Tuesday, May 08, 2012

It's a Gas!

Dateline Washington (Reuters): "In a major new climate finding, researchers have calculated that dinosaur flatulence could have put enough methane into the atmosphere to warm the planet during the hot, wet Mesozoic era."

Yes, Dear Readers, you read it here first - dinosaur farts may have been largely responsible for global warming in eons past ... and could still have an impact on climate change today. You can read the entire story here.

Chemically, the major constituent of ... um ... flatulent emissions ... consists of methane (CH4), a gas which is estimated to have as much as 25 times the global warming impact of the carbon dioxide (CO2) we view today as a major catalyst of climate change. Methane is, in fact, enough of a factor in modern global warming that there are actually scientists who are working hard to figure out how much methane is emitted today by cows, sheep and other plant-eating animals. How much of an impact did dinosaurs cutting the Mesozoic cheese have on the environment? The article does the math:

"(Scientists at the University of St Andrews and the University of London) reckoned that global methane emissions from sauropods were about 520 million tons per year, comparable to all modern methane emissions. Unlike emissions of carbon dioxide, which come from natural sources but also from the burning of fossil fuels, methane emissions have decreased substantially since the start of the Industrial Revolution some 150 years ago.

Before the fossil-fuel intensive Industrial Revolution took off, methane emissions were roughly 200 million tons annually; modern ruminants, including cows, goats, giraffes and other animals, emit between 50 million and 100 million tons of methane a year."

So, what does all this mean to us?

1. There are people who can make a living calculating the chemical makeup of farts.

2. Dinosaur emissions are still a serious threat to the environment, which is why the EPA needs to take immediate action to get Rush Limbaugh off the air.

3. We can expect a much hotter environment this year, as unrestricted emissions from talking heads and SuperPACs pump millions of additional tons of quasi-intellectual farts into the air you and I have to breathe.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Have a good day. Don't bother holding your breath. More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

I guess we could take some steps on this. worldwide, we could have a barbecue orgy to reduce significanty the number of cows, pigs, and asses to reduce their total fart impact. Develop antigas pills for the remaining farting animals. Impose a flatus tax to go with beans and beer. And punish junior high boys with detention for each fart.

The Bastard King of England said...

I guess that we need less punditry and better manners for cows.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Setting time limits on meetings and turning off FoxNews and MSNBC would help.

Limit the Ala. legislature to a two week term each year.

Mike said...

There is enough frozen methane at the bottom of the ocean to wreak havoc on the world. If the oceans warm up enough that all that methane escapes..... well that will be one big fart.