On Friday 10 Feb, we were honoured to host celebrated global climate expert, Dr Frank Mitloehner, in Warrnambool. At the talk, with over 100 people present, Frank addressed three key myths.
Myth 1: Frank downplays methane and we as dairy/beef farmers don’t have to act to mitigate.
My research clearly shows that agriculture should reduce methane emissions. I emphasized the importance of measuring methane’s impact on our climate appropriately, which any scientist should do. Getting accurate data helps us make the best decisions and develop pathways to the goals we seek to meet. Constant methane leads to constant warming. Lowering methane leads to reduced warming and leverages the industry as part of a climate solution. Business as usual is not an option.
Myth 2: My advocacy for GWP* makes me the farmer’s friend.
The fact is we need to reduce emissions on farms, and whether you use GWP* or GWP100, that fact doesn’t go away. GWP* actually predicts warming, rather than carbon equivalent and is hence a metric that is fit for purpose. If a farmer’s emissions are rising, GWP* is going to show he has significantly increased his warming footprint, more so than with GWP100. Constant emissions will show he hasn’t added additional warming. Decreasing emissions accurately show that the farmer has not only not added additional warming but he Is eating into historical emissions. It’s not the matrix that is going to make a farmer look good or bad, but the actions they take on farm to reduce emissions or do business as usual.
Myth 3: Frank is calling for an end to GWP100.
At the end of the day, you can’t have GWP* without GWP100. The newer matrix is simply the older one over time using a correction factor to consider methane’s short lifespan and the considerations that come with that short lifespan. You also need GWP100 for many other reasons. What I’m calling for is accurately characterizing the impacts of methane emissions on our climate, and GWP* allows us to do that.
Video: Dr. Frank Methane. addresses three key myths about Methane
To stay up to date with Dr Mitloehner‘s work follow him at @GHGGuru on twitter and https://www.linkedin.com/in/frank-mitloehner-937bb120/ on LinkedIn.