You can follow them on Twitter at @gracelizrodgers and @carlyn_kranking. Almost that entire quantity — 548m tons — is broken down through oxidation and absorbed by plants and soils as part of the sink effect. “Metrics that try and treat the gases in the same way are always going to have limitations,” Lynch said. “More and more people are asking questions about their food, and farmers can no longer say they don’t want to talk to the media or the public. Air quality expert Frank Mitloehner, professor of animal science at UC Davis in California, says the real problem the livestock sector faces is convincing consumers and policy makers that animals aren’t the bad guys of the global warming challenge. “If we don’t, we’ll never stop the temperature going up.”. But cow burps are worse for the climate. So, if the GWP measurement is misleading, what does this mean for potential policies based on that statistic? From burping cows to grazing sheep, when it comes to global warming the finger of blame is invariably pointed at the livestock industry these days. “All of your energy needs to be decarbonized,” Lynch said. That’s why Lynch feels we “don’t really have a choice” on whether or not to decrease carbon emissions. Not only is this claim untrue, but eliminating cows, which notoriously produce the greenhouse gas methane, isn’t necessary to address climate change, according to University of Oxford researchers. Livestock’s impact has been hugely overstated, while the major culprit — the use of fossil fuels, particularly for transportation — has largely been allowed to slip under the radar. “We have to use that land for ruminant livestock, because it’s the only way to use it. “If we prioritize the methane, first we will have a large quick benefit” as methane levels in the atmosphere rapidly fall, Lynch said. Organizations including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publish the GWP in their reports. Grace Rodgers and Carlyn Kranking are Health, Environment and Science reporters at Medill. Calculating warming potential over 100 years, for instance, does not account for how strongly methane warms the planet initially, nor does it account for the full effects that CO2 emissions will have. Methane -- which has a warming potential 28 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period -- is also released by livestock like cows, sheep and goats as well as rice production. So read a recent memo coming out of British chocolate-maker Cadbury – to its bovine employees. “Cows are pretty disgusting eaters, with methane coming from both ends,” said Christopher Field at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. 1 agricultural source of greenhouse gases worldwide. Critically, he says there should be an urgent rethinking of methane to acknowledge the true impact of livestock production on the planet — before the sector’s reputation is destroyed for good. But because governments have limited will and resources to address the problem, he said it is more important to achieve net zero carbon emissions before cutting methane. Two-thirds of those gases are directly emitted by ruminants: animals like cows, buffalo and sheep that use bacteria in their stomachs to ferment food. cows are one of the causes of global warming cows are most definatly one of the causes of global warming because the have more methane in their farts they help with destroying the ozone layer, and they also help killing the plants so that we arent the only cause of global warming so we the people cant be the only ones to blame because all of the animals help pollute the air also. Methane gas produced by bovine flatulence contributes a significant portion of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, according to the United Nations. It’s baloney.”, To drive change the livestock industry has to continue increase performance efficiencies, use new technologies to drive improvements and — most importantly — talk about their work, he adds. No burping or farting, please! Lynch studies ways to anticipate the impacts of greenhouse gases and suggests that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is more important to address than methane. Fighting Global Warming Requires Changes In How Cows Are Fed Stopping climate change won't just mean a halt to burning coal and gasoline. Fighting Global Warming Requires Changes In How Cows Are Fed Stopping climate change won't just mean a halt to burning coal and gasoline. Cows are causing global warming! Are cattle in the U.S. causing an increase in global warming? In an effort to reduce its contribution to global warming, the company has been looking at ways to reduce the amount of methane given off by its cows.. But ultimately, the most important thing to do is to get to net zero carbon dioxide, because that’s the gas with the longest-lasting and biggest impact on global warming. THE FACTS: Cows fart. Cattle are the No. The issue is partly down to the methods used to calculate livestock’s impact: The UN’s most significant report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, claimed livestock are responsible for 18% of GHG emissions, but the figure calculated emissions along the entire supply chain, from land use to processing and refrigeration in supermarkets. Of those who claim agricultural land used to raise livestock should be converted to arable land, Prof Mitloehner is similarly dismissive. It would be best to cut both carbon dioxide and methane emissions, Lynch said. That allows them to eat foods, like grasses… Carbon dioxide usually gets the blame for global warming, but methane is about 85 times more powerful when it comes to trapping heat, although … But while animal agriculture is by no means blameless in the global warming debate, it seems the industry’s impact on the environment is not as significant as critics suggest.