Cow burps and farts – that’s mostly what first comes up when people talk about agricultural methane, making it seem kind of silly. So why all the concern? It’s because methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, about 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide for the decade it lasts in the atmosphere. But, there are two kinds of methane. There’s Biogenic Methane – the kind of methane from cattle and wetlands, and there’s the methane associated with fossil fuels. The difference between them is that biogenic methane is part of a larger carbon cycle. Thus, as Dr. Frank Mitloehner and the Clear Center explain in the 4:57 video, if scientists are successful in further reducing the amount of methane our livestock produce, they can actual produce a temporary cooling effect and slow climate change.
Just last week, Dr. Mitloehner wrote about some current research about the use of lemongrass as a supplement to reduce methane output from cattle. You can also read more on biogenic-methane at the Clear Center.
If you’re interested in the research on seaweed’s ability to reduce cattle methane, here’s a past article on that:
And if you’d just like another cow fart joke, we’ve got that too: