Feeding Cows Seaweed Could Reduce Methane Emissions
by Theodore Morrison, age 13
Did you know that when cows burp or fart they release a gas called methane that is toxic for our atmosphere? When scientists added seaweed in small amounts to the diet of a group of cows, the cows showed a reduction in the release of methane.
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is slowly destroying our planet. It does this by trapping heat inside our atmosphere. Methane stays in the atmosphere for less time than carbon dioxide, but is 30 times more effective at trapping heat.
According to a study reported by the Guardian, the current emissions of greenhouse gasses in agriculture make up 10 percent of all emissions in the United States. Climate activists have responded by campaigning for a reduction in meat products. Scientists from UC Davis think that the process used to produce meat could be improved if we were able to obtain enough Asparagopsis taxiformis, a type of seaweed.
Using the seaweed, we could reduce the emissions from cows burping and farting methane by 82 percent. Seaweed, a plant typically grown in the ocean, could assist us on our way to a safer, cleaner, and better environment on Earth by reducing methane emissions.