Global warming can be slowed by stopping cows farting, experts claim

Global warming can be slowed by stopping cows farting, experts reckon.

The trumped-up plan involves changing the diet of cattle to prevent them pumping from out so much methane – a potent greenhouse gas that damages the environment.

Research showed adding seaweed to the animals’ feed over five months reduced the bovines’ flatulence and belching.

They emitted 82% less methane into the atmosphere.

The gas is second only to carbon dioxide in driving global warming.

Ermias Kebreab, director of the World Food Centre, said his research had shown adding a small amount of seaweed to cattle feed had a big impact.

He said: "We now have sound evidence that seaweed in cattle diet is effective at reducing greenhouse gases and that the efficacy does not diminish over time."

Combatting cattle trumps is a key part of the United Nations’ plan to cut methane emissions by 45% this decade.

That will avoid nearly 0.3C of warming up to 2045, according to a report from the UN Environment Programme and Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

In the foreword to the report, UN Environment Programme executive director Inger Andersen said: "Fast and ambitious methane mitigation is one of the best strategies available today to deliver immediate and long-lasting multiple benefits for climate, agriculture, human and ecosystem health."

Around 35% of human-caused methane emissions come from fossil fuel production – causing climate pollution before the fuels are even burned for energy – while 40% comes from agriculture and 20% from waste.

  • Antarctic ice melt will trigger disaster for Earth – unless we stop global warming

Global measures are needed to deliver the 45% cuts to emissions by 2030 required to help curb global warming to 1.5C as countries have pledged to under the international Paris climate accord.

Prof Dave Reay, from the University of Edinburgh, said: "This blunt report makes clear that slashing emissions of methane – a powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas – will deliver large and rapid benefits for the climate, air quality, human health, agriculture, and the economy too.’"

Source: Read Full Article