Earlier this year, it has almost been said that cow burps are the root of all evil regarding global warming, the emissions of methane gases and, overall, an enemy of our humble existence on this planet (no, it’s not the factories, neither the cars). Well, recent “discoveries” reveal the fact that a well-managed cow could actually help reduce methane emissions.
Mark Adams, the dean of agriculture at the University of Sydney, made a study that is looking at the debate about whether to include or exclude the agriculture from emission trading schemes. The study looked at bushfires and grazing in the high country, and it concluded that high country soils can oxidize the 54 kg of methane produced yearly by each cow. Furthermore, those moist soils can oxidize 8760 kg of methane for every hectare yearly, so optimizing grazing habits could well offset the methane emissions, even surpass them.
The study says that carbon needs to be seen as being a part of a cycle, rather than a series of sources and sinks. The same cycle equation could easily apply to algae, that are used to absorb CO2 and transform it into fuel, speeding up a process that otherwise would have taken thousands of years.
So, we do have a solution for the good-old-milky cows.