Frame on methane GWP

Here’s good news for all those who despair at the defects and sheer incompetence (it seems) in the calculation of the Global Warming Potential of methane: it’s about to get a high-level airing. I emailed Professor David Frame a few days ago. Prof Frame is Director of the NZ Climate Change Research Institute at the Victoria University of Wellington, taking over from Martin Manning in October last year. He’s given us a prompt and encouraging response. – h/t Barry Brill

30/06/2012 12:21 pm

Dear Professor Frame,

Your opinion piece in the Dominion of 22 June makes good reading, thank you. I was especially struck by Tom Schelling’s remark describing the EU’s emissions targets as indicating its insincerity.

But I write concerning your comment following the post. There’s been much discussion at the Climate Conversation Group about the calculation of GWP for methane, what it should be and what might be done to make it more reasonable. Set too high, it is a considerable impost on NZ farming, which as you know is among the world’s most efficient. You say:

Shorter-lived gases (such as methane) are not obviously as important for the overall properties of climate change as is commonly thought, and the way we count them – or rather the way the folks who came up with Kyoto ended up counting them – masks this by giving them high emphasis. [Unwarrantedly high emphasis in my view, but that would be another article, which is a bit more technical to write.]

Now, Dave, this is like the aroma of frying bacon to a hungry man. Continue Reading →