The Wall Street Journal’s South East Asia bureau chief Patrick Barta, visited New Zealand to report on research efforts underway here to cut methane emissions from livestock. Read the story here in full.
“The root of the problem is that sheep, cows, goats and other so-called ruminants are unique in the way they digest their food. While that allows them to convert more energy from grasses, the process also generates hydrogen as a byproduct. Microbes known as methanogens convert the hydrogen to methane, which then leaves the animal through belching — and to a lesser extent, flatulence — and then floats into the atmosphere, where it helps to trap heat and potentially accelerate global warming. Humans emit methane, too, but not so much.
“As awareness of the issue has grown, the U.S., U.K. and other countries have stepped up their research. But ‘there is no question that New Zealanders lead the world,’ says John Wallace, a scientist at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.”