Sunday, May 03, 2009

New Zealand proposed Agriculture emissions trading scheme, Why bother?

In an interesting debate in New Zealand on the planned introduction of an emissions trading scheme. Which mostly effects its competitive export agriculture industry we ask why bother?.

As an example a submission to the select parliamentary review committee from Dairynz.

DairyNZ says don't tax farmers

DairyNZ says it would make no sense to tax dairy farmers for greenhouse gas emissions until technology exists to enable farmers to reduce the emissions. It would also be unwise to place obligations on New Zealand's leading industry when none of its international competitors are likely to face similar charges.

In a submission to the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee today [4th May], DairyNZ Chairman John Luxton said dairy farmers were willing and capable of adopting farming practices that will increase resource use efficiency and reduce dairying's environment footprint.

"Little exists by way of mitigating technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming, so it would be economically unjust to hold farmers liable for those emissions," he said.

He urged the Committee to consider this carefully when deciding the place of agriculture in an emissions trading scheme.


As this is related to Methane and nitrate oxide emissions as we have previously discussed ,this is in effect a waste of time as the imposed constraints eg IPCC and Kyoto are based on outdated scientific understanding ( as per previous post)

Previously stated

Morowitz outlined four rules that bound the construction of “scientific” hypothesis and limit the ability of “men to play god”

Two that are appropriate here are,

1 Though shall not violate the laws of physics and chemistry, for these are expressions of divine eminence.

2 Though shall not eschew miracles, for as Spinoza taught, they contravene the lawfulness of the Universe


Cause and effect benefits, and the profit/loss portion of the regulatory algorithm are never identified let alone quantified. The elementary physics suggest that always the Le Chatelier-Braun Principle(If any change is imposed on a system in near equilibrium, the system will change in such a way as to counteract the imposed change.)

Indeed if we use the Nox for example rather then write a lot of legislative rubbish we can write the simple algorithm

( SNOx--NOx--O3 –OH)

An important atmospheric sink for methane is the OH (hydroxyl) radical. The reaction of methane with OH radicals is the first step in a series of reactions which eventually leads to compounds that are readily removed from the atmosphere by precipitation or uptake at the surface. OH radicals also act as a chemical sink for other trace gases. For this reason, OH radicals are known as "the detergent of the atmosphere" (Crutzen, 1995).


In an interesting paper we see indeed that soil NOx emissions (SNOx) do indeed lower troposphere CH4 levels in southern latitudes.

Influence of modelled soil biogenic NO emissions on related trace gases and the atmospheric oxidizing efficiency

J. Steinkamp1, L. N. Ganzeveld2, W. Wilcke3, and M. G. Lawrence1

Abstract. The emission of nitric oxide (NO) by soils (SNOx) is an important source of oxides of nitrogen (NOx=NO+NO2) in the troposphere, with estimates ranging
from 4 to 21 Tg of nitrogen per year. Previous studies have examined the influence of SNOx on ozone (O3) chemistry. We employ the ECHAM5/MESSy atmospheric
chemistry model (EMAC) to go further in the reaction chain and investigate the influence of SNOx on lower tropospheric NOx, O3, peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), nitric acid (HNO3), the hydroxyl radical (OH) and the lifetime of methane ( CH4 ). We show that SNOx is responsible for a significant contribution to the NOx mixing ratio in many regions, especially in the tropics. Furthermore, the concentration of OH is substantially increased due to SNOx, resulting in an enhanced oxidizing efficiency of the global troposphere, reflected in a 10% decrease in CH4 due to soil NO emissions. On the other hand, in some regions SNOx has a negative feedback on the lifetime of NOx through O3 and OH, which results in regional increases in the mixing ratio of NOx despite lower total emissions in a simulation without SNOx. In a sensitivity simulation in which we reduce the other surface NOx emissions by the same amount as SNOx, we find that they have a much weaker impact on OH and CH4 and do not result in an increase in the NOx mixing ratio anywhere


So decreasing SNOx increases CH4 why bother.

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