Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Blame Livestock

Cows, sheep not gassier
David McKenzie
October 30, 2008

LIVESTOCK producers can rest easy. A recent surge in methane gases in the atmosphere has nothing to do with cows and sheep belching more.

CSIRO researcher Dr Paul Fraser says increased ice-melting in high latitudes in the Arctic and ozone recovery in the atmosphere are the most likely causes.

"The livestock industry is not implicated," he said.

A new study by Dr Fraser and US and UK researchers has found that after eight years of near-zero growth in atmospheric methane concentrations, levels have started rising again.

Dr Fraser said the rapid growth in methane in the atmosphere over the past year was geographically concentrated, ruling out livestock as a source. Read More

Fresh off the heels of the UN study, in which they are urging people to give up meat in order to prevent global warming, US and UK researchers from MIT and Bristol University have shown that livestock are not to blame for the rise in methane in the atmosphere. The importance of the ruminant animal in our food production system is underappreciated by people that don’t understand it’s function. In order to double our agricultural output by the middle of this century, it will be vital for us to use these animals to convert plant material into protein suitable for human consumption.

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