AUG 02, 2017 5:49 AM PDT

Cutting Down on Cow Gas


Climate change is something scientists all over the globe are working to combat. One of the contributing factors to the warming of the planet is methane gas. Estimates show that methane raises temperatures 86 times more than CO2. A prime source of methane? Cow farts. Yes, it's indelicate, but it's true. With between 1.3 and 1.5 billion cows on the planet, each producing between 200-500 liters of methane gas per day, that's a whole lot of silent but deadly. What can be done ?

Researchers in Australia have studied the issue and come up with a diet additive that reduces the amount of gas produced. Adding dried seaweed to the feed given to cows (around 2% of the feed mix was seaweed) was able to reduce the amount of gas from the cows by 99%. Not just any seaweed will work, however. Researchers experimented with different varieties and came up with one, red seaweed, which worked especially well. It was one of those accidental findings, where a farmer who kept cows near an ocean noticed his cows were emitting less gas and also feeling a little more romantic. It turns out that the wind had blown seaweed particles off nearby beaches, it mixed with the grass and feed and voila, less gas and more romance for his cows. Sometimes science is complex , and yet sometimes it's just about a little research and a happy accident.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUN 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
JUN 26, 2020
Astrophysicists Find Evidence of Nearby Planet that May Sustain Life
Researchers have found that a nearby red dwarf star, known as Gliese 887, may host three planets, one of which could sus ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
AUG 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
AUG 13, 2020
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
Seahorses are some of the most extraordinary fish in the ocean, and one of their most noteworthy features is male pregna ...
SEP 11, 2020
Health & Medicine
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
SEP 11, 2020
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a progress report on its five-year initiative for the global elimi ...
SEP 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
SEP 24, 2020
High Arctic Polar Bears are Temporarily Benefitting from Climate Change
For the past few decades, polar bears have been harbingers of climate change. However, not every polar bear subpopu ...
OCT 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
OCT 24, 2020
The Closest Black Hole to Earth Isn't a Black Hole After All
Earlier this year, astronomers reportedly identified the 'closest black hole to Earth every discovered'. However ...
Loading Comments...