Scientists in Australia are trying to mass-produce a new kind of cow feed that could reduce the amount of methane gas cows produce by up to 99%.
Grass grazin’ Temperature Raisin’
Methane is way more harmful to the climate than CO2 – it can trap 2,800% more heat – and our cow friends produce shit ton of them. The EPA estimates 25% of all methane gas released in the US comes from cows.
The average dairy cow can produce up to 500 liters of methane per day from burping and farting, which is comparable to the amount of pollution produced by a motor vehicle in a day.
Cows are gassy AF
The pink seaweed solution
Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) discovered replacing 2% of cows’ feed with a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis eliminated the gut microbes responsible for all that methane.
Good news is cows actually seek out Asparagopsis, which grows on Australian coasts, and eat them without having to be encouraged.
Bad news is, scientists haven’t yet figured out how to grow the pink seaweed on a larger scale.
Pink Seaweed farms are coming
There’s hope, tho. Scientists at USC (that’s U of the Sunshine Coast) are trying to find Asparagopsis with the highest concentration of the chemicals that eliminate the methane-producing microbes and also figuring out how to grow them fast in a large scale farm-like settings.
Nicholas Paul at USC said, with enough pink seaweed, the greenhouse gas emissions in Australia could be reduced by 10%. Now imagine that # on a global scale. That’s mighty good news.