Landcare Research scientist joins Dairy NZ scientist in being unable to clarify their confused and contradictory positions.
Scientists from both organisations maintain that methane from a steady source does not result in an increase in the atmospheric concentration of methane.
David Whitehead of Landcare Research likened it to a bath tub filled with water (or methane). When the inflow matches the outflow the water level remains the same. The only way the level in the bath can increase is if you increase the inflow without increasing the outflow. So methane in the atmosphere can only increase if you increase animal production.
As such there can be no global warming from enteric methane produced from a stable source.
But the same scientists from the same organisations also state that because ruminant digestion converts CO2 to CH4 and that CH4 is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas, a steady source of enteric methane does cause global warming.
So on one hand they are saying that if the source of enteric methane is constant there is no increase in methane levels and therefore no global warming.
They are also saying that net warming occurs when the source of methane is constant because of the difference in global warming potency of CO2 and CH4
These two positions are in contradiction with each other because with no net increase in methane there is no warming. They have both so far been unable to clarify their contradictory positions.
What really concerns me is that Dairy NZ is an industry good organisation. It is funded by farmers for farmers. They are well aware that their two contradictory positions highlight the fact that one of these positions is wrong. So why are they not out there seeking the truth on behalf of their farmers, instead of continuing to mislead their farmers with Government propaganda?
Dairy NZ is happy to promote farmers by funding ‘Go Dairy Campaigns’ but it will do nothing to investigate and put right the contradictory and false information it broadcasts about the impact dairy farming is having on global warming. Did they ever consider that without the continual bad press dairy farming gets about global warming they might not need to do a ‘Go Dairy Campaign’?
If you have access to your Dairy NZ rep you might want to drop them a line and ask them about Dairy NZ’s curious position on enteric menthane and global warming.