Cows and sheeps contributing to Global Warming?

Posted by Wade Lee on Dec 24, 2001 at 14:41 (

SCIENTISTS in New Zealand have concluded that the biggest cause of global warming is not the burning of coal or oil, but the discharges of flatulent cows and sheep.

A research team fitted sheep with a device to measure the amount of methane released when they belched and broke wind, as part of a project to reduce greenhouse gasses by 10 per cent.

The AgResearch scientists concluded that methane released by the country’s 45 million sheep and eight million cattle accounted for 44 per cent of domestically produced greenhouse gasses.

Methane is the largest contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and the country has the world’s highest per capita methane production, amounting to six times the global average.

Sheep are the worst offender, emitting between nine and 35g each day. The company believes the large differences between individual animals’ digestive systems could potentially be exploited as an emissions mitigation strategy.

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