Cattle, Sheep, Goats and other game animals have some magic inside them. Tiny microbes that turn low quality forages into high quality products of milk, wool and meat. It’s pretty impressive. When this happens gas is produced – and between 20 and 40 percent of this is methane.
How much methane?
It depends on who you talk too. The EPA estimates that methane from belching or eructation and manure sits around twenty eight percent of emissions due to human activity. However, Alexander Histrov an animal science professor of Dairy Nutrition at Pennsylvania says that this is a rather small role in anthropogenic emissions compared to the very global scale of greenhouse gas.
Like a lot of other things in agriculture, this isn’t new
Game animals such as bison have been doing this forever. They’re ruminants as well and have produced methane gasses on a whim those stinkers!
How much methane is it in the scheme of things?
It’s only about 2.2 percent of the entire United States fossil fuel emissions that’s specifically from ruminant animals. The good news is that there are various studies going on with the end goal of reducing methane emissions in ruminant animals in the livestock industry.
Spence, Solmaz B. “Probing Question: Are Cow Burps Contributing to Global Warming?” Penn State News. Penn State, 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.