While most of the attention today in the effort to fight climate change seems to be focused on limiting carbon dioxide, it turns out that there is another greenhouse gas that is estimated to be 23 times more dangerous: methane.
What makes methane dangerous is its ability to absorb the sun's heat and to warm the atmosphere.
Although there are many sources that produce methane gas, one of the biggest contributors might be something you did not expect.
Vast amounts of methane are produced by cows… specifically their farts and burps.
Essentially, cows are one of the few animals that regurgitate to chew its food. The microorganisms in their bodies then convert the food into simple molecules for proper digestion and absorption. The flatulence from this process results in methane gas, which accounts for a quarter of the methane emissions in the United States.
Each human produces an average of .26 pounds of this methane per year through flatulence. Cows produce a greater amount of methane annually.
Each cow produces an average of 265 pounds of methane per year.
The good news is that a farmer in France is taking the initiative to stem the tide gas-induced climate change.
The secret? The farmer gave the cows more grass in their diets, along with lower amounts of maize and soy. This one little change may cut the animals' methane emissions by as much as 65 percent.
Hopefully, farmers across the world will take notice.
(H/T: Live Science)
Cover image via iStock