One More Way to Fight Global Warming
- 20 Jul 2018
- 2 min read
Scientists are on a mission to fight global warming by making livestock less gassy because livestock is responsible for about 14.5
- Cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats produce nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane, which are released through belching.
- Although less prevalent than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, methane is more potent because it traps 28 times more heat.
- Scientists are working on ways to reduce the emissions, including by breeding animals that burp less, adjusting their diets so they produce less methane and planting trees in pastures.
- New Zealand’s AgResearch has bred sheep to produce 10
percentless methane; the low-methane sheep are leaner and also grow more wool.
- Some companies are working on a type of probiotic - helpful bacteria or yeasts in the digestive system - which has shown a 50
percentreduction of methane emissions in cattle during research.
- Latin American large farm holders’ are experimenting with
silvopastoralism- planting trees in pastures where they absorb greenhouse gases and offset emissions,while restoring degraded soil and improving biodiversity.
- In India, a national program to boost the milk production of cows and buffalos by improving their diet is also helping the environment.
- The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) uses software to assess the ideal diet for an animal, based on its physical profile and environment.
- The tailored diet means that each animal produces 12 to 15
- Over the past five years, the program has reached about 2.6 million of the nearly 300 million cows and buffalos recorded in India’s 2014 livestock census.