Jan. 10, 2014 — A new research project looks into the possibilities of adapting every aspect of cattle husbandry and selection processes to lower their greenhouse gas emissions.
Methane from cows — a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide — makes up 20% of greenhouse emissions from agriculture, or about 1% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases. That’s according to Phil Garnsworthy, professor of dairy science at the University of Nottingham in the UK. He is also one of the project scientists of an EU-funded research project, called Ruminomics, which is using cutting-edge science to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle.(link)
Different genetic strains of cow emit different amounts of methane. “There are three issues: diet, genetics, and the microbiology of the cow’s rumen. We think that animal genetics may well influence their gut microbiology. However, this link has not been proved and we are still in the data collection phase,”……
If one “ruminates” long enough over the implications of the “genetics issue”, one can imagine genetically modified cows as a neat solution. Choose your poison.