back to article Belching cattle apocalypse menace sniffed in cowpats

Cattle experts in Blighty and Ireland say they have discovered a much better way of finding out just how much methane is emitted by the world's cows - and thus, how much of a greenhouse-gas problem cattle actually are - by carrying out a detailed analysis of cowpats. Methane, though emitted from agriculture, industries, people …

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  1. karl 15
    Joke

    poo

    What a load of shit

  2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
    Boffin

    sureley

    Bovine boffins?

    1. Elmer Phud

      There's a law against that

      as title

  3. copsewood
    WTF?

    what's the alternative ?

    Much cattle pasture used to be wetland. I'd be the last to argue against the biodiversity and wildlife refuge and refuelling for migrant birds provided by remaining wetlands. But methane isn't called marsh gas without reason. Other cattle pasture never was wetland, so was presumably either moorland, forest or grasslands or clearing grazed by wild animals. In a wild forest fallen trees generally rot, which presumably also generates some methane. So it's completely pointless arguing against cattle rearing based on methane production unless you know the comparable methane productions of alternative or previous land uses.

    1. noroimusha
      IT Angle

      but

      but we cram more sheep/cow into the same area so i do not think it would matter taking those into account as it would not change the numbers much

    2. Trollard
      Trollface

      Arguing against cattle rearing

      You've missed the point. Those who argue against cattle rearing are flower eating hippies, and they argue against you eating cattle because they don't and they are holier than though.

    3. Zippy the Pinhead
      Facepalm

      @Copsewood

      "So it's completely pointless arguing against cattle rearing based on methane production unless you know the comparable methane productions of alternative or previous land uses."

      Well said.. also simply stating that there are a lot of cows out there passing gas isn't enough... And does John's cow pass as much gas as Mary's? What about effects of diet or local weather conditions? Does a healthy cow pass more gas than one in poor health? How about the differences between a dairy or a beef cow? Male or female? Age?

  4. nyelvmark
    Boffin

    Would it be so hard...

    ...to measure it directly?

    I'm thinking of a sealed room containg a cow or 3, with air pumped in and out, and the methane content of the inlet and outlet gasses measured over a period of a few days.

    I presume that some method can be devised to give an instantaneous reading of methane content - or, at worse to capture samples at regular intervals for later analysis.

    It needn't be particularly cruel to the cows - you could paint the walls green, or show them soap operas on HDTV, or something.

    1. Pigeon
      Meh

      This has been done.

      Humans have shared their shelters with cows since the bronze age. It's a bit smelly. I wouldn't want to spend more than 5 minutes in a house with a running automobile in it.

    2. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      @nyelvmark

      That was exactly what I was thinking as I read that article (although showing them soap operas might count as cruelty to animals...!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    So if they find low-archaeol cowpatties

    Do they describe it to eachother as "This is some good shit, man!!"?

    Ok! ok! I'm leaving!!

  6. Colin Brett
    Holmes

    Examining it?

    "Gill has been working together with the aptly-named Dr Ian Bull on a method of determining cattle methane emissions by examining their poo. "

    Quickly! Call Gillian McKeith!

  7. Martin Maloney
    Coat

    Methane really burns my arse

    On this planet,there are over six billion humans, belching,farting and pooping, and yet the global warming cult fraudsters are wasting tax money on studying bovine-produced methane.

    Methinks that they are giving us a bum steer.

  8. Martin Maloney
    Coat

    Methane really burns my arse

    On this planet,there are over six billion humans, belching, farting and pooping, and yet the global warming cult fraudsters are wasting tax money on studying bovine-produced methane.

    Methinks that they are giving us a bum steer.

  9. The Prevaricator
    Megaphone

    25 times the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere

    Oh, I sometimes wish that you'd state where you get these figures from, or at least qualify it more meaningfully (viz. timescales).

    Not telling us only makes me want to not stick my fingers in my ears and yell "LALALALALA I'm not listening" for the remainder of the article.

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