Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/23/22

Some thoughts on the Warmest Thirty Years on Record

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Message Arshad M Khan

The last thirty years, we are reliably informed, have been the warmest, a post-industrial record for earth, and the same goes for the past seven years. The evidence for human responsibility is overwhelming.

The major gases causing global warming; carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) have reached the highest recorded levels. CO2 hit a peak of over 419 parts per million (ppm) in May 2021 and is now 417.69 ppm as of a few days ago.

As for methane, scientists are alarmed at its dangerously fast growth as described in a February 8, 2022 item in the journal, Nature. Its levels are now over 1,900 parts per billion (ppb) or 1.9 ppm which is three times preindustrial levels. Worth remembering also is that methane (CH4) is 28 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

A clue to the source of the methane is the isotopic signature of its carbon. Methane generated in the gut of a cow or by microbes consuming carbon in wetlands contain less of the isotope carbon 13 than methane from deep inside earth released in fossil-fuel extraction.

The acceleration of methane since 2007 has thus been deduced to be from microbial sources rather than fossil-fuel extraction, which points to a dangerous feedback cycle as global warming produces more wetlands, and as greater prosperity increases red meat consumption and more cows, a major source.

"If cows were a country, they would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions," said Bill Gates as he exhorted wealthy nations to give up beef. Ruminants are the worst methane polluters -- figures are usually given as Kge, meaning kilogram equivalent of CO2. Pork is a substitute for lamb or beef and pollutes not much more than chicken. Other sources of protein like beans, nuts and eggs also have low carbon footprints. In addition, how cattle are raised makes a difference: the overall impact of those reared on national pastures is 12 times less than those on deforested land as in South America.

Following COP26 in Glasgow last November, the UN Environment Program released a report analyzing country pledges to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C; the review discovered instead that mean temperature is likely to rise by 2.7C, and would cause a sharp increase in catastrophic weather events.

When did we last hear of a hurricane or its remnants hitting Portugal. That is exactly what happened there in October 2018 when Leslie came by with its hurricane force wind gusts. It left 1000 trees uprooted, 300,000 homes without power and created general havoc around the capital and other parts of northern Portugal.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Arshad M Khan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

a Chilling Documentary, the UN Discusses the Rohingya and an International Judges Tribunal Declares Genocide

Assad Is Not an Idiot

Trump Tweets Scorn As Weather Disasters Sweep World

Is the U.S. Losing Its Clout?

Oh Say Can We Really See ...

Unusual Independence Day Military Display -- An Iran Bluff or Could It Signal a War?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend