Burping cows are fueling the climate crisis. Could seaweed solve the problem?

Cows produce beef, milk — and a lot of methane.



a close up of a cow: Beef cattle stand in a barn at a feedlot owned by Jamie Willrett in Malta, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Cattle fell the most in three weeks yesterday on speculation that demand from U.S. processors may ease after a rally to a record. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Beef cattle stand in a barn at a feedlot owned by Jamie Willrett in Malta, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Cattle fell the most in three weeks yesterday on speculation that demand from U.S. processors may ease after a rally to a record. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A byproduct of digestion, methane is produced from both ends of the animals, although over 90% enters the atmosphere via their burps.

And that’s a problem, because methane is a potent greenhouse gas, which traps 28 times more heat than carbon dioxide over 100 years.

As the world’s appetite for beef has grown over the last two decades, annual methane emissions have risen 9% a year. According to the FAO, cattle are responsible for nearly 10% of greenhouse gases generated worldwide by human activity.



a close up of a pile of hay: This seaweed could help lower methane emissions.


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