"“A couple of years ago, I would never have believed it,” one scientist said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”"
"When Albert Straus started running the family dairy farm in the 1990s, he converted it to organic, turning it into the first certified organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River. He aims for Straus Dairy Farm and Creamery in Marshall, California, to be carbon neutral by the end of next year. To limit the farm’s other greenhouse gas emissions, he uses an anaerobic digester to capture the methane from manure and convert it to energy. Next, he hopes to tackle another main source of methane: his cows’ burps.
“Cows are essential to reversing climate change,” Straus said.
The global livestock sector accounts for 14.5% of man-made greenhouse gases, more than all of the world’s automobiles, the United Nations has reported. Of that, nearly 40% is methane gas produced by digestion in cattle. The rumen, the first of four parts of a cow’s stomach, contains bacteria that ferment the high-fiber grass, hay and grains they eat. During this process, a combination of gases forms methane, which the animals emit mostly by burping and exhaling, but also in their flatulence and manure.
Perhaps the most promising solution for reducing bovines’ release of this powerful planet-warming gas? Feeding cows seaweed."