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Cows and climate help - a research reort in CNN


Active member
Could Cows Actually Help Solve the Climate Crisis? (cnn.com) 110

Posted by EditorDavid on Monday March 09, 2020 @06:34AM from the how-now dept.

Cows fertilizing the soil can replenish the land and reduce carbon in the atmosphere, reports CNN -- with a farming practice called "ultra-high density grazing". Conventional thinking says that cows are bad for climate change. After all, livestock contribute to around 14% of all global emissions. Researchers at UC Davis estimate that a single cow can belch around 220 pounds -- roughly 100 kilograms -- of methane each year. There are more than a billion cows on the planet, so that is a lot of (greenhouse) gas. But cows didn't evolve to sit in feedlots getting fat. Their wild relatives were out in the grassland in large numbers...

Researchers at Texas A&M University led by Professor Richard Teague found that even moderately effective grazing systems put more carbon in the soil than the gasses cattle emit. Around 30% to 40% of the earth's surface is natural grassland, and Teague says the potential for food security is immense... The key to climate-sustainable agriculture is the soil, because soil has an extraordinary ability to store carbon. There is more than three times as much carbon in the world's soils than in the atmosphere, and scientists say that with better management, agricultural soils could absorb much more carbon in the future.

Even a change of a few percentage points would make a huge difference to the battle against the climate crisis. There is an upper limit to how much carbon soils can carry, but it can take decades to get to that point. Plants absorb carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and then put it in the soil through their roots. More carbon is stored in the ground through organic matter and microorganisms.

"We can actually solve the climate crisis by sequestering carbon in the soil and paying farmers to do it," says Art Cullen, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist quoted by CNN.

"And if you say to a farmer that you will pay him a dollar more to plant grass and sit on his butt, then he is going to take that deal every time."

The above article copied from a news site as reported in CNN. So cows are not only holy, they are very useful on many other front too.

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