Those damn burping and farting cows

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MtnBiker, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Canadian story I know, but the same thinking happens in the US.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Most gas in cow breath: study head

    By SHANE HOLLADAY -- Sun Media

    EDMONTON -- Research is needed not just to pin down how much methane Canadian cows are coughing up - but also to learn how gassy Alberta cattle are compared to others across the country, says the researcher behind a new study. Dr. Karin Wittenberg, head of animal science at the University of Manitoba, will lead a federally funded $50,000 study of how much methane Canadian cows produce.

    "Its purpose is simply to help (researchers) come up with better estimates from the Canadian herd," she said.

    "Certainly, every part of the world has a different way of managing its livestock.

    "Even across Canada we see big differences. We want to be able to accurately estimate, knowing there are different feed practices."

    For example, cattle in Manitoba do more grazing on pasture land, while in Alberta they're more likely to be fed grain at a feedlot, Wittenberg said.

    Bacteria responsible for helping digestion produce methane gas in one of a cow's four stomachs. .....................................


    The study will provide important information if Canada wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the Kyoto accord, she added. ...............................


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  2. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    And a USA follow up article:

    Special Report
    Bovine Intervention
    By Eric Peters



    WASHINGTON -- The real culprits behind global warming apparently aren't the herds of SUVs stampeding along America's highways -- but 190-million cows contentedly chewing their cuds -- and emitting clouds of foul-smelling methane from their mouths and tailpipes.

    No bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been brave enough to go into the field to make precise measurements, but it's been calculated by some experts as roughly 350-megatons each year. (A megaton equals a million tons.) And that doesn't count the flatulent contributions of America's 7.5-billion chickens, 292-million turkeys and 92-million hogs -- not to mention millions of dogs, cats, birds and hamsters.

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignores this growing threat, our Canadian friends north-of-the-border are determined to bring it to heel. The federal government in Ottawa is channeling some $50,000 to scientists at the University of Manitoba to determine just how much rancid-smelling methane gas Canadian cattle produce -- and how much of it comes from their diet and how much of it comes from their indolent lifestyle.

    These are important questions, because Canada late last year signed the Kyoto treaty on global warming -- thereby committing its 32 million citizens -- and 15 million cattle -- to reducing their greenhouse gas output by some 25 percent.


    WHILE MOST ENVIRONMENTALISTS believe man-made carbon dioxide is the chief contributor to global warming, experts at Environment Canada believe methane, which is capable of trapping approximately 24 times more heat than carbon dioxide, may be a major player as well. In fact, they believe it could cause up to 20 percent of all global warming over the next 50 years. And no, they are not suffering from Mad Cow disease. Other scientists around the world are taking the problem of belches and other barnyard breaches of etiquette seriously as well. One group is even working on methane vaccines that would lower the amount of gas produced in animals.

    Other remedies under consideration include developing a bovine equivalent of Beano -- the over-the-counter flatulence reducer -- and engineering a pollution control device that would fit snugly around a cow's posterior and trap methane before it wafts into the atmosphere -- seriously.


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  3. janeeng
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    janeeng Guest

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    Oh how delightful - I don't think that's a job I would like to have!:eek:
     
  4. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Ha-ha. Definitely noit as enjoyable as being a Ben and Jerry's ice-cream taster ;-)
     
  5. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    That's hilarious. Dr. Wittenburg was a professor of mine and I believe it or not wrote a paper for her on methane production from ruminants. Geez. Small world.
     
  6. janeeng
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    janeeng Guest

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    no, I would say not! :p:
     
  7. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    :cow: :cow: :cow: :cow:
    Oh the irony, animals contributing to global warming.

    Hmmmm smell that dairy air!
     

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