There are numerous known causes of greenhouse gases. However, recently one study suggests a different cause of greenhouse gases. Many scientists and environmentalists are now linking the causes of greenhouse gases to be coming from cows. Recent studies suggest greenhouse gases produced by cows may make up a small portion of the methane gas given off into the atmosphere. The methane gas that the cows are releasing is believed to be harming the environment.
Methane Gas and Cows
There are many greenhouse gases released into the environment everyday. Among those gases methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas released. Numerous man made things cause methane to be released but cows are believed to be a main natural source.
It is believed about seventy five percent of the methane gas released into the environment is thought to come from animals, mainly cows. During a cows digestive process they naturally release methane gas. Because cows have so many stomachs they release methane gas because of the bacteria in their stomachs. This bacteria is needed in their stomachs to help digest their food. Although this bacteria is very beneficial, it is the reason cows release the methane.
The amount of methane cows are releasing has been increasing over the past couple decades. The reason why more methane is being released is because the demand of cow products has increased. As the demand increases, the supply must increase. As a result, this means more cows are produced, and more cows are fed.
In order for the cows that are used in agriculture to remain healthy, they must be fed three to four times a day. However,sometimes ranchers and farmers will over feed their cows and cause the amount of methane released to increase.
Reducing the Methane
The greenhouse gases produced by cows can be decreased if certain changes are practiced. One way the methane gas can be reduced is if farmers and ranchers feed their cows food that contains sunflower seed oil. This simple change can reduce the methane gas by as much as twenty percent.
The largest way the methane gas can be reduced is to decrease the supply and demand of cows and their products. If the number of cows and other cud-chewing animals that are needed to support the population of the world decreases, the amount of methane released will decrease. This simple changes can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the enviroment.
“The Other Greenhouse Gas” By Meredith Knight, March 23, 2007 scienceline
“Greenhouse Gases and Society” By Nick Hopwood UMICH.edu