Cow Burps Increase Global Warming More Than Cow Farts

(p. A10) Agriculture was responsible for 9 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2016, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While the sectors with the most emissions were transportation and electricity generation, at 28 percent each, United States agricultural emissions were still greater than Britain’s total emissions in 2014, according to data from the World Bank.
Cows and other ruminants are responsible for two-thirds of those agricultural emissions. Their guts produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that’s more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, though it also dissipates faster. Cows release some of that methane through their flatulence, but much more by burping.
Deer, camels and sheep also produce methane. But in the United States, it’s cows that primarily account for the 26.9 percent of methane emissions, more than any other source. Natural gas accounts for 25 percent.

For the full story, see:
Pierre-Louis, Kendra. “Source of the Problem, Also Part of the Solution.” The New York Times (Saturday, March 7, 2019): A10.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date March 6, 2019, and has the title “No One Is Taking Your Hamburgers. But Would It Even Be a Good Idea?”)

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