A team of Japanese boffins may have accidentally struck gold in the fight against global warming: they believe they have devised a way to neutralise the perilous belches of 1.5 billion cows.
Junichi Takahashi’s discovery could, he says, dramatically reduce the environmental damage caused by the world’s cattle herds, whose collective belching is thought to account for 5 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the team from Obihiro University of Agriculture, a few simple food additives, costing about 50p each day per cow, could remove virtually all methane from a herd’s daily output of greenhouse gas-enriched belches.
Methane is about 22 times more potent than carbon dioxide at capturing atmospheric heat. Cows produce astonishing quantities of methane gas as the bacteria in their stomachs breaks down plant fibres. Their near-constant cud-chewing allows a small quantity of the gas to escape with nearly every breath each animal takes.
timesonline.co.uk & Gizmodo