Dom Post: Methane research is ballooning

Kiran Chug of The Dominion Post reports on ongoing efforts to measure pastoral greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, AgResearch is using water balloons to measure the burps of sheep, as scientists try to understand why animals produce different amounts of methane.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“At the crown research institute AgResearch, scientist Kirsty Hammond is studying how different factors affect how much of the gas animals produce.

“About one-third of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from methane.

“Miss Hammond, 24, said scientists were puzzled by why animals produced different amounts of methane. Most of this is produced out of their mouths, not through farting as is commonly perceived.

“Methane is produced as food is broken down in the animal’s gut. Miss Hammond is looking at whether less methane is produced if food spends less time in the gut.”