number has no scientific basis whatsoever. A much more reasonable number is obtained by simply multiplying Colonel Dodge’s estimated herd size of 12 to 16 million animals by Seton’s 15 herds, yielding a of pre-Columbian bison population of 180 to 240 million animals. And given the fact that Seton’s arbitrary number of 15 herds was pulled from his rear end, even this more reasonable number may be low.

    The wholesale slaughter of the American Bison began in the 1820s. As Native American tribes were forced off their land in the east, they brought horses and guns to the Great Plains and learned to hunt bison on horseback. And as the railroads progressed, bison were killed to feed railway crews. Then in the early 1830s, the US government authorized the mass destruction of the great bison herds. Army outposts were set up throughout the plains and prairies to bring Native American tribes under control, and destroying their food source was the primary means of achieving that goal.

    And the slaughter extended into Canada as well. In 1844, the Canadian trading posts of the Hudson Bay Company took in 75,000 bison robes. Between 1871 and 1874, an estimated 1.4 million hides were shipped east by the railroads (Topeka, Santa Fe, Kansas Pacific, & Union Pacific), and for each hide traded or sold, an estimated 3 animals were killed. In 1873, a buffalo hide sold for $1.25 and a tongue for 25¢. The rest of the animal had no value and was left to rot.

    And so it continued until 1884, when a census of the bison population in the US counted only 325 animals. Yes, you read that right. By 1884, North America’s great Bison herds had been reduced from ~200 million animals to less than 500.

    The number of beef & dairy cows in North America in 2018 was ~106 million (~94 million in the US and ~12 million in Canada), and the bison population was ~250,000. Today, we’re not even close to the number of bison that roamed the great plains when Columbus discovered America. And that’s why I’m not worried about cow farts.

  11. spike55 says:

    umm…..

    It is physically and chemically IMPOSSIBLE for a cow to put out more “carbon” than it takes in

    COWS ARE CARBON NEUTRAL !!

  12. Peter Carroll says:

    Methane shmeethane. Who cares IF CH4 traps 30, 40, or even 50 times as much heat as CO2.
    It’s concentration in the atmosphere, (therefore any effect it may have) is infinitesimal.
    Current concentration of CH4 is, 1870 parts per, BILLION!
    That is 1870 parts per, ONE THOUSAND MILLION!
    It is currently 0.000187% of our atmosphere by volume. (Rounded to 0.0002%, if you like)
    To try and say that, such an insignificant concentration of gas, can adversely change the climate of the entire planet, is bordering on complete insanity.

    • Richard says:

      Revelle, who died in 1991, started the remarkable series of measurements of atmospheric CO2 during the Intergovernmental Geophysical Year in 1957. As a visiting professor at Harvard University, he taught a freshman course attended by then-student Al Gore. In his frightening best-seller, Earth in the Balance, Gore claims Revelle as his mentor.

      Al GORE got it wrong and the Climate Cult has to make CO2 a warming gas

  13. John Culhane says:

    This is mission creep. The original hypothesis that led to the founding of the IPCC concerned the man-made release of carbon dioxide captured by previous natural cycles over millions of years on earth is causing warming by disturbing the earth energy budget.

    Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Pigs ingesting grass have nothing to do with this hypothesis and what do they think happened in the era when we relied on horses, mules, and donkeys for transport across land? Do horses not fart?

  14. Allan Shelton says:

    How can a molecule of CO2 slow down heat loss?
    It is a gas. All gasses expand and rise when heated.
    A blanket, being a solid can slow down heat loss, but gasses expand and rise and when heated therefore act as a coolant. No???

  15. NavarreAggie says:

    The really sad part about this is that these idiots never consider the unintended consequences of their suggestions. A no- or restricted meat policy would be devastating for wildlife, both aquatic and terrestrial. Even if all guns were outlawed, people would eat meat they killed with bow and arrow or other means. It would be an unmitigated disaster, and it’s a fool’s errand to think that they could convince everyone on the entire planet to never again eat meat. Just won’t happen.

  16. Conrad Ziefle says:

    Finally, there is such a great discussion here and a lot of knowledge. I’m going to have to go through and read every comment. Sure beats the hell out of the lame stream media coverage of the topic. Too bad journalists are not educatable.

  17. Jake Sinclair says:

    The steak I enjoyed whilst observing The Derby festivities Saturday was plant based. It came from a cow that had eaten pasture grass its whole life.

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