Wetlands, permafrost, termites, oceans and freshwater are all natural sources of the potent greenhouse gas methane. However, the majority of the methane that is changing our climate is caused by human-related activities such as fossil fuel production, biomass burning, waste management and animal husbandry (due to cow farts). The release of methane into the atmosphere by cattle and other large grazing mammals is estimated to account for 12 to 17% of the total global methane release.
Recently, scientists developed a method of measuring the discharge of the gas in a group of animals without disrupting the regular management of the herd. Cattle were fitted with global positioning devices to track their movements and wind speed and direction were constantly measured, unlike previous studies in which just a few cattle were handled daily. Researcher Sean McGinn says that this is a "significant advancement in assessing greenhouse gas emissions from the cattle industry."
And speaking of cows, Chuck Zukowski, an 8 year volunteer in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, was recently fired for trying to conduct an investigation into local cattle mutilations, a phenomena that is surprisingly common and which our science reporter Linda Howe regularly reports on. The reason for his firing was given as "conducting paranormal and unidentified flying object investigations" and "publicly contradicting an official investigation." What are they covering up? Come find out: Meet Linda Howe IN PERSON at our Dreamland Festival in June, where the theme is "What is to Come."