Monday, April 14, 2014

Food for Thought: Gas, Cows and Global Warming

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the long hiatus from posts, I hope you're all pushing through the semester! We're past the halfway point! Today I bring to you information on greenhouse the form of methane produced by livestock! It sounds humorous, but according to the FAO, the amount of methane produced by livestock in 2011 accounted for 39%  of total greenhouse gas emissions stemming from agriculture.

While the suggestion to reduce the amount of meat consumption sounds like an easy fix, this change could have negative consequences as some developing countries rely on agriculture as a source of income. As an alternative, it is recommended that research be focused on increasing efficiency of land use,  reducing the amount of fertilizers utilized and recycling manure. These changes could potentially improve conditions by increasing yield with less land, providing fewer nitrogen sources for soil microbes to convert into nitrous oxide and using the manure as a fuel source instead of being broken down to form nitrous oxide.

If you would like to read more details on this subject, here is the NPR article with an additional link to the FAO report.

Good luck on midterms!
- Charles