It’s time to have a conversation about flatulent cows.
The hamburgers and cheese that come from U.S. cattle may be favorite fare at many summer cookouts, but the methane the same cows produce is significantly less appetizing.
That’s especially the case for sustainable investors looking for a low-emission place to park their cash. “Enteric fermentation,” or livestock’s digestive process, accounts for 22 percent of all U.S. methane emissions, and the manure they produce makes up 8 percent more, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
And although agriculture is a growing industry as the world looks to feed its swelling population, some investors are reluctant to support a sector with such a hefty methane footprint.
New analysis of kangaroo farts suggests their low methane levels could have implications for farmers in the fight against climate change.
It has long been known that kangaroos – unlike sheep and cattle – produce little of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
For some time, researchers intent on breeding less windy flocks and herds hypothesised kangaroos might have a unique mix of micro-organisms in their stomachs that produce less of the gas.
The most infamous and abundant greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. But though less prolific, methane actually packs a meaner climate-warming punch.
To the dismay of climate scientists (and anyone concerned by global warming), there appears to a new and growing source of methane — the deep sea.
Russian scientists have determined that a massive crater discovered in a remote part of Siberia was probably caused by thawing permafrost.
Rising temperatures could have allowed the permafrost to thaw and collapse, releasing the methane previously trapped by the subterranean ice.