August 8 News: Some Diseased Trees Releasing ‘Flammable Concentrations’ Of Methane, Say Researchers

A round-up of the top climate and energy news.

Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies say some diseased trees release methane at a level that may be a globally significant source of the potent heat-trapping gas, according to the study published in Geophysical Research Letters. [Summit County Citizens Voice]

Sixty trees sampled at Yale Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut contained concentrations of methane that were as high as 80,000 times ambient levels. Normal air concentrations are less than 2 parts per million, but the Yale researchers found average levels of 15,000 parts per million inside trees.

“These are flammable concentrations,” said Kristofer Covey, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at Yale. “Because the conditions thought to be driving this process are common throughout the world’s forests, we believe we have found a globally significant new source of this potent greenhouse gas.”

The worst drought in half a century is slashing U.S. crop and livestock production, President Obama said on Tuesday as he called on Congress to pass a farm bill that will send disaster aid to more farmers and ranchers. [Reuters]

And in many areas of the world, solving problems associated with climate change was never part of many industries’ budget considerations. One of these is the wine industry, where some curious things are happening. [Press Democrat]

The White House announced Tuesday it is inviting contract proposals from green energy firms to boost the Army’s use of renewable energy. [The Hill]

When a campaign spokesman said last week that Congress should let a tax break for wind energy producers expire at the end of the year, some Republicans were concerned the candidate had gone too far. [Washington Post]

The European Commission urged the world on Tuesday to stick with a goal of limiting climate change to a maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) after Washington said the target could not be guaranteed. [Reuters]

MANILA — At least a third of this overpopulated capital and its suburbs were submerged on Tuesday as torrential rains battered the city and floodwaters poured in from almost all sides. [New York Times]


17 Responses to August 8 News: Some Diseased Trees Releasing ‘Flammable Concentrations’ Of Methane, Say Researchers

  1. Chris says:

    If a tree farts in the forest, does it make a sound?

  2. prokaryotes says:

    February 2012 Logging blamed for Philippine flood deaths

    Two months after floods in the southern Philippines killed more than 1,000 people, the illegal logging that exacerbated the disaster continues unabated.

    Why doesn’t the “developed” world is setting up sanctions, to ban the sales of said tree’s? Each tree helps to store carbon.

  3. Paul Klinkman says:

    Scientists haven’t known why methane in the tropics would suddenly rise. This may explain the positive feedback mechanism. No, it’s not good news for climate restoration.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Video: Solar device brings natural light to workers
    Canadian invention spells challenge to fluorescent lights, often seen as brunt of artificial working environments.

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Analysing Obama’s track record
    Cornel West and Paul Street weigh up Obama’s achievements and shortcomings as we ask if he should get a second term.

  6. Joan Savage says:

    “More than half the amount of rain normally seen in August has fallen in the capital in 24 hours, reports say.”

    Philippine floods: Nineteen dead as rain continues

  7. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    So we should leave the Climate Change problem in Romney’s hands? It’s already a disaster I don’t see that as a way to move forward on the biggest issue facig the world today

  8. prokaryotes says:

    Who said that? Did you watched the entire discussion? Street briefly touches on energy and climate change policy. West put it this way:”Mitt Romney Catastrophe, Obama Disaster”

  9. Leif says:

    So the destruction of western forests by pine bark beetles increases the warming beneficial to more pine bark beetles. Then the forests are cremated and black earth is left, (more warming). Toastville for the Kidders…

  10. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Given the remarkably long odds against Obama doing anything other than continuing to advance the US climate policy established by Cheyney and Bush
    – that of a brinkmanship of inaction with China –
    as has just been re-affirmed by Stern’s denial of any need of a global treaty or of the agreed 2.0C temperature target –
    the issue of putting a serious person in the White house in 2016 appears a lot more relevant for early action on climate than the present election.

    So which candidate’s election would do most to advance that prospect – another 4 years of the Democrat Obama’s backsliding, or 4 years of a corrupt and incompetent Republican Romney ?

    About 40% of American adults will get to choose . . .



  11. prokaryotes says:

    I agree with the sentiment, but i think it would be a very bad idea to have someone in place who does not care at all.

    Obama had not an easy going for several factors, maybe his last term can accelerate progress. Yes, at this point we need to hope that miracles will happen.

  12. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    If the backsliding Obama wins a second term for the policy of no significant climate action and the trend of relative economic decline continues, then the chances are greatly raised of a competent fascistic Republican winning in 2016, and holding power till 2024. That would be 12 years of continued brinkmanship with China, and of ruinous global BAU growth of anthro-CO2 ppm and of rising CO2e ppm outputs from the feedbacks.

    The incompetent Romney winning now, followed by 4 years of further economic decline that is blamed on him, and 4 years of worsening climate impacts that is blamed on his backers, is the only route visible to avoiding that highly probable outcome.

    Given that the modest CAFE standard change – that gets nowhere near EU standards – can be ascribed entirely to concern over the coming global scarcity of exported oil, I see no evidence that Obama is “a person who cares” at all about climate. On the contrary, he has demonstrated – at every opportunity – that his priority is about subjecting China to intensifying climatic destabilization with the goal of breaking its bid to end US global dominance.

    With this in view, 2016 is what matters for the climate.



  13. prokaryotes says:

    But we don’t have this time, to wait another 4 years for eventually the guy who magically does everything right. We have to act today and we have to work with the best options we can get, thus sticking with Obama.