Gassy cows rival oil industry's climate impacts

FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - Here’s the thing about cows: They burp like teenage boys who’ve been chugging Mountain Dew.

The only difference is, bovine burps are a big problem for climate change. The burps — combined with less-frequent bursts of flatulation — are a side-effect of cattle digestion, and are responsible for more than 20 percent of the nation’s heat-trapping methane emissions.

That’s two-thirds as much methane as is released by the U.S. oil and gas industry.

California recently became the first state to take aim at gassy cattle, asking livestock and dairy producers to trim their methane emissions 40 percent by 2030. The strategy is raising eyebrows in Colorado, where there’s one cow for every two people. In Weld County, cattle outnumber people 2:1.

A lot of options are on the table: Everything from changing cattle breeding and manure management to strapping bovines with backpacks that turn their outbursts into energy.

Read more at the Coloradoan: http://noconow.co/2e0X57C

Copyright 2016 Fort Collins Coloradoan


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment