David and Judith Coley asked:
Also on a recent farming programme they explained that satelite pictures of farmland combined with computer programming of the distribition of fertilsers from a tractor could optimise yields using no more than the necessary amount of fertiliser. Suprisingly they stated that the fertiliser, I think made from petrochemicals, was about six hundred times more damaging than, I think the burning of fossil fuels.
Is this true and why is this so please?
We posed this question to Brian Thomas from the University of Warwick and Claire Domoney form the John Innes Centre...
Brian - Well I think it’s not really a question of one or the other because I think as we’ve heard earlier, the manufacture of fertilisers involves a major amount of energy and contributes significantly to greenhouse gases, and therefore, you have to burn fossil fuels to obtain the fertiliser in the first place. I think in terms of fertiliser, it is possible to mitigate some of these problems. For example, as we’ve heard with plants that fix nitrogen, if we could extend that capability to others, that would help if we had a more efficient process for fixing nitrogen, more efficient than the Haber process, or we can get plants that use nitrogen more efficiently and there’s a lot of work going on at the moment looking at the genetics of that particular aspect of crop production.
Claire - Yes and I think there is some debate as to how much of applied nitrogen fertiliser ends up as nitrous oxide. The IPCC estimates at about 1% ends up as nitrous oxide, but there are some papers in the literature which suggests that that’s a three or four-fold underestimate, and it could in fact be much higher than that. So, I think there’s a lot of discussion as to how much, but nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas, much more potent than carbon dioxide by several hundred times.
No, fertilizer run-off is not 600 times more powerful then burning fossil fuels. In fact, burning fossil fuels is not 600 times more powerful then running hamsters in an excercise wheel. The entire CO2 panic is an entire fraud.
Overall, the Earth is pretty much a closed system. Only a tiny amount of matter leaves the Earth (mostly due to the solar wind) and the quantity of matter added due to meteor strikes is negligible.
If you take the argument about climate change to it's core, all you need is a bit of an understanding about CO2 bonding & electromagnetic interaction with bonds, why that results in a greenhouse effect.. as well as that, an appreciation the equation:
Lee - You wrote: "Overall, the Earth is pretty much a closed system." This is patently absurd. The earth is primarily the creature of the sun. Even GW guys recognize this and simply state human CO2 will have dire consequences regarding solar radiation.
pepper - You wrote: "Your new 'Plan B' scoop can only mean that you are finally accepting GW.
Addendum - Cosmic Ray Variations
litespeed: NP, we all have our moments, good and bad. Personally, I'm tempermentally inclined to be silly. LeeE, Tue, 5th Jan 2010
madi - You quoted me: "It seemed to me you've been trying to tell us global warming stopped a decade ago." The actual term used by the guys who adjusted the IPPC numbers according to el nino etc for 1998 to 2008 is standstill.
Lee & Geezer
SO what is the relationship of the last several posts on global warming to the original question?