November 20, 2010
Statistics have been giving us a bum steer when they state how much cattle methane emissions contribute to global warming, a new study shows.
That's because mathematical equations used to predict cows' methane emissions are inaccurate and don't take into account factors such as dietary changes, said Jennifer Ellis, lead author of the study and a PhD student at the University of Guelph.
When cattle burp up their cud, they discharge methane with it, due to microbial fermentation occurring in their complex stomachs.
“Diet can change CH4 (methane) emissions quite a lot. For example, between two and 12 per cent of the energy a cow consumes will be lost as CH4,” she said.
When an equation calculates the quantity of methane emissions on one farm, it can't be used to accurately determine how much greenhouse gas is created worldwide because there is so much difference in cattle diet around the world and from farm to farm. Read More
While most of the anti-ag groups are quick to try blaming cows for global warming, common sense scientists have shown that it’s not that simple. There are so many factors that determine the amount of methane produced by a cow so it’s nearly impossible to determine any impact based on current models. It’s unfortunate that these anti-ag groups have to try tricking people with false information to gain support and turn them against farming and ranching families.