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Indian Government Scientists Fight Global Warming by Reducing Cow Belches



(p. A10) Let no one say that India isn't doing its bit to fight global climate change: Government scientists are working hard to reduce carbon emissions by making cows less flatulent.

Consider the numbers: India is home to more than 280 million cows, and 200 million more ruminant animals like sheep, goats, yaks and buffalo. According to an analysis of satellite data from the country's space program, all those digestive tracts send 13 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year -- and pound for pound, methane traps 25 times as much heat as carbon dioxide does.


. . .


Scientists at the Cow Research Institute in Mathura, around 100 miles south of New Delhi, are tinkering with cattle feed, seeking a formula that will create less gas for the cows to belch out. (That is how most of it is released, by the way; scientists say much less comes from farting.)

But a team of researchers in the southern state of Kerala is working on a long-term answer.


. . .


. . . dwarf animals, which are about one-quarter the weight of crossbred cows, produce only one-seventh as much manure and one-tenth as much methane.



For the full story, see:

ELLEN BARRY. "What in the World; Cows: India's Reply to Global Warming." The New York Times (Thurs., MAY 5, 2016): A10.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date MAY 3, 2016, and has the title "What in the World; India's Answer to Global Warming; Cows That Belch Less.")






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