Climate science is partly about measuring cow farts (and burps)

Summit County Citizens Voice

Ag methane emissions still a moving target

Methane from cows is a significant source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution. Exactly how much is still a moving target. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report
Meat production accounts for a huge slice of global methane emissions no matter how you count it, but as with other heat-trapping greenhouse gases, you need to have an accurate estimate to determine whether reduction efforts are working.

A new study, led by a Penn State researcher and partially funded by Exxon, suggests that the current estimates used by the EPA may be close to the mark, and that other recent estimates based on aerial sampling and satellite data may be too high.

According to the EPA, the top three sources of anthropogenic methane in the United States are the combined energy sector — natural gas, petroleum systems and coal mining — which makes up 40 percent of the…

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